Monday, December 31, 2007

Non-Swim Day Field Trip

Finally got to Whole Foods to see "my" bottles on the shelves and show the kids. Fun to show off for your kids, isn't it? :) Also, after my swim on Saturday I finally ran into Dave with his and Lori's baby. I hadn't seen him for long enough to talk since I sent them the bottles a couple of months ago, and I was pleased to hear that the AdiriTM Natural NurserTM is the only one they've found that works! Yay! And even better news, which I think you all already know...Lori is cancer-free and back to swimming. Double Yay!

As for today, I'm resting for tomorrow's 100x100's today. Hope to see you all there tomorrow!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Flying (or riding or swimming)

As you can see, my five year old has learned to ride a two-wheeler. This is a picture of his first few seconds with no support, balancing on his own, experiencing that flying feeling of equanimity. Kind of like swimming, or at least what swimming feels like to me. Yay.

Today's workout:

*warm up: 100, 200, 300 free; 50, 100, 150 stroke

*3 x 200's free building by 50
*3 x 100's stroke building by 25

*4 x 200's threshold free
*4 x 100's threshold stroke

*2 x 200's free

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Can I really swim too much?

I'm actually getting tired of swimming, after the 75 x 100's and a number of follow up days, and the 100 x 100's coming up in less than a week, and I hate the feeling! I much prefer looking forward to getting into the pool, but tis the season to dread the morning alarm...and feel glad you didn't ignore it once you're in the shower!

*warm up: 4 x 200's
first one free, second with 50 back, third with 50 breast, fourth with 50 fly

*3 x 200's free, easy, moderate, hard
100 IM recovery
*2 x 200's free, moderate, hard
100 IM recovery

*2 x 200's free: moderate, hard
100 choice recovery
*2 x 200's free: broken at 100 for 30 secs, then broken at 50 for 10 secs
100 choice recovery

*250 IM: 25 fly, 50 back, 75 breast, 100 free

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Surgery

Okay, I've just about had it. Last week I left the recovery room on a gurney after my son woke up screaming from his tonsillectomy. Today I had to bring home my husband from surgery to repair a deviated septum. I walked out okay, but let's just say I wasn't feeling altogether together. When he fell off the roof and split his thigh to the bone six years ago I had no issue with remaining in control. But I didn't yet have kids, and it seems that becoming a mommy has made me a "hospital procedure wimp" or some sort of thing.

Anyway, the nausea is receding now, just in time for me to change my husband's bloody nose bandages and administer Tylenol to my 3 yr old with an ear infection and 5 yr old who is still recovering from that tonsillectomy. I think it's safe to say that this morning's swim was the highlight of my day.

*warm up: 4 x 200's free (we pretended not to hear the breastroke part)

"fun little set" of:
*50 kick, 50 free with 5 strokes hard per length, 100 free steady, 2 x 50's sprint free, 100 breast with some sort of kick amalgamation
repeat 4 times (argh!)

*50 fast free, 100 breast with two underwater pull downs per length
repeat 4 times

It seems like there was something more, but I just can't pull it up right now. Such is the life of a nurse.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Out of the womb

Today I feel like I finally understand the trauma of birth (from the infant's perspective). Emerging from the warm and calming blue of the pool at the end of the workout and being slapped by the cold rain on a dark morning, I wanted to scream. Thank goodness for hot showers (and warm hospital blankets, I guess).

*warm up: 3 x 200's free

add paddles for:
*300 steady followed by 200 strong descending
repeat 3 times

*200 steady followed by 100 strong descending
repeat 3 times

remove paddles for:
*25 kick, 25 stroke, 50 fast
repeat 4 times

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Lots of fins today: on my feet, on others' feet, and in my face and on my head.

Let's just say there were a number of mishaps (miscounting - by myself included - and directional pull) in our lane which resulted in casualties to my face and head. Who knew swim practice could be so hazardous? (I also spied a sawed off half of a fin near the other side of the pool in our lane. We all saw it, but somehow neglected to discuss how that could have been there, and why it just stayed there. Bizarro.) It must be the cold.

*warm up: 600 free with 6 lengths of backstroke in there

add fins for
*800, 400, 200 done as:
50 3 count back, 50 3 count free, 50 regular back, 50 regular free

remove fins for
*6 x 100's free with last length as backstroke (on the 1:30)

replace fins for
*6 x 100's free with last length as backstroke (on the 1:15)

fin option for
*300 done as 10 lengths easy back, 10 lengths strong back, 10 lengths easy free, 10 lengths strong free

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What a day

Already I have worn my new candy cane striped "Happy Holidays" swim suit (with the token blue star for Hanukkah on the back), seen that J.Lo has bought "my" bottles for her livin' the high life twins-to-be, and swum some serious butterfly (don't ask me to recount the sets because they were comprised of lots of short stuff I can't recall). :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Here is was :)

*warm up: 75, 150, 225, 300 free with two laps stroke in there

add pull gear for:
*125, 250, 375, 500, 375, 250, 125
250 and 500 are strong, others are breathe every third stroke, work on balance

pull option for:
*125, 100, 75
*100, 75, 50
*75, 50, 25
first swim is stroke to free
second swim is strong
third swim is catch-up

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Design Team

Today we were all part of a big set design and memory game team. Thanks Tim, for giving us more to think about before 6:45AM than many of us normally have to think about all day :).

*warm up: 2 x 300's
#1: fit in two laps one arm and two laps kick
#2: fit in two laps sprint and two laps stroke

*5 x 300's
#1: 5 underwater dolphin kicks off each wall
#2: underwater U-Turns at each wall
#3: broken by 50 for 5 sec, descending
#4: 20 strokes fly, 20 back, 20 breast, swim rest free
#5: fast

*2 x 300's
#1: combine any two strokes (such as free pull with breast kick)
#2: sprint no breath free until you have to stop; sprint free until you have to stop; fly until you have to stop; repeat (stop = complete stop hanging vertical on lane line until you can continue)

*12 x 25's
3 underwater
3 sprint free
3 fly
3 whatever

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


There are so few times that we get to swim in the pouring rain, and this morning was one of them. I know the rest of the world thinks we're crazy, but I love that pelting pinpricking feeling of drops against my arms as they reach up for air. And I really really love the feeling of the hot shower afterwards. So, here's to rain (and yay for long free!).

*warm up: 7 x 100's with one 100 as catch-up, one 100 as IM, one 100 fast

*600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100
4 swims are designed, one each as follows:
-50 "on", 50 "off"
-top speed
-stroke down, free back

*6 x 100's:
3 done on tight interval

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Turkey and Nuts

Tim and Michele have got to be nuts. But a good "Wow, I wish I was nuts like that because then I'd be a total bad ass," nuts. While I was on the east coast stuffing myself with stuffing and brined bird (and some nuts, actually, as in pecan pie), those two were completing two Ironman the same time.

Read about it here.

"But no athletic victory could match the priceless reward that Sheeper
enjoyed as his lovely children, wife, sister and brother-in-law gathered
around their well-loved Tim in the cool shade of a Hawaiian tree at the
finish line."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just the Workout

And just a summary at that! Good, long free pulling. I love it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oversleeping to read the paper

Okay, so I slept right through swimming this morning. But I have a good reason. My husband woke me up at midnight to read the article on "my" company that came out this morning in The New York Times. Whoooohoooo! The paper version even has a picture of little old me in it. Today, craziness. Tomorrow, back to swimming.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Powered by Sugar

Thank goodness last night I emptied my sons' (yes that is both of my sons') Halloween candy buckets into my belly. I needed that fuel for the work out today.

*warm up: 200 free, 75 back, 200 free, 50 breast, 200 free, 25 fly
done straight

add fins for:

*3 x 350's done as:
150 free, 25 underwater, 100 free, 25 underwater, 50 free (free swims descending)

*500, 400, 300 with:
10 underwater dolphin kicks on back, 10 underwater dolphin kicks on belly, 10 fly strokes, 10 sprint free strokes with no breaths
repeated twice in each swim

remove fins for:
*3 x 100's on the 1:45
*100 warm down

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Guest Poster

Wallace takes the keyboard...

"I love the smell of sprinting in the morning."* That smell, that mixture of morning fog tousled by high-turnover swimming. Set intervals that make you say, “What!?”

When Tim doles out 100 and 200 intervals that make me wonder if I am in the right lane, I find comfort in the tactics that he and Mike Ingardia shared regarding swimming these distance a few years back.

On the 100 yard swim, Tim highlighted that the human body can really only sprint 75 yards. So an effective way to master a 100 yard sprint is to treat the first 25 as a length to build to your ultimate pace. The real work starts at the first wall. After that I generally find that fitness is good for the next 50, and pride is in charge of the last 25.

Mike Ingardia later highlighted that the above does NOT work for a 200. “Split it evenly” is the advice I remember. So how do I split a 200 yard threshold piece evenly? How do I leave the piano on the deck rather than dragging it through the deep end? Build by 50. As perceived exertion increases, so does fatigue…so speed stays constant. I usually need to count on pride for the last 50 yards when swimming 200’s at threshold though.

