Belmont Shore, which is part of Long Beach, is a trendy enclave situated on the coast at the south end of the city. I've been doing an open water swim here at least once a week along a buoy line in Alamitos Bay. It's a great place to swim - the water is calm and the buoy line is no more than 50 feet off the beach. So it's relatively safe when I'm swimming alone.
Though parking around here is notoriously tough, here's a trick. During the summer, Bayshore Drive (which conveniently is the street next to the beach) is closed until 5 PM to all motor traffic. So I show up just after five, and I am golden with parking.
Unfortunately, I don't get light like this at 5PM, but here's a section of the buoy line...
I usually go Saturday or Sunday afternoon and swim for about 45 minutes. A couple weeks ago, it occurred to me that I should be going for a run afterward. The ocean is less than a half mile away and from there you can pick up the Strand (beach path).
Of course, it's now September and getting dark by 7 PM. So it would have been nice to have thought of a swim/run brick earlier in the summer. But I've still got a few weeks to fit it in before it gets dark, and then worst case I can just come earlier and fight for a parking spot.
There's an excellent chance I'll get to see this while running in the next few weeks...
My plan is to open water swim through the winter, even if that means I need to get a neoprene cap and booties. My swimming is the one discipline that needs the most work and I'd rather not let up on the gas. And I know myself - if I'm banished to the pool all winter, there is a good chance my swimming will suffer.
Anyway, this is turning into one of my favorite work-out sessions. I've always enjoyed swimming in the Bay, and I'm discovering that the Strand around here is pretty sweet too. Running after a swim is refreshing. I just come out of the water, walk over to my truck, strip off my wetsuit, put on a shirt and some shorts over my jammers, lace up my shoes, queue up the Ipod and go.
Today I did just over a mile in the water and then knocked off a 5 mile run. Belmont Shores is about a 30 minute drive from my house, and I was home by 7:20.
I know I have a few readers from Long Beach. You guys have a great spot here.