Tuesday, July 31, 2012


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


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


Got up and went for another ocean swim.  I'm at a new location now and it was different for landmarks for distance and where to stop.  I had to rememorize where to stop by the looks of houses.
I swam with the current for awhile then I figured I had gone just short of a mile and turned around.  I swam back against the current.  As usual, the swim back took a lot longer than the swim going out.  It was fun but took a long time.  Each day there has been a storm at night so the wind is always strong and the current and chop are always showing tell tales that a storm has passed or is on the way. 

1.5 miles OW

Friday, July 20, 2012

20Jul12 - MILESTONE!!!

Aparently I don't really understand the concept of "vacation".  I woke up this morning at 0430 and was at the local YMCA when they opened at 0500.  They have an indoor pool and it was very nice.  Clear water and 82 degrees.  A bit hot for me but I'll live.  I decided to do the workout Matt Garish posted last week.  When I was swimming, I noticed that my stroke count was a few numbers higher than usual.  I kept checking and elongating my stroke but I could never get it to what it normally is.  I finally stopped and asked the lifeguard if it was a meter pool.  It WAS!  Woo-hoo.  So now my workout will give me a little extra when I'm done for distance.
2 x 700
3 x 600
4 x 500
5 x 400
6 x 300
7 x 200
8 x 100
12,000 meters total.  This is just shy of 7.5 miles. 
This was my first long swim since Catalina.  I've mainly been doing 1-2 miles at a time.  I need to get my butt back in gear and swim like I mean it again.  My arms were sore as anything and I had to get out halfway through to find a vending machine to get some food.  I was starving!
I did some PR for the Great Salt Lake with the woman in the lane next to me.
A pretty big milestone was hit today that I'm actually really proud of.  During todays workout, I hit and went over 1 MILLION yards since I started keeping track last year in USMS FLOG.  This is really cool to me and it put a huge smile on my face and a good sense of pride when I looked at my totals after my entry today.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