*credit to Robert Duvall

warm up: 8 x 100's free, last 2 done as fast 50's with 5 second break

500, 300, 300, 500 (first 300 and last 500 done at threshold pace)

8 x 100's free: 2 strong, 2 easy, 2 strong, 2 easy

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"When it's time to change..."

"'ve got to rearrange! Who you are and what you're gonna be! Sha na na na na na na na na. Sha na na na na!"

If you didn't watch the Brady Bunch with rapt attention growing up like I did, you might not know this song. But whether you do or don't, Wallace delivered a direct replication of Peter Brady's adolescent voice changing during this well-loved number, today while trying to gasp for air and also verbally review our times during a set of four 200 IM's. I hate IM. But I love Peter Brady, and I really enjoyed Wallace's performance this morning.

Sha na na!

*warm up:
4 x 150's with 50 non-free
300 IM done broken at 25 for 5 seconds, each of three 25's of each stroke done descending
3 x 50's free descending

*4 x 200 IM descending
*4 x 200 free descending

*3 x 50's stroke/free descending

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Killer Quad Part One, Check!

Yesterday we swam for an hour and it felt good, especially as a precursor to a day filled with frantic dressing-up, Kindergarten parading, candy eating and trick or treating. Oh. Did I mention trying to work and field inquiries fueled by the USA TODAY article? I was trying, for fear of being correctly accused of shameless self promotion once again, not to mention that, but there it is. And here's the other article from yesterday, with an actual photo of "my" bottle. (It's just too exciting to see your name and own quote in a national paper, and your neighbor (Marina Borrone) in a big picture on the cover!).

Today, Tim decided not to give us all a break (G-d bless him), and to keep with the long freestyle. Then the showers (at least on the ladies' side) decided to punish us with cold water only. Here I sit, an hour and a pot of hot coffee later, and I'm still not warm in my core. Shiver.

*warm up: 300 free, 100 stroke, 200 free

add paddles for:
*300, 300, 3 x 100
*200, 200, 2 x 100
*2 x 500's done as pattern then pyramid:
1st 500: 25 easy, 25 fast, 50 easy, 50 fast, 75 easy, 75 fast, 100 easy, 100 fast
2nd 500: 25 to 100, 100 back down to 25. 25 no breather, 50 basic swim, 75 fast, 100 2-count

take off paddles for:
*4 x 50 fast followed by 25 easy stroke

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

USA Today, Tomorrow

I'm excited today. I'd like to say it is because of the short breaststroke sets we did this morning, or because of the hour long swim tomorrow morning, or even because of Halloween (and those things are great)...but no.

We've been waiting, at my little company, Adiri, for a story to run in the USA Today in which we are mentioned, and it looks like tomorrow is the day. Not only will we be mentioned somewhere...but I just got a call and it looks like the story will be on PAGE ONE of the USA Today. This is just too fun. So I had to tell my fellow swimmers to look for it. I hope, now that I've pumped it up, it runs! :)

Today we basically did lots of short breast and free...tomorrow we long free folks will be satisfied. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just what I needed

I was feeling ICK before I got into the pool, and feeling lucky too after talking to my special always-online-at-4AM-just-like-me neighbor who was lamenting her inability to leave the kids for a swim this morning. Not me! I was leaving! The caretaker in me almost offered to skip my swim in order to let her go since it sounded like she needed it worse than me. But apparently I'm not that selfless. I have fought these demons and I am now okay with my own selfishness when it comes to early morning swims. But I still feel bad for my friend. Just not bad enough to skip my swim. Okay then.

*warmup: not sure. I was late because I was feeling as if maybe I should rescue my friend
*30 minute straight swim (oh boy, next Wed is going to be painful)
*3x100's changing leader each 100 done as drafting, stroke choice, mixed stroke (such as fly arms with breast kick)
repeat 2x

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

First day of prayer

"Dear G-d, please let this be the last length of breastroke Tim requires..."

I remember, years and years ago, when I first met Chris ("Smitty"). There was a breastroke set, and I didn't know what his strengths were yet (FLY!). I turned to him to see if he wanted to lead and said "Are you good at breastroke?" (because I, certainly, am not).

He looked at me and said, "Why don't you just ask me if I beat my wife? No. No, I'm not good a breastroke." He meant "beat my wife" as in pummel/hit/abuse, not as in beat her in breastroke, and that was immediately clear to me from his deliciously sarcastic tone. Tendencies toward spousal abuse and being a fast breastroker are clearly mutually exclusive, but for some reason this response really worked for me. And now, every time we do breastroke, I think about that day, and how glad I am that Chris is a strong butterflier, not a spousal abuser. And I laugh, even as my hip flexor muscle is crying, during the breastroke sets.

*warmup: 300 free, 4x50's breastroke kick

*75 free with one length breast, 50 breast, 25 underwater, 200 free recovery
repeat 2x

*2 x 50's breast, 100 free, 100 breast, 2 x 50's free breathing every 5th stroke
repeat 3x

*50 breast, 100 free
repeat 2x

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yogi Sarah

I'm offering up all my negative thoughts to the universe in a very unlike-me Yogic fashion today, after finishing the chapter "Pray" in the book Eat, Pray, Love, and after using a pull buoy this morning.


I don't pray. I swim. Honestly, praying just hasn't been me. I guess I come from a 100% self-reliance sort of place. There's certainly a lot of luck or chance involved in where I've gone and who I am, but divine intervention? I think not. And then there's that I'm-not-sure-if-there's-a-God thing.

But this chapter in this book just may have changed my mind a bit (although I found the author quite self-indulgent and out of touch with reality at points)...not about praying in the traditional sense of asking for divine intervention, but about what praying actually is and can be. A prayer doesn't have to start with "Dear God, please..." or actually with anything at all (but, of course, it can if that helps you). It doesn't have to be asking for something, or any kind of desire. It can just be silence (or, in my case, duh, swimming). It can be envisioning the coiled twine rope of negative thoughts being pulled out of the top of your head and into the wispy pre-dawn mist. It can be laughing at a really, really funny joke and feeling the ick peel off your heart to reveal that juicy white apple of love that lives underneath and drips of sticky joy-juice only when you belly laugh with sincerity.

It can be placing a pull buoy between your legs for the first time in five years and just gliding along, like I did this morning. I thought I hated the pull buoy. But now I know I don't. I pulled with one part of me and followed limply with another, letting myself take charge and follow at the same time. Yay me! It was nice, and I got lost in calmness. Apparently that is the best prayer situation I've got within me: gliding in the water both in charge and not, present and not, happy.

So this morning I thought, why don't I pray, in whatever way I might? Why don't I choose parts of my life - enjoyable still times when I know I feel myself completely present - to call "prayer" and claim those times just for me and what I want to let go to the universe? I will, dammit. I'm offering up negative thoughts and feelings, once I've had my fun with them (come on, a life with positive thoughts only is no way to understand the universe) to the idea that we are all God; that God is really just letting go and being happy in the moment; that nothing I feel is any more important than anything anyone else feels. That I have the power to forgive whatever or whomever I come across during the day. I do that. Lots of times. Most frequently for the 24 hours after I swim.

So here's my yogic conclusion: God is nothing and everything and It's (I just can't say He's) also in my pull buoy.

*warm up:
300, 250, 200 free with last 50 done as backstroke

with buoy only:
* 2 x 25's fly
* 50 back
* 2 x 25's breast
* 200 free
* 100 IM
repeat 3x

with buoy and paddles:
*3x150's free
without buoy and paddles:
*200 IM
with buoy and paddles:
*3x150's free


Thursday, October 18, 2007

I really AM a bitch!

After reading Emmit's comments on my similarly titled post I would like to say that I'm sorry if anyone took it seriously. I would never want to hurt anyone's feelings at all - this post was totally just me being smart-alecky about my preferences and my need to breathe rather than talk between swims. I DO understand that learning happens in different ways and would never want to make anyone else feel bad. I know Emmit is really just too fast for me and is thus over in Lane 1 but still, I say come back! I won't bite and I won't be annoyed! (How could you be annoying anyway? Smiley man. It is always a happy swim when you're leading).

Anyhoo, I believe I've already served my punishment in the form of this morning's workout.

*warmup: 6 x 150's free with last 50 done as stroke in IM order
*5 x 250's done as 100 IM, 100 free, then a 50 in reverse IM order (start with free, then breast, back fly) and descend them.
*4 x 200's with 50 put in wherever it should be in a 200 IM of stroke (so last one is all free)
*6 x 100's done as IM then free alternating, beating your IM time by more with each free swim

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So many pumpkins, so much pulling

Here's a picture of my little guy at Ardennwood Farm this weekend, stressing over which pumpkin to pick. Little did I know when I took this photo that it would mirror how I felt this morning while trying to get my brain wrapped around the main set's structure. I didn't, until just before I began to lead it. I had a moment of panic (especially since I've written about LISTENING to Tim's sets :) and then it all became clear.

