Bowling Finals TONIGHT – Come Watch

The Snakes have made our way to the end of our bowling league playoffs. The winner is to be determined at 6:30 tonight at South Bowl in a thrilling best of three match up. All are invited!

We advanced in rounds 1 and 2 due to two well-timed games (290 and 269) by Tom and myself respectively and some consistent bowling by Evan. Jordan has struggled in the past couple of weeks but we know the 300-man is in there somewhere, and we’re sure as hell hoping to see him tonight.

The team we bowl tonight is the best team in the league as far as average goes, all four bowlers being around 190-200, so we need to bowl like champs tonight.

We went for a practice session on Saturday and Tom and I finished three games within a pin of each other, 613 to 614 (score one for the Owl!) which is an encouraging result, however this is what my ball currently looks like.

Needless to say this will be the final night of bowling with this ball. I brought it to a pro shop on Saturday and they assured me it wouldn’t be an issue, but that I should get a new ball once these finals are done. I’ve had a good run with it and it would be a fitting end if I bowl three 300s tonight to go out on top.

I’ll be sure to update with the results. We encourage anyone to attend. We’ll tell you our pre-determined team chants that you can do anytime one of us gets a strike.

Well Done, Kevin Durant

“Kevin Durant is a wimp for joining the Warriors. He was up 3-1 against them last year and lost, then joined them just to chase a ring. He should’ve been loyal and stayed in OKC! He had to go to another team with better players to win because he just couldn’t get it done being the guy.”

Kevin Durant is the second best player on the planet, and he wants to win an NBA championship. He has the following options:

Option A) Stay with the team you’ve been on for NINE years, which has only made the finals once and they lost convincingly, that shows no sign that anything major will change to get over the hump.
Option B) Go to a better team with better players and win a championship.

Why do people fault Durant so much for leaving?

It’s an emotional response, not a logical response.

“He’s not the star anymore.” He shot 54% from the field this year, the best of his career, and averaged 25 points. He’s getting better shots and playing with a better team.

Why would any sane person stay in OKC? He gave that city almost a decade of amazing basketball. He did everything he could to bring them a Championship, but sometimes you need to recognize when enough is enough.

He was an absolutely stud in game 1 last night, one of the most exciting players to watch in the league.

For Kevin Durant, basketball is about winning. At 28, he’s probably got 5 great years left. He went 0/9 in OKC. I blame him 0% for going to the Warriors, and I’ll be happy to see him finally win one.

Last Chance Training – Update 5

The Last Two Weeks

Since Swarthmore I’m on my own schedule doing my own workouts.

I hit ~50 miles for both of the last two weeks and have had some encouraging results the last week especially.

4 mile tempo

5:46, 5:45, 5:38, 5:35 feeling pretty relaxed the whole time. I didn’t look at my watch expect for mile splits, as I’m trying to “feel” tempo pace as opposed to hitting a prescribed pace. This was good.

6 x 400 with 400 jog followed by 4 x 200 with 200 jog.

Averaged 69.1 and 33.0. This was basically all out and I can’t remember the last time I did a speed workout that fast.

This workout isn’t actually that impressive, but I’m not a speed guy, and I want to stay in touch with mile pace as I think my 4:33 PR is attainable, so I was pretty happy with this.

My last three runs

I did the 4s & 2s on Friday, then felt great on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

I did 7 in 48:00 closing hard, 7 in 46:15 closing harder, then 8 yesterday in 52:30 closing in 12:00 for the last two miles feeling fantastic.

It’s unusual that I have this many days in a row feeling fresh. I’m either in great shape or going to feel horrible today.

Upcoming Races

Ursinus has an open meet on Friday, June 9 where I’m going to do the 5k in hopes for a fast time. If I was in 15:50 shape two weeks ago, I have to think that in another two weeks I’ll be in sub 15:40 shape (and actually closer to 15:30?).

Then, GA is hosting a few meets open to the public. I plan on doing the mile on Tuesday, June 13 and probably the 5k on June 27. I’m also doing the Tex Mex 5k on Wednesday, June 21.

