Monday, December 29, 2008

Laundry List

Good to be home! Got in very late last night, and have got a long list of things to get accomplished this week! Short post today, check the updated training plan for this week's activities. Pretty similar to last week, except most of the distances are longer. Make sure to get those miles in before we start running fast on Monday!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nordic Skiing

Yesterday afternoon, when Beth and I were driving back to my parents house, I noticed that the local golf course had been groomed for some Nordic skiing. So, when we got home, my Dad and I dug out some old skis, threw some wax on them, scrounged around for some warm clothes, and threw the boots by the pellet stove to warm up.

This morning, with the temperature hovering around 10 degrees, my Dad and I left the house in the dark at 6:30 to get some exercise in. It was pretty fun, even though the trails were pretty rough, we couldn't see anything for the first twenty minutes, and we ended up bushwhacking through thigh deep snow to get back on the main trail. But, the both of us did get some good skiing in up the last hill, with my old man going a pretty good imitation of Olympic champion Bjorn Dahlie. (Right before he caught a tip and took a digger right at the crest of the hill.)

Finally, we hiked back up to the car, drove home carefully, and then spent the rest of the day shopping at the outlets. A great day overall!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas tomorrow, and we wish you all a relaxing peaceful day.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Break Training

We are leaving for Boston in a couple of hours, (Adam is coming to pick us up, then dog/house sit for us) so I have posted the training you should do in the sidebar.  Couple of quick thoughts while before I forget, then I gotta try and get some sleep!

You have trained very hard for the month of December, don't let it go to waste by not being intrinsically motivated enough to go out and run on your own.  Make it easier on yourself by making plans to run with your buddies, it is harder to not run when you have people expecting you.

No hill work, no bounding, no plyometrics this week.  You can run hills during the course of your long run, but no stand-alone hill work.  Save that for January.

Any speed you do should be no faster than 5 km race pace and no longer than 30 seconds.  There is no need to burn yourself out now.

Other than Thursday, if you want to run longer than the prescribed time, go for it!  Just make sure you don't run yourself into the ground Monday, and then can't run Tuesday.  Consistency is the key, make sure you get a consistent amount of running from day-to-day.  

Double sessions for the advanced kids are a fine idea.  Getting 30 minutes in the morning, then the normal work-out in the afternoon is no problem.  

Stay hydrated, even in the cold.  If anything, staying hydrated when it is cold is extra important!

If you need anything, email me!  And have a great break!    

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Running in the Cold

I just got in from shoveling the driveway, it was a whopping -3 degrees! I love the bitter cold, reminds me of ski racing back home in New Hampshire. Extra cold green wax, sharp rills int he base, it was a true test of who was really the toughest racer out there. (I just heard on the news that they are NOT canceling the 5 km Jingle Bell road race this morning in Wash. Park, I wonder how many hard-core runners will come out for that?) I have only experienced one situation where it was too cold to ski race. I was cross country skiing in Alaska, and it was -20 or something ludicrous like that when we woke up for the morning races. The race directors had to wait until it warmed up to -18 for USSA rules to let us race. We had to tape our cheekbones, noses and foreheads in athletic tape, and then coat our entire faces in Vaseline to prevent frostbite. I think I raced pretty well that day, must have been the Vaseline. So don't let anyone tell you that old wives tale about "It will hurt your lungs to go out and run at this temperature." Antarctic explorers, Iditarod dog sled racers and world champion Nordic ski racers would vehemently disagree, as well as every study ever done on the subject. Just make sure to wear the appropriate layers, be extra cautious with your footing, and be super-hydrated, and you will have a great recovery run. You know me, if we go to a track meet and it is this cold, I am voting to race. Might as well get used to it now!! To repeat, the cold does not affect your lungs, so get out there and get a good run in! Think to yourself, no one else is running right now, you are getting an extra leg up on everyone!


P.S. The new weekly schedule is posted, I plan on practicing as normal, hope to see you all at the bottom of the stairs.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Just a reminder of your on your own (O.Y.O.) work-outs for this weekend.

Friday-Easy aerobic run. Faster than a shuffle, but not so fast you are dead by the end. Try to get 30-45 min in, depending on how you feel.

Saturday-Long easy aerobic run. The team will be meeting at my house at 8:00, (for directions, email me) and we will go on a 45-60 min run. Again, the pace will be easy, but not too easy.

Sunday-Recovery run. Similar to an active rest day, but a little longer in duration. Run for about 30 min, then go home and stretch really, really well.

Monday-We will meet at the bottom of the stairs to do an outside workout at three o'clock.

Make sure to stay hydrated at all times and I hope to see lots of you on Saturday!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eating Right, One Letter at a Time

Coach Monfre forwarded me this article, and as soon as I noticed that it was by Nancy Clark, I knew it would be good. Nancy Clark is a dietitian and a nutritionist for endurance athletes, and she writes some amazing stuff.

This article is titled "The ABC"s of Sports Nutrition." Here is the first part of it.

"Eating a performance-enhancing diet isn't easy, and for many athletes and active people, nutrition is their missing link. If that's your case, here are a few ABC’s to get you started on the path to winning with good nutrition.

Always eat breakfast; it's the meal of champions! Within three hours of waking, fuel-up for a high-energy day. Not hungry in the morning? Trade evening snacks for a nice breakfast the next day.

Breakfast of champions? I vote for whole grain cereal + milk + fruit—an easy, wholesome, carb-protein combination.

Carbohydrates are essential to fuel-up and refuel your muscles. Do not “stay away from” pasta, potato, bread, bagels and other carbs that have wrongly been deemed “fattening.” Excess fat gets easily converted into body fat, but not carbs.

Dehydration needlessly slows you down, so plan to drink extra fluids before you exercise. The kidneys require about 45 to 90 minutes to process fluids. Allow time to tank up, eliminate the excess, and then drink again pre-workout.

Energy bars are more about convenience than necessity. Bananas, yogurt, fig cookies and granola bars offer convenient fuel at a fraction of the price. Yum!"

The rest of the letters can be found at I really like this format, short little paragraphs that are easily "digestible" by the reader. (Get it?) Try doing one of these each day, and in a month, you will have tried each one of them. I bet you will have transformed your diet to one that is much better than it was before the month started. Do I smell a New Years Resolution??


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Full Utilization

One thing that I have always tried to stress is that athletes need to utilize their time spent practicing 100% if they want to realize their potential. If an athlete wastes time during practice, slacks off in the exercise during practice, or even just shows up late to practice, they are really not getting the chance to be as awesome as they could potentially be.

It takes self-discipline and a strong will to be able to do this on a consistent basis. The more you practice being full aware and engaged during your training, the easier it gets, but it is tough to do. I understand, it is hard to do every hill as perfect as possible, or every squat 100% correct, but the more you can do this, the closer you get to fulfilling your potential. I had a coach growing up who said, "Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent. "

If you practice things poorly, you will perform poorly, that's why you need to be giving everything you got when training, so you have something to call upon when you are racing.


