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The Diary of a Running Girl- TY 5K Challenge

As part of TY each student is expected to do a report on every activity undertaken. Here is one student’s report on their Couch to 5K challenge, which culminated in a run on Saturday October 28th in DkIT at the weekly Parkrun. Congrats to all the girls who participated and to Janne whose time of 24 minutes was the fastest.

 

“As part of Transition Year, in our PE classes, we had to partake in a 5km run. To do this, we downloaded a training program on our phones. We also had to ensure we had appropriate and suitable clothing for this activity. I had already amassed a formidable collection of sports leggings but was in need of some t-shirts, so I went to my favourite shop TK Maxx. I paid for the app on my phone, downloaded some motivational music and I was finally ready to start running.

Before this I didn’t think very highly of running in general. It was for athletic crazy people, certainly not me. While I always made sure my fitness was of an acceptable standard, I resented having to push myself much further than necessary. In my first bleep test, I got a score of 6.0 of which I was fairly proud. This could be attributed to the fact that over the summer I had participated in a gymnastics course. This course was led by possibly the most tyrannical person in existence, who seemed to be under the impression that we were training for the Olympics, not for fun. Although I was barely able to walk after the course each day, I was very happy with the increase in my level of fitness. It was for this reason that I believed running would be okay. I mean, how hard could it possibly be?

On the first day of our running program, we were cheerily informed that we would only be running for a total of 6 minutes, in 1 minute bursts. We began running with hope and joy in our little hearts. When we finished running we realised that this was not going to be easy. We also realised that in order to run, you have to consume enough food that you don’t pass out; too much food would lead to painful cramps and stitches. I was a victim of the latter.

We went home and had to do a run by ourselves. Out I headed into the pitch blackness with one loyal sister-supporter at my side. I played a random selection of music that could be heard from miles away as I had not yet discovered the joy of earphones. Tired but exhilarated, I finished my run, satisfied with my newfound level of commitment.

The next class, we had to run again (surprise surprise) This time, the duration increased to a whopping 1 minute but 8 times instead of six. I was pretty exhausted after this run and looking back now, that’s slightly shocking. The next PE class was basically the same but we had to run for fractionally longer. I felt quite good about this run because I didn’t feel too overexerted afterwards. At this stage I had figured out how to eat lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays without feeling like I had been sliced in half with a samurai sword.

Every day we went running the program got progressively harder. I started needing water while I was exercising, not just after. When we had shorter times to run we all sprinted. As running times got longer though, our speed slowly decreased to a moderate jog/run. As we ran, some people found running harder than others. We all tried to encourage each other as we all felt absolutely exhausted. Around this point in the program, my memory seems to have blended the whole experience into one giant mess of exercise and running. I felt like I had peaked around the 3 minute mark. One week it was hard for me to run for 4 minutes which is amazing looking back on it now. At this stage we were missing PE left, right and centre for various TY trips. It was up to us to run at home to make up for the missed classes. Being totally frank, I skipped some of the duplicate runs because of other commitments and laziness. However I soon realised that this would not be a viable option because the runs were getting much harder.

At the start of this program, running for 5 minutes was absolutely shocking. However, towards the end of the program, when there were five minutes left, everyone let out a sigh of relief. For the longer runs, the last minute was the hardest. You knew you were so close to finishing but you felt dead.

As the weeks progressed, fewer people used their phones, which I felt was a tremendous mistake on their part. Without my phone and my music I actually wouldn’t have been able to run. My taste in music quickly changed from pop hits to a bit of Tchaikovsky for several reasons. Personally, I like classical music anyway and when I listen to pop I always have to sing along. However, when you’re running you are obviously unable to sing because your precious oxygen is going towards keeping you alive. Classical music distracted me because I listened to the music instead of thinking about how awful I felt whilst running. Running releases endorphins which are supposed to make you happier. Unfortunately, you only really feel their full effect when you finish running, so it’s up to you to persevere.

