Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bear Lake triangle

Last night I spent the night at the cabin and woke up early to get to Bear Lake for my weekend swim.  I got there and as I pulled into the parking lot, realized that a triathlon was going on.  Just as I got into my suit and to the waters edge I saw the triathlon swim portion was beginning further down the beach.  I was on the very western end of the beach and didn't have any conflicts with the event.  It worked out great.

The water was smooth as glass and it no cloud in the sky.  Today was going to be a fantastic day!  I got in at 8 am sharp.  I swam north for two hours, taking a quick feed with my Swimmer Buddy Board every 30 minutes.  Then I swam southeast to the other side.  During this portion it felt like there was a current although I'm not sure which way it was going.  But the water felt like it was moving.  I felt strong and was doing great on my strokes.  When I hit 4 hours (noon), I then did the last side of the triangle, heading southwest.  

During this portion the water definitely got choppy, and it went from practically no boats nearby, to a bunch and with full throttle dumbass jetskiers.  I was getting annoyed at how crowded it was getting.  One time I breathed to the side and a jetskier was going full throttle about 25 yards from me.  That is just too close!  From that point on I swam every 25 yards and then sighted around me to see if I was safe.  My board was providing plenty of visibility, but some people on the water simply have no respect and it's all about speed for them.  

After my swim, I used the State Park's facility to shower.  I had a long drive home and didn't want to wait. So I pushed the button to turn on the shower about a hundred times and used Lynn Kubasek's awesome soap.  The drive home was great with the sun shining, and having just swam over 10 miles.  I stopped at the Logan Poco Loco for a new pair of clear goggles for the EC swim.

When I finished I couldn't believe how many people were on the beach!  When I left there was nobody, except for the triathloners, much further down.  

Total time swimming: 5:23:10.  Distance: 10.5 miles water temp started at 62.8°F and when I got out it was 66.4°F

When I got home I helped Cathi out.  She is sick as a dog.  I was hesitant to leave, but she let me go to dinner with Goody and Josh and their wives.

It was my privilege to join these guys in California this last Monday.  I learned a ton and was able to witness a fantastic athletic achievement!

I also finished Goody's video this evening.

The music in the video is what Goody chose.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Interview with Jessica Miller

This morning I drove up to Pineview and was in the water at 5:45am.  I picked up the pace a little this morning and focused on a faster spm.  Did a first big Dam loop (2.5 miles) in 1:17. Met with Jessica Miller, a reporter for the SL Tribune.  Goody was already there talking with her and we both answered her questions.  Afterwards Goody and I did some posing and some light swimming for her to take some pics.

Last night I put a big blown up poster of this image in Goody's front window
of his house hoping he would see it when he got home, but apparently
I didn't get his arrival time noted properly and he was already home in bed.
But he saw it this morning when he got back home from his swim,
and I think it made his day.  Mission accomplished!
The July 5th Salt Lake Tribune paper (Davis County edition), will have our interview in their "Closeup" section.  Afterwards I went for another dam route, at least as far as I had time for.  I had to meet Cathi at 8:45 in Layton, so I had a time constraint today.  This week is definitely sub-par to my normal and I need to step up the next couple days to make up for it.

On my way out of the parking lot, some guy waved me down who was coming from the beach up to the parking lot.  He asked, "Did you see anyone pick up a towel and some shoes on the shoreline?"  The towel's no big deal, but the shoes had some sentimental value.  Really?  This was a man I was looking at, but I was starting to wonder.  The walk from the beach to the parking lot is about 80 yards.  I don't even bother with shoes or a towel.  I just leave them in the car.  But still, it's lame that someone would take stuff off the beach.  Most likely it was taken out of ignorance rather than greed.

This morning the weather was nice, and the water temp I recorded was 67°F.  Definitely not "cool".  I'm looking forward to a long swim at Bear Lake this Saturday.

GPS logged total distance: 3.7 miles in 1:53:10

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Swimming on crack

No I haven't take up illegal substances.

This morning I was was swimming at Steiner, when I was breathing to the right and noticed that the dude in the lane right next to me, had a major wardrobe malfunction on the back of his jammer.  It wasn't just a tiny hole.  He had a rip from the very bottom of his jammer up along the very back of his jammer to the top.  His full crack was exposed.  He was doing some serious laps and doing flip turn after flip turn.  I was considering  stopping him in the middle of the lane to let him know, but figured he'd discover it on his own soon enough.

