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 17, 2008

Another day swimming in the harbor

Today started off like yesterday with a huge English breakfast, reading the Times (UK not NY) and looking out over the beautiful property. The name of the place I am staying is Wallett’s Court. I have placed a link on the right side of this page in case you are considering traveling here. I would highly recommend it. The picture above was taken from the back of the property. The building on the right has the spa on the bottom floor. My room is in the same building on the second floor.

After breakfast I set out into Dover to pick up a few things. Tobey (new friend from NY who recently crossed the Channel) told me where I could go to get "Channel Grease" to use on my bod when I swim. I have been using Vaseline but this should stay on better. So I went to Boots, which I think is a chain pharmacy store here, and placed my order. It should be ready Friday. I also finally found a place that had Powerade. I have been looking for Gatorade everywhere and this was the closest I could find. Everything else here seems to be sparkling (fizzy).

Today I wanted to swim 2 laps/3 miles in the harbor. It was a bit windy but no whitecaps. Just "channel chop" as I've heard it called. It is still very disruptive to a good stroke though. It feels like someone is pushing up the water randomly and tossing my body up and down in a disjointed way. It's not great for my right shoulder as it sometimes makes me hyper-extend it. And dang it was cold!!! I wish I knew a way to better acclimate to it. Today was actually harder than yesterday for some reason. I try mightily to go somewhere else in my mind and not think about it but it is relentless. Maybe it's easier on others or maybe I am a big baby but it's hard as heck for me. I try fast kicking and fast swimming but it doesn't seem to do much. But, I got through my goal of 2 laps and did a few hundred yards extra...but only because my bottle was clipped on a bouy and I had to get it! Speaking of bouys, I haven't hit one yet Liz. Just some seaweed but its a miracle that I haven't hit a bouy and freaked out. I try not to look up too much. Just to see if I am headed to the right spot on the walls. And Tobey, the wind was actually making the right side of the harbor the tough part this week. It was the opposite a few weeks ago. So going to the left is like swimming uphill with the waves smacking you in the head. Going back is like body surfing. Well not quite that good but you know. A lot faster anyway. My pilot Eddie has guaranteed that I will have good surfing waves carrying me to France. I had to pay a little extra for that though. ;-)

Speaking of weather, Eddie e-mailed and said that it is looking like I will be able to swim next week. Yay! Still don't have an exact date but I think it could be the 22nd or soon thereafter. I am going to try and meet him on his boat this Saturday evening and chat about things. My family, support person Bonnie and her daughter Anna should be here by then. I am picking them up at London Gatwick early Saturday.

Well, I'm off to try a new place for dinner tonight. I am going to check out the Swingate Inn down the road from here for those of you who are familiar with the area. Tomorrow I may take a day off from swimming depending on how tired I feel. Might even get a massage for the back. Might check out Dover Castle. I know, rough life.

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