Monday, August 3, 2009

August 2, 2009, The Swim

Good morning world!

What a great day we had out on the channel yesterday, and I am serious. I have never enjoyed any of my previous 9 so much, and that includes the doubles.

Not to be philosophical or anything, but who ever swam and crewed, whether making the journey to France, LIVED yesterday.Not in a danger sense but in a it's "great to be alive" aspect.
The morning started of easy enough, if wind conditions hadn't change, we probably would still be out there finishing the original plan.

When Freda Streeter calls the boat and asks Mike Oram how it is and he replies, "a bit lumpy", she's knows that we're not talking a ripple in the water.Usually I get very frustrated when encountered F3-4 winds, just because I was always thinking about the 'big' goal, but yesterday was different, as the conditions worsened, I started enjoying my swim more: time, doubles and triples blew away, and I was enjoying the present moment. I was probably the least 'affected' by the giant swells and crashing waves, and I'm glad I made a goggle change so I watch everyone roll back & forth on the Gallivant, very entertaining.

I think at my 10 hour feed, I had a conference with Mike and Janet, telling them I would be very content with a solo. Mike quickly responded, "we'll have none of that talk, be on your way". At first I was pissed, not speaking at the next feed but gradually my mind calmed and a turn around went back into place, but I really didn't know how I would manage on the way back, but time will tell. I started smiling and having fun again.

Mike landed me on a beautiful white sandy beach, I think he mentioned 'Petit Blanche Nez'. It was so sandy, I had quite a time searching for a pebble to bring back for collection. Oh yea, time, 11 hours, 31 minutes but that is insignificant, #10 in the books.

The surf was tough to get through and as I managed, I kept thinking, 'how are we going to back', 'you have got to be kidding'.

When I reached the boat, I spoke to Mike on the port side, something had changed in him. It probably was there the whole time but he wasn't going to let on. "Keep swimming for an hour or so, you can't be 1st to come out", at least I think I heard those words. I could do that, I wasn't cold, I wasn't injured, I actually felt quite good.

At the 1st feed, Derek handed me the warm Maxim and Honey, I was lightly hinting "any time you want to put the ladder down, I'm ready", Not yet. OK, swim some more. I was being shielded as much as possible by the boat, I had moved to swim on the starboard side after my talk with Mike upon return from the beach.

The waves and swells on the port side were grand I am told, I figured so, by the roll and waves that were squashed by the boat, were rolling me over onto my back. I have to admit at this time I was not swimming hard, I was playing, joking with Hal and Chris, as they climbed up to the upper deck, "you guys are mean" and "anytime now".AT the last feed, the ladder came down, but not before Mike knew I was content with the decision, and I was.

I had a BLAST. My only regret was that painful (intestinal) ride home to Dover Harbor.

Thank you everyone for yesterday, I will cherish the memories.

A 2nd blog will follow with pictures but at the time I must nap.

Janet Galya: crew chief and partner, thank you for standing by me (I understand why you may go into retirement)
Mike Oram: pilot and friendly mentor, I've never seen you at the helm for such a long time, T.Y.
Derek Carter: Boat crew and friend, Thanks for the feeds.
James: Boat crew and new friend, Thanks for the help
Hal & Chris: observers with great smiles
James Gardner: newbie who took the challenge to help Janet, unfortunately he went on a 8 hour roller coaster, you did fine James, thank you.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed
Help those with cancer:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Here we go again

Woke up at 3:20, made the coffee, called Mom for a good bye & I love you.

Last emails and FBing.

Woke up the Mexicans and now we're heading downstairs for a 2nd cab ride.

Talk to you later.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.
Help tohose with Cancer;

We'll give it another try tomorrow & Happy Birthday Patrick

Hopefully, the weather front that stuck over Dover today, will be far, far away tomorrow morning.

Sunday August 2nd is the lowest of this Neap tide cycle, that is very good news. I have chosen after deliberating with my pilot, Mike Oram, that tomorrow may be good to try. He has searched all the weather sites, shore broadcasts, more hours than I can imagine, trying to find the best time to put me in the water.

I want to swim. I trust in my pilot and crew. I have prepared to my best ability and I hope we have a fun, and interesting swim. I need a good workout.

