Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wannabe weatherman

I've found myself fretting over the weather forecast in Dover and Wissant for next week.  It looks like for next week the only day that looks somewhat favorable is August 8th.  After that, it looks like rain clear until August 14th.  With the sun not really appearing and the wind blowing from the northerly direction until August 16th-17th.  

But it's still far enough out, and I'm just a wannabe weatherman.  I'll strongly consider the recommendation of my pilot.  But given the conditions so far, I may be in for the long haul.  Waiting until the end of my tide for favorable weather and wind conditions.

I'll be sure to provide an update as more information comes.

If you're a prayer, please take a moment to appeal in my behalf that the weather be more favorable.

Dover, UK Forecasts for next week:
http://www.accuweather.com/en/gb/dover/ct16-1/daily-weather-forecast/323727?day=9(0% rain, but SW winds)
http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Dover+United+Kingdom+UKXX0042 (30% rain, with SW winds)

Wissant, France forecasts for next week:
http://www.accuweather.com/en/fr/wissant/170038/daily-weather-forecast/170038?day=9(0% rain with SSW winds)
http://www.weather.com/weather/wxdetail8/FRXX2700(40% rain with WSW winds)

Dover, UK Forecasts for 8/15-8/19

Wissant, France forecasts for 8/15-8/19

Monday, July 30, 2012

Afternoon swim at Steiner

Since I'm getting to work at 5am, I'm off at 1pm.  Which is nice cause I can go straight to the pool and get in:

4000 M free = 4375 yards

Felt good, except left shoulder was achy.  Nothing major, just annoyed.  Dr. Richards tomorrow afternoon to discuss options.

Getting trunky to leave.  Need to do some serious packing...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Watching fish

This afternoon during my swim in the Logan River I saw a couple of very small fish.  They were between 2-3 inches and they reminded me of the algae eating fish that we used to have in our fish tank.  They just stayed lying on the bottom of the river on the rocks and every few minutes would move an inch or two to the next rock.  I bet they were algae eaters.  Definitely not trout.  It was fun just swimming above them and watching them.

Before today's swim I drove down to Poco-Loco in Logan and loaded up on goggles for my trip to England.  Wanted to have backup pairs.
Tyr Tracer
Speedo Vanquisher 2.0
My preferred goggle?  Tyr Tracer or Speedo Vanquisher 2.0

They're pretty comparable to each other.  Comfortable and hold a good seal.  They last a fairly long time, compared to more expensive and larger open water goggles.  I've given up on the big fancy ones cause they're just too expensive for how long they last.

Swam 2 hours in 58°F water.

Oh, and here's another article, which like most articles published, has a couple of things I should clarify.



1) My family knows my EC swim is a big deal, especially my wife, but I don't think my kids completely comprehend the level of training required for it, even though they know I'm gone a lot.

2) I swam the 500 yard free (not meters) in high school

3) My qualifying swim was from Black Rock to White Rock, not Saltair to White Rock.  But most people wouldn't know the difference.

4) The world record by Peter Stoychev is just under 7 hours.

5) I gave Bryon access to my swimming photos.  The two he picked?  Both with me wearing a wetsuit back in my newbie days.  And one with me spitting.  Great.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Logan River

Swam 1:15 in 58°F water in Logan River behind the cabin.

Only 10 days till we arrive in Dover!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fantastic Logan River swim

This evening I got up to the cabin and hurried into the river. The water was much warmer than last time. I also wore a cap this time. I didn't hesitate to start. I swam for 30 minutes, then checked the thermometer on my watch and it said 58.2°F. Fantastic! I wasn't cold. It felt perfect to me. At 35 minutes the rest of the family arrived in the van, and they all watched and played on the lawn next to the bridge. At 1 hour I got out. I wanted more, but it was already 8:30 and I needed to get to bed.

Tomorrow morning I'm meeting James Jonsson at Rendezvous beach at 5:30 am where he will arrive from swimming from the north side. He is doing a double crossing and that will be the half way point. I made a poster for him and am excited to see him at that point. Hopefully everything goes well and the weather cooperates and his body. This swim will make history and in my opinion is up there in comparison to a double EC Crossing. Except this has never been done before.

