Thursday, March 31, 2011

Heat wave

The view outside my office window towards downtown SLC
Today was a beautiful day!  I was looking forward to this afternoon's Bountiful Lake Swim.  Two days ago the water temperature was 48°.  With today's temp I was hoping for 50.  You wouldn't believe the jump!  It read 58.6 degrees.  I then held it underwater about 12 inches (its a waterproof digital thermometer) and it only dropped to 58.4.  I couldn't believe it.

When Josh showed up we put his mercury water therm in there.  Sure enough it stopped dropping at 59°.  I told myself that as soon as it got above 50 I would go around the whole lake.  I wasn't about to back out of that commitment.  So today I did it.  Josh and I started out at the boat ramp and man there was a cold pocket along that north shore between the island and the northern edge that I'm betting was at least a few degrees colder.  We kept on going around and the northwest corner also was very cold.  I turned around at the northwest corner and tried locating Josh and his orange SSD and didn't see it.  So I figured he kept going around the west island.

I stayed right along the shoreline just like I normally do on a warm day.  It was awesome.  The water felt like it was much warmer on the south side of the lake.  I'm also willing to bet that the water was higher than 60 at the southeast corner of the lake.  When I finished, I stopped my watch exactly at 30:00!  I had to stop a few times, once to defog my goggles (time for a few new pair), and twice to check on where Josh was.

I felt fine when I got out.  In honestly felt like I could have gone around another time.  However after being out of the water, dried off and in clothes, just like clockwork, I started getting the shakes about five minutes afterwards which lasted for about 8-10 minutes.  The air temp was 67°, but with the wind after getting out of the water that didn't help.  I had a great time.   I've been way out of practice sighting.  With it being warmer I was able to bilateral breathe much better.  However I was far from perfect I only bilateral breathed about 50% of the time.  I was annoyed with my foggy goggles, with the inability to sight very well ahead of me.  Good thing I'm very familiar with the contours of the outside edge that I sight off that instead.

Total:  1.1 miles in 30:00

Today's swimmers were: Goody, Josh, Myself and a new guy Ryan.  Always nice to have someone new.


You'd think with all this cold water swimming that I'd be acclimated to cold in general.  Not so.  Everytime I go in to the locker room at SDRC its a little chilly.  When I take off my shirt its almost painful.  Then having been a lifeguard and understanding the importance of taking a shower before entering the water, I always take a shower.  Today's shower was EXTRA long.  It felt so good to just soak under the hot water.  My shower ended up being 15 minutes!  No wonder when I get in the 82 degree pool it feels a little cold.  I got to quit taking long showers: Just get your hair and suit wet and get in the pool!

Today about half way into it, the girl that I often end up getting paced by got in.  She's about 5'6" petite and you wouldn't think is a fast swimmer, but she always seems to push me.  She wears a hideous suit that is covered in small flowers.  Then again, I'm sure she thinks the same thing about my Rob's Aquatic zebra striped "Banana Hammock".  Can I just say I hate that term?  It's just so damn graphic.  That'll be the only time I refer to it as something other than a speedo.

Anyhow, when "Flowerpower" took off her cap and was about to get out I was doing a flipturn so I stood up and said, "Excuse me.  Do you ever swim with Masters?"  She made a face like she knew what Masters was all about, but didn't like the idea.  "No."  I said, "How come?"  She shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't know."  I said, "Well if you did, you'd be the fastest girl on the team.  You've swam competitively before right?"  She told me that she swam in college and that she's been back in the pool for only 6 months after taking 10 years off.  She said she's still trying to overcome being depressed about being slow.

For a fraction of a second I felt like a complete retard, cause in my opinion she's fast, and am feeling good when I'm able to keep her from gaining on me.  So I appended "compared to what you used to do right?"  She said "Yes."  I asked her "What event did you do?"  She said she was a distance freestyler.  So I asked "So the 1650? Right?  What was your best time."  She said she couldn't remember and looked like she was digging way back to remember what her times were.  She said "somewhere in 17 minutes".  I said "Wow!  That's amazing!".   Here I am with my PR at 20:39 for the 1650 and her PR (Granted it was in college) is under 18 minutes?  Very humbling.  It reminds me of the shirt I saw Marcia Cleveland wear at the OWSC.  It read "I swim like a girl.  Try to keep up!"  So true.

Today I had planned 12,000 yards, but ended up cutting it short cause I had some pretty stressful work conditions this last week and I wanted to not get in so late.    Here's what I ended up doing:

500 free
200 IM
1000 free
400 IM
2000 free
800 IM
2000 free
400 IM
1000 free
200 IM
500 free
100 IM sprint (1:18)

9100 yards total

Looking forward to meeting Josh and Goody at BL this afternoon for a cold water 1/2 mile swim. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mentally with it

Last night I stayed up too late (10:30pm) watching a DVR copy of Biggest Loser with Cathi.  There are only two shows I watch: Survivor and Biggest Loser.  I was worried when I finally turned off the light to sleep that I would be too tired, come alarm time at 4am, but I woke up alertly without snoozing.  This morning's swim went really well and I didn't feel tired, or like giving.  Just really strong mentally.

Because of that I was in the pool promptly at 5:05am:

3000 free straight
300 easy

Then joined Masters:

450 - 150 swim, 150 kick, 150 pull no paddles
400 - 4 x 100's kick with fins (alternate board, no board)
800 free strong (80% effort)
:30 rest
600 free strong
:30 rest
400 free strong
:30 rest
200 free strong
I went last on all these and I got lapped on the 800 and 600.  I'm thinking the other guys in my lane were going a little more than 80%.  But I definitely was.  In fact I was probably going higher than that in order to no get lapped twice.  I was still going faster than the next lane down, so I wasn't like a slacker or anything.  
150 easy
500 - 20 x 25's IM order on :30

Then the workout was over, but I stayed and did it all again:

450 - 150 swim, 150 kick, 150 pull no paddles
400 - 4 x 100's kick with fins (alternate board, no board)
800 free pull
:30 rest
600 free pull
:30 rest
400 free no equipment
:30 rest
200 free no equipment
150 easy
500 - 20 x 25's IM order on :30 (banked :30 by the end)

2000 free
100 grandpa swimming

12,400 yards total

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The joy of sleep

This morning I woke up at 4:00 am, but snoozed the alarm and I kept having dream after dream between snooze button.  I decided that my subconscious need some TLC, so I skipped this morning's 10,000 yards and let my REM sleep go.  Man was it worth it!  I felt so rested when I finally got out of bed at 7:20am.

On the way home from work I went to BL and swam around the island and back (1/2 mile) in 11:30.  The air temp was 49° F.  The water temp reading after the swim came in at 48.3°F.   I'm sure it was much colder in the middle about 2 feet down.  I got the shakes like normal, and they came and went in about 10 minutes total.  Hoping that in two weeks from today I'll be able to go all the way around the whole lake (1 mile).  As soon as it gets above 50° I'm going for it.

Now if I can just get to bed like at 9am I can get up at 4am everyday without being tired!

