Indepth 2020, Long Distance Running Post #4

Adam Crespi

March 19th, 2020

 

I have been having a blast running every week in training for my races and longer distance runs. Sadly, over the span of two days I received an email cancelling the Sun Run, the BMO, the Shamrock Half (which was in two days at the time), and from Paul cancelling the running clinic, due to COVID-19.

I have been continuing to run on my own 2-3 times each week with the distances getting longer and longer. I am running 16-20km on Sundays and shorter distances throughout the week. As the clinic is no longer meeting in our large groups, I have now been forced to do all these runs on my own, of which I have found it much harder to motivate myself.

MEDAL

Even with the race cancelled I still was able to pick up my Shamrock Run Half Marathon medal!

 

Since my last post, I have joined the Gleneagle track team and have been having a blast. On Tuesday’s afterschool at track practice I have been working with the 800m+ distance coach and have begun to develop a mentoring relationship with him that I hope I will have the chance to continue working on once the COVID-19 shutdown ends.

Even with all my races cancelled, I still hope to run my half marathon and, now having much more time to train, possibly a marathon too. I have already planned out a route near Pitt Lake for my half and I plan to run it within the next two weeks!

HALF MARATHON ROUTE

The Half Marathon Route I have planned out

 

My mentorship with Paul has been going smoothly. Last Thursday, I met up with him to discuss race preparation. I came prepared with a list of questions and ran down the list with Paul. I learned about the importance of maintaining the same diet in the days before and the same running schedule although with the intensity toned down. For the day before, Paul recommended I run through my race day schedule, meaning a 6:20am wakeup, 7:00am breakfast, and a 20 minute jog instead of a race. I hope to employ this same race strategy for my own half marathon.

Paul and I are also becoming closer with each meeting. Last Thursday, with the tension of COVID-19 looming over upcoming races, we were able to speak more openly than usual and it is nice that we are finally beginning to open up to each other on that level.

 

Reflection Questions for post #4 (week seven) :

  1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?

As I mentioned in my last post, the most difficult challenge I have been facing in this mentorship has been finding time and space at which Paul and I are able to communicate fully and openly. As Paul is extremely busy outside of owning and working at the Runners Den, our meetings have all been within the store. This has come with the drawback of our meetings occasionally being interrupted with customers coming in and chatting with Paul. As Paul is volunteering his time to mentor me, I have come to accept that although it is annoying, being interrupted is simply something I have to live with in working with Paul.

 

  1. What is working well? Why?

At our last meeting especially, Paul and I were engaged in a deep conversation about preparing for races and long runs. We talked a lot about his experiences and I learned a lot of good tips. For this meeting, I came prepared with a list of questions which worked well for keeping the conversation going. I asked questions about water, food and warm ups before running races. I believe this worked well as both Paul and I had a specific idea of what we were hoping to get out of the interaction.

 

  1. What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?

Once COVID-19 dies down, I hope to push hard for a chance to run with Paul 1 on 1. Although I am learning a lot from speaking to Paul in the shop, the entire experience could be improved by just running with Paul outdoors. I will work hard towards this opportunity by organizing a time with Paul that is stress-free and open for the both of us.v

Indepth 2020, Long Distance Running Post #3

Adam Crespi

February 21, 2020

 

I’ve continued to run three times a week for the past month in training for my races! This includes a long run with the clinic on Sundays (10-13km), my own run and training on Tuesdays (7-10km), and training on Thursdays (interval training, hill work, speed work, etc.). 

In searching for and research runs around the community, I learned that the international standard for marathons is that runners must be over 18 years old. I guess that means my goal of running a marathon is off the table! I am now challenging myself to complete these races and hopefully place well. I have signed up for three different races around Vancouver.

 

-Shamrock Half Marathon (21km)

-March 15th

 

-Vancouver Sun Run (10k)

-April 18th

 

-BMO 8k

-May 4th

 

As you can see from this, funnily, I am starting with longer races and ending with shorter races! Even though this may seem to be contrary to what seems logical, I hope to challenge myself speed-wise much more on the shorter races: In my half marathon, I am going to be taking it slow and the goal is to finish, in my 10k I hope to achieve a competitive pace, and on my 8k I hope to place top 20. Even though I originally planned to focus on long distance running specifically, I am now hoping to also work on running faster in the middle distances (2km – 10km). In my training, I have discovered that I seem to possess many traits that make me a successful runner in this range. My endurance is strong and my tall legs allow me to take long strides. I hope to continue training long distance but I am also now attempting to speed up my times for the 10km mark.

Heatmap FEB 16th

A current heatmap of all my run’s tracked via app. I have been using a tracking app called Strava on my phone to record my runs via GPS.

 

My relationship with my mentor Paul has been developing as we continue to meet. As I mentioned in my last post, as part of the clinic, I have been talking to many runners and learning from many experts Paul has had come to speak in the clinic. In the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to learn from a professional nutritionist and two footwear experts.

