Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Ellerton Lake

When I was involved in triathlon, a colleague of mine (Darren) took me swimming to Ellerton Lake near Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire, its a reasonable size lake with lots of activities in terms of paddlers, divers and the odd swimmer. I haven't visited this place for well over a year, for one thing its 25 miles away, not far I agree but with Bishopton Lake 3 miles from home and Seaton Carew less than ten it seemed a little pointless. Bishopton however is now a little busy albeit the staff there cannot do enough to help, and the Sea is dependant on having Kelly keeping a watchful eye on me and my equipment. That said, yesterday I was 'allowed' to go for a little swim on my own, the only trouble was that a number Jet skis were hogging the surf and I did not feel at all safe, I kept the swim short and headed home before too long, my watch surprised me when it bottomed out at 55F, I had expected it to be much closer to 59F, maybe it was due to all wind that must have backed up a lot of water. It was still good to complete a couple of kilometres in the cold.

Anyway...a couple of days ago I was informed by Darren that lots of 'Tri' people attend the Lake at Ellerton on Tuesday evenings for a two hour session, I figured it would be better than a 2 hour pool swim and have opted to attend tonight. I have no idea how warm the water will be but will report back later today with how it went. I have arranged to meet another Channel Aspirant there too who is just formulating his plan .......................................................................................................................................

Been back from the lake around an hour, having filled my face with Indian food I thought I would update as promised before I start my Guinness!

We arrived at the pre arranged time to find only a few cars parked up, a few people were in the process of squeezing the bodies into wetsuits, glancing across I made eye contact with a man I had never met and was soon introduced to Dave Neal, who had recently emailed me with an interest in local open water swims..after some brief intros we stripped to our speedos and began our swim. It was my plan to swim loops of the lake perimeter, however we soon got caught up in some very dense weed, we therefore made our way to what looked like a pre planned swim course marked out by a number of white floating barrels.

Initially we swam to the small jetty where KGB was waiting with her daughter Lottie, Dave and I had slightly different speeds, so we decided at this point to swim with the rubber clad triathletes at our own pace. At this point I set off and decided to try to use the swim as an interval type session, being that it was going to be limited time wise I swam at around 90% of my maximum and tried to focus on some well needed drills at the same time. The water was crystal clear and bordered on being too warm. My watch was reading 64F. I could certainly feel the difference between this and yesterdays water in the North Sea. I was questioning the benefits in my head but it had to be better than the pool at a ridiculous 30+ C.
After another lap of the fixed route, I swam in for a warm feed, this was more for practice than anything else, I drank it and headed off as soon as possible feeling fine after the stop. Another loop, popped to the jetty to check on the girls and said I would do one more lap before we set off home to sort children for bed. That fell on deaf ears as I was told there was time for two more laps before home time, I get the feeling KGB would have said one more than any number I may have uttered! The rain started to come down on the last lap, but the surface of the lake was like glass, the water crystal clear and the temperature too good to be true, a short session well within my comfort zone, all in all, was a nice change of venue, got the chance to meet Dave who seems keen to do more, but for the weed it was a very pleasant evening.


Dave said...

Hi Mark,

Brilliant Swim yesterday.

Good opportunity for me to get some much needed open water practice!

Big thanks to Kelly for the warm drink.

Thumbs down to the diver that waited for me to swim over and blew bubbles in my face making me think I was in the middle of a shark attack! I'm going to have to figure out a way to get over my mild marine life phobia.

It was great to meet you and look forward to some more sessions soon.


Hoffy Swims said...

Well done Mark. Sounds like a nice swim. Mark Ransom and I are still waiting to go, but at present it doesn't look too hopefull.

Kind regards.


Hoffy Swims said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jevon said...

sounds like you're beginning to enjoy it ! Don't get too used to that sensation ! :-)

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

As a kid in England I used to swim in an outdoor pool and 64F is something I was quite used to then. Still, compared to the 81F I am used to here, it may not be so easy now. Anyway, I hope you keep getting the distance in. Time is getting short now.

Mark said...

Thanks Bruce, Paul, and Dave,
if I am to believe what people say then the water is more likely 62-63F due to the effect of air and body temp, however it is the same watch/device I have used all along so it is consistent in that I know how much warmer/colder it is by way of comparison. And I suppose its only out of interest anyway as I have no control over it on the day, it just helps me mentally.

I am just (its Friday 27th June)getting ready to go to the coast for a dip (alone as KGB is at work), not sure how long, its a grey day here and the forecast for coastal waters isnt that great, thanks for commenting


Mark said...

have commented on your IMA blog, suffice to say I know where you are mentally with 15 days to go, I just hope all those footy fans have left Klagenfurt intact.
go get em