1/2 mile in 11:30

Monday, March 28, 2011


Got in the pool at 5:28am and did:

2000 - 2 x 1000s free on 15:00
100 easy
and then joined masters:
400 choice warmup
800 - 16 x 50's (25 fly back, 25 free) on :55
2000 - 10 x 200's (desc 1-4) on 2:50, (desc 5-7) on 2:40,  (desc 8-10) on 2:30
Here's the lane order:  Josh, Matt, Craig, Steve, Me.  My goal was to just keep Josh from coming close to lapping me.  I was successful, but barely.  He was creeping up on me and when he finished he was getting nothing bubbles from my kick.  These were tough!  Craig got out after the third one and Matt and Steve started pulling.  Josh and I went no equipment and Josh still smoked everyone.  He was going fast!  On the last three I ended up just doing them straight cause I couldn't get them under 2:30.  In fact I think Josh might have even spared me a little more pain as they took I believe an extra 15 seconds between the 7-8th set.  I was dead at the end and got a high heart rate.
400 - 16 x 25's back on :30
100 easy
The other guys got out and I repeated the Masters workout but used equipment:

400 choice warmup
800 - 16 x 50's with fins (25 fly back, 25 free) on :55
2000 - 10 x 200's pull (desc 1-4) on 2:50, (desc 5-7) on 2:40,  (desc 8-10) on 2:30
I also ended up doing the last 3 straight as I couldn't get under 2:30.  I was spent at this point, but still tried to go harder than normal.
400 - 16 x 25's back on :30
1000 free
100 easy

10,500 yards total


Friday, March 25, 2011

Now this is winter swimming!

Today it snowed quite heavily in downtown Salt Lake.  It didn't really stick, but it looked like a blizzard at times.  Austin wanted to go to the table tennis club tonight so that worked out really good.  I dropped him off and drove over to Bountiful Lake.  There was about an inch of snow in some places.  I got all ready to go in my car.  I opened the door and walked straight to the waters edge and went right in.  The fishermen who were talking looked over and their faces were in disbelief as I got in and just started swimming, no hesitation.

The water actually felt pretty good getting in.  Swam the full half mile around the island and back.  When I got back I walked straight to the car, dried off and got dressed, then warmed up in the car with the heater going full blast.  I had a hot chocolate ready to go of course.  After getting past "the shakes" for 10 minutes I went back to the water and took a temp reading with the digital thermometer.  It read 44.6° F.  Nice!  Now that is winter swimming!  My time was 11:13 too.  That's a faster pace than my mile PR.  My PR for the mile is 22:33 in a 25y pool.    Helps to have cold water really push you as fast as you possibly can.

Then I drove straight to SDRC and got in the hot tub for 10 minutes which felt great!  Then I went over to the comp pool and did:

8000 - 8  x 1000 free on 15:00
200 IM

8200 yards pool swim + half mile OW = 5 miles total

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm officially back to being "Chunky"

I like to pretend that my wife hurt my feelings today when she said, "the old chunky Gordon is back" comment.  OK I admit I've been making really bad food choices lately and I have been thinking that putting on a little is OK with the cold water training I've been doing and plan to do.  The GSL swim in the end of May is still going to be pretty cold and that is for about 8-9 hours at a time.  But based on the comment at the OW Safety conference by Paul Asmuth, the excuse to put on extra weight in his opinion isn't necessary.  He said that if you simply put more time into swimming as fast as you can for as long as you can, that is the best way to prepare, not just put on more weight.

I'll miss you Sausage Egg McMuffin!

Today's swim was troubling and here's why:  My Father in Law called me a few days ago to inform me about some water damage that apparently occurred at the cabin that he was told about.  I'm in charge of taking care of the cabin, and I've been somewhat neglectful in getting up there as much as I should.  So during my swim today I kept envisioning all this water damage in my head and fretting over it.  Here's what I did get in:

1000 - 1 x 1000 free
1800 - 2 x 900 free
2400 - 3 x 800 free
2300 - 4 x 700 free (except I only got 200 yards into my 4th set)

During most of this workout I couldn't focus really well on my stroke or going fast.  I was constantly thinking about the cabin and I was feeling guilty, and curious about what action needed to take place to get it in good order, so I jumped out angrily, got dressed and drove up there.  I had to call in to work to take the day off, but I needed to do something!

Come to find out, it wasn't as bad as I thought, and I did some cleanup and made some notes for future visitors to help reduce the odds of further damage occurring.

Went back home and cleaned the house a little, and then went to Bountiful Lake for a very cold half mile swim.  The water temp came to 46.1° F on the digital thermometer.  I used the SSD again.  I love that thing.  It really is unnoticeable to me as a swimmer.  Did the half mile in 11:31.  Cathi took some vid again per Goody's request.

8400 yards total (900 yards being open water)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Breaking bad habits

The last 24 hours including this morning I have had a headache.  Not a migraine, but about a 4 on the pain scale. I think it's because I have been depriving my body this last week of caffeine.  I have been getting into bad habits with Coke Zero, buzz bites, and an occasional Mountain Dew.  Shame on me.  Now that I'm trying to get back into good habits, my brain is retaliating with a little headache.  But I will conquer!

Slept in this morning.  I need to get to bed earlier!
Was in the water at 6:00am:

200 free
300 warmup
400 - 8 x 50's kick on 1:00
400 - 8 x 50's drill on 1:00
400 - 8 x 50's IM order on 1:00
1000 - 5 x 200's alternate stroke/free by 25's on 3:30
800 - 4 x 200's free (first 3 pull last one no equip) on 2:30
200 easy

Then Masters disbanded and I did the workout again:

300 warmup
400 - 8 x 50's kick on 1:00
400 - 8 x 50's drill on 1:00
400 - 8 x 50's IM order on 1:00
1000 - 5 x 200's alternate stroke/free by 25's on 3:30
800 - 4 x 200's free (first 3 pull last one no equip) on 2:45
200 easy

7200 yards total

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Half Mile in 11:20 @ 48° water

Today I brought my Mom along with me on this afternoon's swim.  The sun was shining nicely, but the air temp was still pretty cool (49° F).  The water warmed up just a little from yesterday afternoon from 45.5° to 48.2° F. Nice!  The wind was calm at about 5 knots I'm guessing.

I went out and around the island again and back.  This time I used the SSD with nothing inside of it.  Just air.  Man I didn't feel any tug whatsoever and it never hit my butt or legs, I didn't even feel it.  It probably behaves differently when it's packed full of stuff, but it was awesome.  I'm definitely taking it with me from now on instead of the rescue tube cause its a brighter color, and fits nicely right around my waist and again because its so unnoticeable to me when I'm swimming.

Today's swim was almost a full minute faster because I was really pushing it.  Last week I stopped a couple times to sight for Goody and Alicia, but this time I just kept my head in and really pulled hard.  Half mile in 11:20.  I'm looking forward to the swim on Thursday.  I'll stick with this distance for a couple weeks and then bump it up a notch as the temp gets in the low 50s.

My mom took some video and I know its the same old thing, so don't bother watching it if you don't want to.  Nothing really different about this swim, but here it is anyway.

Not the right mindset

Yesterday evening on the way home from work I stopped at BL.  The wind from the south was pretty strong and causing some pretty good waves in the lake.  I took a temp and was shocked to see it come up as 45.5°!  There was only one person fishing by the boat ramp.  With the combination of wind, and cold my mind started wimping out and I was questioning going in, especially alone (even with an SSD).  I wasn't feeling confident in doing an out and around the island swim, at least without someone there to cheer me on.  So I decided to go for it tomorrow and hopefully the wind calms down a little.

Well it's snowing now so the temp will probably be the same as it was yesterday, but along with that though there is not much wind so that's good.  I got my Mom to come out since she hasn't seen any of this shinaniganz.

