Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pool proud

So I wrote this latest post on SV Moms Blog for this morning and I'm now realizing that maybe the thing is, I'm most at home in the pool so as lots of folks are house-proud and into renovating their homes, I'm real into exactly how the pool looks and feels. Maybe. One thing's for sure, I talk about the temperature of the water to an extent that has got to be annoying for any non-swimmer and also some actual swimmers. Today the pool felt perfect. Yesterday, not so much.

*warmup: 175, 150, 125, 100, 75, 50, 25 with last length of each done breast stroke

*4 x 50's: breast kick, breast swim, fast free, DPS free
repeat 4 times

*4 x 150's free with 2 triple pull downs and one length breast kick
*4 x 100's same way

*100 fast free, 75 recovery, 50 breast kick, 25 underwater, 100 fast free

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winter hoops

I have to swim to keep up with my two hoopster boys and the long hours of sports I am forced to play throughout the days. Here's a cute pic of the never-cold kids on the outdoor court with their tank tops on. Meanwhile, I'm still in a parka and Uggs and a sweater to continue defrosting from a morning swim.

I am now so exhausted (at 3pm) that I can't remember this morning's workout, but I will say it involved pulling and some limited breathing.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Light on the Arms

After Xmas Eve's 75 x 100's we like light on the arms, so today's kicking sets were welcome.

*warmup: (I missed the instruction but I think it was 3 x 250's)

add fins for:

*2 x 500's done as: 50 7 count, 100 one arm, 150 3 count, 200 free

*2 x 500's done as: 50 fast, 100 7 count, 50 limited breathing, 150 right arm, left arm, 3 count, 50 fast and limited breathing, 100 backstroke

*1 x 500's done as: 25 fast, 25 7 count, 25 fast, 50 right arm, 25 fast, 75 left arm, 25 fast, 100 3 count, 25 fast, 125 backstroke

Monday, December 22, 2008

Latke Love

I love fried potatoes. Merge them with sour cream and I can't stop downing them. This is why I love Hanukkah, which started last night. What I don't like is the constant smell of grease in the entire house for eight straight days as a result of cooking them (and that's even if you only cook them on the first night). Swimming is 100% necessary during this eating season. Thank goodness for Tim and his ever-interesting workouts!

*warmup: 300, 200 stroke to free, 100 kick, 50

*25 scull, 50 streamline kick, 75 stroke, 100 fast free
repeat 3x

*100 scull/kick, 2 x 75's IM, 50 slow motion free, 2 x 25's fast free
repeat 3x

*2x100's fast free

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A heart warming 32 degrees

It was cold out this morning but the perfection of the workout took care of my reluctance to be wet and in a bathing suit in 32 degree weather. Long uninterrupted (almost) free. Ahhh.

100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100
follow each distance with a strong 50 of free
work in a 200 IM and a 200 kick somewhere along the way

Friday, December 19, 2008

Circuits and Frosting

Today: great circuit workout. Thank you Tim for all the work you do to get us a fun, non-mundane workout. I wish I could take some of the $1000 my son's school spent on frosting and give you a big white sugary (monetary) bonus, because YOU deserve it.

*warmup: 500 free
*rest of time: circuits including breast kick, dolphin kick, fly, 25's sprint, 50's hard free, and lots of other fun stuff for five minutes each.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wet Swimming

Duh, right? But what non-swimmers don't get is that it feels so GOOD to swim in the rain. The water is warm, the air is cold and the drops are like little gooey splats of inspiration tiptoeing along your bare back as you grind through the lonnnnng free set your coach has thrust upon you. Or at least that's how it was for me.

And, rain on your back and warm water on your buoyed tummy feel especially good after you have fallen flat on your ass in a swimsuit before dawn, in front of the entire team. Yes, this morning, after slipping on a leaf while quickly attempting to change directions to listen to the warm-up uncharacteristically being explained under the awning, I fell. It didn't hurt but it wasn't pretty. Nothing sexy about a thirty-something year old mom in a black skull swim cap and red striped Christmas suit splayed on the slippery deck.

Anyhoo. The workout:

1000, 800, 600, 400, 300, 200, 100, 75, 50, 25.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Swimming off the sugar

Today's workout certainly worked off some of the icing I ingested while helping my kids build these gingerbread mansions. Thank goodness for swimming.

*warm up: 3 x 250

*4 x 25's dolphin kick, 4 x 25's fly
*4 x 50s' flutter kick, 4 x 50's free
repeat with 3's, 2's and 1's
(easier said than done)

*200 fly with varying breaks at each 25

*4 x 50's fast free

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Damn, I just woke up

I slept through workout this morning, but at least I woke up with a new niece! It is SO much less painful to get your sibling and his wife to birth a baby for you than to have one yourself. And I get to get right back in the pool tomorrow. Works for me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm having a baby today

Well, my sister-in-law is, and I consider her babies my babies too since she is having the girls for my brother, and I have taken care of the boys. Now that they live down the street in Los Altos, I'm pretty much set with my two boys and two girls-big family. It's nice to have a second set of parents to raise the girls. I'm so clueless when it comes to drama and girlie things - it's probably best that I spend the majority of my time playing tackle football rather than dress up.

I think they'll name the baby Sophia, so here is a run-down of "Sophia's Swim" this morning.

*warmup: 400 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 free, 100 IM

add fins for:

*5 x 100's kick

*200, 225, 250 free on the 3M
repeat twice

*100, 125, 150 free on the 1:30
repeat twice

warm down

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cold, but not that cold

It's cold this morning, but at least it isn't sub-40, about to snow, and just before I'm about to start a 5 mile turkey trot as was the case last Saturday in this photo. Jersey trot. Whoohooo!

So today we did a lot of "sprint" fist free and sculling, which to me feels a lot like attempting to have sex on a loosely filled water bed. To attempt to sprint while removing the very things that push the water past you and create speed (your palms) is just not efficient, not quickly satisfying. But, I have faith in Tim of course...that these exercises are making me a stronger performer. In the pool of course.

*warm up: 3 x 300's free with last 50 of each stroke

*25 underwater streamline, 50 fast
*2 x 25's kick and scull, 50 fast
*3 x 25's half length fist free fast, half length backwards scull, 50 sprint
Repeat 3 times

*50 fast while doing these four things: a deck-out, a sommersault, a bottom touch (yes, I asked Gary if I could simply touch his), and a stroke of fly
*50 easy
Repeat 5 times

*Relays (of if you are me, jump out and hit the warm pool)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Can't wait to swim tomorrow

Still on the East Coast. Here is a light dusting of snow that we treated like real Californians - went out and tested it with bare feet. I just cannot wait to get back to the pool!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble gobble

Oh how I wish I was near the pool and just finished swimming the 50 x 100's. But alas, I am in New Jersey with in-laws. I went for a walk this morning. It was cold. I love California.

And for Thanksgiving I am thankful that you will all forgive me for this two week hiatus from blogging about the chlorinated heaven we all love to inhabit. Busy times, surrounding holidays. I'll be back in action mid-week next week hurrah!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Super Coaching

You know when Tim gets all into making us better swimmers? Usually I dislike that, as drills slow down my continuous long-free high. But today was one of those days when you actually get a tip that makes everything feel smoother. Thanks Tim for the backstroke help!

*warmup: 250 (one length back), 200 (2 back), 150 (3 back), 100 (all back)

*4 x 25's back drill (half length tap palm, half length "wave" drill)
*50 fast free
repeat three times but second round use 100 free, third round use 200 free

add fins for:
*2 x 25's back drill, 100 fast free, 100 fast back
*2 x 50's back drill, 100 fast free, 100 fast back
*2 x 100's back drill, 100 fast free, 100 fast back

*I am blanking on the rest but I know it was more fast 100's and 200's of free and back, and back drill. Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fly into the week

*warm up: 400 free moderate, 200 free stronger

*dolphin kick: 75, 50, 25
*one arm fly: 75, 50, 25
*regular fly: 75, 50, 25

*12 x 50's free focusing on underwater off-the-wall work

*12 x 25's fly

*6 x 75's: fly, fast free, recovery

*300 free warmdown focus on wall work

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Another Saturday, another weekend filled with crazed activity. Real quick - here's the general workout from today: short, mixed stroke, mixed-up lanes, sprinting with fins.

There ya go!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes we DID (swim in some freezing cold water today)

Dear PRESIDENT-elect Obama (woot woot!),

I know you have some serious stuff to fix and you have a lot on your plate. What you may not know is that there are some swimmers in Menlo Park, California who need their pool heater fixed STAT. If there's anything you can do, please, do it quick.

And Tim, though you didn't win a major historical election yesterday, this morning you won my eternal respect for keeping us moving through those waters.

*warmup: bunch of free with couple stroke laps in there

*5 x 300's: odd ones with 50's done fast/moderate, evens with 50's done moderate/stroke
*3 x 300's broken at 75:
1 done as first and last 75 fast free
1 done as uhhhhh, brain freeze...can't remember
1 done as middle length of each 75 stroke in IM order

jump in warm pool.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote! Vote! Vote!

