Monday, November 21, 2011

Fem does Football

On Saturday, I attended my first football game ever. That includes all high-school, college, kids, professional... even pick-up games. Before this weekend, I had never been to a football game.

So I did the first in style! I took a whirlwind trip to South Bend with Matt and company to watch Notre Dame beat Boston College. Football is much more fun than I've ever given it credit for. For the record, I also feel it is the most confusing game in the world.

warm ups

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday woes

On Thursday, I forgot to bring my computer charger to school. I also forgot to charge my phone. I also forgot my student ID card in Tuesday's jeans pocket, meaning no food while on campus for 9 hours.

So there I was, ravenously wandering the Geneseo campus, glumly toting my dead phone and dead laptop. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, I ripped my pants in an unfortunate spot. And if modesty wasn't a problem, strong gusts of winds and temperatures below thirty surely were. I quite literally froze my butt off.

BUT in the late afternoon, it started to snow! And it continued to snow! I drove back to Rochester in a mini-blizzard, and lifted weights in my own mini snow-globe. Giant snowflakes make everything better.

It was an excellent day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hello November!

Happy autumn! The end of this week was absolutely gorgeous here in Upstate NY..... into the twenties at night and almost hitting sixty during the day. Crisp air, blue sky, and bright sun. Miss Nicole Mallory and I enjoyed pushing leaves around on the canal in our kayaks. That reminds me: I posted Brian's awesome Epic Fall mockup last year (1 year ago to the day, in fact. Weird). And guess what!!? Paddling over a carpet of leaves is still really annoying.

Last weekend I participated in the Barbells for Boobs event at Crossfit Rochester. It's a nationwide breast-cancer fundraiser in which crossfit gyms do a workout entitled "Grace", which is 30 clean&jerks as fast as possible. (95 pounds for girls and 135 for guys) I was 1 second shy of my goal time but it was still a fun day.

Matt is on the left; I'm on the right in the front, with Heather and Laurie behind me!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fem's Dream World: Part VIII

Last night, I dreamt I got 30 speeding tickets in one day, amounting to $6,027. Then my hair turned pink and stayed that way forever.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall recipe

This recipe was inspired by an article in the Democrat and Chronicle. I've been meaning to make it for several weeks, and since I had a ton of schoolwork this weekend, cooking seemed like the perfect way to procrastinate.

I tweaked the recipe to paleoize it. It was delicious- quite rich, in fact. It would pair perfectly with roasted chicken or turkey!

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chicken stock (I use this brand because it has the least amount of additives and weird ingredients)
1 cup coconut milk (I used the light kind)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1t grated lemon zest
1/4c loosely packed fresh sage

-First, use a food processor to "rice" the squash: pulse it until it roughly resembles grains of rice. I recommend using roughly 6 cups of riced squash... because that's how much I used.
-Saute the onion in the olive and coconut oils until it becomes translucent. (About 5 minutes) I used an electric frying pan. You want to cook this in something pretty big.
-While that is going, combine the coconut milk and the chicken broth in a small saucepan and heat on the stove. When it gets hot, you can set it aside.
-When the onion looks cooked, add the riced squash to the pan and stir it continuously enough so it never sticks to the bottom. Cook it for about 5 minutes.
-Add the coconut milk/chicken broth mixture by ladleful into the pan. Continue to do this until the squash no longer absorbs any liquid and the texture of the squash is tender but not mushy. For me, it took about 8 minutes. If the squash gets dry and you've already used all your liquid, you can add a few tablespoons of water.
-Stir in the lemon zest and the sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In terms of measurements, my recipe made 6 cups of food total. So per half cup serving, it is 2 blocks of fat and 1.5 blocks carbohydrate.

My goal for November

Okay, interwebs. Here's my goal for November. (Well, one of several)


6 days til go-time. Enjoy my lack of presence on your google readers while it lasts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I've started school at SUNY Geneseo! (SUNY= State university of New York)

After 9.5-hour class days, I have found a bit of time to go running and explore the area!

31 Heroes WOD

On September 3rd, I participated in the 31 Heroes Workout at Crossfit Rochester.

This was a workout conceived by Crossfit HQ as a fundraiser for the families of the 30 service-people (and 1 service dog) who were killed by enemy fire on August 6th in Afghanistan. Worldwide, $300,000 was raised by Crossfit gyms for the families of the heroes.