The water temp shouldn't be an issue, but BL is known for having regular storms come in.  And the distance itself is just staggering!  38+ miles.  That's superhuman!

Daily total:  1 hour in 58°f

Not logging distance since its upriver swimming.


Update (7/27/12) - Got up at 0315 with Cathi and started to drive from Cabin towards Bear Lake.  When we started coming down the mountain into Garden City, my cell phone picked up the text that Josh sent me earlier in the morning.  Apparently there was a electrical storm that came through and caused the swim to be aborted.

Dang!   I really hate it when nature doesn't cooperate.  Hopefully he gives it another go fairly soon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Clarification on the Salt Lake Tribute Article

I just discovered this article in the Salt Lake Tribune, that Benjamin Raskin wrote up.  Pretty cool!A couple of clarifications, that I wish I could make:
  1. The paragraph talking about the Triple Crown of open water swimming as written is a little unclear.  I informed Ben of what consisted of the triple crown, and that after the English Channel, those swims were next on my list to conquer.  But that paragraph isn't clear on that, and some readers could misread that I already had done the other two and that the English Channel would be my final crossing to achieve the TC.  That is not true.  I haven't even attempted the other two.  This is just my first step.
  2. I did tell him that I expected Josh to tell me to pick it up if I fell behind pace, but not just pull me out if I wasn't keeping pace.  Granted if I'm consistently behind pace, and I develop moderate/severe hypothermia to the point where it's unsafe, then yes, definitely I should get pulled.  But if my pace ends up being slower than planned, yet I'm still going along safely, and its reasonably conceivable that it will be a successful crossing, then I should be encouraged to keep going.
I also think the article doesn't give enough credit to Josh, who has been the biggest asset to open water swimming in Utah in the past few years.  He's done a lot to promote the sport and has some pretty big plans himself.  He's been a great friend and partner, and I'm looking forward to being on his support crew for future swims.  The open water community in Utah is like family, and I foresee it expanding and getting stronger.  


Last night Cathi gave me her blessing to leave all the Pioneer Day partying so that I could drive up to the cabin in Logan canyon.  I got up there at 10pm and hit the sack within 30 minutes.

Got up this morning at 5:30 and got some hot chocolate prepared for a cold water swim in the Logan River. I got in and the water felt even colder than I anticipated.  I was about to start, and realized that I really should wear a cap in order to stay in the water longer.   So I got back out and looked all over in my car for a cap.  No go.  I would have to tough it out.  I need to keep a cap in my bag, but I rarely wear one that I prefer to just keep them at home in my closet to avoid them from going brittle and wearing out.

I started my watch and was hoping for a minimum of 30 minutes of swimming upstream, but staying in place as if I was swimming in an Endless Pool.  The speed of flow in the river was perfect.  It wasn't too fast, and not too slow.  The water was so cold that I was getting a brain freeze and stopped every few minutes to do breast stroke or to just stand on the bottom crouched so that my head was above water, but my shoulders stayed in.

I checked the digital thermometer on my watch: 51°F.  Wow!  That's probably a little extreme for cold water training for the channel.  If it was 57 or 58 it would be perfect and I would last a lot longer.  Anyway, as time went on I was doing less and less breaststroke and more head in freestyle.  Once I saw Bill (Cathi's Dad, who is staying up at his cabin this week alone), at the edge of the river yelling out, "Is it cold Gordon?!"  I told him the temp and he just laughed and went back to bed.

Soon the elapsed time was 30 minutes, then 40 minutes, and then I set my final time to be 50 minutes.  At 50 minutes I swam to the edge, and it was tough getting out.  The rocks were not smooth, but very rough and sharp.  So I had to crawl out very carefully to avoid falling or getting cut up.  I finally got out and dried off.  Took a warm shower and got dressed to go to work.

