Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ultimate Game #4

Hmmm...we lost again.  Sad face.

There was a big front moving over for the beginning of the game. The wind made throwing the Frisbee pretty unpredictable. On top of that, we were missing half of our team. It certainly wasn't a good start.

At the half it was 10 to 3. Right as we went into half time, the sirens on the shelter house went off, meaning we had to move to the shelter to wait out the storm. Wait we did. It poured and misted into the shelter. I'm not sure how long it was- maybe 20 minutes? We went back out to freshly wet grass and not much wind! Our second half was a lot better.

Personally, I didn't have too bad of a game, but it wasn't too good either. My legs hurt pretty bad. I am thinking maybe track nights the day before Ultimate might not be the best idea. My left lower leg especially hurts really bad. If I bend down or sit on my knees on it, that increases the pain. And my knee was all tweaky. I'm not sure what is going on. I think I am having a rough time adjusting to the cleats. I don't know - I've never had pain like this. I'm going to ice and see how it feels in the next couple of days.

Track Tuesday: 100s and 200s

Warm up: 1 mile

7 x 100s (walked 100 recovery in between)

4 x 200 (walked 100 recovery in between)

Cooled down: walked 800

Felt OK, but wore the wrong shorts and my lower legs are still hurting a lot from the cleats. Legs felt out of control on the 100s, which is why I switched to 200s.
Need to get in a long run this my new shoes!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekend Fun

Saturday morning our Ultimate team had a practice in Ault Park. It was a nice, cool, rainy morning, but the drizzle thankfully ended soon after we got there. Lee had us do a couple of drills, which were good...but kind of confusing for us to follow. I think if we did it again, we'd be good. At the end of our time there, he mentioned meeting at 10 rather than 11, so we can actually do the drills and not cut into scrimmage time that starts at 11.

The scrimmage was fun. I started out playing on the team of the others that show up every Saturday, who aren't on our team. It was kind of sucky, because my teammates were all playing together really well and I wanted to be playing with them. I found myself just running randomly around the field again. But then a couple of us switched sides and I got to play with my teammates and it was awesome! I made some plays, handled the disc, did some blocking... it was very fun. By the end, I was pretty tired. No subs! Which really, was great because it was a better workout.

Sunday morning I went to the bike criterium clinic and had a great time. There were probably about 12 to 15 people there. Most had been doing crits, but everyone was very laid back and eager to learn. Coach OB was pretty cool. He started with telling us about cornering: how to shift your weight, the line you should take, and accelerating out of the turn. He had a course marked out with cones in the parking lot and we rode it slow a couple of times. Then he broke off to ride and watch people individually as we did our laps. I found myself gaining more and more confidence on each turn. And the center of gravity adjustments and gear advice helped a lot. It was so much fun. I was told I was looking good, had good form, and took the turns nicely. :)  I did have to work on being in the right gear coming out of the turn though.

Other highlights I learned about:
- You ride a crit in the largest ring
- Hand position, always in the drops...but he also talked about a bone in your hand you should rest on rather than the middle of the base of your palm which can make your hands and arms go numb
- Always have bent elbows
- Shifting weight back and hunkering down more helps lower your center of gravity and go around the turn smoother
- Outside leg is down and you can push a little to help with center of gravity also
- You push to steer similarly to how you push to steer on a motorcycle
- The turn starts and ends out wide, and you cut into the middle (assuming that would be possible with the pack)
- Accelerating happens as you come out of the turn (it's very much like other racing principles)
- Being in the right gear coming out of the turn is one of the most important things

After we were done, I talked to Mary and Candy. Mary complimented my jersey, and I had gathered she had done crits before, so I bugged her as she was changing her gear to go on a ride. She was so incredibly nice. I asked her about how one gets into these races. She said even if you don't ride for a team, you can sign up and enter the race. She said that learning to ride in a pack is helpful and told me about some bigger group rides in the area. Candy joined the conversation too and was equally as welcoming and encouraging. It was great!

So, I think criterium racing is something I might try next year. The Madeira and Hyde Park races are next weekend, but I'm in no shape for them. There is one in the beginning of August, but that might be when we go to Seattle. And then the season is pretty much over. We'll see about next year though. If I had so much fun just by myself going around a parking lot today, I'm pretty sure an actual race would be a lot of fun.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Criterium Clinic

I just signed up for the Madeira Centennial Criterium race clinic that is this Sunday at the high school. I saw a flyer in Starbucks this morning posted by Coach OB. He's a local cycling coach that seems to be pretty popular. The clinic was free to Cat 5 men and Cat 4 women that are pre-registered for the race, and just $10 for those not registered. It's from 7:30 - 9:00 and is supposed to cover drafting, cornering, how to accelerate, tactics, and more. 

I assume that this is going to be all people that are in fact competing in the race. I'm not going to be, but I've been trying to find out what Criteriums are all about for quite some time now. I've watched a few local ones and they look like awesome fun. I figure this will be a way to be able to observe, learn and ask questions.

I'm nervous because I think I'll be the only one there that doesn't know anything about racing. So it could be an hour and half of embarrassment. But if this guy put the flyer up in Starbucks...maybe he is trying to get other people interested. And he's a coach, so he can't be to exclusive, right? Oh well, worse that can happen is I'm embarrassed. It's worth it for me to try to find out about crits.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ultimate Game #3

Our third game of Ultimate Frisbee didn't start out so well for me. I felt disoriented. Things started making more sense eventually. And, I think it was right after half time that I finally understood the force home or force away. I feel dumb that I can't understand this concept as many times as its been explained. I need to look it up again and translate it into my own comprehension.

