Saturday, February 27, 2010

Massage and then 11K

This morning I got a 50 minute massage at 9am. I had her focus just on my back and especially the inside shoulder blades. Wow. Even though I've had Jonas work on it when they were really bad this last week, the knots were still there and boy did it feel great afterwards. I felt so loose and ready for a good swim and that's just what I did. Went to SDRC. I'm telling you the SDRC pool is a real treat. It's like a reward to swim there. I love it.

1000 - 400 swim, 300 kick, 200 drill, 100 swim
4000 - 2x2000 1st one - fins and pads aim for 1:20 pace (<26:40), 2nd one - paddles, buoy and ankle strap. Rest 2:00 between
I can't remember my times on these, but I was swimming parallel to the massive digital timer on the wall, and noticed when breathing to the side, that I was able to maintain about a 1:18-1:19 100 yard. So I kicked butt on these. But that's to be expected whenever I use paddles. They're my favorite thing to use in the water! Funny thing was, my 2nd set was just as fast as my first set with fins. I still hardly kick even when swimming with fins. They're more for a good underwater kick off the wall, after that, I just do a wimpy two beat kick to keep them streamline.

200 - 4x50 odds back evens free ez 1:00
3300 - 2x1650 no equipment descending. Beat 23:07 each time. 2:00 ri (22:30, 21:48)
I felt really strong on these. The first one I did strong and the last one I really turned on the power. I was pleased with that time. It is only 49 seconds slower than my PR. (20:59)

200 - 4x50 odds back evens free ez 1:00
2000 - 2x1000 all out sprint faster than 14:07. (14:07, 14:01) Again focus on stroke, push it!
On this set I didn't have quite the drive as the 1650s but I still felt good. I didn't have any pain at all and never ran out of breath. Kept my stroke long and strong. I was hoping to get these under 14:00, but even with sprinting the last 300 I still couldn't quite get there. But at least I met the cutoff time on the first one and cut a measly 6 seconds on the second one. Those were tough!

100 easy double arm back
200 - 4x50 odds back evens free ez 1:00

Total 11000

Again - no pain in the shoulders during this workout. Felt a little tight on the last 1000 and just a small amount of discomfort in the lower back, but nothing major and I still was able to get the descending time on the 1000 so it wasn't bad.

What a great workout! Now to go home and help the kids with the yard and baby my sick wife (who ran 20 miles this morning even when sick! Crazy woman!)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Steroid Sandwiches

This morning I went to see the ENT specialist again to have him check my hearing. It's still just as bad. He numbed up my nasal area and stuck a long camera up my nose. He said I still had some swelling up in the Eustachian tube. He told me to go get a hearing test. I set up an appointment for this afternoon, so I took today off work so I could get all this crap taken care of in one day rather than draw it out and take time off another day as well. I also got a couple more prescriptions. The Dr. said that one of them was a steroid and that the first day I would take six pills, five the next and so on. So the first couple days he said a side affect would that I would feel wired. I was kind of excited to hear that cause of the long swim tomorrow.

So this evening's swim was let me just say, one of the best workouts ever. I made long strong strokes and my shoulders didn't ache, I didn't feel out of breath, my bilateral breathing was perfect and I was feeling very smooth and efficient in the water. Plus I was getting kick butt times on all my sets. Could be a placebo affect, but man I feel great! Very excited for tomorrow's swim as well. Plus I have an appointment at 9:00am for a 50 minute professional massage.

Here's tonight's workout:

800 (200 kick drill kick swim)
3000 - On this set hold avg 100 split of timed 1000 earlier in wk. Stay strong and focused.
1000 on 15:00 (13:47)
800 on 12:00 (11:25)
600 on 9:00 CR(Can't remember split time, but it was nice)
400 on 6:00 cr
200 on 3:00 (2:27)
100 stretch out back
2500 - 100 on 1:30 (1:24)
300 on 4:30 (@4:00)
500 on 7:30 (6:58)
700 on 10:30 cr
900 on 13:30 cr

