Thursday, December 13, 2012

13Dec12 - Going out with a BANG!

Something happened today that I can honestly say I've been dreaming about for over a year.  Today I swam an Ice Mile!  I swam one mile in 41 degree F water for one mile.  Only thing I had was a cap, goggles, and a speedo.  No help was give or aid rendered during the swim.  This is THE pinnacle of cold water swimming achievements and I did it!!!
Gords and me before swim

Here is how it went.....
I start prep surgery tomorrow and chemo starts Monday so I knew this was my last cold water swim of the year.  MAYBE I could get one short one in between my 1st and 2nd round of chemo but I'm not holding my breath on it.  I just wanted to get one more cold swim in.  I posted on Facebook that I was going to the marina one last time for a short swim.  Lucky for me Josh and Gordon showed up.
I did a temp reading and it said 41 degrees.
USP official water temp = 41!

I DID think...well if I do try the ice mile, this is what it will be like.  I told myself that I mainly wanted to just do 2 laps that would equal 1/2 mile.  If I did that then we'll see but doubtful.  We all got in and I did some heads up to get adjusted.  I finally swam normal but could only do 30 strokes at a time because my face hurt too much.  It finally adjusted after the 1st lap.  I did the 2nd lap and my feet hurt and hands were REALLY in pain but I felt fine otherwise.  I was seriously considering calling it good and I'll do it next season but something inside of me just snapped.  GO AND DO IT NOW YOU P***Y!!!  Meh, let's see what happens.
Finishing 2nd lap...halfway there
  I did another lap.  It was halfway down the 3rd lap when I noticed I was starting to get more and more affected by the cold.  My stroke was slowing and I was struggling with intense salt water leaking into my goggles. I got back to finish my 3rd lap and I really had to focus to start my 4th and final lap.
3rd lap finish
  I could already tell that it would be a severe mountain to climb physically and mentally.  Words will never be able to describe the level of pain I felt when I started back.  I actually felt THE moment when my brain switched from "fun cold swimming" to okay....this is officially survival mode.  The blood from my feet and ankles had receded and my hands were just dead weights.  My chest felt fine but I could tell my body was going numb and my core temp was dropping.  I had to dig deep.  A beautiful but profane thing happened at the same time.  My body was numb and definitely on shut down mode but my mind started to get VERY active.  I started to get mad...real MAD.  This is my last shot at this for an entire year.  I'd do more but F-ing cancer is taking it away from me.  I then was chanting the full words, "F Cancer...F U Cancer"!!! over and over.  It worked.  I was so stinking mad that I started to swim faster.
4th lap....all those bubbles are my probably my profanity
4th lap turnaround...getting dark.  Home stretch now!

It was getting dark when I got out and the air temp was quickly dropping which only made it worse when I got out.  Gordon and Josh were there cheering me on like mad men! It was great to have them there.  I tried to get up but my legs were dead.  I couldn't feel my feet and Gordon had to help me out.  They dried me off then put me in Josh's van with the heater on full.  It did NOTHING.  I had piles of clothes and towels on me but I was too cold to notice.  Luckily there is a shower facility at the marina with hot water so Josh drove us there.  He turned the shower to warm and I sat in the car for several more minutes shaking violently and moaning from the pain I was in.  The recovery was BRUTAL.  I've never felt pain like that.  Pure pain right down to your literal bones are in pain!
Thawing out

Lovin' that hot water!...and the speedo I borrowed from Josh. ( I actually forgot mine)


They had to help me to the shower where I just sat there and let the warm water slowly thaw me out.  As I got warmer, I turned the water up warmer.  I can honestly say that this was the first solo warm shower I've had in several months.  Normally I hate hot showers but under these conditions it felt GREAT!
I had SO many reasons that I wanted to do this and I was just as amazed and shocked as Josh and Gords that I did it on what is technically a "whim" of me wanting to go out.  I never planned on doing this today...it just happened.
As I was warming up, a LOT of emotions about what this swim meant to me and all the mental and emotional pain I've been through the past few months came out.  I cried like a baby in front of my 2 friends and felt no shame in it.  I am comfortable enough with them that I didn't care.
I don't want to go through chemo and have something to "look forward to" when I'm recovered.  I want something I can LOOK BACK ON when I'm feeling miserable and use that as motivation to get better.  I need to submit some paperwork but I should be the 6th person in America to ever do this type of swim since the IISA was established.
I can't thank my friends Gordon and Josh enough for being there today and helping me.  There is no way I would have made it without you two.  The help you gave me when I needed it was beyond friendship.  I just keep thinking about how the 3 of us met just less than 2 years ago to do a 200 yard "cold water swim" at a lake when the water was 49!  LOL  That's a joke!  Look at how far we have come as friends, swim partners, and cold water enthusiasts.  It's been a hell of a ride to get to this point and I'm glad you 2 were there the whole time.
Official swim route

Distance - 1 mile
Water Temp - 41 degrees F
Air Temp - 50.5 at start.  Below 45 at finish.
Wind Temp - 35 degrees
Time in water - approx 40 min.
Time from water entry to full recovery - 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Here are their accounts.
Josh - Utah Open Water
Gordon - Gords Swim Log

Here is the video Gordon made.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

8Dec12

I was planning on doing 2 cold water swims today but I never got info on the first swim so I was only able to meet in the GSL today.  Anne already wanted to come and I had to talk Kim into it but she agreed.
Met at the marina at 1500 and there were 8 swimmers there including 3 new people.  My friends Kim and Anne were there and another guy I met at the VA hospital that drew my blood a few weeks ago.  I was impressed he was there.  His name is Alan and most people talk about going out but few do.  He actually stuck to his word and wanted to try it.
Safety briefing
SNOW!!!

The water measured 43 and to add to the fun, it was lightly snowing on us.  After a safety briefing, we all got in.  Sue and Josh went to the far end of the marina but Kim didn't want to venture out that far so she stayed near the ramp.  No problem.  It did take her awhile to get in.  She got up to her thighs and just stood there complaining about how cold she was getting.  It WAS 43!  I "gently" coaxed her into the water telling her that the sooner she gets in and starts moving, the faster she warms up and will be getting out.
Sue is eager to get in.  She truly loves doing this as much as Josh and I do.

Getting in

Anne stayed near us and we chatted a bit to make the 10 min requirement easier.
Anne was handling the cold very well...at least she was faking it really well.  She later told me she was pretty miserable but put on a good face.  Kim reminded me twice that she is only doing this to show her support for me having cancer.  I'll take it!
Anne, me, and Kim

 Alan was at the other end with Sue and Josh and a few others.  He did great.  Everyone hit 10 minutes and Alan, Kim, and Anne all earned a cap!
Getting out...love the lobster look!

It took me next to no time to warm up.  I chatted with some of the swimmers in the parking lot but by the time I had driven out of the Saltair area and was on the highway, I was fine.
I've really been impressed with not only the number of caps we have given out this year, but also the number of people that keep coming back.  We have more repeat swimmers than I ever imagined.  I'm loving the fact that so many people are joining us and enjoying the exhilaration of cold water swimming.  KEEP COMING!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

4Dec12

My "ghost fan" Anne texted me last night saying she was going to the pool and I should join her.  She's wiser than me so I agreed.  Alarm went off at 0430 and I used to be really eager to get out of bed and go swimming but today it was tough.  I had to talk myself into it.
Got to the pool and was in the water at 0500.  Water temp was 78.  It was really nice.  There were a lot of people there this morning.  When you swim at a place long enough at the same time, you get to know people well enough.  They all joked when they saw me and called out to me that the water was too cold and it was just right for me.  The water was colder than normal but still too warm for my liking!
Did 500 WU
6 x 50 K
200 heads up breast
500 easy CD

1500 total

This afternoon is the GSL so I'll get some more yards in there.