I often stopped at the end of the lane to see if he would stop too so I could fill him in, but he didn't stop and kept on going.  I was getting more and more embarrassed for the man.  But finally after about 1000 M, he stopped, and I timed it right before he got into his next set.  I said, "Hey, I'm not sure if you know or not, but you have a hole in your suit, in the back."  He smiled awkwardly and did and finger check.  That smile faded quickly and he did a backwards entry out on to the deck and I felt it polite for me not to watch his exit out of the pool area.  I continued my own workout:

1000 free strong
100 back
1000 large paddles
100 back
1000 freestyler paddles
100 back
1000 no finger paddles
100 back
1000 free no equipment strong
100 back

5,500 meters (6000 yards) in 1:50

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Catalina Channel

In fairness, I need to provide a detailed report on Goody's Catalina Channel attempt  But in the interest of being somewhat up-to-date, I need to report that Goody put a good fight in his swim and stuck with it for over 15 hours of swimming, but sadly fell short by 4.8 miles of completion.  The level of stamina he displayed was outstanding.  He started at 10pm on Monday, and swam all through the night, into Monday afternoon.  The wind was starting to pick up, the tide was against him, and the pilot was concerned that his next swimmer for the day would be affected if we continued.

Coach Marcia and Goody go through the bag of feeds
before the swim and find this little treasure.  
So Dave (the Outrider pilot), Lynn, and Patricia discussed it, and broke the news to Goody that he was being pulled out.  His vitals were good, he wasn't being pulled over a concern for his safety, or about his lack of ability to actually complete.  It was just a matter of time.  At the end his rate was going to put him at reaching the shore at about 9pm.  That would have been nearly 24 hours of swimming.  There was just no preparation on the pilot's, and many of the support crew, to last that long.  And with the increased wind and chop that was starting to show up at 1:15pm, it may have been even more of an effort and may have resulted in an even further extended 9pm completion estimate.

I have a ton of video and pictures to process and plan to have a video summary put together by this weekend.  I try to put myself in his shoes, but I honestly can't.  But if it were me, I wouldn't want a bunch of pity emails.  Instead, focusing on the journey, instead of the final exam, is something of value.  As well as the superhuman level of effort that was put forth.  He was a machine in the water.

Me trying to pace Goody as the sun rises.
With Rob D in foreground, and Neil Van der Byl,
the most amazing paddler I've ever seen, in the background.
I had the pleasure of swimming along side him for one hour.  It was a magical moment for me.  I saw dozens of jellyfish and enjoyed the experience (literally) of swimming into a little one which brushed past my left arm pit and gave me a little shock.  On the pain scale it was like a 1-2 for about 20 seconds, and then it was gone.  I saw lots of them below me in the water, pulsing with light and there were different kinds.  Big globs, small ones, some in "chains".  It was beautiful.  The water was cool, but manageable.

I was sad to have them call me out after the hour.  I don't know the exact distance but it was at least .60 miles.

.60 miles in 1 hour total

Expect a more detailed report later this week.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lake Cleveland

Mentally preparing for the rush of cool water immersion
Yesterday after work I drove up to Idaho.  We have a family reunion in Albion every year on the last weekend in June.  Just before arriving in Albion is this turnoff up to the mountains.  I ride my bike up to Mount Harrison every year.  It's a personal tradition.  But given that this year I haven't ridden at all. Thanks to my dedicated focus on swimming, I decided to do something related.  I always ride past this lake near the top of Mt. Harrison, and up till now have admired it from a distance.  It is a snow fed lake and up till now have thought it would be a crazy act to swim in that lake with it's obvious cold temperature.

On the way to Albion I drove up to make sure that the gates were unlocked.  I sent Cathi with the family the day before to attend the full reunion, but I lacked PTO to attend the whole thing.  I sent her with the trailer loaded with the Kayak and wanted to know if it was even reachable by vehicle.  It was!   I was so happy.

This morning after the family breakfast I loaded up the kids in the car along with a cousin, and we drove up there for my swim, and let the kids have fun paddling the kayak on the lake.

Swimming towards the southern end of the small lake.
Yes there is snow on the side of the mountain.
When we got there I got the kids all setup with the kayak and started my swim.  It took me much longer than normal to get in.  I was standing at hip level trying to overcome the mental wimpiness.  The water felt colder than the 58f temp I took from the night before.  But once I started my stopwatch I was committed and jumped in and started.  I was surprised that it didn't put me into total aerobic shock and I was able to go at a slow and deliberate pace at the beginning.  By the end of the first lap I was feeling good and picked up the pace to my normal speed.  I took a temp reading: 57.2°F.

I did two more laps and the GPS I was trailing behind me in the waterproof container on the Swimmer Buddy Board came to: 2.32 miles in 1:25

I wanted more, but I promised my Mom I'd be back at noon for the family reunion auction.  I had a great time and the water was a very cool emerald green color.  I saw lots of fish and lots of fishermen on the shorelines.  I'm sure they thought I was insane.

