Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Headed to the Sweet 16!

Davidson College is in the Sweet 16!

And I'm going to watch!!

Yesterday, my good buddy and former teammate Jonathan, who's working on his masters at Purdue, and I bought tickets for the NCAA Div-1 Men's Basketball Midwest Regional tournament at Ford Field in Detroit. We tried to get tickets through Davidson, but because we both had to talk with our advisors to make sure we were clear to take off early on Friday, we weren't able to call the ticket office first thing when it opened. We found out which section Davidson fans were spilling into and called Ticketmaster to buy tickets in that section.

The excitement around Davidson making it to the Sweet 16 has been awesome. Normally when I tell people that I went to Davidson, I get confused looks and have to explain that it's a small liberal-arts school in North Carolina. Last night, I spoke at a Teach For America matriculation dinner and when I mentioned Davidson, lots of smiles, nods of recognition, and comments about how Davidson screwed up their brackets.

My sister pointed me toward an awesome blog that has a compilation of much of the press that Davidson has been getting recently. It's definitely worth looking at: davidsonbasketball.blogspot.com

It's a great day to be a Wildcat!

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's a great day to be a Wildcat!

Two nights ago I colored a Davidson Wildcats easter egg in honor of my alma mater's presence in the NCAA basketball tournament. I just took a slightly extended lunch to watch the 'Cats come back from an 11 point deficit to beat Gonzaga in the first round of the tournament 82-76, our first tournament win since 1969. Davidson also just extended its winning streak to 23 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the country. Stephen Curry posted 40 points in the game, 30 of them coming in the second half.

O' Davidson!
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Friday, March 14, 2008

Running: Delavan Half Marathon and a fun workout

Last Sunday I ran the Delavan Frostbite Classic in a time of 1:17:05 to finish 4th overall and 1st in my age group. I went to the race with several guys that I run with and then ran through 10 miles with my training partner Harley. You can see the two of us together in a classic picture here. We ran the first 6 miles right on 6:00 pace and then dropped down into the 5:40's. I stayed there through the end while Harley dropped into the 5:30's for the last few miles. We trained through the race doing a high volume week and warming up 3 and cooling down 5 to get in 21 miles for the day, so I was quite pleased with the run.

On Tuesday this week, we wanted to get in some kind of speed work, but also wanted to recover adequately from the half marathon. So the group of 7 guys went out to the outdoor track (the first Tuesday in 2 months with suitable enough weather to do speedwork outside!) to do 12 quarters with a 200 meter jog in between (Harley and I tacked on an extra four intervals to make it 16). To spice things up, we added the following workout:

Before the interval, you had to call your split (Harley and I called 74 every time). Then you had to run the interval without looking at your watch at all. After you stopped your watch, if you hit your split exactly to the 1/100th of a second (eg 1:14.00), everybody had to buy you a beer (meaning you'd get a 6-pack). Everybody was all over the place on the first couple, but then we settled into the groove and Harley and I were hitting within a tenth almost every time. On one of mine, I ran 1:13.99! It was so funny because the odds are incredibly slim, but you'd get SO close and everybody would freak out. It was really fun. We decided early on that if nobody hit the pot by the 12th one, we'd do sudden death. We had a big gust of wind on the 12th one so it was really hard to judge the pace, so Pat ended up winning a 6-pack by only running within 0.3 of his called split because everybody else had one of their worst efforts.

Indonesian Cultural Night

The undergraduate who I work with in my lab is the vice president of the Indonesian Students Club and she invited me to attend their Indonesian Cultural Night last Sunday. There was a lot of traditional dance and music and clothing, but my favorite part by far was when the played the Anklung. They played "America the Beautiful" and a more traditional Indonesian song. Each instrument is just one note and they all play together much like a bell choir does. I took a short video of one part of "America the Beautiful" which you can watch here.