Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spooky Swim

Yesterday was a busy day at work getting our pumpkin scene ready, and also had to get off early so I could make it home in time for a halloween 5K run that Cathi commanded me to join her on.  She was Bert and I was Ernie and she said she'd be mad if she had to show up without Ernie.  So I had to sacrifice yesterday's swim for the sake of family unity.  But I think I made up for it with today's long swim, which is a modified version of this one from swiminfo:

1000 - 400 Free and IM, 200 choice
800 - 8 x 100's kick IM on 2:45
1600 - 16 x 100's pull on 1:30
800 - 4 x 200's Drill (100 left/right arm, 100 fingertip drag) on 4:00
400 free build each 100.  1:00 ri
600 - 2 x 300's free build by 150.  1:00 ri
600 - 3 x 200's free hard (MUST GET 2:30 or your rest gets cut by :15!) on 3:30
400 - 4 x 100's free fast (must get under 1:15) on 1:30
300 - 6 x 50's free sprint
400 - 4 x 100's choice moderate 
300 Easy

Do the above workout all over again!

14,400 yards total

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Calm mind

Felt really good this morning.  My mind was free of commotion and was able to swim strong as a result:

500 free warmup
2500 - 10 x (100 fast/50 easy on 2:30, 75 IM/25 free on 2:00)
1000 - 5 x (75 free/25 kick on 2:00, 25 kick/75 free on 2:00)
really focus on free technique and not so much about speeed.

4000 - 800 free pull strong :20 ri, 600 kick :20ri, 400 - 4 x 100 IMs on 2:00, 200 free strong.  Then do the same set backwards

200 easy

8200 yards total

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

9000 yards and The Parable of the Foolish Swimmer

3000 yards free
3000 yards pull
1000 yards kick with fins
1000 - 5 x 200's odds IM drill, even free
900 - 6 x 150's (100 sprint (get under 1:15), 50 breast active recovery) on 2:30
100 - 50 sprint, 50 back easy

9000 yards

Here's something I put together in my mind during today's swim.  Totally fictional, purely a parable that is similar to an actual event, but not related to swimming.  Sorry.  It's kinda long:

The Parable of the Foolish Swimmer

Frank always enjoyed swimming ever since he was a kid.  He swam on his High School Team and made lots of friends.  He had progressed to the point of being one of the fastest swimmers on the team.  He was good friends with Jon and Rick also were very fast swimmers on the team, but typically we assigned to swim in different lanes.  Frank had earned a reputation for his hard work and for taking first place in nearly every event he competed in at meets.

Many years passed, Frank had varying levels of motivation to swim.  He didn't swim with groups anymore, and rarely pushed himself to the point of exhaustion like he did when he was on a team.  One day he thought it would be cool to swim the Catalina channel.  So the next month, he drove to California, hired a pilot and started the swim.  He knew it would be tough, but didn't realize there were currents, marine life, and salt water to deal with. During one of the first couple feedings, he exclaimed, "I've never seen a seal before in the water with me".  The pilot crew tried to hide their amusement when they realize Frank is in over his head.  Once Rick gets about halfway he is beyond the point of exhaustion and can go no longer.  The pilot crew pull him out of the water and he heads home defeated.

Frank resolves to learn from this and to do: open water swims, extend his training to higher levels, do more research on marathon swimming.  He begins his research and reads a book where an English Channel swimmer makes light of the obstacles to marathon swimming and almost mocks anyone who nonchalantly attempts it.  This book disgusts him to the point of giving up and he goes back to swimming at the pool focussed again on just sprints with his workout total never getting higher than 3500 yards.

A couple years later, Frank's girlfriend, Jenny, hears about a sweepstakes put on by Swimming World where the winner of the sweepstakes will win a free trip to Dover including payment for a pilot to swim the English Channel.  The drawing is in 1 week.  Jenny asks Frank if she can enter him in the drawing.  Without really thinking about his past experience with the Catalina Channel he agrees thinking that he wouldn't win the drawing anyway.  A week later he gets a call, he just won the drawing and will need to take a week off work the next month to swim the English Channel.

