Signing up is the easy part. Training and getting mentally fit is the hard thing about getting ready for a 5.5-mile Maggie Fischer Memorial Cross Bay Swim in July.
Swimming at Lifetime
I started out by swimming between 1 – 2 miles in the pool. I’ve been training at Lifetime Fitness in Garden City and as the clock ticks by I keep thinking that the lifeguards are going to kick me out of the pool. (There was a 30-minute limit if someone was waiting.)
Now, the training has picked up to 2-3 miles in the pool, until the water warms up a bit in the bay.
The anxiety of potentially getting pulled before my workout ends, stays with me throughout the entire swim. I try to get it out of my head but it keeps creeping back.
Lifetime recently instituted a reserve the lane program so I’ll be doing that for hopefully, two – three hour blocks.
Wow, that’s a long swim
In addition to that, I’ve been talking with some people about the swim. Every time I mention it, someone says to me, “wow, that’s a long swim.”
When I signed up for the swim, of course I realized it was a long swim, but I also thought I could do this. I have lots of inspiration for doing this swim, for starters, one of my friends and teammates, Irene Lam competed in this swim a few years back. We both started in the pool together and having her finish makes me think that I can do it too. The other reason is that when I go back and read old blog posts, I know this race was meant for me to do.
Talking with a sponsor
The other day, I was interviewing one of my team sponsors. I told her about the swim and she said, “you really need to prepare.”
“Make sure you open all of the gels prior to getting in the water. Tie them with a fish line and also have your bottles tied to a fish line too. Every 15 minutes, your kayaker needs to throw you a line. You can’t touch the kayak. Stay focused,” she said.
She also sent me her training plan. I started to panic. Will I be able to do this? What was I thinking?
I called my coach. “So, what do you think?” I asked Danielle. “It’s not that intense,” she said. “Don’t worry!”
I let it go. I’m not going to let other people get in the way of this. I was meant to swim a marathon and I’m going to do it.
Angel and Devil
Although I let it go, I still have negative thoughts that cross my mind. Will I be able to do it in the time allotment? Can my kayaker be able to handle various conditions? Will that throw me off? What happens if I need to rest? Am I good enough to get this done???
And with every negative thought, I keep trying to brush it away with a positive one like, it wasn’t that long ago that I learned how to swim! I’ve come a long way! I could get this done. I will do this!
Swimming 10,000 yards and beyond
A couple of weeks ago, I started to swim 10,000 yards and beyond in the 25 yard pool at Lifetime. Now that they have this registration system, I have to jump on it if I want to get my spot. As of last week, I swam close to 16,000 yards and decided to take the swims outdoors, since Lifetime just opened their outdoor 25 meter lap pools.
The open water has such a calming effect on me. It is meditative yet it could get angry and rough where you need to really focus. But, when I’m in the pool, I feel like a fish where I can swim back and forth forever…
The other day, I wrote to Danielle and told her to bring it on… Not only am I dreaming of swimming but I want to do it all the time. I want to swim as much as possible… Hey, I may not feel this way in a couple of weeks but right now, I just want to bring on the training!
Think I can get it done???
If you think I can do this, please consider donating to Hospice! I have to raise $500 to participate in this swim and would truly appreciate any and all donations!
Here’s the donation page – https://runsignup.com/HilaryTopper?fbclid=IwAR35CjJSS5w5aJIWk6TTpTXnHfX7kEPaIGoSxkEKiIfPNwRR4EBEe50aS3w
Thank you in advance for all of your support! xoxo