Tag: swim

Family Reunion Folsom Lake

So yesterday started the Richards family reunion and you could say I had fun…Spent whole day at the lake.  I swam, and swam and swam.  Probably a mile and a half.  I felt very strong which was exciting because I am trying to decide whether to do the 5 k again at Deer Creek and this made me lean towards the 5k (right now I’m signed up for mile swim).

It was really fun.

Here are some photos of the day.   (The next few posts are mostly photos so please indulge).

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Christmas Swimfest 2012

the whole crew
the whole crew

So we had a our second annual Christmas Swimfest 2012.  Last year I wanted to give back to the swim community so I invented this idea of a Swimfest with relays and games.  The purpose was to have fun, get a good work out and introduce people to our swim family in a non-threatening way.  Since then we have done 2 others, one at Valentines and another in the Summer.  The Christmas Swimfests have been the most popular and the easiest to plan.  This year was no exception.

In truth, I almost didn’t do it because I felt overwhelmed with my move and everything but there was enough interest and I’d done it enough times I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did.  We met at Gene Fullmer Pool in West Jordan (the pools in Utah are THE BEST! Bar None!).  and ended up with 10 people which was perfect for even teams of 5.

The crew before our elves vs santa race
The gang before our elves vs Santa race

We had igloo caps this year, which I thought were quite cute.  Thank you Swimoutlet for getting them to us just in the nick of time.

My cousins Jaleah and Anne came which was fun and my friend Etsuko
My cousins Jaleah and Anne came which was fun and my friend Etsuko.  All sporting the igloo caps.
The treading water activity was a lot of fun. You had to hold your hands out of the water while jingle belling.  Josh, Sue and Sabrina lasted the longest
The treading water activity was a lot of fun. You had to hold your hands out of the water while jingle belling. Josh, Sue and Sabrina lasted the longest
Sabrina was an amazing treader especially considering she just had a baby! Wow!
Sabrina was an amazing treader especially considering she just had a baby! Wow!
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Everyone getting ready for the t-shirt relay.
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Swimming the candy relay
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Gordon swimming the t-shirt relay

Some of the other events we did are:  (Jim took more photos which I will add when I get them)

t-shirt relay with long sleeve t-shirts that made it a lot harder)

Santa vs Elves

treading water with jingle bells

Doing a lap and then eating a chocolate santa and then next person gets to go.

There is something else I’m forgetting.  The time went by far too fast!

Other one’s I had planned:

Push a plastic toy with your nose.

Plastic candy cane as a baton.

Rudolph antlers breaststroke race

Anyway, I love races and competition  and being with my friends.  When I was a little girl I always wanted to make a game or race out of what we were doing, so I guess this all goes right up my ally.  I had a great time and I’m grateful that Heavenly Father inspired me to go forward with a happy thing on a sad weekend.  He really does know what we need.

I’d love to encourage other masters groups out there to do their own swimfests and come up with their own relay ideas and pass them on.  Swimming (or life in general) doesn’t always need to be so serious.  We can have fun, let lose, and be happy.  It’s Christmas after all!

Merry Christmas!

To read about my other swimfests see:

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/?s=swimfest

Ho Ho Ho! Mrs Claus swimming!
Ho Ho Ho! Mrs Claus swimming!

Deer Creek- First 5k Race

The big race has come and gone and I finished!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was such an awesome journey.  I still can’t believe that I actually did it.  It was so exhilarating.

At the 5k Turn Around

The day started early in the morning.  Having taken some serious sleeping meds I actually got a pretty good sleep. Then I ate my traditional pre-race breakfast bowl and headed to meet Michele.  Michele is my trainer and kindly agreed to kayak for me at the race.  For having only kayaked a couple of times she did great and was very encouraging.

