Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mo Is Back and so Is Joe

The Suck is only a few days old, and already I am thinking about next year. Earlier, Randy and I had been considering an Ironman for next fall. A new one is opening in Chattanooga of all places. Several things have transpired that are making that less and less of a probability. One is the incredible fact that the Chattanooga race sold out in three minutes. No, that is not a typo. THREE minutes and two thousand spots are gone. How is that possible when our govenment can't operate a website they had years to prepare for?

Another factor is the return of my swimming partners Mo and Joe. For a while, they were out of town, and the prospects of cold water swimming this winter were more than I could bear even to think about. Lately, however, the slowly cooling outdoor pool coupled with spending almost five hours in 75 degree water Saturday has helped me get my mind right. Now I have the proper attitude and am actually looking forward to some colder water.

Monday I spent the afternoon mowing the back lawn and lifting weights. I really hammered my upper body, and the shoulder I injured in June gave nary a trace of any lingering affects. I also managed to shuffle 2.15 miles. Since MDCC is holding a 5K this Wednesday, I am tapering for what I hope is a good time.

Tuesday I did a little 2.16 mile shuffle and then got back in the water. Big John and I met at Twin Rivers. The water was 74 and it never felt better. I swam

6 X 200 @ 4:00
200 easy
200 medium paddles
300 pull with small paddle on right hand only
Total: 3,900 meters.

Paddle on right hand only? you ask. Yep. Seems I have a strength imbalance between my left and right sides and this is a major limiter in my ability to knock off a long swim in a really good time. It has surfaced in all three Sucks and it must be fixed if I'm going to beat Beets a fourth year in a row. I have a year to get it rectified and the process has already begun.

Now I am scheming on the Chicot Challenge and the Swim the Suck. I think I am going to try to slip away and get into the water today for a cool swim. But before I can get back to the Challenge and the Suck, there is still The Great Noxapater Journey Run that I have dreamed about for the last five years.
One problem looms on the horizon, however. Lately both my right knee and hip have been gimpy. I took Friday off. I took Saturday off. I took Sunday off. I ran short and easy on Monday with no issues. I ran short and easy on Tuesday with no issues. Today I am hobbling. What the heck?

Despite the fact that until lately my running has been almost back to normal, I realized again this week that my athletic identity has forever changed. I used to be a runner who swam some and did triathlons. Now I am a swimmer who runs some and does one thriathlon per year. Quite a shift.

I really do want the journey run in the worst way, and as I type this I am agonizing on whether or not to run today. Will the knee get worse if I do? Will I detrain if I don't? Decisions, decisions. Hey Mo, what do you think?