06/11/2012 by Carl Reynolds
Temperature’s down to 7 degrees C today, but my lengths must go up! Yesterday I realised at the end of two lengths (200 yards) that the pain was subsiding; and I was ‘merely’ getting numb. Today my breathing was easy from the third stroke (yesterday I found it hard to breathe anything other than every two strokes) and I remembered to think of the cold as something apart from me, not of me. At the end of four lengths (400 yards) I felt fine, so turned and found Tall Nick swimming alongside me. I kept pace with him for most of the way up and back, but he then got out. I felt OK, but bearing in mind my own advice on acclimatisation, I resolved to get out after 800 yards, regardless of how good I felt.
So a few things learnt. Cold shock syndrome does diminish with time and the muscle memory, in me at least, of resisting it also maintains beyond ten days. There is a mental preparedness to being cold, as well as the need for a good physical state, fed by cake. A little, or a lot, of bio-prene. Build gradually and stop before you hit the limit (both the distance swam and the slices of cake). Or as Nando said, “I was swimming in colder last year and couldn’t feel my hands, I could today…”.
Meanwhile Big Carl did a mile, but had a moment; Sue unveiled the SLSC2013 calendars (at snip at a tenner – from the lifeguards); and I learnt that I have, somehow, by the initiation of a certain librarian into the arts of patball, been responsible for the swelling of glands. My, what do they get up to amongst the shelves?