Thursday, May 31, 2007

Long Free

It's a good thing I got a good long swim in this morning because my son is here at the office with me, which presents a tough working situation and could potentially frazzle me if I had not swum out my negative energy earlier. Yay for swimming!

400 free
6 x 100's free (2 on 130, 2 on 125, 2 on 120, 1 under 115)

*with fins
3 x 600's:
one done as descending 200's
one done as 200 free, 200 IM, 200 free
one done as limited breathing free (every 7th, every 5th, every 3rd breath, by 200)

1 x 600 done as repeating 200 pattern
50 flutter kick
50 backstroke
50 limited breathing free (6 per 50)
50 fast free or fly

1 x 400 done as same repeating 200 pattern

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Post-Memorial Day BBQ Swim

My five-year-old and I made this, and pretty much ate all of this, yesterday, so it was good to swim this morning. The workout was great (long free yeehaw) and I felt cleansed after doing it and then scalding myself with the newly calibrated water temperature in the women's showers (hot hot hot!). Still, some of the sugar coma must have lingered because I pulled a real dumb blonde move on my way out.

If you happened to see some fabulous sparkly gold flip flops lying like roadkill on the pavement on Laurel just past the pool, those were mine. I exited the locker room wearing my Crocs and carrying my gold shimmery gems to put on for work after I had rubbed Burt's Bees foot cream into my heels in the car. Unfortunately I put the flip flops on the top of the car while I got settled inside and apparently, left them on the roof of the car as I drove off. Here's where it gets really embarrassing though. The shoes slid down the windshield as I backed out of my parking space (sole side facing me of course - if I had seen my gold straps I would have surely known what was happening) and quickly flew off the side and into the street as I put the car into Drive and returned my attention to the road ahead of me. "Damn," I thought as they flew aside, "those were some big leaves on the windshield."

To be fair to myself, I only saw them for a split second as I turned around from looking over my shoulder to back up the car. But still. Big leaves? By the time I got to Borrone for coffee and had no shoes to put on I realized what had happened. Laughing at myself, I returned to Laurel Street and found my precious peds lying helpless in the road. I rescued them and now my feet are sparkling up the office. Yay.

Here was the workout that briefly turned me into an idiot:

*warmup: 3 x 200 free descending 1-3

freestyle with pull gear:
*300 (on the 4:15) followed by fast 50 (rest 30 sec)
*300 followed by fast 100
*300 followed by fast 200
*300 (rest 5 sec) followed by fast 100 with a goal of 1:12 for L2 (rest 5 sec)
*200 followed by fast 100
*100 followed by fast 100

lose the gear but keep the freestyle:
*250 even
*2 x 50's fast

get in your car and drive off with your shoes on the roof.

Monday, May 28, 2007

So good to be back

That's all I really have to say on this Memorial Day. Just that it is good to be back in the "home pool" even after a glorious vacation of traipsing back and forth to the beach (between strep throat episodes for various family members, but that's okay).

Today's workout:

4 x 100's free
2 x 100 IMs
4 x 50's kick

pyramid of free:
100 on 1:25 base
200 on 1:25 base
300 on 1:25 base
200 on 1:20 base
100 on 1:20 base

descending 50's of free starting at 1:10 and going down to 35 (that's 8 :)

three 200's of free on the 3:00

go start the BBQ!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Best Masters Team in the Country is Right!

Having just returned from my two week hiatus from reality (at 1AM this morning), I am up with the time zone confused kids and kindly letting my husband sleep in rather than heading off to swim practice. It's a sacrifice. I'd really like to go to practice this morning, especially after getting an uber early morning energizing from Tim's latest non-cryptic message about our team's newest plans.

If you haven't noticed from the things I write and the things written about me, Tim's plan for our team to "adopt" and nurture a classroom of less than privileged kids in Menlo Park to invest in their futures is RIGHT up my (mostly child related) social action alley. I am so proud to have a coach and friend that is motivated to use his business to help others nearby who are less fortunate than most of us on the team. I'll be at the Sharon Heights Country Club on June 26 and I hope you will too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Oooooooooo The Suspense

Okay, I love that Tim has peaked our interest in this evening event with secrecy and the promise to unveil a "unique plan" for our team. I look forward to attending and becoming part of the secret society that is the Best Masters Team in the Country. I am hoping the plan includes special shiny suits and some sort of, I don't know, unusual team bonding or scheme to change the world, one pool at a time. Hell, if it is just about all of us getting together to drink some beer I'll be happy. Hope to see you there!

