Thursday, October 9, 2014

Suck Week

It's not that the week sucks but it's Suck week. Finally, our big event has arrived. Saturday, October 11th at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Randy Beets and I once more will battle for ten miles in the cold Tennessee River. At stake is more than bragging rights. The governing body of the Association of Sports Swimmers, Big ASS Endurance, has again named Swim the Suck as its world championship race for member swimmers. This means that by noon this Saturday, either Randy Beets or I will be a world champion.

Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Swim the Suck (named after Suck Creek) has become a destination event for people from around the country and world even. Two years ago Martin Strel and Penny Palfry made the trip to Tennessee. Strel, "The Big River Man," is from Slovenia, and Palfry hails from Australian. This year more celebrities will be in attendance. The lovely Lexie Kelly, a professional marathon swimmer from California, will swim as will Alex Myer, a 2012 Olympian.

The real race, however, will be between Randy Beets and me since we are fighting each other for a world title. I have beaten Beets' butt three years in a row. I am on a quest for my fourth straight Beetsdown. The pressure has grown so great that the tall Randy Beets has resorted to visiting  physicians, chiropractors, his mamma, and even church in an attempt to deal with his impending doom.

This year for the first time my son, Forrest, will not serve as my pilot. Justin Nunnery, another tall Fasttrack Fattie, who is also an athlete under contract with Big ASS Endurance, has graciously agreed to step in and pilot me. We plan to drive out of Greenwood this evening at around 6:00 p.m. and spend the night in Muscle Shoals, Alabama on the banks of the Tennessee where we will swim Friday morning. At worst, the swim will be a cool water exposure. I can use one.

With September being unusually warm, our water temps have remained high until only recently. Last week they dipped down into the low eighties. I thought that was very cold. This week they are in the 70s. Monday I recorded 73 and Wednesday my thermometer said 75. I can handle that. I expect a water temp of around 70-72. Any cooler and I could have a problem.

Monday I swam for a bit over two hours and ran for 9.55 miles. Tuesday I never made it to the pool but I did run four miles with Justin who was in town for the birth of his first grandchild. Wednesday I swam a slow and steady 1:25 and ran five miles after work. Today I have to pack and I hope take a short swim, maybe 1500 or so. I'm looking forward to the trip but I hate to leave my wife and our miss our little church Sunday. Maybe one day Penny can pilot me. That would be nice.