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  • Extreme Kellie Update

    Extreme Kellie: Roller Derby Girls!

     

    These are the toughest girls I've ever met... but they're also a ton a fun! 

    I got to hang out with the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls as part of my "Extreme Kellie" series.  I put a message out on Facebook asking for ideas, and a TON of you requested I do this... I thought I was going to break my leg (or my face!) but I survived... and I had a great time!

    There are two roller derby teams here in Denver: The Rocky Mountain Roller Girls and Denver Roller Dolls.  Both are extremely talented... both kick some serious tail and have placed nationally, year after year.  Let me tell you, it takes experience, strength, guts, and attitude to pull this off and I'm so glad they let me into their inner circle, even if for only a few hours.

    The Roller Girls practice out near the Coliseum in a warehouse, on a big track.  They practice on a flat, plastic surface... and let me tell you, it's extremely hard when you fall on it, it doesn't matter how many pads you're wearing!

    They tried to teach me the moves... how to get the jammer to the front of the pack (without getting all bruised up!)  Trying to play both offense and defense.. and trying to just stay up on eight wheels... it was ridiculous!  I have a whole new respect for these girls.  

    I still think the best part was getting my new Roller Girl name!  You'll have to watch on Thursday night at 7pm to find out what it is!

    If you want to meet the players yourself, check out their bios on their website, or get to their next bout on Saturday, December 5th against Detroit Derby Girls

  • Weekend Warrior Report-Ironman Arizona

    Ironman Arizona-Pre Race and the Swim

    I'm a big proponent of a good night's sleep the night before the Ironman.

    I am not a big proponent of lying in a pool of my own sweat, nose running, unable to sleep for two hours.

    After swimming in Tempe Town Lake Thursday and Friday I'd noticed some nasal congestion, but mostly when I got up. It was serious enough that I was considering skipping the Saturday swim. But the need to get that open water feel and also weather the cold one more time trumped worries about the bacteria in the lake.

    Unable to sleep, sweating, nose plugged I would have liked to had that decision back.

    I did get about three hours of solid sleep.

    I was up by 4:45 am. I ran for ten minutes with Steve Surprise, ate breakfast- two bananas and some coffee, plus a few handfuls of Fruit Loops, then Steve and I took the shuttle from the hotel to the race. It was dark and a lot colder than when I did the race in April.

    Steve and I stayed together for a while, then he went his way and I went to the bathroom. This gave me a chance to catch up on some decent music, read a few tweets, and an article about Apple bringing flash to the iPhone, get body marked. Then it was back to the bathroom, with time to drink a Red Bull, down a Gu, and get my wetsuit on.

    Being on the small side it's easy for me to worm my way through a crowd, squeeze under railings, and get to the water. But when I got to the canal wall, my desire to get in the water was minimal. They were encouraging us to do just that, jump in, get it over with, as we'd have to do it anyway. But I knew every minute in the water would only make the swim harder.

    Finally, I jumped in around 6:50, and started swimming to the start. The water was every bit as cold as I'd remembered and my hands and feet immediately started to suffer. I tried getting up on the wall of the canal but that didn't help.

    Eric had told us to get to the middle if possible, but I couldn't. I was on the outside with no way in because we were all treading water and even out near the wall, just a few rows back from the buoy, I was having trouble finding somewhere to tread water where no one would kick me.

    I don't get it. Why do people in the water think it's okay to kick you. Sure, everyone is trying to do the same thing, but I wasn't kicking anyone...

    That's just how it is. Finally, the mayor of Tempe gave a few inspirational words- the guy is part comedian, part motivational speaker. Then we had the national anthem.

    Then the cannon went off.

    All the people still standing on the wall jumped in and we all started swimming.

    At first, it was not bad. I was finding water with my numbing hands and feet. For the the first three minutes I was swimming mostly head down, not having too much trouble.

    Then it got to be too tight, too close. I was unable to keep my head down without risking being constantly kicked. As soon as I get my head up like that, my breathing goes south and I start hyperventilating, which makes it impossible for me to get my head down, which...

    Eric Hodska, my coach, had said if you were having trouble to just go stand on the wall.

