Friday, August 19, 2011

Gearing Up for PaddlePower 2011

Tonight is an early night for me. I have to be up at 5am *shudders* to be at my Dad's by 5:30 and to the boat launch by 6:45. Registration for PaddlePower starts at 7am and we need to be all set up and ready for the paddlers to arrive.
The Adventure!

PADDLEPOWER is a river adventure. Paddlers in canoes and kayaks journey along 25 miles of the beautiful Connecticut River. We supply plenty of rest stops, meals, drinking water, snacks and much fun. You supply your boat, paddles, personal floatation device, tent if you camp, and dedication to this important cause. Our safety staff and volunteers are ready to assist anyone who needs a hand; if you get fatigued, if you develop aches and pains or blisters, if you need water or a snack, we're ready to help at a moment's notice. See the registration tab for more details.

Though not often discussed, suicide consistently ranks as 8th among the top ten leading causes of death in our country. For young people below age 35, it is the third leading cause of death. In the US, one person dies by suicide every 16 minutes; about 32,000 people die this way each year. According to national statistics, 1500 people attempt suicide every day, including one out of every 13 high school students.

Suicide is the 9th leading cause of death in New Hampshire and Vermont. In the two states, over 200 people die by suicide each year (about 80% of these are men) and 1000 people will attempt suicide in a year.

Past Year Recaps - When I remembered!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I really want to make this DIY - Vintage Book Travel Tech Organizer
Anyone want to get together sometime, perhaps this fall, and make one with me?

My Active Decision to Remain an Omnivore

Are you an omnivore? Vegetarian? Vegan? Something else? Why do you lead/did you choose that type of foodie lifestyle?
This was the question posed at the end of Allie's blog, Healthy Balance, Healthy Life, and as I was getting ready to respond in her comments, I found myself writing almost an entire post. I abbreviated my comment, and posted my full response here instead.
I am an omnivore. I can't not eat meat. I tried. In highschool I watched a video that detailed the process from birth to death on supermarket beef. The video touched on pigs and chickens, but focused on cows. I don't remember the title, but I remember being sickened. I remember going home and telling my parents I wasn't going to eat meat anymore. And I didn't, for many months.
Let me back up quite a bit. When I was younger, elementary school and younger, we raised our own chickens, our own turkeys, lambs, I remember raising pigs, and buying sides of beef. All locally grown, locally processed, often times in our own back yard. These animals were treated well, my brother and I would play with them. We would feed them, we would pet them.  Entering into junior high, that started to fall by the wayside. Our lives got busier, more meat was purchased from the store, it wasn't a big deal.  It wasn't something we thought about, at least it wasn't something I thought about.  Then in highschool I saw that video.
My parents were somewhat supportive, my Mom more than my Dad. All along, my parents would offer to make me chicken if I wanted when they were eating beef. Several months passed before I took them up on it. Something in my body was telling me I needed to eat the chicken. Not just because they were offering, but because it needed it. I slowly started eating chicken, eventually adding beef and pork back into the mix. My dad was conscious of buying meat from the smaller butcher shops (where they still might have gotten some inhumane meat) but he was trying. One of the things to note here is that while I was strictly eating vegetarian, I was losing energy and I was not my perky self. Once I started to eat animal protein again, my energy was back and so was my perky self. It wasn't until I was in college that I was able to make the connection. I had gotten fed up with the cafeteria food and was back off of meat almost exclusively again, I was sluggish and irritable. After my hiatus from meat, I was eating it again from the cafeteria, my energy was back.
It was around this time, my mom introduced me to a book, "Eat Right For Your Type" which was based on eating for your blood type. I am type O and advised to eat a high protein (animal protein) and low carb (no wheat, no oatmeal) diet. The profile of a type O: "Type O was the first blood type, the type O ancestral prototype was a canny, aggressive predator. Aspects of the Type O profile remain essential in every society even to this day – leadership, extroversion, energy and focus are among their best traits. Type O’s can be powerful and productive, however, when stressed Type O’s response can be one of anger, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. When Type O wiring gets crossed, as a result of a poor diet, lack of exercise, unhealthy behaviors or elevated stress levels, Type O’s are more vulnerable to negative metabolic effects, including insulin resistance, sluggish thyroid activity, and weight gain. When you customize your life to Type O’s strengths you can reap the benefits of your ancestry. Your genetic inheritance offers you the opportunity to be strong, lean, productive, long-lived and optimistic." There were of course other foods that were good for me and others that were not. When I am most conscience of this diet, I feel energetic, healthy, and my body is happy. When I stray from it, which happens more than I would like, I feel more sluggish and not at my most optimal.
Now I make choices, when financially able, that support local farmers, that support cage-free and free-range animals.  I also am active in helping my mom and friends process their own animals, like chickens. I know what goes into it and I know that the animals raised by my mom and my friends are given the best possible life. And that makes me happy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Leaf Peepers 5k

