Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1st day of Christmas (Final Story by: Steve Hamel)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
It's that time of year, I hope my health hangs in there and I can complete my 12 days of Christmas workouts. This time it should be easier, less yardage but the key will be "consistency". Can I get to the water everyday before Christmas, I hope the weather cooperates, we had some white.

Pick a total yardage #, and that will be the start up #, I'm using 7,000 (seven is my lucky, favorite #), and  I will work closely around that number.

Today,

1st day of Christmas

One 7000 ( Spice up your swim w/ a 25 of another stroke, a drill, or an IM ... JUST keep moving.) 

By STEVE HAMEL
            While enjoying a bike ride in September in Hawaii, open water swimmer Marcy MacDonald’s foot slipped off the pedal of her bike and a metal stud on the pedal to cut a gash in her shin, which required over 40 stitches.  Worse, the cut has kept her out of the water for two months.
            “It just cut through my leg like butter,” MacDonald said.  “I wish I could say it was a shark that got me.”
            At least if it was a shark, it would have happened in the place where MacDonald is the most comfortable—in the water.
MacDonald, 47, of Andover, has swum the English Channel 10 times and aspires to break the American record of 14.  In 1994, she became the first Connecticut woman to swim the English Channel.  In 2001, she was the first American woman to cross the channel both ways in one swim.
She hopes she’ll be healthy enough to return to the water in three weeks and resume her rigorous training regimen.  In the meantime, MacDonald will continue doing upper body workouts and killing time watching old television shows like “Mr. Ed” and the “Patty Duke Show.”
“I like to train,” MacDonald said.  “That’s one thing that’s killing me with this injury because I can’t train.”
MacDonald has been swimming most of her life.  She swam competitively in high school and with a club team until she was 17 years old.  She went to college at American International on a softball scholarship, but often snuck into the pool at nearby Springfield College, because her school did not have one.
One day while visiting Manhattan, MacDonald noticed people swimming around the island.  She thought they were crazy at first, but in 1993, she decided to give it a try.  The 28.5 mile swim around Manhattan Island was MacDonald’s first big open water swim and it served as a trial run for her first attempt at swimming the English Channel a year later.
            In the days leading up to MacDonald’s first English Channel attempt, Freda Streeter, a woman known as the “Channel General” for helping channel swimmers train in Dover Harbour, told MacDonald she would never make it across the channel after seeing her cut a training session short.  But MacDonald successfully completed the swim in 10 hours and 33 minutes.  Shortly after emerging from the water, Streeter had one question for MacDonald, “When are you going to do a double?”
            No American woman had ever crossed the English Channel twice in the same swim.  “Freda planted that seed of a double and it became a very strong passion,” MacDonald said.
            MacDonald successfully completed her first double in 2001, swimming to France and back in 21 hours and 19 minutes, and she is considering an even longer swim.  “Am I ever going get over there to do a triple?  Maybe,” she said.
Swimming has always been MacDonald’s passion.  As a sole-practitioning podiatrist, she is able to take time off to coordinate her swims.  She has swum all over the world including Hawaii, Bermuda and Jersey, but her favorite swim is the English Channel, where she knows there are no large animals and the water is phosphorescent at night.
MacDonald does most of her training at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, Conn.  “I’m pretty fortunate being here in Connecticut,” she said.  “I find it’s a pretty good place to train.”
Spending hours at a time in the water can get boring, so MacDonald often counts her strokes to pass the time.  She says it takes her approximately 45,000 strokes to cross the English Channel.
When she’s hungry during a swim, a member of MacDonald’s crew hands her a high-powered carbohydrate shake mixed with warm water.  Her crew guides her across the channel in a boat, which she swims next to.  “You can’t touch the boat or the swim is aborted,” she said.
            She intends to swim the channel twice next year, which would put her just two crossings behind American record holder Peter Jurzynski.

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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 – https://www.facebook.com/pages/ABRIHomes-for-the-Brave/199613606735630?ref=hl

- Annual Appeal with more information about our financials and programs- http://www.homesforthebrave.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/HFTB-2014-Annual-Report-FINAL.pdf

-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: https://homesforthebrave.isecuresites.com/products/index.php?type=1110

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: http://give.stvincents.org

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
(203)576-5451

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