Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday- June 19, 2010

Beaufort River Swim (5K)
Beaufort, SC

Air Temp was upper 80's, humid, partly cloudy. Water Temp 82-84 maybe.

So this was my second year swimming this race. Going into it I really had no expectations. I feel pretty tired and worn out during the week in my swims after the Key West swim. I figured I was in for a slow, lethargic swim from all indications and really didn't expect much for than just to swim it and have fun.

So we got to Beaufort about 4PM or so on Thursday with the expectation to take the kids and spend Friday at the beach. Instead we spent about 3-1/2 to 4 hours at the pool in Carlton & Heather's neighborhood and didn't make it to the beach because of approaching weather. Ended up having a great time with Jacob, my 23 month old, doing NO LESS than 200 jumps to me off the side of the pool (video on my Facebook Page). Between that and all the sun we were all pretty worn out.

Saturday AM I was up at 0615 and we left the house to get to the Marina about 0745. Carlton and I had the breakfast of Gatorade and a couple donuts, Carlton, couple donuts and a Redbull. So we signed in, got our goodie bag, shoulder & cap numbered, and boarded the bus to take us to the Marina for the start. While waiting for the other buses to arrive with everyone I chatted with a few TRI (Triathletes) guys there for their first long OW swim. Nice guys and we talked about swimming, tri's, the swim, work, etc. Once everyone got there the safety boat head and Carlton made some announcements and we then made our way down to the end dock of the Marina for the start. Basically everyone just jumped in, treaded water, or got to a position they wanted and waited for the start. I jumped in with Carlton and we both made out way pretty much mid-pack width wise and towards the front. A little girl counted down 3-2-1 and hit a air horn and we were off.

Right from the start I saw a big pack of age groupers in neon green caps take off on an outside line, the line I took last year....which turns out to be a mistake. First thing I noticed was that there was almost no current, not good, but eventually we knew it would come. My strategy was pretty clear.....stay with Carlton (if possible), follow his line, and try to keep him in sight. Last year I took an outside line and never saw him and he ended up finishing almost 3 minutes ahead of me. The pace from the start as I followed Carlton felt nice, easy and controlled, not much faster than a warm-up type pace. Perfect to settle into a rhythm. After 10 minutes or so I could see a pack of maybe 5-10 folks ahead 50 yards ahead and 50 yards to our right, otherwise I didn't really look around and I just focused on spotting and staying within 10-15 yards of Carlton. I wasn't going to spot for buoys, I was just gonna trust in Carlton's knowledge of what line to take and have faith that it was correct....hell he's won the thing twice! It would also allow me to save time and energy by not having to concentrate on spotting
far ahead, just Carlton. I pretty much stayed 5-15 yards back of him and to the left or right. The last thing I wanted to do was "drag" off him or piss him off in any goal was not to drag him, beat him, or even win the race (at that point). So this lasted for quite a while and by the time we reached the point our line was clearly better and we were clear of everyone. By the time we reached the hospital (about 1.5 miles to go maybe) the current (tide) was picking up clearly. Buoys in the distance where coming up much quicker than before and I could feel it as I swam as well.

Each time Carlton would clear his goggles (maybe 3-4 times the whole race) I would catch up to almost right on him and when I had to adjust my cap (sliding on my bald head, filling with water) Carlton would stretch it out to 20 yards or so. But I felt good and could make up the distance each time. That pretty much gave me confidence that I really thought I had a chance to give it a go at the end for a win maybe?! On the last time or two Carlton cleared his goggles I noticed he flipped to a few strokes of backstroke and uttered the only words I heard the whole race "I'm dead" or "I'm dying" to which I just replied "Keep it up, your doing great". I took a quick glance back and we were easily 100-150 yards ahead of anyone. At this point I thought I would make a run to try to pull away from Carlton as we approached the sailboats (about 1000 yards to go maybe). So I just spotted the last buoy before the finish, put my head down, and got about 20 yards away to Carlton's 1-2 o'clock. I hoped he didn't see me, but it didn't matter, it was time to gut it out to see what we had left. I wanted to start a last kick far enough out so if I bonked or he caught me I would have some time to recover and then maybe out-sprint him/whoever to the finish. I looked back only once or twice for a quick glimpse and it looked like I could see one or two maybe 75 yards back, enough to make me feel a little comfort, but I wasn't gone let up. Yes, I got all the stomach knot cramps, high heart rate, and everything you expect at the end of a 3 miles swim. So I reached the end of the dock with an official swinging a T-shirt in the air..."Keep Swimming!!" The finish was actually THE boat ramp 10 yards away....not the best place to finish with barnacles and slime. While the tons of sand they poured on it helped, it was in the water, just on the dry part of the ramp. I was so out of breathe I had a hard time getting out of the water because of how slippery it was. It wasn't a graceful exit by any means, but I was first, and happy about that. My wife and sons greeted me first with a kiss (awesome way to come out of the water!) then I saw Alison Klinakis up on the overlook and then a photographer with the local paper started talking to me. At that point I wasn't even close to being ready to talk....I needed AIR and fresh water!!!! I saw Carlton and the next guy come in about the same time about 45-60 seconds after me but wasn't able to comprehend who was 2nd or 3rd.

