Monday, September 30, 2013

Slacker day

Got my Xtreme Dream shirt in the mail late last week.

This morning I got to the pool a little later than usual and started about three sets in, but then cycled around and did it after James and Paul left.

500 warmup
200 kick
200 - 4 x 50's on :50
400 pull
200 - 2 x (50 back/50 breast) on 1:00
300 pull
200 - 100 back, 100 breast
750 - 10 x 75's (first five stroke, last five kick)
450 - 6 x 75s free fast on 1:15

3,200 yards total in 1:00

Saturday, September 28, 2013

She was in a good mood today

When you have a very moody woman like I do (Speaking of the GSL, not my wife Cathi), you appreciate the days when she is in a good mood.  This was one of them.  When I got to the GSL it was sunny and calm.  The water level is down significantly since I was last here.  I walked down  toSilversands beach since the marina opening was busy, and I was hesitant to see how shallow it was in the marina.

When the vaseline/lanolin mix turns white like that,
its when the water temp is cool.  On warm summer
days it just looks like oil and doesn't go white.
I reset my GPS after wading out about 200 yards to the point where the water was at waist level.  I started my swim heading north past the deep channel that the boats use, then took a westerly heading.

I went for 27 minutes and then turned around and swam the way I came.  When I got back to Silversands beach I stopped my clock and the GPS ready 1.78 miles.  The temp on my watch at two different times read 64.8 degrees.  The water was brown and full of brine shrimp eggs/cysts.

I lubed up real good so I didn't have any chaffing.  At one point the brine shrimp material was so thick it was all over me.  I thought to myself, "One day when I'm swimming around Manhattan, I'll swim through stuff and wish it was just Brine Shrimp eggs."    My mouth handled the experience just fine and the water temp was a little too cool for my liking.  I was admittedly a little cooled.  Not shivering cold, but definitely cold enough that I felt it.  The start of the cold water training has begun.

I especially enjoyed the calm water.  So glad that the real woman in my life is nearly always calm and collected.  The GSL could take a lesson from her on how to be more pleasant.

Yesterday got my invite to the CCSF banquet and awards ceremony.  Bummed I can't go.

Total: 1.78 miles in 57 minutes  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ugly Baby

There are several things that upset me to the a boiling point.  Some are:
  • Glen Beck's voice (not necessarily his voice but his extreme dogma)
  • Hearing people crunch on food at work.
And I have a new one:  
  • The over opinionated folks at that are being snippy and rude to non-marathon swimmers who are defending Diana Nyad.  Its one thing to have an opinion, but the tone with which many of the swimmers are sharing their opinions is offensive to me.  I don't know why but I'll go back every few days and catch up on the thread when I really should just leave it alone.  But like an idiot asking for trouble I go back and read up on the latest crap being thrown around on the issue and get all fired up.  
When someone has an ugly baby do you really need to speak up and share your opinion?  Let the mother keep thinking that her baby is beautiful!  That's what really matters, not your shallow opinion.  I doesn't really matter in life does it?  Swimming is a sport, and for many a hobby.  It isn't a way of life or a religion.  When we die our swimming accomplishments won't really matter, no matter how up to par on the commonly approved standards they were.  What really matters is the kind of person we were.  How did we treat people?  I wish some folks would get off their high horse and start treating everyone with respect even when don't believe they don't deserve it.  

This blog by the way is my place to vent, yet I hope to still keep it respectful.  In an online forum, folks really should be able to express their opinion, yet be as polite as they would be face to face.  I respect that everyone has different opinions, but the way they are expressed is what is aggravating to me.
This morning I got up at 3:30am and was at the pool in the water at 0500 and did:

