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Remylive
10-04-2012, 01:03 PM
In an effort to get some interest on this board, I thought I'd write a few entries about my own team this season. As a coach I always feel like we're isolated sometimes and love to hear how other coaches handle the issues that arise from time to time. Anyways I guess this will read as a diary/ blog of the in's and out's of the Saugus program, as it pertains to the varsity girls training group, for about a week or so. Feel free to chime in, otherwise it's going to be a lonely message board talking to myself, Jay Stepp and Gardner...

THE STORY SO FAR
Yesterday the weather finally broke (90-degrees) and we were able to get in a good tempo run with some 200's afterward. I was happy because it's the best we've looked as a team all season in a single workout. I should add that we have one of our top returners sidelined with injury and another just a few weeks back to running. The plan is to run 20-80 minutes today all at the park over the new course we have here in town. We have our second cluster a week from today and need to learn it. We run just about all our runs on time and I like to have a wide amount to accommodate everyone (even in a varsity only group). Some need more, others much less.

We were originally scheduled to race at the Clovis Invitational Saturday (our fist time there in 4-years) but because of my family situation (3-month old twins) and new boys coaches (George Serrano and Jose Flores) we cancelled and instead have entered the Central Park Invitational. I'm excited because I ran my first high school XC race here back in 1991 at the Sunset in the Park meet. Later in college I ran the 8k version here and think the course is fair. We're only bringing our top 50-athletes and hope to run hard and see where we're at. Plus we'll get to see Jay Stepp and the Yucca team. Maybe I'll get lucky and Jay will BBQ a burger for me :).

Because of the SAT one of our top 7 will not be running, so I decided to make the decision and put a freshman on the varsity team. This will be the first time since 2008 a freshman has run in any kind of varsity race for us. She's a great kid, and I think the experience will help her in the years to come, just as it helped a sophomore kid like myself to love Cross-Country and running for the team.

Time for practice!

Rich Gonzalez
10-04-2012, 01:54 PM
What an awesome post!

Thanks for sharing some insights, Rene!

Really great for the coaches to also read about the large range (from 20 all the way to 80 minutes) of activity time that you'll implement in today's workout, based on fitness and related factors. It's definitely easier (in terms of supervision and such) for coaches to have large roster numbers do similar workouts, but your tip of trying to ensure that each athlete does a daily workout that caters to their current needs/situation is a great reminder.

Will be fun to see how young Miss Ashley Heys does in her varsity debut for the program.

Have fun at the Central Park meet!

Rich

p.s. Jay, fire up the BBQ!

Jim Roldan
10-04-2012, 02:41 PM
Great post Rene! Thanks for jump-starting the board!

CaseyKear
10-04-2012, 02:55 PM
Thanks for the post Coach! Love reading the wisdom of wiser, more experienced coaches!

Coach Razor
10-04-2012, 05:36 PM
Love the post Rene... I have high hopes for having exceptional boards and the exchange of info and wisdom... Since you are one of the top coaches in CA that is truly a quality jump start for the boards!

Tim Sharpe
Head Coach XC
Distance Coach T&F
Harvard-Westlake School

"To whom much is given, much is expected"

cush
10-04-2012, 08:51 PM
you've got to wonder if this heatwave will go on always and forever.

while racing in saugus a few weeks ago during this heatwave, all i could think was "i can't keep from cryin'--it's tearing me apart."

at least when it's 90 degrees at mt. sac in a couple of weeks, you guys will probably have to break out your underarmor and gloves...

Remylive
10-05-2012, 05:50 AM
Part two...

TGIF
The pace of distance runs is always a topic that concerns me. Yesterday we probably ran slower than we should of (8-9 minute pace), but I bit my tongue and said nothing to the girls. Why? At this point of the season I'm more concerned with keeping the team healthy and running well at races and in hard workouts. If that means running slower or less on a recovery day, then so be it, even if it means we did't get everything out of the workout that we could of. It was obvious they were tired. This year's team is one of the most honest and conscientious that we've had and we have a mutual trust and understanding. If they're running slow it's not because they're being lazy. If this was the base period, we'd be having a different conversation.

