Friday, 6 February 2015

Half of the way

Ok, so this title isn't relevant anymore. We are well past the halfway point of the season, but there is just nothing catchy about a blog titled 'Somewhere Between Two Thirds and Three Quarters' so I'll just leave it. I don't usually procrastinate with my blogs. In fact, I usually use them as a tool of procrastination. In the midst of these midterms, workouts, meal hall discussions and so on, I have found myself swamped. A guy can only draw a number of sticks and dots around carbon atoms and not feel the need to stick a fork into his eye, and I have well surpassed this number, so it's time to take a break.

 I can justify this break. The only way that this post was happening was in the occasion that the St.FX  campus was to be immersed in snow and that we were to be stuck in the comfort of our lovely home on 18 Greening. Luckily for you guys, and for my grades, we have missed almost as much school in the past weeks as the poor victims of the PEI school boards, God bless their souls, so it's time to talk. And this layoff comes at a perfect time, because a few things have happened since we last chatted.

I will apologize in advance about this post along with other recent ones. I am aware that they are centred around only one part of my life; the running part. But I guess it is to be expected. What did you expect when you clicked on a link titled alexcyrruns? I'm not a politician, nor do I have irregular bowel movements. Iron is good for that, actually. To be fair, the reason that most of my thoughts come from running, is because at this point in the year, I am a pretty boring guy. What else is there to talk about? I guess I could talk about school. I could talk about what I usually get on my rita wrap, or even about which foreign animal visited our lawn this week. (No seriously, it's a problem. Dogs, cats, foxes, think I saw a mongoose yesterday). Mostly mainstream stuff. I may still try to integrate some diversity at the end of this post. We'll see. Stay tuned.

So where was I? Right, running. 2 meets have come and passed, both bringing interesting results. Despite the snow, I started really hitting my stride during the Christmas break, and this made me confident about my return in January. With a few more weeks of training under my belt after moving back to Antigonish for semester 2, we hit up our first meet of the season - the NS Indoor Open on January 17th. Most of us ran both the 1500m and the 3000m. The 1500 being first, it had garnered an impressive field comprised of most AUS milers. The field was fast from the gun, and the pace ended up working well for me. With one lap to go, I had managed to keep a bit of energy, just enough to win the race by less than one second over my closest competitors in a time of 3:59. It was a huge PB for me. I then went on to finish 3rd in the 3000m with an 8:52 on somewhat tired legs. Overall I was happy with my races.  It was just one of those days where I felt like I could have run forever. Everyone has them once in a while, it just so happened to be my day to feel slightly better than the rest. On another day, I may have had finished 7th or 8th in a field like this one, where all runners are separated by such a slim margin. It is that proximity in our abilities that makes me appreciate a race of the sort even more. These races earned me the StFX athlete of the week, but the real honour was finding out that my 1500m time was actually .01 of a second faster than Allstar Wesselius's PB. Now I am aware that his 1500 time doesn't fully reflect his athletic brilliance, but hey, it's bragging rights. 
Credits to Mr. McNamara for these great quality pictures. 

Was an honor to race against big names such as Matt McNeill. Disappointed that there was no sighting of Lee Wesselius, though. Heard some people requested to get their money back.

Moving on to the next week, we traveled to the McGill Team Challenge in our lovely X tour bus. With a few pee breaks and endless games of scategories, we were soon arrived. The 3000m was run on a Friday night. With help from co-18 Greeninger Cal Dewolfe, a StFX singlet was leading heat 2 up until the very end, where I was just passed at the line. Cal took the pacing duties for the first half, and I moved in front for the second half. I cannot find our official splits, but I remember hearing that my second kilometer was a 2:48. A bear jumped on my back afterwards, but I still managed to run a nice PB of 8:38. Cal was not far behind as he PB'd as well with an 8:40. Had we run another lap, he probably would have had me. El Capitano Scotty D was running in heat one and came home with a solid PB of 8:32. 
First meet at the McGill Fieldhouse and on a banked track

So, yeah. That was the first half of the season. We are back at it tomorrow as we are traveling to Halifax for the St. Mary's open. After that one, it is on to the final showdown of the season, and needless to say, I am excited for it. With the injuries and bad luck that have come my way in the last while, I cannot remember my last championship race. It is undoubtedly motivating to feel as though I finally am a relevant part of the AUS mix. Winning that mentioned race reminded me of a feeling that I had long forgotten since my days as a PEISAA shark along with Neuffer, O'Regan and friends. There is a difference in the mindset of a runner who wants to hit a good time, and another who wants to beat the people standing next to him on the starting line. I don't think one mentality is better than the other, but I do believe that in order to become complete as an athlete, one needs to be able to access both at different times, which is something that I am still learning to master. For now, the focus is on doing the little things that will hopefully lead to the bigger ones. 

Like the girls track team says before smashing their heads on a table to split apples in half - Commit to the process.


PS - Other things to talk about...ok.

1- The XCountry team actually has a hockey team entered in the StFX rec league this year. Collectively, we are fast and dynamic but couldn't shoot a puck hard enough to bust a birthday balloon. We are currently second in our league, with high hopes come playoff time. I would like to personally thank all 4 fans who never miss a game. I would also want to call out the girls on the XC team who always say that they can't come because they have 'something else to do.' Like what else could you be doing at 11 at night? Maybe you're saving the cheering for playoffs? Yeah ok that's cool I guess. But when you do come make sure you make signs. And I've been telling everyone that we have a cheer squad so it would look stupid if none of you are there. Ok fine at least send the rookies.
2- Last year, a request from Alexa Zarins was made for there to be a section about the weather. I will directly apologize to her as I was inconsistent with this part of my blog. So here it is:

Rain + cold = freezing rain
Freezing rain = ice on sidewalks
Ice on sidewalks + snow = invisible ice on sidewalks
Invisible ice on sidewalks = I hope your stitches heal fast, Rachel Leblanc. :)