Showing posts from February, 2011

Race Day!

Kiersten Pfeifer, you are an Antarctica Marathoner. The race was as difficult as I had imagined, and then some. At the race briefing last night they let us know that the glacier was unsafe for running, so we'd be doing a double out and back-course and then running the first leg a third time. We started at the Russian base, Bellingshausen, and ran out to the Chinese base. There was a series of small hills and then one really long steep hill. The hardest part was the 2 miles closest to China where the road surface was very soft and pebbly. It was like running through deep sand littered with big rocks that seemed determined to roll your ankle. We then ran back to Bellinghausen and headed towards the Uruguanian base. The hills in this part, made the hills in the first seem like molehills. This is also where the wind was the most brutal. It was a steady 20 knots all day, with gusts of up to 30. We had been warned about mud, and they were't kidding. Climbing up the hills I was slid…

February 27th

Feb. 27: We are going a little toast, as they say here in the Continent.
This means that you are going stir crazy. After a lovely birthday dinner for
Nancy last night, we went to sleep and woke up in Maxwell Bay off King
George Island, where we dropped the race crew. It was interesting to watch
them load the ATV's onto the Zodiacs. We then cruised over to Robert's
point, on Robert's Island. However, when we arrived the wind was blowing
30-50 knots, making it unsafe to load the zodiacs and get to shore. Standing
out on the bow with the binoculars, we could see both fur and elephant seals
on the beach. The wind was so intense that it was nearly blowing us off the
bow. Plan B was to cruise through the Nelson Strait and look for whales. We
did find a humpback and he got so close that we could see the barnacles on
his belly.

An enforced day of rest was probably a good thing, because tomorrow is RACE

February 27th

Today, Feb. 27, is overcast and very windy (30-40 knots) - so windy that we
were unable to get ashore on Robert Point Island to see seals, etc. So we
are cruising around looking for whales - hope we find some :)

Penguin Paradise

Today you get a 2 for 1, since we haven't been able to post in a couple days.

2/25 Drake Passage

Hello from the Drake Passage!

Yesterday turned out to be more of an adventure than we were expecting. The
plan was to take a 9am flight from Buenos Aires, arrive in Ushuaia at 12:30,
spend the afternoon in town, board the ship at 4 and depart at 5. Instead,
our plane made an unexpected stop so we didn't arrive until 3, only to find
that NONE of our bags had made it because our plane was overweight! Luckily,
the boat crew allowed us to delay our departure until the majority of the
bags arrived. I don't think anyone wanted to be stuck on a boat for 2 weeks
with 120 people with no clean clothes!

We had about 45 minutes to explore Ushuaia, which was lovely. It was a warm
sunny day, but VERY window. The town is built into a hill, and the Andes
tower in the background. A number of the mountains still have glaciers at
the top, which supply the town with water. The style of the buildings
reminds me …

Uruguay, why not??

Today is WEDNESDAY, Kier tells me. We went to URAGUAY on the high speed ferry to a quaint little town, Colonia. We got a bunch more stamps in our passports (they almost didn't let me back on the boat because I was missing a stamp). It was very scenic, cobblestones never smoothed for paving, a dock to be shared for Yachting & Fishing, and a lighthouse! We hand lunch in a very local little restaurant down a small side street. They spoke no English, and we speak no Portugese, so once again we weren't exactly sure what we were ordering. We got to climb all the way to the top of the tower - way above the trees and houses. It was a spectacular view even though it rained lightly off and on all day.

Before we left town we bought one more round of dulce de lece gelato. We passed several stores that had the school uniforms in the windows. VERY different than what kids in the US wear.

Day 2 in Buenos Aires

Another great (and even warmer) day in Buenos Aires. The group went on a bus tour this morning and it was interesting to see the parts of the city farthest from the hotel that we didn't walk to yesterday. We started out in Palermo, which has big open parks (filled with dog walkers, each walking 5-15 dogs!) and elegant mansions, that now house the various embassies. We then we to Ricoletta, which is home to the designer shops and an amazing cemetary. The cemetary is huge and filled with ornate, large, above ground masoleums. We both got the same feeling we had at Pompei, of being in a place of enormous history. We saw where Eva Peron was buried, although her family's site was not one of the most ornate.   We finished in La Boca, which we just fell in love with. It started off as an Italian immigrant community and they painted the buildings in bright, vibrant colors.

We wandered through narrow streets, climbing up rickety steps to visit all the artists' little shops. We were …

Buenos dias from Buenos Aires

We have arrived in Buenos Aires after a long uncomfortable night on the plane. The seats were closer together than any plane either of us has ever been on. The guy's head in front of me was basically in my lap! Luckily, Kier had her trusty pre-loaded french press ready to go.

We took a taxi to the hotel rather than hang around the airport for several hours waiting for the group. Taxis here drive as crazily as they do at home. The hotel is lovely. We have a cute little room, and WONDERFUL pillows on the beds.

After changing into shorts and sandals, we headed out to explore the city. We were in desperate need of some more coffee and a snack, so we made our destination Cafe Tortoni, the oldest cafe in the city.
We walked down Via Florida, the main pedestrian street. It was extremely busy and vendors were shouting and shoving flyers in our faces. It was a little much given how tired we were. Cafe Tortoni though was a lovely haven. It was a grand, big space with pictures of all the famous…

dinner in Miami

Dont read this one, Lindsay.  Just had a wonderful dinner of fresh veggies and local specialty Mahi Mahi mmm. (dolphin ) Soon we'll be on the plane to Argentina!

