Thursday, March 29, 2012

Out of body experience

I went to the temple this morning with Cathi so my morning swim was sacrificed.  However I knew I was going out to GSL tonight so I wasn't too upset.  It gave me a good reason to "Man up" and do a tough swim.  I set a goal this morning to do the "Gridley Straight".  It was mostly cloudy all day and not the warmest day.

When I got to the marina to change, the bathrooms were out of order so I had to do a quick change in the car. I saw that Chad was there.  Jim as usual, and then Goody and James Jonsson, and Josh, and Victor!  I think this was a record.  There were seven of us!  Anyway the water temp read 55°F.  Jim got a head start as he had to leave early, so when I got to the marina opening he was on his way back in.  He mentioned that the water was colder outside the marina.  Huh?  The past few times I noticed it was the other way around.  He was right.

Once outside the marina I immediately started heading towards black rock.  The waves and wind were pretty intense.  This was the most chop I've seen out here.  At least that I can remember.  I was getting "pushed" to black rock, and I was thinking how am I gonna get back.  I stopped once about halfway there to look back to see if anyone else was joining me on this router.  Nope, I was on my own.  I couldn't even see any of the other guys.  I was starting to get cold cramps, but figured this was fantastic practice for channel conditions and got my face back in the water and heading to my goal.

When I got to the Blackrock I stood up, notice some guy sitting in his truck watching me.  I opened up my SSD and got my purple perpetuem mix, drank it and started back.  It was painful going from standing up to immersing myself in that cold water all over again.  The air temp was definitely warmer than the water.  This time though I was heading in to the waves and the wind.  Looking forward to sight was only occasionally effective.  But I knew I was going straight.  I was just checking "How much further!"

I no longer felt bone chilled, just rocked around like crazy.  My arms were going at a good pace, yet I wasn't tired at all.  Just tried to keep them going in the most efficient form as possible, and fast.  My mind was numb the last 15 minutes of my swim.  I didn't think about how cold I was, how much further I went, just went into "cruise control with medium effort".  Although it sound like I was in "the zone".  I wasn't.  The conditions were just so crazy that I felt like I was having an out of body experience.

If I had a support boat in these conditions, the paddler would most definitely be in danger.  There are times when I am so relieved not to have a support boat to worry about.  Isn't that weird?

When I got near to the marina opening I felt like I was on a treadmill.  I was going at a sprint pace yet didn't feel like I was moving at all.  There was Chad, Josh and Goody all at the end of the marina wall at the opening already dressed and cheering for me at the finish.  It sure felt good to get inside the protective walls of the marina.  The last 300 yards went fast.

Comparing where I am at now in open water compared to last year is fun.  Last year at this time I was happy to get one mile.  Today's distance doubled that, and in colder conditions than last year.

Total Distance: 2.2 miles in 1:04

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

No rest for the wicked

This morning Kyle had this workout where the intervals were just too quick to get any amount of rest.  In fact on the "Stroke" sets, I had to often do freestyle just to catch up with Will.  Started out with 1000 free before doing Kyle's workout:

600 warmup
300 - 4 x 75's drill
200 - 4 x 50's kick
100 - 4 x 25's easy
Main set:  IM or stroke on 1:30 base, free on 1:20 base
200 - 2 x 100's IM
200 free
300 - 3 x 100's stroke
300 free
400 - 4 x 100's IM
400 free
500 - 5 x 100's stroke
500 free
400 - 4 x 100's IM
400 free
300 - 3 x 100's stroke
300 free
200 - 2 x 100's IM
200 free
I forgot my perpetuem drink that I had prepared in the fridge.  Didn't matter though, I didn't get rest on any of the above sets, I had to flip turn right into the next thing cause I just couldn't hold the base time with enough left over for rest.  So I couldn't have taken a drink anyway.

