Nov 8, 2010

Coney Island- Veterans Day Cold Water Swim (54f smoking degrees)

Hi all,

After a couple of weeks of heavy training back in the pool (31 k 35,000k yards/week), I joined fellow OW swimmers at Coney Island, NY this past weekend for a chilly ocean swim. Dave Bara from New York, whom I met at the Boston Light Swim and just coming off a huge OW season was very supportive in asking me to join the CIBBOWS crew at the beach, great hospitality and thanks Dave!

I was in NYC for business and Jennifer joined me. Had a wonderful time. We trained from downtown and had a hilarious experience navigating the subway system. We learned that weekend trains don't follow the same schedule as weekdays, but I am sure that was spelled out clearly on some sign covered in subway grime and dirt, but hey that's my fault for not knowing. Well anyway, we got to the beach just as the race started. Thinking all was lost, we casually strolled up to the race director, sorry can't remember your name, but he and others were great. They said, no problem, get dressed and when the leaders roll around the first buoy jump on in. So I changed on the beach, got greased up and away I went. Below is a picture as I was turning the final buoy to finish.


I knew I was swimming with some great company as Dave Barra and others who did the channel this summer among other 'mount everest' type swims were all in the group. This was also a charity event for Veterans, wounded warriors (Some of you may not know that my cousin was Scott Speicher who was shot down in the first Gulf war off the USS Saratoga and was missing in action for 18 years, Our government left him there, the bastards! Not a good subject from my perspective) so support our troops! Anyway showing up late and accepting that fact relaxed me and I had nothing to loose. To my surprise and to most others I proceeded to rip a 2.2 miler at a good pace finishing at 57 minutes against the dropping tide swirling around the Coney Island pier against the tide. For you non open water swimmers, it's like swimming upstream in a creek. It was really weird leaving the beach and it seemingly took forever against the tide to get the buoy, then turning for a straight mile parallel to the beach to the next turn, it eased.

Moral to the story, don't think about the race, just do.

I can't thank everyone at CIBBOWS for being so kind and welcoming, allowing me to, as my coach Marcia Cleveland says, 'take a dip' in some really really cold water under control and having fun. Who would have ever thought these things were possible.

Well, up next is a nice training swim at Seal Beach, CA for what will be a strong effort on my part to complete some un finished business on qualifying for the channel. I guess cold salt water is my element.

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