Monday, April 14, 2014

Weak Week

You who read this blog know that all I write about is my training. I NEVER touch politics and don't respond to anyone else's political posts. Not that I mind political posts of whatever persuasion. I just make it my personal policy to remain nonpolitical on the Internet. I have my reasons.

Lately, however, I have done something different: I have posted some stories. If you like that, good, if not, fine. Still, I will primarily write about training, but occasionally you can look forward (or not) to a narrative, some true, some not so much. I'll leave it to you to decide what is fiction and what is creative non-fiction. Soon I will introduce you to a brand new genre, one that I created myself and have authored all the pieces that make up its canon.

My last post introduced you to my good friend, Poot. I plan on letting you know more about my little buddy. We have a long and interesting history. He revisits me from time to time. I suppose he is the reason for the selections I made Saturday when my wife and I eagerly attended the Greenwood Leflore Public Library's Book Sale. Held in the old library building, the one I visited as a kid, I found myself strangely attracted to the kinds of books I read as a boy of  twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen years of age. I bought a whole box load of them and am almost finished with Wild Bill Hickok. I not only bought books like the ones I read as a boy, I actually found one I did read in my youth: Kit Carson, Boy Trapper. Just looking at that book makes my heart do something funny.

They say when you get old, you relive your childhood. It must be true because that pretty much sums up my reading habits of late, my thoughts, my dreams, my hobbies, and now my writing even. I'm reliving a childhood that was, I am beginning to realize, a lot more free than we realized at the time. My generation likes to look back and talk about how strict our parents were. Truth be told, I had liberties my two kids never had. All the people I grew up with in Greenwood, Mississippi will tell you in a heartbeat that they would never allow their kids or grand kids to do many of the things we did. Just one example: I can remember about an acre of my classmates and myself walking home from the Little Red Schoolhouse when we were in the first grade. Not only did my children not want to walk, their mother and I would NEVER have allowed it in the first, second, third, or fourth grades. We were just too protective, too worried something might happen to them. Apparently, so were all the other parents. Things have changed a bit.

So much for that.

Swimming wise, last week was not a good one. Already I have forgotten why I didn't swim Monday, but I got in a short run of 3.15 miles. That was all. Tuesday I took a little 4.25 mile run before making my way to DSU. Since I was late getting into the pool, I only did 1,000 meters of warmup. The practice was pretty easy, and after the main set, for some reason, Cagri talked to us a long time while we got cold on the wall. When he left, I had gotten cold and just didn't feel like swimming, so I did a short 200 and got out. The day's total was only 3,300 meters.

Wednesday I went to Twin Rivers. The water, which was a perfect 69 degrees last Friday, had cooled to 65. For the uninitiated, that might not sound like much of a drop. I can swim all day at 68. Literally. At 67 I can last around an hour to an hour and a half before I start going hypothermic. Every degree makes a huge difference. To me at least. I got 1,700 straight and then walked to work and carried my running clothes with me. After night class, (we watched Cool Hand Luke), I changed clothes and ran 3.13 miles home. It's not that far to the house, but I ran that far home. I slept well.

Thursday I took my longest and best run of the week, doing 6.63 miles with some multi-pacing. I then decided to stay in town and go for my second 10K of the year in the Twin Rivers pool. Not driving to DSU saves me two hours behind the wheel, thus giving me plenty of time. I took my wetsuit although I started the swim without it. I did 2 X 500 before I had a stick between my toes. When I first started swimming in cool water, I once stopped two times during a swim because it felt like I had a stick between the fourth and fifth toe of my left foot. The second time I stopped, I actually climbed out of a catfish pond to look at my foot. No stick. I now know that my first symptom of my body losing too much heat is the stick between the toes. I can keep swimming after that, but the irreversible process of me getting too cold is well under way when I feel like I need to stop and remove the stick.

I put on my wetsuit and started back. The stick was gone, but I was still cool and my right pec started hurting. It has given me some trouble lately. Instead of attempting to push through, I tapped out at only 1,900 meters. I decided then to take the rest of the week off from swimming. I hate to do so little, but I can still recover from a light week and be ready mid-June for my long swim. I can't get injured and take a full two or more weeks off and come back from that.

Friday and Saturday I only did a little running and no weightlifting. I'm letting the pec rest. For the week, I

swam 6,900 meters
ran 22.35, and
walked 3.9 miles.