Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dad your winning!

This morning I swam 3 laps in Bountiful Lake. While I was swimming I had to concentrate on not smiling and laughing as I keep hearing Isaac's encouragement "Dad, your winning!" from last weekend's Hebgen lake swim.  It's especially funny cause I was the only one swimming, so yes I was winning.

But another reason I find his encouragement meaningful is that even when I'm alone and swimming, Yes I am winning because I'm out in the open water and I'm doing it.  The relationship between the swimmer and the open water can be antagonistic at times when the waves are high and the water extremely cold.  But most of the time it isn't like that, it's more of a partnership.  When that happens, both swimmer AND nature wins.  I'm excited to help Austin organize an effort to make that partnership with each individual, that shows up to help cleanup. and nature grow.  It's a real thing.

Today's swim was slightly slower than normal.  (3 laps in 1:31) I've watched several TI videos and read up on their methodologies for swimming effortlessly.  I was focusing on some of those techniques and while I was a tiny bit more relaxed and smoother in the water, I was definitely slower.  Smoothing out my stroke (which isn't all that splashy anyway) isn't something that's going improve dramatically overnight.  But it's nice to focus on technique in OW especially since I'm not in a pool focusing on sets and speed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hebgen Lake Swim

Today on our way to West Yellowstone stopped at Hebgen Lake. It was really windy and I looked out at the lake and there wasn't a boat in sight. I thought about the channel and how cold the water might be and figured it would be a good training swim to go to the other side and back. I figured it would be a little less than a mile to the other side. It turned out to be a mile and a half round trip.

I was surprised when I put my legs in how warm it was.  It felt a little chilly at first but nothing to take my breath away.  I figure it was about 67 degrees.  The water was pretty clear, but had alot of small debris in it.  Leaves and small plants, etc...  It was really wavy.  I bilateral breathed most of the way, but not 100%  Once I went to take a breath and got a mouthful of water that actually went down the wrong pipe.  I've never had that happen before where I wasn't able to stop it before it went in the wrong way.  I stopped and coughed it up.  Nothing major.

When I got to the other side I got completely out of the water, checked my watch (25:47) and stuffed a small rock into my suit.  I turned around and waved my arms, but I couldn't see any of the family on the shore, it was too far away.  I could see the van though up by the highway.  I swam back.  Total trip took 50 minutes.  The waves were going with the wind which was fairly strong from the Southeast.  Here's some video Cathi took of the swim and what the kids did while their Dad was swimming.

The kids caught a couple of crawfish and Jacob caught a water snake.  They had a fun time playing at the beach while I was in the water.

While it was just a short little swim, it felt like a risky going into a new body of water I've never been in before, under slightly crazy conditions, and without a support boat.  I've often felt like I'm a submarine in that my body is just a hull to my soul and no amount of water and waves that pound into me are going to compromise the integrity of that sub.  I'm just focused on keeping the engine powering my arms and legs going.  Anyway it was a fun swim although I really wish I could have gone further, but the vacation is family time and 1 hour is better than nothing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meeting Dave Shearer - Harbormaster for GSL Marina

Josh and I went out to the GSL Marina at 7am and boated along the deep channel reef and measured out the distance to the end of the red/green buoys.  Came to 1.6 miles one way.  Josh noticed a spiderweb on one of the buoys.  It wasn't the biggest spider I've seen of this species, but still quite big compared to Jumping/Wolf Spiders which is all I see around the house.

We then met Dave Shearer at 8:30 at the marina office to discuss the race and the proposed route.  I was very encouraging.  He was very supportive and told us of the parks willingness to help us out with support boats, etc....  He did discourage using the deep channel buoys as there is a significant current that goes northeast from the southern tip of Antelope Island down to black rock.  He said depending on the runoff for the year it can be strong clear until the end of June.  He suggested a route that goes along the racing buoys where the current wouldn't be head on and inhibit the forward progress of the swimmers.   After discussing it with Josh, we're going to take that advise and count on the support of the State and the Yacht club and forget the convenience of the already existing channel buoys and avoid any head-on currents.

