Sunday, October 15, 2006

American Channel Queen Marcy MacDonald visits us at La Jolla Cove!

Pictured here are Channel Swimmers Scott Lautman, Marcy MacDonald, me, Jim Bayles and Bob West. Sea temp has risen to 65F. We went for quite a long sightseeing swim and then to lunch!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Queen of The Channel Swims at La Jolla Cove

Alison Streeter, Queen of The Channel, and her mum visited us in La Jolla this weekend.

Alison has swum the English Channel more times than any other person in history - 43 crossings and counting! She has several two-way swims to her credit and is the only woman and one of only three people to have swum the English Channel three-ways.

Her mum, Freda Streeter, volunteers her time during the summers, coaching and encouraging channel aspirants in Dover, England. She is fondly known as "The General" and has helped many swimmers realize their dream to swim the English Channel.

Saturday morning's training session

Scott Richards, Freda Streeter, Jim Bayles, Queen Alison Streeter, Cyrise Sanders, Heather Wolfenden, me and Bob West. It was a beautiful, sunny day in La Jolla and we had a glorious swim at the Cove. Sea temp 60-61F.

Sharing Channel Swim Stories

Queen Alison and her mum, Freda

Alison, Bob and Freda

Sunday Morning's Swim Session at the Cove

Jim Bayles, Alison Streeter, Freda Streeter, Bob West, Marc Lewis and puppy Athena. Sea temp hovering around 60F.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

2 X 3 = 6 Miles!

Inspired by the La Jolla Rough Water Swim last weekend, I decided to use the 3-mile Gatorman course for my training swim today. Two laps from the Cove to Scripps Pier and back would give me a 6-mile swim. Starting out slow and easy, I settled into a pace I could sustain for the long haul - "channel pace". My first 3-mile lap was 1 hour and 15 minutes. I took a 5 minute break on the beach for a feed and a chat with the lifeguard and was off again for another lap to the pier and back. I was feeling pretty good for that second 3 miles - I finished that lap in 1 hour and 12 minutes. Goal achieved - consistent "channel pace" throughout my swim!

Monday, August 28, 2006

12 Miles (my longest swim for this year)

It's done. Now I can come "down the ladder" for the rest of this year. Yesterday, with the company of training partners Heather and Ruthy (each doing 10K) I made it through that 12-mile swim. Tired from work and workouts, I really wanted to put it off a week and do the swim when I had more energy. That didn't work out with the Labor Day weekend coming up, so I decided to do some mental conditioning. To swim the channel, you must train yourself to continue swimming even when you are feeling desperate and miserable. My swim yesterday gave me some excellent practice doing that. From the first stroke, I could tell it would be a fight just to finish - never mind quality. A BIG thank you to Heather and Ruthy for swimming alongside me with your positive vibes!

I'm okay today - went to the noon Masters session at the JCC just to "stretch it out" and ended up swimming a good workout. Go figure?!?!

For the rest of this year, my long swims will be 8 - 10 miles at the most!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Carol, Anne and Sal

Carol Sing and I celebrated Sally Minty-Gravett's successful Catalina Channel swim (9 hours 51 minutes!) with her at dinner in the village of La Jolla. Cheers to Sally and may the festivities continue!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

10 Miles!!!

The pain in my lats and shoulders has subsided enough for me to sit down at my computer and write about yesterday's 10 mile swim. With the help of training partners Carol, Heather, Gavin and Ruthy, each accompanying me for a lap or two across our bay, I crossed the 10-mile hurdle. The sun was out and the sea temperature hovered in the low 70's. We all agreed it was hard to call this "training". The first two laps went by easily; the ocean was smooth as glass. During the third lap, the wind began to pick up and miles 7 - 10 were done in the usual afternoon wind chop with a swell building. Those last two laps really hurt - we were swimming straight into the wind and swell each time we made our way back to the Cove from the Shores. As they say..."Train for the worst and hope for the best."

Next long training swim is August 27th - 12 miles....stay tuned.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Finally - 8 Miles!

On Sunday, July 9th, I had nothing to do but that 8 mile swim. So - I got up early, mixed my feeds and got down to the Cove as close to 10:00am as I could. Starting out easy, I made my way to the lifeguard tower at the Shores and back 4 times. It was a snap - a real breakthrough for me after struggling with the endurance swims all spring. Now - the plan....10 miles on August 5th and 12 miles on the 27th - then the training for next year's English Channel swim will begin.


In June, I was invited to visit Monaco for a swim from Cap Martin in France to the Musee d'Oceanographique in Monaco, a distance of 6,000 meters. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the ocean was blue and clear and warm. I finished in an hour and twenty minutes and was enjoying myself the whole way. Finally, I got good conditions on a swim!

Swimming by the Casino at Monte Carlo

Swimming in to the Finish!

Swim Finished at the Musee d'Oceanographique

The Reception at the Musee d'Oceanographique

Walter Cronkite at the Hotel de Paris!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

8 Miles - well, not quite....

On Saturday, Gavin, Brian and I did a quick 2 miles. The sun was out and the ocean temperature had risen to 67F, so it was a fun lap from the Cove to the Shores and back for us.

Sunday was another warm, sunny day, with quite a bit of wind from the southwest. I had planned to swim 8 miles, but only had 6 in me and that's all I did. Heather joined me for the first 2 miles - then I limped through miles 3 - 5 by myself. Mile 6 wasn't so bad, as I had settled into my swim by then, but was just too tired to finish - so I didn't. Next time...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Weekend Training - upping the mileage (slowly)

This past Saturday was the first warm, sunny day we have had here in weeks! March and April were rainy, and this year's May gray came in right on schedule. Forrest, visiting from LA, and Heather and I did a beautiful two mile swim, enjoying the crystal clear water and warm sunshine.

Sunday proved to be another story. May gray had returned with a vengeance, as well as a bit of wind from the southwest - a precursor to a storm blowing in. Ruthy and I steeled ourselves and did three laps - six miles. Ruthy is a professional triathlete, specializing in the Ironman distance, and is daunted by nothing. Her positive attitude was impressive - I've seen seasoned channel swimmers bag it on days like that, but she stuck with it 'till the finish. We even mangaged to agree that we were enjoying ourselves - after all, we were at the beach!

Next longer swim in three weeks - four laps = 8 miles!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

First "Long" Swim of the Season!

This is the first weekend of spring training in Dover Harbor - where channel swimming aspirants will begin to acclimate to swimming in cold water. The water temperature in Dover Harbor was 49F and everyone did two 15 minute swims on Saturday - I haven't heard yet about Sunday's swims.

In honor of this, I did the first "long" swim of my training for my one-way English Channel swim in July of 2007 - 4 miles in the ocean off of La Jolla. I've decided to ease into this gradually. The first two-mile lap from the Cove to the lifeguard tower at the Shores and back I did alone, and my fast-swimming friends Heather and Ruthy from the pool joined me for the second lap. Next time I will do it the other way around and start out with the girls and finish by myself. The sun came out during the second lap and the ocean temperature hovered around 58F - it's hard to call this "training" - we all agreed it was more like fun!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Starting the Long Ocean Swims Again

It's April now, and time to start long ocean swims again. The water temperature here in the La Jolla Cove is 60 degrees - perfect for training. My long swims will be from 6 - 12 miles and will be done on the weekends. During the week, I will do quality interval workouts in the pool with the JCC noon Masters Swimming group, some days with an ocean swim first. This year, I am training for the training.