Lake Cleveland, a small hidden treasure in southern Idaho.
Elevation 8200 ft, 57°F
My recovery was relatively minor and it was a confidence boost to do a cold swim and not have it be terrible or unbearable.

I'm looking forward to Bear Lake next weekend.  It should be in the low 60s so even a couple degrees should feel much better.

Total Distance: 2.32 miles in 1:25 in 57°F

Leave for California on Monday, but not till noonish.  I'm going to take advantage of the day off work and hit Pineview in the morning at 0530.  I won't get to swim at all on Monday otherwise. But Tuesday I should be swimming in the Pacific Ocean for a little.  Very excited!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Next time I am exposed to Chlorine

The next time I am exposed to Chlorine, Goody will have already swam the Catalina Channel!  That's an awesome thought.

This morning I was at the pool on time and did 750 yards then moved over to LCM outside pool and did:

1000 free
4000 pull descending by 1000 with smaller paddles
1000 free

6000 M + 750 yards = 7300 yards total in 2 hours

Some lady I was sharing the lane with was doing backstroke and hit me right in the left cheek with her shoulder as she was doing backstroke.  It must have been timed just right.  Anyway it wasn't that big of an impact, she was slow and I was taking it easy with some pulling.  It's kind of hard to do backstroke in a straight line outside cause there isn't a ceiling to line up with.  She said, "Sorry" and it wasn't that big of a deal.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Every morning should be like this

If I lived in a condo on the shores of Pineview, I would swim there every morning. This morning I got up at 4:15 and got ready to meet Goody out at pineview. Got there at 5:15 and was in the water swimming at 5:30. The sun was just barely lighting up the eastern horizon and there was steam coming off the water. The air temp was 46f and the water temp was warmer than that.

I gave Goody my only copy of this newspaper article that mentioned him.  I was OK with it, cause I have a digital image of it.  But he was reluctant take my only copy, and I got him to mistakenly say his most hated phrase:  "Are you sure?"  He almost kicked himself for saying it.  I was laughing.

I was sitting down and reading the local newspaper
when I stumbled on this cool little article.  What
a coincidence, cause I never read the paper.
We got in and I swam ahead cause Goody is tapering and swimming nice and easy. Got to the dam buoy line and took a temp reading: 64.0f  Awesome.  I wasn't even chilled. Swam back towards Goody and Kim and informed him of the temp and teased him about having less days left before Catalina, than he can count on one hand. He's a little nervous about it. I assured him he's prepared and he'll do fine.

I swam along the southern shore until I lined up with the wake buoy on the south end. Then did a buoy route back to the beginning. Did another lap of that. Just as I was finishing I was breathing to the left and saw someone swimming the other direction in an orange cap. I stopped and looked and saw that he and about 4 other wetsuited swimmers were doing a buoy route. Cool!

When I got out the GPS read 4.69 miles in 2:35. I wasn't even close to wanting to get out, but I had to get to work. Swimming at pineview, then driving to Salt Lake for work can't be done everyday, but I'm gonna try and do it at least twice a week from here on out. My first Bear Lake swim is next weekend. Before I pulled out of the parking lot, I put a "Got Salt?" magnet under the wiper of each car of the triathletes. Hoping to reach out to them and get some conversions. Looking forward to Saturday's Lake Cleveland swim.

 Total Distance: 4.69 miles in 2:35

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hosting Kate Greene in the Great Salt Lake

This morning I got the Marina at 6:30am and did a swim out to Black Rock and back.  I was a little concerned because the lake was a little hyper this morning.  She was producing 1-2 foot swells, nothing major, but not a day for someone who is new to the lake.  Kate Greene, winner of Jamie Patrick's "Swim Adventure Contest", was visiting this morning at 8:00am.  She is documenting her trip from Tennessee to California with all the swims she is doing.  It's very cool and I'm quite envious of her adventures!  You can read about them here.

I had enough time to do one lap of Black Rock and back from the marina.  When I got to the marina I had about 10 minutes to spare.  Josh and I hung out waiting for her to show and right at 8am she pulled up with a car full of friends.

Kate discovering that Gatorade tastes ten times better in
the Great Salt Lake.
Then Goody drove up.  We had a party!  We talked for a bit and then walked down to the boat ramp.  Kate asked for any last minute advice.  Goody said emphatically, "Don't drink the water!"  We swam out the marina to the red buoy and regrouped.  Already Kate was discovering the wonderful taste that is, the Great Salt Lake.

I was pulling my board, so I stowed her drink for her.  I asked if she wanted a quick drink and she said Yes.  We then resumed our swim north of the Marina to the first set of buoys, and regrouped there.  The waves were coming from the north so we swam into the waves on the way out, but got a nice little pushing going back.  Kate's adventure wasn't about going huge distances, it was about the experience, and at this point she was satisfied that she had significant experience in the Great Salt Lake.  She had a drink at every stop we made.  She accidentally drank some water and the gag reflex kicked in.  I had to chuckle.  I've been there.  Several times.  The lake although endearing to me, is kind of like having a dog ugly girlfriend.  Yes I love her, despite her... outward distastefulness. Literally.

