Wednesday, July 31, 2013


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


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


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

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Got a call from Suzie Dods yesterday that one of her friends from San Francisco is going to be in Salt Lake City and wanted to try the lake.  We got in contact with each other and Zina Deretsky and I agreed to meet at 0700 at the Saltair marina this morning.  Beautiful morning for a swim.  Water was 80 degrees in the lake which made it HOT but I knew the swim was going to be short.
She just wanted the experience.  She loved every minute of it.  The usual comments about how salty it is, how buoyant it is, etc were expressed by her.  We just headed out of the marina and into the lake.  The water past the first red buoy was very clear and I took long slow strokes to look at the topography of the lake floor.  Simply mesmerizing. 
She didn't have long to swim so we cut it short.  It was more for the experience than anything.
Photo: Had a fun short swim with Zina Deretsky in GSL this morning. LOVE taking new people to GSL
Another satisfied GSL swimmer!

I really enjoy taking new people out to our lake to promote it's unique beauty.  She had a great time and thus, so did I.  I drove to Josh's house before going to the lake to pick up a T-shirt for her.

.75 miles OW

Friday, July 12, 2013


It was raining pretty hard this morning when my alarm went off at 0530.  I knew the outdoor pool would probably be closed so I went back to bed.  Rain and the alleged lightning didn't come today...the weather people not having a clue about the weather....SHOCKING!
I'm doing a 5k run tomorrow with my wife.  Well, she will run and I'll run/walk. 
Went to the pool at 1300 and it was set up for 25y by then.  Short and sweet.
Got in, swam 20 laps straight, got out.  Done!
Nothing hardcore.  Just held a steady pace for 20 laps just so my arms could feel some water but nothing that will take energy away from my run tomorrow.

Easy 1k SCY

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Met Josh this morning at Fairmont pool in SLC this morning.  They do an open water workout in the pool there a few times a week.  They just move some lane lines over and you can swim in bigger circles.  Each big circle is around 75 yards.  It's different and adds a twist to pool swimming.
From what I remember we swam for a few minutes, worked on some starts, did some turn work then played a game where we had to keep on the feet of the person in front of us to work on drafting.  The workout was fun and I hit my max heart rate a few times.  I had a good time overall.
After the swim, Josh and I went for a short run.  Probably less than 2 miles but definitely more than 1.5.  It was a good workout today.

2000 yards.  Josh said it was closer to 2500 but he lapped me a few times and I fell off his pace when he was leading.  I guess it's 2k yards! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

10Jul13 - Jordanelle

Got up early this morning to see how far away Jordanelle Reservoir is from my house.  Turns out that driving there at 0500 means the roads are REALLY clear!  I got there much faster than expected.  The group was meeting at 0600 and I was ready to go a half hour in advance.
A pretty good group showed up this morning.  There were about 8 people there.  Josh knew everyone but I only knew Josh and Sue.  Josh showed me the route and each T-lap was 1.4 miles.  Perfect.  2 laps it will be.
We all took off and there is a line of white cigarette buoys that run the entire swim.  I just kept spotting off each white buoy which never seemed to be far away.  It's a GREAT Jedi Mind Trick there.  Just focus on how close the next "goal" is over and over.  I felt pretty good out there today.  The air was chilly but the water seemed hot.  I spent a LOT of time thinking about ice swimming yesterday.  A few things have happened lately about the Bering Straight swim that I have been following.  I even talked with a fellow ice swimmer on the phone and we shared our mile blog with each other.
Even though we both swore we would never do another ice mile, both of us are considering it again.  I guess I relate this to birth.  From what I heard from my wife and other women, during the actual birth, it's horrible, agonizing pain, etc etc...worst experience EVER.  While they are in the middle of it, they swear they will never do this again.
Once it's done, they are glad it's over because they achieved their goal...a baby.  A few weeks later they forget about how horrible the ACTUAL birth was and I've heard many women say (including my wife) "It really wasn't that bad"!  DID YOU FORGET???  Are you serious?  It sounded like you were dying in there, even WITH the Epi!  My wife just laughed it off and sure enough, right in the middle of contractions for baby #2, they REMEMBER!  Oh yes, THIS was the horribleness I swore off.  I actually HAD forgotten about this moment.  What was I thinking claiming that it wasn't "that bad".  I remember now...IT'S WORSE!
But, just like a delete button on a keyboard, you forget and weeks later they go right back to, "It wasn't that bad".
I guess I'm in the same boat mentally.  (No idea what it would be like physically.  Thank heaven!  I can't imagine trying to push a watermelon out of an opening that when dilated, is still only the size of an apple!) I know it was horrible and I have reread my account of it many times but your brain doesn't remember the actual pain, only that it was painful.  Well I'm sure if I do another ice mile, I'll be just like my wife.  I can do it....Oh Lawd this is the WORST pain imaginable...2 week later - It wasn't that bad!
I did 2 laps.  The 2nd lap I was doing some heads up breast while chatting with Josh.
Josh and me
 Sue was steamrolling the water.  She got in first and never looked back.  She got so far ahead of everyone that she wondered why everyone was so far behind.  She thought there was a problem.  No Sue, you are just kicking ass!
Got out and felt great.  I really like this lake.  It's close so I'll probably start using this as my OW lake when the GSL is too warm/nasty to swim in.

