Friday, May 8, 2015

West Point A Meet

Last weekend Dad and I went to New York to run in the West Point A meet.  We did this last year and it was a bit of a disaster for me.... Last year I ran an easy yellow on day one and quit a way too difficult orange on day two.  This year I decided to run on orange both days; the reasons for this decision was that I've started to run brown courses and home, have started using my compass more, and am feeling more comfortable navigating through wood (no paths).

Day one went really well.  I was able to navigate to all my controls really well, aside from a silly mistake of following on my way to one control.  The course felt way too long though, and no water was provided to runners on the orange course (thanks for making me feel unimportant...).  There were low blueberry bushes all through the woods which made running (walking for me) through them feel like water jogging; I think this is what made the course feel sooooo long.  (also... the map said the course was 5k, but my watch clocked 5 miles...)

After the race, Dad and I got to drive around West Point and look at the buildings.  They reminded me of some of the buildings at Tech.  They we accidently took a wrong turn leaving and ended up on the sonic route and got some great photos from the mountain above the school.  (If I can get his camera I'll try and load them!)

Day two was really hard for me.  I did an awesome job navigating the first half of the course, then it turned into walking in a straight line using my compass hoping I ended up in the right place, then I never found the 2nd to last control.  This course had a lot of cliffs and I wasn't able to see a route to make getting up them easier, no paths just rocks. 

We had planned to take showers at the start site which was a camp group, but the water which had been working on day one was now off. We ended up rinsing off and changing in the parking lot of the West Point golf club! (we had to park there and take a bus to the start). Never thought that would be something I would be doing, haha.

Overall, I'm pleased with my performance; I knew going in to this that I would probably struggle.  I'm really happy that I was able to finish one orange course in NY!  My compass skills improved also during the weekend.  I'm really looking forward to running more brown courses at home to improve my skills.... running in woods without blueberries and cliffs also sounds really pleasant.
The cadets do put on a good meet, and they are always so nice and accommodating. I lost my map walking to the finish after I quit on day two, but they let me have a spare to take home.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

What I've been up to...


Orienteering:  I've sort of moved up to Brown!  At my last two meets I was able to run the Brown course.  At the first meet, I ran Orange first and then tried out the Brown.  The course was mostly open so I felt confident I could do the course.  As it turned out I did better on Brown than Orange!
At the second meet I just did Brown; before the race I looked up maps from previous Brown courses at that forest to see how hard they were. I felt confident that I could do the race from previous years so I went for it!   At that meet I made one terrible mistake right at the end, but overall I did really well on the course.  I haven't uploaded my route yet, but when I do I will try and post the pictures!

Running: Not going so well....I just can't get up the motivation to go for a run after subbing all day and walking the dog.  I've tried to wake up early and get the run in before leaving for work, but that hasn't happened either...I need to work on this!  I would like to get faster in the woods, which means I need to work on my endurance.

Work:  Still subbing, but I'm taking my last course (before student teaching) this summer!  I took my Science Praxis last week and will receive the score in 3 more weeks.  I'm really hoping I was able to improve my score my the needed 10 points.  (I have a score that will allow me to teach in most states, just not the one I live in...)

House: I haven't done anything really... Oh I did build a raised garden!  I still need to fill it with dirt though. 

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Orienteering and Update

I felt really good after last weeks race.  My endurance isn't so great yet so my time was slow, but my navigation was great!  I slowed down a lot on the second half of the course in order to really focus on my routes.




7-8-9. (this is were I started to slow down)

I went past 11 a bit, I think I had the map oriented wrong.... I turned around ("bird watching" as my dad says) and saw a control (11) and reoriented from there

Running:  Still not running :) see you in the Spring!
Fitness:  I've been going to the gym, but not as much as I would like.  If the weather is bad I don't go, not worth it to get in a car accident.  I've been using the weight machines, reading on the stationary bike, and swimming. 
Dog: Only time I haven't walked (or tried to walk) the dog has been when the weather is bad!
School:  My online class was cancelled so no school... I am trying to do an free online class on dinosaurs and I am studying for my Praxis!

How was your January?


