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Blenheim: Braving Box End!

Two weeks ago I put my new swimming skills to the test, for the first time, in open water in preparation for the Blenheim Tri. I wasn’t alone on this maiden voyage, accompanied by the nucleus of our new triathlon club (Shed Triathlon), my friends, fellow ‘Shed’ members and Blenheim competitors, Bethany & Leigh were also taking the open water plunge for the first time.

After apprehensive changing room banter, me, Bethany and Leigh casually walked out, wet-suited up, along the decking to the lake like astronauts to their shuttle! I can honestly say that I didn’t feel any nervousness about our swimming mission as public speaking, smear tests and parallel parking on busy high streets were far more sweat-provoking to me!

Waiting at the water’s edge for my lake-swimming tour guide (Keith) to appear I nearly lost the will to live. No doubt the liberal application of the compulsory ‘slide and glide’ had waylaid him in the changing rooms?! Sod it, I was getting in!

Yes it was initially icy cold, but 30 seconds into a spot of thrashing around and breast-crawl-doggy paddle and I was feeling pretty comfortable. And so it was that in a zig-zag, man-over-board fashion, I navigated my way around this 800 metre lake.

It wasn’t pretty – heading off into a ski ramp, running aground on the edge of the lake and taking on board more water than the Titanic, but the sense of achievement was monumental!

Last night was our third open water splash at the picturesque Box End lake. Over the past three weeks the number of us making the fun Thursday night pilgrimage has grown. Also competing in their first triathlon at Blenheim next weekend and braving Box End were Jason, Johnathon, Andy, Corrine and Christine…and I think we may entice Rob to enter a tri too!?

And so with 7 days to go til Blenheim we have decided to meet up this weekend to play the ‘Transition Game’ at Silverstone rec! We shall be in the experienced hands of Ironmen Bernhard and Bryan (Ironman Keith is away coaching this weekend and was advised to stick to swimming coaching and not teach puncture repairs or how to eat a 3 course meal during transition!).

So with our kit boxes and bikes we shall have a chortle at simulating a real live transition (!) changing from swim (minus a lake) to bike to run and as a Bank Holiday weekend bonus we get to learn puncture repair too!

If laying in then enjoying long brunches over the papers, BBQ-ing with friends or hitting the town has lost its appeal this Bank Holiday…feel free to come and observe (or participate) in an alternative type of fun – 2 p.m. Silverstone rec! You will be made very welcome!

Ta ta for now…a triathlete-in-waiting

Jane x

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