Had a chat with Will about various stuff.  Then did:

500 pull
400 kick with fins
1000 - 10 x 100's on 1:28
100 back easy

8,800 yards total in 2:50 with lots of gabbing

Met with Goody this evening at 6pm at Antelope Island Marina. The forecast for today was partly cloudy not totally cloudy! Anyway it was completely overcast and a little cool. I brought Lucy along as support in case we got crazy and got out there. But we ended up just doing a circle loop inside the Marina, but on the way back decided to just extend outside the marina just for a bit as it looked like the wind died down just a little. Got about 100 yards out and looked east and there were some serious clouds out there and the GPS already said we were .79 miles so far so decided to just head back in. Total distance came exactly to 1 mile in 30 minutes. Temperature was 55°F

Monday, March 26, 2012

Watching the weather

With last Saturday's swim, I'm watching the weather much more and planning my week every Sunday.  There is a storm today and also a drop in temperature by 20 degrees, so I won't be swimming OW today.  But Wednesday and Saturday look like decent days.  Plus I'll be swimming as normal with my friends on Thursday, so I'm aiming for three OW swims this week.

This morning I did 1000 free before SALT members showed up where Kyle posted this workout:

600 free
500 - 10 x 50's odd free, even choice on 1:00
3000 - 6 x 4 x 125's free (1 & 6 on 1:45, 2 & 5 on 1:40 finger hand paddles, 3 & 4 pull on 1:35)
500 - 10 x 50's kick odd free, even breast/dolphin

Then proceeded to do my own thing:
500 kick with fins
2000 pull easy
1000 finger paddles
1000 - 10 x 100's free on 1:28
250 kick easy
150 PT paddles
100 cooldown

10,600 yards in 3:15

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fun family activity and swim at Antelope Island

This morning I worked from home on a special project for work.  I skipped the meet I registered for because of the shoulder issues I've been having and didn't want to aggravate it.  I told the kids if they did their weekend chores we could all go on an adventure at the Great Salt Lake.  They worked hard and we went out to the Antelope Island Marina with the two x two-man kayaks at 3:30pm.  Lucy was in one and paddled next to me for a swim while Jacob stayed with Cathi and the other small kids at the Marina and used the other kayak.

The water felt great.  I took a temp with my watch in a couple places and the first reading read 56.8° and right before I got out it read 58.2°, so somewhere between there.  Here's the map of my route:

I swam for 30 minutes.  Stopped took a quick drink from Lucy, and then swam back.  Some non threatening, but dark clouds were shielding me from the sun coming back so it felt colder coming back.  I paused a few times coming back to see where I was going.  The marina opening isn't visible coming back because it faces northeast, and I can't see it from the western angle, so I just need to be patient and just keep swimming east without expecting to see how much further.  Just swim man!

When I got back, I could tell the kids were having a ball.  Max and Girlfriend, our two St. Bernards were enjoying the time at "the beach" and Cathi was chatting it up with several people who stopped by the boat ramp.  They ooed and awed at the swim.  What a fun family activity.  My GPS read 2.57 miles and my stopwatch read 1:13.

Lucy and Jacob both wanted to get in so that they could get one of the WFPBC hoodies and be a "member" of the club.  Although the water temp now doesn't really qualify as being polar bear temp, I played along.  They both got in.  In fact Jacob swam to the other side of the marina and back and Cathi said he was in for about 20 minutes.   Lucy went all the way under, but was only in for about a minute.  Oliver and Isaac took the kayak out and had a ball.

The weather was fine.  Not much as far as wind, so the water was flat and didn't have any issues with water getting in my mouth.
Isaac loved being out there in the
boat all by himself.  Made him feel
"big". He had a PFD and the
water was calm, so it's all good.

I lubed up much better this time, including on my cheeks and didn't have any chaffing to speak of.  What an awesome day!

Total: 2.57 miles in 1:13 @ 57°F

Much better distance and time in the water, than Thursday.  Felt a little redeemed from getting out after only 37 minutes.  Double the time/distance today!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Will's IM workout

Did 1100 yards before masters, then did Will's workout which was all about IM work today.

