Pounds: Location Based Statistics for Ultimate

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Pounds is an Adobe AIR based location based stats program for ultimate (er, ultimate frisbee).

The name was given by Kris, who liked the "Location Based Stats" acronym LBS, and noticed it looked like "pounds."

I'm very unhappy with the UI in version one, but happy it runs on any Adobe AIR platform (including the Nokia 770).

Boston Invite 2008 - day 2


Okay, today was no where near as good as yesterday. I mean, aside from the fact I kept getting plowed into by my defenders yesterday, I didn't have any serious physical problems. I didn't think I was doing particularly better at making sharper cuts and stopping quickly to change directions, but the actions of my defenders said otherwise, as one after another ran into me on the field.

Today, however, I was knocked on my ass from a pivoting thrower who lowered her shoulder into me. Warren and Wade told me to step back, as she was deliberately drawing the foul, which I did, but thought I just made it easier for her to throw all of her throws. I probably should have contested the foul instead of accepting it: if I'm knocked on my ass, I'm pretty sure I didn't initiate that contact. If we had observers, I would have asked for their opinions.

That was, however, the least of my problems today. I woke up with stiff lower back that I couldn't loosen. I knew what was going on. I knew this was a physical manifestation of the frustration I've been having with myself. Knowing this does not make accepting it any easier. I tried to continuing playing, until I ended up dropping two very easy catches that I was WIDE open for, catches I rarely miss.

Eventually, however, my back completely seized on me, making even standing nearly impossible in the waves of pain. I stopped playing and took off my cleats.

And watched from the sidelines as yet another team cheated in a way that COMPLETELY infuriates me didn't help my mood any. Didn't help so much that I actually ended up in a fight with a guy from the other team about their cheating.

"We're not cheating."

"You have four people within three meters of the thrower. How is that not cheating?"

"There's another player in that three meters."

"Which means you get TWO players, not FOUR."

"They're allowed to be there."

"You know you can't have two people within three meters of the thrower right?"


"And your players are within three meters of the thrower, right?"


"And your players know they aren't supposed to be there, right?"


"But they're there anyway, right?"

"That's the way they play."

"So, they know they're not supposed to be there, but they do it anyway. That's the definition of cheating."

"Not if they think it's okay to be there."

"It's still cheating."

"No, it's not."

"How is it not cheating to have four people within three meters, all of whom know that only one person is allowed to be there? It's not like they're 10 feet away, they're like four feet away. The tall guy can touch the thrower!" I cursed here. "That's cheating."

"No, it's not."

How do you argue with blindness? How do you argue with people cheating? Worse, how do you accept a loss to a team that so clearly cheats, and thinks it's okay?

I couldn't. I walked away. I called Kris, waking him up at 7:30 AM, crying because I didn't know how to handle this confrontation, given how upset I was with the moron with whom I just had a screaming match.

To my surprise, the team noticed I was gone. Few people knew why, so I might not have been screaming as loudly as I feared I did.

We lost that game, and the last game of the tournament.

Boston Invite 2008, day 1


Today was strange. The tournament this year is the same as last year, in that it's a round-robin tournament where we play all the other teams. I note that I didn't write about it last year, despite Kris bringing me two cakes for my birthday. Oddly, I didn't have any tournament pictures either. Strange.

I didn't play much today, but that's not surprising. We have nine women, which is plenty. The team was very encouraging about my playing time, cheering me on when I did go in, which makes me smile every time. I nearly always hear Steffi and Will ("Go, Kitty!"), both of whose cheers make me want to play hard.

We ended up losing the first game to Hooray for Ultimate, Hooray in our first game, which was in the second round. Yes, it's easy to say, "Well, we had a first round bye, they didn't" and "we were still on West Coast time," and any number of other excuses you want to bring, but the reality is they played better than we did. Yes, we had some odd, uncharacteristic turnovers (the one I recall most vividly was Mark dropping a disc on an in cut, uncovered, while still looking forward (i.e. not looking to throw before catching the disc, which is the cause of many uncharacteristic turnovers)). Yes, our energy was low. We lost.

We heard later, after Hooray had lost every other game today, that they said they played out of their minds against us. I like stories like that, where the underdog plays with such intensity and drive that they beat the expected winners. That's why you play the games, because you can never be completely sure of the victor.

