SandyBottom's  (aka Dawn Stewart)

    Ultimate Sea Kayaking Challenge

  

  March 4 - April 2, 2006 - a 1200 mile small boat expedition race

 


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 Log and Diary, and Training Plans

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     last updated 2/26/2006

Following the suggestions of most training and fitness plans, this page will not only document and keep track of my workouts, but will also be a diary during the next 10 months as I prepare for the UC.  In this way, you can follow along, and I'll have a forum for whining and complaining, and hopefully to also celebrate the small accomplishments along the way.   I welcome any suggestions and comments, please email Dawn.

 

Log & Diary (sorted with most recent first)

                                                                                                                                                                                          

Wks

to UC

Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

  2/27   5AM start driving     Captains meeting

7:00AM

WaterTribe Challenge begins

 

All information regards the challenge can be found on my blog (daily updates) or on the race website (map of positions).

1 2/20  

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

 

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

     

Still fighting off a cold that seems to have hit everyone around me.  I'm taking lots of zinc, echinacea, vitamin C, anything I can think of.  I've got a slight sore throat and a swollen gland in my neck.  But I feel OK.  I'm winding down on the training, just need to relax now.  Thursday was my last day of real training, now need to spend a few days packing and getting ready.  Hope to start driving Mon or Tues.  Check my blog regularly, it will include daily updates.

2 2/13

1hr treadmill

DC business trip

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

 

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

Bike 18 mi

tried to paddle

14.5 mi paddle 20 mi boat tow on bike

Great news for me, McMurdo is going to lend me one of thier FastFind Plus EPIRBS, a great savings from having to rent or buy.

My husband has surprised me with a gift of a Pentax Optio Wpi waterproof camera.  Need to spend the weekend learning how to use it, but it's basically a point and shoot kind of camera. I've never really been a picture taker, but figure this Challenge is something I'd like to have a good record of.

Hit the lake Fri evening for a 15 miler, but after 1 mile turned around.  Too windy and too cold to want to keep going.  If it was warmer I'd probably have been OK, but I wasn't quite dressed right for the wind and waves on the lake.

Cold this weekend, paddled 4 hours Saturday in freezing rain and snow till I got too cold (check blog).  Managed 20 miles towing the boat on a 1/4 mile track, not sure if that was a physical workout or mental one.  Averaged 7.4 mph, I think that's as good as it's gonna get.   I'm so glad training is almost over.

3 2/6  

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

1hr walk/run

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

  10 hr paddle DC business trip

I feel my body fighting off a cold, I've had a headache all day, I feel the tinglings of a cold sore beginning on my lip (a sure sign for me), and my nose has been itching.  My daughter had a cold, everyone at her school and my work has colds.  All I can do is take my vitamins, wash my hands all day, and get enough rest.  This is not time to be getting sick, but if it's gonna happen, please be quick, I don't have much time left. And please, stay out of my chest.

Went to my hour long spin class, and hour of weight training early this monring, felt pretty good, then really started dragging about 3pm.  So went home from work early and am spending the evening and night in bed. Not a complete R&R, rather than reading a good novel, I'm studying the Florida Atlas and Gazeteer :)

I expected to paddle Fri night, but my chest has that heavy feeling, so decided not to breath in cold air for 4 hrs.  Not sure what to do Sat as weather's not looking that good, I'm out of town on Sun.  Woke up feeling pretty good Sat, so went for a 10 hr paddle. It was cold, wet, rained all day long, and a 15 mph headwind picked up on my return trip. With these horrible conditions I felt good that my moving average was 3.6mph and my overall was 3.4, for a 34 mile paddle.  It was a good mental workout, since the wind created really choppy conditions and I finished the paddle in the dark about 8pm.  When I was done, I asked myself if I could turn around and do it again if I had too, and I said yes.  I must be ready.

4 1/30

Yoga Tape

1000 yd swim

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

 

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

1 hr walk in woods 10 hr paddle 14 mile bike tow

Except for food stuff, I finally think I'm geared for the Challenge.  I've received some product support from sponsors which I really appreciate.  The rest, well..., I just spent all our money. Guess I'll be having a big garage sale when the challenge is over :)  For the next 4 weeks, I'll continue my training, adding long paddles (up to 25 miles) and bikes (40 milers) on the weekends.  Free, free time will be spent working on routing and navigation (I'm creating a new webpage that shows how I'm using Maptech's new marine navigation software for my route planning), and I'll be working on how best to pack the Dreamcatcher

Saturday's paddle was very exciting, 15-20 mph winds all day.  Got the Dreamcatcher (fully loaded) up to 7.2 mph with the Pacific Action Sail.  Actually I didn't paddle as much as I had intended, the sailing was so much fun, I put a few cell pics on my blog.

Sunday I'm off to Edenton to visit my friend Dan, there, where it's nice and flat, I'll do a 30 mile boat tow.  Well that was the original plan.  I went to Dan's, and we did bike.  But, with 30+mph winds in our face, it wasn't much fun.  That, and in my compulsion to tow a loaded boat, I filled the boat with bags of dumb bells and weight plates, and water bags, all to mimic my load.  When I got home I found I had packed 110 lbs, more than 1/2 the weight I plan to carry.  My average speed for the 14 miles was 6.2 mph.  It just wasn't that much fun, so I stopped.  I know if my life or a "sharks tooth" depended on it, I could have continued, and the next day, no muscle soreness at all.  Dan and I made a pact that we would do it again in 2 weeks, and this time we wouldn't stop before 25 miles :) 

5 1/23 Business Trip

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

1000 yd swim

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

12 mile solo night paddle 20 mile paddle, 10 miles upstream on the Cape Fear  

Really feel out of it today (Thursday), had to actually force myself to get out of bed and get to Balanced Movement Studio's for my workout with Elizabeth, but glad I did.  Elizabeth is so good, she could sense my mood, and could make changes to what we did so I could still get a great workout.  I'm looking forward to Saturday, my friend Ron and I are going to the Cape Fear at Buckhorn dam to paddle 10 miles upstream against the current, then a nice ride back.  This will be good training for working against a tidal current or headwind.

