Saturday, November 24, 2012

3 x 50 x 100

I can finally say I'm glad the 50 x 100's are over. After doing it three times this week I am being saved from a fourth run by the fact that there are no more opportunities to do it. Thank goodness. Because I would. And my neck would hurt...more. I figure I turned my head to the left about 3,000 times over 600 laps within 3 hours and 45 minutes this week. That is a lot of left-breathing, even if it was spaced over three separate days. MASSAGE PLEASE!

I'll tell you what kept me going through all the 50x swims. It was the knowledge that this was the "short one" and the 75 and 100 x 100's are coming.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Killer Quad Etiquette

Today some of us did the 50 x 100's for the second time this week and it was goooood. However, both swims did prompt me to do a special post about etiquette. I love you all, and it's all in good fun, but sometimes, I mean, seriously?

Here are some signs, just the real obvious ones really, that you should mayyyyyybe shift down to a higher numbered lane for repeat 100's:

  1. You are incapable of leading 5 x 100's at the interval selected by the lane, so you never do lead. Instead you continue to hang at the back.
  2. You need fins to keep up.
  3. There are about 25 yards between you and the person in front of you by the end of the 100.
  4. You get lapped within the 100 yards. 

Okay, again, no offense. :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanks Coming

I love Thanksgiving, and not just because it's my birthday. (A lot because it's my birthday, but not all.) I love talking about what we are thankful for (which I try to do all week with the kids), and volunteering for those not as fortunate (coming up later this week), and of course eating all the appropriate foods, and some not so appropriate foods such as multi-tiered and candy-decorated birthday cakes. This, in short, is the time of year that I am thankful for swimming. Because without it, I might very well weigh 300 pounds. *warmup: 400 free, 400 alternating free and drill fly (this is too much fly for a warmup, and right away I'm worried about upcoming sets) *100 drill free, 4x50's free, 100 drill fly, 8x25's fly *100 drill free, 3x50's free, 100 drill fly, 6x25's fly *100 drill free, 2x50's free, 100 drill fly, 4x25's fly (yes, I was right to be worried) *100 breast arms, flutter/fly kick *3x50's free with 4 fly strokes *100 breast arms, flutter/fly kick

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why I Will Probably Never Move

Really, enough said. This is November, people. The weather is just insanely great. But of course, my reluctance to leaving this area isn't just because of the weather. It is because this is my home - where my family and best friends are - and also where my pool is. Kathleen and I were recently in Tahoe doing a step aerobics class circa 1989 (don't ask) on a 68 degree day of perfection, and talking about how tempting it is to think about picking up and moving to Pittsburgh or Savannah or anywhere really where we could afford to slow down and own an acre of land. Then we got into talking about simply moving to the East Bay, where I grew up, and where a house just like mine here in Menlo Park sells for way under a million bucks and is considered "expensive". "I mean," I said, "we don't need to leave the state, just the Peninsula." "Hell," Kathleen said, "we just need to move a few towns over, really." Then we looked at each other for a moment, and recognized the truth. Kathleen said it first: "I can't move farther than 5 miles from the pool." "Me either," I said. "And just to be clear, we're talking about THE pool, not any pool. I realize there are masters programs around, but that won't do." "Agreed," she said. The other women we were with looked uncomfortable. "Really?" one said. "Really," we said. "It's that important to us - best part of our day." Sorry Mom et all. I love being near you but the truth is I'm never leaving you at least in large part because of my pool. Today's workout Warmup: 400 free, 2 x 100's free with stroke last 25, 2 x 50's fast Main set: 5 x 100's on a tight interval REPEAT 5 times (25 x 100's) Last set: 100 kick, 75 drill, 50 kick, 25 drill repeat 1.5 times

Monday, November 5, 2012

High and Shirtless

I was in the city yesterday (see photo) at Delores Park and it was HOT, as it will be today. I made the mistake of wearing a short sleeved sweater and I was definitely the only one in one of those (also probably the only one who wasn't under 30, high or either shirtless or about to take off my shirt). Aside from the Hell of parking (took an hour) within a mile of the park, it was great to visit the other side of suburbia and see what the young people are doing. Good thing I didn't bring my kids. So, you noon swimmers are in for a massive treat today. 82 degrees in November. Now THAT'S why I'll never live anywhere but California. That and I couldn't bear to move away from this particular pool. Great workout today thank you Tim! warmup: 2 x 250, 2 x 125, last 50 stroke add pull gear for: 50 scull, 100 drill, 200 strong 50 scull, 100 drill, 400 strong 50 scull, 100 drill, 600 strong remove pull gear for: 3 x 25s drill, 3 x 75s strong repeat 2x

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Killer Quad 2012

It's 5:12AM on Halloween and I'm off to start this year's Killer Quad wearing my two year old KQ suit. Whooohoooo! In about an hour I will be done, armed with coffee, and ready to weather a lot of kid costume parades (though not close to brave enough to attempt the Giants victory parade in the city), a night of chili and trick or treating, and maybe my own special treat for the night: an massive apple fritter. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mental Toughness

Sometimes I show up in the morning and I just need a pummeling. With the Giants World Series Win giving me an excuse to sit around and drink red wine and eat chocolate last night, this was one of those mornings. Okay fine. I always want a pummeling. Seriously? If I'm going to pry myself out of a warm bed and jump in a cold pool in the dark before the rest of the town has even thought of getting up, I had better get a good goddamn workout. That's just me. Last week we had a 2 x 1000 set "for mental toughness". I know, I know, most of you think it's boring to go back and forth forty times and keep count of the laps. But not me. Long back and forth action is just what my mental state calls "perfect". Call me simple and escapist but I don't really want to daydream or think about real life. I want to move strain and count. But 25's easy with breathing and body positioning exercises? For me this is a Hell requiring extreme mental toughness to just And this morning, I couldn't do it. I needed yards. So, I boosted out of the cold water and did repeat 1000's in the warm pool. I'm sorry Rick. You're great but this morning's workout was too far out of the pain zone for me.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lazy Morning

