So I realized I haven't posted one of my annoying rants on my latest addictions and obesessions recently. Anyway, skip over it if you're so inclined, for the rest of you, here's the update.
Addiction: In preparation for the half marathon I'm running in February (which is approaching so much faster than I'd like to admit) I've been pretty good at sticking to my training plan. I had hoped to find some races to enter between now and then just to get back into the groove again, but since I live in Idaho and since it's been bitterly cold, there's only one coming up between now and then. The Resolution Run 5K. Yep, it's a 5K at midnight on New Year's Eve. I know, I'm crazy for even thinking about it, but hey, once you get down to 0 degrees & below, it's all pretty much the same anyway. Just because it's dark probably won't make a difference. (And yes, thanks to the super cold weather we've been having the last couple of weeks I've been running in temperatures of like 3 degrees with winchills of -15. Stuff like that.) I've also amended my goals slightly, instead of running my first full marathon in December, as originally planned, I'm going to try and be ready by the St. George Marathon in October. It's an ambitious goal, but I think I can make it if I keep the same intensity I've had up to this point.
Obession: As for my two winter sports obsessions, just because I haven't mentioned them doesn't mean that I've lost interest.
First, Idaho High School Wrestling is still going on, despite the loss of my baby brother (I know, shocking, right?) I haven't been to any meets or tournaments yet. I was going to go to Rigby last night, but didn't make it. I have run into a few of Cody's former teammates and even a few wrestling parents and it's made me excited to go watch the team even without Cody there. So I'll be hitting some of the upcoming events. (Although I won't be traveling all over the place with them like I did last year.)
Second, 9 games into the basketball season and my Tar Heels have a record of 7-2. I'm not discouraged though. After seeing them play, and watching a host of other games, I firmly believe they are as talented as any team in the country. What has struck me most about this season is that there isn't just one standout team that everyone is talking about (like the Tar Heels of the last two years.) There are a lot of really good teams, but not one that has distinguished themselves from the pack yet. That means we've got a great season ahead of us to see how things shake out. But I digress. This season's 'Heels are extremely talented, but they lack experience and strong leadership. Those are qualities that will develop over time, of course. I'm reminded of the '06-'07 team which tore through the tournament until the Elite 8. They were five minutes away from a final four spot when they let Georgetown come back and tie the game. And then they had a nuclear meltdown in overtime. It was disappointing, but they seemed to learn from it, as the next year they did make it to the final four and last year of course, was the cherry on top with the championship. Really the only two games we've lost this season have been to excellent teams. First an underrated Syracuse squad that is finally starting to get some respect after dismantling Ohio State and UNC on successive nights. And then to a Kentucky team that's riding a wave of emotion and adrenaline with the coaching change that recently occurred. Not that Kentucky isn't talented. I just think that on another day, on a different court the outcome of that game would be different. And let's not forget that Kentucky has John Wall, a phenomal freshman who basically does everything for them. But in my experience of sizing up college players, I think he's one and done, so he won't even be around next year. Unlike the Tar Heels who will probably return all of the underclassmen from this year's squad for at least another season. Meaning that even if they don't make it to the final four this year, the future is bright. Bright baby blue, that is.
And finally, did anyone else see the World Cup Soccer Draw? It looks to be a pretty exciting world cup. That first game between England and the U.S. is going to be INTENSE! If you want some history on that particular rivalry check out the movie, "The Miracle Match" It's the story of the only time in history that the USA has ever beaten England in Soccer. My Dutch boys got an excellent draw. If they don't make it out of group play it will be an absolute tragedy. And the "group of death" includes Brazil, Portugal & the Ivory Coast and a North Korean team that pretty much everyone agrees doesn't stand a chance. Next summer is going to be great! "Laat de Leeuw niet in z'n hempie staan, HUP HOLLAND HUP!"