Trek Women
August 28, 2008

Spit up and boogie...

The_kids I need some sleep! I don’t know how my sister, Becky, and her husband, Steve, do it. I spent the weekend at their house celebrating Paddy’s third birthday and getting some primo cuddle time with my beautiful twinkie nieces, Maddy and Katy. (There was also a little thing called the Chicago Triathlon in there, but I’ll save that for another day.)

Everything in my suitcase is covered in baby barf and I couldn’t be happier. If I didn’t have a twinkie on my shoulder, I was playing with the Paddy-man. Or hanging out with my Mom, my Aunt Beth who came for the weekend too and her friend Pat, and Steve’s parents, Pat and Phil.

Becky and Steve also managed in there to throw a b-day party on Saturday for about 30 people, at least 10 of which were under the age of 5. Becky even sewed Spiderman capes for all the kiddos to match Paddy’s Spidey cake and decorations.  And, while I’m usually a nutball running around whenever I have people over, Becky took me to her local YMCA that morning to take her favorite Group Groove dance class. We boogied our buns off.

I don’t know how they do it -- they’re superheroes. I’m just plain lazy.

I’m also in Montgomery, Alabama right now, so if I don’t have another chance to write, have a great holiday everyone!

August 20, 2008

Which circle is this one...

Orca Dante wrote in his epic masterpiece The Divine Comedy about the nine circles of hell. I do believe that last night I discovered one of my own -- trying on rental wetsuits. There's nothing like squeezing yourself sausage-like into neoprene and then walking out of the dressing room so the 18-year old kid helping you can zip you up the back. Oh gawd, nightmare. Fat rolls everywhere. Beached whale in long sleeves. Only the thought of 65 degree water temperature prevented me from hightailing my blubbery butt out of there. I've never used a wetsuit before, so it could get interesting this weekend.

Anybody got tips? Help!

August 16, 2008

Fight well...

Wheaties_box_empty Last night, Bill had Russ, Wayne and myself over for a lovely dinner. We had the TV on to catch Phelps out-touch Milorad Cavic to win the gold and tie Mark Spitz’s record.  We were jumping up and down and screaming (fueled slightly by margaritas, but still). The race was awesome as is Phelps’ achievement.

This afternoon, I was doing laundry and had the Games turned on and it wasn’t swimming, gymnastics, diving or track and field events – NBC saves those for prime-time. It was what some might call the “less popular” events – rowing, field hockey, badminton and water polo. The events where, at least in the U.S., the athletes probably won’t score multi-million dollar endorsement deals or end up on a Wheaties box. They aren’t pros (like tennis, soccer and basketball players and, yes, even cyclists) who go amateur for 19 days. There is no pro in their future, their payment is the golden memory of competing with the world's best.

As I was thinking about “amateurism” which we consider a negative word, I discovered online the official Olympic creed:

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

Aren’t we all amateurs then? Fight well friends.

August 15, 2008

Start with a dummmm...

Landing_stickDummmm, duuuuum, da, dumm, dumm… I hear the Olympics song, those big drums and then the horns, and I get goosebumps and my eyes immediately tear up. What must it be like to be an Olympian? Who among us hasn’t secretly practiced sticking a gymnastics landing* or pictured yourself on the podium mouthing the words to the national anthem, your hand over your heart.

Maybe you’ve wondered -- what if I have an innate Olympic-caliber talent and I don’t know it because I never tried that sport. I could be an archer? An equestrienne? A kayaker? A gold medal could be waiting for me!

I once asked my friend Joe who competed in Sydney and Athens what it was like racing at that level. He said you can’t think you’re a winner, you have to know it. He also said something to the effect of “what happens in the Olympic Village, stays in the Olympic Village.” Apparently, a lot of “international relations” goes on there. Or maybe that was just him.

Anyway, on to my point, but first an aside -– Michael Phelps! His freestyle stroke is breathtaking. I like seeing his mama in the stands, too. Two more races to go - the last one a relay. Will he swim first, last?  The pressure on that relay team -- you don't want to be the one that blows it for him. I'm nervous already. 

At last to my point: here’s what I’ve learned from the Olympics:

Always follow your dreams whatever it takes, try everything you can, pick yourself up if you fall, bang your drum, toot your horn, cheer for those you love and know you’re a winner.

* I once ended up in the ER with a sprained ankle after trying to stick a landing off the back of our TV room sofa. I was 15. hee hee.

August 13, 2008

Let's get loud...

Imix_icon_2 You all sent me some awesome tunes for our Trek WWR playlist!  It took me a few days; but figured out how to make an iMix on iTunes. Go me! Click on the link or if you go to iMix in the store, search for the playlist "Trek Women Who Ride". My new favorite song is the one by Run-DMC. I played it in my spin class this morning and we went CRAZY doing sprint intervals. There are 30 songs total for your rocking and riding pleasure!

August 11, 2008

Happy anniversary...