200 - 4x50 back warmdown

Total 6600

I ended up banking quite a bit on the build up set. I banked 5 seconds or more per 200. Same with the going up set. I didn't miscount one bit on these. I was very focused this workout. My mind did drift a little thinking about how freaking cold that Bear Lake swim is gonna be in July (probably around 55) and I just hope I don't get hypothermia. I am a little worried about getting cold water acclimation before then.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


1000 - 4-4-4
1000 pull with band and pads moderate
3000 - 12x250 (descend 1-3 hold 4)3x on 4:00 (@3:40, @3:30, @3:20, @3:16)
400 (100 kick/drill/pull/swim) warmdown

Total 5400

Good workout. Feeling some tightness in my extreme lower back on the left side. Almost feeling like its a bone grinding going on in the back of my pelvis. I'm getting an appointment for a professional massage. It's long past due.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


500 - 200 free, 100 back, 200 breast/1 arm fly
4950 - 3x1650 on 25:00 (1- fins and paddles (22:17), 2- paddles, buoy and ankle strap (22:30), 3- no equip (23:17) (time at 1000 = 14:08)
250 easy
400 - 16x25 down sprint no push start, back easy on :30
100 warmdown

Total 6200

The first two 1650's FELT slow, but they weren't that bad. It just felt that way probably because I was using paddles and my stroke cadence is slower, but my pulls are longer. I felt like I had tar running through my veins. I was satisfied with the last set. I was able to hit my minimum pace exactly.

Good workout.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Current Bear Lake Conditions

Wow - I found this link to give me all current bear lake stats:

Also a live webcam which you can also control where it's pointing and where to zoom.

Very Cool stuff! Definitely something I'll be checking out as it gets warmer.

Running out of steam

Today's workout was tough.

400 easy
Shoulders were tight from the get go, so I had to really focus on getting them loose for the 100's. By the end of the 400 they were better.

3000 - 30x100 (10 on 1:35, 10 on 1:30, 10 on 1:25)
I was able to get about 15-20 sec rest on the first 10, 10-13 second rest on the second 10, and after about 3 reps into last 10 I had no rest and had to just flip on each rep and keep going. Ended up being -:20 at the end.

300 - 6x50 drill on :55
1000 - 1x1000 free strong (14:07 = 1:24/100)
300 - 6x50 drill on :55

Total 5000

Monday, February 22, 2010

Got to get up earlier

So today I got up at 5:30 to get ready for today's swim. This next week's workout will involve more yardage so in order to get it done and not be late for work I need to be in the water no later than 6:15.

1000 - 10x100 kick/pull just transition equipment and go, no rest other than that.
3200 - 4x800 descend 1-3 hold for 4. Strong throughout 12:00 (11:40, 11:24, 11:20, 11:25) That last set I struggled to push it.
100 easy
1600 - 4x400 Descending odds pull, even normal on 6:00 (5:40,5:35, 5:30, 5:32)
100 warmdown

Total 6000

Today's swim went fast. It didn't feel like 6000. The temp felt too warm today. Probably around 85.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Swimming at Evanston, WY

This morning Austin and I drove up to Evanston for the Annual Chinese New Year Table Tennis tournament. We went to JB's for a good breakfast. Then we went to the rec center and Austin played doubles while I swam. I was the only one in the pool for the first hour, and then another lady came in and swam the second hour. Here's what I ended up doing:

500 - 10x50 on 1:00 easy warmup
2400 - 6x400 (Descending 3-5 seconds each set) 5:55, 5:49, 5:43, 5:35, 5:24, 5:18
The last two sets were especially tough. I really had to focus on keeping my stroke long and pulling hard. I probably took the first few a little too moderate, but I definitely got my descending times.

100 easy
8x100 odds kick, evens pull, active recovery (keep heart rate up but don't kill it.)
400 free sprint (beat the 6th 400 set from above) - got 5:14
1000 - 2 x 500 Kick with fins
200 Free sprint get under 2:30 (2:28)
100 warmdown

total 5500

Felt great about this workout just cause I was able to get the descending times on those 400s like I wanted. I again got a pretty good cramp this time in my right calf and my kicking wasn't so much of a help on the last set, but still was able to get the descending time.

