Monday, May 25, 2015

5,000 Kilometers

Yeah it's tough - 5,000 kilometers is a pretty far distance.  Stepping up to the starting line and thinking to yourself, "I can't believe that I'm 5,000 kilometers away from feeling that enormous sense of pride as I cross the finish line."  Running a 5k is quite a daunting task; it's 3.1 miles of exhaustion, grit, and determination.  But with the proper training and keeping yourself in shape, you can accomplish it.  I began getting into running this year.  In the fall I joined the North Broward Cross Country team. My only running experience prior to myself joining the Cross Country team was running for one year on my middle school's track team, but it wasn't very serious or intensive.  I joined the NB Cross Country team to try a new sport and to make some new friends at a new school where I knew very few people.  I knew that Cross Country was a very difficult sport, running a 5k at meets and running between 3 and 7 miles at practice with varying speed intervals are both very difficult things to do.  But I knew that if I wanted to become a great runner I had to push myself to the limit, and joining the XC team would do just that.  My first few days of XC practice were very difficult - I often found myself having to stop early and sit on the sideline feeling sick, as I watched the other runners who had been practicing for months or years more than I had finishing up their workouts.  I strived to become the best runner that I could, and my first goal was to finish a whole week of practice without giving up or ending early.  After accomplishing this feat and slowly improving week after week, the first meet came up.  It was the Oxbridge Invitational at Northwood University.  I finished at 21:32.02, much better than I had expected to finish at.  Throughout the season I continued to improve on my 5k time, dropping my PR (personal record) to 20:43.31 after about a month.  In the last meet of the year,  the FHSAA 2A District 15 meet, I finished the race at 20:10.18, cutting off of about 33 seconds from my previous record and shaving off about a minute and 22 seconds from my first meet of the season.  Overall, I had faced 5,000 kilometers a total of six times throughout the XC season.  I faced it with confidence and determination and came out on top, I'm just so excited to do the exact same thing next season.  How do you face a new challenge in your life? - AG

Friday, May 22, 2015

District Championship Meet

The day was here.  April 16, 2015 was a day I had been looking forward to for quite some time now, possibly even a few months.  April 16, 2015 was the day of the FHSAA 2A District 15 meet.  In other words, this was the day of the District Track & Field meet, a very important meet for myself and the first Track & Field District meet of my career.  Coming into the meet I felt great, I was planning on running the 1600 meter race (about 1 mile) at about 7:00 p.m. and the 3200 meter race (about 2 miles) at about 9:15, meaning that I had more than enough time to rest in between my two events.  In the 1600, I was going into the District meet with a PR (personal record) of 5:25.06, and I was hoping to crack 5:20 at the District meet.  I felt very confident as I sat at the meet, watching and cheering my teammates run and jump and preparing for my first event by going through my pre-run stretch routine and taking a light jog around the track.  But when I heard the announcement for the first call of the 

1600, the nerves began to kick in - "Too much water? Nah, I'm good," I said to myself.  "Not enough water? I just drank a whole bottle," I thought as I went back in forth in my head.  There was even a slight moment when I had to check and see if my number pin was in the correct position I was so stressed.  But when I stepped up to the starting line and the heard the roar of the gun in my ear as the race began, all the nerves seemed to disintegrate.  I felt great for my first two laps and I was right where I wanted to be - in the middle of the pack.  During the third lap I seemed to find a random burst of energy, and I used it to pass my teammate in the middle of the third lap, nearing the 600 meter mark.  The last lap was when I gave all I had left in the tank, and my final sprint of the last 100 meters was one of my bests ever.  I was delighted as I crossed the finish line because I knew that I gave it my all in the race.  I was even happier when my friends ran up and told me I broke 5:20, and later found out I finished at 5:18.65.  At that point I was so tired from my 1600 meter race that I could've cared less about my 3200 meter race.  My favorite event was the 1600 and I had broken my old PR by about 7 seconds, which is an outstanding feat for a freshman, let alone any runner.  Coming into the 3200 meter race I just had the goal of running it as best as I can, and I finished it in 12:12.02, only 8 seconds slower than my PR of 12:04.16.  Overall, I was very pleased with how I ran at the District meet.  With continuing practice over the summer, I know I can come back and run very well for my Cross Country team in the fall.  What's your favorite sport and how do you prepare for it? - AG

Monday, May 18, 2015

My New Garmin Watch

Running is a numbers game.  If you get a faster time than the runner behind you, you beat him.  If you get a slower time than the runner in front of you, you lose to him.  Running is only numbers, times and paces combined to get you the gold. Knowing your running times is crucial to becoming a better runner, and without a proper watch to help record your times, it is almost impossible to improve as a runner.  And that's where I enter the story.  I'm a new runner - I just joined my very first Cross Country team this year in the fall.  I loved Cross Country and I loved keeping my race times, pretty much just because I'm a math kid.  But for my track season in the spring, I wanted to take the next step and get ahead of my competition.  I knew that I needed a more accurate and better way to keep times of my runs, and some kind of device to help me track my running distance.  And that's where a simple green and black Garmin watch enters the story.

I received my Garmin watch in preparation for my track season this spring.  My parents gave it to me as a gift for Hanukkah at the end of 2014.  I had just recently finished my first ever Cross Country season and I wanted a new watch that could tell me the distance I had traveled, a GPS watch.  My Garmin watch helped me throughout the track and field season to improve on my times in meets and at practices.  My new Garmin watch symbolizes my determination to strive to become a better runner.  Ever since joining the cross country and track seasons I have been trying to be the best runner that I can.  I know that with my new Garmin watch, which can track distance as well as save all of my old runs, I can become much faster.  A really cool feature of my Garmin watch is that it can connect with the Garmin website where I can keep track of my daily workouts.  On top of wearing my Garmin to run, I also wear my Garmin all around.  My Garmin watch counts my steps, amount of miles traveled in a day, and amount of calories burned.  On top of that, my watch sets goals for each day automatically on how many steps I should take, miles I should travel, and calories I should burn.  My Garmin watch has impacted my life and many ways and I am very grateful that I received this gift.  What's one gift in your life that has impacted you? - AG