Thursday, September 26, 2013


I have big plans for the weekend. Big plans to do nothing. My wife is going out of town for a few days, so I’ve been thinking, “What can I do that I normally can’t?” My answers have been disappointing. A few things I’ve considered are:

1)   Spending the night at the cabin in Carroll County and run the gravel roads until I can’t take it anymore. The hold backs on that are: I need to mow the lawn, prepare for church, take care of the animals, and swim.

2)   Going to the newly opened Tanglefoot Trail for a long run or ride. My wife and I have been waiting for months for this rails-to-trails project, which runs from Houston, Mississippi to New Albany, Mississippi, to become a reality. The temptation to drive over and spend a day there is pretty strong. However, it doesn’t seem right to make my first excursion there without Mary Hodge, seeing how she has waited as eagerly as me for its opening.

3)   Taking the pontoon out for its maiden voyage. This one, however, is dependent on getting the boat finished. I have a new prop ordered and a few more things need to be done to her. But like above, it would seem somehow inappropriate without my wife aboard on the initial outing.

4)   Doing a two-day journey run. The problem with this is I have those animals to care for. Also, I am so broke I can’t pay attention, and I know from experience that it is more expensive to power the human body than to power a four thousand pound automobile. Really, I’ve done the math.

What I most likely will do is mow the lawn, take a long run out Money Road, swim a long time at Twin Rivers, watch a lot of college football, and hang out with the dog and cat. That’s not too bad, but I still yearn for something different, something exotic. Maybe I’ll come up with an idea, but right now I am fresh out.

Hey, I just thought of something: a one day journey/adventure run. There is a route I’ve wanted to ambulate for a long time now. It starts at my front door, goes out Grenada Blvd to Highway 7, north on number 7 and following the old highway to what is sometimes called Whaley, across the bridge and many miles down Whaley Road to Money, MS, and then south to the house. With my wife gone, I can spend all of Friday rambling, and I won’t have to worry about time. I can take all day, enjoy the trip, and be so tired when I get back that I go straight to bed without speaking to anyone. Taking a bath first, of course.

Hot dog, it’s a plan! Now I need to purchase some calories, get my packs loaded, and try to sleep. I will be like a child tonight, eagerly awaiting Santa’s coming in the morning.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hodge Wins Height Challenge

Hodge Wins Height Challenge

Jay Unver (Lehrton, MS) Big ASS Endurance held a press conference at the Big ASS Training Center in Lehrton, MS today. Spokesman Jim Bob Dugan announced that the Association had ruled in favor of marathon swimmer Zane Hodge who last week filed a formal protest against arch rival Randy Beets. Hodge was all smiles at the announcement.

Reading from a prepared statement, Dugan said

        “There is credible and substantial evidence that Randy Beets is indeed taller than the 6’6” he listed on filing papers with The Association of Sports Swimmers, The Association of Sports Shufflers, and The Association of Sports Syclists. Although this, in and of itself, does not amount to an infraction of any the Big ASS Endurance rules, it does, on the other hand, make reasonable Hodge’s request of an independent observer of Beets in the upcoming open water world championship swim.”

        Hodge gloated over the announcement. “I told ya,” he was heard to mutter over and over. He took the attitude that the ruling amounted to some sort of rebuke of Beets. Beets’ spokesperson, Anna Clegg Mauceli, filed an immediate appeal as well as lodging a counter complaint asking for “a full and impartial investigation of Hodge’s stunning, single-handed victory over Beets’ entire relay team at the Heart O’ Dixie Triathlon.”

While Hodge grinned, Mauceli stared him down like a mean dog peering into a cage full of cats. Beets himself, absent due to “work,” said in a phone interview that he could care less how many people watched his swim in Tennessee because “the little fellow is going down this time for sure.”

Mauceli was in an especially sour mood and echoed those same sentiments while Hodge ate donuts and ice-cream, refreshments provided for reporters. When one reporter asked if he was breaking training by eating such food, Hodge replied, “Heck no! Ice-cream is the ultimate endurance fuel. It will be in my pilot’s boat at the Suck and in my belly also. I can eat anything I want. Shoot, that Beets is hog fat now. I could gain a little weight and still be way leaner than Lard Butt Beets.”

