Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hurry, Hurry Hard! Curling Cross Training I call it.

Last Saturday evening, 19 more or less civil engineering students cleverly dropped their pencils and calculators for a moment and ‘hurried hard’ their way onto the curling sheet at Marpole Curling Club to throw some stones and to sweep like a madman.

A bunch of super cool curlers!

Brian and I had arrived there a few minutes fashionably late due to a small oversight – initially heading in the opposite direction...opps. This curling rink certainly was well hidden from civilization, which was located inside a mysterious gloomy, windowless warehouse.

Eventually, with practice for nearly an hour, we were ready to rock and roll and started playing a game.

Brian and I were on the cool red team, thus for justification of sporting this awesome red toque.

Brian whipping out the big guns and big take-outs.

My first two shots came shortly after my teammate, Marcel who had just missed both of his shots. The pressure was on me to put something or anything in play with 3 blue stones looming the house. My first shot, heavy! My second, light! Having mastered the draw weight and launch from the hack in practice, I totally choked with everybody watching me. Man, the pressure. Luckily our girl Skip bailed us out and made an awesome takeout to prevent the blue team from scoring more than one point after the first end.

Me blowing the shot.

Money shot, oh I mean the photograph!

Joel Atwater showing us how it's suppose to be done.

I got to call the shots in the second end as Skip. It was fun playing the Skip, as I had no idea what my hand signals really meant, and I got some funny looks for my gesturing too. When it was my turn to shoot, the left side was wide opened. My nerves settled from the first end and I curled my stone behind a guard. Perhaps it was the magic of sweeping? Jeff, the blue Skip, hits one of our stone out, however we still had one closest to the button. This was my chance to score two points and redeem myself for the first end. With barely a 3mm gap, my second shot stuck around a centre guard and was enough to take two points for second end (granted I actually had the entire left side open to make the shot). Success!

Sweeping was harder than scrubbing grime off concrete. Joel was yelling "hard" and "off" unexpectedly, and at one point Liliana on the blue team jumped to all the excitement (left)!

We ended up exchanging one point for the remaining third and fourth ends. All in all, it was a lot of fun! Not too bad, considering this was my first time curling.

Final Score: Red 3 - Blue 2

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NB Fall Classic Half Marathon Race Report

Coming into this race, I had my hopes high especially coming off from a pb time in Victoria. I believed I was capable of a sub 1:28.

It turns out I was ‘CLOSE’-ish with a gun time of 1:32:39 [just maybe twist palm of hand back and forth a few times].

Here’s the story. The weather for the race morning was not exactly the prettiest of conditions: cold (6°C) , wet (20-30mm) and windy (39km/hr E, 50km/hr gusts). Despite having suited up well with four layers and having proper taper and rest, as well as having my pre-ritual breakfast (a bagel and banana and orange juice no less), I couldn’t escape from whipping out the weak excuses. I had overlooked one detail - ample time for warm-up.

It’s my own fault really. Oh man, how EMBARRASSING!!! The morning was chaotic, I had totally lost track of time after waiting in the long line-up to pickup my chip and race bib. Ideally I would have warmed up for 10-15 minutes prior to starting. So I just smiled it off and started.

My smile and warm-up run :)

On hindsight, I probably would have only shaved off one or two minutes given the harsh conditions. Still two full days after, my legs are in a world of hurt and I guess I have to be impressed with my time for doing the half marathon on literally cold feet.

Despite the lack of a proper feel-good warm-up and the tough conditions, this race was actually a lot of fun. A few friends were doing the race with cold feet as well, so I wasn’t alone.

My attempt to round up the troops and get Chris Scott, Nathaniel Janzen, and Ceilidh Curtis to smile at the camera.

Eric Suess and I met up around the 3km mark and just after the first turn around at 5km, Liam Harrap had caught up. I could only hold their pace until 7km mark when I had to slow down and hover around the 4:20 pace. I tried to keep up but my legs had given up at that point.

My second lap felt a little faster, running it more aggressively. I managed to reel in a handful of runners whom had passed me late on the first lap.

Liam braved the conditions with only the coveted UBCTC Tech Tee! He really could handle it, since he has experience with extreme training in Iceland from doing a year of study-exchange there.

Chris Scott making it look easy.

Vincent Lavallee pulling away from everybody...

...and him finishing.

Liam Harrap went on to having a stellar first half pb of sub 1:28! Check out his souvenir on his left knee.

Nathaniel sporting a sleek toque.

Scott finishing in a pb time!

I have to thank my dad for these great action shots he took.
Congrats to everyone who did the Fall Classic, check out our club's results here.

My Splits (min/km)
1km 4:14
2km 4:07
3km 4:08
4km 4:07
5km 4:14
6km 4:01
7km 4:21
8km 4:40
9km 4:34
10km 4:46
11km 4:21
12km 4:21
13km 4:40
14km 4:14
15km 4:08
16km 4:20
17km 4:33
18km 4:28
19km 4:28
20km 4:26
21.1km 4:26 (4:53)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NB Fall Classic Half-Marathon Prerace Report

Alright for Sunday’s half marathon run, sub 1:28 bring it on.

One thing that could be stopping me is that I’ve been battling a scratchy throat since last Wednesday 5km run. All these competitions in the UBCTC Fall Classic races series and midterms have been taking a great toll. To describe the sore throat, it feels like a funny bone caught against my throat only when swallowing. My dad has provided me some amoxicillin pills and my sister has also provided some vitamin C tablets. There has been no symptoms of a running nose nor coughing. Today I had it checked out, and my doctor told me it’s just a common viral infection (no case of H1N1 luckily). Training wise, I haven’t skipped a beat with my routine being normal.

I have found this relevant section on Antioxidants in the latest Canadian Running Magazine (Vol2.Issue8.Pg56).

Running causes extensive oxidative damage, potentially leading to upper respiratory tract infections, muscle soreness and stiffness. Antioxidants like vitamins C and E are essential components of recovery. Vitamin C is imperative for a strong immune system and increases iron uptake, aiding oxygen delivery to muscles...

So it turns out my little sister was right on insisting I take these Vitamin C tablets. Who knew?