I'm still on my two feet, immobile, so the Open water swim was a great chance to reconnect with my swimming and also old friends. Have not seen these guys for some time, and Kash too.
To be honest I wasn't sure I was going to swim. I have stopped swimming 'seriously' and have not done any long distance swimming for some time. Compared to the rest of them I am the weakest swimmer, which goes to show that just because you're younger doesn't really mean you can't be smoked. The last time we did this, I got stuck in the current on the swim back to the shore Ian had to stay with me, which is a bit of a downer as you never want to be slowing anyone down. Also being the last made me panic and I was thoroughly drained when the swim was over.
I thought it was going to be the same thing.
This time around I did ok. I thought my main limiter would be my fitness since I've not been doing any cardio routine. I thought I would be struggling to follow the rest, and that my heart would be pounding, and I would be dying for a breather. But I kept to the same steady pace and routine of sighting that after the first few minutes I calmed down immensely and just, swam. Having Jaja beside me (doing a breaststroke - that was how slow I was with my freestyle) was also a calming point. At least we were both swimming side by side, going towards the same point. The rest has shot off far ahead except for Ian who was basically being a good soul keeping tabs on us.
I always wonder what went on in our heads when we were doing the distance. Be it running, cycling, swimming, most of the times it would be only us and our thoughts keeping us company. I believe this is why individual sports are so therapeutic. your minds just wander off somewhere and let your body auto pilot itself.
I think I have improved, and I can't decide whether it's because I was visibly more relaxed, or because I am just fitter. Strengthwise I still have noodle sticks for arms and maybe I have to surgically implant muscles there. Gary, one of the swimmers, had bulging biceps and I believe the swim was barely an effort for him.
Today what was meant to be a simple 4km of trail run-walk has turned into 11km of getting lost and dehydrated. I felt guilty because it was my idea to go to the Frim woods for some exercise, and my boss was into the idea and hence, all the project team were suckered into going. One guy brought along his pregnant wife.
The first part of the trail - 4km - were done in high spirits, I devised a game where we would sprint when we come to inclines. That got our heart rates up and bodies sweating. The we proceeded to another long trail where I devised a game of tag+pass the baton, in which every runner would run as fast as possible to make it hard for the runner behind him to catch him, and 'pass' the baton. It got us huffing and puffing and then suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere. We were inside one of the botany gardens and the only way out was over the locked wire fenced gate. In the end, we had to go out via the drain tunnel, and it was a hoot to have our boss hoisted up from the drain. The mountain bikers even snapped pictures of these awkward looking joggers all coming up from the drain by the roadside.
All in all, it was a very tiring 11km Frim tour.