Sunday, December 30, 2007
A lot of athletes seem to be getting sick, and even though they are trying to tough it out and keep training, some rest might be beneficial for them at this stage. Here is my advice for when you are sick.
(Skip the following paragraph if you are sick of my old war stories)
In college, we used to go away to ski camp for two weeks in the wilds of Northern New Hampshire. There were 30 of us, all crammed into a backwoods resort/cabin. Four people to a room, bunkbeds, sleeping in the unfinished basement, re-constituted orange juice out of a giant pot, pasta for dinner every night, we had it all. Invariably, there was always someone who would end up getting a cold, a hacking cough, or something like that. (In fact, out coach would ban you from going if he though you were coming in sick, he would make you stay on campus!) Getting sick during camp was really detrimental, because the Nordic race season starts in the beginning of January. That would basically kill your season. So, whenever some would get sick at camp, they would usually crawl into bed, pull the covers up to their noses, and try and drink as much water as they could, staying isolated and inactive. I guess they thought extreme resting would be the best way to beat their germs. I was lucky, though, I never really got sick at camp, and this is why I think I was so lucky.
Instead of staying inside all day, breathing in stale air and marinating in germs, I made a point to exercise, outside, no matter what the conditions were, every day during camp. It makes sense; get away from the germs, get some fresh air, get your body working. I believe that if you get the blood rushing, the sweat flowing and flush out your system, you can stay healthy, or accelerate getting back to healthy. Would I do intervals if I was on my death bed? Of course not, but I would force myself to exercise moderately to keep me active and keep my body alert, even if I felt a little crappy. After the run, I would always feel 100% better than when I started. Exercise benefits the body, the mind and the spirit, and that is how I always seemed to stay healthy.
So, if you are running a fever of 106 and you are delirious, stay in bed. But if you just have a hacking cough, or a runny nose, or are feeling run-down, bundle up and go for a twenty minute run. Get some serious stretching in, and maybe do a push-up or two. Trust me, it won’t make you worse, it just might make you better. It’s like when you are fatigued in a race. Don’t slow down, speed up, you might beat that fatigue. When you are sick, don’t hole up under the covers, get some fresh air, and you can beat back those germs.
How about those Patriots last night? Wow, that was a stressful game, I was worried, I admit it, when they were down by twelve. But that pass from Brady to Moss to break the records, wasn’t that awesome??!! A thing of beauty, the pass that exemplifies the season, if you ask me. The Pats surely need this upcoming bye week, I think getting the offensive line healthy, as well as Kyle Brady will make a huge difference in the post-season.
If you are reading this Sunday morning, today’s work-out needs to be pretty easy, as yesterday was pretty hard all around. Just some typical Sunday cross training. Take the dog for a walk, play some basketball, go skiing. If you want to run, change it up a little bit. Try running for thirty minutes through the deep snow. Or find a steep hill, hike up it and sprint down it a few times. If you are feeling injured, a nice easy walk would be perfect. I won’t see the team for a week, the last part of break leads right into the Iowa trip, but next week we have the first official time trial of the year, so get excited for that!!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
The competition is running, putting in the hard miles. Are you?
2. Run to Englewood Dam. (1)
3. Execute some three minute VO2max intervals.
4. Go to Einstein's for breakfast. Yum!
5. Help put away X-mas decorations.
6. Watch the Patriots go 16-0. (2)
(1) I get to ride the bike to E.D., as last Saturday did something to my foot. some type of strain under my arch, it sucks. I gotta go see Dr. Ferret when I get back from Iowa.
(2) I will be watching the game downtown, celebrating Coach Hawk's 39th B-day at the Wyncoop! Mmmmm!!!!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Study the map beforehand. You can zoom in to see more details, make it a hybrid map to see satellite shots of the roads. Make sure you know where you are going. The route is somewhat intuitive, the turns are obvious, make sure you know where you are at all times!
The start and the finish are a few miles from each other, so arranging transportation from the finish back to the start might be necessary for some athletes. Unless you plan on running to the start as a warm-up and running home as a cool-down! I remember, back in my "glory" days, my good friend Chris Wolski and I ran 5 miles to a ten km road race in college, then we ran the five miles back. Wow, I was in much better shape then, huh? I even think I did OK in that race, I certainly did not come in last. (I think my coach did though!)
Make sure to get a good warm-up and a good stretch in before you begin this work-out.
You should feel like you are exerting the same effort that you have been exerting in the previous Thursday hard runs.
Stretching and a good cool-down are imperative when you finish.
I will not be there, but do not hesitate to run with your teammates. I would assume the seniors will step up and make sure everything is taken care of, but I also assume that all athletes can be self-sufficient to a great extent. Remember, one twig is weak, a bundle of twigs is strong!!
With finals and everything coming up this week, make sure to budget your time as wisely as you can. We will only have organized practice on Monday (weights at 4:15) and Tuesday (speedball game at 3:00). Wednesday will be 20-30 minutes on your own, Thurday will be a hard endurance pace run on your own (I have posted a link to an easy five mile course here, it goes through the neighborhoods) and Friday will be a 45-60 min easy run on your own.
I suggest meeting up with your friends to tackle Thursday's run, running hard by yourself is just that, hard! Meeting up with teammates makes it a lot easier.
Saturday will be at my house, 8:30 am as normal. This will be an easy run through Greenwood Village.
Later this week, I will get those times to hit for Thursday, but until then, stay healthy, and get some studying in!!! See you Monday late afternoon in the weight room.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
It was a tough course, some pretty good hills on the way out, but all the runners threw everything they had at the course, and everyone succeeded. No matter what your time was, being able to hammer 6-8 miles in the cold and on the street means you are in top shape, and you are ready to go even faster. I'm excited!!!
