6 hours in Sea Water = Raisin Tongue

This morning Jim Fitzpatrick and I met up at The Strands a little after 7am for a 6 hour swim. We hit the water at 7:20 after stuffing bottles of sports drink and Gu gels in our swimming trunks. The water was a little murky so we only had visibility of about 10 feet. The water was almost glassy and its temperature was mostly high 60s with patches of low 70s and low 60s. We swam north for an hour to 1000 Steps Beach before turning around and heading back with the current. We did a short loop in front of the Strands before hitting the beach again where we switched up our bottles, got new gels, and joined with Jen Schumacher for another 2 and 1/2 hours. After completing that swim, Jen had to head out, but Jim and I loaded up with our 3rd “crack bottle” to finish our last hour. We only had time to go past Ritz Point, across Salt Creek Beach Park and back. We came up the beach a little after 1:30 with 6 hours and 12 miles of swimming under our belt.

The salt water that had entered my left google had not only caused some irritation during the swim, but a small infection and swelling as well. My tongue felt wierd and looked like a raisin…but my hands looked fine!

Thanks Jim and Jen and family for a great swim!

Swimming in the Dark Again

After work I went to the Mitchell pool to get in a swim. Getting into the water at 6:20pm meant that I only had an hour and 40 minutes before the pool closed. I determined to make the best of it and by 7:30, I was surprised by how dark it had become. For the last 30 minutes, I watched the pool, which has no lights, get darker and darker. When I got out at 8, it was dark, but I had been able to swim well over 3 1/2 miles.

Running Through Highland Park, IL

In a day break between marathon pool swims, I joined a friend and colleague from work, Andrew Fraser for a jog right after work. We jogged 6 miles through Highland Park (Ferris Beuller’s hometown) to Lake Michigan and then back through the Golf Courses to Deerfield. All told, we ran almost exactly 12 miles in a little under 2 hours. I haven’t done a long run for months, so I expect my knees will be sore tomorrow.

Upping the Ante

Over the weekend, conversations with Jim Fitzpatrick and Lynn Kubasek convinced me that I need to up the yardage during the week. After flying into Chicago late on Sunday night, Monday morning 5am (3am Orange County time) didn’t happen. I determined to make up for it today. This morning I did an hour and a half at Mitchell Pool in Deerfield (over 6,000 yards). After work I was able to get in another hour and 15 mins and over 5,000 yards). All told: 6.25 miles.

Corona Del Mar 1 Mile Race and Training

After getting back from Chicago late Friday night, my original plans to get in a couple of hours of swimming before the Newport Beach Lifeguard Association’s annual Don Burns 1 mile swim were a little foiled. I did do a nice 15 minute swim before registering for the event. At the race I saw a good contingent of Nova swimmers including Jen Schumacher and Coach Ahelee, who shared some of the excitement from Dave Galli’s channel swim yesterday.

The race started at 10am and I followed the breakwater and some other swimmers at the start until I realized that I was way wide of the first buoy. After I made the turn south, I made the same mistake on buoy 2. I decided I needed to start buoy-spotting myself unless I wanted to turn the mile and change race into a 1.5 mile effort. I rounded the last 2 buoys a little closer. I had energy to spare and kicked up the pace to finish the race strong. I finished with an unofficial 23:52 and 74th overall (out of 300+).

At the finish line, I ran into Jim Fitzpatrick, who also shared some details of Dave’s Catalina swim before we headed out for a 2+ hour training swim in the bay. The sun came out halfway through the swim and 15-20 foot visibility and high 60s water made for a great swimming. Jim’s advice and coaching both during and after the swim was invaluable. We made some plans for coming weeks- including a swim during the week in Lake Michigan when we are both in Chicago. Thanks Jim!

Congrats Dave!

I had a hard time going to sleep last night knowing my training buddy, Dave Galli, was on his way to Catalina. I checked the Nova blogs as soon as I woke up at 5am CDT and found out he was off to a great start. Coach Ahelee sent me a text at 5:30 (3:30PDT) with additional updates- he was doing great. I decided to swim with him “in spirit” and did a quick 2 miles at the Deerfield pool, before heading off to work. At work, I was able to exchange a few more texts with Ahelee and check the blog. Then I got the word- he finished! An awesome time of 10 hours 35 minutes. I called my wife and announced to co-workers, but I don’t know if they appreciated it as much I did. I so wish I could have been there in person to see you in. Hopefully I’ll catch you at CDM in the morning to congratulate you in person. For now…Congratulations Dave- you are the man!!!!

Chicago Running – Channel Heros

Another tough morning with the 5am alarm…I decided to give the shoulder a little rest and I ran to the pool and back (6 miles). I carried 5 lb hand weights for the first and last 3/4 of a mile doing butterfly motions to work the shoulders. I probably looked pretty dorky running along Lake-Cook Road and the suburbs of Deerfield, but hey…it’s not how you look, but how you feel…and I felt hot and sweaty. 🙂

On the swimming front: I read Emily Evan’s (rosewaterswim.blogspot.com) account of her successful Catalina swim last week and her advice-it has me stoked. The help from successful open water swimmers here in the county like Jim Fitzpatrick, Greg Farrier, and Ahelee Osborn is also great. I am looking forward to swimming with them on Saturday.

…but the biggest news- my training buddy for the past 8 months, Dave Galli (swimthechannel.com), is doing his Catalina swim tomorrow night. I am so excited for him. Work permitting, I am going to see if I can’t grab an earlier flight and either be there with him for the swim or see him arrive in Palos Verdes.

Tuesday Morning … tired

After 12 hours of driving over the weekend to Iowa and back, I slept through my 5am alarms on Monday morning. I was determined not to miss Tuesday. As my multiple alarms went off on Tuesday morning, one after another: my alarm clock, wristwatch, Treo, and computer…I had to get up- despite how tired I was.

On the way out the door I commented to my wife, “It is crazy to get up at 5am to swim in the dark… but it is even crazier to attempt to swim with Catalina Channel without more training.”

I swam for an hour and a half at the Mitchell Pool in Deerfield and logged about 5500 yards. My right shoulder did start to hurt a little after an hour. With 1 month to go…I am a little concerned. Until my swim last month, I had never had any shoulder pain. I would prefer to do the Catalina swim without being “doped up” on a lot of Aleve and Motrin for shoulder pain.

Friday in Chicagoland

I did 3 miles in Deerfield’s Mitchell Pool on Friday morning after missing Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Staying up too late to watch Olympic Swimming has me inspired, but sleep deprived. The right shoulder is feeling funny- but not painful- so I’m hoping its nothing.

I sent off my boat deposit, updated friends, and notified the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation about my September 18th swim date. I am looking forward to nailing down swim logistics this coming week. This weekend I’ll be travelling to Keokuk, Iowa and Nauvoo, IL this weekend- so no swimming again until Monday morning. Hopefully the rest will be good for the shoulder.

Back in Chicagoland

After flying back late Sunday night, I missed my Monday morning swim. I did however confirm my Catalina swim date during the day. On September 18th, 2008, I’ll be heading out to Catalina to swim back 21 miles to California. I expect to be around the 150th person to accomplish the swim- 1 of 8 or 9 this year.

Watching Olympic swimming was also a worthy distraction both before and after work on Monday. I am still in awe of Jason Lezak’s anchor swim on the 4 x 100 free relay. It was arguably the best swim ever, even with Phelps dominating performances. Jason, a fellow Novaquatics swimmer, has the whole program beaming with pride.

Though I was dead tired when the 5am alarm went off on Tuesday morning, I had to get back in the pool. I did 5000+ yards in the Mitchell Pool in Deerfield before heading off to work.