Monday, August 30, 2010

Newspaper Articles

Here and here are a few short articles from the Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester's newspaper) about Nicole and me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nationals report, Day 3

The third and final day of US Nationals was 200-meter day. I felt sluggish and slow during my heat in the early afternoon, but progressed on to the final. The k1 final was at 4:25, just 35 minutes after the k2 final at 3:50. Conscious of the tight crunch between races, Ariel and I ensured we had everything set up and ready to go: k1's, k2, seat pads, water, powergel, flip-flops in the right places (the pavement is too hot to walk on with bare feet!) etc.

We got in the boat together pumped to try to win the k2 200m... and we did! My dad says it was an exciting race, with Ariel and me just barely pulling ahead of Emily [Vinson] and Maggie [Hogan] to win by a margin of .02 seconds... pretty funny since they beat us on Thursday in the k2 500m by .09 seconds. The close competition between us pushed all of us and made for an exciting weekend. I'll hopefully get a video up on youtube in the next couple of weeks.

After the race was over, Ariel and I ran up the hill to get our k2 weighed. Then we took a moment for a tangerine-double-caffeine-Powergel toast. (The flavor we both eat exclusively. Nerds.) After slurping down our powergels we grabbed our k1s and immediately went out for a cool-down/ warm-up for the next race. My goal was to be as aggressive as possible and put everything I had left into this last race of the regatta. I placed 7th.


I'm looking forward to going home, sitting down with my training log, and assesing this little 10-week season I put together. More to follow about my plans.... for now, some pictures from the banquet!

The Rochester crew... Nicole and me and our awesome dads!

Medals for the k2 200m: Mickle and Shelley in 3rd, Mags and Vinson in 2nd, and Ariel and me in 1st

The sun never sets on cool

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nationals report, Day 2

Today was a hot one! 96 degrees! I combatted the heat in my tent by being silly with Mickle.

We also named my little tent FemCKC (Fem Canoe/Kayak Club). The sole members and my dad and me, but others, like Jen, Mickle, and Timmy, come to visit sometimes! We have cold water, a blanket on which to sit, and karaoke. Just kidding about the karaoke.

Amidst all the laughter today I did have one race: the k2 1000m with Nicole. We finished 2nd behind Mags and Vinson by 2 seconds and were pleased with that result. Although Nicole was my first-ever k2 partner, we haven't raced much over the years and it's always fun to get in a boat together.

Tomorrow I race the k1 200m at 1:15 (final at 4:25) and the k2 200m final at 3:50.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nationals report, Day 1

my dad and me at the racecourse

It's been a long day-- one of those days that, when you think back to it, breakfast feels like weeks ago. It all started at 5:30am with cheerios and coffee. My first race was the women's k1 500m heat, around 9am. For me it was satisfactory- not great- but I progressed through to the final. The next 5 hours were all about waiting. I kind of forgot about the "waiting" part of sprint racing... which is ironic, because it comprises WAY more of the regatta than actually racing. Yuck.

During my down time, I got an egg sandwich and some more coffee and laid down, read some of The Odyssey, and talked to my mom on the phone. (She's back in NY moving my sis into college this week-- hi mom! hi Anna!)

mmm, soggy PB&J, my favorite (you think I'm joking?)

The 500m final was at 3:05pm. My goal was to paddle faster than a 2:05, and I paddled a 2:04, which was actually (and this speaks to the elevation of the level of US kayaking during the past 4 years) only good for 9th place in the final. I realize 2:04 isn't fast whatsoever, but I have to be happy with it since it proves I am better than I have been since I first gotten sick. It's going to be one sweet comeback. (As Justin would say, "She'll be back.... with a vengeance.")

carrying my boat up off the dock after the 500m final

After the k1 race I jumped in the k4 with team Hawaii. It was a riot paddling with them although I'm embarassed to say I missed a stroke in the middle of the race, possibly costing us first or second place. It was a total rookie error, and it destroyed all of our momentum going into the second half of the race. We managed to hang on for 3rd.

