Sunday, April 11, 2010

Changing seasons

We've reached that time of year where I'm transitioning from winter sports, like basketball, to summer sports, like auto racing. Our first AISA race driving school of the year will take place at St-Eustache next weekend. It's sold out, which is good, and I look forward to heading out to the track. Unfortunately, my race car will not be ready as we are still waiting for the transmission rebuild. I really hope it will be ready for the Calabogie school 3 weeks later, as I have still never been able to take my car out at Calabogie.

The girls' basketball season will most likely be wrapping up this week. I tried to continue practices after the end of the regular season, but turnout has been low. This Thursday will almost surely be the last practice of the year. I taught some of the girls who did show up to play horse, and I hope it catches on. I will try to find opportunities for the girls to play this summer if they choose to. I received my Canadian coaching certification card by mail, which is quite satisfying (even though I met the conditions over a year ago!).

My own team has now won both our best-of-three semifinal games and we will be heading to the finals in two weeks. There were only four players on the opponent's team Friday, so it was an easy win. I scored 20 points, but it wasn't that hard with only 4 defenders. The final will be extremely tough, as we take on the first place team.

The marathon training is going very well. I've been running four times a week, following Christian's plan. I am at my lowest bodyweight in over 10 years, even though I'm eating quite a lot. According to my training watch, I burn over 2 000 calories on a long run. I have met all the training goals set out in the plan, the intervals speeds and the average speeds on the longer runs. Yesterday, I was supposed to run three ten-minute blocks at an average of 4:30 per kilometer in the context of an 18 km run, but I managed to average faster than 4:30 for the whole 18 km. I think this means I'm in better shape than I was at the winter race, since I averaged the exact same speed over a pretty similar distance, including climbing to the top of Mount Royal yesterday. I went out for a 24 km run with Franck this morning, and I was really beginning to feel the fatigue in my legs. If you add yesterday and today's run together, the total length is the same as a marathon. I'm beginning to see that the marathon is going to be something seriously tough. I'm trying not to think about it too much and just follow the training plan. If I just do what I'm supposed to do, hopefully I will have no regrets, even if I don't meet my target time. Averaging 4:30 for 42 km is going to be seriously tough. I look forward to the challenge though!

I rode in Carl's Evo again yesterday. It is a phenomenal car with stupid acceleration. However I also got a chance to drive Carl's friend's E46 BMW M3. What a great car. I think I would really rather spend 25 000 $ on a great used BMW than 45 000 $ on a new Mitsubishi, even if it is faster. I can't wait to get my own BMW and have that feeling of driving a nice car!

News of Alex
Alex likes to read the blog and also seems to enjoy being mentioned in it. I know two facts to be true: 1) she will never go to the trouble of blogging for herself or even posting in any form of blog or internet discussion, ever. She is keyboard shy, even though she spends many hours per week getting her emails just right. 2) she has no problems with information about her being made public, including in this blog. I will therefore experimentally begin posting news of Alex in green and see what transpires.

Alex is out of town on business. She attended a psychology conference in Atlanta last week, the type of conference where one presents a poster instead of a paper. The conference part went well. When asked what Alex thought of Atlanta, she responded "I didn't really feel like exploring, so I don't know". She did enjoy at least one breakfast buffet.

She is now in Chicago, staying with her aunt for the next week and catching up on some work with her University of Chicago at Illinois post-doctoral professor/boss. She will be back in town next Saturday. She thought that I should have mentioned in the blog that she too went running in Cuba. Another quote from Alex: "You know that thing you're supposed to get, the runner's high? I don't get it. I now know running is not the sport for me".

Cool cars spotted:
Land Rover Defender 110 TDi
Ferrari F430
Ferrari Testarossa
New Audi S6
New Audi S4
Mercedes SL600
Mercedes Unimog
Maybach 57S
BMW M Coupe
Jaguar XF-R
Jaguar XK140
1980 BMW 320
BMW 633
Porsche 998
Porsche 997 turbo
Maserati GT
Bentley Continental
Seat Leon
Toyota MR Spyder
Lexus IS-F
Nissan Skyline GT-R R32
Triumph Spitfire
Triumph TR8
Acura NSX
Dodge Viper RT/10

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