This afternoon, Janet & I watched one of newest and youngest members of the English Channel Family sign the wall at the White Horse. Nicholas Caine, 16, from San Francisco, CA, completed his swim on a very tough July 29th, 13hour, 11 minutes. CONGRATULATIONS Nick and I'm sure we have not seen the last of this kid in the Open Water, He has a great attitude and family fan club.
Now I am off the rest for a few hours.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed.
Help those with Cancer:
Sorry I missed your 20th Birthday Patrick, wishing you a wonderful year.

False Alarm: 8am

Gallivant was loaded and ready, but the weather front came in earlier than expected.

Not a nice place to exercise.

Breakfast at Victoria Guest House and a nap now, maybe a 8pm start tonight.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tomorrow is a GO!!!

Tomorrow morning, August 1, 2009, we are meeting our pilot, Mike Oram at 7:15am for a swim.

I should be starting from Shakespeare Beach around 8:15am. You will be watch the tracking on 2 sites, look for Gallivant on the shipais site. This site shows all the traffic of the channel.

The ais-doverstraits is a solo gps tracking of our boat.

Have fun, send your prayers and good vibes and I'll talk to you afterward.

Tracking websites
click: Tracker-Gallivant


Thank you Janet for putting up with one more swim.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed
Help those with Cancer:

Good Luck to all at the Swim Across the Sound, from Port Jefferson, NY to Bridgeport, CT.

One more day of rest

Today IS a beautiful day in the channel, many people wonder why I am not out swimming today?

Well, the answer to that is, the weather for tonight and early tomorrow. Because, I am trying a double, my pilot has look for a bigger window.
This is where the team effort and trust comes into play. It doesn't always work, the weather forecasts have been wrong in the past which we can all attest no matter where you live.

Today, our Victoria Guest House mate, Mike T-Han is making his attempt. The tides are favorable, the sun is shining and chances are good, but there is always something may get in the way of the dream, I hope it doesn't for Mike and the other swimmers out on the channel.

My time is coming soon to be tested, and that really is all it is, a TEST, your Will against the CHANNEL, who will succeed. Just trying is an honor.

I had a horrible sleep, up every 2 hours. Finally at 4:15am, we got up, made a cup of tea and went out for a walk to the boats. The sunrise was spectacular and Janet and I were able to wish Mike good luck and also say good morning to Mike & Lance Oram, Derrick Carter, Eddie Spelling and Ali Streeter. Lance is Mike's son and pilots his own boat, SeaSatin, Eddie pilots Anastasia and Ali owns Roco. All had swimmers taking a chance today.

By 5:40am, all had left the docks and were heading for Shakespeare Beach to drop off their swimmers.

Janet and I took a long walk before heading back to the Victoria and having breakfast.

At mid-day swimmers were having good crossings as seen by the Tracking system.

I think it's time for a nap.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Janet Arrives Today

I woke early today, was it the gulls outside the window, the impeding challenge or the excitement of Janet's arrival today, probably a little of all.

Instead of laying around, get up girl and do something. I prepared the feeding bottles with line and sorted out the equipment. I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for Janet when she arrives. We may be swimming tomorrow morning (Friday).

At the water side, I really wanted a short hour swim, but when I got out the water, Freda had a documentary film crew wanted us all to go back in the for some filming. We obliged but the weather made this 2nd entry much colder. Media can be so needy.

Finally at 12:15pm I worked my way out of the crowd and headed over to Dover Priory. I had no idea which train Janet left Victoria Station, I was hoping I had not missed her.

When arrived the 10:33 had arrived, no Janet, did she get a cab to the house? The 11:03 was due in the 30 minutes and the wait was anxious. 12:43, the train arrived, disembarking from the final car, there she is... Janet, smiles across the platform.

She was surprised how clean and tidy I have kept the room.

When I got back the Victoria, Bill informed me that Mike had been trying to reach me, 6pm start?... oh I hope not, with Janet's arrival and I really didn't sleep well, I was pretty tired, but he told me the conditions were going to be great, then I'd get myself up for it.

Finally after 8 tries, with a busy signal, Mike answered. We chatted "seriously" and determined tonight was not enough time, possibly tomorrow (Friday) night.

Sleep well, light day tomorrow and get swimming through the night.
I'll let you know.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.
Help those with cancer:

Roman Painted House

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Late posting, same routine for the most part except Gumby came to Harbor for some fun.
Raquel, my Mexican swimming friend, needed some time to herself, so she hung out with me.

After an good hour swim in the Harbor, that started with sun, rain and wind in the middle and finishing with sun, we went back to the Victoria for showers and lunch.

