Archive for the ‘Ultimate’ Category


Some things recently reminded me of past conversations about the difference between Men’s, Women’s, and Co-ed Ultimate. There’s a perceptible difference in playing all of them, though I have to admit I have never played Men’s 😉  Leaving co-ed out of the question for now, what’s the difference between Men’s and Women’s? From what I’ve heard and seen, men’s games go much faster, and they have less turnovers. When in college, I talked to some teammates and coaches about why in high levels of women’s Ultimate there are more turnovers on average. Part of it is that there is a smaller pool of women who play in general, but the point was brought up than and at other times in my Ultimate career that women just tend to catch less (aka you need to throw much more accurately to ensure that a woman will catch it). Which may tie into the fact that from my experiences, the handlers on women’s teams tend to be the more experienced players, while on men’s teams, you might find the most experienced players cutting. One of my female friends said that men tend to pick up throwing much faster than women, which might explain the distributional differences of the experienced players on the field.

These thoughts bother me. I don’t have a problem with the idea that men and women are built differently, but I don’t think there is a good way to frame these conversations. At the same time I’m intrigued by the differences and would like to know explanations for what’s going on. I was talking to a guy about the situation last night, and his answer to why men pick up throwing faster was that from the age of 5 on his usual after school activity and that of any little boy was to “Come home and play basketball [or some other sport] for three hours”, which would develope hand-eye coordination significantly which would thus translate into picking up throwing quickly. I got annoyed. I don’t want to say that guys don’t on average play ball related sports more than women, but its the idea that 1) his experiences are that of every boy 2) his statement implicitly implies that girls don’t spend time doing things when they are young that would improve their hand-eye coordination which might make picking up throwing easier 3) while playing sports a lot makes coming into Ultimate a lot easier, the motion of throwing a frisbee is different than throwing a ball. If we assume that fundamental body differences are significantly impacted by what you used to do after school, what do little girls do differently than little boys? I think on the average day when I was young (under 10) I would likely be reading to put off doing homework, not playing and running around. But I actually picked up throwing way faster than a lot of women on my college team. So how do my experiences tie in to the general trend of women not picking up throwing? And I knew women who were pretty sporty who still took a significant amount of time until they could throw confidently.

The feelings and thoughts I am left with at this point is 1) I am mad at society for not encouraging girls to play more sports 2) I am annoyed that some explanations for gender differences are glorified stereotypes which might not be true and over-simplify the situation 3) I don’t feel like I have satisfactory answers 4) though this question intrigues me, I get too angry and frustrated at the way people frame their answers to talk about it often, so I may never fully answer the question.

And finally, one of the things that sparked these thoughts in college was the question of what would happen if three elite men played seven elite women (who would win). A shitty situation for all parties involved, I recommend never doing it. The appropriate answer is who ever received first, because the teams would both be able to use the advantages presented by the field structure to get goals (Men would take advantage of a deep field, women would take advantage of the ability to work it up the field because of the lack of defenders).

4 hour later addendum: I realize that part of what made me annoyed about my friend’s comment was that it didn’t take into account all aspects of the situation. I know that statements in general can’t always take the whole picture into account, so getting frustrated is pointless. So now I am annoyed that I got annoyed–perfect example of why I don’t talk about this kind of thing often. C’est la vie!

Categories: Ultimate


December 27, 2009 1 comment

Recent factoid revealed to me (or maybe it was just confirmed): I get stressed and sad when I don’t play Ultimate or run enough. I know that since the Marathon, I haven’t played much Ultimate nor have I gone running enough, and walking has not satisfactorily replaced those activities (aka I have been slightly miserable throughout the past month). The problem with falling off the activities is that laziness and/or procrastination propagate themselves. The more I let myself push off running till tomorrow because of the weather, the more easy it is to not workout the next opportunity I feel too tired and hungry to go running. And Ultimate has been on hold between Fall and Winter League.

The weather and the holidays haven’t helped. Huge piles of snow are fun to walk through, but I don’t have snow sneakers. And while being at my parents house for three days was awesome, I take the train there and don’t want to carry running gear on top of my other clothes and accessorizes. Plus the holiday was full of preparations and family time. Not much room for going running alone.

For real for real, I am running tomorrow morning. Before work, because who knows what will happen after work. Possible frisbee pick-up, possible viewing of Sherlock Holmes.

I mean, how much of a wake up call do I need? When my boyfriend suggests that I should get a punching bag or look into all-season activities, that is a sign that my suspicions were true: The line was crossed between taking a healthy rest from exercise and not taking care of myself properly. Because apparently I need to workout to be happy.

The good news is that Winter Ultimate starts in January, and rain washed away the snow piles so I can’t use falling on ice as an excuse to not run. I may also try to find a weekly indoor activity like martial arts or swing dancing.

Categories: running, Ultimate

I’m not supposed to exercise!!

November 24, 2009 3 comments

I don’t like being told by a website that I should still be resting today. Even though it’s probably right. Today after work I was thinking of walking home. Saves a token, plus I got out earlier than I have been (I was trying to build comp time… no point this week because of Thanksgiving), so I felt weird being free at 5pm. I listened to the website advice and took the trolley. It’s only a three mile walk, practically nothing. Maybe after my next marathon I will be more rebellious. Right now I think it’s wise to listen to Hal, he has run many more marathons than me.

Today I am less sore than yesterday, which is a surprise. I associate the second day after a hard workout with more soreness if day one involved doing nothing. Today all I did was walk around the office, and I might go grocery shopping (don’t ask how sad my fridge looks). My left knee is more prone to hyperextension than it should be (but that is mostly from before, just slightly worse now that my muscles are more tired), and my quads still don’t like stairs. But other than that, I feel fine. Fine and anxious to do something.

I can’t even bike to work tomorrow. Another day of rest is due. Biking is practically nothing…

Just a note about race day nutrition: for breakfast I  had two eggs, toast, and strawberries. I woke up at 4:30am and finished eating before 5. Consumed 3 Gu’s (mile 10, 15, and 19ish), drank a good amount of Gatorade and water. Didn’t feel hungry except before getting Gu 3. Didn’t feel the least bit sick while running until the end when I started to sprint too fast, but that was just temporary. Post race was chicken broth, frozen apple juice, more Gatorade, a banana, and peanuts. Then the pizza and beer and water at my house.

My dad asked if I was consuming tons yesterday (Monday) to make up for the lost calories. The race took about 3000 calories. I did eat more, but it was partly out of boredom because my legs prevented me from leaving the house, and partly because I felt obligated to eat. Not that I didn’t enjoy eating every bite =) Thai food for supper, yumm!

Final note: Not being able to exercise is giving me cabin fever. I can’t stop thinking about the new training plan, and about races I might run. I need to remember that winter is the off-season of life. I don’t think I had a free weekend last summer. Can’t go scheduling races when I might want to play Ultimate!!