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

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Today I swam 2.5 miles. It felt good and strong. I have had some trouble with my right shoulder especially when I was doing higher mileage but today it wasn't too bad. My self-diagnonis is bursitis simply caused by repetitive motion. I am not too worried about it though, especially since I am getting a cortisone shot in it tomorrow. Hopefully that will reduce the swelling and allow the shoulder joint to operate pain free for about 3 weeks. That's all I need.

So I need to tell the truth about the lunch time swim crowd I called curmudgeons yesterday. Although they can display curmudgeon-like behavior, such as when first seeing the workout sets coach Tiffany has prescribed for the day, they are actually an admirable group. It's a small but divere group of people in terms of age, backgrounds, swim ability, and body types. But not so diverse in terms of gender. I think all of the regulars are men. (So the guys would cordially like to invite any female swimmers to join them at practice. They won't bite...much.) But one thing they all have in common is that they, really all of us, have gotten much better and fitter by swimming together. Some have lost a lot of weight. Some have really improved technique and fitness. And if I am half as active as a couple of the senior guys when I get to be their age I will be very happy indeed.

As far as the channel, I am making final preparations on my list of things to pack. I exchanged e-mails with a new friend who successfully crossed the channel a few weeks ago in extreme conditions. She has given me great tips and things to consider. One thing I forgot about is what the salt water does to your mouth after extended swimming. You get a horrible sore throat and your tongue swells and gets raw beyond belief. A trick I picked up from another great swimmer was to gargle with mouthwash cut half strength. I did this on a recent swim and it helped. So anyway, added Scope to the list of things to pack.

I hope you are enjoying this blog. If there's anything you want to know or say, don't be bashful! The site had over 400 hits today (largely due to the link being posted in my company's newsletter) but only one person was brave enough to post something. Thanks Bonnie!


Anonymous said...

A "curmudgeon" or something similar to a modern-day Motley Crue? (from the Hartsville Masters's team)

Let us cut to the chase! "Lights, camera, action!" Or shall we say, "Celebrity swimming-101!" Alan, there is no sink in this equation--only swim!

All satire aside--which I love to utilize from my quiver so much--you have been an inspiration to us all but more importantly to your children as anyone with some snow on the top might suspect.

Whether you finish or not, it's the priniciple, the discipline and the worldly fortitude that is the most sincere and enduring for this moment in time.

Blessings and prayers for your success and survival--for I suspect that this will be your finest hour!

See you when you get back!

Allan said...

Thanks Michael. It has been great swimming next to you and having you push me on whatever set it is we are doing. You have really improved. I remember when I could kick as fast as you could swim but those days are long gone. You have closed the gap and are making me work for it now. Keep up the hard work and I wish you much luck as you get ready for your first triathlon too!

Tiffany said...

Hey Allan, nice picture, whover took that should be a professional photographer!! :) jk.

I think I might have an incling as to why the crew is all guys... but i do whip them in shape. Let me know if you see any "I survived the swim goddess" tatoos when i'm gone.

Allan said...

LOL Tiffany. So you are not niave about the all men's swim team. That's funny. And yes, thank you for the photo. Although you also got a good one of me "butt up" doing a flip turn too. Thanks so much. I never realized it came out of the water that far! I am going to be self conscious now. But as Bonnie keeps reminding me - no flip turns in the channel.