P.S. I know I didn't post it in the weekly training, but what do people think about a 45-60 min run from my house on Saturday? (Then a trip to Einstein's.) If there is interest, we will do it, let me know at practice this week!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weekly Results

Gender Grade Dec. 3
(1500 m)
Dec. 4
(400 m)
Alex Balsiger Male 12th 4:32 :56
Derek Eidt Male 12th 4:33 :57
Keagan Vargo Male 10th 4:48 1:08
Taylor Eidt Male 12th 4:54 :58
Brendan Burt Male 11th 4:59 1:06
Trey Cottingham Male 12th 5:05 DNS
Josh Lake Male 11th 5:11 1:07
Patrick Barringer Male 11th 5:18 1:04
Nathan Purdue Male 10th 5:18 1:07
Ryan Bull Male 11th 5:23 1:17
Tyler Brost Male 10th 5:27 1:03
Justin Bills Male 10th 5:27 1:05
AJ Kade Male 9th 5:29 1:09
Caroline Hine Female 11th 5:38 1:14
Kelli Hanrahan Female 12th 5:43 DNS
Melanie Bergen Female 12th 5:55 1:13
Liz Ryan Female 9th 6:12 1:19
Brianna Nelson Female 9th 6:13 DNS
Kendall Waite Female 10th 6:20 1:20
Travis Batt Male 12th DNS 1:00
Katelyn Wojan Female 11th DNS 1:12
Cameron Heitmeyer Male 10th DNS 1:18

Those are the results of the running we did this week. Very impressive, considering the conditions we were fighting through. I was also very happy with the strength work we did, and I am very, very happy with the parking lot hills you all did yesterday.

Now, the speed work is done for a while. It is time to build an aerobic base. Long runs, recovery runs, and more long runs are what's on tap for the next few weeks. A lot of this will be on your own, so you need to be disciplined enough to carry out the work-out. We will know in January who got their long runs in and who didn't, because Spenst Hill never lies! Have a great weekend, get some recovery running in, work your self up gradually, and Monday will be a fun creative run through the neighborhoods.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Even though it is turning into winter, fluids are still very important for all athletes. Just because it is cold does not mean you are not losing fluids. Staying hydrated is not something you cannot do the day of a work-out, you have to stay hydrated ALL THE TIME. You should be carrying around a water bottle all throughout the day. To get better in competition, you need to get better in practice. To do well in practice, you need to stay hydrated. Click below for a page from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. It offers some good guidelines for how much you should actually drink.

Sure, they say to drink Gatorade, but any type of fluid is better than nothing. Although, I know lots of world class runners who drink water and nothing else.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Winter Track Schedule

Winter track starts tomorrow! Check the weekly schedule to the left for all the details. See you all in 504L Monday after school.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Race Photos

Here are some selected photos from the race on Saturday. If anyone wants a copy of all of them (about 140 or so), shoot me an email and I can easily burn you a CD of them.

The team in front of the lake we raced around.

Coah Hawk, the ladies, and I casually heading to the start area.

Keagan charging up All-America Hill. Keagan's leg drive is very impressive, and that helped him finish with a fantastic time of 16:29!
Derek hammering up the long steep hill in the last mile. Notice his eyes, looking right where he should be, the top of the hill. Perfect! Derek ran a PB of 16:41!
Tyler flying over the top of All-America Hill. Tyler finished with a time of 20:05, and if he can run that for a 5000, imagine what this truly 400/800 man will do in the spring!

Post-race congratulations from me for the men, as they all ran huge PB's over this tough course!
Katelyn with great form and arm swing coming up the long steep hill. Katelyn finished with a time of 20:12, a new PB for her!

Kelli had very quick turnover every time I saw her, here she is on All-America Hill. Kelli finished with a super fast time of 20:27!

Melanie look so strong with such great loose form. Her hips are forward, her foot strike is perfect, she looked awesome. That propelled her to a great time of 21:27.

Here are the seniors patiently waiting for the medals presentation. Sharp hat on Mel.
This is Keagan getting his 8th place medal!

And here is Katelyn getting her 9th place medal!

Again, I am so proud of all the runners who competed this weekend. You guys made a huge sacrifice and a huge dedication and I hope you feel it has paid off. It has truly been a pleasure to be able to coach such great hard-working kids, and I can't wait for winter track. Take some time off, go shopping, go to the skate park, you deserve it. And I will see you next Monday!


Easy Weekly Schedule

This upcoming week of training is a RECOVERY WEEK! No working out for a few days. Active rest for a few days that does not involve running. (Walking the dog, basketball, swimming, lifting weights) And then some easy running to ease back into it.

Things you can do this week instead of run and train:
Get caught up on your schoolwork.
Make your parents dinner when they get home.
Be nice to your siblings.
Bring in your paperwork for winter track.
Go Christmas shopping.
Pick up litter in your neighborhood.
Get caught up on schoolwork.

Those are jsut some of the things you can do with your newfound spare time. Because the week of December 1st, we start right back up again, and you guys will be all rested and ready to go!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What A Day!

Well, there is no other way to say it other than we had an extremely successful day this afternoon. We had PR's falling all over the place, on a very hilly course. Now that we are finally unwinding by chilling at the pool, (Thank you 75 degree Phonenix!), let me try and re-cap the day.

The boys raced first, against a very large strong field. I wanted them to go out conservatively, as there were three huge hills in the last mile of the course I wanted them to have strength for. The start was pretty tight, so they had to get out fast, and all of them went through the first mile pretty quick. Between 15 and 40 seconds too fast, but by then it was too late to slow them down, they could only hold it the rest of the race.

After the first mile mark, they had a long run through "No-Man's Land" and then the first time up All-America Hill. This is a very steep, 40-50 m long grass hill. After descending as fast at they could, they cruised around the lake, then into some rolling terrain that ended with a long steep 80 m hill. Right after descending that hill, they went up All-America hill again, then it was 1200 m to the finish. I saw none of the finish, but I am very proud to report that Keagen came in 8th at 16:29, Derek was 15th at 16:41 and Tyler finished 137th with a 20:05. All HUGE personal bests, even when you account for the altitude. The course was hilly, with all of the hills coming at the end like a Tour de France stage, and to have the boys run that fast is incredible!

The girls race went off right afterwards, but not before I had a mile sprint to the start line to make sure the girls were all set, and then a mile sprint back to the first mile mark after the gun went off to get some times. The girls all went through that first mile fast, about 30 seconds fast for all of them, but since the boys went through fast and were OK, I wasn't worried. I watched all of them head off to No Man's Land, then got to the top of All-America Hill to cheer them on. They cleared that hill like they had been running it all their lives. It was great. At DeKoevend Park, we struggled at those hills, now we were passing people on them! I couldn't believe it, we were all running so well!

Beth and I then headed over to the long steep hill to watch the girls tackle that. And they didn't just tackle it, they destroyed it!! I was so psyched. The results bore out the great racing, with Kateyln in 8th in 20:12, Kelli in 15th in 20:27, and Melanie in 33rd at 21:27. (That's pretty amazing considering she was battling a stomach cramp the whole last mile. She went through the first two miles in 12:57!!!!)