The pool was probably about 82 degrees. I wasn't overheated, but I definitely didn't say "Brrr" when I got in. The pool was clean and it was nice having so much space and not having any splash but my own. I sure wish it was spring already and I could go swim in a lake.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why are Friday night swims so awesome?

Seems like the last three times I've swam on Friday nights, I left the pool feeling great! My theory is that the SDRC pool is a much better pool for me. The temp is cooler, the are alot of underwater lights so it doesn't feel so gloomy, and the chlorine brand they use doesn't have a lasting aftertaste :)

Today's workout had to come from memory. I printed out the prescribed workout this morning, put it in my pocket for this evening and when I went to retrieve it, it was gone. It was pretty close to what I had on my plate anyway:

1000 - 4x4x4
1000 - 2 x 500's kick with fins
2400 - 12 x 200's on 3:00 (first 6 w/ pads only, second 6 no equipment)
Held 2:24-2:27 on the first six and 2:40-2:45 on the last six. The first six I really focused on a good extension and nice pull. My heart rate on the first six probably didn't even get above 100. Those were nice an easy so I was very pleased with the times as well. The second six on the other hand my stroke rate was obviously faster, but I still tried to keep them at a moderate pace.

200 IM recovery
600 - 2 x 3 x 100's free descend 1-3 twice. Make the second set of three a little faster than the first set.
(1:27, 1:21, 1:12 then 1:24, 1:18, 1:11)
Got a major cramp in my upper left calf muscle the last 50 of the last 100 which I was sprinting so my kick was negligible on that 100 so I was very surprised to still pull a 1:11.

200 IM recovery

5400 yards total

This was a little more yardage than I had printed out for, but Fridays are special so I get to put a little more yards in than normal.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting up early with Austin to go up to Evanston, Wyoming for the Chinese New Year Table Tennis Tournament. This year will be the first year I have NOT played in probably 10 years. Austin on the other hand will do quite well. He is probably at around a 1300-1400 level.

I found out that the rec center where we are playing at has lap swim from 10am-noon so I'll be in the pool when the ladder rounds are going. I don't imagine that they keep the pool real cool there, but we'll see. I'd like to get in at least 5500 yards or so.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Doing my part to get used to the cold

So last night I made this smoothy, which so far, has been the best one I've made. Here's the recipe:

Gords' healthy Strawberry-banana smoothie
3 bananas
3/4 C sugar
3 C crushed ice
@ 1 C fat free milk
1 C strawberries

Blend. If too thick, add more milk, if not thick enough add more ice, if not sweet enough, add more sugar.

Now in Utah, you can't do open water swimming in the winter. Everyone is ice fishing. So you can either buy your own pool and keep it cool, take cold baths and showers, go outside naked, or just make yourself this smoothie and drink it kinda fast it in your cold house, half dressed while watching the Winter Olympics.

YUM! and BRRRR! Prepare for mild hypothermia.

Here's this morning's workout:

600 - 300 warmup, 200 kick, 100 build
2000 - 2x1000 (75 moderate pace, 25 strong x10) :30 rest between each 1000
900 - 3x300 (50 moderate, 50 strong) on 4:30 (4:14, 4:11, 4:09)
take two minutes to recover
100 fast (just under 1:05)
200 warmdown

3800 yards total

This workout was fantastic! I liked how the 1000 was split up into 100's with a focus on picking up the pace on the last 25 of each 100. And on the 300's I liked how I had to go strong every other 50. My heart rate after the third 300 was at 160bpm. Dang good workout! And I didn't feel like a wuss.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Second thoughts re: Catalina Channel

Ever since a kid I've been fascinated with sharks. The kind of fascination where I like to see pictures, movies and even at the Sydney Aquarium. But when I've learned that they are extremely prevalent in Catalina Channel, especially Great Whites, it scares me.

I'm so glad they aren't in the English Channel which is my ultimate goal. Catalina for me is a milestone on the way to the English Channel. So with that said, I'm seriously reconsidering that milestone. I know I have a greater chance of getting hit by a car or stung by a swarm of killer bees. But that statistic is probably because there aren't a whole lot of people swimming in Catalina channel to begin with.