As the running got harder and longer, my leggings went from full length to cropped. I didn’t even bother bringing a jacket any week, no matter the weather, because I knew I’d be warm anyway. The strange thing about running was although it got harder each time, it also got easier in an unusual way. I still felt like I was dying but it felt easier and harder simultaneously. The point at which I remember the running taking a step up was Week 6, Day 1. We had to run for 10 minutes, walk for 5 and then run for another 10. I remember the feeling of outrage and dread in our year group. It was a very hard run but I felt really proud that I had run for 20 minutes. Throughout the entire 8 weeks, I never let myself stop running. I felt that if I stopped once, I would be setting an unconscious precedent in my mind which I felt was very important not to do. Running is as much about the physical as it is the mental.

The last few weeks of running were daunting. Whenever I ran, all I could see in the back of my mind was 35 minutes. I felt incapable of such a thing. When the runs began to hit the 15 minute mark, I began to experience shin splints. These were worse than stitches because there was nothing I could do to stop them. When I came home after runs my shins would ache when I walked or put weight on them. However, I persevered because I was so close to actually running 5km. I told myself I could do it and I continued to run.

In the last 2 weeks, Ms. Spain informed us we would be running outside. This sounded like a great idea except for one thing. It was absolutely lashing. We headed outside and began running. Rain covered my glasses and I needed windscreen wipers to see. I tried wiping my glasses on my t-shirt, which was also soaking. I just continued running half blind. When I returned to the hall I still had 5 minutes left. It was a very hard run inside the hall after running outside. Strangely enough, I much preferred running outside because it gave me a sense of purpose. There was a tangible route and it was easy to mark your progress internally, whereas in the hall, it just blended into a big mess of circuits and circles. I found when running in the hall again, it helped me when I followed the lines. Cutting the corners did not please me for some unknown reason and I felt that the lines gave me some purpose because I focused on going corner to corner.

We ran outside several times after this. Thankfully the weather was getting cooler as the term progressed because running in warm weather is not a particularly pleasant experience. I enjoyed running outside because it fuelled the competitive beast inside me. I liked starting at the back and slowly making my way to the front.

Our last run at school approached. We only did a short run the day before our 5k. We also redid the bleep test. I was very pleased to have improved my score by 11 runs, bringing it up to 7.1, which was in the “very good” category. I was glad to see a tangible increase in my fitness level after putting in all that hard work.

To prepare for our Parkrun we had to register online. I signed up and received my barcode, which I forgot to print until the morning of the run. I also had to persuade one of my parents to take me to DkIT on Saturday morning because this was our one weekend off from orchestra in the same place, at that time. We all went home on the Friday evening feeling slightly nervous and possibly terrified that we actually had to do this.

I woke up on that Saturday morning feeling very tired. My muscles ached and I wondered why. It was then I realised my mistake of playing dodgeball and running, the day before my first 5k. Not very wise of me. I decided a good breakfast would consist of some high energy, non-stodgy food. So logically, I turned to sugar. I wore cropped leggings and a t-shirt because this combination had served me well before and I printed out my barcode.

When I arrived at the Parkrun site, I realised my choice of clothing was probably not the wisest. Freezing is an understatement. I knew that I would be warm when I started running, but what I hadn’t counted on was the wind turbine right beside us and the temperature that morning. We all huddled like penguins and complained about the cold. We were shown where to run and our mouths dropped open when we saw how long the course was. We had to run all of it 3 times. 3 times. We all lined up and prepared to run. We started running. It instantly became clear that we were the middle of the pack runners. The sprinters took off and were all well ahead of us. My first lap was okay. I developed a steady pace. I had lost all of my friends but I continued the way I had been running. I abandoned my jacket after the first lap. The second lap was pretty hard. The fun was wearing off and I was beginning to feel tired. I was also slightly peeved that people were sprinting then walking and kept appearing in front of me and then behind me. The third lap was the hardest. I have no idea how I kept going. Towards the end of the race, the sprint then walk people were just ahead of me. With a sudden vicious competitive streak showing, I sprinted past one of the perpetrators. 10 metres from the end I flew by a poor lady who just let out a sigh of disappointment as I crushed her hopes and dreams. I finished running the 5k in a time of 31:46, much better than a previous time of 48 minutes walking. I was 8th in my age category and was delighted with my achievement. I really enjoyed running even though it killed me every time. It was satisfying to work hard at something and achieve my goal.

