Friday, 31 December 2010
New Years Eve and my last swim of 2010. From my standing start as a non swimmer back in April I have now swum 159 days, have covered who knows how many miles, have swum in various conditions ranging from calm as a cucumber to raging torrents and from scorching 20 degrees to freezing 3.5 degrees. I have spent hours in the sea and probably a lot more hours in the pool, I have spent numerous hours running to the gym and numerous hours running away from food. I have made so many new friends and have experienced so many new emotions. I have had what can only be described as a life changing year! I wonder how next year will top this, but then I think about the actual swimming of the channel and that certainly ups the game!
Today was a much nicer start as there was no fog, no wind and no rain; simply a cold but bright morning. I was at the Arch and in the water by 7.30am and swam my usual Pier sign and back. Little Bob, Mike, David and Martina were in and did their short swims and then the lovely Fiona turned up just as I was emerging 'James Bond' like from the ocean (I wish!). Of course Fiona being Fiona, she went out to the silver ball and back; but I think even she found that tough as when she came back in she did look a little shaky. In these temperatures you really have to be so careful because you can jump in and get swimming, feeling all up for it and strong, but literally within a couple of minutes the cold can take over and you find your energy is sapped within seconds and your body is starting to slow right down. You can all of a sudden turn to shore and realise you are a few hundred metres out and completely wasted, but somehow you have got to get in even faster than usual as every second out there drains you further. All that aside, the effects you feel afterwards when you are back in the Arch is incredible; you literally can feel like you’ve conquered the unconquerable (is that a word?). Today, despite the cold and the pain in my hands and feet, I absolutely loved every second of the swim. I came out of the sea all buzzed up and if my feet had allowed I would have skipped up the pebbles.
Back in Arch it was great to see a fuller room; Kevin, David, Little Bob, Mike, Evo, Martina, Paul and of course he who can’t be named. The conversations were somewhat eclectic as usual; even with the question from Kevin about whether water floats, which then was debated with gusto by all. You just gotta love it.
Tonight the Starr family are heading to Bristol to stay with friends for New Year, hence no New Year day swim for me. However, Sunday morning, being the 2nd January I will be firmly back in the sea and then it’s full on thereafter.
Happy New Year to you All
Thursday, 30 December 2010
So when I next awoke it was a very late 7.20am! This meant a mad dash, a quick dress, a jump into the car, a rush to the Arch and in the sea by 7.40am; not bad eh!!
The sea itself was fairly calm, with just a few large waves at the shore, one which grabbed me and turned me over as I was coming back out, charming!! I only spent about 6-7 minutes in the sea this morning, but it was long enough to wake me up! The temperature reading was 5.2 degrees, so not as bone chilling as last week (in the words of Little Bob), but still cold enough to chill.
Tomorrow is New Years Eve, so soon it'll be back to the start of another year and the start of some very hard physical training for me; I am ready for it now though.
As for the rest of today, it'll be a sad one I think. A very dear and old friend of mine lost his Father over Christmas, he was a similar age to my Father when I lost him four years ago. Today is the funeral, which will be very sad for his family, but also no doubt will bring back some tough memories for me as it was the same time of year that I lost Dad. I guess this is what life is all about; learning to deal with loss and be able to understand that life just has to carry on regardless and we simply have to learn to remember and focus on all the good stuff that we shared and not focus on the sadness of our loss. All that aside I still desparatly miss Dad every day!
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Back to work at last, although isn't it funny how one is desperate to get back to work after a few days at home with the kids and now that the day is here all I want to do is be at home with the kids again. Funny old thing life.
I was at the Arch at 7.30am, barely able to find the door due to the fog and misty rain, but there it was as solid and forboding as ever. The air temperature had risen to a whopping 8 degrees, but the sea itself felt colder to me today; although the thermomenter showed it had had a slight increase. There was very little movement in the sea, either from the tide or the swimmers, and apart from a few waves at shore it was fairly still. Also, and at last, the tide was in, so a nice quick entry instead of a painful walk out. Only Little Bob, Mike and Evo joined me at 7.30am, so after about 2 minutes they were all back at the Arch and I was mid sea on my own. I swam once again to the end of the Pier sign and then headed back in. Part way back I heard a fairly loud growl and gurgle sound; my heart skipped about four beats and I found myself swimming to shore at speed! By the time I reached the shore and stood shivering on the pebbles my heart was racing like a formula one car! Of course in reality I heard nothing and of course in this temperature the only fish around would be the size of a half eaten cocktail sausage; it was clearly my mind playing tricks! Sometimes when you are out in the ocean on your own and you're tired from too much festive feeding your mind plays nasty tricks and takes you to the land of make believe; and not a particulary nice land it is. You end up imagining all sorts of scary things are hovering under you in the darkness of the sea and before you know it you are hearing non existant sounds and believing that you are swimming over huge sea monsters and about to be dragged into some black hole . Then all of a sudden your hands hit the pebbles & sand and you realise in fact you are all alone and the sea is nothing but a large cold bath; your heart however takes a while to settle back down and as you are sitting at work typing this out you start to feel a tad foolish - believe me I do!
