Friday, October 7, 2011

Footbawwwwwww Friday

It's that time again and I have been trying to decide what would the best thing to discuss. There is so much to talk about when it comes to football, it makes it tough to pick just one. I think today would be a good day to follow up from our offense discussion. Now let's talk about

as much as I despise using a Raiders pic, I can't find another one so boo

That's defense for people that can't read signs. 

I thought this sign was clever although it doesn't really look like a fence

I'd like to focus on hot guys again because that honestly is a lot of fun but when I think of the defense, not many hot guys come to mind. I think the beauty is normally in the QB, RB, WR positions. So here we go... 
I've also decided to break it up into segments vs each position because there are a LOT of defensive positions

1. Defensive line - the line has several jobs, one of them being to plug up the middle so that a running back can not make it through any gaps. They are also trying to get to the quarterback (remember Mark Sanchez). If they see a running back, full back, quarterback, maybe even a receiver coming through with the ball, they try to grab them before getting past the line of scrimmage. The line consists of the following positions -

Ndamukong Suh, University of Nebraska & the Detroit Lions

Defensive Tackle - because Wiki can say it better than me, here you go -

"The defensive tackle typically lines up opposite one of the offensive guards. Depending on a team's individual defensive scheme, a defensive tackle may be called upon to fill several different roles. These roles may include merely holding the point of attack by refusing to be moved, or penetrating a certain gap between offensive linemen to break up a play in the opponent's backfield. If a defensive tackle reads a pass play, his primary responsibility is to pursue the quarterback, or simply knock the pass down at the line if it's within arm's reach. Other responsibilities of the defensive tackle may be to pursue the screen pass or drop into coverage in a zone blitz scheme. In a traditional 4-3 defensive set, there is no nose tackle. Instead there is a left and right defensive tackle.[3]"

another thing I can mention is that sometimes there is just one tackle and it's the nose tackle, but most defenses, especially in the NFL, use 2 defensive tackles. A team in the NCAA that only uses 1, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Julius Peppers, University of North Carolina, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears (current)

Defensive Ends - Used to block but also known to get at the QB - Clemson has had some very good ones including Gaines Adams who passed away due to a heart condition while playing for the Bears. 

2. Linebackers - these tend to be my favorite players on the defense. You HAVE to have strong linebackers. If not, the line can't play well and the secondary (which will come later) can't play well. There can be between 2-4 linebackers in any defensive scheme and they can perform many functions. I won't go into all those details because honestly, I don't think anyone reading this cares THAT much and I don't want to throw too much to you at once, so we'll just say... linebackers, they're in the middle. 

Jon Beason, University of Miami, Carolina Panthers

This was kind of easy because I LOVE Jon Beason. So glad he is a Carolina Panther even though he gets injured all the time. 

3. Secondary - these are also called defensive backs. The secondary is used to protect against the pass and sometimes, the run. 

Troy Polamalu, University of Southern California, Pittsburgh Steelers

Everyone should know this guy from the shampoo commercials!

Safety - This is a position that can be used for anything. Sometimes, they stop a run that's broken through the line, sometimes they sack the quarterback, sometimes they stop short yardarge passes, etc etc. They can be used in a lot of different ways. And they have a lot of names, I won't go into them because it gets super complicated. 

Marcus Gilchrist, Clemson Tigers, San Diego Chargers

Marcus is nominated for NFL player of the week so go vote for him!

Cornerbacks - their basic function is to defend against the pass. Simple... when a wide receiver goes out, they go with them and try to deflect the ball or if caught, tackle the receiver before they score. 

And that concludes our discussion about the defense. Fun fun fun 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How to Train for a Race

I obviously have to start out by saying that I am not a personal trainer, I have no medical or professional training - this is based on my own experience. 

