Thursday, May 8, 2008

Update (Posted by Mallory)

Now that I am coming up for air after an extremely hectic 2 weeks, I can give you the update.

Training has been more of the same, but I accidently erased my training logs. On Saturday, my mother and I traveled to Memphis, TN for the closest meet before the qualifying deadline to swim the mile as a requirement to compete in 25K Open Water Nationals (swimming a mile to qualify for a roughly 15 mile swim seems slightly irrelevent to me). What an experiance. Upon arrival at the meet I realized that USS swimming would never be the same for me again. As the oldest swimmer at the meet, my favorite moment occured as I was checking in for the mile. A young boy at about a third of my size also inquired about checking into the mile. It was the first time I have ever felt "old." I said to him "Are you really swimming the mile?" to which he replied, "yeah, are you?" It was a far cry from the old days when I was always the youngest in my training group.

The cut was 19:00 for 1500m, which I swam in 19:04, just barely missing the cut. Though it was dissappointing, the really odd thing is that I dreamed the night before that I would go that exact time. I told my mom, then promptly forgot about the dream. When I got out of the water after the race, she was laughing, much to my confusion. I said to her "Mom, it's not funny, why are you laughing?" to which she reminded me of my premonition from the night before. Then I was just weirded out.

On a side note, I would like to thank the people at the Memphis Tigers for all of their assistance this past weekend. It is hard to describe how amazing it is to get so much support from complete strangers! They helped me with meet registration, worked with me on my USS membership issues, recruited a lap counter and a pacer for me, and showed sincere interest in what I am trying to do. I appreciate your support!

On Saturday, I will graduate from Western Kentucky University, after which I will be moving to Indianapolis, IN and will be starting the next phase of my channel swim training. I just started reading "Dover Solo: Swimming the English Channel" by Marcia Cleveland and its really helping me mentally prepare for the next step. I have come to the realization that my training will be very different that Cleveland's, and that I will have to come up with special solutions to prepare for the big day. Many channel swimmers, including Cleveland, live on or near the coast, making open water and colder temperatures much easier to come by than it will be in Indianapolis. I've got some ideas running around in my head, and once I nail down my training regime, the blog will be the first to know.

Yesterday I booked my plane ticket to Washington DC at the end of the month where Clara and I and our friend (also from MIT) Nicole will be swimming the Potomac River. We will be there a couple of days in advance to prepare for the race. I'm really hoping for frigid temps and rough conditions similar to the Boston Light Swim, so that we can get an idea of our true readiness.

One last thing that I wanted to mention is that Clara and I are working on setting up swim clinics by Coach Powell in the month of June or early July. In order for this idea to be successful, we are seeking special "pool sponsors" or organizations that will let us use their facility to host these 4-hour long clinics for competitive swimmers ages 10 and up. Coach Powell has been offering clinics for 20+ years, and he has generously agreed to run one or more clinics (with Clara and I assisting) as a fundraiser to help cover our channel swimming expenses. Although this gesture is generous, it is merely scratching the surface of the overwhelming support I have received from Coach. He is and will always be a major player in my life.

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