Monday, April 30, 2012

200 miles in GSL

After Saturday's swim in the GSL, I passed the 200 mile mark in that body of water.  Also hit the 500 mile mark in open water.   A couple nice little milestones.  But it makes me realize I'm still a newbie.   500 miles is only about 6 months of solid swimming, and only 15% of my total logged distance.  That number shows I'm still swimming a huge majority of the time in the pool.  However I didn't start swimming open water until 4 years ago, and my logged total includes many more years than that.

This morning I did 400 yards before Masters:

600 Warmup
900 - 12 x 75's drill swim/stroke by 25 on 1:10
600 - 12 x 50's kick (fins on :55)
1400 - 7 x 200's rolling free/stroke (175 free, 25 stroke, 150 free, 50 stroke, 125 free, 75 stroke....) on 2:50
1250 - 10 x 125's alt fast/easy by 25 on 1:50

Did my own thing after:
1000 kick with fins
2000 pull
2000 finger paddles
100 free strong
100 grandpa

10,350 yards total in 3:08

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dad/Daughter time

Lucy and I at the boat ramp getting ready to go.  
Today at Noon Lucy and I embarked for an adventure on the GSL, Antelope Island style.  We got to the marina and there was only a couple thin white clouds.  Lots of sunshine and a very slight breeze from the west.

Taking a picture with an Ipod touch in the middle of the lake.
I would never attempt this in any other body of water.
You don't need to tread, just hold still and you can keep your
hands above water.  I'm not standing up here.
We went west from the Marina and took a wide course around Egg island.  From there we went south straight to Buffalo Point.  When the GPS read 3 miles we turned around and came back.  The water temp was a little chilly (63°F), but bearable.  We turned around and came back the way we came.  Lucy got really eager to get back and took a more direct route to the Marina, too close to Egg Island.  Seagulls were getting nervous and did many close circles around her.  I continued to do the wider course.  She slowed up a bit and when I caught up she was talking to Mom on the Cell phone.

With only about 15 minutes before arriving back, she was informed that Cathi had hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and would be ready to eat as soon as we got home.  That got me kicking my feet and we hurried and loaded up the kayak and made our way home.

What an awesome day.  The water was like glass for most of the swim and I had greased up enough to not have any trouble spots.  Lucy did a great job paddling too and I never had to worry about her.  She obviously wasn't worried about me the last 1/4 of the swim as she was ahead of me by about 100 yards.  Call me strange.  I'm the type of guy who likes to feel sore after a workout.  I'm also the type to like it when my tongue goes numb and pickled.  Meant I had an awesome long swim in the lake.

Total distance 5.90 miles in 2:59

Friday, April 27, 2012

Another morning of rushing to get to the pool in time

Woke again at 4:20 when I should have been out the door so I was lucky to get there just in time for masters:

600 free warmup
800 - 8 x 100's - 25 kick, 50 DPS, 25 kick
400 - 4 x 100s - 25 fly, 75 free/ 25 back, 75 free/ 25 breast, 75 free, 100 free all on 1:30
800 - 4 x 200's same as above except double
400 - 4 x 100s - 25 fly, 75 free/ 25 back, 75 free/ 25 breast, 75 free, 100 free all on 1:30
750 - 10 x 75's breath 3,4,5 by 25 on 1:10
500 - 20 x 25's fly on :30
Only Kyle and Randy today and two high school girls that kicked butt in Kyle's lane.  Me and Randy were in a lane and today's workout was rather easy compared to most days.  Still very good workout and I liked not being overwhelmingly behind.

Then did my own thing
2000 pull
2000 finger paddles
800 kick with fins
200 back
1000 - 5 x 100's free on 1:30, 500 PT paddles
100 free strong

10,350 yards total in 3:10

Enjoyed thinking about the EC during the last half hour of today's swim. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Man vs. Nature

This afternoon I picked up Michelle Yan at her workplace at 4:30 and we drove out to the Marina.  The wind was coming from the Southwest pretty strong.   I called Goody earlier to inform him that we'd be late and to just go ahead and we'd probably see him there.  We went down the rocky path to Silversands beach and got in from there.  I started my GPS and we swam towards Saltair for a couple minutes then headed northwest towards the red buoy that's about a 1/2 mile north of the marina.

