Monday, 28 February 2011

Hats off to February

Not the most inviting looking morning, a cold northerly wind blowing with cold rain showers. Yesterday I swam 2.5 Km in the 50 metre pool at Crystal Palace and my right shoulder was a bit achey. The water temperature has gone down just a bit, around 6.5ºC. I wasn't sure how far I'd swim after Fridays ten lengths, I got in the water, it wasn't too bad, nice to be out of the wind. Swimming was alright until length number eight, my hats rode up pulling my goggles off, I was too cold to put them back on again so I walked the last fifteen yards to the steps and got out.

Some February stats:
The temperature ranged from 2ºC to 7ºC
I swam a total of 106 lengths and four widths
Which is 10732 yards, about 6 miles or 9.75 Km
I did 19 seperate swims
Longest single swim ten lengths
Out of eleven recorded door colours, four green, three yellow and two each red and blue.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Perfect 10

Tricky was already in the water when I reached the Lido, I wanted to get a picture of him so I changed quickly and jumped in. I only took one shot but I think it was worth the rush. The water temperature had risen again, 6.5ºC sounded good but the heavy grey clouds didn't make it seem as inviting as yesterday. Ten length was my aim and I wondered if I could make it, the water isn't exactly hot. Of course I could, I came out of the water bright pink and rushed to the sauna. I wish I'd timed myself, I must have been in the water at least fifteen minutes. I think it's supposed to get colder over the next few days so that might be my February high.

Only ten lengths? asked Nick, he assured me he'd done eleven and Johnathan said he'd lost count of how many he did. They must have swam very quickly because they can't have been in the water more than five minutes.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Going Up

Pictures in the water again for the first time this year. I really like this picture of Elizabeth I took while on my way to do eight lengths. It's always better taking pictures in the water, at 6ºC it was really a bit too cold for stopping, took a while to get back in rhythm afterwards.
If the weather stays warm I might go for ten lengths on Friday!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


This video was shot by Elizabeth on Tuesday, she was having problems posting it so put it on You Tube.


A miserable wet morning, funny how I don't like the rain but love going swimming. Six lengths felt cold but temperature had lifted slightly 5.5ºC. After I was out Alfonso showed up and swam six, this is him above but the camera focused on the feather suspended in the water. On my way out of the Lido a small moor hen ran across my path, is it secretly swimming in the pool?

This ones a bit better but Alfonso swims to far from the edge to get a good picture unless you're in the water.

Sometimes a distant shot cam be impressive though.

The door was red.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Cold sweat

It felt colder again, six lengths was plenty David took the temperature and it was down to about 5ºC. Grey and cloudy it wasn't too inviting, I have to remember it is still February.
We had an unpleasant chat about how dirty the water gets in the summer, not just sun cream and sweat but how many people pee in the pool? If you thought about it too much you wouldn't get in.

A green door again.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Sunday swim

I went for a swim on Sunday because I knew I wouldn't make it up to the Lido this morning (Monday). It was about 11ish and there was hardly anyone around. Eight lengths in the 5.5ºC water, it felt colder than Friday to me and I shivered for a moment in the sauna before I got warm again.
Not sure who the swimmer above is, nice muscle definition on the shoulder though.

I used a yellow door!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Foggy eight

The mist was hanging over the pool this morning and the air was cold. To prove yesterday wasn't just a one off I did eigth lengths again today. The picture above is Pip who looks like she's concentrating as she swam her second length down the pool side. Water is still just under 6ºC, yesterday David was saying that last year the water didn't reach 5ºC until the middle of March so we can't really complain.

That's thirty four lengths since Monday, glad to be building a bit of distance. To round off the week a green door. I'll try and come up on Sunday.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Alfonso challenge

When I got to the pool this morning I saw Alfonso had signed in, had he swam already? how far was he going? I love to swim with Alfonso, we are the perfect speed match. He had already changed and was about to get in, how far are you going? I asked. Just one he replied, I told him I was doing at least four.

He swam off and went on to do six lengths, very impressive when he's not been in the water for a week and it's still only 5.5ºC. I have been doing six a day this week but Alfonso had thrown down the gauntlet so I made it eight today, I felt fine afterwards, hot after ten minutes sauna.

I love this image is Vince who was swimming beside the wall, you can see the whole pool.

Of course I used a yellow locker today!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Enough blue to patch a sailors trousers

A bright morning after a cold night. At 8.20 as I got in the water the sun was just high enough to hit the edge of the pool, 10 minutes later it was shining on the water making the swimming enjoyable if a little chilly. The temperature was still about 5.5ºC and I swam six lengths. Not sure what I'm doing as I swim but I seem to be straining my right wrist, it was quite achey for a few moments when I got out.