With that, Hodge cut a glance at Mauceli. “Looks like you’re following suit with Lard Butt and putting on a little yourself.” At that point, Mauceli became belligerent, bum rushed Hodge, and had to be subdued by Big ASS security guards. She was then escorted out of the building all the while screaming obscenities at Hodge who continued to eat ice-cream. He had a smile on his face while the irate Mauceli was placed in her car and ordered off the property.

“Poor darling,” he said. “She just got in with the wrong team.”

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Week of 9/16 to 9/22

It was a pretty light week, overall, and besides tapering off for the Oaks, mostly I've been sitting by the phone waiting on a call from Big ASS Endurance over the complaint I filed concerning Beets' height. Monday I ran 4.22 miles and didn't even go to the pool. Tuesday I ran 3.81 then met my buddy, Big John, at Twin Rivers. We had agreed ahead of time to go for three hours. He's been wanting to do that, and I needed a long swim. In that length of time, I swan

10 X 50 @ 1:15
2 X 200 large paddles
400 for time (7:06)
2 X 250 medium paddles
400 for time (7:06)
2 X 300 small paddles
400 for time (7:16)
500 finger paddles
10 X 100 pull @ 2:00 with small paddles
Total: 8,500 meters.

My wife and I at the Oaks. She walked the 5K.
Wednesday I ran 3.01 miles, mowed the front lawn, and was too tired to even think about swimming. Thursday I shuffled 2.52, and I did actually get my body into the water at Twin Rivers. But once there, I was listless and struggled through a slow 3,000. Friday I ran 2.03 then spent the afternoon working on the pontoon. I plan a separate post on that as well as the Oaks which I ran Saturday. I wrote earlier that if I couldn't get back under 50:00, then I would know I'm getting old and move on to more ultra type events which is what old runners often do. I'm really struggling over the results. I did get second place in my age group, but that was only partial consolation. In the afternoon, I ran another four miles.

Oh, by the way, Randy Beets and I were to race the Oaks for the Association of Sports Shufflers World Championship 10K. That rascal claimed he had to work. Still, I ate ice-cream and cake to celebrate winning another ASS world title.

For the week, I
ran 26.05 miles
swam 11,500 meters, and
walked 4.36 miles.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hodge Files Protest over Beets' Height

Hodge Lodges Protest over Beets' Height

Jay Unver (Lehrton, MS) Champion swimmer Zane Hodge filed a formal complaint today with Big ASS Endurance over Randy Beets’ height. According to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Lehrton Gazette, Hodge alleges that Beets lied about his height on documents filed with the Association of Sports Swimmers and its parent company Big ASS Endurance  when the two endurance athletes joined those organizations three years ago. The ruse, according to Hodge, continues until this day.
When questioned about the complaint, Big ASS Endurance spokesperson, Jim Bob Dugan, refused comment saying only that the matter was under investigation. Hodge, however, had plenty to say when visited by this reporter.
The photo Hodge provided as evidence
“That guy has been telling lies ever since we’ve been competing against each other,” the agitated swimmer said as we sat on his back patio sipping coffee.  “I have absolute proof,” Hodge added, showing me a photo of the two swimmers standing side by side. In the photo, Beets, who claims to be 6’6’’, towers over the 5’10” Hodge by a good foot or more.
When asked how Beets’ reported height could possibly be an issue, Hodge responded: “If he will lie about that, you can’t trust the boy. Being tall is not against the rules, but cheating is. He clearly did lie and is lying about his stature. What I am seeking in my complaint is for an accurate measuring of Beets and for two independent observers appointed by Big ASS to keep an eye on him in the Suck. That’s a reasonable request.”
The upcoming Swim the Suck Ten-miler in Chattanooga, TN is the world open water championship race for the Association of Sports Swimmers members. Since Beets and Hodge are the only members competing in that event, the showdown between them will determine the 2013 world champion.
Hodge and Beets have a long and intense rivalry that at times has bordered on violence. At the Suck last year, security guards and a helicopter narrowly prevented the two from coming to blows. Also Hodge has a history of making allegations against Beets. Before last year’s Suck, he accused the Greenvillian of wounding him by means of a Voodoo doll.
“He did it!” Hodge jumped to his feet and shouted when I reminded him of the Voodo doll controversy. “In 2011 it was my right shoulder. In 2012 it was my right hand. This year it’s been my back, my other shoulder, and my groin. If somebody doesn’t get that doll away from him, he is going to kill me.”
“So you think Beets cheated in the last year’s Suck?” I asked.
“Dude, he cut some twenty-minutes off the gap between us. Who does that? How can you improve that much in one year? He probably put on fins along the way. He is so large that his fins are the size of small surf boards. He wears like a size thirty-five shoe. I’ve done fin sets with him in the pool, and if you get behind him when he has fins on, the turbulence will knock you over. Really.  He could beat Michael Phelps with fins on.”
“Let me get this straight. You’re accusing Beets of telling lies, cheating, and attempting to murder you?”
“Yeah,” he answered without reservation. “Seems like you left some things out. That can’t be all. He’s a pretty rotten character who will stop at nothing to defeat me. Nothing!”
“Could any of this be related to Saturday?” I continued to probe?
“What do you mean?” Hodge responded suspiciously when I inquired about their recent training session at the fish pond.
“Word is out that he beat you again in the water and then you two had a scuffle afterwards and he beat you up in the fight. Could your complaint be related to that?” I asked.
At this point Hodge jumped to his feet and began screaming. “What?!?!? No such thing happened. He could never beat me up. I was on top when the gun went off”
“Gun?” I enquired. “What’s this about a gun and how did this fight start?”
“It started when he called me a name,” Hodge answered. “I think he called me a doo doo head. I said ‘I know you are, what am I?’ Next thing I know, he has me in a head lock, but I slipped out because our heads were wet. We had just got out of the water. So after I got out or the headlock, I shot for a double-leg take down and was on top when the gun went off.”
“Gun! What gun?” I asked incredulously.
“Robin. She got a .44 out of her truck and fired it into the air. Then I think she said stop it, so I got off him.”
“You think she said, you mean you don’t know?”
“That’s what it looked like her lips were trying to say. She fired that thing right by my ear. Heck, I couldn’t hear for two days. But I tell you what,” he said with murder in his eyes. “Next time I see Randal Beets, I’m just going to start swinging. It’s gunna be a Beets down.”

