So excited! So nervous to be doing the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim (http://www.tampabayfrogman.com/) on January 2nd!
The Frogman Swim is a 5km race across a stretch of Tampa Bay that started off in Jan 2010 as a fund raiser for a wounded Navy Seal. In 2011, the swimmers will be raising money for the Naval Special Warfare Foundation, which helps the families of wounded or fallen Navy Seals.
The water temperature for the 2010 event was 58 degrees, and it doesn't look like warming up at all for the 2011 swim. I'm planning on swimming sans wetsuit, a decision made easy by the fact that I'd have to lose about 10lbs to fit into my wettie (I own one, but I never wear it so it's ok). After already being stuck in an 82 degree pool for 2 months, and with no opportunity to acclimatise myself except for having a cold bath, I'm nervous.
Fortunately, I've been assured by the race director that every swimmer has their own personal escort for the swim. I'm already having fantasies about being surrounded by Navy Seals, and am pretty sure I'm getting a whole unit as my escort. Here's an action shot of them practicing our mid-swim stealth hot chocolate feeding:
Navy helicopters chock full of Seals will be standing by in case I get too cold and need rescue:
Anyone trying to draft in my wake will experience unexplained warm currents, but will also have these guys to contend with:
Here's hoping my body remembers my cold swims from September and October and I'll make it! I'll be wearing my new robaquatics.com swimsuit, so I'll be stylish no matter what the outcome. So stylish, in fact, that I'm a bit worried I'll be bombarded by affectionate Seals at the finish line and will be too exhausted to take my daughter to Harry Potter Land after the race......
Seriously, though, if I don't raise some more money for this worthy cause, my crew may well consist of
To donate to the Naval Special Warfare Foundation in my name, please go to:
This morning I decided to join the guys from Openwaterchicago.com at North Avenue beach for a dip in the lake.
This is the sight that greeted me!
The bright orange thing is the ladder we normally use to climb up out of the lake
There were 4 of us there, including one real, honest to goodness Channel swimmer whose name I can't remember. The Channel swimmer, claiming to be hung-over, took a flying leap into the lake and started swimming. Shamefaced, the remaining 3 of us jumped in.
The water was quite nice, really. About 60 degrees, which was quite a bit warmer than the air temperature.
Not all the waves were this big:
I bobbed around and swam a little bit. The exit worried me, but turned out to be pretty easy. Just ride a little wave in, grab the ladder and cling!!!!
Here's some video of the others having fun after I'd made my escape.
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XEd1dnbiWg"]YouTube - VID00182[/nomedia]
All in all, a fun morning.
I'm thinking about friends doing the Little Red Lighthouse swim in New York tomorrow and wishing I was there.
I hope everyone has a great time! Good luck to Chaos, Evmo and Rondi and everyone else swimming (I haven't checked the roster lately). It looks like the course is going north under the George Washington Bridge, so you will get the opposite view to what we had in MIMS.
Here's a little bit of video saved from MIMS 2010, not long before I swam under the GW. Someone had just jumped from the bridge, which was very sad and disturbing. I wasn't able to find out any details about the incident afterwards, except that it's very unlikely one would survive a jump from that high.
Here's me and my crew.
Not a huge fan of Billy Joel, but this is a great song
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO2l7qtyyBw"]YouTube - BILLY JOEL- " New York State of Mind "[/nomedia]
Updated September 25th, 2010 at 01:21 AM by Chicken of the Sea
Although I lost the 15 minutes of video of me finishing MIMS this year, I saved some of my footage!
This is early in the race, about 3 hours in. I'm in the Harlem, and the water's finally gotten warm, brown and nutty. Conditions couldn't be better, but I'm feeling a little sorry for myself because of the screwdriver someone has inserted into my lower back and is twisting with every stroke.
The swimmer next to me is Rachel Golub. I think Mo Seigel is just ahead. There's also a 2 person relay around. We were all fairly close together the whole swim.
I think we had just passed, or were nearing Yankee(sp?) Stadium..
Updated August 6th, 2010 at 10:08 PM by Chicken of the Sea
I'm back!! Escaped from the Penal Colonies where I had the joy of swimming in The Entrance Ocean Baths. Like swimming in the ocean only with the sharks strained out )
The Northwest Passage and the Inside Passage have both been done to death.
These days, the navigation of only one Passage strikes fear in the hearts of able seamen the world over. The Back Passage.
The Back Passage of Manhattan.