Met with Gords at the GSL today.  We were getting ready when Jim pulled up.  The 3 of us got in and when we were halfway down the marina, Josh arrived.  The 4 of us were enjoying the swim.
Jim, me, and Gords doing what I normally do in a pic...look like an idiot!
 Water was cold but bearable.  It was 45-46 degrees.  My hands bugged me more than usual today but the rest of me felt fine.  I got out with Gords at 16 min.  I was okay with that.  I plan on doing a good amount of swimming in the cold this weekend.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

1Dec12 - Back to the cold!

Met with Gords, Josh, Sue, her husband Todd, and son Ryan and another newcomer Vicky.  Potential for 3 new caps today.  I was excited. 
I haven't been in the cold water much since I had surgery recently but since I was cleared Wed to swim and I did swim yesterday morning, I knew I had to come out.  I really was just hoping to get in and make it a few minutes but I was already completely mentally okay if I didn't last long.
 
After a quick pic, we all got in.  I was walking behind Todd and told him I was REALLY tempted to splash his back!  The water was 47 and it felt cold but nowhere near as bad as I expected.  The youngster Ryan got in and Gords, Josh, and I agreed since he is 11 to cut his time down to only 5 min.  He made it!  We were all encouraging him and it was awesome to see he stuck it out and got it done.  Todd made it too so we have our first OFFICIAL WFPBC family!  Nice job all.  I'm seriously impressed.
The new people got out but Sue was trying for 20 min.  We all stayed in with her and did another 1/2 lap down the marina.  The four of us just chatted and joked around.  It was great.  My fingers were in some serious pain but the rest of me was 100% fine.  I honestly was a bit surprised that I was doing as well as I was.  Felt like I hadn't missed a beat.  We all got out at 21 min.  So I got 21 min in 47 degrees after taking several weeks off.  When we were dried off and heading back to the cars, I hadn't started to shake yet.  It took me a bit to start and when I did, it didn't seem to last long.  I shook for probably 15 min at the most until I was completely fine. 
All this is doing is reaffirming my dream of doing the ice mile.  I'm hoping the temps keep steadily dropping and I hope I can keep handling it so well.  I know I could have stayed in for 30 min easy but I didn't want to do anything stupid on my first day back.  20 min was fine and the others were getting out so I was too.  Play it smart.  I keep thinking if I can last 30 min while just wading around and doing some light breast stroke, I should be fine doing free for 30 min or more when I'm moving and kicking a ton more.  I just gotta keep goggles from fogging!!!
***Went out for dinner last night to a steak place for a big family dinner/birthday celebration.  I ordered a 20oz. prime rib with 2 large side items.  I destroyed the whole thing including the sides and the rest of my sister in laws steak too when she said she was done.  I was STILL hungry!!!   Now THAT is another benefit of ice swimming, you burn TONS of calories then you can eat like a wild-man and feel ZERO guilt!  hehe**

Friday, November 30, 2012

30Nov12 BACK

I was cleared Wednesday by my Dr. to go swimming.  I will go to the Cancer Hospital for treatment soon enough so I have a small window now where I know I can swim before treatment starts. I really have no idea yet how my treatment will go, how I will handle it, or how long it will take so I jumped on this opportunity.  I called Kim last night and she was up for it.  Neither one of us have been swimming much so it was nice to meet up.
Got to the pool at 0500 and after some deck chat, I got in.  Did 10 x 50 on the minute.  I hit :45 or under for each so not bad.  We then did 10 x 50 kicking with decent rest between.  Did 100 CD.
I really didn't care about the quality of the workout.  I never really pushed myself or tried to put any real effort into the swim.  I was just glad to be be swimming.  The past few months have been really tough on me mentally so just going out and doing something I love so much was such a relief.  My mind was happy and it made all the difference in the world.  I have noticed that my swimming abilities have decreased "slightly" since my last real training days.  hehe  It was fun and a great time none the less.  I'm thankful Kim came out.  I'm hoping to squeeze a few more weeks out and hopefully I won't get too sick from chemo to keep me from swimming more.
I AM going out Saturday to the GSL and plan on staying in for awhile.  Now THAT will be very mentally therapeutic for me.

1100 yards total .....  That's normally barely my warmup!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

24Nov12

We had a "White Saturday" swim at the GSL marina today.  Gordon organized this event and we've all been plugging this day for awhile now.  We were hoping to get a few new people out to join us and all of us were amazed with the turnout we got.  Not counting the regular 4 that are there (Gordon, Josh, Jim, and me) we gave out 6 caps today!  Only 2 people got in and got out.  One was Gords' son who was promised $5 to just get in.  He earned it.  Josh's wife Sabrina ran in and ran out.  She was screaming the whole way.  Once she got out, she had her towel and the FIRST thing she said was, "That wasn't so bad"!  :)
 
I even somehow convinced my boss to come.  She is really big into fitness and trying new things so I kept telling her how much fun she would have.  I'm honestly amazed, considering how tiny and skinny she is, that she made the whole 10 minutes.  Everyone was impressed when they saw that she earned her cap too.
Unfortunately, I'm still unable to get into the water so I just go up to my creamy thighs to encourage people and tell times so they knew when to come back in.  I helped people get out if they needed it but made a point to shake everyone's hand and tell them, "Congratulations Polar Bear" as they were getting out!  I honestly was thrilled beyond words we got such a good turnout and so many people were able to earn a cap today.  I really hope the fun they had spreads and the new people will encourage all of their friends to try it out.
Although I didn't get to swim any, I did stay leg deep in 48 degree water for 18 min straight.  Still barely bugged me.  Maybe I'm not getting as soft with the cold as I am fearing!

Great day and great event!

Friday, November 9, 2012

8Nov12

I had some time to kill before a family get together in Salt Lake so I went by the GSL again.  I knew I had a half an hour in the water if I timed it right.  Got to the marina and got right in after a temp reading.  Same as Tuesday, 56....too warm!
I adjusted quickly but just mainly floated around and relaxed.  Spent a LOT of time just floating on my back.  I got to the marina opening and the wind was moving the water around pretty good so I just laid there and waited to see where it would take me.  The current carried me clear out of the marina and into the GSL main body.  I just hung out for awhile then VERY slowly made my way back in.  It was so relaxing to be out there.  Not one hint of ever being cold.  I can honestly say now that mid 50's water has ZERO affect on me.  I was wishing I had more time or had planned for an actual swim because I would have gone out much farther.  I'm just still playing it safe since my back is still a bit messed up and I was alone out there.  It is EXTREMELY unlikely but it would be really embarrassing for our club if the safety officer for it drowned due to hypothermia!
I got out after about 25 min.  The wind was strong so my body cooled when I got out.  I got to the fresh water hose to rinse off and the water actually felt warm!  I couldn't help but laugh at this.
I'm glad I went and after all the crap that has been dumped on me the past several weeks, these mental breaks are very therapeutic.

600 yards....although most of it was back floating and drifting!

