Total Yards: 4300
Total Yards To Date: 46112
So I finished. Danielle even came to the gym and watched the last 65 yards or so and clapped when I finished. She got some weird looks from all the other people in the pool area (none of whom, by the way, can swim a lick, ever...like even the ones who look like they should be fast turn out to be way way slower than I am) but that doesn't matter. I made it. Thanks to everyone who donated, and thanks to Elizabeth for giving me the idea to do this (also congratulations are in order there, she finished her race unscathed despite three flat tires).
In terms of lessons learned or a sense of accomplishment, I don't really have a whole lot to say, which I guess says quite a bit in and of itself. Of the 13 times I put myself in the pool, I remember enjoying myself on only two or three occasions. The rest of it just felt like work that I had to rush through to get back to my real life. And I mean maybe that's the biggest lesson, that I'm not making enough time for myself to do the things I want to be doing, and my life has turned into one big rush after another.
Some technical things didn't go very well which made the swim harder (the community pool being meters, for example....that's a fair bit more challenging, even though it did mean I didn't have to swim as far as I thought I did), but overall it just wasn't that difficult. It was simply a matter of forcing myself to commit the time and mental tedium to do it. When I did the weight loss bet I got the sense that I was "achieving "or "producing" at close to my maximum level of output. Maybe that wasn't the case, but it sure felt that way, and I lost 18 pounds in 90 days and you can't really argue with that being an unqualified success. But with this challenge here I felt that the hardest part was fitting it into my life, and that had it REALLY mattered, had I really needed to swim as far as possible in 7 days, if life changing money had been on the line, for example, I literally could have swum four or five times further than I actually did. I mean, when you get right down to it I was in the pool swimming for something like 15 hours over the course of 7 days. I did nothing but low intensity yard eating sets, and that's the only reason I was able to rack up the 26 miles. There were plenty of times in high school that I spent more than 15 hours a week either at practice or warming up for a meet, and that was just sort of the way of things; there was no challenge other than trying to get faster. So I guess that's maybe why I don't feel any grand sense of accomplishment; what I did was in the grand scope of things pretty tough, but nowhere near where near the limits of my present self (and light years behind the limits of my best former self).
All that said, I did raise some money for charity, and that's great, and I am in a lot better shape than when I started, and that is also swell. My shoulders neck and back and knee and hip and elbows and even my left ankle are all kind of sore, but they'll be fine in a day or so, and I'll probably work some swimming into my workout routine going forward.