Tuesday, December 31, 2013

31Dec13 - Good Riddance!

I have officially titled 2013 the Worst Year of My Life! Tried to think of other bad years but this one takes the cake by far.
I only was able to swim 121 miles total this year.  I'm happy that I'm able to swim again but this year was definitely a year to just refocus.  At this time last year I was in my second round of chemo.  I'm happy to be alive and lucky I had such good friends to help me through it.  I never felt anything but support from my friends here in Utah and from my swimming friends around the world.  Thanks for all the love but I'm glad it's over!
I have spent a lot of time the past few days and decided to really push myself this year for swimming.
Here are my goals (in no particular order):
1 - Bear Lake 19 mile crossing
2 - 8 mile San Francisco bridge swim in April.  Water will still be in the 50's.
3 - Start swimming a TON of butterfly and make a try at doing a Bear Lake crossing (7 miles) doing all fly.
4 - Bear Lake Medley relay with friends.  I'll have to swim 4.75 miles of fly.
5 - Work the logistics out and make a shot at doing the UTC in 24 hours.
6 - Log at least 500 miles total
7 - Do all postal swims for USMS
8 - MOST IMPORTANT ---Promote SLOW and help as many people discover the GSL as I possibly can.

I'm working on getting a few A list swimmers to come to GSL  One I have locked and others I have interested.  I find IMMENSE joy in taking people out on the lake.  I don't care if I swim with them or paddle.  The joy is in me finding their smile.  NEVER gets old.

I have not swam other than short swims or dips in the GSL for the past 2 months.  I'm pretty fat right now and really out of shape.  I meet Sue tomorrow at KEARNS and will do the Masters workout of 114 x 50.  My training starts tomorrow.

In summary, Screw this year....on to the next!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

19Nov13 - Sharing the WFPBC love around the world!

Arrived early today.  As I was walking to the boat ramp to get a temp reading, there were two Asian people watching me.  They were married and asked if I was going for a swim.  We ended up chatting for a few minutes.  They were on a 30 day vacation from China and are going to drive across the U.S.  They wanted to see the GSL because they saw pictures of it in a book they have at home.

Spreading some SLOW love around the world!!!
 I talked about our group, the swims we do, our polar bear club, and the GSL race we do each summer.  I then gave them a Got Salt? fridge magnet.  I have a goal now to get a Got Salt magnet in at least ONE home on every continent.  2 down and 5 to go....Antarctica will be tough!  They were pretty excited and stuck around to see Gordon and I get in.
Dang we are good lookin'!!!
Did just under 2 laps today.  Water temp was 49 degrees.  I was in for around 17 minutes so I earned my cap again this year!  Gordon did 3 laps and looked good.  I keep thinking as I am swimming in the cold:
1) I could do another ice mile.  I'm fine right now and only my fingers and lip are cold.
2) SCREW THAT....don't you remember how recovery was?  Are you an idiot?  You have nothing to prove........NOTHING TO PROVE.....
3) Nah, it wasn't so bad........
4) Repeat 1-3 every 5 seconds

.3 miles OW

12Nov13

Met Gords at GSL marina today after work.  Water temp was 51.  He swam 4 laps and I did 2.  After my second lap, I just laid in the water looking at the clouds and relaxing.  30 min in and felt fine.

1/2 mile

Monday, November 11, 2013

9Nov13 - SDRC swim meet

Up at 0500 and carpooled with Josh to South Davis Rec Center.  Gordon runs a swim meet each year and it is close and fun.
I decided to try a "pentathlon" style meet today.  I would do all the free events.  Josh was doing the same thing.  The 1650 was first.  I had eaten a doughnut with some chocolate milk for breakfast before heading out.  Normally I'm fine with eating but today my stomach was not moving.
I did 10 laps for a warm-up nice and easy.  Josh was going to count my 1650.  I had NO intention of doing anything remotely fast with my swimming today...especially the mile!
After about 20 laps, my stomach started to turn over every time I did a flip turn.  I felt my stomach getting tighter and slowed my pace down.  I then did a few open turns on the far wall which helped.
I finished feeling okay but it did cross my mind that if I pushed it at ALL or did too many more flip turns then I would get sick in the pool.
I then counted for Josh.  I watched him and Gordon swimming.  Both were great.  Gordon is on some serious adrenaline when he swims.  He went under 20 minutes.  I couldn't do that with fins!
I did the relays with some other team mates.  SLOW was represented today by Gordon, Josh, Stacey, Sue, Todd, and me.  (I hope I didn't forget anyone)
We all had a good time and I think we got someone to cheer for us for each event.  I seriously have such a good time with this team.  We all do our best and truly care how we do.  Not to be competitive with others but just to see each of us do our individual best.  Having a good time and cheering each other on is what we really care about.
I have not swam in a pool since the last swim meet.  I was surprised by some of my times.

1650 - 25:43
50 - 28.23
500 - 7:29
100 - 1:11
200 - 2:41
I also did 50 fly and 50 free for relays.  I will get back into the pool in December and start really busting my butt in January.
Overall, it was a fun day and I'm glad Gordon does this race each year.

All my events plus warm-ups and cool-downs = 3600 SCY

8Nov13

I was unable to make the GSL yesterday and so I was eager to make it today.  Gordon was busy with his swim meet tomorrow.  Josh had work to finish and Jim was at Deer Creek.  Fortunately, Jim called and was interested in meeting me anyway.
We met up at 1630 and I was already at the boat ramp ready to get in.  Jim never hesitates and always is the first one in.  Today was no exception.  We talked for maybe 10 seconds before he was wading in.  I was right next to him and got in.  Water temp was 50.  It felt cold but good.  I noticed something almost immediately, my chest was warm.  I felt like I was wearing a sweater.  Everyone in our group has read reports by people who have done research on this effect.  There is a certain point where your brain knows what you are going to do and starts to send blood to your core before you even get in.  I have officially reached that point.  I was cold for MAYBE 20 seconds then my chest felt great.  My hands and feet did the usual hurting but not unbearable.
Jim and I made our way out of the marina and to the red buoy.  It was a PERFECT day on the lake.  There were even some boats out in the distance.  Made our way back and I put my face in for some real swimming.  My top lip hurt pretty bad but my face and head were okay.  We got out at the same time...right at 30 minutes.
The warm up phase was pretty good today.  I shivered most of the way home but could not stop thinking about how warm my core felt the entire swim.
400 yards OW

Monday, November 4, 2013

1Nov13 - 2013-14 WFPBC

Went to the GSL after work today.  The four founders of the WFPBC all met today.  Josh, Gords, Jim, and myself went for a swim.  It was GREAT to be back in the lake.  It was really sad to see how low the water was but I was soon cheered up when I got in.  Water temp was 54 and I adjusted so fast that I was surprised.  My hands were a bit cold but soon were fine after 10 minutes.  Gords went for a few laps in the marina while the rest of us just waded around and chatted.  We all went to the end of the marina where we got a free show of a boat getting stuck trying to leave the marina.  The guy directing the boat clearly didn't know where he was going and nearly ran them into the rocks.  He fixed it at the LAST second only to bottom out and get stuck at the opening.  We all had a good laugh.
Was in around 30 minutes today.  I barely started to get a bit cold at the end because I was standing around for awhile.  When I was moving I was fine.

250 yards OW

Monday, October 7, 2013

7Oct13

Forced myself out of bed.  Really wanted to sleep.  I've been on a lazy kick lately when it comes to swimming.  Once I arrive and get going, I feel great.  It's just getting up to do so has been a chore lately.
800 WU  every 3rd 25 is kick
8x 50 k with fins
10 x 100 fast.  My average was about 1:18 for each
200 easy
4 x 150 pull
20 x 50 descending every 4 laps.

1-4 I hit :45
5-8 I hit :42
9-12 I hit :40
13-16 I hit :38.
17-20 easy

4000 SCY

2Oct13

I swam this day....COMPLETELY forgot what I did.
It was all IM work though.

