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This little piggy went to market.

June 25, 2013

Toes! Not something you’d probably expect from a MacySwim update. (Side Note: I bet some of you were thinking that I was the Piggy and I was going to market for more food for added weight. Shame on you! Now let’s get back to toes.)

What do toes have to do with marathon swimming? I’ll tell you. Absolutely nothing. Unless of course, you are me at which point toes or more precisely toe nail polish is very important. (more…)

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Atlantic News – Shark in the Water.

June 11, 2013

A fun post in The Atlantic about my lovely Hawaiian friend.  I’d swim anywhere in the world with you Michael…mostly because the odds would now be in our favor! 

“You ever heard of the cookiecutter shark, Isistius brasiliensis? I hadn’t either until Phenomena’s Ed Yong told me about it today. “It’s a small cat-sized animal with chocolate-coloured skin, a rounded snout, and large green eyes. Beneath the bizarre head, its lower jaw contains what looks like a saw–a row of huge, serrated teeth, all connected at their bases,” Yong wrote earlier this year. “When the cookie-cutter finds a victim, it latches on with its large fleshy lips and bites down with its saw blade. With twisting motions, it scoops out a chunk of flesh, leaving behind circular craters.”

They have been known to attack great white sharks and killer whales and even nuclear submarines (the last of which suggests to me that they may not have the most developed nervous systems).

And in one case, and one case only, a human.”  Read the full story here:

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How do you schedule a marathon swim?

June 4, 2013

Now that you know what a marathon swim is, I thought it MIGHT be interesting to know how one gets planned. Mostly of us have experience with applying for a running event, triathlon, kid’s summer camp, etc. Usually for those events, there is a website and a date that registration opens. From there you put in your information, provide your credit card and then wait to see if you made the cut. If you get the coveted Yes email, you maybe need to book flights and hotel to be in town for the race day. There is typically a designated race day where everyone participates.

Marathon swimming has some events that are planned like that for example the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. However most swims are a little bit more involved. Before you even schedule a swim, you have to decide what swim you want to do. Let’s use the English Channel as our example. This channel is known as the Everest of marathon swimming and as such is a coveted swim. (more…)

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Life in my swimsuit. Got crabs?

May 29, 2013

One of the most common questions I get is “You wear a wetsuit right?” Perhaps it is the proliferation of triathlons that makes people assume I wear a wetsuit. Or maybe it is that they see the 10k professional swimmers in long black suits. Or maybe people think that nobody would be crazy enough to swim in just a “regular” swimsuit especially in cold water.

Well folks its true there is NO wetsuit on my body when I swim in cold water. In fact it is completely against the rules. Don’t believe me? Here is a picture of me starting my 2012 English Channel swim. And yes that blue boat is my escort boat. My back looks white because I use zinc oxide to try to protect my skin from hours in the water. There you have it. Photographic evidence that it is just a regular swimsuit. (SIDE NOTE: I’m the first picture. Also men cannot wear wetsuits for channel swimming either. They often have the option between a traditional “Speedo” and a suit cut to the knees called a “jammer.” See pictures below.) (more…)

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What exactly is a marathon swim?

May 21, 2013

Since has been dark for over a year, I thought it may be good to start at the beginning. Many of you may not know or may have forgotten what a marathon swim is. Let’s see if I can make this entertaining. (more…)

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How to date a triathlete/marathon runner/endurance junkie.

January 1, 2013

As I was flipping around on Facebook, I came across this linked post about how to date a triathlete/marathon runner/endurance junkie and I was intrigued.  How could I not click the link and read more.  (more…)

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Safely home, but what day is it?

March 16, 2010

After 4 flights, I arrived safely home in Portland Oregon.  It was a lovely trip and I was sad to see it be over.  The trip home was uneventful, but how many breakfasts can one person take.  I left Wellington and was given breakfast.  I arrived in Sydney, still in the AM and was again provided breakfast.  Then I landed in LA and yep you guessed it BREAKFAST TIME!  I was never so thankful to arrive somewhere past 11am so that I could eat something besides slimy airport eggs.  Actually I didn't eat many of the breakfasts which I think caused some of my crazy behaviour later in the day and the lightheadedness.  I mean eggs from fast food restaurants just aren't that good, so I avoid them. 

I'm now back at work and I'm a little bit confused as to what day it really is.  Thankfully I have a calendar to keep me on track. 

Here are some fun facts from the swim:

  • Steve and I were the first successful swims this season.  #65 and 66 swimmers to cross for the 75th and 76th successful crossing.
  • 37th woman to make crossing, but 19th woman from North to South island
  • 5th American to make the crossing.
  • I swam 35 years after the first successful crossing by an American woman, Lynne Cox (Thanks Forrest for that fun fact!)
  • I negative split the swim, which will make my coach happy. 
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The Holiday Letter

January 1, 2010

I’ve never done a holiday letter ever.  I get them.  I really enjoy them, but I’ve never sent one myself.  I couldn’t exactly figure out what to say.  For the past 4 years, my life has pretty much revolved around swimming and work.  I get a new plant every now and again and I kill one or two by accident, but that is about it.  Plus then there is the blog which pretty much updates anyone that wants to read it.   Then the light bulb went off, a blog holiday letter!  So here it is the first installment.

