Monday, September 11, 2017

9Sep17-UTC24!

Before I even start with the blog on this, I want to give credit to the person who helped me cook up an idea as idiotic as this!  Grace Van Der Byl and I though of this together several years ago when I was a guest at her home.  It was mostly a "what if" joke but each year, we would somehow mention it and the more we talked about it, the more it seemed like it could be done.  Well Grace, it is done!  Thanks for the inspiration and guidance during this several years journey.

I will just start with a few days earlier and give a brief recap of the days leading up to this swim.
Thursday the 7th - I met Gordon at his mom's house and we drove to his in-law's family cabin near Bear Lake (BL).  We stayed up late watching TV, catching up, and relaxing.
Friday the 8th - Woke up early in hopes of being tired in the afternoon so I can nap for several hours and then rest for the swim starting at midnight.  Didn't work out that way.  We did get up early, ate breakfast, then went to a secluded spot behind the house and fired off guns for an hour.  They were all Gordon's guns and ammunition so I took it easy on shooting.  I didn't want to spend energy firing guns as much as I wanted to and besides, it was Gordon't ammo so I don't want to be a jerk and use up someone else's ammunition.  Gordon did most of the firing and it was relaxing and FUN!
We then headed into Logan so I could contact my family and then run a few errands.  When lunch came, we went to an all you can eat buffet and I ate quite well.  After that we went to a movie to kill more time.  We then made a quick ice cream stop then back to the cabin.  Nap time...only, I did not nap well.  I forced myself to stay on the bed with my eyes closed for 2 hours but sleep was minimal.  My nerves were starting to get to me.  I finally gave up and watched TV.  Gordon woke up awhile later and we started packing.
We left the house at 2215 and headed to BL to meet up with Joelle.
We met her at 2300 and she got in the front seat and I got in the back to lie down for a short nap.  I woke up and we were at the start.  Time to load up the kayak and grease up.
The air was chilly but we did a water reading and it read 68 degrees.  So much warmer than usual for this time of year.  I was afraid of the cold being a factor for this swim and it turned out to be a complete non-factor.
Quick Selfie 5 min before start.
Gordon counted me down from 1 minute and as midnight hit, I got in.  I tried walking in like a badass but actually slipped on the first rock, fell forward, and nearly busted myself in the first 3 yards!  I recovered and just got on my belly until it was deep enough to start swimming.  I adjusted quickly and off we went.
The BL swim went perfect.  There was a slight current for a few hours but nothing major.  Joelle made small corrections and we stayed on our course target.  My goal was to just swim smooth and not kill myself.  I wanted to finish around 4 hours and we hit land at 6.6 miles at exactly 4 and hours and 1 minute.  Perfect!
We loaded up quickly and dropped Joelle off at her car on the way to Deer Creek (DC).
I fell asleep quickly after drinking some recovery fluids and Gordon woke me up as we were at the boat ramp at DC.  I texted Becky and she was walking down the ramp ready to go.  We got the kayak loaded up and then it was time to grease me.
The weather said partly cloudy but I did not want to take any chances so I put a good layer of Desitin on me.  Yes, that is the baby butt cream but it is 40% zinc so it is an amazing sunscreen.  It is also good grease so that is all I needed.
After taking care of some last minute “business”, we were off.  We started just before 0630.  I knew this was going to be the toughest of the 3 swims so I kept myself motivated and focused on what I was doing.  Becky did an amazing job.  She critiqued my stroke when needed which saved me the most important things, energy and time!

I hit the halfway point quickly and I was feeling strong.  I hit the turnaround point for this swim faster than when I did this a few weeks ago for the SLOW swim event.  We even went farther past the turnaround point.  As we were heading back, the winds picked up and the current did too.  We got to an open spot and Becky told me to pick it up a bit to get to a point nearby where the land formation around the lake will protect us from the wind and make it easier.  I picked up my effort but when we got to the point, Becky looked down and said, “Turns out I lied”!  She didn’t lie to be mean, it was just a bad guess.  I had a chuckle and started back.  This time when I tried to pick up my stroke, I could feel my energy fading a bit.  I asked for my high calorie feed and a buzz bite.  They helped some but I knew I was not going to be coming back anywhere near as fast as going out. 
Starting

Heading back


Even the fish are jumping for joy as I finish!
We just plugged away the miles.  Once we hit the main bay that takes almost 3 miles to cover, my GPS watch she was wearing started to act up.  It was still “working” but I am 100% sure it was not being as accurate as before.  We got to where I know the turnaround for the 1 mile event is and the GPS watch said I had over a mile to go.  This made me mad.  I have gone farther in my distance along the shores and where we turn around to head back and yet my distance was not the same.  Becky was patient as I yelled at her about the watch screwing me over.  We got to the boat ramp and I could see Gordon but somehow in her magic coaching ways, convinced me that instead of getting out (even though I knew I had gone over 10 miles), to actually TURN AROUND and swim more.  No idea how she convinced me of that.  We need to keep it so there is NO doubt I did 10 miles.  I swam 5 minutes out and 5 back.  When I could see the boat ramp again, she signaled that 10 was on the GPS watch and she had finished timing.  So 10 *cough 10.5* was done at DC and now on to the Great Salt Lake (GSL).
I don’t even remember trying to get comfortable or even leaving the parking lot of DC.  I just woke up and we were at GSL and I could hear Josh talking.  I slept great for that drive.
I was too tired to even remove my cap!
Now THAT is a true friend!
Did I miss a spot?
I got out and Gordon helped put more Desitin on me and then I added more lanolin/vaseline grease to offset the high level of salt at GSL. 
 I felt good but was tired.  The water was really warm and the marina website read 78 degrees.  Felt even hotter.  I took 2 strokes and my arms were screaming at me.  No tricking myself for this one, my body knew it had already swam 16.5 miles.
I followed Josh out and he navigated me through the first lap.  I will admit that when we hit the first turn around spot, it took a lot longer than expected.  I decided to pick up my pace going back.  I made it back significantly quicker than going out but paid the price.  Heading out on my 2nd lap, Josh paddled in and Patricia took over.  We argued a bit over spotting but kept going anyway.  I was mainly cranky because I wanted to get it over and I knew my energy was dissipating.  We finished the 2nd lap then Josh took over again.  

