I have spent the entire months of June and July, except for the 16 days I was in the UK, training in Key West, Florida with Lifeguard Course near me. In June I was not hydrating enough while swimming and after 8 good days I was out for 72 hours from heat stroke. It influenced that it was noon, with temperatures around 31 or 32 ͦ C and the water almost like that of a pool, just one degree below. But the most likely cause is the mixture of heat and poor hydration. Once I learned the lesson, I got back into the routine, increasing the intensity of the training without stopping, and drinking between 8 and 10 liters of water a day, milk, amino acid supplements and MyH2Pro moisturizers, as well as increasing my protein intake above 145g at day (chicken, supplements, oatmeal, milk, nuts).
However, to say that at the end of June I was frustrated would be an understatement. After spending three weeks here preparing, fighting the heat, to take part in the FKCC Round Island, an event around the island, I had already been in the water for 5 hours when the US Coast Guard stopped the race. A severe electrical storm had broken out and the sea was rough enough to capsize a kayaker. I felt very bad thinking about Lori Bosco, whom I admire as a coach and as a person, and that she had undoubtedly put a lot of effort into this test only to be defeated by the elements in the end. With the pace changed, and lightning still lighting up the sky, I saw no choice the next day but to fly straight home to the SSTB campus in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK. The week with the kids was phenomenal!
Predictably, the temperature in Key West during those weeks, from the end of June to July 4, had risen to already stand at 32 ͦ C on average, with the water between 31 and 32 ͦ C. The humidity ranged from 75 to 90% and the threat of storms was constant. The conditions are harsh, but the sun gives my training exactly what I’m going to need for the Atlantic event, with the unwanted addition of irritation, dryness and burns on the skin, not pleasant when swimming in salt water and which I try combat with moisturizer, creams and mouthwashes.
oceans teem with countless
In addition, of course, you have to count on the marine fauna. Let’s not forget that our beautiful oceans teem with countless living beings. In just one week I had four shark encounters off Smathers Beach and also towards the Sigsbee side of Key West. I’m not quite sure who freaked out more, but I kept swimming until the fins and whatever was underneath moved away and left me to my routine – thanks a lot guys. Thank you very much, Poseidon. On Friday, however, I was in more of a rush, and it wasn’t long before I was out of the water. I spotted at least two sharks lurking to port and starboard in the murky waters of the reef, with the wind kicking up five-foot waves.
A beautiful experience
In the end I decided to continue but I will confess that I have great respect for our friends, the same for the fact that they are free, strong and beautiful, as if by the fear they put into the body. That said, here I am just your guest, and you have to have all the consideration in the world with the sea and its inhabitants. A beautiful experience, although not very reassuring at 800 meters from the shore, in deep water, with poor visibility and the other swimmers at distances that can reach a kilometer.
Jellyfish have stung me mercilessly. Moon jellyfish, sea lice, jellyfish. There is everything, but I have to move on: the Atlantic will be even worse. Despite the changing conditions, I continue with my double sessions and continuous sessions between 14 and 20 km. Training is going smoothly, but there are other things to think about. Organizing the expedition is complicated, as is getting sponsors, and even more so when I have to train and do public relations at the same time.
many ups and downs.
It is turning into a period with many ups and downs. Sometimes because of the physical challenge, battling mental exhaustion and resisting rejection by sponsors, now that there seems to be so much support for epic swimming adventures in both America and Britain. Others, because I miss my daughter, who has stayed in England, or because I have to deal with changes in my life or past mistakes – swimming leaves too much time to think, and that’s where the sports science team and sports psychologist Richard Collins come into play. All of this, as he tells me, has to fuel my mental toughness, make me stronger for the Atlantic adventure that awaits me, and serve as confirmation of what I’ve always known: that success is within my reach and that I will make it to the Olympics in Brazil.