After you swim, swim, swim today. Yesterday was one of those workouts that just made me want to scream YES! in the middle of it...great long free pyramid in the near-rainy dark. Whooohooo!

I see long free on the schedule again for this morning (it's currently 3:47 AM) and I'm hoping for another Whooohooo! just before I meet my crew at the polls at 7:15.

Today should be a big, big day. Enjoy it!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Swim

I love Halloween. Long continuous freestyle, costumes, and then counting your candy in a pantless, sugar induced stupor. What could be better?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A local triathlete does GOOD

Becky Lavelle lives down the road in Los Gatos. She was an alternate on the 2008 Beijing Olympics Tri Team, and in 2007 she lost her twin sister and nephew to perinatal mood disorder, and has started an amazing organization called Jenny's Light. I wrote a post about it on SV Moms yesterday, and I wanted to post it here because we have so many swimmers who are new moms or about to give birth. Thank goodness we have the swimming to relieve some of the stress :) but sometimes that simply isn't enough...


*warmup: 6x150's free with last lap fly

*75 dolphin kick (25 back, 25 side, 25 belly)
*75 fly, free, fly
repeat 6 times (total of 12 75's). first two of 6 rounds without fins, last 4 of 6 with fins

*4 x 25's with one swimmer sprinting finless free, other swimmer chasing with fins/fly 4 seconds behind
*100 easy
*50 fly/breast
repeat 4 times switching chaser each time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nothing to do with swimming. Lots with respect and dignity.

Beware the Buoys

One of my dearest friends did a gorgeous and well-run triathlon this past weekend in Marin. But, he had a near-death experience while attempting to round a buoy in a seriously strong current. So many of us do open water swims, with these buoys that are the size of Volkswagon buses. (I think race directors should make certain that there is a kayak by each buoy now, knowing what can happen). My friend's story was a good reminder for me to avoid getting stuck near a buoy (as I usually cut that turn super close to minimize my swim time), as well as to appreciate how dangerous the races we do are, in general, and to always be physically prepared when I go into a race. My friend is in top physical shape, does Ironman races and all that crazy stuff lots of y'all do :). I am so thankful he is in such great shape: he needed it to save himself yesterday. I'm sharing his story below because I think it is an eye opener for all of us open water swimmers!

As I approached the 2nd buoy, considering the first was done, I wasn’t too worried about it - it felt pretty much like a straight line, but I still tried to stay away from it. I ended up on a beeline for the buoy (not realizing there was an angle to the current - on the approach I felt that myself and the current were going parallel to the beach...but that wasn't the case). It seemed that I was just sucked into that buoy. As I hit the buoy, I didn’t think much of it, as I’ve hit them before, and just pushed and swam around them. But not this time. The current was so strong that I caught the buoy and unknowingly the anchor rope; before I knew it I was under water. I went for a breath. It wasn't much of one, as I was immediately pulled back under. Soon I went for another breath. It, also, wasn’t much of one before I got pulled under again, but this time I knew something was wrong. I figured I had one more shot. I went for a third and got one, but was sucked back under quickly. This was it, I felt trapped – something had a hold on me. Not to be overdramatic, but yes things flashed before me - two things. First was my kids and wife, and second was "Oh No, not now, this can’t happen now". Never before in my life have I had this moment of “....oh my god, this is it....it could happen RIGHT NOW,” and I hope never to again. Just as these thoughts were happening, I realized that I was stuck on the rope - the current had pinned me to it, the buoy was keeping me under, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was almost out of air and had nothing to grab for leverage...the current was too strong for me to get unwrapped from the rope. It was the most surreal moment of my life. I didn’t know what to do, there was nothing to grab. Then, unbelievably lucky for me, someone passed above me and I grabbed him, pretty hard, and probably pulled him under, way under, because it was enough for me to get my other hand to the rope, dislodge myself, and pull myself to surface. It was the most crazy experience of my life.

Seriously, if this guy is listening, sorry to pull you under, but thank you for saving my life...there was no way I was getting out without your pull. Thank you.

Phew. So, this morning's workout was tough, but I spent it feeling lucky that my friend is alive. Nothing like a once-removed near-death experience to get you through some IM.

*warmup: 250 free followed by 3 x 25's fly, back, breast
repeat 2x

*4 x 50's IM order followed by 3 x 100's free descending
*2 x 100's IM followed by 3 x 100's free descending
*1 x 200 IM followed by 3 x 100's free descending

*4 x 25's IM order followed by 2 x 100's free descending
*8 x 25's IM order followed by 2 x 100's free descending
*4 x 25's IM order followed by 2 x 100's free descending

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I am on a desperate search to find the sneaky person who somehow keeps flipping off the pool heater at night. I will hunt them down and hold them in a large bucket of ice for one full hour if I can find them. Let's hope I don't.

The chilly workout today included:

*warmup: 200 free, 2 x 25's choice
repeat 3x

*50 kick, 25 catch-up, 25 scull, 1 x 100 free fast broken at 25
*50 kick, 25 catch-up, 25 scull, 2 x 100 free fast broken at 25
*50 kick, 25 catch-up, 25 scull, 3 x 100 free fast broken at 25

*25 no breather, 50 float, 25 feet first scull, 2 x 100's fast broken at 25
repeat 2x

*3 x 100's free

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shaking out sore muscles

On Sunday I ran a half marathon with my two best friends (so of course today was a fin day). I highly recommend the Nike race (and racing with your two best friends).

I was shocked to find myself actually getting teary eyed with sentimentality as we all set off to jog through the most gorgeous course I've ever run. The tears had nothing to do with the joy of running (I suck), and a lot to do with the happy-sad feeling of seeing all the athletes with "In memory of" signs - tributes to kids and other loved ones who had died of cancer (the cure for which the race benefited), with feeling heart-sick for them and joyful for myself...for the luck and happiness I have with my own two healthy kiddos and these two dear friends I've had for twenty-five years. I am so very, very lucky.

today's workout.

*warmup with 2 x 150's and 4 x 75's free
add fins for:
2 x 100's kick, 4 x 50's fast kick

4 x 300's with fins. quick swims, long rest

6 x 50's free with fins on the 40
6 x 50's free with fins on the 35

200 without fins

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shampoo Thief

This morning when I got out of the shower my watchdogs (those that had exited the shower before me) alerted me that some random lap swimmer had perused my swim basket and filled up her own plastic shampoo container with MY coconut milk shampoo!

Far from making me angry, this has been making me laugh all morning. I am constantly surprised by the ballsy things people do/think they have the right to do. At a certain point it just becomes funny. Like when someone shops your personal toiletry bucket for shampoo then helps themselves to copious quantities of it in front of a whole gang of fellow swimmers.

Hilarious. I guess it's only funny because my shampoo is so damn cheap. And because I was high from the awesome workout:

*warmup: 6 x 100's free

*100, 200, 300, 400, 400, 300, 200, 100: descend up then down

*3 x 200's free descending

Shampoo thief or no, that was a feel-good workout.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Easy Fast

Today is Yom Kippur and I am fasting, except of course, for my Borrone coffee after swim practice (some sacrifices are simply barbaric and going without my Americano is one of them). This whole fasting (and frankly, whole religious practice) thing has just never really spiritually gelled for me (let's be honest, I'm not sure there is a God), but I do like Yom Kippur "fasting" if for no other reason then for a sort of "Juice Fast Cleansing" sort of a day. And of course, I think it's always good to go without food for a day to remind ourselves of what so many people do not have. (Also the five or so bagels loaded with cream cheese and lox at the end of the day don't taste bad).

Back to the swimming:

*warmup: 400 free, 2 x 100's stroke and kick

big set with paddles:
*800 done with 200 repeating pattern of 50's (3 count, limited breathing, build and fast)
*2 x 100's quick
*2 x 100's quick
*2 x 100's quick

remove paddles for:
75, 50, 25 with one length fly, one no breather, one sprint in each round
repeat 3x

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Morning

*warmup: 250 free, 150 free to stroke

*200 free fast, 4 x 25's breast, 100 IM mellow
*200 free mellow, 4 x 25's fly, 100 IM fast
*200 free fast, 4 x 25's back mellow, 100 IM fast

*4 x 100's IM: fast to easy, easy to fast, all easy, all fast
*4 x 100's free: fast to easy, easy to fast, all easy, all fast

*4 x 25's to finish

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tim 4 Prez

This movement is sweeping the nation. Go Tim!