After the run was over and the team was stretching and beginning their core, I decided to give them an option for Friday's pre-race workout. I offered a lengthy hard bike workout or a traditional pre-race run. About 1/3 of the girls chose the bike option while the rest will forge ahead and run. A few have no choice and will be on the bike. Why put some on the bike? Let's just say I had a gut feeling it was the right thing to do.

For those that run, we're going to run a little longer. I'm not a big believer in going extremely short or easy the day before a mid-season race. When I was in a college my coach once made the team do 6x80m strides down a sloping grass hill for an early season meet. We were so sore the next morning we could barely move and cursed the wisdom of such thinking...I went onto to have a major breakthrough that race and realized that I should be more open-minded and flexible about training. So today we'll go anywhere from 40-60 minutes and then complete some strides. Sometimes we'll run a progression run the day before a meet but based on what we've done this week, the run and strides are enough.

Bus leaves at 5:30am. I'll be there.

Rich Gonzalez
10-05-2012, 07:53 AM
Excellent, excellent stuff. Thanks Rene!

JStepp
10-05-2012, 09:11 AM
In an effort to get some interest on this board, I thought I'd write a few entries about my own team this season. As a coach I always feel like we're isolated sometimes and love to hear how other coaches handle the issues that arise from time to time. Anyways I guess this will read as a diary/ blog of the in's and out's of the Saugus program, as it pertains to the varsity girls training group, for about a week or so. Feel free to chime in, otherwise it's going to be a lonely message board talking to myself, Jay Stepp and Gardner...

Plus we'll get to see Jay Stepp and the Yucca team. Maybe I'll get lucky and Jay will BBQ a burger for me :).

Time for practice!

Most definitely will have a burger for you, but more importantly, we are there to win the title. When I saw Saugus entered, I changed my schedule to peak for this meet. So we're ready rock. I hope you bring your "A" game, we don't want any excuses. As for Gardner, he's all talk and NO SHOW!

Remylive
10-05-2012, 09:31 AM
Most definitely will have a burger for you, but more importantly, we are there to win the title. When I saw Saugus entered, I changed my schedule to peak for this meet. So we're ready rock. I hope you bring your "A" game, we don't want any excuses. As for Gardner, he's all talk and NO SHOW!

It's good thing we're running in different divisions then. I don't want to have to deal with all those "rule breaking" Yucca coaches and parents.

Gardner? I went out of my way to invite Corona to a meet next XC season here in Saugus and he told me, "maybe, I'll think about it". Sheesh!

JStepp
10-05-2012, 09:56 AM
[QUOTE=Remylive;49]It's good thing we're running in different divisions then. I don't want to have to deal with all those "rule breaking" Yucca coaches and parents.
QUOTE]

As the saying goes, "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'!"

hanklaw
10-05-2012, 03:03 PM
This weather is killing our League Meets. On Tue the meet was cancelled due to extreme heat and postponed one week, now the weatherman says it's supposed to rain one week later where we might cancel it again if it's too rainy (site mgmnt won't let us run on the course if there is a chance we might tear it up just days before the Crystal Springs Invite).

hank

Remylive
10-06-2012, 08:17 PM
Part three

SURF CITY USA
The bus didn't show! Nothing like waking up in the morning and trying to find rides for 50+kids for a meet 75-miles away. We arrived late and our JV Boys had to make due with a 5-minute warm-up, but the good news is I avoided a speeding ticket on the drive down.

I have to say the meet was outstanding. I loved the variety of surfaces and viewer friendly layout of the course, plus you can't beat the weather. Seventies and partly cloudy meant that times were going to be fast, highlighted by 4:01/ 8:48 man Bernie Montoya's (Cibola, Arizona) new course record of 14:39.

