Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Goody almost through week 3 of his Chemo treatements
This morning after lifting with Cathi I went to pick up Goody to take him to the hospital.  What a refreshing and uplifting morning!  He shared with me some of his thoughts on his take on his trials.  I didn't have a recorder, so I'll paraphrase what I got out of our conversation:  He was like "Who am I to question God and ask, Why me?  It's his decision on what trials to give and when.  I can only pray for his help in getting through it and being strong.  I'll be a better person for it."  What a fantastic attitude!

I often hear the "poor me" and "Why would God allow....." speech from many people and it's a little disturbing, but this morning Goody was able to show me the level of faith he has and trust in God and man what an amazing ride in to Salt Lake City it was.  Inspiring day.

After work, I was in the mood for a good long swim so I did:

1000 free warmup
3500 - 10 x (50 drill easy on 1:00, 100 strong on 1:30 (landed 1:16-1:20), 200 strong on 3:00 (landed 2:35-2:40))
500 - 100 easy, 400 IM
2000 pull large paddles
1000 pull star trek paddles
500 finger paddles
300 - 4 x 75's (25 w/3 pound weights, 50 sprint) on 1:30
200 - IM

9,000 yards total in 2:35

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 One Hour Postal

Warming up
This morning I met up with Josh at Northwest at 6am and timed him for his one hour.  His stroke looked strong and controlled.  He got 4155 yards in an hour.  Nice job!
Split times

Last year's postal I did 4350 yards,  the year before I did 4535 yards.  This year my goal was at least 4500 yards.  (1:20/100 pace)  I ended up with 4425 yards (1:21.35/100 pace)  That's 98.34% of my goal.  Not what I wanted, but I wont whine about it.  I have to be happy with that given that only 4 1/2 months back I had rotator cuff repair surgery, and had to wait until December to really start swimming.

I did a good 500 yard swim warmup before hand and that was nice.

Afterwards I did 150 yards easy free then 300 IM easy

Total 5300 yards 

Didn't lift this morning before the swim cause I wanted to be fresh.  Will do it on the way home.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weighted freestyle

Today when I woke up, I did my normal wake up routine which includes checking my email/facebook.  I saw this drill posted, and was super stoked to try it!

So I stopped at Walmart on the way in and bought 3 pound foam covered weights.  I tried this drill out today, and LOVED IT!

I'm sure my form didn't resemble anything like this video, but rather someone who was drowning.  However I got each 25 in about 27 seconds which isn't terrible I guess.  It was a lot of fun and forced me to focus on my fast and strong pull, and slow recovery.  Plus you have to kick hard too.  Lots of good stuff on that drill.  Looking forward to adding it to my favorite stuff to do.

1000 - 400 IM, 6 x 75 (25 weighted free, 50 free strong!) on 2:00
1000 kick with fins
1000 pull strong big paddles (13:00)
1000 pull star trek paddles faster! (12:55)
1000 - 400 IM, 6 x 75's (25 weighted free, 50 free sprint) on 2:00
300 IM warmdown

5,300 yards total in 1:35

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Busy and fun day

This morning I was able to sleep in until 8am!  Felt so good!  Got up and drove to Fort Bueneventura state park for a cold water dip for a fundraiser for a local private school.  Met Goody there and it was good to catch up with him a little before the event.  This was literally just a dip and not a swim.  Water was only a couple feet deep and it was muddy and nasty.  Stinky stuff.

Then I went lifting at the gym, immediately followed by a swim at Northwest:

200 - 2 x 100's IM
400 - 2 x 200's IM
800 - 2 x 400's kick with fins
1600 - 2 x 800s free strong
1600 - 1 x 1600 free (25 catch up - 25 normal)

Then work back up starting with another 1600.

Total distance 9,200 yards in 2:50

Lots of good work today.  This evening had a great family party at the Lionhouse for my mother in law's birthday.  She's an awesome woman and so blessed to have such fantastic grandparents for my children!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


This morning I was limited on time, and only had a little over an hour to swim, so I just did:

4000 - 2 x 2000 free strong in 1:06

I was distracted during my counting, thinking about all the frustration I've been dealing with.  I own two vehicles and both of them are in the shop with car repairs.  Not simple little repairs either.  It's going to cost me over $3000 to get all of it taken care of.  What a pain!  At least I get them back today as the past week has been a complete juggling act trying to get transportation figured out.