I am very proud of my achievements so far in TY and this is one of them. I would like to continue running in the future as I feel that it really improved my health and wellbeing.”

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Sports Report October 5th 2017

This week there were two teams in action for the school.

The St.Louis Senior Gaelic Football Team got their season off to a winning start with a comprehensive victory over Colaiste Rís. There were goals galore in the opening 10 minutes of the match and with the Colaiste Rís defense caught off guard, the St.Louis forward line took full advantage with Aoibheann Murphy, Caoimhe Matthews, Lee Lawlor and Kayla Byrne scoring for the home side. The middle pairing of Seoda Matthews and captain, Roisín Osborne dominated throughout the match and their work rate was nothing short of spectacular. Colaiste Rís to their credit never stopped trying to break through the St.Louis defence but with Nicole Newell, Kellie O’Donohue and Carla McGee in fine form, their task was a difficult one. When they did manage to push past the back line, Goalkeeper Mia Rogers was there for her team  and pulled off some magnificent saves. At half time St.Louis were well in front and there was no way back for Colaiste Rís. St.Louis pushed on to finish the game convincing winners with an impressive all round team display. Final Score St.Louis 6-13 Colaiste Rís 1-1. Thank you to Ms Elaine Byrne their coach.

 

 

 

The U16 Basketball was also in action this week – on Friday they travelled to Gormanstown for a game against the home side. The girls played sucessfully and came back victorious. Natasha Kearney, Alejandra Sargaday and Hillary Okonkwo worked well on the team, as did Eryn Traynor, Aoibheann Murphy and Princess Okonkwo. Katie Rooney, Kaiya Taaffe and Julie Guinan defended gloriously. Well done to all. Thank you to Ms O Byrne their coach.

 

The golfers met twice this week at lunchtime and are progressing nicely under the direction of Ms Deirdre Smith.

The volleyball season has kicked off – the first spikeball tournament will take place in St Louis next Thursday October 12th with visiting teams from Dublin.

The Thursday walk is still very popular with students and Ms Mc Dermott, Mrs Mc Grath, Ms Galligan and Ms Woods enjoy the quick trip around the campus each week.

There are Dance classes in The Chapel Hall for Junior students each week, and tag rugby continues as per usual.

Every student who is involved in these activities receives points on VSware which encourages the girls to participate in as many activities as they can.

Next week the U19 Basketball team will play in a home game against Gortner Abbey who will travel from Mayo for a rematch. Given that the result was so close the last time the Louis girls will be hoping that luck will be on their side.

 

 

 

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Louis Girls in the Sporting News.

Senior Basketball

Each week we will bring you news of our sporting events at school and keep you up to date with what is happening.

This week saw the start of the basketball season in St Louis. Our senior team under the expert guidance of Kate O Byrne, ably assisted by Siobhán Higgins headed off to Crossmolina in Mayo at the crack of dawn to face Gortner Abbey. The road trip was four hours long but the girls were undaunted by this and gave a spirited performance, worthy of the Louis reputation for excellence on the court.

The girls were narrowly beaten in the worst possible way. Reminiscent of the fateful Dublin Mayo final a few short weeks ago, the sides were neck and neck all the way until a lucky basket from Gortner Abbey with 18 seconds to go allowed them to clinch victory by a single point.

The team was united in their efforts but special mention must go to Jewell Rosagaran who had a final personal tally of 24 points.

 

On Thursday evening students from Junior and Senior Cycle laced up their boots for the first ever rugby training session of the school’s newly formed rugby team. The girls got stuck in from the very start and displayed a high level of determination and skill. Leinster  Development Officer Andrew Naylor was very impressed with their performance and believe the girls will do well in their first blitz which takes place in Navan in two weeks.

 

 

 

 

This Sunday saw the  U14 girls county final take place between Glen Emmets and Kilkerley Emmets and we are delighted to announce that six of the winning squad are Louis Girls. Kilkerley were victorious and we were delighted to see two of our first years, Katie Clarke and Sarah Lawrence, three second years, Katie Cotter, Éabha Mc Eneaney and Grainne Lynch, and third year Hermione Mc Aleer celebrate victory with a narrow two point margin. The final score was 3-05 to 2-10.

