Friday, August 31, 2007


I read a great tip from Deena Castor:

"Drink a glass of water right when you wake up, before you even crawl out of bed."

That is going to start your day off hydrated, seems like an easy thing to do, and it might give you that little advantage over someone else.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


So Wolverines, how did we do today?

First Day Jitters

Today is the first day of racing for many Colorado HS cross country runners. If you are a little nervous, don't worry, that's a good thing. These first races will get the nerves out of you.

The Ponderosa-Chaparral Buddy Race is this afternoon, and I am pretty sure the Harrison Invite down in the Springs is either today or tomorrow. (Not really sure, too much going on here at the middle school XC level!)

So, I know a lot of athletes who read this blog are finally back to racing this week, and I want to wish all of them great luck. I wish I could go to all of the races, to watch and cheer, but the state is too big, and my car is just too slow!

Just remember, attack those ups, hammer the downs, and don't forget to cool down when you are finished. Because no matter how well you do this week, you gotta keep working towards State!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Being in Shape

I heard a good point on the radio today. It started with the beaten-to-death topic of Mike Vick "throwing it all away." That got me thinking, exactly how much did he "throw away?" Sure, he threw away his money, his good name, but how hard did he work to get all of it? Sure, Mike Vick obviously has a ton of natural talent, but how hard did he have to work to get where he got?

Football players, compared to say, basketball players, work pretty damn hard. You never hear an NBA coach saying in the pre-season, "Wow are we in shape!" They always say, "We need more game simulation and game conditioning." or some crap like that. On the other hand, football players, if they are not in shape, will either get physically destroyed or fired in pre-season. No guaranteed contracts, an ultra-violent sport, strict roster limitations. A football player today would be crazy to fall out of shape.

Speaking from my field of expertise, elite distance runners are in shape 365 days out of the year, even though we only expect 3-4 good races out of them in that same period of time. I am sure soccer players work out year round, even Beckham must be doing windsprints in the offseason, as that sport can take it out of you quick.

But baseball players, come on, they do conditioning runs in spring training!! Football players, they do conditioning runs to weed out the slackers.

So, I am sure Mike Vick worked pretty hard to get to his level of on-field excellence, and to me, that would be a pretty tough pill to swallow. Busting your ass for so long, all to get it taken away from you.

Although losing 130 mil sucks too.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Most Accurate Patriots Season Preview

I have been waiting all fall for the Pats season preview on, and I wasn't disappointed. This is really how I feel about this team, confident, and with good reason.

So, enjoy this lame excuse for a post, I really did none of the work.

From Eric Gillin of

The People's Republic of China has the world's largest army, with 2.2 million troops ready for action, 1,400 fighter planes, 8,580 tanks and untold stockpiles of nuclear missiles. (In comparison, the United States, which spends more than 10 times what China spends on the military, has just 1.5 million troops and 7,650 tanks.) With a population of 1.3 billion people, a rapidly expanding economy, massive investments in American businesses and a government surplus of $180 billion, China is poised to kick some serious ass for a very long time.

And so are the New England Patriots, another mysterious dynasty with a completely foreign way of doing things, which also has a massive stockpile of talent entering this season. As everyone in the NFL is all too aware, the Patriots had the best offseason in franchise history, signing a once-unstoppable, big-ticket target (Randy Moss), the most versatile defensive player in the game (Adalius Thomas), an undersized possession receiver who gives the secondary fits (Wes Welker), and another wideout with solid hands (Donte Stallworth) who could emerge as a possible deep threat.

But the Patriots Republic of New England aren't like the New York Yankees -- a stupid comparison some boneheaded sports commentators made over the summer. For one, football has a salary cap. And two, the Republic didn't have to throw around millions of dollars -- players actively took pay cuts to be a part of their system, where everyone plays multiple positions, there is no I in team, and star bullshit is simply not tolerated. Compared to the NFL's capitalist swine, where "me first" players sign perfectly good contracts, only to suddenly decide they're underpaid two years later and hold out -- the Patriots are a bunch of screaming Commies, with a defensive playbook that's the very embodiment of the Marxist adage, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." In China, people are nothing more than replaceable cogs in a vast machine -- a mentality held by the Patriots management, which has no qualms about giving the boot to "stars" like Deion Branch.

