Friday, December 25, 2009

Skiing on Christmas

Since I've been home I've been skiing almost every day. Justin and Alan are home now, too! Today, it was a balmy 36 and rainy so we busted out the rock skis and went to Fellows Rd. Park and skied in circles until the snow was gone.

We stopped to do pull-ups. Ski gear and winter clothing adds a surprising amount of weight.

Here I am doing some gymnastics moves in the middle of my set.

Onward, through the grassy field!

Merry Christmas!

My lovely family on Christmas Eve! We are so thankful to be all together and healthy. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Life throws curves

I was feeling the flow. The flow that comes from honest hard work and indisputable improvement. I was healthy, faster, and gunning down all my PRs during my last 4 weeks in California before the Holidays.

Then after Thanksgiving, everything fell apart. To make a long story short, I was battling a strange allergic reaction for about 2 weeks. After seeing many doctors, taking lots of medicine, and plenty of cold oatmeal baths, I finally went to the ER on Thursday night. I wish I'd come here sooner; doctors say the reaction is very serious and I need to be here for at least 4 days. So far they are running tests and trying to keep me comfortable. I've never stayed in a hospital before. It sure is lonely. I've barely left my bed the past 2 days but today I am feeling a bit more energetic and hope to wander the halls a little bit.

Of course, I was supposed to be cross-country skiing my brains out with Justin this weekend in Park City and then flying home and jumping into the arms of my family, and blissful snowy wonderland. But so far I just have to wait. This is my third day in the hospital.

My spirits are fairly high because my teammates, coach, and Tyler have formed a steady string of visitors so I am never bored or lonely for long. I'm sooo lucky to have them here since my family is 3,000 miles away.

I'll post some more info when the doctors give me an idea of when I can go home. When I am better, I will resume my plan to be training hard on XC skis in Rochester through the holiday season, and attending our team's XC ski training camp in Lake Placid January 2-14. Come out and train with me!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

iDiscovered iMovie

Here's hard week, on video!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A testament to my deep, deep love for kayaking

Needles are my second-biggest fear. I faint; I barf; I freak out. But today my back hurt enough to warrant facing this fear, so that is how I found myself laying face-down on a table with 8 needles, each stuck a half inch into my back and hooked up to electricity to deliver current deeper into my muscles.

Oy vey!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A photo-journal of my awesome weekend

Joshua Tree National Park!

It was chilly. Think 40 degrees, but with a rather stiff, biting wind. I have no idea why my down jacket is here in Southern California with me, but it was a very good item to have.

Mickle and I met up with Lauren Austin (on the left), our beloved teammate who is now studying geology at UC Davis and cramming her life full of climbing adventures.

Lauren brought Ian, who is our new friend/hero. I've never (in person) seen anyone climb like he does.

All these rocks had me feeling prehistoric. I half- expected to see a dinosaur thundering off in the distance.

Can you spot Ian? He's placing gear in a route called Leave It To Beaver, which he climbed a few hours later.

And here I am, un-gracefully shimmy-ing up this off-width crack while Lauren belays me from behind the pointy desert plant.

Half way up the crack I got stumped and made an angry face for awhile.

But later I redeemed myself by climbing this more challenging route. I enjoyed it immensely because it was in the sun.

I love trees, and rocks.

Mickle loves my headlamp.

It was good to get back in touch with my love for escapades like these. It's easy to get wrapped up in numbers and training and forget that the reason I started kayaking in the first place was because of my passion for outdoor adventure!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where I'll be skiing one month from today

Points for anyone who can identify this paradise

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Erg Workout

Videos from an erg workout today

More are available on my youtube channel but I imagine they're not too interesting to anyone but Mags and me :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Video from last week

Here's a clip of Mags (green boat) and me (white boat) during a workout last week. Paddling is coming along well. Nathan has returned, which is great for many reasons including that he films most of our sessions. Video is really important, especially during the autumn months when we are trying to correct technical weaknesses and build muscle memory. When I look at this video I can see that my elbows are coming too high on the exit-- they should drop down and relax-- and I need to hold my top arm back more and make sure it is coming across my face at the same speed as my hip. You can see that I am paddling too much with my upper body; there is not enough connection or leg drive.

There is always so much work to be done on technique. It is paramount to every sport!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jump- roping

I was doing a bunch of jump-roping this afternoon and it reminded me of this video.

I've got to learn their moves!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

An artist's rendering

A bunch of the athletes from the training center volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club charity event tonight in Chula Vista. There were poker tables, a magician, and (my favorite) an artist drawing caricatures!

What do you think?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I had to read Jane Austen for my literature class this week.

Sense and Sensibility= not such a great book.