My parents have been kind enough to let me use their car a couple times when I was stuck without a way to get around.  Anyway, today's swim included several laps of "penance" due to distracting thoughts of car repairs, and wondering if I'm getting screwed by the mechanics or not.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shark book

After reading this book, any nervousness of encountering a shark I'm hoping will be settled once the "unknown" gap is filled up with knowledge should I actually even see a shark out there.  But I got to finish my Fear book first.

This morning after my resistance training I did:

1000 free
2000 - 2 x (200 IM, 4 x 200's free descending) on 3:15
Descended the free from 2:45 - 2:15
 2000 - 1000 startrek paddles, 500 large paddles, 500 finger paddles
500 - 2 x (100 IM, 75 back, 50 breast, 25 free)
500 - 5 x 100's odd free, even stroke on 1:30/2:00

6,000 yards total in 1:48

Monday, January 21, 2013

No longer a Beluga

At last!  No longer a Clydesdale.
Psyched cause I weighed in on Sunday morning under 200 pounds.  Haven't been that weight in about 4 years.

200 stroke
200 kick - 4 x 50's
1200 - 4 x { 100 IM :20ri, 4 x 50's free on :45)
3000 - 10 x (200 free pull, 100 - 4 x 25's odd pull buoy down backstroke, coming back - breast)
400 kick with fins
500 - 5 x 100's free strong on 1:30 (got under 1:20 on all)
500 - 5 x 100's easy, odd free, even IM

6,000 yards total in 2:00

No longer a Beluga!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday with the Fantastic 4, minus the fourth.

This morning when I woke up my shoulder was in so much pain!  Last night Cathi and I did our new resistance training workout that we were assigned, and while it was mostly biceps and upper back, my left shoulder could definitely feel it this morning!  I took 4 ibupofen and went to finish some things at the office.  Then hurried off to NWRC for some swimming:

1000 - 10 x 100's IM
1000 - 1000 kick with fins
1000 - 10 x 100's (50 free, 50 swim)
1000 - 10 x 100's free with small paddles on 1:30
By this point, all pain in my shoulder was gone and I was able to do these pretty strong.  Got 1:12-1:18 on all of them and felt great!
500 - 100 kick, free, kick, free, kick
500 - 2 x (100 IM, 75 back, 50 breast, 25 free)

5,000 yards total in 1:25

Then hurried off to the marina to meet up with Josh and Jim.  The "Fantastic 4" isn't the same without G4.  Jim measured the water at 29f.  It was definitely a shocker getting in.  I wasn't about to swim.  I just got in to my neck and enjoyed the coolness for one minute exactly, then I got out.  It was pleasant this time to enjoy it without going through the worst part - recovery.  When you're only in for a minute, there really isn't any recovery to deal with.  It was good to get together and Jim snapped some sweet pics.

Next Saturday is the NDPA Freezin' for a reason dip.  It'll be easy peasy.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Second Breakfast

This morning I went straight to work, and got off early.  Did a strong swim for the first hour:

2000 free
2000 star trek paddles
Did it in 57 minutes
1000 - 500 kick, 500 IM

5,000 yards total in 1:15 

In accordance to my trainers guidance I've been eating 6 "meals" a day consisting of around 300 calories each:  Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevensies, Afternoon Tea, Dinner, Supper.

Reminds me of this clip from LOTR which is one of my favs:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Clean and warm

This morning I had to take take the train in to work, so I was stuck going to Layton Surf N Swim this morning.  The pool there is nice cause it's clean, but it's also warm.  Water temp was 85.  I'm getting so soft this week!  Didn't do a GSL swim yesterday cause of car trouble, but will do a polar bear dip this Saturday maybe. Ended up doing:

500 free
500 stroke
500 kick
1000 - 4 x 250's (100 free, 75 back, 50 breast, 25 free)
2000 - 4 x 500's pull first two with buoy, second two without.  All on 7:30
500 free no equipment
300 kick
200 free
500 - 2 x 250's easy (100 free, 75 back, 50 breast, 25 free)

6,000 yards total in 1:50

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My sweet mother finished the patch

My mom made the corrections I asked for and really delivered.  Goody's Ice mile patch looks awesome.  Can't wait to see it on his parka.

This morning my shoulder was giving me a little trouble so I did quite a bit of non-free to loosen it up:

6300 - 9 x 700's  free/back/breast/free/back/breast/free by 100

750 free strong

By the time I got finished with the 9th 700 it was fine and I did 750 yards free and felt good.

7,050 yards total in 2:10

Monday, January 14, 2013

Last appointment with Dr. Gardiner

This morning I had to cut my workout just a little short, but not too bad.  I had an appointment with my shoulder surgeon, Dr. James Gardiner.

