Friday, September 25, 2009

guys getting chicked...

I love this article! I know I will never get to 'chick' anyone (unless I get lucky and pass a 90 year old man. And honestly, how many 90 year olds do you see mountain biking?), but it sure is fun hearing these stories.

What does a girl have to do if she wants marriage proposals, arm-wrestling contests, shock-and-awe accolades, and (sadly) trail blocking and really strange behavior? Simple: Pass a guy on the trail or in a race. If you’re the dude being passed, you just got chicked.

A couple of my favorite stories:

From Rebecca Tomaszewski
A lot of guys get weird about being chicked, but I had one dude point out that he’d rather look at my rear than his buddies, and that he’d rather get passed on a bike than beaten in arm wrestling!

From Sarah Kaufman
When I lived in San Francisco I used to go for mountain bike rides in Golden Gate Park. The singletrack is really fun and there are some flowy sections that you can really rail. I remember once flying around a corner and ending up in an impromptu homeless camp. There were about five homeless guys sitting around completely wasted (on who knows what). They immediately began shouting and slurring, but really encouraging things, like: “You gooooo girrrrrrl!” Priceless.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My aha moment... again!!

I think this is a record, two posts in one day. However, something happened that was too exciting not to share. I got the following email today about my Aha Moment:

Congratulations! Your story has been selected as one of the semi-finalists. Your aha moment will appear alongside 74 others on, where visitors to the site will have the chance to vote for their favorites.

The first round of voting will begin on October 1st and continue through October 15th. After the first round, the top-25 vote getters will win a Flip video camera and move on to the final round of voting, which will end on October 31st. The top 10 favorite aha moments will be featured in Mutual of Omaha’s 2010 nationwide TV ads, which will begin airing early next year.

I was stunned when I first read this, with the inevitable tears following. I can't explain it but this whole process has had me in tears most of the time. Maybe it's the whole reliving that moment, maybe it's just the realization of what I have accomplished... I'm not sure. It seems that me talking about my aha moment has become a sort of aha moment itself - kind of ironic.

I'll post the link of where to vote on Oct. 1st - you are more than welcome to vote. And if you feel mine was the best moment, then please feel free to vote for me :-) At this point it doesn't matter, I'm just thrilled to be part of it!

Here's my moment, in case you didn't see it before.

Monday, September 14, 2009

sweet dreams...

Come, Sleep; O Sleep! the certain knot of peace.
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
Th' indifferent judge between the high and low;

I'm writing this at 10 pm, which before the trip was my usual bedtime. Not anymore; my body is saying it is still 8 pm, while my mind is screaming "it's time for bed!" I truly wish the two would call a truce, it has been a bit exhausting. Imagine what I would be like if I traveled to my beloved England - I shudder to think!

One good thing has come out of having all this extra time; I am super organized and getting TONS done. Have 1000's of emails you need a response to? I'm your gal!! Organize, upload and label 100's of pics? No problem. Finish the piles of laundry, volunteer as meet director for an orienteering meet, see old friends, get piles of work done? Done. Blog about your trip?... oh wait, I haven't done that yet, have I? Well, 6 out of 7 isn't bad.

It seems the one thing I can't do is write about my trip. I've started many times, only to get sidetracked and end up blogging about something else. I just can't seem to put my experience into words. Everyone knows that Alaska has beautiful scenery, that's a given. But what about the abstracts? The low hanging clouds that made me feel that heaven was trying to reach down and touch me. The independent yet giving spirit I saw in those who live there. The kindness of strangers and fellow travelers who shared the awe of the scenery around us. All of these contributed to make the trip a great time.

I guess if you asked me what the highlight was, it wouldn't necessarily be the scenery but the people I shared it with. My mom and aunt, who put up with me running all over the ship to see as much of the scenery as possible. The charming and fun Eric, who shared my love of the outdoors and teamed up with me to become Scavenger Hunt Champions (woohoo)! Eric's daughter Elizabeth who was one of the lucky ones to swim by the glaciers and shared with me the most amazing desserts ever created. (seriously, you have never seen a table like this dessert table - it was amazing!) Bob and Lori and their kids Tessa and Andrew, a fun family from Vancouver who were always smiling and laughing! Susan, my fun tram riding/hiking friend who loved to talk and regaled me with hilarious stories (such as how she was traveling with her ex-husband - that's a story for another time). Lots of others who I may not have gotten a name from, but memorable all the same. Everyone made it a wonderful memory.

I did take quite a few pictures which, due to my insomnia, are very well organized and labeled. If you really want to see all of them, you can take a look below.

I guess I've broken the old writer's block - now let's see if I can actually sleep.

Friday, September 11, 2009

run forest run... but can you go a little faster?

My trip to Alaska was quite eye opening, but probably not in the way you would expect. I was able to keep up with my running and exercise quite easily and was shocked to find myself moving rather quickly during my hikes and runs. I was fast!!

Anyone who has exercised or climbed or raced with me knows this is a big deal - I am not, in any way shape or form, fast. I always warn anyone I'm with that I will most likely slow them down.

But I found that during the trip I was moving uber fast! As in 'leaving everyone behind in the dust' fast. It was so much fun! After much thought and deliberation, I think I finally figured out why... the combination of altitude (Alaska is at about sea level to 2500 feet) and asthma.

I have been struggling with my asthma quite a bit this summer, especially since my race in July. And running is particularly painful - I last about 1 mile (at a painfully slow speed) before I have to slow to a walk. I just can't breath. When I'm hiking, I have to stop every 10 minutes or so to catch my breath. While I know I'm in shape, this has definitely made me question it. I've lived in Colorado all my life, why is altitude such a problem now?

But in Alaska? I FLEW over those trails - a 2.5 mile, 2000 foot climb up a mountain was easy. I could run for 5 miles and not even feel it. So that is how it feels to be fast? I LOVED it!

The question is, how can I get to that point here at the altitude of 7500? My first thought was to not even try, pack all my belongings and move to Alaska. How can you not love a state that has beautiful mountains and seas/ocean, low altitude and no snakes (did you know Alaska has no reptiles in the state?) Why not move?

Then I'm reminded of the whole "no sunlight in winter/100 feet of snow" aspect to Alaska and I rethink that. I have instead come up with a plan that will, hopefully, work.

1. Meet with my asthma Dr. - I have an appt this Tuesday to reevaluate my meds. They just aren't workin.

2. Lose weight - I gained some weight this winter and just haven't gotten it all off yet. Need to work a little harder at that.

3. Keep on running! If it means I have to modify my running for a while, do it.

4. If that doesn't work, go back to the "move to Alaska" option. Or anyplace that has low altitude.. hawaii, washington, california, etc all sound good to me. Anyone know of another place that has large mountains, ocean, low altitude and no snakes?

If this works, you may find me winning races! Well, maybe not winning, but at least placing in a respectable spot.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

two weeks later and my aha moment

I have returned from the Last Frontier! It was a great 2 weeks, saw scenery that would make anyone's jaw drop and wildlife in abundance. I plan on doing a post this weekend, there is much to tell and show!

While I was gone I got a notice that my moment in the sun, the Aha Moment, had been posted on their website. And as promised, here it is I haven't heard anything about being chosen for the commercial, but it doesn't matter much - it was nice to be asked to do it and I had a great time!

And remember the gal I met at the taping? Her Aha Moment is up as well