I had to be back up north by 7:15am, so I went out to L1 before sunrise with the idea of getting in a swim in the pre-dawn light. But, alas, there was no such illumination to be had at 5:50am given the cloud cover accompanying the downpour conditions.
Just out of curiosity, I decided to check the lake temperature which came in at a welcoming 66.0F. As if to mock me further, the lake surface was calm and inviting – unlike the past three weeks. Still on the fence about getting in the water, I saw a lone runner slogging through the rain, completely undeterred and committed to her discipline. So out of inspiration and peer pressure, I doffed my outer garments, grabbed my goggles, and walked out to L1.
Given that the area around our world famous swim ladder is still a slippery, hazardous mess, I made my way to one side of L1 where the footing was more stable. The lake felt fine on my feet and legs, so I inched to the edge and stepped into the liquid darkness.
The initial immersion was somewhat of an eerie experience, but I was not at all uncomfortable in the warmer water. Nevertheless, I decided to stay very close to the side wall throughout my swim. Instead of going all the way to Oak Street Beach, I swam to the 1/4 point and turned back. I again tried to keep close to the wall, but I ended up veering out a bit into the lake as I usually breathe on my right side and couldn’t sight the wall on each breath.
I finished up my swim at about 6:10am and took all my belongings over the the Chess Pavilion to change as it was still drizzling pretty constantly. Jared showed up a few minutes later, and it looked as if the clouds were breaking on to the northeast. As it turned out, the rest of the day was quite pleasant and sunny – lucky for everyone else!