Cold water acclimatization begins!

Went to the beach today.

Revere beach…ain’t it pretty?!

The sun had peaked out earlier while I was enjoying a lazy Sunday morning reading. That sun teased me though. I had wanted to start my cold-water training earlier, but every weekend I was either traveling or it was raining. (What’s with all the rain here, Boston?)

But by the time I got to the beach it was consistently overcast. No matter. Not gonna turn around now. I doffed my clothes, hopefully (hopelessly?) tucked my cap and goggles under my suit and started the walk.

Got about this far and froze.

Cold enough for a bit

Holy crap was that cold. Spent a good deal of time (ok, maybe 3 minutes) at the feet-only level, dipping the thermometer in trying to get a reading. The feet were on fire, frozen, so no reason not to go deeper, right?

This is good…

Stayed at knee level long enough to get a consistent reading on the thermometer. 46F, steady. Cold.

Getting close to the cockles

At about this point I started to worry about my phone. It was no longer safe tucked into the top of my suit. Right after the above picture a higher wave came by, above the cockles, and I knew then it was time to go deposit my phone back on the beach. I exited quickly, not wanting to lose any of my acclimation I’d just suffered through, and returned. It was wonderful how much easier it was to re-enter the water and get back to the same level. In fact, I went deeper.

Once I got to ten minutes I knew I could do more. Last Halloween I’d done 10 minutes standing in 51F and then 5-6 strokes at the Vampire Swim. So today was so much better. I decided I’d go for 15 minutes, then perhaps dip myself fully into the water? We’ll see.

I walked down so that I was more often than not sub-cockles in the water. I gotta tell you: it really does burn water this cold. My thighs were on fire for quite a while till they got used to it. Then my scrot…yikes.

That’s pretty much how I felt.

When 15:00 came, I decided it was time for the dunk. What’s the worst that could happen? I’m not doing any strokes, after all. It was definitely a shock, and I knew I couldn’t do any swimming. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought. In fact, I probably should have stayed up to my shoulders in the water because when I stood up that wind. Yowza.

Dry and soon warm

But I did it. Acclimatization begins. I don’t want the water temp in Boston Light to be a determining factor for my swim. Hopefully next weekend there’ll be some sun and I can try to go longer and maybe even do some strokes!

2 thoughts on “Cold water acclimatization begins!”

  1. Just standing is harder than striding, and striding is harder than swimming. once you get in. Remember my ignoble entry to BLS? πŸ˜‰ My Good Friday swim at Forty FiveF was MUCH better- shorter, but with more time, I’d have been fine for a while. Cold is a very odd thing, but I’m glad I’ve wrapped my mind around it a bit through the winter. BLS was the hardest swim I’ve done, totally due to cold and how I responded to it. The Ice Mile remains elusive, for a few reasons, mainly logistics. Wind makes it harder, mainly because of my constant mental image of my dry stuff flying to the tree tops. πŸ˜‰ I have a very well evolved system for after cold, with distinct systems for high Forties and the Fifties, and the lower forties and below.

    Once in and moving, I give myself time to move slowly and breathe deliberately. The fire fades, circulation shifts, and at the mid forties and above, I do get to where the fire fades and I gain full function. Just keep paying attention to hands and feet, and get out at a shiver. πŸ˜‰ You can do it, and you will be ready. πŸ˜€ You have the home court advantage. πŸ˜€

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