The last two weeks I have pushed myself in cold water more than I have in previous years at this time. I've swam an hour at 53° f 52° f and 50.5° f. The first two swims felt really good I got out and took very little time to warm up maybe 20-25 minutes. Yesterday, and the excitement to get in I broke one of my own rules of Cold water swimming: checking the temperature before getting in to make a plan. I had approached yesterday with the intention of swimming for an hour and 15 to 20 minutes. I felt like this was a reasonable goal since I had been swimming reliably for just over an hour at 52 and 53. What I didn't count on was the water dropping in temperature as much as it did. It might not seem like it, but a degree and a half is a lot especially when the air temperature had also dropped substantially and was now in the mid-40s rather than the mid-50s. It was also pouring down rain overcast and windy. After what felt like 20 minutes I looked at my watch and only eight minutes had gone by. I wasn't feeling cold and I wasn't feeling tired, at least not yet. I think the reason it felt longer is because usually it takes me a long time calm my mind and be in the moment when I'm swimming. But with conditions yesterday there was no opportunity to gradually ease into my flow. Because of the size of the chop (easily overhead) I had to focus on negotiating my body in the water as I was simultaneously pushed and pulled by the opposing current and wind direction. I love swimming in waves and chop, riding and twisting through the water like an eel and occasionally catching a break by engaging my core and gliding like a shark. I live for these swims the challenging swims and being an active participant in the natural world rather than gleefully gliding through it. Off to bed for a night's rest before another chilly morning dip.
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