In Honor of Air Force MSgt William J. Kerwood

These training sessions are dedicated to MSgt William J Kerwood, assigned to 20th Special Operations Squadron ” Green Hornets”, who lost his life on Nov 23,2003 in  Afghanistan. As I indicated in my last post last weekend started muscle chaos with not having Sunday as a rest day. I suffered through all the workouts this week. I was just plain tired all the time. I did get through the workouts and it was good prep for the UFC. I will not get the luxury of a rest day in the UFC. The workouts this week were the following:

Monday – 5 mile walk 35 lb weight / 80 minutes
Tuesday -10.8 mile bike / 31 minutes – Lifted weights
Wednesday – 3.5 mile run / 33 minutes – Lifted weights – Row 11,500 meters / 50 minutes
Thursday – 4 mile elliptical / 33 minutes – TRX1 – 7 week routine – Paddle 5 miles / 62 minutes / 4.8 MPH
Friday – 3.5 mile run / 33 minutes – TRX2- 7 week routine

Today was a long paddle. 35 miles in 8 hours 35 minutes which gave me an average speed of 4 MPH. I did the first 21 miles in the Hillsborough River and unfortunately on this paddle I was fighting an incoming tide. Sure felt different from last week when I was riding the river current with an outgoing tide. On exiting the Hillsborough River I had another 14 miles to go to complete the workout. Decision time – go back up river 7 miles or go out into the Bay. The wind had been very mild and in fact at times almost non-existence. Since my muscles were so tired I didn’t want to push it too hard but I also wanted to get some big water time.  I assume, that right there tells you I was not thinking right, I mean I do carry a VHF radio with weather on it, that the winds would be the same for the next 3 and half hours.  I had about 7.5 miles to go when I turned around and started heading back to Tampa. That was when I felt a little wind. Hey, nice, a little wind to cool things off I thought. For the  next 2 and half miles I was paddling near a spoil island that was acting as a wind break so I really didn’t detect that my future had a promise of some waves. I did say I wanted to get some big water time, right. When I cleared the spoil island I had completed 30.5 miles and I had a 2.5 mile paddle where I would be exposed to the wind, waves and would have to cross the shipping channel.  I don’t know why things always happen to me mid way through a difficult stretch of paddling but it always does. Today was no different. I have commercial traffic coming from my port side. I am still not completely clear of the shipping channel. I have confused seas  for some reason that I don’t totally understand, and low and behold, I have a LARGE fin and tail pass by my starboard side. There is a different between a shark’s fin shape and a dolphin’s fin shape and in the motion on the surface. As much as I wanted to believe it was a very large dolphin I knew it was not a dolphin. About this time I am  feeling kind of small and way too close to the water.  I can only hope that this shark is not confusing me with a twinkie and I am the soft inside. Talk about some motivation to not get swamped and to get out of a particular space of water. Nothing like a good rush of extrusion for the last few miles of your longest training paddle to date. Obviously I survived, no pulled muscles, and I finished the workout. No muscle chaos this week. Looking forward to a nice rest tomorrow. This paddle was a long one and a grind but it all ended as soon as I finished. For the family of MSgt William J Kerwood (USAF), that included a daughter, the grind of facing life without him never leaves . A donation to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will make it easier for the families of fallen warriors such as Msgt Kerwood.