Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Great Salt Lake- Antelope Island to Black Rock

Every year the USA swimming age group team I coach hosts a summer long course swim meet. This always falls on the same weekend as the 8 mile Great Salt Lake Swim from Antelope Island to Black Rock. If I wanted the Utah Triple Crown this summer I needed to do the swim, so once more I roped my mom into kayaking for me so I could do the swim on my own. Figuring the logistics of it were a bit difficult, but we ended up kayaking from The Great Salt Lake Marina out by black rock to Antelope Island and then swimming back.

It was sunny and very warm for this time of year. The water was flat, like glass and there was not hint of a breeze, very different conditions from my last big swim a few weeks ago.

I had never swum in this lake before, even though I live so close to it. I must say, it is way too salty for my liking; the ocean is fine, but this is a step or two beyond. As I first stepped in the water I was almost expecting the water to sting my skin, however, it did not. I knew that I would float incredibly easily, but I couldn't quite imagine just how much that would be. I could lift my head, my arms, and my legs out of the water and stay up because the buoyancy was so much. The water felt thick, almost like syrup.

Once I had played around for a few minutes figuring out the water, I took a deep breath and put my head in the water. I was careful to keep my mouth tightly shut to try and prevent the salt water from entering my mouth. I kept pulling strong and hard through the water. I felt like I was making good time, and my stroke felt good. However, I was incredibly thirsty. Normally, the water enters my mouth every once in a while, just enough to get my lips and tongue wet. I didn't want any of this water in my mouth, plus being in the salty water was really drying me out. I had to stop for a drink more often than I normally do. Each time I would stop, my mom would use one water bottle to squirt off my face before I would drink, she would then hand me the other water bottle to actually drink from. As I would stop, I didn't need to tread, I would lift my knees up into a sitting position and my body would just bob there in the water.

At one point in the middle of the lake I freaked myself out. I stopped to get a drink and my foot hit something solid. I tentatively put my foot down and felt solid ground. The lake was so shallow that I could stand knee deep in the middle of the lake. It was hard like a rock due to all of the salt. I gulped down some Gatorade and kept going. I while later my hand hit something hard. This time I knew what it was; I had hit the bottom again. I kept going as it got more and more shallow. Finally it was so shallow that even with adjusting my pull I could not continue to swim. I climbed in the kayak and helped my mom paddle the last mile or so. I was not able to swim the last mile, but I went as far as the lake would allow so my swim was counted.

I was making forward movement, but the end never seemed to get any closer. I just kept swimming and pushing forward. I love swimming and I love open water. I could not have asked for better conditions, but I did not love this swim. The swampy smell was strong the whole time, my body was covered in brine shrimp, the salt was too much, and the water was so thick it was harder to pull through. I know many people who love swimming in this lake, but it was not for me. Once was enough for me. I think I will stick to the fresh water mountain lakes.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Swamping in Deer Creek

What could be better than to get the International Open Water Triple Crown and the Utah Triple Crown in the same year. Unfortunately there was one small problem; I was going to be out of town on the day of both the Deer Creek 10  mile. No worries, I would do it on my own.

It was a warm September day and I was off work. My mom could help paddle. What else did we need? We packed the food and swimming items that would be needed, tossed the small Walmart kayak in the back of the truck and headed up to the reservoir. It never crossed my mind to check and see how breezy or windy it was. For the Deer Creek swim you swim 5 miles along the shore from one marina to the next. As you start the swim your turn right and swim up this branch off the main reservoir. I am used to swimming from point A to point B for any swim that is not training. I hated this detour up a side branch that made it feel like I was adding all this pointless extra distance onto the swim. Despite feeling like it was just going out of my way, we made it through the side branch fairly quickly. However, once we got back out to the main part of the reservoir the chop started. It was a little annoying, but at least it was pushing me in the right direction, making my time good. After turning into and swimming past several little bays along the edge, we rounded a point and I could see the marina in  the distance. We were almost to the halfway point! I sprinted to the marina, a bit frustrated at my mom for staying just ahead of me rather than next to me. She was trying to push me along.

