There has been a lot of weather this week, weather of the cold, wet, grey, wet, windy, wet, wet, wet variety. This has not made me happy.
On Wednesday I went down to the Docklands Watersports Centre for a bit of open water swimming. This is the first time I’ve been completely on my own – in fact not only did I not have anyone I know with me, there was hardly anyone around at all. I swam the big 800 metre circuit and it was a bit unnerving at first as it seems a lot bigger than the corresponding circuit at Victoria Dock and I was quite conscious that if I decided that I didn’t fancy it any more, it was a long way back to dry land and that I would have to be rescued by a man in an orange dinghy. Doing it without the presence of Rob made it all the more unnerving although I don’t know why, it’s not like he would be much use saving me from drowning.
Anyway, after a few hundred metres I stopped popping my head up every five seconds and actually got on with swimming. I noticed the orange dinghy man had stopped watching me in quite such a hawk-like manner and was letting me get on with it and this gave me a bit more confidence. He must have decided that I am a competent adult who is able to swim without calamity! I got round the course in 24 minutes, I’m sure it would have been quicker if I had stopped popping up to see where I was all the time, though. I must practice my sighting. Apparently you have to pretend to be a crocodile.
Unlike Victoria Dock, Docklands has no steps to assist you in and out of the water and it is a matter of hauling yourself on to a raised platform. Despite my Popeye-sized arms and love of Jillian Michaels weight workouts, I don’t seem to have the upper body strength to haul myself anywhere and after a couple of abortive attempted I decided to swim to the slope on the other side of the dock. Unfortunately I had left my flip flops on the platform, and as the pontoon is made from a metal grate that is not kind to my sensitive feet, my only option was to swim carrying them. This proved harder than expected. Front crawl, obviously, does not work with flip flops in your hands. Breaststroke does not work in a wetsuit. I resorted to some kind of doggy paddle, with the flip flops in my outstretched arms like some kind of buoyancy aid. My Competent Adult Swimming facade collapsed at this point, and I was met at the slope by one of staff who asked if I was ok. I proceeded to explain the logistical issues with the flip flops/metal grate/lack of upper body strength which did not make me look any less foolish. And it was all going so well until then!
Yesterday was a Chase the Sun in Victoria Park with absolutely zero suns and buckets of rain. I did not enjoy it one bit. All the other slow people decided to stop at 5k (because they are sensible) and I ran the whole of the last lap on my own, unable to see another runner ahead or behind, in the pissing rain, with darkness falling and the poor marshals mournfully shaking their tambourines and trying not to look like they were dying to go home. And I was lapped by my ex-boyfriend. My time was 1:14:38 and I was third from last. It was a course best, but I really think I should have been faster given that it wasn’t hot or hilly. I guess I just didn’t have the enthusiasm to go any faster.
Today was meant to be Bike Day but to be perfectly honest when I woke up and saw the weather something inside me died and I couldn’t bring myself to go out. While I was away in Dublin the bike store in my flats was broken into. My bike was not taken – presumably because it was locked through the frame with a motorcycle chain and not because it is a shit bike not worth stealing. You will be amazed to know that I actually felt relieved when my neighbour told me that it was still there! However, as the lock hasn’t been repaired yet it does mean that I’ve had to bring the offending contraption up to my fourth floor flat in a lift that is far too small to accommodate a bike without injuring yourself or breaking the bike. The thought of struggling downstairs with it just to ride in the downpour and fall off and land in a puddle and drown and die was just too much. What I’m working up to saying is, I didn’t go out, instead I got out the turbo trainer and pedalled aimlessly for an hour while watching EastEnders and Coronation Street.