a lovely night at the pool for sure

If you’ve ever done any military service that little maxim might ring a bell. Nothing makes a drill sergeant quite as happy as a rain storm… I had some basic training flash backs when I stepped on the pool deck. It was pretty cold and the rain was really coming down… you can check it out below

I swam 3000 yards and for the most part only had to share the pool with 1 or 2 other people. It was very open water-esque. All kinds of wind and rain made it a lot more interesting. I brought out my SwiMP3 as well so I had a musical accompaniment to the rhythm of the storm.

200 swim
300 kick

Repeat x 2
500 swim
200 kick

600 swim

3000 meters total

trying to play the GoSwim bubble game... I suck at it

First off, thank you to everybody that blogged, tweeted and facebooked about my Open Water Swim Tour! I appreciate the love! Also thank you to everyone that shot me emails and comments during the day, I appreciate it! I’m really stoked about my tour, but there’s a lot of training to be done in the meantime… for speed and aesthetic reasons. Like I told one of my friends, “I need to be a little more svelte looking if I’m going to travel the country half naked drawing attention to myself,” it’s just good business :)

Anyways, I got in a good swim in Santa Maria today, the sun was shining and we had 3 1/2 swimmers in our workout… one dude had to bail early hence the 1/2.

300 choice

Repeat x 2
3 x 100 free @ 1:30
300 kick
3 x 100 IM @ 1:45
300 pull

300 choice cool down

3000 yards total

My freestyle is feeling really good these days but my stroke stuff has been slipping. I’ve been really focused on my freestyling and it hasn’t been so good for my butterfly. I guess my fly is going to be a victim of my open water ambitions this year… I’m still hoping I can shave off a second from last year’s 100 time this year (I swam a :59) just by virtue of my much improved fitness. We’ll see what happens.

Click for a bigger version of the map!

So I had this ridiculous idea in my head that over a few months slowly turned into a reality… I decided that I wanted to take the blog on tour like a garage band and hit a whole bunch of open water swims all over the country. What’s the point of living if you don’t have fun right? So instead of sitting at home and thinking man wouldn’t it be cool to travel all over just to swim, I decided to actually go do it and see what happens!

In my head I pictured a sweet RobAquatics tour van traversing the countryside, but unfortunately I have a day job so instead I’m just going to rack up a lot of frequent flyer miles! Here’s the tentative schedule for this summer:

May

  • USMS 1 Mile Open Water Championships, Lake Norman, Charlotte, NC – May 29

June

  • Swim Around the Rock (3.25 miles), San Francisco, CA – June 5
  • USMS 1–3 Mile Open Water Championships (1.5 miles), Lake Del Valle, Livermore, CA – June 6
  • Chesapeake Bay Swim (4.4 miles), MD – June 13
  • USMS 3–6 Mile Open Water Championships (6 km), Lake Water Valley, Windsor, CO – June 19
  • Avila Beach “Martini” Swim (2.4 miles), Avila Beach, CA – June 27th

July

  • USMS 2-Mile Cable Championships, Chris Green Lake, Charlottesville, VA – July 10
  • USMS 6+ Mile Open Water Championships (10 km), Morse Reservoir, Noblesville, IN – July 17
  • Santa Cruz Rough Water Swim (1 mile), July 31

August

  • Cruise Cruz (2 mile), Santa Cruz, CA – August 1
  • Naples Island Swim (1.25 miles), Long Beach, August 15
  • Don Burns Corona del Mar 1 mile swim, CA – August 28

September

  • Big Shoulders (5k), Chicago, IL – September 11

Outside of my Open Water Tour I’m also going to Wisconsin for their State SCY Championships in April, Atlanta for USMS SCY National Championships, and the US Aquatic Sports Convention in Dallas. It’s going to be a busy year! There’s one swim that I really want to do this summer as well that’s not listed on the schedule… a pier to pier swim from Pismo Beach to Avila Beach here on the Central Coast of California where I live. There’s no organized event that does it so I’ll have to organize my own oceanic expedition for this one… so that gets a big TBD for a date for now.

Since coming back to swimming through Masters swimming I’ve fallen in love with the open water. I want to share my enthusiasm for the sport with the world and hopefully turn a few new people onto open water for fun and competition. In the course of the summer I’m hoping to get a chance to meet a lot of you that read the blog in person and put some faces to the names I see in my comments!

Putting together a tour like this is a big deal logistically and financially. I’d really like to highlight blueseventy who shares my enthusiasm for open water swimming and has stepped up as a corporate sponsor! I’m really excited to have the support of a company that I like personally and who I think is an excellent corporate citizen of the swimming community.