There's an effort to elect an unknown random person as President... and it's someone we know! Watch this online video about the surprising new nominee:

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Off to play a soccer game this Sunday AM, where I hope THIS won't happen.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekend Workout

Just a good clean swim to start the weekend:

*warmup: 400, 2 x 100, 2 x 50, 2 x 25, all free

*5 x 200's free best average swim
*6 x 100's free best possible interval

*7 x 50's free odd ones fast
*8 x 25's free all fast

*250 free first half light touch, second half 3 count

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


*warmup: 125 free, 25 breast, 125 free, 50 breast, 125 free, 75 breast, 125 free, 100 breast

*8 x 50's breast odd with buoy even without
*8 x 50's free odd with single paddle sculling, even without

*100, 75, 50, 25, 25, 50, 75, 100 descending on way down, ascending on way up

*4 x 100's breast done as 25 3-count, 25 double kick, 50 swim

Monday, September 22, 2008

Welcome to the week

Monday morning: sore all over from first co-ed soccer game of the season yesterday, sleepless from a 3AM bed wetting accident (my son's not mine), and THEN a workout full of fin kicking. Jumping into the week big time.

*warmup: 600 free, 400 free with every 4th length kick
*500 fin kick done as easy to hard rotation
*lots of sprints I can't recount (I was cold and aching)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

More Books, More Yards

This morning's workout was one of those I just love. Drafting and long yards. Yay! Speaking of things I love: books. Bill Dawson just passed along another MM book list to me and I'm sharing it here. This one is Mark Simon's and here are his favorite reads!

Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hardball – The Way the Game of Politics is Really Played – Chris Matthews

Mornings on Horseback – David McCullough

The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett

And now, the workout:

*warmup with 500 easy, 300 swim to drill, 100 "crisp" (thanks to my lane mate for mentioning Krispy Kremes right at that moment so that for the ENTIRE workout I was thinking about donuts).

*600 drafting and changing leaders by 200
*900 drafting and changing leaders by 150
*1200 drafting and changing leaders by 100

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Way to go, Mike!

20 mile channel swim? No problem.

Check out Mike's story.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kickin' it with the cameras

If you swam this morning you saw two cameramen. Yup, my new job is moving along and we're producing a web show that is integrated with a super cool site and user generated content (called JuiceBoxJungle), and today we were covering parents who get exercise into their crazy daily schedules (which is all of us MMasters who have kids!). The show will air in January but I promise to share a clip as soon as I get it. Thanks to everyone for being "extras"!

And crap! Kicking? Here is my one shot to be filmed and Tim creates a workout specifically designed to make me look incredibly slow and ungainly. Ah well.

*warmup: 300 free, 100 kick, 200 faster free
*lots of kicking kicking kicking spotted with freestyle

Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama Mama

If you're not for Obama after last night, don't tell me. I don't want to have to grab your feet in the pool and hold you under until you come over to the bright side. If you didn't see the speech - this important moment in history for all Americans - go here and watch it now.

And then go swim at noon for some good old fashioned American butterfly.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I must be getting old.

Because I still haven't fully recovered from the Alcatraz swim/run last weekend. What's the deal - it's been four days - shouldn't I feel no more pain? Maybe, but I'm still dragging, which only makes me more obsessed with Dara and Michael. How in the world do they recover from those swims...at his level of racing and at her age?

*warm up: 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast

*2 x 150's free followed by 4 x 25's in IM order
*2 x 100's free followed by 4 x 25's in IM order
*2 x 50's free followed by 4 x 25's in IM order

*the dreaded 3 x 200's IM for time

*600 done as 2 lengths free, 1 length stroke glide

Monday, August 25, 2008

The best thing about doing Alcatraz

...is that when you wake up the next morning for swim practice you KNOW it's going to be easier than jumping into this.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Guest Blogger Judy~

Hey Friends, it’s Judy Strauss. I’ve recently become a volunteer with Swim Across America (SAA). SAA is a national non-profit organization that raises funds for cancer research programs in major cities from coast to coast through high profile swimming events. In the Bay Area the funds raised go directly to the UCSF Children’s Cancer Survivorship Program and to Children’s Hospital Oakland. ( ~83% of the funds raised go directly to the designated beneficiaries.)

There are two events in the Bay Area this fall. One is next month and it’s a pool event. Here is how it works; groups of people agree to raise money and collectively swim 3000 miles, the distance from coast to coast. The event is all month long. You can have as many people contributing miles as you wish. Each person is asked to raise a minimum of $50.

The other event is a bay swim on October 18. The participants will be dropped off of a ferry boat at the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge, then swim about 1.5 miles to Crissy Field. Each participant is asked to raise $1000.

There are several ways that you can be involved…

1. You can participate in the pool swim. (We will be recording yards at Menlo Masters)
2. You can participate in the bay swim (wetsuits are ok). I’d love it if you joined my team; Sujulojo. You can form your own team or you can swim without a team.
3. You can support someone who is swimming with a donation.
4. You can make a donation to Swim Across America in general.
5. You can volunteer to help on the day of the swim.
6. You can be a corporate sponsor.
7. You can buy advertising in the program.

Your involvement will make a difference! For more information you can go to the website, www.swimacrossamerica.org. You can also contact me at judy@swimacrossamerica.org.

See you at the pool or in the bay!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For a bunch of young girls' walls

Here's a poster. Hell, I might hang it on my wall.

Today's workout:

*warm up: 6 x 100's free followed by IM order 25's

*fin kick: 3 x 50's flutter, 2 x 50's dolphin
repeat twice

*without fins: 300 free, 100 IM
*with fins: 300 free, 100 IM
repeat three times

*without fins: 3 x 100 IMs

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Here comes the rock

So I've got the big Alcatraz triathlon coming up this weekend (thank G-d I'm doing it as a relay and only have to do the swim and the 2.5 mile run to the bike), and I guess I'm off my game since Phelpsi finished kicking the rest of the world's ass because I slept through my alarm yesterday and then when I tried to slip in a nooner the pool was closed. This morning the stars aligned to get me a swim so that I won't drown in the Bay. And here it was:

*warm up: 300 free, 2 x 25's fly, 200 free, 2 x 25's fly, 100 free, 2 x 25's fly. wonder how in the hell those Olympians do the 200 fly so fast. I can barely get my arms out of the water after a fly warmup.

*8 x 100 free on the 1:30 (lotsa rest)
*8 x 100 free on the 1:30 broken at 50 for 5 sec

*3 x 50 fly on the minute (lotsa rest)
*3 x 50 fly on the minute broken at 25 for 5 sec

*100 done as 50 free, 25 fly, 25 free

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mike's Music

What more can we say about Michael Phelps? I feel like I should be talking about his accomplishments in some big way, but how can I add to the already crowded MP fan club that the Internet has become in the last week? People everywhere are writing about him, his mom and sisters, how his mom raised this phenom, his training practices, etc. But here's my question. He seems pretty into that music he's always listening to. So what is it?

I recently wrote a post about my music habits (and my kids') on SV Moms Blog and I'm pleased to see today that I'm listening to the right stuff to win some gold bling. Here's what Michael says about his music (found in some obscure article I googled):

"I have walked out to race with my headphones on throughout my whole career and listen to music until the last possible moment. It helps me to relax and get into my own little world. What do I listen to? Eminem is great [Phelps had Eminen's 'Till I Collapse' playing before winning that first gold]; his Marshall Mathers LP is one of my favourite albums. I'm a huge Dr Dre and Notorious B.I.G. fan, too, though who I listen to depends on my mood."

Hip hop and swimming. Yay!

Oh, and today we did those damn 3 x 200 IM "test sets". Could have used a little Eminem mid-set there for sure.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is your kid uncontrollably fidgety?

So was Michael Phelps. Great post and related articles about Michael as a kid and how his mom treated him right and got his energy focused on something positive.

Basic backstroke, etc.

*warmup: some combo of free and back (missed most of it due to Olympic viewing)

*3 x 200's free, 3 x 100's back
repeat twice

*200 free broken at 50
*100 back
*200 free broken at 25

should be hot this afternoon - enjoy your lunchtime swims!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Missing swimming for swimming

I fell asleep last night just before THE relay. Anyone who missed it should check it out here immediately. Just watched it and I'm nearly in tears.

Today we did short stuff with fins. I think that sums it up.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stirring up the waters

Well, I wasn't sure whether to bust a link to this out, up in here, but the ladies in the locker room this morning insisted. Caused a mini controversy there in the mom space. Funny eh?

This morning's workout:

*warm up with: 200 free, 100 breat, 50 kick
repeat twice

*4 x 100's free
*4 x 100's free with breast pulldown on each wall
*4 x 100's breast
*4 x 100's free with breast pulldown on each wall

*3 x 200's free

Friday, August 8, 2008

"Now that's what I call a six pack..."

Simply put, by a fellow MM who sent me this image and the story that goes with it.
'Nuff said.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Check out the pics!

I've finally set myself up on Flickr, and I'm adding swim pics as quickly as I can. Scroll down and check it out. Gary, I'm sorry, I just couldn't NOT add at least one headshot of you from your modeling days.

Okay so I originally published this post at around 8 this morning. Since then, I got a great email from Wallace, so I'm republishing to include it. This is why I love my lane.


