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aztimm's training blog

Sunday 07012012: o/w at Brighton

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we went out to Brighton Beach this morning so I could meet up with some of the CIBBOWS swimmers.
Thankfully I went there last year with a wonderful guide, we had walked all the way from the Coney Island subway station to the meeting place near Grimaldi's chair.

today we took the subway to the NYC Aquarium stop, which is a touch closer...but I had no idea the crowds I'd expect on the beach.
within 2 min of getting on the boardwalk, my other half decided it was too warm and he said he'd go back to the hotel. I pressed on, and in 2-3 min he called and told me that he was going to the Aquarium.

So I walked on...I remembered the meeting place was just past the restrooms. Eventually I got to the restrooms, then cut over toward the guard stand (there were actually guards there today -v- last Sep). even down here the beach was rather busy. I saw a group of gals and guys in speedos and figured this was the group (thankfully the speedos give away real swimmers).

I found the group
some people had just come in, I don't remember their names. I was just going to go out solo, when another guy said he was going out. so Christian and I swam out toward the White Building. he said he was slower (everyone knows swimsuit addict; I just say I'm about the same speed).

we got to the water, and even with 90-95F air temps the water felt rather brisk. it is far easier to jump off a boat, get the whole shock over with at once. as we walked in, we saw a couple of others coming out, and another group going out (they said they were really slow and just going over 2 jettys).

eventually I put on my goggles and cap (the one I got from Statue of Liberty), and dove in. yea it was cold, but the cap helped, and compared with the air it felt fantastic.

initially Christian was rather fast. maybe the cool water mixed with adrenaline, who knows. I felt like calling him out, but after ~5 min, he started to slow, which was fine by me. I moved on ahead, stopping about every min or so, did some breaststroke/backstroke. we ran into a couple of other groups enroute to the White Bldg (I nearly ran into a gal). I saw a lifeguard out on a surfboard (I later found out that wearing a cap and actually swimming lets the swimmers avoid their plea to say in the set area).
we were mostly against the current going out, between that and just taking an easy swim it probably took a good 15 min or so (roughly 1/2 mile).

I went a bit past the white building, but Christian stopped exactly on-point, so I swam back to chat with him. I tried to twist his arm to go further with me, but he wouldn't budge. so after a min or 2, I decided I'd swim on to the next beach, he went back. but he did tell me to be careful, not stray too far from shore, and off I went.

the beach (Manhattan beach) looked deceptively close to the white building...but in reality it wasn't. I'd certainly say more than 1/2 mile, but who knows. especially going past a jetty into the beach proper, I was really fighting the current...but I knew the beach was so close.

eventually my hands started to brush the sand as I was swimming, so I decided to stand up and walk a bit. it was as if I landed in another country, everyone around me was speaking Russian! the people seemed a mix of surprised/oblivious to suddenly see me appear out of the water.
there was a lifeguard over on the jetty trying to keep swimmers within the set area. I considered going up and telling him that I'd go back to Brighton...but then I thought I'd just be bothering him anyway.

I walked around in the beach area, but I never got totally out of the water. so according to Christian (later), I didn't 'offically' land, but I'm counting it as a landing.

after 3-5 min of walking in the shallow water (down to my knees roughly), I decided to head back. I didn't hear the lifeguard, but between the water and wearing a cap, who knows if he tried to scold me.

the trip back to the White Bldg was super fast. all that fighting the current to go up rewarded me with a good float, pretty much a ride, on the way back. it felt like I was back there in half the time.

I paused a bit around the White Bldg, looking for other swimmers with caps. saw none, so I figured I'd head back to Grimaldi's chair. I got about halfway back when I saw a gal (pink cap) and a guy (no cap, and I gave him a hard time for it) swimming out to the White Bldg. we stopped and chatted briefly, then I decided to tag along with them. she was moving rather swiftly--I had to push a little to keep up, and it looked like the guy was dragging behind.

so we got back to the White Bldg, stopped for a min or 2, chatted (I got their names, the guy's name was Hugh, can't remember the gal's), then we headed back. between the current and her speed, this gal really flew back down the beach. I had to up my game to keep up. eventually I decided to just go behind and to the left, use her for sighting, and it was a far easier ride back. I stopped a few times to look for the guy--it took longer to spot him without a cap. between upping the speed and swimming with the current, we got back super fast.

we landed and went up the beach to Grimaldi's chair. there were still a bunch of people there, some going out (they tried to get me to go down to the Coney Island pier). the sand was SUPER HOT, I felt like I was burning my feet just walking.

I got back, found my backpack, chatted a few (Christian came over to make sure i made it back ok). the couple I swam with quickly went over to shower off, and after checking my phone I quickly followed.

not sure on exact distance, but I'm estimating 3 miles.

here's what the beach looked like, from just behind Grimaldi's chair, right before I got in the water:

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Updated July 1st, 2012 at 04:56 PM by aztimm



  1. qbrain's Avatar
    (I later found out that wearing a cap and actually swimming lets the swimmers avoid their plea to say in the set area)
    I don't understand what this means.

    it was as if I landed in another country, everyone around me was speaking Russian!
    I am pretty sure that Russia is on the other side. Are you sure you didn't see quicksilver paddle boarding and it was just a Long Island accent?

    the sand was SUPER HOT
    Really? Maybe you should get out of ANC more often.

    Glad you had a good time. If I am ever out in CIBBOWS territory, I will be sure to name drop suitsuit addict left and right (slower, less cold tolerance, not good with baked goods)
  2. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Glad you had a good urban beach day. And you can't find a better guide out at Brighton than Cristian!

    Q, 2 out of 3 might well be true. But definitely now all three!