Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fun in the rain at Ohio St, August 27

Ohio Street has become the safe but boring place to swim. The breakwater generally mollifies large waves and temperature changes. The wall with its many ladders gives exit options. The large number of people in the area means that help is available in an emergency. But then swimming down to the 1/2 mile buoy and back is somewhat like swimming in a pool, something I need to do but is sort of routine.

After some dithering based on the weather and tomorrow's triathlon Jody and I decide to swim Ohio rain or no rain and waves or no waves. Indications are that the northern beaches are cold and will be wavy. The forecast of 1-3 foot waves held true for Ohio street, 1 foot near the beach, 3 feet by the curve. But they are nice swells which are pleasant to swim in. The rain is steady but moderate with occasional cloud bursts, fortunately no thunder. And the water is a pleasant 67. When we get to the beach at 6:30AM it is still very dark, the traffic signals at Chicago Ave stand out as a beacon. But, surprisingly, even with dark goggles the water is clear enough that the bottom is visible. Most notable is that all the people are gone, we only see two other swimmers in the water, both strong swimmers but without wetsuits, or even caps. All the triathletes must be resting up for tomorrow or are afraid that their wetsuits will get wet in the rain. There are still many runners on the path, but we figure that we have the better deal, it feels nice and dry in the lake and hardly notice the rain at all.

The most interesting part of the swim was from the rusty poles to the curve. There was clearly a current along with the heavier waves which were somewhat disorganized between the buoy and the curve. Coming back against the current was the day's challenge, like climbing a 500 ft ladder. Pausing to rest was not an option as one would be pushed back by the current. But Jody loved it, explaining that it was a "good" tired feeling unlike a "tired" tired feeling after a hard workout. After Chicago Ave the current seemed to be going the other direction so it was an easy swim in.

Although superficially it looked like the Big Shoulders 2010 race, today was much warmer and more fun. Jody and I were glad we came.