Frank was mortified.  He knew he wasn't prepared, but he'd won the drawing and didn't want to waste the opportunity.  Every morning for the next month he went swimming in the local pond.  Frank and Jenny went to visit a psychiatrist to help him stay positive, and be mentally strong during the swim.  When the time came, he flew with Jenny to Dover.  Two days before his Channel swim, the pilot sent two of his assistants to take Frank on a training in the harbor.  He was to swim 8 miles in 60 degree water.   He arrived at the Harbor and noticed the waves were huge!  The water was freezing.  He finished the swim, but had to grab the boat a couple times, and at the end had moderate hypothermia and had drank alot of seawater.

The two pilot assistants reported back to the head pilot of what happened.  The pilot had heard of Frank's abilities through his old High School teammates Jon and Rick who had recently successfully swam the English Channel.  They both spoke highly of him and respected his speed when they swam together in High School.  Because of that recommendation and the fact that he actually did finish the training swim, (even though it was executed pathetically), they decided to allow him to continue to make the attempt two days later.

Once Frank heard they approved his attempt and he was scheduled to swim, he was surprised and horrified.  He knew he was totally unprepared to be successful.  At this point he called the whole thing off.  He resolved to go home, hire a personal trainer who had experience with marathon swimming, take his training seriously, and come back and make the attempt once he was satisfied that he had taken the proper steps to not just "make the attempt", but to be able to swim it confidently and powerfully.

There is no denying that Frank was foolish, but what was his most foolish decision?

Please answer the poll to the right at the bottom.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reward for not being a chicken

I'm rewarding myself with a long workout this morning doing what I love!

1000 - 1000 free (every fifth lap kick on back)
1000 skips (swim, kick, IM, pull, swim)
1000 - 20 x 50's (5 fly, 5 back, 5 breast, 5 free) drill on 1:15
1500 - 10 x 150's (50 swim, kick, pull (no buoy, just paddles) on 3:00
2500 - 5 x 500's pull descend 1-5 on 7:30
800 - 4 x 200's :10 ri  odds IM, even free
200 EZ

8000 yards total

Felt like just getting out at the 7000 mark, but figured I'd just finish it up as planned.  Feels good to finish and not giving in to being lazy.  Especially going really strong on the IMs at the end.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Swimming with Butterflies

No I didn't do any fly stroke, I'm talking about butterflies in my gut because I'm nervous about something going on in my life outside the pool.  Anyhow so today's workout it was hard staying focused on my stroke or form.

1000 - 4x4x4
800 - 2 x (4 x 100's free descend 1-4 on 1:30)
2000 - 10 x 200's pull on 2:45
1000 - 5 x 200's kick with fins on 4:00
200 easy

5000 yards total

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Helping Jacob with his swimming

This morning Jacob was insistent that we go earn his Mile Swim.  Jacob got tired quick and had to resort to backstroke after 200 yards.  Then he started straying from a straight line and got in other swimmers way who were sharing the lane so I called off his mile attempt so we could focus on technique.  We took this video at the end.  I don't mean to be overly critical, but here are some common mistakes that young kids make that are still learning.

Thing is.  I really need to have someone video me so I can SEE what things I'm doing wrong, cause I bet I have a ton too.  Video feedback is awesome!

I ended up swimming 1200 yards with him during this morning's lesson.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

20% of Lake Huron

So my quest to Swimming Lake Huron is 1/5th of the way complete after today.  I will have just over 50 miles logged since October 1st.  Here's the workout I swam this morning and then will swim again at SDRC this evening while the boys are playing Table Tennis at the club:

1000 Warm up Pull
1000 - 4 x (75 free on 1:30, 75 - (25 kick, 50 breast), 50 back, 25 kick)
2000 free using Tempo Timer set at :57.  Get under 30:00
1000 - 400 kick, 300 pull, 200 fast (got 2:32), 100 grandpa

6000 yards total

Times 2 for doing twice today....

