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  • Marian Cardwell

Summer Recap

Updated: Jul 29

Hi Team!


This summer has been an interesting one! It feels like a lot has happened and also nothing. Let me catch you up:


May: A lot of biking and a little swimming

May marked my Endurance Test: Peloton Style. I rode our Peloton (stationary bike) from 12AM – 7:30AM in lieu of my cancelled 24-hour swim in California. My goal was to ride 108 miles, my goal swimming distance from Chicago to Grand Haven, in 7.5 hours. To my surprise, I hit mile 108 at about hour 6! I finished up the rest of my scheduled rides for a final total of 130.7 miles! Highlights of the night were friends texting me throughout the night, joining me on their stationary bikes at crazy early times (4AM early!), and my brother and sister joining me and Facetiming with me for the last 2 hours. My husband also made sure my refreshments were stocked throughout the night! It takes a village and I am so thankful for the strength and support of mine!


May also marked my first re-entry of swimming in water. I went from “swimming” in place on a piano bench to swimming in place attached to a tether in a pool. The main difference being swimming in water was much colder! Then finally, I was able to swim in Lake Michigan, though she was still very chilly!


June: Less biking and more cold swimming

June was the inverse of May. I biked less and swam a lot more. The water took its time to warm up though. During my drives home, I was in sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and winter coat with the heat on full blast. Every morning after the swim, I would think about how much I hated the “post-swim thaw.” But then every morning as I walked down to the water, I was also somehow optimistic it would be warmer. Spoiler! It wasn’t for weeks.


During this time, although I yearned for warmer water and wished I was back with my Master’s team at UIC, I felt very thankful for the crew I met at the beach. It turns out, when you show up at the same time in the spot enough times, you find “your people” and I really lucked out. These guys have become an incredible source of consistent, reliable, and generous teammates. Not to mention they are all excellent swimmers who push me to get better and quite accomplished in their own rights.


July: A lot of swimming!

July finally brought warm water!! Thank goodness, too! In May and June, I was in a wetsuit due to the water temperatures (high 40s to low 50s), which chafed my neck pretty good. (An ER trip and infection later, I was happy to ditch the neoprene!) July has been filled with several 5-6 hour swims. I’m pretty content that right now, a swim under 3 hours feels short. When the pools closed back in March, I had no idea what I would be able to do come July, so I am actually quite pleased with where I’m at!


Finally, the 24-hour swim that was originally scheduled for May was rescheduled for July 20th, but the COVID-19 spikes cancelled that again. So for the foreseeable future, there is no San Francisco Bay swim on the books, which leads me to August.


I will be writing plans for August separately in the next post.

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