National championship

I took a little trip due. To West Glendale last night, I was given (bought) 2 tickets to the national championship college football game from my mother in law.  Went down with my son and I do t know what it was but this was the most well organized and run event j have ever been to there. 

The big takeaway I had was the atmosphere. Yes it was the national championship and Alabama and Clemson were playing for all the marbles but for my first SEC or ACC game I felt like I was transported into years of CBS Saturday college football. Very surreal. The fans were so passionate on both sides but not in a brash or attitudy way like I have seen at so many other sporting events. I give big props to the fans of both teams (West Virginia fans too for that matter at the Cactus Bowl). 

In short it was an amazing experience that I will have with my son forever. And too the Clemsin girls who were sitting next to me I am sorry your team lost. There is always next year. Thanks section 435 row 11 people!  

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   


Sedona running

I have been in Sedona for the last week enjoying the cold weather and the trails while relaxing away from work. I didn’t even bring my work phone up here with me as I know I would look at emails and get sucked in. 

What I haven’t liked so much up here is the incredible traffic, going anywhere in this town between noon and 6 PM is a joke. And whoever decided that multiple roundabouts in a tourist town was a good idea needs to be flogged. I have been almost sideswiped multiple times this week. Idiots. 

I did go to Harkins theaters with my son and we saw Star Wars. Pretty good time for the 2 of us. 

I haven’t gotten in as much running as I would like. In fact I have only gone a handful of times and haven’t gone today, the last day of the year. I will probably get out for at least a 30 minute run this afternoon. 
Here are some pictures from the runs I did get to. Brins Mesa has always been a favorite. 

   
    
    
    
   


Arizona Youth soccer

I saw this posted on Yahoo and had to copy it as I think it is so spot on.  The writer is right that there are way to many clubs in Arizona and the ECNL teams fighting over players as that is revenue instead of doing hat is best for Arizona soccer and only having one team.  Both of those teams mentioned below (I think) are watered down and should be one team, without a roster of 25 and only have the best players represent Arizona.  This goes for the boys and girls teams, limit how many teams one club can have, maybe a total of 10-12 boys and girls teams through state level competition maximum. There are players on one of the ECNL teams who were marginal players on my kids club team the last few years. Heck one player who made the ODP team was a “last 3 on one of my kids teams, but if you want to pay the fees and do all of that travel to play 10 minutes so you can boast your kid plays on that team, more power to you.  It isn’t all about talent, it is about handing over that check.

If they want to make an impact in player development they need to cap the club teams based on population of players. In Arizona club teams have popped up everywhere for one purpose, making $$$. Thus players go to different teams as they perceive starting on a clubs top team is better than being a bench player on another team so what has happened is there is so much parody in general that all teams have similar records, no real standout teams are present and development stalls. Year to year these parents switch what teams their kid is on in the “grass is greener” mindset,then discover it is the desert- and they switch again.
There are 2 ECNL teams for the under 16 girls age group, they both lose or tie to state level teams and struggle out of state-thus the top talent is not on those teams. Consolidate these teams to half of what is out there and then they can compete against the California, Texas and Eastern teams.
If coached correctly headers are minimal impact to the head, players aren’t ready to head a ball coming in at 70+ miles per hour, shouldn’t be at that level.”

Headers, yeah good coaching can help that.


Flagstaff marathon, or half 2015

Last Saturday I ran the Flagstaff half marathon my daughter ran the 10K and my son ran the kids K. A real family event. 

We arrived Friday night, checked in at the Kickstand Cafe then went to watch the NAU soccer team defeat North Dakota State 4-3. I am amazed every time I visit NAU and see how much that campus has changed. I want to go back to school. 

I have run the half a few times before so I knew where I had struggled before so I tried to make sure that I took it easy heading into the big climbs and took plenty of fluids and nutrition as well. I had 2 scoops of UCan starch before then used a weak mix of Tailwind in my handheld. I did well early on and completing the first loop I thought I was doing well but by mile 9 the altitude or something grabbed me by my balls and wouldn’t let go. I was lightheaded and dizzy almost the entire last 3-4 miles of the run. I finished, missed my goal time but am not complaining as I wasn’t as trained as I should have been. I guess signing up on a whim Wednesday before had something to do with it.  Pictures below 

My daughter finished 10th overall in the 10K despite taking a fall and cutting up her wrist and leg. She spent several minutes at an aid station getting everything cleaned out before heading back out. Very proud of her. 
   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 


Open mind = open thoughts

For the past few years I have been among the people aligned in the “anti-Hoka” running community. Just another fluky trendy shoe that will soon disappear. After recently talking with a few speedsters running in Northern Arizona, who are Hoka sponsored I decided to give them a shot. I picked up a pair of Odyssey’s and when first wearing them around my house I was impressed with the plus feel but stableness without trying to control motion. I initially thought maybe the new hardwood floors in my house had something to do with it-why?- so I went out for a run. My feet, calves and legs love the cushioned run. I now know why people can do multiple long hilly back to back runs in these shoes and not feel beat up. What was just as surprising was when I downloaded my GPS data to Strava I was only 10 seconds behind a local segment PR-one I hadn’t been able to get within 15 seconds of when trying. I was out for an easy trial run that day. Today after doing a hard 10.5 miles in the hills around here I wore the Hokas and ran through the segment area, pushing it. When I got home and logged on I saw that I captured the CR by over 20 seconds. I am sold now. I need to get a trail pair next.

They may not work for you, but that is what’s great with running, there are so many shoe and gear manufacturers out there you can find what works for you, despite what the voices of knowledge say.

Also today I also wore a pair of Stance golf socks. Why does that matter you ask? These socks have non slip strips on the bottom that keep the sock from moving while running. Thus no blisters. And they are comfy and made of wicking materials. A good deal for $5 at Marshalls.

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The new breakfast of champions.

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Table of energy expenditure for endurance athletes.

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Humidity sucks 

If you didn’t know running in humidity sucks. The gear sucks, but add in humidity and I wanted to give up yesterday. At the turn around point I took my shirt off and rung it out. I swear there was close to 250 ml of sweat on the ground (see picture below). Gross but true.  

    
   


Is the circus coming to trail racing? 

By circus I mean the competitor group and their carnival rock and roll races. They tried to get in the world of triathlons a few years back and for whatever reason that failed to catch on ( congrats tripeople) As there are only about 5 of them yearly, but recently I have seen more and more of their greasing up to the new breed of American trail and ultra runners pimping their movies, books and getting them to write articles about ultra running and training for competitors website. I have also heard in the past year + that competitor has been sending out their staff to pick the brains of trail race directors making it apparent that they are preparing to start their carnivals (and free labor from volunteers-another post for another time) on the dirt. 

I know that in many areas my thinking and style are out of the norms but I think most people enjoy the small race feel of trail running and getting into nature away from the bustle and noise of road races. 

Stick to what you have monopolized Competitor (and your hedge fund ownership group) and please leave the dirt trails alone. 
  


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