Sunday, October 31, 2010

week 7

Just got in the long run again this week. Did 6 miles in 48:36. I deliberately took it easy the first 3 miles, finishing it in 26:24. At 5 miles I was at 41:20 and kicked it up a notch. Felt good to finish strong, but I need to be a little better from the start.

Things I Can't Say on Facebook: 4

3 of the last 5 dumps I've taken at home have broken the toilet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Longhorn football rant

This is shaping up to be a very disappointing year for the Longhorns. I mean, home loss to Iowa fucking State? You gotta be kidding me. Here are my thoughts on what has led to the current state of affairs.

1. Bad luck/poor character evaluation: Marcus Davis, Andre Jones, Jarvis Humphrey, Robert Joseph, Brian Ellis, James Henry -- just on defense. Those guys could have been HUGE for the DT rotation (Jones, Humphrey, Ellis) and DB (if Joseph is less thug Gideon never sees the field at Texas, and Marcus Davis had a shot to kick Chykie to the curb). On offense you get Buck Burnette, JaMarcus Webb, Roy Watts, Josh Marshall, Brandon Collins, Ian Harris, Blaine Irby, Dan Buckner, and DJ Grant. This group would bolster the weakest units on the team. Collins and Buckner would provide two sure-handed receivers. Irby and Grant give you legit threats at the TE position. This does not take into account the poor talent/ability evaluation by the coaches.
2. Poor recruiting/development: Not sure whether the problem with this group lies in poor evaluation of the innate talent, or the inability to properly develop that talent.
- 2006: Chykie Brown, Steve Moore, Britt Mitchell, Greg Smith, Phillip Payne, Montre Webber
- 2007: John Chiles, Ben Wells, Russell Carter, Tray Allen, Aundre McGaskey, Ahmard Howard, James Kirkendoll (and Malcolm Williams only because he should be playing safety)
- 2008: Nolan Brewster, Blake Gideon, Dravannti Johnson, Mark Buchanan, Luke Poehlmann, Brock Fitzhenry, Jeremy Hills, Ryan Roberson
- 2009: Chris Whaley, Eryon Barnett, Tariq Allen, Patrick Nkwopara, Calvin Howell, Derek Johnson
This does not take into account the players that could have been on the roster in place of some of these dead weights.
3. Poor coaching, including recruiting decisions:
-The O-line is coached, I'm fairly certain, by Gabriel "Gabe" Solis. The penalties this year are ridiculous. The lack of development across the board at this position is embarassing. Recruiting at the position has been bizarre. It's like they're just throwing numbers at the position in hopes that the law of averages will give them enough decent players. That's great, except that 80% or more of the players recruited have been interior linemen rather than tackles.
-Wide receivers are clearly not taught the finer points of the position such as running beyond the first down marker on 3rd and 4th down. The current group has unreliable hands (to be charitable), gives poor effort blocking down field, and has no rapport with their QB. Texas has not offered a lot of incredibly talented guys at this position in recent years, and yet the roster is loaded with guys like Brock Fitzhenry and Greg Timmons who are unlikely to ever be contributors. The future at least looks bright for this position with Mike Davis, Darius White, and their redshirting classmates as well as Desean Hales.
-Running back is a huge mystery. Cody Johnson has proven, by this point, that he can be successful in the zone-blocking spread system, and yet he never gets the chance to establish himself and pound on the defense for more than 3 or 4 plays at a time. Fozzy has been consistent this year, the first time he's stayed healthy, and the last two games they've gone away from him, inexplicably. DJ Monroe is one of the fastest guys on the team, gets positive yards consistently, and can't get on the field. They promised Whaley he'd be the only RB taken his year and he's not even a RB anymore. There were better RBs available to the University of Texas in 2008 than Hills and Newton, namely Lamichael James and Jaquizz Rogers. In 2009 they could have had Christine Michael. In 2010 they took a single guy from 1A ball. He might be great, but it's a risk when you're not stocked at the position.
-Offensive coordinator refuses to develop game plans that highlight his players strengths and attack the opponents weakness (outside the Nebraska game). He appears willing to throw away the first two possessions of every game for the opportunity to see how the defense is going to react to his alignments. The internet is full of angry pixels burning on this subject, so I'm not going to belabor it. I'll simply say Greg Davis has not put his players in the position to succeed. All of the above complaints can be laid at least partially at his feet as well.
Not many complaints on the actual defensive coaching other than the frustrating inability of Chykie Brown to improve at all. He is the exact same player now as he was the first day he showed up on campus. The other issues on defense relate to the bad luck/recruiting decisions outlined above.

