Monday, June 21

Missing out

So there I was, all set for my Great East Swim. I was excited because the water temperature was reported to be 17 degrees and wetsuits were not compulsory - looking forward to pushing myself a bit to swim a mile in open water.

On Friday I took the train up to Manningtree in Essex, with my bike and camping gear in the guard's van, then cycled about 6 miles to the White Horse at Tattingstone - a delightful pub with a field at the back where you can camp for £3.50 per person per night. Met up with my chums and we set up our tents, then enjoyed a very pleasant evening drinking ale and sampling some very high quality pub grub served at very reasonable prices. A great find in a lovely location.

The next day all three of us set off on our bikes to Alton Water for our swim, timed to take place at 11am. We were standing on a small grassy bank overlooking the reservoir, watching the other swimmers, when I turned to walk down, my right foot slipped and I fell down, my left leg getting caught underneath me and twisting my ankle. Cue a trip to the first aid tent in a wheelchair, where ice packs were applied, my foot was elevated, and various first aiders tried to establish which bit hurt most. I was too busy bawling with disappointment to be much help.

Dee and Scott set off in some of the worst weather of the day, which was consistently squally; they had to swim the first half mile into waves and stinging rain before they actually started to enjoy the second leg. I sat on the shore and felt pretty fed up, yearning for the feel of the water on my skin and the physical effort of the swim.

But shit happens, we all know that. I was immensely proud of them when they made it back - Dee got a special mention as she crossed the finish line, being one of only a handful who swam without wetsuits.

I did actually make it into the water later that day - we cycled back round the reservoir and found a quiet spot where I was able to hobble in and bob about in the silky water for a few minutes.

Those without sprained ankles climbed trees and we generally made the most of the sunny spells in between the showers.

Getting back home on Sunday was something of a challenge with a swollen ankle - although it's much easier to cycle than it is to walk - but now I'm taking it easy and putting my foot up when I get the chance. I don't know how long it will take to heal but it's still pretty painful.

And I'm plotting to swim in the Great Scottish Swim later this year! Who's coming?


pip said...

the campsite sounds great :) I was swimming in the sea near llangrannog (west wales) a couple weeks back... amazed that the water wasn't freezing :)

knit nurse said...

@pip - wow, that looks like a nice part of the world. I think that's probably the one part of the Welsh coast I've never got to!