We started the swim back and at the last point of regrouping Goody and I talked about next week.  He said, this time next week, you could be swimming next to me in Catalina.  That hit me like a brick.  I didn't realize it was so close!  He is in taper mode and I'm kinda jealous.  I wish I could do my swim in one week.  I still have 6 more weeks to go.  He mentioned that he likes cold showers now more than warm ones.  I wish I could say that.  In fact, I realize that I haven't swam in 60 degree water in quite some time.  

This Friday I'm planning to swim in Lake Cleveland, which is near the top of Mt. Harrison, south of Albion where our family reunion is held every June.  I've never swam there before, because I've always just rode my bike to the top, but enjoyed the view of the lake from the road.  This year, I won't be riding my bike, but driving as far up as possible (hopefully the gates are open), and then do a cold water swim up there.  Last year, there was still several feet of snow and the lake was actually overflowing and probably double in size than the previous year.  I guarantee the swim this weekend will be sub 60f water.  That should be awesome.

The sky was beautiful and calm, but the Lake however was
full of pent up emotion.  One day is never like the next.
Anyway.  After our swim we talked by our cars.  And Goody asked Kate what her overall impression was.  She said that she accidentally drank some water, and Goody said in his school teacher admonishing tone while smiling,  "I specifically told you not to, and you still did!"  I hurried to get soaped up and showered from the hose in the parking lot.  Then went to the restroom to get changed.  I kept telling myself, "This is a good sticky".  One thing about swimming in that water is that if you don't soap up real good it can leave you with a sticky feeling.  You get used to it, but it isn't ever pleasant.  Josh and I then went with her and her group of friends to Market Street for breakfast.  It was nice to chat about previous swims, the cool people we've met, and awesome places to visit.  It was a good time.

She is leaving for Bryce National Park and then on to Phoenix on Saturday.  I told her about Watergirl, and that I would try to get her hooked up with her for when she swims in Saguaro Lake this weekend.  I felt like Josh and I were good hosts for Kate and that we left her with a fantastic impression of Utah, and our dedicated group of open water swimmers here.

Total distance including earlier swim: @3 miles total in 1:45

Monday, June 18, 2012

Teaching a Nigerian Princess how to swim

I got this very exciting email this morning.  I take it from the the proper use of English that it's a 16 yr old Nigerian Princess I could be teaching how to swim!  Here's the email:

Hello, This is Mr Frank Bridge, I got your email while surfing on internet for a coach/tutor for my daughter. I want a private lessons for my daughter (Lilie). Lilie is 16 year old and she is willing andready to learn. Please, I will like to know if you will be available for the tutoring service because I really wish the tutorial begins this month. Also do get back to me with the following details about you:
Your name:
Your location:
Years of experience:
Area of Specialization :
Your charges per hour $
If possible your phone number :
I will be glad to read back from you soon so that I can keep in touch with my daughter about the progress of her tutorial.
Thank you.

Unfortunately I'm not in a position to do any private coaching.  I'll have to pass.  Would have been fun though :)

This morning I got up super eager to swim.  Especially since I passed up my long swim on Saturday because I woke up with a severe migraine headache.  This morning's swim was much needed!

1200 free easy in scy pool
The in Meters:

2000 free
1000 kick with fins
3000 - 2 x 1500 pull, with smaller paddles by 1500
2000 - 2 x 1000 pull with smaller paddles by 1000
2000 - 10 x 200's free no equipment, tempo trainer desc by :01 by 200

10000 M + 1200 Yds = 12,125 yards total in 3:30

My Mom called me last night with a warning from a dream she had.  She dreamt that I was swimming the channel and was doing fine with the cold and with the distance.  However the waves were building and at one point I got too close to the boat and accidentally touched it and got DQd.  She said to be careful no to fulfill that nightmare.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rough Night swim

Goody came to pick me up at 8:30 tonight and we went out to the Antelope Island Marina.  We met Bob one of the Park Rangers.  He recognized my name after we introduced ourselves and said he felt better about us being out there knowing that we were experienced with the lake.

I went first, and the wind was coming from the northwest.  I swam right into the waves for about 20 minutes, and then Goody stopped me and asked if we could go west for a bit, which we did.  After swimming for 30 minutes I stopped for a quick drink, and then swam back.  Going back was easier, but it was also getting darker.  I could see the red and green flashing lights signifying the entrance to the marina.   We swam into the marina and made our way to the boat ramp.  