800 free 
400 kick with fins
1500 pull large paddles with ankle strap
1000 - 5 x 200's odd free, even IM :15 ri
1000 - 2 x 500's negative split on 7:30
1200 - 16 x 75's rolling IM by 25 on 1:15
200 - 4 x 50's over unders breathe control on 1:15
800 - 800 kick with fins
2000 Agility paddles
Spent a great deal of time thinking about one particular comment by a well respected swimmer that I had issues with.  A parable was starting to form in my mind and I spend a lot of time find tuning it to match the scenario.  Made the set sure go by fast though.  I actually probably went a little over the 2000 because when I wasn't focused I would penalize myself and go an extra lap above where I thought I might be.
900 - 9 x 100's free
I was supposed to do the first three on 1:30, extra rest, then next three on 1:20 and then sprint the last three and leave on 1:15, but at this point I was pooped and ended up doing them all on 1:30, with about 90% effort.
200 IM warmdown

10,000 yards total in 3:00

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Moving forward

Yesterday I was finally able to successfully upload my EC swim into NYCSWIM's website.  I would like to upload the Catalina swim, but it requires a certificate document and that won't be coming until the end of the year.  Shouldn't be a deal breaker though with the EC stuff submitted.  I'd like to upload the Bear Lake swim, but we need to get the association firmed up with rules, and a certification process.  Working with the SLOW board to get that moving forward.

This morning I got up at 3:45am and swam at SDRC:

500 free easy
400 kick with fins
800 - 4 x 200s (50 one arm fly, 100 free, 50 back)
600 - 8 x 75's free on 1:05
800 - 8 x 100's odd IM even free on 1:45/1:30
1000 pull large paddles
400 - 4 x 100's kick fins fast! On 1:45
400 - 8 x 50's back/breast by 25 on 1:00
1000 Agility paddles
500 free - strictly bilateral!!!  No cheating
1200 - 6 x 200's odd IM, even free on 3:15
900 - 9 x 100's free desc 1-3 on 1:40 (1:27, 1:20, 1:11)
1000 finger paddles
500 warm down

10,000 yards total in 2:52

Monday, September 23, 2013


400 free, 200 kick
300 - 4 x 75's build on 1:15
1800 - 3 x (200 pull, 200 back/free/breast/free x 2 by 25 buoy only, 200 free) :20 ri
200 - 8 x 25's kick sprint!
600 - 4 x 150's - fly/free, back/free, breast/free no rest

Cycle through one more time!

7,000 yards total in 2:00

Friday, September 20, 2013

Getting the plan laid out

Yesterday may Dad told me he had arranged the week of MIMS at Wyndham resort in the New York area.  It's kind of a way from Manhattan so I looked at getting a room at the Sheraton close to the pier where last year's start was.  Booked a room for us to share.  Nearly $400 for one room for one night!  Ouch!  Not outrageous since we'll split the cost with my parents, but still.  Sure glad we're only doing one night there.

This morning I got to NWRC and Andy wasn't there, but James and Paul were doing their own thing.  I wasn't about to try to keep up with those speed demons so I did my own thing in the next lane:

400 free
400 kick
200 IM
1000 pull large paddles
1000 pull agility paddles
400 IM
200 kick

3,600 yards total in 1:05

I'm taking the scouts up to the cabin in Logan tonight so I'm hoping to get off early from work and then do about 45 minutes to an hour in the Logan river tonight.  Cold water acclimatization work.  Yay!

Tonight I swam for 35:30 in the Logan River. The water temp was 51.0°F! Wow that was awesome! Lovin that temp!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Building Blocks for MIMS

This morning I used the letters of MIMS to compile this morning's workout.  Each letter position represents 100 yards: (A = 100, B = 200, Z = 2600)

300 warmup
M (1300) - 2 x 500's free, 300 IM
I (900) - 3 x 300's kick fins/ IM/ drill free
M (1300) - pull w/ ankle strap
S (1900) - 4 x (100 fly/back/breast/free : 5 ri, 3 x 100's descending on 1:30)
300 warm down

6,000 yards total in 1:50

When I got back to my car I saw a small piece of paper under my windshield wipers.  I thought, "OH NO! Someone hit my car and left their insurance or something".  It was a note from my Mom.  I saw her in the winding river this morning and waved to her.  But she took off before I could really say hello.  That put a smile on my face!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh my back

My lower back has been really giving me crap lately and I finally got an appointment with my Chiropracter at noon today.  Yippee!  Hopefully I can get that resolved.  This morning swam with NWRC Masters:

