25 April 2007

Brains in the family

My niece, Andie, was recently admitted to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Virgina. And my entire family is so very proud of her. Getting into this school is difficult, to say the least. This year, around 3200 students applied and only 500 were admitted. Certainly, only the top of the top students in Fairfax county and surrounding areas have a chance of getting in.

And my ultra bright niece is one of them! Wow!

We always knew she was gifted. When a 6 year old reads all the Harry Potter books and actually understands them, it’s pretty clear that she’s gifted.

When Andie was in the sixth grade, she wrote the SAT exam. She scored high enough to be close to the score expected of geniuses. Sixth grade! In the two years since, she has learned algebra and trigonometry. She has practiced her writing skills. All in preparation for the admission test into TJHSST. There was an essay portion and a multiple choice portion in the admission test. She nailed them both!

Come September, Andie will be joining the other gifted students in this school. What an exciting opportunity! I am so thrilled for her. More important than her academic achievements, Andie is a sweet girl, a caring big sister, and a loving daughter. What an amazing person she is. Congratulations, Andie!!!

And kudos to my brother and his wife for being such diligent and supportive parents! Congratulations to all of you!

16 April 2007

Official time

My official Sun Run time is 58:18! Yay!

2007 Sun Run

For the second straight year, I signed up for the Sun Run. Last year, I clocked in at 62:30 and was pleased with that time. My target last year was 65 mins. As a first year runner, I followed the training program religiously as I built up my endurance and got used to running. Well, jogging. During last year's race, I had a "I should walk for a little bit/No, keep running" type of conversation going on in my head by the midway mark. I remember just feeling so tired and my legs felt so heavy.

This year, my goal was to beat last year's time. But I was worried because I didn't train as consistently as I did last year. I travelled for work in January and February and these things tend to play havoc with my routine. So I really only started following the Sun Run training program starting in March. That gave me six weeks of running 2 to 3 times a week. I was not feeling so confident about achieving my goal until the Monday before the big race. I ran for 50 mins and covered 8.8km. Hmmm... I started thinking that I may actually do 10K in 60 mins!

This morning, the weather was cool but dry. A good day for a run. Over 54,000 people were participating and the energy could be felt everywhere. My favourite part of the run is the downhill stretch from the start time to Denman St. It's a great way to start a race and get the blood flowing. I kept track of my pace on my GPS monitor and by the time I hit the 4km mark, I knew I was ahead of my target pace. That gave me good energy to tackle the hill going up to Burrard Bridge. The stretch on 4th Ave didn't seem so bad this year. That was where I struggled last year but this time, I felt pretty good and not once did I think of walking to rest. Reaching Cambie Bridge, I kept telling myself to keep pushing because this is the difference between being under 60 mins and being above it. I crossed the finish line and I stopped my timer. It said 58:24! I was very happy with that time. I hope the official time is not too far off. It was really fun this year. It felt easier. I didn't feel like I was going to keel over or my legs were going to fall off, like last year.

I think I will sign up for another 10K run this year, just to give me incentive to keep running and training. Crossing that finish line below the target time is turning out to be addictive!