Saturday, August 22, 2015

Evanston, Clark St Beach, August 22 "Great Lakes Plunge"

Hypothermia! This past week we had the annual inversion. Over the course of 5 days with a steady strong west wind the Chicago area water temperatures plunged from 73 to 50 degrees. On Friday temperatures moderated slightly, but apparently less at the northern beaches. We were warned that the race might be shortened or cancelled. I had signed up for, and trained for, the 2.4K. When I got to the beach the first thing I did was wade knee deep with my temperature watch on my ankle. I got a reading of 58.6. I decided that this was not sufficient for a 2.4K, but OK for 1.2. As it turned out the race organizers ruled that the only options would be 1 or 2 laps of the tiny course, .6 or 1.2K wet suits required. I chose the 1.2 but regular readers know what I think about wetsuits. I did have my heavier thermal cap and I have been wearing a black triathlon top, mostly for sun protection. I figured this would be sufficient along with my regular swim shorts. None of the officials looked at me closely enough to bump me from the race.

Once I got away from shore it became clear that the shoreline was significantly warmer than further out. In fact it seems that the average temperature of the course was about 56. My head and torso were warm enough but at first my arms and legs were cold. By the end of the first lap they had warmed sufficiently for me to swim the second lap. When I crossed the finish line I felt good enough to bypass the warming station. Perhaps my big mistake was to hang around the finish talking to people and posing for pictures rather than quickly changing to dry clothes. After I had changed, about 15 minutes after leaving the water, I began to shake. My friends were worried and got the paramedics. Maybe because they were kind of bored or perhaps because they didn't want me to drive, they walked me to their ambulance, put a hot pad on the back of my neck, wrapped me in blankets and turned on the heat in the ambulance. After about 20 minutes I had stopped shaking and they let me go. My friends got me some pizza and after another half hour I was normal enough to drive home. With the sun beating on my car by the time I got home I was hot.

I do want to comment on the race in general. The water temp was a dangerous situation and I have no complaints about how today's race was handled. However I am annoyed with earlier changes. If I had known some of the details in advance I probably would not have entered. First the course was to be a rectangle 1.2 miles in perimeter. Instead, and this was before the temperature plunge, the race had been changed to this dinky triangle .6 mi. in perimeter. The 2.4K was to be 4 laps, too much like a pool for me. The other change was to withdraw the race from USMS. The idea was to attract kids but there were none there that I saw.

PostScript: I later talked to Joe, he and Kevin went to Ohio St, on my recommendation, this same morning. It was supposedly warmer there but both Joe and Kevin told me that they have never been so cold. Kevin said he shook for over an hour.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Evanston, August 15

I went with Joe and his son Kevin today. Kevin is in his triathlon stage of life so is in excellent shape. Conditions were excellent today, 73 degree water withat not even ripples. There was a long low swell. The water was clear. Joe and Kevin decided to do a two wall swim, I opted for the regular wall to wall. When I finished no sight of either. Then Kevin appears, finally after he is in Joe appears.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Evanston August 11

The prediction was for 2--4 ft, lately these have not been coming through but with winds from the Northeast we knew tat this time they would be there. We have been avoiding wavy days at Evanston but for many reasons, one being that this might be Jody's last weekday Lake swim, we decided to go. The wave prediction was right on, various waves, some two feet, some 4. Water was 72, sky sunny. These were real waves, not chop, so it was actually fun, sort of like mogul skiing. At one point Jody claimed I was almost vertical coming down a wave face. As expected the swim back was very fast. We hung around for a while attempting to ride the waves by the beach, as usual Jody was more successful than me. Jody took me for coffee and scones at Hoosier Pies, bye bye Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Jody later emailed me that it was was a perfect end to her summer Lake season.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Calf Pasture Beach, Norwalk CT August 7

Had a chance for a bit of ocean (technically Long Island Sound) swimming. It was warm with a few cold areas and a tiny bit wavey. Besides the salt, not bad here, in this ocean the tides are a big factor. I had to wait around so that the lowest level passed so there would be adequate depth in the designated swim area.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Lake George August 5,6

On my short annual visit to this lovely lake in upstate NY I got in two nice early morning swims. Actually the first one was marred by continuing goggle problems. It turned out that a lens had popped out of its gasket. I was actually very lucky that I didn't lose the lens. I didn't get it fully seated until the halfway point of the first swim when I borrowed some float while I worked on it. For this swim I had the luxury of the entire lake, or at least the bay, to myself. The second day was the better swim, 1 hour without stopping. But I was buzzed by a water skier several times and had to stay closer to shore than I usually do.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Evanston, August 1

This weekend Jody had family visiting so Joe and I went alone. Forecasts had indicated possible 2 ft waves but we decided to try Evanston anyway. Again there were no 2 foot waves. Instead there was a slight swell which turned into 8 inch trochoidal waves (See bottom of 1997 diary) near the beach. Again sunny with 74 degree water. Another great swim.