2000 SCY

Monday, September 30, 2013

30Sep13

OOOOOOOPS!!!!!
I had this great workout planned for today.  It was going to be a LOT of IM work.  My finger lap counter arrived this weekend and I was eager to use it.  I got up early and was at the pool by 0505.  I unpacked my bags and was getting ready to get in when I noticed I was missing something.  I went back to my bag and noticed my beautiful blue bag that Josh made for me was not in my Speedo bag.  I don't have any goggles.  I emptied my bad, as if they would magically appear, but nothing.  I stood there looking at my bag for another 10 minutes.  Not looking in it, looking AT it....as if they would magically appear!  I decided it wasn't worth going home to sleep more so I figured I would do some kicking work.
Did 500 K of various strokes.  Tossed in some sculling too.
50 back
I COMPLETELY lost interest in swimming at this point and got out.  Now I know how Gords feels without his ear plugs.  If I don't have my goggles, I can still do swim stuff and get a good workout, but I just don't want to anymore.  Screw it all, what's the point?, I'm out of here!

550 SCY...I even ended on a crappy number...on purpose!

Friday, September 27, 2013

27Sep13 - Tough Decision

The weather has turned bad the past few days.  Air temperature at night has dropped faster than expected and cold rain has come with it.  The temperatures in both Deer Creek and the GSL have dropped drastically in the past week.  Right now, Deer Creek is 58 degrees.
The GSL was 72 last week and now it is 61!  I also have not been feeling 100% lately.  I have been sick, then my wife has gotten sick, and my kids are not 100% either.  It is just a bad time for colds in our house.  My training has suffered and with all of these, I decided to scratch my 10 mile swim for tomorrow.  I had a paddler set up but I am not mentally comfortable with doing a swim of this distance and in water this temperature with someone I do not know.  If Gordon or Josh were my paddler, then I would do it.  They are not and I do not feel comfortable putting myself in possible danger and thus my paddler in possible danger.  It is not safe and I need to be wise about it.
I think I can officially declare my open water swimming year of 2013 closed!  The window has shut and my 2nd Utah Triple Crown is gone.
To be honest, I am a bit bummed by this.  I have been tough on myself this past year with training and getting myself back to "how I was last year".  I have never come CLOSE to being how I was last year before I got sick and I have not cut myself any breaks for it.  I have been unrealistic in what I could accomplish and completely unfair to myself on where I am compared to where I wanted to be.
I got a couple of true marathon swims in this year and instead of being happy with that, I am focused on not achieving another goal that in all honestly is made up!  The UTC is a made up accomplishment!  I guess I felt that if I did another UTC then it would prove I was back and that my illness really didn't do that much to me.  I have been ignoring the mirror to really look at myself and realize that:
1) I nearly DIED last year!
2) Another UTC does NOTHING to prove who I am or what I'm capable of as a swimmer
3) There is always next year.  I need to focus on new goals and not repeat things I have already done.  Find the next golden ring!

Winter swimming is coming up and I am really looking forward to my weekly swims with my WFPBC buddies.  The swims we do each week and the fun we share means more than I am able to write.  I may do another ice mile but who knows.  If I do not....who cares!

I want to thank everyone for their support of me this past year.  The marathons of this year are gone and I need to find some new goals.  I have some ideas in my mind and next year I will be ready to do some amazing swims and share more swims with my friends and the ones I love.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

26Sep13

Easy day today.  Got up and went to Kearns.  Todd Frehse was there and I borrowed his workout when he was getting out.
500 WU
8 x 50 drill with snorkel
6 x 50 on the :50
300 (25 yards - fly-free-back-free-breast-free repeat)  no rest
3 x 100 on the 1:30
300 broken down by 100 IM's continuous
8 x 25 free on the :30
150 strong pull.  I hit 1:52
50 CD

2500 SCY

Last swim before Deer Creek 10 mile.  I think this might be my slowest swim ever!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

24Sep13

I've had a pretty good cold the past few days.  Even if the weather was nice on Saturday, I doubt I would have felt well enough to do the 10 miles at Deer Creek.
Decided to sleep in on Monday for more needed rest.
I still felt bad this morning but forced myself to the pool anyway.
500 WU
250 K no fins
250 K with snorkel
Joined 2 ladies I see there for their workout.
800 = 16 x 50 IM work.  Fly-fly, fly back, fly breast, fly free, back back, back breast......etc  All on the minute
1000 = 50 sprint, 100 easy, 200 hard, 300 easy, 200 hard, 100 easy, 50 sprint
The next set was 10 x 50 kick.  I was on #3 and my left calf started to cramp pretty good.  I got out and stretched it.  I even rubbed my thumb where the pain was and I could feel the actual BB size knot in my calf.  It HURT!  Got back in and just swam the rest of the set.
300 - every 3rd 25 is choice other than free.
They got out and I finished doing easy 100's until I hit 4000 total for today.
I felt GASSED!  My stroke was terrible, I had NO energy, I couldn't bilateral breathe (I had to breathe every stroke which makes me feel like a noob) and when my lungs needed air, I could feel the mucus inside my lungs "jiggling".  Glad I swam but I felt miserable the entire swim and swam like garbage the whole time too.

4000 SCY

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

18Sep13

Tapering down for Deer Creek this Saturday.

20 x 100  on the 2:00
My first 10 I hit an average of 1:22-1:23
2nd 10 I hit an average of 1:19

Shoulders felt better today.  I am starting to get a cold.  Hopefully it goes away soon or doesn't get too bad.  I did feel really junkie when I woke up this morning.

2000 SCY

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

17Sep13

I took yesterday off to recover some from my swim Saturday.  Looks like I'm going to be doing Deer Creek 10 mile this Saturday.  
2 x 500 easy
500 K with fins and snorkel
500 swim with snorkel
10 x 100 on the 2:00.  I finished each one under 1:30 with relative ease.  #9 I got 1:13 and I only was going 85%.
Shoulders were SORE today.  I took it easy today and will be even easier next 2 days.

3000 SCY

Sunday, September 15, 2013

14Sep13 - Bear Lake

Crazy day today!
Drove up here (Bear Lake, UT) yesterday with my friend Sue Frehse and my father-in-law Jed.  A family member has a real nice cabin in close proximity to the lake so we stayed there Friday night.  Saturday we all got up early and were out the door by 0610.  Of the 100 things I remembered to do and pack, I forgot grease!  I figured I could just run by the gas station there and get some.  What I did not account for was that a 1/2 Ironman was in town so the entire stock, including the back, was gone.  I now was on a Vaseline hunt!  I drove all around Bear Lake looking for another gas station or ANY store that sold petroleum jelly.  99% of everything is closed until around 0800 or even later.  I finally found a small store open after 0700 and he had some.
Now I can drive to the start.  I was talking and laughing with Sue and Jed when I saw a police officer behind me with his lights on.  Great, this has to be for me!  I pulled over and he said I was doing 61 in a 40 MPH zone...OOPS!  Well this is going to be expensive.  I had my license, registration, but no proof of insurance.  Come on, it's all electronic now.  I just didn't hit "print".  He did ask where I was going and I told him I was driving to the other side of the lake so I can swim back.  His face changed as I could tell he was thinking, "You are doing WHAT"?  He came back and sure enough, he had a ticket for me.  The surprise was that the ticket was for not having insurance info on me.  He only gave me a warning for speeding.  He said he's cutting me a huge break by letting the speeding thing go... yeah, no s**t!  I thanked him but couldn't resist asking him if one of the reasons I got off was because I was going to swim so far.  He said it was in the back of his mind that it was nuts what I was doing.  I KNEW IT!!  The insurance charges will be dropped once I email them proof.  SCORE!!!
I then headed to the start.  I saw the 1/2 Ironman rubbers at the very south end of the lake getting ready for their 0800 start.  Sue and I noticed a huge yellow floating "thing" in the middle of the swim route.  It was a "rest area" that some Ironman races are allowing.  If you get tired, or sick, or cramped, or w/e, you can swim to this thing, hold on to it, or get on top to rest.  The only penalty is time added on for however long you rest.  The swim is only 1.2 miles.  Are you freaking kidding me???  This only goes to reinforce my theory that triathletes have NO idea how to swim......must.....resist.....mocking....."triathletes"..............
ANYHOW, we got to the start and I wasted no time getting ready to get in.  I hid it but I was getting nervous as it was a realty that this was definitely going to happen.  It has been raining with thunder/lightning the past few days here but it looked good as I got ready.  Lake was calm but you could easily see a strong current heading north.
Greasing up and looking FABULOUS!