Below is a brief synopsis of each girls race:
JV GIRLS: We're not very deep at this level and that usually concerns me, but I'd rather have a deep frosh/ soph crew than a deep JV team any day. Despite placing three in the top five we could finish no better than 4th today as a team. Although we record and recognize individual accomplishments such as a personal best time or top ten finish, it's team placing that we really try to emphasize. All too often you have athletes in races running to their minimum comfort level and/ or doing pain assessment while they race instead of actually competing. We try to get athletes away from that kind of thinking/ racing by giving each an assignment for the race that is somehow going to benefit the team. After this race was over, we recognized the outstanding efforts made today, but we also identified what needed to be done for the team to place higher as a whole (individual accountability).

FROSH/ SOPH GIRLS: What a great duel with Dana Hills! Wow! They took it to us early with 9 of their girls ahead of our 4th a half mile in. I was disappointed because I gave my team two goals for this race. 1) Be conservative on the big uphill then run the hell out of the downhills and 2) go out hard; near suicidal pace. Well we didn't accomplish goal #2, but we did pass goal #1 with flying colors. We ran the downhill just before mile two so well, we got back in the race and with 200m left, we were able to just sneak by Dana 40-44.

VARSITY GIRLS: What I took away from this race is I now know what we need to do for the last 7-weeks of the season. We were solid today placing 5 in the top 11, but we've got work to do. Individually the race up front was intense. Two young ladies from Centennial Nevada hammered the pace early with junior Sydney Badger (Centennial) and sophomore Samantha Ortega (Saugus) breaking away and battling all the way to the last 100-meters. Badger pulled away to win in 17:14 to Ortega's 17:19, both under the old course record formally held by Lizzy Coe of F.V. (17:27).

A big thank you to all those who read and listened to my musings over the past couple of days. I hope you make this message board what it once was and can be again.

Farewell.

George Ramos
10-07-2012, 06:09 AM
Rene, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! It's truly valuable to hear what other coaches are thinking!

JStepp
10-07-2012, 09:23 AM
I second that about the meet being outstanding! Two things I learned about our team is, #1, I'm glad we don't have Saugus in our league, and #2, I'm REALLY glad we don't have Saugus in our division!!!

SOCALXC
10-07-2012, 01:06 PM
Wow thanks for the info Rene! Those are some hardworking girls! I've always been amazed at your ability win with teams lead by talents like Kaylin Mahoney as well as teams with less talented, purely developed girls. It sounds like their is an emphasis on steady mileage in your program. Perhaps this one one of the main factors in your sucess at developing runners.

Any info on the alumni? Mahoney and Bulder were always very fun to watch!

Remylive
10-07-2012, 01:32 PM
Wow thanks for the info Rene! Those are some hardworking girls! I've always been amazed at your ability win with teams lead by talents like Kaylin Mahoney as well as teams with less talented, purely developed girls. It sounds like their is an emphasis on steady mileage in your program. Perhaps this one one of the main factors in your sucess at developing runners.

Any info on the alumni? Mahoney and Bulder were always very fun to watch!
You know my mother always told me to never talk to strangers. Everyone on this board knows who I am and where I coach. Tell us about yourself and then we can open a dialogue about running and training. Then we can both be on a first name basis.

Mark Gardner
10-07-2012, 05:03 PM
So glad to hear how valued and appreciated I still am....:p Rene, you schedule the meet in 2013 and we will come. But, thank you for those thoughts and insight.

GREAT topic Rene as I do agree with you that most of us are isolated and are our own unique fraternity (sorority Jay?) amongst Cross Country coaches. Even those dang Track & Field head coaches cannot understand our commitment and passion to those 'distance runners' from June until December!

I too will try to share.... the heat of this season has posed a consistent challenge that most of us have never faced. One of my fellow colleagues has been coaching XC since the early 1990's and told me that it's never been this consistent for this long. This week looks to be our first week this season (we started school on August 8th) that we will NOT move a workout to either before school or to the night. I know I speak for a lot of us, but it has been exhausting.

Other trials and tribulations....? I, again, regret taking on 120 kids into our program. It has been a battle with me for years now - how do you cut a kid with no talent, but shows up and gives 100% everyday? This will be the 3rd summer in a row that I told myself to cut kids that cannot achieve certain standards and well...here I am in October, stuck with 10-15% of the kids not able to train/race and that too has been exhausting. How to give proper attention and motivation to everyone...?!?!

