Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Lake Windermere ..Bank Holiday Training

Yesterday KGB and I returned from an overnight stay in Ambleside. We left home around 11am on Bank Holiday Monday for the 100 mile skip across country in absolute glorious sunshine. Arriving at the Smallwood House Hotel again where we had initially stayed with Swim Trek and then Loraine. Soon after checking in we headed down to Lake Windermere a matter of minutes away.

Here we spoke with the Aide and Kate at Lake Lander, they are very friendly and supportive whose services I would recommend without hesitation, we sorted out the hire of a sit on Kayak for KGB. Then, as usual I swam out to Seamew Crag a small rocky island that juts up about 1000m (as the crow flies not the route we swim) from shore opposite the YHA building). My records show that last October it had taken 22 minutes to reach the Crag, however today we were there inside seventeen minutes, Kelly was paddling right next to me and it was very comforting to know that she was close by and offering me some protection from the passing steamers and other craft.

My wristwatch was showing 56F, though at times in dropped out to 52F, the lake itself was very patchy in terms of surface temperature, I wasn’t sure if this was due to the amount of recent rainfall or to the amount of vessels churning up deeper/cooler water.

Anyway, I swam for 1hour and 20 minutes during which I could easily notice those cooler patches. My core felt warm enough most of the time, and I was reasonably pleased with my performance. We also took the chance to practice feeding in the deep water, whereby I would have to either lay on my back or tread/kick whilst I took on the hot maxim, we had used all of the drinks by the 60 minute mark, so that was a little annoying…must plan better!
After the swim we had the usual hot chocolate at the Ambleside Pier and headed off to shower and take a well deserved power nap. That evening we had an excellent meal at Lucy4s, followed by too much alcohol and a good nights sleep.

Waking slightly groggy on Tuesday morning I forced down some breakfast before heading back to speak with Aide, I was due to be back home for work at 1445, so decided to just swim for 45 mins, Kelly accompanied me again and we had the feeding off to a tee, we had figured out some basic hand signals for “danger/stop” and for “feed time”. The water it self seemed to be much more even in feel and temperature, my watched signalled a steady 55F, I was delighted with how enjoyable the swim was, in terms of comfort, safety, flat water, sunshine and KGB in the kayak, I thought to myself “conditions don’t get much better than this so make the most of it”.

Overall we had a great time, rather short lived and rushed as is normally the case, but excellent training (I Think?) Am hoping to meet Joni Storer at the Bishopton Lake on Thursday too, so things are progressing nicely, I am finally swimming mostly outdoors…lets hope for a nice long summer!

1 comment: said...

Ditto on the blog, great challenge you have set yourself - I am trying to get my head around the same challenge for 2010 - but I only learnt to swim 3 years ago. I will follow your progress.

I had better get down to the beach then....!

Good luck