Monday, May 11, 2009


yep . . . another one. And thanks to my buddy Phil (AZ Phil), I found out that I am about 40% of the way through my 4160 Mondays that I'll have to live through. So far so good.

Last week was not a great week for running though I did walk 9 holes twice and that has to count for something doesn't it? I mean, carrying 30 lbs of golf clubs, bag, balls, beverages for about 2 1/2 miles in 80 plus degree heat counts as exercise in my book.

I ran Monday, golfed Tuesday, ran Wednesday, golfed Thursday. After that, I was a total slug. Between lack of uuumph, out of town soccer tournament, and this gosh awful depressing grey sky/rain we get every weekend, I just didn't manage to get in any miles over the weekend. I will, however, try to squeeze in some mileage this evening after taking E to dance and then from dance to soccer practice. I may just throw on my running clothes and run while soccer practice is going on.

Soccer tournament-
No repeat state championship. Our team is about speed and technique. Not good things to rely on when the fields are ankle deep in muck and it's raining the entire time. MAC played well . . . she is fortunate in that she understands how to switch from speed to power. It's great that she takes coaching so well. We've been working with her about shortening her stride and no quick turns on wet fields. It payed off . . . several times she easily outmanuevered players from the other teams as they slipped down or lost their footting. Our first game ended in a 4-4 tie. We originally thought that we'd smoke this team since we jumped out to a 3-0 lead and seemed to have things under control. However, our defense just didn't clear the ball as effectively as in the past and our goalies just were not on their game. MAC had two goals and an assist. Once goal should go on the highlight reel-she intercepted a pass while playing mid-center, gave a head fake and she was off to the cleaners. She ended up with a clear field outside the goalie's box and set the goalie up perfectly. Great fun to see it come together like that. Our second game was against a team that got slaughtered by the team we had tied so we sort of expected a win which we needed to get into the playoffs. Unfortunately, the other team scored two quick goals and our girls couldn't seem to recover. We had a few decent shots at goal including MAC slamming one into the post. The game ended up getting called a few minutes into the second half due to lightning and under Alabama Youth Soccer rules, the game was done. A tie and a loss sent us into a consolation game late Sunday morning. We ended up playing against our sister team that MAC plays with sometime. All the girls and parents know each other and most are friends and it made for a fun and interesting game. The other team scored in the first minute of the game and rest of the game was a defensive struggle ending in a 0-1 loss for us. Basically, we stunk it up with 0 wins, 2 losses, 1 tie. We now get a short respite from soccer and try outs begin in about three weeks.

that's about it for now.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there . . . and you know who you are!!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Hey all. Long time, no see. I never had any clue that being a family man would change my life and priorities so much. Lots of things since my last post several weeks ago.

I have been running. That's the important thing. For the most part, I've been running at least three days a week and normally try to get four in, even if they end up being rushed, short runs. I still have not become the time manager that I thought I was so I still struggle balancing yard work for two houses, two daughters (I hate calling them step) and their soccer practices, games and the accomanying comings and goings involved, running, and helping Susan with routine house stuff. I hate to run in the mornings but it is looking more and more like I'll have to adopt morning running to achieve any quality results.

On other fronts-
MAC continues to enjoy soccer and has some pretty good games the past month. We were in Destin, FL last weekend for a tournament. MAC was invited to guest play with a sister team from the same soccer association. She and two other players were asked to play since their normal team wasn't not going to this tournament. Needless to say, you can cherry pick and cobble together a pretty good team when you can take good players from different teams. We were lucky in that our condo was across the street from the fields where our age group was playing. Wow! what a break. Last year, we had to drive 45 minutes to get to the fields. The first game was more like a scrimmage. No insult intended to the team we beat. They were a local team from Emerald Coast Soccer Assocation. MAC score the first goal within about 30 seconds of the start of the game. We had a corner kick that was actually executed fairly well, MAC got the cross and boomed it in, just like it's drawn up on the marker board. We ended up winning that game 4-0 with our coach electing to play a lot of the second half with different player combinations and positions and just experimenting.

The second game was a couple of hours later that afternoon and it was blazing hot. I had gone for a 6 mile run between games while the girls just lazed around the condo. There was a nice breeze as I was running along the road parallel to the beach and that made it SEEM cooler than it was. The first 5 miles went pretty well and was on my way to my normal goal-a negative split on my out and back runs. However, mile 6 hit me. Something about seeing the condo in the distance, the black asphalt soaking in the 1:00 afternoon soon and the 87 degrees, and my general lack of being in shape caught me. I'm not sure what you may call it in your running circles but we call it "THE ELECTRIC HEADBAND". You know the sensation that you get while you're running when all of a sudden your scalp starts tingling, you start getting tunnel vision and see monkeys dancing off the hot asphalt? Well, I was there, and though scarey, it is strangely exhilirating. Finished up my run, covered in salt, got back to the condo and took a quick shower. Timed perfectly to take MAC to her second game. OMG-it was a great game. Two totally different styles ended in a zero zero tie after an hour of play. MACs team is built more on speed and execution. The team we played from Cobb county near Atlanta were brutes. These girls were a bunch of amazons. Before the game we all swore that this was a 14 or 15 year old team that had gone to the wrong field. Nope . . . this was the right team. Those girls must eat a lot of chicken (growth hormone). The Cobb team was not exceptionally fast but they were big and powerful and just seemed to plow through our defense. Thank goodness our fullbacks are decent size and our goalie is quick as a cat because Cobb probably had shots on goal that outnumbered ours at least 5-1. When we would advance the ball and get near their goal, they would simply just knock us off the ball. We did get a couple of penalty shots but all in all it was a clean, physical game they played and fun to watch. MAC had a good shot on goal and had the goalie totally out of positiong but hit the top bar with it. We went back to the condo wondering if we were going to play consolation game on Sunday or actually be in the semi-finals. We found out later that evening that we finished third out of ten for the day and made it to the finals.

Sunday we got up and headed to the fields after all the consolation games were played. I could tell the girls were tired and beat up from the physical game the afternoon before. Several of the girls, including MAC, had big, ugly black banana bruises on their arms and thighs. We played a team from Florida and they were good. They were the #2 team and with good reason. Very well coached and relentless. We held our own in the first half and had things tied up 1-1 at halftime. The second half was a different story. The difference in good coaching and great coaching is the ability to make changes and adapt. The FL team came out playing a different game at a different level and quickly scored a couple of goals. Our girls quickly became demoralized (along with tired and beat up) and everyone could tell their hearts were not in it. Our coach moved girls around and tried different attacks but we just couldn't get the ball in the net. The team didn't score anymore but they essentially did what we did in game #1-sort of just practiced their passing and keep away game. I guess their coach knew they still had another game to play so he lightened up. It could have been much uglier. Thank you for having mercy on our girls.

The good thing about losing the first semi is that we get to get on the road quicker. MAC slept most of the way home.

okay. lunchtime is over. I'll try to do better at posting.