Saturday, March 20, 2010

Triathlon Training Updates

It is hard to believe that in about 6 weeks, I will have successfully worked with my friends and family to raise $3000 to help end blood cancers AND I will have swum 1 mile, biked 25 and run 6 on a hilly, hot course in central CA. So far, I am halfway to my fundraising goal and I am so grateful to everyone who has been supportive so far in this journey. Training is going well - I have some work to do on the running component as the race will be hilly, but I am, albeit breathlessly, on it.

In addition to attacking hills on foot,
we've done two open-water swims so far - one of which was in the San Francisco Bay. Between accidentally taking in gulps of salty waves and nearly freezing my toes off, I was happy to catch glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli Square, and Alcatraz. I've also begun to master the art of putting on a wetsuit - essentially you treat the whole thing like a giant pair of pantyhose! We've been biking a lot on hills, too. I got a great challenge two weekends ago because the "granny gear" or easiest gear, wasn't working on my bike for a tough, switch-back, monster hill-filled ride. I worked through MOST of it and finally had to walk the last 20 feet of a huge hill. Today we biked 25 miles on hills, some of which are named "the 3 Bears" - baby bear is hard, momma bear is harder, papa bear is nearly impossible. haha.

In closing, my teammates, coaches, and TNT staff are amazing. I am really enjoying the group. A few of our teammates are blood-cancer survivors ("honorees"). It's inspiring to be on a team with people who have successfully overcome these cancers - particularly because everyone I have been close to with a blood cancer has had their life taken from the disease. The honorees also help us to understand the challenges and supports needed for people battling blood cancers. It is inspiring and reminds me why finding a cure is so important.

Fundraising updates here:

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Yellowstone and Grand Teton Images

We made it to Berkeley! Here are some pictures from Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons:

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bison, Caves and Storms, Oh My!

Day two was almost entirely spent enjoying the beauty of South Dakota. We visited the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, the Jewel Caves (Custer, SD), and the Needles (granite columns in Custer State Park). Pictures are below.

Once we got over our fear of getting charged by a herd of bison, we had a great time exploring SD! The Badlands are absolutely beautiful and amazingly in the middle of prairie land. I can only imagine what the first explorers thought when, after cruising their horse and carriage, ended up among the gorgeous, but barely cross-able, Badlands!

Our day ended with a crazy storm with golf-sized hail that landed us in a hotel rather than a tent. Today, we're visiting Yellowstone and Grand Tetons!


Monday, August 04, 2008


Deepa and Catie set off on an epic journey to CA from IL, starting at 5:30am on 4 August 2008.

First, they visited the Spam Museum in Minnesota and learned that every minute 3.8 cans of SPAM are eaten and it is sold in 99% of US grocery stores in the USA.

Also, the parking spots are clearly labeled.

You can play with a spatula designed to flip a 10,000 pound SPAM burger.

Lastly, you can make your own SPAM can.

Things just got more and more exciting. Following the SPAM Museum, D and C visited the infamous Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. Not only does the outside of the building change each year, but you can also entertain your "corny" side.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


It was a sad, dark, wet, dreary day when I was ATTACKED. Now, don't worry too much because Deepa thinks it's quite funny, and I am sure you will too (at my on, see if you think it is funny. I am sure you will too.)
Was I lucky enough to be attacked by a human? No, not me.
Was I lucky enough to be attacked by a non-slimy creature? Nooooooooooo.
Here's the story from the "Hindu Times", dated 9.11.2006

"Foreigner's Blood Sucked Majorly"
While walking through monsoon rains in the Periyar National Park, an American girl was attacked by not one, but two leeches, on her right arm. The attacks could have been much worse if she hadn't listened to her wonderful guide who made her and her friend wear special burlap socks which prevented many leeches from sucking the blood in their feet. The white girl had, at highest count, 28 leeches on the burlap socks. She was completely preoccupied with flinging them off of her pants (you see, they kept crawling up her legs. Her weird guide said "You have nice blood) the entire time while in the world renouned Periyar. She was so busy flinging them off of her that she didn't even notice the herd of elephants coming at her. Thankfully they saw her and didn't stampede and kill her.* Her friend, Deepa, laughed at her, and said "This was the first time I saw Catie lose her cool. Hahahahahaha." It was a good thing that her hotel had salt ready for her and put salt all over the enormous leeches on her arms, otherwise this wouldn't have been such a thrilling to anyone but Catie story.
--associated press

It was the sickest thing I have ever had happen to me. However, I have gained something to say to men who annoy me at the bar "Did you know I had 2 huge leeches on my arm for a few hours?" Should take care of them. Yes, indeed.

Since my traumatizing event, we've seen wild dogs, elephants, buffalo, Munnar Tea Gardens (goregous), and the Sri Manakshi Temple (Taj Mahal of the South). Can't wait to share pictures!
Tomorrow we head to Bombay to conclude our journey here. Sad and exciting at the same time. India is a great place and I will miss it tons (minus leeches) but I am looking forward to new clothes (same yucky ones for 2 months = BORING), laundry, Starbucks, dairy, and non-scary driving. Using my credit card, etc.

*Fictional. The leeches, though, are true. Eew.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Maimed people

After our houseboat adventure, we landed in Kumarakomb (those of you who are tracking me on maps, I am sure you have noticed I can't spell anything here correctly. West coast, southern India). There's nothing much written in our travel bible aka Lonely Planet about this town so we just started walking down the only road it has. All of a sudden, as if it were a mirage, a "museum" sign in big blue letters appeared. After scaling the fire escape, we found ourselves in the one and only driftwood museum. It was a riot...unique and funny. The woman who runs it gave us a very endearing tour of driftwood she's found that she has molded into shapes. Aside from showing us a group of 5 piece that was a handicapped family "See, that one is missing it's arm. That baby has a hole in it's hand" she would take her metal pointing stick at random times and hit the driftwood hard to show us it was now a fossil and prove her point: nature works in amazing ways.
We're totally writing to the Lonely Planet to have it added. It's worth seeing and funny.