600 free warmup
1200 - 4 x (100 IM kick on 2:00, 100 IM drill on 1:45, 100 IM swim on 1:30)
2800 - 4 x (4 x 75's k/d/s on 1:15, 2 x 200's IM order by 25 on 3:20)
200 free easy

5,900 yards total in 1:40 

Looking forward to this evening's GSL swim.  I'm hoping the water is in the mid 50's and if so.  I'm going for a mile minimum.

Met Josh and Jim at the Marina at 4:45pm and the temp came to 53°F again. So I was just planning to do the same thing. Josh and I swam together to the turnaround point. I wanted to go further, but the red buoy to the north of Silver Sands beach is gone. So Josh pointed to the green buoy that is even further north of the Marina, so we went out there. That was a long way out there.

 Swam back and then saw Josh swim over to the western red buoy so I turned around and caught up with him. At this point I was starting to cramp just a bit and my watch showed that we already had 30 minutes, and I was sure I hit my mile minimum goal, so I decided to call it good. Josh however went back out to the lookout point again and then back.

 When I got out I enjoyed the warm air. The air temp was 70 according to my car thermometer. Nice day. Really sunny.  I lubed up really good, but the only part that was chaff was my checks and under my nose.  Looks like I don't actually have to rub against my skin to chaff.  Just the water and the salt can chaff you just from the friction of the water.  I'll have to start lubing my face just a bit cause that kinda hurt after I got out.

I'm looking forward to going again on Saturday.

 Total Distance: 1.28 miles in 37:15 (2.06 mph)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

February Fitness Challenge Results

Yesterday evening I got the results from the February Fitness Challenge.  I was VERY surprised to see three folks in their fifties kick my can.  I came in third place overall, but first in my age division.  Even more surprising is that the record for the 35-39 age group is 541,000 yards!  More than double what I did.  That's simply amazing.  The record holder must have been not doing a full time job, because that's over 10.5 miles every single day for the month of February.

The full results are here.

This morning's workout was awesome.  I was in a lane with Randy (who was the creator of today's workout).  And he had me go first on everything except the second round of the main set which was IM.

Did 1000 yards BEFORE masters, then....

600 free easy
400 - 8 x 40's free drill on :50
100 - 4 x 25's free on :20
200 - 4 x 50's free on :40
300 - 4 x 75's free on 1:00
400 - 4 x 100's free on 1:20
200 IM
100 - 4 x 25's rotating IM on :25
200 - 4 x 50's rotating IM on :50
300 - 4 x 75's rotating IM on 1:15
400 - 4 x 100's IM on 1:40
200 free
400 - 8 x 50's kick alt free & breast/dolphin
1000 - 4 x (50 free, 25 fly/back/breast, 50 free) on 1:40, 4 more pulling because I couldn't hold the interval time.  I was dying.

Then I did my own thing:

1000 pull
800 kick with fins
200 - 100 back, 100 free easy

7,800 yards total in 2:00

Left shoulder giving me crap.  Not excruciating, but definitely a pain.  I'll probably scratch the events in my meet this weekend because I remember it was fine before the meet last month, but after sprinting and really putting lots of pressure on it by going fast, it hasn't been back to normal since then.  I'll continue with my long swims, but it's just when I put some serious rage power into it that aggravates it.

Plus it's gonna be really warm this weekend and I'd LOVE to get out with Lucy in the kayak and go for a swim out to Egg Island in GSL this Saturday.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Getting back into good habits

Lately there has been a little devil that gets on my shoulder as I get off the freeway at 4:50am every morning.  He says, "Hey, you have a ton of work to do at Tomax, just go to work early and get a head start on the day.  You can get off early and swim on the way home, or something".  I've given in to this little devil a couple of times, and that is a BAD HABIT!  So this morning I told that little devil to go back to hell and kept driving up 400 S until I got to the pool.  Good choice.  Did 1050 free before joining Masters.  Here's Kyle's workout:

