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  1. 5 Stages

    day 1 lake buchanan
    4.4 miles, out and back.
    with only one buoy at the turn and two at the finish, it was necessary for each swimmer to have a kayak escort. a very irregular shore line makes it extremely hard for a swimmer to navigate otherwise. the lake was a lot lower than last year and a few of us ran aground close to the turn on a small sand bar. a steady cross wind added a bit of chop throughout the course. i finished 2 minutes behind collis.

    day 2 inks lake
    2.6 miles out and back
    this course takes a turn and we needed to swim a few hundred yards before the dam came into view, still the turn buoys were not visible yet. i foolishly followed a kayak to the second buoy first and during my correction back to the first buoy collis and keith passed. i rounded the first buoy and returned to the second buoy (my second time around it) and by this time couldn't even see keith or collis ahead of me......damn! my will was broken. did this stupid mistake blow the whole week?! i was really pissed off at the finish, losing a ton of time to collis and barely holding any lead on keith.

    day 3 lake lbj
    2 miles out and back parallel to lake lbj dam
    due to fog, last year this was set up as a two loop triangular course. this year a straight out and back swim. it was very easy to sight a power line tower so i kept my head buried and decided to give it everything i had. i couldn't drop collis. we hit the turn even, but he had the inside and i had to swim hard for the next minute to catch up to him. i held on for a few more minutes but then he started to gain some distance on me. i couldn't jump in his wake for a rest, as drafting is not permitted under ASA open water rules. i swam a 43:44....1:05 behind collis. any thoughts i had about beating him are gone now (even without my error at inks). i couldn't lift my arms up, and when i got back to the hotel, spent a half hour under the shower massage.

    day 4 marble falls
    3 miles out and back
    i managed to get loose and felt good for the start, but today we were joined by 14 year old andrea who took off at the start. the race goes under a bridge (rt 281) and turns to the right through a beautiful canyon. i managed to catch andrea before the turn buoy at the dam, but she over took me at the bridge and had a good finish.....way to go! collis passed me shortly after the turn and held a tighter line through the bend. robert and keith were close behind me.

    day 5 lake travis
    3 miles out and back
    the lake is low. the bend in the course and the rocky, sloping banks make it hard to pick a straight line. i hit the turn even with collis (getting used to this scenario) but he builds a minute lead on me during the second half. keith and robert have a dramatic finish a few seconds behind me.

    keith's blog

    results at 10k
  2. Highland lakes challenge

    the HLC is a five day open water stage race held in the texas hill country. the distances range from 2 to 4 miles each day (lake buchanan actual distance 4.4 miles this year)

    now, i know that most swimmers don't think of the middle of texas when they hear "open water" but dr. keith bell and sandy neilson-bell maintain a busy schedule of OW events and the lakes are beautiful and challenging.

    results and info here:

    coming next:
    stage descriptions
  3. SF BAY

    i just finished a weekend of bay swimming and it was awesome.

    i landed at sfo on friday at 11:00 and within 40 minutes i was swimming at aquatic park. i swam easy for about 20 minutes to shake off the travel fatigue and "warm up" to the bay. there were about a dozen other swimmers doing laps across the cove some wetsuited, most were not.

    the swim across america SF started at the golden gate and finished at crissy field. 120 participants boarded the ferry and took the ride past alcatraz to the bridge for our plunge. water: 58 degrees, windy, whitecaps. the swim took me 40 minutes, i certainly wandered a bit and started shivering upon exiting the water. no surprise for me, but it clearly made others uncomfortable as i was soon wrapped with half a dozen event towels. a large cast of olympians joined the swim and much money was raised for cancer treatment.

    the water was calmer today and i joined 5 others to do the swim from the rock to the south bay rowing club under the expert guidance of the legendary bob roper. we were well guided, and i had the pleasure of swimming with glenn mills on my left and a small zodiac on my right. we entered the cove at 30 minutes. our fellow swimmers close behind including 12 year old george healy!

    i will post some pictures soon.

    off to austin

    gettin ready for a little swim trip.

    firday i arrive in san fran at 11:00. i will be joining 5 swimmin women for a "swim for life" 1.5 mile fund raiser under the golden gate on saturday and sunday we will be doing an alcatraz swim. i met desanne, leanne, diane, monica and cathrine at last year's eleuthera open water camp. this years camp is scheduled for dec 14 - 18 (shameless plug).

    after the weekend in SF, i'm heading to austin to swim the highland lakes challenge; 5 lakes in 5 days. hopefully i will have a chance to drop in on those longhorn masters while in the lone star.
  5. tricked again

    tuesday night coach dan tricked us.

    after about 1400 yds various warm up stuff, he had us swim a 200 for time (80% effort)

    went 2:19

    next set:
    100 easy on 2:00

    3X 150 build rest :10 50 sprint (yes, broken 200's) on 4:00

    coach said total should be -5 seconds from the 200.

