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LukeM3
August 15th, 2009, 01:56 PM
Swam 4800 yards in Lake Michigan this a.m.--w/out wet suit. Don't know the exact temp, but I'm guessing based on past swims it was about 60. I'm not a great swimmer, but am usually close to middle of the pack in tris and the few open water swims I've done. This summer I've done a lot of lake swims, and swam the 1.5 mile Alcatraz Challenge on 7/12 "nekkid."

It seemed like it took forever to warm up this a.m.--about 200 yards before I was willing to consistently keep my face in the water. Blood rushed to my chest, but I've had that cessation before. My feet were cold the entire time and three hours later remain a little sore.

I know, I'm a baby.

I've had some tenderness on the outside of my upper left arm for about 3 weeks, and the pain flares up when I swim, but I can make it through 2-mile pool workouts. Anyway, about 3200 yards into today's swim I noticed the fingers on my left hand wouldn't stay together. Try as I did, I couldn't get them back together.What a weird feeling. I swam most of the last 1200 yards with my left fist clinched.

After I was out of the water a few minutes, I could put my fingers back together. My fingers remain stiff and the underside, outside of my left wrist has a dull pain. I've take about 600 mg of Ibuprofen.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation, but any ideas on why this would happen?

smontanaro
August 15th, 2009, 02:07 PM
No real idea. I remember when reading Marcia Cleveland's book Dover Solo she related swimming in water in Long Island Sound that was cold enough she and her training partner couldn't really use their hands for awhile after getting out. I think in some cases she had to ask a passerby to unlock her car for her.

You did much better than me this morning. I stepped in walked around for a moment, then got back out. My feet were killing me from the cold. I would have guessed around 60 as well. Riding home from work yesterday some flags along Clark Street were flying straight out, pointed east. I imagine there was a fair amount of cooling due to upwelling in the past couple days.

Skip

SwimRobin
August 15th, 2009, 08:26 PM
I sure do hope that water warms up a little before I swim Big Shoulders next month!

Midas
August 15th, 2009, 08:27 PM
I have had this problem all three times I've swum in cold water, including this morning (about 61-62 degrees in the SF bay). Of course, I only swim for about 45 minutes each time and have this problem about 25-30 minutes in. I take it as a sign that I'm getting too cold and it's time to get out. Others I swim with that have much more experience cold water swimming tell me the same.

Chicken of the Sea
August 15th, 2009, 08:42 PM
Where were you Luke?
I was at Ladder #1 at Oak st early this morning and registered 68, though there were some colder patches. It was beautiful.

smontanaro
August 15th, 2009, 10:16 PM
Yesterday the board at Lee Street Beach in Evanston said it had been 67 on Thursday. (Apparently they didn't check the temp Friday.) This afternoon they had 58 up on the board. That's what I tried to swim in this morning!

S

LukeM3
August 15th, 2009, 11:57 PM
I was swimming in Highland Park at Rosewood Beach, right between the two Swim Area: Stay Out buoys. I spoke with someone this evening who boats in Wilmette and they said the water there was 52. Granted he was further out than me, but I contend that the water was at Rosewood was about 60. I started swimming about 7:30 a.m. Evanston's only about 8-9 miles from HP and smontanaro reported it was only 58 there today. Yikes.

Anyway, I apprecaite the feedback. Perhaps I because I was wearing down physically the cold water compounded the issue. Just so weird that I only had the problem with one hand.

I'm with SwimRobin. I'm swimming Big Shoulders in 4 weeks. Sure hope the Lake's a lot warmer by then. I'd settle for Chicken of the Sea's 68.

Thanks to all.

geochuck
August 16th, 2009, 01:59 AM
Poor little babies what would you do if you had to train in a river a few days after the ice went out. My friend and I would swim 5 miles in the Bostonais River with snow on the banks. Frozen hands for sure. Your hands formed claws.

ViveBene
August 16th, 2009, 03:14 AM
I was swimming in Highland Park at Rosewood Beach, right between the two Swim Area: Stay Out buoys. I spoke with someone this evening who boats in Wilmette and they said the water there was 52. Granted he was further out than me, but I contend that the water was at Rosewood was about 60. I started swimming about 7:30 a.m. Evanston's only about 8-9 miles from HP and smontanaro reported it was only 58 there today. Yikes.