Monday, September 16, 2013

End of Week

Thursday I did a little 4.07 mile run and then hurt my lower back lifting weights. I've been working on my core not only for athletic performance, but also with the hopes of having a strong and healthy back. Now I am stumbling around in pain like an old man. I went on to the pool and, thankfully, the injury gave me no trouble there. I swam

200 fooling with the robot, then
5,100 straight
Total: 5,300 meters.

Since Randy Beets and I planned a training day at the pond Saturday, I did my long run Friday. I went to Money and back and held my 2.5 mile shuffle/1.0 mile walk routine for five cycles. I finished with 14.24 miles of running and 5.93 miles of walking and averaged a faster pace than last week.

Saturday I met Randy at the pond and the air temperature was in the high 50s. The water was down to 78 and that felt pretty cool. With my back injured, we plannned on swimming only, doing two laps per set before crawling out for nutrition. Robin drove out and cheered us on. It's nice having her there. I think I swim a little harder with her watching. Randy started getting into that strange zone he goes into from time to time so we made eight miles and tapped out. That was enough, and besides, I really wanted to watch the Alabama/Texas A & M game.
My new cap matches the tape.
Just like my wife taught me.

When I arrived home, my wife, however, wanted to go to her mom's, so I only saw the first possession of the game before we left. Although I was tired and my back hurt, I put on my running shoes and got out of the truck only a couple of miles from the house to give me 30 for the week.

For the last seven days, I

swam 34,172 meters,
walked 7.07  miles,
lifted weights twice, and
ran 30.4 miles.

For the year I am at
603,564.15 meters swimming and
940.85 miles running.

Next Saturday I race Randal Beets at the 300 Oaks. We are not going to get to do the swim off afterwards because of my grandaughter's birthday party, but the Suck is approaching quickly. Soon a Big ASS champion will be crowned.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bad Goggles

Sleeping in the heat ain't no fun, and I don't mean isn't. We have been having air conditioning problems at our house and the air man finally came out Tuesday, fixed our problem, and charged me what I thought was a very fair price. The house started cooling, and by the time I went to work it was 85 degrees indoors, a vast improvement. Wednesday I have my film class at night and when I got home the house was still 85 degrees. I went outside and looked at the unit. The outdoor fan had stopped so I shut the power off to the unit and we had another blissful night. NOT!!

