Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve!

Happy last day of 2009! I've got zero New Year's Resolutions this year and that's just how I like it. But, my BFF, who comes and swims with us at Menlo whenever she's visiting, does have some. People are either goal-oriented or not, and she IS. She's an organizational inspiration to me - check her out on the JuiceBox in the featured video today!

I'm ready for the 100x100's but am probably going to do them on Saturday because 8am is too late to start for me (I know that sounds nuts to the rest of the world, yes).

Today's workout:

*3 x 100's free, 50 back, 50 choice
repeat 2x

add pull gear for:

*300, 200, 100
repeat 3x

*2 x 400's

Saturday, December 26, 2009

7,500 x 2

A few of us decided to do the 75x100's twice, today and way back when on xmas eve. It was good the second time too. Especially the breakfast after part. Go Lane 2! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I took the kids (5 and 7) ice skating for the first time ever yesterday afternoon. No prep, no watching first...I just threw them out on the ice (mostly because I'm too cheap to pay for lessons and too lazy to go through a process). The first ten minutes were dicey - lots of falls and leg-grabbing, but then, within 45 minutes they...were...skating. I was so proud, especially when they fell hard and got up and kept trying. I saw my whole life philosophy play out during that hour, wrapped up in strained muscles, questionable balance, concentration and pure desire to conquer new things. It is the very philosophy I hope to pass on to my boys, and it was the best holiday gift I could ask for to see them display it.

And then this morning, into the icy cold water. I am looking forward to the big swim tomorrow!

*warmup: 2 x 350's free then free to drill

*15 x 100's done as 5 sets of 3 x 100's using one length of each 100 as kick, drill, breast, back, fly

*20 x 50's done as 5 sets of 4 x 50's like so: 2 x 50's fast free, 2 x 50's kick, drill, breast, back, fly to free (in order)

Friday, December 18, 2009

I have a cookie problem

One of these is not the issue. But when you over-frost thick, fresh sugar cookies and eat six of them, you are not in prime shape for the long pulling workout the next morning. I am honestly not sure how people who don't swim get through the holidays. If I didn't swim this off this morning I'd still be feeling like I might explode.

Today begins the official school holiday (read: full time mom duty) and last night, as you can see, began the official sugar indulgence period. If I keep going like this I'm going to need to attend BOTH 75x100's sessions.

*warmup: 125 free, 50 stroke, 25 kick
repeat 3x

add pull gear for:

*400 as 6 free, 2 stroke
repeat 2x
*100 fast
*500 as 8 free, 2 stroke
repeat 2x
*100 fast
*600 as 8 free, 2 stroke
repeat 2x
*100 fast

*1,000 straight done as: 250 moderate, 50 fast, 200 moderate, 50 fast, 150 moderate, 50 fast, 100 moderate, 50 fast, 50 moderate, 50 fast

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

I was able to defrost my windshield this morning (dashboard read 31 degrees) by the time I arrived at the pool. I was shocked to return to my car an hour and fifteen minutes later and find the windshield completely re-frozen. Helloooooo, God? This is CALIFORNIA. I know that seasons are pretty and all, but really when I'm prancing around outside an outdoor pool at 5:45 in the morning, in the dark, in nothing but a shiny bathing suit, I'd like a little balminess, okay?

*warmup: 400 free, 2x50's stroke, 200 free, 2x25's stroke
add pull gear for:
*300 build, 3x100's fast, 300 steady
*200 build, 2x100's fast, 200 steady
*100 build, 1x100's fast, 100 steady

*100 fast, 3x50's stroke/drill/steady
*2x100 fast, 3x50's stroke/drill/steady
*3x100 fast, 3x50's stroke/drill/steady

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Just a fun picture of my boys showing off their armpits in glee while watching football and eating pizza last night. Kid-joy is so easy. Speaking of easy joy, Danna kindly gave me the better shower stall this morning when she could have taken it, and said she was reminded by a note she put in her daughter's lunch yesterday. The note said "Today, treat someone else the way you'd like to be treated." Danna said, "I really want that shower, so I'm giving it to you." Love it!

*warmup: 3 x 250's free with last 50 stroke
add fins for:
*2 x 50's one leg kick, 100 IM with one length underwater, 150 drill, 200 free strong
repeat 3x
*2 x 25's one arm swim, 50 free with one length underwater, 100 drill, 200 IM strong
repeat 2x

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Not Bob's Tea Party

Yesterday we bobbed and had tea parties under water. It was fun. I like Bob. And today we did something I like even more: repeat 100's.

*warmup: 700 straight with every 4th length stroke

*3 x 100's on 1:30; 2 x 100's on 1:25; 1 x 100 on 1:20

*4 x 100's on 1:30; 3 x 100's on 1:25; 2 x 100 on 1:20

*5 x 100's on 1:30; 4 x 100's on 1:25; 3 x 100 on 1:20

*warmdown: 200 other than free with every 4th length free

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I ate a lot of it, and all the accoutrements that come with it, so today was good.

*warmup: 5 x 150 free with last length stroke

add pull gear for:

*2 x 200, 3 x 100 descending
repeat 3x

remove or keep pull gear on for:

*100, 2 x 50's fast, easy 50
repeat 2x

Thursday, November 26, 2009

For this I am thankful

I'm posting this before workout today since we ALL know what it will be. 50 x 100's baby!!!!!!! I can't wait. It's also Thanksgiving, and my birthday. And, as you can see on our "thankful wall" from my kitchen, one of the things I am super thankful for is...swimming pools. I think my entries on the wall (not all of which you can see) go like this (not specifically in this order except for #1 of course):

my family
swimming pools
lifelong friends
awesome parent-teacher conferences (yes, it was conference week this month)
amazing grandparents and mommies
apple fritters
birthday celebrations
good neighbors

I could have gone on and on about what I'm thankful for, and for THAT I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Breast Impaired

I wish I had bigger boobs. But that's not really relevant. What is relevant is that I can't do breast stroke. Related? Probably not, but still worth mentioning the connection since I'm twice breast impaired, making today's workout painful and also not that sexy.

*warmup: 200, 150, 100, 50 free all followed by some little spurts of breast stroke.

*3 x 50's free
*4 x 25's free kick on your side
repeat 3x

*3 x 50's breast
*4 x 25's breast kick
repeat 3x

*3 x 50's free
*3 x 50's breast

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pre-Turkey Pull

I am just, very, excited, about, Thursday. Can't wait to eat turkey and drink wine after a long swim! Today was a nice pull to warm up the shoulders for the 50x100's coming up!

*warmup: 5 x 150's all free then gradually adding backstroke by 25
add pull gear for:
*12 x 100's free
remove pull gear for:
*3 x 100's back
add pull gear for:
*6 x 200's free
remove pull gear for:
*3 x 100's back

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I know I've talked about this before but there is just nothing better for me than having my two bestest friends here for a night out and then a swim in the early morning. Thanks Judy for a great Sunday AM swim!

*warmup: 300 "vanilla", 300 every 4th length kick, 300 ever 4th length dps
*600 free with every 4th length
*2 x 300's
*500: 100 moderate, 100 fast, 75 moderate, 75 fast, 50/50 and 25/25
*3 x 200's free
*4 x 150's free

Friday, November 20, 2009

Swim for your Life

SO. My husband works with this guy's sister - the one who saved his life with a stem cell transplant. Amazing story. AND his latest song is called "Swim". LISTEN TO IT. You can hear it on the site, and see a synopsis of the film here:

The site also shows his appearance on the Daily Show from last night. Crazy inspirational stuff.

SO, today's workout was too complicated to remember (even while we were doing it). Here is yesterday's nice, long, SWIM.

*warmup: 500 straight
*1650 straight

YES, swim indeed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


We had a victorious and exciting weekend in Manteca, where W's team won all four of their games (including one in PK's which is sending us back to Manteca next weekend - argh!) and enjoyed a hugely happy dog pile after the semi-final. You can see here that, while a step down from Cabo, I still enjoyed some hot tubbing and beer. Upon returning from the weekend, many of us are ill and I missed swim practice yesterday due to an early morning wakeup by the kids. Today, I made it to the pool only to find breaststroke awaited me. Ah, it was still a workout nonetheless.

*warmup: 4 x 200's all free, 50 breast, 100 breast, 150 breast

*10 x 50's free with funky breathing patterns
*10 x 50's breast with every even 50 done as arms only

*5 x 100's free with long streamline
*5 x 100's free with funky breathing patterns

Friday, November 13, 2009

Soccer soccer soccer

I will be in lovely Manteca California this weekend for the State Cup soccer tourney. From Mex to Manteca within a week's span. Wow. So I shoved four swim days in a row in this week. I will be wishing for a pool tomorrow morning.