12000 yards total for the day

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Coach Smith's workout

Doubled this workout:

800 - 8x 100's odd free, even choice on 1:30/1:45
600 - 12 x 50's IM on 1:00
450 - 6 x 75's 25 kick then 50 free on 1:15
500 - 50/100/200/100/50 :10 ri
400 - 4 x 100's pull on 1:30
500 - 50/100/200/100/50 :10 ri 
400 - 4 x 100's kick w/fins on 2:00
300 - 4 x 75 IM drill on 1:10
400 - 2 x 200's free on 3:00

Now do the same workout going backwards.

8700 yards total

Felt great about the IM work. My fly is getting better.

Got my Lake Huron shirt yesterday, very cool.  I also practiced more on the bubble rings.  Did much better today.  Even though the best ring I did only lasted about 3 feet before it collapsed out of a ring formation.  More practice needed.  Fun stuff.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Todd's workout

Got this workout from "Todd":

500 - 5 x 100's free on 1:30
750 - 6 x 125's kick w/fins on 2:20
1200 - 6 x 200's pull on 2:45
1000 - 10 x 100's IM on 2:00
I added this set as an addition to get an 8150 total. Felt great about this set. was holding 1:25-1:28 on all of these
500 - 1 x 500 free on 7:30
800 - 2 x 400's free on 5:30
1800 - 2 x 3 x 300's free on 4:15
Triceps starting to fizzle out at this point
800 - 4 x 200's free on 2:50
500 - 5 x 100's free on 1:25
300 Warmdown

8150 Total

Saw this very cool video on Rob's blog:

All Strokes - Blowing Bubble Rings from Glenn Mills on Vimeo.

So I tried it myself. Not so easy. Notice the guy demonstrating has like zero body fat. With me when I laid on my back at the bottom of the pool, I was rising to the surface and not able to stay on the bottom. My bubbles didn't even resemble a ring at all. I'll have to's my very lame attempt:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Got this modified workout from here.

1000 - 200 swim, kick, IM, pull, swim
500 - 5 x 100's kick on 2:10. 1,3,5 dolphin, 2,4 free
1800 - 2 x 100's on 1:30, 4 x 100's on 1:28, 6 x 100's on 1:25, 4 x 100's on 1:28, 2 x 100's on 1:30
1800 - 3 x 600's pull free descending on 9:00
1000 free get time
I wanted under 13:40, but got 13:52. But I wasn't too upset I was really working it.
800 - 4 x 200's drill 1 of each stroke
200 Easy

7100 yards total

My back is at about 95%. Still a little annoyance, but I was happy to be able to make the 100's times.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Feeling better

My back pain has moved to the side so that its now my right hip. Weird. Still not normal, but about 90%. Today's workout was extended beyond my planned 4000 cause I was expecting the worst, and ended up doing more:

1000 - 1000 free warmup
2000 - 4,3,2,1 free descending and then back up ascending
1000 - 5 x 200's free pull on 3:00
1500 - 5 x (150 free, 100 IM, 50 kick)

I did open turns on everything today, until I got to the last set, then I did flip turns. It felt good to get a good stretch on my hip as I extended my arm to the wall on the right side. I sure hope this issue goes away very soon! I'm eager to get back into my 7000 - 8000 yard per day plan to get the Lake Huron challenge going at a faster pace!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Pain

Yesterday I lifted at lunch which seemed to really help, but again this morning after getting out of bed, the lower back pain is back. This morning's swim at SDRC was cut in half as a result, but at least it was longer than yesterday's workout:

1000 Free warmup
1200 - 8 x {75 free on 1:15 breaths on 5th stroke, 50 free on :50 breath on 7, 25 free on :30 no breath)
1200 - 6 x 200's pull on 3:00
500 - 5 x 100's free on 1:30
100 kick

4000 yards total

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Yesterday I didn't swim cause I had some major problems with my lower back on the right side. I went to see the Chiropractor and while he showed me some good stretching exercises, his adjustments to my back didn't really do squat for my pain. I was still hurting all day and this morning. Every flip turn I did was painful, so I did them slowly. I was really hoping my workout today would stretch things out and make it better, but it didn't. I ended up only doing the warm up of my workout. Once I started the main set, I decided that I shouldn't aggravate my back if the warmup didn't really make it feel better.

