2013-In-Review-Post

2013 in Review

Whew. What a year it has been!

Last night, I brought in 2014 surrounded by close friends and significantly less disastrously than last year.

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I was headed out to a New Years party in 2012 and was caught in black ice. Needless to say, this year was delightfully anticlimactic in comparison.

As it is the New Year and all, I thought it would be good to take a look back on the biggest moments on the blog in 2013.

This year, I…

Bought a new car.

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 Interviewed Kathryn Bertine, professional cyclist and simply amazing woman overall.

Did 100 Miles of Wild in the North Dakota Badlands.

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Turned 24

Did a campaign with Under Armour. 

Redesigned the website. 

Ate at celebrity chef, Michael Stadlander’s farm. 

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Began training with a running coach.

Was the maid of honour at my sister’s wedding.

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Qualified for the Boston Marathon.  

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Ran my first duathlon.  

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Trekked into the Grand Canyon. 

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Happy New Years to you all and a huge cheers to 2014!

2013 was a triumphant, yet difficult year and I am so excited to see what 2014 has in store. Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement over the past year – I am so blessed to have you all as friends.

What are your highlights from 2013?

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Interview with Kathryn Bertine

We literally are all the way back to Friday again.

I could not be happier. This week has been utter and complete madness for me. I will not lament but rather focus on awesomer things.

kbell-setSo a while back, I gave away a book. Yes, I am STILL on about Kathryn Bertine. The woman is a legend.

Kathryn BertineIf I can have half of the drive or resilience this woman has in her baby finger, I will be a super star.

Regardless, I have been sporadically sharing this link, which is a environmentally bent interview with her that I did a while back. What I didn’t share is that I have a more “Laces And Lattesque” version of the interview. I may do this forever: go into interesting interviews with about 10 more questions than necessary and hound innocent people about their favourite post workout meals, deodorants, [anything really] as long as I think I can throw it up on this space. (Which sadly, is almost anything…)

Anyways. Here are the bonus interview questions:

JK: You talk about your early morning training schedule in your book. Any tips for those of us who find it hard to get out of bed at 5 AM to hit the road?

KB: Well, I am currently in the biking offseason, but I find that if you have a specific goal in sight, then it all comes together. If you are lacking the motivation to train, you need to ask yourself why? It can often be burnout for an endurance athlete because it is always go-go-go. A suggestion to find motivation in training is to throw in a mid-season race so you have something to work towards. Another big motivator is to train with a friend; it is hard to skip a workout when you know someone is waiting for you.

JK: Since you are in your off-season right now, what are your favourite cross training exercises?

KB: I go back to my triathlon roots! Normally I ride twice a week, I swim twice a week and I am going to have to use the word “jog” twice a week.

JK: I’ve seen your times, it is definitely running.

KB: Ha! No really, I just do short stuff, like 25 minute jogs, an hour swim and not counting laps and bikram yoga once a week. I do something 6 days a week because there is a difference between resting and getting completely out of shape. Oh! And I love hiking!

JK: What about strength training?

I lift twice a week and I have a trainer in Tuscan helps me with strength training specific to cycling. He targets muscles that are neglected on a bike. Your back muscles are strong, but your chest and shoulders don’t necessarily counterbalance so you can get some pretty funky posture going on and imbalances. It is really fun for me!

Side note: Add her to twitter: @KathrynBertine because her trainer’s name is Jesus so she has tweets like this:

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JK: With all the training you do, how do you keep a balance between your personal life and training life.

KB: This is an important one. When you are balanced, you do your best! This has been a journey for me. I feel most balanced when my writing and cycling career are in sync but in freelance, that can be tough. I have been married for a few years to my husband, an amateur cyclist and he has been very supportive in the moral aspect of the sport because he realizes I won’t be able to do this forever. If you have someone in your life who provides you with emotional support and truly mean it, that is a huge factor in going out and facing your training head on.

What music to do workout to?

KB: I actually don’t train outdoors with music because I like to day dream and I need to keep my wits about me otherwise two or three of my senses are missing! Also, as a writer, I use my riding time to think in that capacity. However, if I am on an indoor trainer (which doesn’t happen all that often), I need music! I love The Killers, LMFAO, anything that has a good rhythm. O! And the new Rolling Stones album!

