Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Train like a beast

I recently read a post from someone on facebook stating how bad they felt after running a marathon that they didn't train for.  Good for them, but I don't respect that kind of "athlete".  If you actually finish a race that you didn't train for, how tough can it really be?  You may be tough mentally to get through it, but if you're struggling through it and give a half-assed effort, then why even do it?

If you registered for a big event, that shows commitment to a goal.  If you fail in following through on that commitment, don't just show up cause you fear it would be a waste of money, or that you'll give it your best anyway and just hope to finish.

I noticed a post in from Darren Miller where he confirmed my way of thinking.  He said,
"...and train like a beast. If you aren't training enough for the swim you want, then don't do it, as you don't deserve it. Give it the respect it requires - everything you got."
Can I get an "Amen!"

And only YOU can be the judge of whether you trained hard enough.  There are tons of opinions out there (including mine) that include what the proper amount of training is for a certain race, but one thing is certain, no training is not enough training.  If you happen to finish something badly that didn't require training, keep it to yourself.  It belittles those who do take their training seriously.

As for today's swim:  Swam at GSL with Goody, Chad, Mike, Sam, and Sarah.  Most of us swam a Gridley Straight with an extended return out to the far east buoy and back to Silver sands beach.  A total on my GPS of: 2.90 miles.  Water temp on my watch read 63 degrees.  I forgot to lube up the back of my neck and my upper cheek bones under my goggles.  Man, quite a burn.  Swimming a 10K in the GSL is simply legit!  I may have to do that last 10K for April in Bountiful Lake, cause I've gotten too soft (literally) to swim that far in the GSL at this point in the season.

On the way home, I was notified that my Grandmother in Pocatello passed away.  She was a sweetheart to me and one of the most admired ladies in my life.  She passed very quickly and will join my awesome Grandpa who died a year ago.  I have many fond memories of my Grandma and Grandpa Richins.   Several months ago I had Lynne Cox sign my copy of "Swimming to Antarctica", and dedicate it to my Grandma Richins, because she was so supportive.  She told me that she was taking cold showers cause of me!  What an adventurous spirit she was!  I told that story to Lynne and she left a very nice comment in the book for my Grandma.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

9th 10K - Staggered Struggle

This morning on the way to the pool I had my typical morning breakfast which normally serves me very well:  2 Clif Bars, 1 Buzz bite, 800 MG Ibuprofen (to offset the impending doom I put on my body), 20 oz Gatorade.

I came up with this workout last night and it went well until I hit the halfway point then I hit a wall.  I was just drained.  But I wasn't about to swim just half of this workout and not get the full 10K and have it not count for one of 10 that I need to do.

Here's the workout:

2 times through this staggered ladder:

500 free
100 back
600 - 3 x 200's free
200 IM
700 - 2 x (250 free + 100 back)
300 - 4 x 75's drill, back, free
800 - 8 x 100's first 4 on 1:30, second 4 on 1:25
400 kick with fins
900 - 3 x 300's pull :5 ri
500 finger paddles no buoy

So glad I just stuck with it. I was completely spent at the end.  When I got to work I had myself two of the best sandwiches I've ever had. Banana/Almond Butter (with chocolate flavor) on whole wheat.  Fantastic!

10,000 yards in 3:00

Monday, April 21, 2014


This morning was split into thirds with the first third happening BEFORE masters:
1st Set
1100 Free, 100 Back
1000 - 3 x 300's pull on 4:30, 100 back
900 - 4 x 200's free strong on 3:00, 100 back

Then did Kirsten's workout with Jason and John, and eventually Jill:
2nd Set
400 free warmup
800 - 8 x 50's kick with fins on :55, 8 x 50's drill/swim on :50
100 easy
400 - 16 x 25's one arm fly by 25 on :30

1600 - 8 x 200's 1st and 5th pull on 2:30, all others no equipment on 2:45.  Stay STRONG!
200 easy

3rd Set
Then moved to the north side and did my own thing:
500 kick with fins
1600 - 4 x 200's odd IM, even free, 4 x 200's pull on 2:45
400 kick with fins
1000 - 2 x 500's Tempo Trainer 1st on :85, 2nd on :80.  6:45, 6:40

10,000 yards total in 2:55

This is my 8th 10K swim for April.  Well ahead of schedule.  Going for 11.

