Tag Archives: sports

Lap by Lap Mile

8 Aug

Actually, it’s all about the 200 m (half lap) splits.  And it’s imperative to be able to float.  Which is a fancy way of saying a stop of acceleration and just maintaining the speed that has already been built up.  I’m still trying to learn to do it–it’s a pretty difficult thing.  Mostly, I accelerate, then just try to relax when I’m attempting to float, but I know I’m slowing when I do–so there’s more work to be done.  Anyway, my time-goals are:

1 mile = sub 6 min

800 m (2 laps) = 2 min

400 m (1 lap) = sub 1 min

200 m 30 sec

The mile advice, per some running site:

  • Pre-race: Warm up. Do a few paced sprints to get your heart rate up. Mentally go through the race in your head. Know what times you want to have at each lap.
  • Lap 1: You’ll want to start out a little faster than what is necessary to get your target time. The fact of the matter is that psychologically, you’re going to slow down as you get further into the mile, so make sure this one is good to compensate. Keep in mind, though, you don’t want to spend it all on this lap. A good example would be, if you want to run a 5:00 mile, each lap would need to be 75 seconds. A good time for your first lap would be 71-73; not too fast, but fast enough to give you some slack.
  • Lap 2: Fall into pace. This is where those 400 meter intervals you worked on will come in handy; know what it feels like to run the pace you need to run. This is the lap which should be right on target. In the 5:00 minute mile we mentioned earlier, THIS is the lap which should be exactly 75 seconds, so your time at the halfway point should be 2:26-2:28. Your adrenaline rush will probably start to wear off midway through this one, and you’ll start feeling it, but focus on your running form and keeping the pace.
  • Lap 3: Mentally and physically, this is the toughest lap for most people. More often than not, this is the one which will determine if you get your target time or not. Chances are, you will slow down from your original pace. In our 5:00 mile example, most people will run from about 77-78 seconds. However, since the first lap was hopefully strong, this puts us almost perfectly at 3:45, which is exactly on target. Nonetheless, it is important to make a conscious effort to keep pace on this lap, or else you will fall behind. Remember, your next lap is the last one!
  • Lap 4: This is it. You’re almost there. That’s what you need to be telling yourself at this point. You probably slowed down on your previous lap, so you need to really strut your stuff on this one and mentally push it to get to that time. Especially important is the last 200 meters- on most tracks, that’s the final curve. This is where you “kick.” All that can be said about this lap is that you need to mentally give it your all, and you’ll make that target time.

And it’s true–I finally figured out how to take my splits.  Here are some of my (older now) numbers:

1st lap = 1:46.5

2nd lap = 2:11.9

3rd lap = 2:15.8

4th lap = 2:08.1

But I haven’t run the whole mile straight through for over a week.  I figure some interval training on the splits will improve my speed.  So one day I did 400 m with 200m of rest in between.  Another day I did 6-8 200 m sprints with 100 m of walking in between.  Today, I did a pyramid workout:  200 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, 400 m, 200 m, 200m with a full lap of rest in between so my times were equal or better.

I always feel disappointed and like I’m not pushing myself hard enough while I’m running.  Then, I’m surprised (on most occasions) when I get home and evaluate the splits.  So I guess the mental strength is still an issue.  How frustrating.  I need to PUSH myself.

Cheerleading Safety

2 Aug

I see the cool cheerleading feats now and instead of being impressed I worry

No spotter. What if she falls (which could easily happen) ???

about safety. Especially for younger girls doing these activities at a school, without an appropriate or knowledgeable supervisor.  Don’t accuse me of being a stick in the mud–of course I am as amazed as anyone when I see a tick-tock lib (look it up on YouTube) or a triple high pyramid with people flipping on and off of it.  And of course the tumbling passes are riveting.  Who doesn’t love to watch the human body doing crazily impossible things?  That stuff is exciting and impressive.  And I wish I could do it.  And I’m certainly not suggesting that stunting and tumbling should be banned from cheerleading all-together.  But it should be done with more care under (better/any) supervision of someone who knows HOW to do it–and what to do if something does go wrong.

I totally wish I could do awesome partner stunts and pyramids.  But, again, in a safe, controlled environment with someone (who knows what they are doing) guiding me.  And an emergency plan.  Injuries abound, and they can be some of the worst.  I think everyone has seen that back spotter’s teeth get knocked out with just one wrong flick of the flyer’s

elbow.  Paralysis.  Neck and head trauma.  And of course the normal knee, ankle, shoulder injuries.  Pretty horrid stuff.