After finishing I walked up the boat ramp and looked for the fresh water hose that I knew was up there from last year. It was set up and I ended up stealing it from a horse drawn carriage. The driver tried to help me out/direct me on how to get it going. I think she was a little ticked I just grabbed it and started messing with valves, etc....but at that point I didn't care!! 30 seconds later two other guys were wanting it from me, so I brought back up! :D

Finally I scouted out Carlton and we cooled off after about 6 waters each, drinking and pouring them over us. We chatted, congratulated, caught our breathe and then sat around for the awards ceremony. The event had a DJ (music was a BIT too loud), sandwiches, fruit, water, etc while we hung out and waited. Everyone cheered on the rest of the finishers and I think the final person crossed close to the two hour mark. My time: 1 hr 29 seconds. I was almost 10 minutes slower than last year, but again we had almost no current for at least 1/2 the race so you can't compare the times.

Overall, I was happy. Didn't expect the win at all. I was much more happy about it being a BETTER and SMARTER swim than last year. Awards and 1st is nice, but to me improving is the more important part and is what I strive for....keep pushing, keep improving, strive. So in summary: success! I will be back next year for sure, hope to bring more friends along and then I can show THEM the line! :D

Final Results:

Next up:
GA State Games 5K (Open Water)
Lake Acworth
July 17

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday- June 17, 2010

400 Swim
200 Kick
300 Pull
100 Drill

10 x 50 @ 1:10
-25 Drill, 25 Build
-2 Stroke, 2 Free

100 Pull @ 1:30
200 Pull @ 3:00
300 Pull @ 4:30
400 Pull @ 6:00
400 Swim @ 5:40
300 Swim @ 4:15
200 Swim @ 2:50
100 Swim @ 1:25

200 EZ

3700 LCM
About 1 hr 25 min

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday- June 16, 2010

1 X 300 @ 5:00
2 X 150 @ 2:30
3 X 100 @ 1:50
1 X 200 @ 3:20
2 X 100 @ 1:40
4 X 50 @ 1:00

1 X 400 kick

12 X 100
4 free @ 1:40
4 IM @ 2:00
4 choice stroke @ 2:10

6 X 150 free @ 3:00
100 moderate/50 fast
Desc 1-3,4-6

200 EZ

4200 LCM

-Feeling pretty sluggish in the water. Pretty obvious my speed in gone at this point as I haven't been training like before.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday- June 15, 2010

600 Swim
200 Kick
400 Pull
200 Drill

12 x 50
-4 IM Order Build @ 1:00
-4 Kick 25 Fast/25 EZ @ 1:15
-4 Pull w/ Buoy BR9 @ 1:00

3 x 400 @ 6:00
Desc 1-3 to 85%

8 x 50 Kick w/ Fins
-25 FAST/25 Mod

200 EZ

3800 LCM
About 1 hr 15 min

-Haven't swam since the race on Saturday, but still feel tired from the swim. Felt good to get back in some "cool" water though!

-I'm certainly not in the same shape I was prior to Nationals, its evident. But then again between having a very short amount of time between meets and events, being unemployed, and the kids out of school its just not gonna happen this month. Once I do the Beaufort swim this weekend I'll try to get back into some kind of grove and do more running, dryland and weights. My swimming will stay in the 3-4K per workout range, just trying to maintain that until SCY starts back. I'm kinda taking the summer off from meets and serious training. Once the kids are back in school and the pools switches to SCY I'll pick it up.....I have a few far out there goals for the SCY season. Depending on whether they bring back the full tech suits or not they may be really far out there.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Saturday- June 12, 2010

2010 Swim Around Key West:

So I'm up at 5:23 (my alarm was set for 5:30). Get up and just but the thickest coat of Bullfrog Sunblock (SPF 50) before getting dressed. I'm basically looking ghostly white cause the stuff is just not rubbing in cause I put so much on. Not big deal and its probably a good thing as its been SO hot, So sunny and I shouldn't have to reapply several times.

