Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday night I attended a very festive and friendly Thanksgiving social with the T2 masters swimmers. I am looking forward to attending the party and seeing friendly faces. 

I owe my friend, John, a 6-pack because he took my splits when I swam the E-Postal 10K. 

I am suppose to bring a desert to the party and I was not sure if I wanted to cook one or purchase. I decided to see what I could make with Pineapples and cream cheese, and I found a recipe for pineapple sheet cake and cream cheese topping.  More on that later..

Saturday practice was GREAT and we had a nice turnout at FGCU!

Frank, Ginger, Shannon, Jill

500 loose
10 x 75 (drill/kick/swim) w/ fins @ 1:15 (2 free/1non free choice)


4 x 200 pull (2 @ 3:00, 2 @ 2:45)
4 x 100 IM @ 1:45


4 x 200 snorkel
4 x 100 free (2 @ 1:40, 2 @ 1:30)

400 cool

mixed stroke

Monday at San Carlos - Coach Sam's set:

Warm - 500 loose
8 x 50 (drill/swim) @ 1'

150/200 swim @ 2:50
50 kick @ 1'
150/200 swim @ 2:50
100 kick

Main - Pull
8 x 50 @ :55
6 x 75 @ 1:15
4 x 100 @ 1:30
500 choice

Rustic Tropical Pineapple Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 

Be prepared - the diet is out the window with this one!

I love the cooking app called - Big Oven.  I simply enter the two ingredients I had on hand, and a number of recipe options were available to choose from, so I chose the one that I knew I would not have to go to the store.  Based on what I learned from the reviews for this particular recipe I made my own variations and adjustments to the cake. 

As written:
2 C flour
2 C sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs 
20 oz can (about 2 cups crushed pineapple in juice, don't drain
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C nuts (I grounded them in coffee grinder - almonds)
8 oz cream cheese
4 T. butter
3 cups confectioners sugar (oops I used granulated, so I did not use all 3 cups, still delish)
1 tsp. vanilla
(nuts optional - did not use in the icing. 

Mix all together until smooth. (I fluffed the eggs first, added the flour and sugar, and alternated with the pineapple). Pour into greased glass baking sheet dish. Bake on 325 degree for 25-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 
Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla, slowing add sugar and blend well. 

Notes:  I did not have vanilla on hand, so I used a tad of lemon and coconut flavoring to the cake. To the icing I added a tad of almond flavor.   I also used frozen pineapple, which I thawed in microwave, so I could crush them with potato crusher.  I greased the bottom and sides of the pan with coconut oil.   The reviews said that this cake was very dense, and I wanted to fluff it up a bit, so I added about a 1/3 cup of seltzer water.  The glass pan is the way to go for even cooking. Texture is moist and sticky, even with the seltzer. It was amazing and I highly recommend trying it.  YUM!!!!

The landscaping around the pool screen is finally complete and looks lovely. Those are pitch apple bushes. Thank you Mark the Landscaper, originally from New Castle, PA., who planted 18 of them by himself!

The kitchen nook chandelier is now complimented with the matching breakfast bar pendants.   - very cool set of modern lights from Golden lighting. They're different....The finish on them is called champagne. 

I have been having a ton of fun teaching swimming lessons to triathletes this past week. One particular lesson I taught was held at the Cape Coral Wellness Center pool.  After the lesson I had the opportunity to speak with the wellness coordinator about teaching Yoga and swimming at the center.  They happen to be hiring instructors, so hopefully my schedule will allow me to teach a few classes in Cape Coral and Ft. Myers. She wants me to do a mini audition for her so she can sample my class, which will take place this week. Yeah!

For Tuesday swim practice we will have a special opportunity to swim a 500 for time!

400 swim
100 kick
100 (non free/scull by 25)

1 x 200 swim
1 x 100 catch up with fist drill
1 x 200 swim
1 x 100 single arm (L/R, L/R)

6 x 50 kick descent 1>3
5 x 100 pull

Test set:
500 for time

cool 200 OR

4 x 300 odds stroke/free by 50, evens free
cool 100 

Happy Laps!!

