Thursday, June 30, 2011


Went out to Pineview again around noon today.  Did 1 and 1/2 loops so I figure right around 1 and 1/2 miles.  The wind was howling out there and the surface got choppy.  I was enjoying it and kept thinking that it's good practice for San Francisco next week!  I think I need to get a better GPS reader other than my phone.  I took the route yesterday and it read .98 when I finished one loop.  When I did it today it said .80.  Something isn't right.  I'll bring my wife's watch GPS that was expensive and fancy and have it with me too and do a comparison tomorrow. 
Tomorrow I plan on doing a short one and starting around 0630.

1.5 miles today.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Got up at 0500 this morning and drove the the GSL Marina.  Met Gords and Josh there at 0630.  We did a nice swim from the marina to Blackrock.  The current was against us a bit and the wind made the water a bit choppy but it wasn't too bad.  I was able to maintain a pretty straight line to the halfway point.  Once we hit Blackrock and we started to head back, the wind picked up quite a bit and so did the current.  I found myself being slowly pushed into the shore area.  I kept trying to make small turns to adjust for this but it was of no use.  I had to give in and make a complete turn to my left and swim to the NW all the while the water was pushing me to the NE.  It was funny facing one way swimming while I could feel myself getting pushed another direction.  Twice the wind blew so hard right when I was cresting a small wave that my SSD flew into the back of my head.  This made me laugh quite a bit as I was trying to get past where the marina comes out.  I finally made it past the outlet and saw Josh and Gords waiting for me.  They had decided to swim farther out before cutting in from the start....something I should have done!  Time was short and Josh and I headed in while Gords did a bit more.  It was really good to see my swim friends again and to get a swim in with people who share my love of the open water.
2.3 miles.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I'M BACK!!!  After taking some time off and being REALLY sick, I hit the lake today.  I would have been there yesterday but my wife got stuck in NYC for another 24 hours.  I was meeting my friend Alicia and she was bringing a lifeguard I used to work with at the Weber State pool.  I got there early and did a mile on my own.  I purposely took my time and swam slow.  I knew that my lungs were not going to be excited about the swim even though my insides were VERY happy!  It felt SO good to be swimming again in the open water.  I swam some, rested 20 seconds, swam some, rested 20, repeat.  To give you an idea of how slow I was taking it, the first mile took me 40 minutes!  HAHAHA
I got done with the first mile and Alicia was not there yet.  I decided to swim some more after talking to some guys fishing near the shore.  I turned around at about halfway and swam back to meet them when I saw they arrived. 
Alicia was now there with Natalie and her husband Brian.  Natalie and Brian are training for a triathlon so getting some open water swims in is a great idea.  Natalie swims well and has a good open water stroke technique.  Her husband just learned to swim last year so he was getting there but a bit slower than the rest of us.  We decided to do one mile and stop at every buoy so everyone stays together.  Well not only did we stop at every buoy to let everyone group up, we also chatted for a few minutes too!  It was nice and relaxed.
Glad I went and my total swim was 2.37 miles.  Don't care about my time considering how many stops I made.  This swim was for the purpose of me getting back out there from being gone for "so long".

Friday, June 17, 2011


Met up with Alicia today around 1130 to head to the lake.  My chest is STILL congested.  The water was not as cold today.  Got adjusted and going fairly quickly today.  Just did the 1 mile circuit again.  I was swimming SOOO slow.  If I tried to bilateral breathe or pick my pace up AT ALL, I would start coughing uncontrollably.  I was swimming with 50% chest capacity at best.  I can't express enough how tired I am of this cold.  Get the HELL out of me NOW!  I have training to do!

