Monday, 31 October 2011

Going up

In the summer Monday is my favourite for a long swim having had a couple of days rest but in the winter I often find it a bit of a shock to get back into the cold water. This morning was mild and cloudy, so I was quite warm by the time I reached the lido. Elizabeth wanted to take pictures of me getting in from my usual seated dive position, I braced myself for the cold water but there was no need. It's about 12ºC again, certainly gone up since last weeks 10.5ºC or so.

Although it was rather gloomy the difference of the clocks changing was noticable when taking pictures. Still not exactly a fashion shoot but here's Elizabeth in her new suit.

As she passed I turned around and took this shot (and got more light) in which you can see the pattern on the front. Hasn't she got long legs!

This is Sue, Chris is hiding in the background. I went on to do eighteen length and wasn't really at all cold afterwards, hot even by the time I cycled to work.

Time for the October statistics:
In October 2011 the water temperature ranged from 17ºC to 10.5ºC
I swam a total of 548 lengths
Which is 54800 yards, about 31 miles or 50 Km
I did 22 seperate swims
Longest single swim 36 lengths, shortest 18 lengths
Scores on the doors: four blue, five red, six green and seven yellow.

Overall it's been a warm, mild month both in and out of the water. I expect the temperature to fall soon with a lot less distance in November.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Friday feeling

A mild morning with the sun breaking through overnight clouds. The water was empty when I got in, still getting used to the muffled sounds of my new cap when I swim. I saw more and more people arrive but the water stayed empty while lots of chat was going on by the changing cubicles.

Michael was breaststroking up and down, I love the surface reflections in this shot. It's still a little dark under the water, I hope the clocks changing on Sunday will help with the available light next week.

Gus was swimming before Sue and Chris got in but here they all ended up swimming together. I don't usually see Gus because he swims early but it's half term this week so he has been in the water a bit later.
I went on to do eighteen lengths.
Elizabeth didn't arrive until I had got out so I didn't have the chance to re-shoot her new cossie. Chris having finished his swim took up the challenge, grabbing Elizabeth's camera it was funny to watch him trying to run along in the water to get a shot. I wonder if he got one?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Blurry nice

A dark cloudy morning I arrived a little later than usual, Elizabeth had just got out of the water and wanted me to take some pictures of her swimming in her new costume. I changed as quick as possible while she waited shivering and took a few shots of her. The looked alright on the camera screen but having seen them on the computer I'm afraid they're all a bit blurry.

Perhaps I went to deep to get the light or maybe I just didn't get the focus in my rush. It's a very nice swimsuit but I'll have to have another go at picturing it.
The water is still only just above 10ºC, I'm sure they're waiting until November at least before the sauna get put on. With my neoprene hat eighteen lengths was no problem.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

If you want to get ahead ...

... get a hat. That's exactly what I did. Tried my new neoprene hat this morning, wore the orange one over the top. My head was much warmer and it made a real difference, no ice cream headache so I could concentrate on the swimming as soon as I got it. It does make my head float a bit more than usual and swimming sounds different because it covers my ears but the benefit in heat retention is worth it.
A wet grey morning but it was clearing up as I reached the pool, being half term there are a few extra swimmers around but it isn't exactly busy. Vince was at the pool with his kids in tow, they weren't going to swim though. The sauna wasn't on and the water temperature is still around 11ºC, I checked with David to make sure they aren't fooling us.

Here's Pip swimming without goggles, I don't know how she finds her way? It's nice having a few more people in the water, spent the first part of my swim chasing Ian in his wetsuit then a couple of lengths catching Sue before Chris joined her. Then after a few photo stops I caught up with a swimmer whose name I don't know, a teacher on half term. Eighteen lengths in total.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A rare sight

A much milder morning, rain over night but it was beginning to clear up as I reached the pool. A couple of swimmers in the water and Jonathan doing yoga by the waters edge as usual. After yesterday I wasn't sure how far I would swim, I rolled into the water and got going. It's still around 11ºC I think, I didn't check with David though. Jonathan after his yoga got in for a swim, I thought I'd better try and get a picture because he doesn't stay in too long. When I stopped to get the shot being a friendly sort he stopped as well to have a chat! This somewhat ruined the dynamic shot I wanted to get, so I could only capture him as he swam off again.

I went on to do eighteen lengths again and felt absolutly fine today. I made sure my shower was shorter and also had a jumper with me to put on before I cycled to work.
Big excitement surrounding the sauna which was on this morning at about 8.45. When I Margy arrived I told her and she seemed quite cross, it's still too mild for it to be used according to her. If we have any fainters like last year she's worried that DC Leisure will stop us from using it for ever. It took Margy a good ten years battle to be allowed to have the sauna in the first place and she doesn't want us to lose it now. After last years fainters the sauna was switched off until the water temperature reached 8ºC. It's difficult because most of us regulars are aware of how cold it gets and how far we can go but it will only take one person to over do it and we will all suffer if the sauna is closed. Swimming through the winter is more popular than ever and SLSC membership is higher than ever, I'm sure the sauna is a big draw for cold water swimmers.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Too cold

I saw Michael just getting out of the water as I arrived, Is it warm? I asked and he told me he was feeling the burn having just got out. The board said 11ºC, having not swam since Friday I wasn't sure how far I could go. The pool was empty when I first got in, the water feels like being pinched all over for the first length or so, I got an ice cream headache and the water felt thick and gloopy. The headache passes and the skin numbs a bit and the water didn't seem too bad. Ian who is too skinny has resorted to his wetsuit, he swims much quicker in it and I had a fun length or two catching him up.