This bodes well, this is our "hard" week and you guys are really handling it well. The intervals we start in January are going to have to be ramped up, you guys are too fast for them already!! That is a great problem to have as a coach, thanks!!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Paul Tergat, the great Kenyan distance runner who holds the world marathon record of 2:04.55, described the depth of preparation for his re-match with Haile Gebrselassie in the 10 km at the 2000 Sydney Olympics (Gebrselassie won gold in Atlanta in 1996 to Tergat’s silver; the result was repeated in Sydney):
“I would be on the track, running hard, collapsing, getting up, and running hard again. And when I was done I couldn’t stand. I was so tired. I couldn’t eat. I felt sick. I had no energy to do anything other than take a drink of water and lie down. Then I’d think of Haile and know that he was training even harder.”
I like that one, it de-mystifies Tergat. Sure, he has great talent, but he works pretty hard as well. Speaking of talent, here is another quote I found out in cyberspace:
Dr. Glen Gaesser, professor of exercise physiology at the University of Virginia, referring to the definition of "talent." The professor was lecturing when someone asked him how to identify the most talented athletes. He paused dramatically to allow everyone to poise their pens, and then he said, "Go to a race and stand at the finish line. Then . . . see who crosses the line first. There is the most talented athlete."
That is great, it shows that talent is a combination. It's a mixture of genetic abilities, work ethic and competitive spirit. Lacking one of these three will not allow you to cross the line first. Very cool way to put it. And finally, I have to throw in my favorite
Lance Armstrong quote:
“Lance hates losing, but he’s not afraid of it.”
Lance used to train so hard, every day, because he was afraid of losing the race. He trained all year round, as hard as he could, covering every base, in order give himself the best chance he possibly could to win. On the other hand, he was never psyched out, he always had complete confidence in his abilities, and he never tied his deep self-worth to his race results. This mind-set freed him and allowed his superior mental and physical preparation to blow the doors off of competitors who were held back by the consequences of losing a race.
Friday, December 7, 2007
I really like his style of straightforward writing, so I have re-posted his latest article here on the blog. It is long, but reading it would be a great idea.
Staying Healthy this Winter
Anyone who ski races has had it happen to them. You train hard: intervals, overdistance, everything feels great. Your skis are running great, your confidence is high, and just before the big race, you get sick. Maybe you race anyway and get sicker. Maybe you skip the race and end the season unfulfilled. And maybe you race without consequence—unless you count getting beat by your nemesis by 10 minutes.
Everyone gets sick sometimes. And winter, when we race, is when that usually happens. But there are a lot of things you can do to prevent illness and minimize the damage to your season.
The number one way to prevent illness is to sleep. Most of the bad colds I got when I was competing at a world class level could be traced directly to several nights in a row of bad sleep. In those seasons where I was able to find the time to sleep well every single night, I almost never got sick. Today, with a full time job—and more importantly a toddler to chase after—I can’t always get the sleep I need. But I have managed to stay pretty healthy by backing off the training when I am way behind on sleep. It is far better to skip the intervals, and sometimes even the entire ski, when you are tired than to risk getting sick.
While colds are probably the most common illness faced by skiers, flu is a serious concern. An important step you can take to prevent this is to get a flu shot. You are probably reading this in December, which is later than ideal but not to late to help.
The next key to staying healthy is to stay hydrated. While you may not sweat as much in the winter (unless you office-mates crank the heat to 74) you still lose a lot of water, particularly through breathing the dry air. Drinking lots of water helps the machine which is your body run much more smoothly at all times. If you are traveling by airplane, if you have extremely dry air—common in hotel rooms—or if you just feel like your nasal passages are drying out, you should use nasal saline. It might feel a little weird to spray salt water into your nose, but it keeps your nasal passages moist and able to fight off germs before they establish themselves.
Speaking of germs, another important way to keep yourself healthy is to wash your hands frequently. Just like your mother told you, every time you go to the bathroom (even if you are a guy and don’t pee on your hands), before and after every meal, and basically any time you are near a sink and have a chance, you should wash your hands. You should use plenty of soap and wash as long as it takes to hum “Happy Birthday” twice. If the washing dries you hands out, get some lotion. If you can’t wash with soap, hand sanitizer helps but what is even more helpful is hand sanitizing wipes; the wipes remove bacteria and viruses in addition to killing them and studies have shown they are much more effective.
Changing clothes is another key to staying healthy. If you are dressed properly to train you will sweat, and driving home in you sticky wet clothing is a big mistake. Always bring at least a warm dry shirt to change into after your ski. And a hot shower when you get home doesn’t just feel good, it helps you stay healthy both by warming your skin and by letting you breathe some moist air.
If you feel you are starting to get sick, all of this advice goes double. Sleep and water help you recover and nasal saline prevents sinus infection. Washing your hands might seem less helpful at this point, but it keeps your friends from getting sick. If you have an important race in the next week, don’t ski for longer than it takes to stretch your legs and feel like you have your fresh air for the day.
As you start to get sick you will get lots of advice about pills to take. I will try to summarize what I know about your options. Zinc is clinically shown to shorten colds. Zinc is a supplement and so it is loosely regulated; there is a slight chance of any supplement triggering a positive drug test (if you are competing at that level) and a larger chance that you simply aren’t getting what the label says. Do your homework before picking a product. Vitamin C has a lot more hype going for it than science, but one of the few studies that supports Vitamin C for colds had competitive skiers for its subjects. Echinacea is popular but unproven and it is very hard to know what you are getting when you buy it.