When we hit the last turn, he told me that from now on, I can flip off each buoy as I passed it because it will be the last time I saw it.  I had to ask him to clarify because when he first started explaining, I could not hear him well and all I saw was a double barrel of the middle finger right in my face!  
I was too tired to flip off the buoys and the sun was now gone as I was a few hundred yards from finishing.  I could hear him yelling for me and also my support on the shore.  My father in law was there with his wife and so were my wife and kids next to Gordon. 
Finishing

I hit the last buoy and turned into the marina and headed to the boat ramp.  When my fingers hit the bottom, I just kneeled there for a second unsure if I was going to be able to stand.  The cheers from my family and friends helped motivate me to get on my feet.  I slowly walked up the ramp and when I was clear yelled, “We did it!”  This goes back to remembering Jamie Patrick in that no swim like this is done alone.  This event is a team effort.  No exception for this one.  I picked a great team and every person pulled their weight beyond asking and that was the biggest key to my success.
I started to dry off and I felt a bit light headed and wobbled a bit.  Gordon stepped up with a towel and started wrapping me up and holding me up.  I put my arms around him and starting sobbing uncontrollably.  The emotional high of finishing something so grueling and mentally taxing was too much to handle at that moment.  He just held me up and told me how proud he was of me.  He helped walk me over to the dock so I could sit.  I just sat there crying for several minutes.  My girls were genuinely confused as to why “daddy is crying so much”.  It reminded me of finishing the ice mile and having Gordon and Josh helping me out of the water and crying then too!  I cry too much.
We packed our gear and headed home.

BL – 6.6 miles…I’ll say 6.5 in 4:01.00
DC – 10 miles in 6:44.23
GSL – 7 miles in 4:58.49
Driving total - 216 miles
Total time for event - 20 hours and 34 minutes

Thanks:

Not to be funny but I really do want to thank God for this swim.  I prayed a LOT before this swim and even more during the swim that I would make it.  My energy did fall but I never stopped moving forward.  I also truly believe He blessed me with the best weather and water conditions imaginable. 

Joelle – Paddler for Bear Lake.  You guided me through the first step of this journey and were not only happy to be there, but eager to be there.  You have now been on the crew of my 3 most difficult swims I have done.  You are my good luck charm!  Thank you for your help and thank you for your friendship.

Becky – Paddler for Deer Creek.  You were apprehensive about paddling for me but after a training session a month ago, you did great.  You were amazing in your guidance and keeping my spirits up.  Even when the winds and currents turned against us, you still had a smile on your face.  That helped a lot.  Great pics too!  Thanks for being such a good coach and friend to me.  I still do hate you though.  J

Josh – Co-Paddler for Great Salt Lake.  You were always in a good mood and smiling at me.  You kept my spirits up when I was getting at my lowest points.  At one point of the swim, I really felt like just lying there for an hour but you leaned in and yelled encouragement to me.  I asked if you could believe I was going to finish the event.  You said, “I never had to believe it, I always knew it”.  Those words echoed in my head all the through the home stretch. 

Lisa – Training partner for this event.  You had a prior commitment so you were unable to attend and I missed you greatly.  There is no simpler way to put this, without all the miles we logged together at Jordanelle Reservoir, there was no way I would have been prepared to finish this.  No matter what distance I wanted to swim, no matter what unholy hour I wanted to start, your answer was always, “Okay, see you then”.  You were nothing short of spectacular for how you helped me.  We got to the point where a 6 mile swim wasn’t even hard anymore!  We were loose swim buddies before who swam together at random times, now I consider you a solid swim friend that I will respect forever.

Gordon – Driver, cheerleader, grease-applier, and 100 other jobs!  You got me into ultra-marathon swimming and look where it has us now years later.  You took time off work to help me relax and prepare for this swim.  You drove me everywhere and helped me with every single small detail to numerous to count that helped me succeed.  You are one of my best friends and it was the greatest honor to share this whole experience with you.  I love you and you truly are my pal forever.  (Sorry I trashed your van!)

Patricia – Co-Paddler for Great Salt Lake and most important for last.  This whole journey over the past several years could not have happened without your support.  When I told you that this was the year for UTC24, it was nothing but help from you.  I know I ruined every good sleep you had over the summer because you had to listen to the alarm going off as early as 2 in the morning so I could go swimming.  You let me swim whenever I needed and nap daily to help recover.  Everyone else helped tremendously but all pale in comparison to the love and support you have shown me while I trained for this.  You are my greatest love and my eternal companion, thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting up with me and giving me nothing but love.  I promise I’ll “try” to do a smaller swim next year.  J

Thank you also to all the people cheering me along the way.  All posts of encouragement during my swim helped me greatly.  Thanks to Phil Cutti for nutrition advice.  Thanks to Jed and his wife for coming out and cheering for me.  Also thanks to my girls for making posters of encouragement for me.  It was great. 

Thank you everyone who helped me along the way and God bless you all!


23.5 miles OW


Monday, September 4, 2017

4Sep17

Went to JN this morning at 0500.  Easy swim planned for today.  I did not even grease.  As I was putting my goggles on, SNAP!  There goes the nose strap.  Put my backup goggles on and prayed they would not snap or that would be the end of it.  They held and I got in the water.  Felt a chill but was adjusted within 20 seconds.
Swam out 1k yards then back.
Easy day.  Later today I will re-strap all of my goggles and try them out in the pool tomorrow.

2000 yards OW

Saturday, September 2, 2017

2Sep17

Up at 0420 and drove to JN.  I have not been in the lake for awhile and feared the water temp was dropping rapidly.  I also know the air temp is colder in the early mornings.
I arrived soon after 0500 and took a an air temp reading.  48...brrrr.  Went to check the water and it was 69.  Wow, much warmer than expected.
I got in and I felt great.  I barely even felt any sort of chill.  I headed to the dam and stopped around 2k yards.  I took a feed then headed back.  I hit the green buoy with just over 4k yards.  I had a little drink left so I finished it.
When I was heading out, I just wanted to mentally be tough enough to enter and swim in the "cold".  That was done so my goal for the swim was already met.  After taking my last drink, I felt a genuine desire to swim more.  I headed out and did another 1k yards.   I finished just under 3 miles.  I felt great.  I had to force myself out.
My body felt full of energy and mentally I had a strong desire to swim for so many more miles.  This is a good sign!
Rest for 2 days then a swim on Monday with Lisa.  I thought we were done for the season but we are making time for one more.  I am eager to swim with my friend again.  3 miles is a joke for me and she is a major reason why.

2.9 miles OW

30Aug17

Some personal things have come up lately that I have not been sleeping well.  I also have been outside a lot more since work has started again so I was also more dehydrated than I realized.  I felt good for my warm up.  After doing the first set for Masters workout, I started to feel my energy sink.  I progressively got worse and after 4000, called it.  I considered just doing easy stroke work for another 1000 but it would have been a chore and made me mentally unhappy to be swimming.  4k is still better than nothing.
It was just one of those days.