The swells were awesome.  I was smiling and having a great time.  This was Michelle's first swim out there and it was very dramatic.  I was hoping she was enjoying it.  I made an attempt to stay close enough to be reassuring to her in case she was struggling.  I wasn't sure if this crazy lake condition was something she was comfortable with or not.

We got to the buoy and then went west to the green buoy then headed south to the marina opening.  I saw Jim way off at the end of the rocks at the opening and he snapped a shot or two.  At this time we met up with Goody and Chad and we swam east again to Silversands beach and got out.

I was fine with this distance because my mouth was still pretty raw from Tuesday.  I'll do a good swim this Saturday.
Total Distance: 1.25 miles in 58 minutes

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Swimming with Brandon Slaugh

This morning I woke up and looked at my watch.  4:20!  That's the time I need to be out the door, so I hustled and got to the pool just in time to start with everyone else.  Here's what we did:

When I got in Brandon Slaugh, current record holder for the Gridley Straight was in the lane.  I asked him about swimming it again this year and defend his title.  He politely declined.  I guess his experience with the salt last year was pretty traumatic for him.

Anyway, I shared a lane with him and we did the following:

600 warmup
400 - 8 x 50's kick with fins on :55
1600 - 4 x 400's free (1st one no stop, 2nd one broken into 2x200's :20ri, 3rd - 4 x 100's :10ri, 4th - 8 x 50's :5ri)
900 - 3 x 300's free finger paddles same pattern as above
400 - 2 x 200's free finger paddles same pattern
800 - 4 x 200 IMs pull on 3:00
400 - 4 x 100 IMs pull on 1:30
600 cooldown

Then did my own thing:
1000 kick with fins
2000 pull
2000 finger paddles
300 grandpa swimming

10,400 yards total in 3:10

I just realized that time is quickly coming to pass and there I often ponder on the many cases of "Next time...".

For instance:
Next time I watch conference, I will have swam the English Channel.
Next time I go to the dentist, I will have swam the English Channel.
By the time this box of cereal's best by date is reached, I will have swam the English Channel

Pretty exciting to think about.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's warm now

This afternoon I met Goody and Josh at the marina.  Just as we were getting in a new guy named Bryan was getting on his wetsuit.  I asked him if he wanted to join us and he said that he just wanted to stretch out his shoulder and wanted to do an easy swim.

Josh, Goody and I went from the boat ramp to the red marina opening buoy and then out to Black rock and back (aka Gridley Straight).  I took the water temp just outside the marina opening after the first lap and it read 67°F!  

I didn't swim this morning and was planning on spending a good two hours out in the GSL, so I did one more Gridley Straight.  Then instead of going back in through the marina, I went around the marina and got out at Silver Sands Beach.

Total distance on GPS: 4.3 miles in 2:10

My feet aren't used to those sharp rocks so it was a slow tender journey of 30 yards up the path to the parking lot.  I also need to do better about taking my bag inside during the day.  Leaving it out in my car totally melts my channel grease to a thin oil.  Makes it hard to layer it up on my shoulders, so might right shoulder was a little tender afterwards.

Looking forward to Thursday's swim out there again.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Not slacking, just had a life changer

So last week I only swam once.  Monday afternoon was a life changer.  Here's the details of why.  Events like that make you look at your kids a little deeper and with gentler eyes.

This morning I was in the SLSC pool at 5:15 and did:
1000 free then joined masters:

600 warmup
3600 - ( 2 x 25's first one free, second one stroke, 2 x 50's same thing, 2 x 75's.... 2 x 200's, then back down)
500 - 10 x 50's hypoxic breathing

Then did:

1000 kick with fins
2000 pull
2000 finger paddles
300 easy
11,000 yards total in 3:10

Looking forward to a long swim in GSL tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dumb and Dumber

This weekend has been nuts.  I spent the weekend babying a very sick child while Cathi took Jonas and Lucy out of town to a marathon.  She did good, she took first place for the women (out of 3 women).  :)

Anyway I was helping Austin and Jacob setup this new basketball standard.  We had to lift this pole (with the backboard and rim attached to the end, into another pole that we had cemented into the ground.  It was heavy and awkward to work with since the weight was unbalanced.  We managed to get it lifted up 2 feet and as we lowered it into the other pole, my leg was too close to the pole and it got pinched pretty good.  I was wearing jeans thank goodness, but I realized that I still had done some damage.  When I went in afterward and looked at it.  I had a 1 inch by 1/2 inch section of my leg where the skin was gone, and a 3x3inch bruise.  Pretty gross looking.