I'm concerned about it. I need to get back to 100% soon! I can't afford to have an injury now!

1800 yards total

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Detailed history of an open water legend in Utah - Orson Spencer

I received a treasure in the mail today!  Orson Spencer's grand-daughter sent me several newspaper articles as well as some personal journal entries from Orson's mother.  Here is the letter she sent me:

October 6, 2010

Dear Mr. Gridley,

I appreciate your interest in my father and his swimming accomplishments, as well as the Great Salt Lake Swimming events. I apologize for being so slow at getting this information to you.

I have copied a few of the articles we had in his personal history and typed an entry from his mother about his swimming that might be interesting. If I come across any more, I'll forward them on to you. I understand that many of Utah's newspapers are now online and can be viewed and copied. I found a list of many articles from the Ogden Standard Examiner. A list of dates of those articles is as follows:

9 Dec 1926, 22 Apr, 23 Apr, 9 Dec 1927, 8 Apr 1928, 25 Aug 1929, 16 Apr, 19 Apr 1930, 11 Apr, 28 Oct 1931, 31 Jan 1932, 27 Apr 1933, 20 Apr 1934, 29 Mar, 30 Mar 1935, 19 July, 5 Sept 1937, 15 Apr 1938, 29 Jan, 14 Apr, 7 Aug 1939, 6 Apr 1940, 26 Mar, 27 Mar 1941, 26 Mar 1943, 2 Apr 1947, 7 Apr 1960. I imagine that other newspapers on similar dates would have also had articles as well.

Entry written by his mother Hazel V. Spencer in his history:

"On July 20, 1941, Orson won a two mile race at Pine View lake (fresh water), Ogden. We were so thrilled to see him beat five of Utah's best swimmers so soon after breaking his arm. Then Aug 3, 1941, on his mother's birthday he won the race from Antelope Island to Blackrock. It was a terrible day, be he battled the high waves alone, when all other swimmers quit, just because he had promised his mother he would win. The man who followed him in the boat looked like he was made of salt; and he said, 'It would take one better than a fish to swim the lake today.'"

As to the reason the race stopped, my mother agrees with the Harbormaster of the GSL, that it was because of the war.

I was thrilled to see your blog on your swim and your mentioning my father, as well as seeing his name with yours on the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame record. Thanks for your interest and efforts in bringing back the Antelope to Blackrock Race.


Nancy S. Woodbury

Here are the many newspaper articles that she sent me which I have scanned and typed up below....

August 15th, 1938:
Spencer Wins Salt Water Swim
Paddles 8 Miles in 4 Hrs. 36 Minutes

Choppy water, which makes swimming in Great Salt Lake a constant battle to avoid strangulation, failed to keep Orson Spencer from successfully defending his Antelope to Black Rock marathon swim championship yesterday.

He negotiated the 8 miles of turbulent brine in 4 hours and 12 minutes to finish far ahead of Ken Lyman whose second place time was 4 hours and 36 minutes. The time was 22 minutes slower than his record of 3 hours and 40 minutes last year.

Bill Armour won a spirited race from R. L. Rigby, Magna mill worker, to finish third in 5 hours and 12 minutes. The other three starters failed to finish.

Crowd Cheers
Lyman matched Spencer stroke for stroke half way, but thereafter fell steadily behind. The winner received an ovation from a large crosed assembled at Black Rock Beach to witness the finish.

Will Receive Trophies
The Black Rock Beach Company will present tropies to all who finished the race. George Knepp, deputy sheriff, supervised boating the swimmers. The race was supervised by Dr. Munn Q. Cannon, chairman of the Intermountain A.A.U. swimming committee which annually promotes the swim.