What is another option in the USA, where Sharks are definitely not an issue, but the swim is similar in challenge to the Catalina Channel?

[Feeling a little girly....]

Staying Loose

I was stiff in my neck yesterday from all that kicking. Cathi gave me a good massage last night and worked out the knot so today I focused on long strokes and staying loose.

500 warmup

800 - 2x400 (100 kick-drill-pull-swim), moderate :30 ri
1200 - 4x300 pull on 4:30
800 - 16x50 odds- down strong back easy, evens down easy back strong on :55
500 loosen warmdown

total 3800

Felt good today. I especially liked the 50's.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Support boat

Yesterday I went with Cathi out to buy a support boat. It's a 14 foot aluminum boat with a trolling motor. It looks to be in decent shape. I'm hoping that with this purchase that I can rely on my support team to not have to worry so much about rowing and steering with paddles.

I'll still keep the tandem kayak for shorter swims, but for those long swims, this new boat should do the trick. Especially for the Bear Lake swim. In fact, I'll have to try out the motor and see how long it lasts on a single battery charge. I may have to get another battery or two for that swim in July.


Today I skipped my weekly temple session to get in an extra swim to make up a little for the past two weeks of being a bum.

1000 - 4x4x4
1000 - 2 x 500's kicking within fins
1000 - 20 x 50's no rest (even stroke, odd one arm fly)
500 - 500 flutter kick with fins
250 - 250 flutter kick no fins
50 ez
50 fast (:30)
50 ez

3800 Yards total

Monday, February 15, 2010

Swimming with ear plugs

1800 easy (30:00 even)
1000- 10x100 odds kick evens pull buoy. 2:30 on kick, 1:45 on pull, easy-moderate pace
800 - 4x200 pull with band and pads easy on 3:30 bank
600 - 12x50 odds back on 1:00, evens free :50
400 - 16x25 4x (1 easy, 1 fast, 1 drill, 1 fast drill) on :30
700 warmdown

5300 Yards total (3 miles)

Didn't ever feel "good", or fast on this. It was a struggle from the first stroke. That is to be expected though given that its my first swim in two weeks. My ears are still plugged up from the inside. I used ear plugs today just to make sure to keep water out.

I'm done taking my antibiotics, and I'm still plugged up just as bad, but no pain. The Dr. said if it isn't better in two more weeks, to come back. I'm not about to skip out on swimming for another two weeks, so I'll just use ear plugs until I'm clear. The cause of the infection is NOT from the outside, but from the inside. I got a cold and the infection came from my nasal area, not from water in my outer ear canal. So that's good.

Next workout is on Wednesday morning.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


On Monday Morning I woke up with some major pressure in my ears. I immediately thought it might be an ear infection, but decided to just take it easy. Unfortunately it only got worse. Tuesday night I only got about 3 hours of sleep as my head was pounding with every heart beat and my ears were so plugged up that I could also hear my heartbeat.

I camped out at the Dr's office on Tuesday morning and he looked in my ears and without hesitation agreed it was an ear infection. So all this week I've been experiencing fever, throbbing in my head, lack of energy and at times a desire to die. So needless to say I haven't swam at all this week. The Amoxicillin I started taking on Tuesday morning, has made much difference, and the Ibuprofen I've also been taking has done little to take away the pain. Say a prayer for me K?

On a side note, I got a response back from the Utah State Parks regarding my desire to know more about the Mercury levels of the Great Salt Lake.


Although Great Salt Lake has elevated levels of Mercury, the elevated levels are mostly concentrated to specific areas. These levels should pose no threat to your adventure. People swim in the Great Salt Lake on a regular basis.

Most of the warnings about Mercury in Great Salt Lake are for pregnant women to not eat a specific duck that migrates through here.

I don't know when you are planning on swimming the lake. During the winter the lake is too dangerously cold as it will drop down to 24 degrees (well below freezing).

Summer temperatures will climb to over 80 degrees.

Swimming in the lake is very easy (as long as the seas are calm) as you cant sink. You can't even force yourself under the water.

But when the seas are up, swimming is very tough because of the extreme density of the waves.

hope this helps.


Dave Shearer
Great Salt Lake State Marina