I think everyone understands to get a training plan so when I say how to train for a race, I'm not really talking about the actual what do I do to run thing. I'm talking about the ancillary things that you must do in order to not get injured. I'm bringing this up because my mom, who is training for her first half, is battling a tight right hamstring/piriformis tendon/tight back muscle and it's bothering her. I also always hear about people with shin splints, knee pain, ITB pain, etc etc. How can you make it through intense endurance training without this pain? I can't speak for others but when I have pains like the ones above, it's because I'm not doing the right things in addition to my running to keep me ready for the actual run part.

1. Warm up - so simple, so basic yet people don't do it. Your cardiovascular system nor are your muscles ready to just jump into a 10 mile run on an early saturday morning. You've been possibly sitting at a desk all week, sleeping wrong, blah blah so the idea of just running 10 miles at a 9:30 pace without any type of preparation is silly. Major athletes don't just jump onto the field without a proper warm up so we shouldn't either. (not that we're going to be playing 4 quarters of hard nose football but anytime you ask your body to do something out of the ordinary, you need to prep it first). There is a lot of debate on how to warm up but I personally like gentle movements that introduce heat to the areas of use. For running that's my legs (duh), my butt and my back/core. If i'm in a hurry, I may simply walk. If I have more time, I will try some targeted movements like circling my ankles, circling my legs at the hip, rolling my body up and down and maybe even some walking lunges. Then I'll walk to get my heart rate up a little and probably run a warm up mile.

2. Stretching - again, simple but people really don't do it. Honestly, I know why. Because stretching sucks. I'm normally in a hurry and don't have time for it. So how do I fix that?

3. Yoga - For me, yoga is better than stretching because it gets deeper. When I just stretch after I run, I don't get to the level that I need because certain muscles (my piriformis) tend to tighten up and need something much more than just crossing my foot over my knee. I have to attend yoga CONSISTENTLY through the week as I train for a long race. If I do not, I will get shin splints/tight hamstrings/pain everywhere. Let me repeat, it is imperative that I consistently take yoga in order to remain limber and not get injured. I think this is very important. I don't think enough runners do it because they don't think yoga is hard enough. Runners seems to have the mentality that if they aren't suffering when they're working out, its not worth doing. I know because I can sometimes have that mindset too. If that is your mindset, you may want to rethink why you run. Is it because you want to be healthy? That is why I run, to be healthy. Is it healthy for me to constantly beat my body up every day? no. it is not. So should every workout I do tear my body up? No it shouldn't. Ok, problem solved. The other benefits that yoga offers are strengthening your muscles, especially smaller muscles groups that you don't really do unless you take yoga/pilates and lengthening your muscles so they are not as prone to injury such as a pull. Why do the Pittsburgh Steelers take yoga, to keep them limber.

4. Massage - This is one that people don't do, I think, because of the cost and maybe not feeling like it's as important as it actually is. For me, I feel like it's a luxury and feel bad doing it. But really, I think it's super important because when I run, my muscles get tight and sore and torn up. A good massage therapist knows what to target and will get into those muscles to loosen them up and make sure they are functioning properly. What I have to ask myself is what can I forego during the month in order to have that extra money to use for massage? Do I need to eat out less, maybe not buy that shirt, etc? I think this is important because this is for the health of our bodies and if we're not caring for it properly, maybe we shouldn't be asking it to do so much, like running a marathon. If I want to challenge myself, I need to give myself the tools to do so. Otherwise, I'm setting myself up for failure. I'd rather do it right or not do it at all. 

So... those are my 2 cents about treating my body right. Any other suggestions? 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Holy crap - it never ends!!!

As many of you know who have been reading my posts lately, I am in the process of significantly reducing my commitments, activity, everything that is going on right now in my life because I am tired. That seems like it would be an easy thing to do but it hasn't been. Every time I get done with a commitment, someone asks me to do something else. And while I normally love helping people do things, I am at a point where I just feel like I have nothing left to give. I can't get any down time to replenish and rest. I didn't really do anything on Sunday, but it didn't seem like enough. That's how I know I'm getting burnt out... that one day of sitting on the couch all day doesn't seem like enough. I talked to a friend of mine, a mentor I guess, and she helped me to prioritize the things in my life - 

1. My Spiritual life - what am I doing to make sure this is developing/growing - this has to come first
2. My husband/family - am I giving him the attention he deserves/needs 
3. My friends 
4. Work

She said a good thing to do would be to write down all the things I'm doing for myself physically, mentally and emotionally and see what's working/what's not. That is something I'll probably try to do this week. 