Wednesday swimming might take place at FGCU in the AM. Workout TBD. 

Thanksgiving day swim will most likely be an ocean swim the the SWFL open water swimming group. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Autum Harvest

Well, it's been a nice fall here in SWFL.  We had a few days where the humidity seem to move out, which gave us the opportunity to open all the windows and doors. I would not say we are cooling off, but I guess upper 70s and mid 80s is "cooling' off.

I wanted to show off our formal dining room, where I was able to match the chandelier with some pretty wall paper..ooooh, aaaah.

This time of year is a good time to visit the markets where you can find local foods, vegetable, bread, pastries, dog treats, etc.  The farmers markets are all over town on different days.  A few weeks back I ventured to the Koreshan Park with my neighbor and her father, where we enjoyed the outdoors while shopping for delicious fruits and vegetables.

Norm is 90 years old. Norm and Russ play cribbage on a daily basis. He and his daughter have become great friends of ours.

Last Friday night, mom and dad invited us to "The Stage" which is in Bonita Springs. It's a dinner/live music venue. The band performing last week was a cover band for Beach Boys songs. We enjoyed movin' and a groovin' to their tunes. Here is mom and dad dancing!! Mom loves to jitter bug!

It was that Friday, that the news broke out about the terrible terrorist attack on France. I have been sicken by the event all week and feel extremely sad and mournful for the precious people that died and were injured. So many families affected.  It was a relief to learn that my dear friend and old high school beau and his SO were able to get home safely. According to his FB post, they were in a restaurant 15 minutes away from one of the blasts.

It's been so weird this week - to see people go about their day, like nothing happened. I listen to NPR and hear how frightened the people who live in France are.

I honestly don't think we are out of the woods, and at some point we will continue to fight this war on our turf.  I will not live in fear, as that is what they want us to do.

I want to change the subject to sports and triathlon. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who referred me to coach one of his friends who lives in CA and qualified for Kona 2016 during a 70.3 race. She won the military division of the race and she is very motivated. I was happy to oblige and I plan to prepare her for an excellent race on October 8, 2016!

Practices for this week: 11/16-20

Monday - solo swim at FGCU

300 swim, 200 pull, 100 kick
Main set - 1:30 base
500, 400, 300, 200, 100, - swim
100, 200, 300, 400, 500 - pull
cool 100

Tuesday Masters 5am

300 swim/ 200 pull/ 100 kick...

6 x 50 (odds drill/swim, evens kick/swim) @ 1’
Main SET – 2xs (pick your interval)
50 Swim @ 1:05/1:00/:55/:50
50 blast kick @ 1:00/1:05/1:10/1:15 (pick one interval and stay with it for entire set)
100 swim @ 2:00/1:50/1:45/1:40
50 blast kick
150 swim @ 2:50/2:45/2:30/2:15’
50 blast kick
150 swim @ 2:45/2:40/2:25/2:10
50 blast kick
100 swim @ 1:55/1:45/1:40/1:30
50 blast kick
50 swim @ 1:00/:55/:50/:45
8 x 100 @ 1:30/1:40/1:50/2:00
Breathe 3/5/7/9
Cool 100
Wednesday solo at FGCU
400 (25free/25back)
200 kick
3 x 300 pull (no paddles) - strong...

3 x 300 snorkel/paddles - long
300 kick
Cool - 3 x 100 (50free breathe every 4/50back)
Thursday - 5AM
500 loose
6 x 75 (fly/back/breast by 25) @ 1:20
2 x 75 free (fast/ez/fast by 25 @ 1:15
2 xs
1 x 200 (back/free by 50) @ 3:30 / 3:45  / 4:00
1 x 100 breast @ 2:15
1 x 200 (breast/free by 50)  3:45 / 4:00 / 4:15
1 x 100 fly @ 2’
1x 200 (fly/free by 50) 3:30 / 3:45 / 4:00
1 x 100 back @ 2’
 2xs Pull
1 x 200 @ 3:00
1 x 100 @ 1:30
 Cool 4 x 100 snorkel pace
Friday – Masters – Speed Play

500 loose
8 x 25 single arm (4 breathing to recovery arm side, 4 breathing to opposite side)
4 x 50 swim (25 fist / 25 swim)
14 x 25 @ :30
1 fast + 1 EZ
2 fast + 1 EZ
3 fast + 1 EZ
4 fast + 1 EZ
 4 xs                                  
150 fast @ 2:30             
75 ez
1 x 25 scull
2 xs
100 fast @ 1:45        
75 EZ
3 x 25 scull swim
4 xs
50 fast @ :45
25 ez
250 cool
Happy Laps!!!!