Then on Sunday I was wrestling in the front room with Jacob for fun.  He's about half my weight, but much more skilled at wrestling moves.  He almost had me pinned and was using his holds to try to maintain it.  I couldn't let my 14 year old beat me so I busted out of it, but I exerted myself a little much and felt like I broke a rib.  It's very tender and can feel it when I breathe deep.

Two dumb moves.  And I spent Sunday early morning with a sick kid at the emergency room.  He's not doing well at all.  They're thinking he has pnemonia.  So this morning's swim was far from relaxing.  Kyle had us doing a set of 300's that was killing me.  I wasn't able to keep up at all and was getting lapped by Dennis Tesch.  I tried going to a different lane, but they were just as fast.  I pretty much sucked today.  I couldn't catch my breath and the pool felt like it was in the 90's.  I called it after halfway through the entire workout.  Here's what I did:

500 free before masters
600 warm up
900 - 12 x 75's kick/drill/swim
900 - 3 x 300's finger paddles on 4:00
300 - tried to keep going on these sets, but only got through 300 more, then choked.

Got out.  Lame
3,200 yards total

Friday, April 13, 2012

Warm 10,000

This morning I went to Steiner and was a little late getting in.  But managed to get 500 yards before joining masters:

600 free
800 - 4 x 200's IM drill
2150 - 25 fly, 2 x 50's bk, 3 x 75 br, 4 x 100 free, 5 x 125's IM, 4 x 100's IM, 3 x 75's free, 2 x 50's back, 1 x 25 back
750 - 10 x 75's pull on 1:00
200 kick
Then did my own thing:

2000 pull
2000 finger paddles
500 - 5 x 100's free on 1:30
200 kick
500 - 5 x 100's free on 1:30

10,200 yards in 3:00  The pool was warm.  Probably 84.  I don't have my watch that takes temp when I swim in the pool cause I use my swimsense or I'd have an accurate temp to report.

I also read this article yesterday, which is kind of embarrassing, because I'm definitely not a "marathon swimming star".  Don't get me wrong I love open water swimming, but I'm not qualified to be listed in the same sentence with Jen Schumacher and Evan Morrison.  They're way out of my league.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's just a pretzel

Met Chad at the GSL Marina and we did the same route as two weeks ago.  Except we didn't swim all the way in to Silver Sands.  We went to where the white buoy was supposed to be, but then cut back in and went to the marina.

Today's swim felt like swimming at Surf N' Swim with the waves on.  It was very wavy.  I ended up getting water in my mouth and down my throat faster than I could gag and that happened twice.  Nasty!  I kept saying, it's just a pretzel, to help it taste a little better.

The water felt much colder than last time.  I took a reading with my watch 15 minutes into the swim.  54.4°F.  Brrr.  My goggles also kept fogging up and no matter how much I stopped to spit in them they never went clear.  The even started leaking.  So time for a new pair.  Nothings more frustrating that trying to swim in the GSL with foggy or leaky goggles.

Total distance according to GPS: 1.8 miles in 1:08 ( did quite a bit of breaststroke thanks to the crappy goggles)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A shot of relief

Ever since my surgery last October I've been struggling with the annoying pain in my left shoulder.  And ever since the swim meet in February and all those yards I put in it wasn't really getting better.  In March I pulled back my yardage quite a bit.  Still no complete recovery.  So I broke down and went to see Dr. Richards again.  He suggested two options:

  1.  A Blood platelet infusion (or something like that) which he said was like stem cells where it would stimulate growth in the tendon, but would include a 3 week recovery with no swimming.
  2. Another cortisone shot.  This option for me in the past only lasts a few months.  Hopefully long enough to last through the first half of August.  
I opted for the cortisone shot.  I'm too close to August to be out of the water that long.  

