I went with Cristian to the beach again this morning, this time it was Brighton Beach as opposed to Coney Island. We picked up 2 bonus swimmers on the way and met up with a handful of others once we got there. It was pretty cold on the beach with a decent breeze working. I’m not sure what the air temp was but it didn’t feel any warmer than yesterday. The upside was that the sun was still shining nice and bright which at least helps mentally even if it doesn’t help in the actual warmth department.
As one would imagine there’s a lot of stalling involved in a beach swim like this. I got myself changed and ready a little too quickly and spent more time than I probably would have wanted standing in a half wet speedo in the breeze! Oh well, These CIBBOWS swimmers are a great group and a lot of fun to talk with… especially when 54-55 degree seas await you! Eventually Dave took off for the water by himself just to get in. I would have chased him in but I can’t hold his pace (he beat me by about 20 minutes in the 5k yesterday).
I waited for the rest of the group to hop in. Our target was “the white building” down the beach to the left a ways. Maybe 7 of us took off together into the cold water. Like yesterday I was the last one to get all the way wet, but I got over it a lot faster. I think a full night’s sleep helped a lot! Just like yesterday I sighted off of people’s caps and worked my way up the group a little bit until I was somewhere in the middle. Once we were almost to the end point I stopped for a bit and played tourist… had to get some pictures right? The group had split into 2 big pieces and I hurried up to catch the second group at the turn.
Once I caught up with them Rachel asked me if I wanted to swim down to the “big jetty,” I had no idea what she was talking about but I said yes. I figured why not right? I’m already wet and in the ocean, the hard part was over and I could just enjoy some swimming. Plus she’s a cold water bad ass, I couldn’t look like a wuss in front of her :) Her, Cristian (who put me up for the night) and one other CIBBOWS swimmer (Patricia) are also nominated for the World Open Water Performance of the Year for a double crossing of the Beagle Channel between Chile and Argentina in 39 degree water! Since I didn’t really know where we were going I kept her on my right side so I could watch what she was up to and just hold her pace. We swam shoulder to shoulder all the way down to where we originally started. She stopped to make sure I really wanted to keep going, I was all smiles so we kept moving.
We swam out another 10-15 minutes until we got out to where we were going. While we were stopped we took a second to talk and I asked her to snap a couple pictures for me since we weren’t mid-race or anything and Coney Island was off in the background. After our little photo break we cruised it on back to our start point and turned in towards the beach. We thought we were the only ones still in but 2 other swimmers had also extended their swim and came in a few minutes behind us. Dave brought us towels and we walked up onto the sand and I hurried up and dried off. I was pretty functional and not shivering so I was pretty happy with that. I knew however that I needed to hurry up and put real clothes on before the wind got to me. I hurried into a pair of jeans and a sweater. Some of the other kids were already back in their cars getting heated up. That didn’t strike me as an entirely horrible idea.
I hopped back in Cristian’s car with 2 other swimmers and we chatted and warmed up simultaneously. Eventually Dave came around taking some coffee orders. I don’t drink coffee but I was down for a walk. We went down the street a bit into little Odessa and hit a tiny cafe. It was really breezy between the buildings and I got a little chilly on the inside from it. It’s weird, I’m much better underwater than out of it. After we all hung out in the parking lot for a while Dave and his wife had to take off and the rest of us that were still there made our way to lunch at a Turkish joint not too far from there. Once we were all sufficiently loaded up on felafel, salad, and a little bit of Turkish Beer everyone had to get on with their days. We dropped 3 at the subway and then Cristian was cool enough to take me to the airport.
Although I was only really here for like 36 hours I had a great time in Brooklyn with the CIBBOWS gang. Everyone was so cool and so nice to me and I really hope I can come back sometime soon to play in their little piece of ocean. For those of you that prefer your water a little warmer don’t forget that next year’s USMS 5K champs is going to be there in August, I highly recommend going out to swim with them! Big thanks to Dave Barra for planting the idea in my head and picking me up to go race on Saturday morning, and big thanks to Cristian for putting me up for the night in his super awesome house and taking me back to JFK today. My little whirlwind trip to Brooklyn this weekend had about 5 miles worth of making new friends in cold salt water… I’d say it was a weekend well spent!