*warmup: 600 straight free with every 6th length backstroke

add pull gear for:
*400 free
*2 x 100's free
*50 back
*300 free
*3 x 100's free
*100 back
*200 free
*4 x 100's free
*150 back

*with or without pull gear: 800 straight with 100 "on" (fast) 100 "off"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Long, uninterrupted free

Pity the poor soul who does not enjoy rhythmic meditation and who showed up for this morning's workout. Two 20 minute swims and 8 100's thrown in there somewhere was what today was all about. Normally I love this, and I'm loving it now as I sit at my desk rejoicing in stillness, but this morning I found the first 20 minute swim mentally challenging. I think it was because I knew there was another one to come. The second one was much more enjoyable.

I thought about the book I finished last night during that second swim, and you HAVE to read this book. It's called Jesus Land and it's a memoir by a woman who now lives in San Francisco, but grew up in a very strict/abusive Christian household in the Midwest (and then a reform school in the Dominican Republic) with her adopted brother. Check out her website and then buy the book. You won't regret it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

When your lane leaves you behind

Well. First Emmit trained for the Ironman and left all of us L2ers in the dust for L1B. Then, last week Whitney said "Wow. I haven't been swimming hard for so long. Like a year. I don't know why I stopped. It feels so good."

"Crap", I thought, "I've been swimming hard the whole time and barely keeping up with her". She ducked under the lane line just a day later and is now leading in L1B.

Then today, David, whom I happen to know has missed multiple swims and sat through long meetings that didn't give him any aerobic training lately, slid under the lane line as well, and together they all kicked my butt through the long pulling set.

One of a few things is happening here. Either I'm getting slower (definitely possible), they're getting faster (almost 100% sure this is the case), or some sort of public elementary school-like transition (whereby Kindergarten is the new first grade, first grade is the new second grade, etc. etc.) is happening so that L1B is now the new L2A and L2A is now the new L2B. This is all very disturbing--much like sending your four-year-old to Kindergarten and having him come home with a full three ring binder of homework for the year's duration (to be recorded meticulously on a daily calendar by, whom else, MOM) and being told that he must be reading Dostoevsky to progress to the first grade.

Whew. Okay perhaps I can just slip some folks some cash and bribe them back to my lane. I just...don' well with change.

*warm up: I missed the explanation of the set. I still did it, but I didn't ask what we were doing, so I have no idea what I did. You see? I knew this would happen the day after this post, but I refused to ask what was going on.

add pull gear for:
*1000 straight, done as 200 easy, 200 moderate, 200 best effort, 200 moderate, 200 easy
100 DPS
50 one arm
100 fast

*500 straight, done as above but by 100's
100 DPS
50 one arm
100 fast

*3 x 250's free

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm a bitch

Much like you are either a morning person or an evening person, you're either a talker through swim workouts, or a non-talker through swim workouts. By "talking" I'm not talking about the inane and sometimes unintelligible banter about who cheated more on the fly set or what one ate for dinner the night before. I'm talking about talking oneself through the set, as in, "okay, now 100 IM" and then 1 minute and 30 seconds later, "okay now another 100 IM".

I'm a non-talker. And I'm a bitch. I get annoyed by the talkers, even though, bless their souls, they are simply trying to keep us all on track. They aren't doing any harm--just chatting it up in the pre-dawn hours--and I should smile and say "You're right! It is another 100 IM! Let's go for it!" but instead I curse inside and feel guilty for not responding (I'm trying to gather more air, dammit).

Let's take it one step further. You're either a listener to the sets Tim gives, or a non-listener. I, of course, ahem because I'm perfect (duh), am a listener. And again, I'm a bitch. I when people say "Now what are we doing?" or "What's next?" Again, these lovely folk we swim with are most likely only 50% unsure of what we're doing next. The other 50%, I figure, is a valiant effort at trying to make conversation and simply survive the hour. I know, I know it's hard to listen to complicated sets and remember and execute on them (as I type this I am internally already freaking out that I won't remember the set to record down below...) but still, I need air and I do not want to re-tell the next swim after each successive swim, to the rest of the people in the lane. On the flip side, if I miss the set, I just follow someone and do what they do. I refuse to ask someone 1 second before they are about to push off "Now, what's this again?" (Disclaimer: I'm sure that because I've just written this I'll miss the set and ask someone tomorrow morning this very question and prove myself to be utterly unperfect (egads!), but I still have to rage against the non-listening machine right now).

SO! Bless you, talkers and non-listeners. I know you are doing your best and I love you all. But forgive me if I ignore your questions and confirmations during a set. I'm swimming at 5:45 AM and that's about all I can handle. I'm sorry. I'm a bitch.


*warm up:
300 free then 4 x 25's fly for 3 strokes
200 free then 4 x 25's fly for 3 strokes

2 x 25 fly (for 6-8 strokes)
50 free
2 x 25 fly (for 6-8 strokes)
75 free
2 x 25 fly (for 6-8 strokes)
100 free
2 x 25 fly (for 6-8 strokes)
75 free
2 x 25 fly (for 6-8 strokes)
50 free
2 x 25 fly (for 6-8 strokes)

25, 50, 75, 100, 75, 50, 25 fly (for 6-8 strokes)
each followed by a 100
alternate 100's as free/IM
pick either the free or IM 100's to swim fast
other 100's swum as 2 count

*200 free with fly
by length, number of fly strokes per length:
2, 4, 6, 8, 8, 6, 4, 2

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Good Life

Yesterday I got up at 3:45 AM after switching back and forth between kids' beds to "CUDDLE WITH ME NOW!" and I didn't even get to hit the pool. Sure, I got 3 hours of work done before the rest of the world woke up (which is good because I have the kids all day on Mondays), but I was TIRED by 3PM.

This morning when I awoke at 5:15 AM after sleeping all night in my own bed I felt as though I had been luxuriating in slumber at some type of spa resort. What the hell kind of life am I living, I ask you?!

*warm up with some number of 200's free with 50's back (I was late)

*3 x 200's free
*3 x 150's free
*3 x 100's free
on all, rest for 10 sec before final 50 on 1st, 5 sec on 2nd, no rest on 3rd

*2 x 200's free
*2 x 150's free
*2 x 100's free
on all, swim straight through. on first effort of each distance final 50 is done as 12.5 yards fly, 12.5 yards kick up and back. on second effort, all free.

*5 x 50's
first length free, second length done in following order: kick, breast, back, fly, free

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Just the Workout, Ma'am

*warm up with 300, 200, 100, 4 x 50's free
*3 x 100's free to set pace for 10 min swim
*10 minute swim
*2 x 100's free to set pace for 10 min swim
*10 minute swim
*5 x 100's as IM, weakest stroke, sprint, one lap underwater, kick
*1 x 100 3 count to loosen

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Number of Things...

...Were discussed in the women's locker room this morning that prompted "Sarah, this is off limits for the blog" comments. I just thought I'd throw that out there for you men. Discuss.

*warm up: 3 x 200's done as 5 laps free, 2 laps back, 1 lap kick

*big-ass set with fins:
3 x 100's free
150 kick
1 x 50 back with one stroke every five kicks

3 x 100's free
150 kick
2 x 50 back with one stroke every five kicks

3 x 100's free
150 kick
3 x 50 back with one stroke every five kicks

*smaller-ass set without fins:
3 x 50's free
50 kick
1 x 50 back with one stroke every five kicks

3 x 50's free
50 kick
2 x 50 back with one stroke every five kicks

3 x 50's free
50 kick
3 x 50 back with one stroke every five kicks

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Oh. My.

I'm sore. Not like a "whew, that butterfly set yesterday made me a little tight" sore. More like a "yup, that school bus that hit me yesterday was rather hard and yellow" sore.

Usually my co-ed soccer team plays on regular grass. But now the town of Portola Valley is refurbishing the field, and we've moved to Woodside Elementary. Who would have guessed that an elementary school would build an AstroTurf soccer field? Why did they do this? I know it's fun to run your cleated foot against the turf and see millions of little white Styrofoam balls pop up like a rooster tail coming off a slalom ski, but it is NOT advisable for a thirty-five-year-old swimmer to play soccer on. I have very little grace when I play soccer, and a lot of aggression. I bounce off those big old men like a pinball and I fall a lot. It's fun, I like getting nutty on the field, but on Sunday I found out that falling all over AstroTurf feels like being tossed from a bicycle onto pavement, over and over.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. And then, this morning. Butterfly.

*warm up: 250, 200, 150, 100 free with increasing (starting with two on the 200) underwater butterfly kicks off each wall

*50, 100, 150, 100, 50 done 3x
#1 done as free with increasing by 1 (starting with one) fly strokes per 25
#2 done as free with increasing by 1 (starting with two) fly strokes per 25
#3 done as free with increasing by 2 (starting with two) fly strokes per 25

*50, 100, 150, 200 2x (200 always done as free with 3 lengths back)
#1 done with one stroke of fly per 25
#2 done with two strokes of fly (not together) per 25

*4 x 50's with 2 strokes of fly 2x per 25. descending

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nice Melons

First, a special shout out to Jana (please let me have spelled that correctly) for her new skull and crossbones suit. Yeeehaw, now we're getting in the Halloween spirit!

