Sunday, February 17, 2008

let it begin...

It's the start of a new semester. And the halfway point to the end of the year. The end of HS Nordic. The start of frisbee and track. And hopefully, the start of my ski season.

The school year is going well. I've got a bit of a trouble class now, large (38ish), with a couple of attention seekers (loud silly answers to questions, but at least i'm a tallish dude. Talking with a woman who teaches, she mentioned the kids who like to yell penis everytime her back is turned). great. but I'm teaching US, a class I really like, and AP Gov, a good class, with great students.

The HS nordic team is sweet. The biggest issue is the set of kids who would prefer it to be a 'ski club' and their spotty attendance causes logistical probs. But there is a great group of kids involved, and we're on top of the game.

Frisbee is looking promising. 35 kids showed up to the first meeting, with a huge number missing. Big numbers are a 'good problem' and I'm excited about the year.

Track, well, I'm just along for the ride. I've been asked to coach on the questionable assumption that I'll be helpful with recruiting for the middle distance folks. I'm looking forward to the workouts, and the team will do fine (It's unusual for us to not win the district or to podium at state).

And my ski season is finally beginning. Odd to say, what, with something like 70 days of skiing, but I've been hampered by a foot injury since august, and it seems like i'm turning the corner. I'm not HAPPY with my results the past 2 weeks, but they show improvement, and I'm trying to 'peak' in march, so it's OK.

Today, I ski'd a 20km, finished midpack, with strong skiers in front of me. And I ski'd to work on form, and get a 'tempo' workout out of it, focusing on my form as I ski'd, trying to iron out form issues I've not been able to deal with lately. I just held my position for most of the race, and then went hardish for the last 3km, and gapped the group behind me a bit, and finished 'fresh'. So, a good 56 min workout. I'll do another 20km next weekend, then a 10km the week after that.

It's pretty interesting being a 38 year old, 'new skier'. Young skiers get to develop in shorter, 5 and 10km races: I get the 10-30 km races. When I'm focused to hurt, this is groovy, but like today, I just didn't have it in me to 'suffer mightily for 52-53 minutes, so I backed off to a tolerable level. The 10km that's coming up is one I'll focus on, taper a bit the week before, etc.

I've been continuing my weight training (good long term, but the muscles are feeling it), skiing 5-7 days each week, and most importantly for my injury, showing due dilligence on the PT stuff that heals through strength. This week, I skied a race sunday, skied monday for an hour, intervals tuesday, rest wednesday, ski'd as hard as I could up an alpine ski run on skate skis (30-45 minutes, i didn't time it, but that was really my race for the week), ski'd 1.5 hours friday night (up and down the pass on the closed highway), coached saturday (1.25 hours classic easy, then raced today).

I'm going to try to sell out next week, in the 20km, and really get after it the week after. Our HS team has state friday and saturday, so I'll either be rested or exhausted, depending on weather, and my workload. If I end up time trialing the HS races (5, and 7.5 km courses), I might be less than frisky sunday...

I find that the fact that I'm on my feet for the full day right now (dynamic teaching helps corral the kids) is leaving me a bit tired.

Back to frisbee.

For the varsity, we'll run a mix of vertical with isolations, H stack with basic resets, and fast break.
Defense will be basic zone, and man.

Freshman and JV, a mix of roll out the balls and skill focus, with a move towards integrating newer players.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

doldrums, mild ultimate content.

and so it begins. i feel like my personal ski season is just beginning (injuries), but nonetheless, the high school ski season draws to a close in two weeks, and my new commitments begin.

this year, i'm also coaching track (half time). in the past i've offered frisbee 5 days a week, and the result has been spotty attendence, and teaching the same concept over and over all week. my hope is that by only offering ultimate 3 days per week, i'll get better turnout, and therefore, better conceptual understanding and 'buy-in.'

it's the usual returning mix of freaks (and i mean that in the good way as being way too commited in the way i once was to frisbee), geeks (still in the good way, genius students who are finally trying some athletics), and... i don't have a rhyme. new players, some of great athleticism, just showing up. the 'a' team will be the freaks, and the returners, plus the odd late commer with mad athleticism. the 'b' and 'c' teams will be a mix of young 'c' team and new 'b' team. or vice versa. or a mix based on commitment/desire.

fields are an issue here. the field we will play on is still groomed for skiing. our own fields are in the middle of a multi-million rehab for sinkholes. half the team will be on the track team, which means off days will include running and throwing. i think for new young players, 5 days/week of ultimate is fine, with short practices, but we're not doing that this year. so, 5 days of throwing plus 2-3 days of ultimate... should be good.

i have a good motivated assistant, enthusiastic kids... supportive parents... should be fun.

personally, start of spring sports means 6 PM skiing. it can be a terrible time to nordic skiing as icing occurs, but i'll deal. oddly, it can also mean SUPER touring (hiking up mountains and skiing down), which has a crossover benefit.

the past 2.5 weeks since my last post have found me racing the WORST race of my life, some good training, improving foot health, and generally good cheer. i went to the boulder mountain tour and somehow had horribly slow skis. (there are reasons, i'll leave them for the comments page). suffice to say there are people i beat in a 12 k this weekend by over a minute who beat me by over 14 minutes in a basically downhill race. disastrous. c'est la vie.

i've been training OK, i feel i am in posistion to make a move in the next few weeks, i just am not having the results i want. i'm also struggling with form, and spending too much energy trying to fix minutiae, and losing time thinking when i should be hitting it.

still averaging 10 hours of skiing a week, looking to maintain that for a few weeks, and then add training hours in the form of running, swimming, biking.

that's all. except that the cracker song, the world is mine, in the commercial with tiger, federer, is sweet