I called Mike Oram to discuss the weather, he's studying the pattern, tough weather pattern we are in.

I introduced the Roman Painted House to Raquel and JuanCarlos. They actually liked it there, I always can find something of knowledge I had missed each time I visit. The House was found in 1970 when excavation for a car park revealed remains from 2000 years ago.
There is so much history here in Kent, a perfect place to visit and an easy teach.

I spoke to Kaeley and the LEHY National swimmers through Skype, fun for me and the kids. They are swimming at the YMCA LC Summer Nationals in College Park, Maryland, USA... swimming fast and enjoying the sport.

After dinner, Beef stir fry with mashed potatoes, I took care of my English patients feet. Bill and Audrey enjoy their treatment and I'm happy to oblige.

OK, on to the 30th.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed.
Help those with Cancer:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1st Day of the Neap

It was a beautiful day to take a swim in the harbor, a walk on the promenade but not too nice to swimming across the English Channel. The day just seems to fly bye with my routine: up at 8am, breakfast downstairs for 8:30am until 9:15am, off to the harbor for an hour (or so) swim. All of the sudden I look at the clock, it's 1pm and lunchtime and the afternoon chores of preparation for the big day.
The weekdays are quieter at the beach, mostly swimmers who are waiting and staying in Dover. Barry Wakeham came by this morning, just time for a photo op with Japanese swimmer, Miyuki, who is making another attempt at a double. I wish her the best and know what she has been going through.

I spoke to Raquel, my Mexican friend and swimmer, and invited her to a relaxing day tomorrow without her crew, they a wonderful people but are swarming her with attention. A swim and the Roman Painted House is in the plan.

There were swimmers in the channel today, I think relays, that are not as affected by the wind as much a solo swimmer would have felt. Relay members swim for one hour at a time, most can challenge and manage severe conditions, without as much stress on the body.

I think I have all my supplies ready to go when the call comes in, it will not be tomorrow, the weather forecast does not look pleasant at all.

I'll tell you all as soon as I hear.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.
Help those with cancer:

Monday, July 27, 2009

No go for Tuesday

...but don't worry the tide is 10 days long.

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 28th, is the 1st day of this neap tide. There is a small window of time for a solo swim to go across...

Oops, I've let it out, yes, I am shooting for a Double.

So, I need a bit more time than the weather is looking to permit.

After a cold hour swim this morning with Raquel, Mike Tschantz-Hahn (both staying at the Victorian Guest House) and meeting up at the harbor with Elaine Howley (Boston, MA), we all left for respective bungalows for a warm shower or bath. The difficult part was not the swimming, but dressing afterward in a cool rain and breeze with numb fingers.

I called my pilot, Mike Oram, around 2pm and was informed that the window was too small for me (maybe Saturday) but if Mike would like the swim, I would be welcome to come along.

Wouldn't it be so cool, if I was swimming on the same day as the Swim Across the Sound race, in my home state of CT. The electricity in the water will cross the Atlantic to Long Island Sound.

Keep sending warm, calm thoughts this way.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Help those with Cancer:

A serious swim - Fairfield Citizen

A serious swim - Fairfield Citizen

Shared via AddThis

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday in Dover

Besides the squawking of the seagulls (you do get used to it), today will be a quiet day to relax, at least I plan it that way.

After a quick hour swim in the harbor, I hung out for a time with Freda, purchasing my lifeline food for the crossing, Maxim and a glow light for for my cap which will be imperative I wear for the night portion.
There are a few wonderful people I'd like to mention, who help out swimmers during their harbor training. Louise, Freda, Barry and Irene take time out on their weekends to selfLESSly, assist swimmers with feeds, advise, injury and supplies. Louise is a massage therapist, Freda is the ChannelGeneral and leader of the gang and has so many years of experience helping swimmers get across. (Alison Streeter, our queen of the channel, is her daughter.) Barry & Irene, just are great people.
Barry helps so much w/ feeds, up & down the beach, he has to have 2 of the strongest legs in Dover. THANK YOU all.

The aerial displays continue today over the harbor, I can catch some from my window at the Victoria Guest House.

Time for nap, I was up late, talking to family on Skype, very cool.
Dream, Prepare, Succeed
Help those with Cancer:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Bleriot Crossing

100 years ago, the 1st trans-channel flight from Calais to Dover was accomplished. Today we hoped to see a re-enactment of the flight but alas, the weather (wind) got in the way and made today's attempt too dangerous.

