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.