Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Off season

Everyone else is blogging about it so I guess I will too!

When I'm not over thinking my own pursuits I like to over think my daughter's pursuits. Okay, maybe not, well maybe a little. For the second year in a row I am coaching a group of girls through the Mini-Mermaid Running Club a program that was founded by those great women over at Mermaid Series. The program is geared for girls in the 2nd - 5th grades, we aim to instill a love of running as well as to learn to love themselves. At the end of the 6 week program we run the Mermaid Series 5k in San Francisco. I originally did this program last year because my daughter loves to run but being in the first grade there just weren't many options for her. I started a team on a trial basis with 6 first graders to see how it went. Well it was such a great and positive experience for everyone that I'm back doing it again this year.

We just passed the halfway mark of our program with our practice race. Basically I set up the day to be as similar to race day as possible. This means I brought music, snacks, race bibs, created an aid station and we had a dance party after the race. Being at the halfway point meant the girls had to run 1.5 miles or 6 laps around our track.

TriSports sent us a bunch of goodies for the girls! 

My 4 year old Mini-Mini Mermaid running her heart out

She never wants to be out down by the older girls
Our aid station thanks to TriSports
All of the girls ended up running an extra lap to make sure our Mini-Mini achieved all of her 6 laps

I am so super proud of all of the girls, every single one of them had a huge smile on their face and I never heard one "I'm tired" or "I can't do it". Such a great program and a huge thanks to TriSports.com for supplying us with water bottles, race belts, stickers and tattoos!

Immediately after run club Syd went to her last swim practice session before her big meet for the weekend. During summer swimming as an 8 and under you swim 25 yard distances. During Fall swimming the USA Swimming organization allows you to swim 50's if you want to. When I asked Sydney if she wanted to swim 50's she immediately said yes! She said yes because she wanted to do flip turns. I was a little concerned about this but since we were doing fall swimming more for fun I figured why not. I signed her up the Orinda Aquatics hosted meet at the Soda Center. On Saturday she was signed up to swim a 50 Backstroke and a 50 Freestyle. On Sunday I talked her into 25 yards of Breaststroke since she never swam it in competition over the summer and a 50 Butterfly. 

Saturday went great. I was so worried about her being able to nail the flip turn on the backstroke. Coach Nick gave her some last minute coaching. When she see's the flags she was to count 5 strokes then flip on her stomach to complete the flip turn. We all stood there holding our breath and waiting for her to roll on her stomach and then flip! She did it! I think we were all amazed! She made it back in under one minute and that for us was a huge victory! Then we sat around and waited for her 50 freestyle. By this point I was not as nervous for her knowing that if she nailed the flip on the backstroke she would be fine for freestyle. Once again we huddled together to watch her do 50 yards of freestyle. Once again she nailed her flip turn, even the timers commented on a what a nice flip turn she did. We had watched the heat before her and none of the girls had attempted turns so it felt really good for her to be able to do it and do it well. 

Day two was going to be a little bit of crap shoot. She only ever swam breaststroke at time trials because she didn't actually know how to swim it and her time was 68 seconds. I listed her seed time as 60 seconds since I really had no idea how long it would take her and I knew she wasn't legal. Coach Nick had warned me that her kick wasn't legal but the poor girl has been dying to swim it so I entered her anyway. Sure enough she smoked her competition but was DQ'd for a scissor kick. I didn't see it, but I'm guessing she did it one of the times that she was looking all around to see if she was beating everyone else. She cracks me up sometimes. I didn't tell her she had been DQ'd, I didn't need her to be devastated before attempting a 50 yard butterfly. I'm just happy that she got to swim it and that she has gotten faster. We can work on her kick in the Spring. Next up was the butterfly. Because I was not a swimmer when I was younger there is a lot of stuff I son't know. For one that you don't do a flip turn in butterfly. I had watched Sydney practice the side sink, glide move, but I didn't know why they were doing it. Oh, that's what you do instead of a flip in butterfly. I knew she could do the move, but it was the two hand touch I was worried about. We reminded her several times, touch the wall with both hands before the side sink. We even tried to demonstrate with her using my arm as the wall. 

She started off great! She was in the very first heat because I gave her a seed time of 1:10 since I had no clue how long it would actually take her to do 50 yards of fly. Once again, we are holding our breath, whispering two hand touch to ourselves. And she misses it. Immediately I see the stroke and turn person in her lane raise his hand. I think we both let out a sigh, I was so sad for her. We cheered her in all the way to the end. We talked to her about the two hand touch and she was convinced she had touched with both hands, I tried to explain she had to touch with both hands at the same time. We talked about what a great experience it was for her to swim 50's and learn how to do flip turns. She won't need to actually do all of this until she is 9, so it's great that she got some experience doing this so that when she starts swimming in the 9/10 group it won't be so scary. I'm so proud of her for not being scared and tackling 50's. Several kids had no interest in trying to swim that far and I'm so impressed that she didn't back down from the challenge. 

We signed up for fall swimming because we didn't want her to lose so much of the stroke technique that she worked so hard on over the summer. It's also great exercise and I really feel like after school she needs that cardio outlet. This meet was great experience for her and fun for the entire family. She has one more meet for the fall where she will just be swimming 25's in free and back. Then she will get a break from swimming until we start again in the Spring. 


  1. It sounds like a great weekend meet for Sydney! I think we as adults get so worried and disappointed for them but it sounds like she just went out and gave it all she had and had fun.

    And I <3 the Mini Mini photos :)

  2. Your girls are awesome! I love that they are running and I love that Sydney is swimming. It is so great that they are learning to love being active at such a young age. And way to go Sydney on the swim meet!