300 free, 200 kick
200 back, 4 x 50's free strong on :45
1400 - 4 x (200 pull, 150 drill/back/breast by 50)
300 - 4 x 75's drill/kick with fins
900 - 25, 50, 75, 100, 200, 200, 100, 75, 50, 25 (25 sprint, 25 recover) : 5 ri per set

Did the above workout all over again for a total of: 7,000 yards in 2:05

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday morning swim with the Oxnard swimmers

Kelly and I got up at 0500 to meet at Theo's house to go over to the beach to swim with his group.  We met Tom, Stacey, Tamie, and John.   We got out past the surf and I looked back and Kelly was back on the beach so I told the group to go ahead and I would stay back with Kelly.  I swam back, and realized that I had passed heading in.  It was still dusk and apparently his goggles fell off and he went to put the light stick back on the beach since his goggles weren't available to place behind his head.  I swam back out past the surf to him and we talked for a bit while he did side stroke.   He was so comfortable with sidestroke that his preference is with that stroke.

I looked towards the pier at the north and saw the group way up ahead.  I thought that I'd try and catch up since Kelly said he was just going to go between the two jettys that were right there near the beach.  I attempted to catch up, but lost sight of them.  The sun was still not up over the horizon and I looked back for Kelly and couldn't see him.  I turned around swam back.  Still couldn't find him.  Then I looked to the beach and the sun was just popping up making it so I could barely see where we started from.  I decided to head back in and see if perhaps Kelly had got out, or what.

I swam back to the start and the total time spent in the water for me was 36 minutes.  Kelly wasn't there and so I quickly got dressed and went back out to the beach with my binoculars.  He was just coming back in.  We met up with some other swimmers wearing wetsuits.  Triathlon people.  They were very friendly and Kelly talked to them about his Anacapa attempt and encouraged them to try it too.  I admire the way Kelly can just walk up and talk to anybody.  He's a very outgoing person and that's awesome.  Me, I'm a social moron.

We went back to the hotel, gathered our stuff and took the Pacific Coast Highway back to LA enjoying the coast and talking quite a bit.  Kelly is a very passionate person.  He is greatly involved in his political beliefs.  We think similarly about government and our standings.  Except I'm just not passionate about it.   I have so many things on my plate that I haven't been able to balance family, work, church, and personal stuff very well and then throw in other things, although important things, onto my plate as well.  I have to prioritize and unfortunately I just don't have the energy, time or resources to give attention to everything regardless of their huge worthiness.

I was sad to say goodbye to him.  I thoroughly enjoyed bonding with the man and admire and respect him.  I look forward to working with him in accomplishing his swimming related goals and visions.

Total Swim: 36 minutes (1 miles)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Meeting Kelly Gneiting and Anacapa report

Late on Thursday night I picked up Sharran Alexander and we drove to Oxnard to meet Kelly and Byamba to drive over to the boat for Kelly's Anacapa swim.

Byamba and his wife, Kelly, and Sharran all at the start, signing
the manifest and getting ready for a great swim!  At this
point the wind was practically non existent.  But that soon
would change.  
The closer we got to the island, the rockier it got.  I was starting to get seasick and many others had already lost their dinner in the ocean.  That boat ride seemed to never end, and when it did and the engine sat in idle. We took an assessment of the conditions.  I was greatly astonished to see that there were over 4 foot swells that were very close together and white caps.  It was extremely rough.  Kelly was quite ill from the motion.  I noticed the rocking of the boat was quite dramatic.

I thought to myself, "If I were to attempt this swim I would...."  and without hesitation filled in the rest with, "postpone this crossing to another date".  It was just too treacherous and I'm 100% certain that personally I would not have been successful at making that 12 mile crossing in those conditions.  No way.  I discussed the situation with Lynn and Theo and they were in complete agreement.  We were on the starboard of the ship while Kelly was still collecting himself on the port side after that long and rocky trip.  He wasn't fully grasping the nature of the water, as he has never been out in water like this and he seemed unphased by the conditions.

I attempted to lay out the options and the seriousness of what mother nature was throwing at us.  We talked for a good while about it.  We asked the pilots to look at the weather coming our direction to see if perhaps the winds might die down.  They checked and said that it didn't look good and that it may get worse.

