I Signed Up For Maggie Fischer Memorial 5.5-Mile Cross Bay Swim

Hilary at the pool at the Aquatic Center in Eisenhower Park

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