My only memorable point in this game was when I was cutting deep to set up an in-cut, and had turned for the cut slightly too soon. Someone had thrown to Lyndsay along the sideline, with the throw it was slightly too far to the outside when she went up for it. The disc bounced off her somehow, and macked up. I adjusted my cut and caught the disc low, with my signature thunk. I turned to see Mark cutting deep at an angle toward the cone on the sideline I was on, his defender right on his inside hip. I put up a loopy forehand that was high and around his defender, which Mark caught seemingly effortlessly. DanO later told me that he was thinking, "No! Conservation of greatness!" when I made the throw, but, eh, know your receiver: Mark's awesome, he'll catch it. Mark did, then threw for the score. Everyone erupted from the sidelines for me.

Doyle did say I ran for a few steps with my arm outstretched, his thinking "Don't run with your arm outstretched! Get there then reach out!" Emily Biss used to catch that way, running with her arms outstretched. It looked funny. I hope I don't get into that habit.

Our next game was against the British National Team, which is going to Worlds. We won the game 15-10, with my only memory of the game being of a very tall Englishman commenting that we were an arrogant bunch after the team rushed the field chanting "I see red!". I have to admit that I sometimes feel uncomfortable when the team does this, especially when the team doesn't really need it to psych itself up. However, I don't mind enough to actually care one way or the other.

Our next game was with Slow White, our cross-country rival since 2006. During the game, in which I played maybe three points (but was QUITE happy with those three points), I started talking with another spectator on the sideline. He commented to me, while pointing to the Mischief seven on the line, "that team isn't well know for its spirit."

I responded with, "You mean, around here, because they beat that team," while pointing to the Slow White seven on the line. I was particularly annoyed by that man's comments, sure he had some connection to Slow White, as I watched the Slow White players spike the disc time and time again after they score. Okay, so, we may cheer "I see RED!" but we don't spike the disc our way to a 15-11 victory.

I did have to wonder, though, if, because Mischief was a top team, that we were becoming Donner-like. Were we the Donner Party of this tournament? Of course, that brought up the speculation that perhaps Donner wasn't as awful as I thought they were, that maybe I was just annoyed/frustrated/spiteful because they were the better team.

Of course, the Donner thought is not new to me.

Our last game was against Puppet Regime, and was also quite unmemorable. We won 13-10.

Tomorrow we play another three games, against Bashing Pinatas, Team Fisher Price, and AMP.

mischief track workout 080603

form running

2 sets 12 push ups
25 single leg calf raises
2 sets15 squat jumps

2 sets of 6x200m

cool down lap

Calstates 2008


Today was the first day of Calstates 2008, held, once again, at UC Santa Cruz. I had asked the various junta members if they needed me to go, as the signup sheet indicated there were five women on the list to go. I figured with only five, I'd have plenty of playing time, especially in the easier games.

Except I didn't know about the tryout signups.

Turns out, we arrived, and had 11 women the first game. The number didn't vary lower than 11, but was sometimes over 11.

I really didn't need to be here today.

Worse, I didn't need to be here, and I spent the whole day not going in. Not because I couldn't go in, not because I wasn't encouraged to go in. No, I didn't go in because I was feeling sorry for myself. I had, once again, let my expectations run away, and was frustrated by reality. Even when I had the opportunity to take the field, I opted to "play the next game, when there would be fewer women" (there never were), or "play the next half, when people are tired" (they never were, with so many of us), or "play the next game, as this was a 'tryouts-specific' game" (they all were). I didn't play because I didn't play, not because the team wouldn't let me, not because there weren't opportunities, not because I couldn't.

To say I'm annoyed with myself is an understatement. Big. Fat. Understatement.

When Kris left the team, he did a clean break. I'm almost wishing I had done the same. How much easier would it be to just walk away, find something else to fill my time?

But what?

Seriously. How do you replace an activity that has dominated your life for fifteen years? Can you walk away from that? Kris has, and has filled it with World of Warcraft quite successfully. I can't do that. I just can't.

Play or inspired by?


Seth Godin's mention of ultimate has me wondering if he's inspired to play, or has just heard of the Apple dominance of Google in ultimate.

I hope it's the former, because it means that ultimate will finally start coming into its own.

Of course, it's possible that he recognizes just how awesome ultimate is, and how wonderful life would be if the way ultimate is played could be applied to the real world. Take for example, foul-contest-do-over. You said I did something wrong. I contest your statement, believing I didn't do what you state I did. We have a do over, with the game reset back to before the offensive action happened. How much better would things be if we could really do that?

Why can't women huck?


So, I've been generating the thumbnails for the videos on the UPA's College Championship Series website. This oh-so-difficult task means I have to watch these videos (oh, the horror) of ultimate. Heaven forbid. Watch ultimate. Woe is me.