It’s racing season. I’m in shape to race. This is the best time of year.

NBA Finals 2017 – Cavs vs. Warriors

The Vegas line for the series is Warriors -260.

You mean to tell me a team with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, a host of good 3 point shooters, and LEBRON JAMES is going into any series as a ~2.5/1 underdog?

I don’t like Lebron, and I won’t root for him in this series, but I’m not blind to how great he is (second greatest ever for now!).

But with a line like that, I am a HAMMERING the Warriors. -150 to -200 I’d think is reasonable, but -260? That’s way too good of odds for the Cavs. Vegas knows something is up.

Warriors in 4. Maybe 5 in case they want to win on their home court.

Is it weird that I like Tool?

For the last two weeks I’ve been listening to almost exclusively the band Tool.

Tool goes back to the early 90s and I’ve known about them prior to this, but heard one of their songs on the radio recently and decided to go into them more.

They have a cult following and typically play long hard-rock songs in weird time signatures with really deep meaning and lyrics. They also have these wild music videos (see below).

Some people think they’re awful but I think they’re awesome. Here are some of their songs I like (don’t make fun).

This is Sober and it’s about heroin addiction. This was their first music video which got a ton of attention.

This is 46 & 2, my current favorite. The song is about adding two chromosomes to the human DNA. I can’t explain it well but click here if you’re interested.

28 Weeks Later Intro – What Would You Do?

Rob and I were talking about the opening scene to the movie 28 Weeks Later which is about as intense as it gets. You’ll see the “decision” within the first 30 seconds of the clip.

The ultimate question – what would you have done if you were Don?

I don’t have a significant other, but I’ll substitute Alice with any of my siblings or parents.

Personally, I think I’m doing what Don did and running away. One comment put it best – “You can either survive alone or die together.”

The question then becomes, can you live with the guilt afterward?

I don’t know how I’d deal with it. But even if I decided to kill myself out of guilt, the end result is the same.

I don’t think there’s right and wrong, I think there’s live and die.

Dear Younger Me: Lauren Fleshman

Lauren Fleshman wrote a letter to her younger self that I thought was worth sharing.

For those who don’t know, Lauren Fleshman was a very successful runner for the US from the early 2000s until about 2012. Here’s a good race of her’s.

The letter touches on the issue of young runners, specifically girls, going through puberty, and how it affects their running and personal health.

Puberty affect boys and girls unfairly when it comes to running. For boys, it’s an automatic performance enhancer. For girls, it’s a total guessing game, and often leads to a decrease in performance.

However, girls, and more specifically, coaches, don’t handle this well. Pressure exists to perform well in the short-term and this often results in sacrificing health, most notably in the form of an eating disorder.

The athletes are too young to recognize how serious it is and the coaches (not all, but too many) are too selfish to stop it. This can be a plague on college teams and the culture is such that girls on the team often don’t speak about it at all despite everyone knowing what’s going on.

This issue isn’t talked about enough based on the amount of impact it has on young women in the sport, so Fleshman’s letter, and any other effort to bring this issue more to the forefront of high school / collegiate running is a positive.

A Monday for the Ages

Going into Monday night I wanted two things to happen. 

  1. Advance in the Bowling Playoffs
  2. Break 16:00 in the 5k

Bowling Playoffs – Round 1

How I felt leaving the team in game 3

The #5 seeded Snakes faced off against #4 seed Icantbowlieveitsnotgutter in a best of three matchup.

We crushed game 1 and were looking good in our second until I foot fouled and things went down hill from there. I had to head out for my race and leave it to the other Snakes to advance us for game 3.

Jordan bombed, Evan bowled well, and TC put up a legendary 290 to win by a mere 13 pins. The Snakes advance to the semi-finals next week. WATCH OUT!

Swat Last Chance

Drew’s 1500m

In an un-Mackin-like performance, Drew pushed during the third lap of the 1500, clocking a 61 for that 400m, and nearly won his heat in a very impressive 3:56 (4:15 mile equivalent). There’s a lot more in the tank for Drew. 3:56 and 1:50 are only the beginning.

