From Beginner to Swimmer in less than four months and it can be done!
I entered the Swimathon 2010 to give me a goal to aim for. When I entered it
was looking like a very big challenge as I had only swam a couple of metres
before (had just received my 10m badge) but I knew that I would have the stamina
and determination to complete the distance, however long it would take.
The event was to raise money for the Marie Curie charity, a worthwhile cause,
and there were a couple of choices of distances. However, the distances had a
time limit of three hours and the rules stated that no swimming aids could be
used, therefore no arm bands, floats etc....help!!
When I went to registration to collect my number I found that the organisers had
entered me into the 5K challenge. I could have died on the spot, due to recent
'difficulties' I have been barely able to run 5K let alone swim it! Fortunately
they were able to change my distance to 1.5K however I was still required to
swim amongst the 5K competitors. Paul Hudson had entered as a 5K swimmer.
Once changed there was quite a bit of hanging around and it was late starting
off. I had originally estimated that it would take 2 1/2 - 3 hours to swim but
then knocked the time down to 2 - 2 1/2 after practice. I had also entered as a
mixed stoke swimmer with the idea that I would swim front crawl until tired,
change to breaststroke and if I had difficulty keeping upright or was getting
exhausted I would change to backstroke.
I was the second to start off in my lane, luckily we had a rope on one side and
the edge of the pool on the other so at least I had something to grab hold of
should I have started to drown. I struggled with front crawl almost immediately
so gave up after two lengths and so the rest of the challenge became 2% doggie
paddle, 28% breaststroke and 70% backstroke (backstroke for me is the easiest of
strokes for varying reasons).
Around half way into my swim I pushed off from the end and my leg and foot went
into complete lockdown. I managed to get to the side of the pool and tried to
sort it out. The swimmer behind me stopped to see if I was o.k. - much more
helpful than the people sitting directly in front of me at the pool side! After
a short time I was working again and carried on, having a good long gulp of
drink when I reached the other end. This gave me just what I needed to get going
After a bit of time I decided that I was going to have a few seconds rest once I
had finished the next length. I touched the end and asked my counter how many
more lengths I had to go. All he said in a rather casual voice was "you've
finished". I was completely stunned. I stopped my own watch and looked down at
the time - it wasn't even an hour!!!
I climbed out, received my medal and jumped for joy. How did I manage that?!
woohoo! woohoo! woohoo!
Paul was still swimming when I left to get changed as he had a longer distance
to swim than I did. I enjoyed the coffee and biscuits afterwards.
Thank you very much to Anne for coming along to support me. I felt a bit guilty
for not having stopped at every length to chat but I did manage to get a quick
word or two in at every other length.
This was just the competition that I needed to 'jump in at the deep end' and
enter a triathlon taking place in a couple of weeks. All I need to do now is to
get some L plates for my bike and then there will be no stopping me.
Race Results :