Showing posts from August, 2013

What do you count as exercise?


Portland to Bailey Island Ride

I have been a member of the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club, or MOAC, for the past 2 years, but have mostly limited my activities with them to skiing. They have a lot of neat stuff, so I don't really know why I haven't done more. But, since I am just so darn tired of running and biking alone all the time, I am making more of an effort to do more. I started yesterday with the Portland to Bailey Island Ride.

This was about a 50 mile trip on the coastal country roads along Casco Bay and then out to through Harpswell, Orr's Island, and finishing Bailey Island. We started in Portland with a group of 3 and then picked up 3 more riders within the first 5 miles. John, our leader, planned an great route. We totally avoided the traffic, which is a minor miracle in Maine in August. The route was beautiful.

I really can't imagine a more perfect ride. It was bright and sunny, but with comfortable temperatures and a slight breeze. We rode just below my normal pace, so it felt very comfor…

Savoring Summer

I love all the seasons but there is something about summer that makes my heart extra happy. Summer is pretty short here in Maine, so I have been making an extra effort this week to get in as many summer activities as possible.

Tuesday night we went to a Sea Dog's game. The Sea Dog's are our local minor league baseball team and the games are always a lot of fun. This game was extra fun because the BF and I were selected to play one of the on-field games between innings. Our game was the lobster catch. There were 4 guys dressed up in four weather gear hurling plastic lobsters at us. We had to catch 5 lobsters in the lobster pot we were holding.

We failed miserably. It was so much harder than it sounded. We only got 2 lobsters. Wah Wah. So the only prize I got was a giant bruise on my knee where I whacked myself with the lobster trap. Looking at the pics, I can also see that my pronation problems are not limited to running. Look at my foot!

I have also been making an effort to get t…

Organizational Queen

I always knew that as a type A person, I am often the one making plans and taking care of the all the details. However, I didn't realize to what extent people expect me to do this until I tried to stop. I have been feeling a little off lately- not my energetic, motivated self. So, for a bit I wanted to take a break from making all the decisions, from being the leader. I just wanted to follow-up along for a bit. Except, it turns out when I am not in charge, things were kinda a mess.
I had made tentative plans with my friend for Thursday. I told her to tell me where and when and I'd be there. I didn't follow-up with her or make a back-up plan of my own. And, I never heard from her and sat at home feeling lonely and grumpy.

Friday night I told the BF he had to decide where we were going to dinner. He hemmed and hawed forever. I ended up choosing the restaurant in the end, but he had vacillated for so long that by the time we got there there was no parking and long waiting line.

Yoga Certification

In the past couple years I have been gotten more and more into yoga. I try to make it to the studio at least once a week, and then practice on my own for at least a few minutes a day. For my body, yoga is the perfect counterpart to all my high impact activity. For my mind, yoga eases my anxiety and constant need to be in motion.

I have been thinking more and more about becoming certified as a yoga teacher. Last year I taught an informal class for a family friend's gathering and I did the same again this past week. I loved the feeling of guiding a group through a yoga class.

I went to the info session for the 200 Hour Teacher Training at my favorite local studio The Breathing Room, but ultimately didn't sign up the session which starts in September. It all came down to time. The schedule is 12 Saturdays, 10 Sundays, one Thursday, and five Fridays over a six-month period. I realized that I already had conflicts for 4 of the weekends.

The thing is that I don't think there will e…

Rest Day

So that whole New Year's Resolution to take at least a day off a month? Yeah, it didn't happen. At all. I know it is not good for my body, and there are definitely some emotional issues, but I just can't make myself take days off. The first 3 months of the year, I did okay because I counted days I went downhill skiing as days off. Since then however, I have had a solid streak of working out every day.

It is not like I do hard multi-hour workouts every day. I usually aim for 45-60 minutes of cardio a day, and then 10-20 minutes of strength 2-4 times a week. I do take easier, shorter days after a particularly hard or long workout or race. Or, if my schedule is just super busy, I will just do a 30 minute workout. So, my worry is less about the physical impact on my body and more about the emotional side. I get anxious and upset when I try to take a day off. I am not a physiologist, but that sounds an awful lot like an addiction to me.