Second, I think I'll use this post primarily to run through the many benefits to swimming with Ms. Pinto as a partner in the dynamic duo. Here are some I was reminded of this morning when I was paired with her:

1. Fun team name suggestions (although Tim insisted on calling us "two cute fruits" instead of "two cute SUITS" in the melon ceremony). Helloooo!
2. No trash talking during my rest periods (usually when I am not swimming with Rebecca I have to listen to her slinging sh** while I try to take in air between sprints. When she swims with me, there is near silence during my "off" 50's).
3. Creative ways (we pulled the age card) to account for the fact that although we won our heat, we did not beat everyone in heat 2, namely Deanna and "Wallace's Wife" (whose actual name I will remember as soon as I publish this post). Dang Wallace, she's fast.
4. Winning our heat.
5. Getting a melon, and hearing "nice melon" while walking off the deck.
6. Spending most of our timing period discussing ideas such as instigating a nighttime "drunk dynamic duo" in years to come.
7. Spending the rest of our timing period eating the defective watermelon Tim pawned off on Rebecca.

Good morning, good dynamic duo fun, as always! On to the hour long Halloween swim.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bacsktroke as Crucifixion

"All things not at peace will cry out" wrote Chinese poet Han Yun, centuries ago.

Along the same lines, "Mom of two young boys going through whiney stages needs to swim daily" said I, last night after three days away from the pool.

This morning - ahhhhhh - my sore throat is gone and I have successfully "cried out" by attempting nearly 3000 yards of backstroke. I never liked backstroke until, G-d bless him, the great Dick Bennett once told me something like "Your arm is rotating too far above your head. Pretend like you're being nailed to a cross when you stroke". Okay, I think he said to pretend I was making a T when stroking so that my arm did not go up too far above my head, but whatever he said, it worked immediately, and today Tim didn't have to pick on me for overreaching. I still swim backstroke thinking about Dick (and J.C. of course) and being nailed to the cross instead of raising my hand above my head. Rather a macabre thought process for swimming backstroke, but it works.

*warm up with 4 x 150's beginning with one lap backstroke at end and increasing # of backstroke laps to 4

*4 x 50's backstroke on the 1:00
*150 free with middle 50 fast
repeat 3 times

add fins for:

*300 backstroke drill (50 mostly kick, 50 right arm, 50 left arm, 50 double arm, 100 regular)
*200 free "fast"
repeat 3 times

*25, 50, 75 back done with 5-7 underwater dolphin kicks per push-off

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm Sorry

I've been a bad, bad girl at posting since last Wednesday. Things are just getting out of control with work and play. But yesterday, on Yom Kippur, I atoned for neglecting this blog, and now I'm being punished further with a sore throat and achy somethingorother. At least it's good timing - the hubby is off on a business trip and I won't have swim coverage anyway until Thursday. Ugggggggh.

On a happier note, here's a great new Halloween suit being sold at I already have my orange spider/black cat suit so this one is safe from me.

And finally, here's the workout from Saturday:

*warm up with a 200 free followed by 2 x 100's (done as free, then IM, then stroke)

*6 minute torture - I mean kick - with a board

*20 x 50's fast free (10 each) alternating with lanemate (in the spirit of the dynamic duo)

*500 with at least 2 laps each of: back, breast, kick, drill

*10 x 50's fast free (5 each) alternating with lanemate (in the spirit of the dynamic duo)

*250 with at least 2 laps each of: back, breast, kick, drill

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Big and Bold 2000

The next time I hear "Big and Bold" and "2000" mentioned at swim practice, it better have more to do with this guy visiting my lane than with me pulling for 2000 yards.

I jest, of course. This guy isn't even attractive to me (he probably doesn't even like girls, and plus we have our own male model (Gary) in the next lane over) and I love swimming a 2000 straight with paddles.

I know, I know. You can't tell when I'm being sarcastic and when I'm not. That's part of my charm.

*warmup with 5 x 100's each with one lap of kick or drill in them

*yup, 2000 Big and Bold with paddles

*5 x 150 done as 100 free (descending 1 thru 5) followed by 25 fly, 25 two breath free

*200 strong done as 2 x 50 broken for 10 sec, 4 x 25 broken for 5 sec

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well, this post would have been up sooner if I hadn't passed out during my eye exam. Yup, those glaucoma tests always make me want to vomit, big strong swimmer that I am.

And, the workout was...

*warm up with 200 free, 2 x 75 kick, 200 free, 2 x 75 drill

*okay listen, I was going to write out the whole workout but my fainting spell really cut into my work time and I have to GO. Suffice to say that we did lots of fast 75's today. ewwwww.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Recovery Swim

Today I finally got up in time (I missed yesterday's workout due to a bull riding incident on Friday night) to swim and I'm glad I did. Another one of Judy's stellar Sunday workouts - whoohoo!

*warm up: some conglomeration of stroke and free that I missed the explanation of because I'm still not fully functional after the bull ride.

*100 free kick, 200 IM drill, 300 free
*100 IM kick, 200 free, 300 IM drill
*100 free kick, 200 IM drill, 300 free

*100 fast choice
*200 free warm down

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Apples and Honey

Today I'll be celebrating Rosh Hashanah with my kids home from school, a trip to Stanford's Hillel services to hear the shofar blow, and hopefully a large stack of apple and cinnamon pancakes with honey dripping off of them (to usher in a sweet new year). I don't do much religious stuff, and I certainly don't know what I believe in (aside from the pool as the highest temple of worship), but I love holidays (and good long swims, which we had this morning).

For all of you who wonder why there are a few Jews missing from work or school today, here's a little tutorial. Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. This name is somewhat deceptive, because there is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the American midnight drinking bash and daytime football game.

There is, however, one important similarity between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions." Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year (like the mornings you slept through workout) and planning the changes to make in the new year (like making more morning workouts). These holidays are always so great for me because they remind me that I really have NO resolutions to make. I am so lucky to feel that I live my life daily the way I want to, and have little to repent for (IMHO) or plan to change. For that I credit a lot of things and people, including SWIMMING and the positive mojo I gain from our team. So, thank you. If only the coming year is as sweet as the last for me, I'll be more than blessed.

Happy New Year!


*warm up with:
300 free followed by 50 DPS
200 free followed by 50 DPS
100 free followed by 50 DPS

add pulling gear for:

*500 free straight followed by 100 DPS
*500 free broken for 15 at the 250 followed by max speed 100 free
*500 free broken somewhere we missed for 5 seconds followed by 100 DPS

*5 x 100's free descending
*100 back easy

remove pulling gear for:

*4 x 50's free holding pace and stroke count
*50 back to finish

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The beauty of not checking workout emails

Is that you don't know when you will be faced with a 1000 IM until you actually ARE faced with it. On the way to practice this fallish morning I heard a song. The chorus told me that "nothing is real until it's gone". In the car, I got sentimental and thought about how true that usually is. Who appreciates anything (like sleep before you have a baby or sanity or the ability to eat real thick ice cream without lactose intolerance) until these things are ripped away?

Once in the pool, while doing the 250 fly portion of the 1000 IM, I was reminded that some things are very real, right there while you are experiencing them.

200 free, 100 IM kick
200 free, 100 IM swim

*3 x 100's free at 1000 pace

*1000 free

*6 x 50's done as:
2 as fly/back
2 as back/breast
2 as breast/free

*1000 IM
(do fly as 25's to make sure you wait for clearance for stroke)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Post Vegas Swim

All that smoke and alcohol and debauchery sure feels good to swim out after a weekend in Vegas. Of course, I was there for a baby products trade show, but let me dream, okay?

Today's workout:

*warm up with 200 free followed by 50 fly (kick down, one arm back)
repeat 3 times

*4 x 50's fly (mostly kick, increasing strokes per length by one starting at 4 for first round, 5 for second round) followed by a 100 recovery free
repeat 2 times

add fins for:
*250 dolphin kick on back (after 2 black lines on belly underwater)
*50 fly
*200 dolphin kick on back (after 3 black lines)
*50 fly
*150 dolphin kick on back (after 4 black lines)
*50 fly
*100 dolphin kick on back (after 5 black lines)
*50 fly
*50 dolphin kick on back (after 6 black lines)
*50 fly

*3 50's fast free on the 1 Minute
*100 kick recovery
*2 50's fast free on the 1 Minute
*100 kick recovery
*1 50 fast free on the 1 Minute

Thursday, September 6, 2007


The workout email said 3 x 1000's PURE for today and yes it was! Last night I read the short story "Swimming" in the recent New Yorker and this morning it came back to me. As T Cooper wrote, "You know that feeling (while swimming)...where you're pushing so hard that you understand how a body could just as easily die as live, that living is just the absence of death, and thus always in a relationship with death?"

