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aztimm
February 2nd, 2007, 03:04 PM
I saw the article in the most recent, "USMS Swimmer," magazine about swimming through winter. The first thought that went through my head is that these folks swim inside. Once you get to the pool, you have nice warm facilities, no rain on you while swimming, etc. Here in the Phoenix area, we swim outside year-round. The pools my team uses are heated, but getting to/from the locker room is sometimes painful. If it is raining, you can feel it falling on you while swimming.

Then I went to Flagstaff for work Wed-Thurs. I had gone there last July, and took my swimming bag, got in a great workout at the NAU pool. This is a fantastic facility, some olympians train there for the high altitude. So I brought my bag with me again, thinking I'd get in a swim at least after I got there at night, maybe with the masters team the next morning.

My drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff was uneventful until about 20 miles out. There was a flashing sign on the side of the road, "Winter weather ahead." Ok, at this point it was cold out (40ish), but dry. Slowly, I started to notice patches of snow on the sides of the freeway and thought how nice it looked. As the elevation went up, the temperature dropped, and eventually these patches got bigger and grew together until it was all snow. Then it was snowing on the road. Now I grew up in PA, but hadn't driven in snow for years.

After crawling along the freeway for 30 minutes, my rental car slid into a spot in the hotel parking lot, where it stayed until the next morning. I had wanted to eat at a place in downtown Flag, but didn't want to drive, so opted for walking to Sizzler instead (big mistake). My swim bag stayed in the car. When I did finally get out the next morning, I had to brush snow from the car, wait for the defrost to kick in to get rid of ice, then had to drive very creatively.

So for those of you who have to put up with this everyday, what keeps you heading out, especially for early morning workouts? How much earlier do you have to get up to deal with all of this?

When I'm at home, I pull my car out of the garage at 5:30, park at 5:50, and have plenty of time to spare for the 6 am workout, without the hassles of winter. I can say this, even just 1 day of the winter weather makes me appreciate living in the desert.

meldyck
February 2nd, 2007, 03:20 PM
Tim,

here in Granby, Colorado, we train at the local YMCA about 20 minutes drive away from our house. My wife and I roll out of bed at about 5:30 to make a 7-9 a.m. workout. This December and January the temps have often been -20 to -30 F. This morning, there was snow and high wind with a wind chill at -40 or colder.

I've lived in Arizona and wouldn't trade my experiences here for anything.

I was really puzzled why anyone has the winter swimming blues. It's summer when I get mine. Then, the outdoors are wide open and inviting.

Meanwhile, I'm flying to Tucson tomorrow to swim in the Polar Bear meet at Ford Aquatics.

-- mel

aquageek
February 2nd, 2007, 03:22 PM
I swam at NAU once when my bro was in grad school there. You are right, it's an awesome pool. I was gasping for breath, however, due to the elevation.

knelson
February 2nd, 2007, 03:28 PM
I grew up in Michigan and also went to college there. Thinking back I don't ever recall missing a practice in college due to the weather and I always lived in a location where I had to drive. I guess when snow and ice are commonplace it doesn't really faze you.

On the other hand, this winter in Seattle has had an unusual amount of cold, snowy weather and it has affected my workout schedule. People just can't deal with it here and it creates mass gridlock. My normal 30 minute commute has increased to two hours a few times and I've missed practice because of it.

There are certain other factors at work here for sure. Much hillier terrain, lots more traffic on the roads to begin with, etc. but I think a lot of it is just what people are accustomed to. In Michigan people were used to driving in the snow and here they aren't.

poolraat
February 2nd, 2007, 03:51 PM
Here in northeastern Nevada the winter morning temps are usually around
0-10. It takes longer to warm up the car and scrape the frost off the windows than it takes to get to the pool. Traffic? :rofl: I might see 3-4 other cars on my way. This year it has been colder than normal with morning lows in the -10 to -15 range and highs around 20. The pool I swim in doesn't have any heat in the building except for the dressing rooms and it is a cold walk to and from the water. The water is fine though at around 80-81.
The worst thing is the steam rising off the water makes it hard to see the pace clock sometimes.

