Monday, July 11, 2016

Heading up to Long Beach, CA in an hour - Ready or not, here we come!

I just printed out the final documents required for my swim. My crew are busily preparing their own meals and such. Below are my crew instructions for the swim. I learned most of these tidbits from my friends who spent countless hours advising me and caring about my success.

Feeding the Walrus

Below, I thank you all. Before you scroll down to my note of appreciation, read my crew instructions. You'll see that I have some pretty explicit details. I also created a table for my feeds so that my crew can know with some certainty whether I was fed, I peed, and how my stroke is going. All of these are important for refueling, hypothermia, and efficiency, respectively. OK, here are the instructions:

Feeding Schedule/Routine
#1 - Every 20 mins:  3 bottles  
  1. Mix of CarboPro & Superstarch - change the mix up to keep me interested by the hour
  2. Fresh water - just a mouthful is fine
  3. Diluted mouthwash - to wash out the residue
#2 - Every hour (3rd feeds): 3 bottles + 2 yellow capsules (in a cup please) and some fruit sugar in my Mix
#3 - Every 4 hours:  2 green capsules (in a cup) + all above (yes, 5 capsules - I’ll choke them down)
STROKE RATE:  Count strokes per minute for the first hour and note.  If crew notices my stroke rate decreases by 20% (without wind/water condition changes), throw in another feed immediately with fruit sugar.  I may not be aware that my energy is fading.
STROKE:  Watch my stroke.  If it looks different or inefficient, consult with Kat about drills to yell at me.  Only one word for the drill - Kat will know what to say.

PEEING:  Must pee every hour without fail.  Ask.  Don’t worry, you won’t bother me.


Every marathon swim is a group effort. Some of my group are with me and others cannot fly around the world in support of my efforts. Regardless, those who are not on the boat are just as important as those on it. I am acknowledging everyone that has helped me along the way. I may miss one or two of you but rest assured, if I forget you, I intend to make it up with a full bio of your assistance on my blog along with an endless supply of beer/drinks of your choosing. So here goes...

First, I thank my wife and son. Without their undying support and interest in my wacky adventures, none of what I attempt could ever be possible. Kat and Patrick, I love you both more than words can do justice.

Next, I want to thank all my teammates from GMU including Cheryl (my coach - the best coach in the world), Paul Grecco (on the boat with me), Elaina Moy, Bob Hansen, Katie Layton, Barbara Clifford, Fred Zamon (my hero), Josh Gordon, Aaron Church, Stuart Booth, William Sax, Katie Cosgrove, Deb Kathman, Bob Weidner, Betsy Geddes, Cleo Hurle, Stu Williams (aka the invisible man these days), Ali Queen (distinguished alumnus of GMUP), Leslie Livingston (mom of distinguished alumnus and way faster than me), Kira Tokarz, the Meg(h)ans (Sr. - Hughes and Jr. - Reiffenberger), Ed Gaulrapp, Barth & Don Pitchford, Karlin Toner, Ryan Stille, Yong Yoon, Alec Lessem, Billy Kirkendall, Michael Meister, Tim Timmons, Donald Junta, Kevin Steen, David Henkel, Sara Colangelo, Mark Pfeiffer, and Tom Krajewski (who crushed me on several early morning swims). Without your support, I would not be able to keep up the distances and repeated workouts. You all made the training fun. Thanks greatly.

Next, to my other family members - dad (Andy), real brother (Sean), adopted brothers (Brendan Cooper, Will Sahlman, and Todd Kashdan), cousins (Ed, Kevin, all the Russo's and kids who are too numerous to count these days), aunts/uncles (Joan, Bette & Frank) and extended family (again, too numerous to count but you'll hear from me soon, I promise), your support means the world to me. I am fortunate I was born into this awesome family.

My students and colleagues. Note, I don't include Todd in this list because he and I are brothers of another mother/father. My former and current students including Julius Najab, Jessica Yarbro, Simone Erchov, Dan Blalock, Jake Quartuccio, Sam Monfort, Lisa Alexander, John Graybeal, and Max Shear along with my "shared" students including Cyrus Foroughi, Melissa Smith, Fallon Goodman, Melissa Stiksma, Kevin Young, and many more, I thank you for making my life so enjoyable and stress free. Yes, you do stress me but in a good way. I am extremely lucky to have great students. I'm even luckier that I work in the best program in a great department - the Human Factors and Applied Cognition (HFAC) program in the Department of Psychology at George Mason. My colleagues in the department and the program continue to support all my endeavors. Some may not know what I do because I don't publicize much but those who follow my blog know who you are and I appreciate every kind word you throw my way. Thanks particularly to Carryl Baldwin, Tyler Shaw, Eva Wiese, Matt Peterson, Pam Greenwood, Greg Trafton and Debbie Boehm-Davis for making our program the model for all others.

Next, my marathon swimming friends. In particular, the LOST folks headed by Rob Kent and great friends Madhu Nagaraja, Loren King, Lynn De Lathouwer-Rodgers, Christine Hui, Mike Morton, Mark Bintley, Bud Seawright, Amy & Craig Ross, and Brett Titus (I'm coming back to pay for a round of coffees after a swim), along with non LOSTies Tracy Clark, Blair Cannon, Roger Finch, Yuta Tsuboi, and my team SUVA mates Emma France, Sam Jones, and pilot Neil Streeter. You all helped me refine my preparation and made me a better swimmer.

Thanks to Dominic Latella and Christina Pupelis who made my decadent Fridays both productive and relaxing. Dominic fixed my stroke, eliminated my shoulder and back pain, and created the current version of me - as a swimmer; all other flaws I have are in no way attributable to Dominic's outstanding stroke technique tips. Christina fixed my broken body after hours and hours in the pool, ocean, and lake. You guys at Fast Track PT rock!

Last but not least thanks to all my friends, friends of friends, dogs, cats, seals, walri, and the sort who make me smile, keep me honest, and create a wonderful world to live and prosper.

OK, I'm ready. Time to make my fuel, pack up, and hit the road. My crew is already chomping at the bit. Twenty minutes until we are on the road. Yep, I pushed it to the end. Wish me luck!

Expect an update at the end of the swim. If I can type, I'll post a note. Thanks again for following.

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