50 Degrees, 5 Swimmers and 2 New Toys

This afternoon we had a group of five swimmers at Bountiful Lake.  Despite the recent storms and cold weather, the water temperature had risen to an even 50 degrees (warmer than the air temperature).  In addition to getting my cold water fix for the week, I also got to test out a couple new swimming toys (more on that later).

The usual crew was there: Gordon, Jake, Goody and myself.  Goody had such a good time last week that he brought along his friend Alica.

Between the five swimmers, we swam various distances.  Gordon started things off with a 1/2 mile swim staring from the boat ramp, around the eastern island, and back to the boat ramp.  Even though the water was up to 50 degrees, I wasn't feeling up to being in the water that long.  Jake and I decided to swim the same course that Gordon swam last week by swimming from the southern fishing pier to the eastern pier and then to the boat ramp.  Goody and Alicia started at the eastern pier and finished at the boat ramp.

Jake and I got some really confused looks from the three guys fishing from the pier.  They kept looking at us as we got ready, trying to figure out what we were up to.  I'm sure that all the people who fish there think we are absolutely crazy.

My body was shocked, as usual, by the coldness of the water after jumping in.  I don't think that there is really any way that you can prepare for it.  No matter how much time you spend taking cold water showers and sitting in ice baths, it's still going to feel cold when you get in.  Instead of thinking about how cold it was, I decided to focus on getting my breathing under control and swimming at a steady pace.  I was able to keep my face in the water the whole time and just a little before the halfway point, my body started to "get used to" the cold water and I was able to focus on stretching out my stroke and enjoying the swim.

Swim Safety Device
This week I brought along my new Swim Safety Device (SSD).  If you have never seen one, it is basically a waterproof bag that inflates into a buoy that you attach to your waist.  I tucked my shoes, shorts and shirts into the SSD and sealed it up.  After inflating it and buckling the strap around my waist, I was ready to go.  My only complaint about the device is that I wish the strap connecting the SSD to the belt was a little longer, it kept hitting it with my legs and butt while I swam.  Other than that, it did an excellent job of keeping my stuff dry and I am confident that it would support me long enough to get to shore or get some help if I found myself in trouble.  (As a side note, we are giving away a SSD as part of the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim.  Register for the 1 mile race by 6pm (MST) on April 15 for a chance to win!)

My new favorite goggles: Blueseventy Element

I also tried out my new new pair of Blueseventy Element goggles that arrived at my house just hours before I left for the lake.  Jake and Sabrina tease me that I have too many goggles, but I needed this pair!  I have two pairs of goggles that I use regularly and both of them have tinted or mirrored lenses.  This is fine for when I'm swimming during the day when it is sunny, but I needed a pair with lighter lenses for when we start swimming early in the morning.  I've only worn these goggles once and they are already my favorite pair.  They are kind of a cross between the minimal pool goggles I love for comfort and the larger Blueseventy Vision open water goggles I also love for increased visibility.  It doesn't hurt that they look freaking awesome too!

Jake and Gordon have already mentioned this, but the "cold water high" we all felt early on is starting to wear off a little.  Don't get me wrong, it's still awesome to swim with a bunch of other crazy people in cold water and I'm not planning on stopping.  Today just felt different.

Gordon reminded me this evening what an awesome and supportive family I have.  My wife, two boys, dad, mom and grandma have all been out to watch our cold water swims at Bountiful Lake.  My family is always in attendance at all of the races I do and I want to let them know how much it means to me that they are there to support me and thank them for patiently listening to me explain all the reasons why I need another new pair of goggles.  It's been really fun to have Jake get so into cold water swimming and to swim with him every week.  He and I have a big swimming project planned for next year and I'm excited to be spending time swimming with him.  There was nothing better than getting out of the water this afternoon, my skin red and stinging, and having my 3-year old yell "I love to watch you swim!"

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