Well, I did it. I swam from Hampton Court to Kingston. Two and a quarter miles. One hour and twenty five minutes.
When I signed up for the swim, I had grand ideas about training. Swimming pools during the week. Lakes at the weekend. Lessons to improve my technique. I had a plan.
Of course, I didn’t stick to it. At all. I think I managed two pools swims, one lake swim and one lesson. Under prepared is a bit of an understatement. So my aim going into this morning was a finish. Any finish.
We (my long-suffering and wonderfully supportive husband and I) arrived in plenty of time and joined the queue for registration. And then the queue for the timing chip. Maybe we weren’t in plenty of time after all.
Gather time came and I joined the other swimmers in my wave for the pre-race briefing (mercifully short) before getting into the water and swimming over to the start. A few final words of encouragement and we were off. Or at least everyone else was off. I couldn’t find my rhythm at all. Every time I tried front crawl, I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. As I breast stroked along getting further and further back in my wave, I tried little bursts of front crawl. Four strokes. Pause and wave to OH. Eight strokes. Pause and wave to OH. Sixteen strokes. Pause and wave to OH. Thirty-two strokes…wait. I’ve got it! I’ve found my rhythm! Now, we’re talking.
I’m not saying that I did the rest in crawl (for one thing, my steering is rubbish and breast stroke is a good way of getting back on course). But I did the bulk of it in crawl, which is good enough for me. And I finished…
…and joined the queue up the ramp. And the queue for getting the timing chip removed. And the queue for the bags. And the queue for the medals. And the queue for the freebie towel. And the queue for the freebie energy bar.
And then we went for pizza.
Nom nom nom.