Trek Women
September 30, 2008

A change'll do me good...

Short_hair Q: In a chick flick, what's the #1 thing a heroine will do to indicate change?

A: Cut her hair.

Oh, I hate to be the biggest movie cliche ever; but it really is freeing to just whack your hair off. No, I didn't do it myself while staring crazily in the mirror or to hide my identity. It was a rainy afternoon and I decided why not. I felt like if I was going to break out of a rut, I needed to break out of my tired, can't-be-bothered-to-dry-my-hair-so-I'll-put-it-in-a-ponytail-look. I love the style and how it makes me feel spunkier. It was a good change.

So, I'll ask you all to think about it -- what small change could do you good?

P.S. Thank you Sheryl Crow for the lyrics!

September 23, 2008

How's that working out for you...

Has anybody ever said that you in a snarky voice, “How’s that working out for you?” Usually after you’ve told them something like, “I’m doing a sugar exorcism.” (Which by the by seems to be working – I said no to office birthday cake on Friday.)

Recently, I came to the conclusion that my “work out” regimen over the last year and a half hasn’t been working out for me. And I realized the difference is that I had changed from “working out” to TRAINING. If it wasn’t somehow related to swim, bike or run, I didn’t have the time to do it. I realized that TRAINING had become a solitary experience and I wasn’t having fun except for teaching spin. I missed people. I missed taking interesting classes at the gym for the heck of it. I missed challenging myself with new exercises.

So, I’ve stopped training. With the exception of the upcoming Trek WSD Breast Cancer Awareness Ride on October 11, I’m not planning on doing any events for a while. I’m trying other fitness things like that dance class and kickboxing again and I want to rediscover the joy of riding my bike with no finish line in mind.

I’m excited to see how this works out.

September 22, 2008

Hub bub in Boston...

Hub_on_wheels From my Aunt Beth, roving reporter...

"Yesterday , I did the Hub on Wheels in Boston. 32 miles. Rode for 3 hours, but it took 3 hrs. 45 minutes with the rest stops. At about 25 miles behind the JFK Library there is a dirt, gravel path with a short steep hill. The two ladies in front of stopped dead. You guessed it, over I went. I landed in tall grass. Few scraps on the legs. I was too close. Other than that I only saw 3 ambulances assisting riders. 4,000 people rode. It was chilly but sunny not like today, very overcast."

Way to go Aunt Beth!!

P.S. Roving reporters wanted! Tell me about your event and send a photo - I'll post it on the blog. laura_maclean@trekwomenwhoride.com

September 19, 2008

Lost and found...

Oh happy day, oh happy day -- I got my shoes back!! I was straightening out my desk at lunch yesterday and came across the number for the airport lost and found office. I decided to call one last time before throwing out the slip of paper. The woman who answered the phone said that "I think I saw that bag, let me go check." At last, someone who understood the importance of fabulous footwear. To make a short story shorter, the bag was there, I went to my boss and said I had to leave early to go on a rescue mission and that is that.

Day 4: After getting back from the airport, did a kickboxing tape at home then mosied down the street since Russ was cooking some of my favorite German dishes, tweaked to be low-fat (schnitzel, spaetzle and red cabbage). That was some GOOD grub!

September 18, 2008

Out of the box...

Red_boxing_gloves Day 3 started out okay, then I got cranky around 4 pm -- sugar exorcism. So I decided to take a boxing class and pound it out on a punching bag. When I got there, the gym had made a new mandatory requirement for using hand wraps under the gloves since the last time I had taken the class. I didn't have mine with me and the front desk didn't have any in stock to buy. There is a sports store a couple of blocks away, so I hotfooted it over there, bought the wraps, and ended up missing the first 15 minutes of class, which didn't do much for my mood. Sometimes, you just want to work out and when obstacles seem to box me in, I get frustrated. Floating like a butterfly, that's what I'm going to work on.

September 17, 2008

Shoeless Lola...

Red_heelsLately, I keep losing shoes. On the way home from NY on Friday, I forgot one of my carry-on bags on the parking garage shuttle that contained four of the five pairs of shoes I brought with me. I realized it when I got home and called the airport immediately. Now after 5 days, I’ve given up hope my bag will turn up. I’m gonna miss the strappy red heels the most, they were fierce.*

Then, Monday night, I forgot my indoor cycling shoes at the gym. Thank goodness when I went back last night, they were still there in the spin studio. However, I did discover that I forgot to pack a workout top and had to fork over $12 for the ugliest t-shirt ever. I think I have clothing and accessory ADD.

Anyway, day 2 went all right. After buying the ugly shirt, I decided to try a new class at the gym that seemed similar to my sis, Becky’s favorite Group Groove dance class. I’m not too smooth at choreography, but I felt like trying something new. It was more low impact aerobics than dance-y, but still a good workout.

*Not my actual shoes, mine were sassier.

