Trek Women
July 31, 2008

Splutter...

Water_noodle_2 Swimming in open water freaks me out. I hate it. All I can think about is grody things touching me like seaweed or dead stuff. It’s even worse right now since Shark Week is on the Discovery Channel and that’s all the fuel my overactive imagination needs. Last night as I was flipping channels, I saw a Greenland Shark that was like 22 feet long! Creatures like that live underwater and I want nothing to do with them, EVER.

Even though I know there are no sharks in Lake Michigan, given the industrial waste that’s been dumped in there over the years, I bet there are two-headed, mutant fish swimming around and I bet one’s gonna touch me when I do the Chicago tri. Seriously, this is what I think about when I’m doing laps.

The other scary thing about open water is the choppiness. You turn your head to breathe and a wave washes in. A wave of polluted, mutant-fish water. But, I think I have found a genius way to get used to the chop and still train in a pool. Find out when your community pool has water aerobics classes, then swim in the lane closest to them. I guarantee you’ll know a thing or two about waves when 20 people start simultaneously aqua-jogging. Just watch out for the flying noodles.

July 29, 2008

iStink...

Purple_walkman I am probably the only person on the face of the earth who can’t figure out how to work an iPod. It won’t turn on, won’t turn off, sync issues with my computer… It’s been driving me crazy to the point that I dug out my old honking-huge (purple) CD Walkman and took it to the gym last night. That is, after I pilfraged the clock in my bathroom for batteries. I got looks, I know it. I'd like to think I was kickin' it old school with the headphones that make your ears sweat. Yeah, nice try, dork.

But, tunage was critical since the plan was to gauge how ready (or not) I am for the Chicago tri at the end of the month. I did an hour spin followed by a 10k run. By the end, iStink had been taken to a whole 'nother level; but I made it. My advice: don’t attempt this feat after eating Lean Cuisine Meatloaf for lunch.

One of my key “training tools” is music. I try to listen to the same soundtrack whenever I run with the hope that on the “day” I’ll mentally sing along to the ingrained playlist to pace myself. (Since you can’t wear headphones during a race). So far, it hasn’t worked. I’m optimistic though and it does help with the mind-numbing boredom. 

In case you’re interested, here’s my current list:
Dipset (There It Go) – Juelz Santana; Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz; Sure Shot – Beastie Boys; Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz; Cold Heart B*tch – Jet; White Shadows – Coldplay; Hey Mama – Black Eye Peas; Pump It Up (Set Me Free) Remix – Malek Chtiwi; Dance Nation – Ministry of Sound; What You Waiting For – Gwen Stefanie; Canned Heat – Jamiriquoi; All Night – Janet Jackson; Stronger – Kanye West; Fergalicious – Fergie; Never Surrender – Foo Fighters; Err Time – Nelly; Things That I Used to Do – G Love and Special Sauce

July 24, 2008

Go (by bike) for it...

08gobybikewidget_email Put down your car keys on shorter trips and a Trek 7.2 FX could be changing your world! Our friend of the WWR, Rebecca Anderson, who leads Trek’s 1 World 2 Wheels program, just launched the GO BY BIKE CHALLENGE.

Here’s what you do… click here to take the pledge to bike more. There’s a cool calculator that when you enter your info will tell you how much pollution you’ll help prevent, money you’ll save and calories you’ll burn. You can even break it down into types of trips like commuting to work, going to the store, to work out, etc. Just adding up my little 2-mile trips, I easily pledged 100 miles a month.

And, if you sign up between now and August 31st, you’ll have a chance to receive a brand new Trek 7.2 FX, valued at $519.99. One lucky pledger will be selected at random each day during the campaign. So, what are you waiting for -– take the pledge, change the world for the better, save some $$, get a little exercise and maybe you’ll have a sweet new ride. Makes sense to me.

Did you know… nearly 40% of all trips taken by car are 2 miles or less!

July 22, 2008

Grin and bear it...

Img053_2The guys and I have been camping in Shenandoah National Park at Mathews Arm off of Skyline Drive for years. The camp area is never full, basically because there are no showers or electrical hook-ups. If you don't mind getting a little ripe, it's beautifully rustic with some wonderful hiking trails. If you're a hill junkie, the road cycling is spectacular.