And we're off!

The many bags are packed! We've both done am training at  SPINNING (and Kier an extra hour of TURBO KICK) And the fearless duo is ready to go (provided they can lift their duffel bags)!

Ready to go??

I am all packed, but I'm afraid my bag is too heavy. It's hard to get an exact weight because it won't stand on the scale. I've been through everything I have packed again and again, and I just can't think of anything else I can possibly take out! So, I decided to take break and make some healthy snacks for the trip.

First though, I needed some lunch. I was starving from a morning at the gym and packing. I decided to challenge myself to use up the few things I had in the fridge, thus was born "Kier's clean-out your fridge frittata."
-Eggs (however many ya got)
-Milk (or almond milk in my case)
-Cheese, shredded (again whatever you have, I had cheddar and parmesan)
-Veggies, chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used spinach, kale, onion, and tomatoes)

Preheat the oven to 400. In an oven-safe skillet, cook your veggies in a small amount of olive oil until they are soft. I did my onions first, then added the kale, then the spinach and tomatoes at the…


This mess haunted me all night (the few hours of it, I got to sleep that is.)
Thanks to a combination of torrential downpours, strong winds, and a visit from President Obama, my flight home Thursday left almost four hours late. So, I didn't get home until about 2 am. I can't go to bed without unpacking my suitcase (probably a good thing since my running clothes from the week have been festering in there for too long already). So as I unpacked I threw the things I'll need for Antarctica on the bag I had started packing last weekend.

When I got this bag 3 weeks ago, I thought it was un-necessarily large. But it was the most durable option, so I got it anyway. Now, it isn't seeming so large. In fact, it's pretty much stuffed. I am normally a pretty good packer (I certainly get enough practice, since I do it every week), but this trip is a challenge. I'm packing for 3 distinct climates, more than 2 weeks, need all my marathon gear plus heavy-duty warm clothing, and w…

Dead Butt Syndrome

Found an interesting article in the NY Times.

Maybe this is what is causing the pain in my hip? Do I have a dead butt?

You are going to need that body later

I went to the free yoga class at Lululemon yesterday, which is something I love but rarely do. My early morning cardio/strength work-outs are non-negotiable, but I tend to see yoga as an indulgence. Too often, if I don't take the early flight out,  I leave the gym after cycle interval intending to run home, grab a shower and snack, and then head to yoga. But then I think about all the other things I need to do before I fly-out, or, I'm totally starving and want a real meal, or I stay in the shower too long.... so many excuses.

But yesterday I went, and I was feeling pretty tired and achy. I did a 13 miler Friday followed by an hour of pilates, Saturday I did an hour of intense boot camp followed by an hour and half of step interval, and then cross-country skiing in the afternoon, and Sunday morning I did an hour of spin interval and then an hour of turbo kick. So it took me a few minutes to get into the yoga mind-set. What got me there was the teacher saying "Be kind to y…

13 mile tempo and I feel good

My salad dumped in my briefcase at the airport yesterday, which meant that for dinner I was stuck with the Jet Blue free snacks. I was hungry and bored, which meant that I went a little overboard. I started out virtuously with the air popped chips and 100 calorie animal crackers. Then I got up to go to the bathroom and on the way back to my seat the basket of chocolate chip cookies was calling my name. Ditto an hour later, but this time it was the Doritos snack mix. And then when I finally got home, there was a bucket of chocolate chip cookies on the table. I made my way through a few while I sorted through the week's news.

So I though I might feel a little sluggish on the 13 mile tempo run I had on my schedule this morning. But, I actually felt great. It was cold, only 19 when I started, but bright and sunny. For a change, we didn't get a foot of snow this week, and there were some days above freezing, so the roads are pretty clear (as long as you don't mind running in the…

Up and over

I was considering getting up super early to do my 13 miler that I have planned for this weekend today while I'm still in California. It would be nice to do it on clear roads and not contend with traffic. BUT I just couldn't drag myself out of bed at 4am. I'm also starting to get a little nervous about the timing of my long runs. Is doing my last long run a month before the race too early? Not to question the great Jeff Galloway, but......... So I decided it would be better to hold off and do the run over the weekend, so it is exactly 2 weeks before the race.

I decided to do a hill workout instead. There is a mini mountain behind my hotel. I thought I had been running all the way up it, until I went for a walk one afternoon and found that actually I was only going 3/4 of the way up. Amazing how much more you can see when the sun is out. So today I went all the way up, which about 20 minutes of climbing, some parts pretty steep and others pretty gradual. I came back down in h…


I forgot to knock on wood after I wrote that last entry. Yesterday I woke up and we "only" had 5-6 inches of snow, so I decided to run anyway. It was snowing so hard that the snow accumulated on my eyelashes and they froze together! It also piled up on my eyebrows, in my hair, and even down my back. Then I fell on a patch of ice hidden beneath the snow. After the fall I decided to give in and go home. Too bad the fastest was home was 1.5 miles back on the main road, where I was forced to contend with traffic. Unhappy drivers on slippery roads who seemed intent on spraying me as much as possible with freezing slush.

Today I did the elliptical, but still got to battle with the snow as I attempted to get the solid 2 inches of ice off my car. Once that was done, my car was still stuck in a massive icy snow pile. Fun.