Monday, April 30, 2007
I started painting our house. It's a big house (3 stories) and a big job, too expensive to contract out, and I know how to paint. I'm planning to slowly work on it though the summer.
My good friend Dan got out of the hospital Sunday, I'd been trying to visit and spend time with him daily while he was in town. He will now begin chemo and radiation as he fights against this horrible cancer. I hate that he lives 3 hours away, it's difficult to visit as often as I'd like. His illness has been a bit of a wake-up call for a more overall healthy life. I went to a Weight Watchers class early Saturday morning. I will lose these 20 pounds.
Susanita's posting "Is that a "princess" in a canoe" on her Purple Mirage Blog, has me so jealous. I spent an hour googling trying to find an outrigger or OC1 club that is within a couple hours of me. I've looked before with no results. I would love to get involved in a large club with these options. I so enjoy paddling with a single blade these days, outrigger and OC1 paddling seems a perfect sport/fit for me. And I especially like the tie in to my family home in Hawaii. (I'm also a quilter, and make Hawaiian quilts for the same reason). There is a NC club registered with the East Coast Outrigger Racing Association (ECORA) named Outer Banks Outrigger Club. This was started by a couple on the coast (4 hrs away), who I had email communication with last year, currently they are the only members paddling and racing OC1 canoes.
Have you heard about Margo Pellegrino. She plans to paddle a 20-foot outrigger canoe in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and along the Atlantic coast from Miami to Maine. Her challenge will span 11 weeks and nearly 2,000 miles, She is a 39-year-old environmentally conscious mother and paddling enthusiast. She hopes to show her children how to make a difference in the world and inspire others to take an active role in the stewardship of our oceans. Her blog is Miami 2 Maine, and her paddle begins in May. I received an email from Margo over a year ago after my WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge, she was planning her challenge. She too loves the canoe stroke, and explains her choice of OC1 here. I hope to meet her when she paddles through NC.
Hmmm, maybe the money I save painting the house can go towards a used OC1, I can just hear my husband now, "NOT ANOTHER BOAT".
Monday, April 23, 2007
Will this keep me on track with my workout routine? I don't think so, only self discipline will do that, but it will let me keep track of them, and maybe even make it all more fun. That works for me.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Paddling is so much more than physical activity to me, so I can usually make time for this (my twice weekly paddling workouts) , but general and regular physical activity for basic health and fitness is a constant struggle to prioritize and keep in my life (I'm not even going to comment on the diet struggle). I'm often just a weekend warrior, but I continue to work on it. For me, races, challenges, and events, set up as goals in my life help to provide the incentive I need. And the occasional paddling expedition the real reward.
Life constantly gets in the way. Responsibilities to family, work, and friends always seem to compete with my personal interests and desires, even my personal needs. Sometimes life just sucks. Sometimes it seems so unfair that my life is not only about me, and my passions.
But I am one of many in this world (some whom I've brought into this world), and I have no delusions as to the responsibilities and priorities one has in a life surrounded by many. I just try and work with it all, always working towards a balance. And in the end, I'm thankful to have a life. A life full of my family, work, friends, and passions.
So off I go on a 30 mile training ride for the upcoming Tour De Cure (diabetes). Hoping to do my small share for humanity while trying to stay in shape for a longer and healthier personal life. And hoping my blog offers some inspiration. Just do it!
Each mile I ride, each dollar I raise will be used in the fight to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. If you'd like to help (any amount), please submit a donation here.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
On his Fit2Paddle blog, Merek Uliasz posted a piece titled "Double or Single Blade? Steve Landick on Paddles during a Long Expedition Voyage". Steve, a well known distance canoe and kayak racer, (I've seen his name often associated with the Yukon River Quest), is also well known for paddling the 28,000 mile Ultimate Canoe Challenge with Verlen Kruger. He has certainly put in the miles.
In the article, Steve is quoted as saying "The canoe paddle was so much more comfortable and efficient in the long haul that I inevitably found myself using it most of the time. And that's coming from someone who has done a fair amount of kayaking (on my first trip in 1971 I paddled a kayak 1600 miles)."
Then I noticed on the P&H Paddlers blog, a post by seakayaker Brian Day, that he has written an article on what he has recently learned paddling fast canoes, and how marathon-style canoe technique can transfer over to sea kayaking. His single blade article will be published this summer in Sea Kayaker Magazine. I can't wait.
Photo of Michael Lynskey (RubberDucky) paddling in the 2005 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge. It's not unusual to see kayakers paddling with single blade paddles in the WaterTribe distance races. 300 miles in less than 7 days, they must know something.
What have I been trying to tell you all!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Friday night I drove to Edenton, NC, to meet up with my good friends Dan and Ellen. Dan is my paddling partner with whom I did the 2003 Newfoundland paddling trip (among others), and whom I credit for my skills and interests in distance paddling and expedition. We've had quite a few adventures together, including the time that ended with his little red Romany making it's own way to the coast of France (but that's another story, written a couple years ago in Paddler Magazine). I blogged about Dan over a year ago in my post Friends in Need, Friends Indeed .