Best Masters Team in the Country
Save the date, Tuesday June 26, 6:00-8:00pm. We will have a team gathering
at the Sharon Heights Country Club in Menlo Park to layout the strategic
plan that will separate Menlo Masters from every other masters swim team in
the country.

This plan does NOT address the number of swim practices you need to make
per week or the speed of your swimming. We are going to unveil a project
that we have been working on behind the scenes for almost a year.

I am excited to share this unique plan, so I want to make sure that there
is enough time for members to clear calendars for this special night. All
you will need to bring with you is an open mind and an open heart.

More information and an evite will follow before the end of this week.
Remember that is Tuesday June 26, 6pm.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shameless Self Promotion

Okay I'm still here in sunny South Carolina, recovering from strep throat and swimming through it all, but that's neither here nor there compared to my exciting debut on the cover of the SF Chronicle this morning. Funny I'm not there to see it in person, but here it is, in hopes that you will fellow swimmers all, take up the cause.
San Francisco Chronicle
The Motherhood Movement
Can a group like MomsRising finally foment policy change in America by harnessing a citizen army of mothers?

Katherine Seligman

Sunday, May 20, 2007

* Printable Version
* Email This Article

digg Digg
technorati Technorati
reddit Reddit slashdot Slashdot
fark Fark
newsvine Newsvine
google Google Bookmarks
Georgia (default)
Times New Roman
Sarah Eisner with her sons, Ben and Wilson, at their Menl... Eisner discusses Ben's over-enthusiastic use of the bubbl... MomsRising and co-founder Joan Blades at her B... founder Ann Crady (left) with Maya and Deric... More...

There is a certain irony in a roomful of women who all had to find child care so they could come to a meeting to watch a film about, among other things, the dearth of quality child care in this county. But, having done that, the women filed into Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto early one evening, stopping at a snack table to grab an M&M covered cupcake or slice of strawberry meringue cake. They were teachers, entrepreneurs, software geeks, bloggers, single, married, working and stay-at-home moms in a mix of business wear and jeans.

They'd come because of MomsRising, a political action group that reaches members through cyberspace, where they can join in on their own time, when they have any. Just click and enlist. If that sounds familiar, it should. MomsRising was co-founded by Joan Blades, who created the now-famous with her husband, Wes Boyd. What began in 1998 as a casual petition to fewer than 100 friends urging Congress to censure President Bill Clinton and move on to more pressing business eventually ricocheted around the Internet, gathering 500,000 signatures. The couple had stumbled onto, it turned out, an ingeniously simple but potent political tool.

Blades, called by Ms. Magazine the "mother of cyberspace mobilization," has now set her sights on a huge, diverse, some would say unwieldy group -- mothers. It's a group that has traditionally been hard to harness. But it's also a group whose members increasingly say in books, blogs and polls, whether they work or stay at home, that they are overwhelmed and, in many cases, fed up. They are working longer hours and also spending more hours with their children, research shows. Health care costs are rising and quality child care is scarce, despite talk from politicians about "family values" or "family balance." MomsRising, which is trying to build an army of citizen activists to push for paid family leave, flexible work and better access to quality child and health care, is not the first to point this out. The question is whether it can bring the disparate voices together.

"It's past due," Blades said. To her, the timing is right for a renewed motherhood movement that will appeal to mothers or, for that matter, "anyone with a mother." The Democrats control Congress, and the speaker of the House is a woman who declares herself a mother and grandmother first, and brought her children and grandchildren to the inauguration to prove it. "We loved it," Blades said. "We have a big-time mother in leadership, and we are proud of it."

Still, Blades acknowledges that the battle is a tough one. It's loaded terrain, laced with terms like finding "off-ramps" and "on-ramps" to work after having kids or "opting out," a notion that fueled an accusation that the media was depicting so-called "mommy wars" instead of the lack of work flexibility. Issues related to motherhood and feminism -- MomsRising avoids the term because "it means different things to different people," says Blades -- are guaranteed to be hot button. Recent books have talked about the financial penalties women face when they leave the workforce and of the strain they face when they remain. One, Leslie Bennetts' "The Feminine Mistake," which talks about the risk of economic dependency women face if they leave work, received some critical praise but also sparked a backlash.

