LXM Pro Tour: View from the Sideline

I played in a college showcase game at last weekend’s LXM Pro Tour, but there was lots of other stuff going on that Saturday, including a instructional youth clinic, a professional exhibition game and a concert by Carolina Liar. Here’s a short video I made from my view on the sidelines of the pro game.

Wait, it’s over already?

That’s what my sister and I said as we approached the finish line of the 2010 Cap 10k. With the cool, misty weather and the sea of people surging along with us, 6.2 miles disappeared before we knew what happened. The Austin American-Statesman reports that more than 20,000 people participated in this year’s 33rd annual event. I documented the journey through video and photos, but you’ll have to excuse the shaky screen. Holding a camera steady while running is a lot harder than you might think.

Before the run (a.k.a. way too early in the morning)

There were plenty of crazy costumes

We're really disgusting after the race, but we got lots of free stuff!

All 10k participants received a bottle of water on the other side of the finish line. In addition, HEB gave out bananas, granola bars and sports drinks, and Schlotzsky’s Deli passed out bags of chips. We had a blast, and we got a great workout at the same time. I can’t wait till next year!

Thursday workout tip (on a Friday!)

I wanted to apologize to all of the loyal fans who love our Thursday workout tips, I had an emergency issue come up this week that needed tending to. That being said, even if it’s late, I wanted to bring all of you a weekly tip. This week’s workout tip is… medicine balls!

That's right! (Appropriated via Creative Commons)

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the countless abdominal exercises that can be done with medicine balls (I’m equally sure many of you have tried them). But there is so much more to medicine balls! Lucky for us, you can add medicine balls to pretty much any bodyweight exercise to increase your workload. Doing pushups? Place your hands on a pair of medicine balls to increase balance, stabilizer activation and the work on your pectorals. Bodyweight squats? Quick, grab a medicine ball!

She's got the right idea (via Creative Commons)

But perhaps the best use of medicine balls is with plyometrics because of their lightweight and versatile nature. You know the padded multi-use room at the Rec Center on campus? Grab a medicine ball and throw it as hard as you can at the padded wall for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat for three sets. Try some box jumps or core exercises with the added resistance of a medicine ball and see your results skyrocket.

This is called a wood chopper— not only do you look great doing one, but your core muscles will thank you (via Creative Commons)

So next time you have a case of the old workout blues, grab a medicine ball, put on a smile and burn some calories.

‘Pro Lacrosse. Blowout Concert. One Event.’

LXM PRO is the only tour of its kind in the world today. By combining a music festival and professional lacrosse featuring the world’s top players, LXM PRO introduces lacrosse to mainstream audiences and brings a fresh look to one of America’s oldest sports.

LXM PRO launched in Orange County on Nov. 21 with LXM 949. The next stop on the tour is LXM 512 on April 10 in Austin. LXM 512 will take place at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and includes the following events:

12 p.m.- Professional Lacrosse Clinic

1 p.m.- College Rivalry Lacrosse Game: UT vs. Texas A&M

4 p.m.- LXM PRO Showcase Game: 40 of World’s Best Lacrosse Players Compete

6 p.m.- Live performance by Carolina Liar, plus all-day performances by Austin’s own L.A.X and The Bright Light Social Hour

If you’re not convinced yet, check out this YouTube video recap of the LXM PRO event in Orange County:

For tickets and more information, go to www.lxmpro512.eventbrite.com. Tickets prices range from $30-75. Check back to see photos, mobile updates and video footage from this weekend’s event in Austin.

Final post on Austin golf

I hope you all have enjoyed our class blog on staying active in Austin. We’ve had a lot of fun covering the different ways you can have fun while staying healthy around our beautiful city. I hope you’ve found our site interesting and insightful. Until next time, goodbye world.

Conclusions

This is the last blog post of my first blog. Hopefully, to quote Winston Churchill “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

 

Here are some updates on some of my postings:

 

  • One of my first posts was about not keeping meat in my apartment for lent and health reasons…yeah, that lasted about a week.
  • Diddo for that whole “morning run” thing. (do people say diddo anymore?)
  • Texas Relay weekend went off without any  semblance last year’s controversy.
  • You can still sign up for the Longhorn Run, and you really should.

Overall, I learned even a short, seemingly simple blog post can take a tremendous amount of effort and energy, which is appropriate given the subject of this blog I suppose. My fellow bloggers were excellent at going outside their comfort zones and interviewing people. If I could do the blog again, I would budget my time better so I could do more journalistic interview work like they did.

 

As far as fitness goes, I honestly think we are on the right track. Obviously obesity is a major epidemic and must be addressed, but I think society has bottomed out and finally realized how easy and important it is to stay active.

