BEFORE: We are doing the River Arun 3.8 km swim. This is the longest distance for me and although swimming with the tidal flow, does still worry me a little. I do not feel prepared at all and do really not know what to expect, swimming with 500 people around me. I am doing it with people around me who are well used to swimming this distance so hoping it will be helpful.
AFTER: The start was a mass start and doing it for the first it did feel quite intimidating. Swimmers were crashing into each other, all very eager to get off. All my friends just sailed off and I was in this large mix of swimmers. At that stage I did get a panic feeling and my breathing even changed. It took me a very long time, and a clear concept of time is missing here, to settle and get into my own rhythm. Being a 4 stroke swimmer usually, I changed to 3 stroke and then even down to 2 stroke to my breathing and panic under control. However, I did get myself into a rhythm eventually and then it did just flow.
Did I enjoy my first 3.8 km event? I must say not entirely but it was a very good experience. I know that if I have to do the distance again, it will be much more pleasurable as I know now what to expect and how to prepare better. It took me 1 hour and 5 minutes to complete and, of course, I found afterwards by swimming on the side lines for most of the race at the beginning I missed out of the tidal flow in the river to make the swim even easier. Classic!!! I will study the course much more closely if ever done again. The distance was not the problem, it was my head that needed to be better prepared.