Monday, October 6, 2014

Weekend Update: Army Wins & Hannah Sings!

I don’t know about you, but my weekend was great.  It started Friday when I survived two near misses on my bike.  Both times trucks tried to put me into a line of parked cars along the side of the street, and both times I was able to dodge out of the way.  In the words of the immortal Hines Ward, “I always keep my head on a swivel.”
Friday night was pretty relaxed.  We ordered pizza, and eventually Sally, Hannah, and Emma went over to a friend’s house to do whatever it is that girls do when they go out.  I stayed home and watched TV, and then when Emma got home, the two of us caught up on the premier of Star Wars: Rebels.  We all still made it to bed by about ten.

I got up Saturday morning for triathlon practice.  My buddy Ben and I put in 1000 yards of relaxed swimming, and then we went out and ran an easy 5k.  My goal was to hold my heart rate under 148, and I thought that was going to be tough.  In fact, it was very easy.  We ran miles of 9:45, 10:00, and then 9:22.  For the first two miles, my heart rate was actually quite a bit lower than I meant it to be, so we leaned into the last mile, and I felt good doing it.  In another month, I expect that my aerobic pace will be well under 9:00/mile.
After tri practice, Emma and I took Hannah to ice skating while Sally went to some weird fitness instructor-training with her friend and boss Alisha.  Sally has been teaching various kinds of strength and conditioning classes for the past year, mostly focused on water aerobics.  But she doesn’t just teach in the water, and indeed, Alisha wants her to start teaching Bar Fitness, using a ballet dancer’s bar.  I honestly don’t know anything about it, but I’d like to get my tri club to take the class, just to broaden our knowledge of strength and conditioning techniques.  Anyway, I don’t know what all that class entailed, but both Sally and Alisha more-or-less collapsed after they finished.  Considering that they are both in magnificent shape, it must have been some class.

While Sally was at class, the kids and I were at home preparing for the Army game.  Army kicked off at noon, and my buddy Keith and his daughters came over around 1 pm.

If you didn’t see it, the game was glorious.  Army’s offense established the Fullback Dive early, and they ran downhill the whole game.  Coach Jeff Monken started AJ Shurr at quarterback, but the game was played in a driving rainstorm, and Monken pulled Shurr for Angel Santiago after about a quarter of play.  I was delighted.  Shurr has the better arm, and in the future, I imagine that he is more the kind of quarterback that Monken is looking to put on the field.  But Santiago is a gladiator.  He may not have breakaway speed, but he is utterly fearless, and he can cut on a dime.  With the Fullback Dive established, Santiago started taking balls outside, and after burning Ball State with a long pitch-play, Ball started covering the Dive and the Pitch closely.  This left Santiago with room to keep the ball in the middle of the field, and he absolutely made the most of it.  You just don’t see Division I college quarterbacks cutting inside to lower the boom on opposing tacklers, but man, Santiago did it time and time again.  He had several runs where he physically shed tacklers and plunged downfield for long gains.
Seriously, I love watching that guy play.
The defense was also better.  They again played well in the first half and then struggled late, but Army came up with a key interception to win the game, and in the end, the entire team’s performance was very impressive.  
They’ll need to be.  I watched some of Navy at Air Force afterwards, and holy crap, that Air Force team looks good.  Air Force’s defense is big and aggressive, and their offense is a decidedly aerial version of the triple-option.  They didn’t run the pitch outside so much as they would fake the Dive and then throw to a receiver, trying to get a man open in space on the outside.  When I watched, that was working with good results.
After football, Sally and the girls and I went out for Hannah’s birthday dinner.  We went to a local Italian place, and everybody had pasta.  After that, we came home, and I think everybody went more-or-less straight to bed.
I got up early Sunday morning to go run and discovered that we’ve finally hit Fall weather.  Although the sun was out when I left the house, the temperature hovered at around 42-degrees.  This was the first time in months that I’ve run in a long-sleeved t-shirt and stocking cap.
On Saturday, my goal had been to run at a specific heart rate and see how that affected my pace.  I did the reverse Sunday, deciding instead to hold a 9:30/mile pace and run comfortably to see what that did for my heart.  It turned out that this was a better way to go.  I ran easy for the first mile and then slowly accelerated, winding up with an average pace of 9:22/mile for a total of 3.3 miles.  This is still not blazing fast, of course, but that’s not the goal.  Towards the end of the run, I was holding a very steady, very easy pace of just over 9:00/mile, still well under my 80% heart rate threshold of approximately 148 beats/minute.  By the end of the run, I was really feeling it, and I closed out the last two tenths of a mile at a hard clip, accelerating first to my 5K pace and then to a flat out sprint.  That last .3 miles averaged 7:15/mile pace.  
My ankle was a little sore afterwards, though, so while that slice of uptempo work was awesome, I will now need to let myself recover very carefully.  Ugh.
If you’re playing the “Train with Dan” triathlon home-game, here’s the plan for the coming week:
  • Monday: Commute Ride + easy 2-mile run
  • Tuesday: Commute Ride + 2000 yard swim (aerobic pace)
  • Wednesday: Commute Ride + 30-minute run
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Commute Ride
  • Saturday: Off.  Army vs. Rice at Michie Stadium
  • Sunday: 5 mile run

If my math is correct, and this all works as planned, it ought to be about a 110 point week.
While I was running, Sally made apple pancakes.  Then we went to church, and after that, we headed over to our friends’ house for a Rockobterfest party.  That was a fun party.  My buddy has redone his basement to look like an Irish pub, and he and some of his friends were down there jamming for most of the afternoon.  Hannah and I went to watch them, and let me tell you, Hannah found her people down there.  I eventually asked if Gabe and company knew anything that an eleven-year-old could sing, and the result was this folk version of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”.
Gabe's basement is done up as an Irish Pub.  He calls it McCool's pub.
I'll put the video up as soon as I can get it onto YouTube.
We had some technical problems last night.
That’s a fantastic little piece.  It took Gabe maybe fifteen minutes to come up with that pacing for the song and teach it to Hannah, and after that she was right on time and in-key.  I’m not gonna lie; I was grooving to it.
The Giants won, but I didn’t see the game.  The Chargers won, but Emma and I turned that off because it was such a stomping.  Eventually, Emma and Hannah sat down and watched “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” while Sally and I started readying the house and ourselves for the coming week.
And that was my weekend.  How was yours?

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