To Freeze or Not To Freeze

pic via

This morning I got an email from Big Shoulders saying the water is a delicious 78 degrees right now, but “forecasts call for heavy rain this coming weekend due to the remnants of Hurricane Isaac” which could churn up the lake and drop temps significantly.  Participants have until the 5th to change their entry from the non-wetsuit to wetsuit division.

Despite the fact that I wear a heavy jacket in the office 365 days a year and regularly lose feeling in my feet from cold, I’ve never seriously considered wearing a wetsuit for an open water swim, even though you do go faster.  Part of the reason is because I still kind of feel like wearing a wetsuit is wimpy or something.  Another is that so far it just hasn’t been necessary for any of the swims I’ve done.

But also, in my mind at least, dealing with the conditions is part of the sport.  Pool swimming is for shaving down and wearing high-performance gear and nailing your technique and having everything. go. PERFECTLY. so you can out-touch your opponent by .0001 seconds.  Open water is where you fight for clean water and sight and navigate through seaweed and (hopefully no) animals and…deal with the elements.  That’s what makes it different.  And fun.

So, whether it rains or not this weekend, no wetsuit for me.  (We’ll ignore the fact I don’t own one, so there’s a problem in and of itself.)  Lucky (?) for me, I’ve spent the past few weeks (unintentionally) putting on an extra layer of blubber.  In the past, I have done shorter swims (30 minutes) in the low 60s and even low-50s during the few months that I swam at the Dolphin Club up in SF (like, 5 years ago, but still).  So I’m hoping 75 minutes or so in temperatures closer to 70 will be fine.

Regardless, I will most likely need a little flame sax before I hop in the water.

Old Spice Muscle Music from Terry Crews on Vimeo.


Thanks to Joe for the video.

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