Pharmaceuticals can also keep a cold from getting worse but should be used with caution. Sudafed is a great help to some people (by relieving nasal congestion) but kills others (by raising blood pressure). Guaifenesin (the active ingredient in Mucinex) is very good at thinning mucus, making coughing more effective and helping your sinuses to drain. And Afrin and Benadryl also help relieve congestion, which often prevents a cold from getting worse or spawning a sinus infection. For 90% of the population these drugs are safe; for a few they can be very dangerous. Talk to your doctor about safe cold remedies, and always follow the instructions.
Most important, once you are sick, have patience. You will get better, you will have great days of skiing and fast races, and the best training you can do right now is to lie in bed and drink water.
Monday, December 3, 2007
But hey, TFB came through in the clutch, although it was pretty stressful to watch though. I am pretty glad Brady is on our side.
What about Bart Scott of the Ravens, throwing the yellow flag into the stands? What a dumb move, typical of a Ray Lewis led defense though. Ray is a fraud.
It's not over yet, 44 seconds left. Beth is right, this is very nerve-wracking.
And the clock ticks down... Hail Mary!!!! Holy Sh*t!!! He caught it!
Don't make the mistake I did, stay healthy!!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
We are going to do our Thursday "Endurance Pace" runs on these loops below, as they will force you to run a certain distance in a certain time. These are not slower runs, but a tempo pace, a quicker pace. This week, it will be easier than you think, but as the weeks go by, the distance will increase, or the mile pace will decrease. I am throwing you in the shallow end of the pool and expecting you to swim to the deep end, I am not throwing you in the deep end right off!! :) And eventually your muscles will adapt and grow and you will be handling the early season intervals with no problems at all.
Try and learn some of the routes. The green arrow is the starting point, the red square is the finish line. You can go right into the website and access mileage markers, elevation changes, as well as look at the route from Google Earth. It's pretty cool actually.
EDIT: There is a new five miler course.... I might never live that one down! :)
Eight Miler (Out & Back)
Monday, November 26, 2007
But, today, Nov. 26th, is the day when the “rubber meets the road” and everything we do is designed to accomplish one goal. That goal is to be as fast and as strong as possible the first two weeks of May. Every long run, every weight lifting session, every technique lecture, is pointing towards that goal. I know I have said this every year, but all of the work-outs are equally important, they are all designed to fit together and allow you to reach your true potential.
Dedication is going to be the key to the success this year. This team has a unique opportunity, and it would be a waste to not take advantage of this opportunity. All practices must be attended, 100% effort must be given at practice, and you must prepare for these practices wholeheartedly. Nothing less than your absolute best, if you remember that, then you will have taken advantage of this opportunity.
We have a great team this year, we ned to believe in each other, support each other, and build each other up. Even though track is an individual sport, having a strong team around you only makes you better. Under no circumstances will any member of this team not be given the respect they deserve. Building your teammates up will help you more than you think.
This team is like a bunch of twigs, individually we can easily be snapped, but as a whole, we are strong and resilient. The team is stronger than the individual, and the individual can contribute to that team by giving 100% every day. That’s the secret to success. We start today!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Great turnout today as well, hope to see even more people next Saturday at the Bluffs.
Friday, November 23, 2007
This is what I ran this morning. About 5 miles, took me 50 minutes, in sub-20 temperature. I needed my iPod to keep me motivated, and I rolled my ankle at about one mile. But, I got a few hills in, worked on some technique, and earned myself a nap this afternoon.
So, my question is, what do you run today? Let me know in the comments section. The prescribed workout was 50-60 minutes, hopefully the cold did not deter you from that. Anyone can run in 60 degrees and sunny in April, but only true champions get their training in in November when it's below freezing and your couch is so comfortable and warm. The people standing on the podium at JeffCo stadium in May will be the ones who were slogging it out in November. Your dedication needs to start now!!
Hope to see all of you tomorrow at 8:30, Englewood Dam Run!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I am still catching my breath from the race this morning. A quick re-cap:
Very cold to start, about 20 degrees.
A two lap race, minimal hills, with a few tight turns sprinkled in for fun.
The first lap, I was feeling great. Good pace, good stride, good feeling.
Second lap, I DIED! Dropped the anchor, people were passing me left and right. Huge cramp due to lack of proper hydration. Dumb.
Overall, 135th place. Yuk.
Shout out to Will N., the Chap champ, as well as Zach H., Brenden B., Trey C., Derek E., Patrick A., and Taylor E. Good turn-out for the Wolverines, as well as Mr. Coit, who tried valiantly to stay with Ducky, but to no avail.
Next year, Tyler N. is going to run, right? :)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Thursday--Race at Boulder or 20 min easy followed by 20 min hard. Do some push-ups and sit-ups for good measure
Friday--Long easy run, shoot for 60 minutes or so.
Saturday--My place, 8:30 am, for an Englewood Dam Run. We will work on some more pole technique on the hills there!!
Monday, November 19, 2007
With over twenty votes cast, the Boulder Turkey Trot is the clear winner with over 50% of the vote. The official Active.com webpage has some good information, but here it is in abridged form, for those of you who do not like to click on links.
Where: CU Outdoor Track
When: 10:00 am
How Much: 15 bucks plus a canned food item
Transportation: We will meet up at the race in Boulder. If you need a ride, you can contact me directly and we can try to work something out.
