Friday, October 29, 2010

cross country coaching and Seminole heartbreakers

You may not be able to tell from my gruff exterior, but I am a sentimental guy.  I have had a lot of fun working with the Raleigh Charter high school cross country boys and girls teams.  It is a large time investment but worth it in terms of seeing young athletes improve and learn more about running/athletic training.

Tomorrow is our Regional championship meet in Burgaw (coastal NC), and next week is the State championship meet, provided we make top 4 in the region.  The kids have really put in some solid training over the last few weeks - I had them on a structured program and we're now in full tapering phase for the last 2 races.

Can you tell which one I am?

In other news, the Seminoles lost a close game to NC State last night here in Raleigh.  We fumbled with 1 minute to go and the ball on the NC State 4 yard line.  Ouch.

They all play better than me, but there are instances where I think my grandmother could play better than them.  Anyway, we went to the game courtesy of one of my athletes, a NC State grad, and had a good time.  Here are a couple pics that Bri did not post on her blog:

Sigma Chi pledge brother (1990) Bill Kopelman and I

"Who is that dirty old bald man taking our picture?"

Prime time, baby!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Last clinic of 2010

Today we ran our final Powerstroke clinic of the year at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary.  We had a number of athletes attend from out of state for this one so I made sure to drink an extra cup of coffee this morning. :) 

Everything went well.  Bri is a trooper.  She works hard all week and then I put her to work with more on Saturday.  Then she continues on with coaching on Sundays as well.  I decided to write her a check this time if only for show (since what's mine is hers anyway). 

I would write more but am marble-mouthed and -brained after talking for four hours straight.

We will post the Powerstroke and open water clinic schedules for next year sometime in December.

In other news, I just read that one of the United States best open water swimmers, Fran Crippen, passed away during a 10k race in the Middle East today.  Tragic.  He was a big proponent/fan of open water swimming and a great athlete.  You can read more here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

French pension & retirement reforms

Someone over in France realized that if everyone sits around drinking coffee, there will be no one left to serve the sugar and cream.

So the French have revolted and are tearing up the country because: "That's not fair.  Everyone deserves to sit around and drink coffee and make disparaging comments about strangers."  

Pension reform
Union strikes
Vacation/work hours in France

Never let logic and rational thought get in the way of a good dust up.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

AC half-marathon

I did much better in the AC half marathon then I did at poker at the Taj, that is for sure.  Poker is a combination of skill, practice, and luck, whereas running is pretty much just skill/practice.  I did not really do well with the cards, but my Dad, aka "The professional," made it to the final table in our Saturday daytime tournament and finished 2nd, pulling down a few hundred clams.  He is very good but he also plays a lot and reads books on the game.  I am a simple dilettante.

Sunday morning greeted us runners with clear, cool skies and little wind, which was nice since it can howl up on the shore sometimes.  My goal was to finish strong and feeling good and I managed to make it happen.  3 miles splits were:

21:40
21:35
21:17
20:15 or so (the 12 mile mark was not clear to me)

We hit the boards at mile 8 and I was feeling good, so I started pushing my effort.


I finished with "a big kick" (for me that is slightly faster than whatever I was doing before) final half mile and crossed in 1:32.34, which is the fastest I've run the distance since May, 2007.  So not too shabby and I really enjoyed the run.  Wound up with 15 since I jogged to and from the start.  Legs are now tired.

The end.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Micro and macro economics

Wouldn't it be nice if all you had to worry about every day was punching the clock from 8 to 5 and then figuring out what to do with the rest of your time?   The industrialized economy of the United States had us there for a few decades, but those times are becoming a thing of the past.  Factory work and manufacturing used to make up the backbone of our middle class.  Almost all gone overseas to countries that now sell things we invented (cars, planes, TVs, computers, etc) back to us.  Goodbye jobs, goodbye dollar.

The bulk of mankind's history is a long story of uber-wealthy ruling over a large group of peasants, with a few well to do merchants thrown in the mix.  As a nation, we are headed down this road again.

