Monday, February 28, 2011

Winter swimming practice, sort of

On Saturday I went with Jacob snowboarding. It was fun! This was my second time snowboarding and within 30 minutes I was already at the same level I was when I left last time. Within 2 hours I was up at the top of the highest lift heading down. I got to the point where I could cut into the mountain instead of always facing downhill, as long as I did it on a mild decline. I never did crash hard, but I did fall several times.

My quads and hips are sore for maneuvering the board, but no bruises or twisted joints which is great! I was covered in snow and I wasn't wearing a coat, just a couple layers with a light jacket on. I was only cold a couple times when sitting on the lift heading up. Once I started down, I was plenty warm. So since I didn't get to swim on Saturday, at least I can consider it good cold water conditioning.

Today's swim was good. I was in the pool at 5:30am and did:

2000 yards free

then joined Masters:

300 IM
300 - 75 of each stroke (kick/drill/swim by 25)

700 - 2 x {2 x 100's kick @ 2:00, 2 x 50's kick @ :50, 2 x 25's swim @ :30)
2000 - 2 x {400 free on 5:30, 10 x 50's pull on :45 (2nd set 5x100's on 1:30), 100 choice}
200 - 8 x 25's free all out! @ :30
100 easy

2000 pull
2000 free no equipment
At the start of the 2000 free no equipment set, BJ started a couple of lanes over. He was doing sets of 200. I was really pushing it to stay at his pace. Man I sure would love to have the kind of arm span that dude has. But I was barely able to hang with him. And Josh E today! When we did the 400's sets, he lapped me at 350 on the first set and 300 on the second. He was pushing it!
200 easy
600 - 6 x 100's IM/free on 1:45

10,400 yards total

Friday, February 25, 2011

H2Open Magazine came yesterday

The first edition of the H2Open magazine came yesterday and I read an article that was just what I needed. It was about being lean or carrying just a little extra natural layers. With yesterday's cold water swim, I honestly believe that I would have had a more difficult time (granted I was only in the water for about 15 seconds) had I been a lean mean swimming machine. The article was in support of the theory that having that extra fat layer is a good thing especially when swimming in cold water.

A study was done where two swimmers with very similar abilities were tested in cold water and the one with a higher body fat percentage was able to swim much longer. It took longer for the cold to negatively impact the bigger swimmer. At the same time, I have no plans whatsoever to swim in the arctic, so water right around 60 degrees is the coldest I want to really be able to swim in for a long distance. There was another article written by Lewis Pugh that I didn't get a chance to read late last night but I'm looking forward to reading that one this weekend.

I'm impressed with this first edition, it wasn't just loaded with tons and tons of ads, it actually had some relevant stuff in there. I'm glad I subscribed.

Today's workout was tough! I was in a lane where it was just me and Josh. Man he pushed me. I got in at 5:40 and did:

1250 yards free
50 yards putting in a lane line then started the masters workout with Josh Eaton:
300 free warmup
600 - 8 x 75's kick/drill/swim
100 easy
500 - 5 x 100's free on 1:30
50 easy
500 - 5 x 100's (75 fly, 25 free) on 2:00 (Craig Barnes' little mod)5
50 easy
500 - 5 x 100's free on 1:20 (Josh E's mod)
50 easy
500 - 5 x 100's free pull on 1:15 (Josh E's mod)
50 easy
500 - 5 x 100's free no equip on 1:15 (I didn't make the last two, so I ended up just doing 200 straight)
100 cooldown

1000 - 10 x 100's kick with fins on 1:50
1000 pull

7100 yards total

I was planning on 10K again, but I was wasted after today's 500's especially with Josh's mods. I won't be able to put in a long workout this weekend unfortunately. I'll be snowboarding with Jacob. I promised him I'd go with him at least once this season and I've put it off long enough. We got some pretty good snow last night so it should be fun. Should make for some good cross training, and a sore bum for Monday's swim.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cold water swimming is like drugs (not that I know what that's like though)

Ever go swimming in water that is 41°F/5°C?  At first you think, why would anyone want to do that?  Initial impression is "That's so stupid".  But once you do it, you achieve a high that I couldn't reasonably explain.  You have to experience it to relate.