At 4:45pm This afternoon I swam around the perimeter of Bountiful Lake, and towed my board with the GPS.  Then I did a Josh Green Loop.  The water was much warmer than last time.  The temp was 65 degrees.  Sarah swam the same route and I think she was pleased to swim without foggy goggles.  I showed her how one drop of baby shampoo in each goggle piece rinsed out takes care of the fog problem.

It was a beautiful evening and I had a blast.  The water quality was actually nice and I didn't have any issue with it at all.

Afternoon total: 1.79 miles in 55 minutes @ 65 degrees
Daily total: 13,150 yards (7.47 miles)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

First swim in Bountiful Lake for 2014

This morning I coached South Davis Masters, followed immediately by a coaches meeting, so I didn't get a chance to swim in the pool, but I planned on a swim at 10am with Joelle in Bountiful Lake.  I invited Sarah to come too, but wasn't sure she would cause of the hype about the lack of cleanliness of Bountiful Lake.  She also swam 10,000 yards at SDRC too so I wasn't sure she'd have enough left to do an open water swim.

I got there at 9:40 and waited for Joelle, but she didn't show up.  I called and found out she had a CPR class that she was in the middle of that she wasn't aware of earlier.  So I took a temp at the boat ramp and it read 54.7 degrees.  I was expecting close to 60 since it was 57 a couple weeks ago.  All the runoff from the snowy mountains must be regulating the temperature lower than I thought.

Planned on doing a Josh Green Loop (.7 miles), but Sarah was a little nervous about going that far in the colder than anticipated temperature.  Once we got to the first island I stopped and asked how she was doing and whether she was up for continuing on or not.  She smiled big and said she was loving it, so we continued on around the second island.  The water quality wasn't terrible, I kept an eye out for floating logs of wood which is common out there.  Wouldn't want to run into anything real big or sharp out there.

We swam around the second island and the sun came out and it was really nice.  I was wondering about asking Sarah if she wanted to just go around the perimeter and get in a mile instead, but I didn't want to push my luck.  I was lucky to have a partner today and I didn't want the first experience to be a negative one, so I stuck to the plan.  I took a temp with my watch and it read 57 degrees.  So I'll average the two readings and call it 56 degrees.  

When I got near the boat ramp as I was getting out, one of the fishermen right there caught a very large trout.  Probably the biggest I've ever seen.  It had to have been over 20 inches.

The thing I don't like is the taste in my mouth after a swim in Bountiful Lake.  Today's flavor was like the smell of cut grass after it's been placed in a bin and sitting in the sun for a day.  Rotten grass smell, but as a taste.  In my mouth.  Could be alot worse.  I'll take that over many other smells/tastes.  Always though I have this urge to brush my teeth afterwards.

I had a great time and plan to go again at least once or twice next week.

I stumbled across this video of a Bountiful Lake swim I did a few years ago, when it was much colder.  Kinda funny.  My mom did the video.  Today's swim was definitely not a winter swim.  But 56 isn't a walk in the park either.  It was "refreshing"!

Total: .7 miles in 20 minutes

Thursday, April 17, 2014

7th 10K for April Challenge

Last night I penned this workout together on a piece of paper and swam it this morning starting at 0520:

300 warmup
3400 - 4 x (250 free, 100 kick with fins, 4 x 100's desc 1-4 on 1:30, 100 back)
6,250 - 5 x (300 free on 4:30, 150 back/breast/fly, 4 x 200's pull desc paddle size on 2:45, 1:15 of treading in deep end no hands with Gatorade bottle)
50 skull easy

10,000 yards in 2:42

I especially enjoyed the egg beater tread drills, and the skulling at the end.  I don't do those often enough.  Triceps are still sore from Monday's killer lifting session with Alex, but not a painful sore, a good sore.  Feeling buff.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Miss Swinger

Today I downloaded this ipod app.  It came with a cool new swimmer: Miss Swinger instead of just Mr. Smooth.

Here's more on the Swinger types.  I've tried to adopt a Smooth style, but I can't seem to get that synchronous and pretty bent elbow and 6 beat kick.  I have that straighter arm recovery and definitely a 2 beat kick.