The round trip took 1:02 and only logged .96 miles on the GPS.  I was gonna go get changed for my turn on the kayak, but Goody admitted that the kayaking was a shoulder workout in itself and that he felt just fine calling that as his workout for the evening. 

So I got in a token swim this evening.  Small in terms of distance, but fairly significant in terms of the amount of chop and wind to deal with.  It was awesome.

Total Distance: 1.96 miles in 1:02

I never did manage to get a water temp reading but I'm guessing it was in the mid 70's.  It was HOT!  I didn't like that part of it.  I'm gonna swim pineview tomorrow.  Gotta put in some decent distance.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Loch Laura

I was thinking the name "The Great Salt Lake" is pretty lame.  I mean, its a description of it, but it really isn't a good name.  It has personality.  It can be asleep with the water flat as glass, and it can be grumpy.  It's very moody.  So it should be a woman.

If I were to name it, I'd call it "Loch Laura" (after the very moody Dr. Laura Schlessinger).  This morning Loch Laura was in a pissy mood.  It took me 1:20 to swim one lap of the Gridley Straight.  Granted I was feeling rather sluggish, but the waves were definitely an impact.  On the way back I realized I was only going to do one lap, so I took a much wider path back.  Good thing I tied my drink down to my board, cause it was dragging a couple times, and I would have been guilty again of littering, but I'm learning.

The temp this morning was also a little warmer than I like (71f), so I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and start doing trips up to Pineview at least once or twice a week in the mornings.  It'll mean I'll have to stay later to work to make up for coming in late, but it's only for less than two months!  Then I could care less about colder temperatures.

Total Distance: 2.3 miles in 1:20

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Year of the Brine Shrimp

This morning I was out at the marina at 6:15am and did two laps of the Gridley Straight (strict school teacher version).  I went around the red buoys both times.  The water was clear as glass and the swim was spent thinking about brine shrimp, brine flies, and Greg Mockett's planned swim today.

This morning he is planning to do an individual attempt (with his kayaker) from Antelope Island To Black Rock.  He has arranged it with Dave Shearer to take him out there by boat.  He's one lucky guy.  Not many people get this opportunity.

I just got a text from him saying he completed it in 4:24.  I'll post pictures and quote his story here once I get them.  Another person is in the books!

Total Distance for today: 4.2 miles in 2:04

Here is Greg's Map of his actual course.

And here is his video:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Back to full training

I am SO glad that the GSLOW race is over.  Now I can focus on ME.  Today I got up a little late so I got to SLCSC just in time to go straight to the 50M pool.  I did:

2000 free
2000 pull
2000 - 10 x 200 free (50 normal, 50 sprint, 50 normal, 50 slow) On the sprint and slow sets only breathe on one side, alternating which side  by 200.  No rest between 200's
2000 - 1000 no strap paddles, 1000 freestyler paddles
2000 - 10 x 200's free TT descending :01 per 200

10,000 M = 10,925 yards

Felt good today

Saturday, June 9, 2012

GSLOW one mile event

This morning I took all the kids with me since Cathi was running her Utah Valley Marathon.  When I woke up and was STILL physically exhausted from yesterday, I realized Cathi would be just as tired as I was and she was gonna have a tough time with the marathon.  But she'll finish.

We got to the Marina and visited with people as they arrived and set the kayaks up on the boat ramp.  Half an hour before start time, still no show from a majority of our volunteer SUPs.  Some phone calls were made.  I took the kids and a couple kayaks and we went over to Black Rock to be in the water at the second half of the race ready for the swimmers.

I loaded Lucy up on the yellow one man kayak and we were out on the water about 20 minutes before we saw the first swimmer.  He was heading a little too close to shore.  There is an outcropping of some rocks about 2/3 into the course.

So I positioned myself right at the end of those rocks and focused on getting the swimmers out and around them instead of swimming too close to them.  You only have to go out about 25 yards or so to avoid them, it isn't too much of a deviation from the straight line.  There were a lot of people at the later end of the field that were having a difficult time sighting.  I paddled up right next to them and helped them get going in the right direction.  When all else fails, if you find yourself alone in an open water race.  Chances are, you aren't where you're supposed to be.  I told some of the swimmers that were really off course, "Stay with the other swimmers".  I counted just over 10 paddlers total, so we had enough.  But far from the 20 we were expecting.  But given that the race was pushed to an earlier time, having no-shows is expected.

The wind was starting to pick up and by the time the race was over and we were on our way home, the lake was nothing but white caps.

Some swimmers I especially noticed:

Etsuko's family at the finish line
giving hugs
Henry Hudson - he was really cranking.  He broke last years time (26:17) by nearly four minutes (22:35).

Etsuko Abe - She's the only female I know with a "Got Salt?" swimsuit.  I've seen her out at the lake a few times now.  This one mile event for her was a big deal and her family came out in full support of her which was awesome to see.

