We drove farther than average to visit the New England Lobster Market & Eatery [Yelp], but the pleasant outdoor space they’ve created a hundred yards or so from the shore of San Francisco Bay combined with a very credible lobster roll made it worthwhile. The potato chips are also excellent.
While retrieving a few items from the car I parked out front, I heard the burst of a woodpecker tapping, and grabbed my camera (with an 80 – 320 mm lens for soccer) to see if I could get a good enough picture for identification. The camera rig was much more suitable than the camcorder I used to snap a merlin in 2005.
Ben looked at the photo and worked through his options in the AMNH Birds of North America. Based on the range, the barred back, and red crown, he thinks it’s an example of Nuttall’s Woodpecker (but it could be a Ladder-backed or a hybrid of the two).
This serene moment of observation ended when the squirrel in that same tree, directly above me, dropped a walnut on my head.
I managed to get back out on the soccer field, after the two field sessions of the Class E clinic and a weekend in Reno shuttling the boys around. Even though I had worked in some accelerations into my runs, I tweaked my right hamstring at the clinic and so I knew today wasn’t going to be great for sprints. (The hardest part about the clinic was participating in all of the other students’ demonstration drills—about 13 hours of drills.) So, today was about playing smart.
The summary was
miCoach summary, 2013-06-30
The duration suggests a combination of a brief warmup, at least compared to 9 June, and 40 minute halves instead of full 45s. (It’s a 90F weekend.) Since I couldn’t go all out in the sprints, I made sure to cruise a bit more to get into good position, which is reflected in the high intensity distance being about the same as the previous game.
Another useful graph from the miCoach soccer report is the timeline:
miCoach timeline, 2013-06-30
Looks like I sat out for a long substitution in the first half; I’ll have to call for a sub sooner. This week’s goal: further hamstring recovery.
After talking with one of the dads on Nathaniel’s team, I decided to start playing soccer again, this time in the PAASL Men’s B division. (I played a single season of AYSO Adult League in fall of 2011, but work got a bit too busy. Before that there’s an 18 year hiatus.) For running and lifting, various Android apps—CardioTrainer and Strong Log—have given me enough feedback data to adjust training plans, but for soccer, it’s a bit awkward to carry a phone on your shirt sleeve. Since I didn’t want to play without some form of instrumentation, I began to research.
The only single player system for soccer I’ve found is Adidas miCoach, which consists of a pod that slips into a recess under the insole of your left boot, a receiver, a synchronization program, and a web application which provides the reporting. I chose the Mac/PC package, where the receiver is a USB device, to use with my laptop. Since I hadn’t played in a while, I was curious to see what the summary was. When I got home, I ran the sync app, and logged into the miCoach site. The summary panel from my first game, which includes the warmup, is below:
miCoach summary, 2013-06-09
Even these five numbers were illuminating: distance travelled, at just under 4 miles, was comfortable, given my regular runs. But I don’t do a lot of speed work, and the demonstrations and touches I perform with Ben’s team are low intensity, and the second half—except for one or two runs—was much more of a challenge in terms of summoning speed. (It feels like a brief incantation is required at my age. Twenty years ago speed was always available…) I’ll make sure to add more accelerations when I’m out on the roads, or just suck it up and run some wind sprints.
miCoach gives more detailed results than that summary; I’ll show a few of these in future posts. No measurements this weekend, as I’m attending the Class E coaching clinic.
A morning craving for a gyro sandwich led to a search session. The reviews suggested we try Rainbow Pizza, a Greek-Italian restaurant, tucked away in a valley among the San Mateo hills. Good gyro, physically enormous menus. I think we’ll go back to try the pizza.
Classic 101 Burgers and Shakes [Yelp] makes a reliable, basic burger. It’s one of the few hamburger-serving restaurants from the tour I return to without hesitation. (When I’m not up for a new location, Classic 101, with its generally predictable serving latency, is the current default.) They make an excellent malted milkshake, too.
A colleague and I are working through the better burger places on the Peninsula. We’ve been juicily making our way north; Tuesday we hit Rave Burger [Yelp], where I enjoyed the tasty Greek burger shown.
Nathaniel and I, after reading most of the menus on Broadway in search of a hot dog, stopped at The Patty Shack [Yelp] on Main St. Having enjoyed Tijuana Dogs at Fremont’s now-defunct Juan More Taco, I was pretty excited to have a local source for bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Nathaniel enjoyed his corn dog; he’s torn between the Shack’s better product versus Ben Franks’s location beside the train tracks at Whipple.
Had a nice lunch off California Ave today. [Yelp: Birch St]
When Dina and I moved to California, the first plant we bought was a dwarf kumquat. We planted it in an oak half-barrel, which, as an alleged byproduct of the wine industry, was another novelty. It survived years on our apartment’s porch, the move to our small house, and years more on the driveway. I couldn’t, however, resuscitate it from a summer of neglect caused by a renovation project.
So, at the end of the past summer, we bought and planted a new dwarf kumquat. And waited.
This morning, Benjamin and I went for a walk downtown. (7.36 km total, according to the phone.) On our way out, we noticed these two fruits on a limb of the tree. It’s a small first crop, but it won’t be long before I’m making kumquat-lemon marmalade again.