2016 Recap

A lot has happened this past year…

Academics and some Life: I graduated with my bachelor’s in exercise science now I have the fun task of finding a job – one that is hopefully relevant to my recent studies but also one that pays well and ideally that I enjoy. School isn’t the only change happening, soon I’ll be moving and am dealing with the fun of apartment hunting as well! I also spent the last 6 months cat sitting two kitties – they have now returned to their mom and my own two have adjusted to it being just us again lol!

Back in August I was hit by an SUV while riding my bike, resulting in the injury of my knees (primarily the LF) and some continuous on/off pain. I have been in recovery since then, working to re-gain my health as well as any strength, speed, or agility etc. that I had lost as a result. Overall I am pleased with my fitness levels at the end of 2016 and am just as impressed with my fitness levels considering my injuries.

Fitness: total miles ran = 202.37, total miles biked = 1504.48

  • Jan 89.94 miles running, 15.46 miles biking (13 out of 31 days)
  • Feb 25.28 miles running, 37.08 miles biking (7 out of 29 days – happy leap year)
  • March 28.01 miles running (3 out of 31 days)
  • April 126.7 miles biking (10 out of 30 days)
  • May 6.74 miles running, 328.17 miles biking (20 out of 31 days)
  • June 246.89 miles biking (23 out of 30 days)
  • July 435.88 miles biking (31 out of 31 days)
  • Aug 233.6 miles biking (13 out of 31 days)
  • Sept 6.4 miles running, 42 miles biking (6 out of 30 days)
  • Oct 13.13 miles biking (3 out of 31 days)
  • Nov 31.8 miles running, 9.06 miles biking (7 out of 30 days)
  • Dec 20.6 miles running, 16.51 miles biking (6 out of 31 days)

Final fitness check in for the year: Weight: 145# BF: 29%

Measurements: final inch count = 208.5, which is a total loss of 5″ from the start of the year and only 2.5″ more than end of 2015.

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 36″
  • Biceps: 10″
  • Waist: 33″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Barbell Max Reps: I was able to regain and maintain baseline strength from before the accident

  • Bench Press: 95#
  • Bent Over Rows: 85#
  • Dead lift: 165#
  • Squat: 145# (a new PR! this was most surprising and amazing to hit since I had lost quite a bit of strength in this area)

Dumbbell Max Reps: likewise I was able to regain / maintain baseline strength from before the accident in these areas

  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machine Max Rep: same here as well

  • Leg Press: 270# (190.9# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 585# (413.595# at a 40° angle)
  • Leg Extension: 170#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 135#
  • Chest Press: 85#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 85#

Goals for 2017: 

  • Run first ultra marathon, starting with a 50k (31.06 miles)
  • Bike first century (100 miles)
  • Bike the Pittsburgh marathon course followed by running it
  • Finish another triathlon (this time completing the swimming portion)
  • Reach ideal race weight = bonus goal
  • In general; more trail bike rides and runs, mud runs
  • Bike the rails to trails PGH to DC tour (I’ve done DC to PGH)
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Suns Out, Guns Out

Summer time fitness check in:

It’s been a couple months since the spring semester has let out and since I’ve been back state side (more on my Taiwan trip to come, my bad for the delay!).

Here’s what I’ve been up to in my fitness game.

First up – Measurements:

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 36″
  • Biceps: 11.5″
  • Waist: 32″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Weight: 142.8# BF: 21%

Next up – 1RMs:

Barbells:

  • Bench Press: 100#
  • Bent Over Rows: 90#
  • Dead lift: 205# (new PR!)
  • Squat: 125#

Dumbbells:

  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 315# (222.705# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 585# (413.595# at a 40° angle – another new PR!)
  • Leg Extension: 175#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 145#
  • Hip Abduction: maxed out
  • Hip Adduction: maxed out
  • Chest Press: 100#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 100#
  • Seated Rows: 100#

Haven’t done much running at all this year; missed the PGH Marathon (ran every year since 2010) due to being out of the country (which is a pretty cool reason) but I’ve been biking everywhere and doing my best to keep up with the National Bike Challenge (May – Sept). I’ve also been hitting the gym for some lifting time about 2-3x a week, keeping it casual with alternating upper/lower body focus days plus some abdominal work.

https://i0.wp.com/i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/64753543/5/stock-photo-64753543-man-practising-weightlifting.jpg

