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 www.splish.com. 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

Fainting

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!

workout:

*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.

*warmup:
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

PURE

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
REPEAT TWICE

*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.