Saturday, October 24, 2009

OFF to OFSAA BABY


-originally posted Oct 22
HEADING TO OFSAA!!!!!!!!

XC SEASON: Cardinal Carter + YRAA

Last Wed I was at the Cardinal Carter XC meet (Pre-OFSAA) at BOYD Conservation Park. I have to say it was one of the worst races I've ever ran. It took me 23:42.72 to run 5k - yeah I know, slow. Granted the terrain was quite tough - huge hill, many smaller hills, MUD, and just rocky bits over the route. Not to mention I was sick and was blowing my nose every 2 or 3 min - note to self, sticking tissue into the waistband of UA compression shorts = inability to take out the tissue. I just couldn't get my act together that day, I was boxed in the whole race and at the end of the race I had so much energy that I just SPRINTED to the finish - I don't think I have ever sprinted that fast in my life. In the last 100m of the race I passed approx. 30-40 girls - no joke. Overall I placed 113 out of 574 (of those who finished). The placing wasn't amazing but it wasn't bad either but I do wish I had ran a faster race and hadn't been boxed in. Reflecting back I think if I had warmed up a bit more it would have been a faster race - but then I was boxed in the whole race....

Yesterday, I was at the YRAA XC meet which was the meet to qualify for OFSAA. Time wasn't all that great, I was scared I was going to run out of juice so I ran conservatively throughout the race hence 23:18.34. My final sprint could have been alot better, I passed about 5 people in the final 100 m (upon entering the chute) and 2-3 of them were pretty near the finish line by the time I entered the chute. I wish I hadn't been boxed in for the first 5-10s of the race, otherwise I would have been able to run with the lead group and have them set the pace. I have to say, being a distane runner really gives me an advantage both mentally and physically. As I was wrapping up the race I had a side stich but I was able to push myself to run faster simply b/c I kept telling myself not to be a wimp b/c if I can run a half-marathon then I should be able to run a 5k easy. Overall I placed 11th out of 130 (of those who finished). Our team was 3rd in senior girls and b/c YRAA is hosting OFSAA this year they were allowed to have a few extra runners to send to OFSAA (4 teams + 6 individuals instead of 2 teams + 3 individuals / category) hence ST ROBERT RAMS ARE HITTING UP OFSAA BABY!!!! I have to say when I finished and the coaches told me I was heading to OFSAA (as an individual at that time, 8 out of then 11 runners in front of me were from 2 teams) I thought they were mocking me and just joking around. It took them over 10min to convince me that I had made OFSAA. OFSAA is such a big deal and I had never in a million years thought I would actually make it. I can't wait to get one of those cute OFSAA hoodies!

I also ran the guys' 7k race yesterday b/c I didn't have time to run at home and it was amazingly fun. I wasn't allowed to run fast b/c I would "get into the way" of the guys - well technically I wasn't even supposed to run the race. But...I did passed about half of the guys even though I had raced earlier and wasn't even going at a full out pace - each time I passed a guy they were in shock "are you a girl or a guy or a hermaphrodite?" "I'm a chick, sorry to disappoint you babe." I had such an interesting convo on this with this really cute guy (totally would date him if he were faster) none the less he was complimenting me and saying that I must have passed a ton of guys:).

Took my 2nd day off this week, I was planning to run but after yoga my hip started to ache. I have promised myself that after my 10k next week and OFSAA the week after I will take some time off and go see a professional about this b/c I'm really scared it's a stress fracture but..I don't want to know yet b/c my season isn't' over yet.

School is basically killing me right now, let's just say my average dropped over 20% - if anyone is planning to take on IB I suggest you ask yourself if you're ready to take on unwanted stress and huge mark drops.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

    It's been a while since my last post but I've been so busy. Currently I am failing math and English as well as doing poorly in chem. & French. I am excited that I got a 5 on my Frye presentation (20/30| I almost got a 21/30 which would have been a high 5 but she bumped me down – I do understand why though) but I know for midterms I'm going to have a 50something (if I'm lucky) because I totally failed the English test – not only did I not finish question #4 which was worth 50% of the test but I also got the thesis wrong. I have so much homework this weekend; chem. lab due Mon, les devoirs de fran├žais, theme/quote charts for English on both The Educated Imagination by Northrope Frye and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. I have got to say I absolutely love A Streetcar Named Desire it is such an awesome play – Stanley is just awesome! I also have to get the bulk of my Math Portfolio done which is worth 10% of my final mark and is due in 2 weeks. Not to mention I have a French test on Tues, math test on Wed, and a chem. test on Thurs. Fri will be fun though because 1st period will be Turkey Trot, I really want to win the turkey but I think either Torrey or Kathryn will win it simply because they are better and faster at short distances than I am. Also going shopping with the girls on Fri! YES. Long weekend coming upJ

    It's been a week since the Toronto Waterfront Marathon race weekend and about time for me to blog of my experiences. For the record I did not run the full marathon last Sunday as I am underage to run a full marathon as of this moment – when I turn 18 I'm definitely getting a tattoo of my Chinese name as well as running a full marathon. Let's start with the running expo which I went to last Friday after hitting up the University Fair (I'm seriously considering kinesiology and nutritional sciences at either McGill or UBC since I know I won't make it to the States but the problem is what are the options for career if I were to come out with these degrees). The running expo was neat in the sense there were no long line ups for race pack pickups – didn't really get to visit all the booths as I was in a rush. My race pack was a joke – they gave me pasta sauce in a bag. I never even knew pasta sauce could exist in a bag...the rice chips also present in my race pack were awesome though.

