Thursday, December 28, 2006

No, I didn't die...

Andrew and Santa

Stephen and Santa

Christmas floored me. I got behind and well...

I finished all 200,000 meters on the 21st.

Drove to Texas with my sister, my 14 and 4 year old nephews and my 85 year old grandmother. Can you say, I need a beer!

Luckily my dad had some.

The food has been outstanding,

Christmas Eve and Christmas day were spectacular.

My little nephews, Andrew-4 and Stephen-3, are cute and smart and actually well behaved.

The older nephew, Austin-14, is now old enough to hang out with the guys and hold his own in the football, poker, fishing banter.

Grandma got up a 5am every morning and needed help with the coffee maker.

Santa (Dad in a Santa suit) visited on Christmas Eve right after dinner and you should have seen Andrew's eyes! Hook, line and sinker.

Austin and I have stayed in Texas and will fly home on Saturday. Just in time for me to spend New Year's Eve with the fine folks at fire station #10.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday.

I'll be at ATC, on an erg, Tuesday Jan 2.

Happy New Year

Friday, December 15, 2006

154,631 meters

How's everyone else doing?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our First Thursday Thirteen

There is a blog I like and they do a thing called Thursday Thirteen. I've been watching a few weeks now and I think I get it...if not, will someone please let me know.

Thirteen KCRC Things I'm Proud of This Year.
1. We rowed all year! No water problems keeping us out of the boats.
2. Our 1st National Championship (Summers and Liz in the double)
3. More Masters than Juniors at Frostbite.
4. The job our new, young board did in this year of change.
5. Our first fall rowing league.
6. Ending the season with some money in the bank.
7. Our July Summer camp with 12 kids.
8. The girls winning the Quad at the Head of the Oklahoma
9. Our graduated seniors kicking 'a' and taking names in college.
10. Two quads in the finals at Centrals last spring.
11. The Masters erging together in the off season.
12. Our new members.
13. The entire KCRC family!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm Old...I Need To Stretch. You?

Stopped on Monday and had a drink with Tracy. She had been off the erg for two or three days due to a sore back. My neck and left shoulder have been bothering me as well.

Are you stretching? I'm not stretching enough.

Erging is a movement that trains our bodies on the sagittal plane (the movement goes strictly back and forth with no twisting movement). I've noticed (in myself and my athletes) that as the winter goes on we slouch more and more. I believe that we use our core muscles and the muscles in our upper backs and shoulders in such a repetitive movement that fatigue begins to hamper our progress.

I recommend some stretches that twist the body at the waist.

Sit on the floor, place your right leg straight in front of you and put your left foot on the outside of your right knee. (The girls call this the centerfold stretch) Twist at the waist and hook your right elbow. Apply light pressure to stretch your back. Switch sides.
Here is a good hamstring stretch. Many lower back problems are caused but tight hamstrings.
Use a towel and lay down on the floor and make sure that your lower back is supported against the floor. Raise one leg and pull it back with the towel holding on to it at either end. This is quite a nice stretch that focuses on hinging at the hip joint without putting pressure on bending at the lower back.
3600 meters at 6am this morning before work.
134,131 meters.
Go fast.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Got Erg?

A Friend Indeed

My best (and worst) friend these days is the blasted machine living in my attic.

I've always felt like you can find a zone, an understanding between the two of you. I'd recommend occasionally switching your monitor to watts or calories or covering it all together. The stress of all the meters and the pressure we put on ourselves to pull harder, faster will tire you as much as the actual work itself.

Sleep enough, eat enough, hydrate enough, veg out enough.

130,531...and counting.

Go fast.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Screams of Agony

120,031...nuff said.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Picture for next entry

I'm having some trouble when adding a picture to a post. Any text loses it's formatting and ends up one blob of words.

Burn Baby, Burn

I am not a techno geek, I am not a techno geek, I am not a techno geek....okay, so I just used Bluetooth to send a picture from my phone to my computer to post on my decide.

This is how I spent my morning. The house was cut up into small rooms with 3/4 inch plywood over doors and windows and used to store 4-6 foot long pieces of wood trim boards. In the words of Captain Mark Bishop (known as 'Chopper') "There must be six million of them in there!" Needless to say it took us a while.

I was driving pumper 10 and we were first on scene and our crew kicked some ass! I ran 3 attack lines, changed air bottles, fetched fans, pike poles, chainsaws, attic ladders. Brian and Brett (my crew) attacked the fire in the basement. Worked through 3 bottles a piece and put everyone else to shame. While some other crews were getting their butts chewed, we got a few 'atta boys'...and 'girls'.