Richard Petty: "I need to pit. I have been pulling Wallace around this track since this race started and ain't got no gas left. Let him lead the rest of this. I need new front tires, two turns of wedge on the right side and a fuel topper."

Crew Chief: "The King's gonna pit. Rusty, bring it home."

Rusty Wallace: "I need to pit. I have been chasing Petty around this track since the race started and ain't got no gas left. Rear tires are way loose, and I need a fuel topper."

Crew Chief: "Drivers..."

A NASCAR interpretation of this morning's wall conversation.

Thanks for leading those 500's. My shoulders need two bags of ice, four Advil...


Today's workout:

*warm up with 3 x 200's: free, free to stroke, up tempo

*4 x 500's (!!!) done as:
2 x 250's on the 3:45
5 x 100's on the 1:30
strong 500

*25 kick, 50 IM, 75 drill, 100 strong free
repeat 3 times

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


You just have to read this book. Nothing to do with swimming. Lots about sex in Menlo Park.

Today's workout:

*warmup with a smooth 6 (600 free)

add fins for:

*4 x 300's with increasing # of laps done as kick (2,4 then 2,4,6 then 2,4,6,8)
*2 x 400's with streamline to 3rd blue line, then 4th

remove fins for:
*4 x 250's done by 50's as: free, catch-up with strong kick, free, kick, free

Monday, August 4, 2008


So my son turned 4 this weekend, and we had a party and all on Sunday. But I was thrilled to see that what he really truly loved was still the simple things. He was never happier than the day (Friday) he received 10 cards in the mail from Grandpa, and then followed that up with the best gift ever: ice cream sundae making fixin's brought over by his and Wilson's best friend Oliver. Ice cream sundaes are infinitely better gifts than plastic Power Rangers IMHO.

And today's workout:

*Warm up I just followed. Was late. Party hangover.
*2 x 300's, 2 x 100's, 2 x 250's, 2 x 100's, 2 x 200's, 2 x 100's
phew (with paddles)
*75 DPS, 50 fast, 25 back recovery
repeat twice

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Couches and Coaches

Yesterday we said goodbye to a couch we'd had, jumped on, slept on, peed on (not me of course), snuggled on and just plain lived on for ten years. Building Futures Now needed a couch for a family, and we were looking to replace this one just for kicks, so Noah and I hoisted it out of our family room and into the driveway yesterday morning after I slept through practice.

Tim picked it up in a Suburban, and now someone else has our couch. May it be as well-loved as it was here! Incidentally, here's what I love about Tim as a coach and a human being (aside from his swim-studliness of course): he picked up the couch. He got Menlo Masters into this whole Building Futures Now thing with a huge heart aimed at helping EPA kids and families, and he is still willing to spend the middle of his day driving around picking up donation items. Most organizers of huge efforts such as BFN would delegate and send an email to the team "Anyone have time to deliver...?" Instead he does it himself. It's easy to give money when you have too much. It isn't easy to give time when you never have enough. Kudos to our team, and our coach, once again.

*warm up: 400 easy, 4 x 50's strong

*4 x 400's "inefficient swimming": first bit fast (25, then 50, 75, 100), and last 50 fast, swum like "an overaggressive meet swim"

*400 broken at the 100 with first 25 of each 100 fast

*400 broken at the 50 with first 25 of each 50 fast

*400 warmdown

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back to reality

If I have to be back at work and workout, at least it kicked off with one of my favorites.

*warmup: 3 x 250's free, natural descent

*straight 1,000 done as: 250, 50, 200, 50, 150, 50, 100, 50, 50, 50 (50's backstroke, other freestyle)
Repeat 2x

*4 x 100's descending, each with a 50 fast afterwards
100's on the 1:30; 50's on the 45

*200 warm down

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stop and see the fishes

This morning I swam with a fish that changed my opinion of purple.

I hate purple. Or hated. When I see purple I think of my bedroom during my eleventh year: a disgusting display of pre-teen pastels, unicorns, rainbows and a big life-sized poster of Bon Jovi. The Bon Jovi part was at least tasteful in a retro hip kind of way.

But purple. Yuck. Words like whimsical and magical flash by my brain when I see it--words I don't like. But this fish...this fish was like an electric technicolor kaleidoscope. No pastel rainbows about it. And it swam with me until I stopped, mid-stroke, just to look. Then it swam away. Done with me. Then other fun fishies surrounded me. One with pink lipstick. One with some sort of Chanel-looking makeover mistake that turned into a gorgeous shmear across its body.

Aloha to the fishies. I'm off on a red eye flight back home tonight. Mahalo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just another day in paradise

Here's my son's version of swim workout here in Ko'Olina. I'm off to do mine. Hope you are all enjoying the pool, and to be honest I can't wait to get back so my mouth won't be puckered up like a raisin after my workouts (but that plus Tim's stellar workouts will be the only plus of being back :).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lagoon Hopping

So. Here I am in paradise. It would be so even if there weren't four man made lagoons like this one, restricted for swimming only, all in a line with beautiful grass in between then for running. But, that exists here too, so, I'm in heaven.

I will bet my life that my workout this morning beats yours, even if you did long freestyle back at home :)

*warm up: stretch on the beach to attempt to work out the coco loco drinks consumed last night.
*cross one lagoon - jump out run to next lagoon.
repeat four times.

*do laps across lagoon #3 for 20 minutes, with push-ups at each end.

*have coffee and go decorate coconuts with the kids to send back home

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Menlo Masters at practice this morning

Okay obviously these are images of our "better swimmer selves", Michael Phelps, Amanda Beard (check out the not-oft-seen dragon tattoo!), Aaron Piersol, Ryan Lochte (he and Phelps are in perfect, what I like to call "David and Gary form" there), and Dara Torres, but we can dream right? It's just so cool that they are working out down the street. These are pics from last Saturday, courtesy of Peter. Thanks Peter!

Today's workout:

*warmup: 5 x 125's free with last 25 kick

add fins for:

*12 x 50's decreasing by 5 seconds after each 3

*2 x 100's fast free followed by 3 x 50's (back, stroke, whatever)
repeat 3 times

*I strongly believe there is more I am not remembering but it did involve fins, all of it!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hawaii Prep

p.s. (pre-script in this case: Fave My Blog with the green button on the right, por favor!)

I'm off to Hawaii tomorrow night for a much needed vacation (albeit WITH kids :) and it's a good thing. I'm still sore from last Friday's deck-out extravaganza and I'm looking forward to swimming with the more laid back Hawaiians (such as my step-dad and his family pictured above) for a bit, in water that looks like seaglass. Especially after today's sprints. Oy!

*warmup: 400 free, 100 kick, 100 drill, 100 IM

*100 broken at the 50 fast, 150 chill, 50 broken at the 25 fast
repeat 3 x

*5 x 100's: streamline for 4 blue lines, kick for 4, sprint for 4, sprint full broken at 25, chill
repeat 2 x

*final fast 100

Monday, July 14, 2008

Let's get Dara to Burgess

I think Haim suggested this a few days ago, and Texido just sent me the link as well. Hey, lots of us own Priuses (or is that Prius') and as good as Tim is at swim clinics, it would be totally freaking cool to have a piece of female Olympic history there to give us tips (let's face it, if we win we'll just have a post-Olympic party with her at the pool, no?). I'll bring the beer.

Anyway, click here to get us some votes.

Here's what I put in:
"We are a team of mostly Prius-owning parents :) that does much more than just swim. Our coach Tim Sheeper is a world-class triathlete who has spearheaded numerous community outreach programs and who keeps us all inspired every day, in the pool and out. We think Dara would love our club, and we all look up to Dara."

You can just write "we want to win" in your comment post if you want of course.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Check out the story on Eric Shanteau here.

Yet another American swimmer going to Beijing to beat all the odds.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New research shows shoulder muscles connected to memory retention

So yesterday we did those deck-outs and minute-long push-ups and band pulls to make us look very toned and fast and this morning not only was I sore and struggling to complete a full freestyle arm rotation but my brain could not retain more than one set element at a time.

I have therefore concluded that deck work is hazardous to our mental health and should be eliminated from all future workouts.

On a less serious note, I've been meaning to tell the crew that my current swimsuit is on sale at PA Toy and Sport for $35. It's a Speedo FlipTurn and I love it. I mention it because I have gotten quite a few compliments, not because I think everyone wants to wear the same suit as me.

Today's workout:
*warm up: 250 free, 150 kick, 250 pull, 150 stroke

*4 x 25's done as fast kick for 12.5 then fist free
*2 x 50's first 50 fast, second 50 recovery
*2 x 100's first 100 fast (broken at the 25 for 5), second 100 recovery
repeat 2 times

*100 fast, 25 easy back, 75 swim drill scull
repeat 6 times (first 100 broken at 50, second at 75, third straight, repeat twice)

Friday, July 11, 2008

All Lochte'd Up

So last night I took three fired up little boys to see the USA v. AUS water polo match at Stanford. I called three times during the week to inquire about tickets which didn't seem orderable online. The peeps there assured me there would be tickets at the door.

