January Ocean Swim done!

Sydney Harbour splash finish and start line

Last Saturday (Jan 26th) I completed my January ocean swim – wooohooo! It was the 5km Sydney Harbour Splash at Rose Bay in Sydney.

It was a glorious day, the swim started at 8.01am for the women (guys went at 8am). There were just 35 women in the 5km swim and it was an in water start – this meant that I had to swim 300m to the starting buoy before the swim even started!

This was the in water start for the race, I think I am one of the pink hats on the left! (photo from Sydney Harbour Splash)

Starting the swim I knew that I could do the distance, I felt “ready”. I felt that I had done enough training, I was strong enough, mentally and physically. I also knew that I wouldn’t be breaking any speed records!

The course was across Rose Bay with the boats, along the bottom and then back to the start, that was supposed to be a 2.5km lap, for 5km I had to do it twice. However, the course actually ended up being about 5.5km – my longest swim yet! Below you can see what I was seeing while swimming, the harbour bridge…. it was pretty cool to see that while I was swimming along.

Sydney harbour bridge from Rose Bay
Official Sydney Harbour Splash photo

It took me 2 hours and 2 minutes to do the swim, that might sound like ages to be in the water, but the time actually for me goes very fast, it doesn’t feel like a chore. On the other hand I can’t honestly say that I loved every second, it does pass through my mind “why am I doing this?” My answer in case you are wondering….  Because I love swimming, love challenging myself and obviously because I want to make a difference for Ovarian Cancer suffers. I did think about my Mum a bit while I was swimming, she loved the water, and loved visiting Sydney to see me. So to swim past the harbour bridge made it a real iconic swim, especially as my January ocean swim was on Australia Day.

The first lap of the swim it was rather hard to follow the course because I couldn’t see all the buoys, and had to stop at one point and ask for directions from the water safety people. I find that VERY frustrating when doing an ocean swim, I get into a zone and then have to break that to work out where I am going, or double check I am going the right way. The second lap I knew where I was going so it was much easier.

Rose Bay swim finish
Finally finished!!! Not my best finishing pose – will work on that for next week!

I have to say that the last few hundred metres of my January ocean swim felt like a long way, I think it was because of the in water start, I had to swim back past the start line to get to the finish – whereas usually you run in from the beach and finish on the beach. Finishing I felt tired, I could feel it in my arms and my legs started to cramp up about the 5km mark, but that was fine I just didn’t kick for a while until they relaxed again 🙂

Once on dry land, I felt a bit dizzy, but sometimes that happens when you are walking after swimming for so long. I drank water and ate some protein balls thinking that would make me feel better. However, I still felt dizzy after that, and ended up going to the first aid people. The doctor there said it was dehydration due to it being a BIG swim and also a hot day. I drank A LOT of water and had to drink a can of coke for the sugar and felt much better.

It has made me realise that I probably didn’t drink enough water before the race, and need to make sure going forward that I have my water levels and food intake right. All the fun and games that come with doing longer, harder swims…. but I want to make it through the year, and not fall in a heap after the first swim or two. Plus I need to be ready for the 10km swim in April, that is a biggy. Meanwhile there is only 6 sleeps until my next 5km swim at Manly.

I swam today, slightly tired, but I am looking forward to the February swim, as there are no boats to dodge, lots of stretches of open water, home ground advantage. I know that I will be able to get into a great rhythm, lets just hope that it is a nice calm day.

If you are impressed with my swimming, I’d love you to donate to my Can Too fundraiser page to help me reach my $120,000 goal.

Lara

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