Friday, January 25, 2008


No official practice tomorrow, so if you are not going skiing, I strongly urge you to get a 60 minute run in with some hill sprints thrown in there for good measure.

Stay active!


Monday, January 21, 2008

Football Musings

Who would have thought that going into the Super Bowl, that the Patriots would have to fix Tom Brady? He looked sloppy and slow all day. Passes behind guys, no zip on the ball, he was missing that usual "step-up" in the pocket. Three picks, and the Pats still win. It was a nail biter, but I bet TFB is in the film room right now dissecting his game.

However, Laurence Maroney really is the man of the hour this morning in Boston. he ran like he did last week, charging straight ahead, carrying tacklers with him, or knocking them on their butts. I loved watching it, watching that clock tick down, knowing that the Chargers couldn't stop him. Great football to watch.

And the defense played fantastically. Four field goals how can you complain about that? Tedy looked young, Junior was all over the place, Vrabel was getting into the backfield all the time, great team defense.

But the surprise of the night was the NY Giants. I am glad they won, I would rather play them than the ref-aided GB Packers, but I left this game the same way I left last week's Chargers-Colts game? How the heck did NY win this game? All those missed field goals from Tynes, GB throwing away their game plan of short passes that had benefited them all year, and Favre dressed liked he was Shackleton while Eli looked like he was at the beach? Weird, weird game. The three things I take out of it.
Tynes won't miss those field goals in Arizona, Plaxico had a HUGE day, and the runnign game of the Giants looks pretty good.

It is going to be a really good game in two weeks, it will not be a walk-over by any means. Can we finally force Eli into a turn-ver, can TFB bounce back, and where the heck is Randy Moss. I mean, he is a great blocker, but he is not going to the Hall of Fame for that.

Maybe I can finagle tickets. WS and Super Bowl in the same year would be cool, huh?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Racewalking Video

Caroline, pretty crazy, huh?

More Patriots-Giants thoughts tomorrow.


Early Morning Quick Hits

If you get a chance to call, text or communicate telepathically with Katelyn, please do so. She has had a rough couple of days, tonsillitis, hospital visits, more hours in a waiting room than you can imagine. We are a team, and we need to support each other, and Katelyn is a valuable member of this team. Get well soon, Wojan, we want you back at practice!!!

Wasn't it great to see Mr. Lake all over the place taking pictures yesterday? I loved it, and I know he has been sick, but he rallies to get some great track shots. As soon as he gets them up on the web, I will have a link to them.

Today, make it a recovery day. TEN minutes of running, (yes, I said 10 minutes), but then 20-30 minutes of dedicated stretching, massage, icing. My recovery day will consist of grading lab reports, taking Otis for a walk, and cheering on the my beloved Patriots. Go TFB, you are so dreamy! But, back to track; our "easy" week last week was not as easy as I would have liked, so we really need to make today a recovery day. Why?

Because tomorrow (Monday) we are going to meet at Spenst Hill at 2:30 for Spenst x 5. Park at the school, jog over, we start the flexibility warm-up at 2:30 sharp!

I hear rumors of a ski trip this Saturday? To Copper perhaps? I said this earlier in the season, if you guys want to organize a ski trip, go for it. But, the athletes (probably the seniors) need to organize it, not the coaches. However, if I remember from my ski club days, if you go through groups sales at Copper, I think you can get 25 dollar lift tickets. Just a thought. (And if it is a go, I am in!!!)

Yesterday's racing was a very good day. Not necessarily because of the times, but because it was a great speed work-out for all of us. I know that when we race, we always want to do better than before, but these races do not count. We use these races to get speed work in, to learn how to warm-up or a race, to learn how to use tactics in a race. No one rememebers, or cares, about the results, these are tools that we can use to be faster in the season, when it does count. So, if you raced great yesterday, build on that and work to get even faster. Don't rest on your laurels. If you raced not as fast as you would have liked yesterday, use that as motivation to train hard in practice and you will reach your goals.

And with that, check out this ski jumping video from last week. Ski jumping under the lights, I love it! I don't think this kid loved it though.


P.S. Go Patriots!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Crunching some numbers real quick.

We raced the same time of year last year, let's see how much we have improved based on those times at C.U. Let's see if all this extra Saturday running (and all the other minor tweaks to the program) have made a difference.

Kelli H. ran her 800 m race 1 second faster.
Alex B. ran his mile race 19 seconds faster.
Caroline H. ran her mile race 8 seconds faster.
Derek E. ran his mile race 5 seconds faster and his 800 m race 5 seconds faster.
Josh L. ran his mile race 13 seconds faster.
Patrick A. ran his mile race 5 seconds faster.
Kelsey D. ran her mile race 19 seconds faster and her 800 m race 8 seconds faster.