It's a lie around and read with the puppy morning around here, so I'll be off on a run/yoga excursion later. It is crazy how much I miss the pool on mornings I don't make it. AND I'll be away at a Halloween soccer tourney this weekend so the only pool I'll have to swim in is an indoor (yuck!) hotel shortie. I am already looking forward to Monday swim wise. However, can't wait to enjoy a weekend one on one with my youngest soccer stud!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I don't know if I'm coming "back" to posting regularly or not - reserving the right to see if I can get it done at least a few days in a row - but this holiday card was simply too good not to show all the swimmers out there. Crazy. And I'm sure not too far off from the card quite a few of our parents thought about sending back in 1970-something. Wow, thanks Mom, for NOT doing that. Today's workout was also my favorite kind: long long long. Here it is: warm up: 2 x 50, 2 x 100, 2 x 200 main set: 2 x 1000 straight up! end set: 2 x 200, 2 x 100, 2 x 50

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Pool at Noon

It's a record for me: three swims this week at noon. Jana told me yesterday that I was going to start actually liking swimming in the middle of the day, what with the sunshine and warm weather coming. Ha! How can that possibly compare to swimming in the cold dark rain? Okay so it's growing on me. Still I feel almost disloyal, even though I have no choice unless I want to leave my seven year old home alone in the dark, for swimming with a different gang. And then there is the waiting. As soon as the kids are at school I'm asking myself: What time is it? Is it almost time to get my suit? How much can I do before 11:30? What will I eat right before I swim that isn't lunch but gets me through the workout? I'm hungry at noon, dammit. The noon swim is this big old commitment in the middle of the day that must be prepared for. And my coffee from Borrone does not taste the same at 1:30PM as it does at 7AM. Actually nothing tastes right after I swim at noon. I think this is the part that bothers me most. And yet, I love the fact that I can and do swim at noon when necessary. In case no one has said it lately, THANK YOU TIM for having so many workout options and so many great coaches to cover them. I feel so lucky to live near Burgess!

*I even got there early today (couldn't stand the waiting) and did 800 to warm up.
*Actual planned warmup: 600 free, 3 x 100's free
*Somehow I got confused regarding how many 400's we did, but we did a bunch.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Struggle

People keep asking me about leaving Juice. "You can't leave," they say, "it's YOUR company!" I calmly tell them that because of the way these investment things go, it hadn't really been mine for a long time, if ever, and that yes, I can and did leave. Then the conversation quickly moves to how exhausted I have been for years and how it's a good thing that I'm home now. "Yes, you've been sucked dry for a long time," are words I often hear. It surprises me every time even though it's just people affirming what I've just told them. I kind of thought I was hiding the fatigue and frustration pretty well, under that veil of very real excitement and adrenaline that comes from constant hard work and creation. I loved what I did at Juice. I also hated it at times; whenever the actions people I depended on turned my trust into disillusionment. I know that from the outside, folks saw the way I thrived on the work. Apparently they saw clearly how wiped and wary I was getting as well. It was a lot like swimming; exhilerating and breathtaking and energy sapping at the same time.

And now...the truth is that yes it is amazing to be home with the kids. I am thrilled about this - about being home to do homework and play basketball and board games. And during the day sometimes I get to do stuff like go watch my nieces in their swim classes, to photograph them and experience them - what could be more satisfying than knowing the people you love better? It is also amazing to be able to write again, as hard as it is to get back into.

But. The other truth is that it is a constant struggle for me, during those five hours of school that has become my work day. Every minute of every hour I am thinking about what I should be working on, and if I am not at my desk I am somewhat lost. I am sitting on the side of the pool, watching others swim, wanting to dive in as well. Do I really have time to take a walk or do a yoga class? Will I be able to calm my anxiety enough to enjoy the darling little girls I yearn to know better, or will my stomach flip while they float; will I fret the entire time about what I'm not churning out on the page instead? What will happen, or could have happened, while I sit back and watch instead of work? It feels odd to pick my kids up without having produced anything that feels like work. And it's a bit frustrating to be just as tense as I was at the office, at home. It's odd not to receive fifty emails an hour. It's strange not to have to tell groups of people what to work on while doing my own work at the same time; to not have to be in a constant state of emergency over launch or announcements or money. It's empty to have no one need my opinion at all. Then again, I was getting tired of giving it. I often found myself with no opinion - with no desire left to give it.

And so, I know it is right for me to be exactly where I am right now, and I know the struggle I'm in is what I have to get through. I still want to do relevant work and I desperately want to give my all to the friends and family I love as well.

I'm working on it. And the 500's help.

*warmup: 500 free
*6 x 500's done as:
4 x 125's done as easy, moderate, moderate, fast
2 x 250's done as moderate, fast
500 straight fast
500 straight with alternating 100's by drill and swim
500 straight with alternating 100's by fast and easy
500 straight fast
*warm down with 150 stroke

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Kids Are All Right

This morning I decided to take my kids and my camera to practice. The kids happily woke up at 5:15 and dressed warmly, ready to see some power swimming (and play on my iPad). Everyone in my lane said "Sarah, how could you do that to them? Aren't they freezing? What a mean mom!" Ha! Kids today are too soft. We spend all weekend and most of our evenings watching their games and practices. They should watch one of ours once in a while, don't you think? (Okay or at least use the iPad while sitting next to our practice at 5:45 am - after all, it's what I do at theirs.) And truly, my kids begged to come. The other week when Noah was out of town they asked to go each morning. Each morning I got up and half heartedly poked them. No response. So I left them alone, thinking it was a bit early to rouse them on a school day. And each morning when they woke up and saw the sun they were furious. "We want to watch you swim!" they said, "you have to try harder to get us up!"

Hookay. So today we got it done. See, don't they look happy/excited? 50% ain't bad, right? Seriously, my kids get major props from me for doing this so I could get a swim in. Despite their bickering and brotherly "love" wrestling matches, these dudes are A-OK. My 7YO even said to me last night as we were snuggling before sleep, "Mom, you don't have to try extra hard tomorrow or anything. I already know you're a good swimmer." It's a good thing he let me know, too. The work out was breaststroke this morning and even if I'd wanted to show off, that would have been impossible. Here are some more pics from the morning:

Awesome cover pullers working hard while I stand back and take a photo.

Jana giving us the warmup. Yes, it's really this dark and cold on the deck at 5:45.

Here's a cool pic of Lanshin's perfect elbow position.

