Thoughts on the Sedgefield Swim.
You might have picked up from the last post that we are on holiday now in Sedgefield. Sedgefield has its own lagoon, which makes for some wonderful open water swimming. This year, the mouth is closed. It’s most often open, and that allows its waters to flow into the Indian Ocean. It also means that the lagoon is affected by the ebbs and flows of the sea tide. However, there is none of that this year with the mouth closed. I have done a few swims in the lagoon during this holiday season. The primary reason for these swims is that I am doing the Midmar 8 Mile event again in February, and I have approximately 7 more weeks to train for that.
There is a deep channel of water on the eastern side of the lagoon as you approach the sea and so you have to hug the one side a bit or else you move toward a sand bank that makes the water shallower.
There were 3 thoughts that went through my mind on the swim –
- Wow, this is hard.
The picture here was taken on a particularly windy day. A large bank of clouds with lots of wind and a bit of rain was moving in from the west. This made the water choppy. Lots of choppiness and a strong head wind made for slower swimming. Swimming in a pool does not present those challenges. No chop, no wind. Also, you can gauge your speed. The little bobbins pass you, the tiles slip by and the next moment you are busy doing a tumble turn. Another length done and mentally counted. This was different. I felt as if I was standing, (or better put, swimming), still. That’s when you must take the battle to your mind. All you know about swimming needs to remind you of the fact that you are moving forward. Your knowledge of geometry needs to kick in, even if it is a bit rusty. Here is the rule, the further away the object, the less you are aware you are of moving past it. I hope that helps if you do an open water event somewhere, and feel during the event that you are getting nowhere. There is a life lesson in there as well.
- Where are those rocks again?
There are a few sharp rock structures that jut out from the hill that is on the left of the photo. The water is murky now with the mouth closed. I spent a lot of time trying to spot sharp rocks while doing my swim. My imagination ran wild with the thought of picking up a cut from one of them. On the bright side, most open water swims are safer. Midmar does not have sharp rocks to contend with. Triathlons also offer safer water conditions.
- I can cope with claustrophobia.
Murky water is claustrophobic, and that is why you need to spend time swimming in it. You go into a small space as you turn your head downwards. Embrace that moment. Focus on the sound of your breathing and the brief glimpse of your hand as it passes your chest during the pull phase. Breath in, breath out, keep going. I know this is a cliché, but, you need to feel the fear and do it anyway.
I am collecting funds for the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife fund as part of my Midmar 8 Mile initiative. Please would you consider a donation to this. Every bit helps. Here is a link to the funds page. It is as easy a putting your credit card details in. https://kydrin.co.za/goals/View/22