cold water log

Cold Water Swimming: Pandemic Edition

I discovered something about myself this year. My cold water season kind of petered out last year; I didn't swim nearly as much as the year before, my swims were filled with more stress then fun, and my attempt at the 24 hour relay did not go well (I signed up for 45 minute shifts, but only managed 2 before I had to drop back to 30 minutes). I felt a bit lost, depressed and aimless. And then covid hit.

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Cold Water Swim Log 2.11 – 2.14. Know your why?

I guess I stopped logging when the water hit the 40s! To be honest, I haven’t felt very motivated with ice swimming lately. Earlier in the season I said I tentatively had a goal of an ice kilometer. But I never truly committed to that; in tandem with that goal, I set another goal to speed up my 1000 yd to 15 minutes in the pool, but I was pretty tepid in trying to achieve that as well.

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Cold Water Swim Logs 2.09-10

**Swim 2.09** **Date**: November 17, 2019 **Time in water**: 20:19 **Water Temp**: 50-51°F / 10°C **Air Temp**: high 50s **Where**: Broughton It was a lovely day although the wind was a bit brisk, and I kept it short because I didn’t feel like being challenged. Tons of sailboats were out, and few came into our swim area. I couldn’t tell if they were just checking us out, or if they were having to swing wide to get up river against the wind.

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Cold Water Swim Logs 2.06-08

**Swim 2.06** **Date**: November 3, 2019 **Time in water**: 32:59 **Water Temp**: 50-51°F / 10°C **Air Temp**: **Where**: Broughton **Swim 2.07** **Date**: November 5, 2019 **Time in water**: 34:43 **Water Temp**: 50-51°F / 10°C **Air Temp**: **Where**: Broughton **Swim 2.08** **Date**: November 12, 2019 **Time in water**: 30:32 **Water Temp**: 49°F / 9.4°C **Air Temp**: Intermitten pouring **Where**: Broughton

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Cold Water Swim Log 2.05

Swim 2.05 DateOctober 27, 2019
Time in water: 43:08
Water Temp: 51.6°F / 10.9°C
Air Temp: high 40’s, a bit windy
Where: Sellwood

I honestly wanted to swim longer, but a certain someone had plans so we called it at her maximum allowed amount of time, after I goaded her into going back out for a bit longer. I changed up my post-swim routine by immediately getting into the car sauna after getting on my dry robe, hat and socks, I didn’t bother putting on any other clothes. I think when it’s windy and/or very cold out, it’s not even worth doing. It’s just best to get in the sauna with your hot water bottle, clothing can come on once you’re warmed up a bit more.

Cold Water Swim Logs 2.02 – 2.04

Last year I numbered my swims with a leading zero, and I can’t really tell you why other than perhaps it looked cool. I decided to make the system more convoluted and start it with a “2” to mark the second season, and start the swim number back again to 01. _Enjoy._

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Cold Water Log: Let Year 2 Begin

**Swim 2.01** **Date**: October 15, 2019 **Time in water**: 53:46 **Water Temp**: 53°F / 11.6°C **Air Temp**: 43°F / 6°C, sunny, still **Where**: Sellwood yeti ramp One of my joys over the last few months has been my morning swims, which have lately been graced with gorgeous sunrises, lighting up the skies and Mount Hood with oranges and pinks, outlining swimmers’ arms in a bright spotlight of sun, sometimes surrounded by a low fog on the water. I feel incredible gratitude and awe in these moments, so much so that I find it hard to put my face in the water to keep swimming.

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Cool water swim log?

I’m not sure exactly why I decided that water above 49 degrees was no longer “cold”, and thus any swim 50 or above did not deserve the monicker “cold water swim” so I would not be adding to my log any longer. Ha. I guess I figured that if I could swim longer then 30 minutes, then it was just regular old swimming. However, what I didn’t know, is that 2 hours at 55 degrees is pretty damn cold, and just as much as a mind fuck (if not more) then 25 minutes at 45.

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Cold water swim log 016 & 017, 2019 March

**Date**: March 24th **Time in water**: 22:47 **Water Temp**: 46-48°F **Air Temp**: 60s°F, sunny **Where**: Hagg Lake, boat ramp C I knew it had been a while since I swam outside, I didn’t realize it had been well over a month. I was a bit nervous, even with the 10 degree rise in water temp from the last time I almost froze my hands off.

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Cold water swim log 015, 2019 Feb 10

**Date**: February 10th **Time in water**: 6:38 **Water Temp**: 36.2°F **Air Temp**: 35°F, lightly snowing **Where**: Broughton Beach That was… cold. I mean, this is a cold water swim log, so saying it was cold seems rather redundant. But this, this was _fucking cold_. According to the temp readings at Vancouver, the water temp was down to 38. So, like an idiot, I thought it was 38, and I didn’t bother to ask anyone if I was wrong. OK, I swam 11 minutes at 39 and felt like I could go longer, so let’s see if I can do 12 to 15 minutes at 38.

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Cold water swim log 014, 24 Hour Relay

**Date**: February 2nd-3rd **Time in water**: 4 bouts of 30 minutes: first swim, second swim, third swim, fourth swim **Water Temp**: 54°F **Air Temp**: 52-55°F **Where**: Aquatic Park, San Francisco, CA What an adventure! I must say, I find it hilarious that I did a 24 hour swim relay (which I’ve never heard of), before a 24 hour mountain bike race (which are quite common). I never thought I would do an overnight event, but with a little peer pressure and a whole lot of FOMO, I guess I’ll do anything!

