Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Pier Swim Oceanside, CA

The water was freezing today.  Surfline has it as 56-58 but I'd bet $$ on the 56-57.  Face hurt, body froze, hard to get through the surf zone cold.  I was pretty frozen by the time I was done in 32 minutes.  The ocean was extremely choppy: about a two-foot chop all around.  No kidding.  I swallowed some water a few times.  Getting out it was difficult to get past the surf before I was pulled into the pier.  I had my doubts whether I could make it.  There were about a dozen surfers on the south side but crummy shape to the waves.  As I was coming through the surf, one surfer asked me, " Are you frozen?"  I said, " Yeah, I am today; I really am."  He said there was an upwelling of cold water.  The ocean was dirty; I guess with the recent light rains running off into the beaches. 
So, what about my New Year's Day Pier Swim?  I suppose I'll do it alone.  It will be my second annual.  I hope I come in first place.

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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Overdid It Last Swim

Boy, My back has been a twisted mess of nerves and discs since my two-miler December 23rd.  I went too far.  When I'm back functioning, I'll go with one mile.  I've been trying to kick better but the low back has its limit it seems, nowadays.

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

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Two Miler Swim Goal Oceanside CA

The last two days I did one-mile swims and had energy and warmth to spare.  So, what's next for this silly guy.  I uttered the words "two mile swim" to my son this morning; then the gauntlet was laid down.  So I went out with the intention of doing a two-miler.  I started at Wisconsin St. and swam out to that float that can be seen in some of the photos above.  Surprisingly, that pole is far; it took me eleven minutes to get to it.  But I learned something important getting into the water there; there are a couple of logs sticking up out of the bottom.  I hit one hard, but there is a positive side to that; the pain took my mind off of getting into the oh-so-chilly water.
I turned north to the pier at the float and hit the pier at 47 minutes.  It was a smooth swim--a very mild southerly current.  I had two scares.  Scare #1:  I swam smack into a ten-foot patch of kelp that was startling.  Scare #2:  fifteen minutes or so later I breathed to the left and was very close to what looked like the head of a harbor seal.  A second and third glance revealed it to be a float for a lobster trap that happened to resemble a seal's noggin'.
So at 47 minutes I'm cold, but I have a plan to swim to a little south of the harbor south jetty and turn around and do a round trip.  I figured that might be 2 miles easy.
At Surfrider Way, I am colder and looking at my watch.  I had decided to change my plan to turn around at 60 minutes.  This I do at 60 minutes and head back toward the pier.  I am very cold at 60 minutes.  This surprised me.
The water gets a little choppy and I start to wonder if I am swimming into a current--making mental excuses.  It's human nature.
I am pulling hard to get to the pier again--this time from the north side.  My fingers are freezing; I can't keep my fingers together to make an efficient 'pull' of the water with each stroke. 
Oh, exciting episode #3:  I am west of the pier 75 yards, look up, and close on my right is a family boat--about 60 feet long.  We wave 'Hi' to each other.  I should have been paying more attention.  The effects of the cold.
At about 75 minutes, just past the pier, I revise my plan due to cold and head in toward the beach.
What went first: the will or the effects of the cold?  The will, I say.  Cold will reduce Arnold Schwarzenneger (the movie version) to a little girl in an hour.

On my swim in to the sand I had a difficult time keeping my swimming stroke going decently.  I imagine the Lifeguards in the Tower looking at me wondering (or taking bets) on whether they'll have to get the jet-ski out to drag my sorry butt out of the water.  This helps to motivate me.  I hit sand at 1 hour and 34 minutes.  Cold, but feeling better.  I jog about a half-mile south to my starting point, Wisconsin St.
OK. This is where I have my final bit of excitement.  I had left a t-shirt and a coke on some rocks at Wisconsin and some character stole them.  Agghhhhh. 
I did my two-mile swim plus some, I think.  I didn't achieve my goal, but I did break some barriers.  Good swim.

