No Pictures Please – I’m Just Running

So the week went well with a couple of decent runs.  I had designed a long run of 16 kilometers through the North Saskatchewan River Valley.  It’s not the Rockies or even the foothills, but it’s a challenge none the less.  I’m still not sure I’m ready for a half marathon but this run tells me I have the wind but the legs may be lacking the hills.  Need more hills. I hate hills.  Anyway.  I look at this as a ‘good’ run, not great.  Time was OK with the amount of times I walked due to discomfort in my calf.

TD-10

TD-10

Starting in a north direction, for just over 2km, then west for 500m or so.  Now it gets interesting.  A hard right takes you above the Riverside Golf Course as you descend on a paved bike and walking path finally past the 14th hole.  Rolling up and down with a final steep descent to run next to the river until the Capilano Bridge.  Did I mention it there was a Heavy Snowfall Warning which has since turned to “a few centimeters”?  Winds of 25km/h with gusts to 40?  Well there were both, of course.  By the time I crossed the bridge on the sidewalk but against the direction of traffic, the weather became a factor. Once across the bridge open to the elements, down a quick set of stairs and back on the trail.  Now I’m across the river and skirting the back few holes of the Highlands Golf Club.  Up a 100+ step set of stairs gets you to a switch back that either takes you up to the residential area or down to the river valley.  We go down.  I nice down hill after the stairs and a flat for 3km or so to the Dawson Bridge.  Back across the river to return home now. Up a hill that encourages automatic transmissions to shift down at least once for 5 or 600m, up and across the road on a walking bridge through Forest Heights Park.  McNally High School at the North end, I run to the end of the path along the top of the riverbank to the newly constructed Newman Theological College (…and at this point, I can use all the help I can get!).  Now it’s flat as I run around the neighbourhood to finish out the mileage.  One problem, my calf is giving me problems, enough to walk and try and stretch, and the weather is getting worse.  While running past the high school, I realized I couldn’t see across the river the snow was so thick and the wind was howling.  I got to 90th ave and bailed when I returned to 79th street.  Went all the way back to 98th ave then turned around to complete the planned finish.  Instead of 10 miles it ended up being 9.6 according to “WalkJogRun” website that I use.  It’s good for tracking what ever info YOU supply.  I like the mapping too.

It was a good lesson: I was not hydrated enough.  Oh sure there was plenty all around me but not enough in me.  I am keeping it elevated and drinking lots…of water.  Massaging every now and then.  It’s getting better.  Back to the regular run on Tuesday when all should be good.  It’s also a good thing I wore my “traks” for traction as the trail had various topography available.

My wife was looking at me sideways when I got up to run – “are you nuts?”.  Yes, I guess I am.

After all, I’m just running.

Please Note: All photos are linked back to their original website

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In the End, Everthing Will Be Alright…If it’s Not Alright, it’s Not the End.

This past week I had the privilege of trying to right a wrong.  Trying to give a kid a break. I say “trying” because, as you may have quickly deduced, I was unsuccessful in the end.  However this is also a story about how making an effort can make a difference as well.

hand-upIt all begins at the end.  At the end of a rather strange Bantam mid tier hockey game, one of our players fell in front of the opposing bench.  Upon his recovery words were exchanged and the player turned, and made a rude gesture.   A typical response from a typical 15 year old.  Now the story gets some traction.

The referee had heard the words exchanged and then saw the “gesture” and quickly assessed the player a “Gross Misconduct” under Hockey Canada Rule 4.7b which states, “A Gross Misconduct penalty shall be assessed any player or team official who conducts herself in such a manner as to make a travesty of the game.” (p.57 Hockey Canada 2012-2014 Official Case/Rule Book).  For the uninitiated and to give you a sense of the severity of a Gross Misconduct, the previous penalty listed is 4.6 “Game Ejection/Game Misconduct Penalties” and the next penalty listed is 4.8 “Match Penalties”, in which players are immediately sent to the dressing room and are not permitted to take part any further games until their case has been dealt with by the President of the Local Hockey Canada Chapter.  You really have to mess up to do that…like hit a referee or linesman…use your equipment as a weapon or something crazy like dance around ignoring everyone yelling.

So let’s go back for a bit.  Players who are on the same team as the penalized player heard specific racial slurs and others regarding his sexual orientation.  The referee obviously did not hear what was said but saw the “gesture” and thought that it was directed towards him and assessed the penalty.

Watching the game progress it was not the finest refereeing job but at the same time no one is perfect and that’s just fine.

So here’s where I stumble in to the mix.  After reading the game sheet and the required referee report (one always accompanies the sheet when a misconduct is assessed) and speaking with other players on the ice, the penalty assessed was wrong.  Mounting my trusty steed, I ventured out to into the world of Edmonton Minor Hockey and the Referee Committee.  I talked with two current referees and they both said a Gross Misconduct is REALLY bad and that it would be at least a 3 game suspension, possibly more.  Based on that conversation and the one with the players, an unsportsmanlike misconduct is reasonable.  He reacted to the words as any teenager would, like he’s 10 feet tall and bullet proof.  He flipped off, if you will, the other team, not the official.

I looked up how to lodge a complaint.  Game number, date, arena, opponent, division and tier.  Then, so the process goes, the complaint CANNOT come from a coach, player, manager, parent or spectator.  It can ONLY come from the Club level.  The coach was fully behind supporting the player.  The Division and Club President was behind it, too.  In the end however, it was decided that history was against us.  No complaint would ever over turn a referee decision.  Ever.  It may become a study case for Hockey Edmonton or Hockey Alberta, but the assessment will never be overturned.  The player was assessed a  two game suspension (a lot less than I thought it would be).

Why can’t we get referee calls overturned?  Especially major penalties that assess multiple game suspensions.  These people, teenagers in many cases, are human and are prone to the same mistakes you and I make – no rocks flying from my glass house.

My windmill, I guess.    If only the story ended there.

The coach discovered the opposing team, who uttered the “words” that encouraged the “gesture”, was also not that far off the Hockey Edmonton and Hockey Alberta radar.  That team had gained such a notorious reputation that it was determined that for every misconduct assessed a player, the coach would receive two.  What could you possibly do to get that type of penalty?  There is an explanation.

The coach had been overheard telling his player to “finish the check and hit to hurt”.  It was also determined that the coach would target better players on other teams to hit and hopefully injure.  Where does this come from?

Let’s try to really boil this down: The tier is so far down that odds of a player becoming a professional player (any league or level) are higher than winning the lottery (any lottery any level).  The coaches won’t be headed to a “higher” level of coaching anytime soon.  What drives a person to specifically tell a player to target and injure another player?  To what end?  How can you be proud of winning with those tactics?  This is supposed to be ‘get out there skate, play and sweat while having fun’  like all other sports that cater to the majority of athletes.

In the end, I guess, everything will be all right.  And if it’s not all right, it’s not the end.

What’s that?  It’s not the end ?  Playoffs start this weekend?  Maybe I won’t stable the steed just yet.

hockey-outdoor

The Waiting

Sometimes you are so busy you just go from one place to another without even knowing.  Then there are times you have to wait for things.  I hate to wait…be patient.  I have trouble with that.  I want to do things (that I want to do) right away.  Otherwise I’m not patient, I am procrastinating.

I have discovered that I actually have a disability. It is called a speed processing issue. My compensation is to try and do everything right away before I forget what it was I was supposed to do. It’s not as crazy as you’d think. It just looks that way.

There are days it feels like that.

Learning disabilities can be assessed, diagnosed and addressed. Cured? Good question.

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