Sunday, 8 January 2012

North Bondi Roughwater Ocean Swim 2012: 1km and 2km - a small step forward for this woman

Dead keen: 30-something blokes running for their lives!
I know this might be too much information, but my left ear keeps getting clogged with water and my ear wax smells like Vegemite. Spanner says only someone with issues sniffs ear wax. He refuses to analyse the strange secretion leaking from my ear. No, I don't lick Vegemite off my fingers and then stick them in my left ear. I don't even know how I came to realise my ear stuff had a scent, of sorts. 

Another useless fact is that before an organised ocean swimming event I go to the bathroom at least eight times. Today before the North Bondi Roughwater Ocean Swim I was up at 4am. Unbelievable. It's getting worse. 

To the swim. I arrived at 8.30am to witness very different conditions from yesterday when the surf was pumping. Today it was all pumped out - flat swimming pool conditions. 

This influenced my decision to go in the 1km and 2km swims, which start from North Bondi. I've never done both before.  

The water temperature was perfect at around 20 degrees Celcius and the day was overcast - sunburn conditions which catch out fair-skinned tourists from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.  I lathered my old leather handbag flesh with SPF30. I know it's too late for me and that I'll never have beautiful young skin again but I don't want to look like some old worn-out shoe when I'm 70. I don't dig the QLD Gold Coast/Brazilian/Florida look for women of a certain age.

During the 1km swim I tried to take it easy but it was hard to pace myself. My 'easy' is slow and I didn't want a lousy time. During the swim I and the other couple of hundred swimmers encountered thousands of small jelly blubbers. I pierced their gelatinous bodies with my fingers and felt them break apart. I saw fish, too. At the end of the swim a woman around my age told me she'd paced herself against me but I'd just nabbed her at the finish. I didn't even notice her during the swim!

The 2km was a slog. I'd dumped a lot of engine fuel in the 1km and didn't have a lot left (SERVES ME RIGHT). The swim course started on the beach in front of the surf club and ran south across 'Bondi Bay' and out to Mackenzies Point. I was fine up to the Point. Then I started to flag and bloody Mr Very Big cruised past me again like a friggin' Kluger 4WD overtakes a Mitsubishi Magna Executive. I'm getting sick of him. Any chance he can be put on a boat BACK to Ireland?

Afterwards Mr Very Big told me he was singin' and relaxin' and lookin' up at the helicopter and down at the fishies. He gave me some advice about my stroke, too. He was right, of course. I'd lost the plot and my stroke was short and lacked a "cadence". 

However, I did have one small triumph. I finished third in my age group in the 1km swim, something Mr VB will have trouble achieving as there are too many blokes on the ocean swims circuit. Men love to swim and win. Not so much the older sheilas (though as I've told you before, there are some amazing women in my age group who are up there with the young guns - male and female). I won a $20 Running Bare fashion gift voucher. 
Boardies? Mate, are you for real?

I was thrilled but I won't be popping open the Bollinger just yet. Tomorrow it's back to the pool as I continue my quest to swim smarter faster.

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