This morning when I woke up it was very very tender as expected.  I didn't plan to swim this morning, but I knew I'd be able to at least get in tonight and perhaps do a little breaststroke.  By the time this afternoon came around the tenderness was almost completely gone.

I met Josh, and Chad at the marina and we did one mile loops just outside the marina.  There are four buoys that we wrapped around.  At the corner of each buoy we waited to regroup and then take off again.  After last week, I'm a little more mindful of staying relatively close to each other.  Otherwise we might as well be swimming on our own. 

The water temp was 60 degrees!  There was only a slight ripple in the water and it felt great!  There were some places where the water actually felt warm.  It was so fun!  I often thought to myself, "This is about how cold the channel will be in August".  I was so excited!  I was REALLY tempted to go for a third lap, but I had to get home, plus I didn't want to push my shoulder too soon after the shot.  

Looking forward to Thursday afternoon to swim at the marina again!

Total Distance: 2.00 easy pace miles according to GPS in 1:10.

Getting bullied out of the pool

Watch this video!  

This is not very dissimilar from a bully who's getting away with pissing in the pool and kicking everyone out of the pool.  Pool Management needs to hear your voice, otherwise life is gonna suck for the GSL pretty soon.

Please send an email RIGHT NOW to: 
  • Jason Gipson, Project Manager of US Army Corps of Engineers (Reference SPK-2007-00121)  Email:   Please let him know your thoughts on the proposed expansion and why you feel it shouldn't be allowed.  
  • Laura Vernon -
Without enough voices the entire west side of the Great Salt Lake is open game for any big corporation who wants to have their way with the lake.  Please help!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Don't forget your boots

I was 10 minutes on my way to the pool when I realized I forgot to get my boots and I can't go to work without shoes, so I had to turn around and go home to get them.  Which made me a little later than normal to the pool.  Only got in 700 yards before masters.  Then joined them with:

600 free warm up
4000 - 4 x (400, 300, 200, 100) alternating free/stroke/drill and kick

then did my own thing:

2000 pull
2000 finger paddles
500 free
300 PT paddles

10,100 yards total in 2:55

Swam with Dennis Tesch for the first half of the masters workout, then he got out and I was on my own with Mory, Kyle and Randy in the next lane, with Gary in the other.  Noticed they've got folks cleaning the outdoor 50M pool.  Can't wait to get out there.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Swimming into the waves

This morning I helped do a huge egg hunt for our family.  It was fun.  Then we went to Surf N' Swim for Jonas' 10th Bday party.  Lots of fun.  Then got the thumbs up from Cathi to head out to GSL Marina.  Met up with Chad Starks.  The water was quite a bit colder than Thursday.  I could tell getting in that it was less than 55.

I had to Spot GPS, but instead of pushing it in my SSD snugly put right side up, I put it in my watertight container.  So it was jostled about.  It needs to be right side up in order to track.  So either it flopped over, or I totally messed up and didn't hit the track button properly, or hit it twice.  Anyway,  Chad had his own GPS tracking gadget on the back of his goggles, so I'm gonna go off of his stats.

We got out of the marina and decided to swim into the waves heading north.  The wind was causing the waves to come in pretty good.  It was alot of fun and good Channel practice.  Went north for 31 minutes, then headed north east to a pair of red/green buoys we saw.  We stopped and I took a temp with my watch:  54°F!  It felt about that cold.  But at the same time we both were doing well.

Kind of looks like the Toronto Blue Jays Logo
We went south towards Silversands beach.  When we got there, we both were feeling fine and the elapsed time was 56 minutes.  So we decided to swim back to the marina opening and head back to the boat ramp.

When I got inside the marina I really poured it on and got the boat ramp.  Saw Chad back a bit and I still wanted more so I swam back out to him and then back in with him.

