Catalina Plans by Marcia Cleveland, May 15, 2005
As many of you know, in August I'll be swimming the 21-mile stretch from Catalina Island to Long Beach, California, just south of LA proper. In the Open Water community, this swim is commonly referred to as "Catalina".
If everything goes as planned, on the evening of Tuesday August 2nd, we'll leave the dock in Long Beach around 7pm and boat over to Catalina Island. Our swim will start around 12 midnight on Wednesday August 3rd, and should take between 10 and 12 hours. Three of us as swimming together from this same boat: David Blanke from Austin, Texas, Liz Fry from Westport, Connecticut, and yours truly; all of us have swum the English Channel. We have agreed to stay together throughout the entire swim and will arrive on California terra firma together. Kayaker extraordinaire, Richard Clifford will be with us the whole way, as he has been on oh-so-many swims.
On Wednesday July 27th, I will leave from Chicago and drive to San Diego, CA with my mother, Carolyn, and my two children, Julia and Sam. We should be arriving in San Diego on Saturday July 30th. Mark will join us after the swim, on Friday August 5th, and my mom will fly home to Connecticut on Saturday. Our family will then return to Chicago, via the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Colorado Springs, etc. We should arrive home around August 15th.
My build-up plan continues. Most swimmers talk about their training in terms of yardage, either weekly or daily, and I am no different. Last fall, I was swimming about 15-20,000 yards a week. (There are 1,760 yards in a mile.) During January and February, I increased this yardage to 20-25,000 yards a week. In March/April, my weekly yardage total was 25-30,000 yards a week. And now, in the May/June phase, I'm at 30-35,000 yards/week. Yes, it's tiring but with the stair-stepping, build-up plan, these increases have been more feasible, both mentally and physically. I also do stretching and core exercises several times a week, plus a weight lifting program twice a week, developed by Brian Cunningham. (Note to Brian: I still hate to do chin-ups and dips.)
On a weekly basis, I try to make my heavy swim days Monday through Thursday but it all depends on our family's schedule (Mark's travel for work and the kids' activities.) When I can, after dropping Julia and Sam at school, I swim by myself at Lifetime Fitness between 6 and 7000 yards two to three mornings a week, followed immediately by weight lifting. Then when I need to, I swim more in the evenings at Northwestern with my masters team. For example, this past week, I did 7000 on Monday AM, 6500 on Tuesday AM, 3500 on Tuesday PM, and then 5500 on both Wednesday and Thursday PM. I rounded out the week on Saturday AM with 4200, for a weekly yardage total of 32,200. The sessions on Monday and Tuesday both started off with straight-swims of 3000 and 4000 yards, respectively. If I'm in the right frame of mind, which I was on these days, these swims are cake. If not, and there have been plenty of "not" days, UGH...
With this schedule, I'm finding that there is enough rest built in for recovery and my shoulders have been miraculously feeling fine. Am I tired? Yes, absolutely, and especially more tired on some days than others. This training is a lot different on my 40/41-year old, mother-of-two body than on my 29/30-year old, happy-go-lucky machine. (The latter refers to my English Channel training days when I was swimming 45,000 yards per week for almost a year.) Coupled with all this training is the fact that we have done some major renovating on our house this year. We're getting to the end of it but it certainly has had its moments. Right now, we're lifting and rearranging a lot of furniture: I look upon this as supplemental weight training. Additionally, through all this, Sam, our 4 and a half year old, isn't the greatest sleeper so Mark and I alternate on the graveyard shift with him. Again, this is good training for a swim that will most probably start at midnight.
In the next few weeks, I'll find my way into Lake Michigan. Up to this point, it's been mainly pool swimming. The water temperature for this swim should be about 65F, but there is a potential for a drop at the end, when you least need it.
So this is what I'm up to these days, along with about a million other things. Hope you all are well.