Sue and me
  Took some pics then I was off.  The water was 68 degrees and it only took 2 strokes until I felt adjusted.  Hooray cold showers!!!  I could feel the current immediately.  Sue and I talked and agreed that I should go straight across and let the current carry me north naturally to where the marina is.  It's a bit north of where the starting point is on the western side.
The first few miles went by without incident and some miles were faster than others.  I felt good.  It took about 1.5 miles for my body to relax, bilateral breathe, and start swimming stronger.
My pace was around 52-55 SPM.  I really kept focusing on my pull pattern and my technique.  During a few feeds, I would ask how far I was.  I was disappointed in knowing I was only averaging 1.5 to 1.6 MPH.  I'm normally 2 MPH on average.  I know I wasn't swimming that slow because I was going slow.  I've been swimming much faster lately in the pool.  I held back a bit on my effort so I could make it across without dying but no way I was going this slow.  I asked Sue and she said the current is what is to blame.  We kept getting knocked around.  The current was stronger than I thought and I was swimming while fighting with it some.
Check out that high elbow!

Pee break

Being a dork
 When I reached halfway, the currents got really strong.  I could feel myself fighting to stay on course and even distance with Sue.  It started to wear me out a bit.
1/2 way "celebration" - This MIGHT be another reason my time took so long, I completely forgot how to swim at points.  This is clearly the wrong way!
 Once we were about 2/3 of the way, the currents on top shifted immediately.  We were now fighting currents heading south.  When I did a pull, I would relax my fingers and the current at my hands was still heading north...JOY!  We slowly got pushed south of the marina where the finish was.  We had no choice but to swim directly against the current for about 1/2 mile.  This was at the very end of my swim and it really kicked my butt.  I was doing 100 pulls hard then 100 pulls normal but wasn't making any progress.  I pulled up and asked Sue why we weren't going anywhere.  She said we in fact were moving but it was slow and the currents are directly against us so we are kinda screwed.  I put my head down and charged ahead.  I just did strong pulls the entire way hoping my arms would hold out until we got past the marina.  They barely did.  I turned the corner to start the home stretch of 500 yards and my arms were SHOT.
Turn to home stretch
 I was out of the current going against me and Sue paddled ahead to shore so she could photo me coming in.  I could barely do a decent stroke without it hurting.  I was completely prepared for the distance but not as ready to fight currents for 95% of the swim.  That is what kicked my butt so bad.
Finishing
 Overall I felt great during the swim.  I was using this swim to see if I should go for another UTC and I felt strong enough that I know I could have done 3 more if I wasn't fighting the currents the whole way.  If I go to Deer Creek and it's even half as calm as it was at Bear Lake, I'll make 10 easy.  It will be slower going but I can definitely make the distance.
I am thankful for Jed for driving our SUV around the lake and picking us up.  You were a great help.
I can't thank Sue enough for her paddling me across.  She was great on her guiding, encouraging during feeds, and took lots of pics.
Last, I appreciate my wife the most for allowing me to take off to do these swims.  She could easily say no and pull 1000 trump cards for why she needs me here to help with chores or our girls but she is Superwoman and allows me to go do these swims and takes care of everything solo.  Thanks Patricia, you are the best.
6.8 miles OW
For all my friends that have been jokingly giving me crap the past 24 hours about my data so I'm not "DN", here you go...GPS proof.

And here is a pic to show how I feel about the "did he legitimately do it" jokes.  (You know I love you all.  Thanks for the hard time!)
When you see it......

11Sep13

EASY day today.
I got in and did only 1k
250
10 x 50
250 with snorkel.

DONE. 
Bear Lake crossing this Sat so this is my last swim.

Monday, September 9, 2013

9Sep13

Did not get to swim this weekend so I was eager to get to the pool today.

1000 WU
500 K with fins and snorkel
500 with snorkel
500 swim nice and easy but timed - 7:53   I did open turns and caught myself daydreaming some.
500 paying attention, flip turns, and putting forth decent effort = 7:15.  Considering my PR is under 7 min and my time from the QUAC meet in 2012 was 6:53 I'm pretty happy.
10 x 100  odds free even IM
200 easy swim
300 broken down by 2 x 50 kick then 100 swim no rest

4500 SCY

Thursday, September 5, 2013

5Sep13

At the pool this morning and ready to get in at 0510.  I felt fine when I woke up and as I was driving.  THE second I got in, I started falling asleep.  My warmup felt like it took forever and I was still yawning past 3000 yards.  The only thing I can think is that my jet lag took a day to catch up to me.  Boy did it!

1000 WU
8 x 25 swim with fast kick
6 x 200
50 easy
4 x 200
50 easy
2 x 200 hard
100 easy
9 x 100 odds swim, even hard
12 x 25  down is swim normal, back was no breathing

5000 SCY - very slow and tiresome yards at that!

One really nice thing about today was that I was really tired and going REALLY slow.  I couldn't make a decent split time if my life depended on it.  Despite this, I still finished 5k and got out before 0700.  This means that when I'm feeling good and actually swimming with speed/effort, I'll be able to do at least 5k per day most of the winter!

3Sep13

Deep sea fishing yesterday was a BLAST.  Had a great time with my extended family and we caught our limit on yellow fin tuna.
Today I felt the effect of the great fishing adventure.  My dad and I had borrowed a kayak from a friend of a friend in the Outer Banks and my dad would paddle for me as I swam.  We headed out near one of his rental houses.  The wind was blowing north pretty good but the current was heading south.  It made for an interesting swim.  I wanted to do 4 miles so I told him to GPS at 2 miles and we would turn around.  After 1 mile he said he had enough.  Fighting the wind and chop through sore shoulders were getting to him.  We turned around early and the plan was to swim with the wind back to his main house another mile past our starting point.  We were halfway back and I was making slow progress.  The wind was howling and the current was only getting stronger.  My dad said his leg was starting to cramp and he wanted to end it when we got back to the starting point.  My main goal was to swim SOMETHING and share it with my dad.  Mission accomplished so I didn't mind cutting it short.
It was great to be in the ocean again and even better being out there with my dad.

2.2 miles OW

31Aug13 - Getting in "trouble"

Back in NC for a weekend of deep sea fishing with my dad and other family members.
Fishing is on Monday and I have some free time so I hit the ocean.  As soon as I arrived, I found this flag warning of strong currents.
Amateur hour over.  Time to swim!

I watched the water for a bit and noticed it was completely empty of people.  I watched a little longer and realized the waves and activity calmed down after the breaks only a few hundred yards out.  I slowly headed out and tested the water.  I swam against the current for awhile and I really felt like I was swimming on a treadmill.  I was making very little progress.  It was kinda fun actually.  I picked up my pace after a few hundred strokes and put some effort into actually moving.  I got a good distance away and turned around.  I made it the full way back extremely fast.  I wanted to do more so I turned around and did a few hundred more strokes with a lot of power in them.  I turned back for the home stretch and it was too quick to the finish.  I could feel the currents picking up even more so I decided to get out while I still felt great.
As I was getting out, there were a few people looking at me like I was nuts.  Sure enough, as I was walking back to the road access to the beach, a beach patrol lifeguard truck was there.  He was watching me and I said Hi to him.  He said hi back and I asked how he was doing.  It was VERY obvious he was there because someone called for "help" that there was a person in the "dangerous currents".  I asked if he was there because of me and he said no but I'm not an idiot and I"m pretty good at spotting when people are lying so it was clear that he was!  It only made me laugh...I had beach patrol called on me!  Cherry on top!