Saturdays paddle was great fun, a new location, and very beautiful.  I really have come to like river paddling, it's so nice to have things to have scenery all around you. The current was not so strong as to make it really hard, but enough to change the up stream and down stream speeds, different by almost 1mph.  I felt the upstream work on my muscles the next day.  Since the first of the year, all my paddles are done with fully loaded boat, I even have some dumbbells in a dry bag to add extra weight.

Sunday was a slow lazy day.  It never did rain, but still, I begged out of my long bike ride.  Spent the day in the garage working on the boat, being lazy. It felt really good.

6 1/16

15 mi paddle

1 hr bike tow

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

1250 yd swim

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

18 mi bike ride

13 mi night paddle with camping in Dreamcatcher on lake shore

25 mi paddle

60 min run/walk on treadlmill

Business trip

Just finished a 3 day weekend.  Got the bike and boat cart to fit in the Dreamcatcher and spent the weekend on the lake.  I focused on paddling with my Greenland paddle this time.  I'm occasionally having some wrist issues, so I want to make sure I have spent time training with both the GP and the canoe paddle, in order to alternate between both if necessary.  The bike towing wasn't as much of a success, though many lessons learned, I need to work a bit on my tow rig, and find a location that is not so HILLY to do some bike tow training on.

Can that be right, only 6 weeks till I leave for Tampa Bay.  YIKES!.  I can't believe how quickly the days are going by.  My evenings are spent reading studying my routing software from Maptech, studying the charts, planning routes, working on my packing lists etc.....

I'm planning to get out for a night paddle on Fri, and practice stealth camping on shore in the Dreamcatcher.  Then up early Sat for more paddling and biking.  I've also scheduled an appointment with my Physical Therapist next week to talk about my wrist.  It's much better, but I'm sleeping and biking with a wrist guard on.  I find the way my hands rest on the bike hoods of my bike sometimes aggravates the problem. And I've changed canoe paddles which seem to have made the difference.  The grip on one of my paddles seemed to naturally cock my wrist forward, causing real tightness in the flexor muscles (under side of the forearm), and a problem at the bottom of my palm on the baby finger side.  Anyway, it's better and I think my training is going OK.

A great paddle Fri night and Saturday.  Fri night I practiced sleeping in the boat, it's actually quite comfortable, and no more restricting than a bivy or mummy bag, it's just getting out in the morning that's the hardest.  Saturday was a long paddle, alternated between the canoe and Greenland, wrist feels fine.  Lots of rain and fog, 45 degrees, too rainy and wet to get any biking in.

7 1/9  

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

18 mi bike ride

Yoga class (BMS)

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

1000 yd swim

5 mi trail run

18 mi bike ride

1hr paddle in 25 mph winds (gusts 30 mph hard work)

23 mile paddle with camp out on Lake

Planning a trip to the coast for the upcoming 3-day weekend, including camping, inlet crossings, surf landings and launchings, and miles of paddling in the Atlantic. Well I had planned a trip, but the weather is not cooperating, with 20-30kt winds predicted Sat and Sun.  Though it would be some good hard training, I wouldn't be able to paddle the distances that are more important at this stage of my training, and the cold temperatures (air and water) add a level of danger that is not worth taking at this point. 

So I'll stay on the lake for the weekend.  It'll still be windy 25 mph with 30 mph gusts on Sat, so will do a 3 hr wind training paddle, then Sat and Sun will paddle some distance and camping Sun night (brrr cold, 24 degrees).  I'll be packing the bike as well as my camping gear.  The Park Rangers at the lake have given me permission to use one of the closed campgrounds for my bike tow training, which also lets me simulate getting set up before and at the end of the portage, I can paddle right up to a campsite and then bike tow the many miles looping around the campsite, luckily it will get to 50 degrees in the afternoon. 

8

1/2

 

Spin class (BMS)

1000 yd swim

40" on Treadmill

Yoga class (BMS)

Spin class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

1000 yd swim
3 mile run

st/wt training

rescue practice

15 mile paddle

25 mi bike ride

Wed night I practiced sleeping in the boat overnight in my garage.  I found I was fairly comfortable using a thermarest.  I could lay on my side and bend my knees enough.  The Dreamcatcher with the smaller cockpit is not easy to get up and out of in the morning, and certainly not at my age.  I'm not sure sleeping in the boat on water (anchored or moored) is going to work, I will have to spend a bit of time planning my packing, and being able to get organized and get things moved around without getting out of the boat.  If I think I might have to do this, I would stabilize the boat with sea wings or sponsons on each side, and possibly even my double blade paddle through the catamaran holes with paddle floats on the end making an outrigger. 

Went to the lake Friday evening for a night paddle, but it was very cold and very windy, my friend Raven and I decided we just really didn't need to paddle that much.  Did some rescue practice on the lake Sat with my friend Dee, see www.sandybottomkayaker.blogspot.com

9 12/26   20 mi paddle

st/wt train (BMS)

Spin class (BMS)   8 mi paddle

Happy New Year

15 mi paddle

Started paddling with a loaded boat Tuesday, 20 miles with 80 lbs of water & stuff.  I guess I'm not too surprised, the Kruger Dreamcatcher actually paddled faster and easier with the load.  From now till the Challenge, all my paddles will be with a loaded boat.

I've updated my training plan for Jan/Feb.  Basically more of the same, but with alternating weekends of even longer paddling, with increasing and alternating weekend days of 4hr or 8h or 12 hrs of paddling, with back to back paddling days on the shorter days, and with much more emphasis on bike training.

I've had a hard time getting on the bike, it's so cold in the morning.  My New Years resolution is to join the spinning classes at Balanced Movement Studios every Tues and Thurs mornings before work, then get in a longer ride one day during the weekend. I've entered a New Years Resolution page on my blog.

Had hoped to get to Florida this week to check out the St Mary's and the Suwannee River.  Unfortunately a pet emergency has kept me close to home this week.