Those were the improvements I could calculate. Overall, 9 out of 11 total comparable races, (races by veterans who I had data on from last year) were improvements. The two who did not improve only declined by one or two seconds. Impressive! Almost as impressive as Mike M.'s 6' 6" high jump!!!

Overall, everyone who came down did very, very well. The coaches saw a lot of good stuff, and we saw a lot of great racing performances.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Saturday's Meet

The meet on Saturday is at the Air Force Academy, the meet starts at 8:30 with the 60 m Hurdles. Then, it will be a rolling schedule of the 1600, 400, 60, 800, 200 and 4x1 lap. While those events are being contested, they will carry out LJ, TJ and HJ. PV and SP will be held when all those events are finished.

Here is a map of the Air Force Academy, the indoor track is in the Cadet Fieldhouse, which I am assuming is on Fieldhouse Drive. There will be no bus, you need to get down there and back on your own. If getting a ride might be an issue, please talk to one of the coaches as soon as you can, so we can try and make arrangements.

Can't wait for everyone to be there, this is what we train for, the opportunity to race!

UPDATE: The start has been changed from 8:30 am to 9:00 am. Change your plans accordingly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Very cool YouTube clip

I love Bill Simmons. I know he gets a lot of crap in the "blogosphere", but I have been reading him since 2000 and I really like him. Even got to meet him once, he was on his book tour. Waited in line for two hours at a Borders, and he signed my Red Sox poster and I gave him a beer.

So, I when I read in his latest links section about Billy Mills, the great Native American who won the 10,000 meter race in the Toyko Olympics, I had to check it out.

He was right, that is pretty cool. Just goes to show you that track is a contact sport, huh?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Immediate Reaction

I love the fact that the Pats defense held the Jags to two field goals in the second half.

The Jags were pretty lucky the first half, that first TD pass from Garrard should have been ruled a sack, along with Gostowski missing that FG at the end of the half.

Asante Samuel played miserably, but Maroney was amazing. Excleent game from Laurence.

The receivers for Jacksonville really choked in the second half.

It simply comes down to the Pats being a better of team over the course of 60 minutes. And of course, TFB is the best QB ever to come through New England, he is amazing.

It will be nice to be able to relax for the next week, as this is the game you have been waiting for, Colts-Pats for the trip to the Super Bowl.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jan 9th TT Results

Name Start Finish Mile Time
Top 3 Average % Back from leaders
Alex B. 8:30 13:47 5:17 5:19 0.99
Derek E. 8:45 14:02 5:17 5:19 0.99
Taylor E. 8:00 13:25 5:25 5:19 1.02
Josh L. 6:30 12:03 5:33 5:19 1.04
Kelsey D. 9:00 14:41 5:41 5:19 1.07
Trey C. 5:45 11:27 5:42 5:19 1.07
Patrick A. 7:15 12:59 5:44 5:19 1.08
Jack C. 5:15 11:00 5:45 5:19 1.08
Brendan B. 2:45 8:31 5:46 5:19 1.08
Katelyn W. 7:30 13:20 5:50 5:19 1.10
Adam B. 6:45 12:38 5:53 5:19 1.11
Caroline H. 8:15 14:16 6:01 5:19 1.13
Cameron H. 3:00 9:12 6:12 5:19 1.17
Kelli H. 7:00 13:17 6:17 5:19 1.18
Mike M. 4:15 10:41 6:26 5:19 1.21
Melanie B. 7:45 14:17 6:32 5:19 1.23
Ryan B. 4:00 10:34 6:34 5:19 1.24
Patches B. 6:00 12:36 6:36 5:19 1.24
Keith V. 4:45 11:42 6:57 5:19 1.31
Zac D. 3:45 10:45 7:00 5:19 1.32
Ryan C. 3:15 10:20 7:05 5:19 1.33
Mark F. 3:30 10:37 7:07 5:19 1.34
Crystel T. 5:30 12:57 7:27 5:19 1.40
Jordan M. 5:00 12:57 7:57 5:19 1.50
Paige F. 4:30 12:55 8:25 5:19 1.58
Mackenzie M. 6:15 15:25 9:10 5:19 1.72

I hope some other teams are reading this blog and see how hard we are working! Excellent job and effort from everyone today in the snowy and slick conditions, but, I feel that we still have a long way to go. This is a good start, but we can and will get better!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Iron pills update!