I was just amazed and so happy for all of the runners. These kids dedicated 4 months of their time to work towards this race, and they all have great times to show for it! That is just awesome, just awesome! Katelyn and Keagen got medals for finishing top ten, which is great, but all of the kids just ran spectacularly. We got some of the fastest times in Chaparral history today on a very hilly course with some pretty high temperatures out there. These athletes are primed to keep running fast all through winter track and spring track and that was the goal of this whole endeavor.

So, on to Delux Burger for a well deserved celebratory dinner. We certainly deserve it!


P.S. My ace photographer wife Beth got some AWESOME shots today. I am going to try and get those posted up as soon as I can.

Nervous Sleeping

I couldn't fall asleep to save my life last night, I was so nervous. Hopefully the runners had an easier time that I did.

The course looks fast! I am glad we toured it last night, as we got a little turned around a few times. Better to do that the night before than during the race. It is mostly rolling terrain, with a couple of pretty big hills near the end to really test the kids. This should be a great day of racing, I think we are more than ready, so I am eager to show it!

Off to Dunkin' Donuts for coaches coffee, and then off to the races. Wish us luck!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Landed Safely

Well, here we are in Arizona. Flight was uneventful, (I got some work done on the com-puter), the hotels let us check in early, and we cruised around the Mill St. Mall for a while this afternoon.

Now everyone is chilling in their hotel rooms, we are leaving to tour the course in half an hour, and things are going smoooooothly. :)

More after dinner!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Clean Up Post

After a very busy weekend, I finally feel like we are ready to head down to Arizona!  Lots of quick random thoughts for you this morning.

New training plan this week, check it out on the left.

HUGE shout-out to Kateyln's mom.  Without her, we would be staying in cardboard boxes this weekend.  I know she went though a lot to set us up with hotel rooms, and we are very grateful for that.

Make sure to pack a water bottle.  The dry air is going to dehydrate you quicker than normal.

I emailed a specific itinerary to your parents yesterday, and I also sent one to each of your Facebook inboxes.  Please make sure both you and your parents know what the plan is for this weekend.

Re-vamped the Links to Check, I put a few more running specific ones in there.

On November 18th, head to Hawk's room after school.  Pick up all the paper work you need to fill out for WTAFC winter session.  Have it ready, so you can be cleared to practice on Dec. 1st.  Make you life easier by getting things done early.

How is everyone getting to and from DIA this weekend?  We need to discuss this.

Here are the tentative starting fields for the races.  We are in the open races.

Big shout out goes to Kelli as well, for helping Beth and I find cool things to do after the races are over.  Delux Burgers, yum!!

Seriously Manny, 6 years?  No one is going to give you that many years...

Let's have another good week of practice, and we will race very fast on Saturday morning.


Friday, November 14, 2008

The Laster!!

Out in Lawrence, the Turkey Trot 5 km was contested last weekend.  Check out the Male 25-29 Division!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shout-Out on the Web

The word is out, WTAFC is officially heading to NXN SW.  (Not that we weren't already.)  Click here to see our "official declaration".  Cool!  Should be some good competition down there.  I am getting more and more excited!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mayne Street

Kenny Mayne, one of the funniest anchors on ESPN, has this new internet show on the .com side of the Worldwide Leader. The below video is the premiere, and to be honest, I think Scott Van Pelt really steals the show.

Hilarious, just hilarious, especially the part in the dark. Hee-hee.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Weekly Schedule & Arizona Check

What a great week of practice, so good, that we are going to do pretty much the same thing again.  Check the sidebar to see all the details.

Two weeks from tonight, we will be arriving home from a successful trip to Arizona for the Nike Cross Nationals Race.  Wow, it seemed like just a couple of days ago we were months from leaving, but the time is upon us.

Please double check your airline confirmations.  Hopefully most of us are flying Frontier Airlines #855 to Phoenix on Nov. 21st at 7:00 am.  Hopefully most of us are coming back on Frontier Airlines # 852 on Nov 23rd that lands in Denver at 11:23.  If you are not on these flights, let me know ASAP so we can arrange to get you to and from our hotel.  I am not sure about all of the restrictions on checked baggage and everything, but I would suggest packing light.  I can't see anyone needing anything more than a carry-on packed very tightly.  Just make sure to not forget your racing flats and your 80134 singlet.  Anything else that is forgotten can be dealt with in Phoenix.

The hotel we are staying at, (girl athletes in one room, boy athletes in another) is the Residence Inn at the Phoenix Airport.  The phone number there is 1-602-273-9220.   We are all set for check-in there, (thanks Krisi !!!), so that will be the home base.

Almost everything is paid for, you will just need to bring spending money.  As we decided earlier, I am going to pay for everything, then split up the costs when we get back to Parker.  We are all signed up for the race, and I have all print-outs and emergency forms already packed.  Just double check you travel arrangements, figure out how you are getting to and from DIA, and get ready for a great week of practice!!


P.S.  An informal description of the course was written by Coach Versaw of The Classical Academy.  You can check it out on his website here.  The second to last paragraph was very interesting, I thought.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What I Learned From Saturday...

There are more hills in DeKoevend Park than I thought.

That our training has to mimic our racing more closely.

I sometimes set my expectations a little too high.

That the Sierra Road Race course is no way 5000 meters long.

That too much short speed work is not the best way to get ready for a 5 km race.

The kids who train with WTAFC are some of the toughest kids around.

Walking up Antelope Hill needs to stop.  High knees instead maybe.

It can get hot in Colorado in November.

There really is no substitute for experience.

Getting frustrated and down on yourself is very unproductive.

RollerCoasters tomorrow, Predator Runs on Wednesday and 3000 m Pace Changers Friday.  Tempe is three weeks away, we WILL be ready for it.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today we had a very tough workout. 5 x 400, 4-5 x 800, 6 x 200, all on varying terrain, all with very short rest. The toughest workout of the fall, in my opinion. To make matters a little trickier, the temperature was in the high 70's, unseasonably warm for this time of year.

Well, I shouldn't have been worried, because the WTAFC just killed it today. Everyone was running their hearts out. Kids were running through major leg cramps, running their fastest times on the last interval, pushing through their splits ten seconds fast, dragging themselves to the starting line every time. We had no slip-ups, no one falling off, no one quitting. Everyone ran to the utmost of their abilities, and if you do that you will reach your true potential. It was impressive to watch, I was very, very proud of everyone today. The old mirror story rings true today, everyone can go home and look themselves in the mirror and say they gave it their all today. That's awesome!

Tonight, try and relax, take an epsom salt bath, and stretch and stretch some more. Tomorrow, nice and easy twenty minute run to get the stiffness out, Friday, be at the Stonegate Pool Park at 3:15 for some speedwork before Saturday's race. As for Saturday, let's meet at my house at 10:30, bring plenty of water and clothes; so we can carpool/caravan over as a team.