I am looking forward to this next month. I have a boys team that is not as talented as some in the past but willing to put in more consistent work. This is the first year our boys have met in the mornings on a daily basis. Most made a 20-30% jump on their mileage from previous seasons. I truly feel that they have another notch in them and hope their confidence from the extra time devoted will be the difference. We graduated seven of our top ten girls from last year, so it's been a struggle finding a group to be consistent. But, like our boys - they are consistently training and putting in longer runs than past groups we've had. Several girls have had great success in the past but struggle to maintain that consistency of performing at a high level. They can so many doubts, fears and overall stress from school and family overtake them at times...

On another note - last Saturday was so gratifying to see former athletes in the Stanford Invitational results and to do so well. A whole other type of gratification that makes all of the ups and downs SO worth it! To personally speak to one of them and hear, "coach - I wish you were here!"

Thanks Rene for opening up to the community here - hope to see more! Always love your insight. Now we can both share in the struggle of keeping coaching in our lives while having babies running (crawling) around.

Jay - back away from the Bar-B-Que, stop violating national federation rules of recruiting and guiding athletes around the course on your Segway, and respond with some snide remark!!! :)

Doug Soles
10-07-2012, 05:14 PM
[QUOTE=

Other trials and tribulations....? I, again, regret taking on 120 kids into our program. It has been a battle with me for years now - how do you cut a kid with no talent, but shows up and gives 100% everyday? This will be the 3rd summer in a row that I told myself to cut kids that cannot achieve certain standards and well...here I am in October, stuck with 10-15% of the kids not able to train/race and that too has been exhausting. How to give proper attention and motivation to everyone...?!?!

/QUOTE]

Mark,

This season has been particularly rough for us with the bottom level kids. As we hit 230 athletes, we have ended up with more than ever a "non-worker" class that really doesn't want to run (especially in the heat). With 5 great assistants, we are able to coach the kids, but sometimes these athletes and their parents become a nightmare and end up wasting so much of our time when they truly don't want to do the sport or the training.

I am sad to say that Great Oak will for the first time ever have a qualifying standard to make the team next year. It will be particularly difficult for juniors and seniors. If they don't do their summer running, they definitely won't make our team next year. Hoping that will help with some attitude issues with some of our non-varsity senior kids next year.

The reality is, we ALL have this problem to some extent and it is exhausting! Mark, you are an amazing coach! It isn't you, your program, or the heat. Some kids just don't want to be there. Keep up the great work and focus on the kids that do!

Doug

Brad Peters
10-07-2012, 05:33 PM
Regarding time trial requirements and "cuts"

I'll be curious Doug to find out what you implement. Mark Gardner and I have talked about this topic a bunch of times ... it's hard as educators to not go after "every kid" in the hopes of turning them around. Back in the 90's I prided myself in having squads of 100 -- but there is the law of diminishing returns in everything and its interesting to discover where that number is. I read an interview with Butler at Dana Hills a couple years ago in which he said (as I recall) to make their boys team the kid has to run 19:00 ... and since they've done that, their numbers have gone up!

We implemented a much tougher standard to make our teams two seasons ago and have so far been pleased by the results. For returners, they need to run within 90 seconds of their fastest three mile time from the year before. (which we record). For rookies (9th and 10th) it's 23:45 and 25:45 - boys/girls, with 11th and 12th grade rookies a minute faster than that. We have found that the 90 seconds from their PR "requires" that 99% of them must run during the summer or they will not make their mark. It's also a personal standard, not some arbitrary mark the coaches came up with for "all" athletes to achieve, which of course the lesser talented kids could complain about, legitimately. The rookie standard is doable for those who possess a little physical strength and will run a three mile course without walking or jogging.

A by-product of the increased physical fitness, is there is a greater "buy in" to "make" the team, an accomplishment they EARN rather than are given.

