For some reason I cannot put my finger on, I have decided to do a 5k charity swim for Veterans -- around Veteran's Day -- in New York -- at Brighton Beach. Anticipated water temp?? ~52 degrees. Actually, I know exactly why I decided to do it - my grandpa, my dad, my father-in-law, and a whole bunch of other friends and family are veterans. Besides them are many other friends and family, and family of friends, and friends of family who are currently serving in the military. No one is untouched by the sacrifice these men and women have made or are making. The least I can do is raise a little money and awareness by jumping in the cold water and swimming 3.2 miles. The sacrifice to my comfort is so small in comparison.
To me, the funniest part about this swim is that there are two divisions - the wetsuit division and the non-wetsuit division. Seriously, you ask? Yes, seriously. Clearly, I am opting for the wetsuit division. No question about it. The last time I swam in water that was that cold I wanted to vomit for the first 300 yards and the total length of the swim was only about a mile, but it felt like 5 miles! I was woefully unprepared and uninitiated in the ways of cold water swim preparation. On top of that, I had just returned from a 10 day trip to South America where the temperatures hovered around 110 degrees and my blood thinned out quite nicely, thank you very much. When I got out of the water my exposed skin was red as a lobster - apropos considering the race was the "Lobsterman Triathlon".
So I have been reading a bit about cold water swim preparation and I have a lot more to read to really prepare. However, to start with I have committed to taking only cool or cold showers and baths between now and the swim in November. A warm shower is a luxury I cannot afford. On the plus side, I am burning a whole lot less oil and helping to green the environment in the process. In addition, I will need to purchase some additional neoprene coverage for my head, hands, and feet. Continue to watch this blog as I learn more and more about the preparations for long distance cold water swim events and to see if I can actually raise enough money to register for the swim before the event closes. The countdown begins!