NOTE: I will also be wishing I was here to watch the Stanford women's soccer team play on Sunday. Went last night (NCAA first round) and they won again. They are undefeated and amazing. Watching them just makes my jaw drop. I wish I had ever been half as good as they are!

*warmup: 200 free, 100 stroke, 50 kick
repeat 2x

*8 x 150's with 5th length kick

*8 x 100's with stroke limits

and yesterday...

*warmup: 1000 straight
and for variety...
*1000 straight
and for more variety...
and finally...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why are fins so HARD?

I love when people who don't swim say "Oh, you are cheating, using fins?" For me, fins are nearly impossible. They rob me of my oxygen and make me feel like I'm doing water Pilates (not a bad idea perhaps?) while doing a full-out sprint. Unfortunately, I swim with Lanshin who is undeniably the world champion finner. If they would only add a fin event in the Olympics, she would win. Feet down. And I get to chase her during fin workouts. PHEW!

*warmup: 3 x 250's with first 50 easy, last 50 strong

add fins for:

*5 x 300's first and fifth slower than the rest
*200 easy kick
*3 x 300's done as 100 fast, 150 relaxed, last 50 fast

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Suit is Taking Over

Okay I think we are up to around 6 other brave dorks that are sporting the Killer Quad suit with me. It's CUTE so get on it! If you aren't sure how to order, leave a comment here. In other news, I just returned from Cabo, where I did not do any swimming except paddling over to the bar you see in the photo above. I had one goal during this vacation: do not break a sweat. I did some yoga and pilates after rolling out of bed at around 9AM, followed by the paddle to the swim-up bar at around noon. It was heaven.

Back to reality this morning:

*warmup: 300 free, 3 x 100's kick, stroke, strong free

*800, 600, 400, 200
800 and 400 free straight alternating strong and easy by 100's
600 and 200 repeat pattern of kick, stroke, strong free

*175, 150, 125, 100, 75, 50, 25
odd done as free to stroke, even done as strong free

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mex Prep

Okay, so I'm going to Mexico soon and I cannot wait. Logging a lot of swimming before then, and also logging a lot of candy eating and World Series watching. Here are some recent workouts, and the obligatory Halloween photo of the kids.

Saturday (Halloween)
The suit made its debut and yards were swum: 4300, if my counting was right.

Brutal post-Halloween soccer game

One of those workouts where sets sound easy but are hard because of the mixing of IM and freestyle. Too hard to remember the actual sets. But if you haven't gotten the point yet, hard.

*warmup: 125 free, 25 back, 125 free, 50 back, 125 free, 75 back, 125 free, 100 back
add fins for:
*2 x 700's done as 200, 50, 150, 50, 100, 50, 50, 50
first 700 50's are kick with two arms out of the water
second 700 50's are kick with one bottom of the pool touch per length
*2 x 500's done with 2 lengths fly, 2 lengths kick with board, 2 lengths underwater, and 4 lengths in 2 other lanes besides your own (chaos)
*3 x 100's free without fins to finish

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Suit is HERE

Okay, so my Killer Quad suit arrived in the mail yesterday and I'm ready to go for Saturday. It is ridiculously cute, and also...ridiculous. I expect to get quite a good bit of teasing for wearing it (especially from my husband), and especially if I don't finish the darn Killer Quad, but I'm going for it. I personally think that everyone in Lane 2 (if not everyone in the pool) should be wearing this suit. And hey, here's the link to order this bad boy if you feel you would like to join me. Come on people!

Today's workout:

*warmup - basic free but I missed the instructions :)

*9 x 100's free descending by 3

add fins for:

*9 x 100's free alternating on 1:15, 1:20

*9 x 100's free alternating on 1:10, 1:30

*250 back warmdown

Monday, October 26, 2009

Timed Swims

Prepping for the big Halloween swim...I love this time of year. I also love that Tim gives us these patterns to work through during timed swims. Need to remember to use the patterns on Saturday for the hour-long!

*warmup: 8 x 100's odd with last lap kick, even with last lap stroke

*12 minute swim with pattern 25 2 count, 25 moderate, 25 push

*12 minute swim with pattern extended to 50's

*12 minute swim with pattern extended to 100's

*4 x 50's easy/hard

Thursday, October 22, 2009


As I swam this morning I thought about the phenomenon going on at Gunn High School right now. The fact that four kids in four months have killed themselves by stepping in front of the train (and eight to ten other attempts have been prevented by police!!!) is just mind-blowing. Teen suicide in general is awful and tragic. Teen suicide in clusters - in a trend that seems unstoppable - is scary as Hell. Suicide in clusters where the method is standing in front of a train...I just cannot imagine the level of self-hate and despair and anger? these kids must have been feeling. As a kid who experienced depression but couldn't even play chicken with another bicyclist without getting freaked, I just cannot imagine what it takes to stay on those tracks and let the train roll through. I feel for those kids, and the ones who are left behind.

This morning's pull set was indeed therapeutic for me.

*warmup: 800 free

add pull gear for:

*300, 400, 500, 500, 400, 300, 200
second half of "ramp" faster

remove pull gear for:

3 x 100's descending

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've done it.

I've threatened to buy a Killer Quad suit for a while now and, well, I ordered one yesterday. I am a complete tool, I know, but these silly suits make me laugh and actually look forward to getting up early and doing crazy amounts of yards during the Killer Quad. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a preview of the suit. I expect double extra credit for getting super into the spirit of the Quad.

And today's workout was...

*warmup: 300 free, 50 other, 200 free, 50 other, 100 free, 50 other

*kick sets - so painful for me I can't remember, but tomorrow is long free, so we're good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Prep for Halloween Hour Swim!

*warmup: 400 free, 200 3 count, 100 IM

*10 minute swim with every 6th length up tempo

*4 x 75's alternating IM and 3 count free

*10 minute swim with every 5th and 6th length up tempo

*2 x 75's alternating IM and 3 count free

*10 minute swim with every 4th, 5th, and 6th length up tempo

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another Dynamic Duo

Well, Gary and I made it into the melons again, but we only finished in fourth place. More disappointing than our placing was the fact that no inappropriate comments about my chest size and melon earnings were made during the award ceremony this year. No fun. Anyway, it was another year of thinking the workout would be so low in yards that I'd need to supplement later in the day...until the workout was over and my arms hung so limply at my sides that I could barely carry my melon. Thanks Tim!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rain Rain Stay Until Tomorrow

I'm a fan of swimming in the rain, but this morning somehow I slept right through my alarm and didn't get to swim during the storm. I plan to tomorrow morning, so I'm hoping it keeps thrumming down, but in the meantime, we had two great workouts yesterday and the day before that I want to make sure to get down (at least as much as I can remember of them):

*warmup: 150 free, 50 quick
repeat 4x

add pull gear for (odd swims fast, even moderate):
*400, 300, 200, 100
300, 200, 100
200, 100

remove pull gear for:
2 x 500's done as 25, 25, 50, 50, 75, 75, 100, 100 with first one easy second one fast

*warmup: 250 free, 200 IM, 150 free, 100 kick, 50 free

*4 x 100's IM with floating 25 kick and a descend 1-4
*4 x 100's free with floating 25 kick and a descend 1-4

*4 x 25's kick in IM order, 100 IM, 4 x 25's kick free, 100 free
repeat twice

*I know there was more but it escapes me

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dynamic Duo Practice

I can't shake the suspicion that if more people had shown up for practice this morning we would not have had to pair up in perfect 2's per lane and practice the dynamic duo, which is always harder than it sounds. But, that's what happened. And so...

*warmup: 400 free, 300 IM, 200 kick, 100 stroke

*100, 75, 50, 25
*75, 50, 25

*alternating with your partner, 20 x 50's sprint!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Old School, Outa Nowhere

It's not even old school week and today I got an Old School Treat :). This is good, because last night I made "Monster Cookies" from a recipe I found here, and I ate up nearly the whole batch. They were really goooooood.

Swum them off with:

*warmup: 400 free

*3 x 300's descend 1-3
Repeat 3 times, with 9th 300 strongest

*3 x 50's descend 1-3
Repeat 3 times, with 9th 50 strongest

*3 x 25's descend 1-3
Repeat 2 times because it's time to shower

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Swim Across America with Judy!