Upper body focus days:

  • Bench press
  • Lat pull downs
  • Bent rows
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps extensions
  • Overhead press

Abdominals:

  • Incline crunches
  • Incline Russian twists with medicine ball
  • Oblique bends with plate

Lower body focus days:

  • Squats – barbell, on bosu ball, free weights
  • Deadlifts – barbell
  • Leg / Calf press – hip sled
  • Lunges – weighted with plates or dumbbells, walking

Abdominals: variations of above list

Biking:

Stats:
Challenge:
  • 969.2 miles in 46 days
Year to date:
  • 1,359.7 miles in 82 days

January – 13 out of 31 days, 106.1 miles total

February – 7 out of 29 days, 62.5 miles total

March – 3 out of 31 days, 29.2 miles total

April – 13 out of 30 days, 192.8 miles total

May – 20 out of 31 days, 440.6 miles total

June – 25 out of 30 days, 509.6 miles total

July – just started

Aside from commuting I’ve been hitting up some trails and going on group rides at least once a week. Including: Steel City Roll (first Mon of each month – next ride 07.04.16), 412 Flock (third Fri of each month – next ride 07.15.16), PGH undies ride (last Thur of each month – just went on one last night 06.30.16, next ride 07.28.16) and random rides with friends around Pittsburgh, the #LunchLoop (new) with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH (06.17.16, 07.14.16, and 08.23.16) as well as OpenStreetsPGH (last Sun of May, June, July – new route this month) again with with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH. For those in the Pittsburgh area feel free to come out and join me for these monthly group rides!

Frigid Bitch 2016

Way over due but here it is, deets on the Third Annual Frigid Bitch! Pittsburgh’s own alley cat bike race put together via our very own Pittsburgh Babes on Bikes leader, Anna Lena! This was my second time completing this race and it was colder and more frigid than last years with wind speeds of up to 25mph and roads covered in snow and ice.

 photo 6snowy bikes start_zpss6h7bk7p.jpg

This year was the real deal! We had 41 riders showed up this year. As per usual we rolled up at the House of Ragging Women; grabbed our cards, maps and manifestos and began plotting routes for completing the most checkpoints in the shortest amount of time.

spokecard and map

manifesto

Just before the 2pm start mark we gathered up to listen to the rules:

  • 6 regular checkpoints,
  • 2 unmanned bonus checkpoints,
  • and 1 secret checkpoint only known by the Ricketts Boys @ the double intersections of Stanton and McCandles

Regular checkpoints were opened til 4; racers had til 5pm to get back to the HoRW. Winners were determined by who hit up the most checkpoints and got back the fastest. Even if riding with teams, on the last stretch back it was every woman for themselves! After that we toss on our gear and rolled out to the start line at Bruce St.

On the mark, the whistle was blown and we were off! At the end of the street we start to see groups splitting off, some turning right and continuing down to Butler St. while others split left after that right turn.

Rundown of the Checkpoints:

FB 2016 map

Screenshot 2016-06-19 18.52.42

FB elevation chart w grades

First checkpoint up for my group: we rode up to Penn Ave., crossed it then rode down to Liberty Ave. connecting to S Aiken then to the bottom of Negley at Fifth Ave. After which we had to climb Negley to finish this first checkpoint, no one was happy about this climb! I ended up having to delayer some at this point – I was really prepared this year!

Next stop for us was one of the bonus spots: The Rubble of the Greenfield Bridge at the end of Pocusset. On the way there I totally hit some ice and slid a couple feet, luckily I was padded with clothing and my pannier caught most of the fall but I did have to reset my seat and my light holder busted. Missing the pic with me in it but here’s part of my group. Quick whiskey and vodka break 😛 then we headed out to the next point.

Next up: Joncaire @ Boundary St. where we had to start from the bottom then ride uphill on cobblestone to Iron City Bikes in Oakland in order to complete the checkpoint. I rode up about half the way before I had to pop off and walk the rest the way up.

 photo group_zps9m83ry3d.jpg

Next stop: The Dead End of Romeo in South Oakland. It took our group a min to find this as we rode past the turning street and had to circle back.