In my normal anally on-time fashion I arrived an hour early...to a sold out game. Many tears (not mine, I swear) and an hour of people watching (this was like a gathering of the Valley's most toned, bronzed swim obsessed folk so it wasn't hard to watch) later, Ryan Lochte emerged from the gates of the pool, clearly fresh out of his work-out and ready to eat. If this guy isn't washing all of his shirts on his stomach then his Maytag is doing unnecessary work. Even amid all the swimmercandy on campus last night, Lochte (shirtless, thank you Ryan!) looked like some sort of past-age prince of the pool. I know he's 24 and I'm not and all but if Dara can still swim in the Olympics at 41 I can still drool over Olympians at 36. Yes? Okay, well, anyway, the Lochte sighting was worth the trip. For those of you who are wondering, I luckily (by a narrow margin) did NOT scream his name and run after him to get an autograph. Thank goodness my kids were there.

Today's workout:
*warmup: 6 x 100's swim, 3 x 100's kick
*crazy circuit training:
4 x 50's varied speed, 1 minute of sit ups
8 x 25's fly or breast, 5 deck-outs at each wall
200 free fast, 1 minute of push-ups ("hahahahahaha" -heard coming from Tim at side of pool)
200 IM, 1 minute of band pulls

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Now, I'm tired

After a week of inspiring Olympic swim trials and feeling like "hey, if Dara can train that hard for 30+ years, I can make a simple swim practice" I'm tired. And today's workout helped push me over the tired edge. As I said when asked if I wanted to go ahead of another swimmer this morning: "I'm barely still in the pool."

*warmup: no idea - just followed the dude in front of me
*pyramid from H*ll: 200, 300, 400, 500, 400, 300, 200 (usually one of my favorite sets but today? Not so much).
*less H*llish pyramid: 25, 50, 75, 100, 100, 75, 50, 25


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Definition of an American Hero

Happy 4th Dara! Wow.
Read her story and be inspired!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Last name, please

So, all this time, since Peter has completed the first ever successful double crossing of the Maui channel (10 mile stretch between Maui and Lanai), I've been unaware that the Peter in my lane is the MAUI PETER.

For nearly a month I've been seeing this guy, who has set a world record, in his Speedo, practically naked, pre-dawn, and what have I been saying to him? Not "Holy crap, you did it! Way to go! I'm so jealouswishIcoulddothat" but, "You want to lead or me?" and "Leave on the 30?" and "Okay, later that's a rap."

Lanshin finally enlightened me yesterday, just in time to hear that famous L2 boy is moving to San Diego. Great. Just as I find out I'm rubbing shoulders (or crashing paddles) with a world class open water swimmer, he preps to leave. If I had just known his last name, I could have enjoyed my proximity to greatness longer. So, I'm instituting a last name "make sure you know who you're swimming with" rule.

I'm Sarah Eisner, and here was today's workout:

*light warm-up of free that I never got straight
*4 x 400's free, done in a confusing but fun descending order of drill, moderate, threshold, power by 100 pattern
*4 x 250's free done in same sort of pattern by 100, 75, 50, 25

Now, here, for those of you who didn't read it yet, is Peter's account of his swim. BRAVO!

Short version (plot spoiler):

Started at 5:32 am in calm water, had a relatively painless trip to Lanai,
current picked up and made the landing difficult. Took 5:05 to get there.
Return trip started well, but what we lacked in wind (never over 20 knots,
and only for a brief periods of time), we made up for in strong current.
Last 3 miles took 2 hours, 40 minutes, swimming at 45 degrees to land the
whole time. Landed near Black Rock in Kaanapali about 6-7 miles north of
where I started after 11 hours, 43 minutes, 57 seconds of swimming. Jill
and my friend Ashley Snyder were on shore to greet me, which felt better
than I'd imagined it could over the previous 12 hours...

Long version:

The start was beautiful coming out of the Lahaina harbor, about 20 minutes
before sunrise, water was glass. One thing I planned to do different for
this swim was use mouthwash every hour. I feed every 20 minutes, so every
third feed was accompanied by a small bottle of Scope. By the end of the
first hour I was glad we were going ahead with this plan, given what seems
to be a higher saline concentration in warm water. Speaking of warm water,
the water temp was 80-82, which was actually quite uncomfortable, as my
personal "sweet spot" is about 66 to 72. In the middle of the channel
there were occasional cool streams of about 70 degrees. Nothing felt

My boat captain, Claude Moreau is a seasoned pilot, having accompanied 9
solo swimmers on the one-way crossing. While he understood my desire to do
the first double crossing of the channel, he was absolutely committed to my
safety and made it clear that if anything wasn't going well, he'd yank me
out. As a result of this, I did not want to ever give him such an
impression. At about the one hour mark I got stung by a jelly fish - no
big deal, happens all the time. However, over the next 90 minutes I was
probably stung a total of 15 times: nose, arms, chest. It was stinging a
bit, but I didn't want him to think things were not going according to
plan, so I didn't mention it.

At about hour 3, I noticed a little fish - about 6 inches long - swimming
10 feet below me. I didn't think much of it, but about 5 minutes later I
noticed he was still there. After my next drink, I resumed swimming and
sure enough - he was still there! For the next hour and 20 minutes he
stayed with me and circled me when I fed. Sounds silly, but it really made
me happy to see him. I even played a little game with him. I would swim
to the left, he would follow. I would speed up, he would fall behind then
catch up. Sadly, as I approached Lanai, he got board and ditched me.

At the 4 hour feed I looked up (something swimmers rarely do for fear of
the psychological trauma that results from trying to guess how much further
you have to swim) and realized we were less than a mile off Lanai. I could
see the details of the trees and what looked like beautiful sandy beaches.
Jim and Forrest let me know that we weren't going to land here because the
current was stronger than expected. Effectively, if we landed where we had
planned to, we risked not being able to hit Maui on the return trip. After
40 or so minutes swimming parallel to shore against the current, they told
me to head in. Piece of cake, I thought. In the days before the swim, we
had worked out an exact plan for the requisite 10 minute break I was
permitted on land. (While this particular channel had never been double
crossed before, double crossings of the English and Catalina Channels have
been done, so we adhered to those rules). During my "break", I planned to
eat some solid food, re-apply sunscreen and grease, and stretch.

All that went to hell pretty quickly. Forrest had my stuff in 2 sealed
bags and was going to accompany me in to shore from the kayak. About 50
yards off shore, the coral reef become very shallow and the break hammered
us. Forrest was thrown off the kayak and into the coral (which cut him to
pieces). I tried to get out the way from a large break and out of nowhere
a sea turtle half my size zipped under me at what seemed like 100 knots.
I hate to think what would have happened had he been two feet higher and
rammed into me. The next 20 minutes displayed me at my least graceful,
trying to escape jagged coral. I was only cut on my hands, feet, and
shins, but not too excited about bleeding into the ocean. My plans of
eating and stretching didn't materialize on shore since my food was washed
away when Forrest was flipped and we needed to run down the beach to find a
more hospitable place to take off. Luckily, Jim jumped in and swam down my
back of sunscreen and grease.

After what was essentially a 4.5 hour trip to Lanai (total time was 5:05
because of the extra time to swim parallel to shore and the flail to get
out the water), I expected the return trip to be 5 - 6,hours as I knew the
wind was coming. At 7 and a half hours total elapsed time - with about 5
miles to go - I felt great and at a feed said to Forrest and Jim, "You guys
know what I'm thinking, right?", to which they responded, "What?", to which
I responded, "You know...", to which they respond, "A triple crossing?", to
which I responded, "We should at least consider it...", to which they
respond, "Shut the f*ck up and swim!". I would pay a very heavy price in
the coming hours for such hubris.

Two hours later it seemed we had made little progress. The swells were
over 3 feet and I was starting to mentally fatigue. Many people ask me
what the hardest part is about marathon swimming. I always say it's the
mental component. Mistakes happen when you lose focus, and for me, that
point is usually around 7 hours. So by 9 hours I could clearly see Maui,
but we were aiming what I thought was the "wrong way" - towards the
southern part of island. It turns out, we had to be aiming that way to
neutralize the impact of the current. Again, lucky to have an experienced

At the 9 hour feed, Forrest said, "Peter I have some bad news, some good
news, and some bad news" I wasn't sure what the 'glass-half-full' approach
was, but I was listening. He continued, "1) The wind is really picking up
and we can see the gnarly wind-line moving across the channel, and it will
be here shortly. 2) You are only 3 nautical miles from shore. 3) It will
take you another 3 hours to get there." While we had expected strong
winds, the current was much stronger than we had anticipated. It was
hitting me perpendicular to the direction I was trying to go at about the
same speed I was swimming, roughly 1.7 knots, effectively reducing my
ground speed by 50%. Forrest, Jim, and Claude made it crystal clear that
the game was won or lost in the next 3 hours. We were currently on target
to miss the island (which may seem ridiculous, given the size of the
island, but if I ever got pulled past Kaanapali, I would be swept up to
Molokai and not be able to make it back to Maui).

