Monday July 4th
We have already had one swim today and I am encouraged with adding time in the water, this mornings 4 laps is sitting happily on my shoulder for now, I love progress. After showering, eating and a nap Robbin and I are walking down to a local cafe to meet Imelda, Ned has set this meeting up and I feel so fortunate that Imelda is meeting me today, she has an hour break from work to talk and is also navigating preparations to pack up for her own big swim, she is leaving Friday and with the memories of my frantic departure from Stowe Vermont and how hectic it was to get packed up and ready I feel truly honored that she is carving out this time for me and Robbin today.
Ned had given me a tip, ” Imelda is very sneaky, she may do something like try to pay for coffee”, I am pleased he has given me the heads up, I make sure that we arrive first and give the waitress 20 Euros, ” this is for our order, we are meeting a guest, please do not let her pay”, with that Imelda arrives and orders a tall glass of water, actually just what I felt like to, but it made me laugh as my cunning plan was foiled, I told her and she laughs.
The three of us sit down, introductions and she asks how I like the training week, when I am booked for the Channel, about my speed among a few other things, I do have some questions on crews, cold water and feeding but that can wait, I want to hear stories of her solo swim and captaining crews. Imelda shares the most wonderful stories, as she speaks her eyes twinkle like stars, they are so magical, yet have great depth of someone who knows things, someone who explores and grows with each adventure, we connect, I feel my energy bubble up to the surface, I am beside myself with excitement just listening to this incredible women.
Both Robbin and I learn so much from this meeting, but it is more than that meeting Imelda has empowered me, given me confidence, here are a few of the things that I jotted down in my journal as she spoke….
Speed: find out me km/hour pace: Swim 2 laps of Sandycove at a comfortable pace to get your pace time. Figure out your race pace from your 25km 2 weeks ago and your comfortable pace here in Sandcove
Cold Water Acclimatization:The Channel is likely to be much warmer than Sandycove, you are swimming in 11-13 degrees C here, the Channel July 31st last year was 18 degrees C, it can vary.
Nutrition:I fill her in on my love of steaks, that I fuel on Maxim and the other foods I regularly eats, she gives me confidence that I am well ahead with my nutrition.
She has some good suggestions for foods during my Channel swim to have on board for a treat, she has crewed 7 times and some of the additional foods included Jelly Babies, Flap Jacks, Milky Ways and Turkish delight, I tell he about the potato bomb brew that my husband has concocted. A good tip is to stay away fro fruit with the exception of bananas as the stomach shuts closes down, if I don’t feel like eating have Maxim
Rest: One full day a week REST DOES NOT MEAN NOT SWIMMING…this I write down in bold, I need to get better at this, my rest day has consisted of in the winter a few hours of Nordic Skiing, I the summer a run up the Pinnacle, a beautiful hill that overlooks Stowe, the village I live in, I love running up there with my friend Margaret, I like to set my watch at the bottom and see if I can beat my own personal record.
Crew: One person communicates with the swimmer, uplifting short comments are great, no contact with negativity
Massage: Once a week as you get close, take your day off after your massage
Imelda is a gem, she has so many other wonderful bits of information, I had intended to write many notes, but as she talked I put my pencil down and got lost in those eyes, I was in the Channel with her, I could feel the swell of the water, it was a wonderful journey, my final journal entry is this….BELIEVE IN YOURSELF YOU CAN GET ACROOS THE CHANNEL
Finally we say our goodbyes, sealed with a big hug, I ask if I can have my picture taken with her, congratulate her on her channel crossing and we she is gone…..what an inspirational and magical meeting, somewhere I sense we will see each other again.