A little bit of cold water training in Juan de Fuca today at Caddy Bay. This is the part of the swim I fear the most – managing the cold – so I am making sure I get in the water at least once a week and trying to live in the cold as often as possible. I have been in the strait in the summer and the water has been a manageable 12C. I am told however that I may be swimming in temperatures below 10C so I have some work to do.
I jumped in today hoping to hang on for about 10 minutes. I start by walking around getting used to the idea of being in that cold and “colding-up.” Some like to jump in and swim right away to warm-up. I like to mill around and let my body acclimatize to the cold. I can mange this for quite some time. The cold on the feet was painful; the legs not too bad.
While walking around I prepare mentally for the big chill. I know it is going to be painful for the first while. I did a quick temperature check my thermometer was reading below 0C again. Not sure why this happens. It seems ok in warm water.
Ray let me know when 5 minutes had passed. At that point I walked around for a while longer and then singled to him that I was going to attempt a bit of swimming.
The only thing I can compare it to is how my hands feel when I over heat in the pool – that insane burning MS tingle that I get – but amped up – as it is radiating all the way up my arms. Stabbing pins and needles.
It was a bit more of a shock than I had expected. I held on moving through the water as quickly as I could. When I stopped I could still feel the burning. I opted to hop out.
On the way home I had regrets that I didn’t stick it out longer. Now that I know just how bad it can feel I will hang on longer next time.