Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sailing and Paddling on Lake Murray

Alan sailing during Outback Cup Regatta (photo taken by Paul while crewing).

It was a great weekend on Lake Murray, near Columbia SC. Alan and Paul would have liked a bit more wind for sailing. They finished the Outback Cup Sailing Regatta in 2nd place against 10 in their division, 103 boats total.

Alan wrote a nice trip report of the weekend on his blog.

While the guys were out sailing, I got in a 10 mile paddle in my seakayak on Saturday and Sunday. Lake Murray is much larger than my local Lake Jordan, and littered with large mansions along the shoreline. The lake, fed by the Saluda River, the dam was built in 1930, covers an area of 78 square miles with 649 miles of shoreline.

Lake Murray is also down from the regional drought, though their lake levels weren't nearly as drastic looking as it is at home. Kiwibird has a few pics of Jordan Lake from her Sunday paddle posted on her blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sailing and Partying

Photo of Alan, Paul, and I at the Tybee 500 regatta this summer.

What an incredible feeling it is when your kids invite you out to play with them.

A couple of weeks ago we visited our daughter in Boone for a fabulous weekend of picnics and hiking. This weekend, our son has invited us to join him at a sailing regatta. He's asked Paul to crew for him on his Hobie 18. A large group of Alan's sailing friends will also be there, he described it as sailing, camping, and with a big bonfire.

The Sailing club who sponsor's the regatta, has a bit of a different spin in it's description, now I understand it's big popularity.

Come sail in the Outback Cup, Lake Murray’s premier regatta for PHRF spinnaker/non-spinnaker, cruising, and multihull sailboats. There will be a good time on the water, and a better time on the beach. If your idea of a good time is a margarita party and Hors d’oeuvres by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, eating steaks from down under cooked by Outback Steakhouse, drinking Foster's Beer with a little sailboat racing thrown in for good measure, you need to come to the 2007 Outback Cup Regatta on Lake Murray.

Fun fun fun.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Change of Venue?

Not really, but certainly a big change in focus for next year. I'll always be a paddler, and I definitely plan to participate in the 2008 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge next March, my 5th. Truth be told, if I was able to take the time off from work, I'd be be doing the 2008 Ultimate Florida Challenge again, one of the best adventures I've ever had.

But there are also other dreams and goals on my "to do" list. I'm not getting any younger, and time's flying by. Unfortunately I'm forced to put off any real long paddling expeditions and hikes (Appalachian trail) till retirement.

So when Alan, my son, who seems to share my love of challenge and adventure, called me the other night to tell me that he and his friend Adam had just registered for Ironman Louisville, and I should too, it took me by surprise but had me thinking fast. I used to triathlon, and have always had a goal to do an Ironman before turning 60 (5 years left). Hmmm. Paul just shook his head while watching me figure out the possibilities.

In my last posting I mentioned creative justification :) And so I started justifying: I'd get in great shape. This would includes lots of biking Paul and I can do together, especially now that he has a new bike (Paul kept me company on my 50 milers when training for a previous 1/2 Ironman). The stiff registration fee would really be worth all the fun of planning and training for a goal. I'm already jogging, biking and swimming weekly, sports I love for fitness. And, I love a big challenge. So I was in, and sent in my registration.

I've been following ,my friend Capt'n of the "O" Dark 30's blog. Brian is a fellow Kruger canoe paddler, WaterTribe and MR340 alumni, and retired adventure racer. He's about to hit 50, and has decided to do it by getting into the best shape of his life (he posts occasional status reports on this goal). His partner Laura, is a very successful and active triathlete (has finished 4 Ironman races) and coach, and has offered to help me with my challenge.

I've also taken serous note of the recent blog postings of Silbs Says. He recently posted Too Much of a Good Thing, The Over Use Syndrome, he has the background and experience to address this properly, and I'll take his advice to heart.