    This saved my race. I swam over to the wall. I climbed up on it, adjusted my googles and walked a little bit. Hey, it's a race. Keep moving forward, right ?

    About fifteen seconds later, I jumped back in. I had clear water. I started to swim and had no problems until the turn-around.

    Meanwhile, my feet were getting really numb. My calves were twinging because my achilles tendons were completely contracted. I was worried. I worked my ankles and toes as much as possible but I knew my calves were in danger of massive cramps..

    Because of the shape of the course and the fact that I was on the outside of the pack, some buoys were close and some were far away. I kept trying to work inside but the same two or three guys kept getting in my way or hitting me every time I tried to make a move.

    The swim out to the far buoy in a one loop swim is forever.

    Finally, I got there. People were cheering when they hit the turn around. This really pissed me off. Stop cheering and keep swimming. The people who swim at my ability in the Ironman seem to always slow down and gather themselves at the buoy, which makes this the most dangerous part of the course and also pisses me off. Why can't they just keep swimming. The increased congestion leads to a lot of unnecessary contact and-

    Sure enough, I got knocked around and my right calf cramped. It exploded in pain. I kept swimming. What else could I do.

    It was a terrible cramp, lasting about three minutes. Then finally it eased. An unbelievable sense of calm like I have never felt in an ironman swim came over me when the cramp eased. I have literally never been so at ease during a swim.

    Then the calf cramped again.

    I also felt a series of twinges in the left calf. I fought to stay clear of anyone and it passed.

    The swim back was a confusing mix. I was just yards away from some buoys, I was at fifty yards away from others. There were people everywhere, although I seemed to be keeping pace with a group.

    We finally went under the bridges and then around the last buoy.

    The swim in from the last buoy was epic- long, difficult, confusing. I seemed to be on everyone's right.

    Then suddenly I was on the stairs, hauling myself out. I could not walk, I could only limp. I had to take my wetsuit off standing up. The volunteers didn't like this but if I'd laid down and they'd pulled on the leg of my wetsuit the calf would have erupted.

    I stumbled on wet feet to the bike to run bags. No one could find mine so I did it myself, then I changed outside the tent where it was light and I could see what I was doing. I slipped my cycling jersey (the pockets loaded with food and electrolytes) on, put on my helmet and sunglasses but forgot my gloves.

    I was angry and upset and wasn't sure if I wanted to scream or cry. Another 1:20 + swim. Frozen feet. A seriously injured leg. I'd been here before.

    I found the will to run to my bike, then run out of transition with it. While people started trying to mount their bikes standing still, on an uphill, an inch over the mount line, I ran. And ran. More than 100 yards, out onto the street. Then I mounted near the turn and started pedaling. Neither foot was clipped in but I didn't care.

    I was on my way.

    Behind where I needed to be. Sore. Cold.

    And my nose was running...

    None of that mattered now. Now I could ride.

    This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Alan MacDougal http://rochpunk.blogspot.com/
    Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/cyberdyne
  • Weekend Warrior Report

    How cold is too cold, or Tempe Town Lake equals Brrr....

    I look back now on my last ride in Connecticut, a three hour misery-fest in 50 degrees and rain and suddenly, it seems like great training for the Ironman Arizona...

    ...swim.

    Yes, that's right. With the water now officially at 63- and I'm betting on 62 on race day, there's no question the water is cold. And it's not a cold, but just a little for the first five minutes. It's just plain clod. And that's something as an athlete that you have to be willing to deal with on race day.

    The water is not going to magically get warmer. Your hands and feet are going to get cold. Two swim caps might be a good idea. But you can't get in and try to take it easy either. It's not like a training ride on the bike where it's cold so you keep the pace mellow. You have to go as hard as you can and keep your head down.

    That's the one thing I'm really going to have to work on- keeping my head down. With the cold, my calves will want to cramp, but with the muscles tight, lifting my head up and arching my back is the best way to make that happen. No, it's all about keeping my head down, staying focused on moving buoy to buoy and not letting the fact that the water is cold and murky make me unhappy.

    It's not the swim I'd like to have.

    But it is the swim I'm going to have. So I'll take it, and like every Ironman one of the happiest moments will be when I get out of the water and the swim is over...