When I got out my watch said 1:09.  His GPS stats said 1:96, but I'm gonna throw on an additional .04 for that little extra I did at the end.  We chatted a little and I got to know him a little bit.  He has a very impressive swimming history.  He was very eager when I told him I'd that I plan on coming out at least three times a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

2.00 miles in 1:09

Not the longest Saturday swim, but given the nice cool temp, I'm got my hour in and that was what I wanted.  I've focused on distance all winter, now it's about consistent cold water exposure.  I can pick up the distance as the water warms up a little too.

Oh yeah,  I made breakfast in bed for my kayakers this morning.  I made pancakes and eggs for Austin, Jacob and Lucy.  Plus I took Lucy out on a date last night.  We saw Redemption.  It was great.  I love that movie.  Considering all the crappy movies out there that are playing right now, it sure is nice to see one that teaches a lesson rather than is just a bunch of fancy visual effects and just a bunch of violence.  Anyway, I'm so grateful for my support boat kids and hope they can continue to provide the wonderful support!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


This evening I met Josh, Goody and Chad out at the marina.  We met a couple at the marina visiting from Norway.  Their hostess told them "Nobody swims in the Great Salt Lake."  We proved her wrong.  They stayed and watched us all get lubed up and headed out of the marina.  We all went out to Black rock.  The water felt great.  It was a little choppy out there, but mostly swells.  On the way to black rock I was having fun getting rocked about by the water.  I enjoyed it cause Josh was to my left the whole time and we were going at the exact same pace and it was comforting to have him there.  

I know it's completely unreasonable but when I'm on my own, I sometimes wonder if the only reason why nobody has discovered some prehistoric underwater monster in the Great Salt Lake is that nobody has spent much time swimming in the water.  And that it would be just my luck to have this scientific wonder eat me, and have it named after me cause my death resulted in its discovery.  Anyway, when my buddies swim with me I don't have any of those goofy thoughts. 

When we got to Black rock I broke it open and got my drink and waited for Chad and Goody to arrive and I gave Goody his drink which I was stowing in my SSD.  I was a little chilled and was shivering a little when they got there.  I was eager to get on my way so I could reheat myself.  I took a temp reading with my watch and it read 57.6­°F.

On the way back I looked back and the three of my swimming friends were hanging out about 70 yards back.  I was a little cold and thinking should I keep going or wait up?  Then I saw them all get to it and started swimming together in a row.  I figured they were doing a drill where they would swim in line or something so I joined in the line once they got  close.  Josh and myself within a couple minutes pulled ahead again and then I Josh stopped briefly.  Goody yelled out "Stay with Josh, right next to him!"  I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I swam right next to Josh for a good while.  Then around 250 yards from the marina opening Josh started doing breaststroke.  

Anyway the prolonged cold water exposure had gotten to him and we had to work together as a team to ensure that we all had a safe swim.  It all ended well and I learned a valuable lesson.  Hypothermia can happen to the best of us and nobody is immune from it.  Doing polar plunges is one thing, you're in, and you're out.  But spending an hour or more in water that is in the 50's can be even more dangerous.  Your body core cools down to potentially dangerous levels, whereas with polar plunges you're not in the water long enough to really make a huge difference to your core body temp.  Your hands go numb, but with water in the 50's your fingers and hands are fine and it's misleading cause your core is where the problem is, not your hands.  Here is Josh's thoughts on today's swim.  

I was really impressed with how Chad took charge of the situation and asked me to sprint ahead and get a car warmed up and get a dry towel taken to the marina opening for Josh when they get there.  Goody and Chad stayed with Josh and ensured that he made it safely to dry ground.  He got warmed up and all is well.  Until the water gets above 60 it really is wise to stick together.  

Chad is an EMT so he didn't mess around in identifying the symptoms of hypothermia and took the whole thing seriously.  We were very lucky to have him there.  I'm excited cause Chad is wanting to go out again on Saturday and it's always nice to increase the size of the group of regular open water swimmers who want to swim together!  Cause there is truly safety in numbers.

Josh and I pooled our money and bought a SPOT GPS which will come in handy throughout the many years of our adventures.  He took it in his SSD and it tracked our swim.  