I have also begun developing friendships within my running pace group. One of the leaders of the group, John, has been especially helpful and kind to me. John has been running for years and he has shared many of his running experiences with me. Running is such an amazing way to meet new people and although I have only ran with John four times, we have already developed a friendship to the point of making fun of eachother, usually for me being young and him being old Throughout my in depth project so far, I have been learning from a diverse group of people.

However, I recognize the importance of a mentor-mentee relationship and am working my hardest to continue developing this my meeting with Paul 1 on 1. I hope to continue meeting with Paul once every 2-3 weeks and I have a meeting planned to talk to him about nutrition and race-prep next Sunday!

 

Questions

  1. What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

The greatest factors currently impeding my ability to interact effectively with Paul are the limited and distracted time we have to meet, and the environment. Firstly, as Paul is such an active community member, business owner and father, he is often extremely busy, making it difficult to find meeting times. For all of our meetings so far, I have simply come into the Runners Den during quiet store hours. This means my meetings with Paul often get interrupted by other people coming into the Den. As Paul is such a social community member, our conversation often gets broken up for a few minutes at a time. Throughout our last meeting we were interrupted 2-3 times and I was left sort of just standing there while he was talking to someone else. I do not blame Paul for this, as the opportunity of having such a skilled mentor is rare and I value any of his time As Paul also runs many times throughout the week with the clinics he runs, there is no time for us to meet outside the store.

 

  1. What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

One strategy I can use to tackle these issues with the environment in which we meet, is to attempt to organize meetings with Paul somewhere else. Going on runs or meeting somewhere else with Paul would allow me to have a longer 1 on 1 conversation with him. Running with Paul would give me a great opportunity to ask questions and to learn , as I find running clears my head and keeps me focused.

A second strategy I can use to decrease the distractions could be to engage with Paul more fully in conversation. As many people walk into the store and simply start talking to Paul when they see he is only speaking to me, I can infer that those people are assuming Paul isn’t really ‘busy’. By fully engaging Paul with questions and getting more attention, I could discourage interruptions.

The third strategy I can use to improve the quality of my mentoring interactions could be to focus on my listening skills and maintaining a conversation. During our meetings there are often short periods of silence and the overall conversation can sometimes become very slow. To combat this, I hope to get Paul more engaged with the conversation which could lead to more passionate mentorship and learning.

 

  1. What is the action plan for implementing each of the three strategies?

I hope to implement these strategies as soon as possible. I will implement the first strategy by talking to Paul about meeting somewhere else. By discussing this with Paul during our next meeting I will hopefully be able to find a solution that works for both of us.

For the second strategy, I hope to be extra prepared with many questions and topics to discuss for my next meeting. By being prepared I will be able to ask more questions and go further in depth on topics that pique my interest. Overall, by maintaining a more engaging conversation with Paul, I can ensure that we are both committed to learning from each other.

I can apply my third strategy in a similar fashion to my second strategy. By coming prepared both mentally for speaking with Paul and bringing a list of questions and topics to our meetings, I will be able to better hold an intriguing conversation. I hope to prepare a list of questions for my meeting this Sunday.

 

WAISTPACK

A running waist belt for storing water, my phone, and snacks. I made it through modifying an old waistpack I found around my house.

 

I have also been influenced to join the Gleneagle Track team from advice from some of the runners in my pace group and my gym teacher, Mr Tustin. 

 

I hope to talk to Ms Demonte next week!

Indepth 2020, Long Distance Running Post #2

Post #2

Adam Crespi

January 26th, 2020

 

My first meeting went great! I talked to Paul all about shoes. My goal for the meeting was picking up a pair of running shoes and it took around two hours to do this. For every 5 minutes we spent looking into shoes for me, we spent another 15 minutes talking about topics such as trail shoes vs road shoes, midsoles, stretching, rolling, general health, soccer boots, and losing toenails. I ended up picking a nice pair of shoes in the end. A few of the biggest pieces of wisdom I took from this first meeting were: 

-Maintaining healthy muscles through habits (stretching for 30 MINUTES, after each run)

-I have wide feet meaning I need slightly special shoes

-The midsole of a running shoe is usually the first part of the shoe to deteriorate

midsole

https://www.asics.com/za/en-za/blog/article/anatomy-of-a-running-shoe

 

I also talked to Paul about joining his running clinic, in which I attended a run on Sunday 12th in the morning. I got into the Runners Den at 7:50am and walked into a room of 75 runners, of which I knew nobody. Paul leads the sessions and so I had to find my own way. After what felt like an eternity of waiting, Paul went up to the front of the Den and started calling out group names such as Marathon 4:20 – 4:45 and Half Marathon 1:00 – 1:20. I figured out that he was referring to times and the groups were by pace and joined the slowest half marathon group. We started running and I started talking to a few of the other people in my small running group. I talked to a woman named Heather for almost the entire run and she told me a lot about her running experiences and knowledge. We ran 9k at a fairly slow pace and next week I hope to move up to a faster pace group to further challenge myself.