Yes, I know that feeling. All of us do, even if we haven't expressed it so eloquently. At those moments I tend to think about someone or something that has truly pissed me off recently, and I work out the anger. I imagine very inappropriate scenes where we (myself and that offending person) are in a group and they chance to say something slightly off-color. I rip into them and teach them a lesson about ignorance or bigotry or just plain pettiness, and they understand how base they have been. Okay, sometimes I also swimdream about the perfect party outfit during those lifeanddeath moments, but the intense anger seemed a better example to share.

Anyhoo, as if 3 x 1000's weren't enough, after that we did 7 x 100's descending. I am going to eat a big lunch.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

More Bad News

Just as the shock over Lori's story was starting to fade to sadness I heard about Karl's battle with cancer. Jeff told me this morning that Karl is about to endure chemotherapy every other week for the next six months. It goes without saying that we will all be pulling (hopefully not literally since I am not a fan of gear) for Karl and keeping him in our thoughts. It just seems like too much bad news for one team, during one week, but the good news is that I know these two people are strong fighters.

If Karl pounces on this nasty cancer as heatedly as he follows the swimmer in front of him (right on their toes, dammit), I've got no hope for the nasty disease. As I told my step-dad when he found out about his cancer two years ago and entered into the chemotherapy routine for six months, "KICK ITS ASS." He did, and he's not even a swimmer. Go Karl. We are all so sorry you have to go through this and we look forward to having you back at full strength.

Speaking of strength, here was today's workout:

*warm up with 300 free, 2 x 100 as 50 kick 50 swim, 4 x 50 strong

add pulling gear for a massive 2400 yard set:

*400 free, 100 for goal time, 100 as 50 back 50 DPS free
*200 free, 3 x 100's free FSOP (fastest send off possible), 100 as 50 back 50 DPS free

*finish with a 200 free if you can move

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Not all fun and games

I sincerely apologize if I get any of this information wrong or if I should not be writing about it, but I feel compelled to mention that today I learned about a very difficult situation a teammate of ours is going through. This morning Rebecca had a poster for everyone to sign, for Lori. Lori swims in Lane 3 and is married to Dave, who swims in Lane 1. Lori is very pregnant, and is due to give birth in the next few weeks.

Last week(?), Lori got out of the pool one morning with an irritated eye. Before the next morning's practice was begun, she was told she had intraocular cancer, and she had lost an eye. Word is that she is currently recovering physically. Emotionally, I can't imagine how hard it would be to face such a shock and loss, especially in the days spent anticipating giving birth.

I know that everyone on the team will have Lori and Dave in their thoughts and prayers. We'll all be hoping that this is the last they'll have to deal with the cancer, and that the birth of their child goes smoothly.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ooooh that feels good

My arms and belly are soft today and I'm getting a whiff of lavender, chamomile and red mandarin (come ON now that sounds nice doesn't it?) every time I move my limbs. This is due to my discovery of the best darn apres swim skin balm ever: BabyBearShop's high quality organic Mama Belly Oil (also good for swimmer bellies, arms, legs, torsos, whathaveyou). Their Cheeky Baby Butter (which does melt in your hand like real butter before you spread it on your toasty skin) and All the better to kiss you with organic lip balm (in chai mandarin) are equally decadent. I'm buttery all over. This must be the only way I got through the sets of IM today. Listen Tim, 2 x 300's IM without fins is really all the workout I can do. How dare you follow that with more swimming? (Deep breath. Sniff of my arm. I'm better.)

*warm up with 300 free, 100 IM done TWICE
*2 x 500's free (pulling option)
*2 x 300's IM
*2 x 300's free (pulling option)
*2 x 100's IM

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The horror of suburban pools

David Miller's August 12 column in the Chicago Tribune's Living section titled "An aquatic center isn't guy territory" has been ruffling some feathers and bringing out the cat claws between mommies around here. It's kind of sad...his opinion doesn't really deserve attention and energy but since I'm due for a good rant I'm going to let this one rip.

In his column, David claims that the suburban moms at his local pool are lazy morons with breast implants that commit the following sins, all of which revolve around a larger sin named "engaging in self-indulgence under the guise of taking care of the kids". Never fear, he comforts, he's about to blow their cover and tell us what suburban moms really do. Ready? Here's the list:

*drive SUVs
*admit they've run the Boston marathon
*wear bathing suits
*talk on cell phones
*plan weekends away
*let their older kids go to the snack bar 20 yards away on their own
*just about nothing else except an occasional shower and load of laundry

Well, I've got two things to say about this. First, regarding the women he chastises, I say FOR SHAME that they would act this way! How dare these women do what men have been telling us for centuries (keep yourself looking good, don't "let yourself go", stay home with the kids and take care of them instead of working, don't loose yourself in the kids - stay the same fun-loving interesting young woman I married, and oh also don't smother the children). I've got nothing against working moms (I'd better not since I am one) or those who don't keep up their appearance in perfect form (because really, who cares?) but let's leave the moms who do have time to have swimming fun with their kids alone shall we?

Second, just in general, I'd like to say F*** YOU, David. I live in the suburbs. I wake up at 5AM to go to the local pool to swim 2-3 miles before my kids get up and you'd better believe I'll sport a bikini and talk on a cell phone if I ever get the chance to visit an "aquatic center" after I work my ass off both staying home with the kids and running a start-up company at the same time. My boobs? They're real and they are also 2 sizes smaller than they used to be and they hang like empty balloons toward my belly button as a result of feeding my two children when they were small. If I had enough money I might just get them fixed too. Your anger at these particular women may very well be justified - maybe all of them are the same kind of snotty bitch I'd walk away from in my suburban home town (and if so then I'll concede that your "Brokeback Mountain" comment was really very funny). But maybe you didn't even talk to them. Maybe if you did you'd find an engineer or an Olympian or just a nice woman who could ease your anger. I may not be a mom that gets to lounge around at Aquatic Centers very often, but I'm not immature enough to stereotype all moms who visit them as lazy and worthless.

Oh, and chances are they were not giving you the stink eye or worrying that they'd be caught looking at you with "Little Children" (the movie)-like longing. Chances are they were too busy enjoying each other and their kids to even notice you.

So there! (And for all those of you who visited simply to get the workout, here ya go :).

*warm up with 150 free, 150 back, 100 free, 100 back, 50 free, 50 back
*25 kick x 2 (first one free, second one back), 50 one arm x 2, 75 two count x 2, 100 "wonderful and beautiful" (I suppose that is just swimming) x 2
repeat twice

add fins for:
*200 swim, 150 kick, 100 one arm, 50 underwater free
*200 swim, 150 kick, 100 one arm, 50 underwater back

*5 x 100's on descending interval:
25 free kick, 25 free swim, 25 back kick, 25 backstroke

Monday, August 27, 2007


My son was about as excited to get on the bus for his first day of Kindergarten today as I was to hear "repeat 6 minute freestyle swims" as the workout. Just like his ride on the bus must give him the silent time necessary to do his five-year-old meditations to prepare for advanced math and science in order to take his Stanford entrance exams in years to come, the repetitive swim sets really smooth out my brain waves. Whether this is a good thing or not, doesn't really matter. It feels good to grooveswim as I like to call it, and a good bus ride is always fun too.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fast Fritter

Due, quite possibly, to the apple fritter I enjoyed as a result of a botched train ride last night, I had fun with this morning's fast sets. Of course, now I'm feeling rather ill and must get off my computer to get some protein in my system. Still I think the fritter fuel works for me.


*warmup with (i think - i was late) 5 x 200's free with increasing lengths of backstroke (1st one, no back, 2nd one 1 length of back, and so on)

*4 x 150's done as 100 free, 50 back with 30 secs rest between
2 x 75's recovery
*4 x 150's done as 125 free, 25 back with 20 secs rest between
2 x 75's recovery
*4 x 150's done as free with 10 secs rest between
2 x 75's recovery

*3 x 50's descending (free)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm Back, My Back!

Yesterday after the 10 x 400's my three-year-old decided to rush into the kitchen and volunteer that he had to poop. This is a good thing, as we need to get him out of diapers before he's twelve, but I scooped him up quickly and lifted him up onto the pot and subsequently pulled my back muscles out of whack. It hurt to breathe yesterday afternoon.

Thankfully, I was able to swim this morning and complete the multiple short distances with fins (even butterfly)! Phew. I mean, it's great to get potty trained and all, but frankly my kid can crap in his pants forever if the alternative is Mommy missing swim practice. Ah, priorities.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

You can do it

I know that today or tomorrow is threshold 300 and 400's and I just want to say that this morning I did NINE 400's in 95 degree water. Yes. Marianne would be proud of me. As much as I wanted to do the tenth 400 I just couldn't do it. That little voice that had been saying "What? You're going to melt? Get going." throughout the first nine sparked up and answered "Yes. You will melt. Get out of the pool." So I did.