4000 SCY

Monday, August 28, 2017

28Aug17

2 x 1000 WU
10 x 100 Free first 50 and choice (no free) 2nd 50 on 1:50
length reverse ladders 11 - 1 pull  5-10 sec rest between each
12 x 25 sprint on :45.  Easy on 5 and 11
50 CD

5000 SCY

Thursday, August 24, 2017

24Aug17

1000 WU
5 x 200 swim
5 x 200 pull
4 x 100 IM, 75 drop a stroke, 50 drop a stroke, 25 drop a stroke
4 x 100 on 1:40
3 x 100 on 1:35
2 x 100 on 1:30
1 x 100 on 1:25
500 CD

5000 SCY

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

22Aug17 - Back to the Pool

Summer is over for me and work begins again.  Today I went back to Kearns and the pool had been converted back to SCY.....  :(
1000 WU
500 K
1150 by length swimming 9 down to 1.  Odds pull and evens swim.  Last length put me at other end so it was light pull back.
350 K
10 x 50 on minute, trying to hit wall under :45
2 x 100 N/S
2 x 50 CD

I noticed that I have gotten a LOT slower in the pool.  I've done so much longer slower swimming that I am not making the times I am used to for pool workouts in SCY.
I will work on that over the winter.

4000 SCY

Monday, August 21, 2017

21Aug17 - Solar Eclipse Day

Up and at JN by 0500.  Lisa had prior commitments so I was solo today.  I decided to swim to the dam and back anyway.  I had a lot on my mind this morning so going out seemed to go by quick.  Once I was at the dam, I swam east for a few hundred yards then back west.  I then headed north back to the boat ramp.  When I got to the green buoy, I headed east for 1/2 mile then back.  This put me at 4 miles.  My GPS stopped working during the whole first half of the last mile but I have swam this reservoir so many times I know distances there pretty well.
I got out feeling good and barely noticing that I had swam.

4 miles OW

Friday, August 18, 2017

18Aug17

Met Lisa at 0500 at JN.  The air was in the low 40's and the water was noticeably cold when we got in.  The plan was the big loop to get to 4 miles then go from there.  I have not slept well the past 2 days or slept much at all for that matter because of things going on at home.  Just been a stressful few days.  I told Lisa that depending on how I feel, we might just do dam and back.
We headed out and what seemed like forever, we hit the dam.  I asked how she was doing and she said she was ready to head back in.  This immediately got my attention.  I asked what was going on and she said she was a bit cold.  Looking back, I believe that this is the first time that Lisa has ever uttered a word that even remotely sounded like a complaint.  She is one of the toughest and strongest willed people I have ever met.  Her admitting that something is bothering her means something.  She said she needed to swim fast so she could warm up.
Off she went and by the time I got to the boat ramp, she was fully dressed and looking...."less than comfortable".  This is our last swim together for the summer.  School is back and we will both be busy with it and won't be able to swim anymore at the reservoir.
I told her how much I appreciate her coming to swim with me over the summer and help me but words will never express how much I respect her for what she has done for me these past months.  I am ready for the UTC24 because of her.

I was feeling warm and energetic so I headed out to get myself to 4 miles.  I hit 4 miles and took another feed.  Might was well do one more!  I did one more mile then headed in.  I was glad I did the 5th mile and felt good the last 2 miles.  I was warm, comfortable and was keeping a good pace.
I will probably do a swim Monday but not sure yet.

5 miles OW

17Aug17

Test for my muscles today.
1000 WU
8 x 50's on 1:05
6 x50 on 1:00
4 x 50 on :55
2 x 50 on :50
200 easy
500 pull...muscles were sore but not pain.
300 CD

To the lake tomorrow!!!

3000 LCM

15Aug17

Took Monday off to recover a bit from Saturday.  Turns out that it wasn't enough rest.
1000 WU
Did some IM work that is too weird to write down to make any sense.  At 2k, I was supposed to do a pull set that would equal 1500.  After 300, my triceps started to hurt.  It was not an ache, but actual sharp pain in my muscles.  I guess they had not forgiven me yet.
I took paddles off and did light laps until I hit 4000.  I was supposed to do 8000 today but I don't want to injure myself.

4000 LCM

Sunday, August 13, 2017

12Aug17 - UTC24 Test #2

Alarm goes off at 0150.  Everything is already packed so I just put my clothes on and walked straight into my car and met Lisa at JN at 0300.  I arrived a bit earlier to get some items organized and prep for the upcoming day of "fun".
Lisa and I were in the water at 0250 and off we went.  I felt good and calm.  The usual aches of the first mile were setting in when I took a breath to my left and saw a massive flash of lightning.  Lisa and I both stopped and immediately turned back for the boat ramp.  When we got in, it was clear to the west and the east was ugly but nothing to keep us out.  We made it back to the green buoy and we just floated there a bit.  No more lightning.  We decided to play it safe and just go back and forth a few buoys at a time until we were 100% sure it was gone.  We made it 3 buoys and another flash lit up the sky.  "That's it...we are done!"  We headed in and got to our vehicles.  I looked at my GPS and it read that we had done a mile. I was actually disappointed we only got a mile in instead of the planned 3.  Safety first.  After we were dry and getting ready to sleep, we noticed the clouds were moving but they were heading away from us and the lightning had stopped.  Oh well!  At least we didn't act stupid and stay in thinking we would be fine.
Alarm was set for 0630 and I fell asleep quickly in the back of my SUV.
Awoke feeling good and Lisa drove me to Deer Creek (DC).  Today is the open water marathon swim that my friend Jim and his wife put together each year.  I was signed up for the 10 mile event and Lisa was going to paddle for me.
There was a pretty good turn out for other events but there were only 4 of us for the 10 mile event.  I got my gear and greased up with Desitin.  It is a baby diaper rash cream but it has 40% zinc and never....NEVER comes off!  I looked like a ghost and an even bigger idiot than usual.

She's leaning in but she does not want to touch me!

