You’re welcome 😂
So today was open water swim, take two. We’ve had pretend summer for the past few days, so temps have been in the 80s. That’s a really good thing for warming up the water (though, the extended forecast says we return to low 60s and rain next week…).
We’d been planning to do a swim in the Willamette as a closer option to the Columbia, but the sun really helped the shallower water here and it got a little “too hot”. The water during our Picnic attempt will probably average around 57 degrees (we hope, it’s currently at 55 at the nearest test site) but today’s water by the Sellwood Bridge was around 62 degrees. Still, considering the super rough swim last weekend, not a bad place to test things out.
To help prepare, here’s what I’ve done:
* Bought a neoprene swim cap with chin strap (much warmer, more face/ear coverage)
* Read up on ways to get into the water to minimize the shock (put face in water several times from shore, blow bubbles, start slow, etc)
* Started taking cold showers for 3-5min (ok, well, I’ve only take 2 so far, but more to come!)
* Had Paul also buy a personal swim buoy for visibility & safety (also helps me see him better)
* Visualized the swimming experience to reduce nerves (I’m not playing around, I want to get this thing figured out!)
We arrived on the east side of the Sellwood Bridge around 8:30. Temps outside were around 60 degrees, which was ideal (that’s about what we’ll have in the afternoon on the big day). Wind was calm.
I was feeling better, but still nervous. If things didn’t go well this time I was going to have to seriously rethink The Picnic. These were sort of optimal conditions.
We headed down the shore feeling pretty darn toasty and stepped into the water. And it was NICE. Near the shore it was practically warm. I stuck my face in several times, got used to the water, and then headed in.
It was immediately 10x better than last weekend. I felt awesome! I did a nice crawl stroke the 300yds or so to the other side, we paused on our buoys for a moment, and swam back. 600yds down. No hyperventilating. No panic. No problems dealing with the (mild) current.
We ultimately did 3 more laps for a total of 2,400yds (or about 1.3mi). It took us just over an hour (with about 5min of breaks) and I could have easily done it all over again, no problem.
We even had to deal with a bit of boat traffic, and that all went fine too.
This is how we felt after:
Granted, these were pretty excellent conditions. But I think I’m more prepared to handle the waves, current, and cooler temps.
We’re going to do one more test swim next week in the Columbia on a cloudier, windier day. But, at least I’ve got some confidence back.
In fact, we felt SO good after, we hit the climbing gym with our friend for a couple hours right after, and each knocked out some projects. Not bad for a Saturday taper day.