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.

Huh?

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

Om.

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't...do 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 hate...hate...it 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.

Hugs!

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

*set:
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)

*set:
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