A Dip Into The Unknown

So this morning I got up at the crack of dawn (why are all sporty things on so early? Can't people train around 10am?!) to journey up to Thorpe for my first Open Water Swim! I packed my wetsuit, tri-suit to wear under the wetsuit, swimming hat and goggles -I think these are the bare essentials as you don't need much more. Oh and a towel! God, don't forget the towel!!!

The Thorpe lake is nice...as far as lakes go. Pretty clean, not full of weeds and it doesn't smell. Having never done this before I wasn't sure what to expect; was I going to drown? Would I freeze to death? Would anyone know I was missing before it was too late and I was in my watery grave?!!

Changing rooms on site were very clean- so far so good. Money paid, tri-suit on, wetsuit on and I was ready. But I wasn't ready, I was totally sh!tting myself! It looked murky and cold and I was nervous and did I mention cold?? The 3 guys I was with just got on with it and jumped in and I was left cowering on the pontoon.

Sitting on the pontoon, I swung my legs into the water. I'm not (much of) a drama queen but it was honestly the coldest thing I have ever put my legs into. It was COLD. C.O.L.D. I'm not going to lie, I did feel like turning around and just hot footing it straight out of there. I'm not sure what it was that made me feel brave, maybe it was the thought of having to tell people that I didn't get in or the fact that I'd actually squatted and squeezed my way into my wetsuit. I just pushed myself in and submerged myself under the water.

Okay so it wasn't THAT bad. The first bit is no doubt the worst: having to let all the water into the wetsuit and repeatedly dipping your head under the water. After I got going and swam in the first 100m or so to the first buoy, I was fine. Forgot to start my Garmin in my frazzle but I did that and I was off!

I managed 1.6k in just under 39 minutes so I was pretty pleased! I was pretty focused on not drowning so that's probably my number 1 tip. I guess I'll pick up more the more I go but for my first time, I found the below. I hope they help!

My Tips
  • Swing Wide: you don't need a perfect stroke for the open water
  • Goggles under hat; it really is much easier!
  • Spot Far; spotting further than where you're heading is much easier and was pretty good for helping me stay on course.
  • Jump In; don't do what I did and try to mosey in. Just do it, don't think about it. Be brave!

  • A Little Tinkle?! So I was told to have a little tinkle in my wetsuit to lessen the feeling of sheer freezingness. I didn't do this, repeat, I did not do this but quite a few people have suggested it and I guess it makes sense?! I still think it's a bit...ewww!

I'm new to blogging so this is my excuse for forgetting to take photos! Sorry :(  I took one but I won't forget next time!

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