Friday, January 30, 2009


so, the other day (wednesday, the day that i had no motivation to do anything), while I was out riding, something happened that kills me every time.

Now, I am (by no means) the world's fastest cyclist. (any irony that it is a recumbent? the ultimate aero?) but, i would also like to think that I am not the world's slowest cyclist, either. I like to think I can hold my own... So, on a day where I have having a hard time finding motivation to do anything, I finally got out for my 1.5 hour ride. I decided I would head up to the university, around marine drive, and back home. riding up king ed, just before granville street, is enough of a hill to reach a RPE of 7-8, at least. so, I am heading along, and all of a sudden, i hear:
"on your left, on your left."

this caught me as a bit of a surprise, especially when the person passing me was on a commuter-mobile, panier bag carrying, fender porting, lights flashing, weird sticker rocking, 26" wheeling mtn bike. i thought, "damn, he is moooving. or, i am going way slower than I think I am." but, alas. i was mistaken. not only did he have all those accessories on his bike, but was also rolling along with this.

now, I used to sell these at bikes on the drive. i used to tell people, "it is not an electric bike. it is an electric assist. for people who want to ride |-------------------------| far, but only feel like they can ride |---| far." fully knowing that only nutters buy things like this. but, none the less, there it was. and it was moving. i wonder if it would be race legal.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

what i think about when i race...

last week, somebody asked me what i think about when i race. sometimes, i think about that question when i train. today, while swimming, i thought that 25 random facts are not enough. so, *here* Are some more :)

  • my favourite movie of all time is amelie. and, not just cause she has the same name as me, but that is a bonus.
  • i ate fish food when i was a kid. i swear i was forced.
  • i forced a friend of mine to eat a grasshopper in grade 7.
  • i have been beaten by birch branches by a old, naked russian.
  • i believe in god.
  • i have an older brother, who i wish i saw more.
  • i have a piece of titanium in my wrist.
  • i have traveled to more states (about 35?) than most americans have.
  • i have spooned in cat suits, in the back of a 2003 matrix, with 4 other people. yup, we all fit.
  • i live in a basement suite, with bars on the windows.
  • i once had a roommate with a very famous dad.

okay. that is it for today. keep watch for other postings of random facts :)

25 random facts about amelia payne...

So, I have recently found these two "tag your friends" things on Facebook. I, on the occasion, like things like this. so, here we go...

#1: IPod my life...

1. Put your music on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. Write it down, even if it sounds silly.
4. Tag friends who might enjoy doing the memo as well as the person you got the memo from.

(my favourites are in bold)

If someone says, "Is this okay?" you say...
Pull me down

What would best describe your personality?
Sweet Illumination (ain't that sweet!?!)

What do you like in a guy/girl?
With my own two hands

How do you feel today?
Prelude for piano No 4.

What is your life's purpose?
Over and out

What is your motto?
Rising Sun

What do your friends think of you?
Good Riddance (Time of your life)

What do you think about very often?
Around this corner

What is 2+2?

What do you think of your best friend(s)?
Never gonna find me!

What do you think of the person you like?
Past Lives

What is your life story?
Track 08

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What do you think when you see the person you like?
Two Shoes

What do your parents think of you?
Rhyme & Reason (i think, that in some of my decisions they may wonder, but surely there must be...)

What will you dance to at your wedding?

What will they play at your funeral?
Running for home (hopefully, we all are running that way)

What is your hobby/interest?

What is your biggest secret?
FIll this place

What do you think of your friends?
I'm Yours

What's the worst thing that could happen?
Nothing Better

How will you die?
I've got to see you again...

What is the one thing you regret?
Americana (oh, the irony)

What makes you laugh?

What makes you cry?
Angels of the Silences

Will you ever get married?
One/Unchained Melody

What scares you the most?
Young Pilgrims (or, right wing conservative evangelical christians?!)

Does anyone like you?
Cocaine Blues

If you could go back in time, what would you change?
Who do you tell it to

What hurts right now?
Trouble (trouble always hurts...)

What will you post this as?

#2 25 random facts about myself (i am putting up anything that comes up in my head!)

