Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Trials photos

Here is a gallery of photos from trials this past weekend. These are my two favorites of the women's k4. There's also a great shot of the boys k4, the members of which will be accompanying us to Europe.

Monday, April 27, 2009

World Cups, here we come!!

Wondering how trials went? Swimmingly! (but not really! ha ha)

I placed second in the k1 500m (my best domestic result), just 1 second behind winner Maggie Hogan.

Me and Emily Mickle teamed up and won the k2 race.

Our k4 (Maggie Hogan, me, Arasay Andino, Emily Mickle) won both k4 races (one Saturday, one Sunday) and were subsequently named to the World Cup Team!

You got it. Team USA leaves for Europe in T minus 7 days. We will compete in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary. It is especially exciting for me to see my hard work [finally] paying off, because this is my first time competing in Europe as a senior paddler!

The caveat, of course, is that this is a self-funded trip. $5,000 checks are due by 5pm P.S.T.

Know any rich philanthropists? Send them to my donations page here.

Thanks everyone for your encouragement and support. More updates to follow soon!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ready to race?

Nathan, my coach, reminded us how one foreign athlete put racing in perspective.

"Some people cure cancer...some fight wars... some run countries... but we race skinny little boats, in straight lines, all over the world, against our friends."

And how true it is. Tomorrow morning, I'll paddle a 2- minute race against my teammates, in hopes of earning a spot to race in Europe against my foreign friends who do the same thing.

Athletics are absurd.

I will continue to inhabit this hilarity until Sunday morning, when all my races are done, when I know I have done my best and the summer full of racing is finally going to begin. I've raced enough times to know the feeling I will have on Sunday morning when I cross the finish line for the last time; it will remind me exactly why I do this.

I will conveniently "forget" the pain of racing, the nerves, and the endless preparation. Everything Kayaking will be basked in a rosy glow and I'll be clamoring to set new goals for the months of May and June: more hours on the water, more hours in the gym, more competitions, more of this forward-moving accomplishment that can only come from committed hard work and patience.

It's why we do this!!

Happy racing to everyone at US team trials!!

TV interview

We did a tv interview today after practice! You can find the video here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Things I am happy about today:

I'm sitting in my sunny bedroom sipping coffee
There's a lovely breeze blowing through my window
It's only 54 degrees, compared with yesterday's high of 102
I do not have any training sessions until 3pm!

Tapering (scaling back on training during the week before a competition) feels wonderful. With each passing day, I feel more rested, more explosive in the water, and more excited to compete. I wish I could feel like this all the time, but it's only the hundreds of hours we've put in this far that allow us to feel so fine-tuned when we are resting up for a big competition.

Our World Cup Team Trials start on Friday here in Chula Vista. There are 12 women and 12 men entered in the trials; the fastest few will be on a plane for Europe in 10 days!

I appreciate your continued support through emails, phone calls, and visiting my website!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sailing with sharks

A few of us enjoyed today's beautiful weather from Maggie's sailboat. After several hours on the bay, we disembarked and were walking down the pier when we spotted a shark!!

It was a dead shark.

In my opinion, this is the best kind of shark.

Apparently 4 people were scuba diving off of Point Loma when they spotted a 7-gill shark. When he started circling, they shot him with a speargun and then hauled him up to their sailboat. They hoisted him onto the boat using the main line and brought him back to the marina. I couldn't believe how chill these guys were when describing the terrifying circumstance of having a giant shark come around to say hello.

"We figured if he circled again, we'd shoot him. And he did. So we did. It was a pretty good shot."

A good shot? Yeah, I mean, I hope so.

When they hoisted the shark up out of the boat to weigh it, chunks of less-than-delicious-smelling seal fell out of its stomach. The shark was probably 7 feet long, and weighed in at 135 pounds. Its skin was all dried out and felt rough like sand paper. We opened his mouth and admired his beautiful set of razor-sharp gnashers.

Like I said. A dead shark is my favorite kind of shark.

The fellas who caught the shark invited us to come to their barbeque, but we decided to go back and eat training center food. This may or may not have been better than fresh shark steaks.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kayak Cam

Technique work during yesterday's session.

Competitor Radio Show

On Easter, Maggie and Eric and I did an interview with Competitor Radio about flatwater kayaking. The MP3 is available on their website. If you click "download now" the file goes straight to itunes, or you can listen directly on the website.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My coffee namesake

Some things I like to do:
1. peruse the isles of Trader Joe's
2. set goals
3. drink coffee

What do these have in common? If you put them all together, you have a good idea of how I spent my Wednesday afternoon. You see, I love coffee and I also love Trader Joe's. They have so many varieties, and I love how they're packaged in brightly-colored tins with fun names and pictures. So, I have made it my goal to try ALL of the coffee varieties that Trader Joe's has to offer. Thus far I've had Molokai Blend (delicious), Wake Up Blend (my favorite), and French Roast.

I wasn't sure which one to choose next (it doesn't matter; I'm going to try them all) when I spotted it: Cafe Feminino. Cafe Feminino! My coffee namesake!! It's a Peruvian blend, and supposedly sweet, nutty, and bright. I will give a full report as soon as I try it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Femmy Emmy's Weekend Roadtrip: A Photo Essay

Not too much out of the ordinary happens here in Chula Vista: we train, we eat, we sleep, we watch movies... like I said before, this part of the year is not known for its excitement. So when Tyler got the opportunity to go to Lake Tahoe this past weekend, I jumped at the chance to explore more beautiful places that I've never seen.

We got an early start on Friday morning because we aimed to make it to San Francisco ASAP. We brought Tyler's friend Dan along. Both of the boys were tired, but naturally, I don't get tired, so I took the early morning driving shift. It was really windy through the mountain passes, but gorgeous... and since the boys were asleep, I could play all the country music I wanted.

Upon reaching San Francisco, we visited more of Tyler's friends and then set out to find a place to eat dinner. We happened to park outside a very busy Senegalese restaurant and decided to try it. The wait for a table seemed like forever, but I am not exaggerating when I say it was the best meal I've ever had in my life.

On Saturday morning, we left early for Lake Tahoe. The drive was breathtaking, especially when we reached Truckee and were driving through the mountains. There was snow on the ground, but it was still warm-- 45ish?-- outside, and very sunny and crisp. I was in mountainous heaven.

We got to Northstar Resort, our final destination, around lunchtime.

We were attending a snowboard/technology trade show of sorts, called Snowmodo. They had all kinds of cool inventions on display-- tracking programs, heated clothing, video cameras, and cutting-edge snowboard technology. We learned a lot and came away with free stuff.

After the event (and the party!) we decided to see if we could bum a ride up the gondola. The answer was a resounding YES. So up the mountain we flew, watching the snowboarders on the half-pipe as we went up.

We snapped a few pictures at the top but opted to head down quickly so we could catch sunset at Lake Tahoe.

That's right. So we could catch the sunset. At Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is 22 miles long, 12 miles wide, and 1000 feet deep. That's deeper than Lake Ontario!! True to form, it was frigid, but we walked around on the beach awhile until the sun went down.

A fantastic weekend, during which I never though about kayaking. Sometimes a mental vacation is a really good way to re-gain focus. And focus will indeed be the theme of the next 2 and a half weeks leading up to World Cup Team Trials!