By: Blonde Two
Back in November, I started the rather chilly outdoor swimming Polar Bear Challenge. This five-month challenge involves skin swimming (which does require a swimsuit but not much else) in outdoor (and increasingly cold) water for 2 x 250 metres each month, with a total of five kilometres swum between November and March. The water is now down from the positive tropical twelve degrees in November to a distinctly frigid seven degrees in February…. results suggest that it isn’t going to be getting any warmer for March!
Despite the cold and a few weeks of being poorly over Christmas, my Polar Bear Challenge is currently slightly ahead of target. I have completed, in the sea, and often early in the morning, all eight of the required 250-metre swims and swum around 4.5 kilometres. I have also learnt a few things…
- My hands and forearms hurt the most in cold water
- I have to swim quickly to get 250 metres done before I get too cold
- Swimming quickly is difficult when putting your head in the water gets painful
- I often don’t start feeling really cold until two hours after my swims
- My right big toe is the first digit to lose feeling and the last to regain it
- Buying a new swimsuit and goggles has not made me faster, warmer or slimmer… but I do feel good in them
I have high hopes that I will be celebrating success by the end of March… I have no hopes whatsoever that the water will be getting warmer before the end of April. Just imagine how fantastic Portugal in June is going to feel!