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 not...like...a: "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?"