Rachel receives her medal from Josh. 
Rachel Wagner - Rachel has been fretting nervously about this race.  She's already overcome several obstacles in her life, and this race was just another one.  I'm glad she proved to herself she could do it.  Her confidence has been reinforced.

This year, Josh and I really had to scramble last minute to avoid cancelling the event with the high winds on Saturday afternoon.  The one mile perhaps could have gone as planned at noon, but it would have been much harder on many of the swimmers and for some of those who took close to an hour or more, it may have actually resulted in a DNF.

I preferred the earlier start.  I think we'll stick with that for next year.  Also the 8 mile event we will schedule for two days and then pick the best day on Thursday.  While this may be inconvenient especially for locals who may unnecessarily have to plan for Friday, it will also allow more flexibility in choosing the better day.  Some people argue, "It's open water swimming, if it's rough, it's rough." But at the same time, many people go to an expense to get here, and we want the best conditions possible.  And especially do not want to cancel it outright.  But if we end up with two days of storms, it could come to that.

My favorite part of the whole thing is to watch the support these swimmers get, and the new friendships that are formed by these participating athletes.  It's different than pool competitions because everyone deals with the "hardship" of the salt, and that struggle seems to create a bond between people regardless of swimming abilities.

I'm looking forward to next year's event and hope that participation will continue to grow!

More pictures can be found on the facebook page.

Friday, June 8, 2012

GSLOW 8 mile event

Goody, Gilles, myself, Josh, Sabrina, Harrison, Cole,
Cindy, Nicole, Roxy, Derek, and Michele at the Old
Spaghetti Factory for Dinner on Thursday.
I have so much catch-up to do!  With the forecast getting closer to actually occurring, I was getting more panicked.  The forecast showed some serious wind out on the lake, and a westerly wind too with gusts up to 30mph.  Dave Shearer, the harbormaster at GSL Marina was concerned and said we may have to cancel.  I scrambled because this was Thursday morning, and people were already arriving on airplanes, and from long drives.

So it was proposed by someone that we consider doing it on Friday, which was forecasted with more favorable conditions, although less than perfect.  We made some calls, and while we couldn't get everyone to switch to Friday, we got 7 swimmers who could.  That's a much better field of swimmers than zero, with bad weather.

8 Mile swimmers, and their paddlers, with Antelope Island
in the background.
Thursday evening we got together at the Old Spaghetti Factory at Trolley Square and it was so much fun getting to know everyone and to learn about their swimming circles, and swap stories.  I picked up Gilles Chalandon from the airport and took him immediately to the marina.  I was really struggling with the idea of having the 8 mile event cancelled.  Chad and Josh met us at the Marina and we discussed the idea of moving the 8 mile event to Friday.  Chad couldn't move to Friday and mentioned that he felt confident going Saturday anyway.  So I discussed the idea with Dave Shearer and he radioed Antelope Island and they were OK with us going Friday.  So we had a plan!  The out of towners were no longer restricted to doing just the one mile!

Swimming friends, Roxy, Madhuri, and Gilles
On Saturday morning, we met at the Marina at 7am and got everyone loaded up in the two vehicles and the kayaks in Chad's trailer, and headed for Antelope Island.  The bugs this year on the island were much less in number.  The hike from the end of the dirt road down to the waters edge, again was about 100 yards over rocky terrain, and then mud.  Several inches of it.  I was laughing when I heard all the moans and even screams when they felt the mud between their toes.

We took a group picture before starting into the water and then slowly made our way to a point where everyone was at a reasonable depth to start swimming.  We lined everyone up, did a count down and everyone began there swim.  I paddled for Cindy Cortes.  Right from the start Gilles took off, followed by Goody, Kim and Michelle.  The wind was present, but not so bad that it was much of an issue.

Life is muddy, move on!
As the race progressed, the waves also grew.  There were dozens of waves that spilled over inside the kayak I was using.  I used Josh's kayak that is NOT a sit on top kayak.  So water was building up.  So much that the bag that had Cindy's phone and car keys took on water.  I realized it a little too late and her phone had died.  I was ticked off at that!  I will never use a sit inside kayak again.  They suck.  About 90 minutes into the swim, I noticed Jim was right behind us with Madhuri in the front of the kayak.  I guess that the conditions were just too much.  She looked fine and they appeared to not be in a terrible hurry to get out.  I feel bad for anyone who aborts a race for any reason.
Everyone is ready to go!