August 4th, 1941:

Orson Spencer Alone At Finish Of Black Rock Swim

Conditions Worst in History of Race

At the start of the annual Antelope Island-Black Rock Beach swim yesterday, Orson Spencer was just a convalescing ex-champion whose complete recovery from injuries received in an automobile accident was so doubtful as to make his part in competition a distinct question mark.

When the 8.12 mile swim - through the worst conditions encountered in the history of the race - was over, Orson was not only the winner, but the iron man of the gruelling swim, so completely recovered that his strength and stamina was notably ahead of anyone else's and his position in local swimming circles restored.

Swimming the course through mountainous waves that often kept the contestants out of touch with their boats, Orson required five hours, seven hours and 22 seconds - an hour and one-half slower than his own record for the course - but could have taken twice as long and still won, for he was the only man in a starting field of six who finished.


At the start of the race, the water was calm and the going smooth, but it was not long before a heavy wind came up to whip the surface into mountainous waves and made the going both difficult and perilous. Ned Winder of Granger was the first to drop out of the race, and shortly afterwards Ed Watson, who won the race two years ago under highly adverse weather conditions, was taken sick and he had to be hauled into his boat.

Key Lyman, defending champion, was battling with Spencer for the lead in the race, but when the waves got bigger and bigger he gave up the attempt, leaving Spencer, Peter Leavitt and Wayne Christensen in the water. Leavitt was the next to be taken out of the turbulent water, sick and shortly afterwards Christensen swallowed a mouthful of brine and was all through, leaving Spencer in the water alone with nearly two miles to go.


Officials urged Orson to call it off and accept a "victory by elimination" but the swimmer kept grimly on under his own power until he reached the finish line unaided.

"It's Mother's birthday, and she's my trainer and coach: I have to giver her a real win for a birthday present." he said when urged to quit the swim before the end of the course.

It was Spencer's sixth win of the gruelling race. He holds both the three-hour-40-minute-52-second record for the present course, set in 1937, and the record for the old Antelope Island to Saltair course, two hours and two minutes.

July 22nd, 1956

Veteran Swimmer Gives Distance Race Slants

Great Salt Lake is a unique body of water - and distance swimming in it is a unique sport.

And if you're going to enter this season's Antelope Island-to-Saltair swim, you'd better start with the fundamentals-such as breathing.

That's the advce for this season's candidates from Orson D. Spencer, the greatest distance swimmer the Intermountain Area has produced, and one of the best in the sprints as well.

Spencer's career is almost a unique one, from his 1919 memories of the first "race" over the course by veteran instructor C. S. "Prof" Leaf, to Orson's final appearance in 1941 freshwater swim at Pineview Dam.

Prospective entrants for the July 23 race this season would do well to listen to the six-time winner of the Antelope classic, whose still-perfect condition, carries him through a program with the Wasatch Mountain Club, and plenty of skiing activity at Alta in the winter.

The swimmer in the Great Salt Lake is of a different breed.

He has no rhythmical breathing as does the ordinary swimmer - he must "breath with the waves" - if they are choppy, his breathing must be choppy; if they are big and slow - then he'd better breathe big and slow.

Because a mouth full of salt brings a definite choking sensation; and two or three mouthfuls take away all sensation, in short order.

And the stroke also is governed by the waves - the freestyle goes over the wave, so that the splash is back of the face, away from the eyes and mouth. Goggles are good only for a short time, beacuse they get covered with salt.

Spencer also learned that most of the work is done with the arms - the legs are so high because of the buoyancy that they are kicked only to maintain circulation.

Stories of Spencer's remarkable condition are legend, but perhaps the two best are these:

THE FIRST, concerns the time when, at 15 years of age, Orson hiked from Saltair north and then along the shoreline to Antelope Island, a distance of about 10 miles, and then swam the five miles back that afternoon and evening - all by himself. Orson wants this story to be forgotten, for it violates every rule of safety he has stressed for so many years since, such as requiring an accompanying boat for every swimer.

The other story concerns the time, a few year later, when he and Paul Swain rowed over to the island in 2 hours and 30 minutes - and Orson swam back in exactly the same time, that afternoon.