I never had my hands on the disc. That was very disappointing. I think it was a combination of not being able to be open and the fact that our handlers just handled with themselves more this game. The game certainly is different when all you do is run around. We are having a practice/scrimmage on Saturday morning and I'm really looking forward to that. Perhaps I'll learn how to cut better. And, I need to have some practice with the disc or I'll never get better.

The team we played was nice, as usual. They even had a cheer for us after the game was over: "You put up a good fight. Your shirts are really bright. You'll always be safe when jogging at night." or something to that effect.

Oh this was the first game I wore cleats also. Waaaaaay better than running shoes. I could corner so much better and never lost the person I was guarding. They're uncomfortable as hell when you're used to soft cushy running shoes, but at least the games are only a couple of hours.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Track Tuesday

Roman and Erin and I made it to track tonight. It was nice to run in not crazy hot weather.

I warmed up with Roman for a mile. We swapped stories of my frustrating work day and his awful run on Saturday concluding in barfing. I've never thrown up from running. Been very dizzy and blacked out once at the end of a race, which caused ice cold water to be thrown on me. That wasn't pleasant, but I think I'd take that over getting sick. Sounds like he just had a weird combo of heat exhaustion and not the right food.

Anyway, I realized my Garmin's batteries weren't charged. Hmmm. I noticed that it wasn't on the charger completely when I grabbed it to throw in my bag. I must have not clicked it in all the way last time I connected it. I went to get my phone out of my car but realized it too was nearly out of juice, so it wouldn't probably make it many laps before dying. So, that left me without a timing device and I just ran for effort.

I ran 8 x 200, with 100 walk rests in between. I felt pretty good and pushed on the last one. My knee is still a little tweaky from testing out the soccer cleats Sunday, and my shins hurt as well. But other than that, I don't think I hurt my knee too bad Sunday. Tomorrow I'm taking my running shoes along to Ultimate in case I need to switch out from the cleats.

So that's it: 8 x 200. It felt pretty good.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back on My Feet: A Reason to Run

I saw this article via the Columbus Marathon's facebook feed:

How cool is that. Back on My Feet helps homeless people with running and getting their lives in order. I have read other inspiring stories about what running or triathlon has done positively for people's lives. You could swap the word running with many other words, but since I run, I always find it interesting to see the unique impact the sport has on people. I think I also find it interesting because personally, running has always been for reasons other than winning. Not that there is anything wrong with running to win. I just think it's pretty awesome that, along with winning, there are so many great reasons to run and keep running.

For me, running was spurred by good and bad reasoning, somewhat simultaneously. I was in high school, fat and I wanted to lose weight and feel good about myself. I thought running would be the best way to do that because it looked so intense. And, runners were skinny people. So I started running, in my mom's old blue gym shoes and my black cut-off sweatpants. Around the same time, I also stopped eating. That would be the bad reasoning, which wasn't reasoning at all but anorexia.

It was quite a battle for a few years, a conflict among my mind, my body, my parents and others around me. Thankfully, I was able to get better without too much damage done. The biggest crutch for my eating disorder ironically became the strongest thing that helped pull me out of it: running.

I ended up liking running, for more than the high-calorie burning suffer-fest that it was. I liked feeling good after I ran. I liked the energy and confidence and control it gave me. I had more and more runs on which I felt strong and healthy. That slowly won over being focused solely on my size. I could feel good, but only if I ate. I had to eat in order to run.

The conflict is still a little bit there between me and my body, embarrassingly. There are uglier moments/days/weeks/months than others. Running definitely plays a big role in balance. I think this is the first time I've really thought about my running history and foundation. I'm really glad I started running and am thankful I have kept it up because 1) I enjoy running...a lot! and 2) I like running with people and the precious camaraderie that fosters. I look forward to more of those opportunities, as that experience has by far been the best part.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

20 miles in glasses

I went on a 20 mile bike ride tonight...and had to wear my glasses because I'm out of contacts. While my eyes aren't that bad, it makes all the difference for seeing road hazards/debris, etc. It wasn't as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. They actually shielded my eyes from the wind very well. Plus with no contacts in, my eyes weren't bothered by wind anyway. Kind of goofy looking though :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Something New to Do: Ultimate Ultimate Frisbee!

Our first game was Wednesday night. It was a lot of fun. I hadn't played since college, and that was just some pickup games in Nippert Stadium or on the corner of Burnett Woods. Never before was there strategy...

Our friend Richard plays down in Louisville and taught us some key pointers Memorial Day weekend before a bunch of us played disc golf. Rather than giving me confidence, it made me very nervous. I didn't really understand everything he was going over and feared I'd be the one making a lot of dumb mistakes. Lee, our team captain, went over the same things the night of the game. I'm still not all there with understanding everything. There's a lot more to the game than just being able to throw a Frisbee and run. Hopefully by the end of the season, it will be more clear.

The game was a ton of fun. We played a team of high school kids, which was hilarious. It spawned plenty of age jokes. They were a very nice team – definitely the nicest team I've ever played in one of these extra-curricular activities we do :)  We joked about how many people on our team had braces for  knees...and perhaps some of them had braces for their teeth. The best part was at the end, one of the guys from the other team brought over homemade cookies to share...that surely his mom made! :)

We know there is at least one other team of youngin's, because they were playing on an adjoining field and knew the team we were playing.

I'm very happy to be able to run around with friends...that's probably the best part.