Thursday, February 9, 2017

Second Open Water Swim of 2017

I did it again. I hardly could afford not to. In fact it would have been wrong, almost a sin even if I did not.

The weather has been so nice here lately that when Wednesday rolled around I started thinking about the pond. I called David Rutherford, my former student and current pond scout. 

"What's the water temp?" I asked.

"Sixty this morning. Probably sixty-one by now."

Cha Ching!!

Sixty is my break point. That high and over I head for the fish farm with a smile on my face. Below sixty I opt instead to lift weights or take a nap. To pass up the chance to swim outdoors in February would be ungrateful to God who has blessed us with a normal winter after SIX straight cold ones. Six straight cold winters! Already people apparently have forgotten and are complaining like crazy about how hot it is and how weird this weather is. Geez Louise, stop it already. This is not abnormal and not weird. Weather changes. We are far enough south that it does not even get cold here without some sort of weather system that pushes Canadian or Arctic air into our region. But people have forgotten. Just think, if you are eighteen years old, you were eleven the last time our winter was typical, so it really must seem weird to you. 

So I got my jammer on when I came home from school, opened my newly arrived package from SwimOutlet.com, and loaded the truck. The package contained a new silicone swim cap and three pair of goggles. One pair I put back in my special bag for Chicot Challenge VI, one pair I put in my swim bag for Masters swim Thursday, and one I took with me to experiment with at the pond. The one I carried to the farm was a different brand and model as I am always looking for a better mousetrap goggle, one I can swim all day in. You can't do that with just any old goggle. At least I can't.

David not only gave me the water temp, but he informed me the fish farm was not selling. There had been a move by an investor to buy them out. This had caused me some concern because I feared the possibility of losing access to 6,000 acres of fish ponds. I need those ponds in the later winter and spring to prepare for my big swim in June. With the sale falling through, things will remain the same going forward and those ponds and all those levee roads will continue to be my private fitness club. 

Thank you, Jesus.

David also told me of another pond, D10 which he said had no fish in it and was recently pumped up so I determined to give it a try. I have been swimming one called Lee Watts 30 but David said that one was recently stocked with fish. Driving over to the D ponds, I was a little confused about which one D 10 was. I stopped where I thought it was, parked and began to prepare to swim. I put my thermometer in, but I was on the down wind side and it is always warmer on that end of a pond. Also, I did not have my weight and cord that allows me to get a reading several feet out into the pond. Instead, my thermometer was right up against the bank and in the sun. It read 68, so I really don't know what the temp was farther out. 

Anyway, I waded in and started. The water didn't feel too bad with the wetsuit on. In fact, it felt good, refreshing. I only swam two laps and left since I had to go home and get ready to go to Mom's and pack for school, the grandkids, and Masters Swim the next day. Two laps in that pond gave me 1.26 miles which I covered in 38:47 equaling a 30:50 per mile pace. Thank God, my shoulders felt fine, and I enjoyed swimming with cormorants and ducks flying above and farm workers harvesting fish two ponds over. There is nothing like training in a catfish pond. If you have never done it, call me to book a tour. For a nominal fee, I will serve as your personal guide and help you experience one of life's simple pleasures.