Monday, June 26, 2017

26Jun17 - Anne Cleveland Memorial Swim

I learned Sunday morning that Anne Cleveland had passed away from cancer.  I was pretty upset about this bad news.  Although I had only met her once in person, she had a big impact on my life.  When I was pulled from the water from my Catalina attempt and was officially marked DNF, I was emotionally destroyed.  I went into a clinical depression that lasted several weeks.  I did not eat much, had no interest in swimming anymore, slept poorly, and cried uncontrollably at random times with no warning.  After about 3 weeks of this, I believe I was talking to Lynn Kubasek about what I was going through.  She was my observer and was the one who officially pulled me.  (Just to be clear, she did the right thing...I was a mess and it was no longer safe for me to be swimming.)  She told me to contact Anne and gave me her contact info.  I talked to her and she understood what I was going through.  She had a devastating DNF under her belt too.  After about an hour of conversation and pouring my heart out to her, she said the one thing that made the difference.  She said that a DNF like that after a year of training is similar to having a family member die.  That clicked for me immediately.  She advised that instead of trying to get through it and focus on the next goal, I should stop everything and actually mourn this defeat.  Let all my emotions out and really focus on the stages of depression and getting through them in a healthy way.
I took her advice and I soon recovered and found my love of swimming again.  It was talking to her, someone who actually knew what I was going through, that was able to give me the help I needed to see the sunlight again.
Not too long later, I was able to meet her at the International Open Water Swim Awards.  I thanked her for the advice and told her how much our conversation meant to me.  If she had not helped me during that time, I can not say for certain that I would still be swimming today.
Anne, me and Mallory Renae

I met with Lisa at 0500 at JN.  It was a beautiful morning and I told Lisa about Anne and all she did to help me and others.  I said I only wanted to do 2 miles today.  I got an ear infection last week and had to get medicine for it and was told I was not allowed to swim.  As we started, I stopped for a minute and pointed up at the sky, "This swim is for you Anne"!
Lisa and I stayed inside the buoy line and did the full route.  We finished and we were just under 2 miles.  I felt AMAZING.  I was full of energy after the first mile and dare I say it, I was not far behind Lisa.  I couldn't keep up with her but I was a whole lot closer than usual.  I said I feel too good to stop.  We headed straight south to the dam to add on another mile.
We finished at exactly 3 miles.  I made sure to dry my ear out very well after taking out the plugs.  I really hope my ear doesn't hurt tonight.  If it does, it means I have to see an ENT Dr. and it might be the end of my training for awhile and thus I'll probably have to scrap my Utah Triple Crown in 24 hours for this year.  (Fingers crossed!!!)
Another perfect day
I did think of Anne a few times as I was swimming but not enough to get me to start crying again like I did a bunch yesterday.  Thanks Anne for all you did for me and all you achieved in life that were an inspiration to so many others.

Water temp was 68.  PERFECT!

3 miles OW

Monday, June 19, 2017


Back to the pool...BOOOOO!!!
1200 WU then Masters
10 x 50 on 1:10 choice
200 IM
8 x 50 on 1:00 choice
500 pull
6 x 50 on :55
200 kick
2 x 50 on :50
I then did a 100 easy CD

This put me at 35 laps.  I have a new class this week so I wanted to make sure I got out early enough to get to class on time and get a seat near an outlet.

I am hoping to get another swim in today but after the lake swim Friday, I had a bad ear ache in my left ear.  Bought some ear drops yesterday but it's not feeling that great still.  I put some wax plugs in my ear today so we will see.  If my ear is still feeling funny after class, I'm going to swing by the VA clinic and get it looked at instead of doing another 1500.  I'd rather swim as opposed to having my ear probed!

3500 LCM

Back for more!!!

I went back to the pool after class and did another 1500.  Nothing special but it did add up to another 15 laps.  That puts me at 5k for today.