1 mile OW

Thursday, August 29, 2013

29Aug13

I was "man-strating" at work yesterday and left the second I was free to go.  I left a huge stack of papers on my desk to be graded and I had a lot of catch up work to do.  I knew I'd have to make my swim short today and get to work really early.
500 WU
2 x 100 stroke work
8 x 50 with Todd Frehse  I hit around :40 each one
150 K
250 faster pace swimming.  This time my goggles leaked twice and I fixed them both times.  I need to re-strap them.  I still hit 3:26 which made me happy.
10 x 50 with Todd.  # 5 and # 10 were all out.  I hit :30 and :31.  Wasn't as happy with this.  I felt like I could have gone faster but I was more focused on my stroke than HURRY UP in my head.

2000 SCY

I really wanted to do 5k today but work is more important right now.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

27Aug13

Up at 0430 and out the door.  Ugh!  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
I was in the pool and warming up at 0510.  My stomach was bothering me during WU.  I think I need to cut out soda from now on...permanently.  Despite how DELICIOUS Coke and Pepsi are, they are a useless drink.
500 WU
500 swim
100 regular pace just to see what my time was.  I hit 1:22 which surprised me to be honest.
4 x 100 kick
1000 swim with snorkel.  REALLY focusing on my stroke.  It's coming together well now.  I'm not allowed to daydream and it will keep going but as long as I'm thinking about it, it hold well....at least until I see film of myself!
750 (25K then once I hit the wall, 50 swim, no stopping for whole 750)
250  I wanted to go under 3:30.  My stroke fell apart at the end and halfway through my goggles leaked so bad I had to drain and adjust them but I hit 3:22! This REALLY made me happy.
10 x 50 on the :60 and I had to hit :45 each time.  My average time was :42 and I didn't really ever push it.  The last one I did I focused on pulling harder and hit :37.  Not a sprint, just pulling hard....not bad!

4000 SCY  HATE typing SCY but it's what I'm stuck with for the next several months.

I timed my drive from starting my car to turning it off from the gym to work.  It was exactly 6 minutes!  I got out well before 0700 to get to work today because this is the first day students are back.  Once I get things rolling here and back into my teaching mode, I'm sure I'll be able to swim a few minutes longer and get 5k per workout and still make it to work on time.
I'm noticing a HUGE difference in my stroke.  I feel my hips rolling more and my sides get tired toward the end of my harder sets.  This means I'm using my core more and that is a beautiful thing.  I need some film on me soon to see how I'm doing but I know I'm already swimming stronger and faster with this new stroke then I was when I was at this point last year in my training.  I'm almost at 100 miles total for the year.  Year end goal is 200 miles and it looks well within reach now.  :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

26Aug13

My Army buddy Karen is is town for training and is here for a week.  We met at my pool at 0600. 
She did her own swim as I continued to work on my stroke.  Today it didn't feel as good during certain sets.
500 WU
500 swim with snorkel
500 with paddles
4 x 100 pace by 100 and each 100 I had to go faster
100 CD

2000 LCM today
Tomorrow work starts and I'm at KEARNS 25 yard pool.  I know I'll miss the 50M pool quite a bit.  The nice thing is that I can swim for 2 hours each day before work and the drive from the pool to work is only 5 minutes!
I plan on a longer swim tomorrow.  I need to get my mileage up!

Friday, August 23, 2013

23Aug13

Up early and in the pool at 0600.  Work started again this week so I've been focusing on that more than my workouts.  Day off today but Patricia is going out of town for the weekend and dark clouds were overhead so I kept it short.  Nice thing was I was the only one there the entire swim.  Whole pool to myself.  2 high school girls were watching me and just hung out chatting.
500 WU
100 timed just to see what my pace was
1000 straight with snorkel
2 x 100 (1st 100 was strong pull.  2nd was fast rotation)
100 drill
100 CD

My new stroke work and technique are starting to come together.  It's clicking more and I am starting to notice the sides of my core getting a bit tired during some of my sets.  This is a good thing!

Funny side story - When I get done swimming, my abdomen scar is usually bright purple.  I was curious to know when the pool closes.  As I was talking to the guard, I could see her eyes straining to not look at my stomach.  It was obvious.  It's just like when a man is taking to a woman with a big chest and a small bikini.  Must resist looking down........Must resist.............
I was tempted to say, "Eyes up here" but I know it would have embarrassed her.   As I turned to walk away, I caught her looking at my stomach.  I found it funny.

Anyhow

2000 LCM  easy day 
Next week I will having to swim at KEARNS near my work.  Back to a 25 yard pool.  BOOOOO

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

21Aug13

At the pool at 0600 and got in.
500 WU
1000 with snorkel focusing on just my pull
500 swim
500 doing some hypoxic work.  I would breathe 3-5-7-5-3 down then only 3 on way back per 100.
3 x 100 hard.  I hit 1:30, 1:29, 1:24  Wasn't sprinting, just doing hard pulls
200 CD mainly free but I did toss some breast in there for a bit.

3000 LCM

Monday, August 19, 2013

19Aug13

Woke up groggy this morning.  I really was struggling to get out of bed.  Discipline was the ONLY thing that made me get up.
I got to the pool and still wasn't feeling that great.  I got in and did an easy 500 WU.  All I thought about today was doing the stroke/drill work Grace VanDer Byl gave to me last week.  It's definitely foreign to me and I found that as I focused on one thing, another thing fell apart.  Lots of work to do.

I just swam back and forth for awhile until my lap counter hit 20.  Stomach is not well this morning so I'm good with 2k LCM.
I felt like a broken winged duck today.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

14Aug13 - Gordon's Crossing







Before the start...RESPECT THE CHOPS!

At 2300 last night Gordon jumped onto the beach of Catalina Island and raised his arm.  He touched his toe into the water and lowered his arm.  Time has started...he is now starting a 20 mile swim across the Catalina Channel.  This is the same swim I attempted last year.  I was extremely anxious/nervous for him.  It has begun!
After 2 feeds, I was no longer able to stay awake.  My job on the boat is safety officer and 5 minutes till feed signaler.  During the night, it's extremely difficult to see anyone on board or tell anything that is going on.  You just have to focus on swimming.  My prescription sea sick patch was working and so I went under and laid down for a few hours.  When I awoke, the sun was just starting to rise our of the water and it was much easier for us to see Gordon.  I was now fully rested and ready to do my job.
First thing was first, even though the sun was rising, you HAVE to show the "morning moon" to the swimmer.  Josh helped in this.  Gordon just laughed at us.
The "Morning Moon"

During the night, a chem light being twirled would signal 5 minutes until a feed.  During the day, I had a really big and bright yellow with orange towel I would use to signal.  I decided to get creative and change how each signal was given.  Some times I just waved the towel, other times I did stuff like this..........

Even danced while wearing this!