Coaches are hard to find, and educated in stunting technique–nearly impossible.  At the high school level you mostly get teachers and parents in there–and they dunno.  And the lower levels (elementary, middle school, and Pop Warner) are worse off, because they get even less nominal pay.  If any.  Colleges at least adhere to safety standards more since they have to follow strict rules–and are regulated much more in doing so.  Professional cheer is less about stunting and jumping and more about dancing with your parts hanging out while waving tiny poms–so no worries about injury there.  Unless you count sunburns in weird places. . .  The cheer gyms are probably the worst culprit for injury.  They cost a TON of money to join, demand rigorous over-training, and want to win competitions by whatever means necessary.  They just push too hard.  They just want bigger and better stunts, tumbles, and partnering–to the detriment of the participants’ body.

And the major problem is that younger girls are watching them.  And wanting to imitate them.  Even

head too low again–and where are the spotters?

though they do not have the background, coaching, or technical skill to do so.  And they don’t have enough practice time in the world to perfect those high-difficulty level skills.  Nor do those skills follow high school sports safety standards.  So when I see videos and pictures of awesome feats all I do is

midriff-bearing shells, really? Are you kidding me?

wonder who is going to get hurt and how badly as a result.

Oh, and don’t get me started on young babies decked out in sparse cheer gear doing crazy stunts with no spotters.  I think it’s as creepy and inappropriate as it gets.  I’m looking at you, Texas and stage moms.

Learning Style

23 Apr

You can tell from the following how busy I am, and how tired of the sleep–>study–>work–>sleep that is my life right now.  This post is kind of all over the place–sorry ’bout that.  But I suppose it proves my point of what learning style I am–and provides you some entertaining reading material.  Just 10 more days until my big final.  And only 3 until work returns to normal.  So it can’t be too much longer until my posts become more consistent.  I can do it!

You’ve probably heard that there are different learning styles.  Anyone trying to educate knows to accommodate visual and auditory learners.  But did you know there’s a third learning style?  It’s kinesthetic/tactile.  Ugh–does anyone know how to spell that word?  It shows my point exactly.  No one knows how to spell it, because it is the forgotten one–learning based on movement.

And in all my years of schooling, I never realized that was my style.  I knew I wasn’t really an auditory learner.  And visual fit me only so much.  In my younger years I HATED (boring, tedious, detail-oriented, dry, slow) math so much that I didn’t realize the act of writing down and solving problems was actually the best way for me to remember how to do them.  And I was so busy writing out physics, biochem, genetics kind of stuff (in front of the TV no less) that I didn’t know it was the act of physically writing the information that was helping me test so well in those subjects.

It was my own animal anatomy self-study (for vet school at Saint George’s) that first clued me partially into the act of writing and drawing the info to recall it better.  I found that staring at pictures and labels was not all that helpful–especially when there was such a high volume of material!  I did better if I looked at the labeled picture, and then tried to draw it from memory.  And then “corrected” my own picture.  I could visualize my own labeled pictures and remember the corrections much more readily than any notes I was looking at.  But I still wasn’t really clued in to my learning style because I didn’t know it existed.

The GRE demanded writing a lot of things out, so that didn’t really clue me in either.  It was this current class that really got me thinking.  I read my notes, then re-wrote them from memory.  Which also helped the pesky problem of order and organization of notes.  In undergrad, it would seriously bother me if my professor (practically every animal science prof!) just jotted notes all sloppy, or skipped around in information, or forced me to cross things out or draw arrows to forgotten info, all ugly.  I could barely LOOK at such sloppy notes, let alone study them.  And sometimes I would re-copy them, but never from memory–just look at the ugly, and write them neater.  I guess a little OCD snuck in there to impede me every now and again.

In this particular class, there were no pictures to know and no problems to solve.  It didn’t require writing anything out at all, and it was the first time I had studied this way.  And it was sooooooooo much easier.  Not to mention my notes are organized in a way I like, and look nice too.  When I mentioned to my mom (best teacher in the world) that the physical act of writing things seemed to help me learn best, she said that was a kinethetic learning style.  I guess she’d known of it all along.

I tried to take some learning style quizzes online to confirm this, but the results aren’t all that accurate.  Mostly because I’m also an introvert with an attention span.  I guess most kinesthetic learners can’t hold still, aren’t able to pay attention, and like a lot of group work.  And they prefer to mulitask, listen to music while they learn, or otherwise pull their brain in another direction.  The last totally describes me, but the other factors really don’t.  But I know I’m a kinesthetic learner.  And I guess it makes sense–I don’t think I act out (maybe I did when I was younger?) but I would hate to be chained to a desk all day.  I like sports and being active.  My best memories of school were when we got to go outside to read or of doing creative projects.  And though I have always talked too much, I never have liked group work.  When it comes to my grades–I want to be in control of them, not dependent on other people–especially in college!  Blending 2 busy schedules?  Nearly impossible.

