Session 5 of ASA Baseball MVP class


Ryan was back for session 5 of ASA Baseball's April MVP class (well, one of them at least). Turns out, Ryan was down in Southern California looking at Pepperdine for college. Time to re-estimate Ryan's age up a few years.

We started late, as Gino was working with a 9 year old catcher whose first class was today. He's in a one-on-one program (10 class package), so he's getting lots of love from G. The usual ladders started us off: LR-RL (which stumbles me every time), both feet outside - hop to left foot in square, both feet outside - hop to right foot in square, L R both repeat (alternating with outside, of course), left foot outside - left foot inside - advance, right root outside - right foot inside - advance. There may have been another one in there, I don't recall.

We then did the T run for time. Basically, run forward 10 yards, shuffle to the left 5 yards, shuffle back 10 yards to the right, shuffle back left to the middle and run backwards. We did it for time. I think I did 5, Ryan did 4, because we were supposed to beat our times, but I didn't. However, when we did these in week 1, I ran an 11 something. This time my fastest was a 9.4: 9.4, 9.8, 9.6, 9.5, 9.6. I didn't improve on any run, so I had an extra minute of abs at the end.

Next we used the boxes for two exercises (3 sets each). The first was running in place, tapping our toes on the top of the box on each step, for 30 seconds. I ran a 68 taps the first set, which I though G had miscounted and I really had only 48. Turns out, I miscounted, because I had 68 on the second set, too. For the third set, G said if I didn't beat 68, I'd be doing an extra minute of abs. That's inspiration, and I did a 72 on the third set. I think it helped that I could see his watch. There was sheer desperation in the last 10 seconds to get enough steps in.

The other workout with the boxes were side to side steps: one foot on the box, the other foot on the ground, jump to to switch which foot was on the box/ground. First set of 10, second and third set of 12 (6 each leg) with a 6# ball being thrown at my knees (toss back) and the final set of 20 (10 each leg) just holding the 6# ball.

At this point, I'm tired. But we're not done yet!

We played "Chase the Chicken" next, which was basically a game of tag where you run around in a 10 yard x 8 yard box, one person trying to avoid the other, and the second person (the Chicken) trying to touch the shoulder of the first person. Each round was 30 seconds. Ryan is much faster than I am, but I'm better at reacting to a cutter. Ryan tried a roll-off-spin-around football move that didn't do crap, as I anticipated his moves and adjusted accordingly. On the flip side, I suck at getting away. I thought my skills at cutting in ultimate would help. Nope. Not enough room to make a real cut (when I turned around for the cut at the end of the box, Ryan was standing there - d'oh!).

Wall Ball came next. As usual, Ryan kicked my ass in the game. I can't throw the ball for crap. Turns out, I throw overhand with my left hand better than I do with my right hand. I typically shot-put with my right. Either way, we played wall ball. I'm happy to say all my balls made it to the wall. <grin>

Balancing pushups came next. Unfortunately, we had to do 20 of them, with a slight lift while balancing. Yes, 20. 20! I struggled. A lot. I managed about 8 without stopping, then did 2 at a time after that. I didn't do well at all with them. I did them with the 6# ball, which is supposedly easier than the 4# ball. Surprised me.

Tragically, after the balancing pushups we did clapping pushups. If I thought the balancing pushups were hard, these were worse. I couldn't do them. I was laughing so hard at G for suggesting 20. I asked if I could do them from my knees, which G said I could. I did 10 before attempting the claps. Turns out that, yes, I can do a clapping push up from my knees. Barely.

After being thoroughly exhausted with the pushups, we did abs next. V ups (ugh), single leg twisting V ups (left elbow to right knee, down, right elbow to left knee, down, repeat), Russian crunches, bicycle, 6" off the ground (with karate chops!), seated push downs and (because I didn't beat my previous sprint times) inverted push downs.

Tired. Very, very tired.

Friday's workout is 8 x 100 m (10 if I'd like), and upper body workout. The upper body workout is bouncing the 2# weight ball along a wall, balancing pushups and clapping pushups.

I also talked to G about helping Mischief with training. I asked if he'd be interested in seeing the sport, and designing a 2-4 week training schedule. He said yes, so I'm planning on bringing in various videos for him to watch. Interesting to see how this works out. Things are going to get crazy starting in May. I hope I can keep up the workouts.

Session 4 of ASA Baseball's MVP class


I was late for session 4 of ASA Baseball's MVP class. I thought the class started at 1:00 for me. Turns out, it started at 12:00 noon. I called at 12:00 to see when the class was. Oops. I was so embarassed. I really didn't want to be late.