On Thursday the 16th I had another meeting with the clinic. We ran 600 meter intervals going 2-3 seconds faster each time. It got pretty intense!

The second Sunday (19th) was also great, and the clinic had a group of nutritionists come in. The nutritionists talked all about hydration, nutrition and post run recovery. The greatest takeaway I had from this meeting was the importance of refueling the body during the 30 minute period directly after a run. As the body is in a state where it wants to regain as much energy as it can, by stocking up on carbs and simple sugars you can refuel much more effectively than eating more later. The Sunday run was a 10k and I had a wonderful time talking to even more new people! I decided to move up one pace group this week and this group is much better suited to my own pace. I am currently working on finding a hydration system, and am talking to many different people about this.

hydration

A few hydration systems

https://gearpatrol.com/2014/05/15/best-hydration-packs-for-running/

 

Although I have been meeting with Paul less, as he is extremely busy, I am learning a lot from other runners at the clinic, if not more than I would be able to through Paul alone. By speaking to many different runners about their experiences I can gain a wider understanding of techniques, opinions and goals in an unbiased way. In the running world, every runner has diverse experiences and wisdom.

Still, I hope to meet Paul as much as possible, as his expertise is impressive. Paul has created a business based around running and has been a runner the majority of his life (since he was 18), with many marathons and ultras under his belt. Paul has pretty much dedicated his entire life to running and inspiring others to run; in the process, he has become a productive community leader who is friends with almost every runner in Port Moody. This was no easy task for him and this makes me admire him much more. Rarely can people put in the work to make their passion into their career, and Paul has done this beautifully. Paul is an amazing mentor and person to learn and grow from. I have observed his interactions with other patrons and runners, and I truly hope to reach this level of social fluency in the future. Paul is able to easily strike up a conversation with anyone of any running skill level who walks into his store. Through running his own clinics and lessons, Paul has had plenty of practice teaching runners in a friendly and open way. This skill was quite noticeable in my meetings with him, where he was able to facilitate and the teaching in an easy to understand and non-stressful way. I hope to emulate these skills in my own development as a mentor.

 

I am going to continue to push myself to talk to two new people each run!

Indepth 2020, Long Distance Running Post #1

Long Distance Running

Adam Crespi

January 11th, 2020

 

For my In Depth project this year, I have chosen to focus on long distance running. Throughout, I hope to improve both in my running ability and knowledge of the skills it takes to be an effective long distance runner. I chose long distance running as my in depth this year as it has caught my interest as an amazing hobby to develop young. With weekly runs I can build muscle and improve the health of my body and heart. Running is also a hobby I can continue into my elder years to maintain my health. With my soccer organization only including people under the age of 18, I want to have other ways to stay fit.

In my project, I have already begun reading some running literature and researching about some of the different types of running shoes. There are three main types of foot arches: neutral, flat, and high. An effective pair of running shoes must match your arch type. For neutral arches this means stability shoes. Stability shoes are essentially normal shoes. For flat arches one must get motion controlled shoes. Motion controlled shoes allow individuals with flatter arches and thus have their feet moving and sliding more, to have control over their feet’s motion. If you have a high arch you require cushioning shoes which are often more flexible and help reduce the greater impact created by higher arched feet. Before I purchase my first pair of runners, I am going to need to find out my foot type. I hope to discuss this with my mentor, Paul Slaymaker.

 

run.jpg

The book I am reading

 

Tomorrow, I am going to have my first meeting with Paul! I am meeting him at 2:00pm at the Runners Den to talk about shoes. Paul has also graciously offered to let me join in his half marathon/full marathon training program free of charge, and tomorrow I will discuss with him the details of this. If I am able to join the program I will be able to train twice weekly with a group of local runners. This will be amazing for building connections in the community! 

Paul is an amazing runner and although I have been reassured he is a kind individual, I can’t help but be nervous to learn from such a talented individual. Paul has raced in marathons and 50k’s all across the world and ran a few 100 kilometre races! My mother has also told me is just off 7 feet tall!

I’m both excited and nervous to meet him tomorrow!

Career Ed Biochemical Engineer Education Research Project

Adam Crespi                                                                                                                                  10/15

Biochemical Engineer 

*Tuition costs are only for the masters program years, all discussed masters programs have prerequisites that require more time in university

 

Universities

Local = UBC – Masters Program

Prereq – You should have taken an introductory Biochemistry course, an introductory Biochemistry laboratory course, and at least two advanced Biochemistry courses.

