Friday, Saturday, Sunday all very good training days where I've done all what in my mind was missing.
Friday a great pool workout, I felt really good.
Saturday morning LO swim in Oakville where I was actually able to catch up with some of the L.O.S.T. swimmers.
After a little chat with Rob Kent and some other swimmers I went back into the water for an hour pulling Santiago on the Kayak, the morning was gorgeous, the water was clear, not wind…was very easy to move around even pulling the big kid.
At night we had another great dinner at the Guelph mexican restaurant Señor Chipotle
But Yesterday Kendra, Shirley, Katie San and I had the great pleasure of visiting Tony Chisholm and his wife in Niagara-on-the-Lake. They are just amazing great people that gave us the opportunity of training in LO on the conditions that we never had before: strong wind, big waves in the big lake. Tony took us out on his boat, show us exactly how things might happen on our day, and once we were on the line where the river turns into the lake I jumped in.
The water was really warm there!
With certain amount of anxiety, I started swimming … the waves were really big, I am nobody to say how big but I know that I was able to see nothing but walls of water coming to me on each side.
It is just incredible how the perspective changes once you are in the water and you are not able to see much more than a few meters ahead… so again just water. If I wanted to see the boat, I had to lift my face high up and wait until the crest of the waves went down so I could see it, then keep swimming.
I couldn't feel if I was really going somewhere, I just swam trusting Tony and looking always for the boat.
I felt really slow, sometimes the waves surprised me and while at the top of one I fell a few centimeters into the lower water which does not make it a smooth swim at all. In my head I was thinking… If today is the day, will be just 20 hours of this! I got scared, but you know what, I know can be worst.
I am very lucky to have the crew I have. Katie was on top of her game and I do not know where did she get water from ( I didn't have any with me when we got into the boat) but 30 minutes into the swim they stopped me to have the first feeding time. A great practice we are coordinated and we understand each other.
20 minutes after I started to have a headache, the goggles were too tight, I needed to do something… but not then suddenly the water temperature dropped probably 3 degrees … and you can certainly feel that.
I had 10 more minutes before I had another stop for food and then I asked: How much longer? ( at the end of the day was a training session only) When ever you are ready they said.
What Kendra says?
Kendra can't talk they said.
Then I said, lets do 15 minutes more. And resume swimming for those 15 minutes. If I was already tired and feeling kind of sick, knowing that on the boat things weren't going so great made me forget about me feeling not great and thinking about the people on the boat.
When I got back into the boat I said to Tony: 20 hours of this will be very, very hard. He said the swim master probably would not allow us to start if those conditions where to stay. The crew suffers a lot; he said.
We checked out the GPS and the route we took; he explained to me how because of the wind direction, he kept me on the right side of the direct line to Toronto (otherwise we would have to swim more to keep the direction).
Then the big surprise: 8Km. in 1 hour and 15 minutes in fairly rough waters, Wow! and I thought I was very slow!
That is the power of the current of the Niagara river.
Then we went back to Niagara- on – the – Lake and he was incredibly generous, sharing his navigation knowledge with us and his history knowledge specially with Santiago that knows much more than I could imagine. We went for a few moments into U.S. waters, he showed us how beautiful everything is around there. After the swim we went to the patio at the golf club and while having something to eat we also learned many details that we will use to finalize our plans for organizing the whole crew jobs and to plan how everything will (should) work the on the big day.
With this training I think I have done all what I could to have a little idea of what the swim is going to be.
Only a little idea. Now is just a matter of waiting and putting everything together on August 10th.
Tony, thank you very much for your generosity and hospitality.