As usual, we started with the ladders. We do several different steps. Scissors, R foot only, L foot only, Hop Scotch (L, R, Both), both outside - both inside - move forward one square, Z.

The next exercise was the hurdles. There were 5 short (6") hurdles, followed by 5 still short, but not as short, 12" hurdles. We jumped them both footed, R footed only, L footed only, alternating feet facing forward, L then R - facing sideways, R then L - facing sideways. I think there was another one, but I don't recall it. The last one was jumping backward. I flailed completely at that one. Completely.

We then went to the 1' boxes. These 4' long, 12" high boxes were spaced about 2 feet apart. We jumped down from one, landed on the ground between the boxes, jumped onto the next box, then sprang *high* into the air, landing past the second box.

While doing the jump off the boxes exercise, Gino asked if I thought I could jump up onto both boxes. I thought he meant after jumping down from the other box, so I said no. Turns out, he meant just jump up onto both of them (or a box 24" high).

Which was the next exercise.

We jumped up onto the boxes, which were stacked together, so 24" high. I was really really intimidated by the height. I did okay, though. 10 landing both feet, 10 landing R foot, 10 landing L foot, 10 landing both feet again. I really didn't trust myself to land with only one foot, and strained my back (lower, left side, near kidneys) when I tried to land with my R foot. Gino noticed and asked if I was okay. He notices every time I strain/injure something.

We then did side-to-sides, that looked like ice skating. Standing on one foot near a cone, push off sideways and land on the other foot, balancing, reaching low to touch a cone. 2 sets of 20 total, 10 each leg.

Abs were next. Russian crunches, bicycle, side to side with a weighted ball, V ups (couldn't do those for crap - managed maybe 6 in 45 seconds), lower back lifts, crunches from a ball, and 6" - 12" leg lifts.


I hurt.


I hurt.

The baseball plyo training class that I'm in is kicking my butt three ways to Sunday, as near as I can tell. My stomach hurts all the time. My sides ache. My hamstring is killing me.

I get out what I put in, and I'm completely gung-ho about the class. I'm definitely learning a lot. A lot of the training isn't baseball specific, which was one of my concerns. I'm definitely slower than Ryan, the other person in the class, but I have better balance, determination and form than he does. Also by a lot.

I think part of the difference is age: I've spent too long making up excuses for why I can't do this or that, and too long explaining what I just did. One of the great things about the class is that the instructor (Gino? Giuseppe Chiaramonte is his name (according to the ASA site) doesn't seem to care about age or abilities: it's all about helping the student become a better athlete.

Giuseppe definitely makes the class amazing. He doesn't listen to excuses (which I figured this out in 5 minutes, I think Ryan is still learning). He's very enthusiastic, very encouraging, very inspiring (and yes, very well built).

I'm often wondering what he thinks of my signing up for the class. I mean, a 34 year old scrawny woman is a far cry from training Giants players. Of course, so are 12 year old boys, but at least they play baseball. I still throw like a girl.

And I still hurt.

Location affecting health


I find it quite interesting that my health can be adversely affected by the location of a bathroom.

VA recently moved from building 1 at 47071 Bayside Parkway to building 2 at 46939 Bayside Parkway. In the old building, the bathrooms were all of maybe 15 yards away from my desk. No problem to go to the bathroom.

In the new building, however, the bathrooms are easily 40 yards away. Not that much farther, but definitely a hike to get to the restroom. Couple that with the maze one has to go through to get to the front bathroom door, and it's a pain to go to the bathroom.

So, how does this affect my health?

Before the move, I would drink 2-3 bottles of water a day, about 6 cups or so. After the move, I've been drinking maybe one bottle. I can't stand walking all the way to the bathroom with a full bladder.

Heh. ALL the way to the bathroom. Like it's truly that far away. I'll just have to work on drinking more.

Three times' a charm & Kris turns 30!


Or, Migraines: 3, Periods: 1

Had my third migraine of the year today. It started this evening around 5:30 at Costco. Kris' parents, Bob & Lil, and I had just finished shopping for Kris' birthday celebrations at the All-Star Baseball Academy of Mountain View. At checkout, my thoughts were, "Uh oh." My vision was suddenly doing funny stuff, but I couldn't quite confirm a migraine because I couldn't find the blind spot.

Five minutes later at the car, I couldn't see Lil's face when I looked at her. Sigh.