So I took a map of the racing buoy coordinates and will plan the routes using those.  The idea is to have a large support boat every mile to assist with liquid/feedings as well as provide safety coverage.  Each of those boats would be in radio comm with each other and with a HQ.  We got paperwork required for getting the event setup with the State Parks.  So we've got some homework to do.  Dave was extremely helpful and easy to work with.  I'm very excited about this event.  No organized event like this has occurred in the GSL since the 1930's.  It's time to revive it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Swimming in purgatory

Swam at Surf N' Swim this morning.  It was chilly getting to the pool.  The air temp was probably in the low 60s. But then I jumped in the pool.  What the HECK!  It felt like a hot tub!  Yuk!

1000 yards easy (had to circle swim with three ladies who were doing 25s on 2:00, but after about 10 min. they left)
1000 - 2 x 500's kick with fins.
500 - 5 x 100 IMs (0,1 breath on fly) Get 1:30 on all.  Leave on 2:00
1000 - 10 x 100's free pull first 5 get 1:15, second 5 get 1:10 all on 1:30
100 - 50 one arm pull, 50 touch and pull

3600 yards total.

Felt good about the 100 pulls, those pulls were long and easy, didn't really push it, just focused on a long and strong pull and I was getting great times!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm not laughing

Got to the lake at 6:35am and did four laps.  I used my digital thermometer this time which was really cool.  It's nice cause it gives me an instant reading and the manufacturers claim that it is accurate to less than +-1 degree Fahrenheit.  The temp came in at 67.1  A little colder than I expected.  When I got in it felt great!  I was able to do the 4 laps in 1:50.  Pretty good time.

I was disturbed again by the amount of trash and dead fish.  Now there were two dead fish at the ramp.  Someone also put a fake severed hand at the ramp floating there amongst all the trash and dead fish.  What a sick joke.  I wasn't laughing.  I was more disturbed by the garbage and dead fish than I was to see a severed bloody hand there.

I took this video and will be posting it on the greatsaltlakeopenwater.com website in hopes that we can really get the word out of the "Bountiful Lake Project".  Austin is getting the ball rolling with the Eagle Board, but it hasn't officially hasn't been approved yet, but I expect it will.  I'm just eager to get the word out so that we can get the date on people's calendars to come out.

I'll be assisting Austin in getting sponsorship and support from the community.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Antelope Island to Black Rock

I'm planning on taking on a 72 year old record.  In 1937, Orson Spencer set the record of swimming from Antelope Island to Black Rock in 3:40:52.  For a course that is 8.2 miles that is roughly 26:57/mile.  That's fast.  But given the "float factor", I think it is within reach especially if there is no wind.  So I'm going to plan to do this course on Monday, September 6th (Labor Day).

I'm still working on getting permission from Chris Haramoto to get past the Garr Ranch gate which will let me get to the southern tip.  I'm also going to have to construct a small wheelset for the Kayak, so I can rest it on a small plank on large wheels so that I can transport it on land without having to carry it.  Small enough that I can just tote it on the kayak when I'm on water.  It's a good mile and a half walk from the end of the dirt road to the southern tip shoreline.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Anniversary swim

I slept in quite a bit this morning.  Had a late night talking with my wife.  Today is our anniversary.  16 years of bliss!  So this morning I went to Surf N' Swim and did a quick two miles:

1000 yards straight long and slow strokes
1000 - 400 pull easy, 300 pull moderate, 200 pull fast, 100 pull sprint (:15-20 ri)
400 kick 
100 back
1000 - 10 x 100's descend 1-5 on 1:30
200 - 2 x 100's IM  On the fly, no breath for 25, and on free really sprint and do powerful long strokes!  Back and breast recovery.

