Trek Women
May 7, 2009

I'm gonna get a free t-shirt...

WABA bike day Who loves free stuff? I do!! I love free stuff almost as much as I love free breakfast. And I'll get some of both at DC's official Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 15th!

Are your calendars marked and tires pumped -- next week is National Bike to Work Week and there are events happening all over the place. You can see if your neck of the woods is having one here:  http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/events.php#DC.

This will be my 3rd year participating in DC's Bike to Work Day and it's a lot of fun riding the streets with hundreds (thousands?) of other riders. There will be 26 pit stops in the area, where folks who are new to bike commuting can join a "convey" into the city. Plus, there's food, drinks, giveaways, raffles and the coveted 2009 Bike to Work Day tee.

Let's hope for fair weather since it's been raining every day here for over a week.

*Artwork is from DC Bike to Work Day poster

March 27, 2009

Take it outside...

Spring tree Ahhhh Spring. Achoooo! Not even the layer of cherry blossom pollen covering me from head to toe will keep me inside this weekend. Unless it rains, which will wash away the pollen and stop the sneezing. So, that wouldn’t be too bad. But I’d rather go outside.

 

I’m not the only one – my friend Nancy who works for Texas Parks and Wildlife sent me a link to this article from Southern Living Magazine “7 Reasons to Get Outdoors.” They are what you’d expect – increase energy, boost Vitamin D, reduce stress, family fun, burn calories, have fun and swap the gym for open air. The “have fun” reason talks about the carefree fun of biking and the photo shows a couple riding their Treks! Did you know, you can burn up to 30% more calories doing the same physical activities outdoors than in the gym? I didn’t.

 

Anyway, I got to thinking – what are the reasons I like play outside? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

 

1)       It smells better

2)       It’s free

3)       Tons of new activities to try and challenge myself

4)       Spend time with my friends

5)       People-watching (check out cute guys)

6)       It gets me away from refrigerator temptations

7)       I just feel better!

 

Why do you like to go outdoors?

February 23, 2009

Have a nice day...

I think my post today will be kind of like my spin class this morning – I’ll just make it up as I go along (if you would like to play along at home… song of the day is The Rockafeller Skank by Fatboy Slim).

 

#1: Ankle is healing nicely – thanks everybody for your comments and I’m sorry if the photo grossed you out. I’m not ready for Step or high heels yet; but, I have no problems riding.

 

#2: Things are progressing nicely at the ol’ WW (weight watchers). I’ve dropped some decent lbs and I’m starting to feel more like myself.

 

#3: I haven’t gassed up my car since December. Just about the only time I drive instead of bike or walk is to go to Target or the airport. I’m almost to the “E” though.

 

#4: Actually, I can’t think of anything else interesting today. I’m in a nice spot at the moment. Hope you are too!

February 16, 2009

Cupid gets his revenge...

Hi everybody, hope you had a happy Cranky Cupid day. I did a spin class and rode on a stationary bike at the gym for about an hour afterwards til my iPod ran out of juice. Kind of boring compared to last year's 3-hour-spin-a-thon -- but my gym gave out free t-shirts, so that was a bonus.

Later, my sis Jen and I saw He's Just Not That Into You - surprisingly, there were a lot of couples in the audience, which sounds like a pretty horrible film to see on Valentine's Day if you ask me. Hey honey, let's go see that movie about men's relationship jedi mind tricks and why I turn myself into a complete nutball trying to guess why you do the things you do. Who among us hasn't become OCD waiting for the phone to ring. I can't decide if the movie left me feeling hopeless or hopeful that it might work out in the end.

I was still pondering that question while taking my usual Sunday morning Step Aerobics class yesterday. With my mind half on a rewind of previous relationships - which shouldn't have taken that long - I missed the step and fell backwards, wrenching my ankle (on the plus side, my abs were strong enough that my head didn't thwack the floor and no broken bones). And then I figured out how to ride my bike home with one leg. Well, at least it's better than wiping out going 18 miles per hour. I hope I won't be sidelined for long.

Foot big


February 5, 2009

Get even crankier...

Cranky2 Holy buckets everyone, I looked at the calendar last night and realized the sappiest day of the year is nearly upon us - Valentine's Day. ugggh. And that can only mean one thing - it's time for the Cranky Cupid Spin-a-thon2.

Since anti-V-Day falls on a Saturday, it's messing up my schedule to host another 3-hour Spin-a-thon at the Marine Barracks. But, I'm thinking I might just do it partially in spin class at the gym and partially on my trainer. The only rule of the Cranky Cupid Spin-a-thon2 is just to be one of millions (or someone besides me) riding your bike on Valentine's Day.

I won't even make you take the anti-Valentine's Day Pledge (I pledge to turn my nose up at candy that comes in heart-shaped boxes, fuzzy pink teddy bears that you get for free if you buy 3 cards at Hallmark, balloons that say "you're still the one" and play music, and ice-cream-color-dyed carnations.)

C'mon everybody, let's get Crankier this year!!

January 31, 2009

Good gravy...