I grabbed a quick drink of Gatorade with an addition of several table spoons of honey and then turned around for the return trip. The chop was not as bad as I had thought it would be.
I was afraid that once we turned around the chop that would be going against us would be pushing us back. This is okay I thought. Wrong. Once we rounded the point to follow the main shore, the wind was absolutely horrible. For every two strokes I took forward, I was pushed back one. Almost every other breath filled my mouth with water. This is going to be a long swim back, I thought! It seemed as if each time I would look at my mom in the kayak next to me, the kayak would be vertical, it was getting pushed by the waves so badly. My mom was paddling as hard as she could and still could not keep up with my slow forward progression. The kayak was riding lower and lower in the water with each passing minute. I wondered how long until it would just sink or flip over.

Then, one time I turned my head just in time to see my mom tilt sideways and roll right into the water as the kayak sunk and rolled upside-down. My mom is a great swimmer and can hold her own, but I don't think she could have gotten both herself and the kayak to the edge by herself. We were crossing a small bay and were between 100 to 150 yards from the edge. So, 7 miles into the swim, I stopped and pulled the kayak to shore with my mom swimming next to me. As we got to the edge, we dumped all the water out and and then, I kept swimming, while my mom walked along the edge of the shore pulling the kayak by a rope until the waves calmed down a little bit.
I don't have any pictures of the bad chop,
because we were so focused on what we were doing. 

Both of us were frustrated and tired and just wanted to be done. When I saw the marina where the swim would finish, I very badly wanted to just swim to the end and be done. I was frustrated enough that I didn't care if I didn't quite finish the official swim. It was only at my mom's encouragement that I turned down the side branch and kept swimming. This time the side branch seemed to go on forever. Each time I felt I should be to the end, I would find out I still hand quite a bit more before I could turn around. Finally I told myself I would just swim without thinking and I would not dwell on how long it felt or on how miserable this swim had been. I was so focused that I didn't realize when I finally was done with the swim. I was pushing hard just focused when I saw the bottom of the the boat ramp. Once the swim was done, I realized that although I was frustrated, it was a good challenge for me to have to swim through waves and chop like that. My mom was such a champ for paddling through the storm.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Goody's 19 mile Bear Lake Length Swim

A month or so before Goody's swim date he asked me if I would be on his crew for his 19 mile length crossing of Bear Lake. I said yes of course, I would love to support another ultra-marathon swimmer. I put it on my calendar. Unfortunately weather did not cooperate and the swim was postponed and several crew members changed, but on Friday, August 29th it was finally a go.

The crew which consisted of me, Jim Hubbard, Goody's wife, brother-in-law (Josh), and father-in-law headed out of the marina and to the south end of the lake. Goody went over the details of the feeds and the what he did and did not want done or said while to him while he was swimming. At 8:00 p.m., all greased up and ready to go with his wife paddling, Goody started his swim.

He started out a little slower, before getting into his pace and picking it up. He was doing really well and pushing forward. I the overall in charge of overseeing everything and making sure that everyone was doing what they were supposed too, because I have had a lot of experience with long distance open water swimming. I helped Goody's father-in-law mix the feeds, I threw the feeds out, took stroke count, and wrote down things in the log. When we crossed the Utah/Idaho state border we stopped Goody, gave him a treat, and blared the music to have a party; he was a little over half at this point.

