Well, it's official and all now. For the first time since 1993, I am no longer on an ultimate team roster for the season. I requested a practice player spot for Mischief this season and heard the news this morning that, yay!, the rest of the team is good with the change. So that's now my official standing with the team.

The change means I'm still with my friends for the season. I'll still practice with them three times a week. I'll still run track with them on Tuesdays (provided the track workouts don't interfere with my current sprint workouts or my soon to be started even-better-plan-to-get-in-shape workouts: Having spent the last 10 years running different get-in-shape workouts, I've decided that, even though others may have ideas for what builds good ultimate fitness, I know what's best for my body. And I know what has worked in the past and what hasn't worked in the past, through Kris' and Chris' various track workouts, with Velocity Sports now, and ASA Baseball then. Certain workouts work, others don't. I'm done wasting time on the ones that don't work for me).

Being a practice player admittedly feels weird, though. It's the right decision, and I know it is. I'd been playing worse and worse over the last three years as I stop playing for the joy of the sport and the thrill of success, and started playing not to lose, not to throw it away, not to embarrass myself. What the hell is that about?

I think a lot of it had to do with the 2004 season, where I trained and trained and trained, managed the best amount of fitness, skills and mental preparation and toughness (fighting through self-doubt and questioning my desire to compete, all while continuing to push), only to be schmooshed and fail.

Kris says I didn't fail. I was injured due to an unfortunate accident on the field. Okay. Sure. I didn't succeed that season. I had four broken ribs when I played at Regionals that year.

Okay, fine, I didn't fail. Looking back, it felt like failure to me. As the team has done better each year since then, I've done worse. I know the problem is mental. Things like Andy intimidates the hell out of me, like I worry more about what other people are doing instead of how I'm doing, like it's so easy to make up an excuse on why I failed instead of working hard not to fail.

It's hard sometimes doing what's right, and I know this was the right decision: to walk away from a guaranteed roster spot. I'd have that roster spot not because I was the best fit for the team, but because I was grandfathered in. I dont' want that. Neither do I want to lose the contact I have with the friends I have on the team.

I think this is a really good compromise between the two: I can continue to play with my friends, have my weekends back since I won't be travelling to tournaments, all while finally starting to grow again as a player. So what if I throw away the disc trying a throw I haven't mastered yet? People will just roll their eyes, mutter something like, "practice players, sheesh," under their collective breaths, and I'll get the chance to try the plays, throws, moves that I thought I'd lost the courage to attempt.

Yeah, this will be a good season.

Even if it's a little uncomfortable in the beginning.

Keeping up


Tonight's workout was supposed to be

8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

I say "supposed to be" because I really didn't want to do the sprints. I whined to Kris about them: couldn't I just run 7-5-4-4 like last time? Maybe 7-5-3-3 instead, like last week? I mean, really, who would notice? Seriously, who?

Kris offered a compromise at 8-5-4-3, if I really didn't want to do the full workout. He offered it, but didn't REALLY seem to be enthusiastic about it. I mean, come on, how much different is 8-6-4-4 from 7-5-4-4? I'm already doing the hard stuff with those extra 50m and 90m sprints, what's a few more 20m and 40m runs? I mean, come on!

Yeah, well, he was right.

Because, that's what I ran: 8x20, 6x40, 4x50 and 4x90. Those last two 90m sprints were HARD. Gah.

FInished in 24 minutes.

Just in time for practice, but not in time to avoid having the team see me running the last few sprints. Why oh why couldn't they have seen me at the beginning of my sprint workout? Like, say, when my legs aren't exhausted?

Back on track


I missed yesterday's sprint workout. I was both so burned out from working so hard from Monday morning straight until Tuesday night, which actually meant sitting on my ass for near 27 of those 38 hours, and good lord, does my back hurt.

Since I can't cram for fitness, and let's face it, running for 42 minutes on one day and sitting for two days straight doesn't exactly lend itself to good health, I decided to head out for my sprints.

That, and the fact that 20 minutes before, I realized that I was both still in my pajamas at four in the afternoon, and very, very smelly. No sense in taking a shower before sprinting, only to take one after, so off I went to run.

Today's workout was:

1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

Once again, I so way did not want to go. I don't know why this is. It's a workout course that I committed to. I guess committing to something and actually wanting to do something are two different things. I don't WANT to do the sprints, but I DO want the results of the sprints. That's what keeps me heading out to the fields and running sprints.

Well, that and Kris' encouragement and Andy's inspiration.

So, the first run was hard, but good. I attribute the difficulty to my attrocious eating habits as of late: good food, just fewer than 1800 calories a day of it. The second run, the first stinkette, was okay, but nothing to brag about. I managed the first few down and backs of the second run before my right foot cramped from the laces being too tight. I stopped, loosened the laces, and started back up again.

Unfortunately, I didn't count the number of stinkettes I was running, and ended up running 3 (and that half). It was only after I finished the third one when I realized the time on my watch, indicating I had run 3 (and a half) and not two.


The four suicides became difficult after my knee started hurting. I had an A.R.T. appointment yesterday, where the doc worked on not only my right hamstring, which has been REALLY bothering me as of late, but also my right shoulder (from THE layout), and my left knee, which has been stiff.

I managed to get my money's worth on that appointment. However, my knee was bothering me during the last three suicides. I had to adjust my cutting style to minimize the pain.

Not that it helped much. I was struck with the worst cramps when I was done sprinting. It reminded me of menstrual cramps, but much, much worse. Like, not able to stand up worse. Not sure I'm particularly pleased about that type of pain, actually.

So, back on schedule with the sprints. Yay, near consistency!

You can't cram for fitness


I've been running my sprint workouts at an aggressive pace. Instead of running two workouts a week, I've been running them every other day. I missed Friday's workout, though, as I spent most of the day at a client's site, and the rest of the day working full-tilt to complete tasks by the weekend. You can probably guess I failed to complete all of those tasks.

So, I decided to make up the workout from Friday today. Yes, yes, I know, I know. You can't cram for fitness. Doesn't mean I'm not going to try.

Okay, not really. The workouts target different fitness areas: the straight line sprints are for building speed, the shuttles are for building sprinting endurance. Kris suggested I run the shuttles first, and then the straight line sprints. I'm not sure why he recommended doing it that way, but I trust his instincts in these things (now, anyways. Didn't always, but that was to my chagrin, so now I listen to him in these things - have I always been so stubborn?).

So, after the Bella fiasco, I started my sprints. The shuttle sprints went along okay. I wore cleats today, in contrast to the last time, when I didn't, and had to work not to slip on the turns.

The workout was the same as last week, with the appropriate rest times:

1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 3 suicides

What I found interesting about the second sprint workout, which was (also with the the appropriate rest times):

7x20, 5x40, 4x50, 4x90

was that my pace and strength varied considerably with the music that was playing on my iPod. Starry Eyed Surprise actually seemed to have the best pace for my sprints. I tried to start the sprint when the chorus began, as it was a great hard acceleration moment, using the rest of the chorus to just cruise near my top speed. I hadn't really used music as a pacer before, so noticing the increase or decrease in effort depending on the song playing was interesting.

The only lapse I had during the workout was after the second of my four 50m sprints. I jogged back and, when the 45 seconds lapsed, just stood at the starting cone. I ended up resting until 1:15 had passed, then started the final four sprints on time. I'm not sure why I had that lapse, but it was definitely the mental toughness moment of the workout.

Finished everything in 42:08.