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Family Challenge Relay #1

About a month ago I have a friend, Jennifer, who recommended me to her friends to participate on a relay leg (swim portion) of a triathlon that is traditionally held in Venice Beach, FL.  I was ecstatic when they ask me!  Of course, what's more fun than swimming in the ocean on a relay triathlon?!   Keep in mind that these ocean waters are no ordinary waters....they don't call it Sharky's Pier for nothing!  It is the shark capital of the world!  Maybe the race directors sent a memo to the sharks to inform them that there would be no fishing from the pier, and to stay away from that area until the triathlon was over. Ya think?

I met Scott and George for the first time one week before the race in Punta Gorda. We got to know each other and their significant others and had a nice time chatting and organizing the logistics of packet pick up and race day itinerary. Turns out, Scott is sponsored by 'TriSports" and since they were one of the major sponsors, he had a free entry into the race, giving us a free entry pass too!  Cool. I only needed to pay the USAT single day race admission. 

All of us had to be in attendance at the packet pick up on Saturday, as there was no pickup on Sunday, race day. This Family Challenge event offered two distances, the Olympic and a Half (70.3)  We were signed to relay the Olympic distance. (1.5k/40K10K) 

Saturday was a good opportunity to check out the waters and get a feel for how it will be going around the pier.  It was an easy 50 minute drive North, and the beach was gorgeous.  There is a very large restaurant and gift shop and all of this is located adjacent to a nice park, with jogging paths, and next to that a doggie park. Across the street is a driving range and a golf course. Pretty cool set up. 

I hopped in the water for a test swim just before meeting them for packet pick up. There was  a planned organized swim, so there were kayaks and swimmers out there already. As soon as I started swimming along, I immediately thought, oh crap, there are probably sharks out here. Oh well, I'll just keep swimming. I headed to a kayaker, and inquired with her about the course, since there were buoys stationed out there.  The waters were pretty clear, and the current was strong. The course was a little different. You start at the beach, head straight out past the pier (3-500m), take a hard right, and go North well past the pier, take a 45 degree right turn and angle in toward the pier where the sun was directly into your eyes, then make a 90 degree turn left to the beach.   The chop that was most bothersome was traveling at the 45 degree angle South bound.  I did not swim the entire course on Saturday, just simply around the pier. 

I headed to the showers, and rinsed, dressed, and made my way to the park to meet Scott and George for packet pick up plus the 'mandatory' meeting. There was no way I was going to stay for the entire meeting, as all of it did not pertain to my straight forward .9 mile swim. I just needed to know which direction to swim, and where to turn and finish. Simple!

I decided to drive up the morning of the race this time, rather than spending the night up North. It was not bad of a drive, as I took Highway 41 all the way because it was so early.  I planned it well. Race organization was very good. Plenty of parking in the grass. Headed over to body marking. I already had the chip from packet pick up.  So much easier, then lugging all the tri gear. Simply need cap and goggles.  I made a pit stop, walked to the beach start, where they were already sending off the waves for the half distance. I warmed up a little bit, ate a Power Bar gel and gathered for a group photo.


After all the half distance waves went off, we had a couple of minutes before the Olympic distance wave plus relays to start. I noticed this really tall guy in a sleeveless wetsuit. I started up a conversation with him. He was also doing a relay with his wife. He was swimming and cycling, and she was running. I asked him what his background was and he said water polo. Why he was wearing a wet suit came as a surprise, and he said because he just bought it and it was brand new.  Okay - fair enough. 