Quick pause for some water, booze, and faux dogs on da grill after that we had to carry our bikes down the long staircase to Bates St. Here our group merged with some others and crossed paths with another going the opposite direction.

 photo bikepgh_zpsws2kvodt.jpg

 photo intersection wide_zpsbyn2e0dd.jpg

 photo alyssa_zpsuj1aoqmf.jpg

We then rode down Bates and popped over to the trail to downtown onto Grant St. It’s on the trail to town that I start to fall a bit behind, my smaller tires were not quite able to push through the fresh snow as fast as the others and by the time I got to the corner of Grant where the GLCC is located I lost sight of my group and noticed time was dwindling down. With only maybe 20-30 minutes left to either get over to the N Shore and N Side and get 1 or 2 more checkpoints but risk being late or head back with less checkpoints but on time, I made the decision to head back. I turned down Penn and rode back to the HoRW.

Check points I didn’t get to:

The Abandoned Barge on the North Shore Trail (marked with pink XXXs)

The Intersections of Stanton and McCandless – where the location of the secret checkpoint was revealed at which turned out to be Espresso A Mano on Butler St.

Commonplace Coffee at Buena Vista and Jacksonia over in the N Side

The other unmanned bonus checkpoint The Submarine at the Carnegie Science Center off the 3RHT

I was very glad that I decided to head back, I ended up being one of the first few back even though I didn’t hit up as many checkpoints as I would have liked (last year was against a smaller group and with less checkpoints so I was able to hit them all up and make it back in time). I still had a blast and met a lot of cool new friends. This year was also great because I lived closer to the start line and so when I got back I was able to head home, shower and put on clean, dry, warm clothes then head back over for the winner announcements, prizes and after party (so I def won there).

The Swag:

  • multiple Chrome bags
  • multiple tool rolls
  • a certificate for a pair of DZR shoes
  • a Surly women’s wool jersey
  • Analog Forest’s Sparkle Pony jersey
  • jerseys and shorts/bibs from Bicycle Times, Dirt Rag, Aerotech
  • a 10 pack of spin classes from Steel Revolution
  • wind jackets
  • road shoes
  • a giant pile of comic books from Phantom of the Attic
  • lots of other goodies: locks, lights, computers, saddles, pumps, tires etc. from The Appalacian Bicycle Racing Association
  • lots of saddle bag and bells
  • a slew of handmade bikey candles from North Ave Candle company
  • Garbella garments and handmade pins
  • passes to the Wheel Mill
  • a pile of socks
  • a BikePGH membership in a bottle
  • $300 in gift certificates to Free Ride
  • winter gear
  • bike magazine subscriptions
  • many flasks
  • tons of toe clips and a helmet from Iron City Bikes
  • La Prima Espresso coffee
  • random fun stuff from the Mattress Factory
  • approx. a billion T Shirts and water bottles

Needless to say, regardless of where you placed, everyone went home with some swag!

My Swag:

Winners of this year’s Frigid Bitch:

Veteran Bitches:

This year was an absolute blast and I was so thrilled to see so many ladies that came out to race. Mad thanks to the volunteers who came out to support us with love, hand warmers, food and booze!

Additional footage:

CAB Taiwan 2016: the day b4 lift off

In about 10 hours I’ll be heading out to the PGH Airport where in an additional 2 hours I will board a plane and begin my adventure to Taiwan. I’m super excited and grateful for this opportunity not only to visit and experience another country and their culture but to do so with some really good friends of mine. This opportunity is brought to you (me) by Chatham University: study abroad program, special maymester edition. My group and I will be spending about 2 weeks in Taiwan!

Schedule:

April 28  4:15 AM: depart from Chatham chapel (shuttle bus to Pittsburgh International Airport); 5:15 AM: check in; 7 AM depart Pittsburgh airport (UA606 to San Francisco, UA871 to Taipei)

April 29 6:30 PM: arrive Taipei airport; ground transportation to Taipei Discover Hostel 台北發現青年旅舍 http://www.discoverhostel.com/#!copy-of-/c1694 Address: 5F., No.21, Sec. 2, Mincyuan E. Rd., Jhongshan Dist., Taipei City 10470 Taiwan Tel: +886 2 2598 0209

April 30, May 1, 2: activities in Taipei and northern Taiwan

May 3: morning in Taipei, afternoon travel to Taichung; some will stay at Tunghai Land Youth House 東海藍學宿 (http://www.hi-land.com.tw/), others at T-Life Hostel T-Life Hostel / 踢‧生活背包客棧 (http://tlifehostel.com/)