3700 yards total

Really good workout.  Felt strong and had no strains on shoulder or back at all.  I applied for a lifeguard/swim instructor position at SDRC, but I'm not sure they're hiring at the moment, but they have my resume.  Hopefully I hear from them in the next few months at least.  During the summer its not that big of a deal cause I want to do lots of open water swimming, but during the winter I would like to get some free swimming there.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Black Rock thru GSL Marina Deep Reef Channel 5K swim

Met Josh at Black rock at 6:20am this morning and we walked to the beach right there and about 75 feet into the water where it was finally deep enough to swim.  I towed a watertight container with my GPS, small gatorade and some mouthwash.  After analyzing the GPS track data of where we actually started to swim and where we ended, it came to 5K in 1:28.  Here's the map:

It sure didn't seem like we were gone very long.  Probably because it was so fun!  The wind/waves were going pretty well to the Northeast so going out was easy, but coming back we were going right into the waves.  Could have gone much faster, but this was just a relaxing swim and not a tough workout.  My shoulder didn't have any issues at all, so I'm fully back to normal there.  Whew!

After we got back to our cars we went over to the Marina to meet with the marina harbormaster, Dave Shearer, but he wasn't there so we'll catch up with him later.  The Black Rock thru the reef channel to the end of the buoys would be a perfect course because there are two beaches with easy access:
1) The beach at Black Rock
2) The beach at the Marina
and then there is the outlook at the end of the marina.  It really is an ideal location!  The water is much clearer on the south end of the lake versus north of Antelope Island.  The tufa rock is about 3 feet from the surface for the first half mile or so at the beginning of the swim, but that's no big deal.  After that it gets about 6-10 feet deep.  The thing about this swim is that you wouldn't want a bunch of novice kayakers and canoers out there on race day.  If the wind picks up just a little like it did today, it would be very difficult for the boaters to control their vessels.

Oh did I not post this yet?  I already registered the domain:  greatsaltlakeopenwater.com and am in the very early planning stages for setting up a race just like Deer Creek (1 mile,  5K, 10K and 10 mile) events.  Hoping to schedule it for early-mid June.  I have alot of planning and coordinating to pull it off right.  The web site will have a skeleton in the next couple days.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Enough is Enough!

This morning on may way into the water at BL I stepped on something metal that felt like an anchor, but was a long metal rod of some kind.  I picked it up and threw it to the side outside the water.  I also noticed two or three styrofoam containers for worms used for fishing. They were stuck in the mud just under the surface of the water near the edge.

I started my swim, which was awesome by the way.  I did three laps in 1:24 (5K swim).  Nice and easy.  My shoulder was a little achy still at the start, but the pain subsided until it was barely noticeable at the end.  I felt great.  The water temp was perfect and the water didn't really seem all that dirty even though my mind the whole time during the swim was thinking about how to clean up Bountiful Lake.  I remember earlier this year when our family came out and picked up probably 300 pounds of garbage over the 30 foot section of shoreline.  I am willing to bet there is enough garbage to keep about a hundred people busy all day long collecting it.

Garbage and dead catfish at Bountiful Lake all within 3 feet of each other.
When I got out I noticed a dead fish, and three new pieces of garbage on the boat ramp that weren't there before.  I moved the garbage a little closer to the dead fish and took this picture.  There was a fisherman within 15 feet of the ramp just standing there  while there was literally dozens of large pieces of trash right there.  I picked up a handful of trash after taking this picture and dumped it in the big garbage can which was about 50 feet from the ramp.  It was just a drop in the bucket.  But it was a move in the right direction.
I'm amazed at the reckless attitude by outdoor recreationists who don't pick up after themselves (or even others). If everyone truly had a concern for their favorite activities outdoors they would not only pick up after themselves, but take the initiative to clean up after those who don't have that concern.

I've had enough of seeing sights like this and am really going to encourage Austin to tackle this issue for his Eagle Project.  I could help him with advertising this issue and educate him on the issue so he can take full ownership of the project.  I won't be doing this for him, but I definitely have a vested interest in this topic and think its something that he can learn more about and take a greater interest in himself.  The community needs to be more aware of this problem for the fish, for the environment and for the small minority of people who venture into these waters to swim.  I'd really hate to have my wife find me floating on my back, white and bloated on the ramp like this poor fish because of exposure to toxic garbage that is floating around in that lake.

