I decided awhile ago to test out swimming 3 different swims on one day with breaks in between to see what it was like. A small simulation of what the Utah Triple Crown in 24 hours (UTC24) will be like. I planned many things in advance and talked with a few world class swimmers on preparation items such as nutrition, rest cycles, etc. Time to test them out.
The alarm went off at 0200 and I was at JN by 0300. Lisa and I quickly got ready and we headed out for a 3 mile swim. We headed straight toward the dam but not after I had dropped my light off of my swimmer buddy into the water. Of course the light was off so we could not find it. Guess we will have to wait until sunrise to find it.
The 3 miles was pretty uneventful. Lisa was with me the whole swim and we stopped about every 1/2 mile to make sure we were still together and got going again. Small miracle was that when we finished our 3 miles, the lamp was glowing red and Lisa found it. It's a miracle because it was OFF when it dropped in and it takes hitting the button 3 times then holding it for the red to come on. No idea what happened but I was praying I would find it. The prayer worked and the foolishness I felt for losing it was gone.
After the 3 miles, we headed to our cars and I ate some food and took a special made recovery drink. I then laid out in the back of my SUV and went to sleep for 2 hours. The idea is that I will do Bear Lake all in the dark then sleep for the 2+ hour drive down to Deer Creek. That is why the first swim today was all in the dark.
I woke up a bit early to Lisa's car alarm going off. I jumped up only to see her fine and dandy with no danger. She looked a wee bit embarrassed and I promptly gave her the finger and tried to get back to sleep. No use. I needed to get up in 15 minutes anyway so I might as well get up now. We packed our gear and greased up. This will be the long one.
6 miles this time. We measured out a 2 mile loop and I would take a drink at 1 mile then head back to the boat ramp to end the 2 mile loop. I would then take a food feed and repeat. After the 2nd lap (mile 4), a pretty good wind came along with rain. There was no lightning so we continued. My swimmer buddy kept flipping over so I left it at the boat ramp. No boats were out at this time anyway so I wasn't worried about being spotted. The water got ROUGH and I LOVED it. Lisa is not as comfortable with rough water and for awhile, I was able to keep up with her. Then my energy faded and she dropped me like an old habit. We did the last 2 miles in 1 mile laps so we could stay near boat ramp and land just in case.
After we finished the 6 miles, we headed back up and the weather was getting a bit better. This time I rested for an hour only. It is only an hour+ drive to the GSL from Deer Creek so I can't rest more than I plan on resting for the real event.
The hour went by quick and I knew the last 3 miles were going to be a bitch. I was right. I got in and immediately felt my shoulders and arms severely complaining. I decided to just slow down and do long stroke and dynamic drills. This slowed my rotation down quite a bit but alleviated my pain significantly. It also increased my time but I did not care about time. Before getting in, we decided to do 3 x 1 mile laps. After the 1st lap, I felt pretty good. I finished in 35 min which isn't too bad really. The sun was up and Lisa was warm and happy. She was swimming fast and strong again and I was on survival mode.
Poor Lisa was well ahead of me and had to wait a bit longer than usual for me to get to her at the boat ramp. When I was taking my drink, I asked her, "You know how you had to wait awhile for me?" She said "Yes". "Well, get used to it!" Good laugh for both of us. We needed it.
Mile 2 was decent and mile 3 I felt pretty good at the end.
When we were finishing, I had requested that Lisa wait for me at the last buoy and we finish the swim together. It just meant a lot to me mentally. We both accomplished something very hard to do. When I got to her, I said I was feeling great and we should do one more mile, she just scoffed at me. She knew I had zero intentions of swimming any more today.
When it was truly over, I felt fantastic. I was physically beat up but mentally I was sharp as ever. We gave each other a big hug and everyone at the boat ramp just looked at us like we were nuts. Yes, yes we are!
I did learn quite a few things and took notes. I was happy with my feeds and my energy was kept up as long as I kept eating the right things in the right order. My recovery drinks were nothing short of magic. I did have a few small problems but easily fixed. This was a test run and I passed it with flying colors.
I want to thank my wife for not killing me when the alarm went off at 0200 and I was gone all day. you have been great with letting me swim so early daily. Thanks for the support. Not much longer until it is over I promise.
I also want to thank Lisa for helping me today. I know it was a challenge for you too and I'm proud of what we both did. We accomplished something great and we accomplished it together. Glad you were with me. (Mind the buttons on your key ring please!) :)
3 miles then 6 miles then 3 miles = 12 miles. 4th longest swim I've ever done in one day.
In 2 weeks I'm doing 3-10-3 then a few weeks after that is the real deal. I know mentally that I can do the 3-10-3 now and once I do that, I will know for sure I can finish the UTC24. I'm genuinely excited.
12 miles OW