Monday, September 30, 2013


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 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


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


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


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


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.
 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......


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

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

Monday, September 9, 2013


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


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!


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