Many have tried to swim up the nut-brown waters of the East and Harlem Rivers and return to their place of origin via the dysenteric Hudson, and many have succeeded. In fact, most have succeeded. I actually succeeded once myself, last year in July. But that was merely a dress rehearsal for this year's odyssey.
MIMS 2010 was tough! I was 25 minutes slower than last year's "quiet swim", but it's impossible to compare one year to another. This year the Hudson was quite rough for a long time, not fun as my lower back decided to hurt terribly for the whole swim. I was never really able to climb out of the funk from the back pain, so just tried to keep my head down and plod along. After a few rough hours in the Hudson I didn't think I would make it and had to ask my paddler if I was going to get there or if I was just kidding myself. "Only 2 more miles" he said!! It was only then that I really cheered up!!!!
Climbing that aluminium ladder at the finish is something I'll never forget. I confess I had a moist eye from the relief and joy.
The following is just a snippet of my adventure, including training and finishing. Many friends helped out in so many ways! Thankyou all. Thanks to Bill White for the emailed workouts!! I'm going to actually start doing the sprint and IM ones now . Thanks to Vivebene for many hours of company in the cold (and not so cold) lake at Promontory Point. Thankyou Chaos for all the help and the ride from the airport! Thanks to the Wolfpack for so much moral support
I also raised about $750 for the American Macular Degeneration Foundation
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLfqvjocJ00"]YouTube- Manhattan Island Marathon Swim 2010[/nomedia]
12 days to MIMS!!!!!!!!
My packing list:
-4 new pairs of goggles (two tinted, two clear);
-one old pair of goggles for Brighton swim;
-2 caps (one silicon, one latex, both lucky);
-my OW kit (personal lubricants and sunscreen);
-4 feed bottles with string;
-Perpetuem (enough for 9 1/2 hrs worth of feeds, + spare)
-Gu's (about 8);
-sandwich baggy full of Advil®
-instructions re pre-race meeting etc, copy of flights and hotel reservation;
-Goody bag for my crew;
-cooler bag for crew's food/drinks;
-thankyou cards/$ for boat crew and kayaker;
-swim backpack for stuff at race start;
-Flip video camera;
-phone and charger;
-ipod and charger;
-camera and charger;
-7 pairs of underpants;
-6-7 outfits (dresses, skirts etc);
-1 pair of nice shoes and 1 pair of flipflops;
-swim parka for race start;
-ball cap for after swim hair disasters;
-hair and makeup stuff;
-modest night attire so as not to scare my roommate;
-nice handbag containing wallet & sundry personal items;
To buy in NY
-water bottles and coke/ginger beer for boat;
-food for crew on boat;
-tshirts for kids that say "My mum went to New York and all I got was this crappy tshirt"
Did I forget anything?
Oh, and to donate to my cause (The American Macular Degeneration Foundation), please to go
and follow the prompts
5 weeks until MIMS!!!!
Am I ready for a 28 mile swim? NO!!!! I'm experiencing a very bad motivational slump and have been very slack indeed.
Here's a picture of what I looked like after last year's 8hr 36 minute swim. I thought it might be motivational but on second thoughts....
I plan on doing two long swims over the next two weeks before tapering for the big day. Most of my taper time will be spent acclimatizing myself to the cold. Lake Michigan is still in the 50's, so I'm hoping that the expected 60's temperatures around Manhattan will feel balmy. One can always hope...
This year I'm fundraising for the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. My grandfather lost his eyesight to macular degeneration and my mother recently lost a large portion of her eyesight to this disease.
If anyone would like to contribute, please click on the following link, and follow the prompts starting with "donate now".
This is still a preliminary beg, but I'll no doubt get more creative and and quite possibly forceful with my extortion attempts.
If this doesn't satisfy your urge to give, I'm willing to help out even more by accepting donations to help pay my hotel bill
Updated May 10th, 2010 at 02:23 PM by Chicken of the Sea
As part of my training for MIMS, I did a long swim today (10 x 1650's). I did this workout a couple of weeks ago and a few people asked me how I could swim this long, as it would be far too boring for them. I have two answers to this question:
1. Nothing is too boring for me; and
2. How could I possibly be bored when my mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapour of invention.
Behold the results of today's labours!! I submitted the following patent application to the Patent and Trademark Office and received the somewhat dubious serial number of 123,456,789. I'm sure this application will get through without any objections and I will receive a letters patent shortly.
Please private message me with any licensing offers.