Then there is the problem that "family friendly" policies in MomsRising's call to action are not usually front-page fodder. And when they are, there is sometimes criticism, says Blades, who admits that she was surprised at some of the reaction to one newspaper story about a MomsRising event that prompted a reader to comment, "Can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em." She responded in a blog with all the reasons that taking care of children makes good economic sense for everyone, including that quality child and health care mean fewer troubled kids and a generation that can pay for civic and social services in the future.

"It's a pocketbook issue," said Democratic Rep. Lynn Woolsey of Petaluma, who is preparing a legislative package that would make it possible for states to set up paid family leave laws, a key issue for MomsRising. "A great number of people, particularly women, understand we have to bridge work and family. Will that awareness reach to using taxpayer dollars?'' Will companies agree to cut into short-term profits even if it means long-term gains?

"This is a culture with a death wish if it doesn't invest in kids," Blades said one day during a hike near her Berkeley home. "I don't want to live in a place where only the upper middle class and middle class can afford children. This is, to some extent, fighting for our soul."

MomsRising is one of a number of groups reaching out to mothers, but, with more than 85,000 members joining in just less than a year, it's the fastest-growing virtual grassroots effort of its kind. Other forums also have sprung up -- or just recently achieved a place -- on the Internet. Mothers Movement Online, Mainstreet Moms, Mothers Acting Up, Mothers & More (which has been around for two decades), to name a few, offer everything from parenting advice and social networks to information about political issues and opportunities for activism.

"Most of the country is struggling," said Sarah Eisner, an organizer of the Cubberley gathering, as she welcomed the women. She joined MomsRising shortly after it kicked off last Mother's Day, drawn both by the cause and by the ease of participating. Her friends all received Christmas gifts of MomsRising T-shirts and copies of the group's education centerpiece, a book and documentary called "The Motherhood Manifesto." Then she organized this house party. By her own admission, she's lucky. She quit her high-tech job after having a second child because she couldn't work flexible hours, and joined a company that's producing polycarbonate-free baby bottles. Her work hours now suit her, even if she still feels a nagging guilt that she should be either at home more or at work more. Her schedule allows her to be part of what one blogger calls a new breed of "naptime activists" -- women with a desire to be politically active, but scant time except when the kids are napping.

"It's the old fix," said sociologist and writer Arlie Hochschild, who has written about "the stalled gender revolution." "When you're at a stage to bring about revolution, you're too young to know there is a problem. When you're old enough to know there is a problem, no one is helping you and you are too stuck to be a political activist. What's admirable here is a lot of members of MomsRising are speaking out from the fix. They are doing it anyway. There is a kind of real heroism here."

Woolsey, who is quoted in the documentary talking about her legislation called the Balancing Act, uses some of the same language. She told me she considers MomsRising "my heroes. "They are doing exactly the right thing," she said.

MomsRising mixes a can-do vibe -- its trademark image is an iconic Rosie the Riveter picture with a twist, a smiling baby in the crook of her arm -- with a practical approach. Its six-point education and action campaign corresponds to the letters in "mother" -- maternity and paternity leave; open, flexible work; TV, media and other after-school programs; health care; excellent child care; and realistic and fair wages.

Cyber visitors can sign petitions, post or read personal stories and legislative news updates or find out about giving or attending house parties like the one at Cubberley to see the documentary "The Motherhood Manifesto." It tells the stories of stressed families, like the one headed by a single mom who was asked on a job interview if she was married (no) and had kids (yes). The interviewer told her the company didn't hire women with kids because "they take too much time off work.'' She complained to the state Human Rights Commission and was told that this was perfectly legal. An activist was born. The woman is leading a fight to change the law in Pennsylvania.

Then there is the story of a woman who had to return to work a few days after giving birth prematurely. She only had a month leave and wanted to use it when her baby got out of the hospital. Other tales in the documentary are peppered with troubling statistics -- college-educated women can expect to forfeit about a million dollars over their working life after having children. The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn't offer paid family leave, putting it right up there with Lesotho, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea (a fact that brought a collective gasp from the audience), and it ranks 37th in mortality rate of children younger than 5. And it talks about the possible solutions, legislation that would, the film argues, end up saving more money than it would cost.