 

I hope everybody enjoyed my postings, and hopefully the blogging bug will stick with me once this is done.

Austin Bike Summit 2010

The Austin Bike Summit 2010, a gathering opportunity for local bicycling proponents, whether you’re already active or only aspiring, will take place this weekend. The two-day event is an opportunity to get connected with the bike movement in Austin. Participants will discuss where Austin bicycling has come, where Austin bicycling should be, and plan and organize to create a better bicycle-driven Austin. The summit will consist of workshops and informal networking sessions to share knowledge and maximize efforts through collaboration.

The Austin Bike Summit 2010 will be hosted by the League of Bicycling Voters, Austin Cycling Association, Yellow Bike Project and Bike Texas. Registration for the summit events are free, though the co-hosts encourage everyone to become a member or offer a donation to one of the participating non-profit organizations. The Austin Bike Summit events will include the following:

Friday, April 9:

6 – 7 p.m. — Kick-Off Bike Ride at Pfluger Bike/Ped Bridge, over Lady Bird Lake near Lamar Blvd.

7–11 p.m. — Opening Reception, which includes social, speakers, food and drinks at Bike Texas, 1902 E. 6th St. at Chicon St.

Saturday, April 10:

All events will take place at the Yellow Bike Project Headquarters, 1216 Webberville Rd. at E. 12th St.

8:15 – 8:45 a.m. — Breakfast and coffee

9 – 9:30 a.m. — Morning assembly, which include a quick review of historical efforts and an orientation for the day of workshops and discussions

9:45 – 11 a.m. — Workshop Session #1: Bike Month; Opportunities for social rides; and the Imagine Austin comprehensive plan.

11:15 – 12:30 a.m. — Workshop Session #2: Promotional Campaigns and Resources:  How do we make new cyclists. How do the community, bike shops support bicycle advertising; Bike programs at schools; and Advocacy efforts in Austin.

1:30 – 2:45 p.m. — Workshop Session #3: Advocacy Training; Adult cycling education; and Making businesses bike friendly.

3 – 4:15 p.m. — Workshop Session #4: Bicycle facility design in Austin; Next steps: Help set the LOBV and bicycling agenda for the next two years; and Non-violence in road encounters.

4:30 – 6 p.m. — Afternoon Assembly, which includes a recap of the day, goal setting and orientation for how to make the most of the evening networking opportunity.

6 p.m. – Late — Closing Social and Networking, including dinner and beer.

Austin Sports

Face it, unless an Austin athlete’s uniform sports a burnt orange bovine looking sort of like an expanded flux capacitor, you probably don’t pay attention.

However, there are several other non-Longhorn Austin teams with entertaining games and cheaper tickets.

The Austin Toros

The Austin Toros are the D-League affiliate for the San Antonio Spurs. Aside from being the name of a league I will one day own and name after myself, the D-League is the development league, where NBA prospects learn a team’s system and hone their skills before joining the franchise in the NBA. The 5 year old Austin Toros play at the Austin Convention Center . They have a dance team, the Capital City Dancers and a mascot, Da Bull

The Toros aren’t bad either. At 32-18 they are second in the Western Conference, next to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Houston Rockets’ D-League team. The Toros face the Dakota Wizards this weekend in the first round of the playoffs. Apparently not only do people live in the Dakotas, but they play basketball too.

Fun Fact: The Dakota Wizards feature former Texas star Connor Atchley.

If basketball isn’t your thing, you can get your hockey fix with the

Texas Stars

The Texas Stars are an American League hockey team affiliated with the Dallas Stars. The team, which is completing its first  season, plays at the new Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park. The team doesn’t have a dance team or SNL-based, lawsuit waiting to happen, mascot like the Toros, but they do commandeer Austin’s English and Spanish ESPN radio stations for live game coverage for reasons beyond comprehension. They are currently engulfed in the Lone Star Faceoff against Houston and San Antonio’s minor league teams.

Last, my very favorite non-Longhorn Austin team

The Austin Turfcats

The Austin Turfcats are a brand-new member of the Indoor Football League. They are pretty new so there is not a whole lot to say, except there are few sports more entertaining than arena, erg, I mean, indoor football. Like the Toros, and unlike the Stars, The Turfcats have a dance team, The Lady Cats, (though I prefer the Cat Ladies) and mascot that is a combination of a feline and a type of flooring.

The Turfcats are Austin’s fourth try at an indoor football team. Seeing as they play at the Luedecke Arena nice are far away from downtown, and lost their home opener by 49 points, you may want to catch them before their gone


For those of you who enjoy semi-professional sports, here are three teams you can check out in Austin. Who knows, maybe someday one of these players will be a star.