The following hours were certainly the toughest. My fingers were
surprisingly tender from the cuts I sustained in Lanai, my shoulders were
starting to feel a bit tight, and the sun was beating down. They gave me
my splits from the gps every 20 minutes and I started doing the Pythagorean
math in my head to figure out how fast I was actually swimming. Forrest
and Jim took turns pacing me in one hour blocks, which made all the
difference. The last thing I remember was Forrest saying, "You have 0.83
nautical miles to go", which is almost exactly one statute mile. In my
long training swims, especially my last three on May 5 (12 miles), May 12
(14 miles - thanks to Jason Pyle for kayaking the entire 14 miles, which
included getting flipped 54 times), and May 19 (16 miles), I always tried
to swim the last mile faster than the others. So with that, I told them
this would be my last feed and I was putting my head down, picking up my
stroke rate and cranking in. I increased my stroke rate from 52 to just
over 60. All I can say is I've never swum so hard to travel one mile in
what turned out to be nearly 44 minutes!

As I was approaching Black Rock I did lift my head to see Jill standing on
the beach with Ashley. What a sweet sight that was. In a very weird way,
I find the last few hundred yards of such swims to be kind of sad. It
takes so many months to train for such things, and the realization that
it's almost over leaves one feeling a bit depressed. Despite my earlier
laps in judgement and temporary hubris (re: contemplating the triple
crossing at the 7 hour mark), I was honored to be the first person to do
this swim. After climbing out the water, Jill put a lei around my neck and
gave me a hug, despite the grease.

In reality, I had "conquered" nothing, but merely was lucky enough to find
a day the channel was willing to tolerate me. Being prepared is a
necessary, but not sufficient factor to success in the ocean.
Many people think of marathon swimming as an individual sport. However, it
is more of a team sport than I can often convey to people. This swim
absolutely could not have been done without the expertise of my boat
captain, Claude Moreau. Furthermore, without Jim and Forrest on the boat
and in the 2 days leading up to the swim, there was no way I could have
done this. Most importantly, without my wife who tolerates me spending
every free moment in the water, there was no way to prepare for such
silliness. I do owe her everything.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How did the week escape?

Since last Wednesday I've been wanting to write down the workouts, plus a few other things, and just not getting to it. Time waits for no man, and as I like to say...it runs like hell from every mommy.

Anyway, I'm the proud mommy of two newly made racers. The boys did their first running race in Sunriver Oregon this past weekend - part of the Pacific Crest Triathlon weekend. Phew, I did the 5K and boy was I glad I wasn't doing the Half Ironman. It was hot hot hot, and hard enough to get through the little run in order to jump in the river afterwards. This river swimming is just about as good as it gets in life for me, and we played, mudslide surfed, skipped rocks and did swim challenges in cold water for three heavenly days. We drove the 8.5 hours home very dirty and tired, and I am still ranking this trip very high on my list to do again. If you haven't been here, go soon.

Still, a good old fashioned pulling workout in a pool felt pretty good today. Rivers are refreshing, but that current really makes a long swim tough!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Traveling to a Tri I'm not doing

So, we're off to Sun River Oregon this weekend which should be gorgeous, and the Pacific Crest Tri happens to be happening there this weekend. Of course, I learned about it way too late to train for it, so instead I'll be running the 5K and salivating over the river swim. But, my six-year-old will be running his first race as well, and that promises to be a photo finish. Can't wait.

Today's workout:

*warm up: 250 free, 2 x 50's breaststroke kick
repeat twice

*2 x 25's high elbow, 1 x 200 free moderate
*2 x 25's high elbow, 2 x 200 free harder
*2 x 25's high elbow, 3 x 200 free fast

*2 x 50's; 25, 50, 75; 2 x 50's breaststroke kick

*4 x 25's fast free, one 50 breaststroke kick recovery
repeat 2x

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The value of Grandparents...

...is, of course, immeasurable. And, my mom and step-dad's value increases exponentially on days like yesterday. They arrived mid-day after I'd spent the morning doing the reluctant first drop off at summer camp for one kid, followed by a multiple hour long butts up tourney (if you haven't played butts up yet, you're in for a treat. I promise to post the rules soon.) with my youngest and a few neighbors I agreed to watch.

Sure, I love taking a morning with the kids, but by noontime on my non-swim-morning days, the pool beckons. I missed the noon workout and thus scooted over to crank out 3,000 yards on my own in 45 minutes. Boring as hell, but efficient to say the least. Next time you need a self-imposed workout, try this one, as it seemed to fly by painlessly:

*warmup: 500 free
*600 free done as 100 free/stroke, 100 drill, 100 basic swim (repeat twice)
*2 x 300's free descending by 100
*400 free, done as 100 free/stroke, 100 basic (repeat twice)
*2 x 200's free descending by 100
*200 free done as 100 free/stroke, 100 basic
*2 x 100's free descending by 50
*warm down: 100 free

This morning's workout was slightly harder to recall, both because my email attacked me in the early morning and made me late, and because there was lots of kicking and sprinting (ew).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dive Clinic

I wasn't able to attend the official dive clinic Tim set up but luckily Mike Texido put on his own dive clinic at the meet last Saturday. This photo was from the front page of the Palo Alto Weekly.

The meet was such a great success - incredibly well run and FUN. Major kudos to Judy and everyone involved in pulling it off!

Yesterday we had a nice leisurely "recovery" Sunday practice, and today we were back to normal long hard sets. Yay.

*warm up: 400 free, 2 x 50's kick, 2 x 50's stroke, 2 x 50's fast free
*3 x 200's descending 1-3
repeat 3 times
*2 x 100's descending 1-2
repeat 2 times

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Here comes the meet

Back in the pool with injured toe just in time for a taper for this weekend's meet. I'm really looking forward to sucking wind in the 400 free. If you are racing against me, have mercy. My kids are watching.

Today's workout:

*warm up: 400 free, 100 back, 200 free

*50 breast, 100 free
repeat 6 times, first 3 without fins, second 3 with fins (or fin if you have a sliced open toe like me)

*200 IM kick, 50 breast (? not sure I'm remembering this one correctly - I get hypoxic after IM kicking with one fin), 50 free
repeat two times

*100 fly (broken at 25), something, something

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Danger of Pool Cover Duty

I approached the pool with great excitement this past Sunday morning - my hubby had been gone for half a week and after no spare time to swim (without kids) I was desperately needing a work out. I guess that explains my overanxious early arrival at the pool, and thus unavoidable participation in pool uncovering. Bad move.

On the last cover we had to remove I stupidly stood right in front of the sharp little bugger of a thing that one screws into the ground to keep the roller stationary just as Peter gave the roller a good shove toward the next lane. My toe sliced open like a fresh bagel in a bagel slicer, and that was that. I'm out for a week (doctor says) but at least now I've had my tetanus shot updated.

I'm dying just being out of the pool for a week - how do people live without swimming I ask you?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Good Luck Team Sheeper!

Well, I know members of Team Sheeper are off to Hawaii for the Half-Ironman, and I wish them good luck. In solidarity with the team I participated in too many 200's with pull gear on this morning. Consider that my official good luck send-off!

*warm up: 100 free, 25 stroke, 100 free, 25 kick
repeat 3 times

*4 x 200's pull (on fairly loose interval)
100 easy
*4 x 200's pull (reduce interval by 5 sec)
100 easy
*4 x 200's pull (reduce interval by 5 sec again)
100 easy

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bare Chests and Flower Caps

Pshaw! to those who didn't show up for yesterday's duathlon. You missed something I've always wanted to see - a bunch of drenched men running barefoot (mostly) through Burgess Park with Speedos on. I've also always wanted to see someone race in one of those old time flowered caps, and I was able to check that off my list as well yesterday. Flowered caps look best on tattooed men, FYI.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Well, we did 3 x 200 IM's today but that wasn't the hard part. Yikes.

*warm up: 4 x 150's free with last 50 stroke

*4 x 200's free on *tight* interval with the following "caveats": 2 lengths begun with 7 underwater dolphin kicks on back, 2 lengths begun with 7 underwater dolphin kicks on tummy, 2 lengths begun with 2 breaststroke pull-downs. Yes, this was the hard part. Seriously? Hardest thing I've done all year.

