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6/11/2012 9:49:49 AM -
The Mountain

Now that camp is approaching (and it is), I'm giving some thought to how I'm going to train during the season -- and I'm referring to my own training here. My schedule is going to change within the next couple of months, and I'm going have to do some serious work-arounds to get everything in.

When I think about training around this time of year, I start thinking about The Mountain.

Every year, a lot of high schools from our area go away to camp in the same area. There's a huge park/reservation type of thing about 100 miles away with shitloads of fields and cabins, etc, and both of the schools at which I've coached typically use the same place. Right in the middle of it, there's a hill we refer to simply as "The Mountain." This is about a 60-70 yard steep-ass vertical that's a bitch to get up, and an even bigger bitch to get down.

A few years ago, I'd fooled myself into thinking I was training hard. I was busting my ass doing "our kind of shit" 4-5 days a week, pushing the Prowler until I puked after lots of workouts, and I thought I was in decent shape. One of the guys I coached with back then was a former D-1 basketball player who was in really good shape, and I made the mistake of challenging him on the hill. I believe my exact words were, "I'll run your ass into the ground."

So, one day in camp -- like the first or second day, we decided to run the hill at lunch, after the kids had gone in. I think I MAY have gotten up and down 3-4 times before everything just seized up and I couldn't get up again. It's not like I quit, either. My legs just f-ing quit on me. I was just dead, and done. Completely gassed to the point where if I was going to keep going up and down, I was walking, step by step. We've all been in that position, and it sucked.

There's this weird concrete slab right at the base of the hill, off to the side a little, so I got my water and laid down on this thing, heaving and puking and feeling like absolute shit. Meanwhile, this dude is still going up and down the hill like it was nothing. He's got his shirt off at this point (hell f-ing no, I wasn't doing that back then...nobody could stand the glare), and he's cruising. 4, 5, 6 trips more than me, and he's not slowing down.

The worst indignity of the whole thing?

Every time the guy came back down to the bottom of the hill, he came over to ask me if I was okay as I was lying on this concrete slab like some sacrificial fattened sow.

It was one of the most embarrassing athletic moments of my life -- especially in light of the fact that at one point, I actually WAS a distance runner, at least for a short period of time. I hate to admit it, but I've actually run a marathon in my life, and I did so in a fairly competitive time. This was 15 years ago, but still -- I shouldn't be getting my ass handed to me like some fat, out of shape, f--k on a random hill.

Anyway, in looking forward to camp this year, I've been doing a LOT more endurance shit in order to streamline myself. Hills, tempos, the Prowler, etc. The whole goal of the operation over the next two months is to strip off as much fat as possible. Yeah, I'm still trying to get stronger, and I'm doing my little Block Periodization for Regular Guys shit, but I do not want to ever lose to another coach on that f-ing mountain again.

That's the goal for the rest of the summer.

Angry Coach

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