As long as I can stop off for coffee and cake every once in a while, I'm there.
I can't actually imagine missing my Tuesday swim now, it must be nearly a year since I started and I'm starting to recognise the same people each week. There's a chap I share a lane with after 9pm - by common consent we split it lengthwise and don't get in each other's way; he's usually doing a couple of km so it's a pleasant way to get the space we both need. A member of staff has started to ask my distance when I get out and pulls "impressed face" which makes me laugh - I can't be the only one to do a reasonable distance, surely?
The first mile was the hardest tonight, not because of anything to do with my body but because firstly everyone seemed to be on go-slow - people poddling up and down trying not to get their hair wet. I don't care if you want to do that but in the lap lanes it's most frustrating to give someone a whole length's head start and still be catching them up. And secondly my brain was SO annoying: "This is crap, it's too hot, it's so boring, I hate that black line, it's so noisy, all these bloody people, I'm fed up of turning at the ends, I can't get a rhythm, I miss the sky, it feels horrible, blahblahblahblah". On and on and on. I felt like I was wrestling a monkey. Eventually a stern self-lecture on how lucky I am to a) have experienced open water and be able to go back next year and b) have this excellent new pool open when it's convenient for me FOR FREE got it to pipe down.
But oh, god, I miss the cold and the air and the sun and the smiles and the lousy hot chocolate....sigh. It's not even been a week and I'm pining.
Anyway. Misery aside, I pulled off two miles in 1hr 30, which is ok. Not great, but probably delayed by 5mins or so by the aforementioned numpties and fiddling with my cap and headphones. It felt a lot faster than Saturday, like I was working so much harder - but it was a slower speed. I guess you can't really compare pool with open water times; all that stopping and turning. I can work on getting my pool time down, if nothing else. Right now I'm waiting anxiously for an email about Great North Swim next year - assuming the stars align, I'd like to do the two-mile wave at Windermere in 2013 for the challenge, as well as Great Manchester just because that's effectively my "home ground", I know the course and it was a ton of fun this year. The recommended two-mile cut-off at Windermere is 1hr 45 - that is, you should be confident of doing two miles in less than that time. So I'm already under it by a nice amount; I'd like to take another 15mins off over Winter. Lots of work to do and I have no idea if it's achievable, but as I've said a few times lately: I'm nothing if not overambitious.