I finally made the decision and signed up for the Boston Light swim in Boston on August 12th, six days after camp ends. I don't know how well I'll be able to train for it, what with my being at camp and all, but at least I'll have access to cold water and a weight room. And I'm excited about this race - it's a little bit shorter swim (only 8 miles) with good current assist, and the water is cold (60-65 degrees) so it'll be good Channel practice as well. I'm tired of this warm Florida water that feels cold when you get in but then after five minutes feels uncomfortably warm for the rest of the swim. Now I just have to find a boater. Any of you readers live in Boston?
Speaking of the Channel, though, I found out this week that even though the rules say a relay team is composed of six people, it doesn't necessarily have to be six people - meaning the fact that I haven't heard anything back from my sixth swimmer doesn't necessarily have to be such an annoyance after all, because we can just be a five-man team. Which means the cost per person will be higher, but at least it takes some of the stress off. I don't want undependable, difficult-to-contact people on the team anyway.
Not much else has happened this week. I bought a new red duffel bag for camp, we finally found a sports bra that fits me properly (after trips to nine, count 'em, nine stores), and of course I've been swimming with the Masters team as well as using my weeklong free trial at Bailey's Powerhouse Gym. Which I really like - it's a cut above the YMCA, I can tell you. We also had a 'grandparent dinner' last night so the three of them could see me before I left, and then some old high school friends wanted to go to Third Street Diner out at the beach, so I had a yummy Greek omelet at 11pm.
I also finally went to the doctor, just because I didn't want to leave the state for two months with so many little issues still niggling at me. My acronym for remembering them all was U C R A B ("you crab!") Urinalysis, Cough, Rash, Arm, and Back. I had a rash from something that stung me during the Key West swim, and a nerve-like pain in my lower back (cause unknown), both of which the PA dismissed as unimportant and self-resolving. (So far, the backache is gone and the rash seems a little better.) The other three were a little more complicated:
Cough: I'd been coughing for over a month but had resisted going to the doctor, so when I finally went, the symptoms had reduced to occasional throat-clearing, and she said my lungs were clear. Yet she still ordered a chest X-ray (which I'm not going to have done since Mom and I both think it's unnecessary and is just the office trying to cover its ass). The interesting part, however, was that she turned on her little examination light, said "Let's see if you have any allergies you don't know about," stuck it up my nose, and said, "Hmm, you actually do!" Apparently the inside of the nose turns blue as a "classic" allergy symptom. And it makes sense in a way, considering (a) you can develop allergies later in life, (b) my dad and sister both have them, and (c) I've been having these odd exercise-induced asthma symptoms on and off for a year or two now, which could just be the result of allergies (especially since the symptoms usually occur outdoors). So she prescribed Singulair for that - which I'm going to hold off on until if and when I feel like I need it, since the symptoms are better now, but it was an interesting development nonetheless.
Urinalysis: I had to have one done while I was still at UF, as part of my camp physical, and it came back with a small amount of blood (listed as 2+) in the results. So they repeated it, and there was less blood (only 1+), but still a little. The doctor said it was probably just due to my high level of physical activity, but they still wanted to run a bunch of tests to check my kidneys. Which I resisted, since they'd already charged me an arm and a leg by this point and I didn't want to rack up any further charges before graduation. I asked if I could do it when I got home to Jacksonville, and they said yes. So I brought it up at the appointment, and they repeated the test again and gave me the results on the spot, which were: still a trace amount of blood. 'Trace', so even less than the earlier 1+, but still there. So she ordered a CBC and metabolic profile, and I wasn't allowed to eat after midnight the night before the tests - just like before surgery. This was all done yesterday morning, so I don't know the results yet.
Arm: This is the odd one. I've had a small, hard lump in my left arm for about three months now, which I noticed during our drive back from the campus visit to Chapel Hill this past spring. It doesn't hurt and doesn't change in size, and the doctor thinks it's a lipoma (a fatty, benign tumor). She said it can wait until I get back from Maine, but she's setting up a surgery consult for me. Which means they're probably going to want to take it out. Which is okay, except that I don't want a scar on my arm. The (second) one on my heel was really fat and purple and ugly for years, and I didn't really care because after all, nobody has to look at my feet but me, but I don't want anything like that on my arm. The surgeon better know what s/he's doing.
So that's the litany of bodily malfunctions. Other than that, there isn't much else to say. I'd better be off, because I'm in the day-before-a-trip whirlwind of doing laundry, charging various electronic devices, making a Driving To Maine playlist, trying to find a hotel to stay at tomorrow night, and packing last-minute items like toiletries, socks, and earrings. I'm sure I'll forget something - I always do - but I think I've done a pretty fair job so far, knock on wood...