Cold water swim log 003, 2018 Nov 24

Date: November 24th
Time in water: 23:55
Water Temp: 43/44°F
Air Temp: 39-42°F**
Where: **Milwaukie boat ramp

The fog was thick in North Portland, and I prayed for clearing the whole way down. No luck. When I walked down the boat ramp, Anita’s car sat idling, half on the beach, half on the ramp. Cindy’s face poked out the window and beckoned me inside.

We sat in the car, staring at the dock, because it’s really all we could see, the rest of the shore was shrouded in white. “Oh I think I can see a tree” was occasionally muttered. After a half hour, it started to lift slightly and we could see the shore down to our turn around. We decided to go for it. We didn’t have the thermometers, so the temp is only a guess (well, even with the thermometers the temp is mostly a guess), but it felt colder then Thursday. At these temps, it’s hard to say how much colder. Cindy says in the 40s every degree drop feels like 10. So who knows.

I learned from Thursday that having my feet and legs out in the air a bit longer before swimming eases getting in (more on Thursday in a bit), so I took off my shoes, socks and pants a few minutes before my coat. I was standing on the boat ramp which is very painful on the feet, so lesson learned: bring throw away shoes I wouldn’t mind going missing.

I got in as per normal, letting my lower half go numb before going in the rest of the way. You’d think it would get harder as time goes on, but it doesn’t. I actually settled in to normal breathing faster then normal.

My left shoulder has been bothering me on and off for the last year, and despite massively increasing my swimming lately, it hadn’t bothered me at all–until a few days ago when I slept on it weird. It’s been horrendously painful to lift my arm above my head since Wednesday or Thursday, but felt slightly better this morning, so that was all I needed to get in the water. I was hopeful that a good long ice bath and some movement would loosen it up.

So I had to swim kind of funny, my recovery on my left side tight against my body, but otherwise the swim was fine and fairly uneventful. We swam two laps, and on the final lap coming in, it always starts to feel like I’m being pushed back and am not making any progress, which then starts me panicking. I managed to push past that pretty quickly this time, although it still felt like it took an agonizingly long time to go about 100 yards.

I swam a few minutes longer then I planned, which was the same time as last weekend when I had a bad recovery. I ran up the boat dock, thinking my feet would be numb and I wouldn’t feel the ridges (nope, still super painful). Once I finally had all my layers on (having a trunk area to put stuff and sit on while putting shoes and socks on is REAL nice), I leapt into the car and we cranked the heat.

I think the heated car is the real key to a good recovery, especially when the air temps are hovering around 40. The shivers were still extreme, but not nearly as painful as last time. My feet though were still ice, even when the worst shivering was over, so I need to find a solution for that.

My shoulder only complained when I put my t-shirt on (there was a moment when I thought I ripped my entire shoulder out of its socket), but now it feels way better then even this morning. Cold water cures all. All things related to inflammation anyway.

I mentioned earlier about Thursday; I didn’t write up a swim log entry because I was actually paddle support for our Thanksgiving swim. However I just couldn’t leave without getting in a dip, it just didn’t feel right! So at the end after the swimmers were all out of the water, I got in for 5 minutes right at the dock, not really swimming, just treading water and messing around. And when I got in, I actually thought to myself “ah this feels nice”. The water was 44 degrees. And I thought it felt nice. What is even happening!?