Again, awesome job today, you should all be very proud of yourselves.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Changes in Weekly Schedule

This week we are going to change things up a bit, changing to a more springtime weekly schedule, in preparation for the race on Saturday. I want to make sure everyone is as rested as possible for that race on Saturday, but I do not want to sacrifice training. We still have about a month to go before the AZ race, that's a lot of good training time. Next week, we will probably go back to the fall routine we have been used to. Check the sidebar for exact details.

If you are not part of the fall WTAFC, and you just finished your CHS XC season, my advice is this: Just like when track season is done, totally rest for two weeks. Your muscles need to recuperate from a long cross country season, you need to recharge your brain, and your your overall health will be benefited by those two weeks off. Then, ease yourself back into running again. Go on some long runs, do some easy fartleks, get in the weight room. The official winter track season starts on Dec. 1, be ready to work very very hard once that date rolls around.

And I got pictures from the Red Rocks/Red Bull Soap Box Derby race. Man I wish I could have seen that, it looked awesome!

See you all tomorrow.


P.S. Make sure to get your entries mailed in! Don't forget !

Friday, October 24, 2008

USATF XC Entry Form

With the USATF Cross Country race fast approaching, (entiures are due on the 28th, send them out Monday or even Saturday if you can!) some people have been asking me for the registration form. D'Oh! That would help, wouldn't it? :) (Too busy pruning trees I guess.)

Here it is, print it out at your leisure.
All the athletes that are presently enrolled in the WTAFC can put down WOLVERINE TRACK AND FIELD CLUB for the club affilitaion, and our club number is 32-0269. Not sure about the club association and region number. My guess would be to leave that blank and we can deal with it at the race. Make sure to not forget six bucks and everything should be all set!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

United State of America Track & Field Cross Country Junior Olympic Qualifier Race Information

On Novemebr 1st, there is a USATF XC JO qualifier race being held right here in Denver. As a group, we raced this race four years ago, if my memory serves me right. I am very excited about his race, DeKoevend Park is a great place to race; good wide starting area, very spectator friendly, nice fast trails, and the people who put on the race are huge fans of running.

I am encouraging all readers of this blog to participate. If you are an active member of WTAFC, this is a great training race for you. If you ran for CHS XC, you are more than welcome to join us. Everyone who runs needs to be a member of USATF, but if you ran winter track for us this past year, you should be all set. If you ran for Sierra XC this fall, you are more than welcome to join us. The more the merrier, in my book.

The details are all outlined in the USATF Info. Brochure, but the main points are as follows:
--The race is on Nov. 1, at DeKoevend Park, which is just north of the corner of University and Arapahoe.
--You will race in your age group, and all age groups start at a different time.
--It's six bucks to race, and you must send in your registration by Oct. 28th. WTAFC will not register you, that is up to you.
--No day of race registration.

It looks like most athletes will be racing between 11:00 and 1:00, so we can meet at my place in the morning, carpool over as a big group, and then race our individual races. I hope we get a big turn-out for this, like I said, this is a great race and I am looking forward to it.

Email me if you have any questions!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


In my morning or searching the internet for races to compete in for the spring, I discovered that the USATF is having a 5 km cross country race at DeKoevend Park on Nov. 1. That is great news, as it will provide a much more specific race than the one in Wash Park would give us. Plus, it looks like the entry fee is six bucks, rather than the 25 for the race this Friday.

I know things have been crazy this week, lots of switching around, so I want to re-cap.

Wednesday-Be ready to go for an 800 m TT at 4:00 sharp! Bring your fast shoes.

Friday-No official WTAFC race in Wash . Park. (Although if you want to race there, you are more than welcome to.)
Instead we will do the regularly scheduled repeat kilometers workout. We will meet at 3:00 at Sierra. Fast shoes would be good.

Saturday-Cheer on at XC State Meet. Active rest day

Next Saturday-USATF Cross Country Race. The park is right down the street from my house, on University and Arapahoe. We will meet at my house and head down from there.

Whew! My eyes hurt from staring at this screen for so long!


More Logistics

Any opinions on Wednesday? I was thinking, if the athletes are ready to go at 4:00 sharp, then we I can still make it to the dentist. Does that work for you guys?

As for Friday, I did some more thinking about that as well. The race is 25 bucks, pretty steep in my opinion, but typical for a Wash Park race. I can't put my thoughts or my experiences on running a race bandit style out on the world wide web for everyone to read. :) It starts at 6:00, so I suggest we meet at my house at 4:30 to get a good jump on fighting traffic to get there. (Friday afternoon, I-25, yuk.) So, meeting at 4:30, how does that sound?

The track coaches are meeting Thursday evening to discuss the upcoming winter and spring season. Any thing you want discussed amongst the coaches, let me know, either in person, or in the comments.

See you Wednesday night!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Orienteering Results

The results are up for yesterday's orienteering meet are posted, we did OK for ourselves. I can;t wait for the winter races, the ones we do on snowshoes!

In other riveting news, I got a dentist appointment squeezed in on Wednesday afternoon at 4:45. I know we had planned to do a TT at 4:00, but is there anyway we could possibly change that? Anyway we could go earlier, even at 3:45? The dentist is over by my house, so I would have to leave right after it, but I still want to get this important workout in.

Let me know your thoughts.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Game Seven

Some thoughts while settling down in to root on the Old Towne Team.

Great week of training, we really ramped it up in terms of intensity, and everyone responded very well. The intensity is going to stay this high until the 22nd of November. Rest will be short, speed will be fast; everything about our workouts is going to be tough. That means you must eat well, stay super-hydrated, and make sure to get plenty of sleep. The recovery runs are important, as well as staying stretched and limber. All of the little things that people do are what allow you to have great workouts, so keep up on all of that.

The orienteering race was awesome today. We had a good turnout of kids and we finally had some courses that Coach Sep could actually handle. I ran with the boys twice, doing both the beginner course and the intermediate course. The girls also went out and tackled the beginner course, and they certainly got their money's worth. From how they described it, they started off a little rough, but once they got into the groove of it, they started rolling through the checkpoints. As usual, it was a blast, but this time, with the open terrain, it was really fun for everyone.

This week's new training schedule is posted in the left sidebar. There are some different start times because of the fall break, but the same type of training will apply. RollerCoasters early on Monday, and a TT on Wednesday afternoon. Friday we decided to participate in a 5 km race to prepare for the Tempe race, the Scream Scram, so check out their website for some more details.

See everyone tomorrow morning, get a good night's sleep, as the Rollercoasters are going to be longer than normal!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Upcoming Week

Before we get to the normal training, a couple of tangents.

Talked to Thomas on the phone just now, the marathon he ran this past week didn't go as well as he had hoped, but he is now gearing up for a half marathon with his older brother in five days. My god, the guy is a long distance machine! A marathon and a half marathon within two weeks of each other? Ahhhhh.... to be young and 24 again. :)

And earlier this morning, I got an 80 minute walk in with Otis. I listened to the Bill Simmons/Matthew Berry podcast the whole time, and was laughing out loud for most of it. even though they talk a lot of fantasy sports stuff, the chemistry they have with each other is classic, and I might even start listening to the strictly fantasy football/basketball podcasts if both of them are hosting. Funny, funny, stuff.