September 16, 2008

In with the good...

I survived Day 1 of the good behavior in-tox -- m&m free. I also crawled back to the gym for the first time in an embarassingly long time. It's amazing (in a bad way) how fast you fall out of shape. I took a spin class and then a weights/conditioning class -- my usual Monday night fitness cocktail. By the time we did squats, I was ready to beg for mercy. So here we go, building back up again. One day at a time.

September 15, 2008

Nuttin' butt...

Img059This photo of a storefront I took last week in NY pretty much sums up my diet of late (well, honestly, this summer). Bad, bad, bad. What is it about being on the road and/or in conferences that drives you from one sugar high to another –- morning Danish, lunch-time piece of cake, afternoon brownie break, dessert at dinner, oh-wait-is-that-a-cookie-I-stashed-in-my-bag midnight snack. It’s exhausting sitting on your butt in one meeting after another. My brain is sore, my muscles aren’t. Now give me some candy.

This morning, I’m a few hours in to a full-on sugar detox and already I’ve had to check myself from thinking about the peanut m&m’s so lovingly displayed in the little convenience shop on the ground floor of the building. See, I’m thinking about them again. I’ve got to stop, I don’t feel good. The pounds I’ve gained are weighing me down physically and mentally. So, today is day 1 of detoxing bad behaviors and in-toxing (?) good, healthy ones again. I’ve got to do it.

September 5, 2008

Now, happiness for every woman...

Cycle_guide_photo_2You know when you do an event and you get a big plastic bag of stuff from the sponsors. I got one at the Chicago Triathlon. The night before the race, I’m going through it and came across a catalog from the official bike shop sponsor – Village Cycle Center – which also happens to be a Trek Dealer.

But first, I must backtrack a little. Village Cycle also had a booth at the Chi-Tri Expo and I stopped by to introduce myself and say hello (and do a little PR for us WWR chicks). Usually I feel like a dope, because more often than not, the shops have no idea what I’m talking about –Women Who Ride, what? If you say so lady (but in a nice, indulgent way).

But, this time, they knew about us and said, “I thought you looked familiar, you’re on our home page.” How about that. We chatted for a few minutes about the new 2009 bikes coming out and then I had to head out.

Okay, fast forward, I’m sitting on the sofa, flipping through their catalog and holy buckets, I let out a yell. There we were at the top of the page under the heading “Now, happiness for every woman.” How about that!! Thanks Village Cycles! You made me one happy woman.

So you don’t think I’ve abandoned you, I leave for our Association’s Annual Meeting tomorrow in Saratoga Springs, NY. Fair warning, I may not have time to write next week. Though I did figure out how to post from my cell phone, I just can’t add photos or post comments.

September 3, 2008

Carpe tri-em...

Race_end_2_2 Seize the tri. For the last couple of months, I’ve been consumed by the thought -– do I really want to do the Chicago Triathlon? Months out as I was struggling to balance work and working out -- do I really want it? As I was trying to motivate myself to get in the pool –- can I even do it again? As I was renting a wetsuit and emailing my good friend Greg Neyspor who owns Trek Bicycles Downers Grove (a wonderful Trek store outside of Chicago) to borrow a bike for the race –- how bad do I really want to do this? As I was picking up my race packet and getting bodymarked then hopping in a rental car at 4 am the next morning, already exhausted, to go set up my transition area –- why do I really want to do this?

Money aside (and it wasn’t cheap when you add up the race fees, rental fees, gear, parking), I knew I wasn’t going to do as well as last year. I am just not at the same fitness level and weight as I was and I didn’t have the same passion about doing the race. I tried to change my distance from Olympic to Sprint; but I was too late. It was swim .93 miles, bike 22 miles, run 6.2 miles or nothing.

The question that was really haunting me was –- am I a quitter or a completer? If there’s one thing I know about myself is that I finish what I start. But, I was feeling like my reasons for stepping up to the starting line had nothing to do with what would make me happy and more about not being a disappointment  -– to myself, to my family and friends and even you all in the blogosphere.

Transition_area_2 I remember emailing Marie before she did her Lance Armstrong event –- I told her, it doesn’t matter how fast you go, simply enjoy the ride. Nice talk, too bad it’s so hard for me to take my own advice. I always strive to do better and this time, better performance was not going to be the result.

Staring over the murky Lake Michigan water, squeezed into my wetsuit, as dawn was breaking, I reminded myself to seize the tri and try my best. It was going to be okay if I swam breaststroke the entire time, biked slower and walked part of the run. I’m a completer. And that’s what I did.

I don’t know what my times were, don’t care. I’ve got my Chicago Triathlon medal that says I’m a Finisher.

*My thanks to Greg and the gang at Trek Bicycles Downers Grove for loaning me that sweet little WSD Madone 4.7! You’re the best.

That's my Mom, my Aunt Beth, Becky and Paddy with me in the photo.