Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Oceanside Pier Swim just before sunset

My wife gave me an early Christmas present this afternoon of a good pair of ocean swimming goggles and a good swim cap.  I'll take a picture tomorrow maybe.  She also bought me a swim jacket-thin, wet-suit material that zips up the front.  I didn't wear it on my swim this afternoon.
I have this mental game ongoing with myself to see how long I can endure the cold water swimming with just a bathing suit.  How far into the year I can go..
Several years ago-about eight or more-I went through the first week of February with a bathing suit and a tight short sleeve rash guard.  I swam at least twice per week around the pier.  Then I cracked from the cold.
Since my health is better now I am trying to go through the year with my bare chest.  (I always wear a swim cap-this is essential to me for safety and common sense in the winter cold).
The tide was extremely low and the ocean was absolutely flat and peaceful.  No current of note.
I swam north to south in 29 minutes.  About twenty surfers were enjoying the beauty and well-shaped small waves.  No crowds, plenty of room for waves, just free nature stuff at a great beach.  I love it like that.
I didn't wear fins today.  I'm still a slow swimmer but I hang in there.
Merry Christmas to you swimmers and the rest of you.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Late Afternoon Kick Around the Pier Dec 18th Sunday

I got in the water about 4 PM Sunday.  The water was choppy with a northeasterly wave/wind blowing. 

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Pier Swim w/Fins Sat 1PM Dec 23

Wow. The beach was a repeat of yesterday-flat, beautiful, sunny, cold water.  I swam north to south around the pier and it was totally flat.  I felt good-the neck was okay-so I turned around and swam back.  The red harbor police boat stopped by me to check me out-just a wave "Hi" back and forth , and that was cool.
What was weird though, was that the wind whipped up and the water got choppy and rough on the return trip.  Very strange.  I was swimming into the chop and the wind.  I got a good workout on the trip south to north.  22 minutes one way and 29 minutes to get back.  51 minutes in the water with my trunks was invigorating.  Old guys rule, I believe we say.  (In a few things, anyway).  Mostly we're just old and broken down.  My neck seems to be getting unjammed over time, thank goodness.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gorgeous, Freezing, After-Work, Sunset, Oceanside Pier Swim

I'm not ready to swim yet because my neck is still jammed down from my own stupidity.  I used to be 5'10" but presently I'm 5'8".
  But, I miss my ocean.  I drove to a store at lunch and bought a cheap bathing suit ($9) so that I could swim today.  The beach was so doggone beautiful that I had to swim.  The water was a rich blue and totally flat.  A mild offshore wind was blowing that lifted the curl of the 1-2 foot waves up into a beautiful mist. 
There were about fifteen surfers out getting some action on the smallish waves-the shape was great, albeit small.
I wore fins and shorts, with my good swim cap.  I took a relaxed swim around the pier and the neck felt pretty good.  My swim was 29 minutes and I haven't been that cold in a very long time.  But what a swim; the sun was setting so I had a great view as I swam.  Also, not a cloud in the sky.  Wow.
I put the car heater on as high as it could go and was still freezing after getting home.  I wrapped myself up in two blankets over my clothes, hat, and jacket; and started to warm up after about half an hour. says the water temp was 58 degrees at 1 PM but no way at 5 PM.  For the first time this year my face hurt when I got in the water from the cold.  To me, face-hurt cold is about 55 degrees.  Too bad I didn't have my camera.  Anyway, I loved the flat ocean, the solitary swim, and even the deep-freeze.  It makes one feel alive. 

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Late Afternoon Kick

This afternoon late I got in and kicked around the pier on my back again with the fins.  Jeepers, it's cold.  I've just lost my edge with the cold, it seems.  There was a surf contest happening today-the Scholastic Surf Series-a high school contest.  The waves were poor, but like fishing, just going surfing and getting in the water is enough.
The high schoolers seemed like a great bunch, and the parents were happy and involved.
There was a chop to the water and 2 foot waves blowing in northeasterly-an unusual direction for around here.  A slight northward current that moved me a bit as I kicked.  I was wrapping my arms around my chest with my fists in my armpits the whole time to try to keep warm-well, not warm-but less freezing.
Took me 16 1/2 minutes to kick out to the half-way point off the end of the pier.  Like yesterday, at four minutes into my swim, I started to get used to the temp a bit.  The first four minutes must be the hard four mentally. 
I backstroked in the second half of the swim to try to get my neck to loosen up.  The swim was about 28 1/2 minutes.  Glad I went.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."