I made sure to situate myself so that I don't get trampled at the start. There was no worry for that, but you never know!  About 200meters into the start, I don't see anyone to me left anymore, and another 50 or 75m later, I noticed that I am passing the tall gentleman in the wet suit.  Okay - so now the only thing I have to contend with is getting around the other swimmers that started before us. I came upon one guy who was on his back doing the frog kick. Oh dear.   I tried not to crawl over anyone.  I knew the second turn buoy would be tricky and that angling toward the last turn buoy would take some navigational skills. The kayak support was very helpful.  Although because the sun was directly in front of the turn buoy, I had to remove my goggles to get a better look a few times.  I knew I needed to spot the little house thingy that was on the pier, since it was lined up with the buoy, which really helped as well. Part of it was I didn't trust that I was swimming a perfect line, and I was aiming for a perfect line!!  The chop to the last buoy was in our face. Anyway - navigation went well, and then the current was in our favor going into the beach. 

The only thing I was really concerned about was getting up the beach , and then running the 300 meters on the road into transition. Given that my hip had been sore, I planned for that and took Ibuprofen the night before. That helped A LOT.  I actually was running!  LOL!
Fat, but running 

 George was prepped to remove the chip and put it on Scott's ankle. Scott was ready to ride hard!   

Here is Scott returning from is 1:11 ride!
Nice work Scott!  He said it was pretty sketchy out there though. I am glad he returned safely. 

Now it was my turn to remove his chip and place it on George's ankle so he can take off running like a bat out of hell!  George was very amped up before the run. There was nothing I could do to calm him down. He had to run the the most heat, so his leg was no doubt the toughest of all!  He ran a very solid race despite the conditions. George is very fit and currently is in training for a marathon.

We awaited anxiously for him on the course. Here he is coming into the finish!  Nice job George!

Scott was able to run across the finish line with George, I was 
support personnel close behind --

Our team won overall relay division by about 30 minutes. We all had a blast and plan on competing next year.  Thanks guys and thank you Krissy for taking all the pictures!

Swim training practices for this past week can be found on the GSTC Masters Face Book page.   Kind of running short on time to put these in this post. 

Happy Laps!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Splish Splash........

"I was takin' a bath down about a Saturday night (yeah!) a rub dub. Just relaxin' in the tub. Thinking' everything was all right..........."  Good Golly,  Miss Molly was a-even there too! A-well-a....splish splash I forgot about the bath I went and put my dancin' shoes on....yea!" 

- Who sang that song?  I thought it was Chuck Berry, but of course I am terrible at Trivia, so I put the answer at the bottom of the entry. 

That song is made for dancing, it's a good workout if you give it a go.

Friday's practice is courtesy of my swim mates from TX (SAD) San Antonio Dolphins. This workout from from either Fred or Beau. Thanks guys! 

Freaky Frightening Fast Friday Morning:  


8 x 50 = 25, 1 breath / 25 build @ :55

Set - 6 times thru (choose interval and stay on it straight thru)
100 build to 85-90% @ 1:30/40/45/50/2'
75 fast @ 1'/1:05/1:10/1:15
50 recover @ 1'/1:10
25 fast "30

Pull 8 x 100 @ 1-4 @ 1:15/1:20,   5-8@ 1:10/15

WD 4 x 100 @ 1:30

Happy Laps and Happy Halloween!!

- Bobby Darin - 1958

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tropical Splash

Beautiful Siesta Key 

Before I get into the race report for - I need to catch up on a few practice sessions.....

Tuesday 10/13 - SCY @ FGCU

300 S/ 300 P/ 200 Back

12 x 75 (P/S/K by 75) Jim Anderson special 

20 x 50 
1-5  @ :55
6-10 @ :50
11 - 15 @ :45
16 - 20 @ :40

3 x 500 paddles /snorkel

100 cool

Wednesday 10/14

500 Loose

4 x 75 fly/back/breast @ 1:30

3 rounds
100 Fast Kick @ 1:10
100 IM
2 x 100 free (#1fast/#2ez) @ 1:30

3 rounds
2 x 200 @ 3'/3:30
2 x 50 #1 fly/back, #2 back/breast @ 1'
100 breast/free by 25 @ 1:45