Today I used a red changing room, the door was covered in condensation.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Gloomy Tuesday

After yesterdays sunshine it all seemed a little flat this morning, a cloudy grey day turned to rain once I was changed. I didn't want to get wet so I got in the water quickly and did six lengths, it's still about 6ºC. By the time I had changed back into my clothes there was no one left in the water so it's a picture of my trunks again!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Sunny Monday

A great start to the week with a cool but sunny morning. The mornings are getting lighter and the sun was on the pool by the time I got in. The temperature is 6ºC and I managed six lengths, felt a bit cooler than Friday to me perhaps because I've not been in for the past two days.
The Mummy (Matt) was swimming lengths cased head to foot in neopreen, we spoke afterwards. He can't come regularly enough to acclimatise and wants to be able to swim the distance. I'd love to be doing a greater distance but it's just too cold right now.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Six below six

Drizzle but a small patch of blue sky, mild and bright. I saw Sue running as I cycled up to the lido, she arrived as I was signing in. 6ºC was the given temperature by the lifeguards, 'Six lengths then' said Sue. I wasn't sure if I could do it, just got in and decided to see how it goes. Six was fine, perhaps a bit cold when I got out and my skin was bright pink, warmed up within 10 minutes so no harm done. David was doing his own water temperature reading as I left, just over 5ºC he made it.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Four more

A little late this morning, water perhaps slightly warmer, still around 5ºC. I did four lengths again, Vince was in the water at the same time as me, the first time this year that I've shared the pool over a length. It was good fun catching him up and passing him.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Here comes the sun...

The sun was out this morning for the first time in ages. It had been a cold night and the frost was steaming in the early morning light as I went to the pool. The water temperature was down a bit but still around 5ºC and I did four lengths.

Inez takes a second dip after her second sauna session, I woudn't want to face her in the Tai Chi self defence class she has later today!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Third time lucky

A windy cycle ride to the lido but the temperature has stayed up despite the dark grey morning. I swam four lengths again and feel I can do more, twenty minutes in the sauna was too long and I was glad to get out. After I showered and changed I realised I hadn't taken any pictures, Elizabeth fresh from the sauna was about to plunge back into the pool.

One, two, three... I missed. Being a good sport Elizabeth said she'd do another plunge.

One , two, three... I missed again, there was too much lag in between pressing the button and the picture being taken. Elizabeth told me I needed to half depress the button to focus before she jumped and then click it to get the picture, she would do one more plunge.

Bingo! Third time lucky. Thanks Elizabeth it must have been quite chilly jumping in and out of the water. You can read how she felt about her multiple plunging here.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

New season

The mild breeze has continued, filling the pool with leaves but also raising the water temperature. 5ºC was the given on the lifeguards notice board this Sunday morning and a good mix of week end swimmers were out to enjoy the water, being above 40ºF is the new season starting point for many. I did four lengths and feel I could have gone further which is wonderful, I'm no longer puffing through the water doing four to six strokes between breaths. I hope the milder temperature stays next week and I can begin to build a little more distance.
I don't know who the above swimmer is but he was the only person in the pool as I was getting changed, he was on his return length of two and I could see he was slowing down which is probably why he has such a deep kick.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Slightly warmer

I really like this image, like a water colour in progress. It's actually Nick and Johnathan making their way out of the water, I think the lens misted over because of the cold and the camera on it's underwater setting makes all the reds stronger.
I enjoyed my Friday swim, two lengths again but for the first time I felt I could have done more, I wasn't completely frozen at the end and still had feeling in my hands.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Still cold, I managed two lengths, not quite as freezing as Monday. Lots of sauna chatter, Batch wondering where the years had gone. Margy above arm at full stretch as she sped across the water.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Surprise ice

As I cycled to the Lido this morning I thought the weather seemed just that bit more mild than yesterday, there was no cold wind and the sun was trying to shine through the thin cloud.
I knew the water would still be cold, I wondered why Ivan was getting in to the deep end of the pool.

Surprise ice was the answer, the lower third of the pool had a thin layer covering it. It made a beautiful sound like thousands of tiny metallic bells as the water moved underneath.

The pool looked beautiful and still covered in a transparent lacework of crystals, quite magical. I changed and went to the deep end to swim widths, Brian said the water there was still 2ºC. I swam four, I didn't feel as cold as yesterday but worried that my arms were getting numb and I might not be able to pull myself out of the water if I did anymore.

Sue and Chris did their synchronised widths, after four Sue said shall we do two more and before Chris could barely answer they were off to make the total six.

Elizabeth was doing her swim as I got changed, I rushed out of the changing room half dressed to get a picture as she reached the side, but instead of stopping she tumble turned in front of me and I got this picture of her back and a stream of bubbles.

At work I sit beside a glass wall that backs on to the main atrium, the wall is covered with famous faces to give us some privacy. I hung my damp swimming things to dry on the rail by our coat rack, later when I was in the atrium I took this picture on my phone.