I'm about to get promoted. I'm two out on the promotional list and if the stars align just right I could get promoted around the first of the year (or so). I'd guess that we all have anxiety about promotions, job changes, etc. I have been worrying. Whether I'm ready, whether I know enough, am strong enough, am brave enough, am respected enough.

It's hard being a girl in the oldest all boys club. It's going to be harder being a girl with rank (and I don't mean that I need a shower). I will be in a position of leadership. Leading men, many of whom don't feel that I should even be here in the first place. Tricky.

I needed this fire today. I kicked butt. The chief noticed...the chief who hates me. My old captain noticed...a veteran captain I respect more than any other. The guys noticed. I know I can do this job. I really needed this fire today. I'm ready.

I decided that this blog would be a place where I could share my thoughts and advice about the sport I coach. I have stayed true to that intent. Today I just needed to tell someone about my day.

I'm 110,000 meters in and on track to finish on the 22nd.

Go fast.

Friday, December 08, 2006

9 Things I Learned Today

1. 14,000 meters is a long way in one day.

2. A four year old makes a fun x-mas shopping companion but a stressfull workout partner.

3. My attic is not big enough for me on my erg and the above mentioned four year old and all his hot wheels.

4. There is an entire sub culture surrounding McDonalds play areas.

5. I really, really like egnog lattes.

6. One should always check the forecast before promising a trip to the dog park to a small boy.

7. Andrew prefers to keep his gloves in his hat...while wearing it on his head.

8. Adults fall asleep quicker than kids when lying quietly at nap time.

9. Playdough is cheap.

Hope you learned something today.
Go fast!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Not Far Enough

80,000 meters and the clock is ticking...I'm beginning to get a little worried. So worried that I dragged my erg out of the attic and brought it to work with me today. 12000 today will help.

I'll get it all done. I always do. But I wonder if my holiday season would be less stressful without this crazy erg challenge. Fatter but less stressed.

Focus is the way to get through the long winter. Find a focal point, fitness, flexability, balance...and plan your training around that. If you have an idea and would like some help figuring out how to modify for your focus I can probably help. Just let me know.

How far is everyone else?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Dragon boats and strange accents

We went to dinner last night with a dear friend of mine who coaches in Boston. We were on the light rail headed to a fine seafood dinner when we got into a discussion about whether the convention is valuable. Ethan's point of view was that if you left with one thing that inspired you to try something new that is was worth your time (and money). I have left every seminar I've attended with some nugget of gold. Fools' gold perhaps but even the fool is inspired in the dark of winter when something new shines from the bottom of the river.

The two high points for today:
1. An hour of Dragon Boat paddling with the folks who stumbled onto us in the coffee shop this morning. They were arriving with life jackets and paddles. I, innocently, asked "what are you guys doing?" This group of mostly retired folks was excited to tell us all about their Dragon Boat club. The "Golden Dragons" paddle at 9am most mornings and they invited Tracy and me to come along. Of course we said yes. (I didn't have class until 11)

The boats are long. You sit side by side...maybe as many as 20 to a boat. Tracy and I were guided into two seats near the one sat directly in front or behind us, splash factor, we came to realize. We shoved from the sea wall, backed out of the slip and headed out onto the Willamette river (rhymes with dammit, we were instructed). It's not canoeing, certainly not rowing although the timing is similar. There is a hip, torso, pivot sequence that I had a hard time with but our boat mates were helpful and very friendly! We were out about an hour and laughed and paddled, practiced starts and sprints, at one point pulled the three boats together for joke sharing and it was glorious.

2. A very intelligent sports physiologist spoke this afternoon about training modalities, periodization, physiological systems etc. I sat behind the head US national coach Kris Korzeniowski. Kris is, I believe, from Czechoslovakia. Sergei is Russian. Both speak very well and individually are not terribly difficult to understand. Towards the end of the session they engaged in a heated conversation about an issue. My head was full of scientific terms and ideas and I was barely hanging on mentally. There was something very funny about these two non native speakers arguing, in English, about science...which can sound like a foreign language all on its own. It was hard not to laugh. Several of us were barely containing our amusement...which made it worse.

Sharon passed her Level One coaching certification test! And has enjoyed the learning process. We have eaten some fantastic meals, spent time with old friends and will be happy to get home.

Tomorrow is my big Youth Advisory Committee meeting...8-1pm. After we are going to the City Market and then on a brewery tour. Maybe I'll erg...