Find and share local routes

As if Livestrong wasn’t already awesome enough.

Livestrong Loops is a collection of running, cycling and walking routes that users have mapped and submitted. You just have to search a location, and you’ll get a list full of options with ratings and data about each route. Once you’ve completed a route, you can add it (and your stats) to your “plate.” You can even submit your own route.

You start by selecting a general location and choosing a method of travel:

After clicking on “West Side Lady Bird Lake Loop,” it took me to the route description:

In addition to the map, this page contains a lot of detailed information about the route:

If numbers aren’t your thing, you also get a visual representation of the elevation throughout the route:

The page also includes a lot of interactive elements of the route. Here it shows course ratings and a chance to add the route to your “plate.” If you click on “I did this,” this box pops up so you can record your own personal statistics:

If you’re bored with your current route or just want to explore new territory, I highly recommend checking out Livestrong Loops. If you plan to travel, you can find routes for different places around the world, too. Unfortunately I’m not going to Paris anytime soon, but I found a delightful little 15k through the streets of Paris (though it makes sure to inform you that you’re supposed to return on the subway). And if there’s no listing for the place you’re going, simply add one yourself.

Donnie’s Final Focus: Lions Municipal G.C.

Lions Municipal golf course is arguably the most historic public course in the Austin area.

The course was constructed by the “Lions Club” in 1928 and earned it’s nickname “muny” because prior to its construction, Austin Country Club (now called Hancock G.C., discussed in an earlier post) was the only course in Austin and not open to the public. Didn’t expect to get a history lesson today did you?

Through the years, the traditional course has hosted golfing greats such as Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Tom Kite as well as local golf hero Ben Crenshaw who grew up three blocks from the course. Other historical facts about the course can be found here. Unfortunately for the golfing public, the University of Texas Board of Regents plans to use the city owned land for various new developments as part of the Brackenridge Tract proposal once Lions’ lease with the city runs up in 2019.

However, Lions Head Teaching Professional Chris Gordon said large amounts of money could tempt the city to override the current lease contract preventing Lions from lasting until 2019.

“I think the board just wants to demolish it and make more money from the land,” Gordon said.

Apart from its history, Lions’ challenging layout while remaining relatively short in terms of yardage makes it a perfect course for young players to learn the game of golf. Mike Brent, Lions tournament director and former Westlake golf coach, said he’s been taking his kids to Lions since 1985.

“My kids don’t want to play anywhere else but here,” Brent said. “The kids stay here all day. It’s part of their life.”

Save Muny is a nonprofit organization started by local golfers and supported by local, high-profile golfers like Crenshaw in an attempt to save the historic course. The future of Lions may be in jeopardy, but it’s past is well documented and as of now, the course is open for more history to be made with each round.

For my final focus of the semester, I’ve highlighted the nine most challenging holes on the course. If you get a chance to play Lions in the near future, approach your round the same way I do; by honoring its history and enjoying the course as if it were the last time.

#1 par 4 369 yds.
Keep the driver in the bag. The hole features a sharp dogleg around the trees on the right and the narrow fairway slopes from right to left once you make the turn. Translation, if you try to clear the trees from the tee you’ll have to land your ball in a tiny landing area that slopes downhill toward more trees on the left-hand side of the fairway. Grab a long iron or fairway wood and hit your drive down the middle, left-hand side of the fairway to give yourself the best angle into the green on your second shot. The green is slightly elevated and slopes from back to font. Don’t go long or right because the green’s elevation will cause your ball to roll into pretty thick woods. Stay below the hole to give yourself an easy uphill putt to start the round.

Putting on the #2 Green can make you feel like you're at a putt-putt course with all its different mounds and breaks.

#2 par 5 505 yds.
From the tee, the fairway looks rather narrow. The truth is, there’s a net that protects ball from hitting oncoming traffic on the right past the trees. If you lose your ball to the right, there’s a chance the net could save you a stroke. If you pull your drive left, the adjacent #3 fairway will serve as a convenient launch pad for your second shot back into the fairway. The trees along the left side are not too thick so you should have an alley to get back to where you need to be for your approach. The green on #2 is awkward because of all the breaks and runoffs. Everything funnels toward the middle of the green with the high-points being just outside of the two bunkers and the back-right of the green.

#3 par 4 400 yds.
This is just a straight, slightly downhill drive. The trees are less dense on the left-hand side compared to the right and if you miss badly left, you’ll be on the #2 fairway and may still have a shot at the green. The green itself is long and slopes from back to front. Deep woods pose a threat if you miss your approach to the right. The trees on the left of the green are more spaced out and there is room behind the green but you will have to chip back up to a green that slopes away from you to the front of the surface. Ideally, you want to be on the front-right of the green. If you find yourself in the bunker, it’s not deep and depending on pin position, you should have a lot of green to work with on your bunker shot.

