Back to Dover…

Early morning rise again on Saturday and headed down M40, M25 and M20 down to…  wait for it…

The beautiful calm, mill-pond like, waters of Dover. Having made good time, I had a chat for a bit with Freda and Michelle, before Barry, Irene, then Emma and the rest of the swimmers arrived.

SAT 1st swim: 1 hour  – Off I set, with the group, not in the lead but somewhere near the front, I was aware of a swimmer with me to my right and we swam quite hard for 15 mins towards the East wall, when we got there and stopped I saw it was Simon, the guy I had met 2 weeks ago, the guy who told me he was not a good swimmer and couldn’t match my swimming speed!!!!  Ha! well he certainly wasn’t looking at all bad and making easy work of keeping up I’d say, we agreed that as that had only taken 15 mins, we could probably back it back and another lap.

We did, worked well together and exited the water after the instructed 1 hour. Good swim Simon.

SAT  2nd  session: 1 hour 30mins – I mostly swam this session on my own, conscious of other swimmers around me, never at risk on my own, but not swimming ‘with’ anyone in particular, after about 1 hr or 1.15 I started to feel the cold, the sky had largely gone grey, there was very little warmth on our backs from the sun and I started to recall some of the feeling of last year – the sessions when you get so cold that you can feel your bones hurting. It wasnt that bad today, but I could feeling it heading that way. I focussed on my stroke and gave myself a challenge of making it past the 3 breakwater markers before turning back for the last time, a quick look at the stopwatch as I exited the water – 1hr 37 mins.

After watching Man City beat Stoke 1-0 I enjoyed a long and “Good Nights Sleep” in the Premier Inn before rising to the glass like (even calmer) waters in Dover Harbour.

I had already asked Freda if I could have a longer single swim today, as I needed to head back to Silverstone for 3pm. My orders… 2 hours!

OMG what had I asked for, yesterday had been nice, but 2 hours was going to be cold!  Off I set, again not swimming with anyone in particular but always aware of one, two or a dozen swimmers around me. I lapped the Eastern wall to the 3rd breakwater pillar, just past the beach 4 times all in all. It was between an hour and 1.5 that the cold hit me again, the time that you lose control of your little finger and just watch as it parts from the rest of your hand,  Again I focussed on some challenges, stroke technique and warm thoughts and actually came back to really enjoying the swim for the last half hour.

I always fear the voice of Barry telling me “5 more minutes, not yet Stu, you’ve not done your time yet” – so I always try to set myself a distance a bit too far for the allocated time, just to make sure I’m a fraction late back, not too early, believe me, when you have made the decision ‘your done and its time to get out’ you have some pretty nasty thoughts about Barry, when he reliably informs you that the General says ‘not yet!’

So, in good form I managed the 4 laps knowing it would have taken me over the 2 hours and again, checking the watch I was over 2 hours and just under 2 hrs 15 mins!

Thanks Again Beach Crew as always – A Great Job!!!!!!

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