|At the Minter City UMC|
The Swim the Suck Ten Miler in the Tennessee River marks the end of my open water season. Held in early October, the only bad thing about this swim is you have to spend so much time with your face in the water. The scenery is so stunningly beautiful it can be difficult to swim. I just want to look. As the Association of Sports Swimmers world championship race, Randy Beets and I usually duke it out for the world title. I have beaten him three or four years in a row, depending on how you count them. He wasn’t in the water for the 2014 race but since I was, in some sense I was the winner.
Throw an odd race in here or there and that pretty much forms my athletic year. I do Adventure running, just me and Buddy Bones out for fun and fitness. Mostly we do this during the winter, building up after the Suck. And of course I train year round, for fun and fitness.
The Great Noxapater Journey Run is still in the back of my mind. I am much more fit now than when I attempted the run in 2014. The big issue is logistics. I don’t want to depend on someone to bring me stuff, and I can’t carry enough on my own. I’ll work it out. Sometimes. There are several reasons I enjoy these types of runs. One is I have to take care of myself. Having to rely on my fitness and wits to get by is something I find exciting. A second reason is the adventure aspect. Having to take care of myself is part of the adventure but only part. Seeing new sights and going new places is just plain fun. Putting myself on the line and pushing myself physically is something I need and it seems to do me good. But mostly I like to be alone and not have to answer to anyone for anything. This is something I crave, and it is one of the reasons I don’t do many formal events. For me, running is an intensely personal experience that I am willing to share with others only infrequently. I know some guys and gals who race almost every weekend. God bless them. If that works for them, great. But for me, the nature of running changes when it is a group event. I enjoy that change now and then, but only now and then. For the most part, I want to be left alone with my thoughts, footfalls, and fatigue. I want to explore my limits on my own, go at my own pace, follow my own path. That’s just the way I am.