I guess at least I got to start the day with an adrenaline boost!
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Yesterday is gone long live today!! I’ve no idea why I as in a foul mood yesterday, but today is a new day and a new attitude. Whatever happens today I shall turn it into a smile and shall be nice to be around; this is my bank holiday promise (I hope!!!).
The weather today was much like yesterday, apart from the added joy of some rain. Actually the rain had warmed up the air, so the temperature was probably around 5 degrees, which is a huge increase compared to the last few days. The sea temperature was probably the same as it has been, although it felt a little warmer, probably because of the waves. There was very little tidal movement today, but the waves were quite big. In fact a few of the waves were big enough to give you a cool roller coaster ride up and down. I swam out just to the end of the Brighton Pier sign and back again (back again being an important part of any swim!!). There were fewer of us today; just Little Bob, David, Evo and Martina and “he who can’t be named” plus Paul and Leo as we were leaving.
My morning swims are fantastic in so much that they really set you up for the day and of course keep you accustomed to the temperature; however one really can’t consider it training in any respect. I am now getting to that point where I desperately need to start training again. I know it’s only been a few days since I was last at the gym, but it’s been well over a month since I last did a “big” pool swim and probably a couple of weeks since I did a tough gym session. Today is the last Christmas bank holiday and then it’s New Year and the last of the holidays. I literally can’t wait to start the New Year, get back to work and get myself back into the Pool and the Gym. Come on clock get turning!!!
Monday, 27 December 2010
Swimming day 155 – 27th December 2010
Christmas is over and the New Year blues are starting to set in already! I love Christmas, always have, but I've always disliked New Year. I find the whole "looking back" and "planning resolutions" to be most frustrating and time wasting! When christmas day is done I want to simply get on with life, get back to work and see what the next 12 months bring; I certainly don't want to be "reflecting" on the past or planning the future. And another thing; get the tree down please!! Surely once boxing day is done the tree can come down (ours came down last night in fact!), I certainly don't want to be going to work in january and seeing christmas trees all alioght in the peoples windows!!!
Strop finished and please accept my apologies if any offence caused!!!
Having skipped swimming Christmas day I also ended up skipping it boxing day; although most of the day I felt bad about that. The thing was that the three kiddies jumped in our bed at about 6.30am and cuddled up to us; Jesse basically clung to my kneck and was not letting go. Funny though how missing swimming when I had it preplanned in my head still brings on the guilt’s. Snuggling with Jesse though is a treat not to be missed.
This morning however, which is a bank holiday (as is tomorrow), I was very ready to get back to the beach and in the sea; even the pain of the cold isn’t putting me off; in fact it may be the feeling of the extreme cold that has become the drug and is making me miss it; odd! This morning at 8am I was at the Arch wondering if I was going to swim alone, when the door swung open and in came Little Bob; soon followed by David, Paul & Martina. Gotta love this place, nothing keeps us away it seems. The sea was very busy with “herds of white horses charging around” (gotta love these corny descriptions!) and the temperature was probably the same as the last few days, around 3.5 degrees. The air temp was up a bit to around 3 degrees and there very little wind, so all in all a tad easier than Christmas Eve in terms of coldness. The swim itself though was simply a case of wave after wave hitting you plus a strong tidal pull to the West, so not really much swimming going on. I’m not sure how long we stayed out there, but I would hazard a guess at around 5-6 minutes – certainly not long enough.
Having got home I found the kids all up and running about and being extremely annoying! To say that they received too many presents for Christmas is an understatement and it seems the more a kid gets the worse they behave. Next year we may be suggesting they share some with kids who get less than them; certainly won't do them any harm that's for sure. Having now spent the last hour basically telling them off non stop and threatening to take away their new toys I am desperately ready to visit my new friend the sea and submerge myself in her peace and quiet! Tomorrow I plan to stay in the water for longer, all day would be good! Also bring on wednesday and a return to work. Having got through Christmas with relative ease I am now finding myself becoming a New Year grump; this is not good!!