I don't miss much about home when I'm here in vacation land. But I do miss the 80 degree pool. I can't wait to get back to it! My kids, however, don't much care about what I miss and they would like to stay. It doesn't get much better than a daily routine of beach, pool, beach, golf, pool, park, ice cream. And I'm not complaining (except of course, about the water temp).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

In Hot Water

Okay, I know I like the water warm, but yesterday I swam in a 95 degree pool. Here in South Carolina the heat index is 120 degrees and the air is juicy with humidity. I jumped into the pool I always swim in here, expecting it to be it's normal May temperature of 80 degrees. It was not. While grandpa hit balls across the parking lot with my two boys who seem immune to heat I struggled through a 400 "warmup" and prayed they'd rescue me by walking into the pool area and demanding my attention. It was not to be. Those kiddos lasted long enough at the driving range for me to finish 3,000 yards. I did, finally, sweat in the pool.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Big Story

This morning, at 8AM, I was interviewed by USA TODAY about my recent significant accomplishments in swimming. Okay, the interview was about my company's new baby bottle, but I still felt like a superstar. Now if Oprah would just call (dammit).

Of course I had to begin this big interview day with an energizing swim, and energizing it was. It also involved "restful swimming" in-between sprints. Sprints, I'm not fond of. But restful swimming was nice, especially since I'm hopping on a red eye tonight with my two boys (without husband) to fly to the East Coast. Not much opportunity for rest there.

*warm up with 300 free then 6 x 75's swim, kick, limited breathing by 25's
*3 x 200's free descending

*sprint 100 free followed by restful swimming back and drill free (for about 4 minutes)
*sprint 50 free followed by restful swimming breast and drill free (for about 2 minutes)
repeat sprints and restful swimming 4 times

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ho Hum.

Nothing funny or spunky to say this morning about swimming except that I felt as though I was pulling a tub of ice cream (yes I made a trip to Baskin Robins last night) during practice. I haven't taken a break from workouts lately (although I'm leaving on a 10 day vacation this Thursday), and I generally eat ice cream or some other fatty treat for dessert nightly so I don't know what's going on but I'm slow, dammit! That's enough. Instead I'll direct you to my description of my son's birthday party, er, my cocktail party, last week, and just give ya the workout. Enjoy!

*warmup with 400 free, 200 IM broken at 50, 100 kick

*50 fast free, 100, 300 fast free
repeat 3x with the 100 changing each time:
first 100 is stroke
second 100 is timed kick
third 100 is underwater

*500 free at same "fast" pace you did 300's above
*3 x 100's stroke or IM on the 1:50
*6 x 25's drill out, sprint back on the 30 sec

Sunday, August 5, 2007

If you missed the swim picnic...

Well. You missed this: men women and children pathetically licking and grasping for donuts tied onto a string. Check out Al. The desire shows. And there's my little guy next to him, who couldn't get a tooth on the powdered culprit for the life of him. Thank goodness for John, who enabled the ultimate reward at the end of all that neck-lunging. I have no idea who won the actual contest but it certainly was not my son.

On to the water balloon toss during which I could not take photos because I was participating. Out in the third round, we watched until a two-way tie resulted and we moved on to the next sweet event: a whipped cream eating contest. There's Tim with his devilish little smile, loading all the kids (and his wife and Murray) up with more floamy white sugar than he has eaten in probably the last twelve months.

And here, ladies and gentlemen, was the real showdown of the day: swimmers of the year Lisa and Murray facing off to face plant and suck down a swirl of whipped cream.

As you can see, nerves were high. I think I saw Lisa winking Tim on to fill Murray's plate higher than the rest. I have no idea who won this or any of the events, but they sure were fun. Thank you Lisa and Murray for another great summer picnic with GREAT food and enough sugar to keep my kid high as a kite right on through until bed time.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pleasant Surprises

1. Coming to practice this morning to hear Judy say, "Okay today we're going to do something really different than we've done all year: 10 x 400's." YAY!
2. Being called "The Blog Goddess" by Mike on my way to the locker room. LOVE IT.

Don't forget to come to the team picnic tomorrow at Burgess at noon. Swim, sun, hot dogs, the thrilling debut of my new short hairdo: Fun!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The tragedy of the unheard alarm

Last night I drooled when I read "500's and above" on the workout schedule for this morning. As the hours ticked away and I worked on getting general availability ready to turn on today for our new ultimate baby bottle (it'll happen at noon and they're gonna sell out immediately so if you need a 100% polycarbonate-free bottle, get there), I reminded myself to GET TO BED so I could get up and slam out some 500's.

This morning my ears were clogged with manufacturing and fulfillment issues and I didn't hear my alarm at 5:15. At 6:15 I awoke with a terrible sinking feeling due to the amount of light streaming in through the windows.

"Honey?" I asked my husband, "I didn't hear my alarm?"
"Be back by 7:45," he grumbled, knowing exactly what I wanted.
"Sweet!" I exclaimed in a whisper. I love getting that late morning extension when I miss my calling. And off I went for the workout, which was basically this:

500, 500, 500, variations on 500s, 500.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Why do I blog? Because of Mike.

Why? Why do I get up at 5AM, swim an hour, come home to get my kids off to camp or to prepare for a day at home with them, work, and then stay up at night to blog my brain out with posts like these in addition to these and these? Why, specifically, do I spend my precious down time writing these posts for the world which may not give a hoot what I have to say?

There are two reasons. One: because I looooooooove to write. Yes I'm a tech geek but in a former life I was a political science and creative writing major. I even wrote a novel (not published, due of course to a giant conspiracy in the publishing world against me and having nothing to do with the quality of my manuscript). The second and more pressing reason is: folks like Mike. Who is Mike? A guy on our team who came up to me this morning after workout, when I was feeling tired not only from swimming IM's but from the week I've spent disciplining my scheming little five-year-old. My mood was not good. Until Mike called out "Hey, aren't you the blog lady?" I spun around and confirmed that I was indeed, the blog lady (although I DO prefer to be called the blog chick or most preferably, the blog queen, or something less...I don't know...ladylike). Anyhoo, Mike made up for the lady title by following with, "I just love your blog it's fantastic I read it all the time."

And that is why I write these things. Because I'm vain, very vain, and there is nothing more delicious than a big fat compliment on my writing early in the morning. Thank you Mike!

The workout:

*warm up doing some number of repeated 150's free followed by 25 back, 25 breast (I was late)

*75 fly back breast kick followed by 25 underwater kick and 1 x 50 fast free
repeat 3 times increasing the number of fast 50's free to 2 and then 3

*100 fast free broken at the 25 for 5 seconds
*250 IM doubling up on weak stroke for a second 50 (and doing 2 count drill)
*100 fast free straight
repeat 3 times

*3 x 100's done as 12.5 yards fly, 12.5 yards back, 12.5 yards breast, and the rest free

Thursday, July 26, 2007

That's Fantastic

Today we did "pyramids with sharp peaks". These peaks were done at threshold pace. After we, in Lane 2, had completed 2,000 yards of these peaky things, Tim approached us. Before he could speak, Whitney exclaimed: "We made it! We made our times I'm happy to tell you!"

Tim smiled. It was "Wow you did?!" smile. It was more like a "Oh my! You mean, I gave you some times I knew you could make and you made them? Shall we have a deck party or just get on to the next set?" smile.

"That's fantastic," he said, in the most sarcastic, not-excited-about-our-accomplishment tone thinly veiled by an honest to goodness smile I've heard in a while. Far from being offensive, his dry humor rubs me the right way in the morning. And I know that he knows that we know it's funny to him when we want our due praise. We may whine (at least Whitney and I) when the workout consists of stroke, but we do love to have our ego stroked with the best of them.

today's workout:

*warmup pyramid: 50 swim, 100 drill, 150 kick, drill, swim, 200 fast, then go back down.

*main pyramid:
-50 "prep", 100 fast at threshold pace, 50 kick
-100 "prep", 200 fast at threshold pace, 100 kick/stroke
-150 "prep", 300 fast at threshold pace, 150 kick/stroke/swim
-200 "prep", 400 fast at threshold pace, 200 kick/stroke/swim

*finish: 300 free with a 25 underwater, 50 free sprint, 75 stroke in there somewhere

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Catfish got your wedding ring?

The report is that Menlo Masters did well at the Catfish Open Water Swim this weekend. Sue won her age group as usual, Joan Gerber did a fantastic job for her first open water swim, Anne Young killed it coming in third in her age group, and Swart and Texido finished #8 and #10 in the over-the-hill-wanna-be age group. Tim Ross was stellar and left his wedding ring at the bottom of the lake to commemorate the swim...and Kellerman crushed it with a 56.38 and Hewitt was not far behind at 59.37.

Maybe this strong showing over the weekend explains the weak showing at the 10 x 400's this morning. :)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Just a good long swim

I'm off for a brief 24 hour getaway to Stinson beach tonight with a husband and... without kids! It's anniversary time, and I could use a big fat nap and a glass of Cabernet enjoyed in the surf. Thanks to Rick or whomever came up with this morning's workout for kicking off my day right.

