Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Swim Goggles Defying Gravity? Here's Why - I think

Do swim goggles change swimming dynamics? I really wouldn't have thought so, but I recently switched from one brand of goggles to another and with it, the goggle size bumped up a size or two. Now when I try to tuck in my chin and "swim downhill" as I once heard a coach tell his team, my head seems to want to stay near the surface (in freestyle). I'm wondering if the new goggles, with their larger lenses, is trapping a larger pocket of air against my forehead and forcing my head up toward the surface. Whatever the case, something is definitely is making me feel like I must work harder to keep my head down. Any thoughts?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

At Least I Wasn't Called a Perv!

I promised to share some stories about my lake swimming up in Wisconsin a couple weeks back. Each summer I go up there and spend time on a lake on which my grandparents owned a summer cottage. My mom and her brother share it now. It happens to be next to a Girl Scout camp and one can see their dock and swim area from the pier sitting just off the cottage lake front. I always thought that was cool when I was a teen but now it's just sort of yeah, yeah, there's a Girl Scout Camp next door. We do appreciate their campfire singing at night. Back to me. It's become my habit in recent years to swim all over that lake, but to do so, I must go early in the AM or late in the evening when the power boats are not permitted to go over 5 MPH. Despite the hour, it's always a great time with no interruptions aside from a crane flying overhead or a fish I've startled (or startled me). The last morning this year I was doing laps between the island in the center of the lake and our pier - about 540 meters round trip. Anyway, I was on my third or fourth lap when I spied something out of the corner of my eye. It was a boat and it was very close. I kept swimming knowing that my motion would draw more attention than anything else and tried to keep my distance. Nevertheless, the boat drew closer. Soon it was about fifteen yards off my left shoulder. I stopped to look up to get their attention, but before I could, I saw through my fogged up goggles about fifteen yellow dots and more boats. It seemed like I was surrounded. I pulled up my goggles and found I had swum into a group of girls from the Scout camp (the yellow dots were bathing caps) who had decided to take a supervised swim out to the island - this lake is "my space", I thought (ha ha). Besides that silly thought my next inclination was personal survival. Knowing the sensitivity of that organization toward men (my cousins like to sneak over and fish on their private lake and always get yelled at as if they are predators or something - they're not, they just like virgin bass) pulled my goggles back down and took off as as fast as I could. I was in the water first, I'm sure they saw me, but you never know. I'd hate for them to think I came upon them with some creepy design in mind! And here I was wearing my Speedo. Now that I think of it, maybe they did think I was a perv! Aack!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How to Swim Better - A Tip from Jerry Seinfeld

You read that headline correctly. I wouldn't believe it either but there it is. Jerry Seinfeld, one of the most successful comedians in television history has a tip that can be carried over to swimming, exercise, etc. I won't spoil it for you. Here's the link. Thanks Lifehacker.com! PS Splash Dog is pleased to brag he's been following this advice for some time. I guess there is some value in TV celebrities! Ha ha.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lewis Gordon Strong Swims North Pole

In the second post in two days of people swimming non-traditional locations, Lewis Gordon Pugh gets our nod of the day (sorry I'm a day or two late on this post. Many of you have probably already seen something about this elsewhere but keep reading, there's some good stuff I found out). Lewis swam at the North Pole! There's detailed story and video at this link showing the efforting ("efforting", that's what some call a "good try" on ESPN radio). In the story, Lewis talks about the burning sensation he felt. You don't really think you'd be burning in 29 degree Fahrenheit water but you do (I got the sensation in 42 degrees and it hurts!). Lewis says he made the swim to make a point about climate change. This may be true, but I contend he also did it because he could. I think I would (I like to swim in outdoor pools when it snows just to know I did). Two other interesting points in the story talk about Lewis' prior swim from the Antarctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean. I need to research that. I suppose it was a big deal but aren't they attached by a dotted line or something? Good job anyhow! So how does he handle the cold? Somehow he can subconsciously raise his body temperature prior to these cold swims. I'll have to try that (like I do my blood pressure and heartbeat), but I think I'll wait until early Autumn first. In the mean time, as I swim in my favorite overheated summer pool for a while longer I'll be thinking of Lewis. Kudos Lewis!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home Again

You may have noted a sad lack of posts over the past several weeks. Never fear dear reader, you were always on my mind. I was up in the great north (Wisconsin), doing some serious lake swimming. Lots to write about which you'll see in coming posts. Check back soon!

Swimming Across American Rivers

In keeping with my favorite theme of swimming outside of the pool domain, NPR has a broadcast on-line at this very moment (11:00AM eastern) with a podcast available if you get this later, interviewing a woman who has made it her mission to swim across American rivers.