6Nov12

Since Gords is running a swim meet this weekend, he requested that our weekly WFPBC swim be moved up to Tuesday.  Not a problem!  Met Gords, Josh, and Jim at the marina around 1630.  Chad was there too but can't swim since he is getting shoulder surgery soon.  Josh was wearing an old time swim suit.  It was pretty awesome to be honest.  He completes his set with some antique goggles too. 

Temp read around 56 so we all just got in.  We did the usual swim, wade, talk, wade, talk, repeat.  It was nice.  We were all at the end of the marina when a private school had their rowing team coming out.  3 crew boats with high school kids from Waterford Academy were heading out to practice.  It was funny when the person that gives directions and stroke rate started screaming at them to watch out for us.  There were 3 crews and all of them did the same thing.  Relax guys!  It's easier for us to move around you then the other way around.  We see you and you see us....we are good!
We all got out after about 20 min.  Another beautiful swim.
400 yards OW

Saturday, November 3, 2012

1Nov12

Met with Gords and Josh at the GSL marina.  Temp reading I got was 56.  1 degree more than last week.  It's been a warm week so I wasn't surprised.  I got real comfy last week so I figured I would be fine and I could stay in longer.  I wasted no time and got in.  Water felt great.  I adjusted very fast then Gords wanted to take some pics of me.  He did a photoshop for a flyer he is putting together for our club.
Looks legit!
 Gords and Josh soon got in and we all just hung out.  They clearly were unadjusted from last year.  I keep with the cold showers and staying cold as much as I can.  They suffered like men then adjusted.  We all hung out for about 20 min when Miles Pomeroy joined us.  He heard about us and did a clinic with our group last year.  It's great seeing new people and I hope he keeps coming back.  He did great.
Me with Miles

I swam near the end of the marina twice.  It was mainly when I got a bit cold....which was 25 min apart!  Only took 2 min and I was fine again.  Felt great to be back in the cold sharing something fun with my friends.  I really do appreciate Gords, Josh, and Jim.  They make being miserable and cold a LOT more fun!

Around 500 yards....I guess!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

25Oct12 - CAPS

The custom made swim caps are here!  They got here yesterday and they look GREAT!!!  They are exactly how I wanted them and the silicone is of good quality.  I haven't tried them in the water yet but I put one on at the dinner table and it was perfect.

These are the caps that can be earned for anyone that wants to join us.  The requirements are:

4 ways to get a cap: 

1. 5 jumps into the water when it's under 50. Must go fully under. No time limit.  You can just run in, dunk, and run out. Must be on 5 seperate dates.

2. 10 min swimming up to neck under 50 degrees. I'm not going to require a full head submersion for swimming ones. If you do heads up breast stroke for the whole swim, it will count.

3. 5 min swimming under 40 degrees

4. 2 min swimming under 35 degrees

A more detailed explanation is HERE.


The founding members of the WFPBC have all met the requirements and will automatically get a cap.  Ours will also have our names on it. Sweeeeeeeet!

Come out and join us and earn your cap!!!

UPDATE

This afternoon I met Jim and his grandson at the GSL.  Water temp read 55.  I gave Jim his new silicone cap and I put mine on.  They are really good quality and look GREAT on us!  :P
There were some people from Boston there watching us and saying we were nuts.  (It's always funny to see people looking at us when they are in thick clothing, jackets, wool hats, etc and we are standing next to them in only a Speedo and THEY are the ones shivering!)  They said there is a group in Boston that goes for a swim yearly on New Years Day.  Seems to be a trend!
As usual, Jim wasted no time and got right in.  I was 20 seconds behind him.  He said the water felt much colder than it did last week.  It did feel a bit colder but I adjusted quickly.
I go through this cycle on a regular basis.  When I'm at home and thinking about doing the ice mile, I tell myself that I can do it, I'll be fine.  Then when I get to the marina, I start to get a bit nervous.  I get in and I'm REALLY cold for about 15 seconds then I start adjusting.  During that adjustment period I'm thinking, "WTF was I thinking??  It's easy to think I can swim in ice water when I'm inside and WARM!  I can't do the ice mile.  I'm MISERABLE right now!  It's too cold and it's too hard to do!"  As soon as these thoughts make their rounds, I am adjusting and start thinking it's not so bad.  Then after a few minutes, I truly feel fine and I could stay there for several hours and never get uncomfortable.  I then start feeling confident about doing the ice mile again.
 Jim and I both swam to the marina opening then very slowly floated our way back while chatting.  When I got near the boat ramp, I didn't want to get out.  My hands were a TINY bit chilly but otherwise I felt 100% warm.  I just laid on my back and floated there for awhile.  I know it's just the beginning of our season but I can't believe that 55 degree water brings NO discomfort to me after a few short minutes.  Most "normal" people would be freezing half to death and there I am in only a Speedo, spread eagle on the water with my eyes closed thinking I could take a nap like this if I relaxed my mind enough!
I had to get out but had full motor control of my hands.  Got some small shivers on the way home but nothing out of the ordinary. 

Was a great day today.  Lake is 55 degrees and will probably be slowly dropping as the weeks pass.  I plan on going more than once a week to get my body prepared.  


18Oct12

This is a week late!
Went to the GSL after work.  Took a temp reading and it was 60.2 degrees.  Beautiful.  By next week it will be below 60!!  I got in and the nerve between my eyes stung for a bit and I was without a swim cap.  My head hurt for the first few minutes.  I left the marina and headed to the first buoy.  I did not have a cap on, my SSD, or any feeds so I just turned around and swam back in.  I haven't been swimming at ALL the past few weeks so I took it easy.  I only care about going out each week and getting myself used to the cold all over again.  I'm off to a good start.  Still refuse to take hot showers.  I seriously hate them now.  I did have to put really hot water on my left shoulder last week because I strained a muscle.  Still hurts.
This is the beginning of my weekly trips out there.

500 yards OW....I guess!

Monday, October 1, 2012

1Oct12 -WFPBC start!

Okay, the "official" season for the WFPBC has started as of today.  I'm planning on putting on a few lbs this winter for some insulation and growing my beard out.  As of now, I'm 210lbs and have a "small" belly.  I don't know what weight I'll stop but my wife is obviously supporting me since I came home to a gallon of eggnog in the fridge and some pumpkin flavored pop-tarts!  Wow I love her!!!
I have parent-teacher conference Thursday so I won't be able to make our first meeting.  Kind of a pisser but my job is more important.
Hopefully the caps will be here soon and I can start handing them out.  Although it's doubtful, I'm secretly hoping we run out of them this year.

Friday, September 28, 2012

28Sep12- WFPBC

Around this time last year, Gordon and I were standing alone after a swim in the GSL chatting.  A thought had crossed my mind but he came right out and said it.  "How would you feel about coming down here once a week for the whole winter for a swim"?  I was already in!  Last year was a great success and on that note...........
The new winter season for the Wasatch Front Polar Bear Club is almost here!  I'll admit I'm pretty excited about it.  I plan on doing a lot of cold water swimming this year and 1Oct is when the season begins.  We will all meet every Thursday at the Saltair marina throughout the whole winter until the end of March.  COME JOIN US!!!  I plan on going out on most Tuesdays and Saturdays from the Antelope marina.
Since we are trying to get more people out to join us (and a CASH prize didn't work!), we are going to offer special made silicone swim caps.  There will be requirements to get one.  These caps will not be given out for just showing up.  They must be earned.  This is to hopefully get people to come out more than once and for us to make new friends with swimming.  There really is a special bond with people who do these swims together.