Here's what it looks like after workout.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Secret Life of Swimmers

I heard about The Secret Life of Swimmers in our locker room the other day and immediately had one of those annoying "damn, why didn't I think of that?" moments. But I didn't think of it, and we're all lucky a woman named Judy Starkman did think of it because it's genius. She's taken photos of swimmers from her pool both at the pool, as she knows them, and in their "real life". I've included one of my favorites above but you have to take a look at her work. We all experience this kind of "Whoa, I think that's the guy from Lane 3" when we see fellow Masters swimmers out at Target or our kid's baseball game, or, as has happened to me and I suspect many of us here in the Valley, in a pitch to a local VC. At first glance, I am always shocked by the almost-indecency of seeing someone I may not know well but usually see naked or clad only in a swim suit, fully clothed and doing something other than gliding through the water horizontally in silence. With The Secret Life of Swimmers photos alone, Judy has captured that initial shock and recognition and inexplicable closeness I feel when I see teammates from my pre-dawn watery life in the bright daylight of normalcy. It is always a welcome jolt of camaraderie I can hardly explain, and I love the way looking at her photos makes me feel even though I have never swum with any of her subjects (as far as I know). With her features written about the swimmers she followed into their "dry" lives, she has captured a whole lot more as well.

All this makes me want to do one thing: capture all of you in a similar way. I don't think I particularly have the photographic talent to do it, and I'm not sure I'll actually make the time, but I want to. I have always wanted to read bios of everyone I swim with, and know what it is they bring to the pool and take away from the pool after the laps are done. The bitter experience of Heidi's death juxtaposed with the sweet outpouring of human effort from our team that I like to think helped buoy her and her entire family during the end of her life was awe inspiring and I learned a whole lot about some of the people who swim around me during that recent time. But we shouldn't need a tragedy to know each other, should we? I think we just need the inspiration to do so, and the willingness to make the time. I am inspired by Judy, as I was by Heidi. Now I just need to manufacture some good old fashioned time. It would take your help and prodding to do so, so speak up if you think I should do it.

And, speaking of secrets, I had a secret freak out today when the workout started ten minutes late and did not consist of the long free I so greatly desired. Tim is out of town and the workouts aren't matching the calendar, which is fine (I remind myself). Privately I was cursing. It's a little problem I have. And that is why I should never pre-read the workouts.

*warmup: 6 x 150s: 2 free, 2 free to back, 2 free to kick

add fins for:

*6 x 25's fast kick, 4 x 50's fast swim, 200 drill
repeat 3x: free, back, choice
This sounds super easy. It wasn't. Yes, that might be because I did 30 minutes of leg work before arriving at the pool. But still.

remove fins for:

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

Monday, April 2, 2012

The bunnies are coming.

As Easter and Passover approach, my kids want to both dress up hunt for eggs and eat cinnamon buns, and also eschew all bread products for eight days and perform a Seder. We're on track with one "pre-Easter" due to a grandparent's upcoming trip and absence during actual Easter, another egg hunt at another grandparent's house on real Easter, and a few ideas for Passover. My main problem is thinking about whether I can really give up cereal for an entire week. Carbs are good friends to me, and if I do ignore them for even a day this will be a real sacrifice indeed. Any Passover recipe ideas welcome.

*warmup: 400 free, 100 kick, 300 free to stroke

*4 x 25's, 100 IM, 100 free, 50 kick, 50 scull/eggbeater with hands in air
repeat 4x, for 25's do in IM order (4 fly, 4 back, etc.)

*6 x 75's: 3 free, 3 IM descending

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A little funny

Saw this ecard and had to post it. Of course it does not apply to us; Speedos are only bad on the beach in Greece. They are just fine surrounding me at the pool in the early morning.

*warmup: 6 x 125's free with last lap breast
*2 x 25's kick free then breast
2 x 50's sprint free then breast
75 breast with max underwater pulldowns
125 free
Repeat 4x

*100 free with 4/3/2/1 breast pulldowns at each wall
75 breast with flutter kick
50 max streamline
3 x 25's sprint
Repeat 2x

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Are you bored yet?"

I've been done with work for about three days and I've already heard this at least thirty times. I get it: people think I'll be bored because I've been running so fast for so long with work. But it tickles me every time I hear it anyway. Bored? I've got a schedule, people. I'm leaping over new hurdles, like getting through the hundreds of books on my reading list, and trying to write more myself. I'm trying out new things. I haven't cleaned or organized my house since having children ten years ago. I have no idea what it's like to meet a friend for coffee in the middle of the morning. I could, if I wanted to, actually think about buying my first piece of furniture or learning to cook something more exciting than spaghetti and meatballs. I don't want to, but still, I could and probably will (I did buy some new sheets yesterday and tonight I'm going to whip up chicken chow mein for my first time). And there is never enough time for all the working out I'd like to do. Yoga, bootcamps, running, swimming. And napping. I could take a year-long nap and not be recovered from the past ten years. Oh, and p.s. the kids aren't in school but an hour past lunch. It's not like we stay at home moms (wheeeeeeeeeeeee! I just included myself in that category!) have ALL that much time to ourselves you know. After school there is karate, soccer, piano, baseball, and homework. And the cooking thing. I'm exhausted already.

*warmup: 250 free, 4 x 75's stroke, kick, stroke, 250 free

add fins for:

*500, 400, 300, 200 (broken in 4 equal parts with underwater recovery, high elbow, soft touch, then regular)
*250, 225, 200, 175, 150 done as fast free then 75 drill, 50 kick

remove fins for:

*100 sprint
*100 warm down

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dog Vomit

So I'm dog sitting Nancy's dog Mugsy and he is ADORABLE! Even, as I learned when I woke up for swimming this morning at 5AM, when he has vomited in multiple places around the house (on the carpet). Seriously, if you still want to keep the dog after cleaning that up, you know you need to get a dog of your own. So I think we will.

*warmup: 400 free, 4 x 75's stroke, 4 x 50's kick, 4 x 100's free descending

*3 x 50's strong on the 3 minute interval (so this was really 3 x 200's)
*4 x 25's strong with 3 minutes rest between them (so 4 x 25's then a 200)
repeat 3x
*8 x 25's strong on the 45 second interval

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Go Leslie!

Nothing inspires me more than seeing swimmers older than I am kicking butt. All you twenty-somethings can do this uber workout thing, of course. You're young. But as we get older, it gets harder, and we all worry about how long we'll be going strong. 58 is nothing of course - Leslie has some serious gaming left to do - and given this article I expect to see her in the pool for 30 more years at least. Way to go Leslie and all you Menlo Mavens!

Speaking of going strong, or maybe of slowing down in my own case, today's workout was ROUGH, especially following Lanshin. I never ever ever break the set and rest, but today I did. You got me Lanshin.