The Fortress
February 2nd, 2007, 04:13 PM
I grew up in Michigan and also went to college there. Thinking back I don't ever recall missing a practice in college due to the weather and I always lived in a location where I had to drive. I guess when snow and ice are commonplace it doesn't really faze you.

On the other hand, this winter in Seattle has had an unusual amount of cold, snowy weather and it has affected my workout schedule. People just can't deal with it here and it creates mass gridlock. My normal 30 minute commute has increased to two hours a few times and I've missed practice because of it.

There are certain other factors at work here for sure. Much hillier terrain, lots more traffic on the roads to begin with, etc. but I think a lot of it is just what people are accustomed to. In Michigan people were used to driving in the snow and here they aren't.


This is my exact experience. I grew up in the city featured in that USMS article. When you're used to it, it doesn't faze you. You just keep the driveway plowed and out you go. Everyone knows how to drive on ice and snow. In contrast, where I live now, even the teensiest bit of precipitation sends people screaming and cancels school. No one knows how to drive at all, accidents galore. Makes me crazy and makes it difficult to get to a nighttime workout, or anyplace really.

aquaFeisty
February 2nd, 2007, 05:21 PM
Fortress,

I went to college in Delaware and it is the same as around DC... a 1/8" of snow and the governor calls a state of emergency, schools are cancelled, and people fight over the last can of sardines at the grocery store. Out of control.

Here the only thing that brings trouble in the winter are the cold bugs (today I was diagnosed with sinus infection #3 of the season, God these are frustrating) and the dry, dry skin on hands and feet.

Personally I think it's a lot harder to swim in the summer when there are so many other fun things to do (and when the diving board at the Beach calls my name...)

dorothyrde
February 2nd, 2007, 05:30 PM
Once I get in the water and do my warm-up, I am always glad I got up in the cold dark morning and drove into town from my small town. Although I am thinking of swimming Sunday afternoon instead of Monday morning since Monday's temp is supposed to be -5 with very cold windchills!

3degree
February 2nd, 2007, 05:40 PM
Swimming is what gets me through winter here in the upper Midwest!!!!, esp. not being able to get out on a bike or skates. Being stuck inside with single digit temperatures (and a lot of really cloudy days), reading about folks in FL swimming in outdoor pools makes me insanely jealous!

Heck, I spent several years up in Wisconsin and we did 2-a-day workouts..... You got out the snowblower 1st thing in the morning and also shoveled lots of snow and you did it all over again when you got home from work!

Here in Indiana, I get up at 4:30am to leave the house by 5:15 to get to the pool by 6am (got quite a commute from NW IN into Chicagoland). Having to shovel at that hour is not pleasant (probably even less so for my neighbors but I haven't had the blower out yet at that time this year), but this winter has not been too bad so far. The facility I swim at is over 1/2way to work and they swim 6 mornings/wk (I get in 5 of them on the workdays). So it gets me up and moving. (Of course, I'm about useless come 9pm at night...)

Tim, the difference is Snow Management-- not only that we up North are used to driving in it, but like up in WI, they are very adept at getting it off the road as soon as possible, salting them down, and putting all the snow somewhere in large out of the way piles until it melts off in Spring. In St. Louis, we never had to worry about snow storage; it usually melted back off and you didn't keep it for 3 months! In WI, with it being colder, the snow was lighter and flufflier though as opposed the all the ice and heavy wet snow we would get in STL. The one thing about being up in the colder climate is that Spring does seem to come with a vengeance when it finally comes.