Cindy was very pleasant to paddle for.  
I realized that I had used plenty of sunscreen on my face, shoulders, neck and arms, but none on my legs and they were getting burned.  Cindy was making decent progress considering the buildup of waves.  She was averaging a little more than a mile every 30 minutes.  By four miles, she slowed down just a little, but not dramatically.  She was still making good progress.  I could make out Black Rock way in the distance even from mile 2.  I knew where on the mountain to look for it, and as we got closer, what I perceived as Black Rock, definitely came into shape.

The thing I loved most about paddling for Cindy, was that she is NOT a whiner.  She didn't complain once about how tired she was, or how bad her shoulders hurt, or how cold it was.  I loved that.  I made sure to time her feedings right so that when it was time to stop, I was right there next to her with a bottle that was already opened for a quick feed.  Near the end of the race, we no longer timed the feeds, but she'd stop for a stretch or to breathe, and I asked her if she wanted a feed since it was only a few minutes away anyway.

When we got to mile 7 she admitted that she had never swam this far before.  Which was a shock to me.  That's quite brave to have your longest swim be in the Great Salt Lake.  (But now that I think about it, my longest swim too is in the GSL).  We then stopped at 7.5 miles, 8 miles, and then finished up at Black Rock.  She was only a couple minutes behind Roxy.

Cindy spent the most time in the salt
water which surely deserves an award
in itself.
My favorite part is reminiscing with the swimmers afterwards.  We gave out the awards.

First Place (Male): Gilles Chalandon
First Place (Female): Kim Patterson
Strongest Saline Stamina: Cindy Cortes (Movie of Redemption)
Most Pickled Tongue: Roxane Phifer

We got everyone back to the Marina, and we packed up for another day tomorrow....

Pickled tongues.  Cindy and Roxy battled it out for the worse
pickled tongue.

More pictures of today's event can be found on the facebook page.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

MC Hammer workout

Today I did a workout with Goody and he had a Marcia Cleveland workout.  It wasn't terribly difficult but gave some nice structure to today's swim.  It involved lots of 200s and fortunately all free, and there were no kicking sets.

Did a nice warmup before that, and a nice warmdown afterwards.  I also used my new Tempo Trainer v.2 and that thing is awesome!  I was a little late for work and was really tempted to just skip my last 500M which I wanted to do, but remembered I hadn't used my TT yet, so I threw it on and did 100s starting at 1:00 and decremented by :01 each 100.  It took my mind off how tired I was and I was able to increase my stroke rate without much effort at all thanks to that thing.

There was one set that really took a great deal of effort, thus MC put the "Hammer" on us.

So today's workout ended up totaling:

500 yards in SC pool, then moved to LCM and did:
10,000 M

11,425 yards total in 3:25

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wave action at GSL

This morning I went to the marina and the wind all of a sudden went from nothing to pretty crazy.   The waves were higher than I have ever dealt with there before.  I opted for the rocky path and beach rather than the boat ramp.  I went around the underwater rock wall and got the white buoy.  It was just too crazy to really get in a decent swim and my shoulder blades were still sore from Saturday so I called it a day.  Only about a 800 yard swim.  Was in the water for only 14 minutes.

Photo courtesy of Josh Green
This afternoon I went to pick up the permit for this Saturday's legal use of Black Rock, and noticed that I could make it out the marina in time for the afternoon group.  When I drove up, there was Josh and a new swimmer, Kate Leksander, who was a little intimidated by the waves. I don't blame her, these were insane. She decided to come back on Thursday. I got in through the boat ramp and my goal was to simply swim around the marina back over to the eastern side and get out on the rocky path. I took my Go Pro and took a few shots. It was awesome exiting the marina into those swells. There were swells that no lie were about 8 feet from low to high.

I swam over by the white buoy, and got too close to the shore cause on one of the low swells I hit my foot on some rocks and got cut up pretty good. I was bleeding, but no major gash. And there weren't any sharks to sniff me out and nibble on me. So I kept playing. I found Josh and we tried body surfing. But I just wasn't getting far, so I went and fetched my Swimmer Buddy and took it apart to use as a boogie board. I even had my training fins.

I went back out and hit a few waves, but didn't get as far as I had hoped. It was fun, but need to learn a little technique on picking the right wave, sticking it and riding it as far as possible. Never had any experience with this before.

Today's total I'm gonna say was only about .75 miles. Not far. Kind of a rest day. Will do a pool swim in the morning with Goody.

 Total: .75 miles in @ 25 minutes

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Race Directors who refuse to let everyone else have all the fun

Race Directors who participate in their own events aren't able to focus on the athletes, their safety, or be available to fix things.  While it can be rewarding taking care of everyone else, it is also a deep down desire (at least for me), to be in the water swimming too.

So Josh and I came up with this idea to swim the Antelope Island to Black Rock race one week before the event for a couple reasons:

  1. To make sure there weren't any major differences with the course from last year.
  2. To get our own piece of the action, and to appreciate what all the swimmers are about to do next week.
When I drove into the Marina parking lot this morning at 8:45am, there was some pretty decent wind and some chop.  There was a mild storm that was on its way east towards the mountains.  I met Josh and we both looked like we were unsure whether today was really gonna play out as we expected. 