*warmup: 9 x 100's most free with every 3rd one IM

add fins for:

*700, 600, 500
first, middle and last lap done as underwater or fly

*150, 200, 250, 300
first and last 50 kick, rest hard

remove fins for:
*fast 100 IM
*easy 100 free

collapse in shower.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome Coach Jana!

Well, it's my first day as a SAHM and I got to spend it on a board call. Hm. It can only go up from here. The day did start out great though, with a good hard work out led by Jana! Jana, I THINK I'm spelling your name right, and I'm psyched we will get to see you every Tuesday morning from here on out!

warmup: 400 free, 200 kick to free, 200 IM

main set:
4 x 50's free descending
200 free strong
200 IM recovery (*note: if you ask me, a 200 IM inherently cannot be termed as "recovery")
*Repeat 3x

last set:
200 IM, 150 IM minus fly, 100 IM minus fly and back, 50 IM free part only

Monday, March 19, 2012

Farewell Juice, Hello Pool

I'm going to have more swim time. Sure, lots of it will be at noon, but there are worse things than a tan back as we head into Summer. (I have secured, however, a promise of four early morning swims a week even though I will no longer be going into an office right after. Phew.)

Today is my last day at Juice in the City, and it is bittersweet. I think I'll have plenty to say about that as time goes on and the lengths let my thoughts process more completely, but today was a short breast stroke day and anyone who knows me knows that none of the below were my ideal "processing sets". So, on to a long free day for more thoughts.

*warmup: 400 free, 300 free to breast, 200 free, 100 breast

*6 x 25's half length fist sprint, free to breast
*4 x 25's full length sprint, free to breast
*2 x 50's free and breast sprints
*300 easy
Repeat 3x

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Major Beauty Announcement #1

I've been waiting my whole life for a nail polish that does not come off in the water, and have been long perplexed over the fact that my toenail polish stays on for months while a single swim demolishes a professionally or personally applied manicure equally abruptly. I don't get it. (And yes I've heard of Gel or Shellac polish, but that still requires a massive spa commitment. I need quick polish I can do myself!).

I've found the solution and As you can see. These babies are called "nail dress" and they are STICKERS. That's right - they cost about $6 for 18 of them (you get the toes too) and supposedly they stay on for 10 days. When you're done, you just peel 'em off. I don't know about 10 days yet, but I did test them this morning in the pool and they survived!

You can get them at any CVS or drug store. This brand is called Kiss but Sally Hansen makes them too.

What the nails survived this morning:

*400, 300, 200, 100
*Four 500's (2 of them broken, all descending)
*500 done as descending 125's

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Like a Swift Kick in the Head

I'm still confused about what I did in today's workout. I have never seen half the lanes do the entire set wrong before, but there is always a first. All I know is that we did a ton of kicking, and I'm not a fan of kicking. Still a great workout, as always Tim! But seriously, I can't write it down even though I did it. There are just some sets that I can't wrap my brain around, and this is one of them. So if you're following these workouts and using them for your own swims, just go out there and KICK today. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Personalized License Plates

Today I was particularly reminded of one of my...issues. I don't trust anyone with a personalized license plate. Okay, I do: my dad has one and he's the most trustworthy guy I know. But I definitely question forging a new friendship with someone that has one. I can't avoid it; those plates give me pause. They scream at me on the road - I am forced to drive behind them, brake around them, figure out their codes or feel cheated. Each day, whenever I see one, I feel wondrous. I wonder what I could possibly want to broadcast to everyone badly enough to take the time to order something that says "I*heart*MYKDS" or "FNWAGON", or, as my dad's vanity plate sports, his ham radio handle. I know you probably have one, and I'm offending you, and I'm sorry (you too Dad). But if we can't air our pet peeves then the real troubles come out. And that's a bad thing sometimes.

*warmup: 250 free, 2 x 75s IM
repeat 2x

add fins for:
*3 x 50's kick, 200 fast free, 100 back
*3 x 50's kick, 100 fast free, 100 back
*3 x 50's kick, 200 fast free, 100 back
*3 x 50's kick, 100 fast free, 100 back

remove fins for:
*50 kick drill, 50 fast free, 50 mixed stroke
repeat 5x

Monday, March 5, 2012


Spent the weekend in San Jose watching lots of soccer then racing to my own first soccer game of the season. Yes, I am sore. And no, today's workout didn't help!

225 free, 25 fly
repeat 3x

*main set:
100 kick/scull, 1 x 50 fast free, 8 x 25s fly
100 kick/scull, 2 x 50 fast free, 6 x 25s fly
100 kick/scull, 3 x 50 fast free, 4 x 25s fly
100 kick/scull, 4 x 50 fast free, 2 x 25s fly

*end set:
4 x 25's free, 1 x 25 fly
3 x 25's free, 2 x 25 fly
2 x 25's free, 3 x 25 fly
1 x 25's free, 4 x 25 fly

Thursday, March 1, 2012

In Tim's Words

Today I wanted to pass along Tim's words about Heidi. See below. Beautifully said, Tim!


Heidi Renner has passed, and we miss her. This past Saturday as the final
members of our team were leaving the pool after a morning full of lively,
refreshing swimming...Heidi took her final breaths.

Heidi's time with Menlo Masters was nothing short of remarkable. She
embodied a true teammate, embraced the sport she so loved and scattered her
genuine joy for life throughout the team for well over a decade.

Heidi spent most of her life bypassing sports because she did not feel she
was capable nor was she worthy of such pursuits. Her first stroke at the
age of 8, set up this way of thinking.

Through the loving hard work of her family she fought back to live a
healthy, super-productive life, and was encouraged by her sister late in
life to try swimming.

Swimming ignited Heidi's spirit and it was the place in her life where she
felt the most graceful. Her absolute joy with the sport, her team and
herself was evident at every single swim session. In a sense it made her
better and in turn she made everyone around her better.

Heidi shared and cared fully. I knew most of her family members, her
triumphs, her challenges and her dreams. And, because of the person she was
she knew the same about me.

I keep visualizing her approach to the pool, her stroke and her exit from
each workout, all things that I have witnessed thousands upon thousands of
times. She has enriched my life and I will be forever grateful.

Tim Sheeper
Heidi's Swim Coach

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Joy of Being Small-Breasted

Notice joy is singular. Here it is: when you break a bra strap after swim practice and have to go straight to work, you can simply go braless. I'm feeling quite free today, thankyouverymuch. And also wearing a thick coat.