Given that he had already an empty stomach and the electrolytes would need to be replenished, the big problem with having him just go for it was the realistic possibility of having to get him back in the boat.  The ladder to get back in the boat was a very sturdy solid steel ladder, however with it swinging back and forth violently with the waves it presented a very dangerous situation.  And with Kelly's large size the contingencies for getting him back safely in the boat were simply not available.  We presented these factors to Kelly and he was wise enough to listen and accept our advice.  He was extremely disappointed as we all were.   He had spent a huge amount of money getting here, hiring a boat pilot.  It is very expensive.

I was also very saddened at the turn of events. I knew that it was the right decision.  Safety is the number one priority.  No swim is worth risking life over, regardless of how much training and money went into it.

I drove Kelly back to the hotel and then took Sharran back to LA.  The round trip was about over 3 hours with the traffic.  I was extremely sleepy.   I had used up 3 buzz bites over the evening and was about ready to die I was so exhausted.

I got back to Oxnard and met up with Lynn and Theo for a swim.  We swam for about 45 minutes and the water was wonderful.  64 degrees according to my watch.  Didn't see any sea life at all.  It was kind of murky, but not terrible.  About 8 feet visibility is all.  Afterwards Theo took us up the coast to see various wonderful sights.  We stopped at a Antique store that was like a museum.  Very neat stuff.  I felt sad that Kelly wasn't with us.

Pelicans chilling on the little floating dock.
On the way back Kelly called and wanted to get together.  He was ready to talk.  When I got there we talked and he was frustrated.  We talked about several options and I suggested several things.  I felt a strong bond beginning to form.  He and I have so many things in common.  I had a great desire to mentor and help Kelly accomplish his dreams.  This means coaching him and helping him change several things to turn into a marathon swimming machine.  There's nothing you can do about the weather, but there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances on a good day.  And that is my mission, to help him fulfill his greatest hopes and ambitions in the open water.

We went to Theo's for dinner and enjoyed the company along with Lynn.  That was a wonderful evening and one that gave Kelly great comfort despite the disappointing early morning events.   That evening I slept 9 hours, but felt barely rested as I hadn't got more than an hour of sleep the night before.

Total swim: 45 minutes (about 1.25 miles)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Meeting Lynne Cox

This afternoon I arrived at the Long Beach airport and quickly rented a car and made it to a little coffee shop to meet up with Lynne Cox.  We talked about all sorts of things, from ice swimming to Lake Baikal, and a lot about open water safety.   We talked for well over an hour and enjoyed every minute.  She signed the books I brought and left a neat little message in each one.  I asked about her availability to possibly visit Utah, but the publishers of the book arrange all the locations and her public speaking is for large corporations.  So it seems very unlikely that we'll get her to come visit Utah, but it was worth a try.

She suggested that after the ice swims that I try active recovery rather than inactive.  I'm going to have to try that.  She cautioned me in several things and I took it to heart.  She is a very wise and experienced swimmer.  I really appreciated that she took the time out of her busy schedule to talk and share her wisdom!  So happy.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Virtual Open Water Swim registration

This morning's workout was at NWRC with James and Paul.  Also chatted it up with Kevin Mortensen who is going soon to Dominican Republic on a mission with his wife.

500 free
300 kick
200 free by 25's on :30
1200 - 6 x (50 stroke, 100 free strong, 50 stroke/free) :10 ri
1200 - 2 x (300 pull, 300 free)

Do the above once more through then finish with:
300 - 4 x 75's weighted 25/50 sprint
100 IM warm down

7,000 yards total in 2:10

Registered for the Virtual Open Water swim for this year.  Last year I took a bye with my shoulder surgery.  Hoping that this year I can follow the same pattern I did the last two times I did this.  (Finish by Mid-December with the 250 miles)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Putting this baby to bed

There has been a bunch of controversy in the forum about Diana's swim this last week.