If other coaches have standards for making their teams each summer, I'd be interested to know what they are as well! :)

jformosa
10-07-2012, 05:50 PM
Greetings!
I have been running an all time list since the Central Park course change. Originally Hillary Hayes held the record 17:17 (set her senior year) last year Hollinder (sp?) Broke that 17:15 and at League Preview Tennison broke that 17:10 :)



Part three

SURF CITY USA
The bus didn't show! Nothing like waking up in the morning and trying to find rides for 50+kids for a meet 75-miles away. We arrived late and our JV Boys had to make due with a 5-minute warm-up, but the good news is I avoided a speeding ticket on the drive down.

I have to say the meet was outstanding. I loved the variety of surfaces and viewer friendly layout of the course, plus you can't beat the weather. Seventies and partly cloudy meant that times were going to be fast, highlighted by 4:01/ 8:48 man Bernie Montoya's (Cibola, Arizona) new course record of 14:39.

Below is a brief synopsis of each girls race:
JV GIRLS: We're not very deep at this level and that usually concerns me, but I'd rather have a deep frosh/ soph crew than a deep JV team any day. Despite placing three in the top five we could finish no better than 4th today as a team. Although we record and recognize individual accomplishments such as a personal best time or top ten finish, it's team placing that we really try to emphasize. All too often you have athletes in races running to their minimum comfort level and/ or doing pain assessment while they race instead of actually competing. We try to get athletes away from that kind of thinking/ racing by giving each an assignment for the race that is somehow going to benefit the team. After this race was over, we recognized the outstanding efforts made today, but we also identified what needed to be done for the team to place higher as a whole (individual accountability).

FROSH/ SOPH GIRLS: What a great duel with Dana Hills! Wow! They took it to us early with 9 of their girls ahead of our 4th a half mile in. I was disappointed because I gave my team two goals for this race. 1) Be conservative on the big uphill then run the hell out of the downhills and 2) go out hard; near suicidal pace. Well we didn't accomplish goal #2, but we did pass goal #1 with flying colors. We ran the downhill just before mile two so well, we got back in the race and with 200m left, we were able to just sneak by Dana 40-44.

VARSITY GIRLS: What I took away from this race is I now know what we need to do for the last 7-weeks of the season. We were solid today placing 5 in the top 11, but we've got work to do. Individually the race up front was intense. Two young ladies from Centennial Nevada hammered the pace early with junior Sydney Badger (Centennial) and sophomore Samantha Ortega (Saugus) breaking away and battling all the way to the last 100-meters. Badger pulled away to win in 17:14 to Ortega's 17:19, both under the old course record formally held by Lizzy Coe of F.V. (17:27).

A big thank you to all those who read and listened to my musings over the past couple of days. I hope you make this message board what it once was and can be again.

Farewell.

Remylive
10-07-2012, 06:53 PM
jformosa,

Thank you for letting me know. I took the records straight from the meet program. I'm assuming they are Central Park meet records. I would love to see an updated top 20-all time list for boys and girls if you could post it. It's great to compare to the past. I'll let Sam Ortega know the company she's in, she'll be thrilled. This was only her fourth ever 3-mile XC race! Thanks again.

Remylive
10-07-2012, 08:19 PM
If other coaches have standards for making their teams each summer, I'd be interested to know what they are as well! :)
In response to Brad, Doug and Gardner,

I think we are all in agreement about a few things:
*Diminishing return. At some point the talent pool does not increase with greater numbers and our effectiveness as coaches decreases with every additional athlete. What that critical mass number is varies from program to program. I always felt we were just as good with 60-athletes than we are with 120.
*We all want to be inclusive, but struggle with athletes unfit or unwilling to train as cross-country runners.
*Many of us have started or will implement in the near future standards for making our cross-country teams.

We've tried to handle these very same issues and I will throw my two cents in here.

I always tell new athletes and their parents that there are two ways to make the Saugus XC team. Either be really fast or work really hard. If a kid can run and has a good attitude, then you're on. However, we will take any and everyone else that can make it through our summer program in good standing. "Good standing" means you come to practice just about all summer (you can decide how many days) and run. If you miss, come late, you're sick or injured all the time, then you're not in good standing and will have to tryout at the beginning of the year with everyone else who missed the summer.