At least I made it to the pool Wednesday afternoon. I had some brand new goggles that I was absolutley giddy to try out. They leaked. I adjusted them. They leaked. I adjusted some more. They leaked. I adjusted again. They leaked. I threw a fit and tore the goggles into as many pieces as I was strong enough to. Such has been my experience with goggles. Usually, with most things, you get what you pay for. With goggles, my experience has been the cheaper the better. The best ones I ever had were a cheap pair of US Divers from Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, they don't make that particular model anymore. Wal-Mart has another model of US Divers goggles on the shelve. Guess what? They don't work for me. They leak. No matter how much I fool with them, they just don't work.

Funny thing with goggles, they either function properly from the beginning or they never will. It ain't socket rience. For a marathon swimmer, in my opinion, there are only two considerations: 1) they don't leak, and 2) they must be comfortable. Goggle-fatigue has always been my number one danger in a long swim. Color me a sissy, but if my goggles are uncomfortable, I'm quiting. There is enough to deal with in terms of physical and mental fatigue. Anything extra is usually a price I'm not going to pay.

Pardon the digression. At the pool, I swam

300 fooling with goggles
pitched a fit and tore up the new goggles
2,700 straight with old goggles
15 X 100 pull with small paddles @ 2:00
Total: 4,500 meters.

For the week, I am now at 16,000 meters with a few days left. This is what it will take to beat Beets' butt.

Then it was home to get ready for work. I was expecting my new running shoes to be delivered by UPS. I kept stalling, hoping they would show up so I could put my running shorts on under my dress slacks, wear my new shoes, walk to work, and then run home. The shoes didn't make it until after I was in class. Normally, when I get home after a night class, the chances of me running are about one to ten, no matter what resolve I think I have before my teaching duties. I always enjoy it when I do run that time of night, but I always so tired then that it's very easy to sit down and stay there. With the brand new shoes waiting for me when I got home, however, I changed clothes and made it out the door. I ran a little over five miles in the dark before going home to stay hot the rest of the night.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Whimper and a Bang

If Monday was a bang and a whimper, Tuesday was a whimper and a bang. The air conditioning went out at our house Monday night so we had a pretty restless evening leaving not only me and my wife exhausted, but the dog and cat also. The air man was supposed to call me at 1:00 Tuesday afternoon, but this ain't my first rodeo. I put on my fuel belt, stuck my phone into the pocket, and headed out the door determined to stay near just in case he called. I did a lot of short laps around the neighborhood listening for the phone to ring. It never did. We set a record high temperature, I set a record bad run, and I tapped out at a wimpy, slow 4.6 miles.

My wife came home at five to a cranky dog, a lazy cat, and hot house. Her husband wasn't in too good of a mood either. She normally goes to exercise class on Tuesday night and although I wanted to swim, I offered to stay home and wait on the air man if she wanted to make her workout. She said she was too tired to go after a night of no sleep so I went to the pool.

There is an old man, John Misterfeld, who usually gets there the same time I do. He doesn't swim but goes to the deep end and treads water for up to two hours at a time! (I'm not sure I could do that). He was a Mississippi State offensive lineman back in the day who has had both knees replaced. Last week, I never saw him, and I didn't realize how accustomed I had grown to his presence. I became terrible worried, tracked his phone number down, and gave him a call to see it he was OK. Anyway, he was there last night, which made me happy. When he is present, I swim longer than I do when he was not there. Normally I'm the only one in the pool except for him. Just having him there makes me feel not so alone.

I swam

4 X 50 @ 1:15
400 medium paddles
4 X 50 @ 1:15
500 small paddles
4 X 50 @ 1:15
600 finger paddles
4 X 50 @ 1:15
700 swim
6 X 100 pull with small paddles @ 2:00
Total: 6,200 meters.

Not a bad day at the pool thanks in part to John Misterfeld who said he would make me get out first. I did. And really not a bad day when you consider how pathetically I ran the same afternoon. I've got a good start on a monster swim week. Randy Beets and I are supposed to train Saturday, and we are planning a huge swim. I am going to pack the tent up and everything. We are going to focus on swimming, saving any running for afterwards.

For the week, I have already swum 11,500 meters. Yeehaa!