Around 4:00 in the morning we had a major scare! We had just thrown a feed out and were planning on changing paddlers on the next feed. We were helping Goody's wife get bundled up and let Goody and Jim get ahead for a minute and would catch up later. When we looked up we didn't see them. Josh took off to catch up. I thought we were going the wrong way, but no one else seemed to notice. Finally they realized and stopped. We turned around to head back the right direction, but they were nowhere to be seen. We kept going up and down looking for them. Each time we would see a little light we would head for it, thinking it might be them, but it would turn out to be a light on the shore. We were all panicked! Jim and Goody were stuck in the middle of the lake in the middle of the night with a swimmer in the water and just a kayak by his side. We had to find them! Finally we saw a blue light just for a second. We knew it was them and raced that direction. We would see the light for a second, then lose it as soon as Jim would turn his head. Finally we reached them. We had been getting tired, but we were all wide awake now. Surprisingly both Jim and Goody seemed pretty calm. Goody was tired because we had missed a feed. We traded out kayakers and gave Goody a feed every 15 instead of every 30 minutes for the next while, so he could get his energy back up.

Around 7:00 Goody asked me if I would get in. I was freezing from the breeze hitting me all night, so I sat by the heater for a few minutes and then got ready and got in around 7:30. Goody thought we were closer to the end than we were. I think we were about 2 and half miles out, but someone told him 2 to 1 and a half miles left. I was already cold, so the water didn't help that at all. I swam with Goody for the last 2 hours. Once we got close I got the GoPro so I could video his finish. There was not a lot of battery left, so I don't know if it worked. When I could touch I stood up, but Goody kept swimming a bit further. He walked out like a champ. At the end a lady asked how far he had just gone. He looked tired, so I answered for him. I was so happy for him and impressed. I had never been on the crew side of things; it is impressive witnessing someone do a swim like that. I gave him a big hug. He then made his way out to his wife in the kayak to thank her too. As Goody swam back to the boat, he didn't even look tired.
Finished like a Champ!

Way to go Goody! You slayed the Bear Lake Monster!

Read Goody's account of the Slaying the Bear Lake Monster

Monday, July 28, 2014

Flaming Gorge SLOW Swim Trek

Salt Lake Open Water (SLOW) club leaders and members thought it would be fun do swim in different lake around the state, so they planned a swim camp weekend and Flaming Gorge. My family decided to tag along with me, so they could have a weekend out and so they could make sure the camper-trailer was ready for a big trip the next week. On Thursday evening we pulled up with the trailer and I was embarrassed, because everyone else there had tents. Great.

Anyway, we spent the weekend swimming and playing in the water. I skipped out on the early morning, Friday swim, because I wasn't feeling very well, but by the afternoon I felt fine. We all went to a beach, so the little kids could play while we swam.

We swam about 3 miles from the beach, back to the cove by our camp and back to the beach. The beach was just over the Wyoming border and our camp was in Utah, so we could say we swam from Wyoming to Utah and back; which was silly, but kind of fun. We spent the evening getting to know each other better, playing games, and having dinner. It was fun to get to know Gordon and his family better, Sarah and hers, Sue and hers, and Karl and his family better. I think it was good for my family too. They could hear all these other people talking about swimming and how much they loved it, and see that it is not just me who is a little crazy over swimming. That night a couple of us did a short one mile night swim from the cove by our camp. It was so beautiful! It was really dark with no light glow from cities, so the stars and the milky way were very clearly visible. The stars looked like they came straight down to the water. Once we had been swimming in the dark for a few minutes, my eyes adjusted and I could see the outline of the cliffs and mountains around the lake too. I love swimming in the dark. It seems like it would be scary, and it can be for the first minute or so. Then I remember that nothing is going to happen and it becomes incredibly peaceful. I feel like there is nothing in the world but me and the water. I love it.

Saturday late morning we decided to swim across the section of the lake by us and back. I thought this was a fun swim too. Sue, Gordon, and I were swimming the exact same pace, and Sarah was having fun testing out the drafting off of each of us. I didn't really worry about spotting much, I just stayed right with Sue to my left, only spotting every hundred strokes or so. When we reached the other side the water was clear and we could see the cool rock formations under the water. We spent e few minutes diving around looking at those before heading back. On the way back Sue and I picked up the pace and swam next to each other at a faster pace on the way out. Sarah and Gordon were just a few body lengths behind. It was a fun swim. Sue told me after that she wasn't really spotting much either, just relying on me and Gordon too. Maybe he was checking more. After we finished I was in the mood for more. The water felt great! So when Gordon headed back out to swim back with Cathi and Gary, I went too.