OK, back to the plans this week. They are updated in the Weekly Training Plans on the left. We had a GREAT 1:20 long run Saturday in the waning hours of daylight. We ran the nice and easy Highline Canal trail, stopped to gawk at all the mansions being built, and then had a huge dinner at Garbanzo's. Great way to spend a practice, in my opinion. (Even though I could barely crawl out of bed this morning. God I am out of shape!) That means today is an easy 45 minute shake-out run, and the rest of the week looks pretty typical.

Beth is getting in from Minnesota on Monday night at six, so we have to be done practice by 5:15 at the latest. I know we are all very busy people, but the earlier we start, the better quality practice we will have. We have nine intervals to do tomorrow, so we will be getting right to business immediately, and we will run a very efficient practice.

Like I said, the rest of the week is pretty normal, and this Sunday is an orienteering race at Chatfield Reservoir State Park. Check the Rocky Mountain Orienteering Club website for all the details. I am definitely signing up for a couple of beginner races, and any orienteering race where we don't have to drive two hours one way sounds like a good one to me! I just hope I can make it. I know I have a class for teacher re-certification on Saturday (hence the running on your own that day), and I don't know if it will carry over into Sunday. Grrrrr..... silly classes. :)

Let's hope for some good training weather this week, but if it is not, we will proceed with the plan as normal. That means, bring warm clothes with you, will be outside more often than not!

See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Feature!

I added a feature to the blog that I have been wanting to update for a while now. I have a new section entitled "Collegiate Varsity Alumni" that celebrates all of the kids that have come through the program and are now competing in varsity athletics at the collegiate level. I have two athletes up now, but there are more to come.

However, there are so many kids from CHS Track that are competing in college, that I might have forgotten one or two. (My bad.) If that is you, please, shoot me an email with a cool picture, and I will get you up there as soon as I can!



Schedule Changes

Good morning everyone,

We discussed some schedule changes for this week, due to days off from school and other pressing matters. The changes are detailed in the weekly schedule on the left of the page. That is the beauty of such a small close-knit group, we can make these changes on the fly, and everyone can still usually make it to practice!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Importance of Rest

Well, this week we didn’t do a lot of training & running as a group. We had a great RollerCoaster workout on Monday, then a tough windy workout on Thursday, and that was pretty much it as group. Beth & I missed seeing everyone on Saturday, it was the first Saturday morning in long time that Otis didn’t get his weekly WTAFC dosage.

But, the week that we had (three easy long runs, a couple extra active rest days) is really going to help us in the long term. As a program, we always seem to struggle in the immediate aftermath of rest days. I think that is why Thursday was so hard for us. But, in the weeks that come, this rest will help us out a lot as a team. Resting helps the muscular mitochondria grow back in greater numbers, it gives our lungs a break to recover from breathing so hard every day. It allows our mind to re-charge, to let that hunger for speed grow again, and to give us some perspective on what we are trying to accomplish. Prescribed rest, measured rest, disciplined rest, is the only way to truly break through to other levels in our running, which is why this past week was so important for us.

So, last week was our rest week, now we are jumping right back into the normal routine. Keep your eyes on the schedule on the left side of the page, but we are going to go with Mondays will be RollerCoasters at Sierra, Wednesdays are a long run behind Sierra, and Fridays are repeat kilos at Sierra. Saturday, we will be back at my house to do a long run with some tempo and technique work (and a trip to Einstein’s Bagels) for some Otis face time.


P.S. Hopefully everyone has their plane tickets for Arizona, things are coming together quickly!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Adjusted Weekly Schedule

First off, did you notice that Haile Gebrselassie won the Berlin Marathon in Germany in a new world record time? He ran a 2:03:59!! By running 26 consecutive 4:48 miles, he became the first runner ever under 2:04 in a marathon. Sure, Berlin is famous for having a flat fast course, but that is still a very, very impressive achievement.

Now, back to the original direction of this post. Last week was a pretty hard week of training, an di am getting the feeling that people are on the verge of "breaking down". Of course, we don't want that to happen, so we are going to change things up a bit this week. It is a good week to do this, as I have some teacher classes I need to attend at the end of the week, so this schedule should work for all.

So, Monday will be RollerCoaster Intervals at Sierra at 3:25. Tuesday and Wednesday will be active rest days. Both days, 20-30 min easy recovery runs on your own. Thursday will be Off-Road Ladders at Sierra at 3:25.

The next two days, I believe I have class, just not sure what time. So, these days are on your own as well. Friday will be a 60 min recovery run on your own. There is an orienteering race up in Nederland on Saturday if you want to participate in that, otherwise, an overdistance run is in order, at least 90 minutes for both genders. Run on flat trails, and focus on your form and your breathing. Sunday is just like today, a 45-60 minute recovery run.

This should be a good week of rest for us, we have stressed the body pretty good the last two weeks, not we need to let it grow back stronger. Easy run today, and see you all after school on Monday.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Great Showing!

I read that the guys running for CHS XC got 3 in the top twenty yesterday at the Dave Sanders Invite. That's pretty impressive! Great job!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Full House!

Well, I was wrong in my assumption that we might have less than a full team show up this morning! We had a full house, all six athletes ready and eager to go at 6:15! It was a pretty brutal workout, not during our normal running time, hard terrain, fast times to hit; but everyone performed admirably throughout the morning. Great job!

And good luck to the CHS XC runners this afternoon at Clement Park!


Early Morning practice

It's about five in the morning, practice starts in about an hour. Who will show up? Will we have a full house, or just one kid? 6:15 is pretty early to be running intervals, but it's the only time we can do it today.

My ski coach in college used to have 6:00 am practice on Tuesday and Thursdays. It was strictly conditioning. Sit-ups, push ups, plyometrics. He had it just to see who who show up or not. I admit, I am sure I missed a few, but god did they suck. It was always freezing cold outside, everyone was bundled up in their varsity issue sweats, and we were doing crunches. Yuk. But, my coach always got a good idea of who was truly dedicated or not. And after practice, the kids living in the dorms would do to breakfast in the dining hall, the kids who lived off-campus would go back home to sleep, and the coaches would go to Young's for coffee. I guess those practices were OK if you were a coach. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sierra Middle School Athlete of the Month

I'm starting a new feature here on Sep's Blog. Most people who read this blog think I am a high school track coach first, but my real job is being an 8th grade science teacher at Sierra Middle School. I am lucky enough there to be able to work with the 7th & 8th grade cross country team, as well most of the other sports and clubs here at Sierra. This allows me to see a lot of very talented athletes strut their stuff. So, I figured it would be a good idea to give some of them some internet recognition.

The criteria for this award is vague, the judging is biased, and the facts are probably inaccurate to a degree. However, the student chosen truly is a fantastic athlete by any standards, and deserves to be recognized. Without any further adu, here is the SMS Athlete of the Month for September.


