Not directly linked to channel swimming and what seems suspiciously like an excuse-I tipped milk on my laptop last monday and alas it has been taken away for a holiday and a new keyboard so blogging on an actual computer has become difficult. It was back to the note book...I'm trying update as and when I can in chronological order so this little excerpt is from way back last sunday when I updated the blog but didn't get around to writing about Sunday swim...
Sunday Swim 30th January
9am on a sunday feels like 7am on a Monday. The sound of heating turning on wakes before I have time to enjoy those precious few extra moments in bed. Despite the fact that I regularly work weekends I still have an odd resentment to Sunday mornings...A brief talk myself out of it chat is had, quickly hushed by body getting out of bed before the talk can win.
By the time I'm on the train and walking through the high street I remember that I actually quite like Sunday mornings; they feel like unexplored terrain, first footsteps in the snow. To the right of me a church door opens to the sound of choral singing which makes me feel strangely uplifted (not usually being one for religious intervention). A man walking down the street, last dregs of the night before or early morning milk buying from not having slept starts walking next to me.
'You know you, you've got nice eyes'
I am behooded, bedraggled and quite surprised. I have to bite back saying-
'But I'm going swimmming!' instead I say
'It's too early for that...' He tells me to have a nice day and already the morning seems to have started with a dream like quality.
Sunday is a tester. Every serious swimmer must know that you don't touch the pool on a Sunday. Families, children, bored teenagers. I haven't been swimming on a sunday since I could swim a length underwater, straight off. Since I would squeeze my puppy fat chest together to try and attract the boys dive bombing the pool. When I'm paying (£3.55- 55p more expensive because it is a premium time) the women tells me its 27 not 29.
I ask her what this means, only realising as I say it, that she is talking about temperature.
'It means it's cold, you'll have to swim faster.'
'Oh I can do that.' I say with all the confidence of a person that has been promising to swim the channel but with no actual physical evidence of doing it. Again I have to bite back 'Pah 27-I have to learn to swim in 14' -it remains a private story I tell myself. I'm going to try to swim 3 miles today (depending on the busyness of the pool)
Despite the semi-religious signs and good will of the people that I have met along my way to swim-I swim a bad swim. Slowly, like powering through treacle, I'm not sure I'll make 100 lengths -let alone the 190 I have to make it to three miles.
I can't stop myself from thinking about swimming, the ache, the difficulty. Where as my head usually runs around itself distracting my arms from the weight of the water, not today.
My second wind varies on each swim, sometimes at the 50 length mark more often around 70-when the end is in sight. I struggle to two miles, for once wishing I had one of those water proof mp3 players to take my mind from the water. I am frustrated that I cannot do the 3 miles. But I let myself go, listen to my joints and removed myself from the water. I feel a pang of jealousy at the young man I have been sharing the lane with as he carries on, no aches in his bones,
On the up side the water is empty of what I expected to be sunday swimmers and I have discovered swimming on a sunday is not a bad session, it certainly beats women only...as long as my body starts to agree with what should be a day of rest.
3 mile swim and chips