11 Days and Counting Down…..
11 Days, that’s what it has come down to, a mere 11 days until I board the big iron bird that will fly me to England and there is still much to do, including high mileage in the water, strength training, flexibility and my regular body work sessions to help keep my body and mind finely tuned, work and family responsibilities.
It has been a good week of swimming, my body quickly recharged itself after last weekends 16 mile Vermont to New York return swim, and today I am up at 4:30am ready to hit it again, today a 5 hour swim, the night air has been cool the last few days, back to burying myself under the comforter at night, I rise before the prompt of my alarm and peer out the window to see dew on the lawn, the car and a misty fog sprawling over the low lying hills….
Down the stairs to mix my 9 feeds, toss some slippery little peaches in a container and grab a handful of Jelly Babies.
Robbin is up too, she is simmering porridge on the stove and gathering her gear, she is the first shift in the kayak this morning. Into the car we go, what a gift of a morning, ” time to take in the moment”, I think as I watch the sun come up from behind the mountains, the sun looks like it is saying ” time to play, come on Charlotte, I’ll lead the way, let’s hit the lake”. So me and the sun have a great start to the day, we soon get situated at the waters edge, Robbin in the kayak, me and Paula swimming, the water is mirror flat, the morning fog is so thick I can barely make out the shape of the long gray kayak, no Robbin in my view.
We swim and swim, today the first 30 minutes is a long time in coming to a close but it does and it is time to feed, Robbin hands me my cup, down with the drink, ” you can’t see a thing, can you?”, she declares, ” Nope, you can poke your tongue out at me and I won’t know it”, I reply, things remain this way for the while, by one hour the sun has won the battle with the fog and it streams down on the lake, it feels like the sun is creating paintings, there are reflections in the water that look like a brightly colored watercolor painting, beautiful.
The pace remains steady, hour by hour, feeds come and go, Robbin taps out at 2.5 hours and Cynthia takes command of the kayak, paddle in hand, more feeds come and go, I look forward to downing my slippery little peaches at both my 2 hour and 4 hour feeds, I like to make quite a production out of it by tipping back the cup, sliding them all in my mouth at once,peaches stick out of both sides of my mouth, then comes the arrrggg mmmmm arrrrgggg sounds to show my crew how much I am enjoying the little devils, when I down a feed of peaches I feel like a seal.
Nail the Finish
The homestretch is here, my 4.5 hour feed is complete, I am on my way back to the shore, in my mind I am pulling hard towards the shores of France, this is what a have been working towards today a good quality finish with long strokes, each one with a strong underwater pull, I set the intention, ” pick it up by 15 %, swim in control, now pull harder, hold the feel, bring it home now, build your speed, nail the finish”, I run the commands through my mind, to me the shores are the French shores and I am driving it in to the finish, the bottom gets clearer, shallower, shallower, BAM, shore, done. I am pleased.
What a great swim, we load the kayak on the car, say our goodbyes and I head home, shower, inhale lunch and nap.
I feel quite sprightly post swim today, but after my nap “Channel Fatigue” sets in, I plop myself down at the desk and finalize plans for next week’s training schedule. I take a moment to reflect on last night, a night out in celebration of my father in law’s Birthday, a happy occasion and one I was excited to share, yet there was I propped up in a chair to prevent myself slumping forward and dozing off, after dinner as usual these days I thanked everyone for their company and went home early, leaving my family to continue celebrating. Today I read a timely comment from a Channel Swimmer
” Channel Swimmers make significant sacrifcies to swim just as importantly do their familes, the biggest sacrifice is time and things for other people”
– Donal Buckley
Well written Donal, a moment to thank my family and friends for their sacrifices along this journey.
What’s Up Next? 3 Hour Swim tomorrow
How will it go? I’ll keep you posted
“Behind every able man there are always other able men”
– Chinese Proverb