August 22, 23, 24, 2005 -- "Half of Switzerland Under Water" (Newspaper headline)
August 22 -- Training: Was supposed to run two continuous runs. One of 40 and then one of 50 (hilly). Fritz said it was supposed to be an easy day so I could do it on my own and then we would meet again tomorrow as well as the rest of the week. This season Monday is going to be a "rest" day. I woke up this morning and the streets were completely flooded, closed and just plain dangerous. There were firemen all over the place pumping water out of peoples basements. And where I live, wasn't even the worst of it! Tons of people had to be evacuated from their houses, some were killed in mudslides, and the water levels of the main seas are still rising. There were mudslides everywhere, logs and stones in the streets and all around mayhem in these alps. I waited around all day until the afternoon and was finally able to get out on the streets without risking my life. I ran my one 50 minute run and called it a day. I figure I can get that other double in at the end of the week sometime.
Where: From Emdthal to almost Spiez and back on a highway that is normally busy, but today I saw 3 cars drive by, the people of course looking at me like I was a maniac…
Comments: Warm weather, only drizzly when I ran, unlike the terrential downpour of the rest of the day. Quads are a little sore from running downhill, but not too bad.
Quotes: "Hey, I am going for a swim, see you guys later." –Me to my aunt and uncle with whom I currently live with until I find an apartment in Thun where I will be doing most of my training.
Aaah, crazy! There was sooooo much water here than the land knew what to do with. It has been raining for two days straight and the land just cannot handle any more. There are awful floods all over Switzerland and many of the main roads were closed this morning because it was so dangerous. I managed to get out for a run in the afternoon and it was very peaceful because hardly anyone dared to brave the flooded streets filled with all kinds of debris…Hardly anyone…except of course me, the lone runner on the empty streets with people staring at me as if I were truly nuts as they were stacking their sand bags around their houses, picking up the huge rocks that had washed down from their land and stacking them…I just wave and say *greutzi vol" and keep on running, asking myself what they will probably say after I run past… When I got back, Fritz called me to tell me that he was going to meet me at 9:30 tomorrow morning for a run.
Where I've Been…continued…
So yes, the whole deal of how I am Swiss and came to Oxford Area High School. Well, long story short, mom (pure Filippino) was introduced to my dad (pure Swiss) by his best friend who married my mom's sister…. They married, lived in Switzerland for a bit, moved to Toronto, Ontario because my dad wanted to start up a choclate business…popped me out in Toronto, then moved to New York for a couple years to get the business started…Moved to Switzerland one more time for two years (as I went to kindergarden and part of first grade), moved back to the States once again to Oxford, PA. Do not ask me how or why my dad settled in Oxford… I would like to think it was for the fate of my running career! Haha Anyway, that story is quite complicated and even I get confused telling it sometimes…Bottom line is we ended up in Oxford. My dad had his chocolate factory that has been growing ever since we moved, the kids went to schools in the Oxford Area School District and that was that. My brother's name is Hernan, my sister's name is Eve and they mostly played soccer. My sister was a badass and actually was able to handle the boys…until some other stupid girl joined the guys team too and ruined everything. She sucked and couldn't keep up with the guys like Eve so then our school banned girls from the guys soccer team since we now had a girls soccer team. So of course Eve also decided to run!!!