Highlights from Orson's career: He still holds the prep 220 free record of 2:32.2. He set a number of other prep marks, but they have since been bettered... He still holds the 150 backstroke record for colleges, at 1:45... He also holds the 300 AAU medley record of 4:04... As he recalls the Antelope swim development: "Prof" Leaf swam the distance in '19 as a dare... Chuck Mitchell won the first AAU race in '26... and Orson won in '30, '31, '32, '37, '38 and '41...

Orson sounds like a must for the Intermountain Area's sports hall of fame.

December 5th, 1962"
Swimming Now a Weighty C..."

Orson Spencer, in his day good enough to represent Utah in the nationals in the backstroke, couldn't make the prep traveling squad today, unless he shaved 10 seconds off his best time.

As a star swimmer for LDS High and the University of Utah, Spencer dominated the local scene for almost two decades and at the age of 32, he finally called it quits. Under today's stepped up swim program, Spencer would be a rarity because of his longevity, but his records would have to improve to merit consideration.

"I swam the backstroke in 1:07 and went to the nationals, where the event was won in 1:07.4" Orson laughed as he visited the Ute workout.

"Now, the high school record for the distance is 54.5 seconds."

There's a reason for this tremendous youth surge in swimming, and Orson is the first to admit it.

"Coach Don Reddish has his Ute swimmers going a mile in the morning, two miles in the afternoon and winding up with 1 1/2 hours of calisthenics in the afternoon. When we were swimming, we were lucky to get in two swims a day, total of maybe a half mile" Orson added.

The age factor is a difference now.

"When I was 15, I wanted to enter the Great Salt Lake swim to Antelope Island, but my dad believed I was too young and I was 20 before I had the chance," Spencer continued.

What a pioneer he was! I am truly blessed to have been able to contact his family who had these wonderful records to share. I truly hope that his love for the sport, and his successes can be appreciated by fellow Utah swimmers and that the Great Salt Lake gets more attention like it once did as a highly respectable open water swimming challenge and adventure.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Evening workout at SDRC

Workout taken from here. Swam this while Austin and Jacob were playing Table Tennis. The pool was relatively empty and I didn't have to compete for a lane. It was nice. I always swim great on Friday nights!

1000 - 5 x 200's (free, kick w/fins, IM, Pull, Swim)
1000 - 5 x 200's free on 2:45
1000 - 4 x 250's free pull hypoxy breath 3,5,7,5,3 by 50's on 3:30
I really liked these! It was tough, but the sets went by fast when I focused on my breathing.
1000 - 10 x 100's free on 1:30 (get each one under 1:18)
1000 - 4 x 200's kick (fly, free, back flutter, back dolphin), 200 IM
1000 - 10 x 100's free (get each one under 1:16) on 1:30
1000 - 1000 pull strong effort
100 Easy

7100 yards total

Great workout. Felt strong and didn't have any soreness or pains.

Lightning - an open water swimmers enemy

How many times have open water races or training sessions been cut short or even called off because of lightning? It's only happened to me a handful of times but its been so inconvenient that if Mother Nature were right in front of me I'd give her a piece of my mind!

Actually lightning is a problem for both open water swimmers, and pool swimmers. I just don't recall ever being kicked out of a pool because of lightning before swimming at Layton. So Layton has a bubble up for a roof, and sure enough they kicked everyone out of the pool. Luckily for me I was more than half way through my workout instead of just starting it. Here's what I actually did:

1000 yards warmup nice and easy
I got a flu shot yesterday and my right arm is a little tender so it was nice to do an easy warmup that got the soreness relieved a little.
800 free pull
600 - 12 x 50's alternate between drill and back on 1:00
400 - 4 x 100's build on 1:40 (get under 1:20 on all)
200 IM fast (2:50)
200 IM easy
400 - 4 x 100's kick with fins on 2:00
500 - 4 x 150's free on 2:15.

