Weakened Warriors: Installment 6

Well it has been a while since my last Weakened Warriors post.  In that time 3 games have come and gone, and our cold streak continues.  I was not able to play in games 3 and 4 due to other plans and illness and apparently they were pretty good games to miss.  Or at least game 3 was.  The other team in that case was clearly not new to the Slow Pitch Softball league.  Even the girls on the team were consistently hitting to the fence and their guys were so good at placing their hits that our poor right fielders couldn’t keep up.  It was a tough game and the ump ended up having to institute the 10 run rule after just the 5th inning.  The final score was 25 to 6 and it was a pretty demoralizing loss.

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The following week we had another close game, against a team called the Back Door Sliders.   And we might have even managed to win that one, but we were short a few players.  I was trying to get over a sinus infection and several of my teammates had other plans the result of which was we ended up playing with just 9 players, and not all of our best ones at that.  Even so, this was a much closer game than the previous week and we only managed to lose by two runs.  Just imagine what the result could have been if we’d had our A-Team.  I’m sure we’ll be looking forward to trying our luck against this team again in a few weeks.

Now finally, to this week’s game at Shadow Mountain Sports Complex:

This week we squared off against a team by the name of “Holes and Poles”.  I was really excited to play this week because I got to play catcher.  This really helped me to feel like a  real, contributing part of the team and counteract the disappointment of still not being able to hit the ball.   Our opponents were another obviously experienced team, and we were sorely out matched again this week with the Holes and Poles starting off their first at bat with 9 runs.  We then took our first at bat and managed a whopping 0 runs.  It was not looking very good.  This streak continued with Holes and Poles scoring another 8 runs in the next 3 innings to our, yep you guessed it, 0 runs.

I did manage to have one shining moment of glory where I actually caught a foul ball and provided my team with a very critical out.  (This team was so good, every out mattered).  So that was very exciting for me.  I still managed to strike out both of my times at bat, but at least this game that was limited to 2 instead of my usual 4 strike outs because the other team played so well.  Even though we got annihilated, it was a lot of fun.  The Holes and Poles were a really fun team with a great attitude and sense of humor, and they even let us get in a few runs at the end so we wouldn’t have to live with a shut out.  Add to that the spectacular weather and you had a pretty great evening of softball all told.

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Next week we don’t have any games due to the Holiday Weekend, but stay tuned for our next game on May 30th!

 

 

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Workout Wednesday

This week I decided to try my first attempt at a videoblog (due to some technical difficulties, the video has been taken down temporarily and will be back up again shortly).  It turned out fantastically mediocre, so in case you don’t feel like watching it, here’s a quick summary of the content.  For this week I was feeling a little stuck in a rut so I did what I like to do when I need to break up the old routine.  I found a park with a fitness trail (or in this case a fitness area) and combined that with my run.

For this occasion I selected Virginia Lake Park near Downtown Reno.  The nice thing about Virginia Lake Park, apart from the nice scenery is that the loop around the lake is almost exactly 1 mile in length making it a great place if you’re training for a race and want to run a specific number of miles.  Just pick the number of laps and off you go.

 

The fitness area features a guide complete with 3 series of exercises and a series of stretches.  I ran a couple of loops around the lake then decided to try my skills at the exercises.  If you need a good laugh, definitely check out the video and see for yourself how silly and uncoordinated some basic excersizes can make you feel, but it definitely helped to shake the burnout blues.

So I hope you liked my video, please comment with any suggestions you have for how I can make my future video blogs better.  🙂

Reno River Festival

It’s that time again folks.  Yet another reason why Reno is the coolest city ever.  The Reno River Festival is two days of non-stop fun in the sun on the banks of the Truckee River

First the headline event:

The 11th Annual Reno River Festival Whitewater Competition.  World-class competitors and visitors from around the world will be flocking to downtown Reno for the chance to compete for cash prizes in the Open Freestyle competition, or the Stand-Up Paddleboard, Slalom and Boatercross events.

Freestyle: Competitors are divided into categories: Men’s, Women’s and Juniors, then they each get a one minute ride to spin, loop and McNasty it out on the course.  Boaters will complete in a preliminary round on Saturday and then the top finalists will battle it out under the city lights that evening for bragging rights and the cash prizes. 

Or, if you’re like me and you’re into America’s fastest growing paddle sport, you can participate in the Stand-Up Paddleboard competition.  All skill levels are welcome, and the top three competitors who make it down the north channel (much harder than it may look) of the Whitewater Park at Wingfield will be awarded cash prizes.  Not only do you have to make it through the treacherous course, you will also have to complete a series of moves and obstacles on your way to the finish line. 

