Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The 5:54 mile race

  Track season ended recently for me and I fell short of my goal PR, personal record, but along with that unreached goal I gained friendships, strengthened character, and a better understanding of myself.
   Before track season had even begun this year I asked my track coach, who was also my cross country coach, what time he thought I could get in the mile this upcoming season. The answer was a confident and happy "5:40". From then on I mentally told myself  repetitively  that I was going to get 5:40s this track season. I trained hard every day, doing everything my coach would ask. I took my vitamins, drank my water, and ate good food. At the West Coast Relays I got close, getting a 5:51 in the mile. A 5:51 mile is two seconds from a 5:49 mile; my coach and I were so excited.
   Finally league had arrived, the race my coach had me at the peak of my training for. We we talking, my coaches and I, before the beginning of the meet about the mile; I said with good humor but all seriousness "Hey it's 5:40s or die trying". I almost died trying. Just after the race, I was panting hard laying on the grass when voices floated above me saying I got another 5:51. I was crushed.
   I qualified for all three events at area, but of course I chose to focus on the mile, on getting that PR. At area I raced a 5:55 mile, and the frustration continued to grow inside me. Why couldn't I break into the 5:40s? My coach said I could, what was I doing wrong? A week after area I had a time trial. Time trials are unofficial races, usually only done to earn a better PR; the person racing in the trial is paced by a faster runner so they'll stay on pace for their goal. During the last lap, 200 meters away from the finish line and the end of my race, it was shouted out that I was at 5:00 flat, and if I just ran a 48 second 200, I would finally be in the 5:40s. At that same moment, I tried so hard, I gave everything I had to go faster, but my body wouldn't do it. My legs felt like they were stuck in molasses, my body felt as if I was a snail trailing along the sidewalk at a painfully slow pace. As I crossed the finish line the timer read 5:54. I failed.
  After the race I became sick, reflecting back I think it was caused by the immense guilt and regret I felt. I stayed home the next day due to my nausea and weakness; the whole day I couldn't get it out of my head that my season was over and I never reached my goals. I broke down crying that night to my  parents, I couldn't stop saying that I was so close, I could've done it.
  What my parents told my was something I was desperately needing to hear. They said that just because I didn't break 5:50 doesn't mean that I'm a failure. They said that there was so much more to my track season than just merely the times I received for my races. I had coaches who cared for me and wanted to help me in anyway they could, as well as friends gained who pushed me to the limit in workouts and always had my back, and a team who loved me, and I loved them, like a family. The sport itself, running, taught me that if you want something, you have to work for it, and hard work is essentially the key to success
  Maybe I didn't get 5:49, or 5:45 this season, but I wouldn't trade what did get this season, friends, character, love, and wonderful memories, for the world, not even for a PR:).

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Problem Solving, California drought style.

I have an issue with where California's money is going. Our governor plans on making a train system that goes up and down all of California, which will be very efficient, and make traveling  across the golden state very easy. This train system would be a great idea if one of California's biggest exports wasn't choking and crumbling to dust, agriculture. Since the drought, water has been extremely sparse in the valley, where most, if not almost all, of the agriculture is grown. Farmers have been digging deeper and deeper wells, and getting nothing. Californians could have used a canal that they've used previously for water, but the San Franciscans decided to take that canal and make it a habitat for an apparently endangered species of fish that seems to be way more important than growing agriculture so America, and other parts of the world can be fed. 
My point is here, is that as a Californian, I know we need water, especially in the valley. I also know that we have money to spend, because the governors plan for a new train system isn't cheap. I propose we take that money for the train system and use it to build new canals coming from the ocean. This idea sounds crazy considering the the ocean water is salt water, but we could build a small facility that is at the beginning of the canal that separates the salt from the water. The facility would freeze the salt water, which it would actually only freeze the water, and push out all the salt. I know this because a chemistry and physics science teacher, my father, told me that icebergs in the ocean actually are fresh water, because when you freeze salt water, the salt gets separated form the water due to the fact that it is much harder to freeze salt than water, so the salt is pushed away, making fresh water. California could do this, we could fix our water problems, we just have to prioritize and get things done. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

New Years Resolutions

   One of my goals for this semester would be to make doing my homework a priority. The first step in achieving that goal would be to set aside time after track practice to complete it, and when doing that set a reminder or an alarm that will go off after practice so that I will actually remember to do my homework. Another step would be to have someone, my mom or my sister, hold me accountable so that I won't blow it off and on the contrary actually do it. I also think it would help to focus on the bigger picture, because if I do my homework than I'm one step closer to getting an "A", and if  I get good grades, then that means I have a better chance of getting into college, which means I'll have a better chance of getting a job, which is the ultimate big picture for me.Those are the steps I plan of taking to make my homework a priority:).Another goal of mine is to eat more cookie dough, because cookie dough makes me happy and so does making it for my family. A step that will help me achieve this goal is to buy supplies for the cookie dough, so that I will have what I need. Secondly, I would need to track down a delicious recipe for sugar cookies, luckily my mom has a recipe that is the perfect fit! Finally, I would have to actually make the cookie dough, which is my second favorite part of the process next to actually eating it. This goal is my favorite I have for myself and I am sure I will follow the steps to achieve it:).