5000 LCM total for today

Friday, June 16, 2017

16Jun17 - A test of discipline

Alarm went off at 0400 and I felt eager to get to the lake.  Not one thought of sleeping in or ditching Lisa crossed my mind.  Halfway driving there, I started to get very tired again and the closer I got to the lake, the more tired I became and less motivated to swim.  Too late, I'm almost there!  Arrived a bit before 5 and got my stuff ready.  Lisa had not arrived yet and so I went back into my car.  The air temp was 43 and I only had shorts on.  I laid the car seat back and was just falling asleep when headlights flashed across my face and woke me up.  Lisa is here.
We said hi and she started to put on a wet suit....wait what?  She said that even though she did SCAR without one, water under 65 doesn't go well for her.  Understood and I kept my smart ass comments to myself.
The water level was HIGH.  Very high.  I've never seen so much water in the lake.  I got in and Lisa and I noticed how cold it was.  I knew the website said it was 62 but it felt colder...much colder.  We finally stopped talking to stall time and headed out to the first buoy.  It took me a long time to get adjusted.  Longer than usual.  I was convinced it was colder than 62.  Once we hit the first buoy, I took a temp reading.  EUREKA!  I was right, the water was colder than 62.  It was 61!  Now I felt like a huge wimp!  I used to be able to handle 50 with minimal problems and I'm freezing myself in only 61.  Even though I did not acclimate myself to cold water during the winter as I usually do and that has a major impact for spring, I felt weak and a bit disappointed.  We headed west first then back to the start.  We then went east and when we reached the end, we noticed a few more buoys that make a small "T" at the end.  We headed back to meet up with Josh but knew we would do that extra T on the next lap.
We got to green and Josh was arriving.  The sun was just coming over the mountains and Lisa and I changed our goggles.  Normally I take a minute to appreciate how beautiful it is in the lake at this moment but I honestly was still cold.  Not dangerous cold but noticeably cold.  I noticed Josh was wearing a wet suit and I couldn't hold back at least one snarky comment.  I say it out of love!
We headed east to start this lap.  We met up when we had all done the extra T.  We headed to the green buoy at the start and Josh had to go.
Lisa, me, and Josh  Perfect morning weather for a swim
 I told Lisa before we started that I wanted to try for 4 miles.  Josh got out and we went west to the end of the line then back.  We were still short a few hundred yards for 4 miles according to my GPS watch.  I was really tired at this point and asked Lisa to swim next to me for motivation.  She paced slowly next to me and we went out 3 more buoys then back.  We headed in and we hit exactly 4 miles.
I was wiped out and glad to be done.  I just didn't feel right.
Heading home I was on Blue Tooth most of the time to keep me awake.  I took a shower and went back to bed.  I slept another 4 hours and even writing this I don't feel right.  I think I'm getting a cold which would explain my lack of energy and inability to warm up completely this morning.

One problem I discovered when I did the math at home.  Lisa and I were thinking of a pool mile of 1650.  That would put 4 miles at 6600.  That is what I ended on.  An actual mile is 1760 yards.  I don't measure by pool miles, I measure by real miles.  6600 yards = 3.75 miles.  THIS IS WHY WE NEED THE METRIC SYSTEM!  Our system is just random BS numbers!  Oh well.  Still, a swim is a swim!  One nice thing is that Lisa and I figured if you go west to the end then east and add on the T, it will be dang near 2 miles exactly.  I'll measure when I go next.

Today was a test of dicipline.  I wanted to quit a few times but made myself keep going.  I was cold but as long as I was only uncomfortable and not dangerously cold, I kept going.  I do math in my head at random times and if I can solve the problem, I'm still ok to keep going.  If I can't divide 5589 by 9 and get the right answer, it's time to get out.  I was just slow and cold but kept going anyway.

I do want to express thanks to Lisa for swimming with me the last few hundred yards when I was really struggling to get any movement going.  It helped a great deal.  Thanks for being my friend.

