Sunday, February 28, 2010


Here she is. We had a maiden paddle today, early morning. I hooked up with some paddlers out of Oakland and we put in right at Jack London Square. It rained all day yesterday and dawned somewhat blue this morning, but was perfect on the water. She's still on the car here (already took off stern/bow lines); pulled into the driveway for unloading.

I was sold on the Ikumma but when I sat in this one, it was like coming home! Have you guessed what she is yet? OK, I'll spill the beans............ Current Designs (yes, a North American style)

Solstice GTS; 17'7", Carribean Blue, and I splurged (some would say going into debt) on kevlar.
I've been very fortunate with lots of help from a local store. Also, one of the employees has really taken an interest in the fact that I'm doing the CR100. He's done many years of racing and teaches a lot of stroke classes, and has volunteered to give me some coaching and helping me pick that perfect paddle.

So, now I can focus on getting comfortable in my new boat, work on technique and get some mileage in. I do have a specific training program I'll begin in May, and I continue to cycle 3-4 times a week (will continue cross-training). I've started experimenting with Hammer Nutrition gels, bars, and sports drink, and later I'll need to do some special outfitting on the kayak for the race. Mostly, I'm counting the hours until my next day on the water: SATURDAY.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Sun is predicted for tomorrow, Sat., slipping in between two storms. I plan to kayak in the afternoon. Tomorrow's goal is to get some miles in and mark off some distances for future training. Probably won't focus on any picture-taking. I also plan to work on my forward stroke. After reviewing Barton and Chalupsky's DVD, I don't think my stroke is too bad, but I'm going to do some practice anyway, trying to keep their key points in mind.

I continue to research kayaks. I've decided to stick with a sea kayak, composite, about 17ft. I'm seriously looking at the Seda Ikumma. This kayak is being used by Jake Stachovac who's paddling the Portage to Portage Paddling Project. Check out his blog at: I'm starting to also think about fueling and hydrating for the race. I've ordered some samples from Hammer Nutrition and will try their various products during training. I'm trying both their bars and gels, and later a food supplement for endurance racing called Perpetuam. I'm going to purchase MSR dromedary for keeping both water and a supplement drink and/or fuel on the boat during the race. I need to find out if I'll want real food and what my stomach will tolerate for the long haul.

Well, I'll keep inviting you to comment and share your thoughts and opinions about kayaks, training, foods for endurance races, and outfitting a kayak.

Monday, February 15, 2010


This was a 3-day weekend for me and I was hoping to get in 1-2 days of paddling. Unfortunately I came down with a stomach virus. So, while sitting around home, I've done a little research for the CR100. I continue to investigate kayak options, and reading lots of blogs about people's training. "Paddling With A Camera" posts a lot of resources, and I really appreciate this blog and the time put into it (not to mention the great pics). You certainly can find a lot of stuff for elite athletes, but it's much harder to find realistic training programs for the average, athletic "gal!" Also, since this is my first ultra-marathon, I'm looking to finish. The race is really with myself. The "UltraMarathon Paddling" blog by the Nelson's also has some terrific information; articles about eating and hydration. They also post questions asked and their answers to them. I often find a "nugget" of invaluable help.

So, back to kayaks. I'm looking for a kayak I can use in the CR100, but I may never race again. It will depend a lot on the experience I have. So, if I never race again, I want to be left with a kayak that is still seaworthy for the open ocean and I can use for touring. I would like composite, probably at least 17 ft. COME ON, I KNOW YOU KAYAKERS ARE OUT THERE! Your input is really appreciated; please post your suggestions here.

Well, I haven't been just spinning my mental wheels. For the last month I've been cycling 3-4 times a week. I think I'll get on my bike now.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I just completed my registration for the Colorado 100 in Sept. I have several months to train and gather as much information as I can, AND buy a new kayak. Anyone out there with ultra marathon experience or races like these? Please feel free to impart words of wisdom and share your adventure here.