Monday, 26 November 2012

Karen writes: Things that go bump in the water

Went for a swim this evening to test out the shoulder before the planned swim/run session in the city on Wednesday night.  No point in turning up I figured if I couldn't manage the 750m so I estimated a half hour session in the sea would be a good trial, Kate has already beaten me soundly in one discipline in the last few days, I would rather minimise the margin by which she does it if I can.

I squeeeezed into the wetsuit, and headed over the road and set off at a good pace in a quiet sea.  As usual it took a little while to find some sort of rhythm, feeling ok, breathing good, no particular pressure on the problem shoulder and then THUNK.

YES, thunk (cue theme from jaws here).  I'd impacted something solid and when I had finished yelling and sinking and came up to see what I  had hit I became aware of two things.  One was the bemused looking shag staring back at me with little beady eyes, his long beak inches from my face... I quickly filtered through my brain to remember if these things were known for devouring swimmers but he didn't seem inclined....the second thing was the laughter from the beach.  Lots of laughter.  This is getting kind-of old getting laughed at while swimming.

I splashed some water at the belligerent bird and he moved away a little, and feeling somewhat paranoid I got back into my swim, jumping at every bit of seaweed I hit or every time the zip ribbon came loose on my wetsuit and swished against exposed skin.

I got 50 metres down the beach, cleared my goggles and looked back, and found myself looking at a shag bobbing along a little way behind me.  Cant be the same bird can it?  The absence of fishing shags on the return swim suggested that it very well might have been.

If I didn't hate the swimming pool so much I might be tempted to get back to indoor training, that sort of unexpected interaction with the local wildlife isn't good for my stress levels.