*warmup: 500, 200, 100

*400 free, 4 x 25's stroke
300 free, 4 x 50's one lap stroke
200 free, 4 x 75's one lap stroke
100 free, 4 x 100's one lap stroke

*3 x 50's free descending, 2 x 25's stroke
repeat 4x

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Swim Around

The other day in the locker room, Rebecca said something I am stealing right here and now. She mentioned that while she's been faithful to her husband for decades and doesn't have much to say about sleeping around...she certainly swims around. This was in reference to her lane swapping. Rebecca is known for mixing it up and throwing routine to the wind - hopping over to lane 5 or 2 or even 1 once in a while to experience different paces and people. I am not known for that. Not at all. In fact, I prefer to never move even one lane left or right to lanes 1B or 2B, even when 2A is overcrowded. I like my lane and I'm sticking to it. Sorry Tim.

I do however, love the term "swim around" for a different reason. I, too, have been monogamous with a husband for decades. It's the best - he's the best. I wouldn't change it for the world (really). But that doesn't mean it's not fun to exercise with a warm pool full of attractive others.


Don't tell me you don't notice we're surrounded by hot and generally high powered swimmerbodies clad only in very small pieces of cloth. Through the years we've swum and panted with Olympians, models, billionaires, politicians and just plain beautiful people. We then generally go shower with them. (Yup it's just a fact that the ladies look good enough for me to notice as well - I am proud to shower with each and every one of you strong women!)

So sure, it's a joy to share the same space with beautiful bodies, and swimming with them is a lot less risky than sleeping with them. But I'm not just being sleazy here. I honestly think that swimming has shown me the beauty of every single body type. I love that we are all bold enough to walk out onto the deck in a swimsuit. I love that I've grown to appreciate thick shoulder muscles more than a slim waist. And I love that in the pool and in the locker room, we don't talk about diets or looking good, even though we do look good, dammit.

*warmup: not sure, followed the leader

add fins for:

*600, 300, 150
*400, 200, 100
*200, 100, 50

*100 free, 50 kick/scull, 25 underwater
repeat 4x

Monday, February 27, 2012

Goodbye Heidi

The CaringBridge update for Saturday, February 25 - the day Heidi died - is titled "Heidi is free". I cannot imagine a more appropriate title. As I wrote after visiting her a few weeks ago, it was clear to all of us who saw her since her November stroke that Heidi was quite literally trapped inside her body. She knew who was visiting her, cried tears of joy and sorrow upon seeing and hearing and touching things she loved, and simply could no longer survive without 24/7 care and feeding from others. Knowing there was never any hope for change, she chose to go. I can't predict what I would actually do in her situation, but I'd like to think I'd be brave enough to make the same exact choice.

This morning Janet was at the pool, getting in a swim, as Heidi would have encouraged her to do. I did not know yet that Heidi was gone when I saw Janet in the locker room before practice and gave her a big hug. She said they were "hanging in there" and I assumed she meant Heidi as well. I then led Janet through warm up. She smiled at a joke I made and told me I could use some anti-fog for my goggles, which I could. Then Tim asked me to move over due to crowding and I watched her body pass by mine in silence from the next lane over, over and over and over.

It wasn't until I was showered and getting dressed that Marianne mentioned Heidi was gone. It took me by surprise, although I knew it was coming - we all did. Heidi had gone home about a week earlier, to stop being fed through a tube and to die peacefully at home. I thought of her a lot this past week, especially when I was swimming. I didn't know how long it would take for her to go, nor how painful it would be. But the CaringBridge website tells the story of her peacefulness once home, and her obvious unwavering commitment to her decision. Whatever she was feeling inside, she gave her family, and all of us, an amazing gift by being steadfast in her wishes. I can only imagine how hard it would be to let someone you love go the way the Renner family did with Heidi, and I think they are all a perfect picture of true bravery. How much harder would it have been if Heidi hadn't been strongly committed to her decision? If she had seemed unsure or afraid of where she was headed? Unbearable, I am sure.

I want to thank them all again for allowing us to witness their heroic journey to deliver Heidi to freedom in a most amazing and inspiring way.

And though I know Janet will probably be returning to Hawaii soon and recapturing her own life, I hope today's workout is not the last I share with her.

*warmup: 2 x 200's, 2 x 150's, 2 x 100's (second swim in each pair with last 50 stroke)

add pull gear for:

*6 x 175's, 6 x 125's, 6 x 75's

remove pull gear for:

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

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Old but not Cold

Here's where I've been swimming the past week. This is the "performance pool", just after the single pair of lane lines were pulled out. Not bad eh? I love club life. And I love coming home. Yes, it was 83 degrees in West Palm Beach (and the pool was 85), and I had full access to the club buffet after a swim, but I love our February killer workouts, and my lax 3,000 yards done at 9am didn't compare to times like this morning: get up at 4, swim at 6, pound out 4,000 tough yards while trying to chase Lanshin in fins. NOW, I need a lounge chair.

*warm up: 400, 2 x 200, 3 x 50

add fins and paddles for 4 x 600's

fin option for 6 x 100's descending

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cold Time

This image is really unrelated to the entire following post, although I was able to wrap "time" into the title. Clever no? Anyhoo, I had to put it up because it will be my only unpaid modeling gig ever. And of course because you can get these awesome watches at an insane price on JITC today. Okay, so now on to the "cold" portion of the post.

It's cold. And Louise asked me to blog about cold this morning in the locker room. Ask and you shall receive. Here is my morning cold story. The 30 degree temperature is not bad on the walk from the house to the car. Generally I've got gloves on, and a swim parka over my jammies. Taking a seat in the car is a bit tougher as the leather has been chilling for about 12 hours, but with the seat warmer cranked up to high my back side is quite happy by the time I pull into the Burgess parking lot - just in time for me to exit the car and freeze my ass off again. It gets a bit tougher on the walk into the locker room, as I leave my gloves in the car and have to walk about 50 yards in flip flops with exposed extremities. There is a minimal bit of relief when I enter the building. And because the heater is on, the cold factor is still "okay" as I shove on a mildly wet suit in the locker room. It quickly becomes "not okay" when I walk out onto the pool deck clad only in that damp suit to await Tim's instructions. The feet go numb to varying degrees depending on how far I've undershot the start of practice (there is NO CHANCE I'm jumping in before Tim comes out as I've been scowled at too many times for being in before a lifeguard is present, and there is equally no chance I'm wearing my parka out onto the deck as I would then never take it off). Once it the water, assuming we have no heater issues, all is well (especially when we do repeat 500's like this morning - yippieeee!). But, here's what is "beyond not okay". Two words: cold showers. A few more words: cold showers this morning after swimming 5,000 yards thinking about my upcoming hot shower.

