Art Loeb, Brevard – the definition of strength

This week I am at camp and not just any camp, the type of camp that leaves you sore and blistered daily- whilst at the same time craving more challenges and laughs along the way!

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Day 1 – Guion Farms

This picture is of my team on a run at Guion Farms, Brevard, NC on Monday- even though we looked exhausted, the run had been a self esteem booster as we were the first girls back, all while staying together as a team! It gave us confidence for the jam packed week ahead.

Tuesday was mildly easier as we ran to the lake and went swimming (we had something to look forward too ūüėČ). All of us girls were able to pack together, finish, and splash together which is so important for a team!

Today however was the ultimate test of our team bond and our individual strength, as we prepared to run the hardest and most anticipated course of our weeks camp. We were up before the sun to get the bus to Art Loeb.

Individually I had attempted the course last year and did not make the half way cut off time – so you know, I was fired up with determination this year.

Art Loeb is one of the most difficult trails in NC and part of it consists of a 4 mile up hill and a ~3.7 steep downhill trail run – it has a total elevation of 6,000ft. The course itself is daunting and many people are not able to make the difficult course all the way up.

Starting as a pack my team was ready to ‘kill the hill(s)’ and was able to get out fast. Along the way one of our runners dropped off and one continued a few seconds ahead, my group of 3 stayed together. Closer to the half way point we were breathing hard and crying out from the pain in our legs and the voice inside our heads telling us to quit. For me it was like my muscles were screaming for me to stop and walk. As we quickly neared the cut off time we sprinted to the area and heard a voice with the words “congrats guys you made it”. It was an achievement all by itself and we were now able to shake off the time pressure on the trail. We still had one more uphill and then it was a fast downhill. Nearing to the end: 7.7 miles, we stayed together and caught up to the other teammate who was a few seconds ahead. She cried out when she saw us knowing that we too had made it.

In reflection, the mental state is as important (if not more) than the physical state of the body. To be able to push oneself when the rest of your body is telling you NO is the definition of strength.

It was a run I’ll never forget even when the blisters heal- I would not have done it without my team of strong girls!

O

 

 

Sunday morning Flapjacks

We don’t often find Flapjacks here in NC, so it’s always nice when my Mum makes them. They are lovely and sweet and kind of healthy with the oats thrown in. Thought I would share the recipe – very quick and easy.

  • 4oz light brown sugar
  • 6oz butter
  • 1 dessertspoon of golden syrup
  • 6oz gluten free quaker oats (the healthy part)

In a saucepan melt the sugar, butter and golden syrup together. Turn off the heat and stir in the oats. Pour the mixture into a 8inch square 1.5inch deep tin. ¬†Cook for 35 – 40 mins at gas 2 or¬†300¬įf in the middle of the oven until golden brown. Cool in tin for 10 mins then cut into squares.

Enjoy.

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Battle of the Blues

I spent a warm, sunny afternoon sitting track side at the William Morris Stadium at Duke watching the Battle of the Blues. I was sat next to Sydnei Murphy’s parents who must have been very proud when Sydnei set a new school record for Duke in the long jump.

Duke Track and Field were up against UNC and Michigan State. I especially enjoyed watching the women’s track events and was very happy when the women’s 400M took first place with a new school record of 52:91 – Go Duke!

Duke women took first place overall with 75 points, Michigan 2nd with 62 points and UNC with 59 points.  Duke men came in second place with 54 points, UNC with 45 points and Michigan men came in first with a mighty 101 points.

A fun afternoon.

xoxo

O

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Ahoy! I’m off to sea.

Late last summer I applied for a volunteer position for¬†the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. They were looking for volunteers to work on board the sailing boat ‘Silurian’, which sails from the Isle of Mull¬†off the Scottish coast to monitor the whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Outer Hebrides.

Fast forward to October and  I was nominated through a teacher at school for the Governors School program. I knew this was a great opportunity and privilege but spent the remaining part of my day at school thinking about how I would work in my cross country running over the summer and building our team if I was away at Governors School for 5 -6 weeks of the summer, plus I was still holding out to hear from the Hebridean Trust.

When I got home from school that evening I was extremely excited to receive an acceptance email into the teen volunteer program and immediately knew I wanted to have the opportunity to volunteer in the area of marine biology over Governors School.

I will be heading to the Isle of Mull in July. During our 8 days at sea we will conduct monitoring via visual sightings and acoustic surveillance around the Hebridean Islands. As a volunteer I will be living and working onboard the sailing boat for the duration of the volunteer period. With a team of 8-10 other high school students and 2 members of the Whale and Dolphin Trust we will work, cook, clean and monitor the ocean – I am looking forward to the whole experience. This will be my first time at sea!

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The Sailing boat Silurian.

One of my main concerns when I applied for the opportunity was ‘what would I eat’! I emailed the coordinator and explained that I had Celiac Disease and they were very helpful and knowledgable about my situation. ¬†They will be able to provide the sailing boat with non gluten food items, and I will be careful during the week when we are in the galley cooking and eating together. I am looking forward to seeing what gluten free goodies the UK has to offer.

I am so looking forward to this once in a lifetime opportunity!

I will be able to share my story in August with you.

xoxo

O

 

 

Park Run – J’s 50th

It was a very cold morning for a park run. Those of us that turned out to run were well wrapped up and in high spirits. ¬†We all ran a slow pace in the very cold air. ¬†Congratulations to J who ran his 50th park run and his first with his baby daughter. ¬†I am hoping to run my 10th park run in the next couple of weeks and of course will be excited to receive my ’10 runs’ t.shirt.

January Favorites!

Tea and biscuits anyone?

My Mum came home with these very moreish biscuits the other day. My favorites are the Vanilla sandwich cremes as they come in individually wrapped two packs – perfect for my lunch box. We purchased them in our local Harris Teeter, retailing around $3.50 a pack. They are so good that I am needing to ration myself as the other week I went through 4 packets.img_1021