It was a great weekend of swimming and getting to be better friends with other crazy swimmers!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bear Lake Monster Swim 2014

Bear Lake is probably my favorite open water swim! The water is so blue, and so clean. I have swum across Bear Lake several times, but this year was my second time participating in the Bear Lake Monster Swim race.

I headed up Friday evening so I could go to the pre-race dinner the night before. I decided I would really like to get to know some more of the people involved with open water swimming around Utah. I had a fun evening chatting with a bunch of the SLOW swimmers and getting to know them better.

On Saturday morning I met at the marina early, so my mom could shuttle our vehicle to the other side with a group of people. Unfortunately we were about 2 minutes behind them and my mom  never found them on the other side of the lake. Finally the return vehicle could not wait any longer, so they came back. While waiting for everyone to get back and check-in to start, I got to see a beautiful sunrise on across the lake.
Summer Sunrise at Bear Lake, Utah
For the race this year, we started on the West side of the lake, just North of the Marina. The relays started first, and 5 minutes later the solo swimmers started. We lined up about waist deep in the water and waited for the count-down. I was the furthest left person, which was fine, because I breathe more to my left, so that way I could see my kayak better. The water felt great and my stroke felt good too. I was really concentrating on fixing my pull on my right arm, because I had been pulling weirdly a few weeks before in my MIMS race. I felt like I was doing better. I was also trying to keep my stroke rate up a bit. I had been training for a 28.5 mile swim most of the summer, so I 7 mile swim was like a sprint to me. At my first drink break at the 30 minute mark, I was almost the last person. What! I am not supposed to be last! I had better pick it up. I picked up my stroke and kept working on holding form. I was able to catch up and pass several people. Towards the end of the race, the sun was in my eyes enough when I looked forward that I could not tell how close I was to the end. I thought I was still about 30 minutes to the finish, when my mom who was paddling told me to really sprint the finish. I thought it was a bit early, but I did so anyway, and 5 minutes later my hands hit the rocks of the beach.

As I climbed out someone with a camera and microphone came to talk to me, because they were doing coverage on the race. I thought it was cool, but I was still breathing hard from the finish. They were doing that with a  lot of people. When I got my time, I had finished in 3:20:54, which is about 5 minutes slower than my fastest crossing, but I was okay with that time.

This race made me realize just how much of a distance rut I was/am in. I decided I really need to work on some shorter things and getting a faster turn-over. I have been stuck in my forever pace. I decided it was time to pull out my pacer and work on my turn over. My goal for next year is under 3:10. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

My account of MIMS

Sorry this is so late getting posted. I had really bad internet service on the East Coast. 

Saturday, June 28th, 2014. Manhattan Island, New York City. 

MIMS 2014 group 2
I was up by 4:00 a.m. to get ready and be at pier 25 at 5:20. I was surprisingly calm and had slept surprisingly well, even if I did get to bed much later than I had hoped. We arrived at pier 25 by taxi at 5:30 a.m. I went to check in and panicked, because I had forgotten ID. When putting on a suit and gathering up all of my swim gear, ID is not the thing I think to bring. Fortunately my parents were crewing for me, and looking the their IDs and and the family resemblance, they told me I was just fine. Whew. As everyone was checking in and getting ready, I was able to meet some really great swimmers from all over the world. The marathon swimming world really is a small world. I had heard stories about various swims that people had done, where crazy things had happened, and now I was able to meet some of those people. After all the crews had been loaded on the boats, one of the Irish guys suggested that we take a picture with all of the swimmers right before we loaded into the zodiacs that would take us to  Pier A for the start of the swim. 

