Back into training mode after summer vacation
it's been over a month since the last update, and there have been quite a few developments in my project to support the Red Cross through swimming.
There have also been several natural disasters around the world, where the Red Cross provided emergency aid. This is precisely why I’m running this project. Your support is hugely appreciated – I really can’t say that enough – please see below how easy it is to continue to support this effort :)
Since last time…
As I had indicated in my last update, in August I swam my hometown's open water swim, named Abelardo López after a legendary open water swimmer from Ferrol, my home town.
It was a great event, very well organized by the swim club that I used to swim for (C.N. Marina Ferrol). It took place in the bay of Ferrol; more precisely in and around the navy's armory. It's so cool to see those navy ships up close and personal :)
Although the water was quite fresh at 18 degrees Celsius, I swam without a wetsuit... it was ok for the first 20 minutes, but my feet and hands started to go numb after that, with 10-12 minutes to go. Lucky for me, it was a perfectly warm and sunny day so I warmed up quickly after finishing (32 minutes). Now I know approx. where my tolerance limit for cold water is. This also means I won't be swimming the English Channel anytime soon (rules do not allow wetsuits – cold water training will be needed for that, but that’s a whole different story).
I took this selfie before the start – cool boat, huh!?(please follow this link if images don’t display correctly: http://bit.ly/SwimDonate)
And the local newspaper took this one as I was about to jump in the water (I was number 374; I let the younglings go first):
After this event, I took a couple weeks off from swimming, but I was not out of the water for too long, as I did do some surfing while on vacation at home.
What is happening now…
With the next two long swims coming up in October, I am now again full into training mode: I have to keep increasing the amount of swimming that I do in order ensure I will be able to complete the two marathon swims (10 km and 15 km) in October. I am currently up to 24 km weekly (last week), and plan to swim ca. 30-32 km this week as per my training plan (I do wish I had more time though). For now, that is all: swim, work, rest, and repeat.
Coming up next month…
October promises to be an exciting – and tiring – month.
October 15th – Oceanman Benidorm “The Final” (10 km) is a go! Registration is confirmed, flights and hotel booked, so here I go! This event takes place in Benidorm, near Alicante, Spain. The swim starts out from the beach, then we swim to, and around, Benidorm island, and then back to shore.
Although this event is the world championship final of the Oceanman series, my real motivation is not the competition itself (I’ve done enough competing when I was younger), but the experience of swimming around an island in the open ocean – and of course to motivate readers of this blog entry to help me in supporting the Red Cross.
October 28th – Travesía La Bocaina (15km) is also a go! After some time in the waiting list for registration, I was able to get in, and the traveling arrangements are all made. This swim starts in the island of Lanzarote, goes past the islet of Los Lobos, and ends in Fuerteventura. Water temperature is expected to be 23 degrees Celsius (quite comfortable), so I’m really just hoping for very calm seas and no wind … and I really don’t want to start thinking about the fauna lurking in those deep waters…
Looking ahead to 2018…
I’ve been doing a bit of research into what open water swimming events are taking place next year, and also doing some very preliminary planning. There are some amazing spots to discover - some of these events are actually quite hard to complete for reasons other than swimming capacity: for some, the registration fills up in a matter of minutes; for others, it’s up to logistics vs. Mother Nature (sometimes conditions are simply not swimmable during your assigned window). I may not be able to attempt all of these in 2018, but I’ll keep them in the list for 2019:
- Oceanman Lago D’Orta, 14 km, Italy, June
- The Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim, 6 km, Turkey, July
- Zurich Lake, 26 km, Switzerland, August
- Desafío Islas Cíes, 10 km, Spain, August
- Masters European Long Distance Swimming Championships, 5 km, Slovenia, September
- Strait of Gibraltar Crossing, 18.5 km – 22 km, Spain to Morocco*
- Lake Constance Three-Country Crossing, 38 km, Germany to Switzerland to Austria*
- Oceanman Benidorm, 10 km, Spain, October
* Unlike most of the organized swimming events, the Lake Constance Three-Country Crossing (Lindau to Rorschach to Bregenz) and the Strait of Gibraltar Crossing are solo swims: the swimmer must organize them individually (boats, observer, etc.), and needs to reserve a time slot. The swim can then be attempted only if Mother Nature allows it within the assigned time window. The Strait of Gibraltar is 14.4 km in its shortest distance, but this route is not the ideal to swim across. The best route to swim across is between 18.5 km and 22 km long, depending on where the swimmer finishes (ocean currents divert the swimmer to different landing points on the Moroccan coast).
And some day… the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming (http://bit.ly/2vpB3VD)
Once again, I can’t end this entry without thanking all of you for your past donations (you are receiving this because you donated). I really can’t say enough how grateful I am that you support me in this effort.
As you well know, there have been several major natural disasters in the time since my last update. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria devastated not only the US, but also most of the Caribbean, leaving death and destruction in their path, and causing material damage sometimes worth multiple times the GDP of some island nations. The multiple earthquakes in Mexico left hundreds dead, injured and many more homeless or without basic needs. Aid organizations like the Red Cross are always there providing emergency aid, from find and rescue to food and shelter. Emergency aid organizations like the Red Cross can only be effective if they get on the ground fast, so they need donations to prepare for such events proactively. This is exactly the reason why I started this project.
As I continue my daily training, I would like to again ask you to help me spread the word – the more people see my project, the more likely donations will get to the Red Cross. If you’ve already donated, please consider doing so again in light of the recent catastrophes.
It really takes no effort to help out: simply share this link http://bit.ly/SwimDonate and/or click donate.
Gemeinsam können wir viel bewirken / Together we can achieve a lot