*no real warm up, just get in and swim
*2 x 500's free
*1 x 1000 free
*5 x 200's free (15 sec rest between)
*however many 100's free you can do before the hour ends (5 for us)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Trash Wizard

The small trash wizard who lives in my car stole my yellow cap sometime in the night. I left my bag in the passenger seat, all ready to accompany me to practice this morning and blam! this morning the cap was gone.

Thanks to one of those badass triathletes on the team who always carry 17 extra caps and other gear items in their bag, I was able to save the ends of my locks from chlorine abduction. But, in typical me-fashion I forgot to give the cap back to Mary. So until I see her again I will be busy guarding the cap from the trash wizard. Do not fear Mary. I will succeed or die trying. (How's that for a valiant effort?).

The workout:

*warmup with 200 free, 50 back, 50 breast, 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast

*300 free, 100 stroke drill, 50 fast same stroke
repeat 3 times
drill to use on first second and third 100 are: 2 count pause, one arm, fist

*4 x 50's stroke on the 60 sec, drill down, swim back; 2 x 100's free on the 1:30

*3 x 50's stroke on the 60 sec, drill down, swim back; 2 x 100's free on the 1:30

*2 x 50's stroke on the 60 sec, drill down, swim back; 2 x 100's free on the 1:30

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Little Jar Full of Air

I'm glad last week is over.

Something just wasn't right. Despite getting out on the pool deck and cheering for the 10 x 400 set; despite loving the burn of that post-pulling extravaganza on another day; I just didn't care about much of anything but strategizing for a nap last week (my strategies never panned out). I barely wanted to go to the pool in the mornings. On Saturday morning I actually wanted Rick to explain each set slowly and methodically--was glad when we finished one set and he was still busy instructing someone in lane six for another five minutes. (We love you Rick).

You know the kind of weeks I'm talking about. You go along in your life, an energetic spark plug of a an athlete/social butterfly/entrepreneur/mommy/daddy/doctor/superperson/whatever, and then one day the helium is sucked out of the heart-shaped balloon in your chest and into some little jar in the corner of the garage. Who does this sucking and why I don't know, but there it is.

But today, hooray, I'm full of hot air once again. Wheeeeeeeeeee!

warm up:
*200 moderate followed by 2 x 100 strong
repeat twice

add paddles for:
*400 (1:20 base) followed by 2 x 200 (1:25 base)
*300 (1:20 base) followed by 3 x 150 (1:25 base)
*200 (1:20 base) followed by 4 x 100 (1:25 base)

remove paddles for:
*600 done as:
25 free, 25 stroke, 25 fast free
50 free, 25 stroke, 25 fast free
75 free, 25 stroke, 25 fast free
100 free, 25 stroke, 25 fast free
125 free, 25 stroke

Friday, July 13, 2007

Noodle Arms

What can I say except I'm tired.

10 x 400's yesterday and some sort of sadistic pulling rigmarole the day before. I heard today was swimming with shorts on. Let this be the first time I've ever openly admitted I am glad I couldn't get a free pass to swim this morning. As we all know, I'm inappropriately attached to less drag (very, very little material) in a suit; not more. Wearing shorts in the pool at this point would make me feel as if I were dragging a hot air balloon behind my hiney, and I just don't need that kind of frustration.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Are you sweating yet?

Overheard in the women's locker room after practice: "Whoever put the covers on last night should be shot."

Sure, shooting is a bit harsh. But I know at least a few other folks who swam this morning would vote for some sort of corporal punishment for last night's coverer. Me? I want to give that individual a kiss. I'm always cold. After the 1600 yard set of IM-related crap we did my lane mate was panting. "Whew," David said, "hot in here today?" I looked over and saw Marianne extracting herself from the pool to await further instruction while cooling down, out of the water.

"Nope," I said. "I'm a bit cold." I think I heard David mutter freak as he set off on the 500 IM set we did next. What I didn't hear, was anything from Chris, who had pulled out after 1100 of the previous set to "walk his dog". WTF? Tim informed us that Chris always needs to get home to walk the dog at 6:30 AM. Note to Chris: your dog can wait another 1000 yards or so for a freaking walk, okay? If you want to use an excuse please go with the preferred "I have a meeting."

Anyway, after that 500 was completed David checked in with me again. "Still not sweating?" he asked. Listen, I don't sweat in the pool. I barely keep from shivering. Maybe I need to put on some more layers. I certainly need to put on more suit than what I've been wearing lately. It's indecent and I know that. I, just, can't, quit now that I've felt the almost nude swimming sensation. Shivers and all.

The workout:

*warm up with a 600 free then a 400 free, every fourth length something other than free

*200 IM drill (up one arm, back two count), 100 IM strong, 200 free recovery
*200 IM drill (up one arm, back two count), 200 IM strong, 200 free recovery
*200 IM drill (up one arm, back two count), 100 IM strong, 200 free recovery

*500 IM done as pattern: 4 (fly back breast free) x (25, 50, 50)
25: drill stroke
50: fast stroke
50: recovery free

*100 IM fast (ha!)

Monday, July 9, 2007

Swimming is Sexy

Thanks to Blake for alerting me to the NYT article about swimming. My thoughts on it are here.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Punk Ass Figs

So I visited Borrone Friday night and since I happen to know the Borrones I am cursed/blessed with tasting some of their latest culinary wonders whenever I go there (and they see me hopping up and down in line hoping they'll call me out and woo me with wondrous food). This time they pummeled me with figs wrapped in some sort of delectable cheese and prosciutto and homemade balsamic reduction. I don't like figs. But I wanted to take these particular figs home with me and sleep with them. (Is that cheating?). Mildly sweet but with a twinge of bitterness that went perfectly with my white wine, I was immediately a prisoner to their charms. Unfortunately, they were followed by cream of spinach soup, salmon rolls with capers, a foccacia sandwich dressed in a pretty green guacamole prom dress and, (those bastards) a brownie sundae with pralines and cream ice cream, whipped cream, and homemade caramel sauce I would eat on anything. ANYthing.

Let's just say the swim was tough Saturday morning.

*warm up with 5 x 125's with last length done as (free, breast, back, fly, free)

*5 x 100's free on the 1:30
*4 x 100's IM on the 1:50

*500 free, 400 IM, 500 free (pick one to do fast)

*final 200 IM or free, broken at the 50 for 10 seconds

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The 5th of July

I saw a number of you at the Menlo Park parade yesterday. It's always so cute: all the kids with decorated bikes and scooters; the music and fanfare; the old blue police cars and shiny red firetrucks; balloons, pinwheels, etc. It's also like taking a slow steamy walk through my own personal Hell. Sure, I look chipper in this photo, but the expressions on my boys' faces more accurately depict how we all felt after the initial "whoohooo America!" feeling wore off (in other words after the first five minutes): "Let's get into some shade and away from all these people ASAP".

Although I was drained after yesterday's heat and evening Mai Tai's, the pool felt wonderful this morning. Here's what we did:

*warm up with 500 free

add paddles (no buoy) for:

*3 x 600's free
first 600 has one fast 50 embedded in it
second 600 has two fast 50's embedded in it
third 600 has three fast 50's embedded in it

remove paddles for:

*400, 300, 200 descending by 1/4ths (first 100 of 400 slow, last 100 of 400 fast, etc.)

*250 easy with odd laps done as three count drill

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy July 4th!

It's 6:30 AM on July 4th and I'm just killing time until the special 7AM workout time. My body is used to 5:45, and therefore, I'm up. I don't yet know exactly what the workout will be, but it can't be more taxing than the day camp I ran earlier this week for seven 2 yr old kids. It was blissfully fun - I am more convinced than ever that I really am still a kid - but a lot of work. Anyhoo, I hope you all have a great July 4th and I hope to see you in the pool in a few minutes for this mysterious "firecracker" set. Enjoy the day!

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Yesterday morning began with a 1,000 straight and I was very pleased about this. Following that, Tim announced we'd be doing 16 x 100's on the 1:25 interval. As we all, in lane 2, waited for him to instruct us to put fins on (an instruction that did not come), I asked Whitney whether she wanted to lead or whether I should. With a dazed look she simply said, "I'm just trying to come to terms with this set right now." I laughed through at least 4 of the 100's (which she did lead).

I was done laughing by the end of the 16, and some of us were near tears when we heard the next set: 3 x 400's on the 5:00. Tim did say we could use any gear we wished--to which Gary replied "How about a kayak?"