I want to make it clear to everyone thinking about taking iron that this is not an edict by the all-mighty CHS coaches. This is only a passing on of information that was given to me by Olympic coaches. Like I said, and I want to strss now, all athletes need to talk to their parents and have that conversation with them. Iron pills might not be the solution for everyone, and that's OK. If you want more information, contact your doctor. If you have specific questions, ask your doctor.

Communication is the key to healthy relationships. However, do not just let this pass you by. Make an effort to better yourself, and make the effort to discuss things with the people who care about you. I am not forcing you to do anything, but I could not withhold the information I received at this great conference from you. Thanks.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Iron Levels

One thing we learned at our conference this weekend was the importance of iron to a distance runner. Some of the best coaches in the country were telling horror stories of how their teams crashed and burned due to low iron levels in the blood. Even if the training went perfectly all season long, even if athletes never complained of any detrimental symptoms; things still went wrong when it counted, and these coaches discovered it was low iron levels. If they were trying to scare us, it kind of worked, but they offered us some solutions.

Before I get to the solutions, let me explain the problem. The U.S. Olympic committee has discovered that 90% of competitive female distance runners and 50% of competitive male distance runners have significant iron deficiencies. That is not good, obviously, especially since we are competitive distance runners.

What does iron do? Iron is essential for oxygen uptake in the blood. You can breathe in all the oxygen you want, but unless you have iron in your blood, the oxygen can't get to the muscles where it can go any good. Iron deficiencies are brought on through a number of things, including sweating, urinating, foot strike, as well as female monthly cycles. Stuff you can't really prevent, if you are a distance runner.

In fact, the U.S. Olympic doctors that we heard from said that there is no distance runner who can have too much iron. Normal sedentary people, sure, they run the risk of taking too much iron, but certainly not distance runners. In all of their years of testing runners, they have never seen a case where too much iron in a runner was detrimental. Which is good, it is like too much stretching, you really can't overdose on it if you are a big time runner.

So what's the solution? Some coaches said liquid iron drops, (expensive), other coaches suggested diets high in red meat (inconvenient). However, the host of the conference, the head coach at Grinnell College, suggested this. All-natural, Dessicated Liver Tablets, available at any drug store or vitamin store. (Yeah, they sound gross, but they are just pills.) By taking this form of ferrous iron, you can get the oxygen to stick your blood, and that allows the oxygen to get to your muscles.

This makes sense to me in a couple of ways. Physiologically, it makes total sense, Physiologically, it makes sense to me as well. Think about it, you spend all season long committing yourself to becoming a faster runner. You put in the miles, you hammer all the intervals, you eat well, you drink enough water, you get enough sleep. Imagine if you didn't do well at the end of the year, even with doing everything that was asked of you, and you found out the reason was because of low iron levels. I would be devastated, because that is the easiest problem to solve. A pill before you go to bed with a glass of orange juice every night. (Vitamin C helps with the uptake of iron, while calcium inhibits it. So take your iron at night, and your calcium in the morning.) It's not an overnight fix, it is something you need to start now if you want to get and stay healthy in your blood. But, it is safe and it is natural. It's insurance for your training.

This is a supplement that is totally legal and ethical. Frank Shorter, the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, was presenting at the conference, and he thought the D.L.T.'s were a great idea. However, talk about this with your parents. Have the conversation. Explain to them what I tried to explain to you. Do not take anything without your parents knowledge. Have your parents contact me if they have more questions about it. But, it seems to me that the insurance you can buy for 4 bucks a month or so would be worth it, especially with all of the hard work you are putting in.

See you all for Spenst Hill on Monday!


UPDATE: If you buy iron supplements, don't buy multi-vitamins, that not the best iron for maximum absorption. Buy heme iron, ferrous iron. It is absorbed best with vitamin C.

Iowa Trip

Back from Iowa this afternoon, what a great trip. Coach Laster and I were planning on getting one or two new ideas out of the conference, we ended up getting 21 or 22 new ideas!

The presenters there were amazing. The Olympic distance coach who used to be at Adams St. There was a coach who took over a brand new college program and got them, in one season, from the worst team in the worst conference, to 15 in the nation for DII. The coach of The Woodlands HS in Texas was there. 14 state titles in Texas, 6 individual state champions, and 3 out of 4 NTN appearances. And Frank Shorter was there, he won the marathon gold in 1972 and won the silver in 1976. Wow. It was pretty awesome, the amount of knowledge that was present in that room.