    This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Alan MacDougal http://rochpunk.blogspot.com/
    Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/cyberdyne
  • Weekend Warrior Report

    Arizona in November

    At 7 AM this morning, two days before race day, the temperature is 48 degrees.

    By any standard, this is cold for the start of the race. Add that the temperature of the water is only 64 degrees and you start to wonder what your thinking was that you were going to be racing in the heat.

    I don't like cold water. I did Muskoka one year- June in Ontario. The stated water temperature was 54 degrees and this was, if canadians are capable of such things, a lie. I was disoriented when I exited the water.

    This is nowhere near that bad, but swimming without a wetsuit yesterday, I wasn't too happy.

    Of course, the truth is there will be 'heat', which is to say that it will get up into the mid-to-upper seventies during the bike and the run. And with the stronger sun here, it will get hot. I certainly was sweating in the middle of the day while I was standing around waiting for my bike, which TriBike Transport did a great job getting here.

    Overall the village was very well organized and if everyone had not wanted to check in at the athlete registration at 10AM yesterday, which is no fault of the venue, things would have been perfect.

    But the four hours I spent at the village waiting for one thing or another did make it clear- it will be hot. Just not in the water or at the beginning of the bike...

    PS- the race does not climb that hill. It's just a cool hill. Maybe I'd place better if we did climb it

    This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Alan MacDougal http://rochpunk.blogspot.com/
    Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/cyberdyne
  • Extreme Kellie: Rock Climbing

    It's 50 feet up, but it feels like 500 feet!!!

    I went rock climbing outdoors for the first time and let me tell you... no part of it was easy!  From hiking up a tough trail in Golden...

    To picking the perfect day....

    And finding the perfect rock wall to climb...

    I was scared to pull my entire body weight straight up the side of this huge rock and try to make it to the top! 

    Denver Adventures has certified guides who essentially walk you through the whole experience in a safe way.  We had a blast talking about the sport and working with each other on the climb. 

    They provided all the gear and hooked me up to the lines that are attached to anchors already set in the rock.  One step at a time, I tried to use the "80/20 rule"... use 80% legs and 20% arms to pull myself up. 

    Remember, my photographer has to follow me (with ALL that heavy gear!) to get the great shots.  It was tough for Peter, too!

    I made it all the way to the top!  What an adrenaline rush and an accomplishment to stand that high up and look down from where I started.  All the people and trees and cars seemed like ants from way up there!  If you've ever had the inclination to do this... I highly recommend it and I'd do it all over again. 

    I may see you out there!

    Watch our full story in the coming weeks on The Deuce at 7pm!  

  • Extreme Kellie: Parkour!

    Have you ever seen those guys jumping off of buildings and swinging from railings like Spiderman?  Then you've probably heard of a popular sport called Parkour.

    The official definition from the American Parkour website says, "Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment."  It's a lot like gymnastics, martial arts, break dancing, track and field, and rock climbing wrapped into one.  Basically, the goal is train your body to be better than it was the day before.

    I met with the owners of Apex Movement in Denver... it's a gym based around learning Parkour moves.  They have climbing walls, pads, balance bars, vaults, you name it!  Ryan Ford told me that they train people using "baby steps" and you basically work your way up to overcome huge obstacles.

    Just to see the kinds of things they can do was amazing!  Running, jumping, climbing, flipping out of windows... unreal!  It takes serious physical endurance, flexibility and a positive mind set.

    I started out on the ground level, doing basic moves like balancing and jumping over hurdles.

    I admit, when I looked at the video I looked pretty ridiculous, but I think over time I could really get the hang of it.  And the best part, it was a great work out!

    Watch our full story (and their super cool moves) Thursday night at 7pm on The Deuce!

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 15

    Lake Powell - Day 2

    Someone once told me that solitude is a precious thing. Standing on a giant rock overlooking the lake with a cup of coffee in hand while watching the sun splash its first rays down on the desert made me understand that statement. Moments like that are fleeting and so rare that you wish you could stop time and stay in that moment for a lot longer. Unfortunately that isn't a possibility so you do the next best thing... Go Scuba Diving.