There's a reason no one seemed all that concerned about Asante Samuel's hold out. There's a reason why Randy Moss threw away a two-year $20 million deal to make just $3 million for a single season. They understand that in the Patriots Republic, the individual player is not important, the system is. For every Ty Law New England loses, there's a Randall Gay waiting in the wings to step into the role. And the architect of this great leap forward is Bill Belichick, the Patriots' Chairman Mao, a man whose public statements invariably fall into one of the following three categories: Blatant propaganda, reverse psychology or out-and-out disinformation.

Belichick is a man whose separation from his wife was kept secret for a full year -- he coached an entire football season! -- until it became publicly known. This is a man who is known as "N.E. Coach" in Madden because he refuses to join the NFL Head Coaches Association. (He's the only coach who will not join.) This is a man who looks like he sleeps in (and chews on) the clothing he wears on game day. This is a divorced guy with nothing to lose and nothing left, a man so completely consumed by football, he is somewhere out there right now in a very dark room, watching film. Like an obsessive-compulsive in a Slinky factory, chronically restless, tinkering with his life's work, getting closer and closer to perfecting football's version of Socialism, an efficient, victorious machine that sublimates the individual for the greater good.

This idea of the greater good -- a very Socialist notion -- is what drives China as well. It's why businessman Zhang Shuhong killed himself after his toy company, Lee Der Industrial, was blamed for the recall of a million Mattel toys coated in lead paint. The notion of honor and public shame -- not fines and suspensions -- keep people in line in the Patriots Republic. (Those of you with Tivo and high-def -- check out the Patriots assistants on the sidelines after a blown play. Zhang Shuhong didn't have anything on those dudes.)

And that's why this season is so compelling. The rest of the world isn't really afraid of China's economic might and military firepower -- after all, the combined might of our European allies is just as powerful. It's the fact that the rest of the world doesn't have a fucking clue what they're going to do with it. So here's Bill Belichick. And he's adding an arsenal of explosive receivers and the best defensive free agent in the league to a core group of veterans who have won before and a quarterback entering his prime. What the hell is he going to do with all that?

That's why I'm not worried about the Colts, an already injury-plagued team that's going to have that classic post-Super Bowl 8-8 hangover season. I'm not worried about the Chargers, who will need a season to adjust to a new coach and a young quarterback. And I'm not worried about the NFC, where no one appears truly dominant yet. Honestly, I'm worried about injuries and a team whose shiny new parts might need a bit longer to become well-greased cogs in the machine.

With so many weapons and an entire country now rooting against the no-longer feel-good, no-longer underdog Patriots, the pressure on the Republic is palpable this season. Anything short of Total Victory will be a complete disappointment for the fans, for the organization and, most important, for Belichick. There are no excuses. He has to win this season. Only one thing is certain:

If this team doesn't fucking win, he's going to run them all over with a tank.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Coffee, anyone?

I didn't drink coffee until graduate school, when I was pulling all nighters trying to get my schoolwork done as well as prepare for the next teaching day. I had some coffee drinkers as friends though. My good friend and house-mate Foster would down 5-6 espressos a day. Colin, another house-mate, would put instant coffee granules in his upper lip, like he was packing a dip, and stay up all night writing papers. I remember growing up the smell of coffee after dinner, as my family always did desert and a pot of coffee post-meal.

So, when a former athlete of mine asked me if caffeine was OK for runners, I immediately assumed it was. I drink it every day, and even though I am not the fastest anymore, I can still get around a course. Colin was an D1 Nordic skier, Foster was captain of the rugby team. Personal experience tells me that it is fine for athletes.

I did some research around the Internet and in some physiological journals I dug up. Turns out that, as usual, there are two sides to the story. Some researchers found out that coffee decreases blood flow to the heart, and others discovered that it increases aerobic capacity in the lungs. There seem to be lots of studies showing both sides of the coin.