10

12/19

st/wt train (BMS)

30 min yoga tape

    5 mi trail run 15 mi night paddle  

Merry

Christmas

Oh my goodness, only 10 training weeks left, time to really start counting down.  And,since I'm planning to get to Tamp Bay about a week early, I really only have 9 weeks.  It's going to go by so fast.  I'm pretty happy with my physical and mental training (more on that another time), but I have lots to do to get ready, lists, gear, food planning, organizing charts, getting tides and emergency phone numbers, etc... etc... etc... 

It's been hard finding time to workout this week, too much to do with the holidays.  I wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, Happy New Year, and Peace on Earth.

11 12/12

yoga class (BMS)

st/wt train

1hr MTB ride

1000 yd swim

yoga class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

30 min yoga tape

1000 yd swim

5 mile trail run

st/wt train (BMS)

8 mi night paddle

20 mile paddle Rest

I had mentioned to Elizabeth at Balanced Movement Studios (who is providing me personal training), that I felt I wasn't getting enough aerobic training.  With yoga 2 mornings a week, and the weight training 3 times a week at lunch, these are times I normally would have run and swam.  So Wed she changed the training to include interval aerobics for 5 minutes every 5 minutes between the core and strength training.  Hard work, but a really good workout.

My wrist felt fine, still not sure what was going on last week, but I don't think it's paddle related.  I'm always amazed at the speeds I can maintain with the Dreamcatcher and the single blade paddle.  I can keep a moving average of 3.8 mph on the lake with mild winds (no sail use) on my out and back 20 milers, a short break usually has me finishing with an overall speed of 3.5 mph.  A double bladed paddle usually can gain me some extra speed, .3-.5 mph.  My goal for the challenge is to finish each day with nothing less than an overall of 3 mph.

Took Sunday off, needing to get ready for the holidays.  I did work on waypoints and routing for a couple hours, and worked a bit on the Dreamcatcher, added deck lines all around the deck, and added a couple eyes to hold my compass.

12 12/5

yoga class (BMS)

st/wt train (BMS)

  st/wt train (BMS) 5 mi trail run st/wt train 8 mi boat tow training on the bike

6 mi trail run

ONLY 12 WEEKS TO GO.  This week I worked a bit on charts and routing for the race using my new Maptech software 'Chart Navigator Pro'.  I'll post more information  in a couple of weeks. Saturday I started experimenting with boat towing for the portage, biked for an hour, 8 miles at the local and flat Middle School track.  See photos and other info on my Web Log or on my web's Challenge Page

I didn't paddle this weekend.  I had some wrist pain Wednesday night.  I'm always worried and careful about getting any overuse injuries.  I put on a wrist splint immediately for the rest of the week.  I must have hurt it with some of the weight training.  It doesn't feel like a carpal tunnel problem, the pain, a dull ache is located on the ulna side (little finger) inside and above the wrist.  It's feeling better now on Sunday, but it's so windy today, I'll give it another week of rest from paddling.  I'll talk to Elizabeth at Balanced Movement Studio about it on Monday.

13 11/28

2 mi treadmill run

Weight training

Out-of-town Baltimore

 business trip

Out-of-town Baltimore

 business trip

35" treadmill run

yoga class (BMS)

bike to work 4mi

st/wt train (BMS)

18 mi road bike

900 yd swim

5 mi trail run

st/wt train (BMS)

8 mi night paddle

8 mi paddle with camp on lake 20 mile paddle

I received my new bike a week ago, The Clean Machine tuned it up and added clip-less pedals.  It's a beauty.  I'm planning to ride this bike to and from work daily.  It's only about a 8 mi ride each day with the route I'll take, but it'll help me get used to the bike.  I'll include my longer rides during the week, and start working on how best to tow the boat.

Finally managed to get to the pool, it was a great swim.  It's been difficult to find time to get to the pool with the yoga and weight and core strength training sessions I'm doing at Balanced Movement Studio, but I would like to try and find time to swim twice a week more regularly.

What a great week, hope to have more like this.  Sunday's paddle was great, it was very windy so I got in some good sailing practice, and then some good hard paddling into the wind on the return.

14 11/21

yoga class (BMS)

strength/weight training (BMS)

 

Happy Birthday to Me

Road bike 18 mi

strength/weight training (BMS)

5 mi trail run

Bike 20 mi road

Sailing on lake

strength/weight training Yoga class

Last week the weight training left me a bit too sore for much aerobics during the week, and, I'm having problems doing my running and biking in the evenings, I'm such a morning person, but I love that yoga class early morning Mon and Wed.  So, I'm still working on a schedule that will work and give me at least 60 min a day of aerobics. 

Turned 53 on Wed it was a great day with the whole family as my son came home college.  Friday afternoon, with light winds, he took me sailing on his new catamaran a Nacra 55.

Also, great excitement, my new bike arrived, this is the Dahon Presto Light, which I will use for the portage during the Challenge.  Hope to play with it a bit this weekend.

15

11/14

2 mi run

yoga class (BMS)

strength/weight training (BMS)

Very sore

yoga class (BMS)

strength/weight training (BMS)

A little sore strength/weight training (BMS) Not too sore Paddling/camping overnighter, Wrightsville to Lea-Hutaff Island, via ICW

8 mile beach walk

Paddling/camping overnighter, Wrightsville to Lea-Hutaff Island, via ICW

I'm so excited about my newest sponsor, Balanced Movement Studio, featuring personal training and movement classes, in Carrboro.  Elizabeth Towe, is going to help me prepare to get ready for this challenge.  I'll be taking yoga classes (my previous classes have been a video tape on my own) and spinning classes at the studio, may even try out the 'laughing meditation class', and most importantly, personalized strength training with Elizabeth as my personal trainer.  If you have followed my training log, you've likely noticed that I have trouble sticking with the strength training.  Elizabeth can make it fun, fun enough she says that in future, I'll want to stick with it.  I first met Elizabeth a couple years ago when I was having physical therapy with her husband Brian Beatty at Balanced Physical Therapy (shares office space) working on some elbow issues before my first Everglades Challenge.  The next year, I biked the MS150 on the Glaxo Smith Kline team that Elizabeth organizes each year.  This fills in the last big hole I've needed to fill for my training, and I'm excited to get started.