He asked me a bunch of questions about my recovery and did some testing of my range of motion and strength.  He was very surprised at how well I have done in 4 months and suggested I continue to do what I've been doing, and to listen to my body.  The stiffness and slight pain that occurs as I wake up in the morning he said is normal and will go away over time.  I expected that.  So I'm checked out medically.

This morning I was late to the pool cause Cathi and I lifted for an hour and I had a little car trouble, but got it resolved.  Here's the workout:

300 easy
450 - 3 x 150's (1 - swim, 2 - drill/free, 3 - stroke)
200 kick no fins
1600 - 2 x (2 x 100's free fast on 1:30, 300 pull, 150 swim/kick/swim, 150 kick/swim/kick with fins)
450 - 6 x 75's (25 sprint, 25 stroke, 25 free)

450 - 3 x 150's (1 - swim, 2 - drill/free, 3 - stroke)
200 kick no fins
1600 - 2 x (2 x 100's free fast on 1:30, 300 pull, 150 swim/kick/swim, 150 kick/swim/kick with fins)

5,250 yards total in 1:30

Saturday, January 12, 2013

More streamlined in the water

Last night Cathi and I went to our trainer and had our body fat checked since two weeks back.  The results each time have been extremely gratifying.  When I started on December 1st, my bodyfat % was 25.97%.  Last night it measured 14.16%.  That's a total fat loss of 30.55 pounds and a lean mass (muscle) gain of 5.75 pounds.  So there is less fat for me to pull along in the water.  My abs started at 42.5 inches and are now at 35.5 inches, and waist from 42.25 inches down to 36 inches.  Cathi wants to hit it hard for another 6 weeks which would mean we are half way.  Even if I got 25% of the results so far over the next 6 weeks, that would put my body fat under 10% and that would be six pack range.  That would be the best shape of my life.  So I'm going to keep it going hard for six more weeks and see if I can get that under 10% BF at around 190 - 195 pounds.

This morning I swam at Layton and did:

6000 yards total -12 x 500's odds free, even equipment or IM (2 paddles, 2 fins, 2 IM) in 1:45

Got home, showered all that chlorine off.  Then Cathi and I went and did an hour of weights.  I'm beat!  But feel fantastic!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Benefiting from the Blizzard

Last night I drove about 45 minutes on side roads where nobody was going, and made excellent progress compared to I-15/Legacy Hwy.  But I got to the point where I pretty much had to take either I-15 or Legacy and they both were crawling along in the blizzard.  There was already about 3-4 inches of snow and it was slow and very slippery.  I called Cathi to get her approval on just heading back to my parents house to stay.  She was all for it.

So I went there and put together a recumbent bike they bought and tried it out for 45 minutes.  It was a good workout.  I struggled to get up this morning to do another bike workout, but did get up in time to get to the pool at 6:15am.  I did:

350 WU - 200 free, 3 x 50's kick
1,250 - 5 x (100 pull, 50 free, 4 x 25's sprint)
400 - 4 x 100's drill/strong
300 - 4 x 75's kick with fins
400 - 8 x 50's (fly/back, back/breast, breast/free, free/fly) x 2
350 WD - 200 free, 3 x 50's kick

3,050 total in 1:15  Didn't really feel it today.  Was tired and lacking in energy, but felt fine about this workout, so I called it.  My weight in with Cameron is tonight.  This morning's weight was 204.2 pounds.  Loss of 25 pounds in 6 weeks.  Get my body fat taken again.  Once I get down to 10% body fat, I'll be golden and will work on maintenance.

Goody got front page in the paper this morning!  It was great to see his story get in the news.  He's awesome.  He's been so tough in dealing with his treatments and getting through it.  So proud of this guy.   

As for all the whining about the snow.  I'm not joining in.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Today I was on my own since Masters doesn't meet in the mornings at NWRC on Tuesdays and Thursdays,  so I made up my own workout:


500 free easy
500 IM
500 free
500 kick with fins
500 free
500 pull no strap paddles
500 free
500 - 5 x 100's free star trek paddles on 1:30
500 free
500 - 250 kick no fins, 250 anti paddles
500 free
500 IM

6,000 yards total in 1:10

Felt drained at the 5,500 mark which was perfect.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fear Project

My copy of The Fear Project came tonight.  I'm excited to get into it.  Its basically a book that attempts to understand and identify the causes of fear.  It is my hope that by reading this book, it helps me take a step back when I encounter something that "scares" me, and I learn to conceptualize whether the fear is based on a valid risk, or an irrational thought process.

