Saturday, March 30, 2013

Biographical documentary

Michael Slade sent one of his students who needed to do a video biography of someone and he suggested me as the subject.  I met Brooke at the GSL Marina this morning and spent a lot of time answering questions  about various things related to the English Channel swim and marathon swimming in general.

Then she got in the front of the kayak while Lucy paddled and I swam out towards blackrock.  I got about 3/4 way there, and she ran out of batteries.  I had a bad feeling about leaving all my English Channel memorabilia just laying out there on the dock.  I had my kids there, but I wasn't sure I could rely on them to keep an on it for me.  So we turned around and headed back.

Lucy paddled way ahead of me so she could get Brooke back to get her battery recharged in her car for a little bit more coverage.  When I arrived back at the dock I felt good and swam strong the whole time.  However once I got out, I did get the shakes pretty good.  The temp on my watch read 57°F.  I estimate that the total distance was over 1.5 miles so I'll go with 1.5.

Once I get the final video cut I'll post a link here.

Total: 1.5 miles in :47 minutes

Friday, March 29, 2013

Intensity Day

Today I opted for intensity rather than distance:

300 swim
200 kick

1500 - 3 x (300 build by 25, restart by 100), 200 pull strong under 2:35 on 3:00
400 - 8 x 50's kick with fins alternate front/back/fly/flutter
500 - 5 x 100's race pace on 2:00 - 2:30  (1:04, 1:05, 1:06, 1:04, 1:03)
100 warmdown

3,000 yards total in 1:00  Got my heart rate up there for sure!  Looking forward to tomorrow's 2 mile swim in the GSL.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Unbelievably warm

Getting ready to get in.  Water smooth
and sun shining!
Met Sue and Stacey out at the Marina.  The sun was bright and the air temp was perfect.  Got in and did 4 laps of the 400 yard loop.  There was several skulling boats coming in so we waited for them to get out of the way.  There were also lots of SUPs.  Lots of activity out there today which is nice!  The water temp on my watch read 60.2f.  Unbelievable how nice it felt.  I could've swam all day.

I was very sad to get out.  Next time, I'm leaving the confines of the marina walls if it's this nice.  I could've swam out to Blackrock and
Stacey heading back from the
turnaround point at the end of the
marina.  Fast swimmer!
back at that temp.  I had a hard time keeping the water out of my mouth I was smiling I was having such a blast!  No chaffing cause I lubed up good and didn't get the shakes at all.  It was the perfect afternoon swim except for the short duration of it.  Really stepping it up next time... Which is Saturday morning.

Today was Stacey's first GSL swim and she did great!  She looked like she enjoyed herself and did the full 4 laps with Sue and me.  I'm so happy that we could potentially have a new regular GSL swimmer.

Total: .91 miles in 27:05 including several minutes of waiting for teenagers to get their "bullet boats" lined up and out of the way.

Parental Responsibilities

Yesterday I sacrificed my swim, although not whole heartedly.  I got the kids off to school in the morning since Cathi wasn't around.  She was at the hospital with Jacob who was still being observed after his shoulder/arm surgery.  I did get a good lift in yesterday evening though, and a good cardio session at lunch, so I got something.  Just no swimming.

Today however I got up and got my butt in the pool.  Did a solo session today:

400 WU
450 - 6 x 75's Breathing Drills on 1:30
1200 - 12 x 100's free desc 1-4 on 1:45
Lots of rest so no slacking!  Got under 1:20, 1:15, 1:10, 1:05 3 times through
1600 - 8 x 200's pull desc 1-4 on 3:00 First four agility paddles, last four large paddles
got under 1:15, 1:12, 1:08, 1:05
400 IM
800 - 16 x 50's kick with fins alternate back/front/free/fly by 50
1000 Free strong
400 finger paddles focus on catch!

 6,250 yards total in 1:50  Looking forward to an evening swim in the GSL.  Going for one mile!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Goody's photo op and Jacob's broken arm

Coming back to the boat ramp
This evening met Goody, Josh, and Sue at the Marina for a swim.  The water was 52°.  We did our normal route and Goody got lots of pictures taken from a reporter who came out to capture some images for a story the U of U is doing.

The water was nice and crisp.  Did the normal route 3 times for a total of 1200 yards in 19:50

Afterwards Josh and I rushed off to conduct the swim portion of a triathlon clinic. Joe Coles who is the founder On Hill Events organized the clinic and asked me to conduct the open water swimming portion.  The group was rather small.  Only about 15 people, but it went well.

Jacob all prepped for surgery.
What a tough guy!
On the way home Cathi told me that this afternoon at Jacob's wrestling tournament he broke his arm pretty bad.  He was in terrible pain and his coaches told him to suck it up and finish!  He already had more points at that point and just needed to not get pinned for the last portion of the match, which he was able to manage and won the match.  He was crying and in so much pain that Cathi took him to the ER.  The X-Ray showed a total break in his upper humerous.  He would need surgery to get it reset with a couple screws put in to keep it in place.