The air man is supposed to come to day. Do you think I am waiting all afternoon when the pool is wide open? Not a chance.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Bang and a Whimper

Monday, my week started with a bang and a whimper. Instead of running in the afternoon and swimming after my night class, I decided to reverse that order because the Suck is drawing closer and I need a really big swim week. The fact that the Oaks, a 10K run, is also drawing near was another factor in my decision to place the swim over the run in my priorities. I cut my run mileage last week by nine miles. I plan to cut another three to five miles this week. If nothing else, I'm going into the the footrace tapered.

I ran some errands and then made it into the water about 2:30. I had it all to myself  for a while and swam

12 X 100 @ 2:00
4 X 50 @ 1:00
6 X 150 pull with medium paddles @ 3:00
100 easy
Total: 5,300 meters.

It was a nice swim and once more I was amazed at how well I swim after lifting weights the day before. Sunday I absolutely destroyed my upper body. My muscles were stiff and sore as I started my practice, but I felt great; I always do.  It doesn't work that way with running. If I do a bunch of squats one day and try to run the next, I am weak, barely able to shuffle, and my quads scream in protest. I don't get it.

I had been in contact with Brian Waldrop during the day and we had planned to run after my night class. While in class, I received a text from him cancelling our run, so after work instead of driving to his house, I went home where food was present on the stove. I should have pulled my work clothes off (my running attire was underneath) and headed out the door. But all my vim and vigour disappeared in the aroma of Sloppy Joes. I was seduced by French Fries and ground beef, defeated my human weakness. I ate supper, something I almost never do. What a way to wimp out at the end of such a good start. To make matters worse, our air unit wasn't cooling the house, and my wife and I had a fitfull night of sleeplessness as we miserably tossed in the Mississippi heat. Just what the doctor ordered for recovery.

Oh well, it's another day now, and I have another chance to try to get it right. The only problem is I have to wait for the air man to come look at our unit. My experience has been if you are waiting on someone, that is all you are doing. Maybe today will be different.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Big Day at the Pond

I went to the pond Friday with the determination to do a really long swim.The Suck is drawing near, and I am still behind on my training in part due to the shoulder injury and in part due to my increase in running this year over last year. Big swim weeks and big run weeks are hard to pull off and even more difficult to string together. There is only so much energy and I'm finding that, just like with money, I have to plan on how to distribute it.
So I went to the fish farm with the idea that I would not run a step until I had a 10K or more of swimming. Being alone, I waded into the water with some doubt in my mind if I had the inner fire to stay out there long enough to get the work I needed to advance my fitness.
The pace wasn't that good, but I.m still coming
 back from an injury.
The water was 80 degrees, which felt amazingly cool to me. Twin Rivers is downright hot this time of year. I started stroking away. Round one consisted of three laps that measured 1.85 miles on my Garmin that I had taped to the strap on my goggles. After a little nutrition, I climbed in for three plus laps which turned out to be 2.16 miles. Round three was 1.46 miles followed by 1.33 for the fourth swim, then .8 for the fifth. Notice the trend? As I tired, the swims got shorter and shorter. However, I didn't tap out until I had swum 8.27 miles in almost five hours of lonely lapping the pond. That's the kind of work it's going to take to beat Beets' butt, and I was proud of myself for having put in the time and effort. I did do a very slow 1.71 mile shuffle after the swim. 
I started the week with the idea that it was time for a drop back cycle. Consequently, I only ran 3.02 miles Monday and did my usual weight lifting session. Since it was labor day, I didn't even attempt a swim. Tuesday I only ran 3.52 miles and got in 4,300 meters at the pool. Out of that, I did a 20 X 100 set with medium paddles and a 5 X 100 set with small paddles.
Wednesday has morphed into my mid-week long run day, and I shuffled 12.54 miles running all over Billy Whittington's turn rows before going back to work for my film class. After work, I drove to the pool for a short and easy 1,700 meters of straight laps in the dark. Thursday I did no running, trying to budget some energy for Friday's big swim and to give my over trained legs a little break. I did go to the pool and hammer out and even 4,000, doing some sprints interspersed with slow, easy swimming.
With the Great Noxapater Journey Run looming a little closer on the horizon, I felt like it was time to start putting in some 20-milers. They do the trick for building raw, low-end endurance. Being still a bit fatigued from Friday, I didn't get out the door Saturday until around 10:00 am when the sun was high and so was the temperature. I'm not fit enough now to run 20 miles, so I set a 2.5/1.0 run/walk schedule which is similar to what I will probably do on the journey trek. I managed to run 13 miles and walk 7 on my journey to Money, MS and back. I hope next week to hold pace longer and run more of the route.
For the week, I
ran 33.81 miles,
lifted weights twice,
swam 23,306.43 meters, and
walked 9.38 miles.
For the year, I have
run 912.45 miles (+501.98 over 2012), and
swum 569,394.43 meters (behind last year, but I don't want to run the numbers).
Randy Beets and I have already made plans to swim next Saturday. It's getting pretty close the Suck and usually we get hostile with one another as the race draws near. I guess I should invite Robin because her presence makes us both more civil to one another. Women often have that soothing, civilizing effect on men. And maybe I should also invite Jay Unver although I'm still ticked at him for rubbing it in on how Randy whipped me at our last pond swim and also for intimating that I might be getting too old to compete anymore. But if he and Robin both show up, Randy and I will probably have a tremendous training swim with no fist fighting. That sounds good to me. YeeHaa.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Magnum Week

