It is no secret that I like to challenge myself. True, some days it seems like a challenge just to get out of the house and meet people face to face. Last year it was doing an Iron distance triathlon. I wanted to repeat the even this year, but it was cancelled, leaving me dangling as far as physical challenges go. An early season knee injury and elbow injury sidelined me for this racing season so I had to turn my talents elsewhere. This year I pushed myself to build a sanctuary, The Fort. It is nearly complete. It would be done if I didn't keep coming up with groovy new things to do to it. Just today I finished installing a wood floor with 1x6 clear vertical grain hemlock that I salvaged out of a scrap bin at a local mill. Just the back half of the space has wood floor, the front will have vintage linoleum once I can decided on the pattern I want to do.
Anyway, about this time of year I like to look ahead to what next year might offer. What challenges can I find that will push my limits a bit? There isn't a local Iron distance triathlon, so that is likely off the table. I decided on two half-Irons instead, but that really isn't quite challenging enough. Well, except the challenge of remaining injury free through the coming year. What I found is something almost unfathomable: The Portland Bridge Swim. It is an 11 mile swim down the Willamette River, through the heart of Portland. 11 miles. ELEVEN MILES! The longest swim I have done to this point is 3.1 miles, but I came out of the water feeling good, though hypothermic, and with enough energy to get on my bike and ride around Mount Bachelor. But to swim 11 miles, that is almost lunacy. My kind of lunacy. Last night during my regular swim I started calculating just what I would need to do in order to get myself ready for such a swim. The amount of hours I would have to spend training borders on obsessive. Add into this my regular triathlon training and I will need to focus as intensely as I did last year for the Epic 250K.
I love to set goals for myself. I need to set goals for myself, lofty goals. Not run of the mill goals. It does make it tough when I get sidelined or derailed, but that just gives me an excellent opportunity to practice my problem solving skills. Can I swim 11 miles in open water? I guess I will find out.