I recognize the problem and I am working on…

Annoying Gym Habits

My last post about favorite machines at the gym got me thinking about the strange things I see there all the time. I already mentioned the lady who is so possessive of "her" spot in step class that she makes other people move if they are in it. She will also moved their benches for them if she thinks they are too close to her.

Sadly, she is not alone. There seem to be a lot of people that do strange and annoying things at the gym. Here is my list of the weird (and annoying) things I see at my gym:

-One lady wears a heavy winter coat year round as she walks on the treadmill with 12lbs weights in each hand while wearing wedge flip-flops.

-One guy brings in half the world with him. He brings his laptop, coffee, water, a snack, and the Wall Street Journal. He then sets up his laptop and does P90X, taking frequent water, coffee, and newspaper breaks. He manages to take up the entire stretching and free weight area. And did I mention he wears super short, tight shorts.

-One guy walks …

Playing Favorites

I woke up this morning to pouring rain, which was a bummer because Thursday is a running day. I briefly considered going to the gym, but I just hate the treadmills there. I hate pretty much all treadmills, except one. My Dad has a Nordic Track treadmill that I really like. That is the only place that I will ever voluntarily choose the treadmill over running outside.

I don't know what it is exactly. There are quite a few things I like. It has adjustable deck so you can choose how hard or soft the surface is. I feel like it is a lot easier on my legs. It also has built in fans, and because it is in a side room in the basement I can open the door to the outside and get a fresh breeze. So, I am not quite as much of a sweaty mess, and maybe I just don't care as much because there isn't a whole gym full of people to see me? I can also blast my own music, and hop on and off the treadmill as I like without worrying that someone else will take it. 
It is my favorite treadmill by far.…

King Arthur Flour and Home-made Bagels!

After my trapeze class on Saturday, we headed to the King Arthur FlourFlagship Store in Norwich, Vermont. My Step-Mom and Sister went over the winter after a ski meet and have been raving about it since. 

It is pretty amazing, especially for someone who likes to cook as much as I do! You can watch their bakers in action in their huge state-of-the-art bakery, get a snack at the cafe, take a cooking class, and browse their awesome store. Unfortunately the cooking classes were sold out for the day (I would have LOVED to take the Petite Pastries class!). But the store was more than worth the trip. They had pretty much everything a baker could ever need. 

I could have easily spent hundreds of dollars there, but I tried to control myself and just get a few things that were unique and not available other places.  The first was a dough improver which helps makes dough easier to roll out. I make grilled pizza a lot and one of the secrets to a great pizza is getting the dough really thin. I frequ…

Trapeze Class

This weekend I headed to NH to use my birthday present from my Dad and Step-Mom, a trapeze class! I was so excited. I think I was a bird in a former life, because I love anything that feels like flying.

My little sis and I were at Fearless Flyers bright and early Saturday morning. It is just down the road from my Dad's house, way out in the country of New Hampshire. It felt strange to drive down this quiet country road, turn into a driveway, and see this.

Our class was taught my the owner, his wife, and brother. They got us into harness belts (holy tightness) and went over technique right away. We practiced the bar grab, the lean, the job take-off, and the knee hang down on the ground.

And then I was up. Somehow I ended up going first (actually I was totally that person that was jumping up and down volunteering.) The ladder was the worst part for me, it was a long climb up and it was wiggly.

I took my stance at the end of the platform, with my legs wide and my toes hanging off. Even t…

That time I qualified for the Triathlon National Champtionships

I was completely and utterly shocked to wake up this week to this e-mail

"Congratulations Kiersten. You have qualified for the Olympic-Distance race at the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships on August 10 in Milwaukee, Wis., after finishing in the top 10 percent in your age group at the Tri for a Cure.

Um for real? A national championship?

I am not going because it is in like 2 weeks, but also because I feel like I would be totally out of my league. I just started doing triathlons a couple years and ago and I only do 1-2 a year. I would get totally blown out of the water.

But it is still pretty cool to qualify! It is funny because as a gymnast I was super competitive. My goal was always to qualify for regionals and for nationals. I didn't consider it a successful meet if I wasn't on the podium. But as a runner, and now as a triathlete, I am the opposite. I am competitive with myself, but I never expect to place. Running was just so hard for me when I started a…