4100 yards total

I was 50 yards into my last set of 150s when they blew the whistle so I wasn't able to complete the 4th set so that's why its 500 total instead of 600.

Thats a total of 4100 yards today. I had planned on 7100. I wasn't too upset because I'm planning to swim tonight while Austin and Jacob are at the club. So I'll get in plenty of swimming today anyway.

Anyway so I get out and go to the showers and put shampoo in my hair when one of the male lifeguards walks in and says, "I hate to do this to you, but we can't let people take showers either." I was like "Are you serious?" I've never been told in my lifeguarding days to prevent people from taking showers during a thunderstorm. In fact, when I was at Deseret Gym, we NEVER closed the pool from what I recall due to a thunderstorm. OK so maybe Layton's wimpy bubble roof can't withstand a lightning bolt. Whatever. But prevent showers? Cmon! I said, "How about if I take a leak is that OK?" He laughed and said, "No not that either". So I quickly rinsed the soap out of my hair and got dressed.

Here's the National Weather Service's official recommendations on lightning safety. OK. So maybe we should have closed the pools when there was a thunderstorm outside. And they even recommend not taking a shower, talking on the phone or working on computers.

So here's the funny thing, so Layton's overly cautious lifeguard that was enjoying the time off duty. He was playing the arcade game in the lobby with both hands holding fake guns, that were connected to the arcade machine with metal cords, shooting monsters on the screen. If you're gonna take advantage of the policy and kick patrons out, don't look like your really enjoying the opportunity to be off duty while everyone leaves the facility in a pissed off mood. Especially if the policy is to protect people from getting shocked and the same paragraph that suggests no swimming, also says no computers or video games.

I walked to the car and it wasn't even raining, but to the west was a nasty looking dark glob of a cloud. I've looked all over on Snopes and on the web and there has never been a documented case where someone has been shocked while taking a shower that I could find. But there HAS to be some basis for the weather services suggestions. I guess it's the rebel in me that questions authority, but I dislike being inconvenienced because of something that is rare or unlikely to happen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Gords' original

Yes I finally came up with my own workout, that didn't consist the same old stuff that I normally do when I'm unprepared. Last night I was in bed and found a piece of scratch paper and jotted down this workout:

1000 warmup - 600 free (tempo trainer set at 60bpm), 300 free (tempo 65 bpm), 100 free fast (72 bpm)
focus on long strong strokes
1200 - 12 x 100's - 4 Normal @ 1:30, 4 Drill at 1:45, 4 build at 1:30
1600 - 4 x 400's on 6:00
Think about hand entry and spreading fingers just a bit. Noticed that there alot less bubbles, the catch and pull was more efficient. Was able to get all these on 5:30 or slightly faster.
1400 - 4 x (200 Free on 3:00, 100 Back no rest, 50 kick)
1000 - 1000 free faster than yesterday (5 seconds faster (13:37))
400 - 4 x 100 IMs descending on 2:00 (1:30, 1:28, 1:25, 1:18)
200 Grandpa swimming
100 sprint (1:05)

7100 yards total

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Modified Peter Hojczyk workout

I got a good portion of this workout from Peter Hojczyk.

1000 - 4x4x4
2250 - 15 x 150s, broken down as follows
5 x 150 free on 2:30
5 x 150 IM orderon 2:45
5 x 150 kick with fins on 3:00

1000 - 10 x 100's free descend 1-5 on 2:00 (under 1:25, 1:20, 1:15, 1:10, 1:05)

1000 yards strong (13:42)

500 - 5 x 100 IM's on 2:00

50 easy

5800 yards total

I had one more set of 5 x 150's pull but for some reason I totally spaced them.  So I got less yardage than I wanted, but it worked out cause I was almost late for work as it was.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wade Roberts Workout

Found this workout on

900 - 6 x 150's free on 2:30
800 - 4 x 200's IM on 3:15
500 - 2 x 250 free on 3:30

200 - 8 x 25 no breath on :45
300 - 6 x 50's free 2 breaths on 1:15
400 - 4 x 100's free 7 breaths on 2:00
100 - 2 x 50's free 3 breaths on 1:15