I'm at work now, and though my fingers have de-numbed (I literally had trouble holding my coffee on the way here), I know that I will never quite warm up until tonight when I take a hot bath. How's that for cold, Louise?

*warm up:
2 x 250 with last 50 stroke
4 x 125 with last 25 kick

*main set:
5 x 500's descending

*last set:
6 x 50's drill to free

*post workout:
stay in for 1,000 more

*post post workout:
scream through a cold shower

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


For those of you who noticed I wasn't swimming at my normal pace this morning (I know, people really keep tabs on that and are always looking at my splits. Not.), this was sadly not due to a hot Valentine-inspired late night of sex. It was instead due something much more illicit. Last night I ate two large and very delicious cupcakes that Noah brought home for me as a "gift". Yes, I loved them. But no, much like having a steamy affair with another man, I shouldn't have conjugated with these cupcakes. It was too much - and I felt terrible after I was done with them. During the act? Great stuff. One had a scoop of extra sugary cookie dough on top they called frosting. On top of that was a mini chocolate chip cookie. And beneath it all was cup sized cake that tasted like barely cooked chocolate chip cookie dough. The other one was basically an incredibly fresh Ding Dong. More sinful than sex? Yes, sadly, I think actually they were. Well, at least more sinful than sex with my own husband.

200 free, 150 stroke, 100 kick, 200 free, 50 fast free (or something like that - frankly I didn't hear the warm up and was just following the leader on this one).

*main set - add pool gear for:
3 x 150s descending, 200 easy, 100 hard
4 x 100s descending, 200 easy, 100 hard
5 x 50s descending, 200 easy, 100 hard

*final set - no gear for:
600 done as free/stroke, free/kick, free/fast

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Too Much Awesome

Aren't they? This is what awaits me every morning when I return from the pool. No, they aren't always wearing matching shirts. And let's be honest, they don't always present me with homemade cards that tell me they love me (see below - what more could a mom want for Valentine's Day than a gangsta inspired note ("You're da best"?)). But, they are always awesome, even when, well, they aren't.

*warm up:

*main set:
75 fast free, 75 easy free, 50 fast stroke, 75 easy free, 25 fast kick, 75 easy free
75 fast free, 100 easy free, 50 fast stroke, 100 easy free, 25 fast kick, 100 easy free
75 fast free, 125 easy free, 50 fast stroke, 125 easy free, 25 fast kick, 125 easy free
75 fast free, 150 easy free, 50 fast stroke, 150 easy free, 25 fast kick, 150 easy free

*last set
25 fast, 25 easy
25 fast, 50 easy
25 fast, 75 easy
25 fast, 100 easy
25 fast, 125 easy

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Less Beautiful Post about Lane Etiquette

Having recently addressed the unspoken rules of the locker room, it is now officially time to tackle the fundamentals of swimming with other people (again all in good fun, though this is a tad more serious I have to admit). Sure, I get it, some of you assume there are no rules - that swimming with others is just like lap swimming alone, except that there's someone next to you whom you can count on to remember the set. No bueno. There are rules (at least according to me). And you should know them. Here are six of them. I think there are many, many more so leave a comment with what I've forgotten!

1. Brush your teeth before practice. Duh.

2. Don't swim up on the person in front of you, especially if it's me. If you want to swim faster than me, go before me. If you want to swim behind me, stay far enough behind me so that you aren't drafting off of me, and more importantly, so that you NEVER EVER touch my toes. If you do, I will probably kick you.

3. Please avoid pushing off the wall directly into the center of the lane. Seriously, it's messed up that I even have to say this, but I do.

4. Do not pull on the lane lines unless you are a 6 and under swimmer. I don't think any of us fall in that category.

5. Let's say the set is an IM set, but you say "fuck it I'm doing freestyle". Great. But do not do either of the following: A) lead and change the interval because there is too much rest for a free set (it's not a free set FYI), or B) slot yourself in and run up on my toes because you are going faster (freestyle is faster than IM FYI). See #2 above.

6. Here comes my favorite etiquette breach. If you choose not to listen to the set, or jump in late, do NOT repeatedly ask me what we are doing. Put your head down and follow and eventually I'll fill you in. But if I've just worked my ass off on repeat 200's and have 10 seconds of rest between and you ask me to recount the entire set during the few seconds I have for oxygen, I will ignore you.

As for today's set (which I happened to listen to, and have a hard time grasping - so yah, I get it, sometimes you have to ask):

5 x 150's - free, stroke alternate by swim

*add fins for:
100 flutter kick
75 dolphin kick
50 fast kick
25 underwater
Repeat 3x

*add pull gear for:
50 DPS, 50 breath control
100 fast
75 DPS, 75 breath control
150 fast
100 DPS, 75 breath control
200 fast

*go naked for:
10 x 75's
1, 5, 10 stroke
#9 all out sprint

100 easy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

For Heidi

I was nervous about visiting Heidi. I remembered her as an always upbeat, caring person who lit up the locker room at 5:45am and made me glad I had gotten out of bed. I knew she took great trips, and lived actively. I knew how happy she was about her son's marriage. Beyond that, I figured I didn't know her very well. I never saw her outside of Burgess, and I consider her a teammate and acquaintance, more than a dear friend. That said, thanks to the environment Tim has created, we teammates at Burgess definitely feel like a part of something bigger - a family, a support system, something. But as Sunday drew near, I considered the fact that I felt a chest cold arriving, and that I would have to depart from my children (who I see too little during the week) for hours to go visit her in San Leandro. I wondered what I would say to her and around her. I wondered if she'd even care to see me. And I almost didn't go.

I will forever be glad that I went. And I encourage every one of you to visit her as well.

Nancy, Clara, Lanshin and I entered the low-slung Kaiser care center and were immediately met by Heidi and Janet, on their way outside. Heidi's eyes were wide open, and the emotion she felt upon seeing us was clear. A tear ran down her face and she cried out for a moment. I don't think I've ever experienced a more meaningful greeting in my life. I can't explain it, but a huge simultaneous rush of joy and sharp sting of pain hit me. There are so many things I do every day that mean so little to anyone around me. This visit, it was clear, was going to mean a lot to all of us. Thanks to Nancy who had thought ahead and asked Tim for pieces of the old lane lines, we had a unique necklace for Heidi. If you look in the photo above you'll see the lane line necklace. She loved it. We apologized that there were no diamonds.

