While most of you will be snoozing tomorrow morning, I’ll be getting up at 4am to pack my stuff, collect Sofie, Meg & Radesh and go road trippen to the other side of the Huguenot Tunnel where we will join the rest of our Embark training group to participate in the Slanghoek Triathlon.
The road tri comprises a 1,2km swim, 50km cycle and 12km run.
I’m a little nervous… But the dam swim is divided up in two 600m loops – making it a little more manageable for a newbie like myself – and Slanghoek veterans have been telling me that it’s one of their favorite races on the tri calendar. So I guess what I’m feeling is a mixture of nervousness and excitement.
But what I’m really grateful for is that Adri from ATC Multisport has kindly offered to swim with me and serve as a bodyguard-cheerleader-motivational-speaker during my swim. Yeay for Adri!!!
Anyhoo, although I’m behind the rest of the group i.t.o. swimming, I’m really proud of the progress I have made so far, especially considering that I couldn’t swim with my face in the water – or actually really swim at all – when I joined the group in August.
It’s not always easy to visualise somebody’s progress, so I thought I’d paint you a little picture of how far I’ve come in the canal swim.
- The distance markers you see on the image is one-way, measured from the starting point of our swim. The little stipples at the end of the loop is the section I still need to complete.
- The first couple of times I swam in the canal, I had such bad panic attacks that I couldn’t get any further than the first bridge (the 100m mark), meaning that I was only just able to manage a 200m swim in total.
- I then made it to the 269m mark, on the bend, and I was so slow that by the time I had finally reached that bend, people were already on their way back from the full loop.
- Then I made it to the 309m mark and, recently, to the 394m point.
- This morning, with a LOT of encouragement from the fantastic Sofie, I made it all the way to the buoy at the 590m mark, making my swim from this morning just shy of 1,200m in total.
It may not seem like much, especially when you’ve been swimming all your life and love being in the water. But this is a huge achievement for me. And nobody can take this away from me… ever.