Diana Nyad made history on Sept. 2 when she swam from Cuba to Florida—without the assistance of a shark cage—in 52 hours , 54 minutes and 18 seconds. The athletic phenom opened up about the experience during a Sept. 11 appearance on E!'s Chelsea Lately.
"I'm so proud of this 64-year-old body," Nyad told host Chelsea Handler. "Admittedly, I had some issues: deep chaffing in the inside of the mouth from the salt water, from the jellyfish mask and all that. But the muscles? Not a drop of lactic acid…No soreness. I did the training and I'm so proud of myself for that."
Nyad then joked about her inspirational swim, saying, "Anybody can do 52:54, but those 18 seconds, you're into the beach. That's what'll kill ya!"
During her chat with Handler, Nyad also cleared up a common misconception about why she didn't swim with a shark cage. "A big structure like that, as it's going along, it creates eddies on the side," she explained. "The eddies come around the back and they start pushing you forward, so if you have a cage, you're going two to three times faster than your normal speed."
And there you have it!