MomsRising, which Blades founded with Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, a Seattle political strategist and writer, hasn't yet met with MoveOn's wildfire response, but it is gradually building its presence. The two bring their experience and combined virtual Rolodexes. At least 50 groups have "aligned" with MomsRising. National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy and Blades' friend Arianna Huffington supplied blurbs for "The Motherhood Manifesto" book. This past fall, Democratic Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd and Edward M. Kennedy attended a showing of the documentary, which played to a packed room in the U.S. Capitol, no small feat on a weekday evening when Congress is in session. Blades says she was thrilled to have the senators' support but was equally pleased when someone who'd been serving food turned to her and said, "I've been to a lot of events here, but this one really speaks to me."

The Internet has opened up new ways for mothers to get involved in politics, says Megan Matson, who hatched Mainstreet Moms with friends around her kitchen table in Point Reyes, a group that has spawned local "mmoblets." "I had so many friends with so many skills and backgrounds," she said. "I noticed it at preschool fundraisers. You see these high-price talents unloading into these small events and think wow, you could turn this talent and drive loose and expand the civic arena. And that is turning out to be true." The group worked in 2004 to sign up unregistered single mothers to vote, a year later concentrated on informing parents that they could opt out of military recruitment lists for their children and now is holding "soup and solution" evenings where they screen a movie on the forced demise of the electric car.

Debra Levy, senior manager of the newly formed "power department" of Mothers & More, says she's hoping MomsRising will gain political clout, but is in a "wait and see" mode. Everyone needs an "aha moment" in order to get involved, she said, and she doesn't think most people have had theirs. She had hers, she said, when she left her job as a legal assistant because she couldn't juggle it and her two kids, then found a sense of "tremendous loss." Soon after, she started a Dallas chapter of Mothers & More, a group founded by a postal worker in Elmhurst, Ill., in 1987. The group has 6,000 members, with a growing advocacy, or power, department.

"On the one hand, I'm optimistic," she said. "MomsRising was started by someone with the experience of MoveOn. There is a potential to reach out to a great number of people. But is it the be-all and end-all? I don't know. All the organizations that have existed for longer than we have probably have to come together to make a difference."

Judith Stadtman Tucker, who launched Mothers Movement Online in 2003, said MomsRising is "promising," but any national effort will have to include women from all backgrounds. The problem, she said, is that poorer working women may be too busy to get involved.

"Mothers don't self-organize," she said. "We really have to grab them by the lapels."

Later, when asked how MomsRising will include mothers who are struggling the most, who might not have the time or resources to go on a computer at night, Blades said, "We need more funding. How can we be economically diverse (by relying) on volunteers?" But then with characteristic optimism, she added that the group is still young and members have hosted more than 100 house parties. "We thought MoveOn was just a flash campaign," she said. Though the group has its detractors -- including those who say it delivers more group therapy than political results -- 3.3 million people joined MoveOn by 2005 and the organization raised $9 million for candidates and campaigns. More recently, among other actions, it organized a petition drive and "virtual march" against the Iraq escalation and a move to raise funds for an anti-McCain commercial -- one showing the notorious clip of the senator singing "bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys classic "Barbara Ann."

"We were naive," said Blades about the start of MoveOn. " Nine years later she is no longer so naive.

"Shall we take a walk?" Blades said, shortly after opening the door of her North Berkeley home. Her communications person had warned that she liked to "talk and walk." It's the multitasking that mothers learn, or are perhaps hard-wired to do, in this case getting some exercise while talking about MomsRising and walking the dog before the kids got home from school.

But first, Blades handed me her laptop to show MomsRising's latest outreach project -- a call for decorated onesies (one-piece baby outfits) that could be either bought or made and would then be strung together in public to make a point to the Washington state Legislature, where a family-leave act was pending. "Here, what do you think?" she asked. Then, with a click, she sent the page off to her partner, Rowe-Finkbeiner, who would post it on the MomsRising site.

During the next month, MomsRising members in Washington would send in hundreds of tiny garments for the Power of ONEsie display. By that time they had e-mailed 14,000 letters, made hundreds of phone calls and baked and sent 600 thank-you cookies to elected officials. At the end of April, the Washington Legislature passed and sent to the governor's desk a paid family leave bill giving workers $250 a week for as long as five weeks to care for a newborn or a newly adopted child. "The family leave bill would not have passed without the great work of MomsRising," state Sen. Karen Keiser, a prime sponsor, told the group afterward. If signed, it would be the nation's second, after California's pioneering measure that allows as long as six weeks paid leave.