Anyway, I apprecaite the feedback. Perhaps I because I was wearing down physically the cold water compounded the issue. Just so weird that I only had the problem with one hand.

I'm with SwimRobin. I'm swimming Big Shoulders in 4 weeks. Sure hope the Lake's a lot warmer by then. I'd settle for Chicken of the Sea's 68.

Thanks to all.

Les Grandes Épaules is September 12. That's late in the season for a long OW swim; ordinarily the lake has started cooling down by then. Wind direction will have some influence on lake temp, and the air temp will have some influence on your general comfort level.
:)

smontanaro
August 16th, 2009, 08:07 AM
Yes, but Big Shoulders is in the playpen at Ohio Street Beach. I imagine its breakwater protects it a bit from the upwelling that drags the cold water up from the depths.

S

Syd
August 16th, 2009, 09:31 AM
I have to say, I am in awe. I had to convert that to Celcius to get an idea of the temp: 15 degrees C. There is no way that I would get in water as cold as that. The ice bath at the swim complex I go to is about 12 or 13 degrees and that is agony. I can barely stay in it for 30 seconds before I get an intolerable pain in my feet. Swimming in that would be impossible. I wouldn't be able to function and I am convinced my heart would stop beating. Perhaps it comes from living in the tropics, but I am a wimp when it comes to cold water.

orca1946
August 16th, 2009, 12:33 PM
Cold affects hands & feet 1st. This same thing happens on a cold motorcycle ride, only that you can't open you're fingers till they warm up !

ViveBene
August 17th, 2009, 07:03 AM
Yes, but Big Shoulders is in the playpen at Ohio Street Beach. I imagine its breakwater protects it a bit from the upwelling that drags the cold water up from the depths.

S

Yes, that's my impression too.

Midas
August 17th, 2009, 03:53 PM
I have to say, I am in awe. I had to convert that to Celcius to get an idea of the temp: 15 degrees C. There is no way that I would get in water as cold as that. The ice bath at the swim complex I go to is about 12 or 13 degrees and that is agony. I can barely stay in it for 30 seconds before I get an intolerable pain in my feet. Swimming in that would be impossible. I wouldn't be able to function and I am convinced my heart would stop beating. Perhaps it comes from living in the tropics, but I am a wimp when it comes to cold water.

I never thought I'd try it either, but you might surprise yourself. After about 5-10 minutes of swimming I almost completely get over the bone-chilling cold. You know it's cold but the urge to jump out of the water and run (over the surface of the water) back to dry land goes away completely. (This is probably your body instinctively giving up on torturing you to get out and just allowing you to function and make the best of your situation.) I found it very invigorating to swim in 59-60 degree Fahrenheit water and look forward to continuing to do it. If only my left hand didn't turn into an unusable claw within 30 minutes... Maybe that will improve as I continue to do it more often.

sydned
August 19th, 2009, 10:40 PM
Okay, wait a minute. So what is the temperature at Big Shoulders anticipated to be? My family and I are venturing there for the first time. I did the Lake Memphramagog swim in July at 70 degrees, and that felt okay.
What is the typical Big Shoulders temp?

geochuck
August 19th, 2009, 10:46 PM
It is 10 to 15 degrees warmer then Lake Ontario.

Chlorine
August 19th, 2009, 11:09 PM
It is 10 to 15 degrees warmer then Lake Ontario.

All the pollution in Lake Ontario tends to have an insulating effect.

geochuck
August 19th, 2009, 11:17 PM
I remember swimming the 1 mile race at Center Island July 1st when I was 15 years old 38 degrees F.
And swimming at Sunnyside Park when there was an off shore breeze that was very cold.

All the pollution in Lake Ontario tends to have an insulating effect.

Chlorine
August 20th, 2009, 01:05 PM
I remember swimming the 1 mile race at Center Island July 1st when I was 15 years old 38 degrees F.
And swimming at Sunnyside Park when there was an off shore breeze that was very cold.

I imagine the water was far cleaner when you swam in it? Nowadays you tend to have to go further away from the city in order to find a decent spot in the lake to swim (love Sandbanks). It's still pretty darn cold, but refreshing on some of the more hot and humid days. I grew up on Lake Superior, now there is an icy cold lake...