Monday, 30 June 2014

Nightswimming on a Friday night

Ah, another magnificent week is behind me and yet another lies ahead. Last week there was a little bit of local theatre, a meal out, a weekend visit from a friend and plenty of active pursuits. I've been almost bouncing off the walls with excess energy that I can't account for. 

On Tuesday I did a Turbobox class before work but so frustrated did my day make me that I felt the need to go for a run after work as well. I managed to fit in 4 miles before I had to get ready to go out which made all the difference. The next day I tried my very first kettlebells class. I've learnt how to teach them but never done a class myself. Once again, another class I enjoyed and want to make part of my regular routine not least because it was fun with some tag-team partner work. I'd agreed to meet Anita for a run straight afterwards and thought I'd got out of it when I saw she was still in day-clothes. No such luck! We churned out 5 miles that became less chatty the further we went, then continued our catch-up in the garden over nuun and plantain chips.

I've now tried all the classes I want to at Box Bell Fit and am really keen to keep going there. It's highly tempting to give up my gym membership and just go here instead. If I did two classes a week I'd pay more per month than I do for my gym membership and I'd have to pay extra for things like yoga/Body Balance. However I've only used my gym once in the last 6 weeks, max, so maybe it's a bit of a false economy. It's a hard one to make a decision about. Any thoughts?

The weekend was awesome. I got a new PB at Woodley parkrun and ran the Samaritans 10k, a race just a mile and a half from my front door, more on that another time. But it all started with a night swim at the Tri2O swim centre in Reading, lit by illuminated balloons and glow sticks - huzzah! I'd kept this a bit of a secret from my mum (sorry mum) as I was expecting to be going along alone and I hadn't actually swum since about October so I thought I'd spare her the worry and just show her the cool pictures afterwards (ta da!)
Kitted up and ready to go!
The event is known as the Full Moon (1500m, £15) or Half Moon (750m, £10) swim, and takes place in the lake. When I first heard about it the idea instantly appealed and it sat on my race wish list (yes I have one, don't you?) for aaaages before I decided to go for it. For your entrance fee you get some excellent organisation, a swim cap, your balloon, fistfuls of glowsticks, a chunky medal (personalised with your time after the event) and plenty of refreshments afterwards. The 200 places were all taken (160 full- and 40 half-mooners) so it was a great atmosphere as we all struggled into wetsuits (I was the only one in a surfing one... again) and tied balloons to our zips.
The gang
By happy coincidence I bumped into a work friend and her buddies so I hung out with them and her lovely hubby who was on bag watch and photo duty. After the briefing and "oggy oggy oggy" chants we were off, full mooners first, followed a few minutes later by us half mooners for a deep water start in 22.2 degree water!! We could have done without the wetsuits, and indeed a few people had. There were a few serious-minded swimmer but most of us just enjoyed it. I started off with a bit of front crawl but quickly reverted to my usual breast stroke. Stray balloons littered the banks of the lake and those still attached to swimmers started to glow more brightly against the twilight sky. I LOVED it and came out of the water with a big grin on my face. I always forget how much I enjoy swimming. Timings are still to be worked out but I'm not sure I care.

After the obligatory medal photos I got myself a tea and helped myself to a few jaffa cakes that I probably hadn't earned from a table groaning with platters of flapjacks and other delights. As I started my drive home (to R.E.M.'s Nightswimming - natch) I felt utterly content. I may have come last out of my little group of friends more determined than ever to get a proper swim wetsuit wetsuit and lessons for my front crawl next year but I had the best fun. What a way to spend a Friday night!
An undeserved jaffa cake

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