100 cool

Friday 10/16

Kick Set:
4 x 50 Fast @ 1:10
1 x 50 EZ @ 1:15 
3 x 50 Fast @ 1:05
1 x 50 Ez @ 1:15
2 x 50 Fast @ 1'
2 x 150 smooth
3 x 50 Fast @ 1'
2 x 150 smooth
2 x 50 Fast @ :55
2 x 150 smooth
1 x 50 Fast @ :50
4 x 100 steady @ 1:30
4 x 25 Sprint @ :30
3 x 100 pull @ 1:30
4 x 25 Sprint @ :40
2 x 100 snorkel @ 1:30
4 x 25 Sprint @ :45 
200 cool

Saturday 10/17 - LCM @ FGCU

Yoga - 20 minutes
Warm - 800 choice or 200S/200P/200K/200FRIM
Preset - 8 x 50 (odds breakout/evens build speed)
Main x 2
300 Pace
3 x 100 stroke/swim by 50
200 Pace
2 x 100 IM
2 x 300 pull with snorkel
200 cool

Monday 10/19

300 swim
300 IM

12 x 50 fins K/S by 25@ 1'
12 x 50 free/drill by 25, free/swim by 25, IM order/swim by 25 (repeat 4x)

5 x 100 @ 1:40
5 x 100 @ 1:30
5 x 100 IM @ 1:45
4 x 75 (25 Fast/50 EZ, 50 Fast/25ez, 75 fast, 75 breathe very 3)

200 cool

Tuesday 10/20

500 swim
300 pull
200 kick

9 x 50 descend 1>3 @ 1'

6 x 150
300 snorkel
4 x 150 pull
200 snorkel

200 cool

Wednesday 10/21 (didn't swim this, but coached the 5 age groupers that attended practice)  Setting up the pool is a process as well as closing up, and I was late to practice. 

400 swim
200 Drill FRIM

4 x 200 @ 3/3:15/3:30
4 x 100 
# 1 25 kick/75 swim
#2 50 kick/50 swim
#3 75 kick/25 swim
#4 100 kick

4 x 200 Pull @ 2:45/3:00/3:15
4 x 100
#1 kick
#1 75k/25s
#2 50k/50s
#3 25k/75s

2 x 100 (drill/swim/scull/swim by 25) 

Thursday 10/22 - EZ day

500 Loose
10 x 50 (drill/swim) @ 1'
10 x 50 (back/swim) @ :55
10 x 50 pull @ :50
10 x 50 snorkel and paddles @ ;45
10 x 50 odds kick/evens scull

Fun Friday 10/23
I think this was a great practice to work on speed!  I did the main set only twice since I wanted to save a little energy for the 5K the next day. The kids did really well. 

600 (50 Free / 50 Back)


16 x 25
Fast/Ez/Build/Break out (4 cycles)

Main x 4
*Stroke option on #2 , #4
4 x 50 Fast @ 1'
100 EZ @ 1:45
2 x 50 Sprint @ :45
150 EZ @ 2:30 + 15 sec. to friendly top - repeat

3 x 200 Pull (breath 3/5/7/9 by 25)

200 warm down

The Sarasota Sharks put on a first class event!  I registered for the  5K. The last 5K I swam was a race in Guam where I recall the tide being so low in Tumon Bay that our stomachs almost touched the bottom of the ocean. 

I drove up N. to Siesta Key after work on Friday.  It's really close enough to drive up that morning, but I wanted the pleasure of waking up near the beach. The hotel I stayed in was a dive, but the bed was comfortable and the room was quite. The place is located across the street from the beach and only 1 mile from the main parking lot and start/finish area at Siesta Beach. 

Siesta Key Beach Resort was the name of the place. There were plenty of little cafe's or dive bars to get dinner, but I was fortunate enough to have visited a natural food place on Friday during my lunch break, called Mother Earth, and picked up homemade Kale salad, and Gluten free Lasagna. It was delicious!  I was very happy to have that for dinner, as opposed to going to a restaurant.  