3.75 miles OW

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Alarm went off at 0420 and I laid in bed for a minute trying to think of a good excuse to sleep in.  I couldn't come up with one before my bladder woke up too so out of bed I went.  Very glad I went today.  I was talking with Sue before we got in and I said I'm at the point where it is taking me at least 1k to warm up but it's not quite a full habit yet...thus the mental debate this morning in bed.
Met Becky and Sue as we entered.  Becky is our Masters coach.  She and Sue were going to do a reverse ladder workout.  Starting with 11, all odds are the # of lengths straight through and the even ones are the # by 100's.
What I loved about this workout was that after the first 3 sets, you are at 2k.  The laps went by fast and the workout seemed to go great.  I just felt great today.  I did pulls for the 6 x 100, kicking for the 4 x 100 and hard/all out for the 2 x 100.
When you finish this set, it puts you at 4800.
200 CD then done.
I got out of the pool feeling as if I had just gotten in.  I had to get to class otherwise I would have done another couple of thousand easy.  Man I felt great today.  I am jubilant that I didn't sleep in.
I'm really looking forward to Jordanelle tomorrow.

5000 LCM

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Didn't sleep great 2 nights ago so I decided to sleep in yesterday.
Today was a fun workout.  Tough but fun.
1000 WU
300 kick
Nature Call break then Masters began
2x(2x100 swim then 200 IM)
2 x 200 kick
400 IM
100 easy
500 pull
10 x 50 1-4 swim 5-10, breathing only 7 times then 6 then 5 etc per 50 so the last 50 you only breathe 2 times.  I made it to 3 but when I tried 2, my mind freaked out like a little baby and I didn't make it.  I got a bit pissed at myself and I tried it again.  MADE IT.  It hurt like hell but I did it.  Keep in mind folks that this is a 50 meter pool so swimming 50 meters and only breathing 2 times is HARD.
50 back easy
4 x 100 easy CD

Tough day today but felt great getting out that I had done the 2 breathes for the 50.  That means my lungs are getting bigger.  I plan on doing ....actually I have  NO idea what I'm doing tomorrow but will shoot for 5k.  Really looking forward to Friday and swimming in Jordanelle.

4500 LCM

Monday, June 12, 2017


I'm taking some teacher classes over the summer (good teachers never stop learning) so I will be stuck in the pool M-Th this week and next.
Was at the pool at 0500.  Pool was HOT today.  Sue and I were not happy.
1000 WU
500 of mixing in kicking and swimming
2 x 100 steady pace then Masters started
5 x 200 pull on the 3:30
8 x 50 swim down, IM order back on the 1:05
3 x 100 on :55, 50 sprint, 2 x 100, 50 sprint, 1 x 100, 50 sprint, 50 EZ
100 CD

4000 LCM  I swear I did 4500...I'll check my lap counter and if it is 45 then I need to remember where that other 500 came from.

Friday, June 9, 2017


Josh contacted me yesterday and said he was interested in going to the GSL this morning.  I could not resist and immediately contacted Lisa and posted on FB.  We met around 0600 and I planned to do more than just a casual swim.  It was great seeing Josh there.  We swam a few Saturdays ago but that was a fun swim after our annual Clean Up event.  He has not swam in a year so he wanted to do a mile.  We all headed out of the marina then north following the buoy line.  We all went to the last buoy then headed back.  When we were at the last buoy before the marina, Josh headed in.
Lisa, Josh, and me right before he headed home.

I had already told Lisa I wanted to do at least 3 today.  Apparently she has never done the Gridley lap and didn't even see Blackrock from the marina.  She said she would "follow me" which is like the rabbit saying he would follow the turtle during their race.  We swam to where we could stand and I realized I would not make it back to my house at the time my wife desired.  I called her then I hurried back.  I picked up a good pace heading back.  I pushed myself to where I was knew I was working myself hard but not to the redline of my ability.  I was able to hold this steady faster pace for about 1000 strokes.  Felt good to push it like that and my energy stayed.
I got to the last buoy before the marina entrance and expected Lisa to be there.  Nope, she was long in the marina.  I headed in and as I was walking up the ramp, she was walking down fully dressed!  Man she is fast.
We figured we did over 3 miles today but since my freaking GPS watch never turned the distance on, I'll just say I did 3.  Overall it was a great swim.  I have to take a few classes over the next 2 weeks so I'll be in the pool M-Th and Fridays I plan on going to Jordanelle.  Lisa said she can't wait to join me.  I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of swimming with her...well, behind her...WAY behind her all summer.

