24 January 2007

Channel Fatigue

Today when my alarm went off at 4:35 I peeled myself relunctantly from bed. My eyes stung from fatigue and my shoulders and back were still sore from my two workouts the day before. I stumbled into the kitchen to turn on the coffee maker and immediately couldn't wait until I was back home that night. I swam slow in workout but tried to keep my stroke together. Cory and Bob told me that neither of them could make it our usual Thursday bay swim the next morning. That meant I may have to swim alone, in the dark, in 48 degree water. And the forecast called for a chance of rain. Nigel said he was jumping at 5:15. OK, so I wouldn't have to swim alone, but I would have to swim at 5:15, in the dark and the cold in 48 degree water. At least I would have time to take a long sauna before going to work.

At school, my colleagues told me I looked tired and cold. I don't talk about my swimming too much at work. It isn't something that everyone understands and I don't think I should complain when it is something that I am doing by choice. My students asked me if my eyes were red from the chlorine. I told them it was from just too much swimming in general. My swimmers asked why I wasn't coaching this year. I reminded them about my "big swim" this summer.

The cold grips you and sends painful, piercing, icy jolts to your nerves. Channel Fatigue wears on you, day after day. It is a dull pain that creeps up on you like a wave of lethargy. The next 6 weeks are going to be a grind. It is still cold, icy cold and it is so dark it feels like night when I jump in the water. The days will start getting longer, the bay will start getting warmer. Of course, it is all relative.

I am home after two workouts and a full day at work. The water in the bay felt better this evening that it did yesterday morning. Who knows how it'll be tomorrow at 5:15 a.m. I am finally warm and dry. It is almost 7:00. I think I'll get in bed.

Thank you to my friend Melissa for letting me sleep for an hour at her house after school because I didn't have time to go home before my next swim.

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