2000 - 10 x 200's pull w/strap on 2:50
1000 - 5 x 200's no pull on 3:00 (banked :20)
200 - 8 x 25's kick IM order on :35
200 - 4 x 50's free ascending

6,600 yards total

Those breathing sets were tough!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Results of Slam the Dam (Lake Mead) - Grand Slam in 2:58:38

Yesterday, Jacob and I drove from St. George to Henderson.  We met up with Josh and Sabrina as well as Heidi and Steve at the Cheesecake factory.  Afterwards Jacob and I drove to the starting point of the next morning's race.  We setup "camp" in the back of the van and put the kayak on top of the van.  It was very warm and I ended up changing into my speedo and sleeping in it cause I was just sweating so bad.

We got up at 5am and took the kayak down to the waters edge.  At 5:30 we got ourselves checked in and had a little breakfast.  The race started promptly at 7am.  I was surprised how well this race was organized especially considering it was the first annual of this event.  Kara did a fantastic job with getting all the volunteers to do their jobs as competently as they did.

One improvement however is the need for an official starting buoy.  If there was one, I didn't see it.  The pack seemed to move further and further away from the shoreline before the race started.  I stayed back and asked Jacob to make sure to start the GPS when the horn went off.  I also started my stopwatch.

So this race consisted of five different events:  1.2 Mile, 2.4 Mile, 3.6 Mile (Super Slam), 8K, and 8K + 1.2 Mile (10K = Grand Slam).  I did the Grand Slam, the maximum distance for this race.

Grand Slam (8K + 1.2M = 6.2 miles): 10 swimmers
8K (5 Miles): 33
Super Slam (3.6 Miles):17
2.4 Mile: 57
1.2 Mile: 50
Total of 167 swimmers.  That's the biggest non triathlon OW race I've ever been to.  Even though there were only 10 in my event.

When I got to Mile 2, I swam alongside Ben Higgins, who tapped my feet and then swam next to me.  We swam together for a good two miles.  But then he must have taken a feeding or had an injury cause he fell way back .  I wasn't feeling any real need for a drink or nutrition, so I ended up swimming the 8K without any stop at all.  I ended up passing about 4 other swimmers in the last mile.  When I got about .5 miles from the finish I touched the foot of John Mercer.  He immediately went into breaststroke and moved over.  I swam on and noticed he went back to free and tried hooking into my wake.  I went into a full sprint and lost him.  When I crossed the finish line for the 8K my watch read 2:26.

Lake Mead is awesome with how clear the water is.  I could see the bottom at about a 12 feet depth.  I can't say the same when I swim anywhere else, except maybe Bear Lake.  This race was very different in that the last 1.2 miles is swam as a group after you finish the 8K.  So I had to hang out for about 40 minutes before starting the last 1.2 miles.  I got some nourishment, which was nice cause I hadn't taken any feedings or water breaks for the 8K at all.  And I really went all out on the last mile.

When they started us on the 1.2 mile it seemed like torture.  My body had already started to stiffen up.  But within about 500 yards I was able to slowly loosen back up and get back into my rhythm.  When I got to the turnaround point I saw that there was only one other green capped swimmer ahead of me.  I sped up and was able to make several passes, but never did catch that first place Grand Slam swimmer.  I did finish VERY strong though.  My final time came in at 2:58:38.

Jacob did a great job as my kayak support.  He stayed with me and gave me all the proper mile readings and encouragement.  My goal was under 3:00 and I barely met that deadline, but I did do it.   I took a temp at the end my thermometer read 83 degrees in the shallows.  It felt warm, but not that warm.  Definitely not the ideal temp for a long swim on a hot day.  But I had no regrets, I swam the best I possibly could have. I came in fourth place out of ten swimmers. Congrats to Daniel and James for fantastic times!

The Grand Slam results are very interesting.  The two oldest swimmers took first and second place.  That gives me hope!  Apparently age is NOT a factor in how well you do compared to others in your event.