The water was pretty smooth, and the salt wasn't a big deal.  Felt awesome
out there!
Up till now I was under the impression that the philosophy is to that the smooth style is the only TRUE "church", but apparently it's OK to be a swinger provided that it doesn't introduce drag and you can maintain that stroke for a long time without injuries.  So I'm going to bask in my swinger style, and not be ashamed of it.  Especially that 2 beat kick.

This afternoon I met Sam, Karl, and Sarah at the Marina for a swim.  Sam was referred to the lake from Mike from last week.  I asked him to stay with Karl given this was his first time and not sure he would really want to do a 2 mile Gridley Straight his first time.  Sarah and I swam out to Blackrock, and then swam back.  I took a slightly more arched return trip cause when I got to Blackrock the GPS read .99 miles.  Needed to lengthen that return trip in order to ensure a 2 mile swim.

The water was between 63 and 65 degrees according to my watch.  It felt a little colder than that, but that's just because I'm still acclimatizing and am a bit wimpy.  I never did shiver during the swim, but I did just a little after getting out.  Just a little.  Probably a 1 out of 10 on the shiver scale.

I'm proud of Sarah doubling her distance from last time.  She's a machine.  Can't get over how fast she's progressing.  She's going from an open water newbie to well on her way to a Utah Triple Crowner.  Pretty dang amazing.

Total Distance: 2.05 miles in 1:04

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

6th 10K - Tax Day workout

This morning I had to really get down to business as I had exactly three hours to swim before I was due at the Dentists office.  So I did the following with a "Tax" theme.

Imagine how much easier if our government required a flat tax instead of all these write offs and loopholes.  The Lord has his own "tax" for His church.
Malachi 3:10 - "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
So this workout consisted of sets followed by a 10% tax for the Lord:

1000 free warmup + 100 backstroke tithe
2 x 500's free at 7:00 + 100 backstroke tithe
4 x 250's free :5 ri + 100 backstroke tithe
5 x 200's pull no rest + 100 backstroke tithe
10 x 100's kicking with fins + 100 backstroke tithe
5 x 200's odd free, even IM no rest + 100 backstroke tithe
4 x 250's free :10 ri, + 100 backstroke tithe
2 x 500's free on 7:00  negative split + 100 backstroke tithe
1000 pull work the lats! + 100 backstroke tithe
100 free (fast offering)

10,000 yards total in 2:45  Then off to the dentist!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fulfilling my duty to help teach others how to swim

This morning I swam at Layton Surf N' Swim.  I got in at 0520 and started my ladder set before meeting with Ken and Denise Ashby from my ward.  They wanted a quick lesson on how to swim better.  Started with some kicking to help them establish a good body position in the water.  Worked on that for a while, then had them try front crawl, but that was too big of a step and gave them more pointers on how to stay relaxed in the water and stay in a streamlined position.  I encouraged them to continue practicing the drills I gave them and to make an effort to swim at least once a week in order to continue getting used to the water.

Then I continued with my ladder set:

100 free easy
200 IM
300 - 4 x 75's free no rest
400 kick with fins
500 pull
600 - 200 free, 2 x 200 IMs :5 rest
700 - 2 x (250 free + 100 stroke) no rest
800 - 4 x 200's odd IM, even free :5 rest
900 - 9 x 100's free on 1:20
1000 pull
900 - 3 x 300's on 4:30
800 - 4 x 200's odd IM, even free no rest
700 - 2 x (250 free + 100 stroke) no rest
600 - 3 x 200's free on 2:50
500 pull
400 kick with fins
300 - 4 x 75's free on 1:00
200 IM
100 free easy

10,000 yards total in 3:00 (Not counting the time spent with the Ashby's)
5th 10K for the month - felt great.  Didn't have any soreness or weakness.  Just kept it going.  Next time, I'll get creative.  Went with the traditional ladder cause it takes no special brain power to get through it.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Results of the Utah State Championship meet

This morning I got a ride with Jacob's swim coach, Jayme Jorgensen.  She said this was her first swim meet in a very long time.  She swam all the tough events (1650 fee, 400 IM, 200 fly, etc)  Pretty brave.