I have some training to do! I am officially signed up for the Leaf Peepers 5k in Waterbury on October 2. I really want to run the whole thing, no walking. There is nothing wrong with walking, I can be faster when I take walking breaks sometimes. But I really want to be able to run the entire 5k distance.
Some other friends are talking about signing up which is awesome. It is limited to 500 people, the half marathon is limited to 900 and already sold out. If you want to come run with me (or run past me hehe) here is the link!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Next Step

While I am still exhausted despite the early to bed and somewhat early to rise thing I've got going on, I am feeling like I am ready to jump back into training!
After my Stoaked Standard Triathlon this past Saturday, I took some time off from exercising. My body needed the rest, and I didn't give it any the Sunday after since I was volunteering for the Stoaked Xterra Triathlong.  It is now Wednesday, my last full day of recovery.
Tomorrow I will be out on the volleyball court, playin my hardest, and I have a 5 mile walk planned for Friday after work providing it doesn't rain.  I am helping my Dad with yard work, running a weed whacker and a push mower on Saturday, and getting in a good swim and kayak on Sunday.
This brings me around to Monday. A good day to start back in with couch to 5k I am thinking. I left off at the beginning of week 6, but I am thinking it might be good for me to jump back to week 5.  I have two different 5k's I am interested in doing this fall and would love to be able to run the entire distance!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Stoaked Standard - August 6, 2011 - Race Recap

This is more than just a race recap. This is the whole weekend, without which, the race would never have happened. This is long...