There have been lots of concern over the fact that she used a streamer, a face mask, a stinger suit, even being assisted with the suit getting on.  Some even questioned a statement that she went without feeds for over 7 hours.  I highly doubt that statement to be factual.  Not taking feeds isn't against any rules, just raises questions about whether that statement which came from her crew is factual, or misleading.

The part that was brought up that did cause me some concern was the idea that perhaps she might have held on to the boat or even quit swimming.  That part has been  raised because:
  1. The incredible speed in which she was able to swim a good portion of the course
  2. In her previous attempt there was video of her touching the boat, and because of this and other really sloppy handling of her swim:
  • Observers she had weren't really well known folks in the OW world.
  • She borrowed the SpotGPS instead of using ones that she owned.  Our little SLOW swim club owns one, they're not that expensive.
  • The observers log really should be made available to the public.  All my big swims include observers reports attached to my posts of my own swims.
  • Failure to explain ahead of time all the deviations from the standard EC rules she was going to   
  • Details, details, details!  Some even suggest that video of the entire swim be made. That to me, is overboard.  But there are a lot of details that probably could be shared, that aren't.  I guess you have to buy the documentary to get those. 

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
After watching this video, and seeing the explanation by oceanographer Mitchell Roffer, that the currents were actually flowing in a N/NE direction makes me believe that this is possible.  The current flows that I have seen haven't really shown that kind of flow.  But I'm not an oceanographer, and neither are most of the swimmers.  I totally buy that she could go that fast with a good current and it appears that this is the case.

I don't have a problem with her deviating from the EC rules.  She never claimed to be swimming to that standard, and that's fine!  Personally I find her attitude abrasive, she comes across as extremely confident, and that for me overflows a bit into the realm of cockiness.  But that isn't a crime, and given the feat she accomplished, deserves a bit of self aggrandizement I suppose.

So I am satisfied that she did this swim and congratulate her!  I have already purchased one of her Extreme Dream shirts, and pre-ordered her story: The Other Shore.  I thing marathon swimmers who still aren't satisfied, especially after she meets today via Skype with the representatives, that they let this story move on and quit dwelling on it.  It's over.  She did it, now focus on the next big swims.  By continuously hounding this issue does no good for the community.  There are plenty of other people who are doing big swims that deserve just as much, if not more attention than what she got.  Let's refocus!

As for my measly little swim this morning:

400 free warmup, 4 x 100's drill
1200 - 2 x (500 pull, 100 IM) :30 ri
4000 - 2 x (800, 600, 400, 200 negative split < :30 ri)
500 kick with fins
500 - 2 x 200 IM's, 100 IM easy

7,000 yards total in 2:10

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Logan River instead of Bear Lake

So local Utah swimmer, James Jonsson informed me a couple days ago that his swim didn't look like was in a "go" status.  The weather showed that there was a 30% chance of storms.  This morning when I woke up at the cabin I went outside and yes it did look pretty crappy.  Not terrible, but Logan canyon is quite protected compared to the Open Water of Bear Lake.

I talked to my siblings and their spouses and we decided to bag our trip to Bear Lake and just hang out at the cabin and play table tennis, board games, and enjoy being together in a relaxing environment.  So Cathi went for a run and when she got back she took over while I went for a swim in the Logan River.  Wow the water felt cool.  It took me a good minute of wading in and getting the mentality to do the full 30 minutes I wanted.

I slowly waded to the middle of the river up to my waist and then started my watch and the swim.  I again saw my many fish friends.  The big grey fish that is probably over 20 inches, and the several smaller "gecko fish" that are bottom feeders hiding under and around the rocks.

I took a temp several times throughout my swim with my watch: 54.4 degrees.  It felt really cold getting in, but swimming in it really wasn't terrible.  The water flow wasn't as fast as it was a month ago,  but that's OK.  It was still a lot of fun and it was especially enjoyable because I just finished the chapter in Lynne's book on Hypothermia and Hyperthermia, and ice swimming, and that gave me a lot to think about during the swim.

Man I am excited to go for that ice-mile goal in just three months!