I've updated my training plan and now have a more formal schedule, see Training Plan, the weekly schedule is the ideal and one I'll work up to, prioritizing on the weight training and yoga classes. 

Mondays training has me pretty sore, all those squats and lunges, but it's a good sore so I'm going back for more.  The sessions are great, all the exercises incorporate both lifting weights while working my core, for example doing a tricep overhead pull while kneeling on a balance ball.  I've got lots of work to do on that balance part.  I wasn't sure what was getting worked, my abs or my tris.  Even the lunges were done on a balance block.  This is going to be so great, and with the yoga classes.  I am going to be so ready for this challenge.

I've also been motivated by fellow Watertriber Wayfarer (also planning to participate in the UC).  He has one of the nicest paddling websites around, and his new blog is great.  He has encouraged me to look into blog software and possibly incorporate a blog to my site as well, especially for it's ease of updating.  So I'm working on adding a blog page.  I'll keep my training log here as is, since it's already formatted, but will use this only for reporting on my exercise training, journaling my workouts help keep me on track.  The blog will be used for reporting on my planning for the UC, routing decisions, chart work, boat preparation, trip reports, etc....   And yes, I'm still trying to get some photo albums up, but I've hit some software bug and waiting to hear back from the help support. 

This was a great first week of strength training with Elizabeth.  I was pretty sore Tue and Thur, but this is Sat now and I feel great.  I only have that feel good workout feeling, but no pain.  Next week I'll incorporate more aerobics.

I've added a a blog to my webpages, brand new, still in test mode, needs lots of formatting.

16 11/7 5 mi trail run/walk yoga class 15 mi road bike yoga class

17 mi road bike

(32 deg brrrrr)

15 mi night paddle

Paddle 10 mi 43 mi road bike

Only 16 weeks to go, doesn't sound like much.  I haven't really kept to my training plan, but did manage the main goal of keeping my base.  I feel great about the paddling and had no problems with the Cape Fear trip, every day I felt I could have gone many more hours.  I'm so comfortable in the Kruger Dreamcatcher, and absolutely love using the single blade paddle.  Every trip and paddle, I work out how best to pack and plan for efficiency. 

For paddling training now, I'm planning to try and get a regular short faster paddle (5mi) in during the week, plan to enter my results in Wayfarers Virtual Race Results http://users.frii.com/uliasz/wayfarer/virtual_race.htm now that he has added a cruisers category.  Wayfarer is a fellow Watertribe member who also plans to participate in the challenge.  I'll continue my regular winter 15 milers on Fri nights, and a 20 miler Sat or Sun.  The 20 miler I'm going to start doing on the Cape Fear River between Buckhorn dam and Jordan dam, this will give me a 10 mile stretch paddling current upriver, then an easy return down river, if it ever rains again around here. 

Work has been really busy for me right now and I haven't kept up my lunch time workouts, so I'm hoping to get back to the pool swimming 2x week, and the gym with some strength training 2x week.  And most importantly I need to keep up the stretching.

My bike hasn't arrived yet, but should get here this month, I'm anxious to start riding it and starting some boat towing training.  Stay tuned to see how all this works out for me.

17 10/31 Cape Fear River Trip 21.7 mi with dam portage Cape Fear River Trip 18.8 mi Cape Fear River Trip 22.6 mi   yoga class   Few hours practicing with sail on Jordan Lake

A great 5 day 110 mile trip down the Cape Fear River, from Fayetteville to Wilmington NC, Raven, Ron Wood, and myself.  This trip is probably the most remote trip you can do around the coast, we saw a total of 8 people the whole trip.  Beautiful scenery, 3 portages (not very user friendly), abundant campsites (much more then Ferguson's book 'Paddling Eastern Carolina' would have you believe), but, you have to like mud and not be bothered by a few mosquitoes.  And, watch that current in Wilmington, we were clocking 4.5 mph without any paddling.  I'll try and get a photo journal trip report up ASAP, though I'm a bit overdue on the photo page.

Took the rest of the week off taking care of family stuff.  Did get to the lake Sun for a few hours, a cold front was moving in, winds 10-15 with gusts to 25, so practiced using my Pacific Action Sail.  I sure hope I'll see some good winds during the challenge, because this sail is great, I can get lots of different angles from it, all but up wind.

18 10/24

out-of-town Baltimore

 business trip

20mi road bike yoga class run/walk 3 miles yoga class Cape Fear River Trip 20.4 mi with dam portage Cape Fear River Trip 26 mi with dam portage

I am very excited to have 2 new sponsors, Maptech and Mountain House.  I used all Maptech waterproof charts in my previous Everglades Challenges.  For the UC they have offered to send me a new product (not in stores yet) called Chart Navigator Pro.  This PC software contains all US NOAA charts and has all the facilities I'll need to create routes etc....   I plan to add a page to my website that will address preparation for the Challenge, and will focus on route planning using this new software.  Maptech has also offered to supply me with any waterproof paper chart needs I might also have beyond the chart printing I can do myself with the new product. 

I was planning to use Mountain House freeze dried dinners for the majority of my dinners during the UC.  This is a product I use often in kayak camping, so I am very pleased that Mountain House has offered me a supply for my race.  

I have been extremely lucky obtaining product sponsorship, this is a great help.  I have not been very lucky in obtaining financial sponsorship, the race registration is $1500.  I have been trying to think of ways to fundraise and am considering selling t-shirts.  I am trying to come up with a nice logo design that I think people might like.

19

10/17

yoga class

3 mi run

yoga class

out-of-town Minneapolis business trip

out-of-town Minneapolis business trip

8 mi paddle

rescue practice

yoga class

15mi road bike

out-of-town Baltimore

 business trip

This has not been a very good week for me.  I have started a new project at work and have been quite busy finishing up old projects as well. 

Watertribe has cancelled the Pinellas Challenge race (PC 100 mile) that was scheduled for Nov 12, and which I have been mentally very focused on, this would have been a very good training race, and would have let me paddle some of the finish route of the UC.  I had decided not to participate in the Suwannee River Race (50 mi) because of the PC, now I'm sorry about that decision.  But, I'm feeling both disappointed and relieved, as this does allow me to relax a bit and stay focused on the UC.   

