Monday, November 30, 2009

Coogee Island Challenge 29th November 2009

Express Glass Island Challenge
2.4k swim around Wedding Cake Island
Good conditions, bit of a north-westerly wind came up during the swim, so swam back from the island into wind and chop. Swimming through thousands of little jelly blubbers behind the island.
Did the 1k swim Splash & Dash slowly as a warm-up, Time 20:56
Swam harder in the main swim 2.4k Island Challenge. Went out hard, tried to keep up with the main pack. Pretty tired at the end. Recorded time was 51:31 on the electronic timing. I thought I would have been under 50 minutes, I swam a much faster pace than in the 1k, I wonder if they tagged my timing chip with the wrong wave start +3 or +6 minutes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cockatoo Island 22nd November 2009

Swim around Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour 2.5k
Hot day in Sydney, no wind, warm water
Water a bit murky but clean, didn't see many jellyfish.
I was able to swim at a strong consistent pace the whole way, tried to quicken at the end but couldn't go any faster.
Time 47:04
5 minutes faster than my time for this swim last year.

Toowoon Bay 21st November 2009

Ocean Swim at Toowoon Bay, Central Coast
2 swims 1k & 2k
Warm day, water was a bit cooler than I expected
Light southerly wind, sheltered inside the bay
Did the 1k swim first as a 'warm-up' swimming slowly and having a look around the course. Time 22:13
2k swim 2 laps around the same course. Went harder in the 2k swim, strong pace for the whole distance. Time 38:59

Monday, November 16, 2009

Penrith Berry Rickards 5k Endurance Swim

This is a great open water swim.
A race against the clock for the youngsters, and a test of endurance for the oldies.
A perfect day out West yesterday morning, not a breath of wind on the mirrored lake surface. The water was a little weedy as you would expect in fresh water, otherwise clean and not too warm.
Congratulations to all who completed their first 5k endurance swim or 10k swim-through.

I made a bit of a mess of this race. Might have underestimated the level of conditioning needed to complete 2 long-distance swims in 2 weeks. Knew I was in trouble about 800m into the race, shoulders hurting. Slowed down to a more relaxed pace and struggled to the 5k finish line in 1:49:15. No chance of completing a 10k swim-through today.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Canberra Lake Burley Griffin - A Personal Challenge

Happy Swimmer

Scrivener Dam After Sunrise

Start Scrivener Dam Boom

Team Meeting before the Start

Finish Grevillea Beach

Team Discussion after the Race

Spot the Newbie

On Sunday 8th November 2009, I swam the length of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra in the Sri Chinmoy National Capital Swim. A distance of 9.5k.
It was the first time I attempted to swim this distance.
I finished 7th in my category, solo swimmers under 50 no wetsuit, and 11th overall (out of 11 solo no wetsuit finishers!)
All solo finishers were presented with trophies, so it was also my first trophy for an open water swim.

Thanks to excellent help from my paddler Peter, some great coaching and endurance training from Coach Chad, and priceless advice on long-distance swimming from Helen, there was never a time when I doubted that I would complete the race.
Thanks to my training buddies at Sea's The Limit who kept me honest in the winter morning training squads. Especially Suzie, who swam behind me every lap at training, thoughtfully tapping my toes every time I slackened off. And Joanne, who bravely continues to swim in my lane, after I accidently knocked her out in the pool while reaching for the finish of a 100m target swim.

My time 3:45:37 was 10 minutes under the target time I had set myself for the race.
My swimming pace would have been around 3hrs30, I was still feeling strong at the end, so I could probably have done without the 15-odd minutes wasted at long drinks breaks and stretching my legs at the transitions.

The race comprised 4 legs for the relay swimmers:
Leg 1 - Scrivener Dam Boom to Weston Park, about 1.8k. Winding part of the lake through bushland. I started strong and settled into a relaxed rythm. I was enjoying this. The water was warmer than I expected, about 20c-21c. Time 38 min, 5 minutes under my target.
Leg 2 - Weston Park to Yarralumla Bay, about 2.8k. Surprise! As a single skull rower travelling backwards didn't see us and passed between me and my paddler. Luckily Pete yelled out and the rower lifted his oar and missed my head. He didn't know the rowing course was closed. After about 4k into the race, starting to feel the distance, a bit sore in one shoulder and a little leg cramp. Time 66 minutes for this leg, overall still 5 minutes under target.
Leg 3 - Yarralumba Bay to Commonwealth Place Jetty, about 2.9k. Stopped at the beach at Yarralumba Bay for a couple minutes for a drink and to stretch my legs. Feeling ok as I set off again, back into a strong rythm. Long section in open water to the first bridge, in the widest section of the lake. It seemed like I was making slow progress. Couple of stops for a drink. Time 82 minutes for this leg, starting to fall behind target.
Leg 4 - Commonwealth Place to Grevillea Beach Finish, about 1.9k. Not far to go, feeling good, started stretching out and going harder, put on a bit of a sprint finish, big smile as I stood up in the water and crossed the finish line. Time 39 minutes for this section (a reverse split!), so I picked up 10 minutes on my targeted finishing time. Probably means I could have gone harder in the middle of the race.
It was a lovely swim and conditions on the day were perfect.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cook Community Classic Cronulla

Ocean Swim - "Elite Swim" Distance 1.5k - Elouera Beach to South Cronulla
Time 27:37
Didn't go too hard, streching out for longer swims this month
Good conditions, 1m swell, NE wind no chop, Water temp about 19c