Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back on the road

Glad to report that I have completed my fourth day of running in a row-pain free. It is so good to be back on the road. I have lost a lot of endurance but it will come back. I have also been running in the early evening so it is getting a little hot. I will not be ready for a late spring marathon so I will turn my attention to early fall. Would love to Boston Qualify but not sure I will make it this go around. I will settle for an injury free period. I listened to the Boston Marathon race director during a podcast tonight while running. He didn't seem to enjoy his job. He seemed like a grumpy old man that did not like runners. Maybe he has been doing it too long. It certainly was not a advertisement to run the race. After hearing that I think I would like to run it once and then go on. It also sounds like they may change the qualifying times because so many people want in. He said about 20% of the field were charity runners who do not qualify. There are so many marathons, I think they could afford to have one with only qualifiers. But I suspect they don't want to turn down the money. Funny.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Regional Track Meet

Nine athletes from Cardinal Mooney HS participated in the regional meet at Golden Gate HS in Naples, Florida. It was a beautiful day except for intermittent smoke from the wild fires in collier county. Jordan progressed on to the state meet by wining the pole vault with a PR of 13ft 6inches. Jillian, a freshman set a PR in the 300M hurdles but failed make the finals. Derick pictured right set a PR in the 800M but the competition was too stiff. The majority of the athletes gave their best effort and can be proud of their accomplishment this season.
Personally, I think I learned more about coaching this year and look forward to applying my teaching and motivation skills again next year.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Energy saving light bulbs?

OK, I have to admit I bought some of these energy saving light bulbs tauted by the EPA as being green and energy efficient. What about the mercury we are putting into society with the potential breakage and when they do where out? What about the fact that they are made in China whereas the old fashion bulbs are harmless and made in Kentucky, USA? How about the energy in importing these bulbs via ship? I think I will continue from here on out to buy regular USA bulbs and turn them off when I am not in the room to save energy. Mercury thermometer's are taboo because of the toxicity. People only had one thermometer. How many light bulbs in a house?
Mass marketing strikes again.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Districts over but ended on a good note

Just when you think you are about to give up, they surprise you. The Cardinal Mooney track team that is. Practice the week before districts was anything but fun. Kids fighting and more interested in what they don't want to run than what they can do to help the team. Track is funny in that you run for your own time but the often forgotten part is you need to score points for the team for a possible district tittle. Spring break occurred the week of District so some kids were not going to be there because of vacations or just plain disappeared. It doesn't help that parents are not supportive in teaching kids responsibility. The kids committed to track so they need to see it through. We have to send in rosters in advance which are not easily changed. Relays are best ran with kids practicing together. So kids were absent from practice, went days over break without running, and were not focused at all.
The day of the Districts the weather was cloudy and windy with tornado watches. One of the teams was late because of the weather advisory and the meet was delayed. The storm kept coming south and at 4pm the rains hit along with thunder and lightening. The event was finally postponed until Wednesday. This was fate for us because the kids were not mentally ready. We looked up in the coaches meeting and our kids were playing ultimate frisbee in the middle of the football field. The same kids too tired to run in events we asked of them. Absolutely no senior leadership. In fact they were behaving the worst of all. I lost my cool and gave a good tongue lashing about responsibility, team spirit and pride. They just looked on. When the rain came a few kids help clean up and we went home.
I was disgusted. All the effort to end like this. No body seemed to care. I came home and had a glass of wine and contemplated resigning after this year. I had failed as a motivator and coach.
Then I had a pep talk from my friend Sally. She suggested that maybe I focus more on individual personalities instead of a general message. She taught me her sales tactics of personalities and colors. Red was that of a very creative but somewhat of a stubborn individual. the kind you may lock horns with but ultimately a great asset. Blue was an individual motivated by emotion and words. Yellow individuals were very organized and did well given a task. Green were reward driven. All are needed for a team. Push the bottom to the middle and the middle will improve. So I thought might as well give it a chance. I thought about each kid and what would be there color. I had Addie and a friend make motivational posters with the words for the individuals I had come up with. I bought candy for rewards. Blue and pink PEEPs for the relays and other small candies. Meanwhile one of the seniors had sent texts to some of the kids to get fired up for Wednesday.
Wednesday came and what a difference a day makes. Kids were helping and stepping up to support the team. They cheered each other on and gave it there all. One senior ran so hard he threw up his days intake and more. Boys argued who would take his place in the final relay. The four chosen had never run together. They stood in the middle of the field pumping each other up as never before. They ran the strongest race of the 4 x 400M this entire year with each leg setting a personal best. They fell down together at the finished and gasped for air. The rest of the team cheered them on. The team huddled together for one last Cougar Pride chant. We did not place as a team at the Districts. The boys were 5th and girls 7th. Overall, the best showing of the boys for a long time. 7 athletes move on to regionals. But there is hope for Mooney track. Hope for team spirit and hope that these kids will have learned the value of hard work and the benefit of giving yourself to others.
You did good Mooney track team. I am proud.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Back on the treadmill

This past week I have started running again, slowly. I started walking 4 minutes and running one, then 3 walk and 2 run, then 2 walk and three run and today 1minute walking and 4 minutes running. Today's mileage was 3.25miles. I still have tightness and a some discomfort in my Achilles insertion but it goes away during the walk breaks. It is definitely encouraging and feels great to run even if slower. I do feel the effects of the layoff but not as bad as I thought it would be. The plan is to gradually increase the mileage as long as the pain does not worsen. I have been on the treadmill all week but I think I will take it outside this weekend.
Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Special Olympians

Saturday was the area Special Olympics meet. Our local athletes competed very well and set personal bests in several events. Trevor ran a 1:03 400M dash and threw the discus 36feet. Richard proudly ran in the Torch relay. We had a 4 x100 M team. Anna did a 400M wheel chair race and could have gone on and on. Erin demonstrated perfect discus form despite being less than 5 feet tall. Many other athletes did great as well. There next step will be to the state games in Disney World in May. These athletes compete with all of their heart and sole without complaints or requests. They compete every time to the best of their ability. They are happy for their fellow athlete and cheer vigorously for their teammates and the achievements of others. There kindness and sincerity is to be admired. I was glad to help with the event by coaching and cheering. I salute these athletes and look forward to watching them compete in future events.
I would encourage anyone to help these athletes in anyway that they can for they truly compete for the love of the games.