I've been watching these and each time I see one of the women players put a disc up, I can't help but think, "Good lord, woman, don't put it as high as long!"

Every time.

I mean, check out the women's division round three video. Both of the hucks are freaking HIGH.

What the heck is it that these women can't huck for crap? Is it that they need to put it high so that it floats longer, to allow teammates to get downfield? Is it biometrically easier to release a disc with the angle on it that makes it go up-up-up? Guys' hucks aren't normally this floaty. I think a guy would be ridiculed for a huck that looks like these do.

Am I just jealous that my forehand hucks were never more than 49 yards long? Could that be the problem or source of my criticism?

You know, that could be it.

But, geez, woman, put it flatter.



Went to pickup today. It was Mischief-sponsored pickup, so I certainly expected it to be high level. The wind, the gusty, blustery wind, that greeted me when I stepped out of the car was initially disappointing. The disappointment faded rapidly once I started throwing with Pickett: my throws were initially crazy, but smoothed out quickly. My throws, despite the wind, were no longer a concern.

Fitness and health quickly became a concern.

My sprints and other general activities have not kept me ultimate fit. Way not. The only way to truly be ultimate fit is to play ultimate, which I haven't been doing lately. Much at all, not even at the SCU practices. I've been trying to make sure the focus is on the individuals on the team, which means staying off the field so that I can watch. I do wish I could be playing with them.

I played for about an hour, then decided I was done. I played just fine, I think. I made a couple mistakes (sure, unsurprisingly), but I played much more aggressively than normally (where normal is last season, the season before, any time I'm in my head and not just playing). My first throw was a crap throw into the wind, but the rest of them were good enough. All of them were upfield. Even one I was fouled on was upfield and completed (perhaps I should pivot more? Yes, I should).

After playing for a while, I stopped to watch the games. Unsurprising to everyone, I started watching Andy play.

Also surprising to none, he played well. As cliche as it sounds, watching him play is a joy. He claims he's in shape but out of practice. I couldn't tell about the out-of-practice part. All of the throws I saw were well placed, well timed, well executed. Might of been I wasn't watching long enough, but he seemed to be playing very well.

Watching him reminded me of a conversation we had had recently. I had commented something to the effect that, well, I thought I would have done something great by now. Instead, I'm just me. I haven't done the Spectacular Feats I, as a child, teen, young adult and no-longer-young adult, thought I would do. Somehow, I felt more of a waste than a success or failure.

He said that many of us feel this way. We have double standards for ourselves, and expect Great Things from ourselves, while granting others a normal, average, completely ordinary life. Or, at least both of us do. I don't know, looking back on his ultimate career, hearing all the stories his teammates tell about him, spending time with him, I have to say he's done Great Things in ultimate. Might not be in science and technology where we went to school, but it's something.

Not that he said that. He said, sure, many of us have the expectation of greatness, but, "I'm not sure it's a reasonable one."

He went on. "It's important to be able to accept the world and yourself the way it is. Of course, that's a fine line because you also need to expect great things out of yourself before you can achieve them."

The word "expectations" has always seemed to be a stress inducing word to me. Others have expectations of you. You have expectations of yourself. Expectations of behavior. Expectations of this and expectations of that.

Somehow, Andy turned it around. I'm not sure how, but that last line of his seems to sum up my perception of him. He expects great things out of himself.

I like that idea. I like it very much.



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.

SCU women's workout

The email I sent to the SCU women's team for the season. We started late, so the workouts are cut short.

See also, the Special K workout.

Here's the season workout progression for the season I talked about at practice on Tuesday. We'll miss the last month of the workout (we should have started at the beginning of the year), but we'll still benefit greatly from starting now (like HUGE benefits!). The workouts become hard to the end, but the results are WAAAAAAY worth it.

There are three workouts a week, which should be done on days when we don't practice. If you can, run these in the morning (running in the morning will train your body to be ready to move in the morning at tournaments), though DOING the workout is more important than doing the workout in the morning.

The three workouts are: straight sprints, shuttle sprints and "long" distance running. I've put days in the workout (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday), but you should adjust the days to what works best for you.

IF YOU MISS A WORKOUT (travel, illness, finals, spring break, they happen), run a make up workout as soon as you can (within a few days of the scheduled day). If you cannot do a workout at all, skip the workout and continue with the schedule. If you skip two workouts in a row, don't skip the week, redo it.

IF YOU NEED MOTIVATION, lean on your teammates! Encourage each other. The team grows stronger as the individual teammates grow stronger! Failing that (bah, that will never happen, so I can make this offer...), send me an email. If I'm in town, I'll head down and run with you.

