Wednesday, May 28, 2008

En Route to Potomac River Swim (Posted by Mallory)

As I type this, I am camped out next to what I believe may be the only outlet in the Chicago Midway airport, conveniently located in the aisle leading to gate B17 no where near a chair. I have noticed this problem in almost all airports I’ve been too. Wireless is available, but you better hope you have a good battery with a long life. Alas, they have me there.

The last two weeks have been crazy. I graduated from Western on the 10th, and the following week, with Morgan doing movie stuff in LA, I packed up our stuff, and after he got back from the airport on Friday, we loaded the Budget truck and took off for Indianapolis. I would like to thank Brian Lee, Patrick X, Adam Beck, and Mark Bitterling for helping us load our truck so that we were able to finally leave Bowling Green at 10pm.

I am loving our new Castleton location. Last week I was swimming up at the Fishers YMCA, which is a very nice facility with separate lap and kid pools, and an outdoor pool that will open soon. Next week I will be trying out the Lifetime Fitness that is right next to my apartment. Not only is it a little closer than the Y, but it also has a rock climbing wall which is a fun way to build a lot of total body strength. Once I try out the Lifetime Fitness, I will have to make the commitment and designate my new training “home.”

On Memorial Day my father and I went out to Lake Maxincukee, hoping to get in a long lake swim. Unfortunately, the motor on the boat wasn’t working correctly and was rendered unfit for a support vessel. It was a good thing we brought the boat out before next weekend, so we wouldn’t be short a boat for the Maxincukee race. I did still get in, and I swam for 45 min-1 hour in the 62 degree water, a great way to start acclimating to cold water swimming. On Tuesday, I was in between gym trial memberships so I decided to check out the pool at our apartment, which had just been filled for Memorial Day weekend. What I found was a strangely appropriate duck-feathered 20yd-ish L shaped pool that made me feel a little dirty and dizzy after bouncing between the walls for awhile. The temperature was probably in the mid-60s, but I’m not sure if I was dizzy from mild hypothermia or from the excessive amount of flip turns, but it was probably a combination of the two. As I left the pool a maintenance worker saw me and asked me if it was cold. I told him “That’s the way I like it” which is a total lie and obviously weirded him out. Though I didn’t have much adverse reaction to my two cold water encounters this week, I noticed that I must have taken a shower too soon after getting out of the pool on Tuesday, because I felt colder afterward and had to bundle up in sweats. As a general rule you are supposed to warm up gradually after cold water exposure.

Coincidently, yesterday was my 22nd birthday which I celebrated by getting my Hepatitis A vaccine, which was recommended before getting into these dirty bodies of water. Unfortunately, I doubt the vaccine will work fast enough to counteract any Hepatitis exposure I may have encountered in the duck pool.

I am en route to Washington D.C. to swim the 7.5 miles of the Potomac River. To many this is a curious fact. My friend Margaret, who previously lived in D.C., tried to convince me that NO ONE ever swims in the river, save maybe the Georgetown Crew team after a boat-tipping accident. When I asked if there were any public beaches she laughed harder.

It is 8:47 here in Chicago, and my flight from Indy to Chicago, with a time change, lasted exactly one minute. I will land at Dulles Airport at 12:45, and Clara will land shortly after. Our friend Nicole, who will also be joining us for the swim (her first big open-water swim) will not be arriving until Thursday, thanks to a mix up involving travel itineraries and those tricky little a.m. and p.m. notations. We will be staying right outside the city doing a little sightseeing and some tune-up swimming today, Thursday, and Friday. Friday evening we are renting a car and driving toward Point Lookout State Park, which is from what I understand, is far south and very rural. Friday night we will be staying with a group of Potomac River Swimmers at a volunteer’s house who was kind enough to offer up accommodations. Saturday is the race, and hopefully the weather will be beautiful. Sunday we’ll be heading home, all ready to get back to work and to start preparing for the Maxincukee swim. Bring it on……..

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