This should be fun, but I want to stress this is a VOLUNTARY race. You are under no obligation to show up. Thanksgiving is an important family holiday, and if you can choose to spend it however you want to. Just like everything we do in winter track, you set your schedule. It is in your hands.
P.S. Weird story from Saturday. My brother and I went back to retrieve the cooler from the trail. When we got there, it was gone. I was pissed, but what are you going to do? If someone wants the bad karma of stealing a five gallon cooler, then I can't stop them. So, we looked around for a while down by the trail, and then gave up when we couldn't locate it. Getting back into the truck, I noticed something in the bushes at the top of the stairs. It was the water cooler!! Someone had thrown it in the bushes at the top of the stairs right where I parked to pick it up. Odd. If you are going to take it, why not take, why move it and hide it in the bushes? To come back for it under the cover of darkness? How odd. Anyways, we got the cooler back, ready for next week!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
When you do long runs, remember, it is not the mileage that counts, it is the time spent running! Your heart and your lungs and your muscles cannot tell how many miles or kilometers or fathoms you have traveled. However, your body reacts to the length of the stresses inflicted upon it. Your body is a great clock, it is a horrible odometer. So, if you were hoping for ten miles, and you only got eight, it does not matter. What matters is the fact that you ran for 75-80 minutes. Time spent running is the important factor on LSD runs.
Monday is a no running day, a recovery day, for the distance kids. Our schedule is to lift weights with Coach Laster at 4:15. I will be in Coach Hawks room grading papers, but distance kids are not needed until 4:15, at the weight room.
Monday evening, i will post the winer of the Turkey Trot poll, as well as information pertaining to it.
Tuesday evening, I will post the Thanksgiving Break work-outs.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
This is the run that we went on this Saturday morning! Nice and flat, a good easy recovery run. Depending on the group, we ran between 8 and 8.48 miles.
Mucho thanks to Thomas and Coit for coming along, that made the groups work out a lot better. Next weekend it is at my house, but we will be running at Englewood Dam, which is a little more hilly, and we will be using the ski poles for some technique work. Even though we had a great turnout today, I would like to see even more athletes next week. Alums, coaches, athletes, you are all welcome to join in!!!
Monday, November 12, 2007
I put up a poll on the left side of the page. Vote early, vote often! And Coit and I are going to need one minute per kilometer handicap. Coit might even need 90 seconds.
Let's begin the week with some hyperbole!
Today is the annual Kancamagus Roller Ski for the UNH Ski Team. Every Veteran's Day Monday, rain or shine, the UNH Nordic team wakes up very early, gets in the ski vans, and heads a couple hours north to what is affectionately known as "The Kanc". It is a brutal workout, involving skiing from sun-up to sun-down, and to finish it is a huge badge of honor.
The Kancamagus Scenic Byway is what out here in Colorado we would call a pass. The first phase of the workout is a classic roller ski up one side of the pass. If I recall, this is about a two hour trip. I could always do well on this section. If you were the first one to the top of this side, you won the "Robel" award. Robel Telemarkian was a skier on the team from Ethiopia and he always kicked ass on this work-out. So, we ended up naming a fake award after him. I wonder if the team still gives out this fake award. Hmmmm.
Once you made it to the top of the pass, you hop in the vans and get a ride down the first half of the backside of the pass. It is way too steep to actually ski down it, although I guess some old timers back in the early 80's tried it to less that perfect results. Halfway down, there is a campground, and that is when you unload and change your skis. Where as before we went up the steep front side on classic rollerskis, now we are skiing the flatter backside on skate rollerskis. We would be on the skate skis for much longer than we always thought, about 3-4 hours at least, depending on how fast you could go and not bonk out. We would ski down the pass into town, then turnaround and head back up to the campground. It was always the heading up that seemed to get me. Stupid gravity.
One year we had rain of Biblical proportions, so we had to cancel the Kanc ski during this phase. That was the year Chris Wolski brought his dog and the dog was running alongside us for hours. Poor dog, but she seemed to enjoy it. Probably more than I was enjoying it at least.
Once you got back up to the campground at the halfway point, you changed your skis again and got back on your classic equipment, for the final push to the summit. This is where you separate the varsity skiers from the development skiers, even in November. It is getting dark, it is all uphill, you are totally spent, usually by yourself, and you are sick of rollerskiing. It is as much of a mental test as a physical one.
My first year doing the ski, this is where I bonked out totally. It was miserable. I don't remember much of it, but I was skiing up by myself. It was getting dark. I pulled over to the side of the road and stood there for a while. Next thing I know, my coach pulls over and I get in the van. No fighting, no arguing, I just knew I was 100% out of fuel, and I probably hallucinated the whole way home. Not good.
The next year was the rain-out, and the third year I participated, we changed the course somewhat. The new course was pretty difficult, as we took a detour due to bad road conditions and went up a different pass. I finished that one near the front of the pack, even heading up past the finish line to ski to the Mt. Washington Hotel and back. I was with Jeff Erenstone and the aforementioned Chris Wolski. I remember hearing a gunshot in the woods, (it was hunting season) and being so exhausted and rubber-legged I was thinking we were getting shot at. I remember the Upham's making sandwiches at the end of the day and me wolfing down about 8 of them. I remember the giant jugs of cranberry juice we would drink the whole time. And I remember the Cheeseburger Challenge, but that is for another blog post.