At the beginning of the year I don't give them a time to make. I simply have them tryout at 3:15pm when it's 105-110 degrees and run a mile without stopping or without a water break while they run. Then they get water and I'll tell them to do another mile, followed by another water break and another mile and so on. I'll repeat this several times and over multiple days. You get to see real quick what kids want to be there and have the mental stamina to overcome adversity and which don't. They basically cut themselves when they find out how hard XC is. Those that persevere make the team. You hear all kinds of great lines from these kids:
"You want me to run another mile!"
"I have to come back tomorrow and run again?"
"I can't run on Tuesday's or Thursday's because of _____________."
I often wonder if they even know what they're trying out for.

For those that come in the summer, they're on. If a returner does not show at all, all summer, I typically don't let them back on. There are exceptions, but surely they could have made a percentage of practices if they truly cared about being a part of the team.

Coach Razor
10-08-2012, 08:53 AM
A genuine thanks to all the coaches posting on the boards... I have missed this. It also seems like the openness and sharing is better than ever.

Since our school is smaller, my experience is different & yet somehow the same. I have 50 kids this year & have had similar numbers for the last few years. We use a similar system as Rene, where a lot of importance is placed on the summer training. Although we don't cut for many reasons, those who don't commit to the summer tend to leave the program when they are not improving like the others who've been doing the work.

When I first started at HW in '03 I had a lot of kids just doin the sport so they'd have it on their résumé for colleges. Needless to say, they tended not to be the most committed athletes. I have worked very hard to change the culture & am very pleased that we have reached the point where it is no longer acceptable to the athletes themselves to just 'hang with the team' and not be committed to the program.

I had left the team for a couple years prior to the '09 season and have seen steady progress even though we had lost a tiny bit of momentum.

It was a boon to the program to have athletes like Cami & Amy because they brought attention & energy to the program & I'm sure that has played a part in our growth. The irony will be that after the girls have moved on is when we will be the deepest we've ever been (both genders too)... The new commitment level has resulted in having 7 girls under 19min and 9 guys under 17. These blow away program highs from the past for us. It has taken a few years to reach that level...

I probably rambled a bit, so please forgive me, but I just want to give a shout to you all because your comments have really made me feel good about the things we are doing.

- We are committed as a program to training everyone as an individual. I have the kids keep detailed running logs which are collected every 3wks. This allows me to make those little adjustments to training volume, diet, sleep etc. I learned from Rene that he is keen on individualizing & that strengthened my resolve.

- I've learned from Rene & also my conversations with Doug the priority on having great commitment to summer training. I know this might seem obvious I guess to some, but it can be very challenging at a private school such as ours & one of the great shifts in our program has been to get parents on board & have them schedule vacations for June & early July so that we can train more consistently from mid July thru the season.

- And lots of other great posts & bits of knowledge have helped... Hope it continues!

So again, big thanks to you all for sharing your experiences and wisdom.

Tim Sharpe
Head Coach XC
Distance Coach T&F
Harvard-Westlake School

"To whom much is given, much is expected"

Habadoo
10-08-2012, 10:18 AM
I love this. I really enjoy reading what other coaches are doing. Rene, your posts are great. Thanks!

Thank you Rich for all your hard work!

jformosa
10-08-2012, 10:58 AM
Those times that I mentioned are from our Sunset League. Hayes, Hollinder, and Tennison are great talents; but there are other Leagues that race at Central Park as well. I have kept track of the boy's times as well. But one could argue that the times from Central are just for that meet and not the course. Like the 'all-time' times for Clovis or MSAC don't include those of the State or CIF times. So I won't post it. But clearly those races at Central Park this weekend were great! You guys had FINALLY some good weather! And at least you can appreciate where those times stand in reference to others that have raced on that course. OC Champs should be really fun for our teams this weekend :)


jformosa,

Thank you for letting me know. I took the records straight from the meet program. I'm assuming they are Central Park meet records. I would love to see an updated top 20-all time list for boys and girls if you could post it. It's great to compare to the past. I'll let Sam Ortega know the company she's in, she'll be thrilled. This was only her fourth ever 3-mile XC race! Thanks again.

