The past two weeks marked the end of my official training plan for our crossing attempt, although the next few weeks might still see one more distance week – we’ll see how the taper goes as we approach the first week of August, when our primary swim window opens. The weekly totals were 40km and just shy of 56km by July 17th, respectively.
The training plan ended with a 10km swim at the North Shore Challenge on the morning of Saturday, July 16th, followed the next day by our trial swim, which we’d planned as a 18-20km point-to-point swim from Burlington Beach to the Oakville shore. The final distance swum was just over 18k covered in 5h52m, from the north end of Burlington Beach to the end of the Navy Street Pier in Oakville.
The core team for the trial had Mauro on shore coordination and logistics; Madhu coordinating on the water with Mark, our pilot, and our SSO swim master; Lynn on feeding, stroke count, and dynamics; and Geoff on camera detail.
Our swim master for this trial swim was none other than the long-reigning record-holder for the NOTL-MBP route, John Scott! And our pilot was experienced Solo Swims escort Thomas Dobokay and his 21′ rigid-hull inflatable Sea Monk.
We had some gentle onshore cross-winds with slight swell for the first part of the swim, but for the most part surface conditions were ideal. The water temperature was a steady at 17C, with a few warmer patches and one brief section of much colder patches, all concentrated around Bronte Harbour.
The swim felt good, although there were some strange elements: for some reason my kicking was completely off. I mean, quite literally: off. I usually only sustain a weak two-beat kick most of the time anyway, but for some reason, this swim, I basically wasn’t kicking at all. Not sure what was going on, but lesson learned: focus on kicking, even when trying to keep the pace slow and steady.
The shoulders were sore, but stable for most of both the 10k on Saturday and for Sunday’s trial swim, but the next morning they definitely needed plenty of rest. My stomach seemed fine with the carbopro and weak electrolyte mix we’ve been training with, but was definitely queasy that night and the next morning, which I attribute this to having a beer at the team meeting afterward (Thanks, Suman, for putting up with us loitering in the kitchen!).
Thanks to everyone for a great day on (and in) the water, and thanks especially Geoff for documenting the trial swim, and to John Scott and Thomas Dobokay for lending their considerable expertise and experience in getting us closer to the big swim, (hopefully) in a few weeks!