Trek Women
December 26, 2008

Bonne année...

Eiffel tower nyeve Champagne and the Champs-Elysées, here we come... we're off to Paris for New Year's Eve (or la Saint-Sylvestre as they say in France)!!! 

So when you see the fireworks over the Eiffel Tower on the news, my sis Jen, Russ, Wayne, Bill, another friend Steve and I will be in that crowd somewhere toasting each other "Bonne Année" french for Happy New Year and more than likely getting a little toasted ourselves.

I go armed with my high school French, my red heels (I caved) and my Top 10 Paris guidebook. The last time I visited the city of lights, I was in college, I was there 36 hours and my budget was like $20. After spending most of it to get in to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, I could only afford to stand outside historic spots with admission fees. This time, I'm going in!

I have a feeling, this new year's trip may top all the others. I'll let you know when I get back on Jan. 4.

In the meantime... Bonne Année to you and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2009!!!

December 24, 2008

May your holiday be merry and bright...

 

Wishing you and yours

a merry and bright holiday season!!

Vienna trees

December 24, 2008

Seein' red, packin' lite...

Suitcase Oh the malls are a’ frenzy with holiday shoppers galore in search of last minute gifts. I’m out there too with my own shopping frenzy that has nothing to do with presents. I have absolutely no clue what to pack for the New Year’s trip. (Countdown: 2 days)

 

Always in the days leading up to our departure, I get the fever to find the perfect pair of Euro-worthy shoes, outfits, accessories… I have this vision of myself in a fabulous coat, wearing a chic hat, stylish shoes and that one quirky piece of jewelry sitting in a little café with a quaint view of a park/river/landmark/etc.

 

And then, I remember that (1) it could get very cold where we’re going. (2) it’s hard to feel chic when you’re wearing long underwear. (3) I just bought an ivory-colored down coat on clearance that is warm as heck but makes me resemble a puffy bedspread. (4) I’m the one lugging the suitcase full of practicality and fantasy.

 

Yes, despite my annual vow to pack lighter and take only the things I know I’ll use, somehow I convince myself that of course I’ll wear those red stilettos out dancing all night, especially after I’ve walked the city for 10 hours straight. I’ve brought those shoes on the last three NY’s trips and I’ve yet to wear them out. I know I’m going to cave and bring them again. It’s completely ridiculous; but there you go. So, here I am, still shopping and packing everything I own like a crazed wildebeest to fulfill my vision.

 

And on Jan. 4, as I drag my ginormous suitcase home, which will be further stuffed to exploding with shoes and bags I’ll probably buy, I will tell myself NEVER AGAIN! I will make a solemn vow at the baggage carousel to become the kind of person who travels with a toothbrush and spare pair of underpants. Then approximately 12 months later, I’ll hear the call of the red shoes…

December 17, 2008

The last great spin of 2008

This morning, I taught my last spin class until next year – mid-January actually. I’m really gonna miss it. Well, I’m not gonna miss getting up at 5:30 am; but I will miss my regulars and the newbies who drop in. And I’ll miss creating playlists, coming up with killer drills and then watching everyone’s faces when I surprise them in the middle of a drill by asking them to add even more resistance/more speed/or both. I love it!

 

For the most part, when I figure out my music for each class, I plan what the ride’s going to be like. Some days, I focus more on climbing types of intervals that make you feel like you’re slugging through mud; and other days, I’m in the mood for speed work. Oftentimes, I’ll change it up on the spot because I think it might be fun (challenging-ier) depending on whether I have advanced spinners that morning or new people.

 

Today, I wondered, wouldn’t it be interesting to change up the drill every 30 seconds. We’d sprint, hit a hill, do some jumps, work some glute isolations and so on. Later on towards the end of the hour, we did it again, but this time each person in class got to pick what she/he wanted to do for 30 seconds. It was a hoot. They were tough.

 

Probably my favorite part of indoor cycling -- whether you use a bicycle trainer like a CycleOps, have a stationary bike or go to a class -- is that your ride is up to you. The landscape doesn’t dictate now you will climb until you keel over. You do what you can at your fitness level and then do better the next time and the time after that.