US Patent Application Serial Number 123,456,789
Background of the Invention
In recent years, snorkels have become a very popular training apparatus for swimmers. When worn, a snorkel allows the swimmer to concentrate on his or her head position without having to move their head to breathe.
Traditional snorkels have proven ineffective when worn during backstroke, as the opening of the snorkel is submerged beneath the water, making breathing problematic.
Description of the Invention:
A traditional backstroke snorkel is shown in Figure 1. The tube (A) of the snorkel extends from the swimmer's mouth (B), over the swimmer's head (C) and then angles down, with the opening (D) resting underwater when the head is in the correct position for backstroke. This design has proven disastrous for some backstrokers, as it is nearly impossible to inhale anything other than water in this position.
A first embodiment of the present invention is shown in Figure 2. In this embodiment, the tube (A) of the snorkel extends from the swimmer's mouth (B), around the side and underneath the swimmer's head (C), and up above the surface of the water on the other side of the head (C). This embodiment has the advantage of having the snorkel opening (D) in the air instead of underwater.
This arrangement is advantageous in that the backstroker can keep their head in the optimal position during practice, while breathing enough air to remain alive.
A second embodiment of the present invention is shown in Figure 3. In this embodiment, the snorkel further includes a mirror (E). The mirror (E) is attached to the snorkel tube (A) and allows the backstroker to see where they are going.
A third embodiment of the present invention is shown in Figure 4. In this embodiment, a vase (F) is also attached to the tube (A). The vase (F) can contain a flower (G) or other foliage deemed attractive to the backstroker's coach or spectators. With this embodiment, it is recommended the backstroker perform open-turns rather than flip-turns. Other variations on this third embodiment include but are not limited to fishing tackle, video entertainment equipment, coffee-cup holders and ashtrays.
What is claimed is:
1. A backstroke training apparatus comprising an air tube connectable to a swimmer's mouth,
said air tube comprising an opening which protrudes above the surface of the water in which said swimmer is backstroking.
2. The backstroke training apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a mirror attached to said air tube
3. The backstroke training apparatus of claim 2, wherein said mirror is attached to said air tube above the surface of the water while said swimmer is backstroking.
4. The backstroke training apparatus of claim 1, 2 or 3, further comprising fishing tackle, a vase, video equipment, or an ashtray attached to said air tube.
5. The backstroke training apparatus of claim 4, where in said vase, fishing tackle, video equipment or ashtray is above the surface of the water when said swimmer is backstroking.
6. A backstroke training apparatus, substantially as described herein, with reference to the accompanying drawings.
Updated March 29th, 2010 at 01:49 AM by Chicken of the Sea
This is the view I had as I collapsed after my first run since Thanksgiving last year.
hit the deck! (yes, that's blue sky and sun. We're not used to it. It burns usssss)
Now slightly recovered, and looking like I'm wearing a Zorro mask:
and here's what was playing on my ipod:
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijZRCIrTgQc"]YouTube- R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts (Video)[/nomedia]
Updated March 17th, 2010 at 04:25 PM by Chicken of the Sea
Do I have a secret admirer? Is a secret someone telling me to shoot for the stars? That must be it!!
I emerged from Thursday night's solo swim to find my car window festooned with the following treasure:
I'm quite pleased with how the photo turned out, as it was very dark. I smeared the old fellow with my finger and concluded he must have been done in lipstick, though a very unfortunate colour.
My esteemed colleague Vlog suggested I draw a face or body around him and use him as the logo for an upmarket ladies' restaurant to be called "Dickey's ®".
I think this is an excellent suggestion.
Here's the workout I did. It's Bill White's workout, and he described it as long and boring. But it's gonna take a lot more than that to long and boring me! I enjoyed it.
Updated March 13th, 2010 at 09:10 AM by Chicken of the Sea
(trying to make the warning visible before actually opening blog)
It turns out that my last blog was quite cathartic (in the medical sense) so I am no longer sulking.
That sulk didn't last long. I very much appreciate the feedback and support from my usms friends on this matter. Thankyou all for helping me feel like less of a freakish b*&^ch.
I'm still buzzed and on the couch 2 hours after returning home from a very late and therapeutic swim with my friend Sue Appleyard (thankyou Sue for swimming with me!). I might be tired, but the kids are asleep, the dog's head is in my lap, and I'm working on a pencil thin moustache. Perfect.
