I’m in Richmond today getting ready for the USMS 2 Mile Open Water Champs and I hit up my friend Allison to help me find somewhere to swim today to get loosened up for tomorrow. After producing a prodigious list of pools to go play in she mentioned a chance to get in some open water action… ding, ding, ding! There’s your winner!

We went out and swam with a group in the James River. It was the hottest water I’ve ever had the privlidge of swimming in… 86 degrees! If you’re counting that’s about 29 degrees warmer than what I swam in on Wednesday in Avila Beach. It was like broth… all brown and warm, it just needed a little salt and parsley.

The plan was to swim 17 minutes upstream and then 13 minutes back. The current in the river wasn’t particularly strong, but you could feel a difference on the way back. On the way out I was really surprised at just how warm the water was. I could feel my stomach start to cramp up a bit even, probably from the dehydration of the hot temperatures, warm water and the 3 flights I took to land in Richmond earlier that day.

I got in about 1000m before I had to turn around. I tried to swim back faster… well I guess with more effort anyways, faster is probably a given when going downstream. I wanted to stress my body in the warm water today so that it will hopefully be ready for it tomorrow in the 2 miler. I’m not really good with heat so this little bit of acclimatization was probably a really good deal for me.

After the swim me and Allison ran off to get some dinner at a little Cuban joint in town called Kuba Kuba, amazingly good! I had this braised pork shoulder thing, probably the best meal I’ve had in a while. This place is a little off the beaten path and you’ll probably have to wait a while to get a table, but totally worth the trip.

In the morning I’m making the trek out to Charlottesville to race! If you see me out say hi :)

3 Responses to “Swimming the River James”

  1. Jinxi says:

    Wowza! 86 degrees?? That’s incredible. I am SURE it was a huge adjustment from your normal swims… but it sounds like it was still lots of fun and awesome you found a great place to dine too!!

    Good luck today! Hope it’s a blast!!

  2. Rob D says:

    Water that hot was definitely odd but a good idea seeing as I had 2 miles of it to contend with the next day!

    I think I’m going to squeeze in a day trip to SPMA champs in Fullerton, hopefully I get to see you down there! It’s been too long!

  3. Jerry says:

    Where exactly in the James did you swim?