30 minutes (about .75 mile conservative estimate) in 54.4 degrees f.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Feeling like meeting Santa for the first time

Yesterday afternoon I was busy all day at work and noticed I had a voicemail:

Then she called me and I picked up.  She agreed to meet with me after I had messaged her on Facebook about the possibility of seeing her at another one of her book signings when I'm in California for Kelly's Anacapa swim.  She offered to meet for lunch!  So I am meeting her Thursday afternoon after my flight comes in to Long Beach.  I'm so excited I feel like a little boy who gets to see Santa for the first time.  Sounds kind of nuts, I know.  But she is an icon, a pure legend.  Her experience and background in open water swimming is historical.  She can easily be listed as one of the five most historical figures in open water swimming.  

My copy of her new book, Open Water Swimming Manual arrived last night and I read the first 6 chapters.  Lots of good material.  The biggest thing I discovered that I am lacking is doing drills especially on skulling drills.  

This morning I incorporated some skulling drills into my workout:

400 - 4 x 100's odd skull drill, even catch and pull drill
200 kick
100 - 4 x 25's free fast on :30
900 - 3 x 150's, 3 x 100's, 3 x 50's odd free, even IM :10 ri
1500 - 5 x (200 pull free, 100 IM) :10 ri
900 - 3 x (100 kick, 100 IM, 100 free) :10ri
50 easy

4,050 yards total in 1:10

There's been a lot of talk in the marathon swimmers forum on Diana Nyad and her swim.  I have some opinions on this and really need to get them out, but that deserves a post on its own which I will do shortly.

On another note: I have really appreciated Donal Buckley's comprehensive and thoughtful posts on MIMS and what the organizers can do to really step it up to a quality event worthy of being included in the triple crown of open water swimming.  I'm planning on applying for this swim and really hope that the organizers take all of his points as constructive feedback and make some appropriate changes.  

Here's the posts I'm talking about: 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


This morning's workout was delayed and shortened.  I had lots of things to get caught up on at home and got out the door later than usual.  My lower back on the left side is really annoyed.  It feels nearly the same way right before my Catalina swim.  It's definitely a issue that I need to see my Chiropractor for, so I set up an appointment for this evening for a realignment.

Did 6 x 200's odd free, even pull w/finger paddles, IM, and kick

1200 yards total in about 20 minutes - just a good feel for the water, nothing strenuous

Going to Bear Lake this weekend for a day of fun on the beach with my siblings and their kids.  Hoping to get in a decent swim as well up there.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My mouth hurts just watching this

After my three long salty swims I had anywhere from a week to two weeks of pure pain dealing with the cancers and lips healing form the salt water "burns".  I watched Diana and with her swollen lips, I can only imagine how bad her throat hurts.  But what an achievement!  The pain is probably worth it.

Man, she looked like it was tough.  I don't know if I'd want to do a swim that was so tough that I came out looking like that.

This morning's swim was nice:

2000 free
2000 pull agility paddles
400 free strong
300 - 6 x 50's fly/free, back/free, breast/free
200- 100 kick with board (no fins), 100 kick no equipment
800 - 4 x (100 drill, 4 x 25's ankle strap only) :10 ri
600 - 4 x 125's IM :5 ri

6,300 yards total in 1:50

Monday, September 2, 2013

Charlotte Brynn was attacked by a shark on her Catalina Crossing

I was planning to swim at pineview this morning but it was raining pretty hard here at home, so that would only mean its much worse up there.  So I went lifting and then off to the NWRC Pool.

Did 5 x 2000's:

1 - free no equipment
2 - pull large paddles
3 - 2 x (500 kick fins, 5 x 100's IM odd even free)
4 - pull agility paddles with ankle strap
5 - free no equipment

10,000 yards in 2:40

Two things I learned this morning:

1) Diana Nyad finished her swim to Florida from Cuba.  Outstanding that she finally made it after all these attempts

2) Charlotte Brynn was attacked by a small shark during her Catalina swim.  That was a shocker for me.  She's only the second person to actually have been attacked during a channel crossing of some sort.  She's OK, in fact she kept swimming for 11 hours after the bite she took.  I think she said she didn't realize it was a shark and it was a sharp pain, but went away once the shark let go after the quick bite.  She apparently was able to pull a tooth out from under her skin that the shark left behind.  Ouchy!