I've been taking ice baths every day now.  The temp ranges from 57 to 62 depending on how many containers the kids fill up and put in the freezer.  I've been staying in from 40-60 minutes per session.  That has helped, but going down to 51 is quite a jump.  But I felt good about that amount of time in that cold water.  

I'm heading up there with the family on Thursday evening where I'll swim that night, Friday morning, and then Saturday, Sunday off, then Monday morning.  I won't be online from Saturday to Monday morning, so I'll report back on Monday.  I hope to increase my time so that I'm in the water well over an hour by Monday.

I wish I could head up to Bear Lake to cheer on James this weekend, but I don't have any details on his swim and I wasn't invited, but I sure wish him the best.  That swim is gonna be epic!

Total time: 51 minutes in 51°F

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Bear Lake Width crossing record, and first double

This morning I got up with Austin and Jonas at the cabin and we drove to Garden City, to the Utah State Marina where we got there just as the gates opened at 6am.  I got the boys setup on the two man kayak and had them meet me at the end of the marina.

The water was flat as glass and the temp was warmer than I had hoped.  (73°F).  Felt a little stiff at the start, but was fine by 30 minutes into it.  Once when I was breathing to the right I saw my camera case slip into the water and Jonas tried to grab it, but it was too late.  He yelled out "Austin!" who was in the back and Austin too tried to grab it out of the water but was too late.  I quickly swam over and threw the case up out of the water at Austin and he quickly got it out of the case and started to dry it off.  He turned it on, and it seemed to work.  Whew!!

I had to take 200 mg ibuprofen about 4 miles into it, and again at about 7 miles into it.  But after that I was totally good.  My left shoulder before those points was giving me a little trouble.  Not with grinding, just with a little annoying tightness in my shoulder muscle.  Not a joint thing, a muscle thing.

When we got to the other side, I noted that the time was 3:43:24.  I let the boys get out, stretch their legs, and we noticed that all the rocks on the beach were very rounded and flat, so we spent a few minutes doing some rock skipping.  I also filled up on some chicken nuggets (a craving that I noticed at the end of my last swim at Bear Lake).  Then I got back in and started the swim back.  I didn't stop the clock, but just kept it going.  The swim back was stronger and faster than the swim during the first crossing.

Jonas napped about half the time on the way back while Austin paddled.  Austin forgot sunscreen and today was extremely sunny.  Sure enough he is pretty red right now.  It was quite a bit choppy coming back, but not too bad.

There were alot of sailboats heading east away from the Marina, so I stuck close to Austin and Jonas as we got close to them.  I was eager to finish, but was very happy that my shoulders were feeling strong, I didn't have any aches, and actually when I got out, I asked Austin if he felt up to doing one more length, jokingly of course.  He said "No, I'm done".

Total time was 7:25:14 and distance:  13.24 miles.

English Channel rules were followed: no touching the boat, only one suit, goggles, ear plugs.  I didn't wear a cap.  The water was 73!  Cleared the water completely on both sides before stopping the clock.

Find more map in Garden City, UT

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another one bites the dust

This morning on my way to Pineview coming down from Trappers Loop, I was cruising right along in the van, when I saw something about 20 yards ahead run across the road.  This time I was able to hit the brakes, but still I was going so fast and it wasn't stopping that it went right under my left front tire and it also went under the left rear tire.  It was a either a coyote or a fox.  It was grayish, so I'm leaning towards a coyote.

After my swim I went back through trappers loop hoping to get a closer look when it was daylight.  All I saw were some blood spatters on the road, but no carcass.  It had to be Wile E Coyote, cause that guy got hit by trucks all the time on the road and survived them all.

This morning I was in the water promptly at 0530 and did two large dam-buoy loops with an extra buoy to buoy turn in order to get the 5 mile distance I was shooting for.  Started out a little tight since I had the last 4 days off thanks to several different circumstances outside of my control.  But I'm back at it, and I have a big swim (my final big one before EC) planned at Bear Lake this weekend.  A legitimate double width crossing (around 14 miles).  Should be fun.

