Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back in the Middle East

I flew out of LAX on Sunday arrived back in the United Arab Emirates Monday night. On Tuesday morning, I did a workout with Coach Mark Pringle at the Raha International School. I did a 300, 200, and 100 Time Trials in the 25 meter pool. Did a short 2K workout.

It's time to get serious about training again for my next marathon swim. I'm hoping it can be a human "first". I am still trying to work out whether it will be Strait of Hormuz (30 miles Iran to Oman) or Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, aka the Gate of Tears (17 miles Yemen to Djibouti). Politics and safety, not the swim, are the biggest challenge. Thorny relations between Iran and the US make the Strait of Hormuz tricky while pirates and Al-Quaeda add another dimension to the Gate of Tears swim. Both locations involve swimming through heavy shipping lanes. I like to think that a quest for athletic achievement will be able to transcend politics.

This morning, I did another 5 mile run from my apartment on the Corniche around the UAE flagpole.

Friday, April 17, 2009

UCI Workout

Did the 9:30am workout with the University of California at Irvine Masters (UCI). My good friend Ahelee has taken a coaching position there and I did a try-out swim.

It was set up long course (50m) and we did a 3km+ batch of sets. It was the first good pool workout since last November at Al Raha International School with Mark Pringle. I am excited to get back into regular pool workouts, which I hope to do- starting next week when I return to Abu Dhabi.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Swimming at Corona Del Mar

Well, after 2 weeks of being out of the water, I was back in California and found out that some old pals have been swimming on Thursday nights at Corona Del Mar beach in Newport. They are the record holders for longest distance swam in the US Master Swimming "Go The Distance" challenge in February. Lynn Kubasek swam over 436 miles and Jim Fitpatrick swam a few miles more. Not bad.

I joined them for a brisk 40 minute/ mile and half swim. The water temperature was 57 degrees (14 for my non-US friends) so the extra 10 pounds of padding I've accumulated in recent weeks was nice to have. It was the first swim in the Pacific Ocean since I swam the Catalina Channel in September.

It's not a flattering picture...but then looking into the sun after an hour of swimming hard to ward off hypothermia isn't exactly the setup for an "America's Next Top Model" photo shoot. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Camel Races

The past several weeks have been a bit crazy...visits from friends, camel races,

and a trip back to the US have prevented me from attending the regular Saturday tri-club workouts. However, I have been able to do an occasional 5 mile run from my apartment near the Corniche around the
world largest freestanding flagpole next to Marina Mall and back. I look forward to some workouts back in So. California this coming week. I thought this clip of some Saturday morning camel races might be interesting to those unfamiliar with this fun regional sport.