That bodes well for the gaelic teams here at school who start their season next week.

 

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Lunchtime Activities at St Louis

lunchtime activities

Weekly Clubs and Activities

The following activities are ongoing and take place every week until further notice.   Check the start times in the school, or contact the relevant teacher. 

A house point is given to a student each time they attend that particular club/activity.

 

Monday

Activity Time Year Teacher Where to meet & Important Information
Poetry Open to all years Ms Rice (Starting in October)
Choir 12.25-12.50pm Everyone from all years welcome Ms Drumgoole / Ms Murray Chapel hall, promptly at 12.25pm
Basketball 12.25-12.50pm 1st & 2nd year Ms O’Byrne Gym

Runners required

Gaelic Football U-16 and Senior Team Ms E Byrne Gym

Appropriate gear required

 

 

Tuesday

Activity Time Year Teacher Where to meet & Important Information
Poetry Open to all years Ms Rice (Starting in October)
Golf 12.30-1.10pm All welcome Ms Smith Field behind large bin/skip
Instrumental Group 12.50-1.15pm Open to all years Ms Killoran Chapel hall. Prompt at 12.50
Basketball U16 (3rd, TY & 5th) Ms O’Byrne Gym

Runners and sports gear required

 


 

 

Thursday

Activity Time Year Teacher Where to meet & Important Information
Walk 12.40 – 1.05pm Open to everyone Mrs McDermott Meet outside chapel Hall prompt at 12.40pm

Runners if possible. Coat/ Waterproof recommended

The walk may still go ahead in wet conditions

Green Committee 12.30-12.55pm Ms Reynolds/Ms Sherry Meet in room 14 (Geography room)
Poetry Open to all years Ms Rice (Starting in October)
Golf 12.30-1.10pm All welcome Ms Smith Field behind large bin/skip
Dance 12.40-1pm Everyone in 1st, 2nd or 3rd Year Ms Spain Meet in the chapel hall at 12.40pm promptly.

Water and runners are advisable

Fitness Training 12.30-12.55pm 3rd, TY, 5th & 6th Ms O’Byrne & Ms E Byrne Gym

Runners and sports gear required

Basketball U19 (3rd, 5th & 6th) Ms O’Byrne Gym

Runners and sports gear required

Rugby All welcome Ms McEneaney Outside, Meet at the gym.

Sports Gear and Football boots

 

 

Friday

Activity Time Year Teacher Where to meet & Important Information
Volleyball coaching 12.45-1.10pm Everyone in 1st & 2nd Year Ms Spain Meet in the gym

Runners are essential

 

Volleyball for fun 12.44-1.10pm 3rd Years Ms Spain Meet in the gym

Runners are essential

Camogie 12.30-1pm All years welcome Ms Caraher Meet outside the gym.

Sports gear required

Helmets and hurls will be supplied if needed

 

 

Golf Academy goes from strength to strength in St Louis.

Golf Academy goes from strength to strength in St Louis.

While others were relaxing in the summer sunshine the girls in the St Louis Golf Academy were honing their skills in Dundalk Golf Club with PGA Professional Leslie Walker.
Over the course of two different day camps the girls went through the mechanics of Swing, a tutorial on Chipping and worked on Bunker Play and Putting.
The next day the girls put their training from day 1 into action and played a few holes under the guidance of both Leslie and Deirdre Smith and Sheila Boylan of St Louis who have been tutoring the girls all year at lunchtime.
The girls learned the all important skill of how to fill out the scorecard and they learned some of the Rules of Golf – and there are lots!

Co-ordinator of the Academy, Deirdre Smith said that the next step is to obtain memberships in local Golf Clubs for the girls. “This will allow the girls to register as members of the Irish Ladies Golf Union, get an official handicap, participate in junior golf tournaments all over Ireland and participate in organised school events in Ireland. It’s a marvellous opportunity for the girls and lovely to see so many students taking such an interest. With the emphasis on Wellbeing in the New Junior Cycle Specification, golf is a perfect activity to promote good health.”

The girls are looking forward to perfecting their skills as the year progresses.