    We want to send a shout out to our friends at A1 Scuba in Denver, who provided some awesome gear for us to try while diving Lake Powell. In addition they are also the sponsors of the Aquarium Shark Dive in Denver. Check out their link on our website for more info about this company. There seems to be this conflict amongst divers as to the diving quality of the lake, and although I have been there many times in the past, I have never dove the waters of Lake Powell. Now that I have, I can say that was an awesome experience.

    The visibility changes depending on your location but my first dive took place along the main channel wall where the bottom depth was registering at 380 feet. The algae growing along the wall captured sunlight and reflected it back into the lake making visibility roughly 30 to 40 feet. My first dive was with Kenneth, an experienced diver so we decided to drop down to 35 feet to check conditions and take a couple of pictures.

    The rock wall we diving along opened up in many places to reveal an entire network of caves. Not having the proper equipment, we decided to stay away, although I must say the allure of the unknown was pretty tempting. Our total bottom time for the first dive was about 25 minutes with a max depth of 45 feet. After that, visibility got pretty bad and all you could see was the abysmal drop off that ran another 340 feet to the lake bottom. Ocean diving is different in the sense that you can usually see down to the floor or at least a reef that you may be diving. Looking down into the lake, you see nothing but slow change from lighted water to the infinite black of the murky depths. It can be a little freaky sometimes, especially when you let your imagination run wild and think of all that could be lurking down there.

    Needless to say we had a great first dive and were both ready to enjoy some above lake activities. Today was wakesurfing day, something I have yet to experience on decent water. Wake surfing is an attempt to surf on a lake instead of the ocean by using the ballast system of a boat to create a large enough way to surf on.

    I think I did alright.

    The great thing about a place like lake Powell is that there is always something to do, so when wake surfing gets old, you can move right into rock climbing and cliff diving.

    Cliff Diving led into more wake boarding and the day progressed as well as any day could, with plenty of sun, fun and beer. I even got in a decent run or two on the board whihc Tami captured so well.

    Day 2 finished out a lot stronger than day 1 as it was my friends birthday. The celebration got going with a huge fire by the lake where I was able to introduce "V", the new Vitalyte mascot to the group.

    Turns out that V is quite the ladies man.

    Watch for the continuing adventures of V as he travels the world in search of fun and excitement. This guy is a prototype but we will soon have V for sale on the website for all Vitalyte fans to enjoy in their adventures. I'm guessing that we will also be offering up some great prizes in the future for the best "V" pics and stories.

    The party kept going until the wee hours of the morning, when by sheer exhaustion people slowly migrated back to whatever part of the houseboat they could call a bed for a few hours before the next day.

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 14

    After driving 7 and 1/2 hours through the dead of night I arrived at Bullfrog Marina just as the sun was coming up. This was an awesome start to an awesome vacation at Lake Powell. Sure I was a little tired from the long drive but seeing the majestic beauty of Lake Powell with its red cliffs and clear water first thing in the morning can have a motivating effect on a person.

    5 Days of scuba diving, wake boarding, cliff diving, hiking, and anything else I could think of, all in the company of great friends is my idea of pretty good vacation.

    Day 1

    8:00 - We had the houseboat fully loaded with all the food, beer and gear necessary to stay alive for 5 days away from civilization.

    8:05 - With the houseboat instruction tour complete, I backed the houseboat out of her slip and headed off into the main channel between Bullfrog Marina and Halls Crossing to meet up with the wake board boat. Our 53 foot houseboat lacked speed but on a vacation like this, who really needs it.

    9:10 - We met up with the wake board boat and proceeded South towards the Arizona side of the lake. With three woman showing up later that day our goal was stay close to the marinas.

    9:30am - 8:30 pm This part of the day would represent the montage scene of a movie. Set to the backdrop of some hip hop song, the montage would show our little group wake boarding, drinking beer, cliff diving.

    8:45 pm - I am now water logged, sun baked and have had nothing to eat but rice krispies treats for the better part of a day. My carnivorous side is craving protein in the form of a bacon wrapped fillet. Just because we are in the middle of nowhere doesn't mean we have to live like savages.

    11:30 pm - Two days of not sleeping, compounded with all the fun in the sun are catching up to me. It is time to call it a night. Or so I thought?