I've got some business travel coming up, so plan to use Saturday to do some rescue work at the Lake before it gets cold.  I have also planned a 4 day paddling trip on the Cape Fear next weekend, originally part of Pinellas Challenge training (as it would have included portages), now this trip will be much more relaxed and fun, and maybe we can paddle through the 3 locks rather than portage them.

I'm also working on plans for a 3 day Suwannee River trip, this for fun and for scouting for the UC, hope to do this trip before Jan 1.

Saturday I finally got in some rescue practice in the Dreamcatcher.  I always wondered how much water it would hold without a front bulkhead, but surprisingly, even thought it did take on some water (though not as much as I would have guessed), it had lots of flotation.  I practiced self rescues using a double blade paddle thru the hole that can be used to catamaran 2 Krugers, and used a paddle float.  I was able to get on the back deck with and without a stirrup.  I'll still need to practice with a loaded boat, but I'm not expecting any problems if a rescue is ever needed.

20 10/10/05   3 mi run yoga class 17 mi road bike 22 mi paddle and camp at Lake, hike 2 1/2 mile 17 mi paddle  

We had beautiful weather for this weekends paddle/camp on the Lake, the wilderness sites at New Hope are very nice. There is also a great 2 1/2 mile trail hike that has great views of the Lake.  I've done lots of stealth camping on the Lake, but will likely use this often, with it's fire ring, picnic tables, wilderness setting, and very clean and seemingly odorless outhouse. 

Last weekend it was pretty wet so I put up the sunshade to keep dry.  The sun shade is one of the neatest things Mark made for the Dreamcatcher and is going to be great during my race in Florida.  Click on photo for larger view.

21 10/03/05

yoga class

weight training

yoga class

4 mi trail run

  4 mi trail run

yoga class

weight training

20 mi paddle with camp at Lake 20 mi paddle

I had decided not to do the Lumber River 40 mile race last Saturday (drought conditions here likely made this a miserable paddle), and I will likely not do the Suwannee River 50 either.  I felt it more important to work on my stroke with the single blade (rather than distance/speed), as bad form now could result in learned bad habits and eventual injury.  However, I will train and participate in the WaterTribe Pinellas 100 mile challenge.  I think this offers me the most regards training for the UC.  Particularly the mental and emotional training I'll get by paddling solo at night, in unfamiliar territory.  I'm not sure I'll actually make the 100 miles in the 34 hour cutoff, but, I'm not going to worry too much about that, my goal will be to just complete the challenge (before Mon), and work on navigation.

Finally with our drought conditions, we have rain.  It started raining Thursday evening and looks like rain through next week.  I had planned to paddle 15/20/20 miles with camping Fri-Sun, but blew off Fri.  I'm gonna give Sat and Sun a go and just hope for the best.

What a great weekend, not too wet, and lots of wind.  Sunday was a slow slog, headwind, whitecaps, lots of chop.  Great fun, great training. 

I got my new paddle in the mail on Fri, it's beautiful, so lightweight only 10 oz, it paddled so smoothly.

22 9/26/05 4 mi trail run 13 mi road bike

yoga class

4 mi trail run

weight training

yoga class

6 mi morning paddle 10 mi paddle 20 mi paddle

I found a weight training program specific to canoeing, that I like.  It's something I can do at home with dumbells or at the gym with machines.  I've added some leg work too.  Bench press, pull-ups, incline press, bench row, sit-ups, back raises, torso twist, tricep extension, dips, and upright rowing.  I have to get in the habit of doing these regularly at least 2-3x week.  I'm a long way from doing a pull-up or chin-up, but have been working for the past month on hanging and reverse chin-ups.  Maybe by March I'll actually be able to do one.

Lots of paddling this weekend.  I feel really good about my stroke, and am very excited about my new sponsor Zaveral Racing Equipment, I've ordered a great canoe paddle, carbon fiber medium weight (10oz) power surge with bent shaft.  Should be paddling with it next weekend.

23 9/19/05 8 mi paddle 1000 yd swim 4 mi trail run

17 mi road bike

  15 mi paddle 20 mi paddle

More motivation,  a recent bone scan has determined I have some significant loss of bone density in my lumbar spine (L1-L4).  This has likely been accelerated because of my age, early menopause, stopping hormone replacement therapy, and a family history.  Healthy eating and an active lifestyle is now more important then ever.

Sat morning I got in an early 6 mile paddle, then met up with 13 other Mudflat Rangers for an additional 9 mile paddle, lots of fun, even Paul came out for a paddle.  Sun I went out and did a solo 20 miler.  Then Paul met me at the lake, to help me work on rescue practice, I'm particularly interested in doing solo rescues.  This first attempt in the Dreamcatcher did not go as well as I would have liked, I need to outfit the boat better to lock the paddle and paddle float, and will need to use a stirrup, I did not have enough upper body strength to lift my self up the higher deck (or stern) of the Dreamcatcher.  After many attempts, I got too tired.  Will work on it some more next weekend after working out some of the outfitting issues.

I got a new video this week "Long Distance and Canoe Racing Technique and Training", by Mike and Tanna Fries.  It was great.  I'm planting the paddle much better before the stroke, and found a few other subtle things to work on.  Finished my 20 miler averaging 3.7 mph which included a 4 min break half way.

24 9/12/05 4 mi trail run      

17 mi road bike

8 mi night paddle

Teach basic kayaking

 Get Outdoors

 

Took last weekend off, lots of family activities and responsibilities.  Still having a really lazy week, just can't seem to get into it.  I've learned to just give in to it when I feel like this, it's usually my body telling me something.  My daughter has been sick with a bad cold all week, maybe I'm using my energy fighting that off. I have been working hard on an article I'm writing for the Watertribe Magazine, my impressions/experiences with the Dreamcatcher and a trip report from my vacation. 

Ok it's Friday and time to get out of my funk.  Had a great bike ride this morning, found a group to ride with a couple times a week, though they leave a bit earlier in morning, 6AM and in the dark.  It's not looking like I'll be receiving my folding bike before early November, so will just continue with my regular riding.  I'll look for a cheap used short bike trailer or child trailer to attach to my bike, this might add extra weight to help get my legs strong while riding.