 Only ONE requirement met is needed to get a cap!  The requriements will be:

4 ways to get a cap: 

1. 5 jumps into the water when it's under 50. Must go fully under. No time limit.  You can just run in, dunk, and run out. Must be on 5 seperate dates.

2. 10 min swimming up to neck under 50 degrees. I'm not going to require a full head submersion for swimming ones. If you do heads up breast stroke for the whole swim, it will count.

3. 5 min swimming under 40 degrees

4. 2 min swimming under 35 degrees
**************Allowed to wear for qualifying*********************
Any goggles
Any cap including thermal - we all did it last year!
brief or thigh covering speedo
thermal gloves
thermal booties or small fins like Jim wears
*****************NOT allowed*************************
torso wetsuit
more than 2 caps at a time
long fins
Those that want to get into to IISA (like I'm training for), those are a seperate set of rules. 
The 5 "founding members" are Gordon Gridley, Josh and Jake Green, Jim Hubbard, and Goody Tyler IV.  We will be the one who validate all swims and will reward the cold water swimmer accordingly.
No "honorary caps" will be given for any A-list swimmer that comes and joins us.  They must earn theirs too like everyone else.
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT SAFETY IS STILL OF THE HIGHEST IMPORTANCE. 
Everyone is encouraged to join us and I sincerely hope we get 100 people a week showing up!  BUT if anyone is swimming beyond their ability or starts showing any signs of the cold getting to them, they will be pulled immediately and the swim will not count.  Your life is NOT worth a swim cap!
Be responsible too please!  Bring lots of warm clothes, towels, and some blankets with you if you are new to this.  There is a MAJOR adjustment period and the best way to get better at cold water swimming and tolerance of it is coming out regularly. 
We will have a kayak with us if needed and life saving devices.  All new swimmers will get a safety briefing on where to swim, how to swim, when to get out and proper warm up procedures.  (Yes, warming up the wrong way can kill you!!!)
A complete safety list is being made and all the founding WFPBC members will have a copy with them at every swim.  This is to ensure that proper safety measures are followed for every swim.
Let the season of red skin and "anatomy change" BEGIN!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

24Sep12 - Announcement

I'm done with training for awhile.  The OWHOF conference this weekend was great.  I got to meet a TON of people I admire and got to refocus myself on some swimming ideas.  I was getting a bit behind on my end of year goal of 500 miles.  If  I were to meet that goal, I'd have to swim daily over 4000 yards.  Just like last year, mentally I need a break.  I still love swimming but it's becoming a chore now instead of something I love and look forward to doing.  I still plan on swimming but getting up daily to "get my yards in" just so I can say for 2 seconds that I hit 500 miles isn't worth it to me.  I'll go over 400 which is still good.  I'm going to prep myself for cold water swimming soon.
My main thought is that if I keep going the way I am with yards per day to meet my end of year goal, by the time I get the goal, it will be a new year and I'm going to start training seriously again for more marathon swims.  I would be burned out for sure and it would take a serious toll on my training or care of swimming for next summer.
I'll still get up to swim once and awhile so I don't completely lose it but I just need a break to let my body 100% recover from all the work this year...(I still feel some aches that I know I've gotten from so much swimming the past few months) and to let my mind relax from thinking about swimming so much.  I've talked with other ultra marathon swimmers and they say they all do the same thing.  Some even take several months off with ZERO swimming to relax their mind and let their body fully reset.  I'm just going to take a few lights months is all.
I still consider this year a better year than last year.  I've gone farther than ever before for miles accumulated for the year, had some AMAZING swims with some of the best friends in swimmig I could ever hope for, and had my heard DESTROYED by swimming too.  Good year overall.
I'll still post when I've done swim workouts.  I'm not cashing it all in by any means, I'm just going to pull the reins back some is all.

20Sep12

Got in around 0430 and just swam.  I just focused on going non stop until Karen showed up at 0500.  I got in over 30 laps when she arrived.  It was nice to just swim with not worrying about intervals or anything else.  Helped her swim some more while I swam more too.
I don't know exactly what I did but it was mainly slow 50's then some butterfly mixed in.

2500 total

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

19Sep12

In the pool at 0430.

500 WU
250 K
250 Pull

 I then did butterfly by the 25 or 50 nice and easy.  Karen showed up a bit after 0500 so I was helping her and doing some of my own swimming.  I did get some hypoxic training in which was nice.  Hurt like hell but I did it.  I also did a 100 fly trying to go SLOW.  I ended up with 1:35.  2 thoughts occurred to me when I saw this time:
1) I was seriously trying to go slow and even did a dead man float for 1/2 second after each pull and I barely did a 1 stroke kick and not once did a 2 kick per stroke like you are supposed to but still got a decent time, so even when trying to go slow, I still end up with a good pace.
2) Maybe I should have been a butterfly guy this whole time!  The way I'm built, if I had actually trained to be a flyer, I maybe could have been a serious competitor in fly events.  (Not just locally)
 The 100 fly didn't make me tired.  I'm going to start stepping up my total fly I do each workout and the total distance I'll go without stopping each week.  I was planning on starting this in January but I don't mind doing fly and it mixes up the HORRIBLE boredom of pool swimming.

I stopped with 50 clicks on my finger timer so 2500 total today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

18Sep12

Getting up today wasn't that bad.  I was not "eager" to get to the pool but it didn't seem to be as much of a chore as yesterday.  I'm hoping this trend continues.
I decided to keep it easy for memory.
Ladders by 50 up to 400 repeat then back down.
This left me at 3600
I did 200 fly broken up by 25's with :10 RI - Held the stroke well but it was a bit tough.  I'm REALLY hoping that I can look back at this in a few months and laugh that I "struggled" to do 200 fly.
I then did 100 IM then 100 CD

4000 total

Decent workout today.  One MAJOR problem today was that the pool seemed hotter than normal.  The air was hot also.  I opened a bay door a tad to let some cool air in  Near the end of the workout, another swimmer got out and closed it.  I only had 200 left but the heat was still getting to me.  I got out and opened it again.  This made her mad.  Sorry lady but I'm slowing down considerably due to the heat and I'm getting a TINY bit light headed.  I had a drink with me but it wasn't helping anymore.  The Ogden Athletic Club pool is just too hot for me.  It's becoming a bigger problem and I'm flirting with the idea of finding another pool where the temp isn't below "hardboil and egg" temp.
It's just unhealthy.
We all have our fantasies about what we would do if we were rich or had a million bucks.  Honestly, my #1 thing I'd do is make a 25M or 50M pool that's only 2 or 3 lanes and keep it at a cool temp.  Lap swimmers ONLY would be allowed in  The temp would be at MOST 65 and lowest around 58.  If it's too cold for you, then swim elsewhere.  I'd charge a minimal fee to use the pool but as long as you were swimming, you could be in as long as you want.  ANY complaint about the temp and I would give you your money back then ban you for life.  I'm really hoping I can do this one day.  Being able to swim in a 50 M pool that is 65 degrees as long as I want would be fantastic!  Hell, I'd even allow some of my close swimming buddies to swim there for free because I know they would never whine about the temp!  They'd LOVE it!!!  My kind of peeps.
It just annoys me at times when I'm lying down by the open door letting 50 degree air blow on me when I'm wet just so I can cool off from the pool and people are complaining they are cold.