The last race of the day was the k2 500m. I paddled with Ariel Fararr-Wellman. We were extremely pleased with our second-place result because not only were we just .09 seconds out of first place, but it was our first time in a k2 together, ever. We're excited for the k2 200m on Saturday!

Look for Nicole and me in the k2 1000m tomorrow at 12:10 central time.

Thanks for reading!


Check out live results from US Nationals at!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jon's Pasta recipe

Since I've been posting recipes lately, here's a hilarious conversation that I had with Jon on the phone 10 minutes ago.


Emily: Hey Jon, so I'm making my pre-race dinner! Mac and cheese with tuna in my hotel room microwave.
Jon: Ok....
And I was just calling to find out how you cook pasta in the microwave.
What? *laughs* Um, with water?
No I mean like, how do you do it? What's the method?
I wasn't aware I had a method.
Well how much water do you add?
Uh, well make sure the water covers the pasta.
But like how much?
I dunno I've never measured. It depends. I just kind of put some water in there.
Well what if you add too much? Then do you have to pour some water off afterwards?
Yeah, I usually strain off the extra water with some tupperware or something.
Okay, how long do you cook it for?
Depends on what kind of pasta.
It's macaroni
I don't really know
Well, give me a ballpark figure here. 4 minutes? 20 minutes?
Try 6 to start.
What size bowl do I use?
Well it's definitely going to boil over. You need to use a huge bowl.
Uh oh.
It won't taste very good but it'll get cooked.

"Something is always going wrong, isn't it?"

Well. I'm sitting in my nice chilly hotel room in Oklahoma, after already having read my book, watched a movie, taken a nap, packed for tomorrow, and mixed my drinks (lemonade accelerade). What's left to do? Blog, of course.

Tomorrow, US Nationals starts. My goal is to race my best. I know I am still on the road to recovery and I shouldn't expect PRs from myself. Frustrating? Absolutely. But it's been the hardest year of my life!

Let's see. Last September, I went through a devastating breakup while enduring months of the stress of impending big changes in our governing body. Because the changes would directly affect where I could live, train, and go to school it was unbelievably hard to stay focused and positive on a day-to-day basis. In November, I got very sick and was hospitalized with something that is yet un-diagnosed but I know is triggered by stress. After being in the hospital for 4 days and missing my ski trip to Utah, I got to come home in time for Christmas. In February I went back to California with the intention of putting my illness behind me and making the World Cup Team, and only had relapse after relapse.

Finally, I came to terms with the fact I was physically and mentally unwell; because I was completely unable to train, I made the heart-wrenching decision to go home and rest for awhile. At home I took up canoe racing (because I'm bad at resting), and I trained as much as my body would allow (not much!) In May, just two weeks before the 70-miler, I was thrown out of the boat during a race in rough water and dislocated my shoulder. I couldn't race the 70-miler for which I'd been training, and I had to stop lifting, stop paddling, and start grueling physical therapy for the umpteenth time in my life. All this time I was still having mini-relapses of illness which caused me to stay in bed for a few days at a time.

A few weeks after my shoulder dislocation (around mid-June) I was back in my kayak and began to carefully train for US Nationals. 10 weeks later, here I am, excited to race for the first time in a year and put some of these setbacks behind me for good.

It was a rough year. Nothing went the way I'd planned. I'm certainly not as fast as I was a year ago before the tumult started. But I'm on the upswing, and I'm not backing down. This is my journey; I'm proud of it!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

Another recipe comin' at ya.

My Mom's Amazing Healthy Eggplant Parm
(made from honest, happy Amish eggplants)

1. Wash eggplants and cut them into thin rounds.
2. Set out a pie tin filled with buttermilk and some skim milk (to thin the mixture just a bit)
3. Set out another pie tin filled with bread crumbs, italian spices, and parmesan cheese.
3. Dip the eggplants in the milk mixture, then the breadcrumb mixture; then set them on an un-greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 400 degrees until they start browning a little, then flip them and do the same for the other side.
5. In our oven, it usually takes close to an hour to bake.
6. Serve with my mom's mostacholi sauce (Sorry, that one's a secret!)