1 Mile today.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Decided to try a short lake swim today.  I've had a terrible cold the past few days and spent pretty much all of Sunday and Monday in bed.  Tuesday I was mobile but cancelled work.  Wednesday I was a bit better but had a nasty cough.
I decided that despite how I feel today, I have to do SOMETHING.  A woman I work with and have trained with before for the past few years joined me this morning.  It was her first open water swim in a long time and she said she didn't want to do anything fast or serious...fine by me today!
We met at my house at 0600 and were at Pineview lake by 0630 ready to get in.  The air was cold and the water was FREEZING.  I think more mountain run-off has cooled the lake plus it was early.  As unhappy as I was, I needed to get in because I have to be able to swim in 57 degree water for 3.5 miles soon.  Gotta toughen up somehow!  Kim was NOT happy with the water temp and had a difficult time getting in.  It took a bit of coaxing but once she got moving constantly, she no longer was frozen or had difficulty breathing.  I even handed over my SSD for added safety and peace of mind for her.
We just did one boat wake marker line to the opposite shore then back.  It was exactly 1.04 miles.  I have a new app on my phone that has GPS and measures swims, times, pace, etc.  It's really cool.  We swam at a nice easy steady pace for the whole swim.  I couldn't push it too much because my lungs are at limited capacity.  I also could not bilateral breathe either, which I was not happy about.  My lungs forced me to get air every 2 strokes...ugghhh.
Happy I went out and got at least something in today.  It was nice having Kim there and she even admitted that once she got swimming, the water felt real nice. (TOLD YA!)  :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Got up at 0515 and Patricia and I were out the door by 0530.  The drive and traffic were optimal so we arrived a few minutes early.  Mainly walked around and talked with Rob to kill time.  As more arrived, the excitement grew.  We did notice that the currents had changed a bit from the previous day and would probably not be in our favor.  Once almost everyone had arrived, we had a safety briefing and a drawing for prizes.  I won a wool cap and a energy drink powder!
Around 0730, we all loaded up into different vehicles and started our long trek to the start point.  There is no direct route so we had to take the "scenic" route to the start.  This meant over an hour in the van either on the interstate or on Antelope Island heading toward the start.  Once we arrived, there were several people there and they all were wearing bug net hats...not good.  We unloaded as fast as we could then had to walk a bit to the start.  I could not get greased and ready for the start fast enough.  The mud was comical how bad it was and the bugs were obviously hungry.
Once we waded out about 1/2 mile, Gords said it was time to go.  We all counted down from 15 hoping the people on shore would hear us and start the time relatively close to ours.

We're off!  I'm excited and I still can touch the bottom a bit but I just shorten my stroke until it gets deeper.  There was a small group of us that were clumped up together and sure enough, even though I had joked about it the day before, I found myself directly  behind Rob drafting off him.  I did this for probably 25 yards before making a sharp turn to  stay level with him but not get his draft.  There are no "official" rules on drafting for these events but it is just generally accepted that you don't draft off people.  This isn't a triathlon!!
I got into a nice groove and told my wife to stop me every 30 minutes for hydration and food.
I found that for the first 3 miles, I was about 50 meters behind but keeping about the same pace as Rob.  He would be a bit ahead of me then I'd pass him when he drank then vice versa.  After 3 miles he dropped me.  (He later admitted that this is when he finally warmed up!)
I just kept plugging along and focusing on mainly my stroke.  There was a decent current that was going against us the first 3 miles or so and that was not fun.  It took most of us 50 minutes to get to the 1.5 mile point!  SLOW!!  I did some calculations in my head and decided that if this keeps up, I'll be lucky to finish under 5 hours.

About mile 4 and 5 the water got a bit more shallow and VERY clear. I could see every detail of the lake floor and it was just beautiful.  I found myself going from a 3 stroke bilateral breathing to 4 or 5 stroke breathing just so I could look at the floor longer.  Those miles went by quick. 

About 3 miles to go, Patricia spotted Blackrock way out in the distance and that made us very happy.  The end is near!  I told her to stop me every mile now instead of 30 minutes.  I was getting thirsty and hungry at a faster pace plus my tongue was now officially swollen up and useless.  All drinks stung a bit and all food was "sharp" no matter what the texture was.
Patricia did a FANTASTIC job of keeping me going on the straightest line possible into Blackrock.  She did a fantastic job kayaking for me and even kept her cool when I was "less than patient" with my food transitions.  I honestly can't thank her enough for how great she did and she'll never know how much it helps having her there next to me guiding me the whole way.  I pretty much never had to spot check my direction because she was doing so great.

