Trek Women
November 30, 2008

I COUGH THEREFORE I PEE

Cough

Welcome to winter and the cold and flu season.  Just for the record, I am not a complainer BUT I have had a cold like I have never had before.  I feel as though there is a small elf tickling my throat with a feather and another elf filling my lungs with the greenest gooiest chewiest phlegm I have ever seen.

Because my body is being attacked by elves I have this constant ever present cough.  It is rough and deep and when I cough I feel it all the way down to my toes.  My entire being rattles.  My cough comes anytime, anywhere.  I get it when I am mid-conversation or when I am taking a sip of water or in the middle of a workout.  It appears without any warning and is hard to get rid of.  Often times it includes a small amount of spewing.  

The worst part of it is once I get into a full on coughing fit I can't help but pee myself.  Yep, I cough therefore I pee.  I've had four children and my muscles down there are completely shot.  I've got nothing.  Zip.  Zero.  Zilch.  What can I say?  I've tried all the womanly exercises and they've not helped a bit.

So I gotta do something other than peeing in my pants everyday and I'm clearly to old (or too young) for diapers.  What do I do?  You got it, I go the pantyliner route and when I go spinning or cycling I never have to worry because all of my cycling shorts have the multipurpose pad. 

Now the good thing about having this cough is that I have minimized my trips to the bathroom on any given day.  It works out nicely because with 4 children I never really had a lot of time to go to the restroom anyway. 

You get it?  It's all how you look at things?  Being attacked by elves is actually saving me time in the long run.  God, I love this cold!

November 29, 2008

GET THE KIDS EXCITED!

Liambike
I often drone on and on about the evils of TV and video games and how it makes a kid lazy.  Luckily my oldest has past the point where I don't have to worry about that happening to him and I can tell that the other three are right behind him.  They all enjoy a variety of physical activities and I never have to beg them to participate.  They like to run, hike and ride their bikes...just as I imagined they would. 

Last week, one of our friends that runs a local bike shop asked Liam if he wanted to join their kids mountain bike team.  You would have thought he had given Liam a million dollars.  Of course he said yes and he's already working on how he's going train throughout the winter.  Mind you, he's 8 years old.

As parents we owe it to our kids to help them find something that gets them jazzed.  A bike can open the door to just about anything.  Hmmm....maybe you need to talk to Santa Claus about getting a new bike for your kid.  Just a suggestion.  Not only is biking great exercise, but it can also be a wonderful bonding opportunity for you and your child.  Oh ya, and don't forget the helmet!
November 26, 2008

YOU'RE THANKFUL FOR WHAT?

Kiley

Every year at Thanksgiving we all are reminded of the many things we are all thankful for.  I am constantly telling my children that they are always at the top of the list for things that I am thankful for.

They asked me if my list was going to be any different this year.  I explained to them that it was pretty much the same as last year (thankful for my kids, my friends, the Loveman) but that this year I was even extra thankful that Nana was still with us and that she was beginning to feel a bit better. 

I then turned the tables to them to see what they were thankful for and I thoroughly enjoyed their responses.

  1. I am thankful for money, all my pennies and dimes - Fiona
  2. I am thankful for my friends - Liam
  3. I am thankful for my stuffed animals - Kiley
  4. I like my race cars - Seamus
  5. I am thankful for my teacher and my class - Fiona
  6. I am thankful for my soccer team - Liam 
  7. I am thankful for milk - Kiley
  8. I wanna see the race cars - Seamus
  9. I am thankful for food - Fiona
  10. I am thankful for my mom and dad - Liam & Fiona

It warms my heart to hear their responses and to see what beautiful, kind people they are turning into.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and don't forget to hold your loved ones close!

November 23, 2008

I ALMOST LOST A KID

Seamus2

After reading the title of this blog you're probably saying to yourself, "How the heck do you lose a kid?"  Well, when you have a kid named Seamus it's not too hard. 

When my son Liam was 2, he was great.  I never really had the pleasure of experiencing the "terrible two's".  When he turned 3 he was a little mischievous but nothing too bad and my girls were always pretty good with the exception of the occasional meltdown.  Now Seamus is a whole different story.  He is his own independent person that does whatever he wants.