Gordon would usually laugh.  One time he popped up and said it was better than bagpipes!  (Another boat that gets used plays the bagpipes at sunrise)
Time pressed on and Gordon started to look tired.  His stroke fell apart some and Sue and I gave him some feedback.  Sue jumped in and swam with him for 1/2 an hour.  Josh got in later and did the same.  You could tell by their stroke that Gordon was going slow and was really wearing out.
With a few miles left to go, Gordon rolled over during one of his feeds and was complaining of a serious cramp in his leg.  We all got worried.  It soon passed and he pressed on.
During this feed, his yacker had come on the boat for a quick break.  We thought the kayak was secure but someone turned around to see it floating AWAY from us.  We all FREAKED OUT!  The boat captain said we have to turn around and go get it because he can't leave the kayak in the water and he can't abandon Gordon.  We stopped Gordon and told him he had to swim back to the kayak which was only getting farther away by the second.  I immediately realized that there was no way he would catch that kayak without either:
1) adding some SERIOUS time to his swim
2) not ever catching the kayak
3) catching the kayak and then bonking completely from it and not finishing.
I KNEW that if he had to get the kayak, he would not finish.  I yelled to the captain that I was going after the kayak.  He said it was fine but I had to clear it with the observer.  I barely looked at Lynn when I "politely" told her I'm going no matter what.  (I'm glad I was wearing my speedo because I yanked my shorts and shirt off before remembering I was wearing them!)  I grabbed my fins and the kayaker tied his paddle to my left arm.  I jumped in and after one stroke, the paddle came off and was floating away.  I grabbed it then realized I'd have to swim one arm with fins to the kayak....FUN!
I'm swimming for all my worth all the while the kayak is floating farther away.  They turned Gordon around and he was headed the right direction again.  I got lost a few times and had to see where I was going and where the kayak was.  I did think that it would be REALLY embarrassing to be "lost at sea" if I never found the kayak.  I finally caught up to the kayak and then had to get in.  Getting in a kayak in the middle of the ocean while wearing nothing but a speedo and fins is a challenge!
I got in and saw the Outrider way off in the distance.  Well, if I can't catch it, at least I can get to land!  I started to paddle as best as I could and I slowly started to close the gap.  By the time I reached the boat, my arms were SHOT.  I had given 100% to catch back up.  I was told I couldn't get on the boat until the next feed which is in 5 minutes.  I paddled next to Gordon to show him I was back and the kayak was back too.  He saw me and he looked REALLY happy.  I wish I could have taken a picture of his face when he saw me.  It was clear he was worried about it.

Coming back.  That dolphin swam up to me and laughed!







































Photo: Hero of the day! Goody gets back with the kayak. 
TIRED but got it back.




We were now within 30 of the landing area.  Sue, Josh, Gords' son Jacob, and I all jumped and and swam behind him once we were too close for the boat to continue.  Gordon got out and even though no one was near him, I kept yelling, STAY AWAY FROM HIM!!!  He cleared the water and the boat sounded the horn.  It was official..HE MADE IT!!!!
DONE!

I was extremely happy for him.  I'll admit that I had a lot of emotions running through me that I had to hide or suppress to stay focused.  This is the same swim that I failed to complete a year ago.  I kept imagining that this is what it would have been like for me if I had finished.  I'd start to get upset about it then immediately get mad at myself.  WE AREN'T HERE FOR YOU!  WE ARE HERE FOR GORDON SO STOP BEING A CRYBABY BITCH AND FOCUS ON WHAT YOU ARE HERE FOR....HIM!!!  This process cycled a few times.
20 seconds after finish, he's not sure it's real by the look on his face.

I was extremely proud to be a part of his crew.  He thanked me for being a "lifesaver" and getting the kayak.  He too realized it would have had serious negative consequences if he had to be the one to get it.  Happy to help.  He finished at 11 hours and 50 minutes.  10 minutes under his goal.  SWEET!!
He took us all out to lunch after and then I drove home with Josh and one of Gords' sons, Austin.
What a great day and what a privilege it was to be a part of it.  Thanks Gordon and Congrats! 
Crew

13Aug13

Got up at 0430 and was out the door at 0500 with Grace.  We were headed to Shaw's Cove which was about 45 minutes away.  The interstate was clear so we drove pretty fast to get there.  I was excited because I would be seeing Lynn Kubasek again and Jen Schumacher.   I just saw Lynn in swim camp but I haven't seen Jen in almost a year.  We arrived and they were both there along with some other people Lynn swims with regularly.  They go for a pre-work swim daily. 
Shaw's Cove was beautiful.  There were about 12 of us and after a quick chat, we waded in.  I was barely knee deep when a "fish" about 6" long came up to me and almost brushed against my leg.  I made a comment and one of the regular swimmers there said it wasn't a fish, it was a baby Leopard Shark.  AWWWWW....but he's so CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!  He's just a little guy!
The water was in the mid 60's and felt great.  We headed out and the tide was high enough to do what is known as the Patsee shoot.  It's this narrow gap between some big rock formations that the tide has to be high enough to swim in.  I was behind the Patsee it was named after and followed her in.  It was risky and dangerous to be swimming through this.  JUST what an adventure swimmer loves.  I was right on her feet and made it safely through. I did notice that if I didn't do it well then I would become busted up against rocks quickly.
We cleared out to more open water and headed to Seal Rock.  It's just a big rock in the middle of the Cove with a bunch of sea lions on it.  The closer we got, the more came out to swim with us.  Although I didn't see it, many others saw one that was tagged with a bright orange tag on his fin by a local oceanography group for study.
We went around Seal Rock and headed back. I mainly stayed next to Lynn since she swims here all the time and knows where we are going.  We finished our swim and I felt great.
A short trip to a coffee shop for some chocolate milk and a eclair then a good long chat with some of the people we swam with.  Unfortunately this was my last swim of the vacation.  It was time to head to Long Beach because tonight, Gordon would make his Catalina Crossing attempt.
Grace VanDer Byl and me

Got to Long Beach and picked Sue Frehse up from the airport at noon.  We had 6 hours to kill so we walked around a bit then went to a movie.  We both fell asleep during the movie then went out to dinner.  We met up with Josh, Jim, and Jim's wife while eating.  We met up with Gordon and his crew at 1900 and started to pack our gear on the boat.  We pushed off around 2000 and were ready to go around 2300.  Details of the swim on tomorrows post!

Friday, August 16, 2013

12Aug13 - Smelling the Roses

Yesterday I woke up and started packing my gear.  I was going to Solana Beach, CA to stay with the Van DerByl family for 2 days.  The best highlight of the drive was seeing the "Boob" buildings which were featured in the movie The Naked Gun.  I took a pic and giggled for at least 15 minutes after passing it and did call my wife to say I was "thinking of her"  hehe
Everywhere I look, something reminds me of her  LOL

Arrived at Grace's house and we just relaxed with Neil for the afternoon.  No swimming for me.