But I liked what Dr. Lawrence Armstrong, from the Univ. of Connecticut, said about coffee. "Caffeine has both a physical and a psychological effect on athletes, and that even a little bit can make a difference." I read into this as a little coffee is good, maybe 1 cup a day, but overdoing it, just like overdoing anything, is probably detrimental. Everything in moderation, as some smart person once said.

Personally, I like my coffee black. Not regular, but black. Mmmmmm.... the coffee pot is jus going off now, how coincindental!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Media Coverage

I'm not quite sure how I feel about this....

There are six (6) articles in the Boston area papers today about the impending birth of Tom Brady's kid. (Links courtesy of Boston Sports Media) One from the Worcester Telegram. One from the Boston Globe. One from the Boston Herald, and another from the Providence Journal. There is an opinion column about it as well as one more article touching on the topic in the Hartford Courant.

(My wife grew up kind of near Hartford, I was under the impression that it was more of a N.Y.C. sports town. So shouldn't they have an article on Paul Lo Duca or something like that?)

So is this really that big of a deal? I mean, six articles, in the middle of baseball season, about Tom's kid? And they are not about the kid, just about the date of it's birth! I know it could happen in the middle of football season, but aren't there more important things to write about? Just seems a little overkill to me. Like Olympic figure skating coverage, when we get subjected to Michelle Kwan practice sessions. Blech.

But, it was a good excuse to run a gratitious shot of Bridget Moynahan, right?

Saturday, August 18, 2007


125. That is the number of athletes we have out on the middle school cross country team. 125, in only two grades! Awesome! We have some hard workers, some really talented kids and also some kids with lots of potential. It should be a very good season.

6,14,10. That is how many innings pitched, hits allowed and runs accounted for Eric Gagne since he joined the Red Sox. Not good, not good at all. In fact, I would call it disgraceful. I think you can throw in 3, for three leads lost, and 0, for zero amount of faith the fans have in him right now. Why does Tito keep trotting him out there? I hope management comes to their senses in October.

2. The number of teams in my new NFL Pick 'em league. If anyone would like to join, let me know and I can give you the info to get into our specific league. It's pretty simple, you pick the team to win each week, (no draft, no line-ups,) and it is free. More rules and description are in the links to the left, you just need a Yahoo! ID to sign up.

1,000,000. That is how much joy I derive from podcasts. Bill Simmon's podcasts, NPR podcasts, Colin Cowherd podcasts. They are free, you download them onto your iPod, and then you get commercial free talk radio with a pause button. As the Guinness guys would say, "Brilliant!!" Suffice to say, I am totally addicted.

More numbers to come...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Send Off

As I go back to school, (with my brand new, super cool, flat black MacBook. Thanks Beth!) I would like to wish all of the departing seniors a fond farewell as the head to the big time. Life after high school is a blast, guys, trsut me. If you ever need anything, give me a call, and when your back in town, feel free to stop by. It was great being involved in your lives the past 2-6 years and I wish you all the best.


P.S. Mike Vick has been suspended for a year, that's the "word on the street" So, I leave you with this great "real" picture .

P.P.S. I HATE Mike Vick.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

File under: WTF??!!

This one is for Zach and Alex. And all the other post-workout, alternative beverage aficionados out there. Follow this link.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Greatest. Website. Ever.

My good friend Carolyn told me about this website she used all the time at her job up in the mountains this summer. It is, and it is an internet radio website. You enter in the name of a song or a band you like, and then it creates a playlist of songs that are similar to the song/band you entered. It is based on something called the Music Genome Project, which tries to group somgs and bands by their musical charateristics.

So, check out this free website, and see how much you learn about your favorite bands!

Good Luck

I want to wish everyone associated with the XC program good luck this fall. You have all trained very hard over the summer, and that should lead to some fantastic results for all of you. If you have any questions or need any advice, I would love to help you, but your XC coaches can help out out even better, so you would need to talk to them.

Good luck everyone, run fast!!