*4 x 100's easy free (feel the anticipation of something nasty to come)

*3 x 200 IM's fast (something nasty)

*3 x 25's choice, 2 by 50's transition, 1 75 fast

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Friendship Morning

From time to time, my best and oldest friend Debbie visits from Central CA. Sometimes she comes for the weekend, and sometimes she is just passing through to or from SFO on her way to or from one of her many trips. Always, she comes to stay and swim with me. Often we only see each other on the ride to the pool and for coffee afterwards (she needs to get home to her kids and work, and me to mine), but knowing she is there in the water with me, a few lanes away, suspended in the same pool of people after all these years of our lives together, is, like, spiritual. We met when we were twelve, and now, rounding the corners toward 40, we are still like sisters. Being together feels like being at home, and I am infinitely grateful that we share so much, including swimming. I am also infinitely grateful to Tim and all my teammates for welcoming her every time she comes. Her visits and our swims together are a part of my life I could not do without.

And now, the workout (which was not as good, ahem, as yesterday's fast 5x500's whoohoo, but still sufficed :)

*warm up: 250, 200 (stroke), 150, 100 (kick), 50
*4 x 50's fast free, 200 recovery, 4 x 25's fast choice, 200 recovery
*2 x 50's fast free, 100 recovery, 4 x 25's fast choice, 100 recovery

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sign up for the Meet

If for no other reason, than to allow your kids to see you loose gracefully and cheerfully, like me here in this photo at our last meet :).

You may have to be persistent, as the online meet sign ups didn't actually allow me to process my registration, but I'm going to keep trying (400 Free whooohooo!).

Speaking of whoohoooo, today's workout was:

500 warm-up with 1 length fly, 1 length breast, 1 length back
1000 with 10th length fly, 20th length back, 30th length breast
800 with same pattern by 8's
600 with same pattern by 6's
and finally, 6 x 100's fast with one length stroke

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Impressive Swimming

Okay, yes, I was impressed with myself and the whole crew this morning when we knocked down multiple 500's, 400's, 300's, 200's and 100's (and a 600 warm up!) with paddles to total 3600 yards.

But, more impressive even...are the team's results from Nationals (Jana - give someone else in your age group a CHANCE will ya?) and Wildflower. I have the results from Nationals below, and aside from knowing that Kelly Couch was fourth female overall (WOW) with a time of 4 hour and 45 minutes, Wildflower results are on their way.

2008 USMS Short Course Nationals

Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points

Women 45-49 200 Freestyle
1 Matena, Jana 45 MELO 2:01.41 1:58.79 11.00
27.40 57.36(29.96) 1:28.10(30.74) 1:58.79(30.69)

Women 45-49 500 Freestyle
1 Matena, Jana 45 MELO 5:28.88 5:21.71 11.00
29.19 1:01.18(31.99) 1:33.72(32.54) 2:06.46(32.74)
2:39.03(32.57) 3:11.83(32.80) 3:44.41(32.58) 4:17.01(32.60)
4:49.55(32.54) 5:21.71(32.16)

Women 45-49 1000 Freestyle
1 Matena, Jana 45 MELO 11:16.91 11:16.42 11.00
29.54 1:01.84(32.30) 1:34.78(32.94) 2:08.15(33.37)
2:41.92(33.77) 3:15.82(33.90) 3:49.77(33.95) 4:23.72(33.95)
4:57.60(33.88) 5:31.64(34.04) 6:05.60(33.96) 6:39.65(34.05)
7:13.75(34.10) 7:48.30(34.55) 8:22.75(34.45) 8:57.38(34.63)
9:31.86(34.48) 10:06.72(34.86) 10:41.84(35.12) 11:16.42(34.58)

Women 45-49 100 Breaststroke
4 Matena, Jana 45 MELO 1:16.57 1:13.57 7.00
35.30 1:13.57(38.27)

Women 45-49 200 Breaststroke
3 Matena, Jana 45 MELO 2:42.98 2:40.87 8.00
36.14 1:16.90(40.76) 1:57.95(41.05) 2:40.87(42.92)

Women 50-54 50 Freestyle
43 Strauss, Judy 53 MELO 32.00 32.92

Women 50-54 500 Freestyle
23 Strauss, Judy 53 MELO 6:50.00 7:11.48
37.93 1:19.26(41.33) 2:03.13(43.87) 2:46.55(43.42)
3:30.73(44.18) 4:14.75(44.02) 4:59.51(44.76) 5:43.69(44.18)
6:27.83(44.14) 7:11.48(43.65)

Women 50-54 1650 Freestyle
11 Strauss, Judy 53 MELO 23:20.00 24:39.37
38.33 1:19.50(41.17) 2:02.84(43.34) 2:47.12(44.28)
3:31.25(44.13) 4:15.36(44.11) 5:00.09(44.73) 5:44.82(44.73)
6:30.20(45.38) 7:15.15(44.95) 8:00.19(45.04) 8:45.22(45.03)
9:30.14(44.92) 10:15.13(44.99) 11:01.02(45.89) 11:46.71(45.69)
12:31.83(45.12) 13:17.58(45.75) 14:02.64(45.06) 14:48.63(45.99)
15:34.10(45.47) 16:19.69(45.59) 17:05.47(45.78) 17:51.19(45.72)
18:36.51(45.32) 19:21.57(45.06) 20:07.53(45.96) 20:52.78(45.25)
21:38.39(45.61) 22:23.55(45.16) 23:09.18(45.63) 23:54.02(44.84)

Pl Name Age Club Seed Time Final Time Points

Men 35-39 50 Freestyle
11 Turk, John P 36 MELO 24.22 22.07

Men 35-39 200 Freestyle
21 Turk, John P 36 MELO 1:58.50 1:52.91
27.08 56.64(29.56) 1:25.74(29.10) 1:52.91(27.17)

Men 35-39 50 Butterfly
11 Turk, John P 36 MELO 26.01 23.92

Men 35-39 100 Butterfly
16 Turk, John P 36 MELO 59.10 54.48
25.48 54.48(29.00)

Men 35-39 200 Butterfly
7 Turk, John P 36 MELO 2:13.99 2:07.43 4.00
28.23 1:00.25(32.02) 1:33.19(32.94) 2:07.43(34.24)

Men 55-59 50 Freestyle
10 Barnick, Robert A 56 MELO 25.20 24.64 1.00

Men 55-59 50 Breaststroke
4 Barnick, Robert A 56 MELO 31.70 30.47 7.00

Men 55-59 100 Breaststroke
5 Barnick, Robert A 56 MELO 1:10.80 1:07.75 6.00
31.73 1:07.75(36.02)

Men 55-59 50 Butterfly
7 Barnick, Robert A 56 MELO 28.50 26.23 3.00

Men 55-59 100 Individual Medley
9 Barnick, Robert A 56 MELO 1:04.50 1:02.57 2.00
28.57 1:02.57(34.00)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

If you like 500's...

Go swim today. Love it!

*warmup: 400 done as 50 free then 50 back to breast, repeated 4 times

*500 free, 5 x 100's free
repeat 2x, improving second round

*3 x 100's done as 100 broken IM, 100 strong IM, 100 comfy free
repeat 3x

Friday, April 25, 2008

Face Painting

Okay people, Tim has sufficiently pumped us all up for the Blue v. Gold meet tomorrow morning...and I think I will have my kids paint their faces blue for support of MY team. Kidding. But I think Tim should paint his face half blue and half gold just so we can be sure he's unbiased and isn't unfairly helping Gold (after all, Sheeper begins with S).

As always with these meets, I'm already nervous I won't get enough of a workout, so I'll be there at 6 to do my normal thang. Also I have to leave by 7:30 because I have a hair hilight appointment. Priorities. I'm hoping I can help Blue out enough in those 45 minutes to earn my keep.

Go Blue!

Today's general workout:

*warmup: some free, some back (i was late)

*75 free, slow medium fast by 25; 50 stroke with last 12 yds fast; 25 kick with first 12 yds fast
repeat 4 times
*50 stroke with last 12 yds fast; 25 kick with first 12 yds fast
repeat 4 times
*25 kick with first 12 yds fast
repeat 4 times

add fins for:
*200 kick, 200 free, 200 lowest stroke count possible

*separate into Blue v. Gold and race sprints

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tim, the writer

Well, Haim posted this article by Tim in a comment to a previous post, but I've decided it deserves a full posting (followed by a workout of course).

Today's workout:

*warmup: 4 x 175's free
*8 x 25's kick

split the pool between the Blue Team (last names A-L) and Gold Team (last names M-Z who have decided to be cocky as all hell and create a tagline: "Blue is a color. Gold is our attitude.") Pshaw! Go Big Blue. Anyhoo...

Race to see which side finishes first
Team Blue: 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 with paddles
Team Gold: 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 with paddles
Winner: Blue

Easy 250 with stroke

Race between teams again
Lane 1-3 Swimmers: 4 x 100's
Lane 4-6 Swimmers: 3 x 100's
Winner: Gold (of course, it was just a small set at the end. The Gold folks are able to "attitude" their way through something like that).

