Saturday, April 30, 2011

Coogee to Bondi Redux - Sat. 30th April

Towards Shark Point Clovelly

Autumn is the silly season for ocean swimming in Sydney
The water is still warm, but big seas this time of year usually result in some scheduled swims being cancelled or run over shorter courses
And some of the outdoor 50m training pools start closing until next season

Some swimmers from the club were looking for a big hit-out last weekend, in preparation for the South Head swim next month, so the shortened course for the annual Coogee to Bondi ocean swim last Monday was disappointing. Although I do understand the concerns of water safety trying to keep an eye on 300 swimmers out there in big seas and poor visibility

And so it was that a small group of 7 ocean swimming extremists pushed out from Coogee this morning to swim the original course to Bondi, taking advantage of the big seas to test ourselves on a longer swim in rough water. Our support kayaker sensibly declined to go out in the choppy conditions, so we agreed to stick together and all look out for each other in the water

We had to stay out far from Shark Point and the cliffs at Waverley because of the big swell up to about 2m on parts of the course. We didn't see much of Bronte and Tamarama beaches, keeping well away from the breaking surf. The current against us was unexpected and made progress slow, so I was happy to get around McKenzies Point into Bondi. Big surf at Bondi beach made for an interesting finish

Cold shower at Bondi to shake off the mild seasickness, then a lift back to Coogee for coffee and a big breakfast
Good training swim 5k, about 1hr40mins - slow going in tough conditions

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April Swims

southerly change

Approaching the end of ocean swimming season 2010/2011

5 swims in April, about 11k total:
- Stanwell Park 2.3k
- Balmoral 1k
- Queenscliff 1.5k
- Terrigal (1+2) 3k
- Coogee to Bondi - was 5k -shortened course around Coogee Bay because of the swell

Monday, April 18, 2011

Queenscliff & Terrigal 16/17 April

early morning central coast


2 swims - Queenscliff Swim for Saxon Saturday 1.5k - windy & rainy with choppy seas
Better conditions for Terrigal Sunday 1k & 2k. The Terrigal 2k swim looked long - 2 laps around a circuit of about 1.2k  

Swim for Saxon - Well done Queenscliff SLSC - that was great effort first-up. The swim on Saturday had a really good feel to it.

Wind, driving rain, choppy surf - but that only added to the camaraderie on the day.
And an outstanding professional job with water safety, I watched the lifesavers kick up a gear at the end of the swim, to make sure every swimmer entered was safely accounted for.
Definitely room for a 3rd swim at Manly on the calendar, run by the local surf clubs - Manly Daily, North Steyne and now Queenscliff - all were good this year

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Balmoral 10th April


Balmoral - 1k swim in Sydney Harbour

Perfect conditions - no wind, wave, swell
Good day for a time trial, thought I'd test myself on a 1k swim,
Try to hang on to those 1:45 per 100 intervals I've been doing in shorter sets in the pool

Went hard the whole way, bit of bargy with other swimmers but it didn't really slow me down

My Time 20:51 seemed slow, but the looking at other swimmers times they were all slow for a 1k swim
I'd say the course today was longer than advertised - about 1.2k
My relative finish position was good, I finished in the to 30% of all swimmers, which was a new experience for me
Having just finished in the top half of the field last week, I guess that's one target to try to hang on to for the rest of the season

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Swim Training is On Track

Fire on the Water

Tough week of pool training
I turned up for all of Chad's evening squads this week -
Sets of long swims, broken up with short sprints
Hard, but it seems to be working
Shoulder tendons stopped hurting now, so looks like they've strengthened up. Or perhaps my shoulders have just given up complaining about the discomfort
I can feel myself getting fitter and faster in the water
Surprised at my 50m and 100m sprint times this week - I've taken almost 5 seconds off my 100m time since going hard the last 6 weeks
I'm not really training for speed at this stage, but I remember that's what Kevin told me last year - As you do more quality swims to build endurance for the long swims, you can't help yourself but get faster in the pool

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stanwell Park 3rd April

More fun than a bucket full of geckos ...

OK, So who left the leaf-tailed geckos in a handbasin at Coalcliff surf club ?

I left glasses stashed at Stanwell Park, and was perhaps not paying full attention to my surroundings. It turns out I was happily washing my goggles in a basin full of geckos, until a passerby stopped for a double-take.

A trick of nature. Got me big-time.

I should have expected a surprise from nature, given the locations of the Stanwell Park and Coalcliff surf clubs tucked away in beautiful coastal bushland.

Footnote: Yes, the geckos were safely caught and released from their slippery ceramic trap.

Swimming Tragics are We