We started and I just got into a comfortable pace.  I was not concerned about speed or beating the hell out of myself.  My only thought was finding a good pace that I know I can hold without breaking myself.  This would be my 2nd swim today and I had another 3 to go after finishing this.  I need to simulate my speed and ability as much as possible today.
The miles ticked by and nothing major happened....except one thing.  The U.S. Coat Guard was there. They had a little boat and a few guys on it.  What made these lads interesting was that not one of them looked like they were in shape to be considered to be in the military on any level.  One guy was so big he made his PFD look like an orange sports bra.  I named them the Beef-Cake boat.  Every time they would come by to check on us, I would tell Lisa, "Beef Cake!"  I am very pro military and I strongly believe that if you wear anything that represent any of the 5 branches of our military, you better look like it.
Heading back.  This was the Beef Cake boat behind the jet ski

Lisa did a good job navigating and keeping my feeds at good intervals.  Our communication was good except ONE thing.  No matter how many times I would ask, she would paddle ahead of me.  I prefer my paddler to be a bit behind me so I can look back to see them.  This helps keep my form a bit better and whenever I see my paddler moving ahead, I feel like I am moving backwards and it can be discouraging at times.  I got really angry at her but kept my calm when asking her to please come back for me.  It was fine overall and she and I had a good laugh about it when it was all over.  She would just get caught up in thinking about work or the wind resistance of butterfly wings or who the hell knows and pull ahead!
Plugging along


Me looking like an idiot

I felt pretty good until about mile 9.  The last mile seemed to take longer than usual and I was becoming eager to finish.  I felt okay but I knew that soon I could rest and that was taking over my thoughts instead of my stroke and what I was doing.  Lisa even noticed I was not that great the last mile.  We survived and I finished with an official time of 5:43:31.  My 2nd best time for this event.
Punching the finish buoy
 
I left my kayak at the edge of the water and Lisa and I went to the SUV to rest for 90 minutes.  We just sat there relaxing and talking about the swim and how the next one will go.  We then talked about our kids and etc to pass the time.
90 minutes were up and back to the water we went.  She got back into the kayak and I got back into the water. I considered only doing 2 and calling it good.  The biggest test was completing the 10 miler so I had already considered this day a success.  Fortunately/unfortunately my GPS watch was not being accurate so Lisa took me all the way down the first bay before it read I had done 1 mile.  We both knew I was well past it so I might was well go to where the 5k turn around was and then head back.
As we were heading back, a boat came close to us and I could see they were talking to Lisa.  They were asking where we were going and that we needed to get out.  Soon, a familiar fellow moved up to the front and asked, "Hey, isn't that the same guy that did the swim earlier?"  It was the head Beef Cake himself still in his orange sports bra PFD.  He looked at the others and told them I was good and they took off.  Lisa looked at me and mouthed "beef cake" and it took me over a minute to stop choking on water from laughter.
We finished the 3 miles and I felt great.  I just went slow and steady.  Lisa said I was moving slow but I looked good and my stroke looked like it was holding well.  I knew I could hold this stroke rate for hours more if needed.  I was now 100% sure I will be able to complete the UTC24.
Bad news ruined the day though.  As we were getting out, there were police everywhere, a news van and a commotion at the boat ramp.  We asked what was going on and apparently someone had drowned.  It happened right near where we turned around for our 3 mile swim and right around the same time.  Eerie!  Someone dying is sad but the person was in a kayak with his wife.  The kayak flipped and neither had a PFD on.  What?  Then it comes out that the both had a PFD but it was sitting in the kayak.  WHAT?!?!?!  Why would you have a life jacket and not wear it?  Loss of life like this is sad but this recklessness makes it stupid.  Such blatant disregard for your safety when you have something to help keep you alive right next to you and yet it is left to be ignored.  Ridiculous!

I finished the day with a 1 mile swim at JN, 10 mile at DC, then another 3 at DC.  14 miles total.  Good day.  I was able to test out some more items for when the UTC24 is really upon me.

Thanks go out to the Hubbard family for putting the race together.  Thanks to Josh and his family for timing the event.  Thanks to Lisa for swimming/paddling for me the whole day.  I could not have survived today without you.  The most gratitude goes to my wife.  She had to listen to my alarm going off at 0150 and deal with my kids and other family members by herself all day so I could splash around some reservoirs.  Another summer is ending and you have been nothing but supportive for my drug habit I know as swimming.

14 miles OW

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

9Aug17

Met with Lisa at 0600 at JN.  She needed to learn how to kayak for me.  Every swimmer likes their kayaker to do certain things and be in certain places.  We just headed to the dam and worked on signals, feeds, and pacing.
It was a great success.  Going out was pretty good but coming back our distance to each other, communication, and pacing was fantastic.  Lisa is going to be great coming Saturday.
Having a kayaker is so nice.  I never had to look up, worry where I was going, looking out for boats, etc.  Lisa was in charge of all of that.  I just focused on my strokes and keeping my body in good position.  The 3 miles seemed to go by quickly.  I am looking forward to the 10 mile event Saturday.
This coming Saturday I am doing a 3-10-3 event for my final test for the UTC24.  Completing this will be a huge mental boost for me.

3 miles OW

8Aug17

Pool day today.
Met Becky at 0500 at Kearns.
1000 WU
10 x 100 on the 2:00 but must hit 1:45 or it doesn't count
2(5 lengths pull, 4 lengths IM order, 3 kick, 2 swim, 1 swim harder, 1 pull back)
5 lengths pull, 4 swim, 3 pull, 2 swim, 2 pull.
2(3 lengths - breath by length, 3, 5 7)
Rest was easy free to 50 laps

5000 LCM

Monday, August 7, 2017

7Aug17

Left my house for JN and the sky was clear and the moon was big and beautiful.  This was going to be a great swim in the dark.  Met Lisa at 0500 but at JN, there was massive cloud coverage and nothing could be seen.  We were both a bit disappointed.  When we got in, we both noticed that not only the air was cooler, but the water was too.
The plan was for 6.  Lisa said she wanted to go to the dam and back twice then some buoys to make up the rest to get to 6.  Sounds good to me.
I started out slow and achy as usual but getting to the dam did not seem to take too long.  I started to feel decent at this point.  Quick drink and back we went.  Lisa took off and about 20 minutes into going back, my body started to shut down.  I felt myself slowing down and I became tired.  I lost motivation to be out there and I had to really focus on what I was doing.
I made it back but told Lisa that considering coming back was a struggle, it was probably not safe to be that far from shore again.  She agreed and said it was probably best to do the 1 mile route we know.  I took a feed and tried a new flavor of buzz bite.  If these don't kick in then I'm done after 4.
About halfway between mile 3 and 4 the food and buzz bite kicked in.  I felt great and the caffeine put me on HIGH alert.  When I was finishing the 4th mile, Lisa was already out and dressed.  I asked her to get dressed and do one more with me.  It was a pipe dream request.  She looked a bit chilly and I could tell she was done.  The cold today was noticeable and having to wait for me probably froze her out.
I took another liquid feed and took off for another mile as Lisa went home.  I paced myself and felt pretty good.  I finished mile 5 and at this point, it was lightly raining and the wind was picking up.  I called it after 5.
Considering I lost the will to swim before 3 and was seriously considering stopping at 4, I am glad I did 5.  It is less than what I intended but more than I expected after how I felt after mile 2.  I just need to keep that in mind.  If I feel that bad again, just let the food and caffeine do their thing and be patient.  It was still smart that I stayed close to shore for safety reasons.  Going back out to the dam would have made sure I finished at 6 but that would have been foolish.

