February Swim Done :)

The start of the Cole Classic 5km, my February swim (photo by Robin)

Yesterday morning was my second 5km ocean swim of the year, the Manly Cole Classic. As my February swim I was looking forward to it because it was on home turf. This was the start line at Shelly beach, you see that haziness over the water? That is sea mist, and it only got worse…..

My February Swim was Misty….

The start of the men’s wave for the 5km ocean swim (photo by Louise)

Above you can see the start of the men’s 5km wave, the sea mist was even worse when it was my turn to set off. That always makes for a hard swim, when you can’t actually see where you are going! I knew that the first buoy was somewhere near the yellow hut (in the back of the photo), but it was hard to spot that at the start.

My February swim was always going to be challenging, because I had to move house on the Friday before the swim, and I only did my last 5km a week ago. I have to say that I was exhausted when I woke up on Saturday morning after moving and spent most of the day relaxing on the couch in between some unpacking, and I went to bed at 8.30pm to get as much sleep as possible ready for the swim. Sunday morning at 6am my alarm went off, and it was time to eat, drink (and be merry – later). Down at the beach I got my timing chip and left my bag at Manly to walk round to Shelly for the start. The mist at the start meant that I couldn’t see the first buoy, but I knew that I wouldn’t be in the lead and would be able to follow others – sometimes being slow has advantages!

The swim went over to Freshwater beach near the pool, then across and back to Manly coming in near the Manly surf club. The ocean wasn’t the flat pancake I would have ideally liked, but it also wasn’t crazy choppy. There were waves, it was hard to breathe to one side at times, but not too bad – but, I had taken 2 sea sickness tablets to be on the safe side. The water was really murky on the way over which wasn’t much fun, however, as soon as I turned and got to Queenscliff there was crystal clear water all the way home.

After my last swim I said about the mental challenge of long distance swimming, this time, depsite the tired moving muscles I felt strong and KNEW I had it. I always seem to start off slower than others and then it was about 1.5-2km in that I started to overtake swimmers as they started to flag – I love that, swimming next to someone and drawing level then pushing through to overtake. It gives me a real sense of achievement. I feel (odd as it may sound) like a horse in a race, and that is what I was saying to myself, “come on horsey lets take the next one”, past the purple horse, past the spotty horse and past a blue one and on to the finish line.

As I swam along the beach from Queenscliff on the return stretch it was fabulous knowing that I only had 1.5km to go, then at North Steyne surf club just 1km to go, then to the point and 100m in. The psychological benefits of swimming on home ground – I would really recommend it, it made the second half of the swim so much easier. Also this was my first 5km ocean swim where I didn’t have to do laps, MUCH better mentally for me to just do a journey swim. You don’t have the “here we go again” feeling of laps.

february swim finish line

Unfortunately at the end I hit a whole group of 1km ocean swimmers, who had had the start of their race delayed by 40 minutes due to the sea mist – it was apparently too dangerous for them – what the?!?!? Those guys were only swimming along the coast, not out to sea like the 5km swimmers, sometimes the thought process behind these decisions really makes me wonder….. Here I am coming in at the finish line, smiling this week rather than sticking out my tongue 🙂

medal at the february swim

Everyone who completed the Cole Classic February swim got a medal, here I am with mine. I was a bit disappointed that all the medals were the same and mine didn’t say something like “5km superstar” on it, but I guess you can’t have everything. It took me 1 hour 44 minutes to do the swim, which is 14 minutes faster than when I did the 5km swim at Balmoral last March, which is great considering that Balmoral is very flat compared to Manly.

Plus the dizziness wasn’t nearly as bad this week, although I was a bit shaky straight after. I am now seeing a dietician to get all that sorted out before my March swim.

I can’t believe it, 2 swims down, just 10 to go! Love what I am doing? Please donate to my fundraiser, we have now raised over $10,000.

Lara

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