The other day I was taking a shower and the Loveman was working on bikes in the garage with Seamus.  After about ten minutes Jim opened the bathroom door and asked me if I had seen him.  I of course said no because I was he the shower.  He informed me that he walked in the house to get a bowl of cereal and 2 minutes later when he came back Seamus was gone. 

Jim took off down into the woods in front of our house where our tree house is and I got dressed as fast as I could.  I ran to the garage, grabbed my helmet, hopped on my bike and started riding down the road.  We live on a private road off a main road with 7 houses that are very spread out.  I rode down 3 houses and there he was walking down the road in his plaid shirt and hiking boots with his chain saw in his hand.  As I rode up to him he said "Mom, I wanna find that leaf blower".  He had obviously heard a leaf blower in the distance and decided to follow it.  Did I mention he really likes leaf blowers?

He made it home safely and the Loveman and I only suffered from minor heart attacks.  The moral of the story:  Make sure you always have a helmet and bike on standby so if you need to jump on quickly in case of an emergency you can do so...and one more thing, don't turn your back for a second cuz those little buggers are fast!

November 22, 2008

GET READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Gary 44 w.friends1
This weekend is a very important time for me.  It is my "get ready for the holidays" weekend.  Most people like to get ready by cleaning their house, starting their Christmas shopping or hanging their outside holiday lights.  Not me.  I get ready in a very different way.  I like to prep my body for all the eating, drinking and partying that I will be partaking in throughout the holiday season.

On Saturday night I attended a 44th birthday party for my good friend Gary.  It was a very special evening for me as it kicked off the holiday season.  We started with red champagne and dirty martinis, then moved to oysters, creative appetizers and fabulous homemade deserts.  The conversation and laughter was non-stop and the kids enjoyed their own party.  All in all it was an incredible night for kids and adults alike.  I am truly fortunate to have the friends in my life that I do. 

Now I feel like I am prepped and ready to take on the holidays.  Nothing like a good warm-up to get you going (the photo says it all)!  I just have to figure out how to fit in a workout every now and then and I'll be all set!  Thanksgiving and Christmas here I come!

November 20, 2008

A MOMENTOUS DAY

Mom1

As of today my mother is officially done with her 6 weeks of chemo and radiation.  It is an amazing accomplishment, one which many of us, including myself, cannot even imagine. 

She is far from being done with her whole ordeal but she has made it over her first hurdle and that is a big step forward.  It takes courage, stamina and perseverance to go through this process and she has shown all of these qualities throughout her journey.  

I am very proud of her and even prouder that she's my mom...and she's never had any work done.  Doesn't she have great skin at 70?

November 18, 2008

HERE'S WHAT I LEARNED TODAY

Liam

My children are always a great source of entertainment, fascination and learning.  I love to hear their stories from school, the bus, the neighbors and any other oddity they want to talk about. 

Today I was helping Liam study for a Social Studies quiz.  Most of the questions on his study sheet involved who holds what elected offices and what they attempt to accomplish during their term.  Once we were done looking at the elected office information he pulled out a handout and said that he had to know that info as well. 

While the school doesn't allow students to ride their bikes to school nor do they have any safe routes to school much less sidewalks or bike racks, they are trying to support healthy living and safe riding.  Here's what he was expected to learn for his SS quiz.  

Maryland Bicycle Laws

  1. A person under sixteen years of age shall not ride upon any bicycle unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet that meets safety standards. (Wow a helmet, that's a great idea.)
  2. A person riding a bike must stop at all stop signs and lights. (Do you think so?  Really?)
  3. Persons riding a bicycle, coaster, roller skates or sled will not grab onto a moving car or truck.  (Why? Isn't that safe?)
  4. A person riding a bicycle on a sidewalk shall yield to pedestrians and give an audible (sound) signal before passing.  (Isn't creeping up from behind ok?)
  5. A person riding a bicycle shall not wear earplugs or a headset covering both ears.  (Is it that important for them to hear cars?)

This is something that anyone that rides a bike can benefit from, not just a 3rd grader.  We can all use a little refresher every once in awhile.  I always have to constantly remind myself that as a parent I set the example for my children...and some days I do better than others.

