A PB With Parkrun and Icy Toes in Malahide

IMG_0722It was REALLY cold swimming in Malahide today.  The Eastern Bay Swimmers were out in good force, but I was one of the last ones to edge my way down the ladder at High Rock.  Dipping my toe off the edge of the ledge, I tried to convince myself it was balmy, but myself told me I was balmy instead!

I tried today’s top tip of pushing off on my back, apparently it’s less shocking to your body.  I can reliably inform you that it’s rubbish, it was still flaming freezing.  Flaming catch your breath and try to force air into your lungs, freezing.   I put my head down and swam like the clappers, hoping to warm up.  Brain Freeze.  My whole head ached, like the pain behind your eyes, when you eat an ice-cream on a warm summer day.

Despite the icy cold, it was a beautiful day, blue skies, gorgeous flat calm blue sea, and bright sunshine.  I swam into a sunbeam and told myself I was in France, striking out below the cliffs at Eze.  Ahhhh.. dream on.  I’d promised myself that I’d stay in for 10 minutes, so after 5, I turned for home and swam back but the tide was with me and I arrived back in a flash, so I swam around in large, lazy circles by the ladder counting down the minutes, but strangely, when the ten minutes were up, I didn’t feel so cold – so off I went again.

The lads reckoned it was about 9 degrees today, and I stayed in for 20 minutes, which I was really happy with.   I’m really hoping that I can swim the whole year around without a wetsuit, and now it’s well into November, I’d be very upset to give in so close to the end of the year.  Fingers crossed and let’s see what it’s like next weekend.

It was a busy weekend otherwise as well.  I went ‘flying’ yesterday – yes, really, FLYING.  That’s nothing to do with exercise, but if you want to check out how I got on, you can have a look at my FB photo album here:  Limetree Airfield.

Eastern BaySaturday I was back at Griffeen Parkrun and thrilled to see my time for the 5k improve from 44 mins to 38:53 this week.  Absolutely delighted with that.  I’m definitely going to keep running through the winter – and I’ve got the ‘Run in the Dark’ to do for Mark Pollock this Wednesday.  Looking forward to that.  I’ll be running and trotting, but it’s finishing that matters for me.  My ‘Get Off The Couch’ buddies are coming too – still active, even after the cameras have stopped rolling – isn’t that great?

Incidentally, Parkrun reported record figures last weekend with a spike in the number of ‘first-timers’ coming out to run the weekly 5k that takes place in parks all over the world at 0930 every Saturday morning.  Isn’t it great if the ‘Get Off The Couch’ TV show is getting the message across, that sport isn’t just for ‘sporty’ – it’s for all of us!

Parkrun is a really great event and thanks to everyone at Griffeen Parkrun who kindly told me they were encouraged to join up because of reading about my efforts last week.  That’s really motivating me, to think I’m encouraging other first timers to come out and join me.  I was telling everyone that I really enjoyed bits of it this week… lol.   I’m still waiting for that magic moment when I wake up in the morning and think to myself ‘gosh I’d love to go for a run’. I’m sure it will happen.  Some day…..    😉




  • Communicorp
  • Danone
  • Irish Farmers’ Journal
  • Dublin Airport Authority
  • WeightWatchers, Ireland
  • Limerick City & County Enterprise Board
  • ‘Foot In The Door’ Media Trainer for Independent Commercial Radio, Ireland
  • Clare County Enterprise Board
  • Carlow County Enterprise Board
  • Great Outdoors
  • Adrian Hendroff ‘From High Places’
  • Chernobyl Children International
  • Concern Ireland
  • The Hope Foundation
  • LauraLynn Childrens’ Hospice
  • Travel Department
  • Helly Hansen Killarney Adventure Race
  • 98FM Dublin
  • Newstalk
  • TodayFM Radio
  • Learning Waves Skillnet
  • BCFE, Ballyfermot
  • Pat Falvey, 'The Summit Book'