8 Hour Training Swim

My last big training swim before Catalina happened this morning. 8 hours from the strand in Dana Point. After 16 miles I was still feeling good and that is a big confidence builder for September 18th.

I met up with Jim Fitzpatrick and Lynn Kubasek at 7am at the Strand parking lot and we headed down the steps to a fog enveloped beach. After sticking bottles of sports drink in our suits, we headed out into fairly large waves and very murky water and determined to stay within sight of shore so we wouldn’t get lost. It wasn’t too fun- being that close to shore in big swells and chop made for a lot of bouncing around in a lot of kelp that scratched me up and irritated my nipples- I wish I had a rash guard. I’ll admit with foggy goggles and the foggy air- I had a hard time even seeing Lynn and Jim swimming right next to me. We lost sight of the shore at one point and got pointed out to sea in the fog- not good. We were able to stop and use the sound of the waves to guide us back.

Lynn left us after the first 2 hour shift as we switched out our “crack bottles”. Jen Schumacher then joined us for the second 2 hours as the fog was lifting. We were able to get out of the kelp forests for the latter part of the swim. Jen’s friends came out on kayaks for the last 30 mins and commented on a couple of dolphins swimming along side me and Jim.

The 3rd 2 hours was an uneventful one. Jim and I swam alone up to the point north of Salt Creek beach and back for the third time. The water visibility for some reason improved from 5 feet to 10-15 briefly. The fog thickened briefly just before burning off completely.

During the last 2 hours, we were accompanied by Tory in a kayak, which was nice practice. The sun was bright and I got a bit of a sunburn on my back.

As we finished hour 8 a little after 3pm, we met Dave Galli on the beach. I had a good, but brief conversation with him before Dave headed out with just Jim for hours 9 and 10.

In the end, I only had a little bit of “raisin tongue”, sunburn, and some chaffing on the front of my neck. The sea life was friendly and the shoulders held up. Gu Gels on the hour, 8 oz of Cytomax every 30 minutes, and 1/2 a Powerbar every 2 hours seemed to keep me well fueled.

A HUGE thanks to all the people who accompanied Jim and I on the swim. The most thanks goes to my wife Ellie, who ran kids to 3 soccer games today while being 5 1/2 months pregnant on her birthday weekend. She was supportive beyond belief of this swim I needed to complete 12 days before my Catalina Crossing. Guys, they don’t make them any better than that! Mom, I promise I’ll make it up to her. 🙂

One thought on “8 Hour Training Swim

  1. Hi Chris!

    Just catching up on your blog after returning from the swim coaches world clinic…

    MAN! This is some SERIOUS training you have done in the last few weeks! You will no doubt be ready to rumble on the 18th!

    How is the support crew shaping up?

    The mouthwash tip is a good one, but you may want to try to find something non-mint since that can give you a sense of cooling. I found something that was raspberry (I think) when I swam the EC.

    I saw Sid Cassidy and Steve Munatones at ASCA. They gave a great pitch to the world’s swim coaches to actively recruit swimmers to the sport of open water swimming for future Olympians.

    Some day after you have made your millions and retire, you could definitely coach swimmers in this open water sport. You certainly have grasped all the fine points (and big ones) of the preparation!

    See you back soon!

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