But on that day when she looked over the project, Blades said it was an example of the kind of small, tangible action that can snowball. Then, because the dog was barking, Blades, dressed in jeans, a long T-shirt and walking shoes, strapped on a floppy sunhat and headed for the door. A slender woman with wispy hair past her shoulders, she set off briskly. She was born and raised in Berkeley and knows the terrain here.

After graduating from Berkeley High School -- a year early because she was ready to get out -- she went on to community college and UC Berkeley, then Golden Gate University Law School. She moved to Alaska, where she clerked for the state Supreme Court, then worked as a family law attorney. It was where she became interested in family mediation, a pursuit that took her to Washington, D.C. She returned to Berkeley to write what became a landmark book on divorce mediation, "Mediate Your Divorce." She also took up collage, and soccer, which is where she met her husband.

The two were frantically working on their software business, Berkeley Systems, when they had their first child. "It was a fragile time for the business," Blades said. "I remember making calls right after he was born." The company eventually hit it big with its flying-toaster screen-saver design. Blades and Boyd sold it in 1997, enabling her to work fewer hours. By the time their second child came along, they were comfortably working on educational software, no longer financially pressed. "I took more time off and I recognized that as a huge blessing," said Blades, now a full-time volunteer whose children are 10 and 17.

In 2004, six years after the creation of MoveOn, Rowe-Finkbeiner sent Blades a manuscript of her book "The F Word: Feminism in Jeopardy." Blades, who'd recently been named a Ms. magazine woman of the year, was intrigued by the book, an exploration of why so many young women don't vote or use the term feminism, despite struggling to find balance in their lives. "I was thinking how feminism, for me, had been a huge advancement," Blades said. "What would cause it to be so unpopular?" As a political organizer, she said, it was the book's data that struck her. More than 80 percent of women had kids, but they made less money than men or women without kids. "Most people would be shocked if they knew about this huge wage gap," she remembers thinking. "There is outright discrimination against mothers. They need a voice." The inequities made it harder for women to be in leadership roles, and the lack of flexibility left few options for women with kids.

"We've been told it's our choice," Blades said, walking up a flight of stairs, "but we don't have the choices we want." She paused briefly and even the dog trailed behind. "This part gets kind of aerobic," she warned.

She decided to write a brief position paper which she called "The Motherhood Manifesto" and sent it to two friends. One was Huffington. Soon after, at a gathering of "high powered progressives" at her house, Huffington talked Blades into discussing the paper. Then she turned to her, Blades recalled, and asked, "What are you going to do about it?"

Blades in 2005 asked Rowe-Finkbeiner to help write a book that would lay out the problems faced by parents, as well as possible solutions. Rowe-Finkbeiner didn't need much convincing. She was the director of an environmental political action committee until her son was born 10 years ago with primary immune deficiency. She left her job because she couldn't find adequate care for him. Once home with him, she started looking for some kind of network, but couldn't find anything. There must be other women in the same situation, she figured. So she fell back on the familiar -- doing research. "I'm a geek, a numbers person," she said. "And I had to know how many mothers there were at home. I called the U.S. Census (Bureau) and they didn't know. I said, 'How can you not know?' They said it was unpaid labor and it's uncounted."

But Rowe-Finkbeiner's research led her to other figures. She found that while women without children make 10 percent less than men, women with kids make 27 percent less and single mothers make as much as 44 percent less. "It made me think about balance," she said. "We are so far behind other industrialized countries."

Her work with MomsRising allows her flexible -- if long -- work hours, and time to be with her son, who is now healthy, and her daughter, who is 8. She and Blades usually communicate via e-mail, grabbing phone conversations when they can. As with many of the mothers I interviewed for this story, there were intermittent interruptions by kids and dogs. ("No, you can't bring the dog inside," she told her son a few times. "Yes, you can go hug him outside.")

It's the multitasking that Blades was talking about. When we got back from the walk, she went to the kitchen to turn off a pot of artichokes she'd set to boil before we'd left. She had just enough time to down one before heading off to an appointment, then spending an afternoon with her children.

When the movie ended, some of the women in the Palo Alto audience said they were struck by how many families were struggling with health care and feeling torn, as they did, between the demands of work and home. They'd grown used to juggling too many things, and were afraid to ask for help. And they were surprised at how many other countries offered benefits out of reach to them in the United States.

"This has been an unspoken issue for so long," said Jennifer Antonow, who stays at home with her two small children after leaving the software firm where she was vice president of marketing, but didn't have the flexibility she needed. "This might be the first opportunity to make a difference and get our voices heard."