Total Distance: 5.06 miles in 2:43

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fremont Lake Crossing

Last year, John Kelly shared his story about his crossing of Fremont Lake, in Wyoming.  It is a 9 mile swim in a lake that has so much personality!  It is a glacier lake and the anticipation was that this would be a perfect training swim for Dover with the lake being in the low 60's, possibly even lower.

With Austin and Jacob at scout camp this week, I had to rely on Lucy to be my paddle support.  She had only been 6 miles before in very flat water, so this was really going to test her.

A) We camped at the Fremont Lake Campground about a 1/3 up the eastern side of the lake.  Lucy and I got up at 0600 and started the journey to the north end of the lake by kayak.  Knowing that Lucy would be on her own for the entire length, I asked her to let me do all the paddling for the 5 miles to get to the starting point (C).

B) Along the way we noticed a small island about 20 yards away from the western shore.  I jokingly commented to Lucy, "I wonder if there are any ants saying "I'm going to swim the channel!",  and swim the 20 miles (in ant miles) to the other side.  The support boat would consist of several ants on a small leaf escorting the little guy to the other side.

Along the way, Lucy and I had great conversation.  She was in a good mood and the water was flat as glass.  It was overcast, but no rain, and no wind (at that point).  What a great bonding moment that 2 hour kayak ride was with her!  We saw some bald eagles off in the distance flying towards the cliffs on the north where we could hear them feeding their crying chicks.

D) On the way to the start, when we got to Moosehead Bay, there were beautiful rock cliffs going way up.  I knew this was a great place to play with an echo.  So I sang Happy Birthday to Lucy (her birthday is on the 15th) in a (very annoying) opera voice.

C) At the start, it was a small sandy beach with forest immediately after that.  There were a few mosquitos waiting for me so I had to really rush out of my dry clothes into my swim suit and get lubed up to go.  I started my stop watch at the moment my foot entered the water.  The water felt very comfortable and barely cool.  I was betting that we were well above 60°, but my watch thermometer isn't instant.  I need to wait about 15 minutes before it displays an accurate reading, and from that point on, it's right on.

The first hour was flat as glass and the thermometer on my watch said the it was 65 degrees even.  I was actually disappointed it was so warm.  I wanted it to be colder.  I wanted at least 62!  Oh well, it's slightly cooler than Bear Lake, and this is also much prettier landscape!

D) Just as I was passing Moosehead Bay during my swim, I thought I'd put a smile on Lucy's face, so I tried to reenact a scene in Disney's Brother Bear.  A couple of dumb Mountain goats are telling an echo to "Shut up!"  "No you shut up!"  So I yelled that a couple times out to my left towards the cliff walls, knowing that she'd hear me, and then the echo.  Sure enough when I breathed to the right she had a smile on her face.

E)  A little over an hour into the swim, the water went from perfectly still, to a little choppy, and by the time we got to Chambers Bay (Near B), Lucy was having a really hard time controlling the direction of the kayak.  I had to stop every couple minutes to encourage her to keep up.  It was getting more and more frustrating for both of us, and while I was encouraging "You're doing great Lucy", "You're awesome, keep it up!", I sometimes was less than polite, "C'Mon Lucy!  Keep up darling!".   I occasionally caught glimpses of her struggling and crying.  I felt bad for her, and for many times I feared that this swim would have to be cancelled, because she simply couldn't continue.  But she trudged along although slowly while fighting the head on chop and wind.

F) When we neared the boat ramp where Cathi, was located, I assured her that we'd do a trade or something.  While I was swimming I was trying to figure out the logistics of getting Cathi to take Lucy's place, but allow for proper supervision for the other kids, as well as transportation for them to the finish.  I was dreading the thought of having to pull the plug on the swim because the logistics weren't falling to place in my mind.

When we reached the boat ramp, I noticed that all the kids were there, but no Cathi.  I yelled out to Jonas, "Where's Mom?"  He said, "Back at the tent."  I was infuriated because all the kids were at the end of the dock where there was an immediate 8 foot depth of water and here's Oliver jumping up and down yelling "Go Dad!" where if he fell in, he would be dead.  I asked Cathi to call Mom on my cell phone and hand it to me.  All while I'm treading water about 10 feet from the end of the ramp.