The 12th I "slept in" until 0645 then watched TV until Neil and Grace woke up.  Neil went off to work and Grace took me to La Jolla Cove Athletic Club.  This club has been around for a LONG time.  It was first a men's only club but sometime in the 80's they allowed women to join.  They had to build a bathroom for them.  So the men's bathroom has showers, sinks, sauna, hot tub, lockers and is comfortable with soft floor.  The women's bathroom has nothing but a toilet and sink!  I told Grace that I don't feel bad because it's the first time I've EVER heard of a male bathroom being nicer than the female one.
We headed down to the Cove and Grace showed me her favorite training area.  I immediately was jealous.  I wish we had something like this in Utah.  The scenery was magnificent.  It was a mile in length from beach to beach so if you wanted to do a major distance swim, you could just keep feeds at both ends and do laps till your heart was content.  There is a swimmers only lane that goes right down the middle of it.  It's a couple hundred feet wide and has buoys lining the sides.  In the middle are other round buoys that mark specific distances!  Amazing!  No one is allowed in the swimmers lane except swimmers.  If a boat comes in or even a kayak, they will get a ticket!    You could literally swim there all day and night and never see anyone in your area except another swimmer.
When we got going, I felt like I was swimming in an aquarium.  There were bright fish everywhere swimming around and under me.  I followed Grace out into the middle of the swim lane.  There were about 10 sea lions laying on their sides warming their fins in the sunshine.  We swam up to them and I got close enough to see one looking back at me.  It was clear by the look on it's face that I should not get any closer but I was okay where I was.  I watched it for 30 seconds then slowly backed away.  Grace then took me to a cave.  We swam through a narrow opening and inside was a rookery of sea lions.  They were EVERYWHERE and tons of them.  We just hung out in the water and soon more kept jumping in and swimming around us.  They kept getting closer and I turned around to see one about 3 feet from my face barking at me.  She was LOUD!  Grace said I'm fine as long as I don't touch it.  No way in Hell am I going to reach my hand out to touch this thing!  At that time one brushed by Grace and she said it was a good time to go.  Agreed!  The opening had kayakers coming in so we went out a side opening which was really narrow.  We had to time it with the flow coming in and out.  Grace went first and timed it perfect.  I was stupid and followed right after her instead of waiting for my own tide.  I made it 3/4 out when I got pulled back in and pushed against some rocks.  Not smart!  I timed it again and made it out fine the 2nd time.  Grace was just out there looking at me and laughing.  She saw what happened.
We headed back near the swimmers lane when she said she wanted to do some shark hunting.  Sounds fun so lets go!  I followed her and she started pointing out some Bat Rays that were under us.  These are like sting rays but much bigger.  We then headed across more when she stopped and pointed down and made her hand on her head look like a fin.  I looked down to see a shadow going under us but it was near the bottom so I didn't see it that well.  I guess it was a shark.  I swam more and then saw one I KNOW was a shark.  She said it was a Leopard Shark and more are around.  I swam some more and then off to my right I looked and saw several more.  I did a quick count and saw 8 of them, all within 30 feet of me.  Some were small and some were bigger than me.  I can HONESTLY say that I did not get scared or even have my heart rate increase.  I was with Grace and she and dozens of other people swim this place daily and never have a problem.  I'm not going to be the exception and get attacked.  It's not going to happen.
We went under some ropes and headed toward a beach nearby some houses.  These were NICE houses.  There were waves coming in that people were surfing on and boogie boarding on also.  She and I decided to body surf.  It was FUN to say the least.  She pointed to a house and said that it belonged to Dr. Seuss.  It's still in the family but that was his house.  So let me say that again...I WAS BODY SURFING OUTSIDE DR SEUSS' HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If that isn't the perfect idea of a swimmers vacation fun then I don't know what is.  Twice she could see that I was happier than words could express and was BEAMING with joy.  She jumped up and hugged me twice to share the moment.  My cup of joy and happiness was overflowing with this swim.
We headed back and halfway back she stopped and did the fin motion again.  This time it was 7 gill sharks.  Some of these were bigger than the leopard sharks.  We kept swimming but one got curious about us.  He was a medium sized shark and swam around us and right under us.  He was within 3 feet under us.  I just kept swimming but the thought did cross my mind, "I'm not faster than Grace but I am a lot stronger.  If this guy comes any closer, it's not beneath me to grab her and use her as a meat shield and swim away"!  I informed her of this and she just laughed.
We got back to the start and and there were TONS of people in snorkel gear and cameras taking pictures of all the fish around.  It really was like you were swimming in an aquarium.  As I was almost ready to get out, there was a beautiful orange fish near this kid.  He had his camera at the ready and was following the fish to get a "perfect" shot.  I could NOT resist...I swam right between the fish and him and completely photo bombed this kids shot!  I made a ridiculous face and got right in the way as the flash went off.  It was the PERFECT photo bomb!  The fish just swam off.  I had ruined this kids million dollar shot.  I got up and the kid did have a disappointed look on his face but I could not stop laughing.  Grace asked what was so funny and when I told her, she didn't say I did something mean, she just laughed even harder!
My buddy Gordon Gridley was doing a Catalina Channel crossing 2 days after today and I decided to keep my mouth shut and not post about these animals until AFTER he was done.  The sea lions he wouldn't care about but telling him that he is definitely swimming where these types of sharks are and will be around was not a good idea.  Sorry buddy, these sharks WERE there but ignorance is bliss!!!
Overall we swam about 2 miles.
Here is a picture breakdown of all the animals I encountered and an approximate number of the ones I actually saw. 
Sea Lion - at least 50
Bat Ray - couple dozen

southern stingray
Sting Ray - dozen or so

Leopard Shark - around 30
7 gill shark - around 30

 We then headed to the 25M pool where Gracie does her pool workouts and coaches.  I jumped in with the Masters team she coaches there.  The pool was relatively cool and extremely clear.  Nice place to swim.  I joined the workout and had a good time.  Grace was giving sets to us and I did a good job of following what was needed.  I was in the lane with 3 other people and they asked me to lead the group.  I declined at first but after the first set, it was obvious I should lead.  I took the lead and really had to pay attention what was going on.  I got a good workout in and after the workout, Grace got her camera out and video recorded me swimming.  I went to the pool that was next to the pool I was in.  That's right...2 pools!  One was 25 yards and is mainly used to teach lessons and for exercise class for old people.  That pool was not warm, it was HOT.  I pushed off the wall for the first lap and felt pure heat radiating all over my body.  It would be the perfect pool to train for a Maui crossing!  She recorded me and made some adjustments that made a HUGE difference in the technique of my stroke.  6 months of no swimming = stroke STINKS!  It was good to get a real coach's analysis on what I was doing right/wrong.
2500 SCM

Relaxed the rest of the day.  The best news was that Grace gave a solid commitment to swim the GSL 8 mile race next year.  We have our first A-list celebrity swimmer doing our race!  This is definitely going to help get the buzz about our 8 miler going and get more people from out of state to swim in the GSL!  I can't wait.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

10Aug13

Went to Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe today for our AM swim.  It's a cove on the side of Tahoe that has an island in the middle of it.

There was about a 1/2 mile hike down at a pretty good degree to get to the Bay but WELL worth it.  There is a sign there that specifically states that swimming to the island is not allowed.  TOO BAD!

We all swam out to the island and around it a few times.  Once again, I got in the water and was thanking God for the beauty I was beholding.  We stopped to regroup a few times and even had some fun doing flip turns off of the rock walls around the island.  It was fantastic.
I had Phil take a look at my stroke and apparently is HORRIBLE!  I made some corrections and as I swam some more.  The Bay got really busy with boats so we all headed in.  That swim was about 2 miles.  Nothing tough but my shoulders were a bit sore from so much swimming the past few days.  I haven't cranked out this many miles back to back in awhile.  Still loving it.

Afternoon was another swim down Truckee river.  This time it was PACKED with people in inner tubes with coolers.  It was fun dodging rocks and them.
Swim camp clearly isn't for everyone.  There was a man there that could barely swim...in SWIM CAMP..............ughhhhhhhhh  and there was a woman there who had the brain capacity of a squirrel.  We told her SEVERAL times to go down head first facing the river so she could see the rocks or minimum feet first if you are on your back.  Sure enough, 5 minutes in and she's on her back going head first.  I told her a few times to roll over and she asked me why.  Are you F-ing kidding me?  We JUST went over this and why.  Okay....stay like this so I can see what you head looks like with a HUGE dent in it!

1.6 miles down the river "swimming"

At 2200 the crew was fairly inebriated and it was our last night.  We typically do a naked night swim and this camp would be no exception.  I don't drink so I was the DD for one of the cars.  We crammed a bunch of people in a car and headed to Donner Lake.  We got down to a dock and we all had a glow stick attached to a cut up swim cap that only highlighted the back of our heads.  We then all stripped down and got in.  I honestly didn't see much except a LOT of rears!
They sky was CLEAR and the stars were in full force.  It was magnificent.  You could even see the Milky Way "dust" along with the stars.  I spend several minutes just laying on my back looking at the stars.  It was great.  We didn't swim at all and just mainly hung out for about 20 minutes in the water making naked jokes and looking at the stars.  On the way back I wanted a Slurpee and the people in the car had no problem offering to buy it for me.  Free Slurpee for the DD. SCORE!
Man this camp was great.  LOVE coming here.  I made a few new friends and strengthened some friendships I already had.  It was extremely fun.  I won't go into details about what we did each day because I'm not going to break the Golden Rule of Swim Camp....although here is a TINY snip of what can happen.
Gordon next to a beer?

Women dancing in a swim suit made out of swim caps!


