Sunday, March 29, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020


A coworker of mine, Heather Platz is raising money to support an organization she is passionate about.  Her son, Zeke has Down Syndrome, which is due to a third 21st chromosone, thus the theme "3.2.1 pledge":

The money for this goes to various individuals with Down Syndrome to help get them through school, and to help them reach their dreams of full potential living with Down Syndrome.

I donated 3 x $21 to this organization and pledge to swim 3 x 3.21Km workouts before the end of this week in a nod of respect to this organization.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year!

Well the last winter swim of the season is over.  The water temp was 37 degrees F. It was raining a little and we had a winter storm the night before so it was nice to have some snow on the ground for the swim.  Olga came and brought a friend.  Jim was visiting family but kept me updated with his own cold water adventures.

Cathi was making fun of me for being "6 eyes" with my goggles, glasses on at the same time.

It was raining slightly so I wanted to get it done so Cathi didn't have to just stand there in the rain, so our entry was relatively quick.

Here's the video she took:

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Winter Swimming, and new Endless PR

Winter Swimming is a legitimate sport that has thousands of participants worldwide.  It amazes me how the average person is close minded to the idea.  We are so engrained to protect ourselves, thinking that is accomplished by avoiding pain, or activities that stretch us beyond our limited imagination.

Most people have the ability, but very very few have the mindset to even try it. And when asked questions about it, it's difficult to convey the feelings of participating in winter swimming.

It's like explaining sex to a prepubescent child. To them it may seem sick, or disturbing.  But when the time is right and they participate under the right conditions, it is amazing and wonderful.  So until you've tried it, you're just a scared little kid unable or unwilling to comprehend.

This year, I decided to invite Sam to join me in the weekly swims early in the year.  And he has come every week without hesitation.  Here are the winter swimming stats so far:

10/3/1962f.55 miles
10/10/1954f.33 miles
10/16/1954f.53 miles
10/30/1944f.25 miles
11/13/1951f.25 miles
11/20/1949f.25 miles
11/27/1938f.25 miles
12/4/1942f.25 miles
12/13/1942f.25 miles
12/17/1940f.13 miles

The next winter swim will be on Christmas Day at 4:30pm!  

Last Saturday, 12/14/19 I put in 2.5 hours of endless pool swimming and got in 10,600 yards (6 miles). For a new PR in the endless.  I did it in sets of 4 x 40 mins with a 10 minute warm down. Ended up being 10,600 yards.  Sweet!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Swimming to Moscow

Hit another big milestone..... Swimming from Salt Lake City to Moscow (A virtual stage swim obviously, which includes every stinkin' swim I've logged) Haha.

5,553 miles total

Here's all the swim's I've logged:

And yesterday's open water swim in the GSL was 44 degrees F!  Sam went with me and we both swam from the boat ramp to the outside of the marina opening and back.  About 7 minutes.  Sam swam waterpolo style the whole way.  Something you can get away with in the GSL.

Jim came too and got in and was in the water longer than we were.  He's amazing that guy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Learning to swim. Better late than never.

It would be tragic for someone's last thought to be prior to dying "I wish I learned how to swim".  Yet that's what thousands of people in the United States are likely to think as they take their last breath prior to sinking under the water helpless.  There are a significant number of local news stories that cover drowning in Utah.

I had a friend from work gree me in the elevator and say how I inspired her to sign up for an adult swimming lesson at her local pool.

That made my day hearing her tell me that. 

I've been able to help several adults in the few months that I've had my endless pool.  Giving them a chance to come over and learn a little technique to make swimming easier.  They learn that swimming is a step by step process.  You can't learn the basics in just one or two visits.  It takes dedication to consistent practice and learning as skills improve.  Just like learning how to play an instrument. It requires practice.  But unlike learning how to play an instrument, knowing how to survive in water could be a life saving skill in an emergency.

If this applies to you, take that first step. It would be a real shame to have that that last thought be, "Man if only I would have learned how to swim!"  Let me know if you want help.  I'm willing to give support free of charge.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Sam's first open water marathon

Sam, Cathi and I drove to the Bear Lake Marina just north of Garden city, and got prepared for our 7:30am departure.  I had reached out to Gustavo a month earlier informing him of my intention to do the crossing on Labor Day with Sam. He agreed to do an attempt as well that day.  He wanted to get his Utah Triple Crown this year and the Bear Lake swim this year involved some weather conditions that required pulling some swimmers.  
Sunrise from the Bear Lake Marina Pavillion
So today's swim was another change at getting that UTC for him.  He had a couple of kayakers join him for safety. There was a concern that there would be a huge number of boaters out on the lake.  I knew we'd be OK starting early and getting to the east side earlier in the day.  (I've done three major swims in Bear Lake on Labor Day).  