My friend Josh invited me to participate in a fund raising event by jumping in icy cold water at Deer Creek.  I couldn't that weekend.  But Josh and his brother, Jake went and did it while I was applauding from Idaho.  After he finished it, he said it was "fun" and invited me to do a swim at Bountiful Lake today.   My level of nervousness was rising as the time grew closer.  I read up on Lewis Pugh's advice on cold water swimming and decided that I would do 25 yards (about 10 strokes out, flip turn and come back).

After checking for the depth at the end of the fishing pier I decided I wanted to dive in, that way I could just surface and let my momentum keep me going forward.  When I entered, I was very surprised that it was doable.  I mean I didn't explode!  I had worried and fretted about this moment way too much!  When I finished my 10 strokes out, I thought, "I can go much further!"  I didn't want to be perceived as a show off, so I just did my flipturn and came back.  I would have liked to have gone at least twice that far.  But that was a great first winter swim.

On the way back, I intentionally slowed my stroke rate down and soaked in the cold.  I got out and was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't overly chilled.  On the way home I thought, I'm going to do that again next week.  I really would like to do this weekly.  If I can increase my distance each time, and really be careful to avoid too much exposure too quickly, I should get acclimated quite well for my swim in GSL on memorial day.

It's funny how you don't really notice how pudgy you are until you see yourself on video.  The good thing is that being pudgy like I am is perfect for cold water swimming.  So at least I have a good excuse.  Here is some video:

I was worried that my first swim would indeed actually look like this guy's first swim.

Tech suit instantly becomes drag suit

I saw this picture on  Another good reason that FINA ruled to make these stupid skin tight expensive suits illegal.  Hope he got his money back and hopefully it didn't rip like that up the front too!

So today's workout was simple:

10,000 - 5 x 2000 free
100 back

10,100 yards total

Brad and another dude got in on the last 2000 so I picked it up a little.  Felt great!  This afternoon I meet Josh at BL for a polar plunge.  I'm not looking forward to it with the greatest of confidence.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Descending sets

Was in the pool at 5:35 this morning and did:

1800 yards free

then joined masters:

300 warmup
200 - 8 x 50's drill on :50
800 - 4 x 200's descend 1-4 on 3:00 (got 2:20 on the last one)
50 back
600 - 4 x 150's descend 1-4 on 2:15
50 back
400 - 4 x 100's descend 1-4 on 1:30 (got 1:05 on the last one)
50 back
300 pull breath 3,5,7 by 100
50 back
200 - 4 x 50's descend 1-4 (got :30 on last one)
100 easy
1000 - 20 x 50's kick with fins on :55
2000 pull
2000 free
100 back easy

10,000 yards total

I agreed to jump in Bountiful lake with Josh tomorrow afternoon. Why am I such a pushover!?

Monday, February 21, 2011

The opposite of bonk

This morning I got up at 5:15 and was in the pool at
6am to start my swim with Masters:

50 setup lane lines
300 easy
450 - 9 x 50s (3 sets of 3 easy/med/hard)
50 fly
400 - 4 x 100s IM on 1:45
100 - 2 x 50s back
400 - 4 x 100s IM on 1:45
150 - 3 x 50s breast on 1:00
400 - 4 x 100s IM on 1:45
100 easy
500 - 5 x 100s pull on 1:15
200 kick
100 easy
Then I moved to the north side and did:
2000 pull
150 back
2000 free no equip
150 back
2000 pull
150 back
2000 free no equip
150 back
2000 pull
150 back
2000 free no equip
150 back
2000 pull
100 easy
1000 kick

20,000 yards total

On the way to the pool I stopped at Maverick and picked up a sausage egg bundle. These things are so good! I knew that the fuel it would provide would be critical and boy was I right!  My left shoulder was a little annoyed right from the start, but surprisingly once I got to about 15,000 yards it was totally fine and was at 100%.  Weird.  Usually its the other way around.