1. The one thing I will say is that my prayer and meditation has increased significantly. I am really trying to focus on God's will and stay present so that I can be aware of opportunities he has for me. I honestly think that is why I'm realizing how much I am in need of slowing down. It has become abundantly clear that I need to cut back and take a look at why I am keeping myself so busy. 

2. My husband - this seems to be the first thing that suffers because I know that if I blow him off, he will still love me and be married to me. Isn't it funny how the people that are close to us suffer the most? So this is an area where I can greatly improve and yet again, is why I'm trying to change things around. 

3. Friends - this one is interesting. I try so hard to be involved in everything going on because I don't want to miss out. I want to be present for everyone, help everyone, be involved with everyone and it is starting to take at toll on me. What I have to do is evaluate the relationships in my life and focus on the few that have been important. I think that's why "Into the Wild" was spoke to me so much was because he was not concerned with relationships. It's not that I think I should not have any friends, it's that I don't have to have so many surface level friends just to prove to myself that I'm likable. Growing up, I didn't have a lot of friends and I've somehow taken those regrets with me through life. I've tried to have lots and lots and lots of friends to convince myself that I am okay. I've realized that how many people I know does not have a direct effect on who I am. Now knowing that, I can stop trying so hard and just appreciate the ones that have been there for me. Maybe then, I can spend the time developing those into something more instead of having lots of people that I don't really know that well. 

4. Work - If i'm taking care of myself in other areas, this one is easy. I can be there and work hard. 

So that's my goal over the next two months. I am enjoying my break from working out but it is also vital to my sanity so have to start figuring out the way to get back on track. 

Do you over-commit? 
How do you get back to your normal self? 

Monday, October 3, 2011

RnR with my mom

I've decided that I'm going to run the Rock n Roll Savannah with my mom. Here are some reasons why -

1. I am so completely burnt out right now that I do not feel like putting my heart and soul into training. I am going to half ass train until the race and honestly, I don't want to get injured so I'm not going to worry about time, more focus on enjoying the race

2. This is my mom's first half marathon and I know how tough it is mentally. She just started running about a year ago, so she is still new to a lot of this. A friend of mine ran my first half with me and if she hadn't been there, it would've been a lot worse so I'd like to spread the love

Mom is fun to run with! I can do my long runs with her and we have a good time. We ran 10 miles on saturday and it was nice to have someone to run with again. I've done so many long runs by myself, I forgot how fun it is to run with others.

I mean, we look wild in this pic. This was from the Cooper River Bridge run earlier this year

cooper river again (mom and I are on the left)

cooper river before the race - mom and i are on the right

red, white and blue shoes 5k earlier this year - mom and i are on the left

I think that I kind of forgot what I loved about running and that's the camaraderie. The other thing is helping others accomplish something that YOU know they can do but THEY don't know they can do. I think mom will be super proud of herself after completing this race and how awesome would it be to be a part of it. 

In the meantime, the pressure is off on following a super strict training plan so I can enjoy working out again. If I want to do weights, I can. If I want to take Zumba, I can. If I want to take a boxing class, I can. I just need to get in my 3 runs per week, which I can do with mom, and I'm good to go. 

My goal over the next couple of months is to reduce the amount of activities that I am involved in, remember what it's like to take fun classes and enjoy working out again, and focus on a couple of priorities - work, my family and yoga teacher training. I feel so relieved about that. 

And I can also enjoy football and the fact that Clemson beat VA Tech at home and we are undefeated, ranked #8. Woot Woot!