3 days in Wales and 3 sea swims to help acclimatise for the competitions to come. Cold water swimming is such a weird thing... In a lot of ways it's just awful. Pain in the arches of your feet as the water first hits you, then shock as the water gets up to crotch height. And finally, the breath-wrenching dive to become fully immersed. If it weren't for Emily, I wouldn't be there.
But once you're in, it is fun in a muscle-twinging way. You break through some barrier between normal comfortable life, and surviving in a truly hostile environment. The idea of winter biking is to avoid getting cold, but here we have no protection for anything but modesty. Just swimsuits and temperatures that are guaranteed to give you hypothermia if you stay there long enough. So we built up each day: 4 minutes, then 10, then nearly 20. Once you've taken the plunge and ignored the horror, it's actually kind of fun to be there in a place where people really shouldn't be.
Bring on the UK Champs at Tooting and then Finland!
And in other exciting news, the New York Times article is out with words and videos... yay!