After that long first day's over I just want to go to bed, but am persuaded out to a local restaurant where the organisers have laid on a meal for us. A can of red bull later and I'm feeling a bit better. I still don't feel great, so don't eat anything, but do have a couple of pints. I say my goodnights, and head back to the hotel where I notice that the pool's still open. A quick dip before bed seems like just the ticket, so I grab my goggles and head outside. "The pool shuts in 15 minutes" says the receptionist. "Perfect" thinks I, nodding to the lifeguard and the sweet looking girl he's chatting up.
The pool's lovely at this time of night. A few gentle laps, and I forget the troubles and stresses of the week. It's also enough for me to forget the state of exhaustion, injury, and mild drunkenness I'm in, and I do a length underwater. It feels good, so I do another, which also feels good. Then I do two. 36 metres. Nowhere near my PB, but then I set that 50 metre finless-dynamic 10 years ago when I was young, skinny and swimming fairly regularly. I'm none of those now. I'm older, lardier, and haven't done any apnea training for years. Time, hayfever and bad ears have put the dampers on any chance I had to get seriously into freediving.
Still, the two lengths felt good, and in my relaxed, and apparently addled, state, I think "Let's go for 3". 54 metres. Actually exceeding my PB, but I didn't think of that at the time; it was just 3 lengths. Only a bit more than I'd just done, right? I spend 5 minutes relaxing and breathing up. The warmth of the evening, and the tiredness of my body make this easy. At no point during this process do I remember that I've been drinking, or that my head is injured, or that I've had 3 hours sleep, or that I've been on my feet for 11 hours, or that I've only eaten 1 cold slice of pizza during the day. Relaxing in the warm, dark pool means that I have literally forgotten my worries.
Ducking under and kicking off, length 1 goes fine and I feel strong at the turn. Length 2 feels even better than during my previous 2 length swim, so I make the turn for 3. About half way down the pool, my hands start to tingle and the end wall starts to recede into the distance, but I push on. Nearly there! I remember reaching the end of the pool and starting to stand up before my thoughts turn strange. I'm guessing shallow water blackout, with the 10-15% pressure drop from 1.5m at the pool bottom to atmospheric pressure at the surface being enough to keel me over, but by this time I'm in the arms of my beautiful maiden and perfectly happy to breathe water for however long it'll take me to realise something is wrong.
On my way to the changing room I nod to the lifeguard and his girl. Naturally, neither had noticed anything out of the ordinary. Why would they? Just a couple of kids, neither expecting to have a total fuckwit in their pool that night.
Posted to remind myself.
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