This morning I was in the water at 5:58 am and did:

10,000 - 2 x 5000 yards free no equipment  Channel pace.  Did this in 2:35

Looking forward to a calm evening swim in BL tonight.  It's nice to have someone come out not really for the attention or "look at me" aspect, but it makes me more accountable.  There isn't any talking myself out of it if someone's there.  So it should be good.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cold water training

One of the biggest comments that hit me like a brick this last weekend was the need to constantly do cold water training if that's what your event will involve.  The hands down biggest worry for me in the GSL swim is the cold water.  In fact this week in Open Water Source's interview with Tammy van Wisse, she made a comment about cold water that just reinforced the need for me to put more than just one day a week in cold water.  Here's a very short clip of her comment:

A plug for Open Water Source:  This is a short sound clip taken from over an hour of interview on  Become a premium member to hear the whole thing.  Premium Member get extended benefits including access to weekly interviews with the world's best!  Click here to join OWS and become a premium member.

So with that said, I am planning to swim not only every Thursday at BL at this point, but every Monday evening as well.  It's on the way home and I won't be doing distance at this point, just half a mile every time.  If I can I'd like to do a third day in the week.  Maybe it'll be a floating day, where I can do it any day.  But for sure every Monday and Thursday for sure.

Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be able to extend that time in the water.  I only have 69 days until my big swim begins!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

1st annual Open Water Safety Conference in San Francisco, CA

The Utah LMSC sent me to attend the first annual Open Water Safety Conference this weekend.

I learned a TON of stuff and took LOTS of notes, so I'll try to organize it here chronologically.

Friday afternoon/evening:

Steven Munatones
When I arrived in the hotel to check in I immediately saw Steven Munatones, the conference director and the founder of Open Water Source and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, talking with others in the lobby.  I must admit I was star struck.  This guy is THE man for all things open water internationally.

I checked in to my room and was dying of hunger!  I ate at a restaurant at the hotel.  Man was it expensive!  Had some Salmon and THREE baskets of bread which finally filled me up.

  • At 7pm I met in one of the conference room and immediately saw Kara Robertson, although we've only met a couple times briefly I had to quickly check her name tag cause there were so many people and I wasn't sure it was her.  Kara Robertson is the race director of Slam the Dam and we discussed several things.  She asked a few questions about the race and how we were doing.  She mentioned that National Recreation and Parks Society was very helpful to her in providing services.  She said that the organization also has a Utah Branch which is found here.  Thanks Kara, I'll definitely get in touch with them!

Saturday morning:  

When I found my seat a couple minutes later Rob Dumouchel came in and sat next to me and we discussed several things.  He reminds me alot of my friend Ray Holt.  He's a really cool guy, down to earth and humble about his role in the OW world, which is actually pretty big.  There were a couple people who came up to him while we were talking and shook his hand and introduced themselves.  Also later on in the conference when they were showing a video of the Big Shoulders 5K, they showed a short clip of him being interviewed and he raised his hands while people were clapping and cheering at his presence on-screen.  I admire that guy. He's so outgoing, something that is a HUGE weakness for me.  Anyhow, the Saturday Morning conference started with......
  • Shelly Taylor-Smith started out the conference with some background of her achievements that were pretty inspiring:
  • She said there were four characteristics in having a winning mindset:  focus, attitude, self belief, no excuses
  • Shelly Taylor-Smith
  • "The most important physical part of your body is the six inches between you ears."  - this is so true.  This lady didn't have a "Michael Phelps" type swimmers body.  She was probably about 5'9" and didn't have long gorilla arms, and yet this lady is a seven time world champion in open water swimming.  She slaughtered world records and even beat all competitors (including the leading man) in open water championship races.
  • She discussed the struggles that athletes face and mentioned that once she was getting sting after sting from jellyfish and her coach said to her (and I love the Australian accent): "Shelly!  The jellyfish isn't an enemy, they just love you and are trying to kiss you."  Attitude and mindset can totally change how you perform.
  • She mentioned that one of the best run swim races, including having very high safety standards was the "Lake St. John" 32K event. She said that they have a Dr. at the finish tent and they personally check off every single swimmer afterwards to make sure they are checked out of the race without any medical problems.  Very interesting.  She swam that event several times and had to get pulled out once.  She passed out in the water and the boat pilots saved her life.  Here is a world class athlete and even her life was saved from drowning by some very attentive people on her boat.  Two years later she was almost pulled out, but her coach knew she was fine.  She emphasized that having a support crew that is VERY familiar with the swimmer and their stroke is critical to have.  She wasn't in trouble, but just needed to be pushed by her coach and was able to finish the race.
  • She mentioned that in order to have a successful event, you almost need to have a "Spirit Director".  Someone who is responsible to talk with athletes, to get everyone excited and ramped up for a fantastic event.  You can't have the race director do everything and this role is great for someone else who is a great people person.  (I immediately thought of Kris Edwards, that girl is so outgoing and friendly with everyone, she would do great and I think she would LOVE to be in that role) 
  • Finally she mentioned her training when she was in world class form was roughly 100K/week (62 miles) and 25K (15 miles) on Tuesdays/Thursdays.  That is very impressive!  
As a side note, at the next break I bought two of Shelly's books "Dangerous When Wet".  One for me and one for Josh.  I told her of my mission in Brisbane and how I loved the country and wished I could have spent some time in the water, but the mission rules prevented me from doing so.  I told her I'd love to go back and do the Rottnest race in Perth, but that would be much further down the road.  She's a nice woman and a great speaker.  A little long winded and often goes on tangents, but she spunky and very well qualified, and that makes her great!

During one of the breaks I also met and talked with Bob Needham.  He swam the 10K at Deer Creek last year (and did a good job swimming along with and pushing my swimming buddy, Josh).  But I never got a chance to talk to him last summer, he had to rush off to another 10K swim the next day!  He's a nice guy and has plans to swim Catalina this summer.

  • Next up was Chris Brewster, President of the US Lifesaving Association. The US Lifesaving Association works with waterfronts all along the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They're much like the Red Cross is for Pool Lifesaving. They're the organization for training, and standards for beachfront life saving skills.

    • I was really impressed with the way Chris spoke. Very confident man and intelligent. He mentioned a stat that I had to make note of. When the LA Triathlon was held, there 160 rescues from the water. That is alot of saves! He mentioned that with the growth of Triathlon and more people wanting to do it, that there are more and more people who really don't know how to swim well entering the water. The quality of the overall athlete is going down as it becomes more and more popular. He wasn't criticizing the participants, but that is his observation that safety is becoming even more paramount as more people take interest in multi-sport and want to participate.
    • He said that 1 in 18 million visitors to the beach in the United States in 2009 involved a drowning.  1 in 18 million.  That's actually pretty dang good I think considering the number of people who visit the beach.  Using that rate, he said there would only be 1 death in every 60,000 swimming events.  But unfortunately that is not the case.  
    • Oftentimes the athletes aren't concerned for their own safety.  It is the Event organizers who need to be more concerned for the safety of the swimmers than they sometimes are for themselves.  This reminded me of the Deer Creek cancellation a couple years back and how I was very bitter about being taken out of the water and how some feelings of resentment I had towards those who put me in a boat while I wanted to be swimming (even though my support  boat crew was getting hypothermia).  That statement is pretty true.  Oftentimes the athletes are so trained in to "being tough" and enduring that they don't know when to call it quits especially when safety is involved.  He mentioned that someone refused to be saved and said, "I really need to get the T-Shirt".  Funny! (but not really).
    • He suggested that we all review the USLA Open Water Manual which is a great resource for Open Water.  I just ordered that book.   He said "you don't want to be that lifeguard who failed to make an appropriate save".  That hit my like a brick as it made me recall a very vivid nightmare I had several years back that involved me being a lifeguard and someone died because of my negligence.  You can read my sharing of that nightmare here.   
    • He suggested that if we have a swim that is along the beach that we have lifeguards stationed along the beach rather than just boat support in the water.  That made me think about the GSL swim.  It really would be a good idea to have some lifeguards along the one mile course.  Josh and I will have to discuss this and the idea of getting lifeguard volunteers for the day along the beach.  The only concern I have, is that most lifeguards in Utah don't have the waterfront training, but water park training.  When I was a kid and took lifeguard training it included waterfront stuff along with how to use a rescue board, but the Red Cross has separated that out now and don't teach it for pool lifeguards, so there may be an issue with that.  But in my opinion, the course is close enough to the beach along most of the course that a rescue board would be overkill anyway.  But that's a topic we'll need to discuss and come to a decision about.  
    • This thought came to my mind while he was speaking which is essentially what he was saying, "When the athletes sign that waiver signing the safety of their lives into our hands, that isn't just a free pass, but should be treated with great responsibility to take ALL efforts to ensure their safety".