The 28th was scheduled to be a slow current day and to get windy in the late afternoon, so there was a big push to start the race early. We ended up jumping in the water at 7:30. The first thing a bunch of us said to each other was, "Wow, the water is so warm!" It was between 70 and 73 depending on the section of the swim.  On Friday during the pre-race webinar, we were told that there were not enough kayaker volunteers and that they would need 4 volunteers to just swim with a support boat and no kayaker. This is what I have always done, so I volunteered. So, while most of the other swimmers kayakers found them and helped lead them around the southern tip of the island, I just started swimming, trying to stay in the crowd and follow some of the other kayakers. It seemed to be going okay, but then I noticed that I was a lot further out in the middle of the river than all the other swimmers. I veered in a bit and kept going, hoping that my support boat would find me soon. They eventually found me about 20 minutes into the swim. The boat captain was not used to being a guide and was just used to being a support, so he would switch whether he was on my right or on my left, sometimes he would go in front or back of me, and occasionally he was nowhere near me. This made it difficult for me to tell where I was going. I was having to spot a lot, and try and follow other swimmers and kayakers. I was really frustrated with this. By the time we reached Brooklyn Bridge, I was in last place. The current in the East River was so fast that we flew up that in about half an hour. The problem was that some of the swimmers had gotten to the Harlem River before the currents and tides had changed, so they had spent half an hour swimming in place. It was here that I caught up to the first group of 8 swimmers and stayed with them all the way to the end. 

Passing Yankee Stadium
The Harlem River was really warm, 72-73 degrees and not salty at all, unlike the East, which had been a little salty. For the first section of the Harlem there was a current going against us, so it was incredibly slow going. There was one point that I got a little frustrated, because the building I was watching as I was breathing to the left continued to be by my side for 10 minutes or so, and it was not a huge building. I felt like I was not moving at all. I wasn't the only one, no one was moving. Finally the current changed a bit and we were swimming in still water. There was not really any current helping us, but at least it was not pushing us backwards. There were a couple sections of the Harlem, where I ran into  so garbage and gross stuff, but that was really only when the race officials would move us right by the wall. As long as we were a little further out, it was fine. I was right with another swimmer the entire time my feeds were always about 3 minutes before his and he would pass me on my feed, then a few minutes later when he was feeding I would pass him. This went on the entire length of the Harlem. I lost him in the Hudson, so I don't know where he finished compared to me. I got a little frustrated in the Harlem, because it was much longer than I thought it would be. It looks so much shorter on the map, but it never seemed to end! Finally in the last mile or two of the Harlem, during one of my feeds, a kayaker came up and said that the guy he was paddling for brought his own, and now had two. He had just noticed that I did not have one; would I like him to paddle for me. "Hell Yes!" was my thought. My support boat had been telling me to go every-which-way, and I was really tired of it. The swim went much more smoothly and faster once I had a paddler! Thank you Sam Nicaise. 

George Washington Bridge
The final stretch was the Hudson River. I swear there was a mile section right as the Harlem came out into the Hudson that the water was 75 plus degrees. It was so warm on the top that as my hand would go deeper when I was pulling I would think, "Oh, that feels better, I wish it was that cool on my face." George Washington Bridge is huge and it seems to take forever to get there. There is not much current in that area, but I felt like I was moving along pretty well. I would think, "Okay, on the next feed I will be there." This happened for 3 or 4 feeds-it took forever! 

About halfway down the Hudson my crew and paddler told me to sprint. They said there were 3 swimmers in front of me that I was gaining on and if I really pushed it, I would catch them. So I started sprinting. I kept sprinting and 2 hours later I finally passed one of the swimmers. My crew kept shouting at me to push harder. In fact, I got really pissed at them. They could see how close I was to catching another swimmer, so they decided to let me keep pushing and not waist time with a feed. I could tell they skipped one feed, and thought they might have skipped two. I had gotten pretty good at telling that half hour time period. My stomach was hurting, because I was so hungry. My mouth was dry and the water was by now really choppy. I kept thinking,"You get in this damn water and try and sprint without anyone letting you have any food, you little piece of S***! I can't push it harder if I don't have any energy!" Finally I stopped and told Sam I couldn't sprint anymore without a drink. That helped. About 45 minutes after that I saw that 20 feet in front of me was another swimmer. I really picked it up even more and I passed by him only a couple feet away. I continued to get further ahead of him and finished about 500 yards before him. The chop was pretty awful for the last 2 hours. Some of the time I couldn't see Sam, even though he was only a couple of feet away. I know I swallowed a bit of water here, and it was not particularly pleasant to swim in. 

