Monday, May 28, 2012

Another English Channel Qualifier

Goody and I set out for our swim.
This morning I woke up naturally at 4:30am because I was excited for today's swim!  The plan was to meet Goody out at Pineview at 6:15am and do a long swim today.  I got all greased up ready to go and we got in just as the sun was coming up.  The was mist coming off the water.  There was no wind and it was a beautiful day!  The water felt cold, but I didn't take a temp reading because my watch thermometer takes a while to get an accurate reading.  Our plan was to do several laps of out to the Dam buoys and back.  I decided to wear a cap this time for a minimal amount of protection from the cold.

The mist was awesome!  Photo simply doesn't do the moment
Halfway to the buoys on the first lap I figured I had been in the water long enough to get an accurate reading on my watch.  It read 57.2°.  I took another reading on the way back and it was 57 again.  I broke the news to Goody hoping it wouldn't deter him.  And it didn't he continued to swim strong and in good spirits.  At the end of each lap I waited in the water while Goody got a refill on his bottle which I would stow for the turnaround point at the dam buoys.  We got back to another lap and the mist was gone, but the water was still cold.

I took another reading: 57 again.  I was smiling underwater because I didn't feel overly cool.  I was comfortable and felt like I could go on at this temp for hours.

Temp readings during the third lap averaged 58 degrees.  Still we swam strong and the sun was starting to make a difference.  No boats had appeared yet which was awesome.  There was a slight pickup of wind, but it was very minor and was just a easterly ripple coming from Ogden Canyon.  Not a big deal.

During the fourth lap the average reading was 59 degrees.  Goody wanted to try something on the last half of the fourth lap.  He had me stow his SSD behind my Swimming Buddy board.  He gave me a mission to just stay 10 feet off to his left with me staying at his hip.  This was practice for me pacing during Catalina.  This was difficult for a couple reasons:

1) I felt obligated to look off to my right more often than I would have.  I bilateral breathe and when I am forced to just do one side I can feel a slight strain.  Nothing major, it just feels goofy.

2) I had to remember to stay at the designated pace.

3) I had to sneeze once and when I did it, my scrunched up face allowed water in my goggles.  I had to stop real quick to drain it out and resume.  He noticed and stopped.  I sure hope he doesn't do that in Catalina.  If I happen to get water in my goggles while pacing, he should forget me.  I'm the one there trying to keep him on task and if he ends up stopping, to see why I'm not right there next to him, I would feel guilty for making him waste energy.

Almost done.  Last "Zag" before heading in to the finish.
After that fourth lap, Goody had some family obligations to attend to.  At that point it was 7.54 miles and time was: 4:50.  Average temp at that point was: 57.75°F.  Awesome swim!

I took off my cap at this point.  My last reading read just over 60° and that temp isn't really cold anymore.  I stowed the cap in my waterproof container, said Goodbye to my partner, and went for one more.  I realized that each lap was well under 2 miles per lap, so on the last lap I did lots of "zig zags" across to one side and to the other.  The boats were out and about now and I wasn't about to risk going out of the no wake zone just to get some extra distance.  The wind had picked up a little, but still not a big deal.  On the fifth lap, including all the zig zags, my total came to 10.1 miles and in 6:30.  The temp on that last lap averaged 61°.

GPS said 10.1 miles once I stood up to get out.  But I forgot to
stop it after that, so the route shows my drive home.  Kind of
looks like my kid got a hold of the map and scribbled on it,
with the fifth "zig zag" lap.
Total Distance: 10.1 miles in 6:30 (including all the breaks) at average temp of 58.4°F.  That's considered an English Channel qualifier.  Except I did stand up a few times waiting for Goody to get refills and also held onto the board a few times while he got feeds at the dam buoy.  But as far as time in the water, it meets the 6 hour minimum and we were in water well under 61 degrees for most of the swim.   Shoulder blades got stiff at the end, but I felt like I could have kept on going and wasn't going to push it.  Josh and I are planning to do the Antelope to Black Rock swim this Saturday as a preview of what to expect next weekend.  Josh hasn't done it before and this is his chance to do it since being a Race Director kind of prevents us from doing it as well.

Another milestone was reached with this morning's swim:  Over 500 miles swam for 2012.  Well ahead of goal pace.

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