Saturday, 1 October 2016

Three races, three records

What's Olivia doing? I really couldn't say...

Yesterday was out home invitational! So obviously we had to win it, and we did. First, second, third, fourth and eighth. When they were doing the prizes Coach announced it as my third consecutive win, and third consecutive course record, which was very embarrassing.  

These are a few pictures of the boys' race at the start line. Our start was a little further back, up by the tree line so we had a lovely gentle downhill start. It was a much tougher course than anything we've run so far, but still more of a multi terrain race than actual XC. Most of it was on the weird, thick-bladed grass they have here, or on sandy trail. The most challenging bit really is the footing, which can be really uneven in places but isn't soft at all. It rained in the city, but this course is about 50 miles outside Atlanta, and they've had no rain in at least a month, so bits of the ground were rock solid. It's brutal on the spikes- I've lost half of mine! 

And we had hills this time! How exciting is that? Not really enormous ones, but enough that the Americans had a whinge. I have Max on record saying that noticeable hills in a race are 'unfair on the runners'. Don't know what planet he hails from, but the last time I checked XC wasn't about running a sub-17 5K each time. I was a bit slower than last race- 18.05, but given that it was much more work this time that's not too bad. 

And then we got pizza as a reward! I have come to the conclusion that there are two things I really like about America. One, the food. The place we went last night was like Subway for pizza, so you walked in and just picked all your toppings from a salad-bar kind of setup, and then they cooked it for you super quickly and it was mega. I've eaten too many waffles at weekend brunch, and I've completely gone off them, but there's still always nice things to be had. The chocolate here is ruinously priced or disgusting though (cries). I am glad that I'm vegetarian, because there is a lot of greasy junk food available, but all of it meat. It would be a lot easier to do myself damage if burgers and what not were an option. As it is, an awful lot of my calories come either from beans or chickpeas and raw fruit and veg, and past, which seems to be working well for me. 

The second thing is that they like people who are good at sport. I'm not fantastic or anything, but people recognise me from previous races and say hi, or ask what my name is or where I'm from. I know in the running community at home people do the same, and it may just be the inherent extrovertishness in the Americans, but random people at races do seem genuinely interested, which is quite nice. 

In other news, the cycling team dragged Greta and I out to a nightclub last night on false pretenses. They told us it was a dance hall. What a lie. To everyone who's ever told me off for not 'going out', because I knew I wouldn't like it- I was right! But at least at the grand old age of nearly 21 I can at least substantiate that with experience. 

And this is my drawing finished! It doesn't photograph that well, but it looks pretty good. I was NOT happy about this. The teacher went and gave me a C because it was 'shaded'. It was not shaded. It was definitely not shaded. It took me all weekend because I cross-hatched the entire thing, as per instruction, rather than shading it. But I blended it, because cross-hatching looks terrible unless it's representing a textured object. So for improving my drawing, for spending about twice as long as specified on the damn thing and for using technique that is beyond the class, he took nearly twenty marks off me. And then the stupid man have me 5 'technique marks' extra to the markscheme because it was NOT A C! He said it broke his if I should be grateful. He could have just given me a proper grade. If you look at it up close you can even see all the millions of tiny cross-hatch lines. What a ridiculous situation. It seems to run completely contrary to the point of further education- taking marks off someone for doing extra work. And then he went and messed up my perspective lines on the class work. But whatever, rant over.

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