Go Swim and LiveSwim have also given me a lot of support and I’m really thankful to those guys for helping me pull all this together. I’m still looking for some additional supporters to help me put on this tour. If you happen to be in a position to sponsor a swim touring blogger you can contact me at rob@robaquatics.com

How can you not love this sport?

I feel like crap today. I’m still hoping it’s just allergies, but I think I have a little head cold… ugh. I hit the pool in Santa Maria today in hopes of burning it out of my head. I felt pretty good while swimming but as soon as I got back in the truck to go back to work I re-stuffed up.

600 reverse IM kick/drill/swim
6 x 100 @ 1:30

Repeat x 3
25 fly @ :30
50 back @ :50
75 (50 brst 25 free) @ 1:20
300 on first pass, 200 on second, 100 on the last

400 choice

2650 yards total

In other, better, news… my buddies from LiveSwim.net were out at the meet this weekend filming. Chris and the guys are still processing video but a lot of it is available online already. They should be all the way done by Wednesday night.

You can check out your swims from the meet (minus the 1650) here, below is my 100 yard freestyle which was my best race of the day!

apparently there was something surprising on the bottom :o

I did a little more swim lesson action with Heidi today… we introduced the idea of streamlines and breaststroke kick. The streamline thing is going ok, the breaststroke kick is going to need a little more work.

I didn’t swim too much. We were at the Arroyo Grande Kennedy pool and you have to schedule it out in 30 minute blocks… not really enough time to get anything done. Plus I just don’t like this pool, it tastes like sweaty old person and the walls are a little curved making it hard to judge turns. I swam like 500 yards and spent the rest of the time teaching.

I got some bonus video from yesterday’s meet in Fullerton today from my friend Jinxi who was out at her second ever Masters meet yesterday! If you’ve ever seen me race fly you can see what went wrong for me… I surfaced way early compared to what I usually would do. Off a dive I normally do about 6 strokes off a dive, in this race I did 8. Oh well, at least I have the Cal Tech Pentathlon in a couple of weeks to make up for it! I registered today and I’m stoked to go do some sprinting!

Rob Dumouchel Swimming 50 Fly: USMS – Fullerton, CA Feb, 2010 from Jinxi Boo on Vimeo.

*Meet results from Fullerton is now available here
**Race video from LiveSwim available here

Quick CVMM team shot which I decided was pants optional

I swam the Fullerton Masters SCY meet today and had a ton of fun! We had a good number of my teammates in attendance and I got to meet a few new internet swim friends in person today which is always cool! The weather in Fullerton wasn’t pretty, but the rain never started so that was very good! I brought my pop up tent and set it up on deck just in case.

I started out my races with the 100 free and it went really well for me! I don’t swim the 100 free so often and I think the last time I swam it in yards was in Fullerton last year. I went 58 high in 2009 and I swam a 56 low today, I’m very pleased with that! Especially considering the shallowness of this pool total negates my start. In a deeper pool I think I could pop off a 55 which would be encroaching upon lifetime best territory for me.

My next race was the 50 fly which didn’t go quite as well… I swam a low 27 which is ok but not great for me. I should be more around the mid 26′s right now. Again I think it comes down to me doing a big modification to my start in an effort to not break my face or my feet. I’m a big dolfin kicker and I just couldn’t do what I normally do in only 4 feet of water. During the swim I cramped up really hard in my calves as well. I think my ocean swim was catching up with me. At this point I decided to keep my 50 free but drop the 100 fly.

My 50 free was pretty good for me… a top 3 time in yards. My kick wasn’t all there since my legs were a little locked up, but my upper body was just fine and I was pulling hard. I came in at a high 25. I’m feeling really good with my freestyle recently and I’m hoping to get down into 24′s this year.

Since I dropped my last event I grabbed my camera to go play in the pool for a while. I put some of my pictures here in the post, but I have a lot more on the Rob Aquatics Facebook Fan Page.

the competition pool

a random start caught underwater

Who wants some of this!?!

Oh noes! Apparently Marc does!

Ultimately Julie talks us out of an altercation :)

Ultimately Julie talks us out of an underwater altercation :)

Hooray Ocean!

Since Friday night my swim at Laguna Beach has been in jeopardy… rain, runoff, and waves were all a concern. The weather was ugly all the way down on Friday night, but it was just cloudy this morning in Irvine. Me and my friend Robin decided to just go to Laguna Beach for lunch and see what happens. Once we got there we were greeted by an unreasonably pretty day. We ate lunch at a place that overlooked the ocean and soaked in the lay of the land… or well, ocean. Even though it was sunny and clear without much wind, the the ocean was looking pretty rough. We were sitting way up on a cliff looking at the water wondering “how big is that chop out there?” Well I found out eventually! I don’t know if there was a small craft advisory, but a fair sized gentleman advisory may have been in order :)

the view from lunch, we saw a solo swimmer out there!