Since home, my paddles with the Dreamcatcher have all been at a 3.8 mph average.  I'm very pleased with this. I do need to work more on technique just to guarantee I can minimize chances of injury, for example I need to grip the paddle less tightly.  This pace is faster than I will train longer distances and certainly faster than I'll paddle without sail during the race, but at this pace, most of my sea kayaking friends are still happy to paddle with me.

An unexpected family medical emergency this weekend had me missing my distance paddle this weekend.  My mother-in-law has suffered a minor stroke, we are all hopeful that she will have a full recovery.  I will want to spend some time with her during her hospital stay and recovery, so, things will get busier than usual for me.   This will likely impact my ability to be ready for the Oct races I was planning.  Though I feel my fitness level would have me able to complete these races, I have to be especially concerned about finishing long events without injury, as training for the UC is my highest priority.  I'll drop the Oct 1st race, and see how it goes for the Suwannee Race.

25

9/5/05

16 mi road bike

1150 yd swim

2 mile brisk walk

16 mi road bike

20" power yoga

4 mi trail run

1400 yd swim

15 mi night paddle    

As I begin to get more serious about my training for UC, the first thing I need to do is lose about 20 lbs.  Aesthetically I don't really mind the extra weight, at 5'9", I'm a pretty big gal anyway, but, it does put me at a higher risk for chafing, risk of potential problems with temperature regulation in Florida, and it just plane makes me have to work harder.  An ovarian cancer scare in 2001, followed by a hysterectomy and an overnight menopausal state, has resulted in my very consistently and methodically, gaining about 6 lbs per year.  This without any real changes in my eating and activity habits.  Nothing to do but reduce my daily caloric intake.  Getting old sucks.  I don't believe in depravation, especially regards food, so I'll not diet per se, just try and make healthy choices and practice portion control.  I found a great food and exercise journaling website www.myfooddairy.com that I've joined.  The biostatistician in me loves the table and graph reports to provide motivation and feedback. 

Welcome to my newest sponsor Paddleboy Designs, they are providing me with their heavy lifter center boat cart, this is the same cart that Mark and Jonathan used to bike tow their kayaks in the Cross Florida Challenge as seen in the video on the Watertribe website (see discussion forum to find video).

If your not familiar with Mountain Wayfarer's website, check it out.  This is Marek Uliasz's fellow WaterTribe member's website, paddling, racing, photography and all things outdoors.  Beautiful photo's, photo essays and other articles regards Watertribe and other races Marek does.  He is also registered for the UC2006 and has a weblog that is starting to report on his race preparations.

26

8/29/05

Michigan Michigan Michigan Michigan Arrive in St. Ignace, Michigan 19 hr drive home 13 mi road bike

Had a wonderful trip,  lots of laughter, paddling, sailing, eating, sunshine, etc... etc...   We were up early every morning,  packing up before sunlight, and on the water right after sunrise.  Mark and I catamaraned our boats when we had enough wind to sail (I wouldn't have been able to keep up with my smaller down wind sail, both had Balogh rigs, I had the Pacific Action Sail (PAS), though we often motor sailed, as a cat, we were slower than Jack.  The waters of Lake Michigan were warm, 72, we swam and bathed in the evening.  We celebrated Mark's 35th Birthday with the Northern Lights over the Upper Peninsula, WOW.  It was so nice to paddle/camp without salt and fine sand.  The Dreamcatcher and I bonded immediately, and I took to the single blade paddle easily.  It's a different boat for sure, not a seakayak, a seacanoe, and a great traveler.  The PAS is going to be great during my race, the stability of the Dreamcatcher allows me to sail it at great extreme angles.  I look forward to paddling this boat weekly as I plan and train for the UC.  In some ways planning will be like starting over from scratch.  This boat allows for a very different experience than my seakayak.  I will be able to have easy and ready access to almost everything while paddling on the water, and the canopy will keep me nicely shaded from the sun for the 28 days in Florida.  Over the next few weeks I'll do some rescue scenarios and take it into some surf to see how well I manage.  During our trip we had 2 days of 15-20 kt winds and 6-8ft waves, but we stayed catamaraned which offered lots of stability, so I'm anxious to see how well I can handle the boat solo.  I'll post a photo trip report in the next few weeks on the photo album page of this website, and I hope to write a Watertribe article about the Dreamcatcher.  The photo is me in the Dreamcatcher at home.

27

8/22/05

4mi Trail Walk   Leave for Michigan Arrive in Michigan Get sail set on Dreamcatcher, other preparations Drive to Minominee Green Bay Wisconsin

Begin Trip

Leaving Wed early AM, plan to arrive at Mark's Thurs evening (~16hr drive).  Jack will join us on Fri, we'll load the boats and pack up Mark's car, then leave early Sat AM for St Ignace (4 1/2 hrs) where Jack and I will leave our cars (this is the take out).  Then another 5 1/2 hrs in Mark's car to Menominee where we'll start our paddle.  Plan to get back to St Ignace by Sun to join the Krugers in the annual Kruger Memorial Mackinaw Bridge paddle on Monday.  Plan to be back home Wed night.

28

8/15/05

REST

15 mi road bike

Pilates class

13 mi road bike

1000 yd swim

Packing/organizing for Mi trip 15 mi night paddle

Teach basic kayak

 Get Outdoors

Packing, Packing, and more Packing

I'm finally starting to organize and pack for my trip to Michigan next week.  I'll hook up with Mark (ManitouCruiser) who owns Kruger Canoes, Jack Cramer who will be moving to MI soon to work for/with Mark, a couple other Watertribe members, Bob and Jeanette Bradshaw (NiteNavigator and RoadKillMama) and Brian Weber (SeaBiscuit), for a 200 mile, weeklong expedition in Northern Lake Michigan.  We'll start in Menominee Wisconsin in Green Bay, then paddle North and East to St. Ignace.  On Labor Day, I'll join the Kruger folks for the annual Kruger Mackinac Bridge Paddle in memory of Verlen Kruger.  I'm really excited about the trip.  It'll actually be my first time in a Kruger Dreamcatcher and with the Pacific Action Sail.  Mark is sponsoring me in the Ultimate Challenge by loaning me a Kruger Dreamcatcher for the rest of the year to train and then use in the race.  I've not paddled this kayak/canoe before, however the Kruger boats consistently have a very good showing and finish in the Watertribe races, and I'm confident it's the right boat to help me do the 1200 miles. 