Sunday, January 11, 2015


Today I did my 3rd orienteering race post surgery.  I think I ran more in this race than in the other two race, mostly due to my crazy competitive nature.  I'm very pleased with how I did; all my routes were really good with the execution of 2-3.  My running wasn't great... but since I haven't actually been running at all I can't really expect it to be can I?

Here is my route start - 1- 2.  I made the decision to run along the road to the creek then look for the re-entrant, great plan.  (I'm not sure if the GPS is off on this map or if I left the road a little early, doesn't matter I found the control easily!).  Then I followed the creek to the next control, luckily I saw the control (and runners), because I never saw the path I was looking for.

Leaching 2 I knew I had to follow the path to 3, sounds easy enough but as you can see this is where I made my big mistake.  I couldn't see the path from 2 and was about to start off in the wrong direction when I noticed 2 other orienteers heading off on the path (thank goodness!). I was having a really hard time seeing the path and when I got the large bend in the path I thought it had ended!  I headed off to the right and ended up loosing 15ish minutes wondering.  To fix my mistake I headed back to the path and to the point where I could see the path going down hill, then I was able to reorient my self and got on the right track!  Figures I would make my big mistake on a control that only required me to follow a path!  As you can see I was able to follow the path correctly from 3 to 4.

I'm very pleased with my navigation from 4 to 5, my best of the course I think!  The original plan was to follow the path to the creek and then follow the creek to the split and then to the control.  However there was a FUMA boy right in front of me and I didn't really want to run with him to the control.  So I decided I would leave the path right away and head down the re-entrant; this worked out beautifully and I easily found the control.

Leaving 5 I decided to just follow the creek as far as it went and then head straight for the road.  The green area was really dense and I was glad to find that I had veered over enough to hit the path that lead to the road.  I ended up further over than I had planned, but I knew where I was and was easily able to head over to 6.  For 6 I just ran straight from the road intersection into the woods, I knew I had to go up hill so I was looking for the hill as I ran.   Leaving 6 I was walking and reading my map to develop a plan for 7, happened to look and up find myself inched away from walking into a tree.... note to self read the map either standing still or walking in a clear area!

Very happy with my route choice for 6 to 7 as well.  Pretty simple, I followed the road to the path, through the clearing then followed the stream to the clearing next to the other stream.  My only difficulties were the dark green, it was very dense.  I need to remember to try and plan my routes around those areas!

7 to 8 to 9 to finish were also pretty simple routes.  I planned my route for all from 7 and tried to just run as much as I could.  I got passed by a runner leaving 7 and I tried to keep up with him, but he was fast and I was pretty tired; I was able to (just barely) keep him in sight to the finish.  I followed the creek from 7 to 8 the just followed the road to 9 and the finish.  I had passed the finish and 9 on my way to 1 so I knew where they were which was nice.

Overall I am very happy with how I did today.  I need to remember to correct myself sooner though so mistakes don't cost me so much time.  Next time, if I'm just a little bit unsure I will go back to where I was sure and start over!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

How was 2014…..
An interesting year to say the least; to myself I call it “the year of injuries.”

January-I remember it being very cold.  I flew to California for the second time in my life and ran the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  I had great fun and didn’t run again (consistently) until April

February- April- Once again, very cold... I was suffering from sciatica (really it started in December of 2013), I did physical therapy for a while, then swim team started and I just couldn’t find the time

May – I think it was in May, I finally got fed up with my job and quit.  It was a long time coming and I had spent probably a year saving up for the inevitable.  I stayed on part time until August.  At the end of May I decided to do another thing I had been wanting to do forever…I dyed the underside of my hair pink, I loved it and hope to do it again in the future (depends on my next job)

June-July – Swim team took over my life.  I love those kids (all 150) like they are my own, I can’t imagine a better way to spend my summers!  Injury wise:  I smashed my right thumb several times at work (in a safe door, under a heavy box), then I sliced the right thumb open putting knife away at home (the day I was leaving for a wedding), then I broke my right thumb trying to loosen lane lines at the pool. 

August - November– With swim team over and no job, I gave myself 2 weeks of vacation before starting to worry about the no job no money problem. I had an application in for substitute teaching so I wasn’t too worried.  During my free time I had class once a week, observed in a middle school classroom once a week, and studied for the Praxis exam. Thankfully I had savings because it took until November before I was finally approved to substitute teach, I started 2 days before Thanksgiving break and right after my fall class ended.  