The workout was done with a partner: the partner runs 400m with a sandbag (25 pounds for women or 45 pounds for men) while you do 8 thrusters, 6 fifteen-foot rope climbs, and 11 box jumps. (The rep scheme signifies that this tragedy occurred on August 6, 2011.) When your partner returns with the sandbag, you switch places, and they pick up where you left off. Your score is the total number of rounds [of the thrusters, rope climbs, and box jump] completed between the two partners.

I did this workout with Kameron, and together, we thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of this suffer-fest!

me on thrusters, Nick on box jumps

Kameron on box jumps

showing that rope who is boss!

Pictures from Empire State Regatta

Actually, there are only a few, and they aren't from the regatta, but rather from "playtime" afterward.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Empire State Regatta

As I mentioned in my previous post, July 30th was the Empire State Regatta. This was an awesome opportunity to race in my hometown of Fairport!

After the Lake Placid Regatta, I decided to take a short break from kayaking. I do this every year after the season; it provides an opportunity to rest, recover, and regain motivation to get out on the water daily.

The 5k at the Empire State Regatta was my first jaunt on the water since World Championships Team Trials in Lake Placid. Although my lower back didn't appreciate the introduction, it was a really fun course and a great summer race! I really look forward to upcoming editions of this regatta, especially since I see the Rochester kayak racing community growing exponentially right now.

Fem loves winter. THAT MEANS TRAINING IN IT.

A few weeks ago I raced in the Empire State Regatta, which is an updated version of last year's Erie Canal Regatta. It was held in Fairport, right on the canal by the liftbridge rental shop. It was especially exciting to have an opportunity to speak on Wednesday evening on the opening night! I talked about how important the town of Fairport has been in my development as a kayaker. I also stressed that Fairport is a community that supports events like this regatta, and that this support is integral to the past and future development of paddling in Upstate NY. We certainly have a LOT of kayakers in the area, and many of those kayakers are now becoming kayak racers! (It's so exciting!!)

In many some ways, living in a place that has ice instead of water during the winter is a major disadvantage. In the past, I've spent only December and January at home in Fairport. When I head to San Diego in February, it takes me a long time to catch up to the other warm-weather paddlers who never stopped. It's certainly frustrating. However, I choose to structure my season that way because I truly think it's the best way for me to train. An off-season filled with training off the water has been important to my physical and mental strength. In fact, my most successful paddling seasons have come after a winter of cross-country skiing and lifting. (It's the Euro way!) I stay in touch with paddling with sprint workouts several days a week on on my kayak erg, and I focus on building strength in the weight room and endurance on the cross-country ski trails.

I'm looking forward to starting my junior year at college in 6 days (!!!), but even more looking forward to figuring out a system that includes both high-level school and high--level kayaking. Most of all, I'm looking forward to a fall [and winter] in Rochester, because I truly believe in my winter off-the-water training method. I'm sure it wouldn't work for everyone, but it keeps me my program varied and interested while keeping me injury-free and happy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Jeret Peterson was an incredible athlete and friend. He'll be greatly missed.

Fall plan: university!

I'm excited to announce that this fall I will be living and training in Rochester, NY (Fairport) as I work toward my bachelor's degree at SUNY Geneseo!!! I will be studying English. I'm really excited to work on getting my degree. Although it's nice to dedicate all my time to training in the kayak, it's impossible to do that while making a living, and I'm 23 now. I'm looking forward to having a degree and being able to make some money while I continue to train for the Olympics.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crossfit Rochester Games

The CFR games were, to put it succinctly, really fun. The games are basically a mini version of the world-wide Crossfit Games that takes place in 2 weeks in California. One of our own, Bill Pontius, qualified in the masters competition, so this year's CFR games was a fundraiser for him as well. There were 3 individual events: endurance, strength, and "mixer," as well as a team competition. I did the team competition because I thought it would be more fun (although if you're tough like MegN and Stash you just do everything.)

The workouts themselves were posted the morning of the competition. The objective: finish the workout first. Our team (Gang Kelly Green) did some strategizing to figure out the fastest way to get through it.
50% of G.K.G.

Burpee box-scale

Matt jumping over the box. It looks weird but you had to jump over and then do your burpee facing the box, so he's doing his turn in the air.

The 225lb deadlift was more manageable sumo-style, with a partner. As you can see, photo evidence shows that Matt was lifting his share as well as part of mine. Whoops.

There was also a keg-toss event. Here's the winning throw


All this is to say, it was a really awesome event. Anyone is invited, and it happens every July! I believe all the Crossfit gyms in Rochester and Western NY were well-represented, as well as non-crossfitting athletes from around the area. You can see more pictures here.