    The race itself on Sunday was enormous – approx. 20000 people for the full marathon, half marathon, and 5k events. The bag check lines were horrible, they definitely were a factor to my dismayed finishing times. I had signed up to run in the blue corral a few months back as I had predicted a time of 1:50 for myself but that proved to be a horrible experience. There were people who signed up for the yellow and blue corrals who could not run the time windows, this caused me to be stuck behind a ton of people and not be able to run at my own pace not to mention the difference between my official and my chip time is over 8 minutes. I am disappointed with the people who decided to try to give themselves an advantage by signing up for a corral with a time window in which they could not finish in as they are utterly selfish and they cause many others like myself to have to slow down and not race the way we wanted. The race itself was pretty awesome; I loved the cheering & entertainment stations. At one point during the race we passed by a cute Scotiabank dog mascot so I gave him a huge sweaty hug as we were moving slow enough – I kind of feel bad for that guy since I made him all sweaty but he was so cute.

    Moving onwards, at 11k I grabbed some Gatorade but stupid me thought I could run while drinking which I couldn't so I managed to get Gatorade ALL OVER ME. It was not cool. At the next drink station I managed to clean myself by pouring water head down J I felt cleaner and definitely more refreshed since it was really humid during the race and I hate humid weather. I believe my 10k split time was 49:50 but I'm not sure but either way even my training run 10k spilt times were faster than this so I definitely was not happy. Around 13k I was able to start running at my own pace as some of the crowd had thinned out, either because they had stopped to walk or they were that much faster than me. The last legs of the race were run more at my pace (11-21k = 52:50) and I was able to sprint the final 500m which felt good as I really was gaining in some speed. I have to say at 18k I got quite pissed - I was passing some spectators when I heard one of them say to her friend, "Look there's a little one". I'm sorry but I'm actually quite sensitive about my height, I'm not THAT short. I'm actually quite a compact size though I do wish I could be taller because it would definitely help me run faster.

    The most amusing part of my race were the 7 men who peed at the trees, I have to say I was very tempted to join them but I held in it. I got to say props to them for having the guts to pee at a tree. Not only did they relieve themselves but they also provided the tree with drink and nutrition as pee is actually quite nutritious.

    In summarization, , Kenneth Mungara of Kenya ran the fastest marathon ever ran on Canadian soil in a time of 2:08:31.9 while Amane Gobena of Ethiopia won on the women's side in a time of 2:28:31. They are such amazing runners – if only I could run like that. Megan Brown won the Half Marathon on the women's side in a time of 1:17:59.7, I am so happy she won. I had the opportunity to meet her at the Toronto Island Girl 10k over the summer and she is such a nice person. I really do hope she will take her talent to England in 2010 – she is one of Canada's top runners and I fully support her.

    As for my own race? My official time was 1:50:50 while my chip time was 1:42:40. I was able to exceed all expectations; I had predicted a time of 1:48-1:50 for myself and only hoped for a sub 1:45 so for me to have ran a 1:42 I was ecstatic. My official time was good enough for me to place 2nd in W19, I think I could have been 1st if it were not for the fact I was stuck behind others for most of the race and couldn't run at my own pace BUT at the same time the placing doesn't matter. Actually, I think the process to getting to race day was more important than race day itself. I put in killer distances over the summer and spent hours a week strengthening my body and the outcome was awesome – the process strengthened my belief that nothing comes easy and the more effort you put into something the greater it is. I am happy to be able to say I ran a half marathon but at the same time I'm happier when I describe my summer training plan – those months were pretty brutal but I did get to experience a ton of things during my training runs. I have to admit I did feel a sense of pride as I looked over the race results and realized I had came 2nd in my age group and was the youngest runner to place.

    I do wonder what my prize for placing 2nd in my age group is; I left Nathan Philips Square before the awards ceremony as I did not think I placed not to mention placed in an award winning category. I'm getting my dad to pick up my prize from CRS on Monday and I honesty hope it's not socks because the last time I got my dad to pick up a prize we got socks and he yelled at me for a month :P .

    I have got to run, much do homework and work on my Math Portfolio not to mention run since I just took 2 days off for my body to rest up and repair itself.

    And for the record, I'm definitely running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon again next year! Love the distance racesJ so relaxing.