PHEW! Judy has saved lives by swimming, and now saved me from needing to come up with a blog topic for today. I'm so slammed at my normal job that I can barely get to the pool, let alone write about it. I promise to be better after this week. Until then, here is the great story of Judy and John and Nancy and tons of other MM studs that got out to swim on Saturday! Guest post by Judy:

Swim Across America, We made waves in San Francisco Bay to fight cancer! 2009

At 5 am I drove to the Edgewood Road Park and Ride to meet Menlo Master Eva Gottstein. We loaded the gear into her tiny classic car and drove up to San Francisco. Eva and her husband are expecting their first child and were married just about one year ago at Crissy Field, she decided that perhaps the Bay Swim would need to wait a year. Eva has a stuffed animal company called Sigikid, to support Swim Across America she is donating 50% of the proceeds from their Guardian Angel product line. This will continue through December.

We arrived at Crissy Field shortly before 6 and it was a flurry of activity. All the usual suspects were there and it seemed like countless volunteers as well. I tried to make myself useful; I had a great time hanging banners in the dark and greeting friends and teammates. Some of my students from the Los Altos High School Interact Club showed up as volunteers. This year I was swimming on my friend Susan’s team; Team Susan Survives. There were 33 of us that registered to swim for Susan who is recovering from very major surgery to treat her 3rd cancer.

The full moon was hanging over the water, just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge; it was absolutely gorgeous. As the sun came up we noticed that the wind and water were both very calm…. Ah… relief, last year we had very challenging conditions. (One can be so easily fooled!)

More teammates showed up at the pier. Several Menlo Masters, John Goldman, Mike Dorsey, Paul Laustsen, Chris Kellerman, Nancy Prouty, Anne Young, Louise Feeley and her husband’s young cousin Danny, Stephanie Couch, Joan Caldwell and my colleague Ryan Carter were all swimming for Susan, although most of them had never met her! Menlo Master Diana Spieker and her family were also there, they formed Team Poohstrong to honor the memory of a dear friend.

We boarded the ship and started our journey to the Golden Gate. There were seals frolicking in the waves, the sun was shining and it still seemed like gentle surf. Janel Jorgenson, executive director of Swim Across America made a short speech and opened the mike. We did some group bonding, Susan spoke a little and so did a few others. Gary Emich, Susan’s co-event director gave us swim instructions and we jumped into the San Francisco Bay about 100 yards east of the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. Did I say gentle surf?

At first I thought the waves were from the boats, we were completely surrounded by support craft… but as I started swimming I noticed that we had surf as big as last year. One of the kayakers was yelling…. Follow the lead boat, follow the lead boat… what he didn’t know is that most of us were too low in the water to see the lead boat. OK, nothing left to do except enjoy the view, reflect on why I was swimming and, oh yeah, swim.

The good news, again I did the swim without a wetsuit, this year the water temperature was almost 10 degrees warmer at 62 degrees. (For those of you that think that’s balmy, our competition pool is heated to 81 and our instructional pool is heated to 86 degrees.) I was comfortable for the whole swim. At one point I saw John Goldman and we chatted briefly. I said I would follow him and then had a brief chat with Janel and John was gone. We remarked on the surf and she told me that lots of swimmers were being picked up by support craft. Some time later I looked up to sight and there was a Zodiac with one of my teammates. They were encouraging me to climb in…. climb in? I wanted to swim and kept going. Sometime after that I was told that I was off course and needed to be repositioned a kayaker was there who said that he would stay with me until I was picked up…. I didn’t want to get picked up. John, the kayaker said ok he would who stay with me for the duration of the swim. All of a sudden there was a second kayaker and I looked it was Barbara a masters swimmer! The two of them kept me between the kayaks and guided me to shore. I am very grateful for their kindness. Although it was not an easy swim, I still enjoyed it! I was one of the last people in… I thought it was a pretty tough swim. Herb and my friends greeted me on the beach. We ate some chowder and enjoyed the rest of the day!

With your help when everything is said and done Swim Across America will have raised close to $300,000. This is 1.5 times what we raised last year. The money goes to USCF Children’s Survivorship Clinic and Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Thank you for your support and your WARM wishes!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Swimming Keeps the Anger Away

I know that I'm in a better mood (by far) on days that I have swum. And it seems some of you agree with me. Wallace just wrote me that he has decided not to make major decisions on non-swim days because his disposition tends to be negative. I know he was kidding, but you know what? That might not be a bad idea. Yesterday I didn't swim, and in the middle of the day I called my business partner and started trying to punch holes in our plan. Why? At the time I wasn't sure. I just felt negative. Now that Wallace has reminded me of the chlorine effect I am thinking it is because I was swim-frustrated. Just a thought. Take note of your moods swimmers. Are we all so nutso as to have our daily dispositions ruled by whether or not we go back and forth between plastic lane lines before the sun comes up?

I think yes. And I think today will be a good day, because this morning:

*warmup: 6 x 100's free descending

add pull gear for:

*400 moderate, 2 x 100's fast
*300 moderate, 2 x 100's fast
*200 moderate, 2 x 100's fast

*9 x 100's done repeatedly as easy medium fast

remove pull gear for:

easy 200

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Big Kahuna

More parenting videos on JuiceBoxJungle

Thanks for coming to check out the latest and greatest on the JuiceBoxJungle widget. While you're here I might as well give you my playpen story as well. But before you read it, or heck even instead of reading it, click up above on the widget and check it out. Trust me, it's cool.

I loved the playpen and used it with my first child, a semi whirling dervish of a human who could not be contained by anything but the playpen or my very tired arms, in our two story ancient apartment with a winding wood and concrete staircase. Let's just say there was nary a padded area in sight and I needed that monstrous plastic beast to keep my little rosy-cheeked beast from harm.

I never used it as a Time Out zone, and the little guy seemed to have fun in it, especially on his first New Year's Eve. Opting for an early "East Coast" ball drop, we invited other six-month-olds (and their parents) over and hung a disco ball over the center of the playpen for a "crawl party". The babies rolled and scooted around in the circular "club" with soft toys and BPA-free containers of milk and water while we adults traversed the stairwell with cocktails without the risk of stepping on or dropping one. My NYE 2003 is forever burned into my mind in silvery disco reflections upon gray plastic rails. I needed a party at that point in my motherhood, and I've got the good old playpen to thank for letting me have it.

Last minute swim

I was fully prepared NOT to swim this morning when my husband rustled me at 5:10 and said "Hey you can swim today if you want!" You see, we switch off days and I had swum yesterday, so I mentally prepared to not swim today. I wish I could swim every day, but still, the mental preparation is necessary or at least preferred. Regardless, I jumped out of bed and got going. And I'm glad I did.

*warmup: 500 free

*4 x 600's changing leaders at different times, and one full lead per swim is non-free:
1. change every 150
2. change every 100
3. change every 75
4. change every 50

*500 done by 25 leader change, as "follow the leader"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Check The Almanac

If you haven't seen the Almanac article on Menlo Swim and Sport yet, here it is. YAY Tim! Finally, a positive report of the unbelievable epicenter of swim that Tim has created here in Menlo Park.

Okay, so years ago the bid to run the place didn't get opened up to the whole world. I'm okay with that, because I know that there is no one in the whole world that could run it like Tim.

Every day I thank my lucky stars that the Sheeper family is here in MY town running the most kick ass swim program in any town I've ever visited. When I go away, even to lovely places like Hawaii and Hilton Head Island and Italy, I miss Burgess pool. I want to get back and swim with my Masters Mates, and I even want to shower in the public locker room over the country club spots I am lucky to visit. Why? Because Burgess is ALIVE. It's welcoming, clean (thank you STEVE!!!), friendly, abuzz with swimmers young and old, and because Tim is there to coach us and work us hard so that the shower feels at least 50% better than any other shower anywhere.

And while I get to visit country clubs, I can't afford one. I can't join the Circus Club or Alpine or any other spot around here with a swim team. So I feel elated that when my kids are ready for swim team (next summer I believe) there is one right here at Burgess that we can join and rest assured that it is excellent.

I don't know what I'd do without Burgess and all the programs it offers, and I'm glad to finally see public acknowledgement that many feel the same!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Much Soccer

This weekend was the start of soccer season for everyone in my family. W had his first game of the season on Saturday morning, after swim practice was canceled for the first time ever at Burgess (that I know of) due to lightening. B had his first game ever on Saturday afternoon and is proud to report that he scored 10 goals (not hard when the field is 10 yards long). And finally, N and I had our first game of the season yesterday. Thus, my sore muscles. A swim practice never feels as good as the morning after the season's first soccer game, if you ask me and my legs.