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

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gorgeous Beach Day For Surfers & This Swimmer

I felt better today (from my chill treatment yesterday) and did the same swim as yesterday.  These pictures show the swim.  You start at the bottom of the stairs, head way out, and pass beyond the pier end by about 80 to 100 yards.  Then you continue the arc in, but a smaller arc because I'm tired and concentrating on form and performance, and hit the beach.  I did it in 33 minutes today.  I would say that's a mile for me.  Yesterday there was a strong south current and it took me 6 minutes more, I think.
While standing on the sidewalk above, I got a very cool view of a 4-5 foot dolphin swimming parallel along a breaking wave. Just one.  I didn't get any other dolphin sightings out there.
Something happened twice today that doesn't happen to me, except very rarely.  Two different surfers passed on to me their respect for my swimming in the raw like I do (swimsuit only, cap, goggles). One man 45'ish must have seen me before; because he told me, "I gotta' give you your respect for swimming in that; that's something.  Then I told him a was a  little off, and he says, "Who isn't?"
The other young fellow passed along, "Good work.  What did you do, 2 miles."   He was out waiting for waves and he saw me way out there.  He gave me a "fist bump."  Now that is cool.  I told him about 1 mile because my time was 33 minutes.  Now I'm wondering why I didn't do 2 miles?  I could have.  Maybe tomorrow...
You can see from these photos that the swimming conditions were great.  I feel good.

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

Friday, December 21, 2012

15 Days Without Beach

I couldn't get in the water for 15 days and it took a toll on me.  I was in a bad state yesterday and today and forced myself to swim today.  Thank goodness!  The water was very cold.  Surfline says 59 degrees but it was colder than that.  I swam a good mile at 42 minutes, I think. The water was smooth and flat, but not glassy.   Very nice for surfing with long intervals and long waves.
Nice to be back.  I'll be less grouchy and less antisocial.

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

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday Pier Swim in Easy Water

So I had the camera and I took about 8 photos.  I get home and something with the memory chip won't let me load them in the computer.  I have to order a new memory chip.
Really, this used to be easy. Write the blog, upload the pictures, stick 'em in the blog.
Now, since I'm a senior citizen I guess (55), I can't do anything right. 
Water at 59-60 was nice.  Mild waves and flat ocean. Even about 4 feet visibility.  Air temp 66.
I decided that today I would try to swim a faster time around the pier because I never get faster.  Guess what?  I didn't get faster.  Doggonit.  I was swimming harder than usual, I thought, and came in at 31 minutes.  I mean it was a nice, refreshing swim; but I was disappointed in my time. 
I've been pulling harder because I am feeling it in my triceps.  I've been kicking a bit harder.  I'm doing less breathing, or getting more strokes in between breaths.
Blue sky today. Only about a dozen surfers. Quiet beach. We'll see what the next few days brings.

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Google/Picasa I Hate You for Making my Blog Harder to Do

Only five photos today for my readers because I am a lousy photographer and need to spare you my crummy photos.  But look at the series of small waves in sequential order in a couple of these photos today.  Can you deny nature's beauty there?  The shape of the smallish waves was nice, especially on the south side, as usual.  Water temp 59-60. Air temp 66 at approximately 3 PM.  Such a difference in the flatness today compared with the angry choppiness of yesterday's water. 
I didn't have it in me to swim today.  I drove and parked at the Pier and couldn't get my butt in gear. I debated it in my head for ten minutes and got changed.  Then, once a few beachgoers see me in a swimsuit and goggles & cap, I can't let them down.  And off I went.  Getting in was chilly.  I took note of the time when I got used to the cold; it was six minutes out.  I'm really just out of practice with the cold water.  I haven't put any real pressures on myself yet this winter about longer swims.  I'm just going along day by day.  No goals at this time.
A 31 minute swim around and I felt good, really good in the swim.   Glad I got there.

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday Rough Water Swim (Cold & Against the Current)

What more could one ask for?  Just colder, rougher, and scarier water I suppose.  I had a 42 and a half-minute swim this afternoon; I'm home now and still have a chill.  Water temp about 59-60 degrees.  There was a moderate current running southeast with a big 2 foot chop to it.  I decided to swim into that. Why?  To be miserable, that's why. 
My swim was longer because I started farther away from the pier.  I'd guess 3/4 mile swim.  There were only about six surfers out because the water was so sloppy and choppy. 
I have several photos but I don't know if I can publish them. 

