Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Be a VIP

Please? I need swimmers, all swimmers, to come to my new site and "VIP Me" so you can watch additional videos, and even more importantly, help me out by rating some of the posts that will come up on the site today. Help a swimmer out. Here, I'll give you something in exchange: the workout from this morning...

*warmup: ironically missed it due to my kid muffling my alarm, which I eerily wrote about last night in the post below.

add pull gear for:

*4 x 100's followed by a 400
*5 x 75's followed by a 500
*6 x 50's followed by a 600

*3 x 200's

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One downside

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One downside to co-sleeping is sleeping through my alarm when my four-year-old inadvertently muffles my alarm. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love my cuddle time. but I really really hate to miss a swim. Sometimes it works the opposite way of course. An added bonus occurs when my little dude pops into the room at 3AM and wakes me up 2 hours before I need to be up to swim. In cases like those, he's like a little public service announcement: "Mommy. Wake up. Available work time."

I know I'm a freak to actually enjoy these wakings. I think I was trained well and hard by my first-born colicky nightmare of a sleeper to spring up and be completely alert at any point and time. And there is just something about that early pre pre pre dawn set of hours in front of my computer that is lovely and quiet and focused. Only problem is that by the time I'm done swimming at 7AM I'm ready for lunch.

Monday, January 26, 2009


This morning I woke up with sore quads from a Sunday run and felt relieved that I was going swimming, not running. Until I got to the pool and saw that the workout was basically running. Fins, that is. I just...can't...catch my breath EVER when using fins. It's sad really. Shouldn't a soccer player be able to KICK?

*warmup: 600 free (that was good at least :)

*25 dolphin kick, 25 flutter kick, 25 half dolphin kick/fly, 25 half flutter kick/free
repeat 3x

add fins for:

*12 x 100's done as:
3 fly and 3 free (75 kick, 25 swim)
2 fly and 2 free (kick/swim by 25)
1 fly and 1 free (kick/swim by 12.5 yards)

*12 x 50's done as:
fly with four strokes in middle of underwater swim
recovery kick
free sprint
recovery kick
repeat 3x

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I feel bad

I haven't posted this week, even though I've had two good swims. Today would have been the third but I woke up with some lame kink in my shoulder, apparently just from sleeping. I would like to think it is from the good hard butterfly workout yesterday, but alas I didn't have a problem when I climbed into bed and when I awoke I couldn't breathe without the shoulder/neck pain. You know you're getting old when you're sore from sleeping.

Ah, it was pouring outside anyway. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heroic Water Rescue

Okay okay, so the pool's not THAT cold. This story gave me chills, and also totally and completely senselessly convinces me that I'm somehow training for surviving a disaster like this by swimming through the Winter. I know: puhleeze. Still, doing descending 500's in 78 degree water has to count for something right?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mild Praisers?

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You tell me. Am I contradicting myself here? Does "Overall I'd say we're mild praisers," followed by "we definitely like to say 'good job' a lot each day" really make a lot of sense? Especially when I later seem to say that I only praise my kids for working hard at something. Hmmm. Let's be honest. They "work hard" at something approximately 0.02% of the time each day. They haven't reached second grade yet; still in "the fun zone" where there's no homework, lots of heavily encouraged playing and napping and 100%-acceptable "special rules" given them by grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters and parents on playdates. (Have you noticed those freedom infused days come to a screeching halt right after first grade - otherwise known as the "warm down" year from Kindergarten or the "warm up" year toward the upper levels of scholastic achievement. It's a tweener year, and I'm going to live it up).

Anyhoo, since this little performance I'm definitely checking myself on a daily basis. I actually caught myself praising my four-year-old for great snuggling this evening. Hey, he worked hard to find the perfect nuzzling position and I feel it's an effort worth applauding.


Okay the post below is a test post for my new company which is newly up online!!!!!
Love to have you check it out!

