It’s been in the 90s for the past 3 or 4 days.  It was just getting to the point where you just wanted to stand in front of the open freezer door.  Today was the first day it was back to normal – in the high 60s/low 70s.  After yesterday’s run workout in a humid 90 degree evening, I thought today, after work would be a good day to swim.

Work was, at best, difficult.  So a swim was a good idea after work.  I met up with our coach from the training group and we suited up for our swim.  I forgot how long it takes me to put on my wetsuit.  It’s a bit like dancing on a pair of pantyhose but then add a long sleeve shirt made out of the same material and add a zipper up the back.  Yeah.  It’s a real blast to put on.  I think putting on a wetsuit should be it’s own race.  And you could make it into a duathlon by adding the taking off the wetsuit.

So I get in the water, and it’s not too bad.  That is, it’s not too bad until the water hits the zipper and the neckline of the wetsuit and then it’s chilly.  You stammer out a couple of choice words.  The one’s you can’t say in front of small kids or in most public places.  Then it’s time to start swimming.  And I’m not talking what I call the “1950s country club mom swim.” It’s the breast stroke but with your head held up so high that you almost look like you’ve got a swans neck.  Mainly done to keep from getting your hair wet.  Yeah, we’re not swimming like that.  We’re swimming like triathletes or swimmers – face in breathing on both sides.  The first time you put your face in the water, you don’t notice how cold it is.  By the 3rd or 4th breathe that’s when it feels like you just swam thru ice cubes.  By the 7th breathe it wasn’t too bad.  You finally begin to acclimate.   Then you get into your grove and you pick your head up every so often to find the buoy that your swimming to.

We got our to the buoy and floated for a bit (that’s the beauty of a wetsuit – the buoyance factor).  We watched the eagles flying around and I believe maybe a hawk being picked on by a much smaller bird.  The smaller bird looked like he just wanted to hitch a ride on the back of the hawk and the hawk wasn’t haven’t it.  Then once we got our heart rates back to a somewhat normal rate, we started back for shore, against the tide.

I hate swimming against the tide.  You think you’ve really made some headway, but it turns out that you’ve only moved a few inches.  Not to mention that you thought you were swimming in a straight line but it turns out the tide wants you to start swimming in another direction.  We made it back to shore and took a few minutes to rest up and then it was time for the second half of the wetsuit duathlon.

After wrestling the wetsuit off, it was back to the cars and then home to warm up.  The thing I love about open water swimming is that you tend to work a bit more.  (Or maybe it’s just me.)  It also makes for a great nice sleep. The other thing I like about tonight’s swim is that all that work stuff was left back at the buoy and is currently drifting out to the cut and Lake Union.  So to be swept out thru the locks and into the Sound by morning.

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