Laura_at_dumbarton_oaks2_3 I can’t believe it. I missed my own one-year anniversary as a Trek Woman Who Rides.  It was August 8th last summer that I posted my first blog for Trek. (Wo)man oh (wo)man, has it been that long??? I’ve never been one for keeping a diary or journaling – maybe because I write for a living, it felt like work to me. Yet every day, I think of some new thing I want to blog. I don’t always have the time, but I do carry a notebook to jot down ideas or funny conversations and a camera with me at all times .

Back when I started this whole deal, I imagined that I’d write stories about weight loss, training, travel, cool Trek stuff, tasty treats and more. Since then, I’ve gained/lost/gained/lost/gained weight; did my first triathlon and getting ready for my second; traveled to Iceland, Greece, Holland and around the U.S.; talked Trek; got a new job; got certified to teach spin: started bike commuting again; went on some bad dates; introduced you to my family and friends; met some cool cyclists; cooked with Emeril; and basically tried to share my own unique lunacy with whoever cared to read about it. So, thanks for reading, for caring and for sharing your comments.

It has been quite a trip so far. I’m glad you’re along on this trek.

August 7, 2008

Fashion disaster...

PumasI usually bike commute in a t-shirt, black workout pants and pumas. I don’t get grungy, but I’m of the feeling that I can’t really carry off wearing my work outfit while riding a full suspension mountain bike. It’s not a good look.

So this morning, I pack my neat-o Sherpani messenger bag. Tossed in my suit, cap and goggles for a swim tonight; threw in a Lean Cuisine for lunch; checked to make sure I had my bicycle lock and hi-ho-hi-ho off to work I go.

Get to the building, take the elevator up feeling smug that I rode my bike, went to the ladies room to change and realized my fatal error. No work clothes. Forgot them. On my bed. Under the cat. Awwww man.

I had two choices. Bike home and back or just go ask my boss if anyone was coming in today for meetings that meant I needed to look reasonably put together. It's hot out so I did the latter, wearing an old, once-white tee and a spectacularly awful pair of pants (my pumas are fabulous though). I’ve spent most of the day in my office because of the shame, shame, shame and probable panty lines revealed by these ugly pants that are going in the trash tonight. It’s been a quite a day.

Lesson learned: keep a back-up outfit at work.

August 6, 2008

Down in the dating dumps...

Heart_keyMy SPAM emailbox seems to be overflowing these days with messages trying to attract me with subject lines like “Local Sexy Singles” “Love for Free” “Truly a Match” “Real Matching”. On TV, scary eHarmony ads, Chemistry.com, Match.com... No matter where I turn, I feel bombarded by couples in luv and it just makes me want to barf. Or maybe I’m jealous. Hmmm, am I jealous or nauseous??? <Sigh> both.

I’ve been avoiding writing about dating, pretty much because I can report no progress. I guess my Single Speed is gone, baby, gone like my scooter and commuter bike. I don’t even have a “chips passing the night” story from a grocery store encounter over fat-free Pringles.  Somewhere, I went from feeling hot cha-cha to hot chub-chub. There’s not much else to say about that except to remind myself to get over it and get out there again. Waiting for some perfect number on the scale, means waiting alone. Why is this so hard.   

August 2, 2008

Rock on rider...

Ipodwwr2 I don't know why I didn't think of this last week. Let's create our own Trek Women Who Ride playlist! We're chicks (and guys too) who rock the road or dirt or Cycleops or... why not rock out and spin some tunes.

Post a comment or send me an email Laura_MacLean@trekwomenwhoride.com with the song name and artist that you gets you moving. I'll post our WWR playlist next Friday. Tell me that song that whenever you hear it, you have to get your boogie on. Trek Demo gals, I know you listen to some good stuff on your travels. C'mon, don't be shy!

August 1, 2008

Fixer upper...

Servic_areaI came across a neat post by Jason who writes a blog called 100KM The Metric Century via one of my favorite sites, Commute by Bike. Jason lists the seven things that bike commuting has taught him. One thing he's learned is "you don't need an expensive bike to commute and have fun." I wholeheartedly agree. (I miss my Trek 930.)

Last weekend, I stopped by the Revolution Cycles Clarendon, VA store to see if they could fix one of the Speedplay pedals from my road bike -- it keeps falling apart. So, while Ryan was putting a new screw in, I noticed that the customers around me were waiting to either pick up or drop off an older "run-around-type" bike for Service. They were either bikes stashed in the garage for years or ones recently bought used off of craigslist. And more often than not, the person said they wanted the bike fixed up so she/he could start bike commuting. I love that. One of these days, I'll count how many bike commuters I see during my morning jaunt. I would estimate no less than 10 in a two mile trip.

Anyway, the only thing I would add to Jason's list about the things I've learned is the superior feeling you get when stepping in to a crowded a.m. elevator with your helmet under your arm, that says to the world... That's right, I RODE MY BIKE!

P.S. If you haven't already done it, sign up for the Go By Bike Challenge!