Monday, August 27, 2012


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


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


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.

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


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


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


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


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


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