I asked if they gave him any painkillers and she said just some ibuprofen.  They had to wait and hold him for a few more hours so that he could get beyond the 6 hour fast required for the anesthesia for surgery.  He loves wrestling and is very good at it.  He has such strength and willpower that it's a little too much for his body.  He's out of surgery now and Cathi is staying with him tonight.  He'll be released from the hospital tomorrow morning.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Oh the shame!

Yesterday I felt like I blew it.  I had a weigh in last Friday, and while I gained a pound, my body fat percent remained constant as that pound based on the calipers was all muscle.  Here's the latest spreadsheet:

Yesterday we had a family activity and I was responsible for making 4 dozen cookies. I did really good getting the kids involved in their making and keeping Cathi out of the kitchen per her request.  She's quite weak in not eating the dough as she goes.  I did well in not doing that myself. However after the family party there were so many left over cookies and while I knew it would be a "sin" to eat a cookie, I did so while nobody was looking.  I only ate one, but the feeling of guilt was pretty strong.

When I got in the car, Cathi asked, "Are you eating a cookie?"  I said "No".  (I already finished it)  This morning when I weighed in, I had gained a pound.  I realize that cookie didn't weigh a pound, and that it was probably the typical Sunday water weight gain that I usually lose by Monday evening.  However, this morning I was bound and determined to kick my own butt and work that 150 calorie sin out of the park.  The shame is mostly in that I was a bit of a hypocrit as I noticed that some in my family resisted the cookies in their own attempts to be good, and here I am an example, and I shamefully sneak one when nobody is looking.  

This morning I did:

600 warmup
600 - 2 x 300's pull
600 - 8 x 50's kick with fins alternate  fly/free on :50-:55
800 - 2 x (200 back/free strong, 1:30 ri, then do 200 for time!)

500 kick with fins
2000 pull
500 finger paddles
600 - 8 x 75's weighted 25, 50 strong on 1:30
400 IM
50 easy

7,050 yards total in 2:15

No whiteboard pen, so I had to keep this stuff in memory.  Kept a running total, but obviously forgot a 400 set somewhere

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Much needed massage

This morning I planned on doing a 12.5K swim, but ended up cutting it short because I realized that enough was enough and I needed a massage!  I was feeling some knots in my upper back that I had felt earlier but failed to get worked out.  Here's what I ended up doing today:

300 swim
300 - 6 x 50's swim
900 - 12 x 75's pull
500 - 4 x 125's IM
800 - 8 x 75's drill/swim/drill even, kick/drill kick/drill odd, 8 x 25's IM sprint
300 swim
200 - 4 x 50's swim/free
1200 - 3 x (200 pull, 200 free)
400 - 4 x 100's 50 drill/ 50 kick
1000 - 2 x (25, 50, 75, 100, 100, 75, 50, 25) :15ri

Then repeat up until 1/2 way (8 x 75's)
Then called the massage place for an appointment.  Only had an 11:30 available, so I had to back the rest of the prescribed workout, to do:

2000 pull strong

10,700 yards total in 3:00

The massage was awesome!  Definitely got the knots worked out.  However, I felt like I needed to be more proactive so I set up an appointment for next Saturday.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

The tragic story of Esther Fujimoto

On August 21st, 2011, Esther Fujimoto, a swimmer who was swimming in Pineview, and was struck and killed by a boat.  What makes it worse is that the boaters realized after hitting her that she was hurt, and then in cowardice fled the scene as she died there in the water.

Here is some links to the story as it progressed.

Initial story:

Rescuer's story:

Witnesses help locate the boaters who took off:

Boaters are given guilty verdict:

During the warm summer months, Pineview is my regular swimming spot for early morning swims.  I stay in the no wake zone, and stay along the perimeter of the shoreline.  At that time, and during the week, there is practically no boaters out on the water.  And the few that are, are just fishing.

For increased safety, I tow my Swimmer Buddy which is highly visible from the water with the horizontal profile of the noodle AND flag.  It's also nice because I tow my GPS, cell phone, and energy bar in a waterproof container that sits on top of the board held down by a bungee net.  However the Swimmer Buddy is a little pricey, but totally worth it for the visibility, ability to keep feeds with me, and safety should I need to quickly be buoyant, and make a phone call.

I have been out on Pineview on the weekend in the middle of the day, and even in the no-wake zone where boats are required to go slow, it can be extremely dangerous, so I avoid those times completely.  It's just not worth it.  Better planning and timing can go a long way to live another day.


This morning I started my new routine of sleeping in until 4:50am instead of 3:40am.  It was so nice.  Then I went straight to the pool instead of lifting. I'll lift in the evenings now.  Because of that, I was fully charged and ready to go and today's swim was full of quality.