Michele and I at the lake. I got a new swimsuit for the race, inspired by the amazing Olympians I’ve watched the last two weeks. Too bad my cap wasn’t red. That’d be perfect 🙂

We drove down to Deer Creek Reservoir and met up with my swim family.  Some of them couldn’t make the race because of other commitments and some were overseas helping Gordon Gridley swim the English Channel (great job Gordon!) .  But a lot of my friends were there and I really can’t say enough about the bond I feel with so many of the other swimmers. They are just the best, cheering me on, waving in the water, hugging me when I finish.  It is so wonderful to be a part of.

Charlie’s Angels eat your heart out! Sue, Etsuko and me medals in hand.
Kate and I
Etsuko and I

It took a while to get everything started but at about 8:40 we were in the water and on our way.  I did better keeping with the main group than I’ve ever done before (and I didn’t finish last! 🙂 ). The water was like glass, beautiful and it is a gorgeous lake. The only challenge was it was hard to find things to sight to because the buoys were small and not a lot of large trees or formations to look at.

Isn’t that beautiful. I honestly don’t understand how anyone couldn’t love open water! It’s so amazing to be swimming in such gorgeous settings. So much better than a pool!

I made it to the 1/2 mile length fast and was surprised at how I clipped along the first half.  I’m not sure what my time at a mile was but I’m sure its the best I’ve ever done. There was a bit of confusion for me at the 5k turn around but Michele touched me with the paddle and let me know I was going the wrong way!

At about that point I got cramps in both my legs.  My legs felt tight the whole morning and I was honestly waiting for the cramp to come.  I could feel it dying to come out.  I was scared when both legs started cramping but I was able to wiggle the cramps out and keep on going.  Honestly swimming was the best thing for the cramps.  It was only when I stopped that their mischief started.

I did 2 feedings during the 5k eating gel packs.  They are so gag inducing but do help with the cramps.  I also had a vitamin water this time and I love that!  It was sweet enough to give me energy without spiking my blood sugar more than it already was from so much exercise.  It also has electrolytes and other vitamins to help with the race.  It definitely helped me finish.

At about the 2:15 mark I made it back to the 1/2 mile buoy and as crazy as it sounds that last 1/2 mile was definitely the hardest. There started to be more boat traffic and the big lumbering waves boats make are tough (tough both for me and Michele!).  I felt like the finish line was never going to come.

Race finished!

Then I saw it and I pushed and pushed, practically sprinting the last 50 yards.  To finish you had to smack the finishing buoy which I did in enthusiastic fashion.  Done!  I had done it.  Me the overweight girl from Draper had just swam most of a lake.  5k! I still can’t believe it!

It honestly was one of the best days of my life.  Every swim I do is one of the best days of my life.  I’m so grateful to have such an awesome sport in my life and to be considered an athlete.  Who would have thought?

Thanks to everyone for your love and support. It may not be gold but I guarantee you no Olympian has worn a medal with more glee than I wore my finishing medal today.  Hurray!

Finished, done, another one in the history books! Hurray!

Now on to Slam the Dam!  Next goal 🙂

Sue, Etsuko and me. Charlie’s angel redo? 🙂
Done! Such a great moment

Summer Swimfest

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/valentines-swimfest/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/christmas-swimfest-2011/

 

Previously on this blog I posted about Swimfests! This is an idea I cam up with last December to have a swim party with real swimming in it.  It is a casual event, just a fun time to relay and race and be a little goofy.  Today I helped put on our third Swimfest.  We get matching caps and I usually prepare a little goodie bag (part of the fun of it for me).

For the summer goodie bag I found a tie-die cap on clearance and then went to zazzle.com for some cool swim stickers.  I then added some blue candy and swedish fish to make it all tie in. I thought they were super cute and was inordinately proud of them. 🙂

the goodie bag
the stickers

Then my friend Kate put together a set (3 sets actually) and the 5 of us had a good work out for the first half hour.  Thanks Kate!

Next, the fun began…

We did lots of relays including standard, t-shirt swap relay (harder than you’d think to take off a t-shirt and transfer in the water.  I was wearing a tankini and practically took off my suit taking off my shirt! It was funny!).

trying to take the t-shirt off
Etsuko trying to get the shirt on fast!