Friday night, just before crawling into bed, I double checked my gear that I would need for my first triathlon.  I went down my checklist, making note of what I had packed, what I needed to get from the carport, and what was already in the car.  I double checked my clothes that were laid out so I would have an easy time in the morning.  I crawled into bed just before 9:30 and before I knew it the alarm was going off and it was time for me to drag myself out of bed.
Jeremy was great at motivating me to get out of bed and out the door.  A quick stop for coffee and we were on the road.  Unfortunately Jeremy had to work and so he dropped me off at Amy's where we loaded everything into her car and off we went to Storrs Pond to pick up our packet and get our assignment for volunteering for the day.
There were only a few cars in the parking lot when we arrived but you could already feel the charged energy in the air.  We grabbed our packets, got our volunteer aprons and visors, and were put to work getting the food table ready. Amy and I were on fire, and it didn't take us long to get everything cut and organized, in fact we were sent another person to help out and it wasn't needed! There was plenty of time for us to set up our transition area, find out some tips from other triathletes, and get our grub on, and relax before heading out to our aid station on the course for the trail runners.  Of course, the directions we were given weren't super clear and we didn't pay as much attention as we should have.  This led to me being 5 minutes late to the aid station, Amy arriving just in time, and an additional 3 mile walk added to our day.  It was a hot and sweaty start.
I was so impressed by the runners who were cooking on this crazy 14k trail run that followed the path I was about to bike and run in a few short hours. 
It didn't take long before it was time for Amy and I to change and make our way down to the water. Since we were allowed shows to get from our swim to the transition area over 500 yards away with pavement and gravel, we took someones tip to just put on our biking shoes at the water instead of putting on two different pairs of shoes. This was a very smart move that worked extremely well.  I highly recommend it if you can.
Mom and Lynda arrived as we were lining up, it put a huge smile on my face to have them there to support me.
My main goal for the Stoaked Standard Off Road Triathlon: TO FINISH!!!
Distances: Swim - .5 miles, Mountain Bike 8k, Trail Run 4k
Stretch Goal: 3 hours overall, 30 minutes or less on the swim, 1h 30m less on the bike, 45-50 minutes on the run.
We lined up in the water, there was no running or rough pushing, or anything like that. We were about waist deep and the countdown to start began.  I ran forward until my feet were skimming the bottom and I was off. I alternated between the crawl and breastroke and while I was close to the back, I managed to impress myself and pass two people. I was pushing harder than I have ever pushed, and as I rounded the bouy to make my way back to the shore, I was struck by my first ever side cramp while swimming. I threw in a little bit of sidestroke, kept up my speed, and before I knew it my feet were touching bottom and I was out of the water and off and running.  I came out of the water, Mom was there taking pictures (which I still need to get from her) and Lynda told me I had done the swim in roughly 25 minutes!  I grinned from ear to ear, and kept on going. Dunking my feet to clean them in our bucket, a quick dry to pull on socks and my bike shoes and I was off again. I didn't even make it back to the transition area and my feet where soaked through. It didn't take me too long to get my gear on for the bike portion and to bust my butt up the first hill.  The swim was by far my easiest leg of the triathlon.
As I powered myself up the first hill, I was immediately met with the 2nd hill and found myself walking up it. Within the first 5 minutes on my bike, I had walked two hills, been passed 4 times, and found myself the last rider on the course. The sweep rider came up behind me, and I tried twice to get him to pass me before realizing he had a radio and was not allowed to pass me.  Despite all my walking, and my very slow riding, Ben really helped to keep me energized and forward moving. I managed to bike up some hills I didn't think I would make, and I had to walk others that I thought I should have been able to make.  When the course turned off onto the single track, I had my confidence pick up just a bit when I was able to make it over bumps and down some hills that I hadn't been able to do on my ride on the course earlier in the week.  We then moved back onto the cross country ski trails and we were going up again.  Then the brutal single track came. I walked, I tried to bike, I almost fell, I walked some more, I tried to bike some more, I almost fell again. This pattern followed until I was almost out of the single track. I got on, succeeded through a small stretch, and it was on to the final downhill stretch, nicknamed the Screaming Downhill. At the bottom, it was a sharp corner and I was back in transition. They were in the middle of awards for the triathletes, I believe at this point, I was the only person still on course.  With a quick glance at my watch, I had been on the bike course for approximately 2 hours. Well over my push goal.  My shoes were switched and I was off down the hill for my run. The bike was by far my most challenging leg.
By the time I started the run, I was cooked. My energy was almost completely depleted, but I was fueling myself with water and gatorade. Mom and Lynda were at the transition and cheered me on. I almost cried.  As I rounded the corner at the bottom of the hill, the two sweep runners caught up with me. I was shocked, they were two of the runners from the 14k earlier in the day. They had come in 1st and 2nd in their age group and were out to run again. I employed the walk/run method with far more walking than I had wanted to do, and with every uphill came a down. My knee was screaming in protest, my hips wanted to lock up. My ankles were tense and my feet just wanted me to be off of them.  I saw the green arrows for the kids triathlon and asked if I could do that course instead (1 mile as opposed to a 4k) and was asked if I was 8.  I said no, but that I could act it. I felt deflated when I entered the field and realized I couldn't go straight through it, that I had to go up it, and down it, and up it again before going back down and out of the field. With a few more ups and downs, it came as no surprise that this trail was nicknamed the Rollercoaster.  At one point I could look down through the trees and see the pond and knew I was getting close.  The sweep girls were pushing me, telling me I could do it, that they wanted to see me run down the shoot at the finish.  I told them I would finish even if it meant crawling across the finish line.  The laughed, they said I could do it, I was almost finished.  At this point I was holding back tears. I hurt.  We ran by the water and saw the kids getting ready to start their swim for their shortened version. I knew I only had 500 yards to go. I pulled deep and ran to the bottom of the hill, walked slowly up, and at the cheering and urging of the sweep girls, Mom and Lynda and Amy at the finish, I ran through the shoot.  Amy ran over to hug me. I cried, I hurt, I was so proud of myself. I dropped to the ground, lay on my back and sobbed. I had done it. I completed my first triathlon. I wasn't sure what my official time was and didn't care, but I did know that according to my watch I had done it in less than 3 hours and 15 minutes.  Over my push goal, but not much.
I don't really know how long I lay on the ground, but I had to get up and get moving, get everything packed up. I moved slowly, hardly holding it together. Amy and Mom and Lynda helped me get my stuff down by the cars, they got me food to eat, but really, all of this time was a blur. I remember hurt, I remember moving slowly. I remember hugs and congratulations.
Finally Jeremy pulled in after work and got the car loaded. We were on our way home and I was exhausted. It didn't take long before I was passed out in bed.  
I needed my rest, after all, I was back at Storrs Pond on Sunday to volunteer for the Stoaked Xterra race. 
Official Results:
Overall: 3h 11m 01s and I placed 98 (out of 98)
Age Class 25-29: I placed 2nd (out of 2)
Swim: 25m53s (met my stretch goal)
Bike: 1h56m50s
Run: 48m17s (met my stretch goal)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Anxious and Excited. Tri time tomorrow!