This past year has been a tumultuous one to say the least.  It started off with a bang as I traveled down to participate in the Triple Lake Taupo Relay crossing.  It was the race that wasn’t really a race.  A team of 5 men swimming alongside (against) a 6 person female team.  We finished less than 5 minutes apart which in a 60+ mile, 33 hour event is more than amazing.  Mostly I remember the laughter and new friendships that have continued to blossom over this past year.  Unknown to me at the time, we apparently set a new Guinness World Record with this swim too.  YEA US!

The rest of the winter months were spent in my normal routine; sleep, workout, work, eat, sleep and repeat.  There was a new plant, which quickly became an old plant.  But other than that not much was going on. 

I was in a peak training weekend the weekend of May 15-17, 2009.  My task was to swim 3 x 10hr swims.  One on Friday, one Saturday and the remaining 10 hrs on Sunday.  I made it through the Friday swim very well.  Except that I was so tired that I didn’t take my normal evening call with my mom.  She left me the best message.  She was there cheering into the phone “ONE DOWN BABY!  WAY TO GO!  KEEP IT UP! YOU CAN DO IT!”.  As I smiled and laughed to myself, I pressed the delete button and promptly went back to my afternoon of resting, eating, and sleeping.  The next morning I woke up early and my friend came to help kayak as I swam 6 hours outside at Hagg Lake and then transferred back into town to finish up in a pool due to the cold water temperature.  Another friend was waiting for me at the pool, I thought it odd, but thought maybe she too was here to cheer me on.  Unfortunately no, she was there to tell me to call home.  I did and my dad gave me probably the hardest news he has ever had to do “Your mother died in her sleep.  It was peaceful and it was quick”   Life from that point on for me became measured in the Before Death and After Death. 

I’m sure that at that point I didn’t know how to process things, so I kept on swimming and moving towards my goal of completing a triple crossing of the English Channel.  As many of you have followed, I completed a solo crossing of the Channel on June 30, 2009.  My crew provided the heart that I needed to make it that far and I can’t thank them enough.  Then after that swim, I did go back to my beginning of Pennock Island.  I did have fun, but fun felt so much more different these days.  It didn’t last as long and it is only recently that I began to understand why.

My parents aren’t just my parents.  My mom and dad are/were great.  They are my team members and my cheerleaders.  I spoke to my mom every day and I mean EVERY day.  She made it possible for me to have a dual life where I worked a full time job and swam full time.   She was the person that drafted my fundraising letter for the past 3 years.  She has written countless sponsorship letters which resulted in many of my sponsorships.   She created a sponsorship video to include with letters to businesses, which was an amazing feat for my non-technical mom.  She would fly out to Portland every 6 – 12 weeks and spend the weekend cooking and ensuring that my freezer was full of single serve home cooked meals.  She also cleaned, did laundry, decorated and made my home feel more like home.   My dad is my travel agent and helps me make financial decisions, mostly helps me say yes when a unique opportunity comes my way and helps me figure out how to stretch my money to make it happen.

And now After Death, I’m trying to figure out how to get all this Mom stuff done.  For those of you that are wondering, yes I do know how to cook.  Yes, I can do laundry and clean.  Yes, I can write letters and fundraise and talk to potential sponsors, but my mom made all of these things easier.  She helped to carry my load.  But mostly…I miss our everyday talks.  Sure I still talk to her, but she just doesn’t quite talk back.  I miss that, even when we were getting on each others nerves.  I miss that last phone call of the day.  I wish that we could still talk.  I wish I still had that voice mail from the last night. 

But I do have a lot to be thankful for this past year, my friends from all over have been incredible.  They provide the joke when I need the laughter, the shoulder when I need to cry, and often have provided that last phone call/text of the day. 

I have accomplished some great swims, met some amazing people and I continue to have a job that is challenging in a mostly positive way.  I have welcomed a new nephew into the fold which brings my cool auntie status up to 5 nephews and 1 neice. 

On the fundraising front, we have raised over $18,000 for Macyswim for a Cure – In honor of Dr. Kathleen Macy.  We are almost to the halfway mark of our $50,000 goal.  Watch for upcoming posts on new ways to donate.

I have learned that my mother gave me the skills to move forward.  I may not be able to recreate her beef stew or soup, but she gave me so many other gifts.  Now it is just uncovering those deeply engrained skills and putting them to work.  And it starts by me making it successfully out of bed each day.

I hope that all of you that follow this blog had a wonderful year, where you challenged yourself to move outside your comfort zone.  That you cherished your loved ones and made new memories.  And I hope above all that you laughed and loved to your fullest.

Happy New Year.

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I Grieve for you, Mom.

May 19, 2009

On Saturday my heart became profoundly broken after talking to my dad.  My rock, my mooring, my mother passed away unexpectedly in her sleep.  I’m in a state of shock like the rest of my family.  My mom had just received a clean bill of health.  She was cancer free.  She and I were making plans!  Heck, we had just spent mother’s day weekend sending out fundraising letters, emails, postings, etc.  She was as dedicated in my fundraising goal as I was.  Perhaps it has always been our goal to raise $50,000 for breast cancer research. 

I have returned home to MN to be with my family during this difficult time.  Thank you all for your well wishes for me and my mother.  I know that all your comments helped her during her fight with cancer. 

Here is a local story about my mother.

And here is the obituary.

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The Grand Unveiling

November 26, 2007

Tah Dah!  With the help of my talented friend Courtney at Synthetic Kit, I have a new website.  From now on please see my updates at All the old posts and comments have been moved to the new site, so you won’t miss any of your favorites. 


Come join me at my new site for my new running and swimming adventures.

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