This Ironman is in late August. I'll not start any serious training (the ramping up of distances) till April after I recover from the March 1st Everglades Challenge. Until then I'll continue to work on my overall fitness and work on really good base training to help prepare my body for the necessary training next year.

Like many my age, the real challenge will be the running. I have a history of overuse injuries from running, and in fact now permanently wear titanium rods in both my tibia's as the result of previous serious stress fractures. I haven't done any real running for the past 7 years, after finishing a 1/2 Ironman in 2000. I'm now a walker and jogger, and will continue as such. Gotta make some compromises.

My goal as always will be to "enjoy the process" over the coming year (the race is only 1 day), and to be a race "finisher". I believe exercise and training should be fun, when I stop having fun, it'll be time to put things back in perspective. Sharing the experience with Alan will be an additional bonus.

My blog is primarily a way to let my family/friends know what's going on, and I hope it offers encouragement and motivation for other's to be active and get outdoors, and follow their life's dreams, whatever they are. This is another one of mine, and I will approach it recreationally, for fun and fulfillment. Follow along, or even better, join me.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

All I Want for Christmas...

There is no denying that I'm a bit of a gear freak. I've never had a garage that had room for a car, my garage looks a bit like an REI satellite store. One of the big challenges for a gear freak, is justifying the expense. My husband would tell you that I can become quite creative at this.

We'll I've found my next Xmas present, a SPOT Satellite Messenger and Tracker, available Nov 1, 2007 (just in time).

It has some interesting safety features, and is being advertised as an essential line of communication in emergency situations:
- "911” button dispatches emergency responders to an exact location
- Ask for “Help” button sends a request for help to friends and family
- Check In” button lets your contacts know where you are and that you are okay

I'll likely continue to carry and use the more traditional VHF, EPIRB, and other safety equipment that I have normally chosen to use. I really see this as a gift for my husband (thus my justification :)

No longer will he need to wait on phone calls, and spend time worrying about where I am. If I carry this, he can just bring up and track my position in Google Earth.

WaterTribe is considering using this to track their Ultimate Florida Challenge racers in 2008, Everglades Challengers (which I will be) will have an option to use their own.

Hmm, only $149. It's just what Paul needs.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ohana (Family) Time

My brother Bob (who lives with his family in Denver) and I were lucky to be able to spend a week visiting my parents, sister, and niece in Hawaii. We arrived without spouses or kids, a small Dickie family reunion. My siblings and I were born in Hawaii, and lived there as children. We all separately returned to Hawaii by the mid 70's, only my sister and parents have stayed ever since. My brother and I lived there till the early 80's and now return as often as we can for family visits.

We were there to spend some time with the folks, help my sister with some household chores, and just visit and reminisce. The time difference (6 hrs for me) allowed Bob and I to spend early mornings running, hiking, and walking on the beach, greeting the sun. With my sister we discovered the new Kailua Kai Wa Nui marsh trail, she plans to walk the ~5 mile open section most mornings before work. After morning chores, we spent our afternoons with family at the beach or pool, then continued the reunion over dinner. For me, it was one of those vacations that didn't fly by too fast, great outdoor exercise, and yet with enough rest and relaxation to be a real vacation.

I did get out one morning to paddle a "Fuze", a single outrigger canoe (OC1) from Outrigger Connection. I absolutely loved paddling it, an OC1 is my next planned for boat (all I have to do is sell the piano first :) If all works out, I'll probably have to add OC1 to the name of my blog when I do. Blackburn Challenge 2008 here I come. My Kruger Dreamcatcher is the best for long distance expeditions and races, but I'm looking for a single blade option for much shorter day races.

And of course we managed a few afternoons at the beach, kayaking (big plastic sit-on-top) at Lanikai and body surfing at Kalama Beach. I'd also hoped to try stand-up paddle surfing/boarding, but ran out of time. If you get to Oahu, make sure to visit Lanikai Juice in Kailua, the acai bowls (a fresh fuit smoothy in a bowl) are to die for.

I've got a few pictures, though it never seems to be as many as you'd hoped for.