So I make my way to get a quick "Moon over my Hammy" sandwich from the Dennys a few blocks from our B&B (Avalon). A breakfast of champions! I actually should have planned for breakfast better as once on the boat later on I really didn't eat much and should of eaten something better. Picked up the rest of the relay and we convoyed over to the marina to load up our two support a 23 Footer (with twin Yamaha 250's) and the other about a 20 footer. We ended up having the 3-person and one 5-person on the 23' and the other 5-person fin relay on the 20'. Once loaded it was a 10 minute or so ride over to the start/finish line where the kids race (like a mile or so maybe, I forget) was still going on. Then we finally picked up Mike Aziz as our support Kayaker (for our 23' boat teams) and our three relay starters. The race finally started at about 8ish I'd say. Air temp was about 88-90 maybe and the water temp about was gonna be another scorcher!

So here is how the format was set up. We had 3 relays entered. The first was a 3-man relay of David Jacobson, Steve Kesler, and myself. David would start and swim to mile 4. Steve from mile 4 to mile 8, and I'd finish from 8 to 12.5 (finish). Second was a 5-person Mixed Relay (Male & Female). Each person on this relay would swim 30-minutes and once everyone did that they'd then go in the same order in 10-minute swim shifts until done. The final relay was a 5-person relay with fins. This is a new category for the race and the format is the same as the other 5-man relay.

So for my relay David led off. When his leg ended at mile 4 he was in about 1 hr 25 min or so if I remember right. Steve, an Kona Ironman finisher, was our second leg member and swam from mile 4 to mile 8. I think his leg was roughly about the same as David's give/take 5 minutes or so. I do remember looking at my watch when I jumped off the boat to tag Steve and it was at about 2 hr 45 min. My leg started at mile 8 which was the entrance to a mangrove channel, Cow Key, where it was said before the race we'd have a 2-2.5 knot current with us. It ended up being about a knot less, I really didn't notice it much. David was my support kayaker and led the way through the channel as our support powerboat was too big and couldn't go under the bridge to get in the channel (see you on the other side!). While the water was REALLY warm I felt really good after I got in, felt strong, and got into a good rhythm. After a while I got a little like a runners stitch, but no big deal. My main challenge going through the channel was water depth. It was anywhere from 5-6 feet to a foot! I ended up having to do some creative stroke pulls and touch the grasses on the bottom lots. There is also lots of grass and other vegetative clumps floating around that you run into. It was not big deal to me and I never really though about it. Swimming in the lakes I do its something you just get used too. When I finally exited the channel it was a right turn (west) and along the Southern edge of Key West. This stretch turned out to be a LONG way. After about 10 minutes on that stretch I was asking Dave if he could see the finish buoy anywhere on the horizon to which he replied "ahhh...I think you got a ways buddy!" About 20-30 minutes after than I bonked pretty hard. I really don't think I took in enough calories or fluids at the beginning of my leg in the channel maybe. Steve took over on the Kayak and was great at keeping me in line (I follow both Dave and him for a line), getting my fluids, and keeping my spirit up. At one point our one 5-man had a switch off, I had gotten ahead of both at one point, and Karl came by me like Michael Phelps passing an age group swimmer. That was pretty demoralizing at that point and a low. But Steve did good at getting my mind back, squirting cool water on me, telling me the finish was just past this pier (he wasn't sure, but turned out right!), just encouragement. It goes a long way when you are near empty. Finally we got around the last pier and I could see the finish buoy. It looked like maybe a few hundred yards, but turned out to be more like 500-800 maybe. I started going like hell, whatever was left. It was a lot further than I though to the finish and was completely toast by the time I touched the finish buoy. Our total time was like 4 hours 31 min. My leg was about 1 hr 45 min and about 4.5 mile. It was long, it was hot, it was tiring......but DAMN it felt good to finish and do it!

I'd like to thank all my relay mates, the supporting cast, my wife, my brother's family, my in-laws, and my grandfather for helping make this trip possible. While you swim alone there is still A LOT of behind-the-scenes help that goes on.

Official Results:

Next up: Beaufort River Swim (Beaufort, SC) 5K on June 19

Friday- June 11, 2010

Key West, FL:

Got in the Gulf today to swim a little and get a feel for the conditions. Its AWLFUL hot (96-97) with crazy humidity and the water is 88 degrees or so. The water is NOT refreshing at all! I swam about 2 miles or so in today just going up and down the beach and the in and out. Swim kicks off tomorrow AM about 0730 but I won't swim until much later in the morning being the anchor of the 3-man relay.