5 miles OW

Friday, August 4, 2017

4Aug17

I had a ROUGH day yesterday in my personal life.  My wife and kids are in southern Utah for their annual girls trip to see plays, go shopping, etc.  I was enjoying the bachelor life until a bunch of garbage fell into my lap that ruined my day a bit.  It then spilled into the night and I did not sleep well.  I kept waking up every 20 minutes the whole night.
Despite all this, today is a new day so no excuses to not get to the lake.
I met Lisa and we did our 4 mile loop to the dam, then east, then north, the west along buoy line to end then back.  We swam wider than usual and we were already over 4 when we hit the green buoy the first time.  Someone hit and killed a skunk somewhere nearby because the entire swim back from the easternmost buoy to the green buoy smelled horrible.  Lisa wanted to do a bit more so we kept going west.  The smell wasn't as bad that direction.  We hit the turn around and headed back to green then in.
Lisa had work to get to but I was not done.  I have commented before how sometimes I will do a swim and feel so good at the end I wish I would have brought more feeds.  Well today I did!
I took another feed with me and as Lisa went to her car, I headed back out for more.
I headed west to avoid the skunk smell and finished my drink at the end buoy.  I then headed east until 3 buoys past the red then turned back for green then in.
That put me at 6 miles.  I was a bit sore and tired when I finished.  I know it was because of the lack of sleep.
The nice thing is that since I am alone at home, I went straight back to bed and did not wake up until past 1300!   I guess I needed it.  I still feel a bit lethargic.  I hope I'm not getting sick.  There is a possibility of meeting Lisa tomorrow for a short and easy 3 mile-ish swim.

6 miles OW

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

2Aug17

Lisa texted me at 0330 saying she was not doing well so I went to the pool today.

1000
5 x 100 on 1:50
10 x 50 on :55
10 x 50 on :50 pull
12 x 50 K down and swim back
2 x 100 easy
400 IM
2 x 100 easy
400 pull
4 x 50 swim on :50
Last few laps was just easy free for CD

5000 LCM

Monday, July 31, 2017

31Jul17

Great swim today.  Met Lisa at 0500 and I forgot that as summer winds down, the sunrise is a bit later.  It was still completely dark when it was 0500 instead of the light creeping over the mountains. Neither one of us packed lights so we decided to be safe and wait until there was some light out so we could see each other.  It was a safe and smart move.
I don't even know what time we got in.  We just headed to the dam then straight east.  Before we started again after 2200 yards, I asked if she could feel the swim Friday.  She said she could.  OK, so she is not Superwoman.  I'm glad I wasn't alone.  My shoulders were pretty sore.  The way east was nice and smooth  Once we had hit the end of that stretch, we headed north to the buoy line.  The buoy line was the line back to the marina.
The water was perfect and I was feeling great at this point.  When we got to the green buoy, we were just over 4 miles.  I asked if she wanted to call it or do one more.  I was praying she said one more because I was feeling good.  She said one more and I was glad to get going.  I picked it up a little bit the last mile and felt really strong.
We finished the 5 miles and I felt as fresh as I had just gotten in.
It was the usual swim, the first mile was horrible and I was sore and complaining a lot in my head.  The 2nd mile started to get better.  Mile 3-4 I felt good and held a good pace.  Mile 5 I felt energized and swam stronger.  I truly hope I feel this energized and mentally motivated next week when I hit 5 miles at Deer Creek and it's only halfway!

5 miles OW

Saturday, July 29, 2017

28Jul17 - UTC 24 Test 1

I decided awhile ago to test out swimming 3 different swims on one day with breaks in between to see what it was like.  A small simulation of what the Utah Triple Crown in 24 hours (UTC24) will be like.  I planned many things in advance and talked with a few world class swimmers on preparation items such as nutrition, rest cycles, etc.  Time to test them out.
The alarm went off at 0200 and I was at JN by 0300.  Lisa and I quickly got ready and we headed out for a 3 mile swim.  We headed straight toward the dam but not after I had dropped my light off of my swimmer buddy into the water.  Of course the light was off so we could not find it.  Guess we will have to wait until sunrise to find it.
The 3 miles was pretty uneventful.  Lisa was with me the whole swim and we stopped about every 1/2 mile to make sure we were still together and got going again.  Small miracle was that when we finished our 3 miles, the lamp was glowing red and Lisa found it.  It's a miracle because it was OFF when it dropped in and it takes hitting the button 3 times then holding it for the red to come on.  No idea what happened but I was praying I would find it.  The prayer worked and the foolishness I felt for losing it was gone.
After the 3 miles, we headed to our cars and I ate some food and took a special made recovery drink. I then laid out in the back of my SUV and went to sleep for 2 hours.  The idea is that I will do Bear Lake all in the dark then sleep for the 2+ hour drive down to Deer Creek.  That is why the first swim today was all in the dark.
I woke up a bit early to Lisa's car alarm going off.  I jumped up only to see her fine and dandy with no danger.  She looked a wee bit embarrassed and I promptly gave her the finger and tried to get back to sleep.  No use.  I needed to get up in 15 minutes anyway so I might as well get up now.  We packed our gear and greased up.  This will be the long one.
6 miles this time.  We measured out a 2 mile loop and I would take a drink at 1 mile then head back to the boat ramp to end the 2 mile loop.  I would then take a food feed and repeat.  After the 2nd lap (mile 4), a pretty good wind came along with rain.  There was no lightning so we continued.  My swimmer buddy kept flipping over so I left it at the boat ramp.  No boats were out at this time anyway so I wasn't worried about being spotted.  The water got ROUGH and I LOVED it.  Lisa is not as comfortable with rough water and for awhile, I was able to keep up with her.  Then my energy faded and she dropped me like an old habit.  We did the last 2 miles in 1 mile laps so we could stay near boat ramp and land just in case.
After we finished the 6 miles, we headed back up and the weather was getting a bit better.  This time I rested for an hour only.  It is only an hour+ drive to the GSL from Deer Creek so I can't rest more than I plan on resting for the real event.
The hour went by quick and I knew the last 3 miles were going to be a bitch.  I was right.  I got in and immediately felt my shoulders and arms severely complaining.  I decided to just slow down and do long stroke and dynamic drills.  This slowed my rotation down quite a bit but alleviated my pain significantly.  It also increased my time but I did not care about time.  Before getting in, we decided to do 3 x 1 mile laps.  After the 1st lap, I felt pretty good.  I finished in 35 min which isn't too bad really.  The sun was up and Lisa was warm and happy.  She was swimming fast and strong again and I was on survival mode.
Poor Lisa was well ahead of me and had to wait a bit longer than usual for me to get to her at the boat ramp.  When I was taking my drink, I asked her, "You know how you had to wait awhile for me?"  She said "Yes".  "Well, get used to it!"  Good laugh for both of us.  We needed it.
Mile 2 was decent and mile 3 I felt pretty good at the end.
When we were finishing, I had requested that Lisa wait for me at the last buoy and we finish the swim together.  It just meant a lot to me mentally.  We both accomplished something very hard to do.  When I got to her, I said I was feeling great and we should do one more mile, she just scoffed at me.  She knew I had zero intentions of swimming any more today.
When it was truly over, I felt fantastic.  I was physically beat up but mentally I was sharp as ever.  We gave each other a big hug and everyone at the boat ramp just looked at us like we were nuts.  Yes, yes we are!

