Since I am hoping to get another eight swims and even a few Crossfit workouts in this year I am not ready to summarize 2020, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that I stay healthy and can keep my motivation up for next summer.
I only have on goal for 2021, and that is swimming the first 42km Viking Swim in Värnamo on Aug 13th to the 14th. Or if the weather looks good, maybe we start at midnight so the entire swim will be on the 14th. This year I swam 42km in 14 hours with short stops every 3km. Next year with the start being around midnight I will most likely need to get in an energy stop every 40-45 minutes, but only for 45-60s to avoid getting cold, or starting to cramp. Since I will be swimming with a partner, our biggest challenge this spring/early summer will be planning those feeding breaks and what to give the kayaker to hold for us.
Back in April as the world was shutting down I was contacted by Mark Johnston about an online event that he was putting together. It didn’t take more than a day or two and then the event was online, and I was registered and started to recruit others in Sweden and the US to join in.
The idea of being able to compete in a time when all IRL races were being postponed or canceled felt like a really good idea. Nothing beats the heat of the moment, but knowing someone somewhere else was trying to swim faster than me was going to have to be enough this summer.
Saturday the 13th of June was the first time in the history of our local OW race that I actually was able to participate. In 2016, it was a very very small race with two distances; 925m and 1850m. I spent all morning helping to get the race area set-up, then all afternoon on a boat keeping an eye on the swimmers. The distance 1850 came from the year that Karl-Oskar and Kristina left Sweden on their way to the US. A masters swimmer and local artist helped up create our logo from a photo of the two. I really like the way it turned out.
So I did it, I managed to keep my taper plans. It took more will power to follow through with it considering there was no Swedish Nationals to taper for. But luckily for me, my swimmers were up for some practice races and I managed not only to reduce my swimming, but cut back in all of my normal training over the last two weeks.
I am really hoping to be able to get enough help next year so that I can race in our local OW race on June 13th, but I do know now how my July will start. Yesterday I registered for 5 races over 8 days in Vansbro. But then a few hours later, they announced that one of the starting groups would be a retro theme to help celebrate the races 70 year history.
So Lily being the cocky daughter she is, she decided a few weeks earlier, that it would be fun to race another 3km Sunday, the day after. Not being one to back down from a challenge, we registered for the 3000m OW swim in Stenungsunds about a three hour drive from home. Continue reading →
I cross the finish line of Vidösternsimmet 21+km race at roughly 13:06. The start of the 6km race was a 14:00. It made for a stressful situation for me and probably for my wife too. I so wanted to just relax, enjoy the moment, talk to my friends and other finishers of the race to share “war” stories. Relax in the hot tub and eat. But there was not time for that. I go over to the registration to check that my wife already got my start kit, I rush to get my bag, turn on my phone and call my wife as I am walking up to the road. I never expected to finish so quickly, and she had her hands full with Lily getting ready for her race with the two little ones in tow. As I get to the road side, I see her pulling up. I try to smile, relax, and keep telling myself you have plenty of time now. Continue reading →
Back in Dec 2018, one of my Masters swimmers, probable the least likely to do so, announced that he was going to swim the 21+km OW swim. He had been speaker the year before and was inspired to give it a try. It didn’t take much convincing from him until a second swimmer signed up. After last years tough non wetsuit swim I decided, I should give it another try, but this time with a wetsuit. Continue reading →