600 free
900 - 12 x 75's rolling IM on 1:15
1000 - 400, 300, 200, 100 pull descending each 100 on 1:20 base
1000 - 100, 200, 300, 400 pull ascending each 100 on 1:20 base
600 - 8 x 75's kick odd free, even breast/dolphin
500 - 10 x 50's descending breath starting at 10 (I had to cheat on the second to last one, so I took an extra 30 seconds on the last one so that I could legitimately get 1 breath on the 50) on 1:00

1000 free easy
1000 finger paddles and ankle strap

7,650 yards in 2:10

I think I'm gonna make my range 7-9K per day for the rest of this month.  With a weekly minimum of 46K (26 miles/week) Then I'll pick it up in April.  Also I really need to do some cross training 2-3 times a week.  I've gotten really weak in my shoulders and chest.  Need to pick that back up.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Meeting David and Richard Barnes

This morning I swam the following at SDRC.  I was slow getting in because I was just feeling so lethargic today.  I must admit I'm feeling a little burned out with chlorine.  I'm very eager to do exclusive OW swims.

12000 - 6 x 2000's free  1&4th no equip, 2&5th large paddles, 3&6th finger paddles/no buoy
300 kick with fins

Today's swim was just long and easy and letting my mind relax.  Was a good swim and it seemed to go by really fast, so that's great.
12,300 yards total in 3:12

My swimsense stopped at 9999 once I got to 10,000 yards!  I'll have to report that one.  Should be a problem for most users, but I go over 10K quite often!

I picked up Cathi at the WX frontrunner station and drove to Cottonwood Heights to meet Richard and David Barnes.  The only two people two swim the English Channel from Utah.  We talked for a bit about things like:

  • Channel pilots, feedings, Varne Ridge, grease, their mental strategies for ignoring the cold, and lots of stuff.  There was practically no surprises, which was very reassuring that I'm on the right track.  I would be troubled if they told me things I had not heard before. It was fantastic to hear it from two swimmers in person and get to know them a little.  
David Barnes (Completed 2006), Me, and Richard Barnes (Completed 2005)
I saw their videos of their swims and it made me VERY EAGER.  They both went in the same tide that I'm doing (early August).  I was able to get video of Richard's swim.  When they did their swims Brent Hunsaker from Channel 4 went over and covered their swim.  Richard said that he's planning to do the Deer Creek race this year.  I think these videos made them get hungry again for the open water.  I'd love to do some training swims with either of them!  

The biggest thing right now for me that I need to work on, is probably really gearing up on the extensive swims in cold water.  These polar bear swims are great for mental toughness, but not much for being able to really acclimatize to extensive time in moderately cold water.  

I told Cathi on the way home that I had been that excited to talk to a couple of guys in a long time.  I was very happy to meet these guys, and hope that this fall we'll be able to go out for lunch and reminisce about Dover and that they'll be a 3rd Utahn in the EC club.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Just a tiny taste of warmth

This evening I met Jim, Kate and Josh out at the Marina.  It was so warm, I was just wearing my Jammer and didn't have to wear a jacket.  It was over 60 degrees in the air temp.  I was hopeful that I'd be able to really pick up the distance.

Map of our route
The water temp was 52°F What a jump from last time!  I planned to go all the way around the marina.  Jim's goal was to simply get in a 30 minute swim.  He's so awesome.  Josh and I got in a few minutes after his head start.  We swam out to the green buoy just north of the marina opening.  Then I said I'd like to swim out to the other green buoy north of the overlook.  There was a slight headwind and just a little chop.  Enough to make it interesting.  When we got there instead of wrapping around and getting out, I felt fantastic and said I'd like to go back the way we came.

I felt so good I didn't want it to end.  I didn't feel really cold and could have gone alot further.  I ended up just going around the red buoy at the end to get in just a little extra.  But I felt like I could have gone twice as far today.  Coming in to the marina at the end, the water temp dropped like a couple degrees.  Definitely noticeable and enough to put a chill in my bones and make me shiver a little afterwards.  Next time.  I'm really gonna step it up.  I'm wearing my SSD and going out to the red buoy and back.  A 1 mile route.

