Numbers Whore

It’s time to admit something, I have an unhealthy infatuation with numbers. For fun I do math in my head, yup, I look forward to the change in years so I can spend time figuring out division and multiplications in to the number of the year.

I am known in work as the guy who when we are in meetings and people are throwing out percentages of million dollar contracts, I am telling them the $ value of those percentages and whether our projects are above and below and people have learnt not to question this.

This infatuation extends to my swimming, I get caught up in the numbers game. Not so much in the context of beating my previous times but more about the distances and relying on these distances to provide confidence I can achieve my next swim. For this year in the run up to End Wet this meant I went a little crazy for the months of April and May.

There is this saying in marathon swimming world that “you can swim in a day what you can swim in a week”. This meant that in April I totaled 161,000 metres or 100 miles, to find the time to do this meant I swam mornings, I swam lunches, I swam evenings. I then kept this up for May with a little decrease during the final week while I was in Brazil.

I believed this was important at the time, it gave some self belief. However there have been some consequences to this obsession with relying on numbers, since End Wet my arms have been tired, I have still been knocking out consistent 50,000 meter plus months but my arms have not necessarily been happy about it.

What was interesting in this though was that in my recent 10km race, there was no issue from the lesser swimming, the swim was pretty straight forward, I was not tired, my arms just as normal lately, felt sore after.

So what have I done with this free time, well I have spent a lot of time on treadmills and the elliptical with my avg daily steps now going past 15,000 over the past couple of months.

This leads to some interesting considerations going forward, in the words of a swimmer I greatly admire Mark “Spratticus” Spratt who has often advised me that my swimming now is not the same as it was when I began again a little over 5 years ago, I know have a different base to work from. I think I finally understand this statement, there is a point I never fall below any more which is basically that in past 5 years there has barely been a month I have swam less than 50km. Yes I still believe for a big event I need a ramp up but not to the same degree.

This I think gives me a different consideration for the future years and their respective big events. But we will see whether I stick to it.

In the mean time here are some numbers

I have now completed 9 marathon swims

5 of these have been in the past 14 months

I have swam 1000 miles in the past 18 months

Since March 2013 I have swam 2873 miles.

Since Mar 2013 I have taken part in 34 swim events and finished all of them.

My perfect water temp is between 67f-70f

I have managed to go from 3 months of open water swim season in Chicago to 7 month open water season.

The longest distance I have travelled to a swim was 1000 miles each way.

I have raised nearly $17k for dog rescue by doing these swims. That feeds a lot of dogs 🙂

I have spent hours figuring out how to pee while continuing to swim which now comes naturally (but only in open water)

That’s enough for now but if you want more let me know.

Yours

a somewhat adequate swimmer

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