Mackenzie is a cross country runner here at SMS. She is an 8th grader on Team Owl, and she also plays competitive club soccer. Mackenzie was chosen for this award because she placed fourth overall at the middle school district championship meet held two weeks ago. Mackenzie was consistently the fastest female runner on the team, as well as a respected role model, tireless worker, and mature leader. Her times over 1.5 mile courses were always in the low ten minute range, and she improved greatly throughout the season. Congratulations, Mackenzie, you are the SMS Athlete of the Month for September!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friday Practice

Great practice yesterday! Great job, you guys nailed it!

Let's go over plans for Friday.

We are doing repeat kilos, and the actual workout will take 50 minutes, with rest. But, we need to warm-up, do ankle exercises, waterpumps, and cool down. That adds about 20 minutes. Grand total, 1:10, let's make it an hour-fifteen, as I know one of you guys will be late to start.

Some of you expressed interest in going to the Dave Sanders Invite to cheer the XC team on Friday afternoon. I think that is a great idea, and I might tag along as well. But, we really can't skip the above workout, so here is the only solution I can think of.

Since I have to be in the building for PLC training at 7:30, that means we need to start practice in the morning at 6:15 sharp. Not "get to Sierra at 6:15", but "be ready to warm-up at 6:15". I will be on the track ready to go at 6:10, hope to see all you guys there!

So, practice Friday is at 6:15, not 3:15. Any questions, shoot me an email!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nike Cross Nationals Information

Here is what is going through my brain right now.

Trip Facts. The race is Saturday, November 22nd. It is a two hour plane ride. We will be returning on Sunday, I only want to miss one day of school. (Friday the 21st.) We will race very, very fast.

Airplane tickets. I would like to leave Friday morning, I found a $200 round trip flight on Frontier that leaves at about 7:00 in the morning Friday, and gets us back to Denver at about 10:00 Sunday morning. Perfect.

Tentative schedule. We would land in Phoenix at 9:00 on Friday, we get the rental cars, drive to Tempe, tour the course, grab some late lunch, the check in at the hotel. Go out for an easy dinner Friday night, relax in our rooms, and hit the hay early. Race Saturday morning, swim in the pool Saturday afternoon, another relaxing evening, then fly home early Sunday morning.

Rental cars. Beth and I will be going, so we will get two larger rental cars. Three female athletes, three male athletes, two big cars, no problem.

Hotel accommodations. I have emailed Katelyn's mom to try and set up some hotel accommodations for us, she's got insider information. :) More details on that to come. But, we won't be staying at the Ritz-Carlton, so get that out of your heads!

Parents/family. I would love to have your families come along to watch you race. Considering we are going down for a quick weekend, and it is a relatively short ways away, I think it would work out well. If they want to get airline tickets, if they want to get rooms at the hotel, great! If any parents out there do want to come, please let me know. Since there is a such a small number of kids, having families there would be no problem at all.

Race registration. Since I have all of your paperwork, (except a certain Vargo!), I will use that to register you.

Final word. I understand a lot of you have told me you want to go to race, but you have not told me that you are going, for sure. You need to talk to your parental units tonight, and we need hard and fast commitments by tomorrow. I do not want to buy a plane ticket to Arizona, then find out no kids are going, or reserve two rental cars, and discover that only two kids are going. Getting three hotel rooms for one athlete is not a good move. So, when you fully commit, then I can start the process of reserving rooms, cars, registrations, etc. I need to talk to Coach Hawk about exact payments, but I can say now that you will be responsible for your own airplane tickets. All of the other payments is still to be determined. We will do our best to make this as affordable as possible, but some expenses simply cannot be covered by the WTAFC.

Any questions, please email me as soon as you have them, and I will see you athletes tomorrow!


Disciplined Training

I just finished crunching the numbers for this weeks workouts. RollerCoaster Intervals tomorrow, long hill run on Wednesday, kilo repeats on Friday. Same workouts, but the stresses within the workout are changing as the weeks go by. We might reduce the rest between intervals, or increase the number of intervals. As your race times get faster, we will increase your speed goal times. All of these modifications make the workout more stressful, and make you a faster racer!

The key to all of these workouts is to run them the way they were designed to be run. RollerCoaster intervals work your lactate clearance system. Training your body to get rid of lactic acid more efficiently is very important, and if you run the workout too slow or too fast, then your body does not reap those benefits. Kilo repeats improve your body's ability to get oxygen to your muscles efficiently. Again, running these intervals too fast or too slow does not get you the maximum benefit of the workout. Run with discipline, run with consistency, and that leads to running fast!

There are tools that allow runners to monitor their intensity. Heart rate monitors, blood lactate monitors, treadmills; but the simplest way is to wear a good digital watch. So, Coach Hawk and I went out yesterday and bought a couple of nice Nike digital watches that can be programmed to beep exactly when we want them to. They will beep when you need to run fast, they will beep when we want you to run slow. So, we will now be doing all our intervals by the watch, and you must pay attention to the beeping. Eventually you will learn to run by feel, but for now, we will let technology help us out. (And you don't get to keep the watches afterward!)

The new weekly schedule is posted to the side, NXN race information coming up soon!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fast Racing!

Well, we had some fast racing this morning at Sierra. On a rolling course that could be described as having two moderate hills, and not a lot of downhills, we had two runners shatter twenty minutes, by placing in the top three. We also had three runners going under twenty four, a whole bunch of middle schoolers whipping the ol' coach, and that coach re-discovering some long dormant speed. Here are the results:

Derek blazed to the victory in 17:05, even saying he could have run faster in a group. Wow!!

Keagen took it out fast, and held that pace for the whole race, beating his previous best by one minute with a 18:15.

Lots of male and female middle school XC runners went under 21 minutes, including both seventh and eighth graders.

Kelli, Melanie and Katelyn ran a solid 23 minutes, even having to stop to assist some runners along they way. :)

And the ol' Coach, yours truly, slapped on the Trion-Z, and scorched the course in 21:22, his first competitive 5 km race in a very long time. Now that we have that data, I am can start running some intervals and tempo runs with the team!!

Great job this morning everyone, we helped raise a lot of money for Sierra, and I think everyone had a ton of fun! Thanks to the race organizers, all the volunteers, and the mayor of Parker for providing the play-by-play.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tempe Race

At the start of the year, we decided that we would go to the Nike Cross Nationals as a track club. That race is two months away now, and we need to really set some things in stone. Airline tickets, hotel accommodations, rental cars, all of that stuff needs to be taken care of.

I hope all of you are going to be at the 5 km race tomorrow at Sierra, I have signed up and am looking to break 25 minutes in the race. :) Can we talk about the race in Arizona tomorrow at Sierra?

See you all at practice today. Off-road ladders!


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tax Breaks

I try to stay away from political debate, it seems to me as both sides woudl do an allright job by me, but I saw this chart online, and I thought it was really interesting.