There is a "certain amount of meanness in America," said another woman. "We value people who can take care of themselves."

"I've never been an activist or considered myself a feminist, but this is different," said Ann Crady, a mother of two and the founder and Chief Executive Officer of, a networking site where Eisner posted the Cubberley gathering.

The two share office space with a handful of other startup companies in a renovated garage in Palo Alto. A week after the MomsRising event, Eisner and Crady were still energized.

Eisner had made plans for another showing of "The Motherhood Manifesto" and was thinking about a local onesie campaign. There was a potential for contacting people at Stanford University, she said, and at the Palo Alto school district. The work of MomsRising had reignited her interest in political action.

Unlike Crady, Eisner was an activist in her college days, even getting herself arrested at a protest against the first Gulf War. "Finally I got sick of myself," she said. "I graduated and said, 'I'm not going to whine anymore.' "

But after earning a master's degree in engineering at Stanford and entering the business world, she started noticing that women were having kids and having trouble coming back to work. She left her own job, then while working next to Crady, discovered MayasMom and became "an addict." It seemed a perfect home for MomsRising because of the potential to reach women across political lines.

Crady left her job at Yahoo, where she ran the business department for one of the search and market groups, even though the company offered her a part-time schedule. She felt, she said, that starting her own company was "in my blood." She probably spends more time away from her kids and works longer hours than she did before, but her kids, including daughter Maya, whose artwork adorns a wall, visit often. After they go to bed, Crady said, she frequently finds herself working again.

Now that she is a Chief Executive Officer and a mother, she said, she can see both sides, how it's hard to have some people working crazy hours and others who can't put in the time. She has several full-time workers and a few who work parttime or at home. She sees the need for reasonable child care and schedules that let employees have time for their kids. And she understands the push and pull between work and home, the "mommy guilt" that still dogs her.

"The issues really resonate for me," she said. "We need to change. I almost felt like I had to apologize for having kids. The internal conflict caused me not to be the most dedicated worker. I should have been better to myself. But that's the life of a mom. You are always in conflict."

E-mail Katherine Seligman at

This article appeared on page CM - 10 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday, May 10, 2007

4000 yards for 4000 calories

Well, today was as sweet as Tim promised. I was sure he'd mix up the 10 x 400's and do some sort of fin and pull gear options, along with drills and such. But no. Thankfully he simply said "All 400's today. Have a go." And I did.

For lunch I'll have a go at a large burrito and my beloved original Coke. My favorite meal to follow my favorite workout. A perfect last swim day before my two week beach vacation. Here's the pool I'll be swimming in for the next 14 days. It's pretty, just on the edge of the marsh in the warm South Carolina low country, but I'll be lonely. Honest.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

You Know You Want It

The glorious burn. The sweet post workout rush in the warm shower. The big egg and cream cheese breakfast at Borrone. The joy of 10 x 400's. Turn up tomorrow and be treated to this set. I can't wait. I might even skip my normal bowl of ice cream tonight to prevent sluggishness in the morning. Probably not. But it's a thought.

Today's workout was a good one too:

*250 free followed by 4 x 25's IM order
repeat for 700 yards

*straight 1000 done as follows (with fly and breast done as 4 count kick):
200 free, 200 IM
100 free, 100 IM
200 free, 200 IM

All done continuously:
*200 fast free
*1 x 50 floaty zipper drill
*2 x 50's IM transition (like fly to back)
*150 fast free
*1 x 50 floaty zipper drill
*3 x 50's IM transition (like fly to back)
*100 fast free
*1 x 50 floaty zipper drill
*4 x 50's IM transition (like fly to back)

4 fast to finish:
*4 x 100's. first one IM, last one free, drop IM stroke by 100 to get to all free.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Little Swimmer (Diapers)

Hallelujah, tomorrow I get to swim.

My little one is sick and my husband has been in Vegas for days and whooohoooo! tonight he returns.

Last night was more like a nightmare for me with both kids waking for hours during the night, and this morning was a fun trip to Target. I took B after dropping W at school, to get diapers and milk. Thus far in the morning he had been fever-free but in the diaper aisle his fever went back up to 103 (or higher - I took it 30 minutes later) and he pissed all over the cart (the Little Swimmer diaper I had him in because we were out of regular diapers didn't hold much). I trashed his shorts in the bathroom and ripped open the new diaper pack immediately, as well as administered an anal fever reducer suppository (at least I thought to bring one in case his fever spiked), all on that disgusting Target changing table. I then hurried home to take a shower in hand sanitizer.