*warmup: 500 free, 200 back

*600 free, 200 back, 600 free all broken to some extent for 5 seconds

*2 x 500's done as 25 kick, 50 back, 75 drill, 100 free swim, repeat

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Old School

Ahhhh, after yesterday's 1,000 yards of butterfly, my arms are a bit tired. And still, loved today's 10 x 300's. Pure and old school...the old school week continues!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Old School Launch

More parenting videos on JuiceBoxJungle

Exciting launch today of our new "branded engagement" widget. Check it out, and send an ecard! Okay so this week at Burgess is Old School Week. Love it. Today's workout:

*warmup: 400 free

*8 x 50's free
*8 x 25's fly
repeat 5 times!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Movie Update and Sat Workout

Just FYI I saw this movie last night which was entertaining (I recommend it), and saw a trailer for one that looks unbelievable. Check out the trailer here...

And this morning...good old fashioned pulling

*warmup: 4 x 175's with last 50 stroke

add paddles for:

*300, 50 limited breathing, 4 x 100's on 1:25
*250, 50 limited breathing, 4 x 100's on 1:20
*200, 50 limited breathing, 4 x 100's on 1:15

*5 x 150's on descending interval

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back from the Beach

So, I've been swimming in a marsh-rimmed pool with concrete lip-sides that dripped with humidity even at 7:30 AM. Generally, I also ran the few miles to the pool, on paths made of asphalt, wound around moss heavy trees and languishing aligators sunning aside lagoons. This picture is one of my toes, propped happily upon a chaise lounge at the only club I'll ever be able to afford joining: my parents' club on Hilton Head Island. I flew there on a whim for a long weekend with NO KIDS, to sit and talk with my mom alone (here's a post I wrote about the upcoming trip last week), and run and swim with the humidity. It was blissful. And I'm not super ashamed to say I didn't want to come back.

But now that I have, Tim and the team and Burgess pool and Borrone afterwards always makes me a little bit glad that I left paradise. Plus, the workout today was damn good.

*warmup: 400 free, 200 kick to free, 100 stroke

*100 free, breast, breast, free
*4 x 25's sprint free
Repeat 3 x with second 25's breast, and 3rd 25's half and half

add fins for:

*100 kick
*50 sprint
*2 x 25's sprint
*50 double arm back
*100 breast with flutter kick riding high on water (MUCH harder than it sounds)
Repeat 3 x

*50 sprint free, 50 breast with flutter kick riding high
*50 sprint free, 2 x 50 breast with flutter kick riding high
*50 sprint free, 3 x 50 breast with flutter kick riding high

Monday, August 24, 2009

Off to Kindergarten

Ben off to Kindergarten

Nice long set to send the kid off to Kindergarten this morning :).

*warmup: 6 x 125's with last lap either scull, kick or double arm backstroke

add pull gear for:

*500 broken at the 100 for 5 sec
*400 done as one arm, regular, dps, regular by 25
*500 broken at the 125 for 5 sec
*400 done as one arm, regular, dps, regular by 25
*500 straight

remove pull gear for:

*500 done as 25 back, 50 fast free, 75 back, 100 fast free x 2

Monday, August 17, 2009

For Wallace

I know Wallace is traveling and converting this to a 16 yard hotel pool, so I hope he enjoys it even though it IS breast stroke and because of that I can't remember half the workout. But really, why waste a good stroke on a small hotel pool, so this is a good workout indeed.

*warmup: 4 x 200's as all free, last 50 breast, last 100 breast, last 150 breast

*4 x 100's free kicking to progressively further blue lines
*4 x 100's breast kicking to progressively further blue lines

*UM. Something I can't remember involving vertical kicking and eggbeating and 5 x 200's.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sufficiently Humbling

warmup: 200 done as 75 free, 25 kick, 75 free, 25 kick
repeat 4 times

add pull gear for:

8 x 100's
4 x 200's
2 x 400's
on tight interval

400 warmdown.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Powered by fritters

I picked the wrong night (last night) to power down 1.5 apple fritters at Chuck's donuts. This morning was a lovely dose of butterfly, which did enable me to work through those fried greasy apples and sugar, but it was also, just, rough!

*warmup: 200 free, 100 one arm fly, 50 dolphin kick
repeat 2x

*21 x 75s:
all those divisible by 3 done as free, dolphin kick, free
all those divisible by 5 done as free, fly, free
all those divisible by 7 done all fly
#21 you have a conflict, and you can choose between 3 and 7 :)

*100 free, 2 x 75's fly
*100 free, 3 x 50's fly
*100 free, 4 x 25's fly

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How Cute Is This?

A cool company (Paper Culture) I just discovered not only has eco-friendly stationary but will actually address and mail your announcements, invitations, whatever FOR FREE. They also have the ultimate stationary for swimmers. I just had to pass this on. You can get this print in thank you cards (which is what I have ordered), and other "life event" stationary too, but they display it as a "moving for schools" announcement. Clever.

And...this morning I felt like one of these fish: the red fish. I was huffing and puffing and pumping blood to my face like crazy by swimming with a big huge parachute (okay, a T-shirt) attached to me. That's right, it was the dreaded drag day. Far from including Tim dressing up in a prom gown and tiara, which would have been entertaining, drag day means we get to swim in our shorts or T-shirts. This morning, a T-shirt made itself available to me at the front door (too much disclosure on the state of my housekeeping, I know).

*warmup: 200 free, 100 stroke, 50 kick with no drag
repeat 2x

add drag for:

*250 free, then 200 done with one breast stroke pull down and two fly strokes off each wall
*250 free, then 150 done with one breast stroke pull down and two fly strokes off each wall
*250 free, then 100 done with one breast stroke pull down and two fly strokes off each wall
*250 free, then 50 done with one breast stroke pull down and two fly strokes off each wall

remove drag for:

*5 x 100's free descending 1-3, hold 3-5
*5 x 50's free fastest average possible

Monday, July 27, 2009


Nancy and I headed out yesterday to do the 2.4 mile race at Catfish. It was an amazing day, beautiful water, and horrible organization! First we waited in line for a bus that none of the workers knew anything about (when would it come? would it come at all?). When the line got longer and the bus didn't come, we asked if we could simply walk to the reservoir. They had no idea whether we could or in which direction to send us. The first race time approached and no bus. Then a bus came, but couldn't fit everyone on it. Swimmers began to get nervous, but I was impressed with how calm most people stayed. Good thing this was a swim and not a triathlon :).

Once we finally got a bus, the lines at the race were equally long to wait through. But, we saw Scott, so that was fun. After we set up our stuff on the ledge overlooking the 1.2 mile race that was beginning, we found Stephanie and Sue as well. The sun came out, the lines were forgotten, we had small fans and Deanna to cheer us on, and our swim was a blast. Stephanie, Scott and I ended up drafting off one another without planning to, most of the race, and we all crossed the finish line together. Nancy was busy winning the entire freaking race (first woman out of the water) up ahead (I have GOT to learn not to invite faster swimmers than myself to come race with me :).

We waited for the award ceremony, thinking Nancy would get a great prize, and were disappointed in two ways. First, although they had separated the swim divisions by wetsuit and non-wetsuit (none of us wore one...the water had ZERO chill!), they combined the divisions for placing and prizes. UNfair (especially for me since that knocked me off the podium). It also kicked Stephanie out of first place in her age group, which was a bummer (she was first for non-wetsuits). Second, the prizes were LAME. A box of Gu?????? Are you kidding me????? There was a shirt (which they forgot to give Nancy entirely in her prize bag) but it was printed with a company name, no Catfish Swim verbiage or anything. Clearly a company giveaway.

Despite all that - the swim was phenomenally fun and sunny and enjoyable and CLOSE BY, so I suppose it was well worth it. A wonderful Sunday morning all around. Now, my arm is sore from battling at the mass start so I'm home writing instead of swimming. Tomorrow the pool!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Long Stuff

Uh oh. I've been swimming M, W, F, Sat lately and the only day lately that seems to be oriented toward my love of long sets is Saturday. This is no bueno for my upcoming 2.4 mile swim at Catfish this Sunday. I didn't really think about it until today, when we had a nice long set of sets. Can you say "arms that feel like lead pipes?" I do not feel lithe. Oh well, I'll have to chug through it, and perhaps starting next week I will switch my days to Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat. Stay tuned, I know you can't wait to hear how that decision goes.


*warmup: 600 straight free. ahhhh.

*800: switch leads at the 100, first 50 fast, second 50 moderate
*600: switch leads at the 200, first 100 fast, second 100 moderate
*400: no lead switch, do second 200 fast

*3 x 300's by 100: first 100 75 fast, second 100 50 fast, third 100 25 fast

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Lines are Clear and Straight.