The finish at Pier A
 For the last hour of the swim I was watching the Freedom Tower in front of me on my left. I knew the finish was right by that, so I just had to get there. It was really neat for the last little bit to see all of the people watching and cheering us on from the pier. Finally at North Cove, Sam turned off, and I knew I was really close to the end. I pushed even harder, following the seawall until I saw the big orange buoy floating in the water right where we started at Pier A. I sprinted the finish and whacked the buoy. The first thing I heard when I finished was a little gong thing and  someone shout, "Number 9."   I finished 8th of the 23. 

I swam out to my support boat, and road with my crew back to Pier 25. My uncle, aunt, and cousin were there waiting and said they had watched my swim past them. I skipped out on the massage and dried off and got straight on the shuttle to the the restaurant, where I found Sam my paddler to sit next too. 

I have completed my Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming goal and I am really happy to have done it. There were 4 of us who completed the Triple Crown in this group as well as my training partner Gordon Gridley who swam in the first group of MIMS. I am sure there are a few others too. I was the 87th person to complete the Triple Crown. I am always asked which of the three was the hardest. The answer is that they are so different they are hard to compare. All of them had their own challenges. For me, the English Channel was probably a little harder than the other two, because it was my first big open water swim. 

I am planning several more swims for the future. Right now I am looking to do the Cook Straight next year and the Straight of Gibraltar with Gordon in 2016. 
Triple Crown! 

Afternoon swim at Pineview- Last Open Water Swim before MIMS

I have a hard time going to do early morning open water swims because I am coaching during the mornings. Fortunately this summer I don't coach on Friday mornings, so I decided Friday, June 20th would be my last open water swim before heading to  New York. Unfortunately, I ended up not being able to make it int the early morning, so I had to go in the late afternoon. This meant that the boat traffic would be bad, even though I stay in the "no wake" zone. I roped my mom into coming up and paddling for me. I was planning to do 2 Goody loops to get 5 miles in. I hadn't realized how awful it can be to swim when it is that busy. I had also forgotten my good goggles that don't fog up too badly, so I couldn't really see anything. I ended up just doing one Goody loop and then doing a little extra after to get 3 miles in. 

I was sad to not get as much swimming in as planned, but the water was great! It was a great temperature and it was clear, and surprisingly high. Now I am ready for New York! 

Bountiful Informal Race June 4th

SLOW decided to host an informal .75 mile race at Bountiful Pond. I (almost) always swim alone, so I was excited to go and have some people to swim with. Plus it would be good practice for MIMS, since that is a race. I was called a couple of days before by Fox 13 News, saying they wanted to interview both me and Gordon about our upcoming New York swim. This event was a great place to  interview us.

I headed down to Bountiful, a little nervous about the interview and being filmed swimming, but I was just going to the race for fun. There ended up being 16 people show up for the swim, which was great--more than I had anticipated. Right around 5:00 p.m. we all entered the water and started the race from about waist deep. We were to go out past the first island, loop around the second island and come back. I started kind of slow, because I wanted to get out of the way of the other swimmers (I don't like to be crowded). I ended up finishing 3rd. It was this swim that made me realize how much of a distance mode or "rut" I am in. I like to try and keep it more balanced. It wasn't until half way  through this race that I started to catch up to people. I decided to spend the net couple weeks working on doing speed with my distance workouts. The water was a great temperature and it felt great to be swimming outside!