When she answered, I had to hold the phone away from my head cause I was in a very aggravated and grumpy mood.  I had to vent.  I yelled "Cathi!  Where are you!  I need you!  These kids are unsupervised at the waterfront and they are inches from falling in and drowning!  Get your ASS down here RIGHT NOW!!!!   NOW!!!!"  I was so angry.  I have never cursed at my wife, ever!  And this was the first time.  Not a "first ever" moment that I'm proud of.

I treaded water there for a good 10 minutes waiting, and still no Cathi.  So I yelled at the kids to just start making their way back to camp (which was only about a 3 minute walk from the boat ramp).  When I saw them completely clear of the waterfront and walking up the path to our campsite, I told Lucy to continue south, and to stay right next to the shoreline with the Kayak, where the chop and ripples from the water were far less dramatic.  Plus if we did see Cathi along the shoreline on the road, we could figure something out.

We never did see the van, and the wind did start to settle just a little, but it was still rough for her.  We made it another couple miles and I was still having to wait for Lucy every few minutes to catch up.  The smashing of the John Kelly's time was just not gonna happen today.  I was still even wondering if it was going to be a successful crossing with the amount of difficulty Lucy was having.

G) "Deer Graveyard" - Since we were swimming so close to shore I could see the bottom where it varied from 8 to 20 feet deep depending on how close we were to the shoreline.  I kept seeing golf balls, and lots of bones.  I assume there were from deer, or other similarly sized creatures.  What caused all this death and destruction?  Could if be that deer swim here and keep getting hit in the head with golfers practicing their drives?

During the frequent "pause" sessions waiting for Lucy to catch up, I did surface dives to retrieve golf balls, and a really old bottle that I saw on the bottom.  This was turning into an adventure swim that included souvenirs!  I threw them in the back of the kayak and she gave me my first feeding in quite a while.  I went well over an hour without a feeding to avoid making Lucy stop and get pushed sideways with the wind.

At this point, then sun actually showed up and the wind died down even more.  However I noticed to the south some really dark clouds building up.

As we neared the finish I continued to encourage Lucy to keep up.  There was a chance I could actually break 6 hours at the finish.  I originally wanted to break 5 hours, but thanks to the wind affecting Lucy's performance, and with the long delay at the boat ramp waiting for Cathi to take full responsibility of the children, that 5 hour goal was definitely not going to happen.  At this point I was so grateful to finish.  I saw more golf balls on the lake bottom as I neared the finish, and couldn't resist retrieving them once more.  I then finished the swim to the cheers of many people on shore.  I took one final temp reading on my watch: 66 degrees even.

Along with my family on shore cheering was John Kelly's father, and Megan Rawlins, a reporter with the Pinedale Roundup paper who I contacted earlier in the week about my swim.  I got out and wrapped up in a towel and talked with them.  I was so proud of my daughter!  She was so tired and her arms were spent.  I couldn't have done this swim without her, and she definitely couldn't have done it without me!  She was a real hero.   I was so grateful that she finished, and allowed me to make the full crossing as well.  Despite the many delays, it was still a record breaker.  From 6:37 to 5:58:22.

Within minutes of loading up the kayak and heading to Pinedale for a late lunch, there was a huge downpour and it rained violently for about a half hour.  I was so glad we started on schedule and didn't hit this storm, which was forecasted to come just as it did.  What a fantastic day!

Here's the full kmz file of Lucy's GPS tracking, which can be seen in Google Earth:  http://www.gordongridley.us/Swimming/FremontLakeCrossing.kmz

Here's a pretty good video of the whole experience:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pineview swim and weekend plan revealed

Started swim at Pineview at 5:33am and the left shoulder tendon was annoying for the first 2/3 of lap 1, but after that it was fine.  I found another wetsuited swimmer to try to catch up to, and was able to do so before getting to the last buoy.  I stopped at neck level at the beach, and got a drink.  The wetsuited guy took of his wetsuit after he got out.  Don't blame him.  The water was 75 degrees this morning!