Downloading the mp3 and knitting this scarf while I listen... much better!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What is Fem doing?

Posts have been lacking so far this month. What have I been doing?

Well, I've been easing in to my training load by increasing my hours week by week (next week I'll be up to normal fall training-- which is between 16-30 hours per week). We're able to get on the water now, so I'll be paddling 3-4 times per week from now on. I've also started swimming a few times per week, lifting 4 times a week, yoga at least twice per week, and a lot more biking than I've done in the past. On top of that, I am taking 5 classes at University of California- San Diego this semester, so I have plenty of work to keep me occupied when I'm not out training.

My college career, if you were curious, is a bit unorthodox. Unfortunately, kayaking is not yet a collegiate sport, so most of us have had to choose between school and paddling. I'm a sophomore, credit-wise, and for the past 3 years I've been going to college intermittently. When I get all my ducks in a row, I would like to study music.

It's often frustrating to be on the "8 year undergrad" plan (as my teammates and I fondly refer to our educational journeys) especially since those with whom I graduated high school are graduating from college this summer. (WOAH.) However, I'm the one who has made kayaking a priority, knowing that I would never be satisfied unless I knew I gave Olympic gold my best shot!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

2016 Olympics in Rio

Well, I can't lie: I was very disappointed when Chicago lost the 2016 Olympic bid last week. I have relatives in Chicago and I like the city; I dreamt of having the huge honor of competing in front of my friends and family on home soil! However, after much thought and discourse, I've put aside my disappointment. The whole point of the Olympic movement is to spread goodwill, charity, knowledge, and opportunity. Rio de Janeiro needs it much more than Chicago. And furthermore, it will be exciting for athletes to compete in the Olympics on South American soil for the first time!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A must-read for your thursday morning

Read this interesting article about Britain's athlete recruitment program leading up to the 2012 Games in London. Sprint kayaker Rachel Cawthorn, 4th at World Championships this summer, actually came out of this program! Wild.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Photos just for fun

On Saturday night Mickle and I stopped at the grocery store for some toothpaste and somehow wound up buying a can of pumpkin as well. Then we brought it to her house to try out my brand-new pumpkin muffin recipe. After a few more tweaks I'll post the recipe here.

Stirring up some fun

Waiting patiently....


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Engine Room Fitness

I took an indo row class at Engine Room Fitness this evening. The class (and the gym) are the brainchild of Dan Walsh, bronze medalist Olympic rower who also happens to live with several of my teammates. So, in the spirit of supporting housemates, Mickle and I attended the class to see what this indo row thing is all about. Well, we LOVED it. It was a fantastic workout, and Dan is a great motivator. If you're in the San Diego area, I highly suggest checking it out. The first class is free, so there's nothing to lose!

On the News

This clip was aired on channel 10 news in Rochester last week. (The link goes to the article, and the corresponding video is in the right-hand corner.) Thanks to Robin, Tim, and the folks at WHEC for making this happen... and Brownstone for setting it up!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Congrats BMX athletes!

I forgot to talk about last weekend's BMX world cup, which happened to be here last weekend. BMX= bicycle motorcross, aka How To Be Fearless On A Bike. I love watching other athletes excel at what they do. My online research tells me the ramp is 35 feet tall at nearly a 30-degree angle and the riders reach speeds of 30mph as they're banking turns and flying over jumps. (Watch this video to see!)

Poorly-timed action shot

The course

Here are better photos.

Congratulations to resident athletes Arielle Martin and Mike Day, who finished 3rd and 5th overall (and Arielle did it with a broken hand!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumnal Equinox!!

Today is the first day of fall, and that makes it one of the most exciting days of the year. I have to use my imagination on the weather; in my mind I'm home running on a frosty morning, apple-picking, and knitting by the fire.

And here's the autumn photo of the week!

My sister and I in Connecticut, Thanksgiving 2007. We were on a very cold hike and huddling together at the summit for warmth!!

Erg Test

Mickle and I did an erg test today, as part of our beginning-of-the-year testing regimen.

Mickle warming up

Me, mid-test

I don't normally use the erg, but maybe I should, as there is a strong correlation between how fast you can do 500m on the erg and how fast you can paddle 500m in the water.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Planning for this week

Currently without a coach, I'm writing my own training programs. So what's on the agenda for this week?

Keeping things simple, I've decided to work on everything I'm bad at. You know, the old train-your-weaknesses-and-race-your-strengths cliche. (Planks, rope-climbing, bench press, pull-ups, any leg exercise, YOGA, and the rowing machine are just a few of my weaknesses I'll be throwing in my workouts this week.)