Also, this week is Yacker week.  Open Water swimmers really need to "show the love" for their support crew and this year Lucy definitely takes that role.  Although I'm sure Jacob and Austin still have many more opportunities in the future, Lucy is the one who is showing great interest in helping me out with support.  So tomorrow I'm taking her on a date.  Just me and Lucy going to see "Redemption".  It's a great film and one that I'm especially passionate about.  

Total for today:  2.2 miles in 1:14 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Short in numbers

Today it was just Mory, Will, myself, Andrea and Suzanne (who came up with the workout).

Did 1200 yards free before SALT started:

600 warmup
400 - 8 x 50's drill on :50
1500 - 10 x 150's - 50 build, 50 stroke, 50 DPS on 3:30 (rest intervals were a little too long - got :20-:30 depending on stroke on middle 50.)
900 - 12 x 75's pull 4 x 3 x (1:05, 1:00, :55)
400 - 8 x 50's kick with fins
750 - 10 x 75's - 25 build, 25 stroke, 25 DPS on 1:15 (should have done these on 1:10)
400 - 8 x 50's finger paddles 4 x 3 x (:45, :40, :35)
300 easy

Then did my own thing:

2000 pull
500 finger paddles
500 PT paddles
500 free no equip
500 kick with fins

10,450 yards total in 3:10
Felt so good today.  I was able to keep up with Will and Mory on the pulling sets.  But as soon as we do stroke, I'm toast.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Very sunny GSL swim

Today's weather was fantastic!  There was only a slight breeze and the GSL had very minor wave action going on.  The water temp was 58°F according to my watch, and the sun was out in full force so the Gridley Straight was much more enjoyable this time around.

I felt relaxed and warm enough to really enjoy it. On the way back I took a route further out from shore so that when I got back I had to swim south just to get to the red buoy just outside the marina opening.  My GPS batteries had died during my swim, but a conservative estimate for today's swim  was roughly 2.3 miles.

There were pockets of colder water and water that was probably just under 60.  I also held a very easy pace and was able to focus on my Distance Per Stroke rather than flailing my arms like mad just to stay warm.  It was really nice.  Looking forward to Thursday.

Total Distnace: 2.3 miles in 1:03
Daily total: Over 10,000 yards in 2:48

I lubed up real good so the only thing that was bothered were the inside of my lips.  Should be fine by Thursday.  


Today Randy came up with the workout and it involved ALOT of IM and stroke work.  I was having a hard time keeping up with Mory and Will so I cheated a bunch and did free when I should have done breast or back just so I could catch up enough to not get lapped!  I know some people are annoyed by cheaters.  Well I'm annoyed by fast people.  (Not really)  I could really care less about IM work.  But I'll play along a little.

Did 1400 yards before swimming with them then did:

600 - 100 free, 50 kick, 100 back, 50 kick, 100 breast, 50 kick, 100 catch and pull free, 50 kick
400 - 4 x 100's IM
3600 - 4 x 900's doing this:
1 - 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200
2 - 200, 175, 150, 125, 100, 75, 50, 25 
3 - 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200
4 - 200, 175, 150, 125, 100, 75, 50, 25 
Wacky rest intervals (none of which I benefited anyway since I was struggling just to keep up)

 6,000 yards total in 1:45

Shoulder achy, left at 7am since I'm planning a GSL swim this afternoon!  Can't wait.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sand Hollow Reservoir

Cathi had a marathon yesterday morning and in between one of our moment of cheering for her, I took the kids and let them play on the beach while I did a few laps between the beach and a buoy out away from shore.

Lucy wanted to go out and swim too.  I was surprised that the water temp was 58-59°F.  I didn't feel good about leaving the kids on the beach for a prolonged period of time so I picked a buoy that was out from the beach about 300 yards and just did laps.  The first lap took 21 minutes as I went out with Lucy.  She did breaststroke for about 80% of it as the water on her face made her feel cold.

After that first lap I did three more laps and did approximately 2500 yards.  Then after the marathon did 1000 yards in the community pool at the resort we were staying at.  Not the best swim weekend, but lots of fun with the family!

It hasn't been all fun and games though.  During Lucy's swim, the strangest thing happened!  She was attacked.  See below to see what I'm talking about:

Total distance @ 3500 yards in 1:10