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

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Choppy Pier Swim

I have some photos, but still can't get them posted.  Today's swim was not as rough as yesterday's.  The water was about 60 degrees.  Very choppy.  No visibility.  Negligible current. 
I actually don't even feel like writing about my 31 minute swim around the Pier.  Who cares?  I just do the swims for myself--to make my head feel better.  Something about neurotransmitters in the brain.  Today's swim didn't do jack for my neurotransmitters.  I need lots more cold, misery, and fear to get my brain to turn on the production of the chemical factory within.
Agghhh...The heck with it today.

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

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Rough Saturday Swim Around the Pier

So the air temp was 68 today and the water temp is 58-60 degrees.  The sky was half overcast and the water was quite rough and disagreeable: just like me.  Maybe that's why I crave it.  There was a mild southerly current and pounding 2-4 foot waves.  Pounding, white water waves.  I wasn't sure whether I could get out through the surf zone.
The chop was 2 foot, washing machine, and an incoming tide.  It took me 6 minutes to get through the surf.  Then, swimming out continued to be challenging.  Definitely no water craft to get in my way today.
Total swim time 32 minutes, which was a good workout pulling with the arms.  Very few surfers and no visibility.  I have photos but have to figure out how to get them posted.  A disc popped back into place in my low back and I've had lots of pain relief.

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

Friday, November 30, 2012

Swimming in the Rain Friday

Well, I took pictures today but I can't figure out how to post them.  My message says Google Drive and Picasa Files have to be purchased.  Who knows?  The air temp was 68 degrees Friday afternoon and it was raining lightly at the Pier when I went in.  Water temp was 59-61.  The waves were biggest on the south side of the pier with some pounding 4-5 feet sets.  Lots of rough white water near there.  Other waves 2-3 feet but still pounding.  Visibility maybe 3 feet.  No current.  Choppy water with medium gentle swells far out--like 4-5 foot swells, but friendly ones.  Just float up and down with them.  A nice day to swim.  I like this overcast sky with water conditions that many people would think were inhospitable for a swimmer/surfer.  Nice hour at the beach.  You know, that is all the time that I spend at the beach when I go; I'm not a guy who will relax and catch a suntan on the sand for a few hours.  I'm in the water, around, and then gone. 

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

Dip Me in Cold Water and I Come Out Happy

Well, I had my camera and took photos Thursday.  However, since I am an idiot I could not get the pictures on the blog.  I got some message like "Picasa space used up, buy more."  There was also a message like "Add another Google drive."  Oh, man.  I ended up losing the pictures.  Now I don't know what to do with the blog if I can't use pictures on it.
My Thursday swim was choppy and cloudy.  Air temp 68 and water temp 59.  I whooped and hollered getting in but I got used to the water quickly after that.  There was a 1-2 foot gentle swell coming in near the end of the pier and out past it.  It took me 28 minutes to get around the pier.  2-4 foot waves on the south side; 2 foot waves on the north side.
It drizzled a bit and the visibility was nothing in the water.  I enjoyed a solo swim with a little bit of action to the water.  Not too much pain after either.

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

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday Swim

I forgot my camera yesterday (Wednesday) when I went to the Pier to swim.  The waves had picked up to the 3 foot range and the water was 58-59 degrees.  It was calm water past the breakers and a nice swim.  I stayed chilly in my upper body for a good ten minutes; the swim was 30 minutes.  Lots of surfers on the south side when I was coming in; I had to dodge them to get in and not mess up their rides.  I got dumped hard once coming through the surf zone, but that's fun as long as you don't lose any goggles or swim caps. 

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

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Families Taking Christmas Card Photos at the Oceanside Pier Today

I'm glad that I went to the Pier this afternoon before the new, earlier sunset times.  The water temp was 58-60 and comfortable.  The visibility was a bit better at 6-7 feet.  We had some small waves, one to three feet, with a few dozen surfers stretched out.  There was a small to moderate number of folks walking the Pier and the Beach, and enjoying some family time.  This is the time of year that families take their Christmas card photos (organized families) at the beach, and before sunset is a popular time for some families. 
I had a thirty-minute peaceful swim in flat, pretty water.  I took a big arc around the pier and went a good hundred yards past the pier.  No boats or jet skies to cause me concern today.  Instead of my latex swim cap, I'm wearing the warmer silicon swim cap now. 
Afterwards, I saw two big dolphins close in that appeared to be feeding on small fish.  I tried to get photos but my camera couldn't pick them up.  They are always a good omen to me. 

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