Posted: 27/07/2015 at 22:08
Swim portion of the 'Midnight Burger Boys' relay. Sorry it waffles on, but pensioners need people to talk to so indulge me!!
Well I agreed to do the swim some months ago and had *lots* of good intentions with regard to training. But the usual overconfidence in my ability and life got in the way. So, race day arrives and I'm quietly crapping myself. Button Mushroom would have you believe it looked like cat food, but in truth I was wholly innocent of the 'porta potty' incident and the 're-fried beans'! My supper the night before was a vegetable biriani with spicy sauce and to hell with whoever was following me down the rowing lake!!
It was a fitful nights sleep, interrupted by the sheer amount of traffic travelling up and down Adbolton Lane as well as someones car alarm going off at about 3am! There were also the schoolboy giggles at Button Mushrooms reaction when he'd discovered someone had actually done a number 2 in his tent porta potty!! Still cracks me up!
So alarm went off at 4.45 and a quick can of rice pudding later found me queuing up to get rid of the biriani!
Wet suit on and down to the transition tent with my flip-flops and bag. Oh how I wished I'd done at least a little training. I'd had good memories of the Outlaw swim before, but I was never going to get near the 1hr10min I'd done previously.
The gate opened and I was alongside Redstripe in the middle of pen 1. Last time I was in there Golden Boots had asked 'What the fuck are you doing here?' 'Hoping to get a tow down the back straight,' was my reply then and the same maxim applied.
The countdown began and we all set off as soon as the hooter went. I had a start like Lewis Hamilton. Scores of people streaming past, having to take a breath every stroke I realised I was hyperventilating. The water was quite choppy and I swallowed quite a bit too. Memories of my abortive swim at Nice came back filling my head with terror. Seriously panicking I made my way to the side and put my feet down for a moment to get my head clear and breathing under control. I set off again, it was still no good. The wetsuit felt like it was strangling me so I pulled open the neck and allowed more water inside. It was a lot colder than I was expecting, but it was a wake up I welcomed. There were two blokes depending on me finishing this. Mo way could I give up!
Soon there appeared to be a window of clear water and I set off keeping the bank close. I was also dragging my knuckles along the floor of the lake. Gradually the metres clicked off. 750, 1000, 1250 and very soon I could see the orange marker boys. I swam wide and tried to hug the other bank for the return journey. Half way and I was actually starting to settle i not the task at hand and to enjoy it.
On the way back I tried to up the tempo, but this meant my arms were really starting to hurt and there seemed to be a lot of people getting in my way. I irrationally kept swearing at them wondering why they couldn't swim straight whine dawned on me that I was actually the one who wasn't swimming straight! So I made it back to the bank and carried on. It seemed to be an age before the 'grandstand came into view. I tried kicking, but cramp in my calves soon put a stop to that.
Then there was the big blue arch and a welcome hand to get up and out.
I'd decided, at the start, to swim in my Pirate hat so Flat Footed might get some idea as to how long he'd have to wait for me to finish, but in reality he couldn't see me until I appeared at the top of the ramp.