So, what did we learn? Well, the first thing that we learned is that CHS Distance has a pretty good program already. The coaches do a lot of things right, in terms of specificity, progression, strength and mileage for the kids. We also learned that we have an excellent team already, because we have athletes that are already committed, motivated and talented. That is great, we DO NOT have to re-tool the entire program, and we DO NOT have to introduce totally new ways of doing things. We do have to tweak some things, we do have to look at some things from a different perspective, and we do have to amplify some of the things we already do. That is easy, so Coach Laster adn I decided we are going to do it.

I thought one of the most important things we learned was not about training, or technique, but about T-E-A-M. Communication, trust and support are three things that go into being a successful team. And in order to achieve individual success, you need a strong team. You need a strong work ethic, and a strong training schedule, but you need a strong team first and foremost. I think our team is pretty strong already. I think there is one thing we can work on to make it better though, and that is communication. Starting this week, each athlete is going to individualy sit down with me or Coach Laster after practice and talk about thier goals for the season. This is going to give the coaches a better idea of where we can go and how we should go about getting there. In addition, we are going to go over a team “covenant” every day before practice. (The covenant is already written, it’s like a team mission statement.) I think this is something that is going to help us bring the team closer together and also remind us on a daily basis of why we are here and what we need to accomplish as a team.

This is stuff that all the other coaches do with their teams, from the Olympic level, to the collegiate level to the elite high school level. I truly believe that this team can reach the elite level not just in Colorado, but in the entire country. It is going to take dedication and hard work, but if you show us the commitment to excellence, we will be committed to you and this team can accomplish some fantastic things.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Slight Change of Plans

I just got an email from Coach Hawk, he will not be able to have practice on Thursday or Friday. Since I will be gone as well, I hope that the older kids can run the practice those two days and get the job done. Even with no "official" practice, the training still must be executed, and I know this group of athletes is mature enough to take care of that.

I apologize for not being there, and I can promise that this will be the last week I am gone. I am very proud of everyone's hard work, even without a coach there, and I can guarantee you that it will pay off in race season. Great job by everyone, seriously.



Let's work backwards for a minute.

A week from today we will be doing the one mile time trial. Last year we did it in Grandview due to snow, this year I am hoping we can get back on the Cherry Creek trail. In fact, I am heading down there this morning to mark it off with the distance wheel. This is a very important work-out, as it sets your early season baseline to how fast you do your intervals, how long you run your long runs, etc. Your best effort a week from now is imperative and expected.

Gymnastics start on Tuesday night. Same place, (Alpha), same time (8:00). Please bring your money and your forms, and most importantly, bring a water bottle!!

Spenst Hill is now on Mondays! Woo-hoo!! Snow only makes it tougher, so hopefully we get some melting on the hill over the weekend.

I need to get in touch with Thomas, but whether he is there or not, (I am betting he will be), three laps at the Bluffs on Saturday, nice and easy, is the prescribed work-out.

This Thursday's (1/3/08) work-out, I have emailed Ms. Dutton and Mr. Abbey the course lay-out and the times you should all try and hit. If I forgot you on the times list, I apologize, but I trust that Ms. Dutton or Mr. Abbey can make the call to place you in an appropriate time slot. When you are finished, ice baths would be appropriate. I strongly feel the most important thing for Thursday will be to make sure that you jog to the starting line as a team as well as jog home afterwards as a team.

I'm getting a new cell phone today (knock on wood) so if you need anything, feel free to contact me. Cell phones work in Iowa, right Katelyn? :) :)


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Final Pick' Em Standings

The top four teams in the 4 Game Suspension League are...

4th place--10 Min. Miler Club - Coach Laster

3rd place--Bledsoe's Montana Ranch - Coach Seppala

2nd place--Vick's My Dawg - Coach Hawk

1st place--Judge Schmells - Coach Coit

Congratulations Mr. Coit, you won yourself a great bumper sticker and the adorations of millions!!!! Job well done!

New Water Heater

Beth and I spent all day putting in a new hot water heater in the basement. After draining and flushing out the old one (because the water was a nice rust color) we discovered that all that rust and sediment we flushed out really was clogging up the holes in the 19 year old appliance. Aaaargh!

A harried trip to Home Depot ensued, and 30 minutes later, we had a new one. With lots of help from the neighbors across the street, and Mr. Davies next door; plus four hours of labor, we had installed a brand new gas powered hot water heater. What a pain in the a**. Between having to cut new pipes for new fittings, dragging the old one out of the way, and then triple checking the gas lines so the house didn't blow up, Beth and I finally had a celebratory Red Robin dinner.

Finally, no rust colored baths!!!!