 

I also love it because I can work exclusively on improving my form and technique. I find it hard to focus on my core whilst dodging taxis and tourists. Plus, there’s never a headwind to fight. And, it’s darn near impossible to fall over on a spin bike.

 

Still, while there’s nothing like a good ride outside for curing what ails you – staying indoors isn’t too terrible (unless you take my class :>> evil laugh).

 

To Jamie, Deneen, Curtis and Amanda – great job today! You are beasts!!! See you in 2009.

December 15, 2008

Sleigh bells ring...

Hardware%20ranch%203 Fair warning, this has post has nothing to do cycling; but it could be one of the coolest things ever to do over the holidays if you happen to find yourself around Hyrum, Utah (about 115 miles outside of Salt Lake City).

Starting this Friday you can take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through a herd of potentially 600 wild Rocky Mountain elk. Oh what fun!!!

Rides are available four days a week at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area and cost $5 for ages 9+, $3 for ages 4-8, children under three ride for free.  For more info, go to www.hardwareranch.com.

Just tell the kids that elk come from the same deer family as reindeers!

P.S. Only 11 more days til we leave for Euro New Year's. Oh, I've got it bad. I'm even thinking about packing early instead of my usual day we leave.

Photo by Marni Lee, Hardware Ranch VMA Asst. Manager


December 12, 2008

A swig of the nog...

Eggnog Last year, I posted 10 tips healthy holiday eating tips. This year... not so much. I wish I could take credit for the 10 tips below; but I can't. They're from an email an old friend sent me today. Enjoy (maybe with an egg nog chaser)!!!


1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.  


2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory
celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Have fun at those holiday parties this weekend!!!

December 10, 2008

yO, yO...

Oprah cover Interesting story that came out yesterday about Oprah Winfrey admitting that she’s fallen off the healthy living wagon. I’m not a big fan of her show; but, it couldn’t have been easy for her to reveal that publicly.

"I'm embarrassed," Oprah writes in the January issue of O. "I can't believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I'm still talking about my weight. I look at my thinner self and think, `How did I let this happen again?'"

I’m right there with you O.  The only thing preventing me from completely falling off the wagon is cycling. Thank goodness for bike riding. But, I’ll confess publicly too – my weight’s gone up and I’m mad and disappointed in myself. I’ve had to buy bigger clothes and I hate it. At the same time, I’m not doing everything in my power to stop either. Why am I letting it happen again?

For a long time, I couldn’t control my work life, so I made changes to my self to be happier. Now, I’m very happy with my job and my physical self is going down the tubes. This shouldn’t be an either/or equation and yet... obviously, I suck at math and balance.

There is a kind of comfort though in knowing that even Oprah Winfrey who has enough money in the world to hire anyone and buy anything she wants struggles internally like the rest of us, like me.

December 5, 2008

Thinking about honking...

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December 3, 2008

Take pity on this poor wanderer...

Dalmatian Coast It’s not fair! I’ve received two emails over the past week from Trek Travel featuring staff picks for their favorite cycling vacations. Take me, I want to go!!! There. Anywhere. RIGHT NOW!

 

Despite how much I travel for work these days, it’s not the same as indulging in wanderlust.  For work, I could be in a hotel in Dallas or Des Moines and it’s going to look about the same. But, to roam the Dalmatian coast or ride the Dolomites – oh, that’s tempting travel bliss. Plus, Trek Travel is offering special rates on European, Winter and North American vacations if you book before the end of the year. Even better, the exchange rate for the EURO is the best in years, so your money will go farther.

I’ve just got to hang on for 23 more days until we leave for our annual New Year’s trip (and I’m not going to tell you where yet). I’ve been practicing my language skills every day and pretty much driving everyone nuts. But they’ll be sorry if perchance they need to say, “the banana is yellow” or “the cat is very fat.” Uh huh, that’s right, me.