#5 par 4 375 yds.
This hole features a very sharp dogleg left. It’s almost the exact opposite of the first hole without the drop in elevation off the tee. The trees are pretty thick on both sides of the fairway all the way up to the green. I would recommend not trying to cut the corner or clear the trees on the left on this hole. A perfect shot may gain you extra 20-30 yards off the tee, but on a 375 yd. hole it’s not that much of an advantage. Hit your drive straight and you’ll be on the right-hand side of the fairway with a perfect angle to the green. The green’s highpoint is in the middle and the surface slopes off front and back-left. There are no bunkers on this hole. The only real danger is missing long or right because of the runoff that will cause your ball to roll into trees that are fairly deep.

If you have trouble hitting the ball straight, the tree-lined fairways of Lions will test your nerves.

#8 par 5 445 yds.
The bunch of trees on the right will present a problem if you spray your drive right. If you’re behind the trees you’ll have absolutely no chance to advance your ball. To avoid wasting a stroke on a punch out, there’s a lot more bail-out room on your left should you miss your drive. There is a fairway bunker on the left, but it is not deep at all meaning you can still advance you ball with a long iron or fairway wood and be in prime position to meet this green in regulation. The street on the right of the hole doesn’t come into play unless you miss terribly. The green slopes from back to front and runs off the back of the surface down a hill if you miss long. An arrant approach to the left is guarded by deep woods and a bunker guards the right with a steep side-lip. If you’re not comfortable with your approach distance, bail-out short in front of the green. You’ll find that position much more comforting than the previous alternatives.

#10 par 4 295 yds.
This is my favorite hole to play on the golf course. It’s only 295 yds. long and it’s downhill. There are two small ponds that guard the front of the green and deep trees that will cause problems if you go left or long. The smart thing to do is grab a long iron and place your drive at the bottom of the hill leaving yourself a wedge over the ponds to the green. However, I always find myself pulling out the driver on this hole and going for glory. If you’re in a tight match, layup. If you’re just out having fun, it’s a great par 4 to go for the green off the tee. The green slopes drastically off the front, back-left and back-right. Be careful chipping around this green because those runoffs could cause your ball to roll a long way if you don’t stop your chip on the green.

Even with a perfect drive, your chances of reaching the green on #12 in two are pretty slim.

#12 par 5 500 yds.
In my opinion, this is the hardest hole on the golf course. The way the hole is laid out makes it almost impossible to reach this green in two. Knowing that, you should keep your drive on the right-hand side of the fairway to set up your second shot. If your drive isn’t perfect, it’s going to be a three-shot hole anyway so don’t be too upset. Even if you do hit a long drive down the right-hand side, you be faced with a long approach over a creek to an elevated, uphill green that is on a drastic slope from left to right that runs toward the water. The area around the green is also guarded by thick trees if you miss the surface. The only sane option is to lay up just short of the creek and give yourself a 100 yd. wedge shot into the green with your third shot. Pay attention to the wind and grab an extra club for this uphill approach. The green slopes pretty hard from back-left to front-right. Most of the putts are going to follow the contours of the hill and break toward the creek.

#14 par 5 525 yds.
Much like #2, a large net protecting oncoming cars makes another appearance on this hole and could save your ball if you pull your drive left. There are some trees on the right-hand side of the fairway but they are not too thick that you can’t find an alley to progress your ball forward. There’s also an adjacent fairway on the right, past the trees if you miss your drive far right. This green is not heavily guarded. There are no bunkers or water. The green’s highpoint is in the middle and the surface rolls of the front. There is a runoff on the back of the green, so don’t go long on your approach. If you catch the runoff, your ball will roll down the hill and into the woods.

Distances, wind and club selection are key around the greens at Lions. Frequent runoffs into deep woods around the greens will punish mistakes made on approach shots.

#16 par 4 403 yds.
This hole is very narrow off the tee. It’s down hill and doglegs left toward a small pond at the bottom of the hill. Depending on how far you hit your driver, it might be best to use a fairway wood or hybrid long-iron off this tee. Ideally you want your drive to follow the inside of the cart-path and funnel down the hill toward the water. The path is extremely tight, and deep trees pose serious threats for drives missed right or left. Once you reach the bottom of the hill, your approach will be up another hill to an elevated green. The green slopes off the front down the hill and has a runoff on the back side the will cause your ball to roll into the deep trees. There’s a lot of trouble on this hole. Make sure you’re comfortable with your distances and club selection because you don’t want to be short or long with your approach to this green.