300 free easy
200 - 4 x 50's stroke/free on :45
1200 - 3 x (200 pull, 200 free) on 2:45/2:50
400 - 4 x 100's drill/kick by 50 on 2:00
1000 - 2 x (25, 50, 75, 100, 100, 75, 50, 25) all free with :15 ri go strong!
100 easy

Then did the above workout all over again

6,400 yards total in 2:00

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Half fast

Half assed is more like it.  This morning I had a great lifting session, but the swim was terrible.  My arms were sluggish and I was drained.  Just didn't have it mentally or physically.  I planned on doing Josh's workout as a ladder twice, but only did one ladder.  And I ended up taking rest between changing sets instead of going right into the next one

500 easy warmup
500 - 5 x 100's free on 1:30
400 - 4 x 100's free on 1:25
300 - 3 x 100's free on 1:20
200 - 2 x 100's free on 1:15
100 - 1 x 100 free on 1:10
Rest and then go backwards pulling, stopping at the 5 x 100's
100 easy

3,600 yards total in 1:03

I had plenty of time to ponder on what my problem is.  I'm getting the energy drink, but it isn't working its magic.  Here's the issues I see:  

  1. I'm lifting 6 days a week for just under an hour.  I love it.  I like looking bulgy in a good way, and while it can only help my swimming, it's supposed to supplement my swimming no take away from it.  When I work upper body, it really does hinder my swimming performance for that day.  So I'm going to discuss with my trainer tomorrow, pulling my lifting sessions to 3 times per week instead of 6.  That way I can have enough time to recover.  Plus I should be lifting in the afternoon or evening, not right before my swim.  I shouldn't already be fatigued at the start of a swim session.
  2. Lack of sleep - In order to get my lifting in each morning I've been getting up at 3:30-3:45.  I prefer to be asleep by 9, but often times its 10 or later.  That really is only giving me between 5-6 hours per night on a regular basis.  That just isn't cutting it and it isn't healthy.  I need more like 7.  If I do my lifting in the evening, it should motivate me to bust through it rather than lolly gag and take more rest than I should be taking between sets.  It should also allow me to get up at 5am instead of 3:30 which would be awesome.
I'm feeling overtrained, and I need to make these two main adjustments!
This afternoon I met Goody at the GSL Marina and the weather was awesome.  I had planned on going out there yesterday, but then changed my mind when I saw it was snowing this morning, and it was sticking.  However it was all melted by 4pm and it was sunny and fairly warm outside.  He talked me into going and I'm glad he did!

He needed the swim to get his mind off things, and what a healthy way to do it.  Some dudes with his struggles would have gone to bar and got wasted, or taken the frustrations out on someone else, but he goes swimming!  That's how it is done.

Anyway we talked for a good bit, and then got in.  Again I forgot to push the stupid button on my watch, but the gslmarina website said it was 52.  It felt about 53ish.  Did three laps of 400 yards and did it in 17 minutes.  Got the shakes a bit, but no numbness which I'll take any day.  Looking forward to next Tuesday for the next swim out there.

.69 miles in 17 minutes

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Defending my fat Mom

Here's an article that I'm submitting to Deseret Connect as well as the Salt Lake Tri club.  Hoping it gets read:

Defending my fat Mom

Yeah, I'm one of those kids that ended up fake laughing to those jokes when I was a kid. My mother actually was pretty obese when I was a kid, and I didn't like the way those jokes made me feel. I didn't say anything back then when I was a small wimpy kid, but now when I hear a different kind of “Yo Momma's so fat...” joke, I feel I need to stand up and say something.

No my Mom's not obese anymore. She's quite thin and worked hard to stay that way. But the Mom I feel I need to defend and one I love dearly is a body of water: The Great Salt Lake.

In 2008 when I made the commitment to myself to swim the English Channel, I looked at the various local bodies of open water to train in. I started out with Bountiful Lake. The problem there was that it's ½ mile between the sewer treatment plant, and the dump, and all the water that goes into the gutter in Bountiful/Centerville also makes its way into Bountiful Lake. For an entire year, I dealt with the “crap” that was in that lake, but it got to be quite unpleasant. The convenient location of Bountiful Lake was the dominant reason to swim there. So I started to research the Great Salt Lake as the best alternative.

Newspaper articles all over were warning about high mercury levels in the Great Salt Lake. I introduced myself to the valleys biggest expert on the Great Salt Lake: Dave Shearer, the Harbormaster of the GSL State Marina. Dave has spent his entire life on, and around the lake and literally knows the lake like the back of his hand. He told me that the water itself was fine, and that the mercury levels had to do with the birds that eat the bugs and brine shrimp. He told me you can't get mercury poisoning by swimming in the water. You have to ingest the bugs or the bird meat to be concerned about mercury. I took his word for it and started my training.