3.6 miles OW

9Aug13

Up at 0630 to people who think that if they put their voice on volume 10 but are in a hushed tone then they are "whispering".  WRONG! 
Out the door and arrived at Lake Tahoe at 0930.  We were at the Sunny Side area.  We had the option of doing any distance we wanted up to 5 miles.  Gordon was there and he and I opted to do the longest route.  We were given directions by Jamie but about 1/2 mile into our swim, we had a paddler that kept hanging around us.  This continued for awhile until I finally stopped and asked him what he was doing.  Turns out he was Karen Rogers' ex-husband.  She calls him her "Was-Band" which is funny.  He said he was going to take us to the turn around point and carry our feeds for us.  SWEET!!!
Words will NEVER be able to describe how beautiful the water there is.  When you are heading out, you can see straight down to the bottom and still make out the tiny details of the land features and items on the lake floor.  Then you swim out away from shore and the bottom drops out and a blue appears.  There are shades of blue I never knew existed and no camera or artist will ever be able to duplicate the pure beauty of the lake.  I was so taken by what I saw that I actually said a small prayer.  I thanked God for making shades of blue like I was seeing and I thanked Him for allowing me to see it.  I am NOT a color guy and can barely match the colors of my shoes in the morning but seeing what I saw really got to me.
We hit the turnaround point and headed back.  I was feeling great.  I just kept thinking, "I HAVE to cross this lake next year".  I did stop to check out some critters that were on the bottom.  Even they were a beautiful blue color.  Finished the swim and when I got out, I wish I didn't have to.  I wanted to keep going on forever.  Jamie said that from where we started to the 2nd long pier and back was 5 miles.  It went by a little too quick and Gordon didn't think it was 2.5 there either.  I asked Karen and she swore by her measurements.  I really don't care so I'm going to go by what they said and put down 5 for Lake Tahoe.

In the afternoon  a small group of us went back to Donner Lake and did another lap.  Another 1.5 miles nice and relaxing.

6.5 miles OW

8Aug13






I drove most of the day yesterday to Truckee, CA.  I arrived at Jamie Patrick's swim camp at 2330.  As I arrived, they were singing to me on the porch.  I laughed as I was thinking, "I have some dorky friends...LIKE ME!"  Hung out for a bit then off to bed.
Me and Janet Manning

We all got up around 0630 and after slowly moving around, we were out the door by 0730.  We had to stop by a CVS pharmacy to some people in our group could get "water shoes".  They were taking FOREVER!!!!  We all lost our patience and this was starting our first swim on our first day off to a bad start.  They finally meandered out and we were on to Truckee River.


This river is really clear and has a good current.  NOT really a swim river because there are several spots where it's under a foot deep.  You also have to dodge some pretty good size rocks that could easily bust your head open.  It was like a mini maze in some places but it was fun.  Water temp was 67 and felt GREAT. 
It was a half swim half float down the river.  We went about 1.5 miles.  At the end some of us got out and took some pics.
 


 Hung out in the house all afternoon then out the door again at 1530.  This time we went to Donner Lake.  Wind was up a bit so there was some chop.  Nothing bad but we decided to head against the current the first half and with it back.  The water was very clear and beautiful to look upon.  I found myself looking at the bottom for most of the swim.  When we were at the turn around point, one of the swimmers named Phil came up to me.  He said he had something to make me "whole" again and handed me a golf ball.  We all got a good laugh out of it and I stuffed it down my speedo.  We all collected trash on the way back to do a small lake clean up.
There was a video recently of Trent Grimsley and his "record" swim across the English Channel.  (He rode the bow wake!)  As he did his feeds, he tossed his non-biodegradable cups into the channel.  Most of us at camp FREAKED when we saw this and it made for a good conversation for the next several hours. 
Evan Morrison even made this gif of it on his web page.  It got a lot of people in the OW community talking.  This why we decided to do a small clean up of our own.  In my opinion there is NO justifiable excuse for purposely littering into an ocean or at all for that matter.  If you accidentally drop a cup or bottle and it gets away from you (it happens) then that is one thing.  Intentionally tossing it is another.

3 miles OW

Saturday, August 3, 2013

3Aug13

Went to Deer Creek today to help out with a swim clinic.  I went a few hours early so I could get a swim in.  I arrived after 1500 and I'll NEVER go to Deer Creek to swim at that time again.  There were more boats and jet ski's than could be counted.  It was crazy.  Even the no wake zone was crowded and I had to swim between boats either sitting still or moving 2 MPH.  I was uneasy and constantly looking at my surroundings.  Never got comfortable in my swim. 
I swam all the way from after the marina to the end of lake going south then back.  That put me over 2 miles.  I then went in and headed south again and counted 600 strokes.  I turned back and made it in 556 strokes.  I was pushing it some because I knew I would be done.
Finished right at 2.8 miles.
Josh soon arrived and he along with Gordon and myself gave a swim clinic to Rachel and her friend Tania.  Tania new to OW swimming and was looking for some tips.  After we chatted awhile, we went to the water.  We headed to a water buoy about 100 yards away.  She had a good stroke and did great getting there.  She was SO excited to be in the water and learning with us.  I absolutely LOVE taking people out into the open water for their first time or taking them to new lakes/places

Gordon and I soon left and went to Subway.  We had a nice chat about his upcoming swim and what was expected of me and what I'll be looking for in him.  I'm getting excited for him and there are no words to describe how much I want him to succeed.  He was there for me on my swim and now I can't wait to support him on his.

I finished today with 2.8 miles.  My weekly total is 12.73 miles.  I am REALLY happy that I did 5 swims totaling over 10 miles.  12 is even better.  I just need to keep up at least 10 a week and I'll be ready to try my first gem swim for the UTTC!!!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

1Aug13

Easy day today and I do mean EASY.

Got to the pool and was standing poolside at 0600.  2 lifeguards were pulling tarps off the edge of the pool but my lane was clear.  They kept walking around and putting things away but never going near the LG chair.  After 5 minutes of watching them, I finally hollered across the pool, "Can I get in now, I promise I won't drown"!  One guard laughed pretty hard and said I was fine to get in.
Did an easy 1000
500 straight
then another 500 but I did one 50 M of breast then free back then back then fly...yes I did a 50 fly with my shoulders as tired as they were. Went slow and did a whip kick instead of a dolphin kick.

1000 LCM easy

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

31Jul13-Marathon

Major breakthrough today!
Woke up at 0500 and headed to Jordanelle.  As I was packing my gear, I realized I was out of energy powder and texted Josh to bring some.  He said he had already left but had some in his bag.  I packed several gels and some Cliff bars.
Arrived a bit later than I wanted and I saw Josh down near the water with a few other people.  I was just focused on getting in so I didn't say hi to anyone more than 3 seconds.  Josh followed me back to my car and gave me his Perpetuem powder.  He soon left and I got my gear together as quickly as I could. 
I wanted to do 2 laps minimum, 3 laps ideally, and 4 laps if I felt good.
I did 4 laps.  After each lap, I would get out, take a gel and drink a bunch of fluids.  After the 2nd lap I ate half a Cliff bar.  It took awhile for my stomach to settle down after mixing a gel, bar, and Perpetuem but I soon felt better.  I kept thinking, "If I do 2 laps, I'll leave disappointed.  If I do 3 laps, I'll leave satisfied.  If I do 4 laps I'll leave feeling great".  I made sure to go to the farthest buoy each way and serpentine between the buoys.  (They aren't in a straight line so going from buoy to buoy adds a little bit more)  I even swam past the end buoys a bit.  Each little bit added up.
When I got out my GPS read 6.62 miles.  Now even with weaving there is no way it adds up to that much.  I called and consulted Josh about my distance.  The phone GPS app can run high for distance sometimes and it seemed like it did again.  I know I did not go 6.62 but I do know I did at least 6.2 miles.  I'm comfortable saying so with all my extra little distances I made myself to each lap.  They add up.
I felt GREAT!  If I had more time and had brought more food/gel/liquids, I would have done more...a LOT more.  I was gone so long that on the last lap, I stopped so a SUP paddler could pass in front of me.  He said Hi and I could hear my phone ringing and it was my wife's ringtone.  It was her calling to see where I was! 
I did have my usual 1st mile of being stiff, 2nd mile of bitching and moaning about the swim, then the 3rd mile on feeling good.  My stroke fell apart a couple of times but I noticed it quickly and got it back to good form.
When I got out, there were a few people loading up on boats and jet skis that asked me how far I went.  I told them I swam a 10k and they just couldn't believe it.  The looks people give when you say a swim distance like that NEVER gets old!  They asked what time I got here and they were impressed that I even got up that early to go swimming.

