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 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: