Last Saturday I got in a 5-hour swim. It may sound like a lot of time and yards, but really, it IS just a drop in the bucket compared to the long distance swims I'm planning in the ocean. Plus, swimming in the pool is like sleeping in satin sheets. Ocean swimming is like being tossed with those sheets in the washing machine. But long pool swims make a difference mentally. It's good to just keep swimming, lap after never ending lap - stroke, stroke, stroke, flip; stroke, stroke, stroke, flip. That's how I'll make it to the finish of these long events, one stroke at a time until I get to the beach.
I was concerned I might not even have the opportunity to swim in the Pensacola 25K. The race director sent me an email in March saying there would be volunteer kayakers available, but when I emailed him this past week - twice - to confirm, I never had a reply. I didn't want to leave such a vital service up to chance, so I emailed Tim, one of the new online friends I've made through marathonswimmersforum.com (the most incredible forum on the net) and asked if he might have a lead on finding a kayaker. He sent an email out to a few of his friends and one of them knew of a kayaker who might be willing to help. We got connected, and get this - she's not just ANY kayaker - she just graduated with a masters in phys ed, knows sports nutrition and kayaks in 100 mile races for the fun of it. And this sweet gal is driving 3 hours each way to get to Pensacola. I have the She-Ra of all kayakers! What an amazing community we have in marathon swimming.
This weekend, I'm tapering in Memphis at my brother-in-law's wedding. I'll get in a few more short swims, then head down to Pensacola next Thursday with a carry-on bag full of carb powder in baggies and a dozen water bottles. Nope, nothing suspicious here Mr. TSA officer.