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<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:10pt;">Background info, took some time off due to burnout, decided to get back into swimming at beginning of year.  Tried running again, but do not want to make issues with knee worse by doing that.</span></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:10pt;">I started swimming again on a regular basis in January getting up to 3 or 4 days a week, workouts averaging 2500 yards but have been increasing that recently.  Have been focusing on form, primarily low head position as you would see in the Total Immersion vids.  Swimming has been going well, doing 1650's with no issues (don't know my time as I always lose count and do extra laps to make up), repeat 500's on a 1:30 pace, and got my 50 sprint on a off the wall start down to :32.  I do not feel this is too bad given I'm 48.</span></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:10pt;">I have been wanting to do an open water race in the ocean, because it is something that I enjoyed in the past, if you call swimming in water so cold that it burns enjoyable.  I really enjoy the ocean and always meet some really nice people at the races.</span></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:10pt;">The race was in Ocean City NJ this past Saturday.  I had to do things with the family and did not leave the house to 2:30, for the expected 2.5 to 3 hour drive.  I got "down the shore" (a reference for you Philly peeps) on good time, which includes me somehow getting off the Schuylkill (I must have zoned out, and zigged when I should have zagged at one of the highway splits) and ending up near the refineries/stadiums/airport.  I flipped around at the airport, got on 95, over the Walt Whitman and into Jersey.  Shore traffic was not too bad, which is why I left rather late.</span></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:10pt;">Got there registered went down the beach for the swim back up, which is with the current.  I talked with some guy on the way down who is from West Chester.  I wondered if knew any of the locals on this board.  Water temp was 73, wetsuits were not allowed, but that's Ok since I did this before sans-wetsuit, and froze but finished.  There was a pretty good breeze blowing in so there was some chop in addition to the waves.  The race is a pretty good size, over 400 people, but they have it broken into 3 heats, men under 50, women and men over 50.</span></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:10pt;">I lined up for the start to the south side figuring that the current would carry me north, and I did not want to be in the tumult of the others.  I just wanted to finish with a respectable time.    Start went ok till I got to the buoy, then I get the twinge in my fascia of my left foot signaling that a cramp, the kind where your toes make themselves into some twisted “Y” and then works its way up your calf and locks your foot into an “L” resulting in an anchor on the end of your leg, is on the way.  So I figured that I’ll try to deal with it until it gets worse, then I’ll exit.  What the heck I’m already 100 yards out to sea, right.  So, I’m going along swimming, trying to use my more efficient low head position swim form, and trying not to kick with my left leg so I don’t make the cramp worse.  One thing about this low head position is that it really stinks for sighting, and breathing in waves and chop.   I’m going along breathing on 2 to my right and I kept swallowing water because the waves/chop were hitting me from that side, I tried breathing on the left but the waves kept rolling me over so that I swallowed water on that side as well.  I changed over to a higher head position that I use for sighting and breast to get a breather and I could not see the markers in the waves, yet alone the other swimmers.  So at a ¼ mile, I decided to bag the race. I just did not feel like I was going anywhere, the tinge of the cramp was still there, and I did not feel like toughing it up, having my calf lock up,  and risking my life to finish.  There were probably 200 other people in my heat that had the same conditions that I had and they finished, but I just felt that I did not feel that I just did not have “it” for the race.</span></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:10pt;">After the race I saw the guy that I was talking to prior to the race, he finished.  When I told him about my race, he said “When in doubt, get out”.   That’s what I did.</span></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:10pt;">Next up, I do not know what’s up with the open water swims.  These foot cramps have been an issue for several years.  Perhaps I’ll get into the masters swimming again.  I have been riding my mountain bike out to and on the trails around the lake (Blue Marsh) and back home (knobbies on road = good workout). In the winter I have been going boarding on a regular basis.</span></span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-family:arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:10pt;">Jon</span></span></span></p>
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Hey Jon, sorry that the leg cramps are still an issue. I wonder if it's a relaxation thing - let your foot go "floppy" - does that help? Maybe you are too tense somehow? Certainly cold water can do that. In any event, congrats to you for getting back down there - especially given the Terrible conditions we swam in there a few hears ago. It wasn't Mike or Brooks that you ran into was it? Keep posted on the next race. I'm so excited to stat swimming again when we go on vacation with my family - eager babysitters to watch Eli while I swim for an hour. Then at 6 weeks he can go to nanysitting at the Y. Oh, and Matt is thinking Lancaster this year. Are you interested?
 

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<p>73 isn't cold - it's pretty warm.  (says the grew-up-at-the-shore girl).</p>
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<p>you don't f*ck around in the water.  you do. not.   especially the ocean.</p>
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<p>if you felt you needed to get out, you needed to get out.  it's not like running where you can just take a nice long walk.    I periodically get random cramps in OW, I think it's what Beth said about holding things too stiff.  practice the floppy foot, and live to race again.</p>
 

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<p>Sounds to me like you made the right choice by bagging it.  Better to be safe than sorry...or dead.  Kudos on starting up your swimming again!  Fast in my book!</p>
 

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<p>I can have the same issue with the cramping thing and open water, and for me it seems to come from one of two issues:  either I did too much running the day before, or I am dehyrated.  Not sure if that's helpful or not?  Sounds like you made a smart move though - too scary to risk pushing it in open water!!   Don't give up, I have just found that I LOVE these races - it's a different vibe from triathlon and just a fun challenge.  I think my masters coach may have done this same race last weekend??  I'll have to ask....   Anyway, great job getting out there, and hopefully you can get the cramping thing figured out!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Tithers, the 73 degree water temp is really not that bad, it's refreshing to swim in, I really enjoyed the first 100 yards out to the marker.  On the day that I was referring to doing this race with Beth and Matt, I believe the temp was 66 at the shore, 63 out at the bouys, then there was a cold spot where it was just numbing.   The temp in my fitness center pool is 83, and the lilly dippers (floaters) complain about that temp.  When I do a strong sustained effort there, I really have issues with overheating in the pool.  It was possible to swim in the race wearing a wetsuit, but you were not allowed to go through the finish gate so your time would not count and not be included in the race results.  The race is the "Masters Swim", so I believe that they are attempting to attract the higher level of open water swimmers.  Also disallowing the wetsuits ensures a level playing field.  I believe that if the temp drops below a certain level, wetsuits are legal, but I'm not sure where the cutoff is.  I also think that there is a bit of  "swimmer" vs "triathlete" attitude going on. </span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Lookiloo, I just think that I have problems with my fascia.  I had plantar fasciatis in both feet.  I have very high arches.  What is even more odd is that when I go boarding I still end up with bad cramping in my fascia.  Seems odd, but you really use your feet a lot to control your movement, especially when your on toe edge. </span></span></p>
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<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Beth, The guy that I was talking to before the race was Kevin, he would be around 50. </span></span></p>
 

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<p>I swam in the low 60s beginning of July in Newport in the Atlantic. I was just curious bc USAT is like 78 and below, right?</p>
 
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