1) I have a bunion on my left foot. I hate it.
2) i would rather not ever ride a mechanical bull again. since i almost broke my left leg the first time i did it.
3) I have broken 4 bones in my body. One of those bones was broken twice, at different times, and at different ends.
4) if i could afford, i would rent/buy a house that would always have an extra room for people who wanted to couchsurf.
5)i have a caffine habit. and, i'm not really ashamed of it anymore.
6)i hate plucking my eyebrows, but i do it anyway.
7) i have a hard time letting go of close relationships which are now closed.
8) i bought a pair of new shoes today. i wished i could have spent 80$ on them. but, instead i spent 130$ on them, just cause they felt amazing!
9) i hold resentment towards United Airlines for charging 175$ each way to transport a bicycle.
10) when i was a kid, i used to stick my finger in the butter and then eat it.
11) i truely believe that the way it should happen is that the guy should pursue the girl. but, in reality, I have a hard time letting that be put into practise.
12) I own a single rowing shell. Now, it is mostly because I am holding onto it for sentimental value.
13) i prefer almond butter over peanut butter.
14) i love musicals. RENT is my favourite.
15) i think a strong back is the sexy-ist part of someone.
16) i like ice cream and french fries.
17) my first "Real concert" was Green Day, Dookie. I dyed my hair an awful shade of green, with koolaide
18) I have been caught singing while standing on the edge of a mountain, when I didn't think anyone was around, in both Cameroon, and Canada.
19) the best sushi I have ever had in my life was in New York City.
20) I used to own a snake named wriggley, a hedgehog (or 3) named [humm! i have forgotten the name(s)], a dalmation named pepper, a cat name zephyr, a cat named misty, a kitten named trouble, a westie named ruffy, a westie named amy, a rottie named freedom, and a husky/lab named mike. i think i loved mike the most. I cried like a baby when he died while i was in africa.
21) i wish i could experience what it is like to be a swinger of birches.
22) i have dyed my hair every colour you can imagine. including once, a colour that could be described as "tropical sunset"
23) i have pierced my ears, eyebrow, nose, and lower middle lip. the one that has lasted the longest is my nose ring (going on 4.5 years), and my intermittent earings.
24) I have 3 tattoos. a sun on my left shoulderblade. a ring of fish around my right calf. africa in between my shoulder blades. each of them have a somewhat spiritual meaning. if i were to get another, it would probably be a tree. sometimes I am scared that I will regret my tat's when I am older. but, I have never regretted them once, since getting them. I love tattoos.
25) I think meeting people online is a perfectly ligitimate way too meet close friends, 'cause many of my close friends are people I have met online. but, i'm not so sure if I am okay with meeting people online to date them. that kinda wierds me out a bit.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Momentum Magazine

so, apparently I was featured in Momentum Magazine's article on the November Bike to Work Week. I stopped at a commuter station to get some free food/coffee/goodness. And, I had the guy adjust my brakes. they took a picture, and here I am :) ha! my friends told me about it this morning, while out for breakfast. I thought it was quite hilarious!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

please forgive me...

i grew up on the prairies. that means that I have had plenty of cold winters. but, alas. I have not lived on the prairies permanently since I was about 15-16. meaning, that maybe my skin has gotten thin. so, if you live in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ontario, or Halifax... Minnesota, New England, new york city, or colorado. in fact... anywhere east of the rockies right now.

forgive me. forgive me for what I am about to say... because I truely believe I am a west coaster now.

but... it is cold... it is cold, even when I where my cycling booties and I can't feel my toes. it is cold when i have boogers consistantly in my nose, and streaming down my face. It is cold when ponds in vancouver are frozen. and, it is cold when there is a consistant fog that never rises. and, i don't like it when I cannot feel my toes while riding my bike. that is all.

today on my 30min run/60min ride/30min swim workout, i stopped between the ride and the swim to eat a cinnamon bun. I wonder if that would be allowed on the race. a friend of mine told me "sure, as long as it fits into a jersey pocket." ;) today, i learnt that I need to learn about nurtition for the longer workouts/races. 'cause I have no idea about it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

nothing wakes you up, like...

a sprint down the road :)