Monday, September 17, 2012

17Sep12

Despite only getting to bed at midnight last night because of a sick kid, I still go up at 0400 and was at the pool at 0430.  I'm sure the Z-Monster will come get me around 1500 today. 
Did 500 WU
250K
250 Swim
Then did some 50 fly nice and easy with plenty of rest between 50's.  Just seeing what my time is.  When I swam slow with minimal effort, I got :46.  This actually surprised me.  I then decided to try a 50 as slow as possible and got :53.  I was trying to get it to a minute but was still :07 under.  Oh well.  It was a fun experiment.
Around 0500, Karen showed up.  Since the Army had us move away from each other so many years ago, we average about one lesson every 3-4 years.  Her last lesson was 2 years ago.  We used to swim together a couple of times a week when we were stationed together but life happens.  It's fun regardless swimming with her.  She kept going on and on about how terrible she was going to be.  Amazingly enough she was pretty good.  I just swam easy 50's mostly underwater watching her stroke then giving her some drill work.  Since my muscle effort was at a minimum, I decided to do some hypoxic training so I could get something out of it.  I limited how often I would breath with every 25/50.  This was great and my lungs were kinda pissed at me towards the end.  GOOD!
Karen takes instruction pretty well and genuinely tries to do what I tell her to do.  The altitude was getting to her and her breathing was pretty labored near the end.  She hung in there and swam pretty evenly throughout.  Nice job Karen!
Finished with 2000 total.  I'm officially behind my pace for my 500 miles before the end of the year goal.  I'm going to have to swim more often and for more yards each time.

2000 yards 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

15Sep12 - GSL

Picked Kim up today at 0600 with my long time friend Karen.  Karen is in town for a week and visiting and she wanted to paddle for one of my swims.  I won't say how long we've been friends since I don't want her to punch me but lets just say it's been awhile!
Starting off
 Got to the GSL on Antelope Island around 0645 and we got ready.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day and the sun was just creeping over the mountains as we were getting in.  The water was a bit chilly but by the time I took 5 strokes, I was fine.
Hour 1

Seriously, is there anything more beautiful to be looking at while swimming?

We got out of the marina cove and into the GSL.  We decided to head NW for an hour and 1/2 then just turn around and come back.  We had about a 1/2 knot push behind us which was nice.  After the first few minutes of swimming, Kim was slowing down quite a bit sporadically.  She said that the some of the short cold currents we were going through were really bothering her.  She pushed on and after the first hour, we decided to head east against the current so our swim back to the marina wouldn't be as bad.  It was pretty choppy and I could definitely feel that I had to swim harder to move.
Doin' some fly!
 I was having a BLAST.  I did some butterfly for awhile, backstroke, side stroke, and I even chocked on water because I was laughing at how much fun I was having.  We were getting tossed all over the place and I was loving it.  I was alone in that boat.  Kim was not having fun and started to struggle.  She was taking in water and water kept going up her nose.  GSL water in your nose is BAD...  After an hour we headed back to the marina.  Kim said she was done and wanted to head in.  She felt bad that we were cutting our swim short but I could care less when safety is concerned.  After a few minutes, Kim really started to feel bad and pulled up thinking she was going to throw up.  I swam up next to her and told her to "go for it" because it would make her feel better.  She kept trying to swim but she got worse and worse.  Finally Karen suggested that Kim hold on to the back of the kayak and she would "tow" her in.  Kim accepted and I was solo swimming while Karen paddled with the most "unique rudder" I've ever seen!
Isn't that nice!  Karen was struggling so Kim helped push her along. hehe
 This did allow me to pick it up some but soon it was apparent that I needed to slow down to stay with Karen and Kim because pulling someone while going into a current tends to slow you down.  The water got progressively calmer as we got closer.  When we got inside the cove, Kim let go and took off in a full sprint to the boat ramp.  She was freezing and Karen ditched us because she had needed to relieve herself for the past 2 hours!  We all finished up and my total distance was 5.2 miles.  It was a bit shorter than I had planned but safety is most important so I honestly did not care.
Hour 2 of her "getting in"!

Back floating Karen

Once Karen was ready, she wanted to HONESTLY say she has swam in the GSL.  She had a suit on and got in....it took FOREVER....but she eventually got in.  She did a back float then a short doggie paddle swim about 10 feet.  It counts!  I then talked her into putting a mouth full of GSL water and immediately spitting it out.  She reacted like most people do.  "THAT'S DISGUSTING!  How do you swim in this for so long"?
Ahhh, the GSL.  She ain't much to look at and she smells a bit, but she's my baby!

Total today was 5.2 OW
DONE!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11Sep12

Met Kim at 0500 again today.
Almost same workout as yesterday but didn't end on a silly number this time.

500 WU
500 K
500 Pull N/S
200 swim
200 IM
200 swim
200 mixed by 50 fly, 50 back, 50 fly, 50 free
200 free CD

2500 total

Anne met up with us at 0530 but she did her own thing.  All 3 of us did chat for a bit.  I have a scheme in my head of a swim I want to do for next year but it's going to take some planning and some SERIOUS training on my end.  Anne and Kim know of it because it would involve them but both are nice enough to keep quiet about it for now.  If it looks like it's going to happen, I'll announce it on my "Swimmers New Years Resolutions" post on 1Jan13.

I need to keep going to the pool and doing at least 2k daily.  Last month I was 20 miles ahead of pace for my end of year goal.  Now I'm right at it or a TINY bit behind before adding my yards each day.  I was hoping to be done by the end of Nov so I could take all of Dec completely off but I'll have to figure some distances out if that's going to happen.

Monday, September 10, 2012

10Sep12

Met Kim at the pool at 0500.  Just going to do some medium workouts each day so I keep my arms moving but don't push it too much to make me tired for Saturday.

500 WU - tried to start a bit faster than normal to represent what it will be like on Sat
500 K
500 Pull - negative split.  Did a good pace for 2nd 250
100 swim
100 IM - normal
100 swim
100 IM - fast
100 - LITTLE hypoxic training doing 3-5-3 breathing for last 100
100 CD

2100 total....HATE ending on such a stupid number.  lol

Saturday, September 8, 2012

7Sep12 - GSL

I returned to my favorite lake today.  It's been awhile since I've been in the Great Salt Lake and I forgot how much I missed it.  She's just such a unique and beautiful body of water.  I also forgot how tough it is to swim in there!  I immediately found 2 hot spots where I didn't put enough grease on.  I had to change my breathing pattern back to minimal exposure in water again.  The brine shrimp were pretty good size and they were EVERYWHERE.  The flies weren't so bad but I had to breathe out of my armpit if I didn't want to eat a few on accident....which I did.  yuck!
Did a Gridley Straight then back.  It was such a beautiful day.  I could have gone for more but the last 1/4 mile, all I could think about was food!  That's normally my queue that I'm about to crash if I don't get some in me soon.  Finished well and did whole thing in under an hour.  No one to chat with so I just got right to it.
I'd recommend waiting a bit longer before going there.  Let the shrimp clear out some.  It was cloudy and filled with shrimp the whole swim.  It was great being in the lake again but conditions have definitely been better.

2 miles OW

Another thought kept popping into my head.  Soon......sooooooooooon it will be getting cold and the WFPBC will be back!!!  I'm going to take my training of cold water to the next level this year.  I did it last year for fun and bonding with my swim friends but this year I have definite goals.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

6Sep12 - UGH!