Here's the cardio medley that I have planned for tomorrow. This workout is a Forge Special-- we do this when the river is frozen over for paddling/ the roads are too dangerous to drive to the ski trails. The idea is to go as hard as you can for each segment, because you're switching every 5-10 minutes.

-10 min warm up
5 min jump rope
10 min rowing machine
5 min-- 1x arms-only rope climb, then planks for the remainder of the time
10 min run
5 min- jump rope (actually I'm really good at jumping rope, but I still have to practice a lot for my jump-off with Morgan)
5 min 1x arms rope climb and planks
10 min run
-10 min warm- down

If done correctly, this should be pretty killer.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My day was worse than your day.

I woke up this morning feeling awful. It was one of those, slouching, drag-your-feet, direction-less, nothing-sounds-good kind of days.

I decided to take a drive in the desert to clear my head, and also because my car has been sounding really loud lately and I wanted to drive it on a highway to observe its behavior.

Twenty minutes later, completely isolated in the dusty brown mountains.... POP! I heard a snap and an horrible grating noise noise. I pulled over and assed the situation. Exhaust pipe= two pieces, dragging on the road. Me= alone in the desert. Provisions= a half of a Nalgene full of water, a dead ipod, and a book about wolves. Cell phone service? Of course not.

Luckily I'd broken down close to a ranger station, and I was able to hike there and use their phone, call a tow-truck, and ultimately get a ride back to the Olympic Training Center.

I am laying in my bed now, hopefully out of harm's way, when I realize...

My tent and sleeping pad necessary for this weekend's trip to Joshua Tree are in the trunk of the car at the auto shop... and they are inaccessible because my bike tire is deflated and I don't own a pump.

Please world, what else you got? Lay it on me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A few weeks at home is NEVER enough.

I didn't have much time or desire to post entries while relaxing at home in Fairport, New York. Words can't really do it justice, so here are some photos of my time there.

While shopping, I found a crown.

Cooking was a highlight because I hardly ever get the opportunity. Here I was making pasta sauce, broccoli, cauliflower, hummus with garbanzo beans and peppers, and chocolate-chip cookies!

However, I didn't want to eat any of the chocolate-chip cookie dough, so I put tape over my mouth.

I got to help move my little sister Anna back to her dorm at SUNY Cortland, where she is a sophomore studying health sciene.

It's a good thing Matt has me to draw tough stuff on his biceps to make them look halfway decent before he raced La Classique.

One of the locks on the Erie Canal, taken from my kayak

Running... or rather, pausing my run to take a photo

Kayaking with Nicole on the Genesee River... this session was so much fun because there were all these marching bands practicing on the riverbanks throughout the park... like 4 or 5 different bands, and the drums were vibrating the water!!

Holly, Danielle and I did a 2 hour 45-minute paddle while the boys did 4-hours... and clearly we were just in it for the sun tan ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

More Worlds Photos

These great pictures were taken by Bennet Wetch and belong to USA canoe/kayak.


A month ago I started working on doing a split, and today I finally got it.

If you want to see some really impressive flexibility, watch Bikram Yoga Championships. It is ridiculous.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stats from fun week.

Now that my rest week is over, I will be easing slowly back into off-season training (my favorite time of year!!) Here is some info from this past week.

Number of hours paddled: 8.5
Number of hours spent training but not paddling: 0
Total number of sessions: 5
Number of sessions that were considered a total riot: 5
Number of deer fly bites: 2
Number of times I shrieked and swatted away a deer fly: 200
Longest day on the water: 3 hours
Bridges passed under during that day: 13, twice
Number of months passed since I last spent 3 consecutive hours in a kayak: 18
Most consecutive hours I've ever spent in a kayak: 13
Number of miles I ran this week: 0
Number of miles Holly ran on Sunday: 20
Average number of cups of coffee consumed per day: 4
Width of my smile when my mom brought home the first local apples of the harvest season: a mile
Number of times I wished I were somewhere else or doing something else: 0

Saturday Shenanigans

Congrats to all my teammates who raced at US Sprint Nationals this past weekend in Gainseville Georgia. (Results!) Unfortunately my kayak '09 fund has long since run dry, so I've been having cheap fun in [upstate] New York. Cheap fun around here mostly consists of canoeing and related activities--- Marc and Matt are training for La Classique [120 miles], and Holly and Danielle are training for the Adirondak 90-miler. Me? I'm just working on my tan lines. But when someone says "20k paddle," I come running! err... paddling. ;)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Emily's Back!

Get it... Emily's back?? All the credit goes to Holly on this one, who took this picture yesterday on the crick while we were canoeing. And I couldn't resist sharing her spectacular pun.