I’m back from Little Rock and I did good up until Day 4, then I broke. The gravy made me do it. Our conference (which was a smashing success BTW) was at the CA Vines 4H Center, which is actually in the country outside of Little Rock – meaning, you couldn’t go anywhere. An ice storm, kept us inside – meaning jumping jacks in your room for exercise. The Center is really nice; but rustic – meaning you make your own bed. The meals were served elementary-school-cafeteria-style – meaning, you ate what they were cooking or you didn’t eat. Also, everything featured some form of pork/ham/bacon with gravy on top. It was interesting if not slightly frightening.

 

I was doing my best to hang in there – I ate my oatmeal, my Fiber 1 bars, huge plates of salad from the tiny salad bar and granny smith apples that I stuffed in my bag from the “Break” snacks (found next to the M&M cookies). But by Day 4, my buzz was getting drowned out by my inner devil voice saying “I'M NOT SATISIFED! FEED ME SOMETHING GOOD!!”

 

That night, after the conference ended, we drove to a restaurant and that’s when I broke and ordered a gin and tonic with a side of mashed potatoes. And they were good. It’s best not to talk about Day 5 (yesterday) and my arrival home.

 

BUT – I got up this morning, went to the gym and I’m putting myself back on track and into gravy detox. Well, at least I lasted longer than day 2 – that’s a positive.


 

January 25, 2009

What's the buzz...

You know when you eat a lot of garbage, you just feel like crap. And then you just want to eat more because you figure, what the heck, I’ve already blown it, might as well go for broke and a Chipotle burrito with guac and sour cream.

 

I’m more than 2 weeks back on the Weight Watchers wagon and I don’t feel like crap. In fact, I’m feeling pretty fine and the weight is starting to come off. I’m bike commuting to work every day (even in the frigid temps), teaching spin, taking classes at the gym, and cooking up a fresh, non-processed-food storm. Between eating better and exercising, I’ve got a healthy little buzz going on. How did I forget that part? I literally have an internal energy hum happening.

 

Next week will be a big challenge though – I’m going to a conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s going to be tough, but I’m ready. I’ve packed some instant regular oatmeal packets to have for breakfast and Fiber 1 bars to have as a treat every night instead of indulging in dessert. The conference center is rustic and doesn’t have a gym – so I’m bringing sneakers and sweats for daily power walks.  On past biz trips, I usually cave by day 2; but this time, I’m gonna make it. I don’t want to lose my buzz. I’ll let you know how I fare!

January 23, 2009

Troubleshooting your WWR contest entry...

Hi ladies,
Trek is aware that some of you might be experiencing problems uploading your essay or images. Here are 2 things that might be happening:
 
1. Your image size too large. When this happens, you should get an error message letting you know. Check that it's a JPEG or GIF file under 350K.
 
2. You have more than 500 characters in your essay.  Note, if you are writing the essay in Word, the character count will include spaces etc. 
 
You'll know that your entry worked because you'll receive a thank you confirmation. Keep trying!
 
As a very, very last resort, email your essay and photo only to krista_rettig@trekbikes.com. No bribing or begging :) She wants to make sure everyone has a chance to enter. However, it really should be if you've exhausted all the other options because she'll have to upload your entry to the system and that could be pretty overwhelming for one person and possibly delay the search for the next 5.
 
Hope this helps!
Laura
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.

November 24, 2008

Best foot forward...

Pedal power Did you know that in an hour-long fitness ride, you’ll turn over your pedals an average of 5,400 times? I’m not a bike componentry whiz so I won’t even try to go there about upgrading your crankset. Although, I will say that I highly recommend buying a pair of clipless pedals and cycling shoes if you’re riding longer distances or take spin classes regularly.

BUT, you don’t need gear to put your best foot forward. Simply think about your pedaling technique. Here’s what I tell my spinners…

 

Pedal as if you’re drawing smooth circles with your feet – at the bottom of the circle, imagine that you are scraping mud or whatever off the bottom of your shoe.

 

Don’t point your toes down – also a sign that your seat might be too high if you’re over-extending to get around. Focus on keeping your feet flat with the balls of your feet over the center of the pedals.

 

Start your circle by putting the force on pushing forward with your leg (like kicking out) instead of straight down and then pull the pedal upwards. Just mashing down can lead to knee injuries and leg cramps. Also by using the push and the pull, you engage more leg muscle like your hamstrings.

 

It may take some practice; but I guarantee you’ll feel pedal perfection!

 

P.S. If you’re using cycling shoes, check that your cleats are properly aligned on your shoe. Cleats should be positioned under or just behind the ball of the foot. They should also be aligned so that your knees don’t turn in or out. Some pedal systems (like the Speedplays I use on my Trek 5000 road bike) allow more float or rotation to get the right knee position; while others like SPDs lock you in.

 

A few months back, I was feeling a little stress on my right knee during spin class and I couldn’t figure out why. Then it finally dawned on me that I had recently replaced that cleat. I tweaked the alignment and no more knee stress. So, I learned that my cleat set-up varies slightly for each foot.