Hey guys! So I finally have an open water swim in 2017 to report. It’s very sad but I haven’t been in the water much this year for a variety … Continue reading Deer Creek Open Water Swim 2017
Hi! I’m excited to tell you another open water swim is in the books! This is my 11th swim and unfortunately my only race for 2016. I was hoping to get 2 in this year but with my travels it just didn’t work out. Hopefully next year will get a few more in.
I will be honest with you I felt a little under-prepared for this race and like I always do I got very nervous this whole week before the race. What if this is the swim that I can’t finish? I feel like it is eventually going to happen one of these days but so far it hasn’t. As I got my Dad and drove up to the race I felt nauseous and began to wonder ‘why do I put myself through this?’. Even as I got in the cold water (it seemed colder than last year) I wondered if I could do it.
But then I start swimming. I got about a 1/4 mile and I really was doubting my abilities. The 1/2 mile marker seemed like a million miles away. It seemed impossible I would ever get there. But I divided it up into small amounts, 100 strokes, 50 strokes, even 25 strokes and I kept going. Finally I made the 1/2 mile marker and wished the race was over but I had to keep on going.
I did several 100 lap batches and at the 3/4 mark there were a lot of boats so the waves get large and difficult to manage (especially when you are tired from swimming for nearly an hour). But I just kept going. My friend Etsuko was my paddler and she helped encourage me and boost my spirits. When I finally saw the finish line I knew it was almost over. I had almost done it and I could feel the adrenaline sink in. I gave one more push and hit that buoy with conviction! Wahoo!
So I am a finisher! My 11th race is done and it was an amazing experience. My Dad also finished which is an awesome accomplishment especially for someone who can’t swim freestyle.
In the end, it was an amazing experience and I’m so proud of my medal. I know it is an Olympic medal and I was one of the last ones to finish our little race but it feels good to watch these Olympians and know I did something physically hard today too.
I am a finisher!!
Today my friends I am a finisher, 10 times over! Yes, I finished my 10th open water swim at Deer Creek and I couldn’t be more thrilled (and tired!). If you’ve been a follower of mine on the blog you might recall my very first race back in 2011. In fact, after my first open water swim at the clinic that year I posted “Yesterday was the best day of my life!” I hope that everyone is able to find something they love like that in their life. Once was all it took to get me hooked!
What a journey it has been since that first attempt. 10 races have come and gone and they all are treasured memories.
Like always today’s race had its fair share of challenges. I went in to the race feeling pretty confident. I felt strong at Bear Lake and then did a practice swim on Thursday that went very well. My plan was to break up the swim into sets of 100 strokes and then do 25 strokes of breaststroke. The problem was for some reason my asthma was bothering me and I felt pretty wheezy. It didn’t seem like I could get enough air which was causing me to get a lot of water up my nose and in my mouth. This is not the ideal way to swim by any measure. But I kept going…
This race was really neat because my Dad swam it with me. Typically my family and I don’t share a ton of common interests and so it was really neat to share this experience with him! He did the entire race alternating between breaststroke, backstroke and sidestroke but finished and did very well! It’s been a cool month for me with the swim with my Dad and doing the book videos with my Mom. Both meant a lot to me.
It’s the weirdest thing when you are swimming open water because it feels like you are on a swim treadmill. No matter how fast you go it feels like you aren’t making any progress and you will never reach the darn buoy. Then you do and it is so exhilarating! You would think after 10 races it would get less exciting but it is still such a thrill.
I’d like to thank my paddler Michelle for taking time out of her busy schedule to help me achieve my goals. She couldn’t have been more encouraging and wonderful. It was so great to catch up as she isn’t my trainer at the moment since I left that gym.
I also want to say thank you to Jim Hubbard and everyone at Salt Lake Open Water for being such a wonderful community that nurtures all types of swimmers. I couldn’t be more grateful that I am accepted and cheered on at every race.
Thank you and on to 10 more!!
Here is my youtube update on the race.