My triathlon is tomorrow. I am nervous, anxious, and excited. I know I can finish it, I know it is going to be a challenge. I have prepared to the best of my ability while keeping my mind in the "keep it fun" mode.
What has me the most nervous is that I am going to miss a turn on the course. I know the likely hood is pretty slim, and that the course will be very well marked.  So it is only a small anxiety, but it is there non-the-less.
I can't wait. Is it Saturday yet?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I've been tagged!

Allie over at Healthy Balance, Healthy Life tagged me on the trending 7 links! I have really enjoyed reading all the 7 links posts that are floating around the blogisphere and am excited to share my 7 links with you.
I hope you enjoy the walk down memory lane with me.

Most Beautiful: Final Portfolio 10 - This is a visually beautiful post, from my digital photography class.
Most Popular: New Tattoo!!! - From back in '07 wow! But according to my stats it is the most viewed post of all time.
Most Emotional: Say Day - A post in remembrance of my horse Cupcake.
Most Controversial: With my bachelors degree within reach... - This is more of a personal controversy.
Not Enough Success: Stoaked Standard - I signed up, last minute, for my first triathlon.
Most Proud Of: Vermont Endurance 100 - I was so proud of my ability to stay up and cheer the runners on. I just found out that our aid station was nominated as one of the best and we were known as the "peppy" aid station!

I have to tag 5 blogs. If you have already been tagged, please disregard.
Meals & Moves
The Lean Green Bean
Peanut Butter Fingers
Peas & Crayons
Little Blue Hen

Monday, August 01, 2011

TGIF? nope... TGIM!!!

Wow, while I am not overly excited its Monday, I was definitely glad it wasn't the weekend anymore. I didn't stop, there was so much going on. It was fun, exciting, and totally time to end so I can relax.
Friday was supposed to have been an early night with a short visit with Mary.  It turned into a 3+ hour visit involving two bottles of wine, Mary, Robin, Kate, and Jeremy.  There was girl talk, laughing, there was even a drunk dial involved! Needless to say, I did not get up the next morning for my 5k trail run. While I am not overly upset and was easily able to let it go (I think only because I hadn't registered yet), it definitely made for a rough start to Saturday.
I slept in; it was around 11am when I finally dragged my ass out of bed.  A quick shower, stuffing my face with food, and Jeremy and I headed out to an 1pm birthday party. Unbeknownst to us, it was a small bbq! There was burgers and dogs, my dads amazing mac & cheese, and some coleslaw.  We are not ones to turn down my dads mac & cheese, and we knew the extra calories would be put to good use when we left to go help a friend split wood.  So stuff our faces again, check!
We didn't get to stay for the entire birthday party, but I was glad we were able to be there for some of it. Little girls don't turn 7 every day after all.
From there we went to Julia's to help split and stack wood with the promise of beer and food, yes more food. Luckily the majority of the wood was split and stacked by the time we got there, so we were able to help with the last load and enjoy a beer in the shade.  Jeremy left to go corner for a friend who was fighting, and I stayed behind to hang out, enjoy some more wine, good food, and visit with people I haven't seen in years.  By the time Jeremy got back from Burlington, it was 10:30 and I was about ready for bed, but we managed to stay and enjoy the bonfire for another hour.  It made for a second late night in a row.
I slept in Sunday, not as late as I would have liked, but I had places to be and things to do.  My mom picked me up and we were off to meet up with my future sister-in-law to finalize some details at the fairgrounds where she and my brother are getting married. It was a beautiful day, and we were all able to easily imagine what the location might look like all decorated and ready for the "I do's."  After spending a bit of time in the hot noon sun, it was back to my moms where we spent the rest of the afternoon canning peaches.  It was so much fun to work in the kitchen with my mom and to get into processing the peaches and getting them ready to put up for the winter. So much fun.
I was picked up by Jeremy when he was done work, showered, and was off and running to his sisters house for an evening of birth charting and True Blood! It was another late night with too early of a morning today.
I am hoping to rest up and get this week started off on a better foot, my triathlon is on Saturday!!!