It's now Sunday and I'm spending the day packing for the trip, seems there is so much to do to get ready.  Mon and Tues I'll be so busy at work getting ready to leave town that everything for the trip needs to be ready for me today.  As excited as I am about this trip, I'm also finding myself very anxious.  A 200 mile, week long paddling expedition in a boat I've never even sat in before much less paddled, using a single blade paddle I've never paddled with before, and even with people I've never really paddled together with before.  I've not really started my training for the race yet, and with the heat we've had, I haven't spent as much time on the water as I would liked to have.  I've managed to keep my aerobic conditioning, and I'm very healthy, but would have liked to have dropped some extra weight and be a bit stronger.  This will be high priority when I get back and seriously start my training for the upcoming races.  I've sort of thought about this trip as the start of my UC training, so I don't feel particularly trained up for it.  I spoke to AlaskanSeaHorse on the phone this week, he was telling me about his good news getting sponsored with the kayak he was hoping to use in the race next year, and I was telling him about my concerns.   I told him I was a bit embarrassed that I just might have to be catamaraned to Mark for most of the trip.  He laughingly replied that Chief of the Watertribe was catamaraned to Mark for the couple Everglades Challenges and he wasn't embarrassed.   That was a joke :)

29

8/08/05

REST 4 mi walk REST REST 15 mi night paddle 28 mi road bike 20 mile paddle on the lake, it was sooo hot

Didn't feel well Tues, stayed home from work.  This week I have so much family (my son goes back to college Sat and daughter starts her senior year in HS in a couple weeks), work stuff (lots of major deadlines), and personal stuff (trying to get organized and ready for my trip to MI) going on that I'm feeling a bit stressed and overworked.  Except for paddling this weekend, I'm taking the week off from exercise, need the break anyway.  Work has been so busy I haven't even been able to take lunch off for any swims or other workouts.   Watertribe member Pelican scouted out the 40 mile portage, and likely take-out on the St Mary's River and put-in on the Suwannee River, and sent me some photos he took.  This is the big surprise that is waiting for us at the take-out.

30

8/01/05

1200 yd swim

15 mi road bike

Pilates class

Trail run 4 mi

St/Wt train U/L

8 mi fitness paddle with MFR's

19 mi road bike

1000 yd swim

Kayak rescue practice with MFRs

4 mi Trail run 15 mi paddle

Woke up Thurs AM sore from my St/Wt training, I really need to be more regular with this.  I've already simplified it as much as possible since I dislike this part of training so much, if I didn't think it was important I'd drop it completely (pushups, shoulder press, one-arm rows, bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, squats, crunches).  Rode a new route today on my bike with friend Kim, nice change of scenery, but even more hilly.  I felt very sluggish, am going to heed some advice I've been getting, these past months were meant to be about keeping my base training, I think I've slipped into my old triathlon training and am doing more than I should regards cardio.  I'm going to rework my training plan for the next couple months this weekend, especially since I've pretty much decided to go with the bike tow for the portage, and need to start focusing on getting ready for the longer paddling races in Oct/Nov.  The Mudflat Rangers Kayaking Group had a rescue practice night at Jordan Lake Fri evening, we had about 15 paddlers show, many who had never worked on rescues.  We split up in more manageable groups of similar experience, instruction was offered by Dee, Bill, and myself (all of us BCU4* paddlers who regularly practice and use our rescue skills).  Sun I got in a 15 mile solo paddle at the lake, had hoped for a longer day but got there later in the morning than I had planned, and after a 4 hrs, it was just to hot and humid.  But, I felt good and knew I could have paddled all day.

31

7/25/05

Trail run 4 mi

16 mi road bike

Pilates class

Trail run 5 mi

1200 yd swim

REST 28 mi road bike Experimented with walk towing and bike towing a loaded kayak 20 mile paddle

Saturday I experimented with walk towing and bike towing a loaded (75 lb weights added) kayak.  We did not spend much time working with the weight distribution or the wheel placement under the kayak.  Both were actually relatively easy, clearly the biking was much faster, and I was even able to handle the hills in my neighborhood in low gear (using my MTB).  I now need to assess the impact of possibly carrying the extra 30 lbs in the boat for the whole 1200 miles if I choose to bike, both in paddling and in just handling the boat over the month of the challenge.  So I'm still not quite sure what I'll do, my preference right now is biking, this should take me 6-8hrs for the 40 miles vs. 20 hrs if I walk tow.

32 7/18/05

1200 yd swim

11 mi road bike

St/Wt train U/L

1100 yd swim

Pilates Class

4 mi run St/Wt train U/L kayaking/camping Bear Island kayaking/camping Bear Island kayaking/camping Bear Island

Started the week very tired due to heat over the weekend.  We picked up a road bike for Tana, but she'll have to get used to the gearing, it's very different than her MTB, so we were a bit slower first time out.  Paddled to and camp an Bear Island with friends over the weekend.  Took the old Schnook which I've mounted the Pacific Action Sail on, first time trying to play with the sail in 10-15kt winds.  There was plenty of winds, but always a head wind when I was on the water, I did get a little practice with some wierd angles with the sail. It was actually much too hot for camping on Bear, got a little burned, it was quite exhausting zapping all energy in the heat, and very stormy in the evenings, late Fri night experienced the worst thunder lightening storm I've been in.  Great body surfing.