Monday, August 16, 2010

3600 yards

I had a dentist appointment with Dr. Finlinson this morning.  His office is just down the road from Surf N Swim, so I swam in the pool this morning.

250 yards free easy
800 yards kick
1250 - 10 x 125's free on 2:00
100 back easy
500 yards kick
150 free easy

3050 yards total

My left shoulder is just a tad achy, but nothing major.  Took today's swim nice and easy.  Will swim BL tomorrow and Wednesday.  Tonight I go to the SL Red Cross building to get my Adult CPR recertification.  After that I'll put together a resume and apply at SDRC.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One race I wish I could go to - Tennessee River 10 mile swim

I was looking around at different new OW swims and found this one.  If I had the PTO and the money to fly out there, I would definitely do this one.  It looks like alot of fun!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Results of the 2010 Deer Creek Open Water Marathon (10 Miles in 4:50:03)

Yesterday I dropped Austin off at the club, and I went over to my parents house to do a shave down.  Boy that sure takes a long time to do it right.  At 8:30 we left for Deer Creek.  We had taken all the seats out of the van and set up a cot and a air mattress to sleep on in the back.  We parked in a parking lot just off the freeway heading into Wallsburg, about a mile from the entrance and slept in the back.  It was a cool night and we both slept great!

I set my alarm for 5:30 and then drove over.  Thing is, nobody was there yet.  Why did I have the impression to get there early?  I ended up helping set up a few signs, but I didn't need to get up that early. Oh well.  We set the kayak up at the dock and heard a brief safety meeting. The 10 milers got to start first rather than have a mass start with 1 mile, 5k, 10k and 10 mile swimmers all starting together. 70 swimmers all starting together is a bit much. The start was much more controlled, so that was a great move by the race director.

There were 11 x 10 mile entrants.  5 guys and 6 ladies.  6 with wetsuits and 5 without.  Here's a picture of most of them.  We started off and there was a girl without a wetsuit who was smokin!  She took off and I never saw her again after the first 100 yards.  I was really impressed.  There were about 3 or 4 other people in front of me as well.  I was NOT going to get all worried about my placement in the pack.  I was all about starting at a nice controlled pace and just worry about getting each mile under 30 minutes.  

At about 1 mile into it I was passed by a red capped (10K) swimmer and then another.  Here come the speed demon 10K swimmers.  The 5K turnaround point was way in the bay much further than the past couple years.  The weather was perfect and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  When I got to a bend at mile 3.5 I had passed a non wetsuit guy who was busy with his support boat looking for the buoy.  I wasn't going to waste time trying to locate a buoy so I kept on swimming directing Austin to stay along the shoreline on the right.  About 5 minutes later a power boat came over and said we needed to turn left and go straight across the bay instead of going along the outside, so when you see my actual course below, you'll see I took a longer route than the others (which is strange that my total at the end still turned out to be 10 miles and not like 10.25 or something).  

My first feed wasn't until just before mile 4.  I had gone 1:45 and got my first gatorade and a cereal bar.  I kept that feeding to under a minute.  Which was great!  I then took off and at the 5 mile mark where we turn around I had just repassed the non wetsuit guy who took the correct shorter route from the previous bay.  While I was swimming I made sure to watch my arms on the pull.  I really focused on bending my elbow and pulling my hand directly back instead of doing an 'S' pull which I usually do.  I notice that when I do an S pull I end up not getting a full and powerful stroke because I'm not directing the pull towards my feet as much.  With this concentration on my pull and my bilateral breathing I was able to really get the power I needed to maintain the time I wanted.