I'm reading Dara Torres' book because I'm staging a comeback. Okay so I have nothing to come back to, but I'm reading the book anyway. While Dara seems to be an annoying person I would not want to be friends with (type A, obsessed with winning everything, self-centered, etc. etc.), I'm giving that to her as her right since she's such a bad ass. I figure most world-class athletes and performers have to be incredibly cocky and type-A and obsessed to get themselves to where they are, so there.

Long story short, lots of the book is unrelateable to me. But I love her descriptions of being in the water and of her relationship with the water. I am really feeling her in these passages, she seems to sum up my feelings exactly, and I wanted to share them:

"I also remembered the straightforward nature of life in the pool. You know exactly where you're going. It's easy to state your goals. Tasks and obligations are well-defined. Life outside the water is so maddeningly full of complexity and nuance. I liked being back in the pool. The lines are clear and straight."

"Swim practice has a reputation for being boring. I'm not going to tell you that's wrong, but swimming can be interesting, too. Working out in the water shows you the contents of your own mind. It teaches you to rein in your thoughts and come back to the present so you can focus on the small details in the pool--how you move your body, the shape of your hand as it moves under your torso, the position of your mouth when you take a breath. If your mind is in the right place in practice, you focus only on your body in the moment."

And THAT is what has gotten me through so many rough weeks!

So, on to today's main sets (can't remember the warm-up and other, was thinking of my body in the moment :):

add fins for:

*2 x 100 free; 50 fly
repeat 5 times

fin option for:

*2 x 50 free; 25 fly
repeat 5 times

Monday, July 13, 2009


Saturday morning I walked through the freshly bleached locker room and promptly got a vision-impairing migraine like I haven't had in at least five years. Quite a bummer, but although I couldn't see the backstroke flags in their entirety, or Tim's face as he was explaining the set for that matter, I remembered that the doctors said exercise and caffeine were things that would help the headache not come on so strong. Never had I gotten a migraine at the start of a workout, so this was my chance.

I could see again after the first set, and while I spent most of the day (started to feel better around noon) lying on the couch feeling that nauseous migraine feeling, I do believe it was one of the most mild migraines I've ever had. Thus, I have strengthened my "Swimming cures everything" hypothesis that I plan to keep proving my whole life long.

Of course, I didn't get the energy on Saturday to write out that workout, so here is today's:

*warmup: 200, 150, 100, 50 free, each followed by 50 stroke

add paddles for:

*100 DPS, 200 free build by 100
*100 DPS, 400 free build by 200
*100 DPS, 600 free build by 200
*100 DPS, 400 free build by 200
*100 DPS, 200 free build by 100

remove paddles for:
300 free; 25 DPS, 25 swim, 25 DPS, 50 swim, so on
250 done as 50 back DPS, 50 free, 50 back DPS, 100 free

Monday, July 6, 2009

Funniest thing I've seen in a while

It's relevant, because there is a swim team reference.

So, today:

*warmup: 250, 200, 150, 100, 50 last 50 of each stroke other than free

*200, 150, 100 (200 fast)
*200, 150, 100 (150 fast)
*200, 150, 100 (100 fast)
*200, 150, 100 (all fast)

*75, 50, 25 fast free
repeat 4 times

Friday, June 26, 2009

Goodbye Childhood

Well, yesterday the news was just shocking, and today I'm saying goodbye to a big part of my childhood: Michael Jackson. I can't get enough of the stories about what people of our generation remember from their adolescence related to MJ, so leave a story if you still have energy after that brutal fin workout this morning, please.

*warmup: 500 straight: 5 free, one kick, 4 free, one kick, 3 free, one kick, 2 free, one kick, and of course one and one.

add fins for:

*200 done as 50 dolphin on back, 50 flutter on back rotating
*100 strong free
*50 floaty backstroke (unless you are behind Lanshin, when nothing with fins is "floaty")
repeat 3x

*200 done as 50 kick with head out of water, 50 kick on side, 50 arms out of water, 50 kick on side
*100 easy breaststroke with dolphin kick
*50 strong butterfly
repeat 3x


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Back from the South

Just back from Hilton Head and boy does it feel good to get in cool water again. This is the gorgeous pool I swim in there, and I LOVE it more than anything, but I always feel pretty fast when I return from 84 degree water to home.

Yesterday's workout:

*warmup: 4 x 175's with one length stroke

*100 kick scull in IM order, 4 x 25's fly, 200 strong free
*100 kick scull in IM order, 4 x 25's back, 200 strong IM
*100 kick scull in IM order, 4 x 25's breast, 200 strong free
*100 kick scull in IM order, 4 x 25's free, 200 strong IM

*2 x 100's free strong, 100 IM relaxed
*2 x 100's free relaxed, 100 IM strong

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Two GREAT workouts

Today and yesterday: good solid mid to long distance freestyle. And boy did I need it. It's been a stressful few days, culminating yesterday with real live hate mail in my physical mailbox that claimed my writing is mean-spirited and an egregious display of bragging about my children (at least they didn't mention swimming - THAT would have made me upset). It was anonymous of course, but signed "Tired of Mean People". It made me feel sick and dirty to get it - no one likes to be told that they are making others feel bad, and I'm shocked to hear that I have, though I know that is the danger of this blogging thing. Yuck. I would also like to say to the author of that letter though that I, too, am tired of mean people. What I do with mean people is, I swim them out of my system:


*warmup: 400 free, 4 x 75's free descending

add paddles for:
*2 x 100's then a 500 free
*2 x 100's then a 400 free
*2 x 100's then a 300 free
*4 x 200's free with descending interval


*warmup: oops, can't remember. something like today's warmup :)

*5 x 400's with varying focus:
100 fast, rest smooth
25 fast, 75 smooth repeating
50 fast, 50 smooth repeating
last 200 fast
whole 400 fast, med or easy depending on what you've got "in the tank"

Friday, June 5, 2009

TGIF, but not TGIF

Yup, Thank God It's Friday. But no part of me this morning was thinking Thank God It's Fins. Still, fins it was.

*warmup: 6 x 125 free with last length dolphin kick

add fins for:

*50 fly with only three strokes per length, 100 fast kick, 50 dolphin kick, 100 fast swim
repeat three times

*100 (3 underwater dolphin kicks), 50 back with dolphin kick, 100 (4 UW dolphin kicks), 50 back with dolphin kick, 100 (5 UW dolphin kicks)
repeat twice

*2 x 25's sprint, 50 recovery
repeat four times

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Paddle Danger

It didn't really dawn on me why I never feel nervous about open water swim starts, until my BFF commented on how crowded she feels during them - being used, as she is, to swimming alone. WELL, frankly? I've found that swimming during morning workout with 5-8 people per lane during a long pull set is wayyyyyy more dangerous than open water swim starts, and it explains why I don't feel out of my comfort zone at all when doing them.

This morning some lame lane one person (totally kidding - I'm sure it was my fault, I'm just speed-jealous), cracked the back of my hand perfectly atop a vein where there ain't much skin or blubber to cushion the blow, with the slicing edge of their paddle. It hurt enough for me to throw the F bomb underwater (anyone hear it?) and by the time I had retrieved my paddle and got to the side I already had a half a golf ball sized lump.

"Holy Guacamole!" Dr. Lanshin said as she pulled in to finish the swim.

"Now THAT'S not what you want to hear from a doctor" said Tim.

"Well, will I die?" I said.

"No" Tim said. "Spit on it and keep swimming."

So I did, but let's just say I'm having trouble typing this. Here's what we swam:

*warmup: 15 minute straight swim (as far as I could tell)

add paddles for:

*400, 200
*400, 200, 2 x 150's
*400, 200, 2 x 150's, 3 x 100's

some sort of warm down I skipped to ice my hand.

Friday, May 29, 2009

No relays

I have this little personal rule: I never make myself stay in for relays. I know I seem like a wuss when I jump out as soon as I hear the "relays!" declaration at the end of a workout on a Friday (like today), but I just feel the ROI on the five minutes is low for me. :)

*warmup: 150 free, 50 stroke, 50 kick
repeat 3 x

*4 x 50's free
repeat 5 times, interval decreases by 5s each time

*3 x 50's back, breast, fly
repeat 3 times, interval decreases by 5s each time

relays = shower = get to coffee early for me!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

Today was a good swim day. I can do flip turns again, and sets were long free. Great way to start a vacation day!

