Friday, May 11, 2012


Met with Gords after work today.  We have decided that we will no longer do afternoon swims at the Saltair Marina.  The Antelope island is a little bit colder to swim in and most of the time a tiny bit rougher conditions.  I can't speak for Gordon (although I'm sure it's crossed his mind) but I feel like it's getting to "crunch time" with me.  I can't slack on any of my training and the easier I make my training swims (warmer temp, water conditions, easy current, etc) the more difficult my actual channel swim is going to be.  The more time I spend in cold water that is tough to swim in, the better prepared I'll be and hopefully if the conditions during my crossing are good, the swim will be that much easier since I'll be that much more prepared.
The wind was pretty strong today so I knew the current would be up and the chop would make it interesting.  It did not disappoint.  Water temp was 65.  Not cold enough but better than 70 at the Saltair Marina.
Gords has a new toy he brought today.  It's basicaly a boogie board with a foam noodle across it and some expandable netting on top.  It looks REALLY ridiculous but it is very practical for getting items faster.  I'll admit I did make fun of it some and when Gords pulled out his American flag to hoist on it, I nearly pissed myself.  Good thing I was already in the water...and already had!
The neat thing is he mounted his camera on top to film during his swim.  Pretty nifty idea.
Gords and me before starting.  Damnit I am handsome!

Our goal was 5 miles today.  We headed straight for Freemont Island once outside the marina and we were heading pretty much straight against the wind.  This made the water really choppy and keeping your breathing normal, your stroke smooth, and good sighting a challenge.  Loved it!  I did get a few mouthfulls of water and that was not so great.  We stopped every 30 minutes for hydration.  After over an hour, we turned around.  This time we were with the current and wind and could feel it pushing us along.  It was great for me but it kept flipping over Gords' toy.  I couldn't stop laughing.
I could tell after about the 5th time that he was "less than amused" and I offered to clip my SSD on the back so it would add weight and drag.  It worked well.  It only flipped over one more time and I got to swim with nothing while Gords was stuck swimming with all our gear.  He's a great pack-mule!
I'm also trying to get Gords to work on some sports psychology visualization techniques.  He just sees himself in the GSL each time.  When I'm out there, I picture myself in the Catalina Channel.  I can visualize a kayak on my right and a boat on my left.  I don't see Freemont Island as what it is, I see it as California off in the distance.  I told Gords he needs to do this so I asked him a few times where he was.  He did start answering, "I'm in the channel and over there is France".  Little mind games like that can go a long way.
Getting back took much less time but the current did push us farther west than we needed.  We ended up having to swim east by northeast for awhile so we could end up south at the marina.  I really like it when you have to swim in another direction so the current can push you into the way you want to go.
We ended up with 4 miles.  Even though it was short of what we wanted, the quality of our swim was better than it would have been if it had been a smooth 5 miles.  It was a great training swim and we both got a better workout because of the conditions we had.

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