Liam hasn't gotten his grade back yet but when he does I'll let you know how he did. 

November 14, 2008

DC FOTOWEEK

P14.BackCover

For the past week I have been working in Georgetown as part of DC FotoWeekFrom November 15-22, 2008, FotoWeek will mark the first annual gathering of a diverse and wide-ranging photography community in the nation’s capital.  The event includes photographers, museums, universities and all those involved in the profession of photography across the metro D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland.

Night Gallery DC has been the highlight of the week and I have been lucky enough to be a part of
world premiere digital video slide show.   FotoWeek DC and area museums teamed up to create a week-long  display of large scale projections of photographs selected from the collections of some of Washington DC's most honored institutions, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Newseum.

The high definition slide show exhibits some of the world's most compelling photographic images from landscapes, to portraits; from history to art to science.  Each projection site is a focal point for viewers to experience on a grand scale the magic that comes when light meets surface. 

NewseumFront_20 My dear friend of 14 years, Marc Herring of Herring Media Group, is the Executive Producer and Designer.  He has basically transformed the city into a nocturnal urban gallery.  He calls the format “Heroic Media" in which he uses cinema-scale architectural installations to transform buildings into theaters of light and image.  You have to see it to believe it.  Marc has a distinct vision and whatever he does, he does it big and it never ceases to blow you away.  If you get to DC this week make sure you look around town at night for some "Heroic Media".  It will truly inspire you. 

November 10, 2008

THE WIND TUNNEL TELLS ALL

LanceProfile


Trek is really an impressive company and every day and amazed at all the things that are going on on Waterloo, Wisconsin.  I am so lucky to part of the Trek family.  First off, I have learned more about biking than I ever imagined I would and secondly I have met some really cool and extremely knowledgeable people at Trek.   

I have been trying to keep up with Lance Armstrong’s return to racing and noticed that he had been at the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel last week and was able to get the band back together!  Several of his key product engineers and aerodynamicists (big word) from the Formula 1 crew regrouped to help Lance do it all over again. 

This group includes famed Trek engineer Mark Andrews, longtime coach Chris Carmichael and Trek road product manager Scott Daubert.  They are confident that through pooling their resources, they'll be able to put together some new gear that they can offer him for his upcoming races.

So you ask, why is the whole wind tunnel analysis important for time trials?  Here's what I've learned.  Over 70% of the power you produce on a bike goes to overcome wind resistance. It's that important.

While spinning in the wind tunnel the idea is to optimize your position by finding the balance between power output ie. biomechanical efficiency (hmmmm... another big word) and aerodynamics, or power to drag ratio. It is all about attention to detail.  Once all the measurements are put in they are able to determine your most optimal position.

Wow!  Fortunately as a cyclist I don't have to worry about any of that but it's pretty interesting stuff.  Who would have thought that it's that big of a process?  But heck, if it works for Lance, I'm all for it!  I just figured I could accomplish the same thing by setting up my fan in front of my bike trainer and changing positions a few times to see what's most comfortable.  Guess not!





November 7, 2008

TREK CAN DO THIS!

Kaui

Once again I am back in Hawaii.  I'm staying on the island of Kauai and I have no complaints... but if I did you would all think I was a spoiled rotten brat.  This time I am here for 8 days which includes 2 full days of traveling.  It's far far away from the east coast.  So far the trip has been fantastic and the island unbelievable.  I was here 19 years ago on my honeymoon and a lot has changed since then. 

I'm always intrigued by the type of exercise that people engage in no matter where I go.  I think secretly I'm hoping that people are doing nothing so that I won't have any guilt when I'm not cycling or going to the gym as much as I should be.  

Bike While in Kauai I noticed a fair bit of hiking and surfing.  That seemed to be what everyone did, local or not.  Then one afternoon while cruising around the hotel I came upon one of the coolest bikes ever.  I'm not sure what its called but it in kind of like a bike taxi.  You and a friend sit it the front while the cyclist sits in the back, works like hell and can barely see a thing.  It's a great workout, a fun ride and an exoticly dangerous bike.  I think I 'm going to speak to one of the designers at Trek and see if they can get working on something like this.  Maybe I'll even offer to help...I knew I had another calling.