Alarm went off at 0400 and I took my sweet time getting ready then to the pool.  Words can NOT express how unmotivated I was to swim today.  It was a constant battle to just get myself going.  I haven't felt this unwilling to swim in a LONG time.  If it wasn't for Bear Lake relay on the 15th, I would have gone back to bed.
Got in at 0445 and just made up my workout as I went along

1000 WU
500 K
100 swim
100 IM
100 swim
100 IM
100 swim
4 x 50 IM order with :10 RI
300 K
500 swim CD

3000 yards total

I really REALLY hope that as I keep getting up early to swim, it will be easier and I'll actually look forward to it like I did earlier this year.  If today's trend continues, it's going to be a hell of a challenge to meet my end of year goal.

Monday, September 3, 2012

3Sep12

Got up at 0500 and picked up Kim at 0530.  Met Anne in the Pineview parking lot just short of 0600.
Sun still wasn't up enough to see safely so we waited a bit.  We were also expecting Chad but he never showed.  Around 0620 we headed in.  Air was chilly but the water was warmer so it was nice getting in.
Did the dam route first.  I was STIFF going out and shoulders were pretty upset with me.  After one dam route we did a buoy route then another dam route.  I could definitely feel the effects of my fasting yesterday.  My arms were just heavy the whole time.  I did feel good going out to the dam the 2nd time and was swimming well but my stomach cramped bad near the stop line and I had to "take care of it"....I hope this isn't becoming a habit!
Got done and my arms were pretty shot.  Kim was wiped out too.  Really glad I did it but man I'm tired now.

4.6 miles OW

Monday, August 27, 2012

27Aug12

Annie picked me up at 0500 and we were off to Pineview.  The sun is REALLY taking a long time to rise and we were planning on doing a dam route but she was on a tight schedule today.  First day of school for her kids so we had to be back early.  Late sunrise meant only doing a buoy route.
Water felt great but my shoulders were less than happy for 1/2 half.  I picked it up a bit on the way back and tried to keep up with her.  I did a decent job and wasn't too far behind when we got back to first buoy.  We added a little more and when we did our last little trip back, I went as strong as I could to keep up with her.  I was able to keep with her for this leg.  Granted, it was for only about 250 yards but I stuck with her.  My GPS said my pace for that section was under 26 min/mile.  Not bad.  I was wiped out after that and she was just fine!  Swam back in feeling glad I was able to be in the lake again.  It will be few and far between now that I'm starting work again tomorrow.

1.25 miles OW

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

22Aug12

Met Annie at the pool today at 0500.  I'm back teaching so I can't make the lakes in the AM anymore unless it's a day off or weekend.  My only shot will be after work on the way home at the GSL.  It's the first week back so I'm getting into the groove of things before cranking out some mileage again.  Plus, it's the first swim since Bear Lake so I wanted to do something easy.
Did 2 x 500 WU
500 K
ladders by 50 up to 250 repeat back down
Nice and easy.
2 things that really struck a cord with me:
1) All last winter I typically did 19-20 strokes per 25.  I am down to 17-18.  Even when I was "going slow" or "tired" I still held 17.  So I've dropped a stroke or 2 per length...NICE!
2) I got into the shower at the pool and put it on cold.  It used to make me hyperventilate a bit because it was so cold.  It was cold but a joke to me.  These daily cold showers are paying off.  I was actually pissed that it wasn't cold enough for me.  There was ZERO heat in it but it felt like nothing to me.  So THAT has come a long way too.

3000 yards

Sunday, August 19, 2012

18Aug12 - Bear Lake Swim


Got up at 0530 and got my gear ready.  The sink at this "room" was so small that I had to put the coffee pot into the sink to fill it up with water then pour the water from the coffee pot into my water bottles.  None of my bottles could fit in the sink and be under the faucet.  Left right at 0600 to Bear Lake.  Lang was going to be my paddler and he rode with me so we could talk logistics and how I like things done when I'm swimming.  It was pretty straight forward and we arrived there soon enough.  Got my gear and I was laughing as I realized I must have been the first to register because my number was 1.  Sweet.  Never been #1 before.  I just laughed that they better not expect anything because of it.  Loaded our kayaks into a trailer, loaded a bus then we took off for the 30 min drive to the start.  Lang and I got our gear together then we got in ready to go.

\  
Lang and me before bus ride


I got in and Chad and I laughed a bit as wetsuit swimmers got in and said they were cold.  It was 68!  Chad and I were nearly sweating!  Took what seemed like a long time to get started.  I was just eager to get going to get it over with.
The start

I started off at a nice even pace but it only took about 5 minutes to feel the 10 mile race from last week and the ton of yard work I did Thursday.  This might turn out to be a LONG day!  After about a mile and 1/2 I got relaxed and focused a lot on my stroke.  My stomach was killing me at about mile 3 so I had to stop and.....take care of it.  hehe  I was moving at a pretty good pace and the feeds seemed to come quickly.  Lang told me at one feed that we were already halfway and that I was really moving.  I believed him and picked my pace up some....not wise in hindsight!


The water felt great and I was feeling pretty good.  My arms and shoulders were sore but nothing too bad.
When I got to my 6th feed, Lang said I was under a mile to go.  I told him no more feeds and I did 100 strokes normal then 100 strokes fast.  After 8 rotations of this (which is 1600 strokes) I started to get tired but took a peak to realize we weren't very close to land after all.  I swam a bit more then Lang said we had about 300 yards left.  He could see the harbor "real close".  I went really hard for as long as I could then after 400 strokes, I needed a drink.  Lang said he was sorry but we were still a bit away.  I jokingly told him that his sense of distance is S**T.  lol   I was now tired...TIRED.  Turns out that I still had about a mile left.  I was too tired to put any speed in so I just swam as well as I could.  My last mile was probably pathetically slow.  We were near the harbor because a police boat got next to me to escort me to the finish area.  Too many boats were coming and going and they were afraid I was going to get run over even with Lang there....which I almost did I was later told.
Finished in 3:48.06.  Not the greatest time but I was TANKED the last mile because I was doing 100 stroke sprints over and over earlier.  When I got in, the lady there that was taking the official times told me Congrats on finishing my 3 big swims.  The race director came down and told me the awards ceremony was going to be in 2 minutes.  I thought I had "just made it" but I later found out that they were waiting for me.  lol
After the awards were handed out, the race director asked if I was there.  When I raised my hand, he told everyone about the UT triple crown and how I was the only one to do all 3 swim races with the longest swim for each race.  He handed me a trophy.  I was surprised but really happy.  I haven't won a trophy since I was a kid.  It says, "2012 UTAH OPEN WATER SWIMMING SERIES WINNER".  Pretty sweet. 
my paddler Lang and me


Chad and me - He got me by 8 min this time

I was pretty sore but got help loading my kayak.  All of us left soon after then met for lunch.  When we were standing in line, I asked Lang how long it will be until the cops show up. 
Couple of side notes.  2 things I'm proud of:
1) I never turned into a "diva" on Lang.  I did tell him his distance sighting sucked but never went off on him. 
2) I NEVER sighted for direction.  I relied only on Lang for direction.  This took a LOT of discipline.  Every time I got tempted to look up to see where we were heading, I just forced myself to relax and TRUST MY PADDLER!  It worked well.  Many buoys got broken off and were floating all over the place.  Lang didn't follow them but kept a straight line for the finish.  Thanks buddy!
It was another great time with my swim buddy Chad.  I really like swimming with him and doing event like this with him make it all the better.  I'm glad I met you and glad we do so much to help each other.  You do a lot more on your end than I do on mine so thanks.
The race needs to be a bit better organized with markings and the food at the end was a joke but overall it was a great swim. 
Be back next year!.....unless I'm doing something cooler!

