Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Training day #1
Ok I finally got up and went to the pool.  My motivation is still not there but it's improving.  I just want another few months off I guess to be lazy like I have been most winters.
I had written down my workout from my coach Marcia Cleveland and was going to write down my times as I did sets so we could make adjustments as we go along.
As she has requested and I'm going to honor, I'm going to keep my workouts I type up here vague. 
I made it through the warmup of 1000 yards of mixed stuff just fine.  My first set were some 200's.  I had a target time for sets to hit.  When I first looked at it, I thought the time was VERY generous and I thought would be no trouble.
As each set went by, I got slower and slower and SLOWER.  By the time I got to my 5th 200 I was spent...completely spent!  I turned to do one more but my arms shut down on me.  I had hit my limit.  I did a very slow 200 CD then got out.
The good news is that I was at the pool FINALLY and I did 2000 yards for the first time in 2 months.  The bad news is that this 2000 yards kicked my ass completely when it used to take me about 3000 yards before to get completely warmed up!
I emailed her and told her my times and how each set went.  I'm going to have to get to the pool more and swim a LOT more to get back to where even doing 5k seems like a joke.   I miss that ability now and maybe this is the kick in the rear I need.  2k wiped me out....sad day for Goody....sad day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Met with Gords, Josh, and Jake today at the GSL around 1615.  Gords was there a bit early with me and I got a nice surprise.  I've had the WFPBC Sweatshirt for a month now but kept forgetting to bring Gords a check for it.  I asked him how much I owed him and he said it was my Birthday present.  He said he wrote an email to me but I never saw it or got it for whatever reason.  I was pretty psyched about it.  In my opinion, this is one of those "club" items of clothing you really have to EARN in order to wear.  I don't think we would give these hoodies out to anyone for just cash.  All of us who wear it, wear it with pride because we've had the frozen skin as part of the payment.  I was also excited today as Josh and Gords met with me because I had put together a 6 page outline of ideas and safety notes on how we might attempt to become part of the IISA.  After chatting for a bit we got all our gear down near the water and started to get mentally prepared.  Patricia was there and took a picture of all of us before we got in.

Gords had his game face on and he got undressed and in the water as fast as he could.  

Gords getting in. GREAT pic!

He was going for 2 laps and on his second lap, I got in up to my chest and ran in place as fast as I could to get my blood going.  

That first minute is pure pain over 100% of your body.  The water temp was around 48 and I really wanted to see what I could do today.  I kept pushing myself to keep going and after about 45 seconds of screaming in my head, I started to slowly swim towards the other end of the marina.  About halfway there I started feeling better so I changed from breaststroke and extremely fast doggie paddle to freestyle.  I got near the end of the marina and turned back.  For some reason, the boat ramp looked REALLY far away.  1 second of panic set in as I realized if I bonk, I'm as good as dead.  I made my way back and tried to put my face in the water some.  It really frustrates me how my face can't handle the cold or adjust like my body can.  When I try to put my face completely in the water, my breath gets extremely short and hyperventilating again and a pain between my eyes comes over as if someone was driving a metal spike into my face.  I am seriously considering getting a snorkel and making myself stick it out while able to breathe/scream until my face numbs up then start my swim.
I got back and felt great.  I was cold but this was by far the farthest I've gone in water that cold and it was a good mental victory for me.  
Josh did 2 laps like Gords and then his brother did a lap.  All of did fantastic and I actually feel a sense of pride to call these cold water bozo's I hang out with my friends!
Next week I'm going for 2 laps and more time in the water as it gets even colder.
It was nice having my family there to watch.  I did ask Patricia what she thought about it when we were driving away.  She just said, "You all are a bunch of idiots"!...Yes, yes we are!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