So, this morning, like every thursday morning, I was to be at work at 6am. To train a client of mine (ha! i just thought about google searching his name, to see if I could come up with a link. then i quickly [thankfully] remembered how un-ethical that is!) that I have worked with for more than a year. I have been late for him once in my life, in the more than 60 times I have worked with him at 6am. anyhow. I did something today that i *rarely* (if ever!) do. My alarm went off at 4:45, and I promptly shut it off, and did not sit up. that is t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

next thing I know, i open my eyes, look at my alarm, and it is 5:36. my "last chance bus" comes at 5:44 (to get me to work at about five to ten after: not too late) and I live 4ish blocks from the bus stop. thanks to my cat-like reflexes, I jump up, rip out of bed, throw some clothes on, my laptop and notebook into my bag praying that it is everything i need for the day. fly by the bathroom and grab my toothbrush/paste, open the freezer to find a frozen burrito, and run out the door. check to make sure my shoes are on. yup, there they are... i made it to the bus stop by 4:42. ridiculous. get off the bus, and run the 6 blocks down the hill to the studio. Achim is waiting there, ready to go, and ever so gracious.

but me: no coffee. no breakfast. not even enough time to pee. dang. i hate it when that happens. but thanks to our organic delivery at work, I could eat a few pieces of fruit, and a lovely co-worker who got me a cuppa and a muffin, I was okay to go.

my body was surprizingly sore today for some reason. a simple bout of hatha yoga yesterday? hummmm... strange. it seemed so strange. but, it feels good to feel a little sore. i feel like i am working... tonight, that lovely co-worker is going to have some fun with me at the gym and give me a little training session. yay!!! and, then: REST DAY! phew. i am excited for it!!! i actually don't have to be anywhere until my "Medical anthropology" class at 1pm. what a fricken' novel idea.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

March 3rd

so, i set the date for the Thesis defense. Tuesday March 3rd.

7 Weeks and counting. i can see a light at the end of this tunnel! woowoo!!!! :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

12 weeks...

in 12 weeks, i will be done... (at least for a while) hopefully. knowingly. willingly. and, I am excited.

tomorrow starts "Base 2" of my 20-week workout plan. I got it off beginner and, I am sure that 10 million other people have used this plan as well. I hope it works. I was lucky this week, because upon my return from florida (where I was a slug on the beach for 10 days), it was a scheduled "Rest week." I instead used it as a "get my body moving" week. It was, therefore, successful. I am excited to give myself i little vamp-up on the workouts. I have also added in a scheduled weekly yoga class that I can fit in, and a weekly strength and conditioning work-out with one of my co-workers, who has agreed to train me :) woo! it will be fun to get a external motivation every week from someone else, while working out. and, as Mary Eggers once said (and, i completely agree) "strong muscles are healthy muscles."

This semester, I was going to take French, and Medical Anthropology. I was in French for a week, and then decided that my priority is not to re-learn french. My priority, for this semester is to defend and pass my thesis, and train for new orleans. two major goals for the next few weeks. So, I have dropped the class. much to my shagrin, and a little bit of a dismay. cause i love french. and, i want to relearn it. but, apparently, it won't work.

oh, and talking about dismay... the snow is still here. At least close to my house. I fell on my bike today (oh yes! i have been able to ride my beloved. even though the snow is still around to some degree, the main streets are okay. what a relief. i have loved being back on my bike). but, do not dismay. i fell while travelling the approximate speed of a snail. I approached some reminant snow the wrong way, and then proceeded to not unclip quick enough as I fell sideways into a big, somewhat soft snowbank. I laughed so hard.

Yesterday, I hosted some couchsurfers. I feel a little bad that Erika, my wonderful roommate, is not as prone as I am to letting people that we have never met, sleep on our futon. However, i love being able to bring people/travellers into the house. "Do not forget to entertain strangers. For by so doing, some have unwittenly entertained angels." I also had a small gathering last night. It included blini. and a bit of wine/beer. and cranium. and good music, courtesy of Sam C. and, of course, good friends, courtesy of life. in addition, today, I met another Aussie from Perth. also courtesy of couchsurfing. He has just relocated from Perth, with no job, no place to live, and knows no one. and, apparently he loves it. which is fantastic. I hope that we can continue to be friends. :)

and finally. i recently watched Slumdog Millionaire. It was beautiful and funny and serious. do yourself a favour, and go and watch it. and, lastly (for almost real) African Drumming starts again tomorrow. I am sooooo excited! woooooo!