The Not So Special Side of Special

More parenting videos on JuiceBoxJungle

Okay so I know it isn’t “appropriate” for me to say this but…my six-year-old child has mad athletic and intellectual skills. Let's be clear, though. There is plenty not to praise him for.

Instead of an annoying diatribe about his exploits, I'd like to take this opportunity to openly acknowledge his faults. As parents, perhaps we don't do this enough. Yah yah yah my kid's the best and the world revolves around him, but there are a few things he does that keep me from praising him morning, noon and night. These things keep me from sounding like a lifecoach on crack; from following him around to say "great eating!" and "awesome inputting of your picks for the football pool!" and "that chapter book you just wrote is the best I've ever read!" Yay! Barf.

I guess his faults start with the colic period he enjoyed which nearly forced my husband and I to quit our day jobs and become abortion clinic volunteers, and they range from his maddening habit of always wanting to negotiate every rule to his inability to fall asleep without hours of coaxing. He also seems to be quite obsessive-compulsive (but what do I expect from my child?) regarding video games (which I absolutely hate), keeping tabs on all professional sports' teams' statistics on multiple random pieces of paper strewn about the house, and correcting his younger brother's grammar.

The kid can beat me in field sports already (but not in the pool - ha!), but I make sure to foul him however necessary so that he never beats me twice in a row because another of his faults is his very extended victory laps that really piss me off. We don’t want his confidence getting out of control. After all, while I think he’s gifted NOW he may very well slow down as other kids catch up. Maybe he’s just more interested in school earlier than others, and maybe he’ll loose the love of scholastics and sports. Some kids just happen to peak at six. And when that happens we certainly don’t want to end up with a cocky Average Joe. (Remember him from High School?)

So, I admit it, I count my kid as gifted. But you can’t accuse me of treating him any different than any other punk I might be raising, and I’m much more prideful about that than about his abilities.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I am drowning...

And I'm nowhere near water (which is the problem). Work is submerging me and for the first time in like YEARS I chose to skip a Saturday swim! Argh! Anyway, someone please alert me if the water has gone cold again. Otherwise I plan to be in it tomorrow!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Do you guys ever wonder what Tim is writing down on his clipboard all practice long? He's writing too often to simply be looking back at it to check that he's telling us the right workout. Do you think he's making notes about our stroke? What if we found out he was really just doing his kids' homework for them during workout? That would be just like Tim (he always promotes taking the easy way out and I'm sure he doesn't teach his kids good hard working values at all). Hopefully the sarcasm is evident here.

I think I am fearful of the clipboard. On New Year's Eve I had a dream that Tim sat me down and pulled out his clipboard and said "Sarah, I want to talk to you. I believe that if you just tried as hard in life outside the pool as you do in the pool, you'd really be a lot more successful."

"But Tim," I remember saying (okay pleading) dejectedly in my dream, "I think I'm doing pretty okay out of the pool. I try pretty hard, really."

"Look," he responded, glancing down at his clipboard, "I'm just telling you how to be successful. Just try harder."

So, um, what if he's making notes about our daily efforts on that clipboard and what if, just what if, he's checking notes given to him by his secret agents (our spouses) outside of the pool? If this is true then it explains why he really loaded up on the combo drills and had us do 4 x 50's of one arm fist free with our ankles crossed this morning. (My husband was miffed with me yesterday for my lack of "cleaning prowess" and these notes must have made their way to Tim's clipboard.)

*warm-up: 400 free, 4 x 50's starting with underwater dolphin kick

*6, 8, 10 x 25's versions of fly
*8, 6, 4 x 50's versions of free with fly

*25 sprint fly, 50 crazy combo drill, 100 whatever, 50 crazy combo drill, 25 sprint free
repeat 2x

Thursday, January 8, 2009

81 and Risen

The swim today was like a dunk in a bath house compared to yesterday. I realized that yesterday I just couldn't get my breath, what with all the cold plus the kicking that makes me wheeze in normal temperatures. But really, who am I to complain? I figure that all those people I know who don't swim must feel like that every time they try to swim. Am I alone or do you all hear from most of your friends when you suggest they come join up for some workouts, "I can't breathe. I'm totally uncomfortable. I hate it."

