Friday, May 30, 2014

Swimming in the Rain

It's one of my favorite activities, but I rarely get to do it. In fact, I've only experienced it a few times and only briefly then. No, I am not talking about Sasquatch hunting or catching a bald eagle or watching a solar eclipse. I'm writing about singing swimming in the rain.

You would think I have ample opportunity. You would be wrong. Though we do have aboundant rain here in the sunny South, our rain is most often associated with a phenomena that frightens me. Although friends have disputed this to my face, I am not a chance taker. At least not when it comes to my life. A thunderstorm by definition contains lightning and lightning by nature causes shock, bodily harm, even death. I don't like those three. Hence, opportunities to swim in the rain without risking one's life are a bit more rare than a good steak in this part of the country. Pun intended.

Gertrude Ederle, one of my heroes, loved the rain. In fact it was her favorite weather and swimming was her favorite activity and swimming in the rain was her most favoritest of all activities. Oh shut up, I like most favoritest.

Well, rain is not my favorite weather but I do enjoy it sometimes, and I do like swimming in it. During Chicot Challenge I, a cloud blew up about the time I was swimming under the causeway heading south towards Lake Village. I emerged from under the bridge into a flat lake being peppered with rain, and I found the experience delicious. The problem was, it didn't last very long.

Oddly, almost the same thing happened on Chicot Challenge II but the circumstances were a bit different. This time we were headed north and just about the time we were approaching the causeway, a big dark cloud came up. One difference was there was plenty of lightning and wind, so we took shelter under the bridge while we waiting for the storm to pass. When the lightning ceased, we decided to turn around and once again, I swam south from the causeway in a flat lake being pulverized by rain. I luxuriated in that for the short time it lasted.

The monsoon has stricken Mississippi this crucial week. I say crucial because two weeks is the minimum I need for a taper and the minimum that training can still affect fitness on D Day, which is June 14. My plan was to swim short and easy Monday, go crazy in the pool Tuesday, take it easy on Wednesday and Thursday, and go wild at the pond on Friday. Two long swims and some easy stuff.

Monday went off as planned with me swimming 2,300 meters. But the monsoon kept John and me out of the pool Tuesday, and a pool party at Twin Rivers kept us out Wednesday. Feeling desperate, I went to the pond Wednesday and did a very short .67 miles. The sky was terrible looking and I hate to admit it, but that impacted me in the worst way. There was no lightning that I saw, but alone in the dark water felt kind of creepy with that ominous-looking sky above. OK, I'm a sissy, but I just couldn't get comfortable in the water, so I left after only one lap.

John and I met Thursday afternoon at Twin Rivers a little before 6:00. It was raining, but the lightning had ceased a few minutes before. When we approached the pool, I was jealous to see Brent Bailey swimming in a full downpour. Lucky Dude, I want some of that. We got in and immediately the rain slackened but didn't stop. I wanted the heavy rain. I swam

6,000 straight in 2:03.05
20 X 50 @ 1:12
1,000 small paddles
300 easy
Total: 8,300 meters.

Now, what to do Friday? It is wet on the pond levees and with the dark sky I am afraid the weaker side of me will again take control and I'll get out far too early. Most likely I will go the the pool after 6:00. Usually that is not possible on a Friday as it is date night with my wife. But thanks be to a party she is attending without me, I am free to swim as long as I like. I think I will.