He was so skinny, I couldn't get over how thin this guy was.  It made me ponder the difference in body types between many triathlon athletes and marathons swimmers.  His face and hands were tan, but everything else was white.  Whereas many marathon swimmers are pudgy and tan.  An interesting combination.

The second lap was much better however the wind picked up so swimming west away from the dam took a little more effort, which was fine.  I extended my route just a little to get as close to 5 miles as possible.  When I stopped it was 4.93 so I did another little extra minute or so to get the 5 miles.

I'm thinking about this weekend and have a plan.  Bear Lake is just too warm to be considered cold water training, so I'm planning on swimming the length of Lake Fremont, like I had originally planned at the beginning of the year. This was the weekend I had planned it, and sure enough, I'm gonna make the trip with the family on Friday evening.

I tried getting a hold of John Kelly, but Ward Wise told me that he may be living in Denver.  So I'm trying to get a hold of Tom Brown, who seems to be the local expert on swimming in Lake Fremont.  I'd like him to at least be aware of my attempt.

Water temp I'm hoping is just under 60, but not much more lower.  I'd be a little nervous if it was 55 and I had to swim that long.  58-59 should be doable, but it's amazing what just a few degrees difference really is.

Today's Total:  5 miles even in 2:39

Last night's ice bath consisted of A LOT more ice.  The kids had probably 4-5 gallons of ice ready for me.  They filled up the bathtub with cold water even before I got home.  I did 40 minutes and the temp was 59°F.  After I got the boys were excited to test their own manliness and Jacob did 20 minutes and Isaac did 8 minutes.   It was fun to see them be tough.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Let the ice soaking begin

Swam out at pineview at 5:45am and did one big lap.  Saw two swimmers with SSD's, but didn't register that it was Goody and Kim until after I got out.  I was focused on catching a couple of wetsuited swimmers I saw up ahead.  It was a close one.  I only passed them the last 25 yards of the swim.  It was cool to get in a little speed today.  

Total: 2.45 miles in 1:16

I've taken to ice baths the past couple days and have a plan to take one every day until I leave for England.  Started out Saturday afternoon with 30 minutes in 67°F (all the ice in the house), and Sunday afternoon for 35 minutes at the same temp.  It seems that even with @ two gallons of ice, I can't get the water temp to get below 65.  The kids are determined to help me, and have found old ice cream containers, and buckets and have filled them up and put them out in the garage freezer.  I should be getting below 65 for this evening's soak.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jr. Double

Austin and I about to start our journey

Find more Swim in Garden City, UT

Last night the whole family went to Bear Lake, we camped out in a tent at a site just off the shoreline.
Austin brought home "Airhead Wilson"

I woke up this morning at 5am and got Austin up.  We got ready and started our swim at 5:40am.  My goal was to do 10 miles today.  I looked at the GPS map, and since we were so far to the south end of the lake, to go across and a little north was about 5 miles.  Since it wasn't the full width at the widest point, I'm calling it a Jr. Double [Crossing].

The sunrise this morning was breathtaking!
The first mile was tough cause I was stiff, but after that was good.  I was swimming along and noticed while breathing to the side that Austin was looking at something with intent.  I looked in the same direction and saw.... Airhead Wilson!  It was a ball that looked like a soccer ball, but it was just a blow up beachball.  I yelled out "Wilson! Oh Wilson!  We found you!"  Austin was amused and put the ball in the front of the kayak. 

Austin stretching out

When we got to the other side I was surprised how fast it went.  I texted Cathi to let her know we'd be back at 11:30am.  I saw a couple of fish that were probably in the 20 inch range.  Huge! 

Mile 6-8 was fantastic.  I was feeling strong and kept thinking of what the English Channel is gonna be like.  I had lots of variety with today's feeds:  Perpetuem, Swiss Rolls, Cereal bars.  I discovered a new food item that I was REALLY craving especially during mile 9-10: Chicken Nuggets.  Something with protein!  I'm gonna get some of those for next time to try.

