Thursday, June 2, 2016

Weather Woes

I am trying really hard not to overreact to things, but the weather forecast for the weekend has me in a bit of a tizzy. The predictions have gone from bad to worse. As of a few minutes ago, the Weather Channel is calling for 80% on Thursday, 80% on Friday, and 90% for both Saturday and Sunday. In other words, for two days on both sides of the swim date, the meteorologists are predicting big rain. 

First, I don't mind swimming in rain. That experience is one of God's gifts to the sons of men. However, around here, we seldom have rain without lightning. Second, I can't put myself and my crew in that type of danger. To do so would be both foolish and wrong.

Already I have talked to a few of my crew members and at least two of them will not be able to participate if I move the swim back one week. That will be unfortunate, but what can I do? I still need to call South Shore Cottages and find out if they have a room and a boat available that day. If they have no boat, I am up the creek without a paddle or a canoe. Anyway, it will work out one way for the other.

I suppose one positive of a postponement would be that some new people could be on the boat who otherwise could not participate. My daughter, for instance, was on the boat last year but the date conflicted for her this year. She could then be on board as well as a couple of others. 

I do want to get it done this weekend or the next. I don't like the prospect of putting it off yet another week. As much as I enjoy the training and the planning for this, I am ready to be done and slow down a bit. Training at the level I have over the last few weeks ceases to be fun after a while. I like going to the pool and knowing that 2,000 to 3,000 meters is enough for the day.

Besides wanting to slow my swimming down, I want to keep my running up, maybe even increase it a bit. I am contemplating doing the Tupelo Marathon this September. I am in the best running shape for this time of year than I have been in for at least a decade. If I can stay healthy, the Tupelo run plus some fun stuff for the winter are within reach.

Not only that, but I am a little anxious to get back to weightlifting. I lay off upper body lifting before the big swim. With the event possibly moved back a week, I am off longer than I had planned for or wanted to be. Already I am thinking about next year and getting stronger is always a part of the preparation.

Speaking of next year, the Chicot Challenge as it has been done for the past half a decade will be no more. I may bring it back some time in the future, but next year I am doing a pool swim at Twin Rivers. I have not yet decided on the format, but Debbie (the rec center director) has already agreed to give me the pool June 2, 2017. That date is on a Friday and it is my birthday. 

I have several things in mind that I could do for the next big swim. One is a twelve hour swim where I would stroke for that many hours, the clock being stopped during feeding times. Another idea is to do a twenty-four hour swim with Justin where one of us would swim a mile every hour for twenty-four hours straight. Still another thought is to invite several swimmers (Justin, Danielle, Wilson Carroll, and maybe others) to do their own swims all as fundraisers for the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. Each swimmer would come up with his or her own goals and rules. For example, I might swim for twelve hours while Justin might swim for so many laps or a mile per hour for so many hours or for so long nonstop or whatever he wants to do. It could be really interesting and maybe it would draw more attention and result in a better fundraiser.

I need a name for the event so if you are reading this I invite you to do some thinking and feel free to submit some name to me. Right now, the best idea I have is Pool Fool if I am the only one swimming or Pool Fools if other swimmers are involved. We need a T-shirt design and with all of us selling shirts and raising funds, we should be able to do well for the DFM. Dude, just writing this has gotten me excited about next year.

To pull off a twelve hour pool swim, I will need to focus a lot on my calves between now and then. Swimming that long in a pool is not something I have ever done and it will require a lot of pushing off the wall. Cramps have always become an issue for me during longer pool swims in the past, so my calves will have to be in their best shape ever, and experience has taught me that that means a lot more than running is required.