I did learn quite a few things and took notes.  I was happy with my feeds and my energy was kept up as long as I kept eating the right things in the right order.  My recovery drinks were nothing short of magic.  I did have a few small problems but easily fixed.  This was a test run and I passed it with flying colors.

I want to thank my wife for not killing me when the alarm went off at 0200 and I was gone all day.  you have been great with letting me swim so early daily.  Thanks for the support.  Not much longer until it is over I promise.
I also want to thank Lisa for helping me today.  I know it was a challenge for you too and I'm proud of what we both did.  We accomplished something great and we accomplished it together.  Glad you were with me.  (Mind the buttons on your key ring please!)  :)

3 miles then 6 miles then 3 miles = 12 miles.  4th longest swim I've ever done in one day.
In 2 weeks I'm doing 3-10-3 then a few weeks after that is the real deal.  I know mentally that I can do the 3-10-3 now and once I do that, I will know for sure I can finish the UTC24.  I'm genuinely excited.

12 miles OW

Thursday, July 27, 2017

27Jul17

Easy day today.
Becky was kind enough to meet me at JN this morning at 0600.  She is going to kayak for me for the Deer Creek portion of my UTC24 so she wanted to learn to kayak.  Each swimmer likes different things from their yacker.  We got in the water and did some practice feeds, directions, hand signals, etc.  We went down the buoy line and back.  Finished just around a mile.  It was an easy swim and most of the time I spent talking to her.  She was nervous at first but got better and was doing pretty good at the end.
I think she is going to do great for my DC portion.

1 mile OW

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

25Jul17

Pool day today.  I met Becky at the Kearns pool at 0500 and she had a workout ready.
400 free
300 drill
200 - I can't remember!
100 swim
Main set
400 IM
300 IM but minus a stroke
200 same
100 same
4 x 100 K on the 2:00
3 x 100 K on the 1:55
2 x 100 K on the 1:50
100 K on the 1:45
10 x 50 pull on :55
5 x 100 pull on the 1:50
Skill work next
4 x 100 with paddle on right hand and fin on left foot
4 x 100 reverse paddle and fin ---I started to cramp in my foot a bit so we dropped the last 2 x 100 and did 100 with buoy at knees then 100 at ankles.
200 CD

I felt MUCH better today.  I slept a lot more yesterday after I wrote up my blog and went to bed as soon as I was done blowing things up in my street to celebrate the state holiday.
Getting up was tough but once I was done with the warm up, I felt happy to be there.
Tomorrow is 4 miles again.

5000 LCM

Monday, July 24, 2017

24Jul17 - S**t Swim

Woke up at 0400 and headed to JN.  Met up with Lisa. It was good to be able to swim with her again.  I am glad she is healed.  I have not slept well or felt that great since getting back from NC.  Last night was no exception.  I kept waking up and forcing myself back to sleep.  As I was standing in the water chatting with Lisa, all I could think about was how tired I was and how neither my body nor my mind was awake.  I hoped it would change once I got going.  It did not.
We decided to go to the dam.  When I was at 2000 yards, I took a feed and could not see Lisa at all.  I swam more to the dam and looked around awhile.  Still nothing.  I took my ear plugs out and yelled for her.  She was near the dam but I could not see her.  At least she was alive.  I was starting to freak out.  It was not even 0600 and there was light boat traffic.  It is a state holiday in Utah so people started to flood the reservoir early.
We met up and once I knew she was alive and well, we headed west.  Once at the dead end, we went north.  Along this route are submerged trees.  We avoided most of them but I did get poked from some we missed.  Lisa was slowing down to swim with me but I was all over the place.
Once we hit the buoy line, I took a food feed and started swimming again.  It did nothing.  My energy was spent and this was not a chore.  I just wanted to quit.  I was swimming slower and slower and we still had a mile left.
I slowly....SLOWLY got the last mile done and we finished at the boat ramp.  I was glad to be done.  I felt terrible.
When I got home, I went straight to bed and actually got a decent sleep.  I woke up around noon.  I still feel tired and weak as I type this but I plan on taking it easy today and going to bed as son as possible.

Thanks Lisa for the support and thanks for helping me today.  I needed it.

4 miles OW

Sunday, July 23, 2017

20Jul17

Family day all day on the beach.  No storms in sight but since none of us have had a beach day, I decided to scrap my long swim and just do a short one.  I only did a mile and spent the rest of the time playing with my kids in the waves.  Our family vacation with my mom, sisters, and lot of other families only happens once a year so I knew it would be better to spend it with them on our first real nice day of weather.