There were several people throughout the duration of today's workout that pushed me.  The same fast lady from last week, as well as Brad.

About 4 hours into my workout I was taking a breath to the right just before a flip turn and saw what appeared to be a slender young woman with bikini bottoms and no top.  She was sitting on the side of the pool facing the south end facing away from me.  It freaked me out.

After taking a second look to confirm my eyes where just playing games with me, It ended up being a long haired guy who was wearing a speedo.  He was very feminine and I about threw up in my mouth as I continued on with my laps.  It should be a law that dudes with long hair shouldn't wear speedos.  Speedos are bad enough on men who actually look like men.  But a dude that looks like a lady?  That's so wrong.

My bud Josh Green last weekend did a polar plunge.  I was at my Grandmas helping her out.  And to be honest, I was glad I had an excuse, that is some cold water!!!!  Here's some video of him and his brother doing the plunge.  I admire the mind over matter aspect of this....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Last swim this week

3500 - 2000 free get drink and then 1500 free

200 - setup lane lines
500 easy

200 - 4 x 50's on 1:00
200 - 4 x 50's on :50
200 - 4 x 50's on :40

200 - 8 x 25's free on :30
400 kick w /fins

200 - 50 fly, 150 back
200 - 50 fly, 150 breast
200 - 50 fly, 150 free
200 IM

400 - 4 x 100's pull on 1:15
200 easy focus on less breathing

2000 pull
100 breast/back
1000 free
100 breast/back

10,000 yards total

Going to Pocatello this weekend.  Will be doing a long swim on Monday.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh my aching teeth!

I had a dentist appointment this morning in Layton, just down the road from Suf N' Swim so I swam there until my appointment at 8am.

2 x 2000 free

4000 yards total

Not the best week this week.  The last couple days I didn't get to swim cause of car trouble and lack of transportation.  I had to have the clutch replaced in the beetle, but it's back in order now so I'm back to getting in the pool.  I won't be able to do a long swim this Saturday cause I'll be in Pocatello taking care of my Grandma while the rest of the family has their own things going.  Hoping to put in a long one on Monday since it's President's Day and I get that day off work.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

This morning I got up at 4:15am and wrote a nice little love note to Cathi in a VDay card I bought last week, then rushed off to the pool:

2000 yards free
200 yards (installing lane lines and easy free)
Then joined masters workout:
300 choice
200 - 8 x 25's 2 swim, 2 kick, 2 drill, 2 swim
800 - 2 x 400's 1st one pull, 2nd IM
1200 - 2 x 600's 1st one 12 x 50's easy/medium/fast on 1:00, 2nd one (300 pull, 200 free, 100 back)
400 Kick
At this point everyone got out as it was 7am,  except for Craig Barnes and myself.  We continued the last set:
400 - 4 x 100's 1st one @ 1:20, 2nd @ 1:15, 3rd @ 1:10, 4th @ 1:05
100 Easy

Spent about 5 minutes talking with Craig about his work.  Then I continued:

2000 pull
500 kick with fins
1000 free
100 breast

9200 yards total

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Annual swim at Evanston Recreation Center

Gordon's cheesy smile before swimming at Evanston pool

Austin, Jacob, Jonas and I drove up to Evanston to participate in the yearly table tennis tournament they have up here. We got here at 9:30 and lap swim was from 10-noon. The boys started their doubles tournament while I swam. I did:

1000 free no equipment, go right into
2000 pull w/ankle strap
1000 kick
2000 pull w/ ankle strap
1000 free build sprint the last 100.
100 breast

7100 yards total

I met an older gentlemen named Richard Keeler who was watching my stroke for a long time. We talked about swimming technique, the English Channel, the different techniques for swimming efficiently. He seemed to be very knowledgeable about all the necessary drills and motions that an effective swimmer must do. I told him about the GSL swim in June hoping that we get an Evanston swimmer down there.