Then we had the infamous cracker relay (you have to stop after a 50 and eat a salty cracker and then whistle and show your tongue.  It really is harder than you’d think.

Next we did a rickshaw relay where you have one person on a pool noodle treading water and another pushing their feet.  Then we did almost a track and field type relay but with dunk sticks instead of batons.

the dunk stick relay

It was a super fun morning and a great time to swim and hang out with my friends.  Now I just look forward to the next one.  🙂

More photos:

I love this photo
Etsuko with a smile. Her suit matched the cap!

pushing for the relay
Cool water shot
Kate, Aubrey and Etsuko
kind of a cool underwater shot

After our hour + swimming we went to a local diner for a hearty lunch.  My Dad was in the area and joined us and even better paid for lunch.  Thanks Dad!

Now I’ve just got to start thinking about the next Swimfest.  I love party planning and I love swimming!

 

 

 

You Know You’re a Swimmer If…

I have been reading Swim: Why We Love the Water by Lynn Sherr and thoroughly enjoying it.  It is exactly the kind of non-fiction that I love.  It explores an aspect of my life in an entertaining way.  Sherr shares her stories of open water swims including journeys in waters from all over the world.

Anyway, I will do a full review once I am finished but in one of the asides she lists You Know You’re a Swimmer If… and I thought some of them were quite funny and true:

You Know You’re a Swimmer If…

1. You’re crossing a bridge and think, “I could swim across this…”

2. People ask you to do a triathlon, and you say you would if it weren’t for the run and bike parts.

3. You put off the decision to color your hair until after the summer swimming season.

4. You have more swimsuits hanging in your closets than dresses

5. You have an emergency swim bag in your car just in case…

6. You can’t remember the last time you took a shower at home (totally true with me in the winter bc I always shower at the gym!)

7. Bugs die of chlorine poisoning when they land on your skin

8. You say to your dog, ‘wanna go for a swim?’ and she gets more excited than offering a walk

9. You find yourself counting strokes instead of sheep to fall asleep at night.  Then, just when you’re about to fall asleep, instead of leg twitching a little bit, it does a full whip kick and you ride the glide to slumberland.

10. You get in the water and feel like an eagle in the sky (so true!)

11. You’re first thought when trying on bathing suits is ‘how will this help me with my stroke’ not ‘Will this make my legs look big?’

12.  Men in speedos is routine…

13. You get physically excited when someone says ‘oh I love to swim too…’.  It’s a match!

(Those last 3 I made up)

Got any to add my friends?

There actually is a whole blog just on this topic http://youknowyoureaswimmer.tumblr.com/

No Vacation: No Distraction

Everyone knows I’m a huge traveler and love experiencing new places, cultures and food.  So you might find it surprising when I talk about my plans for the summer. I have decided to take NO VACATIONS.

No Beach This Year 😦

Here’s why:

I have a goal to swim a 5k at the Deer Creek Open Water Swim.  This is an ambitious goal- 3 times what I struggled to swim at the GSL race.  I know I will not be able to accomplish this goal without some serious dedication.   Even with the dedication it will be a challenge.

I had thought about going to Disneyland but I have to go to California for work/reunion (doesn’t count as a vacation, more like a business trip) and if you add Disneyland it will be 2 weeks away from my training.  I can’t risk that.

I also decided to put the  money I would have put to travel towards my training.  I have started meeting with a dietician and am taking UFC kickboxing classes (they are so much fun and the trainer is great!).  This week I was supposed to take the week off and rest my muscles…I have worked out every day.  Not too successful.  Sorry doc!

I’ve also been watching what eat even more carefully and am using myfitnesspal.com to help me keep track.  I found I was either eating too much or too little.  Now it is closer to the right balance.  By not going on vacation I am able to control my diet more carefully.

I still have vacation days to use but I plan on applying those to recovery days and then if I have extra I may take a trip in the winter to NYC.  Maybe New York for Christmas! (The Tony awards peaked my interest in a couple shows).