Looking back, training in the Great Salt Lake was the best move I've made in my relatively short open water career so far. When training for a marathon, would a runner best be advised to run outside in various weather conditions, and along different routes of incline, decline, wind or hot and sunny conditions? Or would it just be best to run at room temperature on a treadmill set at 2% incline with a fan blowing gently while watching CNN? While it's better than nothing, the ideal scenario would be to train in the harsh conditions, or at least in reasonably similar conditions as the event you are training for.

Those who train under the harshest conditions, will be the most prepared for anything that mother nature hands them. If she is in a good mood, it'll be a piece of cake. If not, hey, no big deal, it's just another training day!

That's what the Great Salt Lake did for me. The high salinity made the ocean water seem sweet and barely salty. It made the waves and swells in the English Channel seem puny. It made the chaffing nearly non-existent. And the cold water? It was refreshing!

So when I hear someone say, “Oh I heard that the Great Salt Lake....” blah, blah blah. It makes me cringe like a really bad Yo Momma joke. First off, I don't doubt that some may have heard about someone's bad experience in the Great Salt Lake, but let me ask did that person with negative comments swim only once in the Great Salt Lake? Was that person prepared? Then let me ask you, what are your goals as a swimmer? If it is to swim in fresh water the rest of your life, or to swim in chlorinated 83 degree water, then sure, the Great Salt Lake may not be a good fit. Training aside, let me tell you some of the most memorable and beautiful mornings I will ever experience is when I am out in the Great Salt Lake and the sun is just coming up over the mountains to the east. Truly a picture you'll capture in your mind for life. But if you are training for a potentially rough open water swim (and unless you have a crystal ball, you cannot accurately predict your next triathlon won't include rough conditions), the Great Salt Lake hands down is THE BEST PLACE TO TRAIN if you live in the Wasatch Front.

I've heard almost all the fat momma jokes about the lake. Forgive me if I ruin the punchline. But first let me first tell you my background with the Great Salt Lake. As of March 19th, 2013 I have logged over 263 miles in the Great Salt Lake and currently hold the record for the longest non-wetsuit assisted open water swim in the GSL. I have more experience swimming in the Great Salt Lake than I dare say anyone currently alive.

  • I've heard the water is dirty” - This totally depends on where you swim. Typically the Salt Lake Open Water club members swim either near or around the Great Salt Lake Marina/Black Rock/Saltair area, or at the North end of Antelope Island. Both areas are very clean and I personally have rarely run into anything out in the lake. I can't say that for Bountiful Lake, Pineview, or even Bear Lake.
  • Oh the smell! And the bugs!” - There is a time and place for everything and the Great Salt Lake also has its prime season. The months of July through August are ones I will avoid thanks to the overwhelming prevalence of brine flies. The brine shrimp don't bother me at any time of the year, but to breath to the side and get a brine fly down the throat is quite unnerving to say the least. So yes, I don't swim in the summer time in the GSL. Also, it's like swimming in a hot tub during those months. And unless you plan to swim a marathon swim in South America, there's no point to swimming in super hot water infested with thousands of little bugs. However, during the other months, there are very little to no brine flies. The strong salty odor is also associated with the overabundance of carpet algae and brine flies. So during the summer months I don't blame you one bit for turning your nose at the GSL. The beauty about the Wasatch Front is that there are still many other opportunities to swim in open water, although not quite as conveniently located.

  • I've heard that your tongue swells up like a big balloon!” - yes this one is true if you plan to swim more than a few miles. If you're doing a one mile training swim, you might have some irritation, but it won't swell that bad. Personally I can only handle swimming in the GSL every odd day to give my tongue a break from swimming on a typical 4 mile training day. On the off days I'll either pool swim or swim at Pineview Reservoir.
  • What about that Mercury that keeps popping up in the news?” - I was nearly harassed about this topic by a University of Utah professor. He warned that I was going to get a disease swimming there due to the mercury. I went to my Doctor and he sent me to the lab for a blood test for mercury. Although it would be pretty cool to a mutant mercury guy with powers to melt myself when a bullet came at me. No, I'm a normal guy and my mercury levels were all normal. Here are the results of my lab test.

Would you could you swim in Salt?
would invite you to join our group that swims on a regular basis out in the Great Salt Lake. After you've swam there at least 6 times, you'll either be hooked, or have enough respect for the lake and those that are passionate about it to quit passing on those fat momma jokes.

Please join the Salt Lake Open Water facebook page for regular updates on weekly swims in many lakes and reservoirs throughout the valley. We're all safer when we swim together and better off when we push each other to excel in the open water.

