I went to Velocity Sports this morning without Kris. He's taking the week off, so, if I was going to go, I was going to go by myself. So, off I went by myself, and, what do you know? This morning at VS, I did 210 pushups. Sure, I did 210 situps, too, but I'm more amazed at the 210 pushups.

The workout was a progression of pushups and situps such that the total number of the two done in each round was 21.

So, the first round was 20 pushups and 1 situp. The second round was 19 pushups and two situps. The third round was 18 pushups and three situps. The rounds continued until 1 pushup and 20 situps.

So, yeah, pushups. Can you say, "Not my forte?" Because I can. Bryanne warned us that at the end, we'd be wishing for more pushups and fewer situps. More pushups? Not likely.

Around round 6 or 7 I did figure out that I needed to rotate the position of my hands to change which muscles are used for the pushups. The first five or six rounds I did with the my hands in the normal, straight position and exhausted the chest muscles associated with that position. I noticed on some sets Bryanne rotated her hands in, others she rotated her hands out. When I duplicated this rotation, I was able to continue much stronger than I expected to be able to continue.

I'm thrilled to say, I was able to do the last five rounds with full pushups, not the wimpy from-the-knees pushups I had been doing in the previous rounds. Sure, it was only 15 from the feet, but that's 15 more than I expected to be able to do.

Especially having done 195 before those 15.

And Bryanne was right. At the end, I was wishing for more pushups and fewer situps.



So, today at Velocity Sports, we hooked up to the sleds, but not to push or pull them. Instead, we used them as anchors. Kris has used the sleds before in a workout. I hadn't, and took a while to figure out the harness. It was a chest harness with the hook in the back, and broad straps along the shoulders.

Unfortunately, when I put it on, all you could see was boob. It was like my breasts reached out and smacked the casual observer who looked in my direction. Even Bryanne looked at me and inadvertently said, "Whoa."

Using the sleds as anchors, we attached ourselves to long bungee cords, sprinted forward twenty yards, touched the ground, ran backward twenty yards, repeated for four reps, then did 20 pushups, the whole set then repeated four times total. The sprint forward was easy until the last five yards, the run backward even easier. I don't run backward particularly well, so I enjoyed actually being able to run backward for once.

After the first set of four reps of four sprints plus pushups, we were to do another set with situps instead of pushups. Kris commented that he didn't feel the bungee cord was providing much resistence, and asked if he could run to the wall, another five yards beyond our current stopping point. Bryanne suggested, instead, that he move the sled back three yards, so that he feels the resistance sooner. He shoved the sled back. Bryanne added more weight to the sled since Kris was going to be pulling it more, and we lined up to run again.

When we start these runs, I'm usually able to keep up with Kris for the first run or the first few steps. As we started on the first sprint, Kris was on the far side, Bryanne in the middle and I ran on her other side. We ran the first twenty yards together until a "GAK!" and Kris disappeared from our peripheral.

The bungee cord had provided Kris more resistance than he had realized and, in a cartoon dog reaching the end of his leash moment, when he reached the end of the cord, it stopped, and he did, too. Quite suddenly.

We had to stop for a long time, unable to do anything but laugh.

Sans Kris


For the first time since we started working out at Velocity Sports, I went to class without Kris. Kris has been several times without me, because of illness and injuries on my part, but I hadn't gone without him yet (mostly because our routine includes his driving us home instead of my taking the train back home). Tonight was double train: an easy way to use up that 10 ride ticket.

I'm definitely not comfortable with my hamstring yet. There's a fine line between strengthening my hamstring and reinjuring it: I want to be as close to that line as possible, I'd much rather not cross it.

So, imagine my consternation upon realizing today's workout was all about legs and, in particular, hamstrings.

I had to skip the running parts, instead biking for a small part of the aerobic exercise I'd prefer to be doing.

After the workout, Derek handed me a bag of ice to put on my hamstring on the "drive" home. Instead, I stood at the front desk and spent a couple minutes shoving the bag down my pants.

I'm sure that was good for business.