He has recently started to paddle a little (regardless of his shoulder). Though I continue to encourage him to use a single blade in his sea kayak, convinced it's a lot easier on his shoulder (and I think still lots of fun). Anyway, this weekend we were planning a paddling and camping trip to Durant Island on the Albemarle Sound at the Alligator River. This is a special island for us, one that we often paddled in training for our big trip. It's a great 20 mile circumnavigation that often put you in some very windy and choppy conditions on the North side of the island with it's very large Sound fetch. We'd often talked of camping on the island, but had never gotten around to doing it. This weekend, with Dan paddling a bit, was finally going to be the camping weekend. Dan and Ellen planned to paddle their double canoe (a special treat, Ellen rarely takes a day off from her plant nursery), and I was bringing my Kruger Dreamcatcher.
So what about the 1,000 mile drive. Well after returning from Edenton, I had a quick business trip to DC planned on Monday. By then, we were under serious wind advisories, with gusts up to 50 mph. My flight was cancelled and I ended up driving the 5 1/2 hrs, and driving back Tuesday afternoon.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Buoy reports include wind direction, speed, gust, significant wave height, swell and wind-wave heights and periods, air temperature, water temperature, and sea level pressure. Some buoys report wave directions. Coastal weather stations report the winds, air temperature, and pressure; some also report wave information, water temperature, visibility, and dew point.
See NOAA's National Buoy Data Center for more info.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
There was a pretty good group who showed up last night for the season start of the weekly Wednesday night paddles on the lake. This is a 6 mile paddle that paddlers from my local Yahoo Groups paddling club get together for. It's a varied group of boats, paddles, skills, speeds, all are welcome, something for everyone. We had about 10 paddlers including Alan in my Kruger Dreamcatcher and Paul with the PAS sail. Weather was predicting 10-15 mph winds with gusts 30 mph. It was definitely windy and choppy, but lots of good fun.
This paddle will start my next round of training (I should say begin some training), now that I'm well rested from this years EC Challenge. I had trained so diligently for the 2006 WaterTribe UFC, that this past year no matter how many times I tried to start training , or be creative about it, I just couldn't get a regular program going.
I knew I had the mental stamina, and I had managed to maintain a level of fitness that would just barely allow me to "cruise" the race. I never did lose that extra 20 lbs I'd put on over the year, and I really was "just barely" fit. Luckily this years EC weather was in my favor for Class3, and in the end it wasn't as painful as I had feared and expected.
Now, my head is in a different place. I'd really like to work on getting as fit as I can, and even work for some speed (I say this every year :). The down side for me is that this probably means less paddling. Sit time in the boat has never been a problem, I love to paddle, single or double blade, it's the shorter interval work, gym work and other aerobic cross training that will be important for me and always the real challenge.
I'll never be a "real" racer, I expect I'll always just race for the challenge. But, I would like to get a bit faster. Stan and I, paddling under the moniker "Kruger Cruisers", will, as the name implies cruise the MR340 in his double Kruger Cruiser Canoe. No sense trying to kill ourselves against that fast tandem huki surfski, our current competition in the race. But, I wouldn't mind a good showing. Even though I'm a cruiser, I am incredibly competitive.
So it's back to the gym. For the aerobic part, I've registered for the Tour de Cure 150 mile bike ride for Diabetes in June , and I annually ride in the MS150 in September. If you interested in donating or sponsoring my diabetes ride, no amount is too small, $5, $10, $25 ..., online sponsor here.
So my basic training plan right now will include working up to 3 bike rides per week (including a spin class and longer weekend ride), 3 paddles per week (2 shorter paddles with intervals, and my regular 15-20 miler on the weekends), then weight training and yoga/stretching 3 times a week. Some of this will be mixed up with swimming, mountain biking, and hiking and walking as suits me.
I love to plan and keep a log, so in my attempt stay on track I'll start back maintaining my daily exercise journal, should have it up by the weekend. Hoping this will keep me motivated, and maybe I can motivate you too.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Then this morning, Alan stopped by, registered for the Missouri River 340 canoe and kayak race, and borrowed my Kruger Dreamcatcher to start his training. Alan plans to paddle the "Misery 340" as my husband calls it, in either a borrowed Kruger SeaWind or my Dreamcatcher. Alan says "I am a sailor at heart but have found that Kruger Canoes bring out the adventure paddler in me." Anyone who has ever paddled a Kruger Canoe would understand.
In addition to finishing this years EC in the team's home built Wa'apa Pacific Island Sailing Canoes, Alan is also co-skipper on a semi-pro sailing team Velocity Sailing, and, Alan is my son.
There are a number of WaterTribe alumni and Kruger paddlers registered for the MR340, including Mark Przedwojewski (ManitouCruiser, owner of Kruger Canoes) who is teaming up with Brian Weber (daBiscuit), Merek Uliasz (Wayfarer), and Stan Hanson (Etchemin) whom I have teamed up with. Another registered Kruger paddler is John Letecki Jr, known for his 1800 mile Ohio and Mississippi River trip for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Let the training begin.