17Aug12 - Big lake swim prep with small town racism

Even though I didn't swim this day, it's still worth typing about.
I left for Bear Lake to meet up with Chad and his crew at 1500.  The drive was real nice heading to Randolph, UT.  When I got there, I arrived well ahead of Chad and the rooms weren't ready so I had some time to kill.  This place Randolph is a SMALL town.  I asked if there was anything to do or anything exciting to see there.  The woman that ran the register, and was the cook at the local grease spoon AND reserved the cabins said with enthusiasm, "The 4H awards and displays are right down the road".  Why not!  I went and checked it out.  Killed as much time as I could then drove 20 min to get closer to Bear Lake and got a raspberry milkshake.  It was amazing.  Got back and the rooms were ready.  I stepped inside the "cabin" and realized that I have been in hotel bathrooms bigger than this place.  I actually went to see if they HAD a bathroom and fortunately they did.  VERY simple place to stay.  One double bed with about 1 foot on each side until it touched the wall.  One TV with 4 channels and the screen was about 12" attached to a VCR....yes a VCR! (found out later they only carry ONE VHS tape there.....pass!)  The wallpaper was of wolves and the clock was made out of a bear trap.  NICE!
Chad and his crew arrived.  I was hungry so we all went to the place called Gators right there.  It's bad enough that this place has SOOOOOO many small time stereotypes with it but they decided to put the cherry on top!
One of Chad's buddies is Xavier Lang.  He's a really great guy and a good paddler.  I've swam with him before as he's paddled and he knows his stuff.  He's also black which unfortunately in this case DOES mean something.
We were all sitting there eating and relaxing and not even a few minutes had passed when 2 police officers "randomly" showed up, got a soda then STOOD 2 FEET AWAY FROM LANG.  They stood there talking and acting casual for at least 5 minutes.  Lang is a former cop and so am I so it was extremely obvious what they were doing.  It was pathetic.  When they left, Lang just said he loves how small town cops act so tough and we then all joked about how obvious it was what they were doing.  I just asked (in a slightly higher volume so the whole restaurant could hear but could pretend that it was just for our table), "Gee, I wonder who got scared because they've never seen a black guy and felt the need to call the cops"!  We honestly all got a good laugh out of it but to be completely honest, I was embarrassed for those people and that town.  What a disgrace.  It's one thing to be a small town full of ignorant inbred hillbillies but it's another to hoist a flag as high as you can so everyone can see it too.
Anyhow.....we all got done then Chad was able to secure the last 2 "rooms" since the rest of the people in the world are wise enough to never stay there.  We stayed up a bit chatting but I got tired quickly and was off to bed for a long night of crappy sleep.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15Aug12

Annie picked me up this morning for an easy swim.  Pineview was beautiful as usual but really dark when we started.  We both were swimming a bit blind and just hoped we were going the right direction.   I wasn't sure how my shoulders would feel so we did just the buoy route 1 and 1/2 times.  My shoulders were TIGHT the first 1/2 mile and really unhappy.  They finally relaxed and I just swam a decent pace.  It was nice to be back in the water. 
One more swim until Bear Lake!

1.59 miles OW

Sunday, August 12, 2012

11Aug12 - Deer Creek

Since I was staying at my brother in law's cabin located at Bear Lake (ironically enough!), Patricia and I had to get up at 0400 to leave for Deer Creek.  The drive was good but I did get a bit worried when there was a massive line to get into the park.  I forgot my UT state pass so I had to pay $10.  Idiot me!
Got my bag and unloaded my gear.
Chad, Kate, and me

  Chad talked with me with some other friends I saw there as I got ready.  We had to wait around for what seemed like forever because they were scrambling to find another paddler.  Then the timers weren't ready.  The nice thing was that it allowed us to mingle and chat awhile. 
10 milers

Once we finally go underway, it took my usual 2 mile or so to get comfortable.  There was some confusion on one of the turns and people were turning too early and the official had to get them to go back.  It was just a bad spot for a buoy I guess.
I felt really good from mile 2-5 but then on the way back, my left shoulder started to hurt.  It hurt pretty bad at some points and I even had to change to breast stroke for about 30 seconds to give it a break.   It slowed me down but I was swimming well considering.  After about mile 8 I felt really good again.  I started to close in on my buddy Chad Starks who was about 5 minutes ahead of me.  When I got to the 5k turnaround marker, I knew I had 1.5 miles left.  I decided to go for broke.  I pushed myself really hard and held a strong pace and pull.  I started to close on Chad and was feeling good mentally about the possibility of passing him in the last few yards.  My body had other plans.  About 400 yards past the 1/2 mile marker, my body CRASHED.  I went for broke and I BROKE!  lol  I stopped to do some breast and recover a bit.  I then had to do 100 normal strokes then 100 faster all the way in.  Once I turned the corner to the finish line, I just coasted in.  I was spent.  I finished 5 minutes behind Chad but I finished with a time of 5.23!  This is about 53 minutes faster than my time last year.  So I once again DESTROYED my previous year's time like I did with the GSL 8 miler.  I felt really good and my goal was to finish under 5.30.
Finishing

Coming out
Me with Chad


Chad double checking that he had beaten me!

I was pretty tired but was happy with how I did.  I have the 2nd leg of being the first UT triple crown winner in the bag and now one more week and one more race to complete it.  It's close!!!
I did learn a few things on the swim.  I swam well considering my shoulder really hurt for awhile.  I did a lot better than last year so I'm definitely improving.
One thing I did a PISS POOR job of was trusting Patricia.  She was my paddler and I kept doubting her ability to navigate.  I would look up to spot far more than I needed.  In fact, even spotting ONCE is too many when you have a paddler with you.  I didn't trust her and even questioned her lines and it cost me time.  I need to let go of being in "control" when I'm swimming like this and just STFU, keep my head down, and swim!  Patricia did a fantastic job paddling for me and I ruined it some by questioning her and what she was doing.  She has just as much motivation as me to go in the straightest line from point to point as I do so I need to learn that THEN practice it!
Thanks for Jim for putting this together.  Thanks for Chad and my other friends I saw for being with me and swimming with me in such a great event.  Congrats on all your swims!  Most of all, THANK YOU to my wife for putting up with me waking her up at 0400, dragging her down to a lake to paddle for me for HOURS then when she is paddling for me, puts up with me when I turn into a "diva"....which I always seem to do!  You were great hon!!!

10 miles in 5 hours and 23 minutes.....NEXT!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

8Aug12

Picked up Kim and Annie early and off to Pineview.  We were in the water when the moon was still the main source of light on the lake.  Last swim before Deer Creek so we just did one mile.  It was very relaxed and casual.  I finished feeling sore and never warmed up.  It was just too short of a distance for my arms to be relaxed.
Nice easy fun swim.

1.03 miles OW

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

7Aug12

Picked up Anne Stanish today and headed to Pineview.  Just a dam route today nice and easy.  Felt a bit winded since I didn't sleep much last night and forgot to take my asthma meds.  Anne was doing great and was ahead of me in no time.  I didn't bother to try to catch up to her. 
1. She's much faster than me
2. I need to take it easy and not do anything to wear myself down that will impact me for Sat.
3. She's MUCH faster than me!
Overall it was a good swim and it was great watching the sunrise over the mountains.  Love swimming early in the morning with the sunrise.