We met my friend Lynn (Catalina Channel swimmer and all around cool lady) at the beach at the end of Oak Street. I got suited up and we made our way down to the water. It was cold at first, but I acclimated really fast. I’d have to say it was somewhere between 60-62 which is tropical compared to the temps up by my house! We had to swim through some pretty substantial waves and dodge some surfers on the way out. As it turns out the waves didn’t really ever stop… the chop in the water was really strong. In the course of one stroke you could be lifted like 4 feet by the water. It was super fun, but a little spooky for a guy not used to it! I’m just glad I was out there with Lynn since she’s put in tons of time in this stretch of ocean.

We swam out to one set of rocks to the south and then turned westward and made way towards another set. From there we cut diagonally through the human washing machine that was the ocean. Lynn stopped intermittently to dive down to the bottom to go check stuff out. It was kind of funny, I was basically navigating off of her by keeping her on my right and every once and while she’d just disappear! Or I would see her fins straight up in the air as she’d dive to investigate something exciting on the bottom. As much as I was curious as to what was down there, diving wasn’t on my agenda in an unfamiliar area… it just kind of unnerving to me to do that in the open ocean.

On the way in we made a command decision to aim for a different section of beach since our launching point was really popular with surfers today. It would suck to have a fun, safe swim just to get hit by a surfboard on the way in.

I’m so happy I managed to sneak in a swim with Lynn while I was in town. I haven’t been in the ocean in quite a while (since early January I think), and I really needed it! I’m still super stoked on my swim and it was really good from an experience perspective. I’ve never been in water that rough. If I had to guess I’d say we swam like 1 1/4 miles tops… we were out for like 40 some odd minutes. Now I’m just chilling out and watching the Olympics while getting ready for my meet tomorrow in Fullerton!

the view from the top of the stairs at Oak Street in Laguna

Scoping out the course

Lynn takes off into the ocean!

getting in... this is the cold part

swimming away from the surfers

leaving Laguna, that's my photographer for the day, Robin

Through most of the winter we’ve had a severe imbalance in the dude to chick ratio at the pool in Santa Maria, heavy on the dudes. I think we’re starting to flip back over to a more even ratio or maybe even skewing slightly more towards the ladies. I don’t mind it either way, I’m just excited when a lot of people show up! I think now that we’re getting closer to March a lot of people are going to start coming out of the woodwork and showing up to practice.

Today’s workout was a decent distance and moderately intense which is leaps and bounds above what I’ve been doing this week. I started out feeling not so great, but about half way in I finally started feeling good again… hopefully I can hang on to that feeling!

400 reverse IM – kick drill kick swim by 25
4 x 100 @ 1:30
300 reverse IM – kick drill swim by 25
4 x 75 @ 1:05

4 x 200 kick w/ fins @ 3:30
8 x 100 odds free @ 1:30, evens free IM @ 1:45 descending

although this looks like a close up of a small planet in a turquoise sky, it's really just my head

My special lady friend has been trying to figure out this whole swimming thing and as luck would have it she has a live in swim coach to help her out :) We reserved a lane at the Kennedy in Arroyo Grande which has a tiny 3 lane 25 yard pool. I swam a couple hundred yards while she kicked with a kickboard and then we got down to business.

We spent a lot of time doing 1 25 at a time working on getting her freestyle under control. I think we made a lot of progress with it! She should be swimming just fine in no time!

Heidi figuring out freestyle

I really didn’t get in any real swimming for me, but I’ll be back in action down in Santa Maria tomorrow for what will probably be my last pool workout before the Fullerton meet on Sunday. I’ll be driving to Irvine on Friday and hopefully swimming in the ocean on Saturday.

Today was a beautiful day for a swim! It was hot and sunny and we had a few people come out that I haven’t seen in a really long time which was exciting. Since most of us have been out of the water for quite a while the workout was understandably short. I’m pretty ok with that since I’ve been a little off my game the last few days with a tweaked out upper arm. Not sure why it’s mad at me so I’m trying to be nice to it.

200 swim
200 kick
200 pull

10 x 75 swim @ 1:15

3 x 100 swim @ 2:00 fast

1650 yards total

Since we finished so early I broke out the camera and took some video for some of the other swimmers so that they can see what they’re doing underwater. I have a little bit of me too, but if you ever want to look fat have someone film you from below… yikes… I’m keeping that clip to myself. Here instead are some carefully chosen frames from said video :)