Broke my fins

400 - 200 swim, 4 x 50's easy
1,250 - 5 x (150 pull strong on 2:00, 100 buoy only on 1:30)

600 - 8 x 75's kick
My right fin outer ankle bracket snagged on the lane line and busted my ankle strap.  Good thing I have a backup pair that has the same bracket system which I can just replace.
750 - 6 x 125's IM on 2:00

Then did my own thing:
2000 pull large paddles
50 easy
300 - 3 x 100's calisthenics between sets

5,350 yards total in 1:40

Looking forward to tomorrow evening's swim in GSL!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pleasantly Surprised

It looks very inviting, but is the temperature going to make
me wish I just stayed in the warm car?
This afternoon I drove to the Marina and was very pleasantly surprised to see Goody and Sue there talking.  I knew a small group of us were gathering for a swim in the Marina, but didn't expect Goody as he is recovering from chemo treatments.  Apparently things are going really well for him and he is feeling more energetic and back to himself.  Although far from back to normal.

Chad drove up and we all discussed our concerns about getting in.  None of us have maintained any kind of cold water acclimatization since New Years.  I was especially worried since shedding 50 pounds of fat.  Goody took a temp and it read 53.

After watching Sue,  Goody and Chad get their feet wet and hearing and seeing their reaction to the cold I started to get really nervous.  They hung out at waist level for a while and I did my normal routine of just wading in, and keeping my momentum going forward instead of stopping to soak in the cold a little at a time. I quickly got to swimming.  My goal was to do two laps.  When I got to the turn around point, I noticed they were all hanging out at the ramp still, and talking.  They waved and I waved back and swam back.

First SLOW swim of the year.  Goody, Sue, Chad
and Gords (photographer)
When I got back I turned around for another lap.  Sue followed this time.  At the end of the second lap, I was about to go for another when I saw Goody floating and he yelled out, "Hey Gord, take a picture would ya?"  So I got out to take a picture.  I was better off anyway, my daughter had an orchestra performance that I was probably going to be late for, but I felt like I had another two more laps in me.  I was very encouraged by my ability to cope with the water.  Chad and Sue got 51 and 52 degree readings on their watches.  I forgot to get a last reading before getting out.  So I'm going with 53, just to be conservative.

I'm definitely going weekly now.  It's to the point where I can deal with this and increase my exposure pretty quickly I think.  Next week, I'm going for a mile.

Total: 800 yards in 12:10

Non tattooed cage-fighter?

During today's workout I stopped for a second to talk to Wayne about his recent triathlon camp experience. He loved it, and especially enjoyed the social aspect of it all.  It made me wish I could have gone, but with limited PTO it just couldn't happen.  Makes me excited for when I get to attend for one day Jamie's Swim Camp in August.

Wayne brought up Wes Johnson and I made the comment that his stroke is the most perfect stroke I've ever seen in my life and that I would love to have his long wingspan.  He countered that during the camp he was trying to describe me to someone with "He looks like a cage-fighter without tattoos.  He's got muscled coming out of his earlobes."  Well, that's quite an exaggeration, but I'll take it as a compliment and a suggestion to just count my blessings.

Today's workout was on my own and kinda boring:

500 - 400 IM, 100 free easy
2000 pull with ankle straps
2000 free no paddles
2000 pull agility paddles, really focus on a good catch and strong follow through.
500 kick - 200 fins, 300 no fins
500 - 3 x 100's fast, 200 IM

7,500 yards total in 2:15

Monday, March 18, 2013

Review of Escort - by Beth Barnes

A while back I bought Beth's ebook: "Escort", and I finished it yesterday.  It was a good read, but my favorite part were the couple chapters that talked exclusively about Catalina Channel.

I personally had experienced swimming with Salps, when I was pace swimming with Goody, and these things are marvelous!  But I didn't know they weren't stinger enabled.  I was worried I'd run into these things and get stung.  While I did get stung a couple times, it apparently wasn't by these little things.  Besides, the sting was about a 5 on the pain scale, and then quickly went away.

Anyway, I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is planning to be a support paddler on a regular basis, and also for anyone who plans to swim Catalina Channel.

This morning when I got in the pool it felt nippy!  After a few minutes I took a temp reading on my watch and it read 77.6° F!  Nice!  I'd pay double membership for a pool that stayed at this temp on a regular basis!

Here's today's workout:

300 swim
400 - 8 x 40's kick/drill by 50
1600 - 2 x (4 x 100's free/IM on 1:30/1:40, 400 pull strong)
Got 4:30 on the pull sets.  Felt great!
600 - 8 x 75's (First 4 build, second 4 sprint/slow/sprint) on 1:20
200 - 4 x 50's swim upstream in the "river".  1- fly kick, 2 - IM, 3 - free, 4 - sprint free

Then did the above workout again, minus the river swim since at that point there were old people bobbing down it:

Total: 6,000 yards in 2:00

Friday, March 15, 2013

SLOW newsletter Issue 2

The second issue of the Salt Lake Open Water club was released yesterday.  It turned out pretty good.  Here it is.