  • Ralph Goto from Hawaii then went next. He is the Ocean Safety Administrator and served as the Lifeguarding overseer for the Waikiki Rough Water Swim.

    • The waikiki rough water swim is 2.4 miles long. In 2010 there were 1045 swimmers, and only 600 finished. 361 rescues were made. The tides and currents in this race and crazy and really quite a few swimmers are unprepared for the event. He said that there should be more emphasis on emergency support at the back cause thats where those who struggle will be. Not that you ignore the front of the pack, but most of the trouble will be near the back of the pack.
    •  He mentioned that he had a bunch of radios for communication, but someone forgot to charge the batteries the day before so the day of the event they had all these radios, but no power for them, which was a big problem.  
    • EVERY swimmer needs to be accounted for.  One person had quit, and left the course and wasn't accounted for many hours after the event was over which was quite a concern for all the rescue and race organizers.

  • Lt. Greg Buchanan spoke next and some points he made were:

  • Please USE RADIOs

    • The Incident Command System (ICS) needs to have someone who is an expert in safety and in emergency response.  The race director shouldn't take on that role, it should be a separate person who is expert in that area and can provide recommendations pre-race on safety procedures, as well as race operations to ensure safety of the athletes.   
    •  Whenever a rescue is made, it takes away from the existing personnel, so just like in lifeguard training where you have overlapping coverage, someone needs to jump in and take the place of the rescuers position to ensure continuous safety because those still in the race won't push pause for the incident to complete.  
    •  Once the event is over it is critical that all the leaders of the race get together to do a post-mortem meeting to discuss the execution of the event to document what went really well with the event, what could be improved on, and what failed.  Without this meeting you can't really identify for the next year what weaknesses can be strengths.  Athletes who fail to do this after their races don't progress and improve either, so the race itself needs to be improved and executed each and every year.
     Chris Sheen - Race Director of the Big Shoulders 5K suggested:

    • Give the participants instructions on how to be safe.  Tell them to recognize when they are in trouble and to let their support boat and lifeguards know when they need help.  
    • The race should have two ambulances (maybe more depending on the number of participants).  Hot Chocolate should be on hand to reverse the effect of hypothermia.  
    • Water entry/exit accountability.  Chipped timing is great for swimmer accountability
    Eric Juneau - Race Director of the Lake St. Jean race in Canada.  This is the race that Shelly Taylor-Smith went on and on about so it's a good one.  This guy had a very heavy french accent and at times was difficult for me to understand him, but here are some points I was able to understand him making:

    • He reiterated the need to have a post-mortum meeting afterwards to review and improve
    • The top priority of the race directory is to know where all of his swimmers are.  He said he requires each support boat to have a radio and GPS.  He keeps in contact with them on a frequent basis to know their position and keep updated.  (Granted his race is over 15 miles)
    Jim Wheeler - President of Total Aquatic Management.  He has over 30 years of lifesaving experience.  He had this to say:

    • Each volunteer needs to totally understand their role.  The kayakers needs to be there but not right next to the swimmers getting in the way.  Good surveillance by the kayakers and lifeguards.  Teach them how to recognize those in trouble.   Someone who rolls over on their back more than 3 times is someone to watch out for.
    • Controlled starts with waves from a safety point to make sure the rescuers aren't overloaded.  Also make sure that there are lots of blankets in hand in case of hypothermia.
    The next session was an open forum among a panel of many different experts and here are some of the points I found particular interest in and made notes of:

    • What can the athletes do to best prepare for their races? The skill level is going Down as the popularity increases.  They need to be educated on how to listen to their bodies and respect their limits - Shelly Taylor-Smith
    • Be aware of their abilities before the race starts.  If it is a small race and you can contact them and ask them about their training, you can get a feel for whether they are ready for it or not.  You may want to hold clinics leading up to the race so the athletes can become more familiar with the course as well as encourage training in the water where the event will be held - Marcia Cleveland (USMS Long Distance Chair and Dover Solo Author)
    • First Aid tents at 1/3rd, 2/3rd and at finish.  Use volunteers to assist in applying sunscreen as well as provide hot chocolate and blankets to those who are struggling at the end with hypothermia - Kate Alexander (Safety Officer of the Flowers Sea Swim in the Cayman Islands)
    • The race needs to be organized like NASA where you have different systems that needs to all be in agreement on a "Go, No Go situation" with the Safety Chair at the leading position.  If Safety is a No-Go, then there isn't a need to keep accessing the situation, that is the first priority that needs to be fixed. - Dale Petranech (Honorary International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame)
    • The event should list on its website, the event's emergency action plan and safety standards.  That way the athletes can be aware of the protocols and efforts that are being made for safety.  The event should also list out to the participants the minimum level of skills that they expect the athletes to have in order to complete the event.  Hold clinics for those especially for those who might have reservations and are struggling.  - Lt. Buchanan 
    • In the event that an event is cancelled for safety reasons, should participants be given money back?  Most of the panelists and even many from the audience said "No" because much of the funds have already been spent.  A few thought that maybe giving a discount for the next year's race would be a good idea.  Especially if not all of the funds have been spent (For instance the awards won't need to be purchased for the next year and you can use them the next year).  I like the idea of doing a discount.  That would not leave the participants with a bad taste in their mouth about the event (even though it really isn't the event's fault if there is an unforeseen safety issue such as weather or lightning)
    • Someone said the word "Shark" and a few people said that word is not to be mentioned in OW circles.  But replaced with "Seaweed" as the dirty word replacement.  Some discussion around Shark Shields, and Steve Munatones spoke up about them sometimes shocking the swimmer.  It's a band the swimmer wears that puts out an electric shock whenever a shark gets close.  But if someone in the boat inadvertently touches the swimmer, it can shock the swimmer and isn't very pleasant.  
    I met with Marcia that evening in the Hall and shook her hand.  She mentioned that someone told her of my 40K swim this last summer and asked me what in the world I was thinking.  Haha.  She's definitely the type of person who could appreciate the difficulty of something like that and it felt good that she expressed that.  I must admit I was seriously star struck with her and very bashful.  