That was too finish off a day filled with a 2 hour swim in calmer harbor water and visiting with friends the channel have cemented in my circle. It was good to catch up with Freda, Barry, Louise, Laura and to meet new friends training for their turn to make it across.

Today was also Bill Hamblin's birthday, a wonderful B&B host. He and his wife, Audrey, have made their business comfortable for swimmers traveling far from their home.

The weather has not started to cooperate for swimmers but we do have some time.

I used my Skype account today, very cool to speak free and a video cam is even better.

..and we finished the day with spectacular fireworks over the harbor, best part was I could see them from my window.

Until tomorrow,

Dream Prepare, Succeed

Help those with cancer:

Friday, July 24, 2009

The mermaid has landed

Friday, July 24, 2009

I have arrived in Dover, after a long travel day last night. My communication with my hosts, Bill & Audrey Hamblin, must have been off, they had me down to arrive tomorrow. All is fine, my Mexican friend, Raquel has offered a bunk for tonight.... Thank You, Thank you, thank you.

I took a very short swim this afternoon in the harbor, no one around and I hate to leave my equipment on the beach (after an episode that happened to friend, Meryem Tangoran in 2001). I will not be walking down through the streets in my suit, towel and flip flops. Meryem had her stuff lifted one morning, and we found her roaming with a purpose in that get-up, another humorous moment brought to you by the English Channel.

I've noticed how simplified life seems to here, maybe that's why I keep coming back. It almost as if the rest world does not exist. Our microcosm is a simple world, 'how is the weather?, when are you swimming? and did you make it?'

The channel gods were angry today, strong gusts blew across the channel, making any craft think twice before entering the channel proper. I love this place.

At 19:20 I called my pilot, Mike Oram, to check in, I'm here and ready.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Help those with cancer: or donate to your local Cancer Foundation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Last Day in the states, I'm prepared.

We had bad news after my final practice at the Mansfield Community Center. Janet called me in tears, her brother-in-law, Greg Urban had died over night. Another good person taken by CANCER. I am so mad at that word, it affects us all.

The news was to be expected, Greg had been battling hard with a lung cancer that was not responding to treatment. I can't believe he is gone.

Another reason to fulfill dreams, success or not, our time here is limited, make the most of it.

So, the grieving begins, I have decided to make my journey and dedicate the swim in Memory of Gregory Urban.

I will be raising funds for The Swim Across the Sound Foundation, through the St.Vincent's Medical Center Foundation, a hospital based Foundation that helps families and victims cope with the battle against cancer.

Check out their website. or donate to your local Cancer Foundation.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Birthday swim Tobey

2 office days left
6 days to fly
10 days to tide window opening

My last swim at Hammonasset State Park. It took everything I had to go in the water today, my mind wanted stay on shore today,
but it was a nice swim once started. Tobey and I stayed at the same pace, her mind seeing things deep in the water; maybe she did see some bluefish, but a shark, not likely.

Today was Tobey, 34th birthday, I think she may be our youngest fish in the school.

The day turned out to a beautiful summer day.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.


Sunrise over the harbor

I finally squeezed in a 9000m practice in the 2 1/2 hours. Granted I didn't rest much but it was nice.

I tried out the new suit that I may wear in England, very comfy and cool looking.

It's the new Speedo Endurance plus suit, it's the LZR Racer REPLICA. Don't worry, it's legal, just a typical practice endurance suit with the weave pattern that looks like the LZR. 50%PBT/50% Polyester.


2000 (20 sec rest)
1500 (15 sec rest)
1000 (10 sec rest)
1000 (10 sec rest)
1500 (15 sec rest)

Was I hungry today.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Looking out toward St. Margaret's Bay (north of dover)
One week left here.

I'm actually starting to get excited about my tapering coming. Just staying loose now and lowering the weight training. Lower weights easy reps.

Today started w/ some Yoga w/ the kids of LEHY and I swam with them, a nice workout before sharing Waffles after practice, Delicious.

6200 meters

1000 warm-up
Pull: 6 x 100 (2:00)
Swim: 8 x {100/50 (on the 1:25) move the 100 fast, 50 is drill
(actually this turned into a 150 on 2:50 for me, but it was fun)
Rev.Paddles: 6 x 100 (1:55)
Swim: 8 x {100/50 (1:25)
Paddles: 6 x 100 (1:50)
5 x 200 (3:20)

After a few house calls in the morning and a busy afternoon in the office, I made my way over to the Minnechaug Swim Team. Coach, Sue Husta, asked to visit and speak about my upcoming swim and my past channel crossings. We watched some video from my 2001 double crossing and I answered some very interesting questions, most concerned about the wildlife in the water, are there any sharks?... no sharks yet to mention.

