Thursday, 28 April 2011

Swimathon, Wetsuits and Bikes

I completed the 1.5k Swimathon on Sunday 17 April at the Aquatics Centre in Leeds. I decided to swim the shorter distance than originally planned as my enthusiasm for training for more than 60 minutes at a time had waned and 1.5k is 60 lengths, which I easily swim in an hour.

The event was swum in a 50m length pool, which was quite daunting as I am used to 25m lengths and it made me really think about how it will feel swimming outdoors at Salford, with a mile stretched out in front of me. It was quite a sobering thought, however I swam the distance without stopping and in 44 minutes which was a fast time for me and the first time I had swam more than 10 lengths without pausing.

My husband swam the 2.5k in 1 hour and 4 minutes which was a great time for him too.

So wetsuits ... given that I work for the major sponsor of British Swimming (British Gas!), I did expect it would be easy to obtain a wetsuit for a good price as has been the case in previous years. With 4 weeks to go, I had read about no deals at all and got a few colleagues searching for me with no real luck. Last week, I received an email to say staff who were entering the Great Swim Series could apply for a limited number of FREE wetsuits, so I immediately responded. Only to receive an email a few days later to say they were overwhelmed by the response and had run out! This was very disappointing because I knew NO ONE else at work who was entering any of the swims and because I had responded immediately. Oh and because I had limited funds!

I enlisted the help of my husband and his triathlon knowledge/links and hired a wetsuit made by Foor by a company who help triathletes get the gear they need at a good price. It cost £100 including deposit and posting and I have it from March- September so it can be used for both swims. If I decide to keep it in September it is mine for the money I already paid which is still a good price.

Given that I am short (4'11") and, um... curvy, finding a suit to fit is no easy task.. but it arrived today and it was easier than I thought it would be to squeeze myself into. The sight of it though set my stomach churning... I am really going to swim in a place which is cold and deep and outside!

I don't think there will be opportunity to give my wetsuit a go before the Salford Swim so I am just hoping I can manage to swim in it. It does feel quite restrictive and it will no doubt still feel cold, but given the time I have left to work with, it's going to just have to do!

I have been out on my road bike a few times this month too and I am finally feeling at home with it and learning to adapt to the differences between it and a mountain bike. It feels fast and fluent in comparison (now I no longer wobble every time I change gear!) and I can feel myself getting stronger much quicker. It was clearly designed to be ridden!

My husband has finished building his triathlon-road bike. His first triathlon of the season is on Monday so I will be keeping everything crossed than his new sleek, carbon fiber road bike pays off.