2017 English Channel swim

Friday, January 12, 2018

2018 Marathon swim Bucket List

                                  Photo credit:  Christaan Felber
    In a few weeks I will be celebrating my 67th birthday.  I plan to celebrate all year long by attempting four marathon swims on my lengthy Bucket List of marathon swims.   In June I will attempt the 28 mile swim around Manhattan Island in New York.  This will be a great challenge for me because I am such a slow swimmer.  I will need to reach the halfway point of this swim at a certain time or I will be pulled from the swim and listed as a DNF.   Yikes!!!!    In August,  I will swim 22 miles across Lake Tahoe in California.  This swim will be a great challenge due to it's high altitude.  To prepare for high altitude,  I purchased a high altitude trainer to be worn during my cross training (not swimming).   This device is used by runners to adapt to high altitudes.  Hopefully I will gain the same benefit.  Upon my return from California, I will travel to Scotland to swim 21 miles the length of Loch Ness.  The challenge of swimming Loch Ness will be the frigid water.  Water temperature is expected to be in the low fifties.   I continue with my cold acclimation here in Maine.  Even though I have stopped open water swims for the winter month,  I acclimate by working outside in lightweight clothing during frigid Maine winters.  For example, I built an ice skating rink for my young grandchildren.   I packed 6 inches of snow on my frozen backyard and then flooded it with a garden hose several times each day for several days.    I averaged 4 hours per day in air temperatures well below zero.   After the rink was built,  I carved a luge into the snowbanks for my grandchildren to use their sleds to slide across the rink (And yes, I went sledding, too).   It was great fun!   And believe me,  I quickly became acclimated.  When warmer air temperature reached 30 degrees here in Maine,  I was getting overheated.  During my hiatus from open water swimming, I train at my local pool.   My fourth marathon swim for this year is Lake Windermere in England.    After my Loch Ness swim is completed, I will drive 5 hours to Lake Windermere with my crew.   This swim will be challenging due to the closeness of two marathon swim earlier in the month of August.  I will soon find out if my quick recovery after a marathon swim occurs at the age of 67.   Regardless,  I am going to enjoy scratching off each swim on my long adventurous bucket list of swims.