I walked to the train station, with the bag in my pants. Since I arrived early, I sat to wait for the train, not quite realizing the bag was open. When the train arrived fifteen minutes later, I stood up to discover my pants were sopping wet, in the exact pattern that screamed to everyone looking at me, "Look! I peed my pants!"

A lovely ride home, that was.

Pop goes the hammy!


As usual, we went to Velocity Sports tonight for our Friday night date, er, workout. We warmed up as usual with the rollers, followed by various warmup exercises including jumping jacks of various forms, 50% sprints, and walking, dynamic stretches.

The bulk of the workout consisted of sprints. With eleven people in the class, the instructor, "the short white dude," had to compensate by having us do shuttle relays. Two groups of four offset one group of three, as we did alternating shuttles. I was matched up with another regular, one who regularly matches up with another regular, so I wasn't sure how I matched with him.

When we started the sprints, he was consistently finishing the 20 yards sprints 2 yards in front of me. Sure, it was less than two steps in front of me, but that distance frustrated me, partially because I knew one of those steps was from the start: he started before the returning sprinter crossed the line. The other step was because he was faster than I. So, I kept trying to run faster and faster and faster.

The third set we did was my closest step. The continual sprinting was wearing him down, but helping me out. Yay, ultimate.

Fifteen yards into the sprint, I felt my left upper hamstring pull. I immediately started slowing, but the next step caused a full POP! as my hamstring gave way. I stumbled the last three steps to the end of the sprint, and hobbled off the track as I tried not to vomit, nausea overwhelming me.

The pull/strain/tear was right at my sit bone, much higher than my usual hamstring injuries, so it's going to take some time to figure out which muscle this is, if it is even the hamstring.

All I'm thinking about at this moment is how do I heal and recover to rock at the tryouts this next season?

Curse of the long torso


I'm starting to settle into a nice routine with Velocity Sports. I can leave work by 4:45, walk to the train station, curse the 4:53 bullet, board the 4:58 train, arrive in San Carlos and walk to VS in time for class. I've had to run only once when the train was late, and that run doubled as a good warmup, so I'm good with the routine.

If only I could wake up early enough in the morning to manage a full day of work before I leave, instead of finishing it up at ten in the evening.

I'm not so sure I should be working out just yet, with my nose not quite giving up on the illness from Monday. Wednesay's workout was ridiculously hard for me, but trivial for Kris. I blame the congestion in my chest.

Tonight, after the instructor lead warmup, my nose continued where my lungs left off on Wednesday. As most people were having a quick drink of water, I started blowing my nose. As the snot accumulated in the tissue, I wadded it up and pulled it away from my face to throw it away, only to realize when my hand was four inches from my face that the snot in my nose was still attached to the tissue in my hand.

Mortified, I smashed the tissue back onto my nose, thereby increasing the snot surface area by the area of my nose, while reaching for another tissue.

As I hid the first tissue with the second tissue, I turned to see the instructor looking at me quizzically. Great, just great. He saw the Flying Spaghetti Monster lose a tentril out my nose in an infinitely divine revelation before I could cover up my prophet status.

I spent the next minute shooting snot wads out my nose into the rapidly growing pile of tissues in the trash can. Of course they have no hand sanitizer, and I'm about to go fondle a small assortment of medicine balls. Great.

The workout ended up being remarkable easy. I wore my ankle brace tonight, which helped considerably. The workout was do-some-exercise with a medicine ball, sprint 20 yards to your other medicine ball, monkey shuffle back to the first ball, do some other exercise with said ball, and continue. We did 16 exericises and 12 sprints total. There were only three of us there, Kris, an older woman and me. I say, "older woman," but she's probably my age. Tragically, the instructor catered to her.


The last set of exercises we did involved core strength exercises. Which meant torso exercises. Which meant, time for suckage.

I have a long torso, which makes finding clothes particularly interesting. Standing up, I'm 67 inches tall. I am also in the automotive industry's 95th percentile in torso length. My legs are as long as a friend who is 53" tall. When sitting, I am the same height as a friend who is 74" tall. I'm all torso.