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Another of my favorite "Heights"

Yesterday I wrote about the event at Sharon Heights, and last night I hiked up high with four of my dear friends on Windy Hill. It was a gorgeous night, albeit windy *duh* and we brought things to toast with at the top. Usually when we get together, which is only about once every two months, we do the basic go-out-to-local-sushi-restaurant or maybe to Oak City Grill routine (costing at least $40 per person with no view of anything but each other's grown up and go out clothes). Nothing wrong with good sushi, or sea-level girl talk, of course. But it stunned me to realize we'd never thought to do what we did last night, before last night. Hike + sunset wine toast + taqueria in Portola Valley afterwards. Total: $10 each, including a work out, meal and cocktails. Just a little reminder to myself that I love where I live and I need to live in it, more.

My sore thigh muscles were happy to let my arms pull a long set this morning:

*warm-up with 4 x 100's free

add pull gear for:

*500 moderate free (30 sec rest), 200 fast free (no rest), 50 recovery on back, 100 fast free (30 sec rest)
*400 moderate free (30 sec rest), 200 fast free (no rest), 50 recovery on back, 100 fast free (30 sec rest)
*300 moderate free (30 sec rest), 200 fast free (no rest), 50 recovery on back, 100 fast free (30 sec rest)

option to remove pull gear (I did) for:

*750 done by lengths of the pool:
5 lengths moderate
4 lengths fast
5 lengths moderate
3 lengths fast
5 lengths moderate
2 lengths fast
5 lengths moderate
1 lengths fast

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sharon Heights reaches new heights

I don't know about you, but I had a great time last night. Of course, nothing that starts with passed glasses of wine and appetizers and a glassy view of rolling green hills and blue sky - OH, and none of my kids in sight - can be bad. But this was really, really great.

Why was it so great? First I'll issue a warning (especially to Tim and other emotional folks): this is going to get sappy.

Last night was so great because of how many of us turned out to support Tim and John and other members of our team who are championing a project that has the potential to change an entire classroom full of kids' lives (and, as evidenced by the testimony of Edwina, the mother of an EPA Dreamer, their families' lives). It was so great because, well, Tim cried. And when your big strong badass swim coach cries, you cry (if not in your actual eyes (I'm incapable of crying in public but believe me I wanted to) then in your heart). The emotion flowing through Tim's talk was something that we all, I'm sure, absorbed in some way. Why is that? Why is it so easy to empathize with, want to impress, follow and be coached by Tim? There's something about him, and it ain't just his swimmer muscles, that compels folks to follow him. Whether he realizes he's got it or not, he's putting this charisma to Saintly use. Sure, he could coach us all to victory in some swim meet and inspire us to work out more. But whoopdeedo. He already does that. The simple fact that he realized he could take this coaching thing further than the pool or pavement is reason for applause. And then there's the follow-through, and finally, the execution of a plan for a night like last night.

If I hadn't come already ready to give my help in any way I could, well, Tim's teary performance would have done the trick. (But the word is it was not orchestrated. Honest.) To organize a huge, influential group for positive social action is one thing. To care so much about the action that you cannot get through describing it without tears is quite another.

Nothing exemplifies why Tim is so special and inspiring better than his behavior last night. He doesn't just want us to succeed in swimming and triathlons. He doesn't just want to make enough money to support his amazing family (members of which seems to help him in his every endeavor). He wants to lift us all, and others who have not had the means to join such athletic or other typically upwardly mobile groups, up in some way. He wants all the people he can possibly touch to have a fighting chance to uplift themselves. Think for just a moment about all the folks you know who could use their circle of influence to drastically help others who are less fortunate, but don't. Then think about Tim. And thank him, for all that he does.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Out of Water Party Tonight

Today's workout was my favorite (10 x 400's) and I've been looking forward to tonight for quite a while. I'm excited to see what Tim and I Have a Dream Foundation have cooked up, and also to see what Sharon Heights Country Club has cooked up. Let's be honest. It's fun to go to a club for food and drinks (and of course inspiring work). I hope to see you all there!

Monday, June 25, 2007

MP Escapes from Alcatraz

It was one of those San Francisco days you cannot quite believe. The sky was cloudless (and fogless!) at 6:45 AM and it was too warm for a sweatshirt already. Alcatraz glistened (okay, more like poked out of a glistening Bay) in the Bay and runners were so thick on the Marina trails that Kathleen and I could barely make our way over the hill to Aquatic Park on foot (I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea: NICE day).

The other times I've swum from Alcatraz have been gloomy. Prison escape weather is all I can describe it as, and I was always scared shitless to jump off that boat and swim against the currents to the beach.

This time, it was a joy. And lo and behold, Menlo Park swept first and second (I knew I should have held Kathleen's ankles at the starting line) place for the ladies. Whooohooo! We also saw Chris Kellerman there swimming with a group of buddies to raise money for a special child. He did some worldly good and won his age group too. Go Menlo Park!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Miss You

I gave my husband a break this morning and didn't go to the pool, since I'm swimming Alcatraz tomorrow and his morning will be gobbled up by my early departure. But Saturday just isn't Saturday without the swim, and I'm having withdrawals. I know I'm a sicko and I should just work on healing my chlorine addiction, especially since it seems I will be giving up one of my four swim mornings, starting this week. The hubby is working his ass off, barely making it to bed by 1 AM after getting home for a few hours with the kids and then going back to work on his start-up venture after bed time (while I go immediately to sleep), and then getting back up at 5 AM with our little guy while I go off to swim (damn those early rising children!).

He seems miserably tired and unable to find time to get a workout in, while I'm having the time of my life swimming and running and (yes also working hard but...) going to bed by 9. Giving him this one morning off seems to have helped already. He slept more than four hours last night and then got up for a good long run. They say that if the woman's happy, the family's happy, and that's true. But Dad's gotta be able to function and stay healthy too, I guess. So, I'm taking one for the family team and giving up one swim per week. I miss it already, but I've also already started scheming ways to slip in swims during the days I work.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Today, and Someday

I'm swimming Alcatraz this Sunday, and whenever a race day approaches I start to think of all the other races/swims I'd like to do some other day. This happens especially when I'm doing a swim I've done before and am feeling like I've perhaps done one too many times. Alcatraz has lost some, not all, of it's allure since I've swum it twice before. I know it will still be thrilling and chilly and I'll still have to visit the bathroom after I get lubed up and pull the wetsuit on due to nerves. But, three times might be enough. Anyway, this prompted me to list five swims I'd (realistically) like to do someday (most likely - hopefully - after the younger members of my family are both out of diapers and before I end up in them). And here they are:

1. The Waikiki Rough Water Swim followed, of course, by a week's Hawaiian vacation
2. Swim Around the Rock
3. Trans Tahoe by myself or with one other swimmer (done it twice in a relay already)
4. Trans Tahoe, or any swim relay, as part of a team with one or both of my sons (as you can see by the photo, we're practicing already but this is quite a few years off)
5. Bridge to Bridge swim (10K!!!)

But enough about someday. Today's workout was fan-tabulous. All of you p*ssies that saw the email and stayed away...THANK YOU. We had about 10 people this morning and wow was it nice to have uncrowded lanes. Okay, I'm not totally serious. I like it when everyone shows up of course (and probably the low turnout had more to do with chance that reluctance to swim long free mixed with fly). But once in a while it IS nice not to slap arms at all during a swim. And I didn't have to wait in line for a shower either.

*warmup: 3 x 150's free, each followed by a strong 50 free descending 1-3

*main (and i mean MAIN) set (2400 yds):
500 free aerobic (on the 1:25 base)
3 x 100's free threshold (1:30 base, hold approx. 1:14)
4 x 25's fly

400 free aerobic (on the 1:25 base)
3 x 100's free threshold (1:30 base, hold approx. 1:14)
4 x 25's fly

300 free aerobic (on the 1:25 base)
3 x 100's free threshold (1:30 base, hold approx. 1:14)
4 x 25's fly

*3 x 150's free aerobic-like

Monday, June 18, 2007

Shower Sharing

Despite being in the midst of teaching two little boys that sharing is good, I'm not a good sharer. One of my least favorite things to share is food. Family style restaurants and sushi houses are okay because I enter with the knowledge that I must share, but I still end up stuffing myself out of fear that I won't get my hands on the salmon or tempura rolls fast enough. Sharing food leaves me feeling unsatisfied, no matter how much I eat--as if I've had to compete for the morsels of nutrition I ingested. There is no calm; no sense of having savored my own full meal.

I like sharing a shower stall at the pool even less than I like sharing food. I'll wait in that wet line of ladies waiting to warm up as long as I need to in order to get my own stall. I will happily let others go ahead of me to share stalls so I can wash myself in peace. Don't get me wrong--I'm not against being wet and naked next to all the hot babes on the team. That's actually tempting :). But, there are a few things in this world that keep me sane and one of them is a thoroughly solitary (well, between the two little walls of my own stall), however brief, hot shower after a good hard swim. So let it be known, ladies, if you ask me to share with you and I decline it isn't personal. And if you notice I'm not inviting you into my water while you stand aside shivering, just know that I'm hurrying and that's the best I can do.

Today's pre-shower workout:

Honestly? I can't remember. It was a bunch of short sprinty stuff with fins and my brain cannot retain exactly what those sets consisted of for more than about five minutes.