Thursday, December 15, 2011

Anything below 4° is Icy Wota

My all time favorite quote from Jack Bright's "Winter Swimming", is when he is interviewed before a cold water race and he says, "Anything below 4 degrees is Icy Water.  Anything below 4 degrees is extreme".  I love how he says "water".  It sounds like "Woah-ta".  The accent is awesome.

Josh and Jim get ready for the shock of "icy water".
Jim's wife in the background videoing us cookoos.
Anyway tonight's cold water swim was "Extreme".  I'm psyched cause the recovery afterwards this time around was totally different than last week's.  I took a temp before the swim this time so I could know what I was getting into.  Last week's temp was 37.8 and this week it came to 37.2° (Which converts to 2.8°C).

Anyway I met Josh and Jim Hubbard at the marina at 4:30pm.  We talked for a bit and then I got in and did a lap just like last week.  That's my baseline (350 yards).  I really want to stick with that distance as long as safely possible.  When I got in it was about the same as last week.  When I got halfway there I didn't have any "Sticking" like last time and although my feet and hands hurt like last time, it was not as severe.  I was also able to really focus on my hands pulling the water.  Not focusing on the pain, but on feeling the water from a position of pulling it.

The clouds and haze over the lake for today's swim made
it seem like it was colder than it really was.  I loved it!
When I got back to the ramp my goggles had fogged up at that point, but I could tell someone was in the water close to me.  So I swam breaststroke and saw that Jim was in the water.  We did breaststroke back to where we could stand up and got out.  My watch read 5:05 from the time I entered/exited the water.  I slowly got dried off and layered back up.  Instead of rushing off to the warm car, I stuck around and chatted it up with Jim and Josh.  I think that made the difference this time.  Instead of going from super cold to super warm, my body recovered much less painfully.  Sure I was shivering, but the crushing pain in my hands never happened.

I tried to give $10 to Jim, although I would hardly consider him a newbie.  He's been out to Bountiful Lake with us at the start of this season's cold water swim, and he's been out before.  He wouldn't take the cash, so the challenge is still out there Kate!  I guarantee the rush after a cold water swim is better than any Christmas lights you'll ever see.

Anyway both the swim AND the recover this time for me was MUCH easier than last week and it was half a degree cooler.  I'm very happy.  Planning to go twice next week:  Thursday afternoon as normal AND a Christmas eve morning swim.
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