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Sunday at around 13h00 is a very bad time to go swimming at Mon Repos.

Two lanes are reserved for clubs/schools and so there’s only one open lane if you want to swim back and forth in an organized manner. Unfortunately, it was rather full (6-7) people and, worst of all, there were two really, really slow swimmers, who would not let you pass, when it came to turning.

Now I’m already a very slow swimmer and I can happily swim at pace of 30 minutes per km without feeling any need to speed up (though this is also slow by my standard). But these people really managed to swim at a pace of about 45 minutes per km. I don’t know how they did it. At this pace my feet automatically sink to the bottom.

Usually, slower swimmers wait at the end of the lane for about 3 seconds to let others pass while turning around. That’s certainly what I do all the time, whenever there’s a more ambitious swimmer on my lane. But oh no, not these two ladies. They sure enough did not seem in a hurry, but they would not waste a single second when it came to turning around.

Anyways, in the end I had to do some sort of interval training. Whenever there was a gap opening up for me to pass, I sprinted past them and swam “fast” (by my standard) until I bumped into the feet of another lady. Then I had to tread water until I could pass again. Really stressful and unpleasant. It wasn’t even enjoyable to look at them from behind in the water.

Punchline: Avoid the Mon Repos swimming pool on Sundays between 13h00 and 14h00.

Saturday 12h30-14h00 @ Chavannes.

Tuesday 20h00-22h00 @ Bergières.

Two indoor swimming pools, which are virtually deserted. I’m glad I can still swim 4km in one go, but I have to admit the last 500m do not feel as relaxed as they ought to.

“On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin’ music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again,
And I can’t wait to get on the road again.”

(A famous country song and one of the favorites of my father.)

Today, after a period of abstinence of 5 months, I finally took out my road bike again for a stroll of 75km. Though it felt as if I was getting frostbites on my toes, the weather was still fantastic and I really enjoyed my first ride this year.

Most impressive sight of the day: a 70+ year old man who was swimming in a very relaxed manner in the Lac Leman. (I think the water has about 6-8°C.)

Most beautiful sight: cycling along the lake with the snow-covered mountains in the background. I forget far too often, how beautiful the landscape here is!

I still find it slightly puzzling that during the winter there’s only a few millimeters/centimeters of ice on a lake, but not more.

I simply find it interesting how little heat is lost between the ice and the (liquid) water. Maybe I should sit down some afternoon, look up all the relevant constants and compute the actual heat transfer rate to figure out, after how many weeks/months/years with an air temperature of -5° a “standard” lake would turn into a solid block of ice.

Of course, if the water was constantly being “stirred” (as is the case in most rivers), then the temperature distribution in the lake would be more even and it would take much longer to freeze over, but when it does it should probably turn into a single block of solid ice pretty much instantly. (It might also be fun to figure out, how much of the kinetic energy of the river is turned into heat. If it wasn’t for this dissipation the river would accelerate more and more towards the sea and would flow into the sea at a velocity of several hundred kilometers per hour.)

… you’ll find the map of Europe (and especially of Germany) for the CNN weather forecast somewhat surprising. 🙂

[Follow the link above and you’ll see what I mean …]

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