In all of my TV watching, you see lots of political ads, from both sides, and it is hard to figure out exactly who is telling the truth and who is not. Well, the Tax Policy Center, a non-profit watchdog organization, I assume, put out this chart graphing the tax plans of each candidate.
(From the Washington Post)

It seems like Obama has a huge tax increase to the rich, and McCain has a huge tax decrease for the rich. And vice-versa for the poorest in the nation. I like this chart, as it allows you to cut through all the comerrcials and rhetoric and really see what each candidates plans are. Both candidates are for tax reductions, how much of a tax cut seems to depend how much you make

Monday, September 15, 2008

RollerCoaster Intervals

1:08 2:07
1:08 2:07
1:09 2:07
1:10 2:04
1:08 2:07
1:09 2:06
1:08 2:07
0:51 N/A
1:10 2:08
1:14 2:01
1:15 2:08
1:16 2:13
1:13 1:57
1:18 2:12
1:10 2:30
0:59 N/A
1:13 1:51
1:15 1:53
1:16 2:05
1:15 1:47
1:20 1:45
1:20 2:54
1:19 1:49
1:00 N/A
1:18 2:57
1:24 2:51
1:23 2:53
1:23 2:51
1:23 2:52
1:21 2:54
1:26 2:49
1:06 N/A
1:18 2:57
1:24 2:51
1:23 2:53
1:23 2:51
1:23 2:52
1:21 2:54
1:26 2:49
1:06 N/A
1:18 2:57
1:24 2:51
1:23 2:53
1:23 2:51
1:23 2:52
1:21 2:54
1:26 2:49
1:06 N/A

The above table is from today's RollerCoaster Intervals at Sierra. Each double column is an interval with rest. (The first colum is the interval time, the second is the rest time.) These are tempo intervals, ones that should be run at about 85% of max pace. We are trying to build up towards doing these with as little rest as possible.

The key to these is consistency. Consistency in both the speed period and the rest period. If you are consistent with your first intervals, than the later ones will be easier and more beneficial to your fitness. Even going a few seconds too fast at the beginning can come back to bite you at the end. If you are inconsistent, than your body is not getting the correct stress, and will not benefit from the workout as much.

This is a work-out that should be preformed just below your lactic threshold. Going any faster does not work that specific physiological system as well. Again, consistency and discipline are the key here.

I believe watches will make this work-out a lot easier to perform. Running consistently by feel is a learned skill, one that is made easier with the help of a good watch. Don't worry, I'm on it. :)

Next week, we really need to be closer to our goal times, and more disciplined with our rest periods. Practice makes perfect!!!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Practice Time Change

Sunday night, Pats are 2-0, good times all around.

Remember, with Sierra XC now over, practice is now at 3:15 at the middle school for Mondays and Fridays.

Saturday is the Sierra MS 5 km race, I encourage you all to participate!

See you all tomorrow!


EDIT: We decided as a team that Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays, practice will start at 3:25 at the middle school. Meet in my room.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sierra 5 km race

This year at Sierra, we have moved the 5 km fundraiser race from the spring to the fall. This is the only fundraiser that Sierra is involved in, so the more people we can get running, the better! The course is on the roads out behind Sierra, not a lot of hills, so it should get some fast times!

Here is the information, you can sign up at the Sierra front desk anytime during normal school hours.

5 Annual 5K walk/run

Saturday, September 20, 2008
9:00 am

Registration: Sierra Middle School Main Office

Students (6 - 17) $10.00 ($15.00 day of the race)
Adults $20.00 ($25.00 day of the race)
Five and under - Free

Hope to see lots of families out enjoying Colorado in the fall! Thanks for your support of public education!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Don't Call It a Comeback

Wow, Lance is coming out of retirement, (and out of the gossip rags) to re-unite with his old race director and race the Tour de France again!

Check it out here, at!!

I am stunned at this, I never would have guessed he would be willing to put himself through the rigors of preparing to win this race. He signed with Astana, who has an awesome team, but he has always had teams around him that will do anything to help him win. Will an all-star team of Contador, Horner, Kloden, Leipheimer, et al, be willing to help Lance win another TdF? I bet we see a lot of those guys head on out of there, to be leaders on other teams.

Is Lance the new Michael Jordan, someone who comes out of retirement past his prime to try and prove he is still the best? Or does he still have what it takes to beat the best in the world? I mean, he did come in second at the Leadville 100, but that is a lot different than the Tour. I know he knows what it entails, but but the question is why?

The TV network Vs. is pumped, so is, as well as Trek bikes. Heck, all bike shops across the country are probably rejoicing about this. So, maybe it is a good thing for cycling, but my humble opinion is I don't want the legend of Lance to be tarnished, and he seems to be putting himself up for a big chance of that.

But hey, guess where I will be every morning for the month of July! Glued in front of the big screen listening to Paul and Phil wax poetic about Lance hammering past those Euros!!!


P.S. Can anyone tell me the significance of the post title?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

RMOC Course Setter - 1, WTAFC Coach - 0

What a crazy day it was yesterday, all day long! I am totally hooked on this orienteering thing, but yesterday was tough, really tough. Let me try to explain.

The drive down there took FOREVER! I tried to lead us on a shortcut, but that would have taken us over a really rough jeep road, (thanks for the advice Mr. Forest Ranger), so with our new route, we arrived at the course much later than we anticipated. That was OK, we figured out as we parked on the side of the road, as the course setter was late, and the courses had just been set up as we arrived.

Once we got our camp settled, we all registered, paid our fees, and got some compasses to get a little refresher on orienteering. The directors were too busy, so I gave the team some quick tips and then we were off. We all went on a beginner course to start out, and with the exception of one flag, we went through it very, very well. The course was 1/2 on-trail, 1/2 off-trail. The one flag that stymied us, it happened because we didn't re-orient ourselves once we got to the top of the hill. That was a mistake we learned from, so we all felt confident moving up to the next course.

After a little break with some frozen Vitamin Waters that Keagen smashed up for us, we split into two groups to tackle the Orange course. We figured it would not be too hard, it was only listed at 2.9 km long. But, it was all off-trail, so good compass skills were a must. The team split into two groups, Kelli, Katelyn and I, and then Keagen and Tyler took off 15 minutes after us. I can't speak for the boys, but I can relate the long strange trip the girls and I took.

The first flag, we found no problem. Second flag, the map said it was in a bunch of rocks, and the ladies and I found that with little problem. Third flag, uff-da. It was a problem We got to the tongue plateau that the map said it was on, but we wandered around for thirty minutes just trying to hone in on the actual checkpoint flag! It was only really through dumb luck that we spotted it, as I was sitting down catching my breath staring right at it when Katelyn came up behind me and said "Is that it?", pointing in the exact direction I was staring. So, we got the third flag, and then took of for the 4th, which looked like the easiest one on the map to find. Well, twenty minutes of wandering around looking for that flag, we all got very frustrated and decided to head back to camp. We could find the area that the flag was suppose to be in no problem, but we couldn't zero in on it. More experience and practice are needed, I guess. And sticking to some more beginner courses. :)

Yep, we gave up. I felt horrible about it, but we could have been in the woods for hours, and that is no one's definition of fun. Once we got to camp, we all started worrying about the boys team. They left after us, and they didn't have the experience that our team did, they could be out there for hours! Plus, some jerk slammed into Kelli's side view mirror on her parked car, shattering the mirror, and not even bothering to leave a note or an explanation. If that guy is reading this, karma's a bitch, so watch out. So, the day was rapidly taking a turn for the worst, and attitudes (especially mine) were getting sour.