Lake Placid International Regatta 2011

On July 4th weekend, I raced the Lake Placid International Regatta, which also served as our World Championships Team Trials. The top 6 girls were named to the team and I am unfortunately lucky number 7: less than one second out of 6th place. So I won't be going to World Championships this year. Disappointing for sure. But I'm admittedly happy with my improvement since my relatively lackluster performance at team trials in April. I still feel positive about my training moving forward. I am also making a few exciting changes, which I'll detail in a later post! For now, some pictures of the regatta.

My club and all its members.

Mickle took this cool shot by the junior tent

The coolest part of the regatta was having my people there. Not only did my whole family make the trip for the weekend, but also Matt, Stash, and Isabel. They did some SUP, biking, and a workout at Crossfit Adirondack. I heard they had a great time. I heard more people should come next year!

This is clearly where the cool kids hang out. I want to be a cool kid. Next race, I'm getting one.

Matt and I pose as we leave the course at the end of the day. I felt like a pack animal with that huge backpack.

The three Emilys giving princess waves to the crowd after our 500m final. From left to right, Emily Vinson, Emily Wright, Emily Mickle

I met this friendly pig at the regatta course. Hello, pig!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

June update 2

Next, Emily Mickle arrived for a week of Rochester training. We made plenty of time for fun in addition to some quality workouts with Nicole Mallory, who was also in town. I have to admit most of the fun revolved around trips to Wegmans... but then again, having Mickle around is just a riot no matter what.

She enjoyed the variety of paddling locations that we frequent here in Rochester. (Canoeing with Marc and Holly on Irondiquoit Creek, and paddling on the Genesee River and Erie Canal in various spots.)

Below, she is pictured under the lock in Pittsford, which apparently was somewhat of a novetly.

I also introduced Mickle to Crossfit, and I think she's hooked. She tagged along on our Crossfit Rochester Goes Kayaking day at Bay Creek. A bunch of us rented kayaks and paddleboards and headed up the creek for a few hours of paddling. Afterwards, several brave souls tried their luck in the sprint boat. Thanks so much to Bay Creek Paddling Center for the fun day of kayaking!

Also in June: my brother Paul turned 18 !
Sticking to the tradition founded last summer, I got him a "cake" which is not really a cake at all but just a candle delivery device. Last year: a garbage plate. This year: a Chipotle burrito. Lucky.

THEN Paul graduated from HIGH SCHOOL! Wild! (Not that he managed to graduate, but that I'm so old.)
My new favorite picture of Paul and me

The whole family on Paul's graduation day!

June update 1

June was a great month of training!

On Memorial Day weekend, I went to the 70-miler to support Team Forge. Matt and Tom finished 3rd, the Schlimmer brothers in 7th, and Marc and Holly were the first mixed team (and 15th overall!) I always love spectating at the 70 and I can't wait to race it someday.

Two weeks later, I raced at the Madrid Canoe Regatta in Madrid, NY. (By the way, the residents pronounce it "MAD-rid") This race is always a throwback to 2003, when I raced my first marathon race here. It's also my favorite race of the year, given that most of the participants camp out along the riverbank, drink beer, go fishing, and roast marshmallows (okay maybe I'm the only one who roasts marshmallows.)

Here I am getting back into my boat after the portage during the 20k kayak race. My race was okay. I was unable to hang on to two Canadian masters guys for longer than 8k, so I placed 3rd overall.

There were lots of dogs underfoot!

I brought Matt with me, and he was excellent with race-day support. Here were are brewing up some coffee in our makeshift kitchen.

Here's the start of Sunday's pro race. If you're a paddler in the Northeast, I highly recommend this regatta!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Paddling in the Rain: WHY IS IT SO HARD?!

Now that I've talked to several paddlers about this, I'm intrigued. As participants in an outdoor sport, kayakers are at the mercy of the weather. When in San Diego, that generally works in your favor, but in upstate New York, paddlers must possess greater flexibility, lest they be constantly disappointed. [Read: RAIN. SO MUCH RAIN. ALL THE TIME, RAIN.]

Every sprint kayaker knows that you get wet when you paddle, especially in a team boat. It's unavoidable, and it doesn't take very long. I'd venture to say that by the time you finish your 2k warm-up, you're sufficiently wet. (And once you start your sprint pieces it's only going to get worse.)

So my question is: why does it suck so much to paddle in the rain? I guess I should be more specific. Why is it so hard to make yourself go paddling in the rain? You know that once you're on the water you won't even notice the weather. (True story.) What's more, you know you'd get wet even on the sunniest of days. It comes with the territory. Even after 7 years in the sport, making yourself get out of your vehicle to untie your boat and carry it down to the dock in a rainstorm is like moving mountains.

