You go girl!
In usual fashion, talking about food and energy in feeds became central to the swimming effort before the jump. One of the theories I had from my first failed first attempt was that my substitution of warm tea (which seemed logical, warmth during a cold swim) was actually substituting energy out. Thus I simply ran out of glycogen and likely sodium and potassium leading to cramps. This time was to be different, no tea. So my usual mix of 100 mg (Maxim Carbo loader, 4 scoops), 1 pouch of Gatorade pro and a partial scoop of protein in 10 oz. of water would do the trick. I calculated that this provided me about 700 -900 calories per hour Yummy!.
The weather Saturday was 'Doverish' later said Anne Cleveland a friend of Beth's (who fits right in with those mentioned above) which I am glad she said later rather than earlier. At the start it was 54f air, grey, drizzle and a yucky wind whipped 15-20 knots coming on-shore. The salt water averaged anywhere from 59-61f for a pleasant day :) Beth made a great safety call after discussing with beach life guards the pounding surf issue and decided the swim would be around an island called Naples, which is a three mile loop just inside Alamitos Bay.
Here is a map link:
So off we went. Jumping in was the usual, a few heart pounding strokes. The water felt just fine. We were swimming by beautiful homes and huge yachts, which in retrospect I appreciate now they were at dock due to the weather otherwise I would have been dodging them all day. Below is a little backstroke warm up which as many of you that know for me is faster than my freestyle (Go figure!).
You notice the funny floating islands, well this is another tall seasonal story, yes they are for Christmas. I guess each year they float these islands with Xmas lights shaped as a tree all around the Island. They have a celebration turning them on (drinking more grog and watching 'The Grinch' - I'm embellishing a bit here). This was hilarious. Then the pelicans came in force swooping down, around us and the docks no doubt sizing me or maybe Beth up for a meal. Not sure if Beth made it without getting pooped on? But this wouldn't matter since several times during the swim the sky open up and poured rain so hard it looked like fog.
So in the end, as my training partner Doug said, 'you hear-by have punched the ticket'. Must be a saying from silly sport that uses a ball or something??
While failing at my initial attempt was no fun, I do look back now and know I am much stronger, mentally tougher for it. Getting in an additional long cold training swim is worth its weight in gold having now done this twice. I look forward to endless laps in a pool (30,000 yards per week and up) for several months. I hope to steal away to somewhere warm and do a long swim this winter. Next up is perhaps some training in Tampa Bay, FL with an eye on a 24 mile race across Tampa Bay, FL in April. While the water will be relatively warm, by English Channel standards, this is no joke swim and will be another serious test. I will be ready, I am ready. Thanks to my wife Jennifer, daughter Rachel, Doug, Marcia, the Indy folks, Barrington masters and Club folks and Dave Barra for keeping me up and on track through this great experience.
I will finish as I began with a some thoughts about Mary Weybright from Indianapolis, IN a long time family friend.
Anything I have offered above, is shallow and a meager description of a selfish endeavor compared to Mary's fight. Mary you inspire me to give back, to do better and to offer more. I think of you often during my swims. Many times you give me the strength to push on.
You see, Mary is lying in a hospital bed, now for many months, clinging to life day to day, fighting the battle of her life. Her husband Nick, the kids and family nearby. Mary is fully aware of her challenge and the multitude of health issues that confuse the very best medical experts. I cannot comprehend this strength. She is one of life's true selfless teachers, a beacon of hope for never giving up despite the most dire times! Lying in her bed starring death in the face every day, she takes time to write little notes to friends and family to see visitors and give kind looks and a warm handshakes. During this Thanksgiving season, perhaps Mary can teach us all to deal with life's little setbacks differently. To work through bad days, to graciously compromise work challenges, to shrug your shoulder at being bullied at school or to simply give back in some way to others less fortunate.
I am not very good writer. Perhaps learning from Mary's strength and adding what I simplistically describe as a 'One Stroke at Time' approach to my life's journey, Mary has taught me (us) to deal with life's challenges.
Perhaps this Thanksgiving, you might offer the same support to those around you as Mary has offered? Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.