It must be said that the marathon swimming community is like no other – from the time I made several posts on a message board in an attempt at exploration of a dream, strangers have reached out to me to give me their advice and kindness. It’s something I won’t soon forget. It also solidified that I have a lot of work to do, and I know virtually nothing, and I need to start planning and thinking before I set a course of action. It’s my hope that this blog will either help someone (including myself) across the Channel successfully, or at the very least, provide a very good anecdote.
Unlike marathons or triathlons, there’s no pre-packaged training plans I can buy and abide by. The best I can do is figure out what others have done, and use that as a guide to help me find my way. I had a flight and a weekend away for a marathon (my third in four weeks, and my heart wasn’t in it) so I grabbed some e-books and immediately set to reading.
- In Cold Water, by Mike Humphrey
- Open Water Swimming Manual, by Lynne Cox
- Triathlon Swimming Made Easy, by Terry Laughlin
I finished In Cold Water, which I highly recommend as a good introduction to the cast and characters you’ll be meeting in the journey towards the Channel crossing – from pilots to marathon swimmers to friends we find along the way.
The book made me realize a few things:
- This won’t be cheap. That’s fine, in a way. I’ll just pretend that this is my midlife crisis BMW.
- I’m going to have to make a few trips to Dover as run-throughs for open water swimming, and I’m hoping a chance to be an observer for a swim. I think there’s no better way to experience this than to accompany a fellow traveler on our journey to something amazing.
- There will be some rough times ahead.
- The Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation and Channel Swimming Association will be my two new best friends.
- Eventually I’m going to have to tell friends and family. This, for me, is the scary part. I know my family and those I call my friends, and this might not go over well. Perhaps I’m just afraid of them taking my dream out behind the metaphorical shed and shooting it. Perhaps I’m afraid of them being fully supportive of me.
So much to do, and so little time.