If you read the reviews about this hotel, you will see that the rooms need updating and maybe the staff was not nice. Okay - the staff was very pleasant!  Sure the floors were a little gross, but the bed was a king which barely fit in the room, but it was very comfortable. This room was a like a luxury suite compared to the room I stayed in on Fukua island in Japan, where we needed to have a second room just to keep the bike!    In any event, as I was gathering my things at the car, a young man came up to me and asked me if I had been to my room?  "No, I have not." "Oh, do you need any help?"  "No," I replied, "but thank you."  Turns out, I was in the room that notoriously does not open with ease.  I had three key cards, and could not get any of them to work, so I went to the front office, to ask for help. The nice young man followed me to my room and demonstrated how to open the door. It's not rocket science, but in this case it did take some finesse. After about 10 minutes I was in the room. God forbid that I leave the room, I might not get back in.  

I curled up in bed with my iPad and watched my favorite show - Longmire, till about 9:45pm.  

I woke up refreshed, but was feeling fairly tight in my arms and back. After eating the lovely oatmeal that I brought,  I stepped outside to stretch with a little yoga warm up. As I was practicing my downward dog poses, I glanced over to my left and there was a girl looking out the window at me and waving to me like a long lost friend. A few minutes later she walked by me, and said, ""You look like you are in my age group, 40-45." "No, I am 51."  I replied. I finished up my yoga, and gathered my things in preparation to walk to the start. I asked the two girls if they were walking to the start and they replied yes. Great, I had company. Before heading out I took a nice hot shower to loosen up.

Their names were Beth and Cindy, and they were from Englewood. Cindy was swimming the 5K and Beth was just here along for the ride I suppose.  
The early walk down the beach with my two new friends, Beth and Cindy from hotel was a good warm up. About 10 minutes into the walk, Beth was getting a bit nervous about the distance, but I was confident that we only needed to go 1 mile.  We arrived at the pavilion and race check-in site with plenty of time to pick up our shirt, timing chip,  and get our numbers drawn onto our arms, otherwise commonly referred to as; body marking.  It was nice to see my swim mates from T2 and the GCST crew.  Before the mandatory pre-race meeting I took that time to put on my razor racing suit. I felt like wearing the official race suit rather than my regular training suit. It may not have made much of a difference, but it does feel better to wear it.

Coach Sam and his boys

After the pre-race meeting, I walked down to the water where the  the GCST team tent was set up and used that as home base for my belongings.  Before the start, I enjoyed being in the group photos taken with the different swimming friends I have made since moving to FL.   

This event offered three distances, 1K, 2.5K, 5K.  The 1K start was on the other end of the beach, because their course is a point to point. The 2.5K and 5K was a looped course. The 2.5K started 5 minutes ahead of the 5K ers. While waiting for the gun to go off, I wanted to make sure I knew what to look for when navigating between the buoys, so I asked Ed, since he was the expert with this particular course conditions, plus he swam it the day before. Ed told me to look for the building next to the lower trees and go just to the right of it. Don’t head toward the really tall trees, because that will pull you too far off course. That tip worked out really well for me, if I could not spot a buoy.

It was a beach start, so it was a run into the water at the sound of the horn. I started up front and a little to the far left of the crowd. That positioning seemed to work well, because it lined me up with the buoys.  The course was a rectangle. Since I was swimming the 5K, we needed to swim 2 loops. The conditions were perfect, except for the sun in your eyes after making the first left turn, which also put us in the choppy waters. The chop on the second loop was ridiculous. I had to breathe only to my left to avoid swallowing the entire ocean. When I attempted to spot a building or buoy, the water would smack me in the face, so I had to be prepared for that and avoid swallowing water.   

I love swimming open water events, but I don’t like the little things that live in the water. I read about the occurrence of sea lice from another blogger who did this race last year or a few years ago.  I guess I ignored the possibility of encountering such a thing.  Much to my dismay, I should have been more attentive, and put that safe sea lotion that my friend offered me on my chest and not just my arms.  It happened in the deep and rougher water on the first loop when I felt a swarm of these little things go inside my suit from the top. Ewww! I could feel them, and they were not stinging too much, I just kept my arms and body moving and thought of something else. Then, after the second left turn, we swam through a school of fish type creations and we were touching them with our hands! Double Ewww!  