19Jul12 - Quality over quantity

First off, I have to start with some bad news.  I accidently poked a hole in my SSD yesterday and needed to try it out today.  I had Patricia drive me down about a mile down the road and I'd swim back then do some extra.  As soon as I put my gear into the bag and inflated it, it popped!  My heart wept!  I have no SSD with me for the rest of my ocean swims. :(
A pretty good storm is coming in tonight with 80% chance of severe thunder and lightning once the sun sets.  I went out around 1400 and it was low tide and VERY clear that a storm was coming.  It was extremely windy and choppy as hell.  The waves were crashing everywhere and clearing them would take me very far from shore.  So far that it was on the edge of my comfort zone.  I swam out anyway and headed north.  Current was pushing me at a decent pace and I could feel some good rolls going under me as I progressed.  Got to my turnaround point and headed back.  I knew the swim back would be a challenge.  I was right.  The waves were crashing against me and I was swimming against the wind and current.  There was a pretty good swell and the wind blowing so much made it "rain" on me every time I took air.  Jellyfish were light but something decided my left big toe looked edible and started to nibble on it.  So much that it caused me to wince and kick like mad to give it a "hint" to piss off!  Progress going back was very slow and I got too close to shore a few times and the waves toppled me.  I took some pretty good beatings by the waves but was having fun with it.
I had to work pretty hard but finally got back to where I started and headed in.  Got some Gatorade then went out for more.  This time I kept going against the current so I could coast back if I got too tired.  I thought I had gone out far enough but there was a break way out there that I swam into and the waves barrel rolled me when I didn't expect it.  Didn't scare me but it sure got my attention.  I decided to have some fun with it and swam parallel to where the waves were cresting so I could ride into them some then go up and down with them.  Although I couldn't make out exactly what, I knew I wasn't the only thing in the water at that spot enjoying the wave riding too! 
Swam for a bit more then headed back in.
When I got back in, people came up to me as they did the day before and told me how amazing what I was doing was.  People here are simply mystified that someone actually swims in the ocean!  I'm just thinking that I'm only swimming but they think I'm doing something super human.  lol  2 days ago I got stopped by several people walking back as they each took turns asking how far I swam, how amazing what I did was, and why I do it.  I'M ONLY SWIMMING...   :)  I guess it's just not a big deal for me.  I love it too much.
One thing that I don't quite get is why it's so foreign to see someone swimming like I do in the ocean.  I know this is a vacation area but come on folks, it IS the ocean and seeing someone swimming shouldn't be that mesmorizing.  Why aren't there MORE people like me here?  I've tried to contact someone....ANYONE to join me for swims or finding a paddler but have gotten zilch.
Oh well....going to enjoy the storm tonight and if it's too nasty tomorrow, I will have to go the the YMCA nearby to do my long swim.
I have NO idea what I really swam today but I am putting down 2 miles.  I'm sure I did more but I'd rather go under than over for mile counting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Tough and fun swim today
Got to the ocean a bit later than expected.  I slept in then spent half the day with my girls playing at the beach.  After a good long nap, we all headed back to the beach at 1700.  I wanted to do 2 miles today.  I headed north and knew I was getting a decent push.  When I got to the water tower which is pretty much exactly 1/2 mile away, I turned around.  I started to do some good long strokes with decent effort.  After 100 strokes, I looked up and realized I had not moved!  I put my head down and did a few hundred more strokes.  This time I realized I was going backwards!  OK, now I know that the current is a minimum of 1.5 to 2 knots.  I decided to just do 2000 strokes with some real effort and if I was still nowhere near the end, I'd just get out and count my swim good by stroke count and time in instead of actual point to point distance.  After 1000 strokes, I was making progress.  VERY slow progress but moving non the less.  I then really focused on very strong pulls and keeping up a fast arm turnover pace.  I started to get a bit tired but I could tell I was moving at a decent pace now.  I got back to my wife and kids and headed in.  I had been in for about 50 minutes and had barely gone over a mile.  LOL  I wanted to do a bit more for time and not worry about distance.  I did more going against the current at first then with the current back. 
When I was done,  I had been in well over an hour and had 1.55 actual miles.
I think I'm going to swim for time this week instead of worrying about actual distance.  If I am in for 3 hours and only log 4 miles, by stroke count, it would equal 6 miles or more but the current does fun things.  It was GREAT swimming today and I even got the hell knocked out of me by a surprise sandbar wave I didn't see.  Jellyfish stings were plenty but not that bad.
1.55 miles OW ....but about 1h 15m actual swimming time.

Monday, July 16, 2012

16Jul12 - OCEAN!!!

Got to NC 2 days ago but when I landed on Saturday night, we were all extremely tired from a full day of travel and just wanted to go to sleep.  Yesterday was Sunday and we normally take Sundays off for religious reasons.  We slept in then we had a nice relaxing family day all day.  By the late afternoon, we decided to take a walk on the beach.  It was great being at the ocean again.  I got my gps app on my phone out to measure out about 1/2 mile then memorize the land scene.  I figure I'll just do some 1/2 mile out and backs for the next few days.
I got up this morning and headed to the beach.  I decided to just do one mile this morning to get my feel for the ocean and not do anything nuts for my first swim out here.  It was pretty calm and the water was warm.  I headed north and was getting a small push for half of it. When I got near where I was to turn around, I could feel the current change and I had to push it a bit to get to the turnaround point.  I got to the point and by the time I defogged my goggles and got my heading, I had already been pushed a house and a half backwards!  Swimming back the first half went by quick.  Then the 2nd half I had to put some effort again to get to the end.
In the end it was still a pretty easy and relaxed swim.  One mile in true OW.  Jellyfish were around but nothing too bad.  I need to do more tomorrow.