If neither of those options are up your alley, you could also try the slalom course, or if you’re really into craziness and chaos why not compete in Boatercross, a mad frenzy no holds barred race to the finish that will take place on Sunday afternoon. 

If you’re not a paddling enthusiast, fear not, there are plenty of other activities to participate in like Yoga in the park, live bands, fishing, canoeing and kayaking clinics, as well as tons of amazing food trucks and other culinary treats to try. 

There’s definitely something for everyone, so come on down and enjoy what promises to be another spectacular weekend in Reno, NV.  

Workout Wednesday

For me Wednesdays are the hardest to squeeze in a workout. It seems like I’m always busy when hump day rolls around and usually Wednesdays end up as my slack off day. But I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and I figured I could use some inspiration. So I scoured the web for some good (free) workout sites to provide me with some ideas and keep me motivated. So here’s what I found:

 

Fitness Blender:

http://www.fitnessblender.com/

This is a really cool site that offers customized workouts by training type, body focus, difficulty, minutes or calorie burn.

 

 

Bodyrock.tv:

http://www.bodyrock.tv/

This site offers a workout of the day, or all kinds of different challenges from 5 days to one month, for anything from a total body makeover to a fast fat burn.

Here’s a preview:

 

workoutz.com:

http://www.workoutz.com/

Here you can choose from single exercises if you want to build your own circuit, or full workouts. They also a workout generator tool and a workout log.

 

FreeTrainers.com

http://www.freetrainers.com/

 

Here you can choose from a list of personalized programs or view all workouts. They have options for using resistance bands, balance balls, circuit training, beginners, at home workouts and more. You do have to register for your free account to be able to access the workouts.

Now, no more excuses.   Go get your workout on!  🙂

Run or Dye

Yesterday I participated in the Run or Dye Reno 5k.  The race was held at UNR and wove in and around some of the most picturesque parts of campus.  I was afraid at first that me and my friends were going to freeze, and it was definitely a chilly morning.  Fortunately I was able to find a white hoodie that I figured would be perfect for the race.

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We started off nice and sparkly clean and fresh, but they were handing out dye packets before the race even started so it wasn’t too long before our shirts weren’t quite as white anymore.

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As we waited at the starting line it was hard not to get caught up in the energy and excitement of all of the other racers around us.  And soon enough, it was time for our wave to start off.

The first color we hit on the course was yellow, and I decided the best course of action would be to hold my breath and run as fast as I could.  That proved to be a very smart move as I witnessed other racers around me getting some dye in the mouth and lungs.

The race continued on from there and for a while the sun actually started to peek out from the clouds long enough for me and my friends to warm up just a bit and really get to enjoy the day.

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Next up we hit the green station, and I got pretty excited as green is my favorite color.  So I decided to walk through this one and soak up as much green as possible.  This proved to be a bit of a mistake as one rather large clump of green dye managed to make its way down the neck of my shirt and into my bra.  But I shook it off and we kept on going.

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We passed pink and purple next and I started to really like the way my clothes were turning out.  Then the final color station was blue and my friend Sandy really got nailed.

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And here we are at the finish in all our glory.  It was a really fun race, and definitely one that is family friendly if you’re looking for something fun you can do with your kids.  I’m hoping there’ll be another one soon!

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Do you know of any similar races I should try?  Post a comment please!  🙂

Weakened Warriors: Installment 5

We had our second game of the season tonight, and it was a pretty good one.  The weather on the other hand, was not quite so nice.   All day we had been experiencing the kind of weather you might more commonly find in my favorite place, Scotland.

 

It had been raining off and on all day, which I was loving because we almost never get rain and clouds in Reno.  Don’t get me wrong, the sunny weather is nice to have most of the time, but I am a big fan of snuggling on the couch with a great movie on rainy days, and falling asleep to the sound of rain is heaven.  We also never get any real thunderstorms here, and I really miss that.

So when we do get the occasional cloudy day, I get pretty excited.  Tonight however, it was a bit of a different story.  As I got in my car and headed to the field, the thermometer in my car went off to alert me that it had dropped below 40 degrees.  It was also raining lightly but steadily, so I knew we were in for a cold miserable night.

The umpire even joked with us about being more than happy to call it a rain out, but both teams were excited to play.  And miraculously, the rain even let up.  We thought we might actually catch a break and just have a chilly game, but not a completely miserable one.