Here's a live version of Nightswimming by REM. I play this over and over every time I swim at night. Enjoy.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx9br5ISRpo"]YouTube- R.E.M. - Nightswimming[/ame]
I'm sure this is no loss to anyone but there will be no more Nuggets issuing from these quarters for a little while, as I am sulking.
In brief, I practiced and signed up at USMS with Academy Bullets during the 2 month break my regular team takes in fall 2009.
I'd been with that particular team since I first started swimming in 1993. I did stroke clinics with them and loved their workouts. I eventually got hooked on Open Water, and their 2 month break fell at a bad time for my OW marathon swimming training. Nobody on that team shares my passion for marathon swimming, or even Open Water. I wish they did. I do miles and miles alone in the pool.
Well.....I paid up with my old team for the '10 season because I love their Tuesday and Thursday night practices and I get sick of swimming alone. I thought since I don't do pool meets and I'm generally a pretty harmless person who goes to practice regularly I'd be ok.
It seems not.
I was told I could NOT attend my old teams's practices starting summer if I didn't change my USMS designation back to their club.
OK, but where does this leave Bullets??? Why should THEY allow me to practice with them if I change my designation back to the other team?
How does one practice with more than one masters' team? I know people do it!
Updated March 3rd, 2010 at 08:13 PM by Chicken of the Sea
(removing more names because I am, after all, a Chicken)
It used to annoy me that, for the last few years, every time I talked to my mum on the phone she always asked me if I was sick.
She'd say I sounded like I had a cold.
I'd reply, "NO! I'm not sick, I've just been for a swim!".
It's now routine for me to sneeze for hours after every swim practice, and my sinuses are constantly blocked. I think this is a very common complaint for swimmers.
I didn't realise how awful I sounded until I bought myself a little Flip camera and played around with it this afternoon. This is not my real voice! Yuk! Sorry mum, you were right. I do sound like I have a cold.
This is a trial video I took this afternoon of my fledgeling, Charlotte, giving my 5lb, 10oz cat Marmalade, her thyroid medication.
Not sure if I've got permission to air this, but we all look fabulous, so here goes!
The Promontory Penguins make-up New Year's polar bear dip (women's division). Jan 31st 2010.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_6rrNPLbJA&feature=PlayList&p=3D50D1F19A3 DFA3D&index=2"]YouTube- Point penguins make up swim, women's division[/ame]
Updated February 1st, 2010 at 11:56 PM by Chicken of the Sea
(making the title more sensational, on advice from Vlog the Inhaler)
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk3S7zz2TiM"]YouTube- NPR Science: Deer Mouse Sperm Cluster To Swim Faster[/ame]
Updated January 21st, 2010 at 06:42 PM by Chicken of the Sea
Posted January 6th, 2010 at 09:33 PM by Chicken of the Sea
As the self appointed Chicago branch of the Sewickley SeaDragons, I've been receiving Bill White's excellent workouts via email on a daily basis.
Bill was on holidays over the recent Christmas break, though, so I was in a bit of a panic until Vlog the Inhaler stepped in with the Jimcentric "B" level mediocre workout. I received this fabulous looking workout on Dec 28th and was so excited that I raced to the pool two days later to do it.
About 10 minutes into the swim, I was ejected from my lane by a noodler class consisting of 4 ladies. A polite plea for compassion from the instructor resulted in "YES WE NEED 2 LANES FOR THIS CLASS YES OF COURSE WE DO!!!!!!". Said instructor then moved 2 of the women into the second lane so as to occupy it and I had to wait until a nice man offered to share his swimming lane.
Anyway......I was very grumpy and, although I got to finish the workout, I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have.
So yesterday I did a do-over!!!
Chicken O'C rides again!!!!
I was lucky enough to land a spot in the 2010 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (www.nycswim.org).
This year I'll be raising money for the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (www.macular.org), an organisation that raises awareness and supports research into the disease that took my grandfather's eyesight and, only a few months ago, a great deal of my mother's.
I won't start begging for donations until about April, but in the meantime my training has begun in earnest. Poor Earnest.
Not one to suffer alone, I plan to document my entire training process in painfully boring detail on this blog, including sudoku breaks, cups of coffee consumed, and visits to the loo.
Youtube provided my inspiration tonight, and I'd like to share the motivational interlude I found. This is how three nautical chappies see New York in just one day.
I hope I can also see New York in just one day on June 12th!!
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v7QfCxuvLo"]YouTube- Gene Kelly Frank Sinatra - "New York, New York"[/ame]