The milk instead of oil and baking instead of frying makes this super healthy. The eggplant is not goupy and soft like in a restaurant, which I appreciate.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


This is Roady, the newest addition to my bike-canoe-kayak-ski-snowshoe-rollerski-surf-climb fleet of toys.

"Roady" is short for "Roady the red bullet," and is named fondly after Matt Deady's first car. In lieu of a picture of said car, here's an old classic: Matt and me, circa 2006.

I picked Roady out myself, from all the other used road bikes waiting to be purchased at R Community Bikes. This is an awesome non-profit in Rochester that gives away bikes to needy members of the community. You can donate your old bikes to the program (my parents did) and friendly, helpful volunteers service them and eventually pass them on. They also have road bikes for sale in the upstairs room. Most are between $70-$120 and are perfect bikes on which to commute to school or with which to make a new best friend .

I've already been on several missions with my new comrade. We are going to make a fantastic team.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I got a really cool email today from

During the Tour de France, they have this "chalkbot" which paints chalk messages of inspiration on the roads of the Tour. You could submit messages; many of them were cancer-related. Since I have 3 email addresses, I made 3 submissions:

1. "These are the days of miracle and wonder" -Paul Simon, Graceland lyric- this is my favorite song

2. For beautiful, courageous Natalie

This is Natalie, a good friend and teammate who passed away from cancer in 2007

3. If you want to be free, be free -Cat Stevens lyric

Et voila! They sent me this picture from France!

I was disappointed that they didn't use my message for Natalie, because that was the one that really mattered to me. However, it's still cool that they chose one of my submissions: and I herby dedicate it to Nat!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Wahoo, day off from training! I slept late, and now I'm making protein pancakes for breakfast because I had a dream about maple syrup. :) Which leads me to today's topic: food! I love to cook. I find it really relaxing, and I- like my mother- love to cook delicious healthy things for other people. Since I'm training at home this summer, I try to cook meals for my family whenever I can.

Here are some things I've been making, all of which are ridiculously easy:

Red quinoa and beans
1c red quinoa
1 can each of black and kidney beans
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1c spinach
black pepper
spices-- I used some Mrs. Dash's salt-free blends

Cook the quinoa first. Sautee the red pepper, onions, and spinach. Add the beans. Add the quinoa and spices. I like to eat the finished product with goat cheese, because feta makes everything beta.

Protein Pancakes, version 1
3 egg whites
1/2c cottage cheese or greek yogurt
1/2c oatmeal
1/2t vanilla

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Then fry 'em up on the griddle! The cottage cheese or yogurt flavor is a little strong for me (read: they don't taste like real pancakes) so I created version 2.

Protein Pancakes, version 2
1/4c pancake mix (I used Arrowhead Mills brand, 'cause it was in the cabinet)
1/3c soymilk
1 scoop of Wegman's vanilla whey protein powder
1t olive oil
add walnuts, strawberries, blueberries, etc.

First mix the soymilk and protein powder together, then add to the other ingredients. Add more soymilk if necessary. Then cook! These turned out a little dry but all the better to douse in maple syrup.

Crock-Pot Applesauce Chicken
4 chicken breast halves
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups applesuace
1T apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4t cinnamon
1/2t black pepper
1/4t crushed red pepper flakes

Put the chicken in the crockpot and add the onion. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours. My family loved this recipe and it was even better left over. We ate it over quinoa, but I also ate it over a spinach salad with (you guessed it) feta on top. YUM. This recipe comes from my favorite cookbook of all time.

Tonight I'm grilling salmon with pesto and making broccoli tossed with lemon juice, toasted almonds, and garlic.