    went: 2:14, 2:13, 2:12

    as we were finishing the 3rd broken 200, coach put up a 3x in front of the set.......sneaky bastard.

    round 2
    went: 2:14, 2:12, 2:10

    round 3
    went 2:13, 2:25 (calf cramp), 2:30
  6. Coney island-brighton beach open water

    CIBBOWS is a USMS open water group that i swim with when ever i am in brooklyn.

    the "loop" is 5k and consists of two lengths from the coney island pier to the end of brighton beach. the neighborhood is russian. it seems that the russians enjoy a dip in cool water, but few actually swim in it. today was a beautiful sunny day, so the beach had many people near the water but few in it until some 25 of us started our loop. the water temp was in the low 60's and felt "easy" compared to the 56 degree lake swim last wednesday. it seems to be generally accepted that fresh water feels colder than salt water...i wonder why?

    i swam with gilles, lance, terry, jonathan, and mike varying the pace throughout. there was a current running from the pier toward brighton so we started with for about 1/2 mile, turned around and swam against it to the pier and then finished back with a little assist again.

    the group has several channel alumns as well as several swimmers sharpening up for the ederle swim in two weeks.

    tomorrow is supposed to be just as beautiful...i will be back up-state.
  7. GOALS

    there is a thread up with a poll asking about a primary goal. i can't. my coach also asked us about our goals this week so i thought i would post them here as well.

    your thoughts and comments are welcome.

    I would like to participate in at least 2 postal events this season. The 3000 and 6000 yard postal ends on november 15. Who else is in? My goal is to swim the 6000 in 1hour 12minutes.

    The 1 hour postal is the largest masters event there is. I believe it runs the month of january. I would like to hit 5000 yards.

    My goal is to maintain 6 days (minimum) per week, or avg. 25,000 yds to increase to 35,000 yards in preparation for the open water season.

    I would like to see sub 1:10 100's free become a "normal" practice interval.

    100 x 100 on ? sometime in january.

    4400 fly birthday set....mid febuary.

    25k opening day at lake minnewaska. (mid june)

    I would like to swim more meets this year. I hope to attend colony zones, new england championships and maybe nationals with lots on my team members.

    What the hell.... lets go for it!

    50 free
    personal best 24.14
    goal: sub 24

    100 free
    personal best 54.0
    goal: sub 53

    200 free
    personal best 1:59
    goal: sub 1:57

    500 free
    personal best 5:30
    goal: sub 5:15

    1000 free
    personal best 11:55
    goal: 11:00

    1650 free
    personal best 18:58
    goal: 18:10

    50 fly
    personal best 25.?
    goal sub 25

    100 fly
    personal best 58.?
    goal: 56

    200 fly
    personal best 2:16
    goal sub 2:10

    [b]OPEN WATER[b]
    Swim at least 1 event greater than 20 miles. I'm thinking the tampa bay marathon or the manhattan marathon.

    Swim the maui channel solo.

    Swim the 2 mile Betsy Owens national championship at lake placid.

    Swim at least 1, 10k event.

    thats all i have for now.
  8. last lake day?

    terry and i met at the parking lot at 4:30.
    air temp in the low 50's.
    got to the lake at 5:00.

    we decided to swim for 30 minutes (15 out and 15 back). the water temp is now at 56 - 57 degrees and with freezing temperatures in the forcast tonight, will continue to drop a degree or two per day.

    i walked in up to my thighs and dove in. terry was already swimming and it took me a couple of minutes to catch up and find my pace.

    we agreed to swim down the middle to avoid the shadow on the western side of the lake. the sun however was weak and didn't offer much comfort.

    at 15 minutes, we were close enough to "the point" that we decided to continue on and reached it at aprox 19 minutes. i felt good and except for a few toes, felt no chill.

    some clouds rolled in and so there was no sun i swam to the west end and along the shore. there is a white rock cliff wall that signals we are about three hundred yards to the rock slab where our bikes were laying. i'm not sure wheather it was the anticipation of exit into cold air or if i had just been blocking it out of my mind, but i suddenly felt chilled.

    we changed and rode out. my hands and feet still cold when i got into my car. we agreed to play the week by ear. a warm sunny day will certainly invite another swim or two.

    i'm ready for the SF bay..... bring it on!
  9. woodstock film festival

    clare and i spent the last 4 days attending as many screenings as we could in between my swimming schedule. the films we saw were: pride and glory directed by gavin o'connor at the tinker st theater in woodstock. explicit ills directed by mark weber; gospel hill directed by giancarlo esposito; the great buck howard directed by sean mc ginly were all shown at the rosendale theater (you guessed rosendale). the rosendale theater is a family owned single screen theater with wooden floors and a (non film festival) 6 dollar admission. they avoid the big hollywood blockbusters and instead focus on indy, foreign and documentary films. we are loyal supporters of this venue and attend at least two films per month often without even knowing whats playing.