I was pleased to know that I was navigating pretty nicely due to the fact that I was swimming next to the 3 yellow buoys that were set out between the big red turn buoys. Sometimes making a turn with a lot of swimmers, would be cumbersome because I would lose my place or someone might crawl over me.  My pace felt pretty good, and found a few swimmers that we were going the same pace, so sometimes I’d draft a bit, and sometime I would not. If I happen to touch this one guys feet, he would kick really really hard to get me away. I don’t think he enjoyed me drafting behind him. oh well, it’s all in the strategy. There was a time that my toes cramped on the first lap and when that happened, I moved them around and tried to kick more to activate the muscles better.  

On the final home stretch in the calmer waters close to the beach,  I was trying to hold a good pace, and kick a little harder to maintain better speed. I was still with the same few that have been with me for most of the swim.  The four of us came around the last turn buoy together which put us in formation for the final push to take us to the beach finish.  I was on the far left, and the other three were to my right. I am pretty sure the male swimmer was to my immediate right, then there were 2 girls next to him. I put my head down and tried to make one good final sprint to shore. As soon as my hand touched sand, I stood up, and I saw two people already standing. Darn, they must have been 1 or 2 strokes ahead of me. I stood up and attempted to race to the finish line, but it was not much of a run, it was more of a drunken stumble that took me by complete surprise. The hip is not the same without power. The prosthesis is fine, but it’s not made for jogging on sand to the finish line after swimming for over an hour. I practically fell on my face! LOL!   As I stumbled up the beach and across the finish line, a spectator yelled, ‘3rd. female!”   Wow, that’s cool, I wonder who those two females are that finished seconds in front of me are?  

I later approached one of the females that finished ahead of me and we talked a bit. I found out her name was Tracy Grilli!  She is a membership services coordinator for USMS, staff liason for USMS rule book, circulation manager for Swimmer magazine along with many other hats that she wears. She is from up North (NH and MA),and has a home in Sarasota. It was an honor to have met her in person.

Afterwards, I rinsed off and hitched a ride back to hotel from Tracy and her husband. I showered up and drove back to the park for food and awards. I usually don’t hang around for awards, but I honestly thought they were going to recognize that top #1-3 overall finishers. Unfortunately, they didn’t do it that way. Only overall finisher, and top three in age group.  Of few of the other swimmers I knew won medals in their age group as well!

After it was all said and done, I was pretty amped up and in a great mood!  I had a short drive (1 hour or so) home, and could celebrate a successful finish with Russ.  As we were eating lunch, I noticed I was itching in my chest, so when I looked in the mirror and noticed all the red bumps on my chest and flank I figured the sea lice did their job. Good thing I didn’t have a bad reaction. Not sure I’d want to do that race again, simply because of those little nasty jellyfish, however, it was well organized, was a good challenge, and the venue is known as the  #1 beach in USA! #siestakey.

My final time was 1:18.54. It was an extremely close finish between #1 and #2. Their times were:  1:18.46 and 1:18.48 respectively.

Tracy and I with our medals.

SWFL Open water regulars

Monday 10/26 Practice was with one age grouper, who is pretty quick and a very talented swimmer. I was Soooo tired, I felt like I had run a marathon! 

500 loose
4 x 50 (fist drill/swim by 25 @ 1')

Main x 2
4 x 100 @ 1:30 , second round on 1:25
200 P @ 3'
4 x 50 kick @ 1'

Main x 2
3 x 100 @ 1:20 / 2nd. round IM @ 1:45
150 P @ 2'
4 x 75 odds fast/evens ez @ 1:15

200 cool

Tuesday 10/29 - Garage Yoga

Wonderful Wednesday 10/28
300 swim/300 FRIM/200 kick

6 x 50 @ odds kick, evens fast/ez by 25
Main #1
200 free
2 x 100 (fly/free by 25)
200 free
2 x 100 (back/free by 50)
200 free
2 x 100 (75 breast/25free)
200 free
2 x 100IM
Main #2
300 pull
200 IM
100 pull
200 IM
300 pull
warm down 200

Full Moon 5AM