Janet led us into the courtyard and we sat, in the 70 degree February sun, and took turns holding Heidi's hand. When it was my turn, I asked if we could take some pictures, and if I could write about her on the blog. Heidi squeezed my hand so hard I could barely stand it, and nodded her head yes when Janet asked pointedly if we could take the photo. She looked at me for a long time, and responded with her thumb to rub my hand, whenever I rubbed hers. That simple movement of her finger as she stared at me let me know that she was in there, she was enjoying this visit, and she could hear us tell her we were swimming for her, living for her, missing her smile. Aside from holding my newborn children, holding Heidi's hand was the most intimate human moment I've ever experienced. I am blessed that she gave that to me, and I will carry it with me forever.

Nancy came through in yet another way yesterday with an amazing slideshow she had made, of all of you. She had photos of Tim, Anna, Marianne, Kathleen, Adam, Gary, Judy, and so many others from the recent relay Saturday morning, and she had fitted these photos to Jack Johnson tunes. At the end of our visit, we sat and showed her the slideshow, as you can see below. Heidi was fully engaged throughout the five or so minutes it took, and Nancy even noticed she was following beat of the music. Heidi's mom and dad were with us at that point, and they sat in front of Heidi, watching her watch the video. Her mom said afterwards that she had stayed where she was, in front of Heidi, so that she could enjoy studying her face in such a focused state, see her concentrating and enjoying what she was viewing. Clearly it brought her joy to watch. Nancy, you gave an amazing gift to Heidi's parents and to Heidi, in creating that video.

Finally, before leaving the center, Janet took us to Heidi's room, where we hung nine 8x10 photos of the team that Nancy had printed out, on the ceiling above Heidi's bed. She is in bed most of the time of course, and now she is looking up at your smiling, wet faces, feeling just a little closer, hopefully, to the pool. While we were in the room without Heidi, Janet finally shed a few tears - breaking her unbelievably upbeat demeanor. She talked about how hard this process was, and about much she'd learned from and about Heidi through this entire process; how magically she treated her son, her students, her friends and family, and everyone she encountered. She talked about Heidi's strength throughout her life, and ability to endure pain and struggle through various situations without a complaint, and with a smile in tact. She told us how much pain Heidi was in now, and we were stunned at how infrequently she cried out. And as I listened to this devoted, amazing sister reflect on Heidi I realized that I did know her. I know Heidi because Heidi is one of those rare people who treats everyone in her life with kindness, and an unmeasurable sense of optimism and respect. She treated me that way, and I was just a teammate passing in the locker room, in the dark cold pre-dawn. She touched my life long before my visit yesterday, and what she has shown all of us about how to live will be in our lives forever.

Equally important was, I think, the impression Janet made on me. I feel less able to express quite yet how much I respect and admire her and her entire family for the way they are caring for Heidi. Someone is with Heidi 24 x 7, and her sisters and parents have had "pajama parties" with Heidi, organized visits, done a majority of the nursing (feeding, changing, monitoring, advocating), and most importantly, have continued to smile and talk with Heidi about life. Heidi may not be taking trips right now (though Janet said she thought she might break her out and go for a car ride soon), but she is still living as actively as she can, thanks to her family. They are living through this; through whatever is to come. Actively and together. Exactly, I believe, as Heidi would want. As I would want.

To all of you, Heidi and Janet and the entire are amazing. Thank you for letting us in to your lives.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chlorine Tears

I never know what exactly I'm going to think about when I get in the pool. February - month of long sets that reach into the depths of my neck muscles - is generally best for long deep thinking, so I look forward to what those repeat 500's will bring up in my psyche. Lots of folks claim to cry during massage or yoga. Not me. I cry while swimming. It's a fact, not a choice I've made, but were it a choice it would be a smart one, if I do say so myself. I'm already wet and underwater. If I cry, who will see my tears?

Over the years I've screamed underwater, and sobbed (as much sobbing as one can do while also trying to keep one's breath regulated during high heart rate sets), over callous remarks made by friends, perceived mistreatment by co-workers, frustration with business, colicky children, and pure lack of sleep. My friendships are deep and infinitely important to me, and so I feel any bumps along the road like personal injuries. My company is my third baby in many ways, and so I feel frustrations there like injuries to my children. And hell, everyone needs sleep. As "tough" as these things feel when I am going through them, I am lucky beyond measure that these are the things I have to cry about. And I am blessed that I found swimming as a way to process them.

Today I thought about this coming Sunday. On Sunday a few of us are planning to visit Heidi. Heidi, who was always present at 5:45am workouts, and who always told me how much she loved reading this blog. Heidi, who swam and swam and swam and traveled and enjoyed life on an uber active scale. Heidi, who suffered a massive stroke and is now unable to speak or swallow much less swim. I look forward to being there for her, to being present with my teammates and allowing her to listen to us talk about the pool and people that surround it. But I know that I will have some tears to cry for Heidi during my swim on Monday morning. I am preparing for them already.

500 free, 100 kick, 100 stroke

*main set:
500, 100
400, 100, 75
300, 100, 75, 50
200, 100, 75, 50, 25

*end set:
8 x 75s
fast easy fast, easy fast easy, all easy repeat.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


100 because Tim was out and ready for us early birds, before warm up.

*warm up:
2 x 150
3 x 100
4 x 50

*main set:
300, 75, 50, 25
repeat 3x

*last set:
totally can't remember, but it was 850 yards total.
must be the fish tacos i just ate.
can't wait for tomorrow!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sh*t Triathletes Say

Triathletes are so annoying. I know because I was one of them. Check out this video - so true.

200 free, 100 IM
150 free, 100 IM
100 free, 100 IM

pull gear for:
500 free descending, 200 drill
450 free descending, 200 drill
400 free descending, 200 drill

gear off for:
2 x 100's fastest ave possible
1 x 50 drill
repeat 3x

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shower Power Plays and Shower Etiquette

First of all, this is all to be taken with a big grain of salt. Some of my favorite people on the team violate my shower etiquette rules, and I still love them. But, I still think this stuff is fascinating.

