Been busy busy busy this week between real life and the ocean. I started the week off by taking some days off. After my Monterey excursion I was doing this really cool thing where I hurt on the inside if I took a deep enough breath… not so good. I slacked off until Wednesday morning when I had a personal training session to run.
I got down to the beach early and watched the guards do their workout. They were swimming from the beach to the 1st buoy on the left side of the pier and then back to shore to run around and do some exercises. They did a few rounds of this. The interesting part was they were all wetsuitless for a change. This is the first time I’ve seen them just trunking it in the water. I figured it must be pretty warm and my thermometer confirmed it was 60+. I don’t know what happened that the water temps broke so dramatically out of the low 50′s funk they’ve been in, but I’m not complaining! I’ll take it while I can get it!
When Kurtis got to the beach we got down to business pretty quickly in hopes of beating the 50 or 60 kids from the Junior Guards program into the water. The plan was to swim a backwards triangle. This would be the same general distance as our last swim, but with all new lines and angles to make it harder and more interesting for him.
The water that morning was amazing. Warm, mirror flat and even clear below the surface. It was a very weird swim, but in the best possible way. We rounded the buoys and the pier easily and he’s looking really good. We finished with a quick drafting explanation and practice and a little bit of me swimming on top of and in his way to simulate the irritations of a mass start.
From here it was back to work for the rest of the day although I had one more swim on the agenda. I was back at the beach around 5:30 for my regular training swim. We had just 3 of us swimming and everyone that missed it should be mad at themselves because it was great. Niel measured a freakishly hot 67 degrees. Frankly that doesn’t even make sense to me… we never ever get this warm.
Since the water was nice I knew Niel would be down for a longer than usual route. He wanted to take on a triangle but using the point as the far end instead of just the buoys. That gets us closer to 1.5 miles than just 1. I was totally down for that plan and probably could have been talked into even more if somebody brought it up.
We had a really good swim. Only light chop on the water, to the point that it was barely chop. I took it pretty easy since it was swim number two for the day. I was just cruising and trying to focus on my stroke since I wasn’t going to get a pool day this week and you gotta do that stuff somewhere.
Post swim Ryan took off running, Niel moved towards the showers and I had to bounce in a hurry to meet somebody at a different beach. I normally like to linger a little longer, but I was already a little late and I really dislike being less than on time.
Normally Thursdays mean a trip to the lake for a fresh water open water swim, but not this time. There’s some sort of algae bloom going on and the water is a little chunky. Not so sexy. We decided to pass and I ended up boogie boarding at Avila with Dani instead. The water was still super nice and we had a really good time. The waves were really spaced out, but every once and a while you’d get a really big one! Part way through I traded her boards to try the one she’s been bringing. It’s pretty nice but small and I was curious how it would do for me. Turns out it rips! Super fast… hmmm… I may need to upgrade my board in the near future now… whoops
Today turned out pretty fantastic. I started with a little trip to the Chiropractor to get my back, shoulders, and ribs all put back together correctly. I think this is really helping swim with less pain, I’m all about that! From there I spent a couple hours in my regular office and then transitioned to my “other office” aka the ocean.
First up was another swim with Kurtis. Today the plan was to just run him for a full hour with minimal breaks so he could see what that felt like. We started with a straight swim down the pier. We accidentally made some fisherman friends. We didn’t hit any lines but one guy moved his rig as we pulled up. I saw the bobber in motion, looked up at who was doing it and said thank you. He in turn called me an asshole and said we shouldn’t be swimming this far out. Can’t be friends with everybody I guess :)
From the top of the pier we swam the Port side of the triangle and then retraced it back to the top of the pier. We swung incredibly wide on that leg however just to not have another altercation with the fisherpeople. I had a feeling that guy was the kind of dick that would cast hooks at us if we got close enough again. We finished up by swimming the point side of the triangle and then back in. It turned out to be a 2600m swim and a huge jump from his previous biggest open water swim. We’ve got one more session before his Alcatraz crossing next weekend and I think he’s going to do great. He’s calm, strong in the water, and sighting pretty well.
After my swim with Kurtis I called my next appointment to move our venue to the beach. Normally Gary and I swim out at Lake Lopez but again, gross water. Gary was cool with hitting the ocean instead so I just staying in Avila for lunch since driving back to my office would have been a waste of time and gas since I’d only be there for like 15 minutes. While I waited for Gary the weather just got nicer and nicer. You could see the marine layer way off in other areas but we were bright and sunny with tons of people on the beach.
Gary and I have been building up his distances the last couple weeks. We went from 400m to 800m and I wanted to go over 1000m today, he wanted 1500m. We blew both of our goals out of the water today with almost 1800m!
Our swim route was pretty simple. Straight out to the buoy and round and round buoy 1 and 2 on the point side of the pier. Gary put his head down and just got to work. We took very minimal stops and his stroke was looking pretty good. He’s progressed an amazing amount week over week! We still have a lot of time between here and his target race in September so we’re going to get this dude super dialed in before it’s race time, I’m excited!
This weekend I’m off to Santa Barbara for the Semana Nautica 6 mile race. Some of my friends from down south will be trekking up for it and I’m real excited for that! My buddy Dave VM is swimming it too… he also happens to have been on TV talking about his upcoming Lake Tahoe crossing (he’s going the long way)! Check out the segment from KSBY here!