*400 free, 4 x 100's free

*2 x 400's free, 100 easy
*4 x 200's free, 100 easy
*8 x 100's free, 100 easy


Friday, May 22, 2009


Tim must be hanging out with the synchronized swimming coach again because today we did kicking with two arms and one leg out of the water. Well, I should say that we tried to do this, not that we succeeded. I was wishing I had a camera with me during this set. Even saw one person stop mid-length and use their hands to manually lift their leg in the air. Didn't work well.

*warmup: 800 with every fourth length non-free

add fins for:

*100 dolphin kick, 200 IM
repeat 3x with 2nd 200 done as free

*4 x 100's fly, back, breast, free
3 underwater kicks each way to make 360 turn: back, side, belly
increase to 4, 5 and 6 by 100

*4 x 100's kick: one arm out, two arms out, two arms and one leg out, then regular flutter


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I did it!

The ribs still hurt but I did almost a whole workout today without wincing. Good deal. Can't do a flip turn except when I forget I shouldn't be doing one. That's when I winced.

But this cheered me up. Here is my kid's school doing something on the blacktop this morning that actually made me well up with tears.

*warmup: 500 free, 6 x 50's descend every two 50's

*2 x 25's kick, 2 x 25's catchup, 4 x 25's fast free
repeat twice

*10 x 100's fast with 3 minutes active recovery inbetween.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pushin' through

So it still hurts to breathe, but I got in this morning and did the warm up. After that, I was cringing under the water, so I got out and went to the warm pool to do some kicking. It was a mild workout at best, but boy did it feel good after a week of nothing. And, in the locker room I was re-inspired by Clara, who told me about a car accident she was in a few months before her Ironman race. She, too, bruised her ribs (that seatbelt plus the air bag at high impact is no picnic) and could not do much for a while. But she took a week off, then did some underwater jogging and kicking, and finally got back to running after a few weeks and made it back in time for her Ironman a few months later.

My friends think I'm nuts not to just say "I'm injured" and sit out for a bit. That alone doesn't make me nuts. It's hearing Clara's story and thinking "Yah, I'm being such a pussy - I need to push through!" that makes me nuts. I'm not, after all, even training for anything.

On another note, while I've had extra time this past week due to not swimming, I gobbled up a new book, and it re-inspired me to put some of my own writing out there which has been sitting for a good long time. Check out both here if you're interested!

Friday, May 15, 2009

It hurts to laugh

The ribs hurt from a soccer collision, and I've been out of the pool for a week (much to everyone's chagrin - I'm grumpy). But Ben's Rock N Roll Preschool performance sure cheered me up and gave me a laugh last night. The dude is a born performer.

Monday, May 11, 2009


This is the funniest thing I've seen in a while. It actually made my Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mother's Day: I want more swim time

My husband asked me last night if there was anything I was "hoping to get" for Mother's Day. Sadly, or happily, I'm not sure, I couldn't really think of anything better than more swim time and a massage. We really are obsessed people. BUT, I'm not nutty enough to spend a weekend in Clovis at Nationals, that's for sure. I can't get over the fact that so many of our teammates go and spend a weekend waiting to swim, after whole childhoods full of days and days spent at meets waiting to swim. Impressive!


*warmup: 400 free, 400 non-free

*3 x 25's kick, 3 x 25's drill, 4 x 25's sprint
repeat 3x different stroke each time

*1000 broken out like this:
2 x 50's, 2 x 100's, 2 x 200's, 2 x 100's, 2 x 50's (first of each is fast, second is recovery)

*warm down (warm down?!?!?! we NEVER get a warm down scheduled in. Thanks Tim!)

Monday, May 4, 2009

OMG! I'm the Mother of the Year

Well, what do you know. I've won "Mother of the Year" and as this video shows, have been congratulated by President Obama, celebrated by Hollywood stars, and praised by a remarkably articulate baby. I knew I was good.

Customize this coolio video for all of the moms in your life. MomsRising is the bestest, and I've been supporting them for years. Join on!

Liquid study (not pool water)

My oldest kid turned 7 yesterday, and we decided to revisit Chevy's for a bday dinner. We'd gone there when he turned 4 and done a few classic poses, so we decided to re-enact the whole experience three years later. Here are the results. Clearly he's a much more mature margarita sipper these days.

and the post-margarita weekend workout was:

*warmup: 600 free, 3 x 100's IM

*drill 100, kick 50 free
*drill 100, kick 50 back
*drill 100, kick 50 breast
*drill 100, kick 50 fly

*4 x 50's fast followed by 100 easy
*3 x 50's fast followed by 100 easy
*2 x 50's fast followed by 100 easy
*1 x 50 fast followed by 100 easy

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Best defense against the swine flu

If you stay in the pool all day every day, I'll bet the swine flu can't get you. That's one method they didn't cover in the newsletter sent home to all parents at my kid's school: stay in the pool. We got a memo one day saying the memo on the flu would be coming out the next day, and with so much buildup I was expecting more advice than simply: wash your hands, and stay home if you're sick!

Speaking of the swine flu, it's a shame that everyone is so scared (though I'm impressed with the reaction of all of our government organizations, I feel for the people this mobilization freaks out). Seems like a needless worry to me (amid so many). Of course, it's always good to wash your hands 8x a day for 20 seconds at a time, as the school recommends. More water activities = good.

*warmup: 400 free with every 4th length breast; 4 x 100's descending free

*6 x 200's free: moderate, last 50 hard, second 100 hard, 4 x 50's, easy, sprint
*6 x 100's free: moderate, last 25 hard, second 50 hard, 4 x 25's, easy, sprint

Monday, April 27, 2009

How do people do it without swimming?

I've had a mildly rough week. NO one is dying, or very ill, or anything at all like that, but it's just been a slog to get through. And I consistently turn to the pool to get in and beat all of my frustration and tiredness out. I just don't know how normal folk do it without swimming :)

*warmup: 400 free, 300 back to breast by 25

add pull gear for:

*200 free, 2 x 150's
*300 free, 3 x 100's
*400 free, 4 x 100's

remove gear for:

*200, 4 x 50's fast
*100, 4 x 25's fast
*50, 4 x 25's fast

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You might be an insane mom if...

More parenting videos on JuiceBoxJungle do what we all do nearly every morning: swim in an outdoor pool in whatever weather, before dawn. You also might be a really fit and somewhat ready-to-take-on-the-day mom, which is what I am after I swim, and NOT what I am after a non-swim morning. Obviously, the swim is critical to my well-being and yes, it's like a mommy-drug. Luckily, though addictive, it's something that helps my kids instead of hurts them.

So here, folks, is the episode we've all been waiting for (I know you have...) because we're IN it! Check it out.

On another note, here's a funny list I found on Facebook called "You might be a swimmer if..."

...whenever you hear an electronic beep, you instinctively jump. have rings around your eyes unrelated to the amount of sleep you got.

...waking up before dawn to exercise seems normal.

...jamming a piece of Styrofoam between your legs is not a kinky sexual activity.

...bugs die of chlorine poisoning when they land on your skin.

...the phrase "This set with fins" is better than hearing "You just won $1000". answer, "I don't need to" when someone asks when you showered last. learn how to squirt water 15 different ways.

...your long term goal is to slap your bicep on your lat. suck at running.

...the only thing you can talk about is swimming.

...there are wet towels over every door in your house.

Yup, I'm a swimmer.

Go John!

Gary let me in on the fact that he went to this kick ass Goldman Prize event last night, where Al Gore and Robert Redford presented and Tracy Chapman sang.

Fellow MM John Goldman does some serious good. If you're interested in some of the history of the 20 year old foundation, check out these impressive deets:

The first Goldman Environmental Prize ceremony, timed to coincide with Earth Day, took place on April 16, 1990. Coincidentally, it was also Richard’s 70th birthday. The Goldmans had sent out over 3,000 invitations, expecting only a small fraction to attend. Instead, 1,600 sent RSVPs. On the day of the event, a lively and supportive audience cheered the first six Goldman Environmental Prize winners, each of whom received a $60,000 cash award with no strings attached (the award has since grown to $150,000). Of that first ceremony, one attendee wrote to the Goldmans, “We came without too much advance thought, mostly out of curiosity, and left an hour and a half later in awe.”

That first year will remain special for the Goldman family. Yet each year since then has brought its own inspiring moments. In 2001 jailed environmental activist Rodolfo Montiel Flores (Mexico, 2000) was released, in part because Goldman Prize winners and jurors traveled to Mexico to demand his release. In 2003 Marina Silva (Brazil, 1996), a former rubber tapper, became Minister of the Environment in Brazil. In 2004 Goldman Prize recipient Wangari Maathai (Kenya, 1991) received the Nobel Peace Prize, the first environmentalist to win the prestigious prize. Nine months after the 2005 Goldman Prize ceremony Corneille Ewango (Democratic Republic of Congo, 2005) and his wife, Esialambele, named their new daughter Rhoda.

