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  #1  
Old 04-19-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default First Lake Swim of 2012

I swam yesterday (Apr 17) with Willie Miller in a pond (might be called Sparkling Ridge Lake) directly below the Shawangunk Ridge. It was my earliest Shawangunk lake swim ever by just over a week.
The water temp was about 56F. It stung, and took my breath away for the first few minutes, then felt steadily better. By the time we'd finished our first 400m length, it felt physically invigorating and mentally exhilarating - both the 'thrillingly cold' water and swimming outdoors again.

I had biked to Lake Awosting Monday - which is on top of the ridge, maybe 1200' higher altitude - but it was just too cold, at 46F, for my first swim of the season; I'm reasonably well adapted to that temp at the beginning of Nov but not in April when I've been swimming for months in an 88F Endless Pool. We'll start swimming there when temps get into mid-50s, by which time the pond should be mid-60s. I'd like to try to get as much sub-60 swimming as I can, since it seems healthful.
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2012
AWP AWP is offline
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Good on you Terry and Willie!
I (likewise) plan on a plunge on Monday, my earliest since beginning open water 4 yrs ago. The Sound looks 'crystal'..
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Old 04-19-2012
naj naj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
I had biked to Lake Awosting Monday - which is on top of the ridge, maybe 1200' higher altitude - but it was just too cold, at 46F, for my first swim of the season; I'm reasonably well adapted to that temp at the beginning of Nov but not in April when I've been swimming for months in an 88F Endless Pool. We'll start swimming there when temps get into mid-50s, by which time the pond should be mid-60s. I'd like to try to get as much sub-60 swimming as I can, since it seems healthful.
Terry come out to my neck of the woods and you can either swim with me in 53F water (as of this week it rose 1 degree woo hoo!), or we can go up to Tahoe and swim with Karen Rogers (Remember her?) and swim in Lake Tahoe where the temp is below 60 usually all year at an altitude of over 7,000ft.

Let me know!
Naji
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Old 04-20-2012
caronis caronis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
I'd like to try to get as much sub-60 swimming as I can, since it seems healthful.
I have gone into the 53-54 degree waters of Aquatic Park one mile from Alcatraz lately and without a wetsuit. I have only swam open water once. In that Lagoon in Newport Dunes down in SoCal.
Is swimming in especially chilly waters that health-inducing?
If it's so healthy, then why does everybody have to use a couple of swim caps and ear plugs? It's just weird to me that if you were to swim with nothing more than a swimsuit in icy waters, that it could be considered both healthy & harmful at the same time. Sort of like wine & dark chocolate.
With that said, I will say that I do like the idea of my body being immersed in the ocean, regardless of temperature, to soak up the minerals, energy, etc. And ocean cold water wakes me and energizes me way more and in a different way than a couple of espressos in the morning . . . . but "surfer's ear" is an extreme reaction by the body to protect itself from cold water. I am actually curious to know what benefits have been proven to be true. It's maybe the mantra I need to repeat to myself as I go through the cold pain barrier and push myself into the icy sea.
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Old 04-28-2012
pholahan pholahan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
I swam yesterday (Apr 17) with Willie Miller in a pond (might be called Sparkling Ridge Lake) directly below the Shawangunk Ridge. It was my earliest Shawangunk lake swim ever by just over a week.
The water temp was about 56F. .
56F...OUCH. Boy, am I glad I live in Florida! Been OWS since February in water temps over 70F. Much more civilized!!
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Old 04-29-2012
grandall grandall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
I swam yesterday (Apr 17) with Willie Miller in a pond (might be called Sparkling Ridge Lake) directly below the Shawangunk Ridge. It was my earliest Shawangunk lake swim ever by just over a week.
The water temp was about 56F. It stung, and took my breath away for the first few minutes, then felt steadily better. By the time we'd finished our first 400m length, it felt physically invigorating and mentally exhilarating - both the 'thrillingly cold' water and swimming outdoors again.

