Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet Zen...

Parting shot from this week's issue of the Fountain.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hooray for another solid day of training!

Begin: 6 AM. With the 25-meter pool length still keeping us on our toes, we got our bodies going with some viciously long arm circles (wait – 1:20 EACH WAY?!), a little kicking, some stroke, and some snappy 200s to boot.

Round two: 4 PM. We each got to do 20 x 100 of our very very favorite stroke, on descending intervals – who's complaining?! I mean, it's our specialty stroke for a reason. It's special to us and we love it! There were smiles all around, my friends. Oh happy day.

Round three: 6 PM. We heard that apparently we were skipping right into "a real humdinger" of a workout by our beloved Coach Hise.

Hum. Humm. Hmmm. Uh oh.

It was only 22 minutes of lifting! 6 minutes here, 12 minutes there, another 4 at the end. Peas and carrots, right? Wrong!! I have no doubt that in those 22 minutes we sweated out all of the chlorine we had just absorbed in the pool. I bet the other people in the gym even thought there was a leak from the pool air or something.

End: 6:40 (we had to take some breaks in between the Sets of Doom, ok?) 40 clean-smelling, sweat-covered, shaky and tired-feeling champions stumble out of the weight room. Thanks Hise, you always know the best way to finish out our day!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


A special thanks to all the friends and family who attended our last four meets, both in walla walla and tacoma. It was amazing and inspiring to have you there! Costumes, cheering, food baskets, encouraging smiles, and comments on how jacked we look after CA never go unnoticed. We are honored by your support.

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

Back in Walla Walla

After a week long trip to Southern California, we have successfully made it back to Walla Walla. Spirits remain high and the we are ready to finish out the season. Come check out our two Home meets this weekend!

Friday January 14th vs. Linfield at 6pm

Saturday Januray 15th vs. Willamette at 1pm

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


We're done?!
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

Last in the Pool

When you think of "sprinters" or the "sprint training group" you think of short sets. Not today. The sprint group had the luxury of being the last training group in the pool. With possibly the least of amount of yardage out of all the workouts running, their training set took the longest on this great California morning. With the rest of the team involved in a combined dryland/water set, A group consisting of Jamie, Lauren, Helen, Mitchell, Ellen, Colin, Shunei, and Keller decided to venture to the farthest lanes possible without crashing in on Claremont's Diving Practice. With fins in tow, they had no indication of what tasks they would set out to accomplish today. They started off the day in a group warm up. Then their workout shifted. While the other groups prepared their running shoes and were getting instructions from Jenn, the "sprint group" continued on a technical course before their pre-main set. With two 25's of Resistance & Assistance and some of the guys trying the biggest long belt we have, they were told they have to prepare for their main set. The same questions always follows "What is our main set?" They set out with the first few 50's and were feeling good with the long rest. Few more 50's in, you could hear them trying to catch their breathe and it was unusually quiet. Most were determined and encouraged to swim easy between the interval.

Behold an hour later these 8 individuals finished the set they started, with consistency and determination. With support from each other and teammates watching on the deck they accomplished something awesome.

Great Job!

Monday, January 10, 2011

There are airplanes in the sky. An unusually large quantity of them, we have been noticing. Maybe it's airplane appreciation month. Maybe there's an airplane show going on. Maybe all of the private pilots in the area saw us swimming and were so impressed with our incredible strength and good looks that now they can't help but circle around and watch us practice. (I feel this is the most likely.)

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.

Big Ups!

Another HUGE thank you to Ellen's family and extended family for hosting a rambunctious and hungry team for dinner. Peter Viehl (whitman alum!), his wife Allison, and their children Charlie, Amy and Andrew fearlessly opened their home and shared the masterwork that is Taco Teresa's. We walked in with the glazed-over look of the glycemic-ly indebted, and walked out more boistrous and energized as ever.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

When the Warm-Down Hurts

When the 300 easy at the end of practice hurts--not feels bad but actually hurts--that's when you know you've pushed yourself. Tonight we didn't swim an awful lot of yardage but coupled with yesterday's IM massacre and this morning's abundance of breaststroke and underwater kick, things just didn't work very well by the end of the evening. I always look forward to that feeling.

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

Practice is a Beach!

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

150 towel change


Continuous 50s:
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.

The Buffet

Today was beach day. We spent our morning running around the empty beach, "swimming," building giant turtles out of sand, and buying ridiculous sunglasses. It was a welcome break from the nearly 13,000 yards that we put in yesterday. Was it restful? Not really. But it was fun.
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.

Happy Swimming!

Starting to look like a turtle.

Trying to make a turtle

Friday, January 7, 2011


An enormous THANK YOU to the Banks family for hosting the team for dinner this evening! We are very grateful for your providing us with nourishing food and sharing your home with such hospitality and grace. A lovely, comfortable time after a day of hard training-- what a treat!

First morning practice of Training trip


After an excessive amount of re-unition squealing and enough buzzing, bumbling, excited energy to power the state of California (nothing new, Washington residents have always done that...), we donned our caps for Practice 1 (see image below).

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...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Perfect night for Training

Touchdown! After landing in California, making sure everyone is accounted for and shopping for groceries, we have the first practice of the trip.

Winter Training

With a good night's rest at the La Quinta. We are currently waiting at the Horizon Gate to board our flight to Southern California. Spirits are high as everyone anticipates a great training trip. Keep checking back for updates from current members of the Team.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year from Whitman Swimming