Tactile learning is the most random, underrepresented, and un-accomodated type too–of course.  I only wish I had known this when I took a billion chemistry credits (stupid reagents) or for animal nutrition (a class I should have done way better in, because I am very interested in the subject matter).

There are 3 learning style catagories, each scored 12-60 points.

Visual = 36

Auditory = 33

Kinethetic/Tactile = 37

That’s all–back to studying. . .  Maybe a new post soon.

Wii and Bee

13 Apr

That’s beer–in the language that evolved for our cats. Chair = Chay; tail = tay; she = see. Does anyone else do that? I’ll find myself using the Meow-eeze language with real people and they look at me as if I’m crazy. Now that I’m in Speech & Hearing Sciences this type of creativeness/butchoring is probably not all that acceptable. . .

This isn’t a post about the language of cats though. I thought it was an appropriate post for a Friday night.  Well, it’s not like I get Saturdays off or anything, but it seems the world sees Friday as a fun night.  So I’m going with it.

This is my observation of how quickly alcohol can compromise your (at least mine and Cool’s) motor skills. After just 3/4 of a beer, I won’t be able to do the one-footed Wii-Yoga poses or single-foot Wii-strength exercises anymore.  This isn’t to say that I’m not plenty shaky at the one-footers stone sober, but things get dramatically worse once I’ve had ANY alcohol.  I never knew before, but even after one beer I would difinitity NOT pass the physical sobriety test.

I find this VERY scary, and really relevant to buzzed/drunk driving.  A lot of people seem to think just one beer does not impair them enough to forgo driving home.  And I’ve heard plenty of really fucking stupid-ass people say being drunk makes them drive better.  Like I said, really dumb.  And obviously not true.  It’s those idiots that are going to kill other, innocent drivers.  But I hope not.

But this post isn’t aimed at knowingly belligerently drunk people.  This is aimed at anyone and everyone who says–“I’ve had just one.”  “It’s ONLY beer.”  “Oh, my last drink was more than an hour ago.”  Or–“Well I ate a big meal with the alcohol.”  The implication–I’m OK enough to drive.  These are scary misconceptions.  Even a partial beer can impair motor skills enough that you should not operate heavy equipment.  So you already know it, you’re heard it over and over, but honestly there is NO safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed prior to driving.  Zero.

Or I suppose do some vigorous exercise first.  That is the ONLY proven way to sober up.  Exercise speeds your metabolism and works the alcohol through your system faster.  And all other science-ee, technical nutritional and health factoids that I’m too lazy to check my facts on or write out.  But you would really have to sweat it out for that to work. . .

Olympic Cynicism

27 Dec

So everyone know those Chinese gymnasts are waaay below the minimum age limit allowed.  It’s not fair, and one day we’ll all read how their Asian government doctored their birth certificates and they were really 8 and 10 year olds.  But, even more sinister is (maybe prevalent) steroid use.  After reading a book about The German Doping Scandal, where German (swimming) athletes were (sometimes unknowingly) given steroids that enhanced performance at the detriment of overall health, and a book about BALCO, the company that gave sprinter Marion Jones and baseball (anti)hero Barry Bonds steroid injections, I just can’t help but think the worst about athletes.

I LOVE watching the Olympics.  I have the greatest sense of pride when I watch the competitors.  And when I hear our national anthem it sometimes moves me to tears.  Even when the great performances are not from Americans, I highly respect the athletic prowess, determination, and loyalty to sport required to make it.

And I used to trust in the Olympic drug testing.  But with incidents like Marion Jones, how can you?  Obviously, just like in every other arena (theft, drug-trafficking, etc) the criminals are ahead of science and regulators.  So now when I watch an incredible act of athleticism, instead of thinking how talented the person is, I wonder how long before they are caught cheating.  It almost ruins the whole thing for me.

I just know Usain Bolt, with his show-boating and seeming ease in the sprints, was on steroids. Maybe when science catches up with the criminals or when someone gets caught or steps forward, we’ll hear about it.  And certainly, I want to believe in Michael Phelps.  Eff those dirty “athletes” for casting the shadow of doubt over the true champions.  Phelps is perhaps the greatest athlete of all time–a real hero–despite weed indiscretion and obvious lack of intelligence (more on this later).  Feats such as his are so magical they are difficult to believe. I hope talent like that exists without the enhancement of illegal drugs, but who’s to know?

Shame on the people that damage the integrity of the games by taking illegal substances to enhance their performance.  Fans of sport such as myself should never have to wonder if the incredible speed, strength, agility, or endurance we are witnessing are for real.  Putting a question mark in the equation adds the seed of doubt to the whole fanfare.  The dirty “athletes” should be completely ashamed of themselves!