I think a long swim followed by a large whisky would do the job; but unfortunately I only have two hopes of that, Bob Hope and No Hope!!
I'll be nicer tomorrow I promise!
Friday, 24 December 2010
The sea today was around the same as yesterday (3.5 degrees); it may even have been a little lower, perhaps 3.4 or 3.3. However added to this was a chill wind that was blowing from the West and this made it feel seriously colder; really chilling down to the bone. Then added to that was the fact that the sea once again just couldn’t be bothered to get close to the beach and as such we had the long painful walk out to a swimming depth; Chinese torture comes to mind! Big Bob wasn’t there as he is now away for Christmas, however Little Bob (really got to find a better name for him as it doesn’t sound flattering – suggestions welcome please!) was there along with Damien, Mike, Soweichi, David, Bella, Martine and Charlotte ; so a decent turnout. As it was Christmas Eve I thought I’d make the extra effort and as such swam out past the middle of the pier, around the buoy (which is about two thirds out) and then back in. Damien and Soweichi did the same; we were the three freezketeers.
I guess we were out for about 14 minutes and by the time I got back my hands and feet were really hurting; I really should get some gloves to swim in like the others have as they didn’t look in anywhere as much pain as I was in.
I know it all sounds a bit mad and begs the question “why”, but the feeling of accomplishment, along with the incredible scenery around you at that time of the morning and the comradeship at the Arch makes the whole thing more than worthwhile.
Now I’m nearing the end of this year it’s really interesting to look back over my blog from the first day back in April to now and to see how far I’ve come on this journey and all the new friends I’ve made along the way; I truly believe friends for life. It won’t be long before my channel swim is upon me, which is quite daunting, but for now I’ll sit back over Christmas, raise a large scotch to my Dad up there and just enjoy my accomplishments so far.
Happy Christmas Tiny Tim, Little Bob and one and all. !!!
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Being 23rd December there was Christmas spirits at the Arch, with homemade flapjack and homemade mince pies for everyone; both of which went down well after the swim. It was also great to see Fiona back with us as I havn’t seen her for about a month; of course Fiona being Fiona meant that she went straight back in, did the longest swim out of all of us and then did some butterfly back; gotta love her.
The sea was once again very calm, although it was also a low tide, which was a real pain (literally). It meant a painful long walk out to get to a swimming depth, which by the time you reached it you were already cold enough to go straight back in. I swam about 7 minutes I guess, but that was enough for me. Today it was so cold that my left hand wrist really ached. I broke this wrist about 15 years ago and it never healed (that was how I found out I had osteoporosis), and whilst it never gives me any problems, the cold clearly got into it today and after about 5 minutes it really started to ache – I guess 3.5 degrees is cold enough to really get right into your bones. Apparently back in 1999 the temperature in the sea got as low as 1.9 degrees; I almost can’t even imagine that!
Christmas eve tomorrow, how exciting!!
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
The air temp was up to around 2 degrees, but the sea felt somewhat colder than yesterday; I would guess at around 4.7 degrees. The sea itself did not deliver the expected waves; instead it was extremely calm and cold, with a shroud of mist floating just a few feet above the water. I swam out to near the silver ball and then turned right around and swam back in; hands hurting all the way. By the time I hit the shore everyone was back in the Arches getting changed, with the exception of Big Bob who it seems is the hardest of us all. I guess I did about 7-8 minutes and he did around 10 minutes. The one nice surprise was that “the one we can’t mention” gave us all a signed certificate that proudly boasts we are members of the 40 club; this is very much a temperature thing (below 40 degrees centigrade) rather than an age thing as I doubt Little Bob & Bog Bob could even remember their fortieth years as they were so long ago!! (sorry chaps I couldn’t resist).
Just two more swimming days before Christmas, last one being Christmas Eve as I don’t want to swim Christmas day as it’s my time with the kiddies and also I don’t fancy sharing “MY SEA” with all those once a year dippers – I think I may be becoming territorial and possessive about my sea now!!