The good news is that recruiting, especially on the defensive side of the ball, has been impressive the last two years. If the defensive line can avoid the crippling attrition and bad luck of the last four years, they should be set. With Jeffcoat and Wilson showing up college-ready from day one the DE spot is secure. The four true freshman DTs provide depth even if none of them break out into stars (though I expect one or two of them will). Desmond Jackson in next year's class should be an impact guy early. On offense it looks like Adrian White and Adrian Phillips, and probably Demarco Cobbs are all keepers from this freshman class at DB and they've got 5 guys in next year's class who could play DB (Thompson might be WR, Diggs might be RB). RB is also looking up with Diggs, Malcolm Brown, and Joe Bergeron all showing the talent to potentially contribute early. Wide receiver has had some success as well with Mike Davis and Darius White contributing this year while Chris Jones could be Brandon Collins and John Harris provides a big target in the mold of Dan Buckner. Next year's class has Shipley junior which is nothing but good news, but the other guy doesn't really do much for me. They've gotten 3 Texas-good QBs in the last 3 classes, not to mention Colt's little brother who might make me look as silly as Colt did.
Offensive line recruiting continues to be a mystery. Last year they took zero tackle prospects when that was already the thinnest spot across the line. Next year they've committed six linemen, but one of them broke his leg (actually came to junior day in a wheelchair) and is about the 3rd best lineman on his HS team this year. Unless the coach changes, I don't expect to see a lot of improvement here.
Bottom line is Greg Davis has to go. He's not the only problem, but he brings nothing to the recruiting table, has no cohesive offensive identity, and does not game plan well outside of one game per year. Fire Greg Davis. Do it. Do it now. Or at least pull some strings so he gets the UNT head coaching job. Either way, make him disappear.

EDIT: I just saw Mizzou run a hook and lateral off a WR screen against OU. Let's get their guy. The WR screen gets overplayed against Texas routinely by opposing defenses, that play would make them pay for it big time.

week 6

The week that wasn't. Turns out working 6AM to 6:30 or 7PM and then taking care of kids until 8:00 isn't that conducive to running. Having to do literature searches for 2-3 hours after that doesn't leave a lot of time for board prep either. Hopefully next week settles down, but I may have to accept only getting to work out on my one day off a week for this entire month. In other news everyone in my family has the same cold.

I did get in a 5 mile run in 39:28 last week, so I was pretty much on target until this week. I'm thinking by the time the Capitol 10k rolls around I can shoot for 47 minutes instead of 50. That would put me safely in the top 20% for my age group most years, though far off the top pace of 5:30/mile. That's fucking fast.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Things I Can't Say on Facebook: 3

I just spent 20 minutes giving birth to two billiard balls that both wanted to go first. Fucking sucked and my ass is tore up now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

week 5 part 4

Not sure how my posts got off on the numbering, but for future reference the long run marks the end of a training week for me. Thus this post at the beginning of a calendar week is still about the previous week's long run, and as such, week 5.

I did the 5.5 mile run on the Katy Trail for the first time keeping time yesterday afternoon. That great yellow sphincter in the sky was squinting down at me pretty hard for an October afternoon. I deliberately did not check my splits on this run, just to see what I'd do without the clock to guide me. I ended up finishing in 48:34, closer to 9 min/mile than 8. I blame it on right knee pain after the second mile, the relative lack of pacers (other runners unwittingly serving as my rabbits), and that bloody sun. I think I'll do better this week.

