First of all I'd like to thank everyone who donated to Elizabeth's cause. Her fund-raising total stands at about $5200 as of this writing, and to be blunt she wouldn't have made it without all of you. I don't have exact numbers, but I think people I cajoled donated something like $1000-$1500. If you didn't receive a personal thank you from me it's because I missed the donation (I don't have administrator privs) or because I don't have any good way to contact you (as is the case for at least one $100 donation from this blog...thank you very much JJ), and for that I am very sorry. It means a great deal to me when my friends and family come out to support something like this, and I have nothing but heartfelt gratitude for all of you.
Now...about the actual swimming part of this thing. Two (but hopefully only two) small concessions are going to be made. First of all, while Elizabeth's ride is spread over just 7 days, I am leaving open the possibility that my swim will last for 8. The reason for this is that Sunday afternoons are my absolute best chuck of time to make progress, and I want to use two of them. I have a commitment this Sunday that could last until early evening, but I still should be able to get a good chunk done afterwards and am not going to delay the start of the challenge. Ideally I will complete the swim in technically just 7*24 = 168 hours, but if it ranges up to 172 I'm not going to take any flack from anybody. There is a chance I'll finish early, who knows, but I am making it known right now that that if I use the second Sunday I'm calling it a win. And second of all, while it was sort of implied (by omission) that this swim was going to just be me cruising back and forth down the pool for hours upon hours, that's not actually the case. I'm going to be swimming things that resemble actual workouts, and that involves sets (things like ten 100 yard IMs on 2 minutes and the like) and on occasion, at my discretion, props. Normal swimming workouts do include the use of kick boards, paddles, and even fins, and for some (a small percentage) of my yardage I may use things like this, especially if my shoulder flares up. There is a pretty big difference between a kick board and paddles/fins, and I'm aware of that, but I'm always aware that we used those things not infrequently growing up and I don't consider them cheating at all. It's my party and I'll use fins if I want to, basically.
Physically I feel OK. I have had shoulder tightness the last two days, and I have also had some issues with my knees when doing breaststroke. Those are both pretty concerning, but I'm confident that the swim now simple is going to come down to mental toughness (of which I admittedly do not have an excess). I have never attempted anything like this, and while I'm sure it would have been simple in high school (I doubt I've ever swum this far in a week, but I am pretty sure I put in 15 mile weeks regularly back then) I just don't know how my body is going to hold up. I could be in for a rude awakening of almost any sort. I'll post regular updates here (sets, yardage totals, etc) and if things go well it'll be pretty obvious pretty immediately that I'm going to make it.
Thanks again to everyone out there for your support!