He's sleeping now. Happy Tuesday to me! And happy Wed is coming none too quickly. I'm hoping we get to do one of those 10 x 400 sets by some chance tomorrow...

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Here's where I'm swimming

I'm enjoying a weekend at a sweet hotel/fitness spa by myself in Walnut Creek. Why in Walnut Creek? Because my mom and step-dad live here and they can watch my kids. Why alone? Because my hubby is in Vegas launching his company. Is it bliss to be sleeping in, swimming, eating sushi and shopping by myself? Yes.

My kids will arrive in an hour or so to enjoy the hotel/fitness area with me for a night. They looooooove hotels so this is exciting. The pool area has two kids pools in addition to a lap pool and hot tub, and there is also a childcare center which I'll utilize tomorrow morning while I grab a swim. I think I'll switch it up tomorrow. Here's what I swam today:

*500 free
*5 x 100 IM on the 1:45

*200 free
*4 x 50 back/free
*200 free
*4 x 50 back/free
*200 free

*400, 300, 200, 100 free

jumped in hot tub :)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Bonus Day

Yesterday my oldest son turned five and we had a simple party at the park with 50 or so kids (it was simple, honest) and a scheduled visit from the MP ice cream truck/man. This is the best idea I've had in a while: nothing to bring with me or take home, no activities to plan except the truck visit. The kids seemed to love it. And my husband was so pleased with my restaint from planning a more elaborate (and ridiculously expensive) kids party that he granted me a swim this morning. Yippie.

*6 x 100: 1 is all free, 2 is 25 back, 3 is 50 back, 4 is 75 back, 5 is 100 back, 6 is all kick

*4 x 50: 25 back with first few strokes fast, 25 return free
*4 x 50: 25 back with first half length fast, 25 return free
*4 x 100: 25 back fast, 75 free

*200 free
*4 x 50s back on 1:10
*200 free
*4 x 50s back on 1:10
*200 free

*200 back
*4 x 50 fast free on 1:00

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Happy First Day of Coach Tim Appreciation Month

It's May 1, and MM Nori has informed me that according to USMS, May (at least May of last year) was Coach Appreciation Month. I say let's celebrate. I would be inspired to bring Tim a big hot cup of coffee to the early morning workout, but I know he doesn't drink coffee. Freak. (See, I'm appreciating him already.) Anyway, I was wondering what we could do to show the ways in which we appreciate him and I thought hey - we could express it here. I also thought hey - maybe someone else who reads this will come up with some other bright idea.

If you're reading this, leave a comment or email me directly at with at least one thing you appreciate about Tim. (Yes, I know that there are other wonderful coaches that help us out. Judy, Rick, am I missing any? You are also appreciated. I'm just trying to focus. Everyone, give Judy or Rick a hug if you see them!)

What things does Tim do to make YOU keep coming out to swim with the Menlo Masters? At the end (nearly) of the month I'll compile them and write about our collective appreciation of Tim in this blog.

As for me, I definitely come out for the dry sense of humor and sarcasm. I think I might vomit if I had an overly peppy coach at 5:45 AM. Tim somehow brings just the right mix of inspirational shoving and "hey whatever" attitude to the pool in those still-dark hours and I am thankful. He hardly ever starts the workout off with a belly laugh and a smile and I like it that way. Please. If he was that happy to be standing out on the deck before the sun rises with two or more hours of verbal instruction ahead of him I would seriously question his sanity.

Your turn.

Today's workout:
*750 free done as:
5 lengths comfy, 1 length strong
5 lengths comfy, 2 lengths strong
5 lengths comfy, 3 lengths strong
5 lengths comfy, 4 lengths strong

*200 (four of these lengths are of drill: touch opposite butt cheek (thanks to Haim for clarifying that this is your OWN butt cheek you are instructed to touch (darn)), zipper to armpit, underwater recovery, weak side breathing)
*400 (eight lengths are drills above)
*600 (twelve lengths are drills above)

freestyle kicking patterns
*75 (one length one beat kick, one length two beat kick, one length four beat kick)
*150 (two of each)
*225 (three of each)
*300 (four of each)

finish with 4 x 100 on the 1:30 (L2)