Monday, September 14, 2009

Running, football and soccer (oh my)

We are just beginning the BEST time of year. Fall is just beginning, the weather is perfect for running, football season has started and so has my kids' soccer season. Running could be going better right now, but football and soccer are off to a good start, so I guess I can't complain.

Monday - Rest. Took the kids for a Labor Day hike in the Black Hills.

Tuesday - 6.5 miles. Now, I would expect after a day of rest, without even any basketball, that I would be able to run a fairly comfortable 6.5 miles. I would be wrong. My legs just do not have any energy on these early morning runs since Lean Horse.

Wednesday - 6 miles and basketball at lunchtime. More of the same. Better than Tuesday, but still more of a struggle than it should be.

Thursday - 4 miles. Yet more of the same. I had planned on doing 5 or 6 but after the first two miles my legs were pissing me off, so I just turned around and headed home. We did a prescribed burn at work in the afternoon, which involved a lot of hiking and my legs felt totally fine then. They just don't want to run.

Friday - Rest. I had the day off and honestly meant to go for a 5 or 6 mile run and actually had all of my running stuff on and was ready to go until my wife informed me that outside water faucet was spraying water everywhere. After replacing the O-ring (the extent of my plumbing repair abilities) didn't work, I called the plumber and had him replace the whole damn thing. Between that, going to eat lunch at school with my son, taking our cat Gracie to the vet and then going to pick my son up from school, the day just snuck away on me and when I did finally have time to run, I just flat out did not feel like it. So I didn't.

Saturday - 7 miles. The day started off with Caiden's and Chloe's first soccer game of the season. They are on the same team (the only way Chloe would agree to play). Caiden is already a U-6 veteran, this being his 3rd season, but Chloe is a rookie since she just turned old enough. The game was a mud bowl since it rained all night before the 8 AM start, but the kids didn't really care. Caiden would play soccer in just about anything. Chloe probably has a limit, but she didn't mind the wet conditions. Their team ended up losing 7-4, but Caiden did tally two goals. Chloe isn't nearly as aggressive on the soccer field as Caid is, but she did get a couple of kicks in and, more importantly, had fun. I went for my run after the game and for once I was able to pick up the pace some and it actually felt fairly comfortable. Ended up running the 7 miles in just under an hour for an 8:28 pace, my fastest since Lean Horse.

Sunday - 10.1 miles. Ever since Lean Horse, I've been itching to get out into the Hills and do some trail running to prepare for the last three races of the Black Hills Trail Series. But, frankly, my legs just have not felt like they could withstand a trail run. Well, I finally decided to give it a shot this weekend and woke up bright and early on a Sunday morning to drive to the Old Baldy trailhead. Old Baldy is a 6+ mile loop, plus a spur trail that goes out and back to the summit of Old Baldy Mtn. I ran the loop plus the spur plus a little extra of the loop to get in a full 10 miles. Some of the uphill grades started taking a toll toward the end, but overall it went well.

Total - 34.6 miles. I was hoping for more (40 at least), but it wasn't meant to be. Maybe this week.

Okay, if you don't give a damn about football, feel free to check out now. The weekend I've been waiting for for almost a year finally arrived: NFL Kickoff Weekend. But, first, there were high school and college games on Friday and Saturday to take in.

On Friday night, the Belle Fourche Broncs hosted Hot Springs in their first conference game of the season. Belle jumped out to a 21-0 lead and it looked like a blowout was about to ensue. But, Hot Springs capitalized on some Bronc miscues and made a game out of it. The Broncs ended up holding on for a 31-28 win in what could have easily been a 50-0 blowout. They'd better figure out how to play a full game the way they played the first quarter of this one real soon because this week they travel to West Central, who is ranked #1 in the state and has won 11 out of the last 16 state championships (two of them over Belle).

Saturday night I parked myself in front of the computer and watched very a poor quality video webcast of the Montana Grizzlies game at UC-Davis. It was hands down one of the ugliest games of football I have ever seen the Griz play. After falling behind 10-0 late in the 2nd half, they were finally able to get things in gear and scored 17 unanswered points to win. A win is a win, but if they play like that again, they probably won't win many more. This week, the Griz open Big Sky conference play at home against Portland St., who is coached by former Falcons and Oilers coach Jerry Glanville.

And then Sunday finally arrived. Even better than the first Sunday of the NFL season was the prospect that I could have the ever elusive perfect football weekend, with the Broncs, Griz and Seahawks all winning. The prospects for this happening seemed good considering the Seahawks opened their season at home against the hapless Rams. I was not disappointed as the Hawks overcame some early mistakes to clobber the Rams 28-0. This sets up an early season showdown next week against the division rival 49ers, who knocked off the Cardinals (aka One Hit Wonders) in week 1.

So, the fall is off to a good start, and it hasn't even officially started yet.

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