Sunday, July 20, 2014

Coming Up

Concerning those decisions, I didn't do anything. Not that I decided to do nothing, but by default I let the day slip away while I lounged with a dog, two cats, and a coffee cup. I needed the rest. Saturday, however, I got back into the swing of things and did a 5.5 mile multi-paced run, lifted weights, and swam 3,400 meters at Twin Rivers. At the pool I did my 13 X 100 @ 1:57 set for the second time this year. For the first time, I was successful at it. For the week, I

ran 13.16 miles,
lifted weights three times,
swam 14,100 meters, and
walked 3.27 miles.

I have several upcoming events. The first on tap, July 26th, is the Heart O' Dixie Triathlon, thirty-five miles of heat and hills which began in 1980 making it the oldest continuous triathlon in the continental United States. I was there when it started, and if I am successful in making it to the finish line this coming Saturday, I will complete my sixteenth HOD. I did the first six, took eighteen years off, and this year will make ten of the last eleven. I not very good at tris and this is the last one I still do, but one of my long term goals is to be the oldest man who ever finished this one.

One week after THE triathlon, as my wife and I have always referred to it, is Greenwood's own Bikes, Blues, and Bayous. With three distances to choose from, my wife, my son, and I will join approximately 600 other cyclists in Mississippi's largest bike ride. I will opt for the metric century although my bike fitness is marginal for that distance at best. I will approach the ride as a rolling party and a paid-for training ride.

Mid-September, brings another Greenwood event, the 300 Oaks 10K, a premier road race on a flat, certified course that is held about the time the early morning temperatures start to get noticeably cooler here in the Delta. I hope by then to be lighter and fitter on my feet.

The first Saturday of October brings the Swim the Suck Ten-Miler in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This year will be my fourth swimming of the race that is only five years old. It is also how Randy Beets and I became friends and then enemies. It was all about our rivalry to defeat each other in one of the most beautiful swimming venues on planet earth.

And then?

And then I hope to ramp the running up and do some fun stuff on my own when the weather gets cold. I am thinking one day journey runs. I knocked two of those off my bucket list last winter. The fist was during Thanksgiving Break when I ran out to Highway 7, north to Waley, then across to Money and south to home, thirty-something miles. The second happened when I ran up Highway 49, through Bledsoe Plantation, to Money, MS and again south to home.

And what of the Great Noxapater Journey Run you ask? Well, I am still writing checks from the first attempt. I definitely want a rematch, but I don't see myself doing it this winter. Maybe late winter but I'm not sure. One thing that makes that difficult is that the Chicot Challenge has become such a big part of my life. As soon as I finished this year's edition, I started planning and plotting for 2015. Not only does the planning start immediately, but in reality, training for it is a year round effort. In fact I was in a bank Thursday last when one of the tellers recognized me from long ago, and we began to chat. Two other tellers joined in and one asked, "When is the next Chicot Challenge?" The question made me proud and it means people are starting to take notice of and expect the swim. I was able to give an immediate answer: "June 6, 2015."

As my swimming has gone up, other sports have necessarily gone down. Biking has taken the biggest hit. There was a year, not too many ago, when I rode thirty-seven 100 milers in one season. Most of these were my personal rides, just me all alone with my thoughts and my unbridled spirit of adventure. I miss that because with that kind of cycling, I learned roads, ate from neat little stores, and met some really cool people. I also miss hunting and hope to do a little small game stalking and shooting this year.

That's what's coming up in the near future. We should be in for a warm winter. We have had four cold winters in a row. It's time for a typical winter and if we get one, I will swim more outdoors and that, in turn, may make the Chicot Challenge really crazy. I hope.