      Next panel discussion was on Lake Swimming:

      • Karen Reeder - Race director the USMS National Championship based in Colorado Springs, CO mentioned that sea level swims really help out swimmers who train in higher elevation.  She noted that her swimmers in Colorado averaged a 7 second cut in their times for a 500 SCY swim, and about 32 seconds for a 1650 SCY swim.  Nice!  At least for those who train in higher elevation and go down.  Not so for those who train at sea level and then compete at higher elevation.
      • Karen also was also asking some experts on water quality testing if they test for the parasite that causes swimmers itch.  Apparently the parasite is quite a problem in the lake that she does her races/training in.  Its an allergic reaction to the parasite which goes away after extensive washing, but with each exposure and/or with prolonged exposure, the reactions get far worse.  The parasite seems to thrive where the water is relatively stagnant and where the water temp ranges in the 66-72°F.
      • Steven Munatones discussed that in International Championship races the athletes fingernails are inspected for proper trimming and that jewelry is required to be removed to prevent injuring others.  Many races involve close quarters and what can be done to prevent athletes from injuring each other whether accidentally or intentionally.  That is another safety concern to include and have an action plan for it.
      • Warms ups @ prerace.  Many race directors hate pre event warm ups cause that's sometimes when the safety measures aren't quite in place.  Instead they encourage pre-race clinics.  
      • Karen Reeder said that if you do use Lifeguards to be picky.  Red Cross has lowered its swimming abilities standards for lifeguards which may be OK for pools, but for Open Water events, if they can't swim fast and respond strongly, they will fail.  Excellent point.  I've seen some Lifeguards pass the Red Cross practical test for skills, but the practical test doesn't include ANY amount of swimming more than maybe 5 yards.  That's terrible!!  If you do use lifeguards, make sure they have a strong swimming background.
      • Paul Asmuth - just like Shelly Taylor-Smith, he is a seven time open water champion.  He touched on cold water training.  He said about some of the myths of cold water protection such as grease providing protection, or about gaining a bunch of weight.  He's approach is that that "fat" that you put on, you have to take with you and it slows you down, and you have to supply blood to it, etc...  He suggests not simply putting on weight as a way to combat the cold water, but to train in it.  He said that if you train and exposure your body to those temperatures, you not only will allow your mind to handle those cold temperatures, but your body will actually change.  It will go through physiological changes to allow you to better handle it.  He also discussed about there being a aerobic/anaerobic range and to put your body as close to the anaerobic range so that your body can use that level of effort to generate heat, but also allow you to continue as long as necessary.
      • Marcia Cleveland discussed the need to be careful about who you pick to be on your crew for marathon swims.  There should be someone who knows your stroke, knows just by looking at you when something is "off" or when you need some encouragement.  Communication needs to be short and concise when on these swims and the crew needs to know how to communicate effectively.  They also need to know what you expect of them.  They're not mind readers.  They need to know their roles and what their requirements are.  She told of an experience where she shocked her Dad when he was on her crew and whipped out a magazine and a chair and was on duty for her.  She scolded him with language that he never heard her say before and she got him back to giving his entire attention on her.  She also discussed the need for the swimmers to experiment as much as possible with different feedings.  You need to really experiment while training to find out what things you like.  Also be aware that fresh water and salt water feeding might need to be different.  
      Tools of the Trade Panel
      • Bruce Wigo affiliated with the International Swimming Hall of Fame invented the Swim Safety Device and has manufacturers in China making them for him.  He showed this video: He suggested that these be given out instead of T-shirts at an event.  If they're purchased in bulk they can be bought at a discounted price.  The race logo and sponsors can also be printed on the device.  He suggested that these could be used on training swims on a regular basis.  If a swimmer is in trouble this can be used not only as flotation, but as identification by another party for sighting, or even in the event that someone goes under.  If it stops moving and no swimmer is found pulling it, that can be an immediate visual cue that something is terribly wrong.  I can't personally see this as something that would be used in races though.  I think the participants would not like to have to pull this thing behind them even if they knew it was for their safety.  The best case scenario would be to have a safety support boat dedicated to the swimmers, rather than to have this thing take the place of that protection.  
      • He sounded open to having them modified after receiving feedback.  (I caught up with Bruce after this panel discussion and told him of Josh's and Rob's feedback about the device, in that occasionally it would make contact with their legs, but still not so much that it hindered them in a major way, but that it seemed like a minor annoyance that if it could be refined a little more it would be perfect.  The device is designed to be long enough to be in the wake of the swimmer right behind their butt so that it is in a "pocket" and doesn't actually get dragged behind.  I think that would be worse if it actually caused drag rather than occasionally making contact with my butt, but with reduced drag)
      • Alot of discussion was placed around new ideas of technology.  Would it be possible to have timing chips that also had GPS location tracking so that race directors could track in real time where there swimmers are.  Currently there isn't that kind of technology in chips and GPS's currently are one way tracking, you would need to include outbound communication to send info back out to where the swimmers are.  But it's a great idea.  Maybe one day....
      • Steve suggested that if there were enough race directors interested that he could create a massive order for transponders (timing chips) that could be bought at a fraction of the cost from manufacturers in China.  Email him if interested.   Right now I don't think we would really need more than 100 and depending on the cost of that many we might not be able to afford it, but would need more information.
      Fran Crippen memorial 
      • Maddie Crippen took about 20 minutes to discuss Fran's life, his dreams, his accomplishments and his legacy that she wishes to continue via the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation.  Fran had a big heart and loved open water swimming.  While she was in love with swimming, Fran was fanatical.  He loved helping kids enjoy the water and love the competition.  It's unfortunate that the events surrounding his death happened, but on the other hand the positive changes for greater safety and awareness of protecting the athletes is something that can be taken as a positive change as a result of his death.  

      Sunday Morning - Best Practices discussion......

      1. Separation of Race Director from Safety Chairman - They can't be combined they should be separated as they are both very important roles that can't conceivably be handled by a single person no matter how multitasking they may be.  
      2. The Ability of the Safety Chair to cancel the event with the same amount of authority as the Race Director or Referee was open to many opinions as to whether they all together had the authority as a collaboration or individually.  I'd think that it would be a collaboration as they should all respect the safety chair's opinion, but at the same time should be a dictatorship.  The race director would be a fool to ignore the recommendation of the safety chair to cancel an event.
      3. Risk Assessment - Each event is so different and that may be a big reason why there is no single document that addresses ALL of the safety requirements/guidelines as they may or may not be applicable for every race.  So it is up to the race director and the safety chair for that event to come up with a risk assessment for the event, and then come up with a plan.  
      4. Governing Body Collaboration - There are several organizations nationally that cover Open Water Races such as: FINA, USA Swimming, USMS, USAT and more.   How can these organizations collaborate on educating race directors on how to prepare for events safely?  One suggestion that I LOVED was that a third party work with these parties to help them collaborate on a methodology of preparing races for safety.  I agree that it can't be a checklist, but the idea of a training and certification program for personnel who can be given the education in how to make those kinds of assessments and plans is a great idea!  This way the safety chair and/or race director can be better educated and certified to make those kind of decisions and plans to run a safe event!  Dale P mentioned that Steve as the Open Water Source founder be given that role.  I totally agree that he would be the very best resource to work with all of these organizations to come up with a consolidated training program.  But that would put alot of pressure on Steve and would need him to agree to take that on.  That would be a huge responsibility and require superhuman abilities and time commitments.
      5. Open Water Training - Most of the discussion at this conference has been about running a safe swim event.  But what about safe water swimming training?  About 1/100th of the time an athlete spends in the water is during the event, the other part is in training.  What are the best practices for swimming in training?  I'd have to say that the SSD is a huge step forward.  I used to swim all alone in BL last year in the early morning when Josh couldn't be there at all times.  In this case I could use the SSD, but it isn't the end all - be all.  Cause if something really bad happened such as a stroke, heart attack, or something that caused me to not be able to take a few more strokes to get on land, at least it would still act as a body marker.  
      6. My own observations about human nature that includes organizations:  "I'm right, and you're wrong".  For instance:  USLA,  Red Cross, US Heart Association  Which is the best organization for Lifesaving? Or USMS, USA Swimming, USAT  Also religions, "I'm right, you're wrong".  Why does human nature require us to degrade the efforts and truths that others have to build ourselves up.  It's very disturbing.  I'm just as guilty.  I remember kind of talking negatively about Terry Laughlin in a recent post and realized I was wrong to do that.  \
      7. Rob Butcher, Executive Director of USMS stood up and mentioned that the executive board who was also in attendance have agreed that this conference was extremely productive and that this would definitely be an annual event sponsored by USMS.  I personally have made it a goal to attend this next year.  In fact I would suggest that Josh Green attend next year preferably with Utah LMSC sponsoring his attendance, and I would be willing to pay for my own way next time.  Cause it was totally worth it for me and very beneficial!
      I had a fantastic time at this conference, I learned alot and really caught the spirit of open water safety.  I am so appreciative to the Utah LMSC for sending me to this conference and have quite a few action items to implement in making the GSL race a safer race.  First action item:  Get a board put together instead of just me and Josh.  We need more resources!  I have other things on my plate that I don't want to be a hindrance to giving the proper attention to the subject of safety in conjunction with directing the race.