We went and talked with Dave Shearer, the Harbormaster of the GSL Marina.  He brought up some satelite and radar images that were looking at the weather patterns in the area.  He said that the storm was on its way out and that the wind that we were noticing were remnants of that small storm, but that things would clear up just nicely in the next hour and that there shouldn't be any issues with weather or wind for the next 8 hours at least.  That sounded good.  

So we boarded his boat and he got us over to the south end of Antelope Island as far as he could go without hitting bottom.  When we got there I jumped out and we all started getting ready for the swim.  The water was clear and the wind had died down.  We were in about 4 feet of water and we could see the south shore of the island.  This is about the same place where the race will start next week.  When the swimmers get to the shoreline by land, they'll have to wade out a good 1/2 mile to get to water that is this deep where its comfortably swimable.  Sure you can swim in 24 inches of water, but we'll make sure that when we start everyone is at least up to their ribs.  

GPS Results of our swim (including the trip
back to the Marina)
I pointed Jake to the position we were headed in reference to the mountain, because we couldn't see Black Rock from the start, but I knew where it was in relation to the Oquirrhs.  

I started my stop watch and we were off.  We took a quick feeding at 34 minutes, 1:08, 1:40, and at 2:15.  Each time were were going slightly more than one mile per feeding.  In fact at the fourth feeding we were at 5.6 miles.  At the third feeding I noticed that the tiny ripple from the wind was even gone and the water was like glass!  It was so flat and beautiful.  The water temp was a little warmer than I would have liked (74°F).  But the water about 2 feet below the surface was much cooler and that felt really good!  

Josh and I swimming side by side
the whole way there.
I noticed after the fourth feeding that Josh was really pouring it on!  I could see the fire in his eyes and could tell he was now motivated to get a good time.  After that feeding we didn't take another one until we arrived on dry land at the shore of Black Rock.  We really pushed it.  I noticed that his stroke is so relaxed looking. It looks like he isn't putting a ton of effort into it,  because his stroke rate is much lower than mine, and his reach looks effortless.  But that is quite misleading, because he is cruising!  My lats and triceps were really getting a workout!  I really wanted to get in the "zone", but because of this pace I wasn't able to.  At least not comfortably.  Time did go by super fast.  In fact I was slightly disappointed when we arrived because I still had alot more left and the time just seemed to go by!  I stopped my watch as soon as I was completely out of the water: 3:34:23.  That was much faster than I was hoping.  I was hoping for just under 4 hours.   That last 2 miles was especially fast.  
Josh and I nearing the finish.  Marina
rocks can be seen in background.

Josh's wife, Sabrina was going to meet us at Black Rock, but because we pushed it, we were there before she was.  We decided to just swim back to the Marina.   So after a few pictures, some drinks (perpetuem), we took an easy pace swim back to the marina.  The GPS I had stowed away read 9.26 miles when I got out.  

Find more Swim in Tooele, UT

The Spot GPS that we had setup stopped working about halfway through the swim.  My theory is that it was because we had so many GPS devices tracking that it caused interference.  I had my GPS at the very front of the boat.  The Spot was at the back, and I noticed that Jake also had his at the back of the boat.  The Spot GPS manual does say to avoid having another GPS device within a few feet of it or it may cause problems with the data upload.   

Why is my tongue so messed up and Josh's isn't that bad?
Guess I'm not as tight lipped during my swims.
Gotta work on that I guess.
Today's swim was so fun! And Josh totally pushed me on this swim.  I had to really focus and increase my stroke rate just to keep up with him.  We were within 4-5 feet of each other for most of the swim, and our pace was practically identical so it was easy for Jake to keep both of us within range.  

Thanks again to Jake for a job well done on the support boat.  Thanks to Dave Shearer for taking the time, and for the fuel to get us out to Antelope.  Now I'm going to be able to watch next weeks swimmers without turning green with envy.  I won't feel ripped off watching everyone else have fun.  

I'll add more pictures once I get some from Josh.  Jake took plenty of photos, but with Josh's camera, so I'll add those later....

Total distance: 9.26 miles in 4:15

Friday, June 1, 2012

Easy day

This morning I made it to SLCSC and swam the following with masters:

500 free
700 kick

then moved to 50m pool:

100 easy
1200 - 8 x 150's  - 50 kick, stroke, free
1250 - 50 to 250 pyramid pull
600 kick

3150 M + 1200 yd = 4625 yards total

Easy day today cause Josh and I are swimming a fairly long one tomorrow morning.  Antelope to Black Rock