October – Right in the beginning of the month I ended up in the ER in severe pain, turns out a cyst was killing my ovary.  I had surgery and am now down one ovary, but God gives you two.  I am cleared to do anything now, but I’ve given myself until spring to start running again (and my back which still gives me fits is thankful!)

December – I’ve been subbing pretty consistently, aside for the last two weeks the school have had break.  I also fell in an orienteering race and pull a muscle (or something) in my bad shoulder, so I have to get that to heal.


What’s up for 2015?

Running – As I said I’ve decided to start training again in the spring.  I am still doing orienteering, but mostly I walk and try and focus on the navigation part. 

Goals:  Move up to Brown in orienteering

              PR in a 5k

              Run one half marathon (looking like the Hersey Half in PA)

Fitness – I may not be running but I will be trying to stay fit.  I currently walk my mom’s dog on the week days; her distance varies from 1.5-3.  I also received a 3 month pass to Gold’s Gym that I’ll be using.

Goals: Walk the dog every day that weather allows

              Swim 3x per week

              Use the fitness equipment 3x per week

School – I’m in my last class before I have to student teach!  I also need to pass the Praxis exam to be placed.  Hopefully next fall I will be student teaching (or even better will be hired and do an internship instead) In addition I’ve decided to take some fun classes through Coursera, first up in Dinosaurs 101!

Goals : pass everything :)
Happy New Year!





Sunday, October 19, 2014

Burlap wreath

I've been working on a wreath for my front door; my roommate sent me a picture and I went with it!  I found a great tutorial here:  This link as a video, I found the picture and description only tutorials very difficult to understand. So instead of me explaining how to make this wreath.... just go to the link.

Here it is in progress. I used 3 rolls of 4in. Burlap.  The tutorial says the wreath will take 10 min., I took a few days but I bought the rolls of burlap one at a time and then had emergency surgery half way though, then kept getting distracted during the process.

All finished!  I added an orange flower and scarecrow from an old fall decoration.  The flower has an alligator clip on the back making it easy to attach to the wreath.

It looks great on the door!

And then I decided I needed a bow... and the scarecrow/flower didn't work out so I added the flower to the bow and went with that.
Here is the front of the house (before I added the bow)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bathroom Update!

I've been working on changing the tile in my bathroom for a few months now.  It all started because my toilet cracked and the leak caused the tiles to come up.  So I pulled up all the tile and started putting in the new stuff.  Then I hurt my back and tiling was off, I finally started feeling better this summer, but between work and swim team I didn't have time to finish.  Last week I finally got all the tile down and was able to put in a new working toilet!

You can see from this photo that the tile I choose in rectangular instead of square like most stick down tile I was familiar with.  If was pretty easy to work with, would have been easier if I had read and followed the directions to start against a wall and not in the middle of the room!

Once I finished the sink/closet area I moved in the toilet/shower area.  The area around the toilet is a bit of a hodge podge of tile, I was trying to conserve because you have to buy them by the box.

After getting in all the tile it was time for the toilet!  I've never installed a toilet before so I watched a lot of online videos before putting it in, it turned out to be pretty easy.  I wanted to install a dual flush, but after measuring I could only put in a round toilet and the round dual flush toilets were really expensive.  I decided on a inexpensive round toilet with the intention to install a dual flush later.  After using the toilet for a week I've decided that may not be necessary as the toilet uses very little water to begin with.

And here it is all installed!  I'm so happy with it. 
Other bathroom updates are the two gold curtains I added to the openings.  I love the way the gold looks with my grey bedroom. They previously were downstairs in my living room.  My mom found the tie backs at her house and let me have them.
I also had to move the cat box upstairs so I added a curtain to give them privacy.  This curtain almost matches the color on the other side of my bedroom which is nice.  Before hanging here it previously covered my laundry in my apartment and the bathroom before I moved the gold curtains.

Some day I would love to redo my bathroom completely- move walls to create a bigger shower, add another sink, put in real tile.  But until then I'm over the moon with my DIY bathroom makeover :)