Thursday, June 30, 2011

Since last time...

Okay, last post was my marathon race report. I figured I should sneak a June post in being that it's the last day of the month at all. The reason I haven't written a blog since May 21 is because...

A. I went into a deep blogging exile and depression after not meeting my marathon time goals.
B. I was so overwhelmed by the end of the track season and school year and start of summer.
C. I vowed to not write a new blog post until the Pirates stayed under .500 for a week.
D. I took a peaceful non-internet trip into the woods for a month to meditate and find my center-balance.
E. I'm just plain lazy.

Well, perhaps there are shades of truth to A and B, but those aren't really the reasons. It can't be C because the Pirates keep winning and are currently 2 games over .500. Not really sure what D means, so it must be E. Sorry for the two fans out there who are regular readers of the blog. That's probably been reduced by 50% (thanks, Beth, for remaining a loyal follower).

So, what has happened since the marathon....

*For track, there were many outstanding performances at the WPIAL (district) finals including our guys finishing 1-2 in the mile. The jumpers performed solidly and are poised for a strong senior year next year. Two of our qualifiers for the state meet brought home hardware and our junior guy in the mile is looking like a good candidate to be among the top runners in the state next year.

*For Beth, she was the first female amateur to cross the line at Eagleman. So (in your best Forest Gump impression of seeing the president multiple times), we get to go to Hawaii...again. Our buddy Ben had a strong showing at Eagleman also and he now has a blog. Good luck to him and our other buddy Nate up in Providence next weekend.

*I'm involved in my summer elementary program again. It's called "Math in Sports" and it's a fun way to work for a few mornings a week talking about fantasy baseball, calculating BA/OPS/ERA/WHIP, and collecting data on basketball shooting percentages. Not to mention I get to be all-time QB, all-time whiffleball pitcher (with a NASTY slider thanks to how those holes are cut in the ball), and referee when they're doing anything else.

*I've been an emergency callup on a co-worker's softball team this summer. It's slowpitch so it's not quite as engaging as fastpitch (no bunts or steals), but I'm getting to play the outfield which I haven't done a lot of for about four or five years (since I mostly pitched the last few years in my fastpitch league). The first few times were a little shaky defensively, but I was feeling a lot more comfortable and getting better jumps on the ball by the last game. The one downside to this is the disparity in record when I'm there (0-4) and when I'm not there (something like 10-2). It's not like I'm doing bad and causing the team to lose, it's just they lose when I'm there. I keep waiting to not get invited back or to be given directions to an incorrect field so I miss the game.

*Also, running around the bases and the outfield has helped my speed training and make sub-90 400's feel like a piece of cake. I ran a 5k back on my birthday and went sub-18 on a pretty hilly course. It was a good start to the summer racing schedule I've laid out. I'm going to do more races this summer with the goal of hopefully making my leg muscles strong and not prone to the marathon cramping. In addition to that, the plan for the fall is to do either the Harrisburg or Philly marathon in November with the expressed goal of going at 7:10-7:15 pace and RUN a complete marathon (no cramping, walking, etc). Then, hopefully that will set me up with a solid base to train even harder through the winter and spring to finally reach that elusive sub-3:00 marathon in Pittsburgh 2012.

*Of course, I've already managed to catch several baseball games. Beth took me up to Altoona for my birthday.

And I went down to Frederick last weekend to hang out with my parents & sister.

I was there while Beth and Pittsburgh's other finest triathletes conquered the mountains around Deep Creek, MD. I'll need to get over to PNC Park to watch this juggernaut of a baseball team. The pitching has been extremely exceeding expectations and the hitting has been holding the team back from even having a better record. We'll see what the second half has in store.

*The high school XC "fun runs" start Friday. It's exciting to get back in to it, especially with all the returning runners we have.

So, hopefully a few more posts in July as I settle in to summer. I hope everybody has a great 4th of July! (I can always picture Bill Pullman's speech in Independence Day)