I remember considering swimming Catalina Channel before the English Channel, but I started to get too mindful of the creatures that occasionally swim in the area, and backed out of that goal.  I realize now that Jellyfish encounters are in actuality going to be more of an issue than even seeing or encountering a shark.  But I like to bring it up as a small risk when someone asks me about it.  But its about as likely as being at the bank at the same time that it's being robbed.

This morning I picked up Goody to take him to the hospital.  I decided to go straight to work, and then get off early so I could do an afternoon swim.  Which is what I did.  Here's the breakdown:

400 IM easy
400 kick no fins
800 free
800 finger paddles
1600 Star Trek paddles
1600 no strap paddles
400 IM easy

6,000 yards total in 1:55

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Jim Hubbard Wimp Killer Course

I'd like to name today's course after Jim Hubbard.  This guy is always so eager to get in a cold swim.  He's probably the most dedicated winter swimmer I know.  If it isn't GSL, it's Deer Creek.  Today's water temp on my watch which I plopped in the shallow water a few minutes before getting in read 34°F.  But that couldn't have been true cause when I got out it read 32°F.  The GSL Marina website read 29, so I'm going with that cause my watch wasn't in the water long enough to really get an accurate reading.  It takes a good 7 minutes.

Today's route was from the boat ramp to the corner of the marina, which is a kiddy-corner type route.  A total distance of 265 yards.  (0.15 miles)

I'm naming this course the Jim Hubbard Wimp Killer.  In order for it to be a legitimate wimp killer, you need to do it in water that is less than 30 degrees.  When I got out, my fingers were just as thrashed as they were 2 weeks ago doing the 400 yard course.  I was only in the water for 3:32, but the recovery was just as intense.  And my fingertips are sill tingly which isn't all bad, kinda freaky though.

After that, I went to the NWRC pool and did:

1000 free
1000 - 600 kick, 400 IM easy
2000 free strong with large paddles
250 - 100 IM, 75 breast, 50 back 25 free
100 - easy
150 - 100 IM, 50 free long easy strokes

4,500 yards total in 1:06

Monday, January 7, 2013

And you are?

This morning I joined the masters group at NWRC and after doing the warmup, Kim Hunter didn't recognize  me (thanks to my bald head and beard shaved), and said as she reached over to shake my hand,  "Hi!  You are?....."  I said, "Gordon,  I shaved my head." and shook her hand anyway.   Kinda funny, I'm like my coworker Christian in that my appearance can change from one month to the next pretty dramatically.  Today's workout was:

500 - 8 x 50's free, 4 x 25's kick
1600 - 4 x (100 IM, 100 pull, 100 free, 4 x 25's sprint) with :20 rest between each, 1 minute between sets.
550 - 6 x 75's (kick, swim, kick), 4 x 50's IM order by 25

After that I did the whole thing over again on my own, this time, at a slightly slower pace, but with dramatically less time to rest between intervals.  The 2nd round ended up taking less time.

5,500 yards total in 1:50

I'm thinking that with the extremely cold weather we're having that the temp of the GSL I'm betting will be under 30 tomorrow.  If so, I'll be going for a kiddy corner lap at the Marina.  That's cut the total distance to 200 yards.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Better than nothing

This morning I worked out with Cathi at the gym, and only had an hour and a half to swim due to a baptism I  was going to attend.  So I did:

1000 - 500 easy, 500 kick
2000 - 2000 pull easy
1000 - 4 x (100 IM, 75 breast, 50 breast, 25 free)

4,000 yards total in 1:20

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's an incentive, not bribery.

With the recent race results, I have a nice pair of faux-sheepskin gloves for Jim, who was the winner of "The Longest person in the water" award from New Years.

With my time, I was able to hang on to the kayak, which I was hoping would incent someone like James Jonsson, or Wes Johnson to come out and kick my butt.  But it failed.  So now I'm going to incent people to register with USMS, and align with Salt Lake Open Water Club.(SLOW)  Rules are very simple.  I will take a listing of all registered swimmers with USMS and SLOW on this list, on March 20th, the first day of spring.  Anyone on the list will be in the drawing for the kayak, and I will draw a number using an online number generator.  The person who's number is picked, wins the kayak.  Register here.

So keep this info to yourself, or be unselfish and encourage people who are on the fence about USMS registration, or typically go UNAT, and have them join SLOW!  There is one catch. The winner has to come get the kayak, so if some dude from Florida joins SLOW, it's his responsibility to come get it.  I'm not paying for shipping.

