I've missed the last two open water swims due to family commitments, so I was determined to get out to Vancouver Lake last night to join the team in a leisurely, if rainy, swim. When I arrived, someone tried to tell me that the temperatures of the lakes we've been swimming in have ranged between 46 and 56 degrees (which I just verified) and all of my warm thoughts flew away into the cloudy skies. Here I've been thinking I've been in 60+ water and the placebo effect was downright wonderful.
I could see from the shore that it was really choppy, but I had NO IDEA! As I entered the lake and put my head down into the water, it occurred to me that I would need earplugs today...See!...I haven't been using my ear plugs at all this year and I've been fine, but now someone puts into my head how cold it is and my mind starts playing tricks on me. Generally at Vancouver Lake we swim a large circle around these poles...
The water goes in quite a ways more up the shore right now and...in fact, I don't believe there was even a sandy shore last night - it went straight into the grass. I don't know...it's maybe a 300-400 meter loop?? The inside of this loop near the shore was not smooth, but didn't look too horrible... but as soon as I rounded the corner out into the main part of the lake, the waves hit! Look...there I am...can you see through all that pounding water ;-)
I felt like I was in the ocean. Worst...and Best swim ever.
The first loop I was so scared I peed all over myself. Wait a minute...I always pee all over myself...never mind. But the second loop, I took in about 2 gallons of water within two breaths and had a minor panic attack and had to tread water while a teammate laughed at me! Laughed at me! What the heck is he doing laughing at me?? Some friends I have =D It WAS pretty funny. Laugh or cry funny. There was nothing to do but laugh and have fun...or go back to shore with the pussycats.
By the third loop, I had gotten pretty good at how to handle it all and by the fourth loop, I was so tired of fighting the waves that I started to take in lots of water again. Every other breath was a mouthful of water and me stopping to find my bearings. The fifth loop I could barely swim I was so tired and waterlogged.
I'm well hydrated.
But...I'm apparently not ready for an ocean swim yet.
I feel stronger for the experience.
What is your worst, best, or craziest open water swim?