Today's swim was good. Felt nice and relaxed and did get a little bit of chaffing on the right shoulder, so I still need to get those arms out just a little more. Just when I think I'm doing better, I find that I still have much to improve on.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Taking some advice

So both Kevin Mortensen and Tim Shumate gave me advice last week about going more streamlined off the wall. I was aware of the half hearted pushs off the wall so this last week I've been working on it. When I push off the wall, I put my left hand over my right, and curl my index finger of my left hand a little over the pinky of my right hand.

Tonight I took Austin, Jacob and Jonas to the TT club and then came back up to SDRC and was in the pool at 5:58pm and swam till 8:30. Here's what I did:

10,000 - 5 x 2000 yards :15 ri just get a quick drink and go!
150 grandpa swimming

10,150 yards total

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fast 4 miles

I slept in this morning till 5:30. I was in the water at 6:30am. On the way to the pool, I decided today would be "Personal Record" challenge day. I planned to swim 4 miles straight as fast as I could while still pacing myself but going for a new PR.

The first 2 miles were really fast cause I had to share a lane with a small petite woman, but she was fast! For every 100 yards I was only getting about 5 yards on her. She was doing sets of 400 and then would rest for only :20 seconds or so and go again. That is very impressive considering I don't ever see her at Masters practice, and she's just swimming on her own.

I looked at the clock at the one mile, but can't remember what it was. I know it wasn't a PR though, it was in the 24 minute range. But I made a real effort to commit the 2,3 and 4 mile splits to memory:

2 Mile (1800 yards): 47:50 (about 20 seconds short of a new PR), but still pretty fast split.
3 Mile (5300 yards): 1:12:17 Killed my PR!
4 Miles (7050 yards): 1:36:55 Killed my PR!

The average mile for that swim was: 24:16 Not bad.

Then I did 50 yards grandpa swimming.

7100 yards

Not the longest swim this week, but given that I was pushing it the whole time, remembering to go streamlined off the wall, it gave me at least an extra 2 feet per 50 yards. Felt great about that time. I don't think those mile PR's will get beat by myself anytime soon.

I also finally got the name of the guy I see every day who used to swim at Deseret Gym when I was guarding there. I remember he tore his Achilles tendon and was using swimming to help rebuild the muscle in his calf muscle. It was really bad, but now it appears to be totally fine. His name is Craig Anderson. He's a nice guy. He asked about my purposes for swimming so I told him of my English Channel attempt scheduled for next fall.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Over 6 mile swim this morning and amazing free diving video

I stayed up late last night watching a recording of Biggest Loser.  I did alot of fast forwarding but still didn't turn off the light to sleep until 10:30pm.  Not a good idea when you have to get up at 4am.  Anyhow, because I got it in my head that I was excited to swim today I didn't have a problem getting up.  I was in the water at 5:20 exactly and did:

2000 free
after this set tread water with the water bottle and move away from the wall (5 yards total - in order to get overall totals to end up on an even 50.)
1000 free

then joined masters:
400 - 100 free easy, 100 drill, 100 kick, 100 pull
800 - 2 x 50's drill/swim, 2 x 75's free, 2 x 100's build to 90%, 2 x 75's free, 2 x 50's swim/drill, 2 x 25's kick
250 - 10 x 25's odds off the block(unless it's an easy set) 1 Hard, 1 EZ, 2 Hard, 1 EZ, 3 Hard, 1 EZ, 1 Hard
500 - 10 x 50's on 1:00 - 1 Hard, 1 EZ, 2 Hard, 1 EZ, 3 Hard, 1 EZ, 1 Hard
1000 - 10 x 100's pull on 1:30 - 1 Hard, 1 EZ, 2 Hard, 1 EZ, 3 Hard, 1 EZ, 1 Hard
50 easy

Then started my own thing:
2000 pull
1000 - 10 x 100's odds free, even alternate between back, breast, one arm fly no rest
2000 pull

11,005 yards total

Yesterday the Daily News of Open Water Swimming posted an amazing video that made me very jealous of the skill of being able to hold my breath.  It made me think about my wish last week to be able to do just that!
Here's the awesome video:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Waking up naturally