    chow time....more later.
  10. weds double

    morning at suny (only 4 of us)
    johnny coaching

    main set:
    6x 400 on 5:20
    held 14 spl, descended 5:00 - 4:55

    rest 1:00

    5x 100 on 1:12
    held 16 spl went :06, :07, :07, :08, :06

    afternoon at lake A_______.
    swam 2x length with willie.
    out together in 23:50
    i came back in 25: 30 (willie dusted me)
    i'm feeling it! my legs were really tightening up on the way back. water temp in the low 60's, but flat. trees are starting to turn (2-3 weeks to peak).

    this might be the last week we get three sessions in at the lake.
  11. first day of autumn

    greg and willie met me at 4:45. we put our wheels on our bikes and arrived at the lake by 5:10.

    water temp 67 degrees.

    we swam out close to the shore line on our right... there seems to be a new tree down about halfway to the end cliff wall (beavers no doubt)

    we held a steady pace on the way out, the three of us shoulder to shoulder and we arrived at the cliff wall (+/- 1.25 miles) in 24:50. we rested briefly, enjoying the last bit of sun on the lake, did an obligatory flipturn off the cliff wall and headed back. greg was on my left for the first 1/3. i was mixing it up...alternating 16 strokes long with as strong a 2 beat as i could produce / 16 strokes as fast as i could still keep a 2 beat. i repeated this pattern until greg dropped back, and then i just tried to build steadily to where we started.
    back in 23:30.

    i think we might have another 2-3 weeks of this.
  12. sunday masters

    h2o temp 70 degrees....seems to have scared away lots of folks. 6 swimmers / 2 coahes
    2x 500
    2x 100 kick (did i.m. no-board)
    300 pull (no buoy for me) bp 3,5,5 x100

    150 swim ri :20 50 fast
    100 swim ri :20 100 fast
    50 swim ri :20 150 fast
    1:00 ri
    200 fast (went 2:17)

    8x 100 on 1:30 (held 1:12's, 13 spl, 3 bp)

    8x 50 on :45

    8x 50 on :40 (held :33's on 15 spl)

    20x 25
    1-8 alt fly/fr on :30
    12-20 fr on :20

    100 ez

    100 im from blocks (went 1:11...yuck!)

    100 fr from blocks (went :59)

    200 ez
  13. weekend

    friday night masters was lightly attended..71 degrees...the new heat pump is supposed to arrive monday.

    main set
    5x 100 on 1:45
    went :07, :07, :06, :08, :07 (i need to get my spl back down...i was at 15's for most of these)

    5x 100 on 1:20
    coach said just make these, i held 1:13's

    500 build by 100
    did 6:02...i think i held around 1:12's...i changed my breathing pattern each 100
    B3, 2R-2L, 3R-3L, 4R-4L, etc

    500 neg split
    went 3:07, 3:00 (too much difference)

    saturday morning:

    7:30 am. met willie at j.lane for a 5.5 mile uphill ride to the lake that will remain nameless. air temp was about 40 degrees when we started to ride. my legs felt tight and i thought i might have to walk up cardiac hill for the first time in 20 years...i didn't. when we arrived at the lake, the sun was upon it and except for my hands and feet, i was warm from the ride. the 64 degree water felt warming to my feet as i entered, but the dive in was a bit bother. willie and i soon fell into pace chasing our shadows as the sun was behind us. the water was a few degrees cooler at the far end where the lake turns shallow, and the usual warmth reflecting from the rocks was absent. we paused only briefly before heading back. 2.5 miles of h2o and now its all downhill to the cars...brrrrr.
  14. cool h2o


    water temp at suny 71 degrees last night. it took a little while to get warmed up and moving, but it was not uncomfortable...

    main set:
    5x 200 fr on 3:20
    (descended 2:29 - 2:19)

    8x 50 on :50 easy,easy, fast, fast x 2

    4x 200 on 3:00
    (descended 2:23 - 2:17)

    8x 50 on :40
    (held :33's)

    coached the kids after, only three of my group stuck it out.....oh well.
  15. sunset at an un-named lake

    9-18 08
    my first gunks am practice yesterday.
    johnny the new coach on deck

    main set
    5x 100 fr on 1:40
    5x 100 fr on 1:35
    5x 100 fr on 1:25
    5x 100 fr on 1:15
    held 1:10's

    every day shorter, so these last few trips to the lake are that more precious.

    last year we got in on oct 8 and the water was about 70 degrees.

    last night it was about 72....same as the new paltz pool! and terry and i did the 2.5 mile round trip. feels good to get in a double!
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