So. If you want to learn even more about Kathryn, head on over to my work blog to read more of the interview and enter to win her book. Because the giveaway ends today.

AGAGCOVERjpeg1That’s all I have for today. I am headed off to enjoy the Guelph Organic Conference and celebrate my baby sister’s baptism this weekend. I will see you all on Monday!

Who is your favourite athlete?

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Doping Scandal and a Giveaway Winner!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Hope you had a marvelous week – I know I did, despite the fact that it feels more like it should be Wednesday instead of Friday.

Today I am giving away “As Good as Gold” by Kathryn Bertine and I am so excited to share it with you!

The winner is NR! I have contacted you and am so excited for you to read it!

I was quite impacted, although not shocked, this week as I read about the doping scandal of Lance Armstrong. Rather than “gift” you with my own two cents, I thought I would weigh in with some thoughts that actually have some klout in the competitive cycling world: Kathryn Bertine herself. I thought I would focus on a particular passage in the book from Kathryn that resonated in the news this week:

Tired of doping scandals altogether, be it baseball or cycling or track and field, we can get rid of them two ways. The media can step up their game and cover clean athletes and USADA and WADA can enforce new rules. The penalty system must be revamped. Enough of these one and two-year “soft” bans, these tiresome lawsuits and the time and energy spent on “punishing” cheaters. As long as there are sports, there will be cheaters. But there will be fewer if we crack down on them with more than a slap on the wrist. Here’s what USADA, WADA and all sports federations should agree to when it comes to catching cheaters:
1. Enforce a lifetime ban for a first offence.
2. Impose a minimum one-year jail sentence.
3. Make athletes perform a minimum 1,000-hours of community service in hospital wards where EPO and steroids are used for their true intention — to treat cancer patients and the terminally ill.
4. Force athletes to repay or reimburse their annual salary, prize money and endorsement contracts.
5. Forfeit all titles and medals earned during a career. Asterisks are for writers. Not athletes.
To read more, check out this link.
What was your reaction to the scandal this week?

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A Giveaway: Pave It Forward

Not too long ago, Pavement Runner decided that he had too many books. He bought a new one that was so great that he needed to share it and thus, the Pave It Forward Giveaway was formed. The premise is simple: win the book, read the book, review the book, and give it away to another blogger.

And what a book.

I was so excited to get my hands on As Good as Gold by Kathryn Bertine that I won from the giveaway on Angela’s blog. I knew that it would be an incredible story because of Kathryn’s interview with Angela, but honestly, I had no idea how much grit this woman was made of.

Here is a brief synopsis of the book:

Meet Kathryn Bertine, elite triathlete, former professional figure skater, and starving artist. Just as her personal and professional dreams begin to crumble in the summer of 2006, ESPN stakes her to a dream:  Take two years to make the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing. As Good As Gold is the heroic, hilarious account of Bertine’s serial exertions in the realms of triathlon, modern pentathlon, team handball, track cycling, road cycling, rowing, open water swimming, racewalking, and—fasten your seatbelts—luge.
 
On her journey, the obstacles range from jet lag to jellyfish, flat tires to floundering relationships, repeated rejection to road rash. But, as time is running out, Bertine doesn’t sweat the small stuff, only the large—like scouring the globe for a tiny nation to adopt her, and pushing her body and mind as far as it will go. Maybe all the way to China.
 
Between harrowing, often laugh-out-loud episodes of triumph and humiliation, Bertine takes short “Water Breaks” to contemplate the ins-and-outs of fan mail, failure, rehydration, nasal reconstruction, and how best to punish steroid users. 
 
Kathryn Bertine swims, runs, and rides—and writes—like a champion. In As Good as Gold, Bertine proves she has something more valuable than an Olympic medal. She’s got Olympic mettle. When it comes to the human heart, she takes the gold.

Trust me, this is a book you want to read. Kathryn’s spirit and drive leaves you with the feeling of “well if she can do THAT, I can do something great too!”

Something great, like win this book!

All you need to do is answer this question in the comments:

If you could go to the Olympics for any sport, what would it be?

Contest winner will be announced next Friday.