As you read this, the UNH skiers are probably double poling up some lonely road, and the coaches are having breakfast in a warm little roadside diner. The leaves have all fallen off the trees, and I really hope the sun is out. Having the sun out always makes this brutal workout a lot easier. Trust me. So, I wish good luck to the UNH team this year, I know they will do well on dryland and on snow, and one of these years, I will make it back for The Kanc. Just to ride in the vans. :)
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Turkey Day is fast approaching, and I was hoping the groundswell to do an alumni Turkey Trot Road Race hasn't died off. Believe it or not, I am actually attempting to get into shape and a fun little 5k before I stuff myself silly sounds fun. Any other takers?
No game for the Pats this week, so no Sunday afternoon stress attack for me. Which is nice. But have you been paying attention to the Celtics lately? Best team in the Association, by far. I really gotta get over to my brothers house and watch. He got the NBA Season Pass TV package, good move on his part, as the Nuggets are really painful to watch.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
So, I went, and let me tell you, it was a fabulous show! On a random Tuesday night, no less. State Radio plays some weird kind of folk-punk, where before you know it, you are jumping up and down, dancing around, when you don't even know any of the songs. (I heard a certain member of the Seppala clan even got down in the pit for a few songs.) Great show, great band, certainly not what I expected, so you really should check out their link. Get some of their music, it is really fantastic stuff.
P.S. And they play tonight up in Boulder, if you want to make a last minute trip to check them out before they head back East.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Stay active by playing basketball, going skiing, lifting weights, raking the lawn, walking the dog, studying, whatever you want to do after school. Just don't so anything that involves running for more than five minutes at a time.
Trust me, Wolverine Track & Field Club starts on Nov. 13th, you will get plenty of running in then. Take some time off, you deserve it!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Colorado Cross Country State meet in the morning down in the Springs. The Chaparral girls are looking really stong. They all have experience on the course from last year, they have all been to big time races before, so I predict a very high finish. Their gun goes off at 11:00. And the boys are getting strong at the right time of the year, so I think some of them will pop a few high finishes as well once their race starts at 12:30. Good luck CHS!!
And then, later that night, Beth and I will be watching the Sox-Rox game from this vantage point.
Yep, that's right. We got Game 3, Infield Box Seats, right behind the Red Sox dugout. My old ski buddy Toby got tickets, he came out of nowhere with them. So, front row seats at Coors to watch Dice-K mow down the Rockies. It's gonna be fun! :)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Yesterday I went to Breeze rental shops and they gave me a great deal on some new Spenst Hill equipment. Kiss those weak arms good-bye!
These ski poles are going to turn your shoulders and arms into sticks of dynamite! I can't wait for winter track, especially now that it looks like winter outside!
Friday, October 19, 2007
After actually looking up the lines to that song, I realize how incredibly bad it is. I never would have figured out that later on in the chorus, she wishes for death. Huh? I guess we should've seen this Ike thing coming a long time ago.
However, the first line of the song accurately depicts the past few days in the Sep's Blog World.
Let's start with Wednesday. Despite what many naysayers were mumbling about, the CHS XC girls team won their region and the CHS XC boys team came in fifth, which qualifies both of them to head to the State meet next Saturday in Colorado Springs. We had some great individual finshers as well, with Bals coming in 4th in the guys race, CH! coming in 4th to pace the girls squad, and Kels-D finishing strong in 6th. However, I was most impressed with K-Woj, (pictured here in a race in the Springs) who had a fantastic race and got 5th overall for the girls side! Everyone contributed and the trip to States is well deserved for all of the athletes. Woo-hoo Chap!
Moving along to a very important MLB game that was contested last night. Indians vs. Sox, in the Mistake by the Lake. I have to admit, I was pretty confident. As they say in the Boston side of the blog-o-sphere, "Josh Beckett is fueled by testosterone, Coors Light, and the blood of his victims". Even with Cleveland throwing out the ex-girlfriend of Beckett (left) to sing the national anthem to start the game, it didn't matter.
A home run from "Who Cares Manny" taken off the board incorrectly? No big deal. (BTW, any true Boston fan knows that the quote from Manny totally blown out of proportion by the national media. That is a good of case of "Manny being Manny" as you will ever see. Look how much he protested when they took his home run away. He was going crazy over that.)
Kenny "I played cards with Mickey Mantle" Lofton getting all up in Beckett's grill? (As the homeys in the ATL say) Not a problem, Beckett could've pushed him over and broken his hip if had so desired. And I wish he had, to be truthful and spiteful all at the same time.
And it all ended with this, Jonathan Papelbon coming in, staring down the quaking Tribe batsmen and shutting the game down. Sox win! 7-1! Jonathan really is the best closer in the game right now. Ask yourself, would you trade Corpas for Papelbon, straight up? Of course you would, if you know anything about baseball. But it wouldn't surprise me if Papelbon was a starter next year, which seems a little ludicrous to me. In Theo we trust, I guess. Now, we just need Schill the Conservative Christian Thrill to get us one more win, then we can throw the kitchen sink at the Tribe on Sunday. Should be a great weekend for baseball!
We haven't even gotten to the biggest win of the week. Every Thursday night, The Seppala family (and friends) gather at the Illegal Pete's DTC to play some good old fashioned trivia. You know, to purely exercise the brain. We always have our favorite host Thomas there, as well as esteemed quizmaster Jason. And every week, we NEVER WIN!!! We had a good string of second places there for a while, then we would bounce all over the standings. However, last night, the stars finally aligned for us. With extreme help from chick flick connoisseur CF, true Denver native R-Nack, smartest man alive Peter-man, and all the croo in the kitchen, we finally got that elusive victory. First place came to us with strategic use of the doubling joker, copious amounts of Rally Juice, and watching a lot of "The Daily Show". Reigning champs, Team Lets-Go-Red-Sox!! with a score of 88, handing out the beatdown for free. Any takers next week?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I finally found the YouTube footage of it, courtesy of Matt Mosely's blog on ESPN.com. I think it is a riot, especially Tommy Boy's reaction.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Did anyone get to put some money on the Rockies winning the N.L. pennant before the season started? Nah, I didn't think so. The odds were probably 10,000-1 or something ludicrous like that. I bet Vegas didn't even take any bets on that.