1 mile OW

19Jul17 - Crazy day

My plan was 5 miles today.  I had a good route set up and lots of feeds with me.  I headed 2 miles south against the current then got back to where I could touch and took a big feed.  I then headed back with current.  I pushed it a little bit and after about 1.3 miles, I got to a sand bar and took another feed.  I got back in and had JUST started getting going again when a lifeguard swam out to me to stop me.  I knew a storm was coming in but as far as I could see, it was only wind and rain.  I never heard anything or saw lightning when I was taking my feed.  It had just started to rain slightly.  She told me that it's safer for me to be off the beach so I did what she said.  I headed in and started to jog back.  A bit of cross training I guess.  Luckily the beach was empty because it was raining so almost no one saw some idiot in a yellow cap, carrying a big orange balloon, wearing only a speedo, running down the shore!
I had almost gotten back to the house when I started to complain how I should have just kept going. THE second I finished the complaint in my head, a huge thunder clap boomed right above me.  OK OK, it was smart to get out.  Thanks for the hint God!
I headed in and was safe.  I was hoping to do my last 1.5 miles later on but other commitments kept me from the rest.  Family is more fun anyway.

3.5 OW

18Jul17

Snuck in a swim between storms.  I got in another 3 miles today.
Current was STRONG so going out was tough.  Going back was fun though!

3 miles OW

17Jul17

I'm keeping these short.
I did 2 miles again this morning.  It has been bad weather here and we've had thunderstorms on and off for past few days.  More are expected the next few days also.

2 miles OW

15Jul17 - OBX

Back to the Outer Banks (OBX) and that means OCEAN!!
I was traveling most of Wednesday afternoon then was taking a holiday to Hershey, PA for the day.  We drove to NC all day Friday and I was too tired to swim Friday.
I took a nice easy swim Saturday morning.  I did a mile north then a mile south.  It felt great to be back in the ocean.  A steady current really adds something to your swim you can't get in a lake.

2 miles OW

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

12Jul17

Met one of my friends Chaz Felt at JN this morning.  He is a triathlete and so anything over a mile is about his limit.  He did say that going straight south to the dam would be fine.  He put on his wetsuit in case he needed a break and some buoyancy help.
We headed straight to the dam and for some reason, my GPS watch was acting weird.  It wasn't tracking for awhile.  I knew when we were mostly at the dam and we turned back.  When we got to shore, he said his read for 1.5 miles.  He was tired but happy since this was the farthest he has ever swam before.  Great job man!
I reset my GPS then headed out and did a few laps along the buoys.  When I was done, I knew I just had to add 1.5 miles to whatever it read.
I wanted to hit 5 today but Chaz is a slow and steady swimmer like me.  It was fine but took a bit longer than expected.  I had to get out and my total was 2.8 miles.  With the distance I did with Chaz, that equals 4.3 miles.  Not too bad.  Despite feeling fresh, I had to get out and get home.  I have some last minute chores to do and then pack.  Tonight we fly to the east coast for our annual week in the Outer Banks, NC.  I am really excited to log some miles in the ocean.  I am also considering swimming the long bridge solo this year.  We'll see.

4.3 miles OW

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

11Jul17

Cross training day today.
I had some home projects to work on so I decided to sleep in a bit and get up at 0700.

At 1030, I saw an ENT specialist and had some custom made ear plugs made for me.  I will get to try them out tomorrow.

In the afternoon, I did some weight training in my basement and some core work.  I then did some running on the treadmill.  I worked up a good sweat and got my core to the point where moving around hurt pretty good.

No swimming but a bit of cross training is always good once and awhile.

Monday, July 10, 2017

10Jul17

Wasn't feeling well Friday so I took the day off. Make up day today but in the pool.

1500 WU
2(50-100-150-200)
20 x 50 pull
Something else that added up to 1000.  I can't remember!
50-100-150-200
This put me at 5000 LCM.  Then I did my own workout.  Becky joined me for most of it which helped me a lot.
400 swim
300 pull
200 kick
100 swim
4 x 500 (1&3 were swim.  2 = 2 x 200 then 100 hard.  4 = 3 x 100 then 4 x 50 hard)
6 x 200 N/S
300 K
10 x 100 pull
50-100-150-200-150-100-50

DONE

This put me at 11,300 meters = 7 miles.  I think this might be my longest pool workout ever.  I did test out some different foods and they all were great and nothing upset my stomach.  My legs were a bit cramped near the end but I'm sure that is from all the wall push offs.

Good day today.  7 miles is mentally checked off.

11,300 LCM (7 miles)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

6Jul17

At JN at 0500.  Water felt great.  I swam 2 miles before meeting with a friend and one of his co workers.  We did another mile.  Pretty relaxing day today and I felt good the whole swim.
Tomorrow I plan on 7 so I'm a bit nervous about that.  I hope I have the same energy I did when I first did 5 a few weeks ago.  I will have plenty of feeds, food, and Advil!

3 miles OW

5Jul17

Not much that was exciting today.  I was in the lake at 0500 and stuck to the buoy line for the whole swim.  I considered heading to the dam but realized there might be a boat or 2 in the water from the fireworks last night.  I didn't want to risk banging into one.
It took about 2 miles to get going then once I was "warmed up", I never got much faster.  No real energy today.  Pretty much blah the whole swim.
When I got home, I wasn't needed for awhile so I went back to bed.  I slept from 0900-1300 and it was a deep, heavy sleep.  I guess I was just tired.

5 miles OW

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4Jul17 - 4 for 4 on the 4th!

Fun day today.  I did a 4 miles divided into 4 lakes a couple of years ago and decided to do it again.
The first spot was Rockport Reservoir.  I have only swam in this place once before so I pretty much considered it my first visit.  I went to the boat ramp and took a temp reading - 71.  Piece of cake.  I swam to the buoy line and headed toward the dam.  I waited until my GPS watch read 900 yards then turned around.  Swam back and got out.  Apparently I left my towel too close to the ramp and as a few people put their boats in, the water rose up and soaked my towel.  Oh well, I brought 4.
Getting ready at Rockport
#1 done


Next stop was Jordanelle.  This is my usual stomping ground so I wasted no time getting in.  I actualy jumped off the dock instead of going down the boat ramp.  I headed east until 1/2 mile then back in.  I was feeling good.
Entering Jordanelle

#2 done

Stop 3 was Deer Creek.  I wanted to park near where a small island is at the east end and swim around the island.  I got there and it was already busy.  A lot of cars going in and people were staking their claim of where they were going to hang out and party all day.  I got in the lake and had to avoid boat traffic for the first few minutes.  When I got to the island, I just swam close enough to its shore that I could see the bottom all the time.  I swam around the island but it was not quite a mile so I had to swim around some more.  Not only were there boats and jet skis everywhere, there were a few people SCUBA diving with spear guns I swam around too.  I swam with my head on a swivel for the entire time and this swim took the longest.  The water temp was nice but it was extremely crowded.  The cherry on top was I slammed my left toes into some big rocks getting out and thought I had broken a toe.  It is fine but I did holler a bit.

