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couple of notes

March 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Lots of memories over the past few days.

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The stretching and yoga poses are slowly opening up my hips and all-around flexibility. On Wednesday for the first time I got a stretch going where I was able to reach my toes with the tips of my fingers. But I am a bit lopsided. Thanks to the left shoulder and its slow recovery from being frozen, first my right hand touched my toes and then it took a bit more of stretching after that for the left hand to reach.

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I went to a putting green after work yesterday to work on putting and chipping. On the PGA tour, the players make about 99% of the putts 3 feet and in. Lately, I’ve noticed it seems like I maybe miss at least one putt of that length every round. Sometimes 2. So I’ve been losing strokes with that.

Began with practice of 3-footers last night. I put 6 in a circle around the hole and made 5 of those 6. Set it up again and made only 3 of 6. There was  a sensation like I got tense when I went through my usual putting routine of line up the putter, take stance, then look at hole, look at ball, look at hole, look at ball, look at hole, look at ball, make stroke. I noticed the sensation something was being lost during the 3-looks part.

So on the next circle of balls, I went to line up putter, take stance, look once, look ball, stroke. I then made 17 of the next 18 balls I set up. So a total of 25 of 30. What I would like to do is get that to where I consistently make at the very least 28 of 30. If I get that, then I’ll feel a lot more confidence on the course about stroking in those putts of 3 feet or less.

I also tried some 6 foot putts, made 12 of 20 there.  That needs to be higher too, more like 15 of 20.

Then I practiced some chipping. I found something in there which should help. One problem I have some is a tendency to yank chip shots to the left. What happened sometimes is that the right elbow would pull away from the body, and I would end up doing a small out-to-in golf swing. So I worked on keeping the right elbow tucked near the body and I saw much more consistent results of the ball going towards the target.

Hopefully putting in some practice like this will help me start to shave some strokes around and on the greens. I need to begin putting in some practice with the mid-range putts and improving my distance control on those. On the PGA, it’s not until putts reach 35 feet in length that the putting average goes above 2 putts. It would shave off some strokes if I got to where if I was 3o feet away it’s an almost sure 2 putt, that is, putt the first one inside of 3 feet and then knock that 2nd putt home.

So a couple of things were learned. On short putts, trust that the line and setup is good, go ahead and make the stroke with just one look. I don’t know if mid-range I’ll continue to look at the hole 3 times first. For chips, work on keeping the right elbow tight to the body. I got much better results, both in line and consistency of clubhead contact when I did so. When the right elbow drifts away from the body, bad things are more likely to happen.

early daffodils

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Just a few odd thoughts to jot down. I think I saw daffodils bloom around here the earliest ever I’ve seen. Saw some back on March 2nd when I was going home from work. It’s been a mild and easy winter here, making up for the prior 2.

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Golfed on Sunday, did pretty well except for an ugly 3 hole stretch, 14-16. If not for those holes, I would have shot in the mid 80s and would have felt really good about the state of my swing. But I learned again an important lesson to my golf swing, the importance of controlled tempo on the backswing. When I get quick with my backswing, bad things happen. My body doesn’t fire properly and the clubhead goes all over the place and gets way out of position. I’ve now realized that last fall when I had that realization about the right elbow being tight to the body, the other big thing it did for me that day was slow down my backswing. I concentrated so much on keeping the right elbow close that it kept my backswing well-controlled in tempo. But as I acclimated to the right elbow sticking close to the body, my tendency to hurry crept back in.

So somehow I’ve got to get better at keeping the backswing slowed down. I did it good for 15 of the holes on Sunday, but lost it for 3. Somehow at the 13th hole I lost that thought of keeping the backswing slow. Then it didn’t dawn on me until walking off the 16th with a double bogey that the backswing had gotten quick. Guess what then? My tee shot at the par-3 17th flew nicely nearly straight at the flag with a slight fade to it. Then I got myself to reasonable par chance at the tough par-4 finish at Ed Oliver’s golf course to close out the round, and finished up with a good enough bogey.

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For the first time in nearly a year and a half, I ran yesterday. Didn’t set myself any sort of distance to run, I went by time. Run out for 15 minutes or so, then go back. It was a bit grim. The aerobic fitness I once had was completely gone. I felt sort of like I was running in syrup, it felt so slow. Oh well. I can live with that. I don’t run to be happy when I run, I run for the challenges and puzzles it provides, the chance to gain a better understanding of my physiology. So it’s never been necessary for me to feel happy while running. Of course it’s never really been necessary for me to feel happy anyhow. If you stop worrying about happiness, then you might not be happy, but you might not be quite so despondent about not being happy.

So I ran again. The left shoulder was okay with it, I didn’t feel too off kilter with how the left arm swung. Running might not have been a good thing to do anyhow last year, with the shoulder very tight, it might have made me run kind of lopsided and possibly resulted in some sort of injury. Now I can run with better symmetry. Also right now I can look forward to the period of early rapid improvement.

Tried out using the droid app Handy Runner to track the run. I’m not sure what happened, but it didn’t start tracking the distance of my run until about 15 minutes in. It looked like it said I had 6 satellites when I began the run and I pushed start. I had left the phone outside about 15 minutes prior to beginning the run so it could catch the GPS satellites.  Oh well, I’ll try it again tomorrow, but I’ll also put on the watch and heart rate monitor. Hopefully Handy Runner will track the distance properly tomorrow, and that way I can use the run by time method, and then I’ll have distance from Handy Runner without using runningahead’s map feature to estimate the distance.  The plan is to run about 90 to 100 minutes this week, then increase that to 100 to 110 minutes the next week.

One possible problem right now is a possible change in my body’s metabolism and handling of insulin. Blood sugar was 152 mg/dL before running yesterday, I was at 79 mg/dL when I got back. I didn’t use to have big drops in blood sugar when running except if I had extra Novolog insulin in me. I didn’t have any in me yesterday. Another difference might be from how I take Lantus in the mornings now instead of night. That means in the past when I ran after work the Lantus was winding down some. Yesterday, it was probably up around peak absorption. I may have to consider switching back to Lantus at night, and going to bed with a higher blood sugar than what I’ve been doing.

We’ll see what happens. There’s a lot of running to do to get me to November.

ETA: Amazingly, my legs feel about as sore as they ever felt, almost as sore as the day after the first half-marathon I ran back in 2007.  I’m not quite as stiff and sore, but it’s somewhat uncomfortable going down steps today.  I don’t remember getting this sore after my first runs 5 years ago. Does being 5 years older make that much of a difference? I don’t know. Hopefully some foamrolling and stretching tonight will help work the kinks out and my legs will feel normal or near-normal by tomorrow, along with the beginning adaptations in the muscle fibers and blood.