Elizabeth, Sue, Vince, David, Margy and some others, the water was filling up. Having done fourteen lengths I decided to carry on to eighteen, I felt okay in the water. As I finished Nick jumped in to the water ready to try and beat me over a length but I was too cold to carry on. A minute later Nick appeared in the showers having only done two widths. After my shower I was feeling quite cold and put on all my clothes, I was feeling a bit shivery I had slightly over done it. A cycle into work soon put me right but I'll be happy when the sauna goes on.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Carl in a twist

Ever so slightly warmer night, cloudy morning. Saw Giles when I arrived, feeling cold after his swim not having made it in since last week. The board still read 12ºC and without David here who are we to argue? Started off alone in the water again but Vince soon joined me along with Jonathan and Elizabeth.

A deep water shot, slightly blury of Elizabeth. The light plays on the water surface when you're far enough under the water.

Carl arrived and started swimming, I tried to get a shot but he was too fast although I rather like the crop. Mid breath I like the twist from his right arm to his left leg. I swam length seventeen with Sue who was without Chris today. Then with the finishing post in sight I sprinted the last length, eighteen in total.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Catching Alfonso

The weather has stayed bright sunny and cold. 12ºC on the board but Vince told me the thermometer reads 11ºC, pretty cold I think. No hanging around I got changed and into the water, only Elizabeth was swimming a the time and she then got out so I had the pool to myself for a while. Then I saw Alfonso arrive.

Alfonso didn't wait for me, he just got in and started swimming. I stopped to take a picture as he sped past. I then did my best to catch him up.

Pausing for another picture in deeper water, but this was slowing me down. I gained a little on him each length and after about seven we were neck and neck. On Alfonso's tenth length he sprinted to the end leaving me again, but then he got out. I had done fourteen and wanted to do four more to make it eighteen in total. I had noticed Elizabeth taking pictures around the pool, when I finished my swim she asked 'was that it?' she had wanted to try and catch my tumble turn again. She showed me a funny picture of myself upside down in the water bottom sticking out as I had tried to turn earlier, I expect it'll be on her blog later.

I liked this image, the sun so bright that the doors were reflecting their colours on the white door posts.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Going the distance

Another bright sunny cold morning, 12ºC was the temperature on the board. At this rate the sauna will be on before you know it. A quiet morning although I was perhaps a little later. Sue had just finished her run and then started her swim with Chris and Jonathan hot on her heels.

After eighteen lengths I got out, quite enough for today. Margy was now swimming and Sue stayed in to catch her up, eventually doing eighteen lengths as well! Spoke to Pip, yesterday I told him I'd done twenty two and he'd gone on to match my distance. The difference being that along with stopping and chatting he'd been in the water for an hour.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Another chilly morning, rain and wind over night had filled the water with leaves again which didn't make it any warmer! The clouds were clearing and the sun was beginning to come through. Not so many swimmers this week and not so long spent in the water. Elizabeth has been taking lots of wonderful pictures for her blog do take a look at them.

Batch swimming through the leaves, his left arm doing it's own thing. He said he's trying to correct it's movement but I caught it going off course here. Swam a great length with Sue before Chris got in, she thanked me for staying with her but I had to speed up to match her pace, if only she could do that for a mile or so. Twenty two chilly lengths again.

Monday, 17 October 2011

The big chill

Yes, it was a black trunks day. I had left my trusty orange pair at work over the week end. A bright sunny morning after a couple of lovely sunny days but along with all that sun we had clear nights and if my courgette plants were anything to go by a touch of frost in the early hours. 13ºC was the reading on the board when I arrived.

The thermometer in the deep end confirmed this. The deep water stays the warmest though and David freshly back from Croatia took his own reading from the midway point on the pool, a whole degree lower at 12ºC.

I don't know this swimmers name but he's been here most mornings doing many lengths, he must be serious because he keeps a water bottle by the shallow end! Although it was cold I went on to do twenty two lengths. I wonder if the sauna will be on before the 1st of December?

Friday, 14 October 2011

Goggle less

A bright sunny morning but with it an autumnal nip in the air and a heavy dew on the ground. The board said the water was only 14.5ºC today but Friday was popular as ever with a good crowd swimming up and down. Elizabeth was taking photos in the water as well today, perhaps she'll post some later? She took a shot of me plunging in, I wonder how it came out?
With the water quite full I was swimming between Pip and Vince, neither of them wear goggles.  Although they both swim in quite a straight line I had to keep my eyes open to make sure I didn't crash into them.

I like this Vince picture, the arc of bubbles under the water and the the right hand just breaking the surface is good. Althought the water did feel colder today it was nice to stay in because of the sun which was beginning to spill across the pool.

