After competing in triathlons for 9 years, I decided it was time to try something different. In the back of my mind I had always had this idea that I would try to swim the English Channel some day. Now, after almost 2 years of distance swimming training, that day is almost here!

Plot of my course

Monday, September 22, 2008

A good training day

This picture was taken in the dining room of Wallett's Court where we are staying. Starting at the bottom left and going clockwise is Jacob, Lauri, me, Bonnie, Ben, and Anna. The food here is delicious. I mentioned it before but staying here is such a big contrast to the harshness of the channel.

My focus has shifted back to the harbor now to get more training time in the cold and waves. I had a good day doing that though. I swam 5 laps of the harbor, the most so far since I have been here. It took me about 3 hours and 45 minutes and was approximately 7 miles give or take. The first 4 laps were not too bad. The 5th I got tired and stiff but still felt OK overall. I didn't eat or drink anything the whole time either so that made it a little harder. I feel like I may actually be starting to acclimate to the temperature. It is still my #1 concern but I feel a heck of a lot better since the first day here when I had to get our after 1 lap because I couldn't take the cold.

While I was swimming, my friends and family went to Dover's White Cliffs for a nice hike. I had done that before they got here so it worked out nicely that they could see it while I was training. After the swim and getting showered and warmed up, we all went sight seeing in Dover. We went to the Dover museum. Like most of Europe, Dover has a rich and long history. The museum's claim to fame though is that it houses the world's oldest boat remains dated to approximately 4000 years ago. That's from before Moses and before King Tut. It was preserved fairly well. After that we walked through the shopping district (again...uggh), had some lunch and then came back to base camp. We are headed out soon to an oceanfront seafood restaurant in Deal which is about 15 minutes from here.

Since tomorrow is definitely out for a possible channel swim, we have decided to take off to London and see the sights. I had a good long training swim today so it will be perfect timing to have a rest and have some fun.

I have not talked to my pilot yet today but the weather sites I checked are still trending poorly. It now looks like Saturday is not great but Sunday is good. I am not discouraged...yet. But I sure hope something changes soon.


Erin Kelley said...

hey allan hope you are having fun but more importantly how is ben tell him i miss him anjd tell onion and doris (anna) i said hey and tell bonnie to come back with a husband


Anonymous said...

3 hours and 45 minutes for approx. 7 miles is great mileage Allan! If my recollection is correct that's about a third of the Channel swim! Sounds like the training and exposure to the water is definetely on track. I hope the weather gives you your chance my friend, don't let up!

Marc B

Anonymous said...

Hi Allan,
Just a note to say hello. We have all been thinking of you and hope you have a successful swim. I went Whitewater rafting this weekend and I thought the water was cold but nothing compared to the Channel. We hope the weather gets better. Hang in there, think warm thoughts and know you can do it.
P.S. I haven't made it to masters swim on time yet.

Jake said...


This is the first time I have had a chance to check out the blog, it is really neat. Ms. Martineau has been giving me updates in class. As a fellow swimmer I wish you luck! You have been training incredibly hard, and I am sure that you will do great!! I will be praying for you.

-Jake Godwin

P.S.- Tell Ben and Jacob I said hello.

Anonymous said...

Erin, We got your message. Lauri is very upset that you didn't write anything to her. So far England is very cold and I've been really tired because of the time change. We're staying in Dover in a place called Wallet's Court. The place is pretty cool but it's 300 years old and I'm scared it's going to fall down in our sleep. Anyways I miss you and I hope to see you soon.


Greg, Lisa, Kaitlyn & Jake said...

We have been watching the blog and following your journey since you left. We hope the weather cooperates and you get your chance to accomplish your goal.
We are thinking about you and are proud of you taking on such a huge goal.
I took the liberty of making some "Alan swam the English Channel" shirts with the picture from thisfront page of this blog for next years 4th of July T-Shirt. I figured the whole family can wear them whenever we come into Darlington or go to the beach.
Tell Lauri, Ben & Jacob hello and we hope everyone is having a very "Lampoon's" like European vacation.
Happy Birthday Ben!
Best of Luck! You can do it!

Greg, Lisa, Kaitlyn & Jake

Anonymous said...

Hey Allan: Hope everything goes well this week. Leslie and I are thinking of you, Lauri and the boys.

All our best,

Erin Kelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin Kelley said...

Hey ben when we played the soccer game against byrnes we tied them 0 to 0 but mrs selena didnt want to do sudden death so we ended up tieing well anyways i am very sad that you cant be able to go to the dance but i cant wait to see you gtg and tell doris (anna) that chappy anad trixie miss her
from erin

Allan said...

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all the notes and messages. And so does my son Ben from his little buddy Erin. ;)

erin kelley said...

lol tell my stepmother (Laurie) that i miss her being the coach on the team because cause i know she wouldve let us go in to overtime