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Friday, July 20, 2018

Winter in Summer

Greetings from the land of Kiwis, jandals, and instant coffee! This summer I'm spending 9 weeks in New Zealand making a podcast about beautiful Lake Wanaka and of course, shredding some serious gnar up at the Snow Farm. I left on June 15, arrived in Dunedin (a city on the coast of the South Island) on June 17, and then spent 4 weeks there working with some people at the University of Otago. I'm now living in Wanaka (a gorgeous mountain town) for 4 weeks to do interviews and put the podcast together.

View of Dunedin
My first ever penguin sighting (the little lump that's not a rock)
Dunedin at night (ie 5:00pm)

Sunset at Oamaru
Wading into the world of zoology with my officemate Lena

The Moeraki Boulders ft. Pauline, the frenchwoman who gave me a ride back to Dunedin
Merp. Guess the rollerski is over. NZ drivers typically won't stop for anything other than cars and sheep on the roads. 

The Otago Peninsula

Chur yeah!

Candid of Mattie Watts, fellow midder who made the journey east to ski in the EISA (with UVM) and is now working at the Snow Farm for the season and is my new roommate (but we don't live in that hut)
View from the backyard of where Mattie and I live (spot Lake Wanaka hanging out back there)

Here's a stream of selfies with a dancing sheep cause the only company on my workouts is generally sheep:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Checking in from Alaska

It sure is nice to be back home for a bit. I've managed to stay pretty busy so far this summer with work, training, and spending time outdoors. Shortly after arriving back home, Jack and I were quickly reminded about the reality of "summer" in Alaska when we summited Mount Marathon amidst a late-May snowstorm. 
All smiles and dressed for the weather
Our family is raising a flock of meat chickens and I spent the first couple weeks of June building a coop and setting up electric fencing to keep out bears. It ended up being quite the project but at least I got to play with power tools and learn a thing or two about electricity. 

Adding chicken farmer to the resume
Hard at work turning feed into drumsticks
For work, I've been doing landscaping for families around Anchorage. My friends and I get into heated debates over the nature of my work. They think it should be called gardening, while I prefer the term yard construction. 
Another day on the job site
D-1 Gravel for a D1 athlete
Sport fishing is by far my favorite summer activity. Some of the best fishing in the state can be found on the Kenai river, roughly 2.5 hours south of Anchorage. Weekend crowds can make fishing the Kenai less than enjoyable, so a couple of friends and I decided to go on what is known here as a "suicide run" (a suicide run consists of getting off of work on a weekday, driving down to the Kenai, fishing through the night, and flooring it back to Anchorage for work the next morning). After fishing from 9pm to 3am, we loaded our staggering catch of three salmon into a cooler and made it back to Anchorage in time to catch a quick nap before work. 
Hour 1 of 6 on the River
A pyrrhic victory
Well that just about wraps it up for now. This afternoon I flew into Cordova, Alaska for a few weeks of commercial fishing on the family fishing boat. There isn't much in the way of running trails or roller skiing out here, but the community rec center has a bench press so I think I'll be fine. Hope everyone is getting outside and enjoying summer!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Hello from Colorado :) The sunshine and ice cream are endless! You can find me roller skiing to work, handing out walking maps, or taking naps on the creek in my new hammock. I've been golfing too, but need more practice. 

Getting in plenty of rest alongside the Gore Creek 

Go Pro Mountain Games 10k 

Photo with lifetime friend, Nathaniel, after Hill Climb race up Vail Mountain.

Start and Finish of Vail Hill Climb 

Copper Mountain Half Marathon (before missed turn) I was going to WIN! :0 Then I missed a turn and ran myself to the back of the race. oops!

Run up to Booth Lake 

What, what? Booth lake found. 

Welcome To Vail! This is my summer job at the Vail Welcome Center. Hi, How can I help you?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Greetings from Ecuador!

Hey friends!  

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer months with a low stress meter.  I feel so lucky to be able to spend the summer in Tena, Ecuador learning about public health.  I am interning with the Red Cross and a community center which does rural health visits to disabled people.  A local family has been generous enough to host me and welcome me into their family.  I am learning loads but at times it can be difficult to be so far from home distance wise and culture wise.  One of my goals for the next month is to continue to practice self-care and know that I can still speak up for what I need without being inconsiderate. Here are some pics so far:

The summer has been a series of running, hiking, biking, public transport or driving to rivers or waterfalls to swim in.  I cannot complain and I am really enjoying la estación lluviosa (rainy season).
Waterfall one reached on foot.