Maybe I'm alone in my exaggerated perception of misfortune. So let me just speak for myself: 8:59am found me huddled in my truck with the heat on, waiting for Nicole to arrive. I was wearing a warm long sleeve, spray skirt, and hat. I was freezing, and anticipating getting much colder on the water, so I put on my raincoat for good measure... and then proceeded to paddle while wearing it.

Paddling in a raincoat= an oxymoron. Or just ridiculous. Who does that? I do. Maybe next time I'll bring my umbrella in the boat, too. Because apparently I require substantial protection from rainwater. It's ever-so-much more menacing on my shoulders than canal water.

You know what they call these kinds of people, people like me who spend Friday nights writing long blog posts whining about getting wet in the rain when they spend several hours on the water every day?


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

So what's the plan?

So I'm in Rochester. What's going on?

Well, I have 4 more days to finish my English degree at MCC, which is cool because it means that I am halfway done with my undergrad degree.... at age 23. Yay class of 2034!!

So training mostly consists of paddling on the Erie Canal with the Rochester gang, lifting at Crossfit Rochester, sneaking in some canoeing with Forge Racing, hopefully attending a few marathon races for some fun mileage, and building a third bookshelf to house my ever-growing library. I am also helping my dad cultivate some peas, onions, and zucchinis, as well as busting out my slackline moves and getting my trail run on.

I remain in a whirlwind of the above activities until late June, when I will trek up to Lake Placid for our World Championships Team Trials.

Additionally, as I endeavor to fund above racing and traveling, I am available for hire in the following occupations: babysitting, plant-sitting, tutoring, violin-teaching, personal training, pie-baking, driving long distances, kayak-fixing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Overdue update

I went in for a massage on Thursday and Anne said something to the effect of "good thing you have that website.... it's so nice that it's always up to date...."

Yeah, about that.... I've been busy, BUSY!! Moving across the country + training + school.... I don't even have an appropriate adjective. But, luckily for my three blog readers (Hi mom! Hi grandma! Hi dad!) I decided that my several papers and finals due this week warrants RIGHT NOW as a perfect opportunity to sit down and type out a nice, long, catch-up post. Not to mention I'm cozied up to the fire with half a cup of leftover morning coffee.

Let's do this.

So Easter weekend was US World Cup Trials. The weather was really gorgeous and it was great that my mom was there to watch, and take all of the following pictures.

Talking to Stein at the dock after one of my races

Mickle and me paddling in after our k2 500m final

My mom and I went hiking at Hollenbeck Canyon, off the 94. I wish I did more of this kind of thing this spring.

When the weekend was over, it was time to pack like a maniac. I moved out of my apartment and into my Saturn.

My dad arrived the following Sunday and we embarked on another cross-country road trip. We've done a bunch of these together, each time taking a slightly different route. This year's trip we decided to hit up some National Parks in Utah and then take I-80 home.

Bye for now, San Diego!

A lonely Joshua Tree on the road out of Vegas.... actually there were lots further down the highway to keep it company!

From Arizona to Utah

Southern Utah is so gorgeous

We drove into Arches National Park the following afternoon and did some hiking and driving and reveling in geology.

An arch inside an arch!

Perspective. And perspective. And perspective.

After hiking in Arches NP, we spent the night in Grand Junction, Colorado. We didn't drive further because we wanted to drive through the Rockies during the day.

Highway + train + Colorado River


We stopped to play in the snow at the top of the pass. I wasn't really dressed for the high elevation. Bare feet? I shrugged, What the hell? I scrambled up to the top of this big snowbank. No sooner did my dad snap the shot then I sprinted down the snowbank as if I was on fire. (Quite the opposite, actually.)

SO. Freaking. COLD.

Tons of snow in Vail. "Dad, can we stay forever?"

Unfortunately, as soon as we left Denver, the trip went downhill in a hurry (ha, ha!) We drove straight from Colorado to Rochester: 36 hours. During this time, I slept about 4 hours, had my first Red Bull, thought I'd rather die than keep driving, drank a gallon of coffee, narrowly missed running over a raccoon, entertained the idea of gouging my eyes out, and thoroughly enjoyed the road through Ohio. Just kidding about the Ohio part.

We made it home safely. And to my surprise, New York State filled the Erie Canal for me! It's nice paddling on a canal after having been on a lake for 4 months. Maybe like switching to running on a road after having run only on a track for a while.

Anyhow, I'm gonna hit the hay and write some more tomorrow.