Parting shot from this week's issue of the Fountain.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Super STL shout-out to our buddy team, Whitman Tennis, who supplied us with bus snacks this weekend past! CapriSuns totally rule! Big Ups!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
How did that happen?
Where did the week go?
These are some questions considered this evening, after a final glorious beautiful day in Pomona. Albeit, the breezes and saltwater at CalLU did provide a good bit of consternation, but nothing a bit of sprint relays and a good dose of lotion couldn't cure.
Giddy magic was in the air as the captains led a renegade practice, starting with some dryland in the setting sun, and transitioning to the bejeweled pool for IM yardage and relays of our own design.
Long travel day tomorrow---walla walla here we come!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
The point is, there are airplanes in the sky, and clouds and birds, too, and WE CAN SEE THEM! With no roof above our heads there is an added challenge to swimming and kicking on our backs - a skill which most native West Coasters have already honed nicely (good for you, will you quit pretending it's easy?), but which others continue to struggle with. The latter group thanks everyone for continuing support on this front - it's an work in progress for a few native midwesterners... But despite this swimming difficulty, getting to look over your gallon of gatorade as you gulp down mouthfuls of lemon-lime in between sets and seeing the pool steaming up into the night air - this makes it worth all the angry red battle scratches. Watching a cloud-dog turn into a cloud-dragon turn into a cloud-teacup during a kick set (be warned, O ye zig-zaggers), and squinting at the sun peeking out from behind that teacup - this is an experience to be relished in itself.
When the going gets tough, I remember that we're swimming outside! I watch the airplanes, utilize my powers of peripheral vision, and enjoy the moment. We're in California, folks. This is pretty sweet.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
The best part of this trip is that by the half-way point, everything is firing on all cylinders. Yes, my arms and legs and core all hurt. I did not want to hear that we were doing a bunch of 200's, but we did them all the same and we went as fast as ever.
Only five more practices to go!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
This is how our practice this morning went. It had a fun theme: choose-your-own-set/adventure. All components other than the warm up and cool down could be done in any particular order.
Practice start time: 9:00AM
Warm-up: 1x65835yd choice on bus (Napstroke, iPod Shuffle, Chatstroke)
50 Sprint out of bus at Newport Beach
2x500 walking on beach until a solid spot by the water has been found
Odds: run out into the really cold water with the gnarly waves
Evens: Run back out to the beach due to perceived excessive coldness/gnarliness
If you end after an odd 50, continue with the following: 25s bodysurfing until you get purple like Eliot and Charlotte
If you end after an even 50, continue with the following: 5x200 sand fight, Nate vs. Everybody, OR make a sand turtle, defending it against the onsluaght of the tides.
Continue until 11AM.
5x200s Walking to Fun Zone and ogling goofy eyeware. (Paul and Kevin bought some pretty slick shades.)
2x300s Libby and Charlotte riding on Ferris Wheel ("IT WAS SOOOO FUN!!!")
1x100 Taking a dollar ferry to Balboa Island ("I don't understand why we left the Fun Zone to begin with. I mean, it's called 'THE FUN ZONE.' And we payed a buck to leave it." -Jake "The Snake")
1x2000 Walking past beautiful beachfront properties and sporty cars to Balboa Island's business sector
6x250s Figuring out what and where to eat
1x500 Munching on delicious, delicious food (likely Mexican fare and Tutti Frutti)
1x100 Taking ferry from Balboa Island ("And now we're paying another buck to go back to the Fun Zone." -Jake "The Snake")
5x200s Walking back to beach
30x50s Sitting on beach and catching up on our individual set/adventures
Cool Down: Same as warm-up. But swim it backwards. And in Napstroke. Focus on form.
We were exhausted by the end of the set. But with adequate rest, we were able to take on the rest of the day. Needless to say, despite any ups and downs, it was awesome.
Tonight, after putting in a solid 4000 yard IM set, we set off for dinner at the Chinese Buffet.
Before I explain the buffet in more detail, let me first outline how much we like to eat. Since we got here, I have been packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to eat in the shower immediately after getting out of the pool. We have purchased gallons of Gatorade, pounds of Nutella, and at least 200 bananas. There are giant cartons of flavor-blasted Goldfish in every room. There are baby carrots in every refridgerator and there are probably enough slices of bread to stretch from our hotel to the CMS pool, a couple miles away. We like to eat.
In general, I am not a huge fan of buffets. I tend to think of them as "feeding" not actually "eating." However, given the circumstances, feeding is exactly what we need after practice. Upon walking in the door, we were quickly ushered past the rows of hot food to the back room, which, fortunately, we had completely to ourselves. We sat and waited, somewhat patiently, for Jenn to give us the nod.
Plates were piled high wich chicken, both fried and skewered, onion rings (yes, onion rings), spring rolls, fried rice, regular rice, three or four different kinds of sushi, and in the other hand--cookies. Round one. Round two and we decided to be "responsible" and eat something that wasn't previously frozen and then tossed into oil, and we made for the salad and fruit. Round three and we were back to the fried goods. We swam 7000 yards, whatever. There was a frozen yogurt machine with multi-colored sprinkles. Need I say more?
By the time we were finished I'm sure the average number of calories consumed per person was well over 1500. Probably closer to 2000. Again, we swam 7000 yards, so whatever.
Tomorrow morning we'll be at it again. Then tomorrow afternoon too. In the next three days we'll have six practices and I would guess that we'll swim somewhere around 35,000 yards. That sounds like a lot, and it is. But, when you're here with 38 of your closest friends, it feels more like eating a nutella and banana sandwich--which, according to Claire Collins is pretty one of the best things in the world--and less like five hours of swimming and dryland every day. It's a blast, trust me. It's probably the most memorable week of my year, both because of the new discoveries I make about my own limits in the pool, and because of the things I learn from the Discovery channel in between practices. For example, if you've ever wondered what it looks like when a warehouse full of acetylene tanks catches fire, talk to me about it.
There are some double-stuff Oreos in my room, and they're not going to eat themselves.
Friday, January 7, 2011
I was certain that a dose of training would quell the storm of jabber, and yet-- despite reaching aerobic threshold (ahhh yeaaahhhh, feels great Jenn! keep those 200's coming!)-- hoots and hollers continued to intercalate themselves between splashes, stars, and gasps for air. The joy of working together again after weeks of separation anxiety was too much for silence to handle.
During a pizza/pasta/salad dinner the cooing and burbles continued, yarns from break unwound, gossip murmured with furtive glances from table to table, and most importantly we refueled our bodies in anticipation of what Practice 2 will bring...