It is everything you could possibly think it is and more.
Okay I didn’t get in actual trouble. The kind of trouble I’m referring to is the decision to put your body and your liver under crazy amounts of stress. I am sore everywhere. Sore sore sore. Every sinew of my foot, every muscle in my legs. My shoulders, my arms, even my butt. O-EM-GEE my hamstrings. Surprisingly my back isn’t sore, I wonder why? My walk resembles a baby penguin and I dread the moment I have to sit and stand up. Luckily Mondays are rest days, so as I sit here organizing my thoughts (surprising that I remember anything at all), what part about my weekend can I share without violating the informal oath of:
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas
Those who do not know what Ultimate Frisbee is, I will say it is lots and lots of running. Quick bursts of sprints, rapid changes in direction, collision avoidance steps, hard stops and long hauls from endzone to endzone. And that’s just the on field physical demands. I’ve only been playing competitively for a year so I don’t feel I can really talk much about this sport however what I can say is that it is fun fun fun. And this tournament was by far the funnest tournament to date. The physical demands of Ultimate is different from the demands I’ve been asking of my body for races. It’s a delicate cross-training so I can improve in both sports at the same time. I’m straddling the line between training according to my fitness level and being stupidly injured. I read a lot of fitness articles describing how nutrition, rest, and incremental increases in workout intensities are key to building and maintaining an injury-free body. All of these were principles were violated this weekend. There was no staying hydrated throughout the day under the desert Vegas sun (does tequila, rum, and whiskey count?), no post-workout recovery drink (does tequila, rum, and whiskey count?), and no pre-stretch, or warm-up or cool down (does dancing until 4:30am count?). As I was packing for this trip, it did occur to me that I could have packed a protein shake, apples, healthy recovery snacks etc. I could have stretched before the game. I could have cooled down. But I didn’t. Why? I just didn’t.
One of the movements I haven’t quite mastered is the “jab cut” on offense. It’s a sprint up the line (towards the end zone) followed by a sudden shift in direction to sprint towards the handler in the opposite direction. It is an essential movement of Ultimate. What I do, on the other hand, is a “banana cut.” I try to arc around my defender. This gives them her the opportunity to block my sprint towards the handler. The key movement is about focusing on stopping and exploding off one foot towards the opposite direction. Nothing in my endurance race training focuses on this particular skill. However, the sport I do have over 10+ years of training in relies heavily on quick shifts in direction. And that’s Badminton. Yes, Badminton. I’ll chat about that another time. However, in Badminton it’s a sudden shift in the lateral direction and into a lunge position. I heavily employ this movement when I’m on defense, paying attention to my mark’s body and it effectively allows me react to any change in direction. It doesn’t work on offense because I am not moving side to side, I am moving forward and back. This is a movement I’d like to train on, even with all the swim, bike, runs, yoga, rock climbing that I have on the agenda.
I replaced one of the mid-distance runs throughout the week with track and plyometric training, focusing on top end speed, burst speed, agility, and footwork. However, I am unsure how this will affect my performance on upcoming races. I’m under the impression that speed work is generally a great thing to include in an endurance regimen.
To end this post on a positive note. I did notice that my recovery time between sprints actually improved since the last time I played Ultimate. And that my liver didn’t give out on me. Thank goodness. I still can recollect almost everything that happened in Vegas.
Tagline || Running on accident… because I tried eHarmony