When I was near the end, the water got shallow enough to just walk out the last 50 yards.  I kept swimming as much as I could and when I got near the shore, no one came near me to help until I had completely cleared the water.  THANK YOU!!  I was then greeted by Gords, Josh, and most importantly, my family.  My father in law and 2 of my sisters in law came bringing my 2 daughters with them.  They have NO idea how much that meant to me.
I finished in 6th place with an official time of 4:31:52.  I was happy with my time considering the current and was very happy with my place.  Right in the dead middle!
There was a small spread of fruit and bagals waiting for us but unfortunately, I couldn't taste any of them.  I just knew to keep eating them and drinking the "flavorless" Gatorade.  I hung out for awhile and watched everyone else finish.  It was a great day and the making of a lifetime memory. 
This was a historic swim and the fist time this swim had been done as an official race/swim in 70 years!
Lastly, I want to thank Gords and Josh for all the work it took putting this together.  I know it was a lot.  I want to thank my family for coming out to support me.  Most important, I want to thank my wife for being my paddler.  You have no idea how much it meant to me and how you just being there inspired me.  I was actually asked today in church if I ever hit a "wall" during the swim.  I can honestly say 2 things.  1) No I did not.  2) I firmly believe my wife being there was a big reason why I never did.  Thank you Patricia, I love you!  WE DID IT!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Fantastic day today.  I drove down the the GSL Marina around 1315.  I immediately met Rob and Gords prepping for the day.  Rob is a character and he and I get along great!  After chatting for awhile, Rob and I decided to go for a short swim.  He was really having a good time just floating around.  We swam out of the marina and to a marker.  We then sat....yes, SAT on the water and chatted for a few minutes.  The current was moving pretty nice and we noticed that we were 100 meters away from where we stopped quickly.  The current and wind were both in the direction of our swim tomorrow!  If it is the same, then there will be some fast times for the 8 miler.
After about 20 minutes of playing around, we headed back in.  We both headed to Subway for food and when we got back, more swimmers had arrived.  They came in pretty steady at that point and it was nice to meet almost everyone face to face.  Everyone was very nice and all are eager for tomorrow.
While we were driving back, Rob and I were talking about how great the open water community is.  It just seems like everyone is willing to help or share whatever they have with other OW swimmers.  I had barely mentioned that I'd like to do the Catalina Crossing when Rob volunteered to help me any way he can.  This inclued all contacts for previous people he knew had done it, a kayaker for me to use that he likes, and even for him to be a support swimmer for me.
Another example is when we got back from lunch.  I met Suzie Dods and Sylvia Marino.  They both live in San Francisco and I told them I'm planning on coming out in July for the swim around Alcatraz.  Without missing a beat, Suzie asked if she could paddle for me.  She said she knows those waters well and would be an excellent guide if I had her paddle for me.  THIS is what I'm talking about.  The OW community I personally think is one of the most unique and greatest sporting communities in America.  I've never met someone that GENUINELY swims and trains in the open water that isn't willing to help or share with you anything they can.  This goes for advice, help, contacts, paddling, food, etc.
I can't describe how excited I am about tomorrows swim.  No matter what my place is, I know I'm going to come out of the water smiling.  I'm glad I'm doing this and I'm glad I am getting the chance to make more friends that share the same love of the water as I do.
Most of all, I am excited that I'm able to swim in support of ALS awareness.  I always keep that in mind when I'm swimming, I'm doing this for a REASON!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Went to Pineveiw Resevoir today!  It was FANTASTIC.  I got there around noon and checked the water temp.  It was steadily dropping but slowly was stopping when it hit 63 degrees.  I know it would have gone a few more but I decided to just have my brain tricked into "knowing" that it's only 63!  Piece of cake!
Got in and swam for an hour straight.  It felt sooooo good to be out there again.  There is definitely a difference between salt water 63 and fresh water 63.  Everyone I know that does open water swimming agrees with this but no one really knows why.  :) 
It took me about 10 minutes for my arms to wake up and get moving then another 10 until I hit a good stride.  I know I did at least 2 miles.  It was pretty windy and a bit choppy when I was going against the current and wind direction.  It moved me up and down quit a bit but I could not stop smiling,  I was having too good of a time.
I may do another short swim out there tomorrow but not sure on account of the weather. 


