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Nehalem Bay – 4 hours 2 minutes

July 18, 2007

Day 2 of the weekend training.  I seemed to be in a better mood, even though I had some very weird dreams.  I also received a call from Jen Wicker and she, Steve, Kelby and Keri were all coming to the beach.  I was super excited although I felt bad as it was cloudy and raining.  They said that they would come anyways.  I still felt bad, so I hoped to get in 2 hours of swimming before they arrived to avoid them being in the elements more than necessary. 


I left my little cottage by the river at around 10:45am and arrived at the boat launch at 10:50am.  I was in the water around 11:04am.  I began my swim by swimming against the current.  Since I was starting an hour earlier than planned the currents weren’t as strong, so that took me about 40 minutes.  I shot back the same distance in 10 minutes when swimming with the current.  Swimming with the current is something I could get used to.  Unfortunately, heading back against the current the 2nd time was more difficult.  I spent quite a bit of time swimming in one place.  I just tried to think about it as if I was 1 mile from France and the tides were changing.  It was a “Now or Never” move.  I slowly watched the weeds and rocks slip slowly beneath me.  Oh and the crabs, there were tons of crabs.  And they were moving, as they had chosen to move with the current.  I figured I could actually make a profit during my training as I could tell all the crab fisherman just exactly where to put their pots.  Or maybe I would catch the things myself.  Hey last year I caught a fish in my suit, how hard would a crab be?  Deadliest Catch here I come!  (I’m addicted to this Discovery show). 


On my way back, I spotted my friends on the beach.  I had set my watch for 1:45 countdown.  I was out of the water with 8 minutes remaining.  Not quite the 2 hours I had hoped to get in, but I was able to swim this long without a feeding which was a good sign.  It had also stopped raining!  I took some time to chat and to feed (tea mixture, peaches).  I gave Steve my remaining feedings and told him that I had about 2 hours 30 minutes left.  Little did I know how to heart he would take this.  (2 hours 30 minutes would put me at about a 4 hour 15 minute swim by my watch). 


The Crew:



 The Crew in Nehalem    

Steve and Kelby were going to be kayaking with me and feeding me every hour.  Jen and Keri were going to sit on the beach for as long as they could tolerate the clouds and mist.  I warned everyone that watching me swim is sometimes worse than watching paint dry and that they would have to kayak at a very slow speed.  All assured me that they were fine and for some reason I believed them.  I took off swimming as I couldn’t be out of the water any longer as I was starting to shiver.  Steve and Kelby would catch up to me in a few minutes.


Off I went against the current again.  I made it almost to the point before I saw Steve and Kelby.  I thought that they had went for a quick turn about the bay before joining me.  Turns out the current was affecting them as much as me.  Once joined up, I told them I would just follow them where ever they kayaked.   This would be the first time that I really took my feedings in the middle of a swim without exiting the water first. 


Now I had a watch on during the swim and I stopped expecting my 1st feeding.  Steve promptly informed me that I had 5 minutes left and I better get swimming.  Now this was just what I needed.  I thought about protesting, but figured having a 5 minute debate with Steve about a feeding wasn’t worth the effort, so I put my head down and swam.  After 5 minutes, I took on some tea mixture and some Clif shot blocks.  Kelby started to sing “If your happy and you know it” but with different words.  I could have capsized him because now for the next hour, I would have this ridiculous song in my head.


True to form, the song “if your happy and you know it” ran through my head for the whole hour.  I tried getting rid of it by saying the alphabet backwards a trick one of my old coaches taught me to stave off bordom while swimming distance.  No luck there.  It took me stopping for my second feeding to finally rid me of the song.  Again Steve wouldn’t let me stop until exactly 1 hour had passed.  And this time he made sure to stop in an area I couldn’t stand.  Dang it!  More tea and shot blocks.  These things seemed to be going down better.  Sometime in the 2nd hour the sun had come out as well.  I mentioned during this feeding that according to my watch I only had about 20 minutes left on the swim.   Steve’s reply “Well we aren’t swimming by your watch and mine says you have 30 minutes”.    Alrightly then, let’s get going.


Swimming along Michelle and Steve:


Steve and Kelby steered me to the other side of the bay and kept getting in closer and closer to shore.  I thought for sure that they were going to have me inact my landing on the French coast.  Luckily they just turned around and when I popped up for a sighting as only Steve can said “You’re going the wrong way!”  I turned around and Steve made a deal with me.  I could race them across the bay and if I finished in under the 20 minutes left on HIS watch, I could get out.  A CHALLENGE!  Now I knew I couldn’t beat them across, but I thought maybe I could beat the 20 minute mark.  I picked up my pace.  My stroke count went from a consistent 62 to about 68 and settled in at 66.  I finished 4 minutes before 20 minutes were up.  By my watch, I had swum for 4 hours 2 minutes (2 rounds on the 1:45 countdown and 13 showing as remaining on the 3rd countdown).  I was super excited.  And I managed to bring back a small souvenior for the girls on the beach.  It was just a small shell as I don’t have a ton of storage space in my suit.


End of Swim kneeling in Bay:


Jen had packed me a sandwich, which I promptly ate.  Then I ate the 1/2 of someone elses sandwich.  Jen and Keri also agreed to drive me back to Portland, which worried me after a long swim.  We did manage to stop in Cannon Beach for a nice dinner out on the patio as the sun was still shining.  I also got to spend the drive back catching up with Keri and Jen as it has been a while since we talked.  All in all it was a very good day.

Swimming Notes:

  • Water temp: 64 degrees.  I remembered the water thermometer today. 
  • Tongue again started to swell.  Lips puckered as I forgot to put on grease.
  • Chaffing:  Inside of both biceps.  Also some in the left armpit.  Need to grease heavier next time.  So far neck chaffing held to a minimum.
  • My neck seems to be the first thing that tightens up during my swims.  I’m hoping that this is due to sighting of which I don’t think that I will have to do a lot of during the Channel.
  • Need to up the sunscreen to 45+ as after 4 hours 30 doesn’t do the trick.  May need to do a double layer. 
  • Having someone push me and give me challenges helps to pass the time during the swim
  • Big pieces of weeds and kelp that bypass my hands and hit me in the face first really freak me out.  Jumped more than once when this happened.  As long as my hand touches things first, they don’t seem to scare me as much.
  • My skin will be extremely dry and flaky for a day after the swim, which is really gross. 
  • Will not be able to sleep after longer swim as too tired and too sore, every movement wakes me up.  Will have to try ibuprofen after next swim.  I forgot it this time. 
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One Response to “Nehalem Bay – 4 hours 2 minutes”

  1. Jen says:

    The day at the beach was much more exciting than you make it out to be 🙂 We all had a very relaxing afternoon and were happy to be able to support you! You did GREAT!

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