At around mile 6 I was breathing to the side only to see Austin halfway out of the boat grasping on to the sides for dear life.  I wasn't expecting that view and stopped and yelled out "Austin are you OK!  What the heck are you doing?"  He said, "I have to pee really bad!"  I immediately started back up my swim and had to laugh underwater.  I never thought of how my support guys bathroom needs.  Swimmers can just go and swim at the same time, but not the poor support crew.

I was feeling strong the whole way and did not have any aches or pains that significantly bothered me.  When I got back to Wallsburg bay the wetsuited guy who was up ahead was within sight.  He kept stopping every twenty minutes or so.  I would catch up and then he would start up just as I caught up to him.  Then he would really sprint up ahead and then stop later on and I'd catch him.  After about 3 or 4 of these bursts of his, he ended up losing his steam and at Mile 8, I had pulled way ahead of him and there was no recovery for him.  

When I got to Mile 9 I really started to turn it on.  When I got to the 1/2 mile left buoy I really turned on the afterburners and really picked it up.  I felt like I was doing a full sprint into the final buoy.  I felt so great!  My final time was 4:50:03.  I was able to get 29 minutes exactly per mile.  Got 10 minutes under my goal time, so I'm pleased.  I took second overall in the Male division.  First in the Male Non-wetsuit division though.  Here's the official results.  The guy who took first is the high school swim coach from Evanston.  He wore a wetsuit and got a really sick time of something like 4:15.  I really wonder how much that wetsuit shaves off on his time.  The girl that shot of right from the start got like 4:22.  Wow that was really impressive.  So I was the second non-wetsuited swimmer too.  Third overall.

I'm REALLY glad I didn't wear a wetsuit.  The water was PERFECT.  The water was 66 degrees in the morning and by the time I got out I'm sure it was well into the low 70s.  The chaffing from a wetsuit would not be worth the buoyancy advantage.   I only took about 4 feedings.  Total of 4 gaterades and  3 cereal bars.  They were all really speedy feedings and I attribute at least 2-3 minutes off my time had I taken my time like I usually do when I take a feeding.  It's good practice to focus on keeping them short!

This years race was perfect.  No weather problems, it was well organized, the shirts were much better and the staggered start times were awesome. Austin did a fantastic job the whole time staying with me. What a good time I had.  I'm already looking forward to next years swim.  Next up..... Slam the Dam.  I'm doing a grand slam.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nice and easy 2 laps in BL

Got up this morning and did two laps at Bountiful Lake (just over 2 miles) in 56 minutes.  I stayed loose and didn't really push it.  I'm a little sore from last night's table tennis tournament in Riverdale where I tied for first place among the 18 participants.  Not terribly sore, just a little stiff and the swim felt great as it loosened up those muscles in my mid back.

The water surprisingly isn't warming up as hot as I would expect.  The air temp in the afternoon is in the mid to high 90's, but the water seems to be staying in the 70s.  Very nice.   Now I'll do my shavedown tomorrow and carb up a bit for Saturday.  Cross your fingers for clear skies and no wind.  Should be a great swim!

I stopped by and picked up a Deseret News to read Jared's article on open water swimming which he interviewed me about on Monday.  He did a good job with it despite my stammering and haphazard thought processes.  The article included lots of good pictures.  Hopefully more pool swimmers take the plunge into bigger waters and free themselves of the confines of the lane lines and sidewalls.

My goal for Saturday's swim is to get the 10 miles in under 5 hours.  I really want to at least get just under that 2 mph average.  That should definitely be obtainable as long as I keep my feedings limited to 30 seconds every 45 minutes.  Austin has agreed to be my paddler and I'll have to review the feeding procedures with him as well as the importance of staying right at my 10 and 2.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What I like about Open Water Swimming

Today's swim was an easy two laps around Bountiful Lake - 2 miles in under an hour.

Now for some commentary.....

A couple nights ago Jared Eborn, sports writer for the Deseret News, called me at home and asked me several questions about open water swimming for an article he's writing and publishing tomorrow in the newspaper.  I must admit that I do better at organizing my thoughts in written word, than in verbal communication.  I'm sure he was disappointed with the quality of my answers as I was going off on tangents and not really making meaningful or thought provoking answers.