Friday, December 11, 2015

#4-Higlight of My Junior Year So Far

           The highlight of my year so far consisted of when I ran my best against Union with a time of 20:26 for three miles, not to mention everyone else on my team earned a personal record as well. Our races against union were always a big deal, but the most recent will always be the most important one in my heart. I am very close to all the seniors on the team, we all met on saturdays and did long runs together, and I was a captain with a few of them for two years, I have always looked up to them as role models. On the day of the union race we all realized that we only had really two races left with each other, which was really sad but in a good way because it made us want to run our hardest and best for each other. Our coach, Joran Perry, even bought us all a rose and a note of encouragement individualized for each one of us. That being said, it was already a very special and important day before we even started the race. At the start of the race there was absolute silence before the gun went off, there was no nervousness, instead the air was bursting with anticipation, we were all so ready to run that if the coach didn't shoot the gun at the time that he did we would have all exploded of readiness like fireworks. As the gun shot off, we all ran forward quickly with confidence. I was supposed to stay with their third girl, as I was Tulare Western's third girl, and I stayed next to her through the first mile, but in the second mile i realized I wasn't going as hard as I could, so I sped up. As the distance grew between us, I kept thinking i heard footsteps, like someone was following me, like she was catching up. All through the second mile i kept running faster, and faster, and faster, so fast that i went into a place where I couldn't hear my pain anymore, the desire to beat her and to beat my last time was all i heard. I sprinted the last 800, then looked back after i crossed the finish line. She was in the last mile, a full minute behind me. I was indescribably happy when i realized this and heard my time, it was the highlight of my year.

#3-Rhetorical Precis

   Looking back on the RPs I did this semester, I learned many important factors that build a successful writer, such as learning how to completely summarize a passage in only four sentences, as well as trying to fit as much as you can in a single sentence with it being correct. I struggled to follow through with completing every single RP each week due to the fact that I was not responsible. I have no excuses, knowing that there was one due each week, but I always forgot to due it on thursday night after a cross country race, or during a rally set up, which I know will affect my grade and I feel terrible about. I semi-overcame those struggles by setting an alarm on my phone after school, so when thursday came around I knew I had an RP to do. I think RPs can help you grow as a thinker, writer, and reader because as a thinker, you have to understand what the point the author is trying to get across and what tone she/he is using. As a writer, you have to know how to form correct long sentences and create a full and complete summary in just four sentences. Additionally, you need to follow a correct format every time. RPs help you grow as a reader because you need to analyze the article, and access which information adds to the point the author is making and access which information needs to be addressed in summarizing the article. My goals for RPs next semester is to have every RP completed correctly! I have the format down I just haven't been competing them due to the horrible habit I have created, but next semester is a new leaf and I intend to break my habit and complete all the RPs assigned to me if it's the last thing I do! Sorry if that was a tad dramatic haha!

#2-Our Writing

  The writing assignments that were most beneficial for me was when we would do "cone of silence" and time ourselves. These assignments were useful to me because I tend to write too much and for too long. I know that when I take the AP test I will have to write out what I want to get across in a minuscule amount of time, so it's good for me to practice this now( I LOVE the "cone of silence", it is very helpful to me!!!). I believe that my writing improved because of all the analyzing we did in class, vocabulary we learned, and all of the Cornell notes we did on how to write better essays, although I don't usually do my RPs, which I feel very guilty about, those helped me as well. I learned to use better vocabulary and focus on what I was trying to say in the essay, also, learning about ethos, pathos, logos, satire, etc. helped me write in such a way that my readers would pay attention. The weaknesses that still remain would be my struggle to write an essay in forty minutes, as previously stated, I have a problem with writing more than I need to in order to say what I am trying to say. Another issue i still face would be that I am so used to the basic five paragraph format because it has been pounded into me since fourth grade, so it has been very difficult for me to stray from writing that way, and when I am timed, that's the only one that comes to mind.  

#1-Our Readings


                   A reading from this semester that was the most powerful to me was "A House On Mango Street" because it was very real to me. It, the book, dealt with big issues such as racial segregation growing up,poverty,thievery, wanting to belong,teenage pregnancies, immigrants, and rape. This book made an impression on me because the people in the book, Esperanza and the community, felt very similar to the people in my life, poverty is very apparent in parts of Tulare.We have many Mexican immigrants here trying to be successful in life.Our county is the largest teen pregnancy county in all of California.I just a few years ago went through adolescence like Esperanza and was searching for belonging. I also have a big family with a mother who wants us to do very good in our education. The book "A House On Mango Street" just seemed so real and similar to all the things around me, it shocked me to see them all written in a famous book. "You will always be Mango Street. You can't erase who you are. You can't forget who you are"(The House On Mango Street, 105). this quote impacted me because at first I didn't realize what the women were trying to say to Esperanza, but then I understood that they were trying to tell her to speak about, to remember about, what happened in her life, her family's lives, her neighbor's lives, and her friend's lives. I struggled a little bit with this reading because she, the author, wrote in such a way that at times I didn't truly understand what was going on, such as when Esperanza and her friend were at the fair. I overcame my struggle by asking my classmates about what was happening and concentrating on looking deeper into the reading as in progressed in the book. After reading this work of Sandra Cisneros, I learned that it is important to speak up and address the things you experience and see in life because of the simple fact that they, the problems in life, need to be known. when you speak up about the experiences and problems they can be addressed, and it also helps others who have gone through they same things know that they are not alone.