Swam 20 laps in the pool after a lesson. 
Going to the lake tomorrow for sure!

1000 yards

Monday, June 6, 2011


Pampering day for me today!  I got to "sleep in" today until 0700 on the couch.  Eva is sick and was very hot and crancky last night so I let her sleep in the room with mommy.  I spent most of the morning holding her as she fussed then I left at 0845 to get a pedicure....yes a PEDICURE!  My feet are kinda rough on the bottom and my wife said to go for it.  I just sat there reading trying not to laugh as she tickled my feet!  It was a tough decision, but in the end, I decided not to get polish!
After that, I drove to Logan where my sister in law in a licensed massage therapist.  I got an hour and a half massage.  She is fantastic!!!  My whole body feels better and she worked some good knots out of me.  My feet she spent some time on too and I almost cried from pain a few times from her working my tendons that have been giving me trouble.  It was "tough love" for my feet but they needed it.
On the way home, I stopped by my favorite lake to do swims in and the water read 63 degrees.  Considering the state of mind I was in Saturday, this is fantastic news.  I plan on going to the lake tomorrow for at least an hour with my new SSD.

The book I mentioned earlier, Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox has gotten me thinking about some goals to set for myself.  I have some ideas in mind but it will take some time and planning...but the juices are flowing.  I need a new goal and this book has make me realize that.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


That's it!, I quit the pool!!!
I went to the pool today to do 10,000.  I got to 30 laps and found that I could CARE LESS about the pool.  The quality of the water is poor and there is something in the water that makes my tongue swell and skin itch.  I had to break through boredom and FORCE myself to get to at least 100 laps.  Other than work, I don't think I'm going to go back to the pool until the lakes are too cold to swim in.  I'm only going to do open water from now on.  I find NO joy in the pool anymore and never get bored or have any real mental blocks when I'm in open water.  I just feel so much more at ease and I'm pretty sure I swim a bit faster too.  I am going to taper down some this week so I may be forced to swim a couple thousand in the pool but I'm going to do everything in my power to hit the lakes instead this next week.  I just get so ****ing bored in the pool lately that I just can't get over it. 
5000 yards today but I know I could have easily doubled it physically but I know I would have been praying for an aneurysm for the next 5000 yards.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Got up early and packed the kayak.  Alicia met me at 0800 and we drove to the Great Salt Lake Marina.  I was excited to get a nice swim in.  When we got there, I unloaded everything THEN checked the temperature....not smart.  It was 54.9 degrees.  My thermal threshold is 59 max.  I went to the other side and it was 56!  Woo-hoo.  Packed up all my stuff and drove back home.  Went to the gym with Alicia and we did some yards in the pool instead.  Was NOT happy that the lake was almost 10 degrees colder at the ramp as opposed to Monday when I swam.
1500 warmup
2 x 500 build ups
100 IM for a laugh
4 x 100 with wall pull ups x10 between each 100 and no rest.
500 CD
3500 total.  Not as much as I wanted but I had clients in 2 hours and really didn't feel like spending the ENTIRE day in the pool there.  If the lake is not close to 60 by next Saturday, I may be screwed!  :(

Thursday, June 2, 2011


1000 warmup
4 x 50kick then 200 swim then 50 breast then 200 swim
1000 swim
2 x 500 pulls

I'm going to start doing more pull work toward the back of my workouts to simulte my arms being tired at the end of a long swim that I need to just push through anyway while keeping form. 
Does this sound logical??

5000 total

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


No swim today.  I was planning on going for a couple of hours after lessons today but the pool had a filtration problem so it was closed.  I had to reschedule all my clients and when I got home early, my wife decided I could be of better use around the house than going back out for another GSL swim.  :(
I'm planing on doing a longer swim tomorrow if the pool is open and then hit the GSL Friday with Alicia for a couple hours.  Only 1 and 1/2 weeks till the 8 miler! 
btw, I'm reading Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox,  good read so far.  Makes me want to do Catalina NOW!  :)