One of his questions was something like why open water swimming appeals to me.  I said something like "It's relaxing, and it isn't very difficult to do."  While that's true, it isn't what makes me passionate about it.

During today's swim at Bountiful Lake, I put more thought into that question and came up with the following:

  • I love the coolness of the water on my skin.
  • The rhythmical sound of my stroke and water washing over me is hypnotic.
  • Watching the sun rise or set while breathing to the side is a sight that not many people get to appreciate.
  • I get a good tan without having to be a lazy butt.
  • It's quiet, I get to think, it's not intense physically to do, and I get to focus on my breathing.  So in a big way, it's alot like meditation.
Another question he asked was about the tight knit group of open water swimmers.  While I would say that I have a friendship with Josh Green.  He's about the only person in the open water community that I'd say I have a connection to.   Open water swimming actually lends itself quite well to people who would be classified as anti-social personalities.  Other sports like running, or biking you can do and socialize (should you want to) at the same time.  Even pool swimming, you can socialize in between sets.  Open water swimmers, while training have more in common with fish, than with people:
  • Is the water clean?  It sure would be nice if all that trash and crap wasn't floating in the water.
  • What's up with all these hooks in the water?  Avoid those as much as possible.
  • Please bird when you fly over me, don't dive down like you're gonna attack.  And especially don't defecate in the water!
Pool swimming is like football, and open water swimming is like soccer.  It's totally different in its intensity and endurance.  I was especially struck by my friend's statement after she did the English Channel.  While the actual quote maybe significantly different to this, it came across to me like this:  "While I've spent many hours with my face under water in the darkness, I feel like I need to come up to breathe and strengthen some relationships that I have neglected."  So in that sense open water swimming is an antisocial's sport.  

It's also an individual sport.  I personally don't like team sports.  While a victory as a team can be great and socially rewarding.  Without a great deal of discipline by each and every team member, a defeat can often lead to blame and distaste for others on the team.  So what appeals to me about competitive swimming is that I have nobody to blame but myself.  I also put more emphasis on my success on my goal time, than on how I place against other swimmers.  While it's nice to take 1st or 2nd in something, getting that goal time is the real monument of achievement for me. 

Open water swimming for me is less about competition, but going the distance.  Challenging myself to endure and progress against my previous accomplishments rather than comparing myself to other individuals.  That is a much less stressful way to think and again goes back to my stupid answer, it's a stress relief.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Oh how I love Chlorine

Today was my first pool swim in a while, and boy was it nice.  Call me warped, but I love the taste of chlorine.  It sure tastes better than the Great Salt Lake, or Bountiful Lake.  Although I never intentionally swallow any water I swim in, that is truly nasty.  This morning looked way too cloudy and stormy to comfortably swim at BL, so I stopped at Layton Surf N' Swim for this workout:

1800 yards straight nice and easy (27 minutes)
800 - 4 x (100 fly kick with fins, 100 free kick with fins) nonstop.
800 - 4 x (100 fly kick with fins on back, 100 back kick with fins) nonstop.  On this set focus on long exhales with head looking back upside down underwater.
1000 - 5 x 200's free pull on 3:00 descend 1-5 (2:45, 2:40, 2:35, 2:33, 2:30)
1000 - 5 x 200's free no equipment on 3:00
100 back easy
500 - 5 x 100's free on 1:30 desc 1-5 (1:25, 1:20, 1:18, 1:15, 1:12)
100 breast/back cool down

6100 yards total -- felt great!

During last Saturday's eventful swim, I thought of something that would get me in the record books.

But I'll keep that a secret so nobody beats me to it.  But it will be awesome!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stansbury Swim - just under 10 miles

Friday night Brendon made some final modifications to his canoe.  He had already built a rowing system for it and some pontoons.  He then put in a rudder at the end so it would help stabilize and minimize the side to side movement.  So we got up early this morning and went out to the GSL State Marina.  We had about 30-50% cloud cover, but non threatening.  The wind was zero and the water was as smooth as glass.  Nice!  
Me swimming towards Stansbury.
Camera lens needs cleaning.

