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Posts Tagged ‘rachel carson challenge’

So I’ve been very bad at keeping up to date with my blogging lately.  As a result of which, I’ve decided to give you half a dozen little snapshots into the different pieces of my life that normally blog about:

  • PostAWeek: At the beginning of the year, I took the WordPress PostAWeek challenge, pledging to post an update at least once a week…  Judging by the MONTH it’s been since my last post, I failed, but I’m coming at it with renewed vigor.  At least for the next week or two.
  • Search and Rescue: We did several really cool search and rescue trainings in the past month or two, but the biggest thing coming down the pipe is our adventure race.  In searching for something that could be large, annual and consistently profitable fundraiser, my team, the Mountaineer Area Rescue Group has decided to hold a 12 hour adventure race in Preston County, WV.  If you’re interested in having your butt kicked by an adventure race, check out 2011 Backwoods Bootcamp.
  • Annoying Things: Lots of things annoy me.  Annoying things tend to in fact be one of my favorite topics to blog about.  I’ve been told that my rants typically involve things that really are truly annoying to a lot of people, but are things that they tend to not necessarily realize just how annoying they are until I point it out…  Does that make ME annoying for pointing out those annoying things?
  • Rachel Carson Challenge: I’m still in “training” for the 34 mile Rachel Carson Challenge.  I got my REI dividend this week, and it’s a pretty decent chunk, so I’ll be picking up a new pair of boots before this weekend in hopes of breaking them in.
  • Life: Life is good, and above all, life is interesting.  I’m very near a certain and concise answer to what I’m doing after graduation.  That’s one of those things that I’ll undoubtedly be writing about later.
Finally… Amusing note that those of you who are my facebook friends will already know…  I went to Barnes & Noble today (no surprise there, it’s one of my favorite stores) and I was horrified to find an entire bookcase dedicated to “Teen Paranormal Romance.”
Imagine my horror when I took two steps and saw immediately next to it, a SECOND book case labeled “NEW Teen Paranormal Romance.”
What is this world coming to?

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Alright folks, so here’s the deal.  Registration for the Rachel Carson Challenge opens today, in a little under a half hour, at noon.  Fortunately for some, possibly unfortunately for me, they are doing registration in staggered stages this year.  This means that while there are 600 spots in the full 34 mile challenge, only 200 will be available today.  If I don’t make it in today, another 100 will open up each month.  This is supposed to make it more fair for newcomers who aren’t ready to make a commitment in the beginning of February.  I won’t comment on the contradictory fact that the registration fee rises $5 every month.  I won’t comment on the fact that this plan to help new competitors will net the Rachel Carson Conservancy an extra $5,000 versus just charging one flat registration fee because it is a non-profit and this really is a very cool race.

So, with that being said. I HOPE to register for the challenge today.  Wish me luck!

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As promised, my “much-awaited” return to blogging comes on the dawn of a new year.  And following along with a cliched New Years theme, I’m going to talk resolutions.

Long story short: I HATE new years resolutions.  They tend to be easily forgotten, and rarely do they follow the SMART system of setting goals and objectives.  A good goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.  My goal for this year (really the next six months) is all that and more.

For the past 14 years on the Saturday closest to the Summer solstice, hikers and trail runners have attempted to conquer a Pittsburgh area trail known as the Rachel Carson Trail.  The Rachel Carson Trail is a 34 mile path through the suburbs of Pittsburgh, less a bonafide trail, moreso a hodge podge of established hiking trails, utility right-of-ways, roads, and more.  The Challenge, as the event is called, offers people the opportunity to try and conquer the entire distance of the trail in one day, from sun up to sun down on the longest day of the year.

The thing is that it’s called the Rachel Carson Challenge, rather than a trail run or ultramarathon for very specific reasons.  On the challenge, you are not competing against other participants (although some certainly run the entire trail) you are instead competing against the trail.  Can you make it?

My mother and I tried the challenge in 2005 on a whim.  I was fifteen.  While I had the invincibility of a teenager, I did not have the complete and utter balls to the wall spirit that I have now.  I went 15 miles before whimping out.  Such will NOT be the case this year.

So why would I, a slightly overweight college student choose this as my goal?  Because it’s SMART.  It is both specific and measurable, I need to work my way to the point of being able to finish this event, an event with a specific distance and time goal on a specific date.  Is it achievable and realistic?  Certainly.  While physical fitness is a huge part of this event, willpower is just as important, and I WANT to do this.  Finally, it is timely, with approximately 6 months to get myself ready, it will be not too much, not too little.

How does one stay accountable to goals?  You make it public.  How many times have you told yourself “I’m going to do this today…” and never did?  It’s because you didn’t have a support network to keep you honest.  The WORLD is now my support network.  As such, I’m going to make regular updates as I get ready.  Knowing that there are dozens, yes, DOZENS of people sitting at their computers wondering “how is this kid going to do it” will be a huge motivator for me, no joke.  This fits in nicely with the WordPress “Post-a-Week 2011 Challenge.”  I’m going to start blogging again on a more regular basis, with my goal being once a week.  Some posts will be about my preparation for the challenge, others will be more along the lines of what you’re used to if you’ve read my blog.

With that being said, I’m done.  I look forward to having blogging back as a way to express myself, and hopefully you enjoy reading it.

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