When we got back to the boat ramp the GPS said, 9.95 miles, so I got Austin out and Jacob and Jonas got in the boat for an additional little bit to get the route in the 10 mile range.  We swam from the boat ramp to the next available beach to the south.  It was only an additional .65 miles, but enough to get my goal for the day.

The kids had a blast playing in the water and we had a very fun Saturday together as a family and I got in a great swim at the same time!   I'm so tired, but I'm already looking forward to next week.  I'm planning on starting out at the Utah State Bear Lake Marina on the western side and am planning a legitimate double width crossing.  In order to to that however, I'm gonna pull back my yardage a bit this next week, so that I'm not quite so tired and sore. 

Total Distance 10.59 miles in 5:43

Friday, July 6, 2012

Swimming in the Caribbean

Every ride the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland?  Remember that misty smell and how humid it was?  That's what it was like at Pineview early this morning.  I was there in the water at 5:30 am and started my swim.  The clouds were only a few hundred feet above the surface of the glass like water.  It was awesome!

I saw a few wetsuited triathloners, and only one boat near the shoreline fishing.  It was very peaceful day today.  First 1/2 mile was sore, but after I loosed up things only got better and I finished extra strong.

Did 2 extra wide loops today:

4.81 miles in 2:36

Looking forward to Bear Lake this evening.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Life just isn't fair

I read this article in Marathon Swimmers.org forum by Scott Zornig, SBCSA President.  And a lot of people have chimed in.  I'm adding my two cents here, so I can speak my mind as this is my site, and I don't need to filter anything.

"He called me a name!"  "I want that toy!"
Swimmers who whine about what other people are doing, are like little kids who whine when Mom and Dad bring home a dozen assorted donuts and they end up complaining, "Hey!  His donut is bigger than mine" or "His donut has sprinkles!  I wanted that one!"

Sure wetsuits give one an advantage, but if you have a problem with that, don't wear one!  Don't worry about what other people are doing, or saying about their swims.  It's their swim.  They can call it whatever the hell they want.  IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!  You don't own the sport of open water swimming and if someone wants to swim in open water with a wetsuit, with paddles, fins, or whatever, who cares!  I have no respect for the media, so I don't care that they don't know the difference.  Just eat your damn donut and shut the hell up!

I've really had it with these elitists who feel like their swims are "lessened" because someone else did something that gives them an unnatural advantage.  You know what, life just isn't fair.  One day you can swim a huge distance and the next day try to cover that same exact route, and fail because Mother Nature was in a pissy mood.  It's not an even playing field to begin with.

Anyway,  I just had to get this off my chest, because I'm really tired of hearing so much of the "I'm better than they are, and they "cheated".  I don't care!  Call your swim whatever you want.  You can even choose to not disclose certain advantages if you so wish, because WHAT REALLY MATTERS IS WHAT YOU THINK OF YOURSELF.

I chose to not wear a wetsuit because I like the feel of the water, and yes, I have my own thoughts about people who chose to wear them, but you know what?  I keep it to myself, because again, it isn't me in the wetsuit, and it's none of my business.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July Celebration swim

This morning I got up early for a Fourth of July celebration swim.  I stopped at McD's on the way in and got a couple of meal combo's and two sausage burritos.  The burritos I got for feeds during my swim.

Heading away from the dam buoys was a slight bit of headwind,
but it was a good workout and I almost felt like I was in a
Endless Pool or swimming upstream.  It was slow going,
but I made it.
I was in the water at Pineview Reservoir exactly at 6am.  There was only one boat on the water at that time and the sun was not up yet.  I was still stiff from the buildup of swims since last Saturday.  This was gonna be a tough day for swimming.  The water was fine, there was only a slight ripple, and there weren't any clouds.  The weather was perfect, I just was feeling a tad sore in my neck and shoulders.  But I kept thinking in terms of today's swim being an exercise in mental toughnness.  I was sporting my Swimmer Buddy with the noodle and AMERICAN FLAG.  I was feeling patriotic, and safe.  And it was a lifesaver with how many boats there were later on in the morning.