I had biked to Lake Awosting Monday - which is on top of the ridge, maybe 1200' higher altitude - but it was just too cold, at 46F, for my first swim of the season; I'm reasonably well adapted to that temp at the beginning of Nov but not in April when I've been swimming for months in an 88F Endless Pool. We'll start swimming there when temps get into mid-50s, by which time the pond should be mid-60s. I'd like to try to get as much sub-60 swimming as I can, since it seems healthful.
Terry,
Even though it was cold I'm sure it was a huge psychologically boost for you as well being able to get out and swim OW again. Being confined to an endless pool I'm sure can feel a bit monotonous even though you were able to fine tune your technique. I also enjoy pool swimming for the same reasons but I have to admit there is nothing sweeter than being out in the OW.
I have similiar goals to swim in cold water but I know it will take sometime to get acclamated.
Wish you a healthful recovery.
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2012
dougalt dougalt is offline
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Default Cold Water Swims

With Spring trying to emerge these days, it was with "pleasure" that I measured a 55º degree water temp this past Tuesday when I swam in the St. Croix River on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. The "pleasure" aspect was due to having swum through this past Winter at least once a week in the Atlantic at Asbury Park, NJ, where the water temperatures had come "all the way up" to 49º as of last week, just before leaving for my trip to Minnesota. Although many of my swims were only 100-150 yards, I did manage several 1/4-milers and one 1/3-mile distance between Jan 1st and Apr 15th.

The challenge of doing this has been a very interesting and rewarding mental exercise as well as an eye-opening realization of what the human body is capable of doing that is far out of the normal range of experience and comfort levels. Up to two Summers ago, I wouldn't even swim at the Jersey Shore until around the 1st of August each year, when the water temp would get into the 70's.

Caronis - The one item that turned out to be key for me was a "Barracuda" brand insulated swim cap that I found online. Without it, I get excruciating "brain freeze" from the cold water after only a minute or two. With it, I can let the rest of my body (no wet suit) deal with the cold until the hands and feet start going numb. The cap has a velcro chin strap which seals it fairly well around the ears, keeping most of the water out, eliminating the additional need for ear plugs.

As Terry mentions, the exhilaration of dealing with the cold water seems very positive - I feel totally charged up and alert for most of the rest of each day after each swim. I don't know any of the physiology that may be going on, but I personally feel that the body's immune and/or defense mechanisms must be getting stimulated in some positive way.
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2012
LennartLarsson LennartLarsson is offline
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Default Lake swim in Sweden

I tried first time 27 of March at 37 degrees and swam 20 meters and that was awful. I have bee in the water 4-5 times after that, but today was the real premiere when I swam 1200 yards in 50 degree water. That felt okay, but cold from the very start. After 3-4 minutes I was really okay and the swimming was nice. It is my first time swimming that long in those temperatures and I am surprised how easy it was.
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  #9  
Old 05-20-2012
tab tab is offline
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First open water, we got in all four strokes, a short swim, in and out a number of times. It is great to feel how much more comfortable the water is once you have been in for a few moments and returned, it doesn't seem nearly as cold the 8th time back in. 59 degrees, I think mid 60's is my comfort level.

A wonderful sensation, the tingling after you get out of the water. I have been trying to toughen up my feet by going bare foot more. I started out in March and short walks in the snow, frost, cold puddles, gravel. Coming out of the lake my whole body feels like my feet after a 5 minute walk in the snow. It is good to wake up in the spring.

And my pool membership ran out, so open water it is.
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2012
terry terry is offline
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I've since swum semi-regularly in that small lake with Willie. The water temp is now above 60. I also swam 2.5k in the Hudson River last Sunday (Mother's Day) with a group of 7, as a test swim on the course of the 2 Bridges under the Walkway event, which will be June 2. This is in Poughkeepsie between the Mid Hudson Bridge and Walkway over the Hudson. Water was 57 that day. Friday (May 18) I swam in the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh with about a dozen members of the Pittsburgh Triathlon Club. Water about 62. Will swim in the Allegheny again this afternoon with a smaller group. This time it will be downtown, fairly close to where it joins the Monongehela to form the Ohio River. Quite scenic there.

I hope the sky lakes in New Paltz don't warm up too fast.

Tab, where is your lake?
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Terry Laughlin
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 05-20-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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