And so I'm back in the water.  I WAS going to get up at 0400 and be at the pool at 0430 like a good boy but when the alarm went off, I complained to my wife of a stomach ache (TOTAL LIE) and went right back to sleep!  I had to go to the gym after work to get my swim in.  I was happy and unhappy with this swim.  I was happy to be back but was unhappy with how poor my stroke has become so quickly and how tired I got so fast.  I only did one mile but I was sucking air at the end.  My arms and shoulders were stiff and I even though I know better, I just didn't expect to slip so much.  Idiot me.
I finished one mile and hopped out and when I went to shower, I decided to try to mimic what Gords does and take only a cold shower after my swim.  I started the shower and left it on cold.  Some things came clear to me immediately:
1. This shower was going to be VERY fast.
2. I was cold but did start to get used to it after a minute....which is about when I was finishing.
3. I was making very vocal and hyperventilating breaths that no man should be making while alone and naked in a gym shower.
Well I wanted to get at least a mile in before I start my formal training.  I am meeting with Gords and Josh tomorrow at the GSL and we may be getting filmed.  We also have some discussing to do about maybe training for the IISA.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Birthday swim!
Today is my birthday and I wanted to get a swim in anyway.  My time off is definitely over and I need to start getting in the pool at least 3-4 times a week again.  I'll ramp it up to 6 a week in a few months but 3-4 is good for now.  I'm also going to start using a coach for my training and that will significantly help with my speed and endurance for distance swimming....I hope.
I did not do anything special just a 1000 broken up by some 50's 100's then I did a 500 at the end.  I can definitely feel the month off and know I'm not at square one but close.  :)
BAD NEWS...I had a painful ear infection after Slam the Dam that I had been ignoring for a few weeks prior.  It pretty much went away this last month.  Last night after my swim, I woke up because it hurt so much.  I'm going to a doctor today to get it looked at.  Hopefully I just need some drops and my time away from swimming will be minimal or non at all.  I just know I can't swim again unless I see someone that can look at my inner ear.  It hurts too much after.

1000 yards

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Woke up this morning feeling not so great.  One hazard of being a teacher is you get to contact every germ every kid has!
I was going to swim but decided not to and get some rest.  I don't want my first REAL swim back to be an ugly one.  I was a bit disappointed I couldn't go but I got a GREAT pick me up in the mail today.  My mesh bag from GTD arrived for me achieving 250 miles this year.  This was a surprise and I felt a small sense of personal pride.  Gords introduced me to this a long time ago and I've been pretty adamant about keeping an accurate log.  I never put information on it that isn't correct and every little "milestone" I got I know I earned on my own.
I got my bag today and even though it's by Nike (which I'm boycotting for life) I am still excited to have earned this little swag prize.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Back in the water I go...
I took a month off after Slam the Dam for a mental break from swimming.  I'm glad I did it but one of the reason's I took off was my motivation for swimming was waning and I really felt like my "season" was over.  I decided to take all of October off.  I still am lacking some real motivation but I knew if I met with my swim buddies today at BL, it might help...it didn't!  lol
I was glad to be with my swim friends but the wind was blowing and it only made me think that the water will be colder.  I was informed the water was 48.5 degrees!  HOLY HELL...I was getting nervous.  I was only planning on getting in and splashing around a bit but since both were going from the dock, I felt "peer pressure" to join them.  Josh and Gords were the only 2 other swimmers there.  They both had their wives and they walked with us to the starting dock.  We got undressed  and Gords took NO time just diving in.  He took off like a bat out of hell and Josh and I were left standing there looking at each other for a few seconds wondering who is next.  Josh jumped in and I soon followed.  I was surprised that the water did not feel as cold initially as I remember.  Then after about 10 seconds of me swimming it really set in.  This is PAINFUL.  My entire body is screaming at me and I can barely breathe.  I loved it!  My anatomy immediately changed and I started focusing on getting out as soon as I could.
Josh was going so fast and strong he wasn't looking at his direction.  He made a swooping left turn and was heading away from all of us.  I was yelling at him and this only made Gords wife ask if I was the one in trouble.  lol  He corrected himself and I just focused on finishing.  I was able to endure the cold better for some reason and at the VERY end, I was feeling pretty good.  I am not sure if it was adrenaline or my body going numb...or my brain...but I think next week if I feel like that again, I'm might..MIGHT try to stay in longer.  Since I"m the slowest one, I am in the water the longest but maybe I need more time in for myself to help with my temp threshold.
Got out and Gords wife Cathy put a towel around me.  It is nice having a cheering section when you are finishing no matter how few it is.  Makes you feel good.  I was happy I did it even though I was freezing cold and could feel the shakes coming on quickly.

Gordon made a comment before the swim that the drive out of BL is the best drive after a swim.  He's right!
Thanks guys and I'll see you next week.
200 yards today.