Friday, October 23, 2009

XT Thursdays - Sweat it out

Like taking a break from running one or two days a week to x-train or rest, Thursdays have become my day to “rest” from writing about running. A couple weeks ago I wrote about the cage match-like atmosphere that has become the Northern VA Floor hockey league I play goalie in.

My wife, currently nursing a full-blown cold, asked the absurd question, “Are you going to hockey tonight?” Which resulted in the following exchange:
“Of course.”“Even though you don’t feel well?”
“Um, it’s the playoffs.”

Channeling hall of fame goaltender Patrick Roy (childhood hero), I vowed to be the bastion of defense my team needed, raw throat be damned. It’s the playoffs, baby. Sacrifices must be made!

Last night featured what should have been a breezy first round matchup for the Neanderthals. We came in ranked as the No. 1 seed and faced a Loudon Pirates team who we thumped earlier in the season. Things did not go according to plan. To start, our leading goal scorer couldn’t make it, which created a giant hole in our offense. Second, there was no sense of urgency last night. We spent the majority of time in our own end and yours truly felt like he should have been wearing a blindfold and smoking a cigarette as the firing squad bared down.

Nevertheless, we escaped into the half with a 0-0 tie. We took a 1-0 lead into the final ten minutes before the Pirates evened the score on a shot that, had I seen, I could have/should have saved. Then, the unthinkable happened. The shot heard round the world. With three minutes left, a seemingly innocent pass to no one in particular in front of our goal caromed off the foot of my defenseman and into the net. Maybe you heard about it on SportsCenter? No? Well, that proved to be the final stake in the heart. Number 1 seed officially bounced. Thursday night officially ruined.

I thought my night was over there; however, as is the case in this league, other goalies can be unreliable, so I hopped back between the pipes for the next game (3 vs. 6 matchup). Playing for the 6th seeded Equalizers, I knew I’d be in for another firing squad-esque game. Luckily, I came out on the right end of that one and completed the second upset of the night.

Still fending off a sore throat with no other symptoms (and thinking that strep throat may actually be a viable explanation), I hesitated to play the second game; however, the more I played, the better my throat felt. I have to admit, I’m a heavy sweater. After many a summer run, I trot up the stairs of our house looking like I’ve just jumped in a pool…it’s pretty gross actually. I’ve gotten in the habit of weighing myself before and after running and hockey to see how much water weight I’ve lost so I can rehydrate appropriately. Two games of hockey = Sweaty, sweaty goalie. How sweaty? I lost six pounds last night.

The upside is that I woke up this morning…and the sore throat was gone. Still putting the tempo run on hold this afternoon but thinking I’ll squeeze it in tomorrow as a tune up for Sunday’s 5K.

With my team bounced from the playoffs, I get a well-earned week off next week (though I’ll be in Kansas City for work anyway), but I’ll return to the hard court on Nov. 5, for I have been elected to the All-Star team. Check your local Versus listings for exclusive coverage.

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