1.77 miles OW

Monday, August 6, 2012

6Aug12

Headed to Pineview this morning for an easy swim.  I'm tapering down for Deer Creek 10 mile this Sat.  Did one dam route then a buoy route.  Felt good after the first mile and really happy to be in the water.  I did forget to grease so I have hot spots under both arms.  not fun!
Really wanted to do more but I gotta control myself this week with my miles and how I rest.

2.78 miles OW

Friday, August 3, 2012

3Aug12

Great swim today.  I got up around 0600 and left for Pineview.  I was going to get a long swim in with Chad but something came up and he couldn't make it.  I got there and when I was getting ready, I ran into Annie Stanish.  It was good seeing her and I was excited to see her at Pineview and not in a pool.  I LOVE getting people out of the pool routine and into open water.  So different and I haven't had one person yet not completely love it.  I doubt she's different.  Proof is that she signed up for the 5k at Deer Creek next Saturday!  We agreed to meet up to swim on Tuesday. 
I wanted to do at least a marathon swim so I did the buoy route then a dam route.  On the 2nd dam route, I turned south and followed the red buoys until I got to shore.  I then headed west until I saw the white cigarette buoys then followed them back in.  Did another buoy route then checked my GPS.  I was JUST under 6.2 miles so I headed out for 100 strokes then came back.  6.27....DONE!
Felt crappy first 2 miles but then got better and felt better about my pulls and effort after that.  A bit tired when I got out but I knew if I had some food I could have kept going.  I'm good for the 10 mile.  Time to taper!

6.27 miles OW

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1Aug12

Picked Kim up at 0530 and went to Pineview.  I was a bit tired on the way there.  I have been staying up late watching the Olympics and then getting up early.  The getting up early part I'm used to.  What I'm not used to is going to bed so late. 
We did a dam route and I felt my usual sore going out then felt really good on the way back in.  Kim and I were close going out but I dropped her on the way back.  We decided to just do a buoy route next.  Glad we did because I COMPLETELY shut down.  My shoulders turned to tar and I couldn't pull for the life of me.  Kim passed me like I was standing still and there was nothing I could do about it.  We turned around and I tried to put some effort into my swim but I just could not.  I kept racking my brain on what my problem was.  I figured that I'm dehydrated.  Not to the point of being sick but definitely I'm not urinating as often as I do and I often wake up sweating at night.  The lactic acid buildup I get daily isn't being flushed out.  I need to up my liquid intake by a LOT.  Hopefully this fixes it.  If not, then I"m in trouble for my Deer Creek 10 miler next Sat!
The nice thing is that despite my being slow as a turtle, my overall mile average time was still 29:42 per mile.

2.93 miles OW

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

31Jul12

Decided to sleep in a bit this morning and I was out of bed at 0700 instead of 0500.  Headed to Pineview and wasted little time getting in.  My arms were a bit stiff but they weren't in pain compared to yesterday.  I did 2 dam routes.  After the first "lap" I made my feed as quick as possible and I started swimming again to eliminate any chance of talking myself out of doing more.  I felt really good going out the 2nd time.  I felt strong and could see from watching the shore that I was moving at a good pace.  I finished up and felt good when I got out.  I felt a lot better than when I finished yesterday and hopefully my arms will be back into the swing of doing 15-20 miles a week again soon.

3.8 miles OW

Monday, July 30, 2012

30Jul12

Got up at 0500 and was at Pineview by 0540.  I have a new SSD and it was it's inaugural swim.  Hopefully this one won't get popped by my idiocy!
Got in and started swimming.  My shoulders were NOT happy today.  They were tired and I felt legitimate pain for awhile.  I even stopped to rest for a few seconds a couple of times.  They finally stopped hurting when I got to the buoys but my swim back felt REALLY slow.  I just had zero energy or motivation today.  I tried to pick it up some but just went back to crawling pace.  I finished one lap and knew there was no way I was going to do another.  I want to do 2 laps a day but getting out was a smart move.  I looked at my phone and realized I swam for just about an hour.  WHAT?  I felt like I had been in there forever.  I actually wasn't swimming that slow after all.  This surprised me quite a bit considering I would have not been surprised if it said I had taken 2 hours for the lap.
I am just not adjusted from my travels I suppose.  I'm doing 2 laps tomorrow with Kim so if I get tired after 1 lap, she can help motivate me for the 2nd.
1.9 miles OW

btw, passed 300 miles today for my yearly total!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

25Jul12 - Beat up!

I knew I needed a long swim today so I got up at 0500 and was out the door soon after.  When I swam at the Y a few days ago, a woman there told me about swimming on the other side of the land and where to go.  It took me a bit of time to find the dock and boat ramp but I was glad I did.  Nothing but private residences there and pretty much NO boat traffic.  I was in the Covington Creek which is a direct outlet to Kitty Hawk Bay.  I set up my gear at the end of the boat ramp and stood there for about 10 minutes just looking and studying the water.  The wind was HOWLING and it was really choppy and there were about 3-5 foot swells very close together.  I'll admit that I was a bit nervous.  I'm at a new place and solo AND not sure what to expect.  I decided to try it anyway and got in.  I was going with the current to start and against on the way back.  I could feel a real good push behind me and I kept close to the private docks.  My hands hit the bottom several times and I had to allow myself to swim farther away from the safe land to where I could at least do a proper stroke.  For pretty much 90% of the time, I could stand up if  I wanted.  I just pictured myself in a big pool.  I got to where I knew it was .7 miles and I turned around.  I immediately knew it was going to be tough.  I was reminded of when Chad, Gordon, Michelle and I were in the GSL that one day months ago and it was extremely violent and rough.  It was very close to that.  I was fighting more than swimming.  The one thing I kept thinking of what that I could get up at any time and would probably be able to stand.  I hammered down and swam hard.  Progress was slow and if I paused for even one second, I would get pushed back.  I got to where I started and when I was getting a drink, I took some serious consideration into bagging it heading to the YMCA.  I figured I would give it one more try and I could always stand up if I got too scared or it got too unsafe.   When I was about to get in, there was a person on a bike there that asked,  "Are you seriously going back into that"?  Yes, yes I am!!  The 2nd lap wasn't much better.  I was fighting more than swimming but I'm sure if someone had taken a picture of me, I would have been smiling.   When I finished, I took a gel and found myself back into the water before I even realized it.  The wind and waves were still at it but I was really enjoying the struggle.  I got about 1/3 back and I started to fade.  It had taken more out of me fighting as much as I did the first 2 times than I realized.  I started to really have to push myself and I could feel myself struggle more and more.  About halfway back I had to stand up and take a breath for about 30 seconds.  I finished but knew that it was my last lap.  I was SPENT.  I felt better when I finished the GSL 8 miler than I did for this 4.2 mile swim.  When I got out, I just sat on the dock and drank some Gatorade.  I just didn't even have the energy to start packing up.  Some people in kayaks with fishing gear came in.  I asked if any fish were biting and they laughed and said it was too rough to find out.  After a bit, I got up and headed home.  I was very pleased that I stuck it out and that it was safe enough for me to do so.  If I had not been able to touch the bottom for most of the swim, I definitely would have bagged it.  I only got over 4 miles when I wanted to do around 6 but once again, the quality of the swim was 100x better than the quantity.  I really put some swimming experience into my "swim bank" today!

4.2 miles OW