I haven't seen some of the swimmers since I had coached them as 8 year olds, fun to catch up on the changes.

It was so great to see kids having fun in the simple joys of the summer, hanging out at the pool, playing shark in the same diving well I did when I was their age. I have so many wonderful memories, growing up with my twin sister, Beth and my swimming friends, Dana and Deb Clough, Wendy and Pam Stedman. I think the Clough and Stedman families were Founding Families of Minnechaug, they sure started a beautiful tradition.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What a Beautiful Day

A look out onto Dover Harbor from Dover Castle.
Almost the PERFECT summer day, only could be better if I did not have to work.

I love my drive to pool, when the sun is just rising over the hill, shedding the 1st light on the Hebron farms.

The horses are waking and the streets are quiet in Glastonbury, CT as I cross the East Hartford town line and reach the Odessa Terry Pool just over the border.

The senior teen swimmers are getting earlier to the pool than even, we don't know why but we, the coaching staff, are very impressed.

The lane lines are getting put in the pool quicker everyday, thanks to them all.

8 x 1000 with 10 second rest and a 50 of Modified Catch-up stroke to break up the monotony.

Total 8400 meters and the gym at noon.

Only a few days left, I getting very excited to seeing my British friends.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Congrats Nick

5 days left at the office
9 days until the flight to Heathrow
14 days until the tide window opens

While doing some light yoga and swimming with the LEHY kids, my friend, Nick Adams (who reminds me of Dr. Who) was swimming away across the cool waters of the English Channel.

Being escorted by the Queen of the Channel, Alison Streeter, Nick successfully made his 5th crossing (I think) of the channel in 13 hour, 05 minutes. They must have some interesting, challenging conditions today, because Nick is a very strong swimmer.

I wish him congratulations and a speedy recovery time before his Catalina Swim on August 2nd.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day off: Sunday

A look out from Dover Harbor onto the Channel proper...

No pain from yesterday, was it the wine or rest?

A day of rest, not really, but I didn't do any swimming. Helped coach for a while at the LEHY swim meet, but at 9am off to the chores.

Sometimes you just have to do real life stuff, (today, ripping up carpet and cleaning) and not feel guilty about it.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Beach Day

2 weeks until visiting one of my favorite beaches (right...Dover Harbor on a stormy day)
Today will probably be my last long swim before the big day in the channel.

Met the usual good swimming friends at Hammonasset State Park, 8am.

I was planning on doing 3 loops of our course, of course the mind wanted to end early. After the 2nd loop, oh how I wanted to stop, the wind was picking up and was against the tide, so the means we had some chop to swim through.

I like to swim short distances in those conditions, but as I get tired tendons can be injured.

I took a quick feed and immediately went back for the 3rd loop, if I had stayed out any longer I would have called it a day.

I'm glad I finished, I had some mild tenderness in my left shoulder, but that's the norm for me.

Ray Gandy went back for some swimming while Liz Fry, Margaret Peterson, Petie, John and I took down the tent. Jim Bayles and Gannon Davis finished after 4 hours.

5 plus hours was enough for me.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fun with the LEHY

I really didn't even want to go the pool, but we are so close to departure...

so, I hung out with the Laurel East Hartford YMCA swim team today.

1st was some yoga, I think, I was the only one breaking a sweat.

Then, a fun 5,700 meters with the kids.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy birthday Connor

I had one idea when I entered the water, a long swimming day for sure, but how to break it up.

On my way to my 1st 2000, I was closing in on 1600 and then it came to me, 1700's in honor of Connor Beaulieu's 17th birthday.

So there it was

5 x 1700 with 17 seconds rest in between.

Stayed a nice, comfortable pace, enjoying a few drafting periods behind swimmer, Joey Lacus, a real treat. Kaeley was taking pics of the kids shivering and me huffing and puffing.

The weather is cooperating with helping me acclimate to channel conditions, another cold and cloudy morning.
I'm feeling ready.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Time is flying bye

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
10 days remain at the office

The sun was came out today, early morning tan and swim.
For some reason I do not know, time flew bye and I only managed 8100 meters, but a good 8,100.
Lunch break at the CardioExpress, working the shoulders.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
A very turbulent day. We started with clouds, and at 7:30 am a flash of lightning filled the sky, 2 seconds later a BOOM sounded. My head was down and I saw the flash under water.