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Pretty early on tonight, we realized we were going to have a pretty good run for our money.  We were the home team, so it was nice to get to bat last, but by the end of the second inning, we were down 4-0 and things were not looking so good.  We were making a lot of mistakes, and definitely not playing like the same team we were last week.

That’s when it started raining in earnest.  But it was also when we started to make our comeback.  In inning 3 we even managed to pull ahead 6-4.  And after inning 4, we were up 9-6.  But then we had another injury.   The shortstop threw a rocket to first, and the first took it in the face.  She was ok, no permanent damage, but she did have to sit out the rest of the game due to a pretty nasty bloody nose.

This was exciting for me, because we moved the Second base player to first, and I got to play second.  I had been sitting out in the field as the rover, and had seen zero action.  Although it was a little scary to be somewhere as fast paced as second, at least I got to feel like I was actually contributing to the team.April 2014 143

I had another full game of strike outs, and my self-esteem was pretty low.  So I really appreciated having the opportunity to make some plays and at least feel like I was useful.  It’s especially sad because I literally practiced until my hands bled, and still couldn’t manage a single hit.  I didn’t even make contact.

In the end we couldn’t quite hold off the other team and ended up with our first loss of the season, but at least it was close (we only lost by 3), and the other team was pretty cool too.  And it’s hard to be too disappointed with your performance when your whole team are frozen popsicles just trying to survive the weather.

Looking forward to next game, and hopefully the end of my sad, sad no hit streak.  Please wish me luck, I’m gonna need it!

Weakened Warriors: Installment 4

So this week marked our first game of the season, and also our first victory!

It was a late game, and didn’t start until 8:50, so I was pretty surprised at how crowded the fields were at Golden Eagle Regional Park in Sparks when I arrived at about 8 pm.  I’d grown used to seeing the place pretty empty during our practice sessions.  I guess maybe we were the only ones that felt the need to practice?

It definitely felt more like the real deal last night with all of the other games going on and all of the families and friends there to spectate.  I even started to get a little bit excited about the game, even despite my recent struggles with hitting.

There was a little bit of light rain going on, nothing close to rain-out conditions, but enough that I was really glad to have worn my hat.  The nice thing about getting there early was that we got to scope out some of our future competition who were playing the 7:40 game that night.

Coach Doug had to decide which league to sign us up for before he ever actually got to see us practice, so we were all a little nervous to see if we were going to be even close to the same skill level as our competition.

Judging by what we saw, it looked like he made a pretty decent guess and that we would probably not be too terrible or too good compared to the other teams we’d be playing against.  And our game last night helped to further that belief.

We got off to a really good start quickly going up 11 -2 by about the 3rd inning, but then we started to have some issues start to crop up.  Because we are playing in a co-ed league, the batting line up always has to be guy/girl/guy/girl, and we were a girl short to begin with.

Then one of our best girl hitters, got sidelined with an injury, so after one round of batting where she still managed to hobble her way to first in time (to be replaced by a pinch runner), she had to actually drop out of the game completely.

Then of course, we had the team handicap (aka ME), who managed to strike out every single time at bat.  Granted, it only takes two strikes to strike out in this league, but even so, it was pretty demoralizing for me.  I really didn’t get any chance to do much of anything to actually help my team, and by the end of the night I was feeling pretty worthless.

If it weren’t for the fact that we were already in desperate need for more girls on the team, I would probably have called it a day on my softball career.   But instead, I will just be trying to figure out what went wrong, and why I went from hitting everything that got thrown at me a few weeks ago, to not being able to hit the ball to save my life, and hope that I will be able to redeem myself by the end of the season.

The game got a little close for comfort towards the end as the other team managed to close the gap to 15-11 by the final inning, but we managed to hold them off and achieve our first victory.  I have to say, the team really seemed to be coming together tonight, and despite my own abysmal performance, I was still a lot of fun to be a part of it.

So please post a comment with some batting tips, or even just to wish me luck for next week.  I would really appreciate all the help I can get!  🙂

Foot -pampering Friday!!

I decided to top off my inadvertent running running hiatus this week with a treat for my feet.  I have been a big fan of pedicures for several years.  For some reason, nothing makes me feel quite as girly and pretty as a fresh pedicure.