But watching Holliday just crush that home run, or seeing Seth Smith get his second RBI of the season, or seeing Helton clamp onto that final out to seal it for the Rox; it was awesome, whether you had money on the game or not, right? And now the rush is on to get tickets for the World Series. Imagine a World Series game in Denver? It could be snowing, it could be 80 degrees and sunny? You'll get a chance to see it.
And the Rockies are riding a 21 out of 22 game winning streak? Morgan Magic of '88 dosen't even compare to this. It is simply un-be-weivable.
Speaking of the Old Towne Team, will Beckett go for the Sox on short rest? Or will Mr. Tim Wakefield right the ship? I am hoping for rain, to be honest. That would help us the most. :)
Go Sox!! Go Rox!!!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
In all of the professional sports (Rockies, Red Sox, Patriots, Haile) chaos of the past week or so, this has sneaked by me. But the C.H.S. Girls XC team is doing really well in their recent meets! Second place in their division at some major races, including Liberty Bell and the Columbine race! I have been at a few of their races, and every time they run by me, they are running their brains out. Combining their natural talent with a lot of hard work is really paying off. That makes me very proud, and I know they will keep working hard and racing fast!
With League Championships and Regional Championships a few weeks away, I am confident the girls will keep this pace up and do awesome at those meets. And I am confident the boys team will come out swinging and do some damage at those meets too. If you get a chance to go watch a race, either at Heritage HS or out in Aurora, you should make a point to go watch, this team is pretty good!
Monday, October 1, 2007
Here are my rambling thoughts on the demoralizing Rockies performance this evening...
The power went out at the 8549 Club right before Gonzales hit the grand slam. Would that be considered karma? At least the clam chowdah was still hot. And delicious.
The chants of M.V.P. for Holiday were a little early, don't ya think? That kind of stuff is so bush league. He hasn't won anything, bandwagon Rockies fans, and Rollins from Philly has had a fantastic year. So hold your horses.
Did we hear the MVP chants after Matt misjudged a flyball in the 8th and then went 0-3 in extra innings? Nah, I didn't think so.
It was just so frustrating watching the extra innings. You knew the San Diego had stud relievers just waiting to come in and shut it down, (T. Hoffman) and you saw the Rox relievers just gutting it out inning by inning. And the vaunted Rockies offense? Nothing, nada, nil. It was excruciating to witness. This team kills me sometime.
So, in the bottom of the 13th, we had a little rally, tied the game even. Will it pan out? Stay tuned....
And Holliday slides in head first (which you should NEVER do to home plate) and he missed the plate!! He missed the freaking' plate, it's as plain as day. Holy sh**! And that horrible umpire McClelland calls him safe??!! Are you serious?? Game over, I guarantee this will argued about for a few days by the SoCal talking heads, in-between fish taco hour and surfing updates on San Diego talk radio. Until the Chargers lose again.
Now they are giving Holliday "player of the game"? Are you serious, did those voters even watch the game? Or did the power go out at their house too? What about the Rox bullpen, they kept them in the game!
Well, see you Saturday night, as Beth just told me we got tickets. I'm gonna attend my first play-off game ever! Rox win, and I had total faith in them!! :)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I can post without logging into the internet. I just need to be on my own computer. This allows me to put my opinions & thoughts into the world wide web with even LESS thought!
The possibilities are limitless. :) The dangers are inherent.. :(
Friday, September 21, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
So, go to your local record store, go to iTunes, or even go to some illegal music sharing community if you have to, but get this single. It is powerful, bold, and haunting, all at the same time. Awesome.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I guess the issue is not dead yet, although I agree when my brother says that Belichick is going to turn over the tapes of his golf swing in Nantucket instead of any actual game footage, (and how can Goodell enforce this?) when the league demands all "film of games" be turned in to the NFL HQ. :)
P.S. "Tainted Titles" I read that one on cnnsi.com. That borders on the inappropriate, doesn't it?
Well, it looks like I am going to spend the morning reading about the Pats big win and the Red Sox big loss on all the national web sites. It was a huge win for the Pats, (obviously) and a tough loss for the Red Sox, (obviously)
Bittersweet, I guess.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
The Sox lost a heartbreaker, I thoght Papi could have picked a better pitch to swing at, but oh well. What's the lead now, 4.5 games? I'm OK with that.
Now, the Pats, 38-14 smack down of the chargers. (Notice I didn't capitalize, that's because they don't deserve the proper punctuation.) That score was NOT as close as it seemed. Randy and Tommy were having there way with the overrated san diego defense. Quentin Jammer is the most overrated defensive back out there, and Shawn Merriman is only good when he knows the team is passing. He was totally a non-factor in the second half. MVP of the game, had to be Sammy Morris, he was the hammer that kept pounding the Bolts over and over again. It was a great game to watch, an I can't wait until Norv reviews the tapes and realizes his team had no chance against the Pats.
A s for the Donkeys, they had to bush league to beat the Raiders, (Shanahan's T.O. right beofre the Polish drunk kicked it) and as soon as they play a semi-decent team, Cutler will get crushed. Trust me.