Deer Creek

#3 done

Last stop was Strawberry Reservoir.  This place is about 1000 feet above all the other lakes and so it is colder.  The water temp was 64.  Higher than expected really.  When I was getting in, the shore was filled with people fishing.  One guy was there with his son and his son had a neon orange shirt on.  Perfect for sighting when I come back in!  I got in and I was chilled but not too bad.  I adjusted quickly and hammered out my mile.  This swim was my most enjoyable.  I swam in an inlet so no buoy lines to follow, no boats were out, and the water was perfect.  What a great way to end this fun adventure.  I got out and felt as if I had not swam at all today.
Strawberry Reservoir

#4 done and DONE!

I did a small experiment with some new recovery feeds that Grace Van der Byle recommended and so far, so good.  One of these drinks has me drinking almond mile.  Yes, Goody is drinking almond milk.  I can't believe it myself.  But I would drink a bit of this after getting out of each lake then drive 30-45 minutes to the next.  Before getting in, I would take a regular feed then get right into the water.  Never had a stomach issue.  I will try this again mixed in with some solid foods when I do my next trial of doing a few swims per day.  I have a 3-6-3 mile set coming up then a 3-10-3 set coming up.  Those will be the real test.

Got home and took a nice nap.

4 miles OW

3Jul17

Pool day today.
400 WU
2 x 300 - Kick then Drill
3 x 300 pull
4 x 200 Negative Split
4 x 300 pull
3 x 200 Negative Split
2 x 100 Sprint
300 CD

Workout seemed to go by fast.

5000 LCM.

Friday, June 30, 2017

30Jun17

I did not swim yesterday.  When my alarm went off, I did not feel right and even after walking around a bit to wake up, I still felt "off" and decided to go back to bed.  Good decision.  I did not wake up until several hours later.  I guess my body needed a break.
Today my body was not so lucky!  Alarm at 0400 and met with Lisa at 0500 at JN.  We are doing 5 today.  For some reason, I was a bit nervous about the swim today.  It will be the longest swim I've done continuously this year and a real mental mark that my training is picking up so I better get my butt in gear.
We headed south to the dam then east.  There was a decent wind from E to W and I swallowed a few mouthfuls of lake today.  I also got knocked around a bit here and there.  Nothing bad but I really needed to keep my focus.  When we were about to head east, Lisa commented that our last 1/4 leg will be a breeze since we will have the wind with us.  For now it was against us for awhile.  Pulling my swimmer buddy behind me with my feeds became noticeable and I could feel it pulling against me.  It's like swimming with an parachute on at times.
We made it to the halfway point and I was feeling good.  I tried a new energy food and it was pretty good.  I could feel a difference after about 10 minutes.
We swam a bit more then headed north to the buoy line.  We hit the end line then decided to stick to the buoy line instead of going to the water play area as first planned.
One major problem was that by the time we got to the point of swimming with the wind and current, it was GONE.  Booooo Hisssss.  No love for us from the weather gods today.  We got to the start and needed to do about a mile more.  Lisa brought some square gel feeds with her.  She saved one for me and I tried it out.  She does not take water feeds while swimming, just these little cubes of energy once and awhile.  I ate it and it was tough to chew.  Once I got it broken down, it glued my teeth together at times like I was eating a sugar daddy.  Once I got it down, I could then feel it in my stomach for the next 20 minutes.  They work great for Lisa but not so much for me.  Always good to try new feeds though.
We went east again until we hit 8000 yards, we then turned around and headed back to the start.  We finished with exactly 8800 yards.  5 miles on the nose!
I felt exuberant.  I was full of energy and found myself regretting not bringing more feeds because I wanted to do more.  It is kinda the same routine for me each swim now:

Mile 0-2 = I'm sore and complaining in my head a lot.  I can not get a good rhythm down and questioning why I'm even doing this.
Mile 3-4 = Starting to feel good.  Aches are gone and I am extending my stroke and getting stronger pulls.  My pace picks up and I can feel power in my arm rotation.
Mile 4+ = I feel like I just got in the lake and am full of energy.  Some swims I am tired at this point but that is not the norm.  I want to do more and keep swimming all day.  I am mentally sharp and my stroke is strong.  Putting myself up near my red line and holding it there seems to last forever.

Instead of being nervous about next Friday, which is 7 miles, I am looking forward to it.  I will bring more feeds than needed in case I decide to do more.

Again, I am grateful to Lisa for joining me and helping me train.  She is always in good spirits and it is always nice to swim with someone else.  No matter what my plan is, she just says, "OK" and we go!  Love it.

5 miles OW

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

28Jun17

Lisa had to be to work early today so instead of scrapping the swim, we decided to just start earlier.  My alarm went off at 0330 and we were at the lake and in the water by 0430.  It was dark, cold, and we were completely alone beneath a million visible stars.  It was perfect.  We decided to head straight south to the dam and then parallel to the shore.  When Lisa hit her halfway point with time, we turned around and swam back the same route.  The wind was blowing E to W and when we were going back, we both got pushed to the last buoy west instead of straight in.  Yes, the wind did it....riiiight!  ;)
I got back to the green start buoy and was at 2.7 so I did a bit more to get to 3.
One nice thing about the swim today was when we were going back, Lisa took off and I got far behind her.  I decided that instead of trying to keep up with her, I would go to my "natural" state and just pace it awhile.  It was nice to swim rudder out again.  It's been awhile...stupid pool rules!
Anyhow, I hit my 3 miles then headed to my car.  The air seemed really cold this morning getting out and I was shivering when I got into my car.
Glad to have started at 0430.  When I got home, I was able to take a short nap!

3 miles OW

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

27Jun17

Blah day today.
The good news is that my ear did not hurt so I was able to swim again today.
I went to the pool and met Becky the Masters coach.  I already had a workout with me.
5 x 200 - swim, swim- drill-kick-swim
5 x 200 - pull
5 x 200 - negative split by 100
5 x 200 - pull breathing by length, 3,5,3,7
5 x 200 - The first 4 had a 50 hard starting with 1st length.  2nd set was 2nd length, etc  Last 200 was CD

I could not get going today.  Becky was lapping me easily and this is in a LCM pool.  I would push it some only to save 3 seconds!  No energy.

5000 LCM

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

19Jun17

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

15Jun17

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

14Jun17

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

12Jun17

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

9Jun17

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