On Sunday, a group of five started the first swim form Oysterhaven slipway to Sandycove. They were Imelda Lynch (EC Solo 2005), Ossie Schmidt, Lis Cummins (fellow aspirant), Sinéad Sheridan and myself. Sinéad started first with her husband Aidan in an inflatable, followed 15mins later by Imelda, Ossie and Lisa with Jim McGrath in his kayak, and finally I left after another 20mins accompanied by Ned in his motorboat.
At the start of the swim I felt good, the water felt about the same as my Crosshaven swim. Then I realised that I forgot to put in my earplugs, my ears quickly filled up with water (which I hate).Things were stil going good until we got out around the headland. There seemed to be alot of debris in the water.There was a small jelly near the surface but I forgot about it. Then I saw one huge jelly below, that freaked my out and I felt very wary in the water. I think that this made me slow down my stroke rate, then I started to get cold. Not only was the water really cold, but to make it worse there was a horrible swell and it was raining.
When I couldn't see myself making any progress I felt a bit crap, but I just aimed for the next feed. When Ned told me to pick up my stroke rate I tried it but I think I was still tired after my pool session. I started complaining and Ned told me to count 100 strokes, I motivated myself by only counting right arm strokes so I was going further without noticing. Then my fingers wouldn't close, I did the clenching fists thing and that got me another couple of hundred metres.
At the next feed Ned said "France in 1.5miles". I thought of I go hard for half a mile then it's just a lap of the Island left. When he said 1200m to go I counted another 100 right arm strokes and we were coming near the island. When we got to the island I tried to forget the rest of the swim and pretend I was just swimming around the island. Then came the pink house and I felt fantastic that I had finished it after feeling so bad earlier.
I found it hard to understand that I felt so good all through my 5hr swim and felt so terrible after less than an hour.But the feeling I got after finishing was worth all the pain. I could never have done it without the motivation from Ned though. Then, on the walk in my feet touched the ground and I said "finally that's it, no more pain". I spoke too soon. I tripped on a stone and tore open the side of my foot and my knee, Lisa's car was all blood.I am still limping in my shoes today. No fins in the pool for a while!
I never felt so glad to be finished a swim before. I was hell bent on getting in teh boat halfway through. I will try and remeber everything that motivated me and use them in future swims.