Lil gave me two 8-hour Tylenol, then drove us home, Kris arrived home as we were cleaning out the fridge for room for the cakes. When he got home, around 6:30, I went to sleep. Kris woke me at 7:30 (at my request). I scarfed down spaghetti and a Codeine from Kris' surgery (expiration March 2004 - how's that for close).

Off to set up the party. About 5 minutes after I got there, wham, more visuals. This time, pretty bad. I had no pain, but I was definitely 2/3 blind. Lil and I set up everything, people starting arriving. I don't think anyone could tell I was having problems.

Christina Valvo asked me about migraines, as she thought she had one earlier in the day. The symptoms certainly sounded like it, with the numbness, pounding headache and light sensitivity. I asked is she could tell I was having one right then, and she, along with Wade, laughed and said she couldn't.

The rest of the evening went well. I was in the batting cages three times. I did okay. Tom Senna, the owner of All-Star gave me some pointers while I was in the cage, helped me hit a few balls. Bob helped me the other times.

I had a great time. A lot of people came up to me and told me it was a great idea for a birthday party. There was a ton of activity, everyone seemed to be doing something, from the speed guns to the batting cages to the food.

Bob had a CD/DVD that he made about Kris' baseball career. It was really cute. We played it at 9:30 or so. Tom helped me set it up, we had to play with the laptop (Kris ran home at 8:30 to get the cables, such the sweetheart). People laughed and enjoyed the video.

After everyone came back to our house, the headache started creeping back. I took another Codeine. I tried to stay involved until 1:00, when everyone left, but it was so hard. I wandered away at some point, appearing again to say good bye, then disappearing. I hope no one noticed - it was Kris' night anyway.

I talked to Lisa at several points in the evening. She thinks this is my third migraine also. Kris thinks it's the fourth. Regardless, it's too many.

Update! I recalled I had some Trident gum on Thursday. It contains aspartame! That was probably the root cause of the migraine. Not that it lessens my head pounding, but at least I can, once again, avoid aspartame like the plague! The plague, I tell you!

The first step on the road to recovery!


I had my first appointment at physical therapy for my hamstring today. It went pretty well, with no surprises, per se. Well, one, but it wasn't physical.

I arrived a few minutes early and filled out the requisite paperwork. The receptionist was either really bored or a control freak, as she hovered about 2 feet from me while I filled out the questionaire. I find such people annoying.

Off to the examining room I went, managing to pull out a magazine and find my place before Laura, my physical therapist, showed up. Laura is, well, tall. Really, really tall. And blonde. Did I mention slender, with pretty eyes? And, she didn't have the tall woman syndrome (of hunched shoulders to look less tall).

Laura went through a series of move the leg this way, push here, pull there, does this hurt, do you feel the strain when I do this, what angle can you move your leg and the like. The only off balance item of interest for me is that when twisting sitting on the edge of a table and lifting my foot up towards my chest, my right leg can angle up 42°, whereas my left can go only 32°. Everything else was nicely balanced and even.

The diagnosis was a slight hamstring strain coupled with a sciatic (spelled wrong, I'm sure) nerve "inflamation" (not her word, but mine). The injury has caused my left glute to seize, and both glutes to weaken. I received the following three stretches and two exercises, to be done after warming up with a walk.


  • Lying back, lift the left leg up, knee bent, until the quads are 90°+ from the ground (slightly closer to me than perpendicular). Try to straighten the leg. Hold for 60+ seconds.
  • Lying back, lift leg straight up, as far as possible. Now gently drift towards the right side then back to vertical. Continue for 60+ seconds.
  • Lying back, put the left heel on the bottom of my right quad, near the knee, then pull up on the knee to stretch the glutes. Switch legs.


  • One legged squats with minimal weights. 3 sets of 15.
  • Standing leg pulls - with a Theraband band, stand with the band around the ankle (the other end secured under a door with the knot), with slight tension on the band and the foot about 12" in front of me. With both legs straight (no bending knees!), pull the forward ankle back next to the other ankle. 3 sets of 15, alternating legs. Keep the knees straight! Works the standing leg more than the moving leg.

And, I'm not supposed to run. I'm supposed to find an aerobic exercise that doesn't exert the hamstring. So, running is out. Swimming is out. Biking may or may not be out. The elliptic trainer is another maybe. I think I'll start jumping jacks and jumping rope.

Ultimate, I'm happy to say, isn't a complete no. Enough side to side action in the game that if I don't do a lot of straight line running, I should be okay.

This Sunday is going to hurt.