Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Blizzard 2006

The reports say we got hit with between 24 and 30 inches of snow. I would bet closer to the 30, we are buried here in the Tech Center, but not enough to put the bikes away! And it is still snowing this morning.

I just read an article on the web about our mayor organizing sledding parties for today. I love it, when you can't beat Mother Nature, you might as well join Mother Nature! Very Easter religon-ish, don't you think?
Flights are all cancelled, who knows when, or if, we will be flying out for the holidays.
Otis is exhausted, too much jumping through the snow. Tired puppy.
In the Blizzard of 2003, my truck was in the shop to get a new tire. But, it didn't get done in time, so it stayed there for the duration of the storm. It was at the Discount Tire on Hampden. This week, I brought my truck to the shop for new brakes, the storm hit, and I am assuming my truck is buried under two feet of snow up on Parker/Leetsdale. Weird, how I never have my truck for these big snowstorms, isn't it? I think that is a good thing, to be honest.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I have been doing some thinking, and I realize that I need to set some goals. I need to set goals in all aspects of my life, but I have really been thinking about the track gaols I need to set. And, when you actually write goals down, it makes them more meaningful, so I am going to publish mine on my new "obsession."
At the end of the season; usually on some sweltering day in the summertime; Coach Hawk and I get out the hydraulic lift at the high school, and change records that had fallen from the previous track season. Even though it is about 110 degrees, it really is one of my favorite jobs to do, because it is a physical representation of all the hard work that the athletes and the coaching staff has done. That leads to my goal for the year.
Sep's goal is to have every long distance record on the record board have the year 2007 next to them.
This year I am focusing on the male and female milers and male and female two-milers. Four events, with some consulting on the 4 x 800 teams. With this "reduced" workload, I think that these goals will be tough, but they are certainly attainable.
CHS Long Distance Records:
Boys 1600--4:33.56
Girls 1600--5:20.61
Boys 3200--9:54.00
Girls 3200--12:06.04
I've already started chasing down these goals. Gymnastics training, EFT mental training, surge work, hill work; this stuff is totally going to benefit the distance program. Even without exactly knowing what my goals were, I wanted to improve the program anyway possible.
The goals are set, the schedule is in place, the vision is clear. One more ingredient: Hard Work. No problem!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Practice, we're talkin' about practice!

Well, Allen is on the Snuggly-Nugglys now. (I refuse to refer to him as Iverson, or A.I., I like the name Allen, it's a good east coast prep school name.) I think it is a good trade for Denver, not just becuase of the brawl taking out Carmelo for a month, but I think that the Nuggets will really need that veteran leadership come play-off time. As for Philly, well, they got two draft picks, so it is pretty early to tell.

Now, we all know that Allen is famous for not caring too much about practice, and as a athlete of his stature, he is allowed some leeway in that category. However, some athletes still need to practice, even it is on X-mas. So, here's the schedule for the next few weeks.

12/20--Long hilly LSD (Over one hour)

12/21--40-60 min Tempo Run (Do an out-and-back, racing home on the "back" section)

12/22--Walk the dog, active rest day

12/23--Extra long LSD (At least 1.5 hours)

12/24--Cross Training (Go skiing!)

12/25--20 min creative run

12/26--Easy 40 min run & push-up pyramid

12/27--Long hilly LSD (About an hour)

12/28--30-40 min Tempo Run (Same as last week, but a little shorter)

12/29--Walk the cat, active rest day

12/30--Extra long LSD (These are crucial!)

12/31--Cross Training (Go snowshoeing!)

1/1--Day Off (Sleep in!)

1/2--Go to school, see you in Hawk's room at 2:50

When you see Allen out on the trails, tell him I said hi!

Monday, December 18, 2006

On the Importance of LSD

No, not the drug John Lennon used to allegedly pen some of his great Beatles tunes, but Long Slow Distance running. This is the time of year when spring athletes should be logging big hours of LSD, in preparation for a grueling track season. But let me explain why LSD is so important. (The running, not the drug!)
LSD prepares the body for the rigors of the regular season by building a foundation. Training for any sport is like a pyramid. If you want to put the fancy pointy triangular blocks way up high, you need a strong base on which to lay them on. There is no getting around this. Without development of your running muscles, development of your running capillaries, development of your cardiovascular system, development of your form; no fine-tuned speed can be done. Trying to do any of the "sexy" training (intervals, weight room work, Red Rocks) will only injure you if you don't have the proper foundation.
It's not just physical training, LSD ingrains proper form as well. (If you consciously try to have good form while you run.) If you have trained yourself to only run on your toes, you will have trouble with the last part of a long hill workout. If your arms are trained to swing inappropriately, then you will waste precious energy during a 25/400 interval workout. This physical and technical foundation is achieved now, in the cold winter days, with LSD running between 1.5 and 2 hours long. Remember, there are not short cuts around this!
LSD prepares your mind for the regular season as well. It is much easier to get up for a big group interval day, when all your friends are there, when the clock is running, and a spot on the varsity team hangs in the balance. It is even easier to go to the warm indoor weight room, with the music blaring, to go challenge yourself against your friends in weight lifting competition. However, the runner who gets him/herself out of bed early in the morning, gets 10 miles in when the wind is blowing in your face the whole time, then eats breakfast; that is the TRUE runner. That is the person who is dedicated to being a champion in May, because they are doing the mentally taxing stuff without any provocation from outsiders. They are running for themselves; they are training their mind to be able to handle the long difficult track season. One or two LSD runs does not do this, a habit of basing your training on LSD runs is the only thing that mentally prepares you for the long season. Again, there is no short-cut around this, only putting in the time gets it done.
Long Slow Distance is simply what running is and what it was meant to be. Even though the races you run last between two and twelve minutes, running is rooted in traveling long distances using your own two feet. Running is a spiritually release. The original runners were not timed, they did not compete for medals or ribbons, they ran because it allowed them get to a higher plane of existence. Now, everyone's higher plane of existence might be different, but for everyone, the following is true: There are no short cuts, and you can't catch up later in the year. LSD must be the focus of your training, right now. If it isn't, well then you will be building a pyramid this season that isn't fit for anyone, much less an Egyptian emperor.