My plan to swim the 1.5 miles from Alcatraz to San Francisco on the 15th of October is just a little over a month away.
I have been changing my usual swimming pattern of short bursts to long swims. Although I prefer long-distance swimming, I had to stop because my right hand would start tingling if I swam too long. In order to stop this, I have started taking lessons from experienced coach who is working to help me improve my stroke so that the nerves in my shoulder are not pinched.
The results have been quite good. On Tuesday I swam 43 minutes (a bit over a mile) with only the occasional tingle. I came out its quite refreshed and felt I could have done twice the distance. So my endurance is progressing well. But here's the really good news: Today I went down to the Dolphin Club. This is a club in the Marina for people who like to swim in the Bay. I did my first swim in the actual waters of the Bay. There were at least two things in my favor. The water was 62° - It was so warm it was like being in Florida (well, sort of). The other thing was that I had an insulated bathing cap. I have never used one before. I always had thin Lycra caps. An insulated cap changes everything. You lose most of your heat through your head. Diving into cold water is like when you eat ice cream too fast. With an insulated cap nothing like this happens. The result: a piece of cake! I did half a mile and could have done three times the distance.
So this week I'm feeling quite positive about my prospects -- but you never know...