So, that sideways plank I'm supposed to hold for 30 seconds? Yeah, I'm getting my hips all of 2" off the ground and I'm thrilled for that height, because it means I'm straight.

With long torsos come short limbs, am I'm quite the T-rex when it comes to arm length.


Kris made the whole set of plank exercises worse by laughing at me, which made me giggle, which only made the ab exercises even harder.

Of course, the more I do, the easier it'll become.

Now, I just need to get the snot monster out of my nose.

Three months down the drain



I forgot to bring my ankle brace to the evening workout today. During the warmups, we ran some "mountain climbers" and some strange plank, jump to crouch position, back to plank exercise.

My ankle popped on the first landing on my left foot.

Popped, and lost all strength.

Three months of exercising and rehab lost in one loud POP.


Wow! He's fast!


In these last few weeks, I've come to realize that, yes, I need structure for my workouts. I certainly have the best intentions when it comes to exercising, but the lure of sleep, or fixing one more bug, or reading another chapter in King Solomon's Mines, via Daily Lit (which I highly recommend as an easy way to read a book, less than five minutes a day to literature bliss). Or, heaven forbid, it's cold out. Cold and dark, bad combination for my evening workouts, to be sure.

ASA Baseball was great for structured workouts, the small class size (that would be two: Kris and I) also helped. Gino was fantastic. The facilities were ridiculously close. Yeah, I miss those workouts. Miss them, and have spent the last year trying to find a good replacement.

A couple months ago, Paul Youn made a mention of a sports training facility, Velocity Sports, in San Carlos. Based on the various injuries I had during the season, waiting until after the season ended seemed like a good idea. Now that the season is over, I followed up on Paul's suggestion and made arrangements for Kris and I to check out Velocity Sports.

The facility is two blocks away from the San Carlos train station, and about 20 minutes away from work by car for Kris. San Carlos isn't terribly convenient, but the location is somewhat workable. I trained up, Kris drove, and we had our first class.

When we showed up, there were ten other people already in the lobby, waiting for the class to start. I followed Kris in, and we joined the rest of the class to go over a roller-stick warmup, followed by walking dynamic stretches, crouch-extend-crouch-jumps, step-ups, sprints and situps. The class size made addressing specific needs difficult, but I thought the trainer did fairly well with what he had. Normally, classes are limited to 10 people, but three people showed up unexpectedly (Kris and I were both expected).

Honestly, looking at the description of the classes, I was expecting to have a hard time with the class. I was expecting to jump into Gino's fourth month classes, with ladders, med ball throws, upper body impossibilities like clapping pushups, and six minutes of intense abs. What I wasn't expecting to be the fourth fastest person in the class. Kris says fifth, but I'm convinced I could beat one of the guys he thought was faster.

We did the sprints as shuttles: we divided into two groups, each group standing in a line thirty yards apart, facing each other. One person would sprint the thirty yards toward the other group. The next person in the opposing group would start sprinting when the previous person crossed the thirty yards next to him. We did six sprints total.

After three sprints, several of the people in my group turned to me when Kris ran past on his sprint. "Wow!" they exclaimed, "did he run track in college? He's fast!" Confused, I looked around, and realized they were asking about Kris. "Oh, no, he played baseball in college, but we both play ultimate frisbee." "OH!" they all exclaimed. Apparently that explained everything.

When I told Kris about the story afterward, he laughed. Yes, he was the fastest there, but clearly the bar was set low if he was, "Wow, he's fast!" fast. We continued to laugh most of the way home.

I think we'll be signing up for the offseason workouts there. The train makes the deal. The morning sessions have fewer people, so we'll probably try those.

Velocity Sports also has team training, where a team can rent the facility for an hour for group training tailored to its needs. The rate is reasonable ($175/hour), so I'm going to suggest offseason training for the team. If we can get 12 people signed up for 10 weeks of training once a week, it'll be $120 per person, but tailored for us. Could be fun.