It’s official 2015 open water season has begun and life is happy for yours truly. Next week is the GSL 1 mile swim and it will be my 4th year swimming it. I am probably my least prepared for it but I had a test swim today and it gave me more confidence for next week. They said I swam about .9 miles today and it wasn’t too bad so I think it will be great for the race. Please pray I will be able to sleep next Friday because that could be a problem since the race is early in the morning.
Today was the GSL Open Water clinic and it was a huge success.
Getting in the Great Salt Lake is an experience. Your whole body reacts to the salt. Your nose and any other tender spots burn, your skin tingles and the water feels heavy like no other. As you are swimming you can feel the salt sucking strength from your body as you quickly get dehydrated with no relief. People think it is like the ocean. It is nothing like the ocean. 5 times saltier than the ocean in fact!
It was so funny some tourists from New York asked us for tips during their stay and where they could buy “local shrimp”. I didn’t know what they meant at first and realized they were talking about the brine shrimp! These are microscopic organisms that live in the Great Salt Lake, the only living organism in the lake. Certainly not the kind of shrimp they were hoping for!
This year the water is very shallow and it seemed extra potent. It’s so shallow they had to take all the boats out and have them in the parking lot. We started at the marina and then they had about 5 buoys set out going towards the south beach. The GSL swim has always been a straight shot to the Black Rock beach but this year they are doing a loop to one of the rocky beaches because of the water (if they did Black Rock it would have to be half swim half run and I’d be out).
I have decided this year to swim in batches of 50 and as I was testing out my stroke I think it will be good to alternate breaststroke and freestyle. Sighting is so hard in Great Salt Lake even with buoys and the current can be very strong. There is something so motivating about swimming breaststroke open water because you can see your target dead on. It is a little bit slower probably but it feels faster in the moment which is very encouraging.
Open water is such a mental sport. It always feels like I am never going to get to the target. I tell my friends it feels like you are on a swimming treadmill. Even when you are very close it seems like you aren’t going to make it to the final destination.
But today I went out of the marina area and then about a half mile and then swam back to the marina. Gordon told me it was .9 of a mile so pretty close. This has given me great encouragement for next Saturday. I was really nervous since I haven’t swam open water since last July but now I feel confident. I’ll be tired but I know I can cross the finish line!
My friend Etsuko is swimming open water this year (hurray!) and her friend could not understand why we would get in that stinky ‘cesspool water”. It’s hard to explain. Sometimes the swims give me anxiety and stress me out but there’s nothing like the feeling of finishing especially at GSL.
There is something about the human experience that needs to occasionally do hard things. And people don’t expect a big girl like me to do something hard. With my feet issues I can’t run or do anything like that so when I first went to open water it was like finding my home. It was where I belonged with all the other misfits who love the water. Even among swimmers a very small percentage do open water.
I’ve had so many people I’ve taken to the lakes and they hated it. It was dirty. It was gross. It was cloudy. But then every once in a while there will be someone like Etsuko, my friend Abby or myself who love it. We love the challenge. We love being out in nature. We love the unpredictability. We love the comradarie and family but at a certain point we just love it.
It’s like when you love key lime pie you can say a few things that you like but it in the end comes down to your taste buds just like it. Same with me and open water. It is hard. It makes me nervous and I doubt myself sometimes but I love it. It fits me and I am SOOOOOO Excited for the summer.
I hope you can all find your athletic match and hopefully it can be outdoors enjoying the beautiful, crazy and sometimes stinky world God has given us.
Stay tuned for tons of fun open water updates this summer and all the excitement of next weeks big race! Go SLOW!
I usually try and keep my youtube channel and this blog separate but since this is just about me and my videos I thought I would share it with all of you. Thank you so much for all the support. I couldn’t have gotten this job without all of you reading this blog over 7 years. Thank you , thank you, thank you
Btw- this is my 800th post!
This weekend has been fabulous. I’m very happy! Since I have done my fair share of moaning and groaning on this blog (despite it’s merry title), I thought I’d share some pure happiness with you all. I didn’t really take any photos of the days (mistake but I was just busy being happy not worrying about photos)
So here goes. I’ve had a good work week and enjoyed watching the Olympics despite NBC’s attempt otherwise. It has been a little bit of a disappointment in certain ways but I still enjoy them as a whole. I know I’m working my hardest and whatever happens workwise in my future I’m enjoying the time right now. So there’s that.
