It’s about 6 weeks now before I have my Windermere swim scheduled. I have decided that tomorrow is when I will have a go at a practice (of the Windermere distance at least) in Jesus Green Lido. There are a couple of key differences between what I will encounter tomorrow, and what I am likely to encounter in Windermere:
(1) The temperature. The UK has been enjoying a prolonged spell of settled, sunny and warm weather, the like of which has not been encountered since 2003. We have been around the 75-80F mark for 13 days now. This really is extraordinary stuff for us Brits. While you guys in Southern California might find this completely unremarkable, this is once in a decade stuff for the UK. What’s more, this spell of weather is set to continue for even longer.
This has had the knock-on effect of warming up the Jesus Green pool to 23C (73F). A far cry from the 13C (55F) we started with on opening day. Windermere is more likely to be around 16C (61F) when I swim there in late August, so it is not really a fair test as far as temperature is concerned.
Look now at the round sunny icon displayed for tomorrow (Saturday) in the BBC weather forecast below. These things are like hen’s teeth in the UK, and will require significant application of some serious sunblock to combat. I have looked on in the past at the ‘Sunscreen’ thread on the Marathon Swimmers Forum with a kind of detached disinterest. Now I am paying some serious attention, because people, summer is here!!
I am also on my own tomorrow, so will have to talk very nicely to one of the lifeguards to get a mid-swim application done, as it is seriously not in their job-description. Otherwise I may have to bail which would be a shame.
(2) Wind. There will be very little there tomorrow. The pool will be as flat as a pancake. Not especially challenging.
(3) The walls. As the pool is 100 yards long, and Windermere is 16.9 km long, there will be the requirement to turn round and push off 185 times. It could be worse I suppose; do 16.9 km in my usual indoor SCM pool and that would be 676 times, and my rather geriatric knees would go on strike.
(4) Other users of the pool. Tomorrow it is going to be scorchio, so the usual mix of wetsuited triathletes and head-up breaststrokers will be supplemented by who knows what. I hope I will be able to maintain my composure….. That’s a thing now, will the triathletes still be wearing wetsuits. You would have to hope not…..
Visit report to follow.