I cannot say enough about Skinny, my Oxford coach. He has and always will be my main source of motivation. You can quote that if you would like... I am going to be inducted into the Oxford Hall of Fame on Oct. 19th (I
will be in Switzerland and will have my family and Skinny accept the award if he is around). I was so lucky to find him because he was and will always remain the rock under my running. He truly taught me how to dedicate myself to this sport and taught me many lessons about running and about life...his main lesson being, "stupid boys." That is a joke he and I have! Stupid boys! hahaha
August 23 -- Continuous runTraining: Fritz was supposed to come and pick me up at 9:30, but the roads were still all blocked and in a mess so I ran 60 minutes on my own. Fritz is all about the long continuous run. So am I of course! Where: Emdthal toward Wimmis and back. Road and trail mixed. Ran over a really scary bridge. It was like running on a really thick screen and you could see down to the raging river!!! I have a weird phobia of a bridge braking underneath me and me falling down…I just didn't look down. hahaha Comments: Running drills. Abs and strength exercises today. Nice cool, but comfortable weather. Warm enough for sportsbra and shorts duo. 62F Almost 17C Quotes: I swear even the cows think I am crazy! Well I did running drills today after my run and I did them right next to this pasture with a couple typical brown and white Swiss milk cows and I swear all of them were staring at me funny, hence my quote for the day. It was a pretty easy run, nice and flat, but a little muddy from all the damn water that has hit this place up. Today I called a few more places that had apartments available and I found a few. I am supposed to go and look at this one place tomorrow, but damn Switzerland is so expensive! I am still going to take a look though. Everything here just costs more! That is what comes with being neutral and not joining the EU I guess, expensive groceries along with expensive EVERYTHING. But in turn I think living taxes are cheaper here than in the EU, but here I go rambling again…So I will just stop with this political stuff before I bore myself as well as any one else who reads this! I also got my racing schedule from Fritz. He emailed my weekly training plan as well as my racing schedule. It is really exciting when I look at it because I am running all over Europe! My 3 big races are the qualifying races for European Championships are in Gent, Belgium on November 6th; Tilburg, Holland on November 13th; and Paris, France on November 27!!! I will run these three in hopes of qualifying for the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg. Fritz and I talked about goals and we have our eye on finishing in the top half of the CEM (Euro Cross Country Championships-here it is called Cross Euro Meisterschaft, hence CEM). Finishing in the top half of the CEM is no easy task and it is going to take a lot of hard work as well as raising my level. Firtz and I are on the same page and I trust him with my training (THE most important relationship between a coach and his or her athlete is the trust in them and in their training…if you don't trust your training, you don't trust your abilitiy to run well). Fritz is the kind of coach you can put your trust into. He thinks about both short and long term goals or ziele in German. He has already been talking about 2006 and 2007 with me, so it is good to know that he has such an outlook! Before cross, I am just going to do a couple of road races to get myself in some results here in Switzerland. My first road race is going to be the Swiss Road Championships on September 24th. I will actually be jet lagged for that race because I have to come back to the States real quick from September 13th to the 20th for a wedding and to get the rest of my clothes and stuff since it all worked out over here. But whatever, our body can handle a lot more than we think it can and I will be fine! No excuses. (That is a saying from Renee Gunning! Miss you neenee!) Where I've been…part 3 I cannot talk about my running career without the mention of Mr. Aylsworth and my parents. My parents for obvious reasons, paying for all the crap I had to buy for running while in high school and also for all their support etc… But Mr. James Aylsworth or "Skinny" is the whole base of my whole running career. My first running coach, for cross, indoor, and outdoor track.. Every lesson I have learned about racing strategy and pacing comes from Mr. Aylsworth and our many, many tempos on and around our track at Oxford. Sure I would build onto those lessons throughout my college career, but the very root, the very base of all of my running knowledge and attitude comes from Skinny. Like I said earlier, it must have been fate that brought me to Oxford because without Skinny, there is no way I would be where I am today-training for the Swiss National Team. Skinny also helped me with finding the Wolfpack! The whole college search is pretty stressful, but in the end you have to go where you will be happy. Even if the college has a good team, you probably won't run well if you aren't all around happy with your surroundings. I wasn't sure where I wanted to go to college and Skinny of course helped me do some research. I of course looked at the five main things…Academics, team, coach, place, and weather! We saw that N.C. State had great academics, the cross country team made it to nationals every single year as a TEAM and had been very sucessful as a TEAM for 20 some years. I sent N.C. State an inquiry, went on a recruiting trip and yadayadayada, I ended up there! I keep telling Fritz that it was fate that I ended up here because my college colors were red and white and of course the Swiss national flag is red and white. (With a WHITE cross people, RED CROSS is something else! Although, here is a fact so all of you can learn something new today. The red cross was actually first started here in Genev