The first 5 miles were great.  I was going faster than projected and I was feeling strong.  The feedings were going well.  Once we got to 6.4 we turned around and started to come back.  The weather report from last night said afternoon storms and if we went all the way to the Island it would have required Diana to come get us.  So we decided to just go halfway there and just swim back.  So we turned back.  About 8 miles into the swim, the wind was coming from the South South West, and the waves started to pick up.  I could tell it was harder for Brendon to stay straight.  The rudder isn't designed to prevent the boat from turning when the wind and waves hit it.  He was slowing down as he was down to using mostly his right side to keep the boat from compromising direction to the waves and wind.  I was feeling some aches in my shoulder at 6, but by 8 the waves had made the swim more exciting!  My aches were gone and I was enjoying the rhythm of the swells.  
Camera lens smeared, sorry.
Brendon and his cool canoe attachments.

We kept on going, even though I could tell the boat was getting further off and I would often stop to let him catch up.  I could see that the rest of the swim would either be really slow going as I can't just leave my support boat there struggling with his course.  So I stayed relatively close to the boat.  I could see a sailboat yacht off to our east and it was heading right for us.  Crap!  I was sure they were going to try "rescuing us".  But our course was going all over the place and at this point the clouds from the south didn't look any more friendly.  It was only going to get worse.  We still had a good 3 miles to go and if we needed help this was our chance to take it without it being a real emergency.  So reluctantly, I pulled the plug on the remainder of the swim.  

They threw me a line and I tied it up to the front of the canoe and then swam to the back of the boat where our very kind weekend yachters had let down a ladder for me.  They had a hose they let me shower off with and then we took the 6 mph ride the rest of the way.  The winds did pick up and according to our new friends had gusts up to 30 knots.  

The map below if you zoom in on the last mile can see the zig zag struggle the we had.

Here's the map:  (Click the "view full screen" button below to zoom in and get details)

I did not feel let down getting in the boat, because I knew in my mind that I could have most certainly finished the swim, had I not had a support boat.  I was feeling strong and energized by the waves and wasn't taking on water, or feeling drained.  I only had another three miles. I could have made it really with not much problems.  If I had thrown in the towel because I was tired, or drained, and gave up mentally, then yes, I would have been disappointed with today's swim, but I definitely had another 5 miles for sure left in me.  

The GPS tracking history shows that the total swim was 9.75 miles in 5:10.   Nice.  Gives me a good confidence booster for next week's Deer Creek race.  I should do well.  Hopefully the wind and storms all blow through and we don't have another repeat of last year

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

World Record Blog

Boy I must have really been bored during this morning's swim.  I was thinking and figured my swim log is probably a world record in that no other individual has an electronic, publicly available archive of pool workouts, and swimming related articles as this one.  I currently have 678 pages of pool workouts, open water swim reports and meet/event results on this site.  If someone could find another site by an individual with more data than this, I would LOVE to be proven wrong, and get a link.  I've looked and I just can't find it.  Cause I sure could use some variety come this winter when Open Water swims aren't a possibility.

Today's swim was tougher than normal.  I just wasn't feeling it.  I only get in that state about a couple days a month and this was one of them.  I met Josh at the boat ramp at BL at 6:30 and did one lap with him.  He got there at 6:00 and started his second lap when I started my first.  He had to get home so I did two more laps without him.  I was really struggling mentally.  I didn't have any aches or pains, just was having trouble getting into the zone.  And as you could tell my head was getting a little big.  I'm still quite a newbie to OW, only been doing it for two years, so I'm NOT an expert by any means!