400 - 4 x 100's free warmup on 1:30
600 - 8 x 75's kick with fins on 1:30
1200 - 4 x 300's (odd pull, even broken 100s IM/Free/back)
4 x 200's free (odd alternate easy/fast by 50, even build to sprint) on 3:00

This morning's workout went well until the masters workout ended and I started my own thing.  I hit a wall.

Then did 1000 pull and got out.  Just wasn't feeling it, and want to make sure I do for tomorrow.

4,000 yards total in 1:20

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Swimming FAST

Last night I notice that Josh had posted on facebook that there would be a distance workout today at Fairmont, so I decided to join in, since I was just going to do my own thing anyway.  The group of FAST (Fairmont Aquatic Swim Team) consisted of Josh one other guy and two females.

The water was only one degree warmer than Northwest so it wasn't terrible.  83.8°F

500 swim 300 kick
300 - 6 x 50's 10 kicks then one stroke
1000 - 10 x 100's get 1:15 or under on 1:25
200 easy
400 - 4 x 100's descending get 1:10-1:12, on 1:30
200 kick
300 easy

Then did my own thing:  1000 pull, 1000 free, 1000 pull large paddles, 1000 free

Then did the masters workout again.

10,400 yards total in 3:00

Really enjoyed the 10 x 100's.  I also put 2 cups of white grapejuice in my blend, and man that made a huge difference.  I was energized the whole workout and swam strong the whole time.  I'm going to keep that up.  Sure it boosts the calories of the drink, but that should be OK when you're training hard and burning about 2000 calories.  You need glucose and you need it now!  

This morning before the workout, I was doing upper body and enjoying the pull-up routine.  On my last set I made a bet with Cathi.  To see if I could do 15 reps.  (Nevermind the fact that I already did 33 reps earlier)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Three times through

After lifting legs this morning, got to the pool and did the following with James:

300 swim
100 kick no fins
300 pull
400 - 8 x 50's kick with fins
1650 - 3 x (150 pull, 8 x 50's alternate Stroke/Free) first round on 1:00, 2nd on :55, 3rd on :50

Run through the workout three times.

8,250 yards total in 2:40

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Always a bigger fish

This morning when I got in the pool I saw a guy swimming on the far end, that at first glance didn't look like he was booking it based on the lack of spash and quick churning of his arms.  But I noticed a strong even stroke and that his 50 splits were about 33 seconds.  Pretty quick for someone I've never seen before.  I looked closer and thought it was Matt Chamberlain, but it wasn't.

Made me curious who this stranger was and if he was visiting from out of state, or what.  But he kept doing flip turns so I finally got on with my workout.  He got out after I did my first thousand so I didn't get a chance to talk to him.  Maybe tomorrow if he shows up.

8000 - 4 x 2000 free odd no equipment focus on a good exhale and bilateral breathing.  second set - pull big paddles, then agility paddles on 4th set
200 - 2 x ( 25 one arm fly, 50 free easy, 25 one arm fly)

8,200 yards total in 2:05

I made my juice blend, but this time only put in one scoop of perpetuem, one scoop of whey protein and a can of lite fruit cocktail (with all the fruit treasures to chew on).  It tasted much better, but still less tasty than what I used to do, which was adding about 16 ounces of grape juice and 8 ounces of pineapple juice.  Which is actually quite a bit.  One can of light fruit cocktail that has no high fructose corn syrup in it, is a better option I think.

But tomorrow evening I'm planning to attend a nutrition seminar, given by Pro Cyclist Breanne Nalder, who also happens to have a Masters degree in nutrition.  Should have some pretty good information that I can learn from.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Upper back work

I've really been enjoying my dry land training lately.  Especially pull ups, push ups, and upper back work.  Cathi this morning wanted me to show her the fibers in my back while I was doing the lifts.  She wowed so much that I asked her to take some video to see what she was seeing.  I wasn't all that impressed.  I saw lots of "chicken muscles".

Today I did double Andy's workout, and then a 1000 kick afterwards:

200 free, 4 x 50's stroke
500 ladder - 25, 50, 75, 100, 100, 75, 50, 25
1200 - 300 pull @ 1:15 pace, 200 no equip same pace, 100 pull same pace, 100 no equip 1:15 pace, 200 pull same pace, 300 no equip get under 3:45
400 - 8 x 50's odd free, even drill
600 - 8 x 75's 1-4 strong, sprint, strong, 5-8 strong, drill strong
Do the above twice, then....
1,000 kick with fins

7, 200 yards total in 2:20

Saturday, March 9, 2013

10 mile pool workout

Last night I packed a juice mix that I knew would provide me the sustained energy I needed for today.  I put the following in a 2 L bottle:

Started my swim and noticed that Tim Shumate was swimming!  Stopped to say hello for a bit.  He's a very cool guy and a fast swimmer.