Jim ended up going 30 minutes in that temp.  We all agreed that it feels fantastic at this temperature and we can't really call it a get together of the WFPBC anymore.  More like just a group of regular open water swimmers who don't wear neoprene.  I event went to my single latex cap this time.  What an awesome swim!

I was talking to Josh about Goody's Catalina swim, and I also have been envisioning it and getting excited for his swim, as well as my own.  I'm gonna have to pass up going to the full family reunion and go a couple days late.  This swim Goody's doing is truly a monumental event!  So when I got home I worked with my Dad who is a travel agent and bought airline tickets for Josh and I to join Goody in July.

It's gonna be awesome.  I already told Goody I wasn't gonna be able to go.  I hope I'm still invited on the boat.  Now that I paid the airfare, I really can't take back out.  No options for taking ANY days off work.    It's a go for Catalina Channel baby!

Total Distance: .79 miles in 22:05

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Swimming with Mori, the Rowdy Gaines lookalike

This morning I did 600 free before starting with Masters:

600 warmup
400 - 4 x 100's 50 drill/50 swim
I was in a lane all by myself with four others in with Will the next lane over.  Mori joined me and led for most of the workout.  
200 - 4 x 50's kick alt free/fly kicks
300 - 4 x 75's 50 build/25 fast IM order
200 - 8 x 25's odds fast/evens free IM order

200 - 4 x 50's kick alt free/fly kicks
300 - 4 x 75's 50 build/25 fast IM order
300 - 6 x 50's odds fast/evens free IM order
200 - 4 x 50's kick alt free/fly kicks
300 - 4 x 75's 50 build/25 fast IM order
400 - 4 x 100's free on 1:25

All sets were with 5 seconds (or less rest) in between.  Moriwas really pouring it on!  His pace was faster than the other lanes as well as shorter rest intervals.  It was fun trying to keep up with him.  He reminds me of Rowdy Gaines.  A good looking trim older dude who has a body to make all the ladies blush.  And probably the fastest swimmer on SALT.  Our lane was done a few minutes before the others.  Excellent workout
1200 - 4 x (200 pull, 100 back)
600 easy

Then did my own channel pace stuff:

2000 pull
1000 kick with fins
1000 finger paddles
1000 - 600 free no equipment, 400 PT paddles

10,8000 yards total in 3:10  Great day

I stopped at Surf N' Swim and got all my equipment I left behind.  Whew!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I get bother mentally by stupid things.  Like this:  This morning I noticed that my big hand paddles and pull buoy and ankle strap weren't in my bag.  I must have left them on the deck at Surf N' Swim.  Something like that made me worry that they wouldn't make their way into the lost and found and I'd have to get new equipment.  So my swim wasn't very heartfelt or enjoyable until I can be get them back in my bag again.  I gotta be better about taking account of my equipment before I leave everytime.

I got to the pool and did:

650 free then joined masters:
800 warmup
400 - 8 x 50's fly/free, back/free, breast/free, free/free all two times through
1200 - 6 x 200's free, broken IM, IM, broken IM, IM, free on 3:00
1000 - 5 x 200's free on 2:50
250 easy

4,300 yards total in 1:15

Got out early cause of a early work meeting.  Work lately has been a real pig on my time.  A little concerned about that.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Now I remember

This morning I went to Layton Surf N' Swim at 7am and the water felt probably 84 degrees.  So lethargic today!  I did:

2000 - 10 x 200's alternating free/back no rest
750 pull

I was planning on doing 18,000 yards today, but then the lifeguard came over and kicked me out of my lane into one of the only 2 lanes left open.  There was going to be a high school triathlon or something.  The other two lanes were already filled with Grandpa swimmers.  I wasn't in the mood to dart in an out and around them. I had a ton of yardwork to do today, so I left early.  Way early.  Now I remember why I quit being a member of Surf N' Swim.