If I were still going by Hal Higdon's intermediate schedule, next week would consist of 3 mile run + weights, 5.5 mile run, 10x400m sprints, 4 mile run + strength, rest, 60 minute cross train, and 7 mile run. Laughable at this point. Even if I carved out time for it by running at 5 a.m. every day, my knee would never allow it. Instead I'll shoot for weights, 5 mile run, weights, 5 mile run, weights, rest, 6 mile run. Not quite a "novice" schedule, but close. I'm still thinking once I get to a long run of 8 miles I'll either add a day of speed training or substitute for one of the short run days. Despite the poor time this week I'm still confident I'll be able to break 8 minutes/mile for the full 10k in a couple weeks. I might start looking for some 5ks to run just to get a little competitive running in and see how my pace stacks up on the real.

In other news, board review goes slowly. Thinking it's time to break out the flashcards already.

Friday, October 8, 2010

week 5 part 3

Did my second 4.5 mile run for this week. It is truly amazing to me how big a difference the presence of other runners makes in my performance. I kept an eye on my pace during the second mile today and kept it to just under 8 minutes/mile. I didn't keep the rest of my splits, but I finished strong again with a final time of 34:54, about a minute faster than a couple days ago.
My knees are sore but not swollen, which is good. I'm going to take tomorrow off and try to get a 5.5 mile run in on Sunday. I'd like to keep up the 8 minute pace, but we'll see. In about two weeks I'll add a speed day in there somewhere.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Things I Can't Say on Facebook: 2

Sorry, didn't realize we were only recruiting douchebags. Let's go ahead with the tapas bar then.

On a related note, anybody know how I can stop getting email notifications soliciting input that will invariably be ignored? Thanks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

week 5 part 2

Did the Katy Trail again this evening. For the first time I did trail running with a reliable time keeping device. (I found a flash stopwatch for my MP3 player.) 4.5 miles in 35:52, just under 8 min/mile. I did the first mile comfortably in 8 even, but the second mile killed me as I coasted it in 9 minutes. I picked it up after that but don't have the rest of my splits until the last half mile. I smoked it in about 3:30 after seeing I was a little over 32 minutes with a half mile to go. Felt good to run fast to the finish.

Plan is to do another 4.5 mile run on Thursday and a 5.5 mile long run on Saturday or Sunday. We'll see how life intervenes this week.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Things I Can't Say on Facebook: 1

I will never go to another crowded public event with my father. It was like taking a Vietnam vet to the Asian market during Tet. No less than 3 physical confrontations, all with Texas fans. Here's a quote. "Because if you are, I will knock you on your little ass." Here's a tip, dad, if you're going to have roid rage, you probably ought to do the roids. Or your going to end up getting your old ass knocked the fuck out. Very nearly ruined a great time. I am seriously not going to another similar event with him for the rest of my life. And I guarandamntee you none of my children will be going to these types of events with him.

week 5 part 1

Last week got blown up by the viral infection that led to 3 days of diarrhea and nausea. I got my long run in, though. It was supposed to be 5.5 miles but I did 5.75 because I couldn't find the mile markers along the Katy trail at first. I don't know what the time was but it was definitely under 9 min/mile and the last 3 miles was much faster than the first 2.75. In fact, I was kicking ass until about the 5.25 mile mark when I suddenly felt like an AIDS patient on first generation antiretrovirals. I had to shit, and shit quick. I was seriously looking for bushes to hide behind but the traffic on the trail was just too heavy. I finished the run, got to the car, and hauled ass home. The only time I've felt more relief than the moment my bare and still clean ass hit the toilet was when I hit the exit on I35 to escape the lunatic pointing his gun at me.

Anyway I learned a few things on that run:
1. Having mile markers and other runners to pace me makes all the difference. If I'm running in a vacuum my natural pace is probably 9-10 min/mile, but I really pick it up when I can imagine I'm competing with some random fuck who doesn't even know I'm there.
2. Either the Katy trail has been much improved or my frame of reference has shifted considerably in the seven years since I was last on it. There are parts of it that reminded me of Central Park in the ability to completely shut out the God-forsaken city.
3. Clearly the architects of the Katy trail have never been targets of assassination plots because the trail is always along the ridgeline, exposing you to potential snipers the way Greg Davis exposes wide receivers to big hits for negative yards. (Speaking of assassination plots ... )
4. Dallas women believe strongly in the benefits of plastic surgery and in the right to take their yappy little mutts every-fucking-where.
5. Rollerblading is for tools.

Friday, October 1, 2010

fuck this fucking fucked up shit.