I heard it was a beautiful day today. It could have been raining flaming crickets and I wouldn't have noticed. From 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I was staring at a black line at the bottom of the YMCA pool. Which is why long distance swimming is so hard for people to understand. Hell, it's hard for me to understand, too. There's not the dramatic hill climbing of cycle races or running into the pink-orange rising sun of a road race. It's just stroke after stroke in the water. If you're swimming outside in a lake, there's the clouds and changing landscape, which is why I enjoy it so much more, but then there's also boats and tree branches and creepy invisible things that give you an itchy rash for a week afterward.
But even though there's not much exciting to describe about a 6 and a half hour, 20,000 yard swim, I was so satisfied to have done it. I was a little worried my shoulders would crap out on me. It's been 6 weeks since the Pensacola swim and resulting shoulder impingement. That first week afterward I did NOTHING. I could hardly get my right arm lifted up high enough to brush my teeth or comb my hair. The first week of physical therapy was just non-weight bearing shoulder exercises. The third week, I got back in the pool, but didn't do much yardage. And now here I am putting in a full day of swimming. PT rocks.
The Red River swim is in two weeks, so I get to start TAPER. Tapering is a lot like Christmas. There's incredible anticipation, joyful short yardage workouts, but then it's over before you know it. And then... we'll drive 8 some hours to Grand Forks, North Dakota, where I'll swim in a muddy river with other nutjobs for 12 or so hours.
But not tonight. Tonight I get to have my last beer before the race and get to bed at a decent hour.