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
This morning I swam out rather than along; just going out beyond the Brighton Pier sign. There was a slightly weird feel in the air this morning, just floating out in the sea it felt almost atmospheric, like something was about to happen; it’s hard to describe. The sky was quite grey and it looked like snow clouds on the horizon, although no snow is forecasted. It was very still, although there were large swells at the shore; quite a strange unexplainable feel in the air. Apparently there is some very large movement way out in the Channel, so perhaps some surfing waves are heading into shore for tomorrow??
They reckon at the Arches that if one checked the records you would find that this December is the coldest in the sea for many decades, perhaps on record. Typical my first winter in the sea and it’s like a scene from “the day after tomorrow” !
Well back at the office, it seems my atmospheric experience has substance; with today being the first total lunar eclipse in 3 years and the first eclipse corresponding to the winter solstice in 372 years. Amazing!
Monday, 20 December 2010
I got “sleeted” this morning!
It snowed all weekend, so once again we have icy roads, pretty roofs and a traditional Christmas feel just like we used to get was I was a kid. Unlike last year, however, the roads are totally useable, so as long as you go slow you can get about no problem, which meant that no excuses available this morning for my swim. Walking down the beach in my trunks it was a somewhat odd feeling to be hit from all sides with sleet. It felt like thousands of ice cold needles tapping at your skin, which oddly enough was not overly offensive; although I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was enjoyable. The water was 4.1 degrees, which in centigrade is below 40 (I believe it is 39.5 or something) and the air temperature registered -2, so all in all a cold one. I swam to the donut and back, which took about 5-6 minutes and by the time I got back to the Arches my hands were seriously hurting. After a quick shower and warm up I went with Bob and Mike to the Red Roaster for a frothy cappuccino and chat and then over to the office to start the wind down for Christmas.
Sometimes the morning swim can make you feel a little tired, but most days, like today, it readies you for day ahead and makes you feel ready to take on the world. For those willing to bear a little pain, I would wholly recommend it!
Sea – Got to the Arches at 7am and as usual it was empty, however, within 10 minutes the boys and girls were there. The air temp was a chilling -3 and the pebbles had completly frozen. Even the pebbles that are on the slope leading down to the sea were completely frozen solid. Even David, our old man of the sea, said he had not seen that before. The sea itself was bloomin cold, probably circa 4.5 degrees and there were waves; chilling indeed. It also didn’t help that a sloppy shave left me with a huge cut under my chin that the salt water really took a liking to! Bob and I swam to the end of the groin, but for some reason I found myself heading out rather than along and very quickly was a few hundred metres out amonst the waves. Usually this would be normal and in fact not even a second thought, however I was freezing and it made my heart skip a beat to see how far out I had gone. I did get a little panicked as I knew I could only be out for so long before I simply couldn’t move enough to swim in, so with head down and bracing myself I swam as hard as I could to shore. As it turns out it only took a minute or so to get back in, so it was clearly not a problem, but once again it shows you that you just have to be so careful as it really can be dangerous. Coming out and heading back to the Arches, which was only around 8 minutes after I had gone in I was very happy to be drying myself off and wearing my superman wooly hat; superman however, I clearly am not! I guess every now and again a bit of the old fear is not a terrible thing as it does ground you and make you recognise the safety factor of this sport and the importance of making sure you are not being overly gungho. One thing to mention today was the sky; it was incredibly clear. There were loads of clouds about, but they all seemed to be on the horizon rather than in the sky; it really looked like huge mountaing range at the end of the sea; really amazing.
Gym – 1.30pm I had an hour with Ross at the Gym. Once again he pushed me on lower body and core work. This element of training is completely new to me so it is rather painful afterwards. Hopefully after a few sessions it’ll stop hurting and we can get down to increasing the reps and the weights. Maybe one day soon I will even have nicely formed legs rather than twiglets holding me up.
Pool – After my hour with Ross I did an hour in the pool. Just slow lengths back and forth, forth and back etc etc etc. The pool was very quiet, just one lady in the slow lane and me in the fast lane so it was rather relaxing and easy. Next week I’ll ramp up the hours, but it was nice after a hard gym session to unwind with an hour in a warm pool.
Unpopular – I must be unpopular at the Arches, even though I thought everyone loved me! Hey ho!! I just heard that they have the BSC Christmas Meal tonight in Brighton; both the Sea and the Pool swimmers. Considering its 4pm and I only found out because Gillian asked what time I was going, I guess my good sense of humour and striking good looks were just too much for people to have around the table!!