2,750 yards in less than an hour. Lame

Friday, March 9, 2012

Leading the pack

Julie's workout
Given that I was a slacker yesterday morning and slept in (which was fantastic by the way!), I was VERY determined to get up this morning and get going on time to the pool.  I arrived and was in the water a little earlier than normal.  I did 1200 yards before SALT masters swimmers started.  This morning I was in a lane with three other swimmers, they wanted me to lead.  So I did.  That was good cause it forced me to go fast and not be lazy. Here's the workout that was prescribed by Julie:

600 warmup
500 - 4 x 125's first and last 25's (fly/back breast), middle 75 free on 2:05
400 pull
400 - 4 x 100's free strong on 1:35
300 pull
300 - 4 x 75's free strong on 1:15
200 pull
200 - 4 x 50's stroke on :50
100 free
100 - 4 x 25's IM order on :30

1000 - 8 x 125's first and last 25's kick, middle 75 free on 2:10

Then I did my own thing since it was over:

2000 pull
500 kick with fins
1000 finger paddles
1000 no equipment free
500 PT paddles

10,300 yards total in 3:05  

Felt very rested and energized.  Had no fatigue or soreness to deal with so I was pumped when I got out.

Yesterday afternoon I had someone email me about using a picture of me for an open water project.  Here's the email:

"i am doing a project on open water swimming and how wet suits help or how some prefer not to wear wet suits but traditional speedos but its hard to get photos that are of normal guys and not models.  may i use some of your photos?"

I laughed out loud on that.  So she wants a fat guy in a speedo?  I'm her man!  I said yes, so you may just see my fat butt on some article.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Very misleading how sunny it was

This afternoon I met Goody and Jim out at the marina and while it was really sunny and the air temp was just under 50°, the water temp was still cold.  There was a blizzard the came less than two days ago, so I didn't expect it to be very warm, and it wasn't.  My thermometer read 44.9°F and Jim's read 46°F, so I'll go with 45°F.

I had determined that I would swim out and around the buoy at the marina opening before taking the temp, and while the temp made me nervous, I still went with that goal.  I was fine the whole way to the marina opening.  It actually felt good.  But on the way back after turning around at the buoy, my mind pulled a cramp and I started to not enjoy it.

That last 200 yards back to the dock sure takes forever!  It seems twice as long as it really is.  When I got to standing depth, I looked at my watch: 8:50.  So I stayed immersed for 10 more seconds to round it out at 9 minutes.  Goody and Jim swam out to the marina opening too.

Jim asked if it gets easier for us each time.  Goody said it was for him.  For me.  It's just as tough as the first day.  I really haven't gotten to the point where its easy and I still struggle like crazy at the end, and the recovery stage is still painful as hell.  But I still like it!

Total:  630 yards in 9 minutes

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Getting pre-fried

Yesterday on the way home I bought a one month pass to a tanning place.  I did this last year and it reaped huge benefits.  I did not get sunburned at all on any of my long swims last year because my skin tone was already dark, and could handle large amounts of ultraviolet light.  All I need is a good month of tanning about 3 times a week.  Come May I should be as brown as an Indian.  I'll still have to put on sunscreen, but it won't be as critical if it wears off in the water.

This morning on the way to the pool, I was really tempted to just go in to work and skip my swim.  Lately my work has been really stimulating and fun, but I tossed the lazy workaholic devil off my shoulder and went to the pool.  I'm so glad because today's workout was alot of fun.  Today's workout was thanks to Suzanne.

650 free (before masters) then joined SALT with....

600 warmup
1000 - 4 x 250's free desc 1-4 on 3:30
300 - 6 x 50's kick no fins
1950 - 3 sets of (150 drill, 8 x 25's swim, 100 free, 100 IM) rotate fly/back/breast
300 - 6 x 50's kick
800 - 4 x 200's pull on 2:40 desc 1-4
150 easy

Then did the workout all over again afterwards.  Felt great today.

