Ok, here is another video, the best I've seen so far; I love the overhead shot. She stumbles a little bit walking in... I am amazed that she could walk at all!
What an amazing, inspirational lady!!!! I'm going to quit whining about 10K ow in lakes!
I noticed when she started that she has a wide stroke recovery and seemingly low turnover rate, with what must be a large dps. About 2 mph seems like a pretty good rate for 100 miles in open ocean, so there must be quite a bit of mucho pull going on underwater.
A terrific achievement and lesson in determination.
We know the Race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the Strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the Whirlwind and directs this Storm? [John Page to Thomas Jefferson July 20, 1776]
Not that I ever even thought about it before Nyad came (back) on the scene in recent years, but I don't think I would've believed previously that a 64 year old woman could successfully undertake something this strenuous. Of course, even the 50-60 or however many miles she completed on her "failed" attempts over the past few years was incredible - but somehow, because they were "failed" attempts - I managed, like a dope, to brush them aside, put it all out of my mind. But now that she has actually completed her amazing quest, she truly has changed my conception of things in a big way, and indelibly (unless it turns out I'm an even bigger dope than I realize). I truly feel grateful to her.
It's hard to fathom how someone could swim continuously for 50 hours. That kind of endurance is just staggering.
Definitely. I wouldn't believe that's possible until now. She just logged most of my GTD in one solid feat
Was that a customs official inside the circle?
Last edited by __steve__; September 3rd, 2013 at 12:02 PM.
Thermoregulation. She was immersed for 53 hours. The water was colder than her body, which meant she had to replace the heat lost to the water with heat generated by metabolism and exercise. But she couldn't get too hot! It's quite a balancing act.
Hydration. Had to get enough water, frequently enough, but not too much, and not too often.
Nutrition. Had to stay fueled, with same constraints as water, plus not become nauseated.
Saltwater. Continuous exposure to non-isotonic saltwater over 53 hours is another dehydrator. Her lips showed the effects at the end.
She swam at a rate of about 50 strokes per minute for 53 hours. That's about 160,000 strokes.
Breathing. Effects of 80,000 breaths of moist, salty air on respiration. How did she keep from getting too much salt in her lungs? Also, she is known to suffer from asthma.
Suit mechanics. 160,000 repetitions is a lot. She could not afford to have even a little abrasion from her suit, anywhere.
Stroke mechanics. Her stroke mechanics had to be impeccably clean. She could not afford to have any impingement, anywhere, or allow any inflammation to develop, even in the presence of waves.
Psychology. We've all wanted to quit halfway through our measley little 1650s, imagine what she must have felt like at 55 miles, halfway through hers.
And this part I find unimaginable ...
Sleep deprivation. Imagine sustaining all of the above, wtih acute sleep deprivation. She was awake, and swimming, for more than two whole days. She had to keep her focus, and keep going, while her brain was telling her lord only knows what. Two sleepless nights can induce existential depression, and even hallucinations. Yet she kept going. Diana Nyad is one tough critter.
She survived all of that, and was still able to walk up onto the beach, and make a little speech.
Staggering is a good word.
It sounds like she is planning on doing a 48 hour swim in a 50m pool on October 8th:
I'm interested in what her recovery from the swim will be. In the pictures I saw, I noticed she was put on an IV drip pretty quickly. I'm assuming the time spent in salt water dehydrated her fairly severely, even with the fluid and food intake. I followed her blog over the weekend, where her team was posting regular updates. They explained how they would do the feeding and what interaction she could have with her team (they could get in the water with her to apply sunscreen and anti-jellyfish-sting cream, as well as anti-chafing cream. she would put the jellyfish suit and mask on when the jellyfish specialists spotted the little buggers and at night, but she didn't like wearing it, so would take it off when she could). There were team members ahead of her in the water looking for sharks and jellyfish and guiding her around the jellies (apparently very few sharks spotted and the boat had some kind of anti-shark electrical system to keep them away). The guideboats had a white streamer for her to follow, which had red lights on it at night. She did have problems with nausea and was apparently vomiting most of the way from saltwater intake. A doctor took vital signs regularly, and at one point her team skipped her feedings so she didn't have to slow down because she was getting too cold and they wanted her to keep swimming to keep warm. She even remembered the birthday of one of her crew members and stopped to tread water and make everyone sing happy birthday to him. What an amazing woman!
And, the suit was only a thin lycra suit; nothing like a tech suit at all.
Swimosaur, thanks for your post; a well thought-out breakdown of her amazing accomplishment!
Arther, thanks for the article about her upcoming swim. COOL! I wish I could be there to see it live. Hopefully, the media will pick it up and televise at least the end of her swim.
Yes thanks Swimosaur, that really spells it out; and "moon shot" seems like an apt comparison. Amazing.
I keep thinking how Nyad had to swim about 7 extra miles over the 103 point-to-point miles because of course corrections. Now, if I was told in the middle of one of my 2500 yd swims, "Oopsie - you got off course just a little bit there, Greg, so you're going to need to make a 7 mile correction to complete your swim today," I'd be disheartened beyond all toleration. But Nyad had to do those 7 miles on top of the minimum 103!
I don't care if it's a female suit, I'm getting one. (I naively thought the Speedo "Endurance" suit was going to help me swim longer. That didn't work out; but I'm a lot smarter now and am certain that wearing Diana's suit will do the trick!)