Thursday, May 11, 2017

Triumphant Pond

Tuesday's pond swim left me a sadly shaken man and threw an atomic bomb of doubt into my already troubled mind. Wednesday's schedule left no time to train, but Thursday, however, was wide open. Would redemption rescue me Thursday? Does Chicot need to be postponed? Am I racing towards failure and disappointment? These are a few of the question swirling through my tired brain as I left Mom's and went home Thursday morning to begin preparing for a trip to my beloved D10.

I left the house a touch before 9:00 a.m. with Pee Wee and Bear in the truck. Also along for the ride was some determination. I often don't have enough of that, but the lack of Twin Rivers' pool, the extra week of work, and the fact that Chicot is less than three weeks away had me, well, maybe desperate is a better word.

It was almost 10:00 before I started stroking, and I can't even tell you why it takes me so long to get started. Maybe it's because I walk around the truck like a dog and pee few times before getting serious. Then I break out the duct tape and exfoliate the skin on my nose in preparation for a tape job to prevent the brain-eating amoeba from entering my nostrils and killing me. Slowly I change clothes, drop the tail gate of the truck, set a chair up by the tail-gate's table, and roll out the indoor/outdoor carpet that makes the pond levee feel like home. After all of that, I set up my coolers and swimming stuff and then sit down to check Facebook. These things take time.

My first set was less than encouraging. I did 2.64 miles before I got out to drink some water and eat several Snickers which my students gifted me yesterday. The second set was better, and I felt a bit like a swimmer. After the second set (another 2.66 miles), I only took a Gu and some more water. Then on the third set, my triceps felt like they wanted the run away like a disobedient dog. 

Between set three and four, I consumed a Little Debbie Peanut Butter Cream Pie. The next lap was tough; the lap after I grew strong. Dude, did I unbonk? After only a Gu preceding the previous set, I became fatigued, lethargic. Did the Little Debbie take the twenty plus minutes of one lap to begin putting sugar into my bloodstream. I have consumed these before during pond swims and with the exception of ice cream, they give me a bigger and longer kick than anything else I ever ate while training.

Concerning Little Debbie, I don't habitually eat this kind of junk. But when one runs or swims for hours and hours, bad carbs are good carbs. In short, the body needs easy energy and junk food is hard to beat. At Chicot last year, I swam for eight minutes shy of fourteen hours without stopping. I consumed a gallon and a half of Luvel ice cream with no weight gain after the swim. Easy calories with a medium glycemic index (yes, ice cream is NOT high glycemic; high in caloiries but not high glycemic). Apparently, that Little Debbie has a fairly low glycemic index also (the peanut butter, I presume). It takes a little while for it to kick in, but the energy boost is solid and long lasting, and it gives a real sense of satiety.

To make a short story long, I swam for five hours and forty two minutes (actual swim time) and even did a kick set across the pond and back with a set of fins. The watch was on the tail gate when I did the kick set so the total, which was a nice 10.17 miles, was all free styling. Now that's the kind of day at the pond I've been looking for.

Following Thursday's swim, my fragile mind feels fortified. My angst is relieved. My nerves are soothed. I think I can do this. The Bible says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." Thank you Jesus.