My 5000m

At nearly 10:45 PM my race started with 33 other competitors. I had my fingers crossed for sub 16:00. I got out just fine but was getting passed non-stop. Eventually I had to decide if I wanted to latch on to a pack or slip back into no-mans land. I went with the former.

We hit the mile in 5:02, which was fast, but I could feel that I wasn’t in over my head. The ~15:5x pack stayed in touch through two miles in 10:09.

With 850m left I made a move to the front of the pack and immediately regretted it, thinking I’d shot my wad too early. I had my 200m left face on with 600m to go. Once we got to a lap left I knew at the very least I could maintain pace.

My last 400m was a 73 and my final time was 15:51, good for 74th out of 86!

All things considered, I’m pretty happy.

My PR is going down.

Last Chance Training – Update 4

The heat sheets were sent out yesterday for the Swat Last Chance meet. Out of about 100 athletes entered in the 5k, my 15:45 seed time puts me around 80-85. The problem is, I don’t think I can run my seed time.

The Last Few Weeks

Two weeks ago I did 2 x 3200 w/ 2:00 rest in 11:05 and 10:53 with a 5:23 last mile which was the first workout where I actually felt “good” since returning.

Two days later I did 6 x 1000 with 400m rest closing in 3:08 and 3:06 which has been my best workout since returning.

The last 10 days or so has been pretty easy, just making sure I’m ready to race.

The Race

Breaking 16:00 is the default goal. It’s a downer, but I have to be realistic and accept I’m probably not in shape to run 15:3x or even 15:4x.

There are 40 people in the heat. I expect it to be fast. If they want to elbow and surge for a good spot a few seconds ahead, go for it. I’m going to be in the back and on the rail.

The other curve ball is my race likely won’t start until about 10:45 PM.

From here to…?

This meet is both motivating and discouraging at the same time. Motivating because there’s so many fast runners, but discouraging because even at my best, I’d still be mid-pack in the slow heat.

Regardless, I’m not taking a break. I’m counting the ~20 days of the flu as my season break and continuing from there. There are a few races I have eyed up in June / July and no doubt the goal remains the same, <15:27.

I’ll post an update after the race. Here’s to 15:xx!

Pre NBA Draft Lottery 2017

It’s the best time of year!

Cavs & Warriors fans have enjoyed this time of year as of late as they each cruise to their third straight finals.

But recently, Sixers’ fans know this time of year for a different reason – the payoff of the process.

We suffer through 82 games a year (except the 15 in January) just to have a chance at the ping pong balls falling our way.

Tuesday, May 16th, is the NBA Draft Lottery, and there’s no shortness of drama for the Sixers thanks to none other than SAM HINKIE.

The Picks

I won’t get into huge detail, but due to Hinkie’s magic we have:

  • Our pick
  • The Lakers pick if it falls outside of the top 3
  • The right to swap with the Kings if their pick is better than ours

With all of that factored in, we have a:

  • 15% chance at the #1 pick
  • 45% chance at a top 3 pick
  • 40% chance at TWO top 5 picks.

Best Case

There are two “best case” scenarios in my opinion.

  1. The first is that we get picks #1 and #4. Fultz goes #1 and then whoever you like at #4 (I’m happy with Monk, Jackson, Fox, or Smith).
  2. The second scenario is that we get #1, the Lakers get either #2 or #3, the Lakers still suck next year, and we get their unprotected pick like the Celtics have with the Nets this year (more Hinkie magic).

Worst Case

We get pick #6 and the Lakers are good next year so we’d get their shitty pick.

This would be the worst thing to ever happen to me in my life aside from if Ben Simmons and Embiid getting into a car accident together.

Watch the Draft Lottery

Joel Embiid will be representing the Sixers at the lottery so it’s sure to be entertaining. My expectations are so high that if we end up with just one pick outside the top 3 I’m going to be so bummed.

Use this draft simulator and see how many times we get two top 5 picks out of 10. It’s incredible. I get a little more excited each time it happens.