Whistles in the air, we all stopped and jumped out of the pool, end of the water today.
5500 meters.

I wasn't going to hang around at the pool, so I got my shorts back on quickly and traveled to CardioExpress in Manchester to finish the morning workout and get a shower in before a full work day.

Monday, July 6, 2009
Back to work we go. It is so nice to swim outdoors in the morning, just starts the day off right.

8500 meters, Nora and Victoria joined me,they were not too happy to do the 1000's but they do swim distance in college.

Went back to Skungamung Golf Course for play in the evening, 9 holes on a gorgeous evening in Coventry, CT.
Dream Prepare, Succeed.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

3 days of swimming and 1 day off

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Day off, enjoying the Sunshine, the Coventry Regional Farmer's Market, and friendship.

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Independence Day

A bumpy day at Hammonasset State Park. The wind continued to pick up steadily. We started our swim in Force 1 and finished in Force 3 rollers.

Good practice for what can happen on the big day. I only did one loop, fun in the water but I did not want to get hurt.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

A good day at LEHY, the girls didn't much like it but we did keep busy and the sun was out, tanning our backs, 8400 meters.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

When are we going to see the sun again, the rain ended but cool temps turned the smiles to frowns on the youth, I just keep busy.
No company today, so I altered my workout for something I like to do.
8400 meters.

Buoy: 400
Rev.Pad.: 400
Fulcrum: 200
Swim 3 x 1000 (17 min.)
Big Pad: 400
Swim: 3 x 1000 (17 min)
Fulcrum: 200
Pad: 400
Tube: 400

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Keep It Moving

15 days left to work

Today, started with a muggy, steamy dark morning, I couldn't wait to get to the pool to cool off, but the pool in East Hartford was very different. Low, thick cloud cover, no chance of a suntan and heat lamp to warm our backs.

I had no problem, but kept a few LEHY swimmers who were having difficulty staying warm, going. New additions to the distance lane, Christopher Curtin and Joey Lacus, both helped me and I helped them get a good swim. Nora showed for a 2nd day, but Tory was absent, her lose, tomorrow will be longer and more boring.

Today: 8200 meters

Buoy: 800
Swim: 14 x 100 (1:40)
RevPad: 2 x 400
Swim: 13 x 100 (1:35/1:40)
BigPad: 4 x 200
Swim: 12 x 100 ( 2 on 1:35/ 1 on 1:40)
Pad: 2 x 400
Swim: 11 x 100 (2 on 1:40/ 1 on 1: 1:35) (alone)

Top it off with a cold shower = good English Channel training.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I love Long Course Meters

Such a wonderful morning with the youth of our Laurel East Hartford YMCA swimteam.

The Odess Terry Pool in East Hartford is one of my favorite places to swim, especially on days like today. 61 degreesF (air temp), 71 degreesF (water)... perfect conditions with the early morning sun.

We all left with new tan lines.

I had a 2 new training buddies today, alumni from our program, both swimming at their respective colleges.
I had the pleasure of coaching both Nora Gentile and Victoria Waldesien, they have matured to withstand and, I think, appreciate, the long sessions I do.

I enjoy the 50 meters, 2 less turns to do per 100, my back is so happy.

Both girls swim distance events at their schools, so my workouts will get and keep them in shape, if they stick with them. I'm very happy to have the company.

Today, 8,000 meters, Lots of 400's.
I promised the girls different workouts, but no advance warning when the long day comes up, don;t want any ditching.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Life happens

Day off from EVERYTHING, floors are getting done and doing the final preps before I can't get into the kitchen for 3 days.
Sometimes you just have to let go and not feel guilty.

Tomorrow will good, looking forward to swimming with LEHY.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What a difference a day makes

Back to Hammonasset State Park for one loop.
Such different conditions, 24 hours later. There was Lots of cloud cover with no sun to warm our backs. The water felt a few degrees cooler than yesterday.

I left home, driving the hour in a mist, keeping in mind that the weather forecast was going to be just like yesterday, but only 6 hours later than expected.

A smaller group today, Liz Fry, John from LI (back for a couple hours after a 7 hour swim yesterday... GOOD JOB), and Sean. I try to use these days as my evening and night training, no sun lamp up above.