I’ve also had a pretty good sleep week and am feeling 100% healthy for the first time in over 2 months. Hurray!
Even though I was feeling good I was having a hard time motivating myself to exercise. I can’t really explain why I just was. So I called my trainer and explained the problem and as the amazingly supportive person she is, she came up with a great, creative idea. She offered to teach me some aqua aerobics instead of our normal meeting.
I’ve wanted to do this but simply never had, so I jumped at the chance. My friend Lisa was planning on coming down for a visit and so I asked her if she would like to join in on the fitness class and she did. The three of us had a blast! It was a lot more fun than I thought it would and definitely a good workout (feeling it today!). It was just fun to do something different and with friends. I would like to do it again.
After exercise we went to dinner and had some Mexican food and good conversation. It was a good time. We ended the night by going to see the much hyped lego movie and you know what- it lived up to the hype! It was extremely creative, funny and great for adults and kids (without the winking double entendres I hate in movies like Shrek). The look is great and I thought it was going to be a Toy Story rip off but it really isn’t. I definitely recommend it.
It has something for everyone. Go see it.
So yesterday was great. Then today I went to my BFF Emily’s baby shower. This is baby shower #3 but it’s actually the first one I’ve been able to attend. Emily was the only person I knew but it was a really cheerful fun group with great food. I love finger foods, dips and things on skewers. It’s just delicious.
One of the great things about Emily is she is a wonderful present opener. She lights up no matter what she gets. You could give her notepads and she’d say ‘you know I have been wanting notepads’ with a big smile. I hope to be a great gift opener too. I think I’m pretty good. It’s a skill that should be taught because it really makes people feel good and it’s such a commonly needed social convention.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun. Then I got home and talked to my Mom for over an hour. She was driving home and so I entertained her. We talked about politics, Olympics, philosophy, family, my life, her life, everything. When my Mom and I talk like that it’s our way of saying we love each other. She’s been under a lot of stress lately and I think it helps to just talk with someone. So many people are unwilling or awkward about talking about politics but it’s been something my Mom and I have always shared. I love it.
So then I ended the night by making a very special dinner. I’ve been carefully buying all the ingredients for the ultimate BLT- sourdough bread, mayo, thick cut applewood smoked bacon (roasted in oven), romaine and vine ripe tomatoes. Perfect!
That’s my weekend! How are you doing? I hope you are happy like me. Happy Weekend!
So I have had a great start of the Christmas season! It’s only the 7th but I have done so many fun things. It all started yesterday with the singles 31+ dance at the Utah State capitol building. I kind of hate dances but the idea of dressing up sounded fun so I went with some friends from my ward and we had a great time. I asked someone to dance so I did my duty!
After the dance we all went Village Inn and the girls were very bubbly. I was definitely the grown up of the group despite being the youngest. They even flirted with the waiter. It was pretty hilarious.
Finally I got home and at about 3 am I got to sleep. Then today I met up with my parents and we braved the snow to go to the Christmas choral concert at BYU. It was wonderful. Here is one of the songs as recorded on my phone. It was the grand finale with all the choirs surrounding you and the orchestra.
Before I went to the concert my Christmas tree was finally delivered. I had ordered it through a company called Five Star Christmas Trees and the experience was a disaster. They had promised me they would deliver it yesterday between 10:15 and 2. It didn’t come until today at 11:30. I tried to get through on the phone and they were not helpful or very apologetic.
Then when I did get the tree today it was smaller than what I had ordered, the delivery man had no idea about the install that I paid for and I didn’t get the recycle bag I ordered. Buyer beware!
Anyway, I got the tree decorated tonight and I think it turned out very beautifully. I love it. I put on 900 twinkle lights and my memory ornaments and framed photo ornaments.
I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas festivities! Merry Christmas!