Sunday, February 25, 2007

Zen and the art of ignoring jellyfish

RACE REPORT: Big Bay Swim (Port Melbourne - Williamstown 3.2km).
Let me make this quite clear. I. HATE. JELLYFISH. Jellyfish the size of my thigh (you've seen the photos. Not. Small). Large, yucky, sting-y BASTARD JELLYFISH. Eeeeeeewwwwwwwww. And owwwwwwwwww. And "F#$% the f%#$ off you motherf#$%ing f#$%bastard f#$%s!" and *high pitched girly fright voice* "get away get away ew ew ew".
But the thing is, swimming is such a meditative, repetitive, mindlessly soothing activity for me that it only took a few strokes after each HORRID INCIDENT to get back into my groove. I did think at one point (after the third sting), well LBTEPA, you can either get out now, or you can keep swimming with the BJF, which are hurting you a bit but are not affecting your swimming or making you panic. There was no excuse to give up. Bugger.
BTW stings on your face hurt more than stings on your arms. They fade in hours.
Now that's enough out-of-order faffing on.
- got to the beach and was horrified to discover a stiff onshore southerly creating a sizeable chop
- didn't whine, throw up or rush to DNS (as 6 people did, ha!)
- water was warm, yay!
- remembered vaseline to prevent chafing, yay!
- remembered to anti-fog my goggles, yay! FYI: rub a bit of dishwashing liquid into the inside of your goggles. Let it dry. Rub it off. Voila!
- chop was tiresome, but not beyond my capabilites
- only went off-course once, in the section with the 3-foot swell so I couldn't see the bouys!
- my sighting was magnificent, especially compared to the bloke who crossed my path - that is, swam on a path perpendicular to mine - on more than 5 occasions in the last km, hotly pursued by the lifesavers calling, "mate, maate, go that way!" He was either extremely short-sighted, very very tired or totally shite at sighting (I'm punting on C).
- "The Elephant Wobbles from Side to Side" is both soothing and annoying as an earworm. If you know that song you will realise the slowness of my stroke cadence LOL.
- reeled in a swimmer over the last 300m, thereby moving to 140th/155. Yay!
- detected no evidence of sharks whatsoever at any time.
- the t-shirt was nice and the right size.
- vinegar helps with stings.
- my sherpas, the Spousal Unit and Noddie, are the BEST!!
- it IS possible to fall asleep sitting on a trolley next to the playground at Bunnings
- if you've swum a big event in the morning, you can't get away with bleating "but I have a cold" in the afternoon. And a mere couple of sherbets make you all giggly!
- the bravest thing I did was to not DNS when I felt sick with fear. Once I started, there was nothing to do but keep going. It was quite fun in an exhilarating, BJF way.

Time: 1.05.15. Rating: Thrilled.

More anon, adventurers

11 much-appreciated comments:

Simlin said...

Sounds like a wicked swim!

Duane said...

Very, very cool! Jellyfish stings? Swells? Wow, you are tough! Nice report!

Wes said...

Nice swim, LBTEPA! To bad the BJF don't get as much as they give!!

Celeste said...

Wow! That's dedication. And a really solid swim too - you must be bursting with pride right now!!! Well done! (I'm one of those who would NOT swim with jellyfish!!!!!!!)

Ali said...

Oh my goodness you're hard core. Well done!

kathrynoh said...

Yikes, well done. I reckon anyone who swims in the ocean (not just splashes around in the shallows) is awfully brave.

Siren said...

You are my new swim goddess. Jellyfish?! Here I sit having panic attack every time a weed brushes my legs, and you're swimming through packs of jellyfish.

Spark Driver said...

3.2 km's is a MASSIVE swim. I don't know how you can do it!

Linda said...

Well done. That was a huge swim and a great time. The jelly's would've freaked me out.

jeanne said...

you are amazing! inspiring! awesome! and totally hardcore!

IHateToast said...

i'm with you on the jelly fish. i don't hate them. i just prefer to see them in video or photos. same with venomous snakes. i don't do stinging. you did better than i would have. i'd have flipped and just given up.