This is a BIG deal for me.  I've been struggling mentally lately about my swim performance and have even gotten down on myself for not being in as good of swim shape as I wished I could be.  I'm finding myself forcing my body to the pool only to not find the joy as much.  Some days are good and others are just plain blah!  Today made me realize that all those early alarms and getting wet before the sun even rises is yet again worth it.  You have to put in the workouts before getting the results.  This is the my best result so far this year.  It makes me feel like I'm really back from my recent struggles.  All of my swim friends keep telling me to not be so hard on myself over my speed, workouts, and what I'm not able to do.  Today I just kept my head down and kept stroking.  (giggle)
I was planning on taking tomorrow off but "maybe" I'll find a reason to squeeze in an easy 1000M before my test.

6.2 miles (Marathon) OW total  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

30Jul13

I was planning on doing a longer set today but Josh said he was going to Jordanelle tomorrow so I decided to do a long swim Wed and a shorter one today.
1000 WU
6 x 50 descending each lap.  I started slow, built up speed, and sprint last 15M for all 5
300K with fins and snorkel
200 swim with snorkel
50 breathing every 5  strokes
50 breathing every 7 strokes
100 CD

2000 LCM

Tomorrow I plan on going to Jordanelle with Josh and who ever else shows up.  I plan on doing at least 4 miles but hopefully 5.  We shall see!

Monday, July 29, 2013

29Jul13

Up and ready poolside by 0600.  Got in and started warming up.  I immediately felt Saturday's swim.  I swam 1k and I was still tight after my "warmup".
One really nice thing was that it was still pretty dark when I got in and so my entire warmup I felt like I was doing a night swim...kinda.
I put on my snorkel and kicked 500.  I did a little arm rotation on some 50's but nothing much.
500 swim with snorkel.  It felt weird but I started to get used to it.
5 x 100 pull  I noticed my form starting to fall apart toward the end.
500 smooth stroke paying a LOT of attention to my technique.

I plan on doing a longer straight swim tomorrow and my shoulders were feeling extremely sore and were on the point of pain so I got out at 3k.
I'm happy that I was back in the water.  It felt good and I need to start buckling down if I plan on doing a UT triple crown again this year.  No more days off for me. 

3k LCM

Sunday, July 28, 2013

27Jul13 - Tour of Lakes

Some catching up...
Wed and Thur of this week = Family time on the beach then when I went to go swimming the weather turned against me. Family time was more important anyway.
Friday - Drove from NC to MD.  Traffic was bad and we missed a turn for our Garmin GPS so it punished us by making us drive through downtown DC at 1630 on a Friday.  It even took us through DuPont Circle.  Okay, for those that don't know what this means.  Downtown DC on any day is NUTS.  On a Friday at 1630 it is the worst in the country!!!  DuPont circle is THE 6th circle of Hell Dante was referencing.   Our 6 hour trip took us nearly 10 hours instead...not happy.  I was tired from all of the travel and more traveling was just a sleep away!
Saturday - Up early and to the BWI airport.  The plane and airports weren't really all bad.  We all got back around 1100 and I quickly unpacked.  I was tired and CRANKY from the 2 days of travel.  Plane travel wipes most people out to some degree but add 10 hours of driving from the previous day on top of it and it's just exhausting.
I was already too late to have gone with the group for the Tour of Lakes here.  I was actually thinking about it most of the plane ride home.  I was hoping they were doing well and having fun.  Travel plans had me coming back on this day instead of Friday.
I looked at where they would be and called Josh.  He called back when I was already on the road.  I needed a break and since I didn't get to swim the past few days, I wanted to have some fun in the water.
I met up with the group at Rockport.  Swam exactly 1 mile.
Next stop was Jordanelle - 1.02 miles
Deer Creek - 1.18
Utah Lake - 1.04
Group walking to Deer Creek lake.  We look like the weirdest and wimpiest "gang" as we came down together.

Just the bottom lakes for me!
All of us at end

The whole Tour of Lakes was 8 lakes and 1 mile each so you get 8 miles broken up.
I got 4 lakes and over 4 miles.
2 things stood out.
1) This was FUN!!!!  I had a great time swimming with everyone and meeting for dinner afterwards.
2) Breaking up your swim by a mile at a time gets really tiring!  I only could make the last 4 and it kicked my butt.  I can't imagine how tired the others were that did all 8.  Granted the only others that did a full mile of each were Gordon, Josh, and Joelle.  Others swam for 1/2 hour total each.  It's still REALLY impressive what they did.
I went to bed and was asleep really fast.  The farthest I have swam this year was 4 miles in one shot.  This was 4 miles but was MUCH harder to do.  Next year they are thinking about doing 10 since they were so far ahead of schedule.
Looks like a great idea!  I'll be in much better shape and hopefully we'll need 2 big vans for the number of people that will want to join us!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

23Jul13 - swimming with a chicken

Yesterday I forgot to go swimming in the morning.  It was more family time than anything and when I considered it in the afternoon, storm clouds were coming in.  I got to the beach this morning and after everyone had their fun, I stayed behind to swim.
The water was choppy and looked great.  I saw a guy dragging a kayak toward the water and asked if he wanted to paddle next to me.  He was game.  Once we got out in the water, I asked where he wanted to go.  He said he likes to go straight out and paddle around looking for/at dolphins.  (they are actually porpoises but w/e)  We headed straight out and I could feel the water temp drop and it was obvious we had just cleared a shelf.  The water got dark blue and colder.  I was loving it.  We headed south for awhile and then he and I both noticed a HUGE shadow beneath us.  I thought it was cool and kept diving down to check it out.  Couldn't see exactly what it was but I know it was bigger than me.  He FREAKED OUT and said he was no longer comfortable and wanted to go back NOW...  All I could think was...REALLY?  What do you think is out here?  Catfish?  Minnows???  You wanted to go where the "dolphins" are and we are where the big fish are.  As soon as you see what you were targeting to see, you panic?  What a chicken!!!  Dude, you are in a kayak which makes you even bigger so I would definitely be hit first if anything were to "attack" us and you could cut and run yet I was COMPLETELY comfortable.  Chill the hell out dude.
I was nice and swam back to shore with him.
It was great to go out past the shelf but it was a severe letdown once I got there.  One sign of sea life and I had to head back.  Next swim I'm going longer and will stay on the "shallow" end of the shelf...btw, many sharks still swim up to the waist deep water too!

.9 miles.....ONLY .9 miles  I also keep forgetting to grease.  I started to chafe pretty bad today.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

20Jul13 - OCEAN!!

I arrived to the Outer Banks in North Carolina yesterday evening.  Before going to bed, I took a walk to the beach with Patricia.  The was was extremely calm and actually a bit chilly.  I noticed it was chilly and Patricia thought it was down right freezing.  I checked the ocean temp on line and it said it was 68 degrees.  NICE!!!
Got up this morning and after breakfast we all headed down to enjoy the water.  While most of the adults were watching the kids or just going up to their waist, I could not contain myself.  I put on my goggles, cap, and strapped on my SSD and headed out.  I loved the feel of the chill.  I haven't been in water this cold in awhile.  I even got pain in between my eyes.  I adjusted quickly and headed south against the current.  It wasn't too strong and I felt GREAT.  I only wanted to do something nice and easy for today.
I counted 750 strokes then turned around.  I immediately felt the tide on my side when I headed north.  No jellyfish on the swim and the water kept me cool but I never felt chilled or even remotely uncomfortable.  Got back and GPS read 1.1 miles.

SO glad to be in the ocean.  I knew I was going to take it easy today but there will definitely be some swims next week where I bring some feeds with me so I can get some more distance.

1.1 miles OW