Here's my complete workout:

1000 free
3000 - 20 x 150's odd easy, even fast on 2:15
1750 - 5 x (125 IM, 100 free, 75 IM, 25 free)
1200 - 12 x 100's kick with fins on 2:00
50 easy
3000 - 3 x (400 pull, 300 strong, 200 free, 100 finger paddles no strap)
2000 free, take a quick feed, then 2000 straight
That 4000 free was tough!  I was going at a forever pace, but it was just tiring.  Didn't feel sore, or lacking in energy, just my shoulders were exhausted.  However I took a little extra rest here and got out to pee, and then load up on a couple of protein bars, and a banana.  Man that was awesome, cause when I started this next set, I got a second wind and was feeling strong.
900 - 12 x 75's odd IM (no free), even free on 2:30/ 2:00
100 easy
2250 - 15 x (25 free, get out do 10 pushups, dive in and do 100 free, get out and do 5 pullups, 25 free)
I felt like a monster on these.  The first 10 reps I was wearing a long pair of board shorts that when I got out of the water weighed probably a good 5 pounds being soaked with water.  The pushups were easy, but by the 10th set of pull-ups  I was struggling.  So on the last 5 reps I went with a speedo and was able to get these fully completed and in a strong manner.  That's a total of 150 push-ups and 75 pull-ups.  Not to shabby!
500 - 2 x (200 pull large paddles), 50 back, 50 breast

17,750 yards total in 5:30

Very good day!  Ate the following at various times throughout the workout:
1 banana
The full 1.5 liters of the Strawberry super blend
4 protein bars

By the way, I finally compiled my BEFORE/AFTER pictures for all my fat loss:
BEFORE: 230 pounds with lots of blubber for protection
against the cold in the English Channel. 26% body fat

After: 183 pounds (48 pounds of fat loss and 3 pounds of
muscle gain.  Less than 4% body fat according to calipers)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sidestepping fear and ignorance into understanding and appreciation - a review of The Fear Project

So I finished The Fear Project book a few weeks ago.  I enjoyed it, and while it was a little slow in a couple parts, most of it was very intriguing.  I liked how the author,  Jaimal incorporated much of his private life into the book.  Which is odd cause with Lewis Pugh's book, 'Achieving the Impossible', I was a little annoyed with how much of it was about his private life.  With Jaimal's book it was the right percentage of his own experiences which made it very interesting.

I especially liked the data stuff,  the reporting of experiments and the parts of the brain that influence fear.  I highlighted many sections of the book that meant the most to me.  After finishing the book I thought it wise to move to the next level, and confront my biggest concern for this upcoming year.  Which in all honesty isn't what I would really consider a fear, but something that I need more education on in order to have my nerves settle a little.  The subject?  Great White Sharks.  I know the odds of even seeing a shark at Catalina is extremely low, but much more so than in the English Channel, or in the Great Salt Lake :)
The book can be ordered in full color, or black and white.
I got the color one for $10 more.  So worth it, the images
are awesome!

So I ordered this book, "Shark - Human Interaction" by Erich Ritter.  and I love the color photos in there.  This book is more of a textbook type read, but I've only read the first couple chapters and am really enjoying it.  I'm hoping that by the time I'm done, I will have gone from "fear and ignorance" about sharks to a level of "understanding and appreciation".  Should I actually see a shark, I would really like to be educated in reading it's body language and accessing the situation better than just jumping onto Tom's kayak.

I intentionally slept in a little this morning and went straight to the pool.  I planned to not doing a longer workout today, and just get in the shorter workout, but with a greater intensity.  This morning I weighed in at 183.  I'm honestly getting into a state where I'm almost too skinny.  I need to put on some weight probably.  Less long distance cardio, and more intensity may be in order.

Today's workout was:

200 free, 200 kick
1000 - 8 x 125's odd IM, even free
400 - 8 x 50's kick 1-4 no fins, 5-8 fins on 1:00
1200 - 4 x (300 pull strong on 4:00 (got 1:30-1:35 on all), 100 IM on 2:00)

2,800 yards total in :55

Don't get me wrong, I love my job.  However, when I walk out that door, I'm in a totally different mindset and I don't go home and spend more time in front of the computer.  During my drive home I actually think to myself, "Next time I go to work I will have had an awesome swim and an awesome lift."  So my physical activity is the highlight of the day.  I love feeling strong, fit and maximizing the gift God has given me of a physical body.   It really is a matter of will.  Feeling powerful enough to say, "NO" to pizza that is provided free of charge by my company, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and mindset is more reward than the taste of a delicious pie.

"All wretch and no vomit, you never get there."  Love it!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

CS&PF Dinner 2013

At the beginning of each year the CS&PF gets together to celebrate the last season's swimmers and pilots and supporters.  Unfortunately I can't afford to just hop on a plan and participate even though I would have loved to.  Here is a video that was shown at the dinner.

