Saturday, July 2, 2016

Five days and counting - last second swim preparation

As promised, I am posting frequent updates.  This post is about my swim preparation.  Here I am..."The Walrus."
Walrus-like in both body and spirit
See the resemblance?

Over the past 12 weeks, I averaged almost 50km per week (48.5km to be exact but I am a rounder and like 50 more than 48) in the pool, lake or any other body of water with 50m or longer fetches.  I am strong, fat, and fit.  Nothing I do now will make me more prepared for the swim.  Well, almost nothing.  Tons of things will make me less prepared like...getting injured, sick, or tiring of this long process.  None of that will happen.  I am now back to my usual 4k/workout and 6-7x/week for a paltry 24-28km per week.  That short distance feels like I am almost not swimming.  These days, I require about 3km just to warm up.  I feel great.  So, what preparation do I need now?  

I need to sort out my gear and figure out what goggles I plan to wear, how much food to pack for the swims, and what suit makes the most sense to wear.  Usually, I don't care much about these details but an ill-fitting suit can really cause me trouble in places not worth mentioning in public.

Packing and sorting are really quite easy compared to getting mentally prepared.  The Catalina Channel swim is a night swim.  Yep, I swim through the night.  I will post more about that later but getting mentally prepared for sensory deprivation while being surrounded by all sorts of critters - both friendly and unfriendly.  Mind wandering during the swim can really wreak havoc on some people.  I have a different perspective.  Up until now, I lived a great life.  I cannot control much about what critter swims up to me and takes a taste.  Instead, I plan to focus on my stroke - one stroke at a time - and eat when necessary.  Don't get me wrong.  If one of those beasties comes up for a taste of me hide, I plan to give it something to remember forever.  No sense of worrying about those things though.  Control the things I can control.

Next, I must prepare to do two 22 mile swims within one week.  I have yet to do one 22 mile swim so why not two?  My previous training for all sorts of activities taught me that you do not need to train the distance to know you can do it when it counts.  In fact, I find it reassuring to know that I have pushed myself for 18+ hours in other activities and felt just fine in a day or so.  I'm ready.  Been ready for weeks now.  I fought burnout for a few days but that was fixed by going to Chicago and partying with my high schools pals - all who turn 50 this year.  Going Phishing helped a ton.  Thanks Coop for the great weekend.

In short, I'm prepared.  I just need the next few days to go by without incident.  Had enough beer with my pals last weekend in Chicago to help me get through the 4th without too much of a parched palate.  There will be plenty of time to celebrate after this double.  For now, I'm on the straight and narrow.  Enjoy a beer for me on the 4th.  I'll tip back one on the 5th for my birthday.  Just one.  Yes, just one.

OK, more updates to follow.  

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