The straight sprints consist of multiples of 20m, 40m, 50m and 90m sprints. For each of these, sprint down as hard as you can. These are 95% sprints, not jogs, not runs, but SPRINTS! After ending the sprint, immediately turn around and jog back to the starting cone. This is a good jog, lift your knees, use your arms. When you're back at the starting cone, start your rest time.

The rest times between sprints are:

20 m = 25 seconds
40 m = 30 seconds
50 m = 45 seconds
90 m = 60 seconds

For the shuttle workouts, there are three types of runs: a stinker, a stinkette and a suicide (or I of pain, if you use that term). These runs are done so that you can FINISH the workout. You want to run as hard as you can (start the first ones at 70% in the beginning so that your final run's 100% time is the same as your first run's 70% time). Concentrate on form on the stops and starts.

For this workout, put markers (cones) at 0, 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 25m and 50 m.

A stinker is:

Start at the 0 cone, sprint 50m out and back 3 times in a row for a total of 300 m. If you are feeling really ambitious, do this in under 1 minute 5 seconds. Rest one and a half minutes afterwards. On the last one, pick up the 50m cone.

A stinkette is:

Start at the 0 cone, sprint to the 25m cone and back 6 times in a row for a total of 300 m. If you are feeling really ambitious, do this in under 1 minute 10 seconds. Rest one and a half minutes afterwards.

And a suicide is:

Start at the 0 cone, run 5m out and back, then increase to running 10m and back, 15m and back, 20m and back, and 25m out and back. Rest 25 seconds afterwards.

The workout schedule, 2/11/08 - late April

2/11/08 Monday
  7x20, 5x40, 3x50, 3x90

2/13/08 Wednesday
  1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 3 suicides

2/16/08 Saturday
  2 mile run

2/18/08 Monday
  7x20, 5x40, 3x50, 3x90

2/20/08 Wednesday
  1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 3 suicides

2/23/08 Saturday
  2 mile run

2/25/08 Monday
  7x20, 5x40, 4x50, 4x90

2/27/08 Wednesday
  1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

3/01/08 Saturday
  2.5 mile run

3/03/08 Monday
  8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

3/05/08 Wednesday
  1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

3/08/08 Saturday
  2.5 mile run

3/10/08 Monday
  8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

3/12/08 Wednesday
  1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

3/16/08 Saturday
  2.5 mile run

3/17/08 Monday
  8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

3/19/08 Wednesday
  1 stinker, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

3/22/08 Saturday
  3 mile run

3/24/08 Monday
  9x20, 7x40, 5x50, 5x90

3/26/08 Wednesday
  1 stinker, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

3/29/08 Saturday
  3 mile run

3/31/08 Monday
  9x20, 7x40, 5x50, 5x90

4/2/08 Wednesday
  1 stinker, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

4/5/08 Saturday
  3 mile run

4/7/08 Monday
  10x20, 8x40, 5x50, 5x90

4/9/08 Wednesday
  1.5 stinkers, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

4/12/08 Saturday *sectionals
  3 mile run

4/14/08 Monday
  10x20, 8x40, 6x50, 6x90

4/16/08 Wednesday
  1.5 stinkers, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

4/19/08 Saturday
  3 mile run

Regionals are April 26-27. Plan on attending Regionals (we made it last year!).

4/21/08 Monday
  12x20, 8x40, 6x50, 6x90

4/23/08 Wednesday
  1.5 stinkers, 3 stinkettes, 6 suicides

4/26/08 Saturday *Regionals
  3 mile run

4/28/08 Monday
  14x20, 9x40, 7x50, 7x90

If you want the rest of the workout (what I'll be running, since my season starts in April), the rest of the workout is:

4/30/08 Wednesday
  2 stinkers, 4 stinkettes, 6 suicides

5/03/08 Saturday
  3 mile run

5/05/08 Monday
  14x20, 9x40, 7x50, 7x90

5/07/08 Wednesday
  2 stinkers, 4 stinkettes, 7 suicides

5/10/08 Saturday
  3 mile run

5/12/08 Monday
  16x20, 10x40, 8x50, 8x90

5/14/08 Wednesday
  2 stinkers, 4 stinkettes, 7 suicides

5/17/08 Saturday
  3 mile run

Maintenance: repeat or increase the last week, as needed. The maximum runs should be:

20x20, 15x40, 10x50, 10x90
4 stinkers, 6 stinkettes, 10 suicides