Saturday, May 30, 2009

Swimming for Schools Swim-a-Thon

Wow, that was a blast! Today we had our Swimming for Schools Swim-a-Thon, and the "kids" of the Washington Academy Swim Team (City Champions!) were great, swimming a combined 46 1/2 miles, having fun, and raising $668 (so far) for building the school in Waku Kungo! Way to go, swimmers! More Swimming for Schools funds will be coming in from Washington Academy next week, so here's hoping we get to $1000.

We even got two good reports on local news - thanks WREX AND WIFR!

You can contribute to the Swimming for Schools Swim-a-Thon right now - just click on this link to and click on "donate." Thanks!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back at it

Okay, after a brief rest due to my cold I'm back to training. I got in a swim in Lake Michigan on Monday, about an hour in 56 degree water. That was no problem and I would have liked to go longer, but just didn't have the time.

On Tuesday, I did a long swim at the YMCA. I figured a warm pool swim was probably wise, so as not to stress my immune system yet. So I did six hours six minutes = 21,000 yards = 840 lengths = 11.93 miles. If I had realized I was so close to 12 miles I would have just finished it. Oh well. Next time.

I feel good about where I am at distance wise, and probably more importantly, with my acclimation to cold water. Two months ago, I was very worried about that, but have done pretty well in the cold water. All my extra pounds are good for something!

Just keep swimming!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No training

Well, I guess my immune system didn't like 5 hours in 61 degree water. I'm sick today (and yesterday). Just a bad cold, I guess. Hopefully back in the water tomorrow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lake Michigan at last

Today was my first swim this year in Lake Michigan. The temp varied between 56-58. It didn't feel bad at all, but then, I only stayed in for 50 minutes (due to time restraints, not the cold). I swam with a guy named Mike who lives in Chicago, very close to Foster Street beach. He is swimming the Channel in July, so is getting in as much cold water work as possible.

Swimming in open water was interesting. It was choppy and wavy of course, which made it very hard to get in any kind of rhythm. Staying in a straight line by sighting was hard, but I guess I would get used to it. But then, I don't have to do that in the Channel, as I just keep the boat 25 feet to my left or right.

This other Mike said that salt water seems 4-5 degrees warmer than fresh water - I hope that's true!

I'm fairly sore from the 5 hours yesterday, but just good soreness, not injury soreness. I'll rest for a day or two and should be okay.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Training News

Five hours in 61 degree water today (tethered in the backyard pool). Longest yet in cold water. The first three hours were a breeze, but the last two got a little tough. I wasn't cold and mentally I was okay, but the shoulders and arms were aching more than ever. I wonder if I was pushing a little harder than usual in the beginning because I felt so good? Oh well, muscles recover, and it was great training.

Tomorrow I am going in for my first swim in Lake Michigan, near Foster Ave. beach. The water will probably be about 52, so that should be fun. I doubt I'll be able to do more than 1/2 an hour, but we'll see. An open water swimmer in Chicago is letting me tag along.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some awesome kids

Yesterday and today I gave a presentations to several groups of kids from Washington Gifted Academy here in Rockford. I saw the whole school (other than 5th graders, which will be next week) over four presentations. The kids were great, and seemed very interested in the English Channel swim and school building project in Angola. I really got the middle schoolers attention with a photo I took in Angola of a skull hanging on a tree (marking territory during the civil war). I think they got the message that kids everywhere value education, and that they can really make a difference by helping the folks in Angola help themselves through education.

I look forward to seeing whether 6th, 7th or 8th grade raises the most money!

And I look forward to seeing how much the 1st-5th graders can come up with.

Thanks kids!

You can donate now by going to and clicking on the "donate" link!

Swimming for Schools

The big news currently is that we are soon to have a big event called "Swimming for Schools." This is a fundraiser and educational project involving Washington Gifted Academy, where I have been the swim team coach the last couple of years (All City Champions 2009!). Members of the swim team will participate in a "Swim-a-thon" on Saturday, May 30, collecting pledges and donations for their swimming. Plus, kids from the whole school are being encouraged to bring in money for Swimming for Schools. The lower grades have been matched with certain swimmers to raise money for them, and the 6th, 7th and 8th grades are squared off against each other to see who can raise the most money. Who will it be???

To contribute to the Swimming for Schools project (and, yes, all the money goes to build the school in Angola!) just go to and click on the "donate" link. Thanks!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I have realized that it would be helpful to have a "bloggish" link on the SwimMikeSwim website which leads to regular updates on my training, and other stuff. So that is officially the renewed purpose of this blog.

So where are we?

Swimming - Last Monday (May 13) was 4 1/2 hours in 61 degree water, backyard pool, tethered. I had a rough beginning to that swim but the last three hours wasn't too bad. Overall, I'm very satisfied with my training so far, and looking forward to my six hour qualifying swim in San Francisco in the middle of July. On this blog I'll only mention the long swims, but I also do regular speed work at the Y.

Fundraising - We are at just over $4000, which is nice, but I'm hoping things really pick up soon. We have a Swim-a-thon fundraiser through Washington Academy (where I was the swim coach) on May 30, and hopefully that will bring in a nice sum (even if it doesn't, I'll be happy just to get the kids involved in a service project and have them learn a little bit about Angola). We are also planning a community wide "Faith Night" at Magic Waters (local, big time water park). If that takes off, we could make several thousand off that. Here's hoping!

That's all for now. Regular updates to follow.