Liz was working on some speed wok, so after our warmup, she sped off, to the next beach pavilion while stayed at my comfortable pace. I wasn't wearing any drag, and did that feel good.

Glad I decided to get the day in.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday at Hammonasset State Park

A good day at the beach, start with fog, ending with beautiful, sparkling sunshine.

Hammonasset State Park is wonderful place to train. We start at the furthest eastern beach, at Meig's Point, and swim along shore 2 miles west to the far fishing jetty and then swim back to our starting point.

Depending on the tides, the 1st leg can be fast, 44 minutes, but usually has promised a slow 2nd leg. A usual loop lasts just under 2 hours.
It was very good to see old swimming friends (Jim Bayles, Liz Fry, Ray Gandy) and meet new ones (John, from Long Island, Elaine Kornbau Howley from Massachusetts). Ray and Elaine and heading over to Dover for their 1st attempts at the English Channel. I wish them well and will help with any advise they like to hear.

I had a family get together later in the day, so I decided to do only one loop, but to do a big loop, by doubly back a few times to swim with some of the swimmers coming up from behind.

...I'm putting my order in for this kind of day in England....please.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

one day late

Friday, June 26, 2009

Not at the pool today, morning of sweating with Gilad's, 'Power & Grace' and 'Cuts & Curves'... dry land training.

A busy day at work and nasty thunder/lightning storms in the evening.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Sun came out today

18 working days left

We haven't seen the sun shine through the trees for weeks, today is the day... yippee.

Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died today....

A pretty good practice this morning, 10,000yards, short fun stuff.

Tube 400
Swim 20 x 200
RP 400
BP 400
P 400
Swim 20 x 200
Buoy 400

Feeling pretty good, looking forward to the high temperatures promised by the Weathermen, yeh, right,,,, for Saturday.
Hammonassett with friends.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nothing exciting to mention.

Back to the pool, I'm looking forward to the weekend swim at Hammonasset and getting out to the 50 meter pool. Hopefully next week, the pool the will be fixed.

The 25 yard pool is taking its toll on my back.

The 1500's felt good today. I'm getting antsy about this time, ready to get to the channel and swim. Only a month to head across the pond.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sometimes you HAVE to sleep in

Day off today, no guilt.

Sometimes you have to listen to your body, when it's tired... close the eyes.

Booked the flights to England today, happy to get them for under $800.00 on British Airways. They promised a complimentary drink that has been missing of late on American... we'll see.

Tomorrow, we'll be back in the water at Mansfield Community Center.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Madison Mile

Yesterday, June 20th was the Madison Mile. A mile swim in the waters off of Madison, Connecticut. Dave Parcells, a friend who shared my passion for open water swimming founded the event. Dave passed away 2 years ago while swimming at the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, we miss him dearly.

The weather forecast was for rain but Dave must have put plans in for another forecast. We had ideal conditions, especially for his channel swimming friends. 60 degree water, flat water and 70 degree air temps brought a wonderful day for everyone at the Surf Club.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Gotta get it done

Thought this was going to be a good day in the water, but it was one of those days, I just wanted to get through the workout.

Fulcrum: 50 (modified catch-up)
Swim: 10 x 100
F: 100 (alternate 50 modified catch-up/25 full stroke)
Swim: 10 x 100
F: 150
S: 10 x100
F: 200
S: 10 x 100
F: 250
S: 10 x 100
F: 250
S: 10 x 100
F: 200
S: 10 x 100
F: 150
S: 10 x100
F: 100
S: 10 x 100
F: 50

250: 25 Head up/ 25 Mod CU w/ 10 pull ups at deep end

I was hungry while swimming and debating what to have for dinner, then my cravings told me, red meat.

I needed a steak to replenish my muscles.

I understand there are many vegetarians out there, I give you a lot of credit, but I couldn't do it.

I'm not a fast food meat eater, just an occasional good steak, baked sweet potatoe and salad.

Now, I'm ready to go tomorrow.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lazy Day

I just couldn't get out of the bed and go to the pool, or even workout this rainy morning.

Sometimes you just have to listen to the body.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Feeling like myself again

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It took a few days, but I'm back on track. Feeling good again in the water.
10,000 yards and hoping to get 50,000 in this week.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Easy week

Friday, June 12, 2009

Feeling the fatigue, I decided to stay home in the morning and catch up on some life "stuff".

Floor exercises and light weights at the gym at lunchtime.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Today I made it back to the pool.

As I was driving the leisurely 20 minutes through the woods, I couldn't help notice how fatigued my body was.

