This has been something of a sad week for the Chile Challenge, with the final race of the year on Sunday, and now the final outdoor swim of 2014 last night.
The evening started off well, as this was my first session since the half marathon and I was a bit unsure whether my legs had fully recovered, but they seemed to get through ok. I thought I would give the Friday RPM spin class another go (see blog from 2 weeks ago) and discovered the regular trainer was not in this week. For a brief moment I had an image of her being carted off in cuffs to Arkham Asylum for battering a student who dared step off the pace during one of her interval sprints, but it turned out she was just on holiday. Allegedly.
To be fair the covering trainer was not much better, in that although she was a lot more smiley, she still took us through a full on interval session involving plenty of pain. Clearly there is a certain type of person who becomes a spin trainer. I suspect they are all descended from the drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket…
Anyway, suitably ground down I decided to have a nice relaxing swim to cool down. The outdoor pool is probably the best thing about my gym, so I was pretty happy when I got to the door just as the lifeguard was about to close up at 7pm, and he agreed to keep it open a bit longer for me. Result.
The pool looked great – it was properly dark outside by then and with just a few lights on, the shimmering light reminded me of the opening scene of Jaws. Except it was a pool. With no sharks. And I was fully clothed – or at least in my trunks but you get what I mean. Basically it was very dark. In fact as I only had my tinted goggles with me it was near pitch black, which only added to the atmosphere.
NB. It did not actually look like this picture, but there seem to be a lot of fairly inappropriate results when you search for images of late night swimming on Google… Or is it just me?
As I swam it made me think of my favourite Thin Lizzy song, except I kept changing it to ‘Swimming in the Moonlight’ in my head. To be fair it was less ‘long hot summer night’ as ‘ice cold autumn night’ but I still loved it. I had the whole pool to myself, and it was almost totally silent and very relaxing, with just the underwater lights shimmering around me. I feel I should be more poetic here, but unfortunately that is not really my strong point. Maybe I should have opted for Nightswimming my REM.
The water was really warm, and this was even more noticeable in the cold night air to the extent that there was a lot of visible moisture evaporating off the water, looking like a low cloud around me. It was so thick it was actually quite difficult to breathe at points! My wife, who is a science teacher, could probably explain this much better than I could in terms of the volume of H2O vapour I was taking in relative to O2 in the air, but she was busy doing back to back step classes inside, which in my mind is even crazier than a lot of the things I have donethis year. Yes, I am pleased to say I have managed to convert her to be addicted to training as well, so another win for the Chile Challenge!
With the clocks going back tonight, the outdoor pool will be closing now until Easter, which is a real shame as I will always swim outside where I can rather than indoors. So this will unfortunately turn out to be my final open air swim of the year – but what a way to go out!