Success! 7/13/2010

Success!  7/13/2010
Europe to Africa.

Monday, March 29, 2010

WEEK 15 and counting...

Time seems to be flying by. I have only 15 weeks left to get ready for this.
Yesterday, after the 5.5 mile "Mile Rock Swim" my arms were toast so I rode my bike 14 miles instead. I know it doesn't count towards my swimming, but I am hoping that core conditioning is just as important and I need to take care of my shoulders. It was great to be outside, tooling around town on a sunny day. I rode over to Lafayette to get a sandwich for lunch and then rode home. I must admit, that I got a ride up my hill, but only because I don't want to ruin my knee by pushing it too hard. Biking was a great change of pace, and I plan to do a lot more of it. This morning I went to Spin Class at the gym. Man is my butt sore, but I made it through the entire hour with a lot of "out of the saddle" riding. I am happy with my progress.
This is a "rest week" in my schedule but because I am trying to increase the over all amount of swimming I am doing I don't plan on resting much. I will swim one less day in a rest week, and less intensely in the pool. I have decided to alter my training plan a bit to include a Spin Class on Mondays, and a longer pool workout on Wednesday. So I will be doing the same amount of yardage with one less day in the water. After my experience swimming from Mile Rock Saturday, I believe that I need to swim for longer periods of time, not just more yardage or more days. It's the endurance that I need to build. I need to work through the "boredom" aspect of marathon swimming. Saturday was 2:30 hours in the water and I was fine as far as the cold goes. I need to ramp up to 3-4 hours on the weekends. I also did my sit-ups and tried to do push-ups on the physio ball (core work), and I need to do that everyday at home as well.
This is the longest stretch of consistent working out that I have ever done. I am proud of my effort so far and really hope that it pays off. I do get tired, but Gibraltar makes it easier to get up when I don't want to. I have paid for my plane ticket and made a deposit on the swim, there is no turning back. I am actually worried about the money. I still need about three thousand dollars, and my funds are running short. I have figured out that I can't afford to swim the Santa Barbara Channel as a warm up like I had hoped. It's just too expensive. I won't be able to swim the reverse Bay to Breakers on Wednesday either, but not for lack of funds. There is bad weather expected and it is the most difficult swim our club does, so they won't take chances with the weather. My next big swim is a Round Trip Alcatraz on April 11th, but my brother Brian is getting married on the 10th and family comes first. If can't make it, I will get Joe to take me soon. He has volunteered to pilot me on a Round Trip Alcatraz when it's convenient. And Kristine Buckley has volunteered to pilot me on a long dull swim from our club towards the San Francisco Airport. It's not exciting, but there is little vessel traffic to worry about and the water just keeps going, so I can get some hours in. I have made arrangements with Bob Roper to swim from the Richmond San Rafael Bridge out through the Golden Gate to Point Bonita on April 21st. This is a swim that Karen Rodgers did a few weeks ago and now everyone (myself included) wants to do it. It hugs the coast of Marin through the Raccoon Straits and out under the bridge to the open ocean (my favorite place). It sounds beautiful. I need to find someone to come with me and act as my pilot/feeder. It is hard to ask someone to give up 8 hours usually starting in the middle of the night for a slow boat ride to nowhere...any volunteers?

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The Gibraltar Straits