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Cold water swim log 013, 2019 Feb 1

**Date**: February 1st **Time in water**: 57:10 **Water Temp**: 54°F **Air Temp**: 55°F **Where**: Alcatraz Island!!! I signed up for this swim quite a while ago; I recall thinking that if I’m flying all the way down to San Francisco for the 24 hour relay, I should try to get in as much swimming as possible. My nervousness grew throughout the week–about the water temperatures (low 50’s), my fitness, and the weather (high winds and rain predicted), and I seriously questioned my decision to do the Alcatraz swim the day before the relay.

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Cold water swim log 012, 2019 Jan 27

**Date**: January 27th **Time in water**: 10:37 **Water Temp**: 39°F **Air Temp**: 43°F **Where**: Broughton Beach Well this went way better than the week before, although I almost didn’t get in. I put my feet in the water and holy shit. They just straight up _hurt_. I backed out, which I have never done. “I don’t think I can do this today,” I said, as most of the others swam away.

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Cold water swim log 011, 2019 Jan 20

**Date**: January 20th **Time in water**: 5:35 **Water Temp**: 40°F **Air Temp**: 50°F (this is what Garmin says, I do not believe it) **Where**: Broughton Beach Yes, I know. It’s been a month! I was sick, a swim was canceled, etc. Anyway. I have been getting nervous about my lack of cold water swimming, with a 24 hour relay coming up in 2 short weeks, so I was happy to work the kinks out. My goal? Get in the water and swim. At first I was thinking 10 minutes, but when I heard someone else say 5, I thought “5, 5 sounds good”.

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Cold water swim log 010, 2018 Dec 27

**Date**: December 27th **Time in water**: 1:35 (yes, a minute and thirty seconds) **Water Temp**: 36.5°F **Air Temp**: 45°F **Where**: Huntington Beach, Lake Erie, Ohio My brother lives a short 10 minute drive to a gigantic lake, so clearly I needed to get some swimming in while on a holiday visit. The forecast calls for rain tonight, so it was today or not at all.

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Cold water swim log 009, 2018 Dec 16

DateDecember 16th
Time in water: 11:22
Water Temp: 42-44°F
Air Temp: 47°F, sprinkling
Where: Milwaukie boat ramp

Not much of note to report here; I wish I would have gone a few more minutes, but I was back at the start and it’s so hard to make myself go out again, both because it’s quite easy to end up swimming an extra 2 or 3 minutes further then you want, which can lead to a rough recovery, and because my body is telling me to get the eff out of the water. I was just starting to get the knives-in-armpits sensation, which I could have handled for a few more minutes. But better safe then sorry, so I had a smooth recovery in the mobile sauna.

Cold water swim log 008, 2018 Dec 11

**Date**: December 11th **Time in water**: 10:50 **Water Temp**: 42°F **Air Temp**: 50°F, raining, windy **Where**: Broughton Beach I sat at my desk at home, watching the rain hit in sheets on my window, and I checked every once in a while for an email or text saying the swim was off. Nothing. Well, this crowd is nothing if not tough, but we’ll see, I thought.

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Cold water swim log 007, 2018 Dec 9

**Date**: December 9th **Time in water**: 10:06 **Water Temp**: 39-40°F **Air Temp**: 39°F, raining **Where**: Milwaukie Boat ramp Thank god for pop up tents. The rain had only just started when we arrived at 10:30am and began setting up the tent. We basically set up a living room, as the tent was fully enclosed; I brought chairs, we had a tarp, it was quite the cozy set up. As such, we decided to just stay in the tent post-swim rather then warming up in the mobile sauna (aka someone’s car with the heat on full blast). I was a little nervous about that, but I could always go into the car if needed.

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Cold water swim logs 005 – 006, 2018 Dec 1 – 2

**Date**: [December 1st]( **Time in water**: 13:56 **Water Temp**: 45-46°F **Air Temp**: 46°F **Where**: Broughton Beach Normally we swim mid-morning, but this day was a bit different, we met at the beach at 3pm. This was most people’s first time here, and I was happy to show it off. I always thought it was the perfect beach for cold water swims with its long, visible beach with a gradual entry, and clearly defined boundaries in the water that keep the boats out. It doesn’t hurt that it’s much closer to my house.

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Cold water swim log 004, 2018 Nov 25

**Date**: November 25th **Time in water**: 16:32 **Water Temp**: 44°F **Air Temp**: 39-41°F **Where**: Milwaukie boat ramp I was thinking about just paddling instead of swimming all morning long, but finally I got my butt in gear and left the house sans paddle board. The fog was thick again, but wasn’t nearly as bad in Milkwaukie, but the wind was picking up slightly. There were 8 swimmers, we milled around for a while, I tried to decide between 15 or 20 minutes. I decided to shoot for 20 but wouldn’t be sad with 15. Getting in was easy once my lower half was numb; I really have to concentrate on my breathing for the first 3 minutes. Long slow breaths, focusing on the exhale to prevent hyperventilating.

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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. 

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Cold water swim log 001, 2018 Nov 18

I am stealing the idea of a cold water swim log from Margot, so here we go. I am going to do a rough back log since I can’t recall all the details, culminating in today’s swim, which was the worst after drop I’ve had so far. Since the official-ish yeti calendar starts on October 15th, we’ll go from there. Well, I was Hawaii at that time, so we’ll go with the first swim back.

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