      Friday, March 18, 2011


      Slept in a little and was in the water at 5:45am:

      1000 free
      Then joined masters:

      300 - 100 swim/IM drill/kick
      500 - 10 x 50's kick with fins rotate IM kick
      800 - 4 x 200 IM's on 3:30
      800 - 4 x 200's free pull on 3:00
      400 - 4 x 100 IM's on 1:50
      400 - 4 x 100's free on 1:15
      Tim lead us and I was second.  He was pulling and I went without equipment.  I ended up getting no rest on the last three just did flips into the next rep. 
      After resting on this set we were supposed to just cool down, but Steve said "100 all out!"  I said, "and under a minute!"

      So Tim and Steve went first in different lanes.  They got 56 and 57 respectively.  I then went on the next minute off the wall and got a 59.  I was pleased with that. 

      Then did 200 easy

      4500 yards total

      I was going to keep going until 9am until I had to leave to the airport, but I felt drained.  I then realized that I didn't eat anything last night once I got home.  I was kind of full from the hot chocolate and didn't have any dinner.  So no wonder I didn't have much left especially after that fast 100. 

      Good chance to just sit at the airport and come up with a TODO list for preparing for my GSL swim.  There are alot of details I need to work out and need the time to just sit down and brainstorm. 

      Thursday, March 17, 2011

      Half a mile in 50° with no wetsuit

      Swam a half mile at BL tonight.  The temp read 50.0° exactly.  I tried to stay relaxed at times and not push it, and at other times, I really kicked hard and did long strong strokes.  Finished in 12:14  Pretty good.

      I was fine while I was in the water, but once I got out, my body spiraled into severe hypothermia mode.  I was shaking quite dramatically.  I was a little dizzy, my jaw was locked and I couldn't talk.  It took about 15 minutes of sitting in a 115° car to get back to normal.  Felt great about the swim.  I think I'll stick with this distance until I'm able to handle the after affects better.  I've never had hypothermia that bad before.

      Goody brought a swimming friend, Alicia and they both swam 200 yards from the east fishing dock.   Josh and Jake both swam 400 yards starting from the south fishing dock.  While this swim was fun, the excitement about it being a major challenge is losing its effect.  It's feeling more like a normal thing and the rush is still there, but is turning into more of practice and training for cold water, than a big event.  I'm not sure I'm going to have Cathi do any more videoing just cause it's not a "fireworks event" for me anymore.  Anyhow, she took some video again this week and so I processed it.  Click below to view it:

      Tomorrow morning I'll do a swim at SDRC and then catch a flight to SF for the OW Safety Conference!  Should be lots of fun!

      Swim Safety Device

      Swim Safety Device (SSD)
      It seems like Josh Green and I have an ESP thing going.  Often we're thinking the same thing and it's kind of freaky.  Last week Josh brought a Swim Safety Device(SSD) to the Bountiful Lake swim last Thursday.  I was a little bugged cause I bought two of them a few days earlier and and I got one for him as a gift.  So I figured instead I'd give one away as an incentive to anyone who is registered for the GSL swim before April 15th.  

      I took it out of the very cheesy cover (which is basically a ziplog bag) and tried it out, but didn't swim with it.  Seems pretty good.  This thing would have come in handy last year when we were at GSL and it was so windy that it blew our stuff all over the beach and half our stuff was gone when we got back.

      Today's swim was tough!  My shoulders were achy, but not in pain.  The muscles in my upper back and neck are stiff.  I could use a massage.  Anyhow I stuck with today's plan and got in exactly what I wanted:

      1000 yards free
      600 - 6 x 100's odd one arm fly, even free drill straight no rest
      1000 - 5 x 200's kick with fins no rest
      1200 - 4 x 300's free on 4:30
      The fast lady got in the next lane over.  I was trying to keep her from gaining on me, and I was only successful at getting about a foot per 50 gain on her.  
      1200 - 3 x 400's free on 6:00
      1000 - 2 x 500's tempo trainer on 15:00
      600 - 1 x 600 breast/back/free alternate by 100 no rest
      600 - 1 x 600 breast/back/free alternate by 100 no rest
      1000 - 2 x 500's pull free on 14:00
      1200 - 3 x 400's free on 6:00
      1200 - 4 x 300's free on 4:30
      1000 - 5 x 200's pull on 2:55
      600 - 6 x 100's odd one arm fly, even free drill straight no rest
      1000 free easy

      12,400 yards total

      I stopped at BL on the way home from work yesterday and the temp read 47.8° so it's a little cooler than last week.  Swimming the half mile this afternoon.  It'll be good to go fast on this rather than hold back to stay together.

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011

      Some interesting stats...

      Today's workout I wrote up early this morning and was in the water at 5:15am:

      1000 free easy
      600 - 6 x 100's odd one arm drill, even catch-up, fingertip drag drill
      1000 - 5 x 200 IM's on 3:30
      1200 - 4 x 300's free on 4:20
      1200 - 3 x 400's free on 5:30
      1000 - 2 x 500's free with tempo trainer on 7:00
      600 - 1 x 600 free

      Then do the whole workout backwards.

      12,400 yards total (7 miles)

      After this workout, I am now:

      • 250 miles swam since January
      • 1 Million yards since the start of the virtual open water swim in October 2010
      But something quite sobering and humbling that I learned is that to become an expert in something it is generally thought that you need to practice doing your thing for 10,000 hours.  That is a LONG TIME!  Based on my total yardage and the time it takes me to swim in one hour, I'm only 1/10th of hitting the 10,000 hour point.  If I keep swimming at the rate that I am now, I should be able to hit the 10,000 hour mark just before I turn 55 in May of 2027!  So that really puts things in perspective and to not get a big head.  I'm still a newbie!  

      I figure 10,000 hours of swimming equals 35 milllion yards.  To put that into perspective, the entire circumference of the equater is 43.82 million yards.  I would have to swim at this same rate until I turn 60 to be able to hit that distance!  I would love to know how far Terry Laughlin has swam in his lifetime.  That guy thinks he has all the answers and that's what's most annoying about TI.  Like it's gospel.  One thing that changes with many fields, including swimming is that about every decade someone comes up with a much more efficient and better way.  