Last night I set my alarm for 4:00 am,  however I forgot to turn it ON.  So I was having a very pleasant dream and at a critical point I suddenly woke up.  I looked over at the alarm clock and it read 4:10am.  Woah!  I got up and was in the water at 5:20am and swam:

10000 - 5 x 2000's free on 29:00
600 - 6 x 100's odd IM on 1:45, even free on 1:30

10,600 yards total in 2:37

After my shower there was a guy at my locker trying to open my lock. After a couple of failed attempts he was visually annoyed.  Then his friend came over and tried it without any luck.  I was laughing and finally said, "Hey, that's my lock.".  They could tell I was amused and they probably felt a little dumb.  Then he moved over two lockers (his lock had a red face and mine is black).  He tried his and it opened on the first try.  Haha.

Yesterday I finally registered for the Open Water Swimming Safety Conference in March.  Utah Masters is paying for my registration and hotel.  I have to pay for the airfare.  That's a great deal.   I'm very excited to go!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Paying dearly for the long weekend

So last Friday I slept in and didn't get my swim in, and Friday/Saturday went on a winter camp with the scouts.  So I had three days of rest.  That was a little too much as this morning's swim was BLAH!  Not to mention that when I got to the parking lot of the pool, I couldn't find my green duffle bag with all my swimming stuff.  Cathi must have taken it out to make room for some kids.  Good thing I have a backup bag with spare suits and goggles hidden in the trunk!

Got in the water at 5:08am:
3000 yards straight.  David Balling was in the next lane cruising!  He was doing 500's I think.  Just enough distance to lap me once.  But then I'd keep going and he'd start back up when I was back at the wall.  Today's swim felt "wavy".  Even though there were lane lines in, it sure didn't feel like it.  I hate swimming without ear plugs now. I guess that is now a crutch.  It just seems so noisy.  Need to track down my bag before tomorrow.

Then swam with masters:

600 - 300 swim, 150 kick, 150 touch and pull
2000 - 5 x 400's
1st set - 400 pull easy, 2nd set - 4 x 100's on 1:30, 3rd - 400 pull, 4th - 400 kick, 5th - 8 x 50's :05 ri 
600 - 6 x 100's IM on 1:45
300 - 6 x 50's fly on 1:15
500 easy

Then moved on to:
2000 pull

9000 yards total

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Getting past the "I don't feel like it"

This morning I slept in till 5:00 instead of getting up at 4:00.  Hit snooze like 10 times.  Didn't get to bed until a little after 10pm last night.  After I got dressed the though popped into my head, make sure your shoulders aren't sore, cause you could just go to work early.  So I did a few shoulder rotations and yes they were just a tad sore, but not bad.  They were about 10% off.  Barely noticeable.  So I sucked it up and went to the pool anyway and did the following:

4000 - 2 x 2000's free on 30:00
200 back - really easy
Took a couple minutes to talk to Kevin.
4000 - 2 x 2000's free on 30:00
1000 build.  Finish REALLY strong
50 grandpa swimming

9250 yards total in 2:10- felt great!  

Now I'm glad I didn't listen to the lazy sucker on my right shoulder and heeded the advice of the athlete on my left.   

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Man I needed that!

Yesterday on the way to the pool, my shoulders just felt sore, so I went straight to work and took the day off from swimming.  I sure needed that!  Today's swim was great:

2000 free then started with masters:

300 choice
400 - 8 x 50's on :45 desc 1-4 & 5-8
300 - 3 x (4 x 25's kick with fins)
1st Underwater dolphin, 2nd free on side, 3rd back kick, 4th backstroke
1350 - 3 x (250 free, 150 back, 50 sprints off the block)
50 easy
600 - 4 x 125 kick 3rd and 5th 25 kick hard!
100 easy
300 - 6 x 50's fast on 1:00 (25 fly, 25 free)

Then did:
1000 free with Jeff
Took a few minutes and chatted.  Talked with Jeff about the GSL swim.  Hope to get him to register for the one mile. He seems like a good distance guy and would probably like the experience.
1000 kick
1000 free
1000 kick

9400 yards total