Total Swim:  3 Laps (@ 3.25 miles) in 1:30

This will be my last swim until the Stansbury Island swim this Saturday.  I'll be going into BL tomorrow though for some trash cleanup along the perimeter of the lake.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Three laps in BL

Drove to Bountiful Lake this morning and got in at 6:45 am.  Did three laps (@ 3.25 miles).  Water was a little unsettled with wind from the south.  Not too bad though.  Was able to do the three laps just under 1.5 hours.  Hit a good sized tree branch right at the end and I towed it in and threw it in the garbage.  Noticed a bunch of trash floating near the boat ramp so I collected it and also threw it in the trash.  

I think I'll come back on Thursday morning, not to swim, but solely dedicated to trash collection.  With my wedding ring at the bottom of the lake, in a way I feel a bit like I'm married to BL.  So I'll be cleaning up after the pigs who have had their way with her.

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's only algae

This morning got up early and spray painted Isaac's bike in the garage with him.  He was excited to give it a new color.  Afterwards I drove out to BL and swam two laps in 58 minutes.  The taste of the water has gotten fouler than last time.  The water was very warm.  I didn't take a reading but I'm guessing it's in the 80s now.

I was thinking about the "Safe Swim Defense" points from last week's scout camp.  I used a little trick to memorize the points in order.  Here's my goofy way to memorize it:  "Queen Pat swam lazily like a big doofus".  The first letter of each word representing the real points to remember:

  • Qualified Supervision
  • Physical Fitness
  • Safe Area
  • Lookout
  • Lifeguard
  • Ability Groups
  • Buddy System
  • Discipline
With me swimming alone in Bountiful Lake, I'm violating the Buddy System.  I don't mean to make excuses, but I'm only 20 yards from where I can touch at all times.  And hypothermia is definitely not an issue now.  Anyway, I had a decent swim and didn't have any problems.  

One thing that kept my mind occupied is the fact that I am registered to take a CPR class with the Red Cross on August 16th and after that will have completed all the requirements to get the BSA Lifeguard certification.  Cathi and I were talking last night about getting a side job to supplement the budget for Christmas presents this year.  Instead of her getting a job, I'm going to apply for a lifeguard job at SDRC.  I know the pay will be crap, but I'll get free admission to swim there too, which is a huge bonus. 

I'll be lifting shoulders and upper back at lunch today.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Report of last week's Camp Evergreen swimming, as well as planned swim to Stansbury

So last week I spent the week at Camp Evergreen in the Uintahs.  I'll try not to be negative, but basically the waterfront sucked.  The water was a cool 60 degrees and I got several hours of exposure to the water.  I did the BSA Lifeguard certification and also participated with Jacob in the Lifesaving MB which he completed.

The mile swim consisted of 36 laps in a 25 yard roped section of the lake.  The water was too shallow overall to do a real open water swim, so last week's swimming was just not happening as I had hoped even though I did spend alot of time in the water doing rescues and acting as a victim.  I did the rowing merit badge with Jacob Dangel which also consisted of swamping the boat.

I got up on Thursday morning real early with Jacob Dangel and did the polarbear with him.  The poor kid came up out of the water with a look on his face I'll never forget.  He was immediately in a pre-hypothermic state.  It was kind of funny as he made the scout sign and repeated in his stuttering voice in the below 60 degree water.

"A sc-sc-sc-out is t-t-t-rustworthy, l-l-l-loyal...."  I was right there next to him in the water doing the sign and helping him recite them.  It wasn't that he didn't know the oath and law.  He's a life scout, very close to Eagle, but the water had an immediate effect on his motor and brain function.  Carlos, the waterfront director was chuckling as he watched Jacob stutter out the law and oath.  I wish I had my waterproof camera of the event.  It was great.

As for this weekend.  I am planning to swim from the Great Salt Lake marina on the south end of the lake out to Stansbury Island.  Then I'll get in the support boat and paddle back.  It's just under 12 miles to swim and I'm not ready for a round trip of 24 miles especially in that salt water.  Here's the route I have uploaded to my GPS.  Actual route my vary depending on water depth....

I'm planning to do this with my brother in law, Brendon Hatch, as my support paddler, since Jacob and Austin are both on vacation with their grandparents.