Last Sandycove Swim

Posted on 7.2.12
Date 07/02/2012 Time 0:55 hrs Distance 2 mi Temperture 54° Pace min/mile Speed mph

Today I swam the last two laps around Sandycove I’ll do for a while. I’ve been fortunate to tag along with Craig Morrison, Australian-born Kinsale-local who will be attempting the Channel during the same tide as I am. We have been on similar schedules since we’re both cautiously starting to taper and dealing with some overuse injuries, and normally do the same amount of laps. Today was just an hour, so 2 laps around the island. Knowing it could be my last time there for a bit, I brought along my camera and snapped some shots. Believe it or not, but in the above photo, if you can make out the white dots on the grassy hill, that is the herd of goats that inhabits the island. Presumably they walked over at a very low tidal period, but I have not been able to get a definitive answer as to whether they are stuck or not.

The water was a bit low and felt brisk as we started. The scratchy exposed seaweed clawed at my numb skin and it was a struggle to get my breathing under control until we got around the first corner. The back side of the island was mildly rough, but not like it has been, and it was still cold, but not the 11C we encountered two days prior. Still, I picked up my stroke rate to warm up and punch through the waves better, and finally started feeling good.

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Once we rounded corner 2 the water flattened out and was almost glassy. I missed the swell I had been bodysurfing around corner 2 on the rougher days, but was grateful to get some calm water. My favorite part of Sandycove laps is just before corner 3 when you catch a glimpse of the red house over the island.

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That sight is particularly welcome on the last lap of a swim, when you skim corner 3 and angle wide towards the slip. As soon as I pass the final pink buoy I begin to warm down. It’s enough for a small amount of backstroke to unwind my arms, but not so much that I experience the afterdrop before I reach my towel!

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Today’s 2 laps marked my 53rd and 54th Sandycove laps of the year. If I include my 3 Sandycove laps from 2010, when I stumbled upon Ned’s camp on my post-MIMS trip with Scott, then I’m up to 57 lifetime laps. Still a ways away from even the C Club, but perhaps I’ll get back here one day!

Tomorrow, Scott and I fly to England to visit Oliver Wilkinson for a week. I’ll be tagging along with Ollie on some training swims, including Saturday’s 8-mile Torbay swim and Sunday’s 2k Henley Classic, where I’ve managed to just barely sneak into the elite wave. No pressure, since my Channel window opens the 10th and easily trumps either race, but the competitions will be a nice change of pace both mentally and physically.