Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ohio St, July 27

Jody and I swam Ohio St today but something was not right. According to my thermometer watch the temperature varied between 65 and 68 degrees depending on the location which should be close to ideal. The sky was mostly sunny and the water was mostly flat with just a bit of chop. So on paper this should have been a great swim. But both Jody and I were a little uneasy. The water felt a lot colder than it actually was, when we made our first check at Chicago Ave I was still cold, even with, or perhaps because of, my thermal cap. And both of us were a bit woozy as if it were quite wavy. I considered turning back but since we had made the effort to get here that would have been disappointing. By the time we turned around at the curve I was finally warm enough and we both felt a little better.

The best we can up with was that the trouble was bad vibes from the Trump tower. From the far part of the course swimming back the sun reflecting from the tower made it look like a giant icicle. Since we couldn't see the tower on the outbound part of our swim we didn't realize that this icicle was what was making us cold. But clearly the water was spooked. Our potential great swim was trumped by the Donald.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ohio Street, Thursday July 24

An unusual weekday noon swim. I occasionally bike down alone to do this but today I came with my friend Heidi. Heidi is completely blind and always has been, but she swims a lot anyway. She has done pool 1500's and is completely independent, no one helps her find the turn or anyway else. She also has done open water swims, such as Alcatraz and Big Shoulders 2.5K with a guide. Her main thing lately is triathlons.

She called me last week because she needed a guide for the upcoming Sharkfest swim. Since I am a little faster than her and had no interest in competing that meet myself ($70 to swim a mile at Ohio St--something I do all the time for free), I agreed to see if this was something I could do. So we settled on today for a trial run. Yesterday I suggested that we postpone the swim since 4ft waves were predicted for the Lake. Of course Ohio street is protected so we would get just bad chop. That might have been a good suggestion but Heidi insisted that chop and waves didn't bother her. One of her BS swims was on a wavy day, so I knew she had a point. So we swam.

The conditions weren't nearly as bad as predicted, cool 64? I didn't check my thermometer. But it was choppy. Things did not work out well so I cut off the swim after about 250 yards. Perhaps we will try again under better conditions.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ohio Street, July 19

Today Jody, Joe and I hit Ohio street. At 6:30 AM we find a nice parking spot on Ohio Street near the underpass, free until 8. Swimmers are gathering but no one is in yet. Everyone else has a wetsuit, but we are, as usual do not. It turns out to be a bit below 67 with just a light chop. You can really see the water level increase at the wall, more than a foot higher than last year. A really great swim, Jody and I went to the curve and Joe went all the way to Oak St. Do to a minor equipment issue at the start, we all finish at the same time.

Evanston, Friday, July 18

Jody and I finally decide it is time we hit the Lake. Our friend Joe has already been 7 times. But going into the city on a Friday does not sound like fun. So we go to Evanston. We are prepared for cold, we have our thermal caps, expecting 64 we are pleasantly pleased by 65.5 Actually it feels even a bit warmer because it is cool and cloudy out. There are cold pockets just a few feet below the surface. There is a 6 inch swell and some chop but really not bad. The water level is clearly a lot higher than last year. We do a halfway swim, a good start to the season and plan to be back often in the next few weeks.

Early July

During the weekend of the 4th I was at Lake George in upstate NY. I did get in 3 nice early morning swims, one a long one with my brother who does some open water racing in southern California. Unfortunately the first weekend back was stormy so we didn't make it out.