One Athlete's Mind
The first three weeks of year two in Nipissing's Phys. Ed. program are now in the books! In attempt to provide more time for my training and recovery this year, I decided to go with 4 courses per semester instead of a full five course load. My courses this year are far more interesting than last year, with my anatomy course definitely being a big favorite.
Being the person that I am, I don't really have a lot to say about the school side of things, but with the beginning of the school year comes cross country running season, and that I could talk about for a while :p. And if just being able to race again wasn't enough, my girlfriend Stephanie joined the team this year too! It's been really cool to have her racing there with me, and getting super excited/invested in her race instead of just my own has made the whole racing experience way more fun!
The season kicked off with a new race for us over at McGill University in Montreal, where we got to race against schools from Ontario, Quebec and even several American schools. With a significantly stronger summer of training than last year, I've been able to make some big improvements over my results and times from last year, running the 6km race at McGill in a time of 20:12, allowing me to squeak into the top 20 for a 19th place finish. This worked out to around a 3:22/km pace, which is 8 seconds/km faster than what I hoped my pace would be for this season. As a team both our men's and women's finished 14th, a good start to the season for both of our squads.
The following weekend brought the annual London race, and for me some painful memories from last year. Let's just say last year's race plan didn't exactly line up with my fitness level at the time, and I paid for it horribly in the last 3km. But fortunately this year, the weather held out for some perfect running conditions, and I my race plan DID line up with my current fitness level, and I was able to have another race like the previous weekend, running the 8km course in 27:21, just over a minute faster than my time from last year.
Here's a link to our team's photo page where you can find some shots from our last couple weekends of racing:
This week we've finally had a weekend "off" to get some recovery in before our next races in Waterloo on October 4th. And being one of the only weekends we're actually in town, yesterday brought Stephanie and I out to Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park for our hiking practical course for our Phys. Ed. program. We couldn't have asked for a nicer day to spend out in the bush; the colors in the trees up here around North Bay are just gorgeous right now! So we spent the day out in the Park seeing some beautiful new scenery, and learning some important tips about hiking and navigating.
A few weeks ago we also completed our canoeing practical, a 2 day course in learning how to properly maneuver and handle a canoe. So between the two practicals we've completed so far this year, I'm becoming more and more of an outdoors-y person! The last practical of this semester will something a little different, gymnastics! I foresee it being much like my dance practical from last year; I'll likely make a fool of myself, small chance of injury, but I think it's going to be a ton of fun!
While I am thoroughly enjoying this running season, I'm starting to get a little itchy to get back on snow and get this ski season underway! Training has been going really well all year, and if this running season is any indication of how things might unfold this winter, I think it could be a great year of racing!
That's about all I can think of for now, so to wrap this up I'll leave you with a fragment of my latest favorite quote.
"... And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson
Jordan Cascagnette, Student-Athlete, Ski Coach