So I’m not real excited about how today went for me. I went out to Avila Beach and the weather was outstandingly beautiful, almost too hot and sunny. Unfortunately the water didn’t feel the same way!

When I got down to the beach I did what I do every week and waded out in the water up to like mid-calf. It was pretty cold, definitely mid 50′s. Niel’s measurement from off the pier was in the 55-56 degree range. Regardless it was pretty cold. The water at Avila tends to range like 3-4 degrees downward from our measurements depending on where you are. There are some gnarly cold water upwellings hidden out there.

I tried really hard to get acclimated to the water and swam all the way out to the first buoy where we normally start our swims. Normally I get cold, then burn, then go neutral. Today I got stuck in cold, in a bad way… I just couldn’t hang. I ended up swimming back to shore, I didn’t want to do something stupid like go hypothermic 500 yards off shore. I ended up hanging out in the shallow water talking swimming with Sylvia who was out to spend sometime in the ocean today, but not necessarily swim too far.

I felt like a loser for having to swim back in, but you have to remember the ocean is no joke. I’m not saying don’t push yourself, I’m just saying know yourself enough to know when you’re going to get yourself into trouble. As much as I don’t want to, I think I need to start bringing along a wetsuit for my open water swims as a just in case kind of maneuver. I don’t know if I’ve hit my cold water limits or if just being kind of sick and worn down took a couple of degrees off my tolerance, we’ll see. I should be back in open water action the weekend of Thanksgiving, hopefully things go better then!


last week the waves were scraping the bottom of the pier!


my human thermometer says “uh oh”

7 Responses to “Learning My Limits… Too Cold to Go Wetsuit-less Today”

  1. Lindsey says:

    Hey, don't beat up on yourself! I think you're ballsy just for swimming in the ocean, much less at those temperatures!

  2. Wendy says:

    Discretion is always better in open water!!! Good for you for being safe.

  3. Ahelee says:

    Smart man… it takes a lot of acclimation to tolerate those mid to low 50 temps in the ocean.
    Also hard to acclimate swimming in the ocean one day a week.

    The wetsuit is the way to go for now. Keep the ocean swims enjoyable so you want to return next time!

  4. Rob D says:

    Thanks guys… I've just been a little frustrated because my shoulder has been fighting me, and to have a body temperature regulation fail is not helpful. Oh well, I still got in like 3-400 yards that counts for something right? :)

  5. Pat says:

    Simply getting into the water at all counts. Every day is different. (thank goodness). What is, is.

  6. Swimming for ME says:

    I'm jealous you can still get in the water!
    Low 40's here. Only the surfers are crazy enough to still go out.
    Got a nice hello from you via Zach Gray! We are getting all psyched up for our SCM Champs at Boston University Dec 11-12-13. Good luck with your meet!

  7. Rob D says:

    Thanks! Say hi to Zach for me the next time you see him!

    I have to admit it is pretty glamorous to have sunny days at the beach in November… can't really get mad at that… I just wish my cold tolerance would have held up to take advantage of it! Good luck in Boston!