At the minimum, you should hold or be in the process of completing a four year science Bachelors of science

Cost/tuition

$5650 a year ($22,600 – $33,900 total)

Structure 

Optional coop for an extra 12-15 months of lab experience

Graduate Programs

Extra courses as apart of the masters program

Thesis and thesis defence

Must be in the process (or finished) completing a bachelors science

 

Timeline

4-6 years

Finishing a bachelors of science and completing the 2 year masters program

Can be done somewhat simultaneously

Thesis development and preparation to defend

Reputation

31st ranked worldwide according to https://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/canada/biology-biochemistry

2nd in Canada

 

Outside BC, Inside Canada = Mcgill University Masters Program

Prereq

Students are encouraged to provide documentation at the time they apply to demonstrate that they have completed previous course work equivalent to McGill’s BIOC 450 (Protein Structure and Function) and BIOC 454 (Nucleic Acids)

-1-2 years to complete these prerequisites

Cost/tuition

$7400 a year ($29,600 – $37,000 total)

Structure (coop)

No Coop options

Optional fast tracking into a PHD of biochemistry

Graduate Program

45 credits for masters degree

39 thesis courses

6 other optional courses

3 years total

Timeline

One year of seminar attendance is required

Students interested in promoting (fast-track) to the Ph.D. program present the Junior Seminar to the Department in second year

M.Sc. degree is to be completed by the end of year 3

Oral thesis presentation

Reputation

43rd best biochemistry program worldwide

3rd best in Canada for biochemistry

Worldwide = Cambridge Mphil Certification in Biological Science

And Cambridge Masters Program

Prereq

Mphil

-must already have a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry or a related field

Masters

must be undergoing an undergraduate degree

Cost/tuition

$47125.54 a year (international student cost/tuition) ($47,125 – $94,251 total)

Structure

Mphil

-Students work in a research group supervised by a director

-No examined course work

-Students write a dissertation which is then presented orally

-No grades, only pass or fail

Masters

-course work, project work, project dissertations

-only 24 students admitted a year

Graduate Program

Mphil

-Must have already undergone a UK Honours degree, which is equivalent to a Canadian Bachelors

Masters

-Must be currently studying for an undergraduate degree in a related field (bio, genetics, chem, physics) at Cambridge

-they seek wide variety of skills

Timeline

Mphil

2 years if taken part time

1 year if taken full time

Masters

Taken while undergoing undergraduate degree

3-5 years

Reputation

6th best school for biochemistry worldwide

 

Licensing by a provincial organization to practise as a Professional Engineer – 

$1000 plus $400 annually

To become registered as a professional engineer or to obtain a Non-Resident Licence, you must demonstrate that you have a minimum of 4 years of satisfactory engineering work experience. At least one of these years must be gained in a Canadian Environment. If you gain experience in a different discipline from your academic degree, you will need to undergo an academic review and possible interview and/or examinations.

 

Career Ed 10

Adam Crespi 10/07

Job Biochemist Biochemical Engineer Climate Change Researcher
Education A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biochemistry or a related discipline is required.
A master’s or doctoral degree is usually required for employment as a research chemist.
A bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required.
A master’s degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
Licensing by a provincial organization to practise as a Professional Engineer
Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.
A bachelor’s degree in a related discipline is required.
A master’s degree or doctorate in a related discipline is usually required.
$ $30k – $139k $64k – $181k $50k – $130k
Hours -9-5 standard work schedule

-sometimes field work // trips and different hours

-9-5 standard work schedule 

 

-9-5 standard work schedule for researchers who work in labs or offices

-field work can be far more adventurous (multi-week long trips for gathering data)

-hours can also vary if teaching others

Independance -Work in small teams

-work with other fields

-work towards research goal

-work in small teams

-work towards creating new substances and benefitting large companies/society

-work for governments

-investigating assigned projects 

-possibility to work in small teams

Tasks -Working in laboratories

-conduct research to benefit large companies (often medical)

-conduct cutting edge research

-office work in conducting and compiling research and reports

-Biochemical engineers research, develop, document, and produce chemical-based products to be used by companies and society at large. The products created can be for various purposes, such as agricultural, food, commercial, cleaning, and more. 
-These engineers often complete design work, which includes doing studies, to create a new product. 
-Working in laboratories and conducting research

-collecting data and information in the field

-monitoring weather and geographic factors

-investigating factors of climate change

Stability -Expected to rise by 500 jobs a year

-Always new discoveries to be made

-expected to rise by 200 jobs a year

-many new discoveries to be made

-in no danger of being replaced by robots

-currently rising by approx 1200 jobs a year

-it is unclear if this will continue to grow 

-not a very stable career choice

Link https://core.myblueprint.ca/V5/Work/Occupation https://core.myblueprint.ca/V5/Work/Occupation https://core.myblueprint.ca/V5/Work/Occupation