2.8 miles OW

Monday, July 8, 2013

8Jul13 - Bill Engvall

Today I saw some things at the pool that had me thinking of the comedian Bill Engvall.  He rose to popularity with the idea that dumb people should have to wear signs that say "I'm stupid" that way you know never to rely on them or trust them with anything.  If you've never heard his comedy before, he's pretty good and makes some valid points.  Here is a sample.
Well today I saw something that makes me want to go out and get signs for some swimmers that say, "I have NO idea what I'm doing"!  This way you know to stay as far away as possible. 
Some examples today are:
1) Seeing a guy wearing hand paddles, fins, and a BUOY!  I actually snorted water when I saw this guy.
2) Swimming laps while wearing regular shorts.  Not swim shorts, regular casual shorts and a t-shirt.
3) Asking me to split a lane then you keep "drifting" over to my side and I have to dodge you several times.
The last one is for the kids doing swim team.  Granted the range of kids goes from middle school to high school.  The older you are, the farther away from me you are...which means the smaller kids still working on swimming are closest to me.  That is fine and they are kids but they need to be reminded they are there to swim and it is not play time.  I was taking a set break and 2 boys were playing a "game" where they were trying to grab each others penises instead of listening to their coach.  Call me cantankerous but I think that crosses a line for pool workouts! Wanting to play with other boys genitals is fine if that is your interest and I'm a huge supporter of gay rights but seriously that stuff for college!

Did 500's today

500 WU
500 drill (idea from Josh - each 100 you lose a finger so last 100 you are doing fist swimming)
500 kick - Tried my new snorkel.  Love it but for some reason, my nose kept trying to let water in.  I focused real hard on just breathing through my mouth but I kept feeling water crawling up my nose and causing me to water sneeze.  I need to wear a nose plug I guess when using a snorkel.  I can already tell it's going to help with my lung capacity and VO2 max.
500 pull
500 with some hard pulling
500 CD

My body felt great during the workout but I still had my dinner from last night in my stomach.  I threw up a few times only into my mouth to taste lasagna.  Not good!  It happened twice again on last 500 and I decided to get out early.  I kept thinking that if I was at the lake, I would have just let it out while swimming then kept going.  Barfing in lake = okay.  Barfing in pool = bad ju ju!

3000 LCM

Friday, July 5, 2013

4Jul13 - 4 for the 4th

Got up at 0300 to a really good thunder/lightning storm.  It kept me awake for about an hour and I wondered if my swim today was going to be cancelled.  Alarm went off at 0430 and I sent a text to Gords.  He said it should be clear by the time we start and he was still going.  I packed my bag and headed to Pineview.  Construction held me up until 0600.  I arrived to see Gordon getting ready to start with his son paddling for him. 
We chatted a bit then started.  Joelle was supposed to be with us but we started without her.  Sure enough, about 100 strokes into the swim, I see a woman running down toward the "beach" with a towel and nothing else.  I pulled up and it was Joelle.  She swam up to me and said Hi long enough to keep right on going!
I did the "Goody Loop" which is from the beach to the buoys then back.  I know the water is low and wouldn't make the usual 2 miles so I took really wide turns and serpentine some while swimming to add distance.
Got back and Gordon was almost done doing his 2.5 mile route.  Joelle was close behind him.  We all started again and I did another lap.
Joelle, Gords and me

I felt really good after the 2nd mile and got into a really comfortable pace.  I didn't bring my GPS but I know I was making good time.  I felt great today.  Just took me awhile to get going.  Maybe I'm back to my old ways.  Sore and tight 1st mile, complaining in my head and full of doubt 2nd mile then 3rd mile on feel fine!  Greeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaat!  I really don't want to go back to struggling first 2 miles before I enjoy my swim.  We'll see.
Got back and said bye to Gords and Joelle. 

4 miles today OW.  Longest swim of the year.  REALLY happy I came today and swam this far.  I'm going to have to test my distance again and see if the same pattern comes again.  If it does, then I know I have to do more than 2 miles before I start feeling good.  THEN I will start doing some serious distance again.   Time will tell.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Went to the outdoor pool nearby and forced myself to get in.  It was a tough go at it but I made myself do it anyway.  Just doing something would count for today.

I really didn't bother to keep track of what I did.

2000 yards of mixing up speed work, short distance, drill and some breast.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


After being unable to swim for several days due to my wife being in NYC, I was finally able to get back into the pool.  Josh joined me for this morning swim.
500 WU
300 K
4 x 50 drill
5 x 100 easy, hard, easy, hard, easy
5 x 100 pull
3 x 100 IM
1 x 200 IM

2500 LCM

Then to make it really fun, Josh and I went for a short run after our swim.  I have not run in a LONG time and I want to start doing some cross training.  We did just short of 2 miles.  I did walk quite a bit but I'm sure I ran more than walked.  The terrain here is VERY hilly and makes for quite a challenging run.....especially when you are severely out of running shape!
Overall I had a good time.
Thanks Josh for coming along for my workout today.  It helped.