10,250 yards total in 3:08

One more thing of note.  Including today's workout, I finally got over 3100 miles of logged swims.  That is the same as the furthest east to west distance of the continental US.   Now I can say I've swam all the way across the United States.  Whew!  I'm tired.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Celebrity email

Got an email this last weekend from Nick Adams, who is the President of the CS&PF.  He said he's been reading my blog for a while now and welcomed me into the family of the CS&PF members and wished me luck on my swim this summer.  Man, I was a bit star struck when I got that email.  I was borderline freaking out when I was telling Cathi about it.  I was like....
"It's like a movie buff getting an email from Brad Pitt.  Isn't that awesome?!"
This morning I was about 10 minutes late getting in, but still was able to get in what I wanted.  Randy did the workout today which was focused on stroke instead of distance, so I used my Swimsense to really keep track of my distance today.

Then joined Masters #2 for an additional 3050 yards.

Total yards: 10,000 in 3:10

I discovered a new English Channel Blog.  This one is a bit of a heads up about getting cold water acclimatized.  She admits to failing due to lack of preparation for prolonged cold water exposure.  I shared that info with Cathi and hope that she's aware that I'm going to need some serious long swims in sub 60 degree water coming up this late spring/early summer and then lots of trips to Bear Lake during the summer.  She agreed.  It's just to damn costly to fail.  From a financial point of view alone, I would be totally pissed if I didn't make it.  It's gotta be on this first go!  So that's why I'm totally overdoing it at this point in the fitness realm.  Once it gets reasonably cool, I'll be transitioning to strictly open water.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Surprising the kids with a trip to Layton Surf N' Swim

I put goggles on Oli and he was able
to count my fingers underwater.  He
loved that!
Since I was being Mr Mom this afternoon, I told the kids if they got busy on their homework and finished it, we could go swimming.  That sure did the trick.  They all buckled down and did their reading and math and we went to Surf N' Swim.

Oliver sure is a fish.  He loves going underwater with/without goggles.  I really need to work on him, as well as many of the others, as they are all very at home in the water.  Here's a couple pics of Oliver having a ball!

On the way home we got pizza and then got ready for bed.  What a fun evening it was!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Easy Saturday swim

This morning I slept until waking naturally (7:50am) which was so wonderful!  I swam this morning at Layton Surf N' Swim.  I did:

1000 free easy
1000 kick with fins
1000 - 5 x 200's on 2:50
1000 - 10 x 100's on 1:25
1000 - 10 x 50's odd easy, even fast on 1:25, 10 x 50's odd one arm drill, even both arms still drill
The drill on the last 500 was with finger paddles.  Focus on bent elbow and pulling with the back of my elbow rather than a straight arm pull. 

5,000 yards total in 1:40

Felt great to sleep in, get in an easy swim.  Now for a relaxing weekend with the family and hit it hard on Monday.

Friday, March 2, 2012

CS&PF Membership complete

Got the following email for the King of the Channel, Kevin Murphy last night:

Hi Gordon

Many thanks for your credit card payment to cover CS&PF membership and registration for your Channel swim. I will take £260 + 3% to cover credit card charges.

Your membership details are attached. Your swim number will be 2012/31S

Many thanks also for your medical, completed okay,  and  for confirmation of your six hour swim in a water temperature under 60F.

Your registration is complete and I will copy in your pilot so he knows you are good to go.

I very much appreciate your consideration in getting all the paperwork to me in one go which helps reduce the workload.

I hope to see you when you are in Dover and look forward to your success.


Kevin Murphy
(CS&PF Hon Sec)
What a nice way to end the day!  Now all I have to do now is continue my training, and cold water exposure and show up!  No more paperwork, financial concerns (all money for this trip is secured in a savings account), or transportaion/hotel reservations.  I'm all ready to go at this point.  Awesome!

This morning I was in the pool at 0515 and did my normal 1000 free before starting the masters workout with SALT:

600 warmup
600 - 8 x 75's, (kick, free drill, kick) (free drill, kick, free drill) and so on (no rest)
450 - 3 x 150's free/fly/free by 50 no rest
800 - 4 x 200's free/back/free/breast/free no rest
There was a FAST girl who was in the lane with me and Will.  She went first and was killing it! She almost lapped me on these 200's so on the third set I did all free just to catch up to my 10 sec back position.
600 - 12 x 50's kick/swimm by 25 on :50 (only got like 2-3 sec rest)
1000 - 400 pull, 300 pull, 200 pull, 100 pull
I went second on these, and by the time I got 300 yards into the first set, I passed up the fast girl, and then stayed in first position the rest of the way.  I love pulling.  Plus I have monster paddles so I can't take all the credit.  They're huge.
 300 easy warmdown

5,350 yards total in 1:35

Only one more day of taking it easy, and then I'm back to normal on Monday.  