The Seppala contingent is all together watching the Pats/Chargers game and the Sawx/Skanks game. The "last" button on the remote control might get warn out, I will most certainly use words that are not suitable for a child's ears, and I really, really hope the home town teams win.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
SkiPost.com links to various articles about Nordic skiing and training. The training is very applicable to cross country and track, along with other forms of cardiovascular exercise.
In case you were wondering, the top three cardiovascular sports are:
1. Nordic skiing 2. Crew 3. Swimming
NPR.org Go check out the science stuff, very cool. I should really try and donate this year. I listen to it in the car and now I am reading it on the Internet, all for free. I am such a freeloader.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
"Does it diminish those three rings?" asked Josh Elliot, ESPN anchor.
"Sure it does!!" Mark sternly said. "It's cheating, it's stealing. It's an unfair competitive advantage."
Uhhhh, didn't the Donkeys cheat the salary cap when they won their Super Bowls?
Wasn't Mr. Schlereth on that team?
Yeah, I thought so.
We hiked the Jim Creek Trail, which heads up from the Winter Park Ski Area, but on the other side of the road. It was a really fantastic hike, I will try and post pictures of it later this evening. The gradient is moderate, not too steep, but not too flat; the terrain is not very technical; and the views of the nearby mountains and Buck Creek are inspiring. We hit the perfect temperature too, since we were up in the high country, it was in the 60's as opposed to the 90's. (Which seems to be what you hike in down here on the Front Range trails) Beth, Otis and I didn't make it to the waterfalls at the end, I'm guessing we got about ¾ of the way, but it was still an awesome way to spend a couple hours.
Hiking along, I was reminded of a famous work-out I had heard about when I lived back in New Hampshire. The Moosilauke Time Trial was a race that was put on by the Dartmouth Ski Team every fall. Anyone could compete, not just Dartmouth skiers, because it is a great test of your pre-season fitness. Master athletes, high school athletes, skiers from other colleges, alums, old-timers, everyone in the skiing community tried to attend at least once. Some years it was a big race, other years it was pretty small. (It depended on the weather, who wants to run up a mountain pouring rain at the bottom, and a blizzard at the top?)
On a chilly fall morning, the racers would all meet at the trailhead at the Ravine House and the coaches write up a start list. One racer every 30 seconds or maybe every minute, and then the two coaches start their watches at the same time. The trail, I believe, was about 3 miles long, and gained quite a bit of elevation. One coach would then head up the trail, as fast as they could go, with some extra jackets and some food. Since this was a race up one of the famous 4,000 ft. peaks of NH, that coach would get about a 30 minute head-start before the first racer on the start list would take off. The coach at the bottom would send the racers off according to their times on the start list. Hopefully the coach would beat that first runner up the mountain, and as each runner crossed, note their final overall time. Eventually, all of the runners would leave from the trailhead, and make it to the top, and when the summit coach had his start list totally filled out, everyone would head back down the trail. Some simple subtraction, and the results list would be posted on the trail marker. A true time trial, no tactics, no strategy, no help from others, just all out climbing. It was a redline workout, where the athlete had to be careful not to “overheat the engine”. Sounds fun, doesn't it? :)
The key to this race was, every year, they raced the same trail, using the same time trial style. This allowed athletes to come back year after year to see what kind of shape they were in. This information was extremely important, for summer training workouts, fall race schedules, or injury rehabilitation philosophies, plus it was a HUGE team builder. So, in addition to being a whole lot of fun, it was tactically useful in many ways as well
This is exactly what I would like to somehow start with the CHS runners. But, there are lots of hurdles to overcome. When would we do it? What time of year? Who would come? How could we get to the race? What would be an appropriate trail to run on? Would we drive up that day, or drive up the night before? Well, this weekend, I think I found the trail. Perfect length, easily accessible, not too technical, it would be great to hold a time trial on. Beth even agreed! (I didn't ask Otis, he was having too much fun splashing in the creek.) Now, I just gotta get to work figuring out the other logistics. Stay tuned!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
The big touchdown pass from Brady to Moss, remember that one? Brady had six seconds to throw the ball. The Pats had 9 guys in pass protection, and Moss was covered by two, then three guys. So, Tommy lays it right in there, Moss has the focus and the hand-eye coordination to make the catch, and the game is blown wide open. Beautiful, just freakin' beautiful. I can't wait for next Sunday night against the Chargers. It's going to be awesome!
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Some of you know who e.c.k. is, and I know as well, but that person, who as they just posted, "is a fan of 5A track and cross country," has asked me to not reveal their identity. Maybe you can trace IP addresses to figure out who e.c.k. is. But, I would bet you all have way more important things to do.
Moving on, maybe I should explain what I mean by "crap" so we are all on the same page. I guess that was what got the feathers ruffled in the first place. I believe that XC rankings are a colossal waste of time. Remember, this is high school cross country we are talking about. I believe that dyestat is not the best thing to ever happen to high school running. I use it, I read it, but I don't necessarily believe it as gospel. Again, I tend to think this is HS school running, not life and death. And I think that athletes could better spend their time than posting on message boards and getting all caught up in a whirlwind of fabricated drama. Three things you could do instead of prowling dyestat. (In no particular order)
1. Go for a run.
2. Do some homework
3. Clean your house for your parents.
I guarantee all three of those will be better for you than trying to figure out who will win the mile race at States in three years.