What I would love to do is save money so I can go to the swim camps in Costa Rica.   That would be a dream come true! It would also be an easy trip to go by myself because it is planned, group oriented.  I don’t feel like I am a good enough swimmer yet for it to be worth it but I’d love to go!

http://www.costaricadreamswimcamps.com/costaricadreamswimcamps.com/Welcome.html

I’m really going to miss the beach this year. It’s just not summer without the beach but at least I have a salt lake to enjoy and there is always the man-made strangeness of Black Ridge in Herriman.

Black Ridge reservoir (more like a cow pond behind some houses) strange place but nice!

I’ve just got to make sure that with no vacation I don’t make myself crazy.  I’ve got to find ways to relax within my normal schedule.  Especially with training this could be difficult.  I do not want to get over-stressed like I did before the GSL (no promises but I’m going to try!).

What do you do to relax when you can’t vacation or travel?

 

GSL Open Water Swim 2012

So I did it.  After all the hard work, training, anxiety, practice and even a last minute sinus infection I made it!  I completed my goal and swam the Great Salt Lake Open Marathon Swim.

Hail the conquering hero! Me and my medal!

It was definitely the most difficult race I have done so far both physically and mentally.  They almost had to cancel the race because of wind storms that had come in but luckily they abated enough in the morning to allow us to go forward.  Nevertheless, it made for choppy ocean-like conditions.  To make matters worse it was too windy to put out the normal course buoys.  These are helpful during the race because you can measure your progress more easily than looking at the finish line.  You have more to sight off and it is mentally more encouraging to know ‘I’ve done a 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile.

With no buoys I had to press forward and there were more than one occasion where I wondered if I could do it.  At one point I did some back stroke just to relax a little and not feel so stressed.  It helped (I think the kayakers thought I was crazy when I did that!).   I stayed close to the kayakers and that was helpful because they had a better vantage point to the finish line.  Plus, they were very encouraging.  (I need all the encouragement I can get in the water).

When I was 1/3rd of the way through I developed a strategy that helped me get through the race.  I figured I could do 100 strokes at a time and that would make the race seem smaller, kind of mini-goals.  Plus, the counting gave me something else to think about besides ‘wow, this water is salty.’ or ‘how come that finish line isn’t getting any closer?’.  After the 100 strokes I did a little bit of breaststroke just to use my legs more and feel like I was sighting better, shake things up a bit.  Then I rested for 20 seconds.  I’m not saying this is the fastest strategy but on this day with this race it worked.

Done!

I always learn something from these swims that I take away for my life and that’s my take away this time- you don’t have to conquer the obstacle in one mass endeavor, that feels too daunting.  However, if you can divide it up into manageable portions you can accomplish just about anything.

This week I got a blessing from an elder in my church and it said ‘if I have faith I will swim well and my swim will be an example to others’.  When you are out in those storms it’s hard to have faith in yourself, in the hours practiced, in the time spent mentally and physically preparing, but is that not the essence of faith.  It is believing in something that you haven’t seen, like crossing the finish line.  If I could believe, I could keep swimming, and I MADE IT!

Here I am at the finish line:

Thanks so much for all your support and love.  I feel overwhelmed.  Thanks to all my swim friends for helping me and becoming some of my most dear friends.  Thanks to my family and other friends for all your love and support. Thanks to my trainers and coaches for your guidance and help. Thanks to Josh and Gordon and everyone else who gave so much to make the swim happen. Most importantly thanks to God and Jesus Christ who carry me through all challenges and believe in any goal I set.   I am so grateful.

Hurray!!!!!!

Kate, Esther and I at the finish line
Me, Kate and Esther- showing off our muscles and race ink!
Esther, Kate, Jim Hubbard (who originally introduced me to open water), and me
Me with my new friend Etsuko. Both Etsuko and Esther are new to open water and they did great!
A group of my swim friends at the finish line.