so, it has been a good week. a busy week. but, i think i am in high anticipation of this next 4 months. and, you know. I was a little challenged with myself that i have not made super concrete "new years resolutions" like i did last year. I think it is because beyond April, i have no idea what is going to be happening in my life. but, it does not mean that I have no goals right now. they are just a little more abstract ;)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

apparently, i live in canada...

so, in anticipation of my return to Vancouver, i was ridiculously excited to get on my bike, run on the seawall, get back to my regular exercise routine. The month of december was a little ridiculous in some aspects. mostly food. i felt like i went backwards from all the gains i made in nutrition in the fall. and, my holiday in Florida lead to a lot of lying on the beach, and walking around bare feet, and not doing much working out. and, im not beating myself up about it, but i was ready to get back to normal eating and training.

upon my return to vancouver, i realized that "normal" is not going to be quite normal. far be it for me to be pessimistic about snow, 'cause i love snow, i am quite dismayed about the amount of it currently in Vancouver. I am not sure it has stopped snowing since I left, back on the 20th. we are talking, like, 2 feet of snow lying on peoples front yard. the streets? well, the side roads have grooves where a few brave cars can get through, and have snowdrifts covering other cars. the main streets? well, barely enough space for the traffic, needless to say a bike. sidewalks? well, mostly ice or slush. rarely shoveled. virtually impossible to run on.

*SIGH* honestly now. i love the snow, but when it interferes with my activities of daily living? now, that is another story. i mean, comon now. i am supposed to be racing in new orleans in a mear 3 months (eeep!!!!). and, literally. i don't really know what to do. cause too much running on a treadmills sucks. the only thing worst is sitting on one of those stupid upright bikes, with couches for seats.

so, my holidays. here is the lowdown.
  • took approximently 48hrs, one bus ride, one night in SEATAC airport sleeping on the floor, one delayed flight that made me miss my next one, one unexpected sleepover at my best friend's place in Washington DC, and one missing bag to get from Vancouver-Atlanta.
  • borrowed clothes from my good friend, and ex-wvu rowing teammate who lives in atlanta, donna, for my holiday. had to find a tent (aka, a tent as big as a house!) to replace the one that was in my bag. was thankful for zach mauss' food cooler, camping stove, and hammock for the trip.
  • got re-aquainted with my friend ANya (who i know from russia in 2003!), and her friend Phil (that she knows from working in ohio for two summers!)
  • drove to Florida Everglades. spent two nights, a morning canoe trip, a thai food christmas eve dinner, and general chillaxing with K-shon at NCOBS Everglades base on sunset island.
  • drove to Key largo. 3 nights tenting. 5 dives. one advanced diving certification. 2 very sea-sick friends. good coffee, nice sunsets. crazy bird lady, attack squirrels, and stinging man-o-wars.
  • drove to key west. beautiful beach. long walk in the sun. southernmost point. sunset. fish dinner. key lime pie.
  • slept over night on side of road. attacked by a spikey catepillar in middle of night. moved from grass, to the rocks.
  • back to key largo for one last night. really thankful for a shower.
  • up to miami. south beach, bad traffic, seeing "miami ink" studio. memories of rowing in indian creek. went to virginia key, and the amazing "Jimbo's" a place, where they sell cans of beer, and smoked fish. other than that, it is the most run-down, off the beaten trail, random concoction of building that i have seen in a long time. lots of cats as well. drove to spend the night at a co-worker's of mine's uncles place. Then back up to atlanta.
  • last day in atlanta included lots of blini (a russian crepe). and, donna.
so, now, a few photos!
key west. mile zero of US highway one.

Diving off key largo!!!! after my first dive :)

That is me. and, that is my street in Key west.

don't be caught off guard!

Beautiful Anya Chistyakova


the amazing Kevin Shon. he is a breath of fresh air to hang out with

christmas eve goofiness!

key west tourists.
last night before heading back up to atlanta. me, anya, brian (from vancouver!)

gotta climb random structures!

key lime pies, and alcoholic coffee drinks. anya was convinced i was going to make her a fat alcoholic. who me?! never.

trees in key west.

beautiful key west. i would like to note that this is the first time that i have worn a bikini. it took quite a step for me ;) and, that step was not having my backback, which had my swimsuit in it.

more warnings of attack animals in the florida keys.

russian dinner #1: borscht

candlelight in the keys!