Reading Rainbow

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Pat Ferris 7:37.6

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my experience during the Midnight Marathon.  Of course, I also made this decision after finishing the book Born to Run, which not only makes you want to run, but run an ultra marathon, barefoot and naked, through the wilderness.  I have been considering, if I  start sweating again, I might be willing to train for an ultra marathon.

Now I have started reading Swimming to Antarctica about Lynne Cox, probably the greatest long distance, open water swimmer of all time.  At the age of fourteen she swam the Catalina Channel, broke the world record for the English Channel at sixteen and eventually performed impossible feats like swimming the Antarctic and the Bering Strait.  Check out her description of swimming the Bering Strait:

“The water stings.  Its icy cold.  My face feels as if it has been shot full of novocaine and it’s separating from my skull.  Its as if I’m swimming naked into a blizzard.  My hands are numb, and they ache deep down through the bone.  I can’t tell if they are pulling any water.  They feel as though they are becoming detached from my body…This frigid and ominous sea is behaving like an enormous vampire slowly sucking the warmth, the life from my body, and I think, Oh my God, pick up your pace.  Swim faster, faster.  You’ve got to go as fast as you can.  You’ve got to create more heat.  Or you will die!…But I sense that I am fading, becoming less of myself.  Is my blood sugar dropping?  Is that why I feel so strange?  Or is my body temperature plunging?  Am I hypothermic? Systematically I check my body…I’ve never pushed myself this far.  The coldest water I’ve ever swum in was thirty-eight degrees in Glacier Bay, Alaska, and that was only for twenty-eight minutes.  This swim is five times longer.  I am afraid of going beyond the point of no return…”

Why does this make me want to swim in the ocean, I don’t know!  But now I feel the need to run barefoot to the ocean and then go for a swim!  Damn these books!  They’re filling my head with all types of notions!  Don’t you hate that?

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