The reflection of the changing cubicles on the water was brilliant, like multi-coloured snakes writhing around. Mixed showers again but that didn't stop Batch stripping off to wash, I haven't seen him move so fast as when Sue called out if it was 'safe' to come in! Tom was looking very cold after his swim, he'd done eighteen lengths in probably around the same time I'd done twenty two. He'd swam with Sue and Chris for a bit but then had to speed up to keep warm, I was telling him how a sprint can make me feel colder afterwards.
Batch had organised a little belated birthday breakfast for Margy who had been ill on the real day but by the time I'd got dressed I had to dash off to work.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Batch on film

A bit of a murky start, moisture in the air but it wasn't quite raining. Quite early to the lido for a Thursday, saw Elizabeth who was taking pictures for her blog but her battery was running out. The board still says 15.5ºC but I don't think they changed it from yesterday.

John was swimming in his colourful shorts, he seems to be looking directly at me. I try not to distract swimmers but I guess you wonder what's going on when you see someone at the bottom of the pool. After a mile Alfonso turned up so i swam another six lengths with him making it twenty four in total.

I took a short video of Batch, not very well framed. He asked me to have a go to see where he can improve his stroke. We watched it back afterwards, you'll see his left arm seems to go wide making his stroke asymmetric.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Great snakes!

The monster was out again rolling around the bottom of the pool trailing it's long hose across the water. It's fun to swim over it, if you get the timing right you can just knock it with your hand and swim on, get it wrong and you get all tangled up. The board claimed the water was 15.5ºC. I can't really believe it's gone up since yesterday but it is still mild for time of year. The water was surprisingly full, perhaps they had been inspired by Johnathan who was on Jo Brands program last night? When she came here on March 9th she picked him out as an eccentric and interviewed him.

Tom and Sue swimming through hoops. Spoke to Mandy this morning who also asked if I was willing to swim on November 6th, I hope they don't expect too much from me! Did twenty two lengths in total.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Not winter yet

I wore winter cycling gear this morning, if anything I was a little too hot by the time I reached the pool. It's not winter yet! Perhaps it was the acclimatisation or maybe the hot cycle ride but the water felt warmer today despite the breeze, the board says 15ºC. The calm of the lido was somewhat broken by a man with a leaf blower, not only was it noisy and ineffective it seemed to blow fumes over the water when I was swimming.

After six lengths I was joined by Alfonso, he went off at a great pace and I had to step up a gear to keep up with him. By length three he'd slowed and I was getting a good lead on him. Did a total of twenty two lengths again and felt I could have done more today. The winter wear was good after the swim and I reached work with toasty hands and feet.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Super glide

A mild Monday morning, the pool almost empty when I arrived. Then I saw Elizabeth getting in the water. She had asked me on Friday if I caught a picture of her glide as she was breaststroking. I didn't, so I thought today might be the day. Getting in the water felt quite cool, the board said 15ºC but with David on holiday there was no way to check. Elizabeth was swimming freestyle to begin with, her ribs must be a bit better, I think she must have spotted me because on her return she changed to breaststroke, with a beautiful long glide.

I think this captures it quite well, I do love those surface reflections. There's an SLSC Vs Serpentine gala coming up on November 6th, both Pip and Vince asked me if I'd take part I said yes but who knows how cold it'll be by then. Despite my general pace I'm not really a one length racer, I'll do my best though and it's all good fun. I went on to swim twenty two lengths but I think I might be cutting down soon.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Flip flop weather

It was much cooler today. Yesterday the warm morning had given way to a cold afternoon and evening. I had the heating on this morning for the first time this season. The wind had dropped and the water was just over 15ºC which didn't feel too bad but the ground was cold
The pool had a lot of leaves in it, made it difficult to see at times as they tended to stick to my goggles. The leaves are still quite scratchy, especially when you hit a large pile of them, I like to watch them hanging in the water, yellow and red reflecting the weak sun.
I saw Nick get in the pool but paid no attention, I'd already turned and was continuing at a steady pace. About two thirds of the length later he came rushing by me, I'd spotted him in only just enough time and really had to sprint the last third to finish before him. Nick has a very quick sprint but he did start behind me, he'll have to try something else if he's going to beat me.

Elizabeth shows me her flip flops, I'll have to dig mine out if the weather isn't getting any warmer. Twenty two lengths in all.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Half a pool

A bright sunny morning, the wind and rain from last night had passed over and it didn't feel as cold as they said it would. The water temperature is about 16ºC now and we were reduced to the winter swimming section of just half the pool and across the shallow end. I like swimming on the trackside and along with all the leaves the water felt quite crowded. Started of pacing myself against a swimmer I didn't know, took me twelve length to pass him. Then swam a few length with Alfonso. Pip and Batch were swimming up and down beside us for a while,  I saw Batch wait for our arrival and gave him a little half length race.

Here's Batch in all his rolling glory making his way though the leaves. I think his sroke looks a lot better, he has a good reach and roll but told me he wants to go faster. Next time I'm going to film him to see if there's anything he can improve upon. Twenty two lengths in all.