In dealing with your job or business, you have to worry about a number of things - from making sure you do a good job for your boss, to finding new clients/business.  If you work for someone else there is a constant small background fear of being replaced or downsized or outsourced.   Anyone owning a small business has a myriad of other micro- factors to worry about.  This set of challenges is difficult, hence 50-60% of new small businesses are shuttered within five years.   So if you are your own boss, you have a 1 in 2 chance of surviving more than 5 years.  You can adjust this for your knowledge base, industry and expertise, but the odds are already not great.

Now since this is not challenging enough, you have to look at the world from a macro- standpoint.  War, famine, union strikes, deficit spending, inflation/deflation hedging, commodity and asset prices, tax policy, and so on.   Not only do you need to worry about the new competing service or product that Joe Sixpack down the street has started offering, you have to bear in mind the long term consequences of health care reform's impact to your bottom line.  You have to proactively seek out new products and services to offer as the old ones grow stale or lose customer value.  You can never sit still and relax.  If you do, the sharks will eat you.

You're also supposed to save for retirement in an environment that could be labeled "risk/reward model dependent" by some or "completely lacking transparency and a total ripoff" by others.

And you have to remain positive and retain a modicum of belief in your economic system, or fight to improve/change that system, otherwise it is time to head to the mountains with a shotgun and wait for the zombie apocalypse

What is money?  Money is a symbol of value that can coordinate/facilitate the exchange of goods and services a group of people can agree on.  A US dollar (at the time of this writing) equals 6 chicken eggs or so.  1 dollar also equals about 1/4lb of ground beef.  Hence 6 chicken eggs equals 1/4 lb of ground chuck.   A videotaped hour swim lesson with me is worth about 450 eggs.  Don't bring those to the pool.  The "money" makes it easier to conduct the transaction.

Now imagine some idiot government prints so many dollars they would not only buy all the eggs ever laid on the planet, it would buy all the chickens and cows and horses and goats, too.  It might make you question the actual assigned value of that dollar.  Maybe it is no longer worth 6 eggs.  Maybe it is worth 1/6 of one egg.  Maybe .000006 of one egg.

Now keep that in the back of your mind when you do your 3 Ps marketing analysis

Have a nice day.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

last open water clinic for 2010

Bri and I ran our last open water swim clinic for 2010 this morning.  We had a smaller group than the past couple of times and all went well.   It is good to see people make some connections and progress in the sport they have chosen.  Open water swimming can be intimidating and we have developed a good curriculum for these.

That was our 9th clinic of the year.  We have one more Powerstroke clinic planned for October 23 here in Cary at the Triangle Aquatic Center. 

Here is Bri during her lecture this morning:

video

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Driving hours & 2011 triathlon plans

I am motivated for the fall/winter running season but already looking ahead for 2011.  Like I wrote in a previous post, there will be nothing more than 4 hour drive. 

We did a quick calculation on how much driving I did this year (strictly for trips) and it worked out to be about 120 hours.  That's three work-weeks of driving.  Way too much. 

Onto next season:
April - NC State Centennial Campus sprint
May - White Lake sprint
May - Battle at Buckhorn Sprint
June - Breezy Point Sprint (VA)
June - Kure Beach Double Sprint
July - Triangle Triathlon
August - Lake Logan olympic
early Sept - maybe a half-IM or another sprint
September - Wilmington YMCA sprint
October - Emerald Isle Sprint

That's 10 triathlons, with a couple extra possibilities to throw in.  I will do 5 NCTS races since I am going to be racing in the masters category next year.  Can you believe it?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What a day

What a day.  I got up at 545 and got to the Wake Med soccer park by 6:15 to set up a tent for my cross country team for the Great American XC festival, and then get ready to run the open 5k at 7:30.  Here is how my day went:

630AM pick a spot and set up tent at race site
700AM warm up
730: run the open 5k with 80 other people
749.32 finish the open 5k
800 start collecting runners and handing out chips, coaching instructions, general chaos management
930 call Bri for emergency breakfast drop-off
1030 accept emergency breakfast drop-off
130pm finish coaching(10 PRs & 7 season bests out of 22)
200 get Bri to meet friends for lunch
430 triathlon clinic led by Bri at Jordan Lake
530 leave Jordan Lake
600 out to dinner with athlete/friends
800 home to work on schedules and other stuff
1030 blog update