We started at 7:33am and the water felt awesome.  Sam and I got a great pace going and Cathi was doing well as our kayaker.  Sam and I swam side by side with Cathi on the outside.

At the first feed I was in good spirits and asked Sam to toast our first drink together out on the lake.  I tried to make this a fun event for Sam and Cathi and yelled out at the end of our feed "On to the nipple!"  Referencing the peak that we often point swimmers to on the east side that gets them close to the position they need to aim for.  Once they get halfway, there is some adjustments to the landscape references for the finish at Cisco Beach Campground entrance.

The water the first half wasn't terrible, but it wasn't glassy.  Once we got in the middle of the lake and beyond, the water was almost glassy with how smooth it was.  At the 3rd feed I told Sam, next time we take a feed we'll be more than halfway.

The feeds we took today consisted of the following:

  • Sliced Peaches ( This is Sam's idea, and it was awesome!  I think I ate more peach slices than he did)
  • flavored milk from Gossners in Logan (Banana and Strawberry milk)  This is a treat that I should have discovered long ago.  I used to get terrible heartburn during swims, and flavored milk would have kept that under control, but I had to endure it.  I'm going to definitely keep this one on my go-to list of feed items!
  • Green Apple Gatorade - Sam, Wild Strawberry Caffeinated drink mix with water - Gords

Once we got the 4th feed I noticed Sam having a harder time to stay right at my 9 o clock. I told him he needed to eat more peaches and get some energy in his body.  But each 30 minute session after that progressively got slower for him and I could see him shivering a little during our feed breaks.  The 7th feed he cramped up pretty good and I asked him to relax the muscle and stretch it.  Once that feed was over, I think he was really angry and he took off!  I had a hard time keeping up with him.  After about 5 minutes he slowed back down, and continued his slower pace.  He was getting tired, but fortunately we were about a mile from shore.  Cathi took some video of the finish: 

Isaac carrying his shivering brother wrapped up in a blanket

The welcome crew, Ethan, Wyatt, Jonas, Sam, Isaac, Me, Cathi and Oliver!
Swimmers and Kayakers
Sam was pretty beat and shivering. Isaac carried him to the car to warm up.  I got dressed and helped load the kayak onto the trailer.  Once we got all loaded up and ready to go, Gustavo completed his crossing. He completed it in 4:24.

We took a minute and took some pictures and finished out mid-day with everyone in smiles.

I asked Sam on a scale from 1-10 what this was as being the hardest thing he's ever done in his life.  He said "9". 

I'm so proud of that kid.  As far as I can tell from the results of the swims of width crossings, Sam is the youngest person to do it (14 years 2 months 9 days)

Next year we're shooting for an Anacapa crossing.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Chad's NYOW 20 Bridge Manhattan Island Circumnavigation

On Friday evening I met Chad at the 155th Ave Station and went to his BnB he was renting for his family and spent the night.

At 5am we left in a Uber for the southern end of the island with his Mom, Diane.  We met up with Josh and got ready to go.  The field consisted of approximately 18 people, with about 4 waves of 4 people starting with the slowest swimmers first.

They started at Pier A, only a short distance further south than where I started my MIMS swim.  The weather was a little cloudy at the start, but after a couple hours it was all sun, and hot!  I did my swim mid June. Mid August is way hotter.  The water temp was in the mid 70's rather than the upper 60s and that's a big difference for someone swimming distance.

Chad swam primarily to the right and there were quite a bit of things to see on the left side. I hope he was able to enjoy as much as he could.  He ran hard into a toolbox that was floating. At the time Josh and I thought it was like a briefcase or something.

He passed up all the other swimmers in his group and those in the first wave.  Josh and I were unable to pace swim for him until the upper Harlem, or Hudson. We both agreed to wait until Hudson, because we could only swim for an hour total. So when we got to the Hudson he swam the first 30 minutes, and I relieved him and swam for the remaining 30 minutes.  The water going from Harlem into Hudson wasn't near as choppy as my swim.

About halfway down the Hudson the chop picked up and the wind came towards him kicking up the water.  He was enjoying the Hudson about as much as I did.  A bit annoying with the rough conditions.  The water to me tasted the same as when I did it.  Like diluted diesel fuel.  It was a fun experience to relive.

Chad's family was waiting with a huge sign for him at Pier 25 and it was awesome to see.

