Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The test

In order to test my new found comfort with ocean swimming my body decides to develop the 'flu. Top of the list of things you absolutely should not do whilst sick with the 'flu. Ocean swimming. Add an ear infection to the list and I swear the GP was looking at me as though I was crazy (not for the first time, mind you) when I told her I'd done a 2km training swim and a 1.6km race on successive days.

Actually. She has a point there.

Was strictly necessary to attend training though to receive (duh dunana) my Can Too Cossies!! Never has a pair of cossies cost so much (literally in terms of the minimum fundraising and figuratively in terms of the amount of effort involved).

Swam out to the head, across to beyond icebergs and then back. Funnily enough two colleagues were on the beach but I didn't run into them. So slow. Like iceberg slow. Ironic given that's what I was sighting. Do 2km in over an hour. This is about 20 minutes slower than my PB. If I were Susie Maroney (IF, IF, IF) this would be like the 'flu transforming you into Eric the Eel. Sadly I later check and am pretty sure Eric would have been faster than me.

Head up to Warriewood on the Sunday for the Warriewood to Mona Vale swim. My first "journey" swim (I love the lingo) between two points rather than in a big circle. Intense surf greets us at Mona Vale, and again at Warriewood (when we finally work out how to get there). The three colleagues who joined me last week for Avalon have become a self sustaining movement, encouraging me to forfeit my week off. There are varying degrees of enthusiasm upon being confronted with the early hour (by their standards), grey, overcast, drizzly day, and intense surf. The boys attack it like life saving pros (as opposed to the volunteers they are) but us girls are a little more circumspect and even consider dropping out when we warm up. Briefing session with Longie (Bondi / Can Too legend who regularly takes out his age group) helps quell the nerves a little and the girls strike a faustian pact: no competing with the boys for the sake of company getting out through the break.

We make it safely through the break, and fall off the back of our bunch so successfully that the next wave of swimmers are upon us before we make the first buoy (boating) / booee (swimming) (not so sure I love the lingo anymore). Glorious in the back straight, truly transparent water, easy intervals between booees and very friendly surfers. One of them keeps me company most of the way and informs me of my progress between sets, and every 6 strokes. Delightful chap. Not at all a waxhead.

Surf is equally intense getting in. First 4 are too big and breaking too early to even think about catching so let them pull me forward, revelling in the sight of the wash through the googles. Then catch wave after wave in and overtake all those poor suckers in front of me. Then have to run uphill in sand and we're all even stevens again. Another colleague has come down to cheer us over the finish line and I hear my name being yelled in support. Awesome feeling.

The boys, and uber fast girl have done it in a very fast time. The girls have done it in style. And by style I mean not drowning. One colleague has won her age category and she of masters gold winning fame comes second in her age category.

We head off to lunch, which is vastly aided by actually finding the intended restaurant this time, and paddlepops. Epic argument about which flavour is better. Personally, I think given how much more successfully we were able to eat our icecreams this week the flavour argument is rendered moot.

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