      Monday, March 14, 2011

      Results of the 1 hr postal

      This weekend I was off with the scouts and also took the kids swimming at Surf N' Swim, but I didn't get any laps in on Saturday.

      I did get an email from USMS. The results of the 1 hr postal came in and I took 24th out of  111 in my 35-39 male category.  The guy who took first went nearly 1000 yards further than I did.  Wow!  I took first in the state though.  Unfortunately only 3 guys from Utah participated.  Very lame.

      Today's workout went well.  I was able to get in a decent nap yesterday to overcome the effects of daylight savings kicking in and losing an hour.  Got in the pool at 5:25am and did:

      2200 yards free
      then joined Masters:
      800 - 8 x 100's 75 free/25 drill on 1:45
      300 - 4 x 75 kick no fins on 1:30
      400 - 8 x 50's odd free, even back on :50
      600 - 3 x 200's pull on 2:45
      200 - 4 x 50's sprint IM order on 1:00
      200 - 4 x 50's free sprint on :50
      250 - 10 x 25's odd kick, even free fast on :30
      50 easy
      500 - 5 x 100's fast on 1:30

      Then continued on with my own thing:
      500 - 5 x 100's kick with fins
      4000 - 8 x 500's free pull on 7:00
      400 IM drill

      10,400 yards total

      Friday, March 11, 2011

      Tsunami last night

      Last night apparently there was a massive eathquake in Japan that sent Tsunami waves towards Hawaii.  Here's some details.  Apparently Steven Munatones and Penny Palfrey were going to do a swim today.  Good thing we live in a day in age where you get lots of warning before something like that happens.  Maybe one day they'll have Earthquake warning systems.  That would be cool.  Anyhow today's swim was much shorter since I have to go camping with the scouts this weekend and need to get off work at 2pm.  So I had to cut my swim to 6000 yards:

      1500 yards free nice and easy before Masters:

      200 Drill free
      800 - 4 x 200 IMs
      I was strict on these and did every fly set both arms and no cheating.   Craig told me on my backstroke that I'm bent in a sitting position and need to get my hips up.  Didn't know that.  Will need to work on getting my head further back so I can get more streamlined.  
      1800 yard Pyramid:

      4 x 50's free on :45
      3 x 100's free on 1:30
      2 x 150's free on 2:15
      1 x 200 free on 3:00

      2 x 150's free on 2:15
      3 x 100's free on 1:30
      4 x 50's free on :45

      400 Kick with fins
      200 Easy
      100 Back

      Then did 500 more kicking with fins and got out.  I asked Kris about the names of a few more swimmers in the last three lanes:  Matthew, Scott, and Alex.  I'm terrible at names.  Hoping that by documenting it, I'll push those names a little deeper into my tiny brain.

      6000 yards total

      Tomorrow morning I'll be helping the scouts tear down camp and then help a friend move, so if I do get in a swim it'll be in the late afternoon.  Hopefully it'll work out and I can get in a good Saturday workout too.  This week was far from ideal.  I took Tuesday and Thursday off.  That's bad!

      Thursday, March 10, 2011

      400 yards in just under 50° F water

      Tonight's cold water swim was fun!  We got two newcomers: Heidi Linton and Goody Tyler.  Today's temp was 5° warmer than last time and nearly 10° warmer than two weeks ago!  At this rate it'll be 70° by Easter.  Yeah right!

      I decided that it was warm enough to REALLY step it up.  Today's swim for me was .23 miles = 400 yards

      Heidi jumped in at the East dock this time just to see how cold it was, and then she got out, which is great for a first go.  Josh, Jake and Goody jumped in at the east dock and swam along with me to the boat ramp like we did last week.  I bought a navy blue rescue tube and brought it along on my swim, just in case.  I should've stuck with red, but I've never seen a blue rescue tube and thought it was cool.  My swim felt great and I wasn't overly chilled.  I could have gone quite a bit further.  

      When I got out I took my sweet time getting dry and dressed and that was a mistake.  I was fine in the water and right afterwards, but a few minutes later I was shaking like a leaf.  The wind chill on my skin felt pretty good, but I'm so numb that I don't realize that I'm probably making myself even colder out of the water, than when I was in.  Next time I need to really hurry into warm clothes.  Once I got my hands on the hot chocolate in the car and started sipping that I was able to reverse the downward spiral and get back to normal in about 10 minutes.  
      On the way home I had the heater going in my car full blast.  By the time I nearly got home I look in the back and Sam is sweating profusely!  Like he has heat exhaustion.  I felt great by that time and rolled down the windows.  He gave me the biggest smile as the wind blew over his sweaty face.
      Same place same time next week!  Congrats everyone!  At this rate it'll be 52-53 next Thursday. I'm planning to start from the boat ramp going east around the northeastern island and then back to the boat ramp.  A distance of exactly a half mile.

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011

      3 Million yards

      Today I hit a major milestone, 3,000,000 yards logged swimming ever since I started logging in 1989.  That's just pool swimming, not including open water.

      Nearly a million of those three have been logged in the last 6 months.

      I started my swim exactly at 5:30am and did:

      2000 yards free

      Then joined Masters with:

      300 warmup
      300 - 6 x 50's choice drill
      300 - 6 x 50's no kick board or fins
      400 - 4 x 100's free/breast/back/fly
      400 pull strong!
      400 kick with fins
      400 IM
      Celebrating hitting the 3 Million Yards milestone
      400 - 4 x 100's on 1:15
      I was very pleased with my (1:09, 1:10, 1:12, 1:14) times on these
      100 easy

      Then resumed on my own with:
      5000 - 10 x 500's pull on 7:00 descending (First one was 6:28 and last one I got 5:56)  I really felt good on these.
      100 Inverted Breaststroke

      10,100 yards total

      One might ask, "How do you know you've gone 3 million yards?"  In addition to having a blog post for every single open water and pool swim with details, I've been tracking all my totals on this spreadsheet.  I keep it current every time I swim so it's pretty accurate.

      Monday, March 7, 2011

      Happy 4th Birthday SDRC!

      2000 yards free no equipment
      200 easy
      Then joined Masters:
      300 easy
      200 - 4 x 50's back on :50
      400 - 4 x 100's free on 1:25
      200 - 4 x 50's back on :50
      400 - 1 x 400 free pull @ 70% on 5:30
      50 easy
      200 - 4 x 50's back sprint on :50
      400 - 2 x 200 free @ 70% on 3:30
      200 - 2 x 100's sprint back on 1:45
      400 - 4 x 100's free @ 70@ on 1:30
      I sprinted the very last 100 and was able to get a 1:02 off the wall.  Not bad.
      50 easy
      200 - 4 x 50's sprint back on 1:00
      300 cooldown alternate free/back by 25s

      1000 kick with fins
      4000 - 2 x 2000's first set with equip, second no equipment on 15:00
      On the last sets of 2000 I had Brad and Jeff in the next two lanes which kept the pace for me at a nice strong pace.
      100 IM easy

      10,600 yards total

      Today is the 4th anniversary of the SDRC being built.  It was build to replace the Bountiful Bubble where I was a member of the age group team in high school, the "Bountiful Sharks".  The Bubble before the SDRC was nice cause it was a 50 meter pool, but I like that this is an indoor pool.  Bubble facilities get too noisy in the winter time and the air is too hot.  SDRC is the best facility that I've been to since Deseret Gym.

