Wednesday, July 8, 2015

8Jul15 - Put up or shut up!

Woke up at 0240 this morning.  Went and bought ice and some bananas.  Today was a test day to see how my training is coming along.  It is always recommended to do a long swim before you attempt an ultra-marathon swim.  Today was that day.  The plan was 10 miles.  I arrived at JN just before 0400 and set up.  I was going to meet Chad and do the first 4 miles with him.  A few minutes after 0400. I texted him and his power had gone out so his alarm did not go off.  He was on his way but I was not going to wait.  I wanted to get going.  I got in and did my usual mile route.  I have been questioning my GPS lately and Chad was going to bring his Garmin GPS watch.  He has a very nice watch and it is very accurate on distance.  I was about mile 2 when he showed up.  He said he did not have the time to swim but let me have his watch anyway.   He was having a BAD morning.
He reset the watch and I did my mile route to see what the real distance was.  I did one lap and it measured one mile exactly.  I KNEW IT!!!  I was so happy.  This means 3 things:
1. I was right all along on my measurements
2. My phone GPS is not right.  My phone actually goes under what is correct.
3. All of my swims where I used my phone to measure distance, I actually did MORE!  Hooray!!!
Josh was there and I was able to chat with him periodically.  I kept it short so I could just keep grinding out the miles.  I kept setting small goals for myself and little rewards for each goal met.  I ended up eating a bit more than I should and my stomach was in knots for a couple of miles.  I just did the same one mile loop over and over.
The miles passed and with each passing mile I felt fine.  I timed myself for a few miles.  Mile 3-4 I hit 33 min.  Mile 6-7 was 34 min and mile 9-10 was 33.  I figure I'll do around 33-35 min per mile for Tahoe.
The sky was getting dark and the wind was picking up.  It was actually a bit choppy the entire swim which added a little extra challenge.  I really picked it up the last half mile.  I felt great!
I hit the boat ramp and yelled really loud, "YEAH!!!"  I had been out of the water maybe 30 seconds and the rain came pouring down.  It was a massive downpour.  10 seconds after that there was a huge thunder clap.  Boats were racing in to get off the lake.  PERFECT timing.
I felt amazing.  I was tired but I knew I could have kept going if I needed.  This was a HUGE mental pick up for me.  I now have zero doubts on whether I'm able to cross Tahoe or not.  Going by time alone, I would only need 2 more hours until sunrise at Tahoe.  I know I could have gone 2 more hours easy.  When the sun rises, it is a whole new swim.
I am very happy with how I did today.  I learned a few things and a weight of worry is now gone.  My physical and mental motivation are through the roof right now.  I wish Tahoe was next week!  I am ready.
I took a good nap when I got home.  Time for pizza!

10 miles OW

P.S.  Thanks to Chad for lending me his GPS watch.  It was a little thing but it means a great deal and helped me through this day.
Also thanks to Josh for being there.  He is doing his own training but it is still nice being in the water with a friend.

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