3 miles OW

Thursday, June 8, 2017

8Jun17 - Making swimming a religious experince

Apparently my church leader Tyler Toone enjoys swimming and asked to join me the next time I head out to the Salt Lake.  I picked him up and we met Lisa Gentile at the marina around 0545.  The water is 68 and felt great.  We got ready and headed in.  I was half expecting a complaint about the water being below 70 but he did great.  Lisa took off and I stayed with him.  We left the marina and hit the first buoy.  Things quickly fell apart from there.  The salt really got to him and he could not, for the life of him, exhale through his nose.  He was calm but was simply amazed at the copious amount of mucus that was pouring out of his mouth and nose.  I got him comfortable and after chatting for a bit, he decided to hang out by the buoy near the marina.  I swam to the next buoy then back.  When I got back to him, he was all smiles.

Doesn't he look great!

 I told him to hold his breath and dive down.  He tried it and laughed as he popped back up like a cork.
We headed back in and then drove home.
I was hoping to do at least 2-3 miles today but only got around 1/3 of a mile.  It's okay, I had a great time with him and it brings me tremendous joy taking new people out to the GSL.  He admitted that despite the discomfort, he loved it.   He complained that his eyes were watering, his nose won't stop running, his mouth feels funny, could not get in ANY kind of rhythm to swim with, and he had a few rub marks on his body where he did not grease. He then said he can't wait to come back and swim there again!  Yeah Tyler!!!
It was a fun experience overall.  Glad I was able to introduce our beautiful lake to another person who can appreciate her.

1/3 mile OW

Monday, March 20, 2017

20Mar17-Sissy Swim

Well, it's been awhile!
I have been swimming in the pool most days and try to do around 18,000-20,000 yards per week and pick it up each month.
I was notified last night that the GSL was above 60.  I called Dave the Harbormaster and he said the water is risen high enough to swim from the boat ramp.  I made a post on Facebook and met Lisa and Sam at 1700.  I arrived early and did a temp reading.  From the boat ramp, it was 65.
We soon all got greased up and went in.  We all admitted that the warm pool water over the past few months has made us all soft.  Sam didn't want to wait and got going soon after getting in.  I followed soon after then Lisa.  The water felt a bit chilly but I was adjusting well.  I soon was putting my face in and by the time I reached the marina entrance, I was completely warm.  We met at the first buoy and I did a temp reading.  63.5  We followed the buoy line and I did another reading 2 buoys down, 63.1.  We swam a few more and at our turn around point it was 63 flat.  The water was calm and felt amazing.  There was almost no difference between the top of the water and where your hand ends up during your stroke.  I felt so good and calm being out there.  All three of us grouped up at each buoy and we were all smiles.
Buoy Selfie!
We soon headed back and the wind gave us a fantastic push.  We made it back in no time.  I got out feeling better than I have in awhile as far as swimming goes.  I just feel so at ease when I am in the open water.  I think I might have been a fish in my past life.

As we were drying off, an older gentleman rode by me on his bike.  He saw my Swim Buddy and asked if I had been surfing.  I stifled a laugh and said no, I just drag it behind me when I swim.  He then asked if the three of us swam to Antelope.  "That's 7 miles away.  We just swam along the shore line to stay close to marina since this is our first swim out here this year".  He seemed genuinely upset with us.  "Just out here???  That's a SISSY SWIM!"  I bit my tongue and as he rode away, the three of us had a good laugh.
We are going to keep trying to swim each Monday at 1700.  We are going to dub it our weekly "Sunset Sissy Swim"!
One admission is that I did spend a lot of time during my swim thinking of Gordon, Josh, and Chad.  I really wish they could have been out there with us.  This was exactly the kind of conditions we would have done an easy 4 miles in a few years ago like it was nothing.  I hope they can all join us soon.

All in all it was a great swim and I'm glad I got to share it.

1.33 Miles OW