The last week of August was my biggest training cycle in the last five years. Monday started with a 4.44 mile run, a weight lifting session, and 2,000 meters of swimming at Twin Rivers. Tuesday I ran 6.9 miles and knocked off 6,200 meters at the local pool. Wednesday I shuffled 12.12 miles in the afternoon, had the first meeting of my film course, and then went to the pool after class for a dark 1,300 meters. Something was sore, I don't remember what, so I decided not to run Thursday. At the pool that day, I was tired and only did 1,500 before leaving to go home and get to bed early.

I lapped the watch between runs and swim
so the actual workout was five hours.
Friday I went to the pond with the hopes of running and swimming myself silly. I got out of bed a bit fatigued so I knew there was a distinct danger I would tap out early. Once I got going, however, I kept it up, alternating swimming and running for five hours. I

swam 1.23 miles
ran 2.35
swam 1.32
ran 3.18
swan 1.37
swam .67
ran 2.17
swam .74
Total: 7.7 miles of running and 6.38 miles of swimming.

I was pretty happy with that, especially considering I was alone and started the day tired. Randy went to the coast to visit his mom leaving me to try to hammer out a long session without any encouragement or competition. Too bad he wasn't here because I would have kicked his hinder parts for sure.

Saturday we went to Hillbilly Heaven to help out and care for Penny's mom. I ran. Since it was pretty warm, I left with not one but two hydration packs on my back. Next to my skin, I had a Camelbak Classic with 44 ounces of Gatorade. Over that I had a Nathan with 32 ounces of water. In addition to the fluids, I had a Clif Bar and some gels. I needed all the liquid. In fact, I found a water source on a gravel road a little over 10 miles into the trek and I stopped, drank, and refilled my Nathan with another 32 ounces. The whole trip was 16.48 miles. I ran 11.14 and walked 5.34 miles.

Double-packed and ready to go.
For the week, I

swam 21,265.42 meters,
ran 42.31 miles,
lifted weights one time, and
walked 10.59 miles.

This was the kind of training I need for the Great Noxapater Journey Run. I am shooting now for Thanksgiving week. I've even toyed with the idea of doing it sooner. There is a real advantage to making the run during warm weather when rain is not an issue. By November, it will be necessary to stay dry if it rains on me anytime during the trip. But the only way I could pull it off early would be to leave on a Thursday after work and make it to Winona by seven or eight. Then I would have to finish on a Sunday and get picked up and driven home the same day to be back at work on Monday. The problem with leaving on a Thursday is I would feel pushed, and one of the main reasons I do this sort of thing is I love the feeling of freedom I get when I am on the road dependent on my wits and fitness to make it and not having a schedule. I absolutely love that feeling, and although I pursue it with vigor, it is something I experience only a few times a year.

I need it now.

I want it now.

I'm trying to come up with some intermediary training trip that I could complete in two days, Friday and Saturday. The problem with that is it will knock me out of two days of swimming, and with the Suck coming up that's just not wise if I'm going to defeat Randal Beets. Also, I haven't come up with an idea that really appeals to me. It has to click inside me and all the thoughts I've had in the direction so far haven't done it for me. But one of the great things about endurance athletics, for me at least, is it leads to dreams. I just keep dreaming and eventually I come up with one that I turn into reality.