A few times I ran out to try and see if I could call the boys in, the girls did the same. No luck. The clock kept ticking. 3:45, 4:00, 4:15. It was getting later and later, and we all knew we had a long drive back to Parker. We all just kept hoping the boys would come jogging down the road, finally realizing that the intermediate course was just too hard for them, and we should try again next time. We overheard the race director commenting on how proud he was to have set courses that had more non-finishers than finishers. This wasn't "Intro to Orienteering" anymore, this was the big time! Even I had to give up on the Orange course, and I am not saying I am an expert, but giving up is not in my vocabulary.

Just when I was about to ask the meet director to start sweeping the course, to start looking for my two rookies, when who comes bounding out of the woods? Keagen and Tyler, drenched in sweat, covered in thorns and scratches, but successful in completing the entire Orange course, all seven checkpoints!! I was shocked, proud and shocked some more! I couldn't believe they did it, but they persevered and never gave up and made it though. Amazing, I was so proud of them, and I was so relieved that they were safe and sound and off the course. That was by far the highlight of the day, but now we had the long car ride home.

We decided to take Rampart Range Rd. the whole way back to Sedalia. It was twenty miles of pounding washboard dirt roads, but we figured it was a better alternative that driving back to Woodland Park, then back down to southern Colorado Springs, then all the way up to Parker. It was relatively narrow road, but great scenery and we went past the Devil's Tower trailhead. (We might be heading back there again later this fall.) Getting onto the pavement was a relief to everyone, and then we zipped right home.

I think we finally dropped everyone off at their houses at 6:30, making it an 8 hour day for all involved. Whew! Why do these orienteering guys put these races out in the middle of nowhere!?! Next race we do, it's up in Nederland, behind Boulder. Much more accessible for us, I believe. So, I can't wait for the next one in October, and I hope we get some more kids to come along!

This is the type of terrain we had to try and navigate. More brutal than the picture suggests.

This is an example of a checkpoint flag we had to try and find. The RMOC course setters like to hide them, which makes them almost impossible to spot!!

Here is a shot of Kelli & Katelyn coming back to see Beth after they tried to find the boys on the Orange course.

This was at the beginning of the day. I was trying to give the kids a primer on navigating and reading a compass.

The ladies and I trying to figure out how to attack the Orange course. Maybe we should have figured out a different plan of attack.

So, they day was long, and it was up and it was down. However, I want to throw out a huge shout-out to the kds wo came along for the ride, Kelli, Tyler, Katelyn, and Keagen, Orienteering is a great work-out, perfect for the goals of WTAFC. But the biggest shout-out goes to my awesome wife Beth; who helped with the driving, the navigation, she was watching camp while we were lost in the woods, she made sure we got home OK, and kept spirits up throughout the day. She is an awesome lady, and I am so glad she supports all of the endeavors I embark on. I love her to death, and am eternally grateful. Thanks doll.


Weekly Schedule Changes

Good morning everyone, orienteering re-cap a little later today, but I wanted to get the weekly schedule out as early as possible.

Since the middle school has a race in Castle Rock Monday, we are going to flip-flop Mondays and Tuesdays work-outs. Logistics dictate that, and in the long run, the switch will make no difference at all.

So, now the schedule looks like this:
M-Active Rest Day
T-Rollercoaster Intervals
W-Long Hill Run
T-Recovery Run
F-Off-Road Intervals
S-Middle School District Meet
(You are all needed to help out with the races down in Larkspur on Saturday. A little "giving back" to the running community you live and train in.)

The 800 m time trial on Friday went very, very well. Everyone seems to be progressing very well with their training, and even through sickness or slight injury, the fitness is showing through. I have crunched some new numbers based on this data, and the intervals and long runs are going to be very regimented, to allow for maximum fitness gain.

In other news, our boy T-train out in Iowa came in the top 25 at the Waterloo Half Marathon!! Impressive, as he ran something like a 1:30 or so. I guess that job at the pre-school is making him run faster in his races! :)

Are the Patriots on today? Ummm... I don't know.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One More Orienteering Post

I just signed up for two races on Saturday at the Orienteering Meet. I signed up for the Green course and the Red course. I signed up at the RMOC Saylor Park page. Registration closes at midnight Thursday night, so be sure to sign up soon. Since the races were so quick, I suggest signing up for two races. I will be checking the pre-registration page Friday to try and figure out the best way to get all of us down there. I know one athlete has already committed, any others? Let me know.

Remember to bring some cash to pay for your races. I will bring a big cooler with ice, so be sure to bring plenty of snacks and drinks, this is going to be more of a festival type atmosphere, I think, as it is a bigger race. I am also going to bring some camp chairs, so I can sit down after suffering through the Red course. :) You are more than welcome to bring some gear as well, we will find room for it.

I did some research on Google maps, and found that if we head down to Colorado Springs, then head back up to Saylor Park, it will be about two hours and ninety miles. If we go over Rampart Range, then down and follow the Platte River, it is about 60 miles, but 2.25 hours of driving time. Even though one section of the road to the Platte River is a pretty steep downhill, I suggest we go that way. Much more scenic, less miles, and no back-tracking! The less miles we drive, the better! (When we went to Hawaii this summer, we had to fly to Chicago first, then to Hawaii. The back-tracking of two hours one way was a tough pill for me to swallow. but since we were going to Hawaii, I managed.)

The starter opens the race up at 12:30 pm, and the last time we went, we were so extremely early that the signs to the parking lot hadn't even been put up yet! So, I say that this time we aim to show up at 1:00 or so, as we don't need any beginners instruction, and that will hopefully insure we find the place the first try. I suggest we leave from the Lamar's Donuts parking lot at 10:30 on Saturday. It will be a slower drive taking the shorter route, but we can always jump in the river if we get too overheated. :) I printed out directions and maps, we can figure the driving situation out at Lamar's.

I am going to email the race director again to see if we can maybe borrow some compasses, but I would suggest getting one of your own if you plan on continuing to do these races. (And through WTAFC, you will have lots of opportunities to compete in these races.) You can get them at Sports Authority, Dick's Sporting Goods, or even R.E.I. Getting your own will make you a better racer, as you will be more confident knowing your own compass.

So, get on the RMOC web page, get registered, and get ready for some fun. It should be a beautiful day on Saturday, and the more racing we can get in, the better.


P.S. Stay hydrated!

EDIT: The link for the RMOC site does not seem to be working. Try this one, for the main schedule, and then scan down to the Sept. 6th, race. Then you can register there. If that does not work, you can always go to the RMOC website in my "Links To Check" section and navigate through their homepage.