Now for years, we've been out hiking and passed others who've told us to be on the look-out for bears. And this trip started off the same... until we came face to face with a bear. All of a sudden, we rounded a bend in the trail and there was a smallish black bear. She gave us a look then sauntered off into the woods. Holy smokes. My friend, Bill, tried to get a photo. No luck though.

Our campsite backed up to the edge of the woodland and all day long, whitetail deer would walk on through, munch some grass, and move on. And, they did it ALL NIGHT LONG too. They are some noisy critters. They were even bumping into our tents. On Saturday night, the critter chorus started up again. I guess at one point Russ woke up after the tent was nudged and looked out his tent's screen window thinking it was a deer. Yeah, no. It was a bear. Even though it wasn't aggressive, Russ didn't sleep a wink the rest of the night.

As I was driving out of the Park on my way home, I rounded a bend and there was another black bear who gave me what can only be described as a DeNiro "you-talking-to-me" stare. He just stood there in the road. I fumbled for my camera; but he ambled away before I could get to it. Those bears are big teases.

P.S. I asked Lee McClellan who writes for Kentucky Afield Magazine about bears. He says they love peanut butter and Doritos and can smell them from far away. Guess bears and I have something in common. 

July 21, 2008

Un-freaking-believeable...

ScooterI had a different blog planned for today. That is until I got home from Nashville, parked in front of the house and realized that my pretty blue scooter was gone. STOLEN too!!! I couldn't freaking believe it. I sat in my car in the sweltering heat looking at the empty space for I don't know how long before I could move. As I was hauling my suitcase up the stoop, my neighbor from a few doors down came over and told me the whole story.

It happened a week ago Saturday at 6:15 am. My neighbor was up and waiting for a moving truck to arrive when he saw a pick-up truck with Maryland plates driving slowly down the block. The truck stopped, the thieves hopped out with bolt cutters and proceeded to cut the 2 locks and chains tethering my scooter to the house. My neighbor immediately called the police to report a crime in progress. The thieves loaded my scooter into the back and drove off, the officer arrived within a minute of their departure.

My neighbor gave the cop the license plate number, vehicle make, a description of the hoodlums (too nice of a word) and the direction they took off. Plus, hello, there was a lite blue scooter with a license plate that said "LOLA" in the bed.The cop said he couldn't do anything because I wasn't home and maybe I wanted them to take the scooter. Like I said, un-freaking-believable!! My neighbor replied, so if they had broken a car window and stolen a radio and the owner wasn't home, you still wouldn't do anything because maybe the owner wanted them to take it.

I think what has me steaming mad more than anything is that the police could have easily caught them within a few blocks if they had tried and I would have my property back. It's obvious, it wasn't worth even a half-hearted effort to them. It's not like it's a "real" crime.  But it is, and they could have won one against the bad guys.

Tomorrow, I promise, I'll write something happier. Today, I plan to seethe.   

July 17, 2008

Greetings from...

Nashville. I got here on Tuesday from Rapid City for another work conference. It's felt like a long haul and way too many hours in airports. I did a quick calculation and since the end of June I've only been able to ride my bike 3 times. 3 times. I feel soft and out of sorts. It's a feeling I really really don't like. I miss my bikes.

Luckily, both hotels have had the VERSUS channel so I've been able to watch the Tour de France. I wish I was rooting for the ASTANA team; but, it still is exciting to watch. Bob Roll's commentary during the nightly enhanced coverage is great as always. Plus he doesn't look like Chewbacca anymore -- like when I met him in January. Hahaha.

I head home tomorrow and the guys and I are heading out to the Shenandoahs for some hiking and camping. I can't wait to get outdoors.

July 14, 2008

My 15 minutes...

Only a few more hours til the show airs. Agggghhhh! Thanks to all who sent me emails saying, "I saw your commercial." Russ texted me after he saw it on Saturday. I wrote back.... what did I say, what did I do, did I look cute? He wrote back like a typical guy, you were wearing a baby blue sweater and walking through the store. I'm pretty sure he knew that, like a typical girl, what I was really asking was how fat did I look. I wouldn't touch that one either.