But then we swim indoors when it is nice outside and so miss all of that too!

aztimm
February 2nd, 2007, 05:55 PM
Wow, thanks for all the replies. I do get a little of the winter blues myself, as it can get chilly here (we had some lows in Jan of 22F). Once I'm out of bed though, I'm awake and get going. Our group fluctuates quite a bit, with fewer people Dec-Feb, a large increase in spring/fall, and another drop in Jun-Aug.

I definitely agree on knowing how to drive in the winter weather. Flag is so close to Phoenix and at a freeway crossroads that it probably gets many people who don't normally drive in snow. My boss had told me I could stay over again if I needed to, but after 45 min and the drop in elevation, the drive back was pretty smooth. I did swim with my group this morning. I was just looking forward to the pool there, and I was out all last week so didn't want to miss more.

ensignada
February 2nd, 2007, 08:27 PM
To my Midwestern friends: Need a laugh? They report wind chills in the 20s here. The plus 20s.

:rofl:

waves101
February 5th, 2007, 09:07 AM
-15 actual air temp this am. Up to -30 in some areas with the wind chill. All the local schools are closed as its too cold for this kids to wait for the bus. Made it to the pool and got a nice 4000 yards in though. Only problem was when I got back out to my car my Hi-C was frozen in the cup!!!

3degree
February 5th, 2007, 10:03 AM
Tim--

But do you have the opposite problem swimming outdoors in the summer? After it has been 100+degF all day, aren't the pools scalding, --hot tub temp.? (or do they have chillers for them :> ? )

Our local outdoor pool in the summer gets to feel like bath water (or swimming in someone's else's sweat!), and that's at a much lower daytime temp than out in AZ.

~Wren~
February 5th, 2007, 10:10 AM
When I left for the pool at 5:15 this morning, my car said it was -17. :eek: What is so sad about that is that when I got in the intentionally cooler lap pool, I felt WARMER. When I left the pool, it was still early, still dark and still -17 . . . and I had my mp3 player, lap counter and goggles all stuffed in an interior coat pocket, because I figured they'd freeze solid if I left them in my bag.

Jeff - While some schools were closed in outlying areas, it looks like all the Mpls/St. Paul metro schools are up and running - not cold enough yet to close apparently. Why do I still live here? :frustrated:

Oh, to answer Tim's original questions: Like Jeff said, we're used to the snow and cold here, so driving isn't a problem (I don't have to go very far anyway). It does help that I drive a large 4 wheel-drive SUV that I can drive over smaller vehicles if they get stuck in my way. ;) My motivation? There's a great big hot tub about 20 feet from the edge of my pool. Well, that and I feel better when I work out, and swimming is my only option right now. :dunno:

poolraat
February 5th, 2007, 11:31 AM
....This year it has been colder than normal with morning lows in the -10 to -15 range and highs around 20. The pool I swim in doesn't have any heat in the building except for the dressing rooms and it is a cold walk to and from the water. The water is fine though at around 80-81.
The worst thing is the steam rising off the water makes it hard to see the pace clock sometimes.

The cold spell has finally broken.Today's high is supposed to be in the 50's. :banana: :banana: :banana:
AND they got the pool's heating system fixed.:banana: :banana: :banana:

aztimm
February 5th, 2007, 05:29 PM
Tim--

But do you have the opposite problem swimming outdoors in the summer? After it has been 100+degF all day, aren't the pools scalding, --hot tub temp.? (or do they have chillers for them :> ? )

Our local outdoor pool in the summer gets to feel like bath water (or swimming in someone's else's sweat!), and that's at a much lower daytime temp than out in AZ.

Not necessarily. We more often have problems getting people to swim early because that's whey they'd rather run or bike, when the outside temp is still somewhat reasonable, and the sun rises at 5:30.

Our morning group swims at the ASU Rec Center, where they use aerators to cool the water a little overnight. It does make a difference, and there could be a 3-5 degree difference during the day. Our noon/evening groups usually use the ASU Competition pool/Mona Plummer, which has some advanced system that is like an air conditioner for the water, it is rarely too warm in the main pool.