I really need to come up with a goal or theme for March.  So far this winter I've always been working towards a short term goal, but now I've hit them all and and need to come up with something or I'll lose interest fast.  Pondering on this area has given me a change to think about a troubling issue in our neighborhood this week:

Two teenagers at my son's highschool killed themselves within a couple days.  Everyone in the area is freaking out.  A bunch of church and community get togethers have been cancelled, and they're putting together a big meeting this Sunday to discuss the topic of suicide.

I got to thinking this morning.  I wonder how many of these people who kill themselves are habitual goal setters/achievers?  I mean one of the main things that makes me get out of bed in the mornings and prevents my daily life from becoming so mundane and boring, is the fact that I have short/medium/long term goals that I'm shooting for.  If I didn't have those I think I would get caught up in all the negativity and almost pointless activities of my everyday life.  I wonder if getting into the habit of these goal setting/achieving cycles would reduce the likelihood of committing suicide?  Well unless your long term goal is to jump in front of the Frontrunner train.

We've talked with the kids about the options that are present when life sucks and things go bad.  I think they're aware of the seriousness of it, and we'll need to help the kids realize the importance of having something exciting in your life that makes you see things with a "cup half full" attitude.  When you're young and have so much to live for, you really have to be out of your mind to do something so drastic and hurtful to everyone around you.    Besides, being a believer in life after death, I don't believe suicide is quite the ultimate peace or escape that these folks are hoping for.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Finally got a winter storm while doing polar bear swim

This has been one of the wimpiest winters that I can remember.  For the first time this year we actually got a small winter storm while doing our swim. The power was out at the marina, so the bathroom door was locked.  I did a quick change in my car and got ready.

Jim and I swimming "the lap" out to the marina opening
and back. in 42°F.
Jim called on my cell and asked about the storm.  I could see some serious precipitous clouds about 2-3 miles north of the marina and it was heading in.  We would have to hurry if we didn't want to get dumped on.  When he pulled up I was ready to go and it just started to snow a little.  The air temp was in the upper 20s and Jim took a water temp with his digital thermometer and it read 42°F (5.5°C).  My goal for this swim, was not about distance or time in the water, but about mentality while in the water.  I wanted to make sure I was in complete control of my breathing and did give in to any type of biological urge to push my swim faster.  I was to focus on slowing down my breathing, and my stroke and get a decent DPS while swimming.

I hesitated a little getting down to my suit, but once I did that, Jim was already in the water.  He's such a pro at this now.  I got in right behind him and swam directly to the opening of the marina.  This is also the second time on the "flip side" of the season that I have not worn my neoprene cap.  To be honest, I couldn't tell that much of a difference.  When I got out to the opening I looked out briefly into the vastness of the interior of the lake.  The storm clouds looked very dense and intense.  I turned around and headed back.  I got freaked out a little cause I saw Jim off to my right heading towards the marina opening.  I didn't expect him to be there and I wondered if I should hang out with him or keep going.  I stopped and "sat down" in the water watching him make his way to the turn around point.  Then I thought, "I really need to keep moving", so I turned back around and headed into the ramp.
Fun to swim in the small winter storm.

When I got back and started walking out I looked at my watch:  5 minutes exactly.  About right.  Felt good about the swim and how I was able to slow things down and not get so wrapped up in how cold I was.

It's a shame we have to wait until March to get a storm at the same time that we do a swim.  Hopefully we get alot more snow and it doesn't start to warm up just yet.

Total Distance: 350 yards in 42°F (5 minutes)