This lung constriction or at least the thought that they won't be able to comfortably breathe must be what is keeping most folks away from the water (at least in summer months. I get it - we're nuts to be swimming in the winter months).

Anyway, today was wonderful. Thank you lovely heater fixer people!

*warmup: 500 free, 300 back to breast by 50

*600 IM done loosely

add paddles for:

*900, 600, 300 each broken into thirds as moderate, moderate/hard, hard

*final 100 broken without paddles

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

75 and rising

Tim tricked us. Last night he wrote that the heater was fixed and the pool should be up to 80 by this morning. This morning the sign in front said "Heater fixed! Temp up to 75 degrees and rising one degree per half hour!" as if this was a happy declaration.

And so we were faced with whether to jump in. As obsessive-compulsive swimmers, we'd been out of the water for at least three days and a fourth was simply not an option. We took the plunge. And I have to say kudos again to Tim for keeping us moving through the wasn't half as bad as I expected!

By noon the pool should be its balmy normal temp. I'm already looking forward to tomorrow morning!

*warmup (in this case, warmup (not)): 3 x 250's laps 1, 5, 10 back, rest free

add fins for:

*50 back, 100 kick, 150 free swim
*100 back, 150 kick, 200 free swim
*150 back, 200 kick, 250 free swim
*100 back, 150 kick, 200 free swim
*50 back, 100 kick, 150 free swim

take fins off for:

*4 x 150's done as 25 kick, 50 back, 75 free


Monday, January 5, 2009

The pool is 73 degrees

Reports from Tim say that 8 masters swam this morning. Those are 8 crazy individuals...that pool is COLD! I'm crossing my fingers for tomorrow.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Morning After

The Morning after 10,000 yards is so nice. No longer too tired to keep my eyes open and struggling to play indoor soccer with my two boys on rubbery legs, I can reflect on my swim. And what I'm thinking about this morning, is what I was thinking about while swimming yesterday. Or, more accurately, what all of you were thinking about. I'm curious.

I find that my thoughts are fairly circular while doing a long pool swim. This makes sense because of course we're flipping our heads in circles approximately 3 times a minute for (if you're in Lane 2) approximately 170 minutes. That's 510 somersaults in a row. Why wouldn't I be thinking in circles?

Anyway, my mental somersault looks about like this:

1. As we start the 100 I generally think about counting, e.g. "We're on lap one of three out of five 100's in this 5x100 leader-set. We have two more 100's after this and then we're at number 55. Not bad, more than half-way through. This is do-able." (Of course, if we're on number 3 about to hit only number 5, I'm generally thinking "Shit").

2. After the first flip I do a quick "We're on lap two now" thought and then generally I try to remind myself that during most of the year I walk around telling anyone who will listen how fun this Killer Quad thing is. "Long nearly uninterrupted freestyle," I think to myself before I yell "Enjoy it Dammit!" inside my head. (By lap four I usually am enjoying it. Then we start again.)

3. After the second flip thoughts of my real life start to seep in. Thoughts like "What will I do the rest of today while I'm so tired and the boys want to play tackle football? Is there a movie playing we'd all like? How about a long drive to lull them to sleep?" And of course, "What do I want to eat as soon as I'm done with this endeavor? Apple Fritter? Egg omelet? Hmmm."

4. After the third flip, on the home stretch, I'm pretty much just coasting with very little thought except not running up the ass of whomever is right in front of me as we approach the wall. This is unless I really have to pee, at which point I'm calculating how many laps are left until a break, or indulging myself with dreams of popping out of the water when I hit the wall to take an unsanctioned break (which I would, of course, never do, but like to think about like a naughty schoolgirl, none the less).

I am endlessly curious what other swimmers think about during this long swim. Do tell. Come on! We need some comments :).