Did I mention I'm a last name starts with A-L person?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Today I swam at noon (because those dang caterpillars were being sprayed for at 6AM), and though I was initially grumpy about it, I loved it. The sun was out and the circuits were a blast. Thanks Tim for mixing it up this month - I think it's been a year at least since I was at a workout with circuits and deck-work and I WANT MORE (except I can do without the water polo head up swimming with a ball. My nose hurts.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


It seems like everyone I know is sick right now, with Spring just starting to kick us in the pants. What up with that? The weekend was 80+ degrees and yet my family is stuck in the heart of Winter colds. I lost my voice and now have a sore throat, my kid has a sinus infection (though that can be explained by allergic build-up), and everything I have planned (including my swim right this very minute) is getting put on hold due to one or another person's illness.

Well, here's hoping YOU are not one of the sick ones and you're out there swimming!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Extreme Sport of Sleeping (Wrong)

My mom is (still) always worried I'll exhaust myself swimming or break a leg playing soccer. In the end it's always something typically innocuous that gets me. Saturday night I must have slept wrong because Sunday I couldn't turn my head too well. It hurt, but I still played my soccer game. That can't have helped, but still, really Mom, it was the sleeping that injured me. Monday morning I hit the chiropractor's office and let me tell you...THIS GUY (Dr. Bek) is the bomb. He cracked things I didn't know I owned, and the result was a whole lot more perceived space between my bones. That is good.

I took one day (yesterday) off from swimming and felt great today in the pool...until the breast stroke turn work cropped up. At that point I decided quick neck work wasn't in the cards.

*warm up: 150 free, 50 breast
repeat 3 x

*4 x 50's working on push off wall followed by 4 x 25's (drill then fast)
*3 x 100's quick followed by same 4 x 25's
*2 x 200's quick followed by same 4 x 25's
*150 easy working on flips

*breast stroke turning (or for me, warm pool free to back for 15 minutes :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Good for the Arms

Yin and Yang. Yesterday and Today. I am now fully body balanced and ready to rest tomorrow.

*warm up: 600 with 6 lengths of stroke

*2 x 600 done as: 150 steady, 50 stroke, 200 strong, 50 stroke, 150 steady

*800 done as: 50 strong, 75 mix, 100 strong, 75 mix, 200 strong, 75 mix, 100 strong, 75 mix, 50 strong
75 mix = 25 back, 25 breast, 25 scull

*9 x 100's: 2 steady then 1 strong, three times
10 seconds rest between 100's

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Good for the Legs

Today. Is. Good for the legs. And...drumroll please...the toenail has finally come off all the way so I was able to wear the fins without pain. Or, without toenail pain. Not without workout pain. "Kicking uphill" is not exactly my idea of fun.

*warmup: 250 free, 3 x 50's done as kick, one arm, fast
repeat 2 times

add fins for:

*5 x 100's followed by a 300: 100's done as 1) one leg kick, 2) legs crossed kick, 3) board out in front of you so you can barely move forward and you are kicking into a wall of water, or "uphill" kick, 4) one leg again with "dead" leg out of water this time, 5) fast kick. 300 quick with only 12 strokes per length.

*3 x 200's with fins. In each 200 do the following twice: touch 4 blue lines in a row underwate and do four butterfly strokes

*fast 100

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools Day

As we approached the pool deck, I said to Nancy, "I heard today will be 100% breast."

The look on her face was pure disappointment. "April Fool's Day!" I said. Quick, easy way to make someone real happy at 5:45 in the morning as well as get my one April 1st "trick" out of the way early.

*warm up: 300 free, 200 free to stroke by 25, 100 kick

*3 x 150, 3 x 125, 3 x 100, 3 x 75:
first swim of each 3 is fast 50 free, second is 50 fly to free, third is 50 kick

*3 x 125, 3 x 100, 3 x 75:
something like the first description up there but I'm forgetting exactly what we did

*3 x 75, 2 x 50, 1 x 25
sliding fast 50 free for 75's, fast 25 fly for 50's, last 25 kick

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Still Hanging On

Last night I cut half of my big toenail off from the right side. I was playing touch football with the boys and finally had HAD it with one too many stomps on my flappable stump so I grabbed the toenail clipper and surgically removed the portions that were not attached to skin. This morning I still Scotch taped it down but there was much less resistance in the water, I could tell. Good. That update is over.

Today's workout:

*warm up: 2 x 250, 2 x 150 free

add pull gear for:

*50 easy, 100 moderate, 150 hard
*75 moderate, 150 hard, 225 hard
*100 hard, 200 hard, 300 hard

pull option (not for me!):

*4 x 200's: build by 50 (1st one with first 50 hard, 2nd with first 100 hard, and so on)

*4 x 100's: build by 25

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness

At our house, this means my husband flies off on a plane today to spend what he, his brother and his buddy in Seattle call "The Lost Weekend" holed up in said buddy's sports bar basement watching game after game after game. This year he's in quite a pickle as his two alma maters, Cornell and Stanford, battle in the first round.

Oh, pity him and his nice kidless den in Seattle with meatball sandwiches and beers being passed around.

I, on the other hand, am at the library eeking out 2 hrs of work while I've got a sitter before I get to spend the rest of Spring Break (aka Kidsathomewithnochildcare Week) entertaining the kiddos. Could be worse. But could be better (for me, not my lucky husband).


the workout:

*200 easy, 3 x 100's harder, 4 x 50's strong

*4 x 300's pulling
*2 x 400's pulling
*600 without pull gear!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Books That Swimmers Read

First off, yes the tape on my toenail held for practice again today. Okay, now that we're past that update...

Bill Dawson found me yesterday morning at Borrone and told me that a bunch of swim folks have been meeting there and compiling a list of books they have read that "have changed the attitude, opinion, or life of the reader".

Excellent. I love life-changing books. So, here is Bill's compiled list, and below I've added my own life-changing books (not necesarrily the same as "most fun books to read" of course. Have to do that list soon too). Please add your own list and refer back to this one when you need a good book!

(Oh, and the workout today was basically long free and backstroke :).

Bennet, Anne and Dick

A Town Called Alice, Shute
African Genesis, Ardrey
Amazon, Walker
Atlas Shrugged, Rand
Bel Canto, Patchet
Collapse, Diamond
Complexity, Waldrop
Corellis Mandolin, de Berneires
Cultural Literacy, Hirsch
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Wells
Earth Abides, Stewart
Ex Libris, Fadiman
First Wives Club, Goldsmith
Food In History, Tannahill
Gamesmanship, Potter
Getting Well Again, Simonton
Guns, Germs and Steel, Diamond
Hawaii, Mitchener
How Can One Sell the Air, Chief Seattle
Influencing with Integrity, Laborde
Managing the Commons, Hardin
Miracle at Midway, Prange
Modern Times, Johnson
Mother Daughter Revolution, Debold
My Sisters Keeper, Picouldt
One Upmanship, Potter
Out of Africa, Dineson
Pioneer Women, Stratton
Practicing History, Tuchman
QED, Feynman
Rescue Pilot, McKinnon
Sandeagozer, Jenner
Spending, Gordon
The Tipping Point, Gladwell
The Bridges of Madison County, Waller
The Origins of Consciousness, Jaynes
The Notebook, Sparks
The Road from Coolrain, Conway
The Vision of the Annointed, Sowell
The Wonderful Country, Lea
The House on the Strand, du Maurier
The Territorial Imperative, Ardrey
The Future Assumption, Harris
The Girl Within, Hancock
The Cost of Rights, Holmes
The Bourbaki Gamit, Jerassi
The Clash of Civilizations, Huntington
The All True Travels & Adventures of Liddie Newton, Smiley
The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway
The Red Tent, Diamant
The Old Man and the Boy, Ruark
Time Travelers Wife, Wiffenegger
Winters Tale, Helprin
Women Who Made a Difference, Forbes
Womens Ways of Knowing, Waldorf

Dawson, Bill
A Sense of Where You Are, McPhee
A Passage to India, Forster
Assembling California, McPhee
Aubrey/Maturin Series, OBrien
Don Quixote, Cervantes
Endurance, Lansing
Free to Choose, Friedman
Henderson the Rain King, Bellow
Intellectuals, Johnson
Islam, Smith
My Young Years, Churchill
Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck
Out of Africa, Dineson
The Fate of the Earth, Schell
The Art of War, SunTzu
The Death of Socrates, Stone
The Divine Comedy, Dante
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence
The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Rhodes
The Captive Mind, Milosz
What Went Wrong, Lewis

Mortenson, Carl
1984, Orwell
Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky
Burmese Days, Orwell
Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard
Gift of the Jews, Cahill
Guns, Germs, & Steel, Diamond
Heart of Darkness, Conrad
Moby Dick, Melville
Moral Man and Immoral Society, Niebuhr
Mountains of California, Muir
On Liberty, Mill
On War, Clausewitz
The Captive Mind, Milosz
Typhoon, Conrad

Sulzbach, John
The God Particle, Lederman
The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides
Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, Gray

Eisner, Sarah
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kundera
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, McCullers
Anna Karenina, Tolstoy
Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky
Housekeeping, Robinson
Jesus Land, Scheeres
The Fountainhead, Rand