Waterfall two not pictured but reached by cable car crossing pictured.

Waterfall three reached by foot and bike on our downhill bike ride from Baños to Puyo.  Check out my Strava.

River fed pools reached by public transport.  My homestay sister seems to be enjoying her ice cream.

River enjoyed on a full moon rafting trip!

Second of two rivers for today alone.

I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy all the bodies of water.  Here, when people say they are going to a river the verb normally used is bañarse (to bath).  In addition to enjoying the water, I often see people bathing with soap in the rivers, using mother nature to cleanse themselves, to enjoy themselves, and cool off.  The downside has been how hot humid it can be (ft. lots of sweating on my runs).  I have been mostly running in circles as I don't know the area that well and there is a lovely park nearby.

Sunset in el parque lineal.  I have been getting into listening to podcasts or music when I run hear to keep the one mile loop entertaining.  Taking suggestions for the return of Sonya the track star.

Volcanic view from one running location near my house.

Another reason I run on a loop--the dog that bit my during my first week while I was racing some kids on the street.

Work has been challenging but rewarding.  I am very aware of all the privilege I have growing up in an household without any disabilities and with many resources.  I have been shadowing community health workers who travel very far to provide help to people in the area; this also doubles as a great one-on-one Spanish lesson.

Mario and I on our way to visit a patient.  We had to take taxi ($1.50) bus ($1.50) canoe ($0.25) taxi ($0.50) canoe ($5) just to reach one patient's house, not even round trip.  I am still figuring out if this is the best way to provide rural health care and what the strengths and weakness of the program are.

Bladimir using the la sombrilla del monte (the mountain umbrella) during a downpour on our way to visit a patient.

A view of the back of the Red Cross ambulance.  I have spent the last two Fridays waiting for an accident but none to be found.

Make sure to leave your machete at the front of the bus for safekeeping on your way to work.

One of my favorite foods here (Maito de tilapia)

Lots of love and I cannot wait to see everyone this fall.  People here keep asking me what it is like to have seasons and boy, am I excited to enjoy my last three seasons at Williams!


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Training in Boulder

After seeing Dylan's inspiring video of such a revolutionary cross training technique, I had to try it out for myself. Unfortunately, there are no large lakes nearby, so I achieved at best mixed results.

For some reason this makes me think back to last fall, but I can't remember why...
Further analysis indicates that this particular exercise, although extremely beneficial training, is best done only if a soft landing is available. The positive aspects of the brief sensation of flying may be outweighed by the negative aspects of the post-workout recovery. I will attempt further research and report back.

In other news, it turns out that I am a horrible photographer. Here are ALL of the photos I have taken this summer:

I've been enjoying some great, mostly solo, runs in the mountains (the real mountains):

If you look way down past the bottom of the canyon, you can almost see my house.
 Some runs are a little more adventurous than others:

13,300' - just before we were chased off the Continental Divide by marble-sized hail (Sadly my phone died and I didn't get any more pictures after this).

A tired picture at the trailhead after my phone warmed up a bit.

 Lastly, I was walking around Chicago on Saturday, and saw this:

Miss you all


Training in Tahoe

New secret training - Braden clued in the team that Norway has been doing it for years and it is their secret weapon.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Swiss summer, with a bit of Sweden mixed in too

After getting back from my roughly 2,000km cycling trip from Zurich to Stockholm (where I discovered, above all, that my bike seat is REALLY hard), I've been thoroughly enjoying my summer back home in Switzerland - it's so good to be in the mountains again! I'm not sure it's good for training, because I can't help stopping during my runs to enjoy the view properly, but the upshot is that I have lots of photos to share. Here's a small selection from the bike trip:
My friend Sophia and I being tourists in Copenhagen, right before two stern Danish soldiers ordered us off the grass

Our bikes enjoying the sunset over the Stockholm skyline

A long, cold (but not at all dark) night in the woods near Stockholm, complete with bike locks holding the hammock up due to a lack of hammock straps

And some more photos from my adventures at home:
There turned out to be a lot more snow than I expected!

One of the Jöri Lakes near Davos

It's hard to get lost, even if you're distracted by all the pretty views

Made a few cow friends on my mountain run this morning

Another cow friend
I had a good laugh at this as I was rollerskiing by - an unfortunate signpost if you happen to speak English

I hope everyone is having a great summer and getting some good adventures in!