Long Swimming

“Did you sleep well last night, or were you too excited to sleep?” Coach Kevin greeted me.

“I took 5 milligrams of melatonin and passed out. Otherwise I wouldn’t have slept at all.” It’s true. My imagination paired with excitement could have been a problem.

It was 5 in the morning and still dark. We talked about our plan. We’d swim for about 2.5 hours then meet up with Ken and Becky and finish the last 2.5 hours of the days training swim.

The water was calm and warm. One, two, three breathe. I started to establish a rythym. I took a breath to my right and Kevin was smiling and holding my first bottle of accelerade. Already time for my first feed I thought? I swallowed all 6 ounces in two gulps and I was back face down in the water.

“What the hell is that?!” I screamed. “There’s something big below me.”

“It’s just a sea lion. He’s been following you for a while” kevin laughed.

Stroke swim stroke kick- I really dislike kicking. My mind wandered easily, and I wasn’t thinking about much.

Crap. I just swam away from Kevin again.

“When you breathe only to one side it pulls you to that side”. He’s the coach for a reason.

Stroke, stroke, stroke, brea… burrrrrpp. Right in Kevin’s face.

“Sorry,” I said as I rolled my face back into the water. Gross, I thought.

We swam south from La Jolla Shores to The Cove. Then we turned and went north to Scripps pier and back south again to La Jolla Shores.

“I think that’s them” I said.

“I think so too.”

Ken and Becky swam out further towards us, “Hey! How’s it going? How are you feeling?” Ken asked.

“Good! Water’s great!” I said excitedly. I wasn’t tired yet. We were only two and a half hours in and most of my long swims, although in a pool, had been longer.

We continued swimming south again to The Cove and then back north. We Swam into Carol and her pod. She greeted us with hugs and her usual warm smile.

We kept swimming North to the pier again. Once at the pier Becky pushed us more west towards a buoy. We stopped and talked a while. Becky reminisced on old training swims, also done with Kevin. Ken commented on me getting stronger and faster. He asked more about how I was feeling, and Kevin continued to keep my feeds at exactly six ounces every thirty minutes.

We swam south again to La Jolla Shores. Kevin had two large jugs of warm water in his car. He poured them over me. I apologized that I wouldn’t be able to do the same for him, and he laughed. “You just got done doing all the hard work! I didn’t expect you to!”

Ken and Becky went and rinsed off and changed; then they met us at our cars. We walked a couple of blocks to a nearby Mexican restraunt and had lunch. Ken and Kevin talked about swimming and a reunion party that kevin is planning. Becky and I talked about channel swims.

Once home my sleepiness wore off and I had a jolt of energy. I washed out all of my water bottles and did the rest of the dishes from the night before.

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