Jul 5, 2010

Skin on fire ... Water temp drops 65f to 58f

Independence day (july 4th) plus one brought a great swim in a calm lake Michigan this morning with doug McConnell, Marcia Cleveland and cool water. Sun was shinning, water was crystal clear and we had the lake to ourselves.

Walked into the water with my usual smile with what I thought was gonna be a nice casual training swim, the lake had other ideas, it was time for a reality check and lesson. I immediately began to feel my feet burn from the cold water, i splashed water up on my chest to adjust to the cold, kept walking up to my waist. I noticed my heart was beating quickly and breathes were short and shallow reacting to the cold. At this point I was thinking to myself "wow, how does the lake go from 65 to 58f?", two days ago I was swimming in 78 f pool water. Appearently the wind had been blowing across lake Michigan west to east late in the week and this drives the colder middle lake water to shore. Welcome to open water swimming.

To know what this feels like, take a large glass ice water and pour it over your head the next time your outside, at the pool or lake or stick your face in a cooler filled with ice water. The physical shock is something. Imagine putting your whole body in this and swimming for over an hour.

We swam down 1200 yards or so to a large peer and then back, twice. Each length was around 17 minutes. The first was really rough, I was hyperventilating so my strokes were very short and erratic. Length two eased up, the third more so allowing me to relax and work on taking long strokes with better body rotation while breathing on both sides. The last length, coming back in, I was back to my old self stroking away, having navigated the cold was building my confidence, and I could have kept going when we finished up around 1:10 minutes later.

This was a great experience and re-focused me back to how critical cold water accimilation is to this effort. After all the training I realize I have so much more to learn.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I'm hooked .. also have some info ready for 1Jukebox but I need your email address. Mine is danmiller@DHMremodeling.com