Pole Vault Posse’

2 Dec

I miss pole vaulting so much!  I wish it was a lifelong sport, and didn’t require all sorts of expensive equipment and safety amenities.  If I had means to buy or borrow a pole I would at the very least go to some PV camp or clinic–but alas I just have to advertise my love for the sport through clothing.

I couldn’t really find anything I liked though.  The cute slogans were on pretty ugly colored shirts, or looked cheap and like they wouldn’t hold their shape.  So maybe I’ll try my hand at designing my own shirt, hoodie, or hat. . .  Here are some of the phrases I liked (in order from most to least, I’m pretty sure):


I Vault.  What’s your superpower?

Vault:  keep raising the bar

Why Run?  When you can fly?

Life’s a climb–pole vaulters just get there faster

Chicks with Sticks

In some states it’s ILLEGAL to get this high

Pole Vault:  I can jump higher than you

Life is an event.  Pole Vault is serious.

Danger:  High Vaultage

The Plan

27 Nov

My Goals:

Prepare for Vet Interview
–read current events
–have books and interests ready
–go over app
–go over MU interview Q&A
–visit Pullman

Get AuD applications in
–organize deadlines
–work on essay
–req transcripts
–req GRE scores
–req/edit letters of recommendation
–observe in field
–read Audiology book
–take a class to prepare

Get ready for a Triathlon
–make a gym schedule
–find all supplies for race
–stick to workout sched

Black Sox and the NBA

26 Nov



I read about how the NBA finally settled their financial dispute and will start their season on Christmas.  What an ironic day.  But before you judge the players as greedy (which of course they are, but with good reason) and lose interest b/c of the money, read about The Black Sox. There are plenty of books about their scandal and plight.  If you don’t know, they were the baseball team that threw the game for gamblers.

Those guys, back in the depression era were barely making enough money to feed their families.  They had restrictive schedules and many hard-core rules to adhere to.  While the fat-cat owners were living high on the hog.  Even the gamblers (with their swindling and graft) were making boat-loads more money then the professional players the fans were paying to see.  It’s no one the players committed a desperate act.  That blemished history, and began the tarnish on America’s formerly beloved sport of baseball.

The NBA players are hardly starving.  Yes, the players make more money then most people do in a lifetime. Their figures are wildly inflated and scary. As are actors, directors, and celebrities of all kinds.  I am not saying they need more money.  But we’re talking about percentages here.  Don’t think of it as having to make MORE money to give the greedy guys a bigger paycheck.  Think of this as them fighting for what percentage of the money they are already bringing in.  In the past, owners made for an example, 98% of money fans paid to watch the games, while the players got just 2%.  Is that fair?  I don’t think so.  So now the players will get about half.  I think that is acceptable.

But, but but–do you have any idea how much team owners make? They easily make time times the amount the players (doing all the work) garner. The players are at least earning that income by attending practice, a rigorous game schedule, and maintinging their bodies during the off-season. After some overhead costs, owners are just raking in the dough–that the players are bringing in. So it really is fair the people doing the work, bringing in those fans.


Lesbian in Sport

10 Nov

In light of the Penn State pedophilia scandal involving Joe Paterno, I was reminded of another scandal of a sexual nature.  The women’s basketball coach, Rene Portland (taken under good ‘ol boy Joe Paterno’s wing) is notorious for being homophobic.  She has made it clear that there are three rules:  No drinking, no drugs, and no. . .  Lesbians.

Her harassment went way beyond just coaching.  Each woman on the team lived in fear she would be accused of getting too intimate with other women.  She would bench suspected lesbians, preclude her team from talking to lesbians, and she revoked scholarships because she thought girls were living alternative lifestyles.

Penn State looked the other way, because Joe Paterno respected Rene Portland, because she coached winning teams, and they handed her accolades instead of calling her on the carpet (no pun intended).  For all the dirty deets and the whole sordid story, check out the excellent documentary “Training Rules.”  Here is the trailer:

“Training Rules” Rene Portland, Penn St.

Non-Professional Sports as Work?

18 Oct

-I love Sports

–participated in sports during school

—show and competitive clogging from 2nd-10th grades

—from 7th grade up school sports

—awarded Presidential Physical Fitness as freshmen

—11 of 12 sports in HS

—Varsity letters/pins 8(?) times

—captain 5 times

—good placement in pole vault

—co-ed softball champions at UNR

-Sports taught me important life lessons





–losing gracefully

–making and accomplishing a goal

-Am concerned about health in America

–obesity problem

—especially in kids

–diabetes runs in my family

-Have a strong science background

–pre-vet classes

—A in Physics II and biochem

—chem minor

–work in hospital setting

—evaluated lameness in animals (horses especially)

-Work with People/Communication

–from previous career blog entries