Tunghai Youth Land: No. 17, Lane 25, Xinxing Rd, Longjing District, Taichung City, 434 Phone: +886 972225217

T-LIfe: No. 10, Lane 27, Xinxing Rd, Longjing District, Taichung City, 434 Phone: +886 989610980 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/t.life.hostel

May 4-10: activities at Tunghai, in Taichung, and in central Taiwan, including project report symposium with Tunghai University students

May 11 4 AM:  depart hostel; 8:45 AM depart Taipei airport (UA8744 to Tokyo, UA882 to Chicago, UA285 to Pittsburgh, arriving 11:44 PM)

While there we will be traveling along the northern/western part of Taiwan from T’aipei to T’aichung.

Preparations:

Trying to travel light! I basically have 2 sets of everything with some extra under garments. 2 shorts, 2 pants, 2 tanks, 2 synthetic quick drying t’s + 1 Chatham shirt, 3 short-sleeved + 1 long-sleeved button ups, 2 sneakers + flip flops (I’ll be wearing the other pair obvi), 1 light-wt jacket, towel + wash cloth, and swim wear! Everything is basically fairly light weight material or quick drying since it’ll be super hot there and rainy. Also easier to wash.

Weather Forecast:

Essentials for my carry on! I will be using my Chatham book-bag = more room for snacks later! Reading material, electronics + chargers, writing utensils, inflatable pillow, my rain jacket, things to hold water (bottle + camelbak, which doubles as day pack), listening items and earplugs for night nights, sunglasses (will figure out how to effectively use ’em when there).

Everything fits = small and light! Probs can bring everything on board with me 😀

Since this trip is for college credit we will each be completing a project while there and also we will be assigned a day to blog about and you can follow that at: http://cabtaiwan2016.blogspot.com which will be in more real time than I will be able to blog here (I’ll prob just do that when I get back).

I think that’s it for now …

See you on the other side!

Summer Camping Trip 2012

First camping trip, since I move to Pittsburgh, ever! This was a few years ago so I’m not exactly sure how this trip came to be but it def kicked off our camping adventures. Our first trip took us to Ohiopyle State Park.

On the first day some of our group went white water rafting while the rest stayed behind to set up camp and prep dinner. Our sites were pretty modern with outlets for electricity and either right next to or across from the wash rooms. A couple of our campers also came fully prepared with all kinds of modern fixings.

The second day we went on a nice nature hike, explored all the trails and enjoyed all the scenery and eating lots of delicious foods.

Spring Camping Trip 2013

While this trip was in March and technically counts as a spring adventure, it felt more like a winter trip. This trip was inspired by a friend wanting to test out her new hammock gear and give those of us who love camping a chance to get outdoors. A 5 mile hike was also on the table. This was our first visit to Raccoon Creek State Park http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/raccooncreek/index.htm

Sleeping accommodations: only rustic campsites and year round cabins were available; we obvs are pros at rustic camping so tents and the one hammock.

Weather: Friday the high was 43°F with a 20% chance of snow and a low of 25; Saturday had a high of 40°F. Overnight = 34*F recorded in the nearest town, steady rain in the park (cold, wet but no snow)

plenty of blankets

Trip Report! courtesy of our trip host with some edits:

We arrived in time to setup a pavilion, locate the port-a-pottys, dump 50,000 blankets in the big tent, light twin stove burners that sounded like a space shuttle taking off and unload the massive quantities of food that we all associate with camping. All was accomplished before it got super dark and started to rain.

Meanwhile during this time we were slowly being surrounded by boyscouts! Also created night-time hilarity as the younger boys were rounded up by an adult who literally shouted at them, “IT’S TEN THIRTY! YOU NEED TO BE QUIET! THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO SLEEP!” Irony? Insert earplugs.

Morning brought some slightly chilly but dry and functional campers, the end of the rain, a new campfire and MORE FOOD. Bacon, potatoes, eggs, and apple pie for breakfast/brunch. Then some additional campfire time before packing up and heading out.

Total woods time: 18 hours.

Food = destroyed! Delicious sweet potato crack was made as requested. Spaghetti batch, large can of chili, apple pie, 2-3 lbs potatoes, a dozen eggs, uncounted s’mores ingredients, 5 hot chocolate packets, half gallon of apple cider, bread loaf and leftovers