Thursday, 16 December 2010
I just had a text from Bob to say that “waves” had returned this morning; waves and ice temperatures, blimey that must have hurt; maybe the pool isn’t so bad after all!!
Today at work we have our CHOCS [Children Helping Other Children Smile] meeting with some of our charities, some of our business supporters, some of our schools and some new interested parties. Darren has basically put this together and has worked so hard I am really proud of all he is achieving (hopefully that doesn’t sound patronising). CHOCS is such a big part of the Starr Trust going forward as its head of development he is putting so much time and thought into it that it is really starting to take amazing shape. I have no doubt at all that CHOCS will soon be on the lips of every school in Sussex. If you get a chance why not log onto www.starrtrust.com and visit the CHOCS page; it’s really very exciting and inspirational to see what is being developed here.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Tonight after work I am going to head to Falmer and do my first pool swim for about 3weeks. I’m just going to do an hour to get myself back into it. Then later in the week I’m going to do 2 gym sessions with my new trainer, plus I’m going to attempt a 3 hr and 2 hr pool swim. This week I’m back in the game and then it’s exercise city all the way (allowing of course for some Christmas spirit in between!)
Moving offices, especially two offices, was quite a daunting task, but the organisation that my team brought to it was astounding and by the end of the day we were settled in and everything was working; a miracle indeed.
Tomorrow I’m moving office (make that both offices and after almost 20 years!); so I’m going to have to miss my swim in the morning as simply just too much to do.In fact I actually have a 7.30am meeting before I get to the office to help with the move. Even with the freezing cold and painful swim, I actually would prefer the swim than the move, but like the swim, once it’s done it will be very satisfying.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
I’m going to finish this week just in the sea and then next week it will be back to the pool as well plus the gym; in fact tonight I’m meeting my new trainer Ross at Esporta to plan the diary for the next 6 months; which is well overdue.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Actually to be truthful it was the preventative side rather than the illness. Today was my annual check up, which involved all day Sunday being really uncomfortable and energy sapping, followed by a day [Monday] of colonoscopy at the Nuffield under anaesthetic. It also meant nothing at all to eat from 6pm Saturday night to 6.30pm Monday evening (basically right now); with my current weight loss being a problem anyway a 48 hour abstinence was not overly helpful. Normally two days not eating is not a problem for me, but when you know you are not allowed to eat it makes you very hungry! I guess it's lucky that Christmas is on the way as that will mean lots of food and chocolate, including my Mums cheesecake & trifle to fatten me up!
All went well with the tests which is always a relief and now I'm done and fit for another year. So tomorrow, assuming I can get some energy back I'll have a sea dip, but I'm not gonna be able to get back to my 5 hr pool and gyms until next week as I need to get my energy levels back up.
Yesterday, 5th Dec, was the anniversary of my Dad's passing, can't believe it's 4 years. Dad, the Trust, The Swim and me swimming in the snow is all for you mate. Wish you were here in body, but I know you're here in spirit. I'll have a large whisky for you tomorrow when I'm allowed!
Hey ho, it's all just part of life's interesting tapestry !
Friday, 3 December 2010
After yesterdays car trouble (or could just call it wimping out of course) I got up at 6am lively as a leopard in chase of it’s lunch and hurtled out the door, into the sunlight and straight to the beach for a 5 hour swim!
Actually I stumbled out of bed at about 6.45am, looked at the clock and thought flipping heck, slowly got dressed without enthusiasm and climbed into my car with trepidation and slowly pulled out of the drive onto a very snowy icy road. After picking up Bob on the way (the mad fool was walking from Ovingdean to Brighton for his swim – he’s way nuttier than I) we got to the Arches about 7.20am and along with Little Bob, Lindy, David, Mike, Fiona, Soweiche and Bella we headed down the beach. Even though Monday was snowing when we went in, today was actually my first experience of walking down the beach in my speedoes with snow up past my ankles. The sea itself was very calm and it was a high tide, which meant no painful walking out. Also it was literally as clear as glass; you could see straight through to the bottom. So in we all went, no hesitation because we are hard, and swimming took place. I guess I was in for about 8-9 minutes, others a lot les and a couple a few more. Fiona, of course, swam all the way to the silver ball and back, but then she is wonder woman. In terms of “pain”, the sensations on my legs, arms and body was like thousands of little pin pricks, but that’s ok for a short swim. My face was surprisingly OK, my feet were fine (I sensibly wore swimming socks today), however my hands once again felt it the most. I might wear swimming gloves next week as wearing both gloves and socks will allow me to stay in longer. Walking back up the beach with my socks on and having only stayed in for under 10 minutes I actually felt OK, unlike Mondays experience.
