I didn't die.
I did get a good two mouthfuls of Thames water, but I seem to be not ill (yet - bit of a sore throat, but hey). No training, due to general arseness of lack of faith in being able to push my body at the moment. So.
We were hit by different organisation this year and, quite frankly, not so good. Queueing was a farce and lots of people almost (and probably did) miss their wave. We almost did, after queueing for registration and finding the timing chip queue was massive... I just queue jumped the entire chip queue as I found someone had been fast-tracked in front of me in the registration queue only to find out had the same start time as us.
I lost Mr TOTKat at registration and panicked that I had no money to pay for the bag transport, but it turned out it was included in entry anyway. Dumping my bag off, I realised I'd not lubricated the neck of my wet-suit so was going to have to take the hit of a potential awful neck rawness at the end. I trotted off to the start, to find there was only 7-8 minutes to the wave kick-off and I was still not completely in my wet suit. Thankfully the guy who was fast tracked offered and helped me zip up and I reciprocated.
We'd both missed race briefing and having heard race organisation grumblings, were given a re-run of the briefing and Mr TOTKat showed up with seconds to spare before we plopped in to the water to paddle to the start. I was rude and shoved my way to the front and waited for the hooter to start us off.
Long and boring swimming happened. With a bit of a melee at the start, I had no problem holding my position and not wavering from it whether it meant getting a smack on the head/arm/back/face/legs/body or giving one. Breathing every two and cursing the race briefing that said the yellow buoys were every 800m (there were 5 in a 3.65km race, none at the start and an orange one at the end, go figure) it was basically extremely boring this time around. Visibility was rubbish, but then it's a silty river, so what do you expect? Put on a bit of a spurt of speed once at about 2.25km in and then again at about 3.2km and was helped out onto the ramp at the end. Wobbled up the ramp and then cursed that the timing mat for the end of the race was quite a way along from where you get out. Cursed even more when I saw Mr TOTKat picking up his bag, 45s ahead of me.
To be fair, he's trained for this event and I haven't. So well done him. A whole 10 minutes quicker than he was last year, which is 12.5% faster! (me, I was 3 minutes faster than last year, which isn't awful but not unexpected due to being generally fitter anyway)
No sore neck, no chafing at all from the wetsuit. AND my lovely 2XU swimming compression top did a fabulous job as I'm not utterly crippled today and can easily raise my arms above my head. Result!