My pool at home is another story, it does get to 90-95 in the warmest of the summer. I don't mind it too much though, when it does bother me I'll turn the aerator on overnight. Since it is a small pool (about 10,000 gallons) it changes more drastically.

Warren
February 5th, 2007, 11:02 PM
Today ice formed in my hair when I was walking back from the pool to my dorm.

FlyQueen
February 5th, 2007, 11:32 PM
Yeah the high here today was 2 degrees ... no joke, it was around -30 with wind chilll so swimming outside really isn't an option ... let me tell you how badly I feel that you must swim outside in a gorgeous facility year round and is *gasp* 70 degree weather, oh the horror ... :shakeshead: :thhbbb: :laugh2:

I'd much prefer year round swimming outside living somewhere warm then swimming inside, but such is life ...

Warren
February 6th, 2007, 12:05 AM
Swimming outside is better most of the time, but it can get too hot, Water temperatures above 90 with the air above 90 is almost imposible to pratice in.

dorothyrde
February 6th, 2007, 07:36 AM
The cold spell has finally broken.Today's high is supposed to be in the 50's. :banana: :banana: :banana:
AND they got the pool's heating system fixed.:banana: :banana: :banana:


We are having a heat wave. It is 1. And 3-5 inches of snow is coming! No swimming today, the snow will be very light and blow across the prairie, too dangerous to travel.

ensignada
February 6th, 2007, 07:56 AM
We are having a heat wave. It is 1. And 3-5 inches of snow is coming! No swimming today, the snow will be very light and blow across the prairie, too dangerous to travel.

I love Chicago/Illinois (lived there for 14 years as an adult), but I do not miss the brutal cold. Although standing on an L platform in the middle of the Eisenhower Expy in weather like that does build character....

m2tall2
February 6th, 2007, 08:09 AM
In Massachusetts we've been blessed with no significant so far this year (knock on wood). We've had a couple 2 inch or less events but we don't count that.

I have to deal with Boston traffic which means that even though when the moon turns purple and I have a chance to drive to work, like on a Sunday Morning with no cars in the way and it takes me 10 minutes no speeding....
on any normal weekday I have to allow myself an hour to get to work. Getting to the pool adds another 10 minutes to and from since it's not on the way. In order to be 95% certain I will get to work by 9:00 on a normal day I have to get up at 5:30 if I want to swim.

So...If I have to spend a 45 minutes shoveling the driveway and unburying the car, and tack on extra time for the drive depending on when the storm hit and how the roads look... There's no way on this planet I get to swim if there's a reasonable amount of snow. I have to resolve to try to go in the evening. Or, more likely, snow shoveling and a work out on my mini-home gym later in the day will make up my days workout activities.

Usually there's never more than 2 consecutive days of something like that though. So even if it snows every other day all winter, I make it to the pool every other day.

dorothyrde
February 6th, 2007, 08:26 AM
I love Chicago/Illinois (lived there for 14 years as an adult), but I do not miss the brutal cold. Although standing on an L platform in the middle of the Eisenhower Expy in weather like that does build character....


I am downstate. Whole different world south of I-80, but still coooollllllddddd.

Muppet
February 6th, 2007, 10:51 AM
Yeah the high here today was 2 degrees ... no joke, it was around -30 with wind chilll so swimming outside really isn't an option ...

And people wonder why I didn't want to take a job in Chicago. When I visited this time last year, it was -1 when I touched down. -10 when I went to bed that first night. uhm. no.

:dedhorse:
:coffee: :coffee: :coffee:

~Wren~
February 6th, 2007, 12:13 PM
Today ice formed in my hair when I was walking back from the pool to my dorm.

Mine did that yesterday too. I have natural curl and for some reason it always looks really good if it freezes, but not so good if it air dries. One of the benefits of winter workouts, I guess. :p

MichiganHusker
February 6th, 2007, 12:43 PM
Michigan is full of wimps - I was only 0 degrees and they cancelled school because it was too cold. Can someone please explain? Do other schools cancel because it is too hot?