33 7/11/05

13 mi road bike

St train U/L

1000 yd swim

Trial run 4 mi

Pilates Class

13 mi road bike

1000 yd swim

St/Wt train U/L

Pilates class

16 mi road bike

1000 yd swim

Teach basic kayak

 Get Outdoors

18 mi paddle

My 17yr old daughter Tana asked to join me on my rides last week, I've really been enjoying her company.  We can only do an hour in the morning before we have to get ready for work, and she only has a nubby fat tire mountain bike, so 13 miles is all we've managed in the hour.  A bit slow for me on the road bike, so I've been playing with cadence and gearing.  A friend is going to lend her a road bike next week, so we're anxious to see if we can get in 15-16 miles in the hour. My shoulder is great now, and I'll start back with some weight and strength training.  I really need to find a personal trainer to work with for awhile, this is the one area where I have no self discipline.

34 07/04/05 Paddle 10 mi

Trail run 4 mi

Pilates class

Walk 2 mi REST

18 mi road bike

15 mi night paddle

13 mi road bike 16 mi paddle

I had my first Pilates class with Adeline Sussman at Studio Citrus, what an unbelievable workout, I really think this is going to be great training.  I'm planning to do the studio workout once a week (with the balanced body equipment), then do a mat class once a week.  Sundays paddle was so hot, 92 degrees and no wind.

35

06/27/05

15mi road bike

700 yd swim

20 min yoga tape

Trail run 4 mi

Strength train U/L

20 min yoga tape

45 min cardiowork

900 yd swim

15 mi road bike

Trail run 4 mi 

Paddle 8 mi

Trail run 5 mi

Paddle/camp 12 mi

A couple weeks weeks ago I injured my shoulder weight lifting (I think doing chest flys).  I have been taking it easy, testing it out, seeing a Chiropractor who is well known in the area for working with swimmers with rotator cuff problems.  I strained 2 of my rotator cuff muscles, but am feeling much better.  No pain with swimming or paddling, though I chose to rest it and take it easy.  Friday I got the go ahead to test it out paddling.  No pain at all during or after, so I'm good to go.  I have worked out an arrangement with a Pilates Studio for training starting next week, and will hold off on much weight training till I work out a good plan with a physical therapist.

36 06/20/05

Flexibility Workout

1200 yd swim

8 mile paddle

Run 2.5 mi 

Pilates Class

Wt train lower

Paddle 6 mi, racing against the thunderstorm        

Dan still in the hospital, hopefully going home the end of the week.  Work very stressful this week, lots of deadlines, hard to manage lunch time workouts, training taking a back seat.  Had to cancel kayak/camping weekend.  Updated website sponsor page, Kokatat is going to sponsor me with donation of paddling attire, great news. 

37

06/13/05

1000 yd swim

Trail run 4 mi

Wt train upper

1000 yd swim

MTB 60 min

Wt train lower

6 mi paddle

Trail run 4 mi

1000 yd swim

Wt train upper

1000 yd swim

Teach basic kayak

 Get Outdoors

MTB 60 min

Spent Friday evening at the hospital with my good friends Ellen and Dan, Dan required another procedure after some serious complications following surgery on his shoulder.  Dan is a regular paddling partner who I spent a month in Newfoundland in 2003 with, we have another return trip planned for 2007.  Hopefully all is well with him now.  I taught quite a large kayaking class on Saturday then spent the rest of the day at the hospital visiting Dan, Sunday was mostly about celebrating Fathers Day.  Have had email communications with both Kokotat and North Waters regards sponsorship.

38 06/06/05

Trail run 4 mi

Swim 1200 yds

REST

REST

Kayak Skills Symposium with Nigel Dennis

Kayak Skills Symposium with Nigel Dennis

Kayak Skills Symposium with Nigel Dennis

Kayak Skills Symposium with Nigel Dennis

The week started slowly.  Very excited about sponsorship with sail donation from Pacific Action Sails (see sponsors page).  I donated blood on Tues so took it easy.  My daughters 17th birthday was Wed (eyebrow piercing, yuck) and I had to pack for the beach trip. Oh Oh, no weight training this week, but really loved the break.  The Symposium was GREAT.  Lots of great training and surfing with Nigel Dennis, Tom Nichols, and Jean Totz.  The BCU 4* is now official.  Lamar's shop, Barrier Island Kayaks, in Swansboro, is one of the best in NC for instruction.  It was also great seeing Dennise Mathis there, Dennise was the Watertribe Everglades Challenge 2005 race manager.

39 05/30/05

Trail W/R 5 mi

Wt train lower

MTB 45 min

Wt train upper

Pilates class

Wt train lower

W/ Treadmill 4mi

Pilates Class

Bike Trainer 30min

Wt train upper

5 mi trail run

Rescue Session Jordan Lake

Central Carolina Sea Kayakers

Rescue Session Jordan Lake

Central Carolina Sea Kayakers

This week I moved to 2 sets of each exercise, and was also able to increase the weights, for example 8lbs from 5lbs on the tricep kickbacks.  I"ll post my weight training routine next week.  With less than 10 weeks to Bikefest (64 mi), I really need to find time to start road biking.  Schools end here in 1 week and I can get in early morning rides before work.

40 05/23/05

Trail W/R 4 mi

Wt train upper & lower

Run/Walk 1 hr

Walk 50 min

Wt train lower

REST

Walk 30 min

Wt train upper & lower

REST

MTB 1hr ride

Comment:  Out of town Mon-Fri, on business trip, family and personal stuff kept me off the water this weekend.

41

05/16/05

Trail W/R 4 mi

Wt train upper

Swim 1000 yds

REST

Trail W/R 4 mi

Wt train lower

Swim 1000 yds

Paddle 6 mi

MTB 1hr ride

Trail W/R 4 mi

Wt train upper

Teach basic kayak Get Outdoors

MTB 1hr ride

15mi Paddle Jordan Lake

I have done regular walking/running, biking, swimming and paddling for many years, though always at a fairly easy and low level of aerobics.  I will continue this for now to maintain my base and keep some endurance.  This week, I begin a regular weight training program, again, only this time, I'm committed to making it work and get stronger.  Also, over the past few years, I have been slowly putting on weight, age and menopause related I believe.  Currently I am about 25 lbs overweight (171lbs), I hope to replace most of that fat with muscle. I am trying to follow some of the principals in the book 'Body for Life for Women', by Pamela Peeke.

 

Please email comments or suggestions to Dawn


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