Friday, December 6, 2013

It Will Be a Great Time

It's Friday morning, the air is cold out, and the rain is peppering the awnings on my house. I love this  kind of day. It's Friday morning, very cold outside and raining pretty hard. I hate this kind of day.

This kind of weather forces me slow down. I love that. This kind of weather forces me slow down. I hate that. Truth be told, I really need the reduced pace. Fatigue has been my constant companion of late, mostly, I think, from the severe emotion I have dealt with -- and still am -- over the last month. I have learned from personal experience that strong emotion, even joy, to me is exhausting, and sometimes even leads to illness. Enough of the mushy stuff.

I never did the recap of last week's training, so here it goes. For Thanksgiving week, I

ran 11.74 miles,
swam 3,427.6 meters, and
walked .8 miles.

That's it. Pretty pathetic. I know. However, you could consider this my off season, so it's not really a total disaster. Oh yeah, I also gained nine pounds.

One thing I have noticed over the last year, though, is that whereas a few days off used to lead to recovery, strength, and freshness, now a few days off leads to a rapid erosion of fitness. I suppose that's a product of my age. I suppose.

Be that as it may, I am attempting to rebuild my condition -- not that it's that bad -- and possible do The Great Noxapater Journey Run in December and well as the Mississippi River Marathon in February. Not only that, but it's not too early to be thinking about the Chicot Challenge 2014. For a while, I wasn't sure I would be able to pull it off again. Some of my concerns were the school I work for hinting at a return to a five-day work schedule, and the uncertainty of my mom's well being. With Dad's passing and Mom's recent health issues, everything was sort of up in the air. Now, I feel more secure about the work situation, at least for next semester, and with Mom home I now have a better picture of what her care will entail. In short, it looks like the Challenge for 2014 is doable. Of course things can change in a moment, but that's always the case, and when I did the first one I was spending major time with Mom in hospitals. Then, when I had a chance, I just kept going out and training as much as I could, and I made it happen. I think I can pull it off again.

There are a number of issues, however, I still have to work out for next year's big swim. One is the distance. For the 2012 edition, I announced 13 miles but wound up swimming 13.94. In 2013, I announced 16 miles and swam 16 miles but not one stroke more. Right now I am thinking of 17 miles, but I've toyed with the idea of 18. Already I have the route settled, although I know from last year that it could change at the last moment depending of the weather conditions of the day. I have my crew in place, and they are more experienced than ever. And I have purchased a pontoon boat, which will make the swim safer and the crew more comfortable. Another issue is publicity. I think I will not do much in that regard. Last year, I worked incessantly to publicize the swim, as did the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. I am still baffled that our efforts in that regard so poorly produced results, and I am still pissed off at the Greenwood Commonwealth for not covering the swim.

Concerning The Great Noxapater Journey Run, not only is my fitness a little suspect, but I've had issues recently with a nagging gimpy knee and another Achilles tendon flareup. On the other hand, I now know I could make the run happen in terms of time. My sister has worked out a schedule for Mom's care, and I can get off a few days. Physically, however, I'm just not so sure. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Still, knowing myself, I am certain that the temptation will be more than I can bear, and when I get my chance I will be shuffling east, trying to make my way across several counties and through Louisville, MS and on to the great metropolis of Noxapater. It will be a great time to contemplate my great grandfather, George Henry Quinton, who walked from Utah to Louisville, MS when he was only twelve years old, having been abandoned there by his family. It will be a great time to contemplate my great, great grandfather, Stephen Krebbs, who walked from Oklahoma to Louisville, MS. It will be a great time to contemplate my Uncle Bo who walked out of Louisville, MS when he was seventeen and right into WWII. His journey took him to the Pacific Theater where he was taken prisoner and survived the Bataan Death March. His bones now lie somewhere on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. It will also be a great time to contemplate my late father who ran countless miles, caught countless fish, who walked miles and miles hunting quail, who played tennis, cut wood, gardened, and went and did and did and never stopping for anything but death itself. I am my father's son and that means there are some of my impulses I can not or will not control. Recently, of this run, I told my sister, "I have to do this, this run, I have to." Her response was, "My God, I never realized how much like Daddy you are." It will be a great time to contemplate that, how much like Daddy I am.

It will be a great time.

I hope.