I on the other hand scratched my 1650 free, cause I really was hoping to break my high school PR (5:25) in the 500 free.  Last time I swam the 500 free at the Ski N Swim meet I got 5:32.02 and felt like I could better that.  Well apparently, even with swimming the 500 fresh, I wasn't able to cut that much time off my 500.  In face, I was a fraction of a second slower than the last time I swam it.  I got 5:32.25.  I had Julie take my splits and here they were:

50 - 28.59
100 - 32.05 (1:00.64)
150 - 32.99 (1:33.63)
200 - 32.98 (2:06.61)
250 - 33.26 (2:39.87)
300 - 34.65 (3:15.52)
350 - 34.58 (3:49.10)
400 - 35.06 (4:24.16)
450 - 34.84 (4:59.00)
500 - 33.25 (5:32.25)

Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed with this time.  I felt like I prepared for it and did my best, but apparently my best wasn't good enough. I had Julie Keyes help me with my splits and notifying me of what they were during the swim.  I remember during the 150 mark noticing that my time dropped from my 31 second target straight to 33 instead of maybe leaching into 32 second territory.  I tried to pick it up, but I still wasn't able to hold that 33 second and soon I started seeing nothing but 34s.

Russell Brusch was in the lane next to me and I was trying hard just to stay with him, but he was always, just one arm pull ahead of me.  I thought I'd try staying close to his lane and get any kind of draft off him, but I don't think I was getting much as I had to really push it to stay with him.  I hated the far wall from the blocks.  They were slippery and I had to really stick the feet on the wall to get a good push.  About 4-5 of the push offs the wall were total crap.  Even on the block side, I was too close on a couple of them and ended up with a really deep push.

I got Josh to take some video of the 500 and its no wonder I wasn't able to get the time I wanted.  My stroke looks like crap.  My left arm is totally swinging out, and my push off the walls are extremely wimpy with no dolphin kick at all.

50 fly - Swam a short 100 free to loosen up after the 500.  That didn't seem enough as my arms felt like lead during the 50 fly.  When I took my first breath at about the 15 yard mark I saw the lane counter was being used with the double orange.  I laughed a little, but tried to stay focused on a long powerful stroke.  When I got to the wall I looked forward, and I wasn't able to get a really quality two hand touch because the lane counter was still being held in the pool.  I wanted to extend my reach, grab the edge of the pool with my hands close together, and then turn, but with the lane counter still being held in, I had to reach around it.  With the far end of the pool having less than ideal surface area, my turn on the 50 fly sucked pretty bad.

I tried to make up for it on the swim back to the finish.  Ended up with a 28.70.  Over a second faster than the Ski-n-swim meet, but I had over 15 minutes rest from the 500 free to the 50 fly, whereas with the Ski-N-swim, I had less than a minute.  I had my split time as 28.5 which is what I probably would have got had I been given the opportunity to swim it without being interfered with.  FYI - lane counters are supposed to come out before the swimmer gets to the wall.  And yes, you'll get wet if you don't.

200 free - I had about 20 minutes rest before swimming the 200 free.  I was again disappointed in getting a 2:06.27.  I'm capable of getting a much better time than that!

I tried to be a good coach for the South Davis Masters swimmers: Julie Keyes, Matt Chamberlain, Mindy Hopfenbeck, and John Eyring.  They all swam exceptionally well.  I was super impressed with Matt's 100 free time: 51.03

Check out Julie's 100 free.  She was so stoked to get her goal time.  An improvement I think she said by 7 seconds on her 100 free.  Awesome work Julie!
As well as Josh's 100 free.  Look how smooth his stroke looks!  And I love the finish, how he comes from a half body length on that last 25 for the win.  Literally, a smokin swim!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


This morning I got to sleep in a little.  Yoo hoo!  Got up at 4:45 and took my sweet time getting to the pool at Northwest.  Here's what I planned for and swam as successfully as I had hoped:

300 easy warmup
10 x 100's FAST
1st one a little easier than the others (1:07), 2-9 got 1:04 and on the last one 1:01
300 easy cooldown

1,600 yards total in 30 minutes

Because I pushed those 100's I don't feel guilty one bit for tapering.  If I can maintain a 1:04 average on my 100 splits in the 500 free,  I'll have a new PR (from high school) beat this Saturday.  I think this is doable.  It's gonna be tough, but definitely possible.  Looking forward to it!  No swim tomorrow, mental training tomorrow.

Side note, Craig Lenning (One of only 3 people to have a Frosted Triple Crown) finished a monumental swim from Farallones to the shoreline near SF yesterday.  Tough dude.  Super tough.