Terry Kent's letter to US junior kayakers

I found this article on the USACK page. It's a letter written by Terry Kent to the US jr. sprint team following their experience at World Jr. Championships in Moscow. But it's pertinent to all of us, because we all need to work on raising the bar. I'm glad Terry reminded us that keeping up with the Euros IS possible. I think it was last summer during the junior/U-23 camp in Lake Placid that Mac Hickox gave us a splendid speech in which he said that the US kayak team is TOUGH, RESILIENT, and HAS WHAT IT TAKES to stand on the podium. I think we're starting to gain some momentum.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I found these little guys in Maine during our drive home.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I don't know how it happened, but it started on the first day of heats with a typical cold/sore throat. I tried to convince myself that it was all just in my head, but after a few hours I decided it would be better to acknowledge that I might not be feeling 100% and Attack. I learned all about Attack Sick Mode from the ski team in high school. All that time spent breathing in cold air made for plenty of colds and cases of bronchitis, and we developed quirky ways of fighting it off. My tried-and-true stand-bys included fresh garlic, emergen-c, preemptive zinc lozenges and zinc throat spray, a quarter cup apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water (that one took serious motivation), and hot orange juice.

Anyway, I started to feel better later in the weekend, although by that time most of the rest of the team was feeling sick as well. (Not my fault... Morgan and Timmy had it first!!) I guess my body knows it is the end of the season and it can finally break down. I have been pushing my body hard all season with no big rest periods. So now I am going to give it all the rest and recovery it needs! And maybe some hot orange juice and garlic, too.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

World Championship Wrap-Up

Great racing this weekend on Lake Banook. I'm very proud of what I've accomplished in my first season of international racing! Mickle and I improved a lot in our k2, and there's plenty more to do.

Today we had the 4x200m relay, which is a new event and totally awesome, in my opinion. The relay is set up so that the first leg starts at the finish line heading UP the course and paddles 200m; when that paddler finishes her 200m leg, the gate drops for the second girl to paddle DOWN the course to the finish line, and so on. Each team of 4 shares 1 lane, so you have to merge to the right-hand side when you're finishing, because your teammate is lined up in a gate facing you in the center of the lane, ready for the "tag off."

Fun!! Chaotic! I hope they keep this event and we practice it a little more. Our team was (in order) Emily Vinson, Maggie Hogan, Emily Wright, Emily Mickle. There are good pictures of us hidden in the depths of someone's camera, no doubt, and hopefully they will surface soon so I can post them.


Henry Krawczyk is The Man. Seriously. He's part of Team USA's support staff and one of the most positive, helpful, hilarious people I've ever encountered.

After our team meeting tonight, Henry randomly walked over where Mickle and I were sitting and said in his Polish accent, "Hey girls, let me ask you something. Why do you have ears?" Mickle said, "For listening?" I said, "For earrings?" And Henry answered with a grin, "No. They are so you can smile.... from ear to ear." Then he told us to keep smiling, and he trotted away.

I think Henry is saving the world, a little bit at a time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Watch me race today!

World Championships is streaming LIVE today and tomorrow on the ICF [International Canoe Federation] website! Click here to watch. (7:50-9:30AM E.S.T. and 1:30PM E.S.T.)

I believe you can also get coverage here (It might be the same coverage, I can't tell.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Semifinal Report

After a great 1000m in the morning, leaving us 13th overall (there is no B-final), Mickle and I were pumped to "give 'em hell" in the Olympic-distance 500m semifinal later in the day.

Unfortunately, our hardest effort wasn't enough today. We wouldn't have changed anything about our race... in fact we are thrilled with our progress. But we missed out on qualifying for the B-final by 1 spot. (We were 19th.) Since we've been working solely towards our Making The B-Final goal for two months since we returned from Europe, we are disappointed.

As for the rest of the US team, Maggie made it through to the 1000m k1 B-final, Morgan House is in the C final for the k1 1000m, and Yariel Rodriugez, our badass canoeist, made the B-final for the c1 1000m.

The rest of us get to focus on the 200m distances. We still have lots of racing to do this weekend!

New Olympic event for women

Check it out: the International Canoe Federation has just added a women's k1 200m event to the Olympic programme, starting in 2012!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

World Championships: Day 1

Out of 14 USA boats today, 13 made it through the heats to the semifinal! Mickle and I had good races in the 1000m and 500m k2 events and are happy with the improvements we've made since World Cups 2 and a half months ago.

Wanna see?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Opening Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremony was really cool. For the parade of nationals, club teams from the area (I'm told there are no less than eleven clubs in the area Halifax/Dartmouth area... which is more than in the entire USA, I think) paddled the flags down the course in war canoes.

I only stayed until 9pm, so I missed most of the good stuff... but I did find my family!!

The whole clan of Wrights

Me and my mom!