Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Next up in 2012... swimming challenges?

Why does the approach of my birthday always seem to usher in a spastic flurry of brain activity surrounding such phrases as "ultimate challenges", "the next big quest" and the like?

Besides the obvious, I mean.

Or maybe my mind is just frequently abuzz with such topics, regardless of birthdays... it does seem to be somewhat cyclical, however.

Looking forward to 2012, I've been obsessed this morning with the idea of delving into swimming endurance events... having researched this idea before, there are a few options I'm already aware of that have come back to tickle my fancy.

The Pennock Island Challenge - an 8.2 mile open-water swim around Pennock Island in Alaska. While the website currently only lists information on the 2010 race, there is a signup on for 2011 (in case anyone here is interested...)

The La Jolla Cove Swim Club's 10-mile relay - can also be completed as a solo event. Again, an open water swim, starting and finishing at La Jolla Beach in San Diego, CA. Typically held at the end of September.

The Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association documents and promotes the safe crossing of the Santa Barbara Channel by solo or relay swimmers throughout the year. There are seven channel islands and various routes to, from, and around them - distances range from 12 to 60 miles.

While the first two events listed above hold much appeal, the most attractive and suitable may be the third option, as we currently live close to Santa Barbara, so travel costs would be minimal.

In addition to this, the varying lengths of swims it's possible to try holds appeal - I can try the distance I like, and even up the ante over time (or not). Also, as this swim would not be a race, I might feel less pressure to compete against others and feel more able to focus on the swim itself.

Interesting stuff. And while the more logical part of me likes to pipe up with a reminder that I never enjoyed distance open-water swimming as a kid (so what makes me think it would be different now), there's still something to it all...

At the very least, it's an idea to be explored. After all, this line of thinking is not exactly new, which is why I was able to rattle off the three challenges above.

Swimming: the new challenge for 2012? Not sure yet... still slightly cringing at the idea of being face-down in the water with arms a-whirling for that long... but we'll see.

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