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I am pretty savvy when it comes to doing my finger nails, I even have my own kit for doing Gelish manicures, but when it comes to my toes, I tend to leave those to the professionals.  This is for several reasons:

  •          As a runner, I am always in dire need of a good foot and calf massage (very difficult to do for yourself).
  •          The shaping, filing, buffing, cuticle prep is very tedius and I am LAZY!!!
  •          It is much trickier to do a good polish job, even if you are fairly flexible, the physics are not on your side.
  •          If I do my toes at home, I always seem to forget the wet polish and manage to screw them up before they manage to dry.

Now pedicure quality can vary wildly from place to place, or even just between different nail artists within a single spa.  Depending on how much you’re looking to spend, I’ve found a few pretty reliable places here in Reno.  My personal favorite is a place called Soak.  Soak has a few locations in the Reno/Sparks area, but the only one I’ve been to is the South Creek location.

Although it is a little on the spendy side, at Soak along with a truly luxurious pedicure, they also offer amazing cocktails.  (Try the signature Pink Drink!!!)  Talk about a perfect way to relax after a long week!  This week the seasonal pedicure was “Singing under the rainbow” and it was Ahhhhmazing!!!

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The only downside to getting a pedicure when it comes to running is that I always seem to get them on days that I shortly thereafter want to run.  Then I’m always worried that I’ll ruin the polish, so I end up with yet another excuse to miss a run.  But I figure it’s worth it.  Especially after a week like this one.

What’s your favorite way to relax or pamper yourself?  Post a comment below!  🙂

Off the wagon…

But to be honest, this one is really more accurate:

This week has not been a good one for my running.  I have been swamped at work and school and have not had a single free moment to get in any runs.  This is definitely discouraging, but at the same time, I kept telling myself that if I could just survive this week, I might just have a chance of surviving my life.

The good news is, I made it!  I had a project go live today and all things considered, it went pretty well.  I still have some issues to clean up and discovered some new risks, but all things considered I think it was a success.  And now it is officially my weekend! 🙂

I love the feeling of drinking from the fire hose that I tend to get as a project manager, running around making sure everything is getting done and putting out little fires is a challenge that makes me feel really energized, I love the thrill of troubleshooting technical problems and being able to determine the root cause and resolve the issue.

After all of the excitement dies down though, that is when the real exhaustion tends to hit home.  I have had a lot of sleepless nights this week, unable to stop my brain from making lists and mentally checking off boxes, so now that I am into the coasting downhill phase, I am starting to get very sleepy.

Glad I have a three-day weekend to catch up on sleep, get my life back on track and most importantly, get back on the running wagon.  My next run is the Run or Dye 5k on April 26th in Reno, so it’s time to get my butt in gear!

Will you be joining me on the 26th?  Post a comment so I can keep an eye out for you!  🙂

My Cool new toy

I recently decided to purchase a Go-Pro camera, and yesterday was the day I actually picked it up.  I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty darn cool.  What’s even cooler is that I used my Member Dividend and 20% off coupon at REI when I bought it, so I ended up saving almost $60.

Have I mentioned I love REI?  If you’ve never shopped there, you are definitely missing out.  I’ve actually worked at 3 of REI stores myself, in Minnesota, Washington and Nevada, and they do an excellent job of hiring amazing outdoor enthusiasts who are knowledgeable, friendly and cool.  If you’re thinking of trying out a new sport or some gear, check REI out, you won’t be disappointed.

So back to my Go-Pro.  I’ve been thinking about getting one of these ever since I did Tough Mudder back in 2011.  My TM team was pretty big, more like an army really with over 20 people, and there were two or three of my teammates who had go-pro cameras during the race.  The videos they captured were amazing, and as someone that likes to try all kinds of crazy sports and activities, I figured I could have a lot of fun with a go-pro.

I also decided to invest in a couple of different mounts, the head strap and chest harness (rather dubiously called the “chesty”).  Now to go and shoot so videos and pics…

I was planning to start with some running videos.  That was until I actually shot some running videos.  Running does not appear to be an ideal candidate for shooting good Go-Pro videos, at least not with the “Chesty” mount anyway.  My videos turned out like scenes from the Blair Witch Project.  Here’s an example:

So maybe next time I’ll try biking instead…

I had to limit myself to just the two new mounts initially because it was very tempting to get more.  They have all kinds of cool mounts you can get, even one that attaches to a special pole that allows you to have the camera out in front of you for selfies, etc.  Not sure I actually want to take any videos of myself just yet, so for now I just can’t wait to get out there and play.

Do you have any go-pro tips or tricks to share with me?  If so, please post a comment!  🙂