The air temperature was around -5 and the sea I would guess was probably sub 6 degrees. So the sea is clearly warmer than the air, however, being in the sea with just trunks on definitely feels colder than standing on the beach. I wonder when getting out if one simply considers the mixture of being in a cold sea and standing in the cold air is actually the calculation of both rather than just the chill of the lowest? Either way for me coming out of the sea all wet made the walk to the Arches a dam sight colder than the dry walk down! All in all it was a good swim; no reason at all for me to have felt nervous about it this morning.
Hopefully I’ll be able to pop some pictures of today on this page next week as Lindy kindly took some snaps and hopefully will email them to me next week.
Thursday, 2 December 2010
What a wimp!
In all seriousness I would definitely have gone swimming today, no doubt in my mind at all. In fact it is now 8.22am and the guilt and annoyance that I didn’t go is already setting in. The fact is that so much white stuff fell overnight (and is still falling) that my car may as well have a carrot on its front as it has more snow on it than a snowman. So whilst I would have gone swimming, it would have been daft to have walked 90 minutes to the beach, swam for 1 minute, then walked a further 60 minutes to work with the shivers. However I did take a phone call from Bob, who informed me that he had Gillian’s truck, so he made it to the front, joined a group of others who lived close by and they went in for just under 1 minute. He said that his toes still hurt from our 15 minute swim yesterday so a minute was plenty; a very tough guy. Astounding effort and puts me to shame!!! However for me it was the walk back to the office after swimming that made it a no go - pneumonia is not to be encouraged in an athlete in training!!
So my sole exercise for the day will have to be 60 minute walk to work and 90 min walk home. Can’t even get to the gym and then some gentle weights tonight from the warmth of my home. Can’t wait until I move back to Hill Drive and get my training pool and gym back; seriously how cool will that be! As it is I shall return to the beach and gym ASAP, car and snow dependent!!
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
A little about New York, not to rub it in at all, but just so I can look back over this and re-enjoy the experience! Sharon and I became adults for a few days; no children meant no children talk and no “Daddy can we or Mummy can we or arggggggg”. Love them and certainly missed them, but getting to talk to Sharon without interruption was a “neat experience” (NY talk). We shopped until we dropped (literally), we ice skated in Central Park, we saw Wicked (best musical ever) in Times Square and we saw Michael Buble in concert at Madison Sq Garden; sitting just 3 rows back from the stage! Oh yes and not forgetting we did eat in between!!
We got back Tuesday midday after a decent 9 hour flight, all ready to get back to normal life. We were met head on with a true English winter; snow everywhere and minus 1 degrees. For the first time ever in my life this had a brand new meaning and horror; it is called Swimming. Putting it out of my mind I went about the usual unpacking and time with kids and then bed, but the morning came around exceptionally fast unfortunately.
Down at the Arches there were less than usual, however, my usual friends (Bob x 2, David, Soweichi, Paul, Mike, Bella) were there. They all went in, I think they did a quick in and out. Big Bob and I went for a proper swim. The beach was completly white and the snow was still dopping down from above; the sea was very calm; luring us into it’s claws (claws being the operative word if you see our hands afterwards). We went straight in without hesitation and swam along the coast to the donut at the first groin, then turned and swam back to the pier and then turned back to the donut. I bailed out half way back to the donut, but Bob being the man, finished the swim. I think we must have done 14 minutes (him 15 minutes) before we trudged back up the beach. To say my feet and hands hurt was truly an understatement, I really thought they could snap off. Just getting my flipflops back on was so difficult that I ended up on the beach on my bottom as I couldn’t stand and slip them on (Bob did exactly the same a minute later!). Jumping into a very hot shower was clearly silly as I very quickly felt sick and had to squat down; it only lasted about 30 seconds, but it wasn’t very nice. I guess my blood pressure must have dropped in the sea very quickly and then the hot shower raised it very quickly. Need to definitely be careful of that! Tomorrow I will go back again, although for the first time since I started I really am not looking forward to it. I think I may just do 10 minutes max tomorrow as I don't want to overdo it, plus I have to somehow get through the snow and up to London by late morning.
The temperature I believe was about 6 degrees in the water and -1 in the air; so far the coldest for me ever.