1 mile ocean

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Kim picked me up at 0530 and we were in the water right at 0600.  The lake was really beautiful this morning.  I couldn't help but take a minute to just stand there and stare at how beautiful the nature was.  I'm pretty sure that if I make it to 90 years and I need to remember something to keep me calm, I'll remember that scene.  I just love Pineview when the sun is rising and the water is glass and begging to be swam in.
Started out a bit sore then I felt better after 1/2 mile.  I must have been feeling good because my first mile was 27:09!  That's really fast for me.  I felt good.  I actually had to wait for Kim at the buoys for a minute.  She is normally right behind me.  One the way back, I felt good still but I could feel my arms complaining some.  I had to breathe a bit more than I like to.  My lungs have definitely gotten a bit smaller since my time of recovery.  My energy was starting to shut down a little but I'm sure it's because I didn't take a drink at the buoy and just kept going.  Second mile was a bit slower.  I still got really far ahead of Kim.  She was drafting me for awhile and I was able to drop her even though she was drafting.  This was a first.  Maybe something has triggered in me since my swim and I'm stronger or a bit faster now.  I sure hope so but only time will tell.
I have a few days left until I'm in North Carolina and I'll be doing a few miles in the ocean daily.  I can't let myself slack at all while on vacation.  I have a 10 mile race really soon after I get home!

1.87 today

Monday, July 9, 2012

9Jul12 - back at it again

I picked Kim up at 0600 this morning and we went to Pineview.  I need to start swimming and training again but wasn't sure how much I've recovered from Catalina.  I decided to do the buoy route and if I felt good, I'd add on some more.  Kim was up for anything so she said the buoy was fine.  Pulled up to see Gordon already there. 
Water felt good.  We did one buoy route then saw Gords on the shore ready to leave.  Chatted with him for a min then I wanted to do a bit more.  Swam to the first buoy and back.  Ended with 1.56 miles.
My right shoulder is still not 100% yet.  It doesn't give pain when I swim but I can definitely feel a tiny TIGHT spot in it.  It did feel really good to swim again.  Even though I needed this time off to recover, I did miss the feel of the water. 
According to my GPS, I was averaging a 28 min mile.  This actually surprised me considering I wasn't putting much effort into today.  I just focused on the feel of the water and good stroke technique.  I also only wanted to do 1 mile and went 1.56 miles.  This made me happy too considering I thought the swim felt REALLY short and was over quickly.  Not bad for my first day "back".
I've been in a SEVERE mental funk the past week.  The dust has settled from my swim and the full gravity of it all being over set in.  I am not handling it well.  I've been in a depression for several days now and have kinda shut myself off from the world.  It has been a struggle to get anything done besides sitting in bed crying all day.  I've talked with others who have come up short on a channel swim and they said they went through the same thing.  One friend of mine just came up short on a channel swim and it is easy to see that they aren't doing that great either.  The emotional toll of not finishing was more than I expected.  I'm healing but it's definitely a journey.  Today was a big help.  It felt good to be in the water even though it drummed up memories of Catalina and what could have been.  It's all part of the healing process.
Even though I don't really need to train for cold water anymore for awhile, I STILL prefer cold showers. 

1.56 miles OW

Thursday, July 5, 2012

5Jul12 - "famous"

Last week Gordon and I were interviewed by Jessica Miller from the Salt Lake Tribune.  The article came out today.  I must say she did a great job.  She used 2 pics from my swim and did the ONE thing I asked her to do.  I clearly asked her to not make myself or Gordon sound like a jackass when she takes what she says and prints it.  She kept her promise and the article is great.  I enjoyed reading it and bought a few copies so I can keep for awhile.

I'm almost healed from my swim.  I am going to do a short swim tomorrow and probably get back to training on Monday.  I can't take any more time off if I want to be able to do the other 2 marathon swims later this year with any hope of success.  My shoulders are still sore when I pull them for a good stretch but the rest of me feels good.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Had a family day today at Steiner rec center.  I wanted to have a nice easy swim.  Suzy Dods has strongly advised that I don't do anything over 20 minutes for at least 2 weeks.
I got in and did a 500 warmup then ladders by 50 up to 200 then repeat back down.
1500 yards total.
My left shoulder is sore but was okay after a bit.  My right shoulder still has some damage in it so if I pulled too much it hurt.
I'll do some short and easy swims for the next week then get back to training.