So much to catch up on....
PREPARATION FOR 1ST DAY OF SCHOOL
Monday's the day the kiddies arrive at school. Monday and Tuesday were in-service days where we had meetings to get things ready. Wednesday through Friday were days to prepare the room and get the lesson plans ready for next week. Since the head XC coach is a retired teacher, he still held doubles all this week. I made most of the workouts, but had to miss some with the meetings and stuff.
The toughest workout of the week was 3x1 mile on the 1st mile of the XC course on Thursday. The kids were mentally and physically a little low after two and a half weeks of doubles....and it showed. The goal was to run around 5:40 to 5:50, however all but the first group were over 6:00 and some were almost at 7:00. Let's just say that our head coach, who is pretty old school, was not happy with this. After a little pick-me-up talk (aka chewing out), the next two miles went a little better. Personally, I had a pretty good day, albeit I was a little fresher from missing some of the workouts. I ended up going 5:52, 5:41, and 5:48.
This morning, we had our first dual meet that was actually a four-team scrimmage. Our boys looked pretty strong--perhaps that motivational talk on Thursday paid off. Our top two guys are going to be some of the tougher guys in our district. It's going to be a matter of finding three other good performances out of a group of 6 or 7 guys. The girls had a pretty good day, too. They lost some key seniors last year, so they're still figuring out who's going to be their 3-7 runners.
Beth worked it out to finish her bike ride at the cross country meet and then we went swimming up at the Butler Y. Our pool is supposed to open back up after labor day. It will be nice to go back to the 4 minute commute instead of 30. I haven't done much serious swimming in the past few weeks, but set out to do a more focused workout today since I didn't run this morning with the XC meet.
So, the goal was to do 15x100 yd on 2:30 with the goal of keeping the splits around 2:00. Like Beth was saying in recent blogs, the swimming has been getting quicker for her. At one point today, we openly discussed whether the pool was a little short, but Beth was swimming faster in other pools, too. Anyway, here were my splits:
1:50, 1:52, 1:53, 1:54, 1:52, ... some more around 1:55, ... and I finished with a 1:52. My worst one was a 1:57. Go figure!
My dad and I went up to Altoona to watch the Pirate's AA baseball team last night. The big thing I wanted to get out of it was an impression of Jose Tabata, who the Pirates got from the Yankees in the Nady-Marte can hit. He's a little small, but he sure can hit! I can see why some people have labeled him a mini-Manny Ramirez. I didn't notice any personality issues as he came on an off the field and he hustled on his one hit for a double and on defense on a ball hit in the gap. Plus, he plays center field and he's quick and had a decent arm throwing in from the wall.
That's the good news from Altoona, the bad news is that Tabata was about the only highlight. Not much else to write home about in terms of prospects:
-Pitcher Jared Hughes struggled through the first inning with 30 pitches and ended up only going into the 6th inning because of his high pitch count.
-Pat Bresnehan was a highly touted reliever, but he was only throwing in the high 80's. He did have a filthy curve ball, but major league hitters could sit on that since he's not throwing as fast.
-Two other good relievers--Belasario and Robles were hitting 95, but both gave up runs. Not dominating.
-2B Shelby Ford and 1B Jamie Romak were very feeble in their hitting--a bunch of weak ground outs.
I can't get enough of the Olympics. The men's marathon is on now and it's amazing watching them click off the 5+ minute miles. It looks like Ryan Hall is fading, but he's a pretty neat story and pretty vocal and up front with his faith. That's pretty cool.
The US Men's hoops team is in the gold medal game. They've looked like they've been on a mission since they got there.
Congrats to the US Women's soccer team on the OT gold medal win. I was able to watch it live Wednesday morning as I was setting up my room.
What happened to the 4x100 relays? They've got to get the stick around--especially in the prelims. Make sure the pass happens! Too bad for Pittsburgher Lauren Williams being involved in two Olympic baton dropping incidents.
I'm looking forward to seeing the footage of the 4x400m later tonight. That's definitely my favorite track race. Four laps, each lap just you and the other guy sprinting all out.