 Fox 13 Interview

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

1st Annual April Fools' Endurance Challenge

For this fun challenge to do ten 10k swims throughout the month of April; I decided to do my own take on it. Sometimes I swim 10,000 yards for my 10k, other times I swim a 10 kilometer swim. I am also doing a couple of 10 mile swims throughout the month as well. I decided my personal goal for this challenge is to get 62 miles of swimming by the end of the month to get ten times 10 kilometers as my total for the month.

I did my first 10 mile swim a couple of days ago, getting a new personal record for the longest swim I have done in a pool. I got to the pool and realized I forgot to bring the workout I had written, so I ended up just swimming my 17,600 yards pretty well straight through with a quick break at 10,000 yards.

 I have really enjoyed doing this challenge, because it is making me swim a lot further distances in the pool. I also love to have something to work towards. As of right now I still have four more of my 10ks to do.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Great IM workout

I wasn't even sure if I was going to swim today, because I sprained my ankle a couple of days ago and it is still hurting pretty badly. I decided to warm up, then see how my ankle felt. After 300 yards, I couldn't feel my foot at all, so I decided to go ahead and do my workout. 

  300 yards mix up strokes
  500 dolphin kick on the back with fins, working body roll and abs
  8 X 50 sprint kicks, IM order
Main Set: 
  5 X 400 IM work strokes- No cheating (one arm fly, pulling ropes for back, etc.) on 7:30
  5 X 200 IM hold pace on 3:45 
  5 X 100 IM sprint on 2:00
  500 kick choice
  300 swim choice- stretch out 

Total yards= 6,000 

It is not a lot of yardage, but I was proud of my 400s IM; I've never really done them before and I did 5 good ones today. 

Long Saturday Swims

I have been training at Layton Surf N' Swim on the Saturdays when I can coordinate things with Gordon. On Saturday, March 1st I did my longest to date pool swim. We swam 16,100 yards (9.1 miles). I had a hard time keeping up with Gordon, he was kicking my butt. I felt bad that I was probably not helping to push him to the point that I was helpful. I was just excited to be able to swim at all. I had just gone to the chiropractor so he could work on my shoulder. I was so sore my swimming suit just touching my shoulder hurt. I just figured, what the hell. What's the use of being young, and I decided to work through it anyway. I was not swimming that much slower than Gordon was, but I would get 3 feet behind on every flip turn. My turns aren't that bad, I'm just so stinking short!

 Here is the workout we did.

I am looking forward to  the next chance I get to do a long swim with Gordon. I think it is good for both of us, and it really pushes me.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Starting my Go the Distance Challenge

I decided to log my swimming for the Go the Distance challenge this year. I would really like to get 70 to 75 miles each month, but I know that the couple months while I am doing my student teaching and getting ready to graduate college I would not have quite the needed time to do that. Instead I decided to get at least 50 miles for those four months. January through April would I will have to do a little less, then make up for it later.

I woke up on Thursday, January 30th realizing that I still had 13 miles to swim to get to my 50 miles and I only had two days left to do so. I had just done a long sprint workout on Wednesday, so I was due for a distance workout. I decided to just do a long non-stop swim on Thursday night. I would do as much of it as I could before the pool closed, then I would finish the rest after it was closed. The pool I swim in is yards one direction and meters the other. We set up in yards during public swim, but after we close I can leave one of the mats off and swim meters. I love it-- for the most part. Occasionally weird shadows are cast by the mats covering two thirds of the pool and I will startle myself, forgetting that I am not in open water and that there is nothing in the pool with me. I jumped twice tonight while swimming, wondering what had just swam past me.

The following is what I did:
8,500 yards non-stop from. 7:20 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.
10 min break (while mats were pulled and lights turned off)
4,500 meters non-stop from 9:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
100 yards cool-down alt back/breast

Total= 7.62 miles
The longest pool swim I have ever done.

Unfortunately I did't quite make my 50 mile goal for the month. Now I am playing catch-up.