    2:30 am - The phone rings and the woman we were suppose to be meeting took a major detour and ended up on the wrong side of the lake 3 hours late. They finally get back to the house boat and the party starts again. Oh well, sleeping is overrated.

    To post or not to post, that is the question. I thought I would try and condense the whole trip into one long post but as long winded as I can be, that might turn into a mini novel instead of a blog, so check back for tomorrows post where Vitalyte introduces its new mascot V to the trip, I scuba dive in the 350 foot murky depths of Lake Powell, and the fun continues.

  • Muddy Buddy Ride & Run

    When: August 16, 2009 Where: Boulder, CO Visit Website

    To all of our Partners in Grime, we welcome you to the 2009 Muddy Buddy Ride and Run Series! This unique trail running and biking race is sure to be fun and challenging for everyone. Both beginning athletes and experienced racers alike will have a great time along the course and through the obstacles, especially in the infamous Mud Pit! We can't wait to see you there, so grab a buddy and prepare to Get Dirty.

    Race Description Each race features a 6-7 mile course and 5 obstacles. At the start of the race, one team member will run and one will ride the bike. At the 1st obstacle, the rider will drop the bike, complete the obstacle, and begin running. The runner will arrive, complete the obstacle, find their bike, and begin riding. Teams will continue leapfrogging each other through the entire course. At the end of the race, racers will crawl through the infamous Mud Pit crossing the finish line together!

  • 30 Days of Awesome - Day 12

    Housekeeping Items - The response to the 30 Days Campaign has been overwhelming and once again we want thank you all for taking the time to read, comment and write your own blogs.

    We are still giving away Free Vitalyte to the best blog of the day so keep em coming.

    If you haven't had a chance to check out Kellie MacMullan's blog from the KWGN News Channel, I highly encourage you to do so. Lots of great of stuff in there. It's available in an RSS Feed from Vitalyte's website.

    Vitalyte is also running our "Weekend Warrior" campaign. With lifestyles being as hectic as they are, sometimes the weekends are really the only opportunity to get in some fun. We at Vitalyte would love to hear about it. Whether you are a top rated triathlete competing, an adrenalin junkie like me looking for something crazy to do, or a family spending an afternoon at the [ark, we want to hear about. The goal of Vitalyte is to inspire everyone to take advantage of all the opportunities that lie away from the T.V. Remember, great prizes in store for the best stories.

    Some days the weather just doesn't corporate, but that doesn't mean awesome has to take place outside. Of course, as I get nearer to leaving for Lake Powell for a good friends 30th b-day, I wish the weather would be a little bit more cooperative as I try to get in as many lake days as possible perfecting some of this summer's tricks. Soon it will be time to hang up the wake board and tune the snow skis. Of course that brings a whole different kind of awesome.

    Speaking of, I want to congratulate Tami for passing her open water dive test last night. Hopefully she will soon be exploring the majesty of the great blue with me soon.

    Anyway, in lieu of the ability to go to the lake and with the days training session in prep for the Muddy Buddy completed, I figured it was time to bring awesome to the kitchen.

    Growing up in the kitchen of my families Italian Restaurant, I got to watch my grandmother do things with food that I'm sure no will ever be able to do ever. The woman was a magician in the kitchen, taking the most simple of recipes and turning them into the things of legend. I learned a lot from her and although I will never be able to match her skill in the kitchen, every now and then I come up with something worth bragging about. Last night it was Pizza.

    My grandmother was famous for her pizza and would she have been with me last night, I'm sure I would have got that subtle but approving smile from the master for my work in the kitchen. Of course, had she have been there, I wouldn't have been stuck doing the dishes alone. Oh well, small price to pay. The pizza was awesome and I was able to get some shots of the weird storm system moving along the front range.

    As the night wore on the system moved through the sky turned all sorts of funky colors. It was really a cool thing to watch as I enjoyed my pizza and a glass of Shiraz.

    I don't issue challenges or advice very often but I will today. If your parents or grandparents are around, pick up the phone just to say hi. It gets easy to forget about the people in your life amidst the hustle and bustle, but simply taking the time to pick up the phone and spend a couple of minutes with someone is such a valuable gift.

    Have a great day.

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