The entire time I kept Chad's family and friends updated with pictures and video.  It was really neat to see the amount of support he was getting.  He was swimming strong and once he saw the huge cruise ship inside of North Cove he was psyched and knew he only had a few hundred yards left to get back to Pier A to finish.

Chad finished in 9:15:56, and is now noted in the list of Utah Superstar Swims as the 3rd Utahn to swim the Triple Crown.  Way to go Chad, all open water swimmers in Utah are inspired by your dedication and resolve!

See the above video for tons of pics and video of the swim.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

2019 Deer Creek Open Water Swim Results - New 5K PR - 1:15:07

Camping the night before at the tent sites
is the way to go! It's fun turning a swim
race into a family event.

Visiting before the race. I didn't have the slightest nervousness
and talking to friends probably was the reason. Poor Oliver
and his broken arm, and Sam all smiles before the race.
Sam, Oliver and I prepared this past month to participate in this race.  Oliver on Thursday night was with our family at a wedding reception where there was a group of kids dancing up on a stage.  Well the kids all went up there and did their goofy fortnite dancing.  I wasn't looking cause I was talking with someone in the crows, when Cathi's Mom came up and said, "I think you better come look at Oliver, he fell and he's injured."

It took Lucy about 20 minutes to catch up at the start. She
had issues getting her "Skirt" on!  But she found me.
Sure enough, he broke his arm two days before his one mile race.  So anyway it was just me and Sam today swimming the 5K while Cathi and Oliver paddled for Sam and Lucy paddled for me.

Sam is 14 and starting his marathon swimming resume.
Next year I'm hoping he'll swim Anacapa with me.
Photo Credit: Jim Hubbard
The water was warm (mid to high 70s), but not so warm that it was detrimental to my performance.  When they started us off I started my watch and swam hard.  I got into a groove and while a couple people passed me within the first mile, I was determined to stay in there and just keep a good maintainable, but quick pace.

At the turnaround point I saw Cathi and Oliver a couple minute back is all and Sam was doing well.  Lucy was in her whitewater kayak and practicing some moves.  I saw her completely upside down at one point and she flipped back over.  She sure loves adventure.  I saw the 1/2 mile buoy from the finish and at this point didn't take a drink and didn't event know what my time was at that point, but I figured I better take something if I wanted a sprint finish. So I yelled out to Lucy, "Drink" and she threw out my water bottle.

Josh is the best. He's kind to everyone he meets and such a
good ambassador of the sport.
Photo Credit: Jim Hubbard
The Monday morning Jordanelle Crew (Minus Zack who was
the beast to swim the 10 mile this time!)
Stop was about 20 seconds and I was off.  I wanted to really come in strong.  The entire time on my swim I recognized that the difference in speed for me wasn't stroke rate.  It was about extending my stroke and focusing on two things:

  1. Good Body roll
  2. A really good extension, and a good catch.
Well that philosophy really paid off. I ended up with a new PR.  My last 5K race was back in 200 (11 years really?), and was a 1:23:16

This morning I got a 1:15:07  Chad was right on my tail, shortly followed by Sam. Sam got 1:21:31. Which still was faster than my previous PR.  That kid is going to be awesome over the next few years.  I asked him if he is sore or what, and he wasn't. I'm thinking we totally could have done the 10K. Not at that pace, but it would have been good.  So we have exciting fall/winter training plans.  Next year is going to be great!

What a great day>Thanks to Lucy, Cathi and Oliver as the support crew. And especially to Jim and Connie for always organizing such an awesome race.

Zack finishing the 10 mile race
Photo Credit: Jim Hubbard

Cathi's always fun to have on the crew. Always so chipper!
Photo Credit: Jim Hubbard

Monday, August 5, 2019

Collecting support for Chad

Chad and Chandra have worked for this dream,
and are a great example of marital support needed for a feat like this!
Chad Starks, on Saturday August 17th will attempt to swim the 28.5 miles around Manhattan Island.  Up the East River, Harlem River, and then down the Hudson river back to the starting point at the south end of the island. 

This will be the final leg in the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming!  To help him feel of the love and support of all those who want to see him finish this thing, I am organizing a "Guess Chad's time" event.  You can submit how long you think it will take for him to complete this swim, and if you are the closest person, I'll send you via email a $50 giftcard to where you can buy a few goggles or a swimsuit. Whatever you want. 

This swim, is my #1 rated most favorite swim of all time!  You can read the details of my own experience of this swim here.

You can submit your words of support and your guess to this form:

Good Luck Chad!