Planning, Goodwill, and Serendipity
I don't know about the rest of you, but before big events I find that I get twitchy and start to second guess things....and, am really grateful I have a coach who helps talk me back from the edge of the cliff....as well as notice trends and reminds me to "get on top of nutrition, hydration, and rest."
I'm heading up to do 3 Rivers marathon swim as the next in my list of events that are longer than the previous ones. It's also serving as a confidence prepper for a bigger swim in December in Mobile Bay.
I've been doing early planning for about a year (due to an unplanned fall resulting in a broken arm), and will do the heavy planning after Pittsburgh.
I did a training swim in the bay a few weeks ago (it was awful and horrible, but that's not the point), where I met one of my former coach's swimmers who'd agreed to paddle. HE said he had a friend who might be interested in crewing the big swim, and who also knew a lot about the bay. THAT guy (Evan) and I connected via phone and turns out he was that same former coach's bio instructor when she was in college. Full circle of 6-degrees of separation!
He and I chatted, and his boat isn't big enough to pilot the swim, but he's all in for crewing and planning assistance. He just sent me a tide chart study to begin prelim planning for dates for the swim, and helped me understand the differences between the timing of high/lo tides at one spot, based on info from stations at the top and bottom of the bay. I know that this information and planning with these variables in mind is second nature to many in this group. But, it's not for me. And, finding people who are willing to help with planning and understanding is such a gift.
Mobile Bay has a single hi/lo cycle in a 24-hr period, rather than 2, so tides switch approximately every 12 hrs, rather than 6. And, based on what's happening in December, it looks like if I want to swim with a tide, rather than against it nearly the entire swim, it's going to be an overnight swim.
@ssthomas graciously chatted with me about broad strokes prep issues. (get some training at night, practice following a lighted escort kayak/vessel, etc.) A "for all intents and purposes" stranger is helping with tide knowledge. A coach's brother in law is in with his boat.
My mom is always impressed when she hears how people in this community are gracious, generous, and helpful. And, she's a little in awe about my "virtual friends", despite making those friends being so different from her method of meeting people -- in person.
So, the serendipity of all of this is that when I'm the "twitchiest", I get emails that help ground me.
I'm so grateful for this community!