The first lap was relatively slow, but each lap got progressively stronger, and faster.  By the fourth and final lap, there was probably 30-40 boats in the big no wake zone where I swim.  I got lots of stares and even some people cheering on a boat that I passed up.  I downed a breakfast burrito at the end of the 2nd and 3rd laps.  Man those were good and they went down fast!  The water was hot!  It was 71.8 when I got in and when I got out it was 75.  I'm really gonna have to start taking ice baths.

On the fourth lap I did an extra loop near the dam buoys, as I took a quick look at my GPS at the end of the third lap and figured out that each lap was only 2.35 miles.  When I stopped at the end my GPS read 10.1 miles and the total time was 5:52.  Not the fastest 10 miles I've ever done, but not bad considering I am dog tired.

I'm gonna take a rest day tomorrow since I have another 10 mile swim at Bear Lake this Saturday.
Beautiful day, and everyone on the water was respectful and kept their distance.  What a great swim!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Crash and burn

This morning I was on the road at 4:25am and was heading up to Pineview.  I was nearly at the top of Trappers Loop and was coming around a corner on the highway.  I was going about 50, when all of a sudden BOOM!  I hit a deer smack dab in the very front of my car.  I didn't have time to hit the brakes.  It was still very dark outside with barely any light showing on the eastern horizon.  I slowed down and pulled over to check the damage.  I had a flashlight and got out to check it out.  Both headlight covers were smashed and the hood was bent bad, but no noticeable damage on the bumper or fender.  I was VERY surprised at how little damage it caused to my car considering the size of the deer and how fast I was going upon impact.  I was going under the speed limit as I was going up the hill, but definitely fast enough, that the poor deer I'm sure flew quite far and died from the injuries.

When I got to work this morning, I took this photo of the
damage.  Dang deer!  They really need to look both ways
before crossing the street!  And when it's dark, they should
be asleep, not walking about on highways.
Both headlights were still working, just with no cover.  I made my way to the parking lot and started my swim right at 5:30am.  I did two large loops between the dam and the buoy line.  On my second lap I noticed lots of wetsuited swimmers.  The sun finally came up on the second lap and the sunrise was creepy with the smoke in the air from the distant wildfires.  I'm not aware of any fires locally, but I could definitely smell the smoke, and the air on the eastern horizon was less than ideal.

Other than that, my swim went very well.  I was a little stiff on the first lap, but by the second one, I felt fine.  I just was low on energy as last night's dinner was far below par.  Cathi was working, so I was relying on Austin's cooking.

Looking forward to a longer swim tomorrow in celebration of the 4th of July!  Today's water temp was 72°F.  Way too warm!  I wish I could do Bear Lake tomorrow, but it's just so far away.  Plus I'm heading up there this weekend, so it'll have to wait.  Tomorrow will have to be another warm swim in Pineview.  I'm not willing to head down to Deer Creek which is probably the coldest body of water in the area at the moment.

Total Distance: 4.69 miles in 2:30

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lucky morning hitting one in a million odds

Well not exactly.  I  was able to get through 20 intersections on 400 South up to Steiner with all of them being green lights.  That's 2^10 odds.  Except I'm sure the turning of lights isn't random, they should be timed like this, but they're not always.  Then I get up to Steiner, and the morning guy didn't open the door till 5:10am.  He had a pretty good crows outside waiting like blood thirsty mosquitoes looking in outside a window at a bunch of shirtless kids.

Anyway I did 750 yards inside before they opened the outdoor pool, and then did:

1500 free
2000 - 2 x 1000's pull descending paddles
500 kick
1500 free - TT is a piece of crap, it kept stopping.  I'm not pleased with FINIS right now.  Their QA on their electronics is severely lacking.  I didn't want to screw my workout so I ended up only doing 300 with the TT before giving up on it.
3000 - 3 x 1000's pull descending paddles
1500 strong

10000M + 750 yards = 11,675 yards total in 3:15

Had a great workout and the last 1500 felt great.  I shared a lane with a guy in paddles that was slightly slower than me and I was working on lapping him, which I did twice.