Thursday, August 27, 2009

Out the door...

and heading to my next adventure... ALASKA! I'm spending 2 weeks hiking, kayaking, biking and lots of other fun stuff! Can you tell from all my !!! that I'm excited!!

I'll post all about it when I get back - I'm sure I'll have lots of pics to bore you with.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oprah would be so disappointed

I got an interesting email last week. In short, it was from Mutual of Omaha regarding their "Aha Moment Campaign." They had found my blog and thought I would be a good candidate to share an aha moment on video. I've got to admit, I was skeptical. It don't often get emails like this and my first thought was that this was one of those marketing schemes. You know the ones where they trick you into coming to a "meeting" and then start with "for only 5 payments of $299, you too can tap into the vast resources that will make you a millionaire" (what can i say, I'm a skeptic at heart). So I did what any resourceful gal would do and did a search on google. I was pleased to find that this was a legitimate request! (check out their website - (in my googling I also found an interesting story on Oprah and how upset she was that Mutual of Omaha 'stole' the 'Aha Moment' from her - come on Oprah, don't you own enough of the world already?)

So today I found myself at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center, filling out a consent form and trying to make myself look presentable. I had spent the entire morning practicing what I was going to say, basically a condensed version of what I have talked about on the blog, concentrating on my goal of doing an adventure race (for a quick overview, check out my first post.)

As I was waiting for my turn, I started to watch a live monitor of the person currently being taped. She seemed familiar to me, so I asked who it was. It was a pleasant surprise to find out it was a writer and blogger that I read often! On top of that, she also has done some orienteering with the same group I do. What a small, small world! It was a pleasure to meet her - check out her blog, which I highly recommend

After saying goodbye to my new writer friend, it was my turn to share my moment. It went surprisingly well - they made me feel very comfortable, I really felt like I was sharing with a friend, not a camera. My big fear was that I would break down in tears, since every time I practiced I was inevitably weepy. I am happy to report that not one tear was shed!

My moment will be posted on their website in the next week. There is a possibility of it being chosen for one of their commercials. Even if I'm not chosen, it was great fun. And a good reminder of how far I have come and all that I have learned. Plus, I made a new friend - all and all, a successful day!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The good, the bad, and the... well, you know

I've spent the last 2 weeks sleeping. That's it, just sleeping. Why? Well, I competed in a little adventure race and since I ran about 10 miles, biked 30 and kayaked 10, I was a little tired.

Seriously, I am surprised at how long it has taken me to recover. I was a zombie the week after, but surprisingly not too sore. Which is a change from last year, when I was sore all over; this year, when i had trained less and was a few pounds heavier... not bad. Can someone please explain that to me?

So, how did the actual race go? As you might have guessed from the title, it was a mix of different emotions.

The Good:
1. Seeing/Meeting adventure racing friends: what I love most about AR are the people. I have never met such an amazing group of warm and encouraging people in my life. The team from Utah who were running their first race; the organizers of the race (who I just adore!); my friends the Gypsy Chix, who rock as an all-girl team; the young and fast Ryan who beat everyone but did it with a big smile on his face. Just a cool group of people.

2. Kayaking: My 1st goal was to be much faster in the kayaking section (I was SLOWW last year and so last place it was embarrassing). This year, I rented an amazing sea kayak (the section was all on lake) and whizzed by everyone!

3. Overall time: My 2nd goal was to have a better time than last year. Despite some penalties (I'll explain more in the "bad" section) I was 2 hours faster than last year. Not bad.

The Bad:
1. Penalties: I missed a lot of the checkpoints during the Bike-O (basically orienteering on a bike). It wasn't because I didn't know where they were, it was more about how I suck on the bike. I missed 3 of them, which had :30 minute penalties for each one missed.

2. Sick: I, once again, had problems with feeling sick through the entire race. I run low on potassium normally, but get me out there racing and it really affects me. I took lots of electrolyte pills, which helped some, but I still struggled. I don't know how to resolve this one.

3. Weather: I didn't get to do the final leg, the Mountain biking section, due to weather. You would think I would be happy about that, right? I wasn't. It kind of sucked and I got 2 more penalties due to missing those 2 checkpoints. *&$%# weather.

The Ugly:
1. My mountain biking skills... enough said.

Despite meeting my two goals of a faster overall time and kayaking time, I still was disappointed. I had emailed a friend and told him about the race and his observation was interesting:

What I found missing from your experience below is that last year you wrote about the beauty around you, which I took to be presence in the moment. Perhaps this year you took less time to "smell the proverbial roses"? And it became more of a foot race?

He said it all with that one comment. I seemed to have lost my perspective and kept thinking about how slow I was, how I couldn't keep up, etc. It made it a not-so-fun experience.

Despite that, I still enjoyed the weekend. The big finale was dinner at an old friends house, a friend I haven't seen since college. It was great to get caught up and see how her life has turned out (very happily!)

So, what am I going to do next? I think I'm going to spend time on my running. I have been so caught up in getting better on my bike that I haven't been running and honestly, I love to run. It just clears my head like nothing else. I might even try to run a 1/2 marathon in November... we'll see.