This morning after sleeping in just a bit and then going to the gym for a lower body workout, I stopped at SDRC and there was a sign that the pool would be closing at 7am.  Not enough time to get in a decent workout, so I got back in the car and continued on to NWRC and the leisure pool was open!  That's a good thing, cause that means the lap pool will be colder than it has been.

Came up with this workout:

800 warmup
4000 - 8 x 500's pull ascending paddle size 1-4 on 7:30
1600 - 8 x 200's 1-4 free, 5-8 IM
800 - 8 x 100's free on 1:30 Negative split them all
400 - 8 x 50's kick
200 - 8 x 25's easy 25, underwater no breath 25
800 warm down

8,600 yards total in 2:30
Had a powerbar after the 500's and that was a good thing cause I was beat by the time I got through the warmdown.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Swimming in a hot tub

The NWRC pool is so hot!  Today we did some speed work, and it really got my heart rate up there!  I decided to get out after the original workout instead of extending it.  I'll put in a longer one tomorrow at SDRC where the temp is reasonable.

200 swim, 4 x 25's IM Order
200 - 4 x 50's kick
1200 - 4 x (100 pull, 100 IM, 100 pull) descending paddle sizes :10-:15 ri
1400 - 2 x (200, 100, 50, 50, 100, 200) first round 50 fast, 50 easy on 1:30/100, second round negative split on 1:45/100

3,100 yards total in 1:00

I registered for the LV10K yesterday.  Cathi gave me the thumbs up to take a day off work to do this.  I missed Slam the Dam the past two years due to surgeries, so I'm looking forward to swimming again in Lake Mead!  Plus it's kind of early in the season so that's a bonus.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

60 degrees

That is the temperature that I need to be acclimatized to. I got an email from Jamie Patrick and he gave me the following stats:

Hi Gordon  - Below is the last 5 years water temp on July 4th at the northern most buoy..  Remember the lake can vary from one end to the other.
2012 - 60.7
2011 - 61.1
2010 - 59.4
2009 - 62.2
2008 - 61.8
 So I need to get back to swimming cold water this spring and for long distances at that temp.  With all the body fat loss (From 26% down to under 6%), I can't rely on the bioprene to keep me warm this year.  It's gotta be pure acclimatization!

This morning after doing an upper body weight training session I went to SDRC instead cause the NWRC pool was bumped up to a higher temp to accommodate the old people who use it now that the leisure pool is out of operation until it gets a replacement pump.  Swam the following:

1000 free warmup

800 - 4 x 200 IMs on 3:40

600 paddles only strong
400 kick with fins
200 - 25 weighted drill, 50 fast, 25 weighted drill, 50 fast, 50 easy
100 finger paddles no straps
50 anti paddles
50 anti paddles
100 finger paddles no straps

200 - 25 weighted drill, 50 fast, 25 weighted drill, 50 fast, 50 easy

400 kick no fins

600 paddles only strong

800 - 4 x 200 IMs on 3:40
1000 pull
1000 Tempo Trainer free on :97
800 - 4 x 200, odd IM, even 4 x 50's hypoxic drills

8,100 yards total in 2:30

Monday, March 4, 2013

Toying with an idea

Last night Cathi and I sat down with out calendars to plan out the year's scheduling of our events.  She is hoping to do 20 marathons this year.  Wow!  I noticed that the weekend of July 4th this year was open, so I asked her about the possibility of swimming the length of Lake Tahoe that weekend.  We would have plenty of time to travel there with the holiday, and have the option of swimming either the 5th or the 6th depending on weather forecasts.

Sent Karen and Jamie an email asking about water temps that time of year.  If it's 59 or 60 then I think it's doable for me, but much colder and that would be a issue.

This morning after my legs weight training I got to the pool and did Andy's workout twice:

400 - 300 free, 100 kick
400 pull
1600 - 2 x 2 x 400 first pull, second 4 x 100 IMs repeat
800 - 2 x ( 200 bilateral breathing, 4 x 50's breath every 7 down, 5 back)

Do the above workout twice.  On the second round instaed of pulling on the 400's do kick with fins.
Then finish with 100 easy at the end

6,500 yards total in 2:00

Stayed up pretty late last night finalizing the registration page for the Great Salt Lake Open Water Marathon.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Goodbye St. George

This morning I was pressed for time.  Cathi wanted to be on the road by 9am, so I only had 2 hours to swim.  Got to the gym at 5 and did my lifting till 6 and swam the following:

4500 - 3 x 1500's free, middle set pull

Enjoying swimming in the dark and feeling the sun come up.

Now we're heading to Phoenix, which will be a 7 hr drive from here.  Hopefully there's a body of water I can swim in, at the very least an outdoor pool.