Friday, August 20, 2010

Tiffany Carter's 22-Mile Swim for Africa

UPDATE: Tiffany swam 20.5 miles--18 of them without a wetsuit--before an upset stomach, crampy calves and sore lungs cut the swim short. She'll be finishing the last 1.5 miles on Tuesday, the 23rd. As of Friday, the 20th, she had raised $2750 for Kenyan children.

Yea, Tiffany! That's the width of the English Channel crossing at the Straight of Dover! (21 miles)
Tiffany (left) at the end of a 14-mile swim with sister, Michelle. 
There must be some endurance obsession in the Beresini genes.

As I write this, my cousin, Tiffany Carter, is swimming across Lake Tahoe to raise money for children in Kenya.

Her longest swim before taking on the width (or length...depending on how you look at it) of Lake Tahoe was 14 miles and took her seven hours. Averaging two miles-per-hour and accounting for fatigue, Tiffany expects the swim to take about 12 hours. That's an entire Ironman-worth of just swimming.

I cry for her shoulders.

And get this: she's not wearing a wetsuit.

"I'll have my wetsuit (a long john suit) on the boat," Tiff told me yesterday, "just to make my mom happy, but I don't want to wear it." (Tiff said she hasn't looked at the water temperature the entire time she's been training. But I did. On the North side, temps on Wednesday ranged between 64 and 76 degrees. On the South side, they're between 65 and 67. Holy wetsuitless coldness.)

Tiffany got the idea for the swim after her older sister, Sophia, visited Kenya and came back with stories about the kids there living in poverty, but didn't have to; the kids could go to school and eat for an entire year for only $50-100 per child.

Tiffany wanted to help. She knew only one other native Lake Tahoe woman had ever completed the swim, and decided she'd go for it. She's been swimming since middle school and wanted to take on the Lake.

It was hard for her to find people to train with, though, as most people who came along would poop out around two miles. Her friend, Howie, got cold and bailed about that far into a 10-mile training swim.  He found a nice family on shore who wrapped him up, gave him warm food, and drove him back to his car.

So Tiffany recruited her younger sister, Michelle, to kayak along with her on her training swims. But it hasn't been all sisterly love out on the lake.

"I thought, 'Oh yea, we're sisters, it's gonna be great! We're gonna giggle and laugh...' but we'll be in the middle of the lake and she'll get so crabby sometimes and threaten to leave me," Tiffany said.

So is it going to be different today? On the big day?

She'll have a large crew including both of her parents, her sister, and other kayakers to help out. The local radio station is keeping people up-to-date on Tiffany's whereabouts. You can listen to the live broadcast here.

Tiffany's most nervous about not making it. And of Tahoe Tessie, Lake Tahoe's version of the Loch Ness monster. She put glow sticks on the bottom of the kayaks for the dark start this morning and was worried they'd attract some kind of mythical Tiffany-eating fish.

She'll be slurping mashed-up sweet potatoes and noshing on Clif Bars to fuel the swim.

As of yesterday, Tiffany had raised $957 out of her goal of $2,000. Donate to her swim here--she'll be taking donations for at least another week. No amount is too small! (OK, try to make it at least a buck.)

Visit Tiffany's Swim for Africa site.
Listen to the Quick Time radio broadcast.

Go Tiffany!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mountain Biking Mania-When Your Brain Turns to Mush

I can't be the only person who does this.

Yesterday, about seven hours into a big-ass ride straight up and down and around the Santa Fe ski mountain, I had a conversation with myself. About table runners.

Maybe it was my brain's way of ignoring the cliff to one side of the loose single-track descent coachubby and I were pussyfooting down. Or about how that would be the perfect place for a mountain lion to take me out.

The conversation went something like this:
Me: What the f are table runners for?
Me: What do you mean what the f are table runners for? Watch your language.
Me: And why the f are they called table runners? They don't move.
Me: They tie the room together.
Me: Thank you, Erin Lebowski.
Me: It's just decoration. Why do people decorate? Because it gives their home a feeling of security and warmth.
Me: Table runners to do not give people a feeling of security and warmth. They're essentially pointless.
Me: Then why did you put one on the table when you had people over for dinner last night?
Me: I didn't, coachubby did. And it wasn't a table runner, it was a repurposed scarf. Why don't they call them table scarves? That's more appropriate. Scarves don't move.
Me: Why are you bashing household decorations?
Me: I'm not bashing, I'm asking an honest question.
Me: What?
Me: What the f are table runners for?

A few more rocky patches and near off-cliff endos, and I was back on the road.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome to the Gym, Would You Like a Cigarette?

I hauled my bum straight from work to the Santa Fe rec center to get my swim on, and parked next to this car:

One cigarette per rep?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Outside Magazine Is Pretty Freakin' Cool

Yo! My blogging efforts have recently been hijacked by Outside Magazine's blog. This week, I got to speak with my fifth grade teacher, who happens to be one of the world's most inspirational people, Erik Weihenmayer, 19-year old professional surfer, Sage Erickson, and one of the stars of a new surf movie, Chris Christenson.

It's been rad.

And when I'm not at Outside, I'm outside, training for the Tahoe-Sierra 100-mile mountain bike race, and Ironman Arizona--with 2 bum hamstrings and a pissed-off rotator cuff. I met a spiritual healer while searching for a place in Santa Fe, but thought she was a little off her rocker. Maybe I should give her a shot...IM will be hard to finish with no run or swim training...