Now, back to more mundane affairs, here was today's stellar workout:

*warmup: 375 free, 375 free with every 3rd length stroke

*50, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100, 50 free (second half descending)
*400 free strong
repeat 2x

Monday, April 20, 2009

Warm Swim

Enjoying this brief summer interlude immensely! Here's my gorgeous niece enjoying the water, much like I will do later today (although not in as cute a bathing suit). I'm going to make it a double day at Burgess and go back with the kids when school lets out. Whoohoo!

*warmup: 400 free, 50 breast kick; 200 free, 100 breastroke

*3 x 100's free descending
*3 x 100's free steady
*3 x 50's breast descending
*3 x 50's breast steady
*3 x 100's breast to free (by 50) descending
*3 x 100's breast to free steady

*3 x 50's breast pulldown, 2 count, fast
*3 x 50's free drill, 2 count, fast
*3 x 50's breast pulldown, 2 count, fast
*3 x 50's free drill, 2 count, fast

Friday, April 17, 2009


Get ready to swim even after practice, people. It is supposed to be 85 degrees here on Sunday, and 84 on Monday. There may be no more exciting time a year for a swimmer than that first morning when we actually jump into the pool and the water temperature is lower than the air temperature. Bliss!

*warmup: 200 free, 100 IM, 50 kick; 200 free, 100 stroke, 50 kick; 200 free, 100 IM, 50 kick

*25, 50, 75, 75, 50, 25
repeat 4x; 1 and 3 with free, 2 and 4 with IM

*100 sprint free, 50 easy
repeat 2x

*100 sprint IM, 50 easy
repeat 2x

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Breast is NOT Best

Relax, no breastfeeding advice here (though here's a great article about the debate if you're interested).

I'm just talking about the STROKE. And I don't like it. Non-swimmers think breaststroke is some sort of lazy thing we do when we feel like resting actively. In reality, it's HARD. And again, I don't like it.

*warmup: 200 free, 100 breast, 50 kick
repeat 3x

*8 x 50's free fairly strong
*8 x 50's breast fairly strong

*3 x 100's fast free
easy 50
*3 x 100's faster free

10 minutes of fin kick!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back from illness/Spring Break

Last week I had the kids home from school and we took off to LEGOland, which was fun, except I couldn't swim and I had a sore throat. I'm thrilled to be back.

*warmup: 300 free, 200 stroke, 100 kick, 4 x 50's free

*6 x 100's strong
*easy 100
repeat 2 x

*4 x 50's flutter kick

*fast 100 with active recovery
*fast 50 with active recovery

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hot Water

More parenting videos on JuiceBoxJungle

I've been doing a little experiment for, oh, seven years now. The results of my experiment can be defined by the following equations:

Me + Morning Swim = 75% chance of not losing temper with children during rest of day
Me - Morning Swim = 25% chance of not losing temper with children during rest of day

Other factors play in, like coffee and time of year (Winter is not my favorite), but the biggest determining factor of my mood and level of patience with small whiny people during the day is by far my early submersion in chlorine. I guess I flush out all the wound-tightness by freezing in the dark in nothing but a swimsuit while waiting for Tim to arrive, then thrashing my arms through moonlit water before dawn. I like to top that off with a searing hot shower and rich coffee from Borrone, and by 7 AM my day is pretty much off to a gorgeous start.

It's up to the kids to bring me down throughout the day, but I'm usually able to stay afloat as long as I've spent that early hour floating through the pool.

*Caveat: I really do love my kids madly of course. It's just, boy can they make me mad.

Here comes Easter

Just had to use that title so I could show off this picture. That's all.

*warmup: 350, 250, 150 free with last 50 breast

*400 of kicking, I can't keep track of what exactly the order was (and it was KICKING, which is really all you need to know)

*50 fast free, 50 easy breast
*2x50 fast free, 50 easy breast
*3x50 fast free, 50 easy breast
*50 fast breast, 50 easy free
*2x50 fast breast, 50 easy free
*3x50 fast breast, 50 easy free

easy 50

SPRINT 200 free for time

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cookie breaks

It would be nice if, like during my informal soccer practices with the local boys, we could have cookie breaks during swim workouts. Anyone?

*today's warmup: 250, 200, 150, 100, 50 free with last 50 of each stroke

*6 x 50's fast kick down, easy free back

*200 moderate, 2 x 100's fast, 4 x 50's very fast free

*200 moderate, 2 x 100's fast, 4 x 50's very fast IM/stroke

*8 x 25's with half length sprint

relays (i.e. I'm outa there!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Win $200

Little hint: If you join JuiceBoxJungle by midnight on Thursday you are entered to win $200. Okay, now the swim.

*warmup: 400 free, 4 x 75's IM without the fly

*4 x 25's fly, 4 x 25's IM order, 4 x 25's kick, 100 easy IM, 100 hard free
*4 x 25's back, 4 x 25's IM order, 4 x 25's kick, 100 easy free, 100 hard IM
*4 x 25's breast, 4 x 25's IM order, 4 x 25's kick, 100 easy IM, 100 hard free

*2 x 25's free with five strokes sprint, 50 slow motion, 100 fast free

*2 x 25's IM with five strokes sprint, 50 slow motion, 100 fast IM

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


So, as my best friend was completing the Lavaman in Hawaii this weekend, I was in bed with a fever. Fun times! I'm fine now, but it sure makes a pull set more difficult. Alas, I'm back in the water, and my kids posed unprompted for a photo on the way to school. All good.

*warmup: 200 free, 50 fast free, 50 stroke
repeat 3x

add pull gear for:
*2 x 150's moderate, 100 fast, 50 easy
*2 x 150's moderate, 2 x 100 fast, 50 easy
*2 x 150's moderate, 3 x 100 fast, 50 easy

*100, 1 x 50 fast
*100, 2 x 50 fast
*100, 3 x 50 fast

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rest at the wall. Just kidding.

Oddly, just an hour later, all I can remember is the main set. Here goes:

100 IM, 2x75's free, 3x50's IM transitions, 4x25's anything you want, 3x50's IM transition, 2x75's free, 100 IM

After each swim, vertical kick with hands in the air until last person arrives. Then continue vertical kicking as a "family of kickers" (nice term, Tim) for an extra 10 seconds before shoving off.


Monday, March 23, 2009


Welcome to the week, with paddles and all.

*warm up: 3 x 150, 2 x 100, 1 x 50 strong

add paddles for:

*50 scull, 100 dps, 200 strong, 100 back
*50 scull, 100 dps, 2 x 200 strong, 100 back
*50 scull, 100 dps, 3 x 200 strong, 100 back

remove paddles for:

*2 x 100's strong
*25 scull, 50 dps, 25 back
*1 x 100 strong
*25 scull, 50 dps, 25 back

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Too much of a good thing

So, the pool is back in action just in time for some assumed rain that was slated to cancel my soccer game today. Fortunately the rain stopped and the game is on. Unfortunately I assumed it would be off and did a hard core fly workout (thank you Judy) this morning. Hoping not to collapse later tonight...

Monday, March 16, 2009


The performance pool is 68 degrees: TOO COLD.
The bubble pool is 85 degrees: TOO HOT.
Where is my JUST RIGHT pool?
(Don't worry Tim, I'm being patient and swimming in the lesser of two evils, the TOO HOT pool of course). I'm shocked I don't see anyone else in the hot pool. Where are you? Should I be alerted the MP Police that there are a bunch of REALLY grumpy swimmers who have not been in the water in 7 days roaming the streets? Get in here - it's not so bad.

*600 every 4th length back
*500 IM/free by 100's
*400 strong/easy by 50's
*300 every 4th length back
*200 IM/free by 100's
*100 strong

*4 x 100's: IM/free

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I actually sweat (sweated? sweater? this all sounds wrong) this morning in a pool. The heater is still broken in OUR pool but Tim was nice enough to open up the bubble for us as we are about to expire due to swimlessness. It was hot. And not in a good way. But better than being cold! Speaking of hot, check out my latest on SV Moms Blog if for no other reason than to see this amazing photo of me I can't believe I published.

*warmup: just get in

*50 swim, 50 kick
repeat 4x

*build from 25 to 200 kick/swim by 25

*build from 25 to 100 sprint/kick by 12.5
repeat 3x

*break down from 100 to 25 kick with last length sprint

Thursday, March 12, 2009


No pool for a week. Not the worst thing that can happen to a person, just the worst thing that can happen to a swimmer. Here's the update:

No progress has been made.