I still haven't found a place to watch it here in Rapid City, SD. I did see Mt. Rushmore though and some bison and a prairie dog town, that was cool. Pre-thanks to my fellow Trek chick Jen and Mr. Jen for recording the show for me.

Here's a few secrets from the set to tempt you... I told the makeup person to give me cheekbones like Oprah. I don't like eggs. See if you can spot the Trek gear. The Marines in my spin class had their mandatory physical fitness test that morning - so before the taping they had already run 6 miles for time and done pull-ups and some other strength tests. I did about 10 clothing changes total for all the images that aren't in the Whole Foods Store.

Here's the link to Planet Green again... www.planetgreen.com

July 10, 2008

Bam...

Img020 I am kind of freaking out right now. This coming Monday, July 14 at 8:30 pm EST, I’ll be making my cable TV debut cooking with Emeril on the premiere night of his new show called Emeril Green on Planet Green, a new channel from the Discovery network! My episode is called “Light for Life.”

Back in April when I did the taping, it seemed like a good idea to help promote women, cycling and healthy living. Now, all I can think about is am I going to look like a big dork and how many fat rolls are showing. (Though I invested heavily in top-to-bottom, suck-it-in Spanx.)

Ah well, who cares. It was a once in a lifetime experience to meet Emeril and spend the day with him. He loves to be teased and joke around. Between segments, he’d give me a wink or throw his arm around my shoulder while we waited for the camera crew. Pretty much, I was either laughing or tasting different foods (and then I’d laugh again and I’m sure food fell out of my mouth.) I wasn’t a bit nervous.

I'm not sure what will end up on the episode and what will end up on the cutting-room floor; but there will definitely be some shots of me riding my bike; riding with Russ, who also got interviewed; a spin class with my Marines; my “big pants” perhaps; and lots of Capitol Hill flavor. Let’s just hope they don’t use the shot when I stumbled down my front steps – that’s what I get for wearing those heels. What I do hope is that my story about how cycling helped me to change my life will inspire others to hop on their bikes and ride too.

The bummer is that I'll be in Rapid City, SD at a work conference, so I'm going to miss it. The channel is not a basic one. The good news is that Discovery replays the heck out of their shows, so I’m sure I’ll see it one of these days.

P.S. Emeril rides a bike, too. I invited to take him for a spin anytime he’s in town. :)
P.P.S. If you watch it, then, yes, that really is my voice.

July 9, 2008

True me...

Crop_out I wish I could true myself, like you can true a wobbly wheel. You get one of those little adjuster doo-dads and squeaky-squeaky, your own personal spokes line up and life rides like a flat road.

I’d start by truing the spoke that is my training regimen (so-so), the spoke that is my eating habits (not great) and the spoke that is my dating life (even worse).

For me, the bump in the road the past couple months has been change. I LOVE what I do now; but finding your new way takes an awful lot of energy. And, I haven’t had leftover to deal much with the rest of my life let alone laundry.

But I’m changing that. I’ll get my weight down, my shape up and maybe a date one of these days. Once again. And it’ll probably be again and again and again. A true’d wheel doesn’t last forever. I’m always going to have to make adjustments when things change. Squeaky, squeaky.

And anyway, flat roads are boring.

July 7, 2008

Sports overload...

TorresIt was nearly impossible to leave the house this weekend, reality TV was way too good. Nope, it wasn’t a Project Runway or Top Chef marathon that kept me indoors (admittedly, I did catch up on episodes of HGTV’s Next Design Star).

I watched sports, a LOT of sports. How could you not -– the Tour de France kicked off on Saturday morning. Add in Wimbledon finals and the Nadal/Federer duel. Then I closed it out with coverage of the Olympics trials in Track and Field and Swimming. I’m about one step away from TIVO’ing SportsCenter, that is, if we had TIVO or I knew what channel # is ESPN.

Did anyone else out there see Dara Torres swim the 50 free last night? OMG! She’s 41 years old and totally smoked swimmers who weren’t even born yet when she went to her first Olympics. And she set a new record. I have the tissues ready for when NBC does its athlete profile of her during the Games. I love those things. Right now, I can barely make it through the new “Go World” VISA Olympics ads. Have you seen the one about the runner and he falls, then his dad comes on the track and helps him cross the finish line? That’s my favorite >sniff< >sniff<.