Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Great Divide

I feel like I am sitting on the pinnacle of a mountain trying to decide which side to explore. I want both sides and everything in between. While my friend, Daniel Collins, ponders the Continuum Hypothesis, Set Theory, and Metaphysics, I am in a delimma over whether to do the Mississippi Trail 50 or not. An official fifty-mile run has been on my bucket list for a long time. But ever since I started the Chicot Challenge, it has been a bit more difficult to do some of the other crazy things that spurn me to dream. Chicot requires a major commitment of time, energy, and planning.

The Trail 50 is set for March 5th. That would give me time to do it and then shift my training for my June 6th Chicot Challenge. Although that leaves time, the window is just a little narrow. Ideally, I need to start ramping up my swimming in February. If I do the run, I will be shuffling like crazy and then have to start ramping up the swimming the second week in March. That is doable but it gives me a little pause.

Exacerbating my anxiety is the fact that I am finishing my second week this year of no swimming. The Challenge is still a long way off, but having a good base to build on is Endurance Training 101. The pool at DSU is drained for repairs, the outdoor pool here still has water but is very low, and my nerve for cold water swimming in the pond is simply nonexistent at the present time. A new factor in my confusion is the fact that I soon may be gaining access to an Endless Pool. That, believe it or not, just adds to my uncertainty. It will give me a little more access to water. It will temp me to swim more. I need to swim more. But basically, it will be the Endless Pool or the road.

Although I train daily, I do the lion's share of my endurance building on Fridays, my one true day off. My day. Fridays are the day I do the long run or the long swim, which is indispensable for a marathon. To train for the Trail 50, I need to exceed the twenty-six to twenty-seven mile efforts I have been putting in of late. And these take most of the day and all of my energy. There is no way I can do a thirty-mile run and a swim on the same day. There just isn't the time or the energy to train at that level.

Last year none of this wasn't an issue because I was recovering from a stress fracture of my right tibia, and swimming was one of the few things I could do.

So I sit at a fork in the road, on top of a great divide and I ponder what to do.


What if I alternate long runs with swims on Fridays? that is run long one Friday and swim the next? Maybe that could work, and I can pull off both. Now all I have to do is pull the trigger and register for the Trail 50.

I'll think about it while I drink one more cup of coffee.