      However, if I got a dollar for every announcement (especially last minute ones) that ended with "We apologize for any inconvenience", I could almost pay for my yearly membership.  The Management needs to do better with making timely closure announcements, and I've already made the suggestion that they create a Google Group where people could sign up for email notifications and then all they would have to do is make an announcement on the group, and then everyone who cares would get emailed/texted instead of finding out the moment they show up (since they're not so great about making closure announcements until either the night before or the day of the closure).  But I don't want to dwell on the negative.

      The facility is clean, and the pool area is awesome so I'm glad to be a paying member.  Happy Birthday SDRC!  The facility was kind enough to provide breakfast for everyone so on the way out I had a stack of three delicious pancakes and some fruit, and then a poppy seed muffin.  Thank you!

      Saturday, March 5, 2011

      IMs and sprints

      Had to rush to get in the water in time, but I made it in at 6am sharp.  Here's what Tim came with:

      400 - 100 back, 100 IM, 100 kick, 100 pull
      1000 - 5 x 200's free
      800 - 4 x 200's pull on 3:00
      600 - 3 x 200's Choice (Back) on 3:15
      400 - 2 x 200 IMs
      200 - 1 x 200 free sprint (goal was 2:20 and got 2:11)  Nice!

      100 easy

      Then the group got out and I continued on, this time with what Kris brought for the workout that wasn't used:

      400 - 100 back, 100 IM, 100 kick, 100 pull
      1200 - 3 x 400's free pull on 5:30
      900 - 3 x 300's odds free, even IM on 5:00
      600 - 3 x 200 odds free, even IM on 3:30
      300 - 3 x 100 odds free, even IM on 1:45

      100 easy

      400 - 100 back, 100 IM, 100 kick, 100 pull
      400 IM easy
      400 - 4 x 100 IMs fast! with lots of rest on 2:00 held <1:25 on all
      300 IM easy
      300 - 4 x 75s back fast! on 1:45
      200 IM easy
      200 - 4 x 50's breast on 1:15 (held <:40 on all)
      100 IM easy
      100 - 4 x 25's sprint! on :40 (held :15 on all)
      100 easy
      1000 - 1000 pull long strong strokes

      10,500 yards total

      My lower back and left shoulder were giving me fits, and I was SOOOO tempted to quit at about 6000 yards, but I kept it going, and now I feel great!  Good thing I got this done early in the day!  Now I have the rest of the day to help the kids clean the house a little, take the dog on a nice long walk, and then go on a date with my woman tonight!  

      Friday, March 4, 2011

      Fantastic Friday evening swim

      I found out late this afternoon that the SDRC pool will be closed after 9am so I called Surf n'swim and just my luck they have an age group swim meet all morning. So my 15 mile swim looks like it'll have to be postponed. I'll have to take what I can get tomorrow morning and be grateful for the three hours that I'll get.

      My sweet wife agreed to let me stop at the pool on the way home from work since my long Sat swim is now comprimised. Here's what I did:

      1000 free strong on 14:30
      2000 pull on 28:00
      1000 - 10 x 100s on 1:45, odds IM evens free. Held <1:25 on IMs and <1:17 on free
      1000 free strong on 14:30
      1000 pull build!

      6000 yards total
      11500 yards for the day

      Mind/Body relationship

      1000 free easy until masters started......

      300 - 100 easy/kick/drill
      1000 - 5 x 200's free strong on 3:00
      500 - 5 x 100's kick on 1:50
      500 - 5 x 100's free fast on 1:15
      500 - 5 x 100's back on 1:40
      500 - 5 x 100's pull strong on 1:10

      I was able to make each of those fast free sets with 5 seconds to spare so I was very pleased.  My kick was weak though.  
      100 easy

      I ended up talking for quite a while with Kris Edwards about running a swim meet.  Looks like I'll be relieving her in November.  She's going to help mentor me in all of the details (which should be quite a bit more than running an open water swim), which will be good because I think I can bring new enthusiasm and energy to a meet and also allow someone like Kris who has served Utah swimmers for many many years, the chance to sit back and have someone else do the work and enjoy competing rather than running a successful meet.

      Anyhow, after our lengthy conversation (I was treading for most of it by the way :)) I resumed:

      500 kick with fins
      500 pull easy
      100 easy

      5500 yards 

      Not the long swim I wanted.  I slept in a bit this morning and as you can see only got 1000 in before Masters, plus the talk with Kris took some time.  So the plan is to swim 15 miles tomorrow.  It's rare to not be camping, or going out of town so I'll take advantage of it and swim from 6-2 tomorrow morning and that should be plenty of time to get in my 15 miles.

      Today while I was swimming I was thinking what makes me so motivated?  I mean I like to do CRAZY things.  I'm also passionate about swimming and fitness in general.  When I was into powerlifting, I spent many years lifting alone in the basement.  Many times I would do 1 rep maxes alone (which is pretty stupid).  And do many sets nearly to failure with no spotter, but I NEVER had an incident when I couldn't get that very last rep up.  At least when I was alone.

      I believe I've really fine tuned the relationship between body and mind.  I know what my body can do, yet I'm not dogging it and stepping it up each time.  Just enough to push my body to the next level.  That kind of link is one of my greatest skills.  I'm not fast, I'm not the strongest, but I'm not afraid.  Don't get me wrong I respect that there are limits and am able to recognize when I've hit that limit, before it turns really ugly.

      While I was in the locker room this morning getting ready to head to work, there was a guy about my age who was just sitting there breathing kind of hard from after a good swim when all of a sudden he went from a sitting position on the bench to a quick moving kneeling position and his eyes looked to the side and looked dead, but I could clearly tell he was still breathing.  He still was putting weight on his legs so he wasn't unconscious completely.  After being in that position for maybe 15 seconds he started blinking and then got back into a sitting position.

      I said, 'You OK?'  He said "I guess I pushed it a bit harder than I should have this morning".  He sat there with his head in his hands breathing deep.  In a way I respect that guy.  Alot of people are home still sleeping, or at the coffee/donut shop on the way to work at this time, and this guy is pushing his body to his limits.  That can be dangerous, but it's way better than not pushing his body at all.  I love pushing myself and appreciate others who work their bodies to exhaustion.  I remember my brother throwing up at a 5K.  We laugh about that, but allowing your mind to control your body beyond it's comfort zone is fantastic.  However, that kind of intensity shouldn't be the norm.  Just like an abusive marriage, if the relationship is either ignored, or abused, then it will eventually lead to separation and/or divorce.  You want to build that relationship and allow both to grow strong together.

      For me, I've already identified that I'm totally addicted to the cycle of goal setting/training/goal making.  I'm a junkie in that area.  I've always got something on the horizon to shoot for.  Without that I would be so depressed.  I believe if more people had this cycle in their life on a regular basis, there would be less depression.  If there was one thing I would encourage anyone to do (and not just for sport/fitness) has nothing to do with technique.  The best thing anyone can do whether they're just starting, or a seasoned veteran in their field, is to get in the practice of :

      1. Setting short term/ medium term and long term goals.
      2. Training hard to meet those goals.
      3. Then meet that goal.  If you succeed!  Great, go back to step 1.  If you fail, then your body and/or mind was weak or injured and you need to go back to step 2 or even 1.  But keep going!
      That practice will make lifelong athletes out of anyone.  It doesn't matter if you're the best in the world at your sport.  We are all only competing against ourselves.  As soon as you start basing your progress and value on someone other than yourself, you not only risk becoming prideful, but also becoming extremely overwhelmed or worthless.