Torres BHDP
10-09-2012, 08:56 AM
Thanks to all the coaches posting about controlling program size and attitude. This has become a major concern for me these last two years as the Salesian program has grown over the last four years from 12-14 to over 50 boys. I always assumed that every program wanted highest numbers possible to increase talent pool (with the exception of Don Salyers' amazing Don Lugo teams only keeping 14), and so, since I'm a big softy, I would cut no one and "hope" some of those low end kids will eventually turn it around (which happens on occasion).

I have wanted to implement an end of summer time trial, but couldn't bring myself to create a cut off time. Mark Wetmore's approach to using his time trial as an assessment appeals to me, so he can leave his cut line at "anyone who looks to have worked hard during the summer and has potential". I also like Coach Peters' 90 second returner rule, and Coach Paragas' "if you come all summer, you're in" rule. Thanks for sharing your insights on this.

I was still wondering about the ideal coach to athlete ratio (diminishing returns on program size). I currently am the only full-time XC coach on staff and my program carries 1.5 stipends (the same $ amount as when the team had 12 runners) so I basically rely on former runners of mine to "volunteer" when they can. What are your thoughts on how many athletes one coach can effectively train?

JStepp
10-09-2012, 09:32 AM
So glad to hear how valued and appreciated I still am....:p Rene, you schedule the meet in 2013 and we will come. But, thank you for those thoughts and insight.

GREAT topic Rene as I do agree with you that most of us are isolated and are our own unique fraternity (sorority Jay?) amongst Cross Country coaches.

Jay - back away from the Bar-B-Que, stop violating national federation rules of recruiting and guiding athletes around the course on your Segway, and respond with some snide remark!!! :)

First of all, how come I wasn't invited to the meet? All of you guys need sonmeone to bring up the back end of the race. Well we're your team. Second, I've been in that sorority for 20+ years now and I'm not about to leave. Thrird, Rules were only designed for the rest of you. We in the "YV" live by our own set of rules and meth, DEAL WITH IT! And fourth, I'll make any snide remark I want to.

As for you Rich Gonzalez, I can be in a 6th division if I want to.

ClemDog
10-09-2012, 10:12 AM
This is a fun thread to read. I have been so board with trying to avoid work by playing online pool and reading that I have actually had to get work done. It is nice to be able to waste some quality time reading these posts like the old days.

I thought I would piggy back the theme of this thread with some Trabuco Hills trials and tribulations. This season has been interesting so far for us. We have been running well, but mostly have just tried to survive the weather like most of you. I have seen a definite impact on our race times because of our training in 95-106 degree weather through most of September. We are running times equal to last year, but so far, not any faster. With the weather finally cooperating, I am hoping to see some positive results in the coming weeks. It has felt like we have been in a holding patter so far this season, but I feel optimistic now and the boys are starting to show signs of life.

Our top junior has been struggling with health issues for over a year now. The relatively cool July helped him get some quality workouts in and his base up to a solid level of preparation. However, when the temps climbed and the air quality went south, he quickly relapsed and has been out for three weeks with breathing issues. I wonder if other coaches have kids with similar issues. We are trying to reboot his immune system through dietary means right now and he is able to train hard on a treadmill in a LA Fitness. He has to wear a mask when running outside now and the kids like to call him "Bane." Before our race in Pleasanton, a runner from another team interrupted our pre-race meeting by grabbing "Bane" by the shoulder and incorrectly quoting a line from The Dark Knight. The anonymous runner was wearing a blue batman mask at the time. I could only stand there in disbelief and the rest of the team just stared the kid down. No one laughed.

Has anyone else had an athlete with severe asthma and environmental allergies? What did they do to prevent an attack on a dusty course like Mt. Sac or Woodward?