I hate to brag, (so I will), but bear with me. I really do have a point. :) I have been lucky enough win state titles in 5A Track & Field, lucky enough to ski at the Division One level in college, lucky enough to win a State skiing title in high school, lucky enough to even win a regional title in Little League baseball. (With the help of my brother.) So, with all of these athletic achievements that took months and years of preparation under my belt, guess where I felt the most pressure to win?
Little League freakin' baseball. Isn't that crazy? But it's true! Try pitching with the entire town watching your sidestep. Or imagine what is like to settle under a fly ball with all of your friends behind the outfield fence. My Little League team was consistently on the front page of the local paper, for Pete's sake! Looking back, that was where I felt the most pressure, when I was 12, trying to keep a ground ball from going between my legs. Insane, don't you think? The pressure I felt in Little League was far greater than any pressure I felt in high school, college or coaching. Easily.
This where I see HS track going, unfortunately. Rankings, pressure, expectations, all presented on a national scale. It's slowly turning into what Little League was for me. Hey, I know I am tough, I put pressure on kids, I admit that. But I hope there is more pressure on kids to get good grades, which is how it should be. Or more pressure to be a good family member, where the pressure should be.
I believe I practice what I preach. If you are struggling in school, you need to get the grades taken care of before you practice. Family trips, which unfortunately seem to be so few and far between these days, I encourage. High school running should be the beginning of your running career, not the pinnacle. Yet somehow I feel that it is turning into the be-all and end-all for some athletes. Too much pressure and expectations seem to be riding on HS track.
I want to focus on kids feeling good about themselves when they run and having fun doing it. Sure, winning is fun, but so is cheering your teammates on at a JV meet, or being in the choir, or sitting next to your little brother on a road trip to Virginia with the air conditioner broken. (OK, maybe not that last one.) So, have FUN when you run. If running is not enjoyable for you, then don't do it. Don't give in to external expectations. Set your own goals, achieve them, and then if that was fun, set some more. Running is a lifelong activity, so please, have a good time doing it.
Maybe this makes me sound soft, but that's OK. If kids don't like running, then they won't run. And if they don't run, then that's the crime. I want to win, I want kids to work hard and give their best, trust me. However, not winning is not a crime. Not having fun, that is what sucks.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I woke up at one o'clock this morning, couldn't sleep. Typical fall insomnia. So, I got to work. On what you might ask? Working on track stuff. Yep, working on track stuff in the middle of freakin' September. I emailed Coach Laster, (he hasn't emailed me back yet), dug out some calendars, going through what worked last year and what didn't, flipped through some books, basically putzed around as quietly as I could.
Now, in the next couple of weekends, Laster will come over, we will set up the schedule for the year, and then, in true Big Black fashion, we will "get to work."
Monday, September 3, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Join Date: May 2007
1) IMO CO has too many classes for the population it has. This tends to seperate the good teams and individuals and some never see each other all year, because big meets like Liberty Bell (in track too) do not adjust their Divisions by competition.
My suggestion would be to take last years cumulative scoring runners times and break down the divisions by this simple math. It would not be perfect due to graduations etc, but at least it would provide some sense to the equation.
I think that the divisions are a bunch of bullshit as well. Take the best teams from last year, put them int he same division. Coach is right, grad rates might affect it, but not that much. It is a total joke that LHS and CHS do not face each other head-to-head in the Liberty Bell Track meet, especially when we are so equal.
There are teams in Div 1 that" don't have a good program, never have had a good program and never will have a good program (until things change). There is also a "team" in Div 1 that appears like it will not even be able to field 5 runners.
Are you serious, there is DI team that doesn't even have five runners?
2) Courses need to be "spike" courses. Too much running on concrete. Couple that with ridiculous situations that peg the meter on both ends of the spectrum, by having kids climb steep slippery mud hills/creekbeds on all fours (and falling back down) because the can't wear spikes due to other sections of a course having long areas of concrete/asphalt.
I'm not referring to Liberty Bell which is a recognized road race, but rather other venues that end up with too much "prepared surface" running. This is, after all, Colorado.
I have been banging this drum for years!!! This is an "across the country" style of racing. Racing on hard pavement causes injuries, mental burn-out and doesn't tell you who the best true cross country runner is. Yeah, it gives you fast times, but how far are we away from running the fall XC races 95% on a track?
My solution, boycott all these races. Head to the moutains and run the races up there where you run up and down ski hills. Or the Eastern Plains, where you can at least get some running in on dirt trails. I never understood the desire to have XC runners always competing against the same runners day in and day out. There is no qualifying in this sport, so run some races to get you faster for the supposed "play-offs" of the season (League, Regionals, States). Does running the Liberty Bell really prepare you better than running up hills on trails in Breckenridge? Hell no! XC is supposed to be fun. I really think coaches are forgetting that in this day and age of NTN rankings and message boards. Remember, to normal people, running 5 km as fast as you can is not inherently fun. We gotta add as much enjoyment as we can!
3) Traveling has its positives and negatives. We gave up our travel meet to Missouri this year because of many factors: disruptive to overall training, lost time in classes and homework difficulties, lower number of schools participating, and the real icing on the cake of the host school not using its best runners.
Coach N and I have to get together and have a Jamba Juice and discuss travel meets. I could go on for hours about the pros and cons of travel meets, but we have company coming over in a few minutes, and I gotta go slice up some watermelon.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
This is why we don't race steeplechase in high school here in Colorado. Imagine if you had a bunch of freshman doing this race in the waning light of a late running JV meet? It would be a disaster.
Anyone know of any states that do support steeplechase in high school?
Also, wow to me for figuring out how to get YouTube videos in my blog. Yeah, it is actually pretty simple, but it took me a while :)