This morning I was on my own at NWRC and did:

1000 warmup - 500 free/500 fins
1000 pull large paddles - 10 x 100's on 1:30 easy intensity(got @ 1:20 -22)
1000 back/breast/free x 3 + last 100 IM
1000 no strap paddles - 10 x 100's on 1:30 medium intensity(got @ 1:20 -22)
1000 - 4 x (100 IM, 75 breast, 50 back, 25 free)
1000 finger paddles STRONG - 10 x 100's on 1:30 (got @ 1:10-13)
50 grandpa

6050 total in 1:55

Last night I did a presentation to about 50 teenagers on my EC crossing.  I thought I sucked.  Cathi said it was good, but I didn't feel  like I presented very well.  I'm a much better writer than public speaker, that's for sure.
This evening I was in the mood to get even more, so I stopped at NWRC for 40 minutes and did 2000 free straight.  Took 32 minutes.  Then an additional 50 breast.

8100 total for the day

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Getting a trim

500 - 300 free easy, 4 x 50's kick
1000 - 4 x {100 IM, 75 breast, 50 back, 25 free}
750 - 3 x {200 pull, 50 breast}
450 - 6 x 75's back/free/breast
100 - 4 x 25's one breath

Then did the workout all over again.

5600 yards total in 1:30

Tonight I am doing a presentation to the youth in my ward on goal setting, and discussing the English Channel swim from last year.  Should be fun.

I was so caught up in the New Years Race up till now, that I was slow to get my head shaved in support of my good friend Goody.  But yesterday afternoon that was resolved, and I let my 5 year old do the job for me.  He did great!  Followed it up with a razor in the shower.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Annual Great Salt Lake New Years Day Open Water Swim

This morning I got up at 6am and starting going through my To do list, and got everything packed in the van. Met up with Dave at 10am and went over the safety plan and reviewed some procedures and were good to go.   We got there in time to not only get everything setup in time, but it was stress free and I was able to hang a little bit with everyone.  We had the perfect number of shirts and were able to give the volunteers a shirt too.

It was thrilling to have so many people
 there to support
the swimmers!
I was very surprised to see that Kim and Annie were there to swim.  That was great, cause we had a couple swimmers drop out, so we ended up with eight swimmers which is what I had planned for.

I had Jonas take my watch and leave it in the shallow water for about 10 minutes.  When I pulled it out it read 31.4°F (-0.33°C).  Chad told me his air temp read 19°F.  It was a little overcast and even had a couple of flakes floating down now and then.

The crowd of onlookers.
First wave was: Rick Edge and Jim Hubbard.
Second wave: Sue Frehse and Nathan Nelson
Third wave: Annie Stanish and Kim Patterson
I was surprised at how fast Annie was cruising right along.  
My hands down favorite pic of the
event.  Nathan celebrating victory with
Josh cheering in the background.
Fourth and final wave:  Josh and I were up and at that point I was so pumped at how everything had turned out from the race, and the spectators, and having the media there.  Everything had fallen just perfectly into place.  Everyone was safe, and the heated van right at the waters edge really helped everyone.  So when it was my time to go, I was hardly phased at all.  I swam strong and fast.  I wanted to beat my 5:36 PR for the course. When I got back I tried to get out of the water as fast as I could to get my finish time under 5:30.  I ended up with 5:20 and was pleased with that.  That's a 1:20 pace for a 100 yards.  Not bad considering that you are so numb at the end that you can't really feel your stroke and are going on muscle memory, and visual cues from watching your arms that you're doing what you're supposed to.
Check out the "tan line" on my forehead.
Yes, it's painful at start, but you go numb.
And that's a good thing.  

I was so happy with the level of camaraderie that we all have and genuinely want each swimmer to have a good experience despite the less than peachy conditions.  Since I ended up with the fastest time, I got to keep the kayak.  However, I plan on doing a free raffle drawing in February for anyone who is a member of SLOW.

Hoping that boosts our numbers and involvement with getting masters swimmers involved with Open Water. Especially when it starts to warm up.  Cause sure, the cold water isn't for everyone.  Just the masochists.  And I actually have a history with that.

Very pleased with the volunteers and safety crew that helped out.  I also can't imagine a better Harbormaster than Dave Shearer.  He's such a cool guy.  And very on the ball with water safety.  Everyone was able to do the full course without incident.  Perfect way to bring in 2013.

Here's a Deseret News article on the event.  Thanks to Emily Morgan for coming out, and for Ben Brewer sharing the pics.