I made it through 8200 of the 10,000 yards, I had planned to swim.

Just tired. I'll try again tomorrow.

Dream, Prepare, Succeed

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Interview and the Brooklyn Bridge

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sleep was restless. The lactic acid is slowly leaving my muscles, but wakes me with every turn I take. I am the 1st to wake. After a quick shower, i head down to Starbucks for a coffee and wait for Janet or Bertha to wake.

Janet met me downstairs and we took a walk around the neighborhood, waiting awhile before bringing Bertha a coffee back.

Janet and I walked over to 'Ground Zero' looking at the memorials and the new construction.
A quiet, sun soaked morning to think.

I went back upstairs and packed up a few things before heading uptown for the documentary interview. Janet and Bertha would finish the packing and I would meet them at the Brooklyn Bridge for a walk.

After a $12 cab ride, I met Martin Belderson on 24th Street. An hour later I was done, so much work for a 3 minutes interview, all the typical questions I've been asked in past 16 years.

Another $11 and I was at the Brooklyn Bridge, meeting the girls for our crossing. I always thought the walkway across the bridge was wider than it was, it was very cool trip. We walked across, had breakfast and walked back to Manhattan for our ride home.

How come everyone is so willing to help with the baggage when you arrive and no one helps when you leave. Exactly what happened. I didn't care, I was ready to get out of the city and get home.

Traffic was OK and we arrived home just after 5pm.


Now the euphoria begins. I've already started to forget the stiffness of the past 2 hours.

No Injury, just fatigue and muscle soreness... but lots of smiling faces greeting me.

When I exited the water, the post-game volunteers started to assist, handing out the silver blankets, water and food if you wanted.

I was greeted by Janet and Diane (taking pics) and at the top of the ramp, sister, Teresa and nieces Charvelle and Kassandra met with hugs and smiles.

I only wanted a water and get on the massage table, luckily there was a space available. I signed my waiver, answered their questions and had a wonderful massage to get that lactic acid out of the muscles. Janet helped me put on my sweats, now I was feeling better.

Afterward, I met up with Bertha and Liz and met with my orbserver, Beth. We talked about the past 8 hours for awhile before saying"good-bye" to Beth and leaving the South Cove area, back to the Marriot.

After a relaxing bath and some relaxing time, we all head out to the social across the street at North Cove.

Dinner, Awards, and friendship.

After a long day, we said our "good byes" to Teresa and Liz, and went home to the Marriot to crash for the evening.

"Good Night"

2015 ... Swimming for Homes for the Brave

After spending the past 20 years paddling from Dover to France, it is time to venture into new waters, while helping some special people.
Soon, I will be traveling with my A-team to Scotland to swim the length of the famous Loch Ness.
As always, I try to help a Foundation raise funds and awareness and I thank you for interest and support.
I am deeply troubled with the thought of homeless individuals, especially in our US Veteran population.

That is why I am teaming up with our Connecticut-based “Homes for the Brave”. Can you imagine not having a place to call home?

Here is more information about Homes for the Brave! -Facebook pages –

- Annual Appeal with more information about our financials and programs-

-Check donations can be mailed to the following address:
Homes for the Brave
655 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604

- Donations can be made online as well:

Please write “Loch Ness Swim/Marcy” to track your donation.

I will always be dedicating my swimming to all those battling cancer and in the memory of 4 special people in my life. Cancer first hit my family when I was young. My grand-aunt Eleanor Kersavage, passed away with uterine cancer and my Auntie Bea Halchak battled with brain cancer.

On January 1, 2002, our LEHY family lost Nikki Giampolo to bone cancer, just turning 16 years old. Her spirit still lives on in our East Hartford swim team.

In July of 2009, my brother-in-law, Gregory Allen Urban, who passed away, after a valient battle with lung cancer. I can see him now, talking about cars and projects around the house, music and his family.

I know Aunties, Eleanor and Bea, Nikki, Greg and all the angels will help me CUT through all this water this summer.

The St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation, based in Bridgeport, CT provides financial support for the needs that Health insurance companies don't cover, in addition to providing affordable cancer screening, wigs, medication and other things to make life easier for those suffering with cancer and their families.

Please make a donation, and thank you.

Online donations can be made at:

or you can send a check through the post to:

Swim Across the Sound
St. Vincent's Medical Center Foundation
2800 Main Street
Bridgeport, CT 06606

Thank you so very much, peace and good health to all.