Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nothing like snake pictures to ruin a perfectly good afternoon

I made it back to California earlier this week! I don't have much to report. I've spent the last few days cleaning my apartment, working on schoolwork (I'm a full-time student this semester, online and at UCSD), and training. So I figured I'd just post a pretty picture of where I live and train.

However, much to my dismay, a google images search for "otay lake" comes up with not only pretty pictures like above, but also pictures of GROSS NASTY BLACK SNAKES!!!!!

Terrfied and confused, I researched further. I know there are rattlesnakes all over the place, but it's very rare that I see one. So what's the deal with all the snake pictures? Well, turns out Otay Lake is home to Rosy Boa constrictors (Lichanura trivirgata), which come in tons of different colors-- around Otay Lake, they're black. Some whacko-- I mean snake enthusiast-- has a website dedicated to them.

eww. scary. SNAKES, STAY AWAY FROM ME!!!!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011


"The trick is to leap out of bed as soon as you are aware of consciousness. Up, into motion, no time for doubt, no questions asked. New day. Game on... we are out the door and in the van- on our way to work on the dream. On our way to training. This is a mission. Every day is a mission . Some days the mission is to rest, some days it’s academics, some days fun, but most days the mission is to work. The planning and thinking have been done. This is the time for doing.

Training can be fun. A run through sunbeams splintered by tall pines in the cool of evening, feeling fresh and light, skis in hard tracks, on fast snow, full of life. But today training threatens to be less than fun. Low clouds, dark and cold. We are pushing through a hard ten days of training. No one feels fresh and light. If tall pines and sun exist, I cannot remember having enjoyed running through them. Training right now is nothing more than work, laboring up a gravel road in the light rain and in complete discomfort. It is our last interval. All are head- down, snot and rain dripping off the nose, fully involved in the task. We are a soggy string of runners stretched out up a steep incline deep in the woods. Alone- save for Sten, soaked and shivering, hollering encouragement to us. We are doing it, and even if the act of training itself is less than fun right now, we are working on the dream, and working on the dream is what drives me out of bed each morning. No hesitation, no doubt, up into motion.

To commit to something grand, something that may not be possible, to say “I am going to do it,” even when you may not be able to: That is dreaming. To actually set about the task of living up to your commitment, to begin doing, to tenaciously pursue what you said you would achieve: That is working on the dream."

-excerpt from Momentum, by 2-time Olympic nordic skier Pete Vordenburg

Snowshoe Race Video

Holly compiled a fantastic video of the snowshoe race. I think she got clips of almost all the participants in the 4-mile event, plus some requisite pre-race interviews from yours truly.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Snowshoe Race

I raced in the Lake Effect Winter Trail Festival today: a 4-mile snowshoe race (I skipped the half-marathon option). Snowshoe racing is not for the faint of heart. If you haven't tried it, think about wearing weighted shoes 4 times bigger than normal, and running in soft, dry sand. Add 7 degree temperature and 15 mph winds and you've got yourself Sunday's race!

However, I am not complaining. I like epic conditions! Plus, I was toasty warm once we got going. The race kicked my butt for sure, and I always appreciate a good butt-kicking. At the start line when the gun goes off, everyone was engulfed in a white cloud from all the kickup from the hundreds of snowshoers running together. It was a riot.

Even though I donned my subzero parka as soon as I crossed the finish line, by the time I got to my truck my hands inside my gloves were frozen and numb like wooden sticks. I was able to get the door handle open using two hands, but I had to wait 5 minutes before my wooden hands had warmed up enough to turn the key in the ignition.
I may look warm... but I am NOT WARM.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Weight training in the Great White North

Make sure you wear your furry boots!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Olympic Weightlifting meet

My competition in Buffalo yesterday went okay. I was pleased that I got a tiny clean and jerk PR, but not pleased that I dropped 3 out of my 6 lifts. I underestimated how nerve-wracking it would be to lift in front of a gym full of people who are all silent and staring at you! I loved it though. Had a blast. I plan to get a lot stronger and then do this again as soon as my kayaking schedule allows. The sweet thing about Oly lifting is that it's a competitive sport--- but it's also a regular part of my kayak training routine. So win-win!

My last lift was an attempted 61 kilo (134lbs) clean and jerk. I got it overhead, and then one arm buckled. Instead of letting go of the bar like you're supposed to, I just held on, twirled the weight around, and then smashed it into the gym floor, making a nice-sized dent. Whoops. I'm such a n00b! Check out the video:

Friday, January 7, 2011

PRs on max lifting day

I would like to commemorate this day, January 7, 2010, for several reasons.

First, it is the day that will go down in history as the first time my squat has ever been heavier than my bench press.

Second, I feel it will be the only day of my life that I will be able to say I got 4 serious lifting PRs in one day. (back squat, deadlift, shoulder press, snatch).

Third, it is a beautiful day in this gorgeous world and I loved every minute of it. It feels good to be stronger than ever and having a blast at the gym. I'm lifting a lot lately because A.) duh and B.) I'm competing at an Olympic weightlifting meet in Buffalo next weekend. Whoop whoop!!

Fourth, it's my last few weeks at home in Rochester and I'm soaking them up with fervor. I'd be happy to never leave New York... and yet I'm looking forward to getting back to California.... so basically I'm lucky that I love everywhere. Vie getz, bitches.