It's not as if the schools don't have heat and I never see kids walking to school anymore - everyone takes a bus.

Man, I know I sound like an "old-timer" but honestly, in Nebraska I walked to school regardless of the temp or snow and it gets really cold there w/ the winds too.

P.S. For those who let their hair freeze don't let anyone tell you that you have to wear a hat with wet hair. When I was a teenager, I refused to wear a hat with wet hair to make my mom mad (was I a rebel or what?) and I didn't catch a single cold the whole year.

Now back to swimming.....:banana:

knelson
February 6th, 2007, 12:59 PM
P.S. For those who let their hair freeze don't let anyone tell you that you have to wear a hat with wet hair. When I was a teenager, I refused to wear a hat with wet hair to make my mom mad (was I a rebel or what?) and I didn't catch a single cold the whole year.

The word "cold" for the illness is misleading since it has nothing to do with the weather. Colds are caused by viruses.

MichiganHusker
February 6th, 2007, 01:17 PM
Yes! My point exactly. But I can't tell you how many times I heard "Susan! Put on a hat....you'll catch your death." :argue:


Ergo, the refusal to wear the hat!

dorothyrde
February 6th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Michigan is full of wimps - I was only 0 degrees and they cancelled school because it was too cold. Can someone please explain? Do other schools cancel because it is too hot?

:


Um yes, in August schools get canceled because they are not air conditioned and the insides of my daughters school reaches 100 degrees by noon. The problem with us rural schools is the amount of kids waiting for the bus out in the country where there is no stopping that dang windchill. And yesterday many of the busses would not start, and when the majority of the kids are bussed, that is a big problem. Today, they are out at 1 because of blizzard like conditions.

ensignada
February 6th, 2007, 04:26 PM
I am downstate. Whole different world south of I-80, but still coooollllllddddd.

Yes, I know. My husband grew up in Jacksonville and Springfield (I grew up in Indy). His mom now lives in Carbondale - a world apart from Chicago.

aztimm
February 6th, 2007, 10:06 PM
Michigan is full of wimps - I was only 0 degrees and they cancelled school because it was too cold. Can someone please explain? Do other schools cancel because it is too hot?



Very rarely, such as if the electricity goes out, schools here in AZ will close during warm weather, especially in Aug.

There used to be a long-standing joke that students at NAU in Flagstaff were all issued snowshoes. It used to snow sometimes feet at a time, and the university never closed.

And for those of you who are curious, our high in Phoenix today was 82. I swam this morning when our low was about 60, ran about 4-5 miles when I got home around 5:45 PM (I'd say it was upper 70s), felt GREAT!!!

dorothyrde
February 7th, 2007, 06:19 AM
Yes, I know. My husband grew up in Jacksonville and Springfield (I grew up in Indy). His mom now lives in Carbondale - a world apart from Chicago.

Carbondale is especially very different than Chicago. Very laid back down South. I love Indy. Great town.

Muppet
February 7th, 2007, 09:21 AM
We got an inch of alberta clipper snow here in the DC/Baltimore region. You can essentially get out your leafblower and blow it out of the way.

Most schools, CLOSED today. Temps in the 20s. What wimps we are.
I made it to work just fine today (we won't say when i strolled in).
:dedhorse:
:coffee:

waves101
February 7th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Hey it was up to -3 on the way to the pool this am and when I went out for lunch it actually felt balmy at 19. At least its moving in the right direction. But, then again maybe it only felt better today because I booked my FL vacation this am???

dorothyrde
February 7th, 2007, 07:18 PM
Our workplace had heating issues today. While it was warmer than the 0 outside, working in temps in the upper 50's is no fun. Luckily the space heaters everyone keeps helped up it to a bit higher, but I sure hope they fix this soon.