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Patrick Fellows is a 5 time Ironman, TEDx giving, 32 miles swimming, endurance coaching, healthy cooking, entrepreneur and musician.  Born in Dearborn, MI, raised in Mississippi and a Louisianian for 30 years, 

the finish is the start and mental toughness


First the updates
1. Had a day of interviews on the Coast it went well. People were very excited about the swim and what it can mean for the Coast. First did a TV interview on the morning news show followed directly by a radio interview. Both went well and both pledged to help where they could.
2. Met with Drew Allen, a long time family friend who owns a Pepsi distributership on the coast. He offered to help with contacts and a sponsorship.
3. Stopped in at the Lynne Meadows Discovery Center (a kids museum) in Gulfport and met with Betsy Grant, the mother of my best friend from 9th grade. I would like their museum to see some benefit from the swim and they offered any asssistance they could give.
4. Met with Kathy Short, the wife of Dr. Short, a friend of my father. They are also helping with Coast contacts and the Mississippi State Government. A wealth of ideas and opportunities.
5. Have pretty well decided that the charitable arm of Rocketkidz will be free one or two day camps for kids that will be health and fitness based. We will look to raise enough money to put on multiple day camps in each town. If the cash is there.
6. Had a recovery week swimming which was fun as I always get some fast workouts to do.
7. Spent the weekend in New Orleans with my wife. Had an incredible time. She is an incredible woman.

As each day passes this thing grows another leg. What I am begining to realize is that what I thought was the end, the actual swim, will in fact probably be the start. I am cool with that. It is a challlenge that will push me to the edges of what I know is possible swimming, but in essence it is a cry of HEY DONT FORGET ABOUT THE COAST! The kids there need this. A one day camp with education adn fitness and fun would be a day they didn't have to think about the troubles on the Coast. Our goal is to do 4-5 one day camps in each town. Each day would be the same, but we would offer it to a different group of 100 kids each day so as to get maximum impact. We would provide a means for them to carry on throughout the year as well. I am fired up about it. It is going to be a lot of work, but very rewarding.

The actual swimming is coming along well. I will do another long swim next weekend 5hrs. It is kind of weird. Right now typing 5 hours makes me begin to think about how long it will take, but in reality, once I get in the water the time goes by pretty quickly. The hardest hour is always the second one. I guess it is because it still feels lik you are on the way out and not on the way back. Shelly and I have talked a lot about mental toughness and her concerns with me being able to not go crazy doing all this. I have thought a lot about "mental toughness" and have figured out some things.
1. I decided from the get go that I would do whatever it took to prepare correctly for this swim as to do otherwise would risk not finishing it. Having done that I almost look forward to every single workout, no matter how long it takes me. Since I look forward to it, I never give myself the opportunity to dread them. I get a little boost everyday that I finish one.
2. I have the ability to ignore what I am doing. In other words, I just don't even think that what I am doing is that hard so I just keep on doing it. It never enters my mind to stop as I just keep on rolling.
3. I was reading an article on mental toughnes by Joe Friel (relatively famous triathlon coach) and he broke mental toughness down into four components. i have forgotten all but one of them. I could align myself with the three of them I have forgotten, but the one that caught my eye was confidence. I am confident that I will finish the swim in the time frame I have set for myself. The reasons behind this confidence are simply the facts that I am completing the training I need to and see and feel tangible results. I don't know how my confidence level would be if I were say swimming a meet. Probably a bit different, but possibly still confident enought to swim a certain time in a certain event. If that time was one of the fastest, I would think that I would have confidence in winning the event. What is interesting to me is that I do not race triathlons with the same confidence. I am confident I will win every swim and that I will do well on the bike, but I never feel like I will run with confidence to finish the race. I have come off the bike winning the race and beleived in my heart that other racers will chase me down. I press on the run and eventually they do. I have also come to realize that if I trained for the run like I have trained for this swim I will gain some confidence because I will know what to expect. That is the deal. Confidence comes from knowing what you are capable of because your training will dictate the paces you can hold and what you can expect on race day. You may not win, but you will be able to go out and have a performance expectation. In addition, if you have trained at certain speeds and paces, you will know how fast you have the potential to go. Then you go and do it. Now that I have broken it down it seems simple, right? Hahahaha!

I am sitting here getting ready to play an acoustic show tonight at a local bar. One of my best friends Bill Rhodes is in town and the band he played in in college is doing a reunion show. I was supposed to have my band together for this as well, but my guys bailed on the idea. No worries, I will go at it alone! I still got the rock in me.

I was thinking of tracking different weird stats for my training, like avg. calories a day, strokes per lap, etc. but to be honest I am not a numbers tracking type of person. I think this is part of the reason I love to have a coach. I just do whatever they say and don't question it. If I had to come up with it on my own I tend to do nothing. I never keep training logs etc. So you get the stats and other interesting things I think of when I am swimming. Here are some of them:

1. I take 360-366 strokes per 400 m in open water. I tried to count to 1000 a couple of times but my mind wandered. If I carry that out I will take 3600 per hour (6 min per 400m, so I cover 10 400's per hour) and if it takes 16 hours i will take approximately 57600 for the 32 miles.
2. I will try to listen to only songs I love for the hours leading up to the race. All this does is guaranty that I will get some god-awful song stuck in my head. Here is an example. This past week I had a 3 hour workout. I usually get up 30-45 minutes earlier than I am going to go swim so I can wake up and have some coffee/eat something. I listend to a playlist of songs that only has stuff I like on it. I hit the water and Mr. Jones by the Counting Crows popped into my head and stayed for the entire time. Suffice it to say, I am not a Counting Crows fan, I don't neccesarily hate them, but all I could imagine was this dude, Adam Durst's voice wavering all over sounding so whiny and serious...ughh I wanted to ram my fingers in my eyes. I searched through my brain to see what had malfunctioned and when I had heard that song and figured out it was 3 days earlier over breakfast in New Orleans. That just ain't right.
3. I swim with my mouth open. I don't know why, I just do. I guess I slowly let air escape my lungs as I put my head in. I swim a long looking like a humpback whale straining kids pee and whatever else is in the pool straight through my mouth. I need to stop this as salt water is probably going to tear my mouth up, not to mention I am going to be filtering plankton and sewerage and whatever else is in the gulf. Anyone who has any tips let me know.
4. I realized the other day that I don't stare at the black line in the pool. Some people dread staring at the line. I somehow focus soemwhere else, or just let my eyes go out of focus and not look at anything until i am just about to slam into the wall, flipturn and go the other way.

MUSIC SELECTION FOR THE WEEK: Wired All Wrong-Nothing at All. Got this free on iTunes a month or so and it grows on me. Kind of out there.
KISS-I Was Made for Loving You. Always reminds me of "playing" KISS. I was always Paul Stanley or Ace Freely. Me and this kid Kevin Riser used to play boat paddles and rock out to KISS ALIVE II and LOVE GUN when I was 9. My parents actually took me and 4 other 9-14 year olds to a KISS concert at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Some stoner blew dope the whole show and poured a 32 oz beer on my dad, then a 49 year old Pavorotti fan. Classic.

FOOD FOR FUEL-Mornings 1 cliff bar and 2 cups of coffee. During Endurox mixed half strength. Post swim Endurox and whatever else I can get my hands on. Usually a burrito. This may make some mad, but since I am swimming so much I eat and drink whatever I want within reason. I have to be careful though as I could eat a bag of Hot Tamales and forgo dinner. This is counter productive.

this has been a long one.
thanks for your support and continuing to read and dontae.
rocketboy

PS Stealth training begins this week...yes that means more training for other events.

the finish is the start and mental toughness

i am a freak

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