Morning masters workouts are cancelled for Friday 3/13.

Noon workout is still on.

Morning water temperature is 69 degrees with air temperature of 39.

Afternoon water temperature is 71 degrees with air temperature of 63.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No really. 68 degrees?

Okay I'm getting desperate. Must. Have. Swim. Today I planned to go to a spin class and somehow slept through it, only to have to do a very boring Precor workout in my garage as pennance. Methinks if the pool is not ready by Friday (and I know it won't be), I'm going to bust out my wetsuit and make my kids come watch me suffer. After all, its about time I started teaching them about hard work :).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Art meets Water

Hey, help a fellow artist out:

Save Sunday afternoon, March 29, for Dana Shields' FIRST art opening. ;-)

She’ll be showing paintings done over the last few years in various classes.
The paintings will be up for a month.

There will be drinks and snacks provided by Café Zoë. Children are welcome.

Sunday March 29th .
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Café Zoë, 1929 Menalto Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Monday, March 9, 2009

Update. Bad News. FYI.

Water temperature is currently 74 degrees.

Best case scenario-repaired by Wednesday, 3/11.
Worst case scenario-repaired by Monday, 3/16.

Madhuri Yechuri a brave swimmer on our team did the Lake Tahoe Polar Bear
Swim a few weeks ago. 15 minutes in 40 degree water.

We will still have Masters workouts if anyone is interested.

I will keep the team updated on our repair progress.

Welcome soccer season, goodbye legs...and pool heater?

I knew that coming to practice the day after the first soccer game of the season was risky (Mondays usually involve kicking, and my legs feel like I've been treading water for hours), but I didn't count on kicking sets plus a broken pool heater. Bzzzzzurrrrr.

At least I have this dude to channel whenever I feel like the going is rough.

*(un)warmup: 700 free

*100 with a few strokes of fly, 75 free, one arm fly, free, 50 fast free, 25 fly
repeat 2x

*leap out of the pool, freezing, and jump in the bubbled pool for kids set at 85 degress. after sweating a bit, do:

500 free
5 x 100's alternating free/IM
500 free

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Back to life...

Back after a week of strep throat - whooohoooo! The rest of the team is still at the pool finishing the workout, but I had to get home to hang with Grandma and prep for the 2pm Mardi Gras party we have today. It takes a lot to prepare for drinking at 2pm.

*warmup: 600 free, 4 x 100's free descending
*4 x 25's kick, 4 x 25's stroke, 100 IM, 200 free
done 4x as fly, back, breast then free

Monday, March 2, 2009

Do as we say

Overheard today in the showers from two veteran moms to one new mom: "Do as we do, not as we say. What we've done ain't pretty." And it struck me as the crystalline truth. Heck, I will tell people as far and wide as my voice can be heard that TV is a waste of time for kids, but come to my house on a rainy weekday when some work needs to get done and guess what? Spongebob reigns. I can tell you I believe in consistency and always making sure your kids know what to expect to prevent tantrums, but come to my house when I make a last minute decision that there will be no dessert after dinner and you'll see an uprising I am not equipped to defeat.

On our team, in the women's locker room, we watch each other get married (showing off their gorgeous swimmer muscled arms), have babies (stretching out their previously gorgeous and flat tummies), and become grandparents (luxuriating in all the time in the world to SWIM!). We give advice and knowing glances when one of us shows up after a sleepless night, desperate to be outside in the chlorine, cranking it out instead of nursing and rocking through the hours when it feels like no one else is alive or awake on the planet. (I remember drinking a full pot of coffee at 3AM before showing up at 5:45 - knowing that it was pointless to try and sleep between a feeding and a swim; Yearning for my muscles to feel numb instead of my brain.)

We are lucky to have each other. There is something more reassuring than my slippery image of God for me, about the feeling I'll have when I'm done with a swim...about the hot shower and lotion lube up and coffee I'll travel to get. And mostly, about seeing the same swimmers day after day, whatever the life cycle, in the locker room and in the pool, beside me.

And now for something unemotional. The workout:

*150 free, 50 breast, 25 breast kick
repeat 4x

*100 breast with varying kick/pull ratio, 100 breast kick tummy to back, 100 7 kick free (one dry shoulder, one wet), 100 fast free
repeat 3x

*50 easy free, 50 breast focus on arms, 50 breast focus on elbows, 50 fast free
repeat 3x

Sunday, March 1, 2009

No timing chip

I said no to a timing chip today, in a race. (Pause for all of you triathletes to take collective sharp breath IN). It's not like me either, believe me, but this race, this time, was just meant to be run slowly. I think my heart was too heavy to move much faster than a shuffle.

Becky Gibbs Lavelle, a local (Olympic) triathlete, lost her sister (Jenny) and nephew (Graham) to PPD and a hastily purchased gun about a year and 3 months ago. Now, she's organizing races and events to raise money to spread awareness of PPD and to prevent others from having to go through the pain she felt at losing her twin. I don't know how she does it. I didn't know Jenny at all, and I get chills and a feeling like the world is about to explode every time I think about what she must have felt like as she bought that gun and turned it on herself and her child. The level of pain and disorientation she carried is unfathomable. And so preventable. If we know what to look for.

Back to the was drizzly and gray this morning, a perfect metaphor for depression, and just showing up and getting through the race was meaningful. I reached out to take my timing chip and then declined. I knew I'd feel more like racing if I had it, and all I wanted to do this morning was simply move my legs and give thanks that I am no longer depressed. I looked out at all the people there - many of whom seemed to be connected to the Gibbs family in some way - and caught myself thinking "If only Jenny had seen all these people who care about her..." before I stopped and did a reality check. The reality is, it wouldn't have mattered. In fact, to a depressed person, seeing a group of relatively "normal" feeling people gathering to do anything simply feels like one big in your face example that everyone else deserves to live and thrive except you. PPD is real and scary and alienating, and I don't think plain old "we love you" helps. That's why it is so critical to get the word out about it, and get anyone suffering from it to a trained medical doctor ASAP.

"You'll get through it" and "Way to go!" works for a 5K race in the rain, but it doesn't do much at all for someone as sick as Jenny was the Christmas of 2007. I applaud Becky wholeheartedly for what she is doing to raise awareness, and I urge all of you to check out Jenny's Light for future race opportunities!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Naked Fans and Running against Depression

It's always fun to find out you have a blogfan while standing naked in the shower. This morning a fellow swimmer whom I've never met leaned around the stall and asked if I was Sarah-of-Waterblogged, and told me she reads and enjoys this spot.

Hot shower on tired shoulders, primed to grab my Borrone Americano, and finding out I have a fan. Can't get better than that if you ask me. Especially after this workout (I'm posting Thursday's workout as well because it was just SO good).

ALSO, if anyone is up for a last minute run workout for a cause tomorrow (Sunday at 10AM, a very civilized time), DO sign up for the Jenny's Light 5K in Los Gatos. As I've written about before, postpartum depression is a highly worthy cause and all of us who have had any experience with it thank you for coming out!


*warmup: 5 x 200's free
add fins for:
*5 x 250's (odd free to back by 50's; even free to kick by 50's)
remove fins and add paddles for:
*6 x 300's free (even ones fast)


*warmup: 500 free
*7 x 500's free. yup. pure and goooooood.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Flu swim

I don't have it, but my kid does, and that sucks. So does sleeping on the floor next to a hot little feverish body :(. But, I swam it all out this morning. Sigh.

*warmup: 400 free, 100 back, 200 free, 100 back

add fins for:

*100 free, 100 kick, 100 back
*75 free, 75 kick, 75 back
*50 free, 50 kick, 50 back
*25 free, 25 kick, 25 back

*9 x 100's mixing free and back

*100 free, 75 choice, 50 kick, 25 sprint
repeat 2x

Saturday, February 21, 2009

18,000 200's

Okay, it was 18, but still. A lot. Guess it will help me pump up my muscles for my Momcademy Awards party tomorrow night.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February Continues

Quote from the lane this morning: "You guys go ahead. I've done 13,000 yards in the last two days and I'm feeling it."

Yah, you're going to feel 13,000 yards in two days. You people are nuts. But I love you.

*warmup: 50, 100, 150, 200, 250

add paddles for:

*600, 450, 300, 150

pull option for:

*450, 375, 300, 225, 150

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

This morning's workout was a good way to come down off the sugar of shirtless (for the kids of course) cookie decorating yesterday afternoon. Phew!

*warmup: 5 x 200's free

add pull gear for:

*600, 300, 100 fast
*500, 250, 100 fast
*400, 200, 100 fast