So, I don't know how it is in the men's bathroom, but up in the women's, we only have one good shower out of six. The odd thing is, the good shower location rotates. By far, the good shower used to be the handicapped one in the corner. It stayed on continuously, so one didn't have to perform the annoying 20 second interval pump to keep one's shower going. It's a large area, which allowed those who violated shower etiquette to have plenty of room for leg shaving and exfoliating. Most importantly, the water in that corner shower was hot, and the water pressure was strong. Today, that shower is cordoned off by ominous yellow caution tape, as if a heinous crime had occurred there (we have no idea why the tape is actually there). But even before it was condemned, it had ceased to be the good shower. Mysteriously, its water pressure wilted and like an athlete past his prime, was ignored. No one queued up for it any longer.

After that era, the shower directly across from the condemned took flight. The strong water pressure and temperature seemed to morph that way. Then, there was a little bit of a locker room renovation and for no known reason, the city decided to grant only the first shower in the row closest to the lockers (call it shower #1), a new handle. Behold! It was a handle that enabled the shower to stay on continuously. The water was hot and the pressure was good. It still is.

Which brings me to the human side of this drama. There is no 5:45am swimmer today that does not know that shower #1 is the most coveted shower. It is so much more satisfying to shower in it, that I personally admit to jumping out of the pool before warm-down from time to time to snag it. (I have not yet sunk to placing all my shower gear in the shower to try to reserve it however).

Why do I sometimes sacrifice a few burned calories to get into the locker room early? Because, just as showers should not take longer than 2-3 minutes when other folks are waiting their turn (long shower takers be damned!), who gets which shower should be determined based on a FIFO system. If I want my choice of shower, I need to get in there first. Alas, we have some folks refusing to take lesser shower stalls that are wide open, and instead to verbally declare to all that approach the stalls that they are "making the decision to wait for shower #1." They then hover near the person who was lucky enough to snag #1 and is just trying to enjoy their quick 2 minute shower, and refuse to use other stalls while guiding folks who walk up to the line toward them. This, to me, is basically like saying "HA! Too bad, I'M NEXT for the best shower because I decided I deserve it more than you do!!!!!" even though, to be honest, you're not actually next. You should have taken the first empty shower, baby.

The people who wait for shower #1 are generally the same people who shave their legs in the shower, and spend time talking to others instead of washing their hair. But my absolute favorite etiquette breach is toothbrushing. Not only do I not want to think about the fact that if one is brushing their teeth now, they likely didn't brush their teeth before they breathed all over me between sets in the pool, but I really don't want to slip all over their spit as I follow them in line (another good reason to skip warm-down, obviously).

In the end though, these same people are also often enough, the very same who do the covers. And that, I will admit, trumps all. If you get to 5:45 workout EARLY and are willing to risk toe injuries and frozen hands to prepare the pool for me, I salute you. And of course, I should always offer up shower #1 to you when presented with the opportunity. If I don't, just go ahead and tell me to step aside. You deserve it.

*warmup: 600 free, 200 IM

*main set: with pull gear
2 x 200's match time (3 min interval)
1 x 300 flow (4:30 min interval)
2 x 200's match above time -5 sec
1 x 300 match 300 time above
2 x 200's match above time -5 sec
1 x 300 match 300 time above

*last set: gear option
9 x 50's descending in groups of 3 on the :45

Thursday, January 12, 2012

4AM Coffee

This morning when I woke up at 4 to work and started to make my normal cup of hot water to drink I wondered "what the hell am I doing drinking hot water right now? I deserve some coffee." So I busted out the new single drip cone system and Philz coffee that Noah has adopted since taking up coffee drinking, and powered down a few cups. Boy was workout fun this morning. I was en fuego. Couldn't be stopped. That caffeine stuff really is a drug. Forget steroids, they should start testing Olympic athletes for illegal Philz coffee intake before races.

warmup: 600 free

main set:
2 x 200's free, match the time
400 free match combined time

2 x 150's free, match the time
300 free match combined time

2 x 100's free, match the time
200 free match combined time

last set: 750 free broken as: 200 moderate, 2 x 50's speed to match, 150 moderate, 2 x 50's speed to match, 100 moderate, 2 x 50's speed to match

warmdown: 150 drill

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Dislove Breaststroke

I just don't like it. I wish I did; done right it is a tough workout. Even though non-swimmers think it is the "easy" stroke, that doesn't make it an easy stroke. Or maybe I'm just not coordinated. Either way, I cannot help but groan when Tim says "breaststroke". I've sworn I wouldn't kvetch any more about it many times, but it happens anyway. Thank God for the nice solid reps of freestyle in between the breast.

warmup (all distances free with last 50 breast) : 200, 150, 100, 50

main set:
100 breast kick, 75 breast double kick, 50 fast breast, 25 breast on your back
3 x 200's free descending

100 breast kick, 75 breast double kick, 50 fast breast, 25 breast on your back
3 x 150's free descending

100 breast kick, 75 breast double kick, 50 fast breast, 25 breast on your back
3 x 100's free descending

last set: 2 x 50's breast, 2 x 50's free

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Winter Swimming

The car thermometer read 38 this morning - balmy! When I see 29 (and that's happened a few times this winter), I admittedly get happy. The lower the temperature, the higher my desire to just get the fuck in the pool as I'm standing on the deck in my swimsuit. It's dark and cold, and sometimes my feet go numb. At that point an illuminated turquoise rectangle of 80 degree water looks like Bahamanian paradise, and I'm in as soon as Tim or a lifeguard shows up. When I try to swim at noon, or even in the 40's, there is less urgency, and potentially less of a positive temperature shock when I enter the water. So there you go. Winter swimming in the dark is the BEST!

warmup: I digressed and lost count, but I think it was a cut down by 50's from a 250 to a 50.
main set: 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 300, 200 free
in between each, a 50 of stroke drill to kick
end set: fast 75 IM, fast 50 free, fast 25 stroke

Friday, January 6, 2012


Good news: bobbing made it back into the workout today. Sure, it's not a great stamina builder (especially not at the one-time 25 yard distance), but it makes me feel like a kid again. Somehow the entire hour became a game when Tim called out a 25 of bobbing. It's the little things.

250 free
4x50's swim, kick, drill
250 free

300 free to stroke
150 one arm to kick
100 IM
4x50's max speed free

300 free to stroke
150 one arm to kick
100 IM
8x25's max speed choice

25 bobbing (the ole horizontal bob is back!)
25 max choice
25 sideways eggbeater
75 max choice
25 backwards free
25 max choice