Friday, November 28, 2014

PCMR Opening Observations

Last Saturday was opening day for Park City Mountain Resort. A day that almost didn't happen after 50yrs of season openers. Fortunately, the temps were cold in early November for the snow guns to provide enough man-made for a handful of runs. Then, the snow gods did their part and provided several inches Saturday evening. Looks like everyone had a blast!

Usually we aren't ones to miss Opening Day, but I had cycling commitments and Terry was flat on his back. I spent the morning at the cycling studio, then had a relaxing afternoon watching wildlife and finishing a mystery novel.

Caution: Moose Crossing
Sunday morning, I got up early to snowblow and shovel then opted for cycling class rather than skiing. Terry and I really enjoy skiing together, so it felt wrong to hit the lifts for my 1st day of the season without him. Plus it was the first cycling class I'd been able to attend and a great opportunity to catch up with friends. Amazing how you all can ride all summer and never run into each other on the road or trail.

Cycling Friends - Steven, Rad, and Tara 
Since we couldn't travel due to injuries and work commitments, we stayed home for Thanksgiving. Wednesday evening, we did pool therapy for our back issues. Yesterday, we headed to the resort for our 1st official day of the 2014-2015 season. As long as we could survive the drive and chairlift rides, skiing would hopefully get some blood flowing.

In addition to wondering how our bodies would react, we were curious about the new ownership and what other changes we would observe. Since the Vail purchase in September, the most notable was the coffee announcement! I'm sure there is more to the story, but to drop Park City Coffee Roaster and at the last minute when they already had inventory, certainly wasn't following "Support Local" initiatives.

The 1st test was parking. We arrived before 9:30 and the lots were filling up quickly, but no major changes. Next up was the lift line protocol. All the access gates had been removed and replaced with employees with extra strength scanners. We have always kept our season passes in our pants to trigger the gates but learned quickly that a pass in your coat was easier for the humans.

Also different was the loading process from "Front Row" to an alternating lane system. It wasn't working very well, but maybe the skiers/employees just need some practice. As far as Fast Tracks, we were a little worried how it would work without gates. If you aren't familiar, Fast Tracks is similar to an express line at an amusement park. You pay more for the ability to go in a special lane and load immediately. Fast Tracks is now set up as an alternating lane with Ski Lessons and we didn't wait for a chair all morning. With the large Thanksgiving crowds and only 3 lifts open, it paid for itself immediately.

Skis Crossed for More Snow

Happy Thanksgiving Selfie
2014-2015 Base Area - No changes, but betting it won't look like this next season
Another change at PCMR is the rule that if an employee is on your chair, the bar is coming down. Having worked for corporations with legal and safety departments, this change wasn't a big surprise. I also have a feeling the marketing and sales departments were in on it, since the bar now weighs a lot more thanks to the trail map and advertisements.
Bar Coming Down!
Thin Cover - You can still see Jenni's MTB trail
Talking to some employees, we learned that many of the changes have been good, especially for them. They are excited about job stability, increased budgets, and improvement plans for next season. I hope this is a good sign for the upcoming season. We lasted 90 minutes before the crowds were too chaotic to navigate and we were craving ice and medication. We headed back home thankful for a ski resort that almost didn't open this year. Now we just need some more snow!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Can't Say No to My Passions

If only I could gain an extra hour of time every week and not just once a year during daylight savings. I find that as I try to say "no" more, I'm actually saying "yes" to activities I'm really passionate about and the hours are slipping by. The past few weeks of November are a perfect example. I'm not sure if I want it to change, the projects I've been working on outside of work are very exciting. Guess I'll find a balance eventually. For now, full steam ahead.
Nov 1: Last MTB on PCMR trails before the snow guns start blowing
Nov 1: SLC Real vs LA Galaxy - MLS Playoff Game 1
Nov 1: Can't say "no" to awesome seats - thanks Nelson!
On Sunday, Nov 2nd, I started off the 25hr day with a trip to SLC. The plan was for 60min of College Alumni Strategy and then my 90min Italian lesson. Glenn and I met about Montana Tech over a warm beverage, but then I headed home since my instructor was sick. After a quick lunch, next stop was to the cycling studio to setup the computrainer software and bikes, thankfully Terry helped me troubleshoot.
Nov 2: Cycling Software Program - this computer needed some TLC
Unfortunately I can't say "no" to work, so Monday I flew to Cincinnati and spent three long days with my project team and customer. We had a fun evening at Senate Pub for dinner and Taste of Belgium for dessert! I avoided the gym, but did go on a run with the guys one morning.
Nov 4: Vegan Nick Lachey (celebrating our project and the right to vote - which I did in Oct)
My body was still trying to figure out the time zone with a trip to the east coast right after the time change, so the rest of the week was a blur of work and workouts. In addition to the dark evenings, the temps have dropped, so I'm back on the trainer for the majority of my workouts until there is enough snow for skiing.

I woke up Saturday with a major dose of the blahs, which I'm blaming on travel and time change. I putzed around the house all morning, then headed to SLC for the Montana Tech Women's Volleyball game. They did a great job and won in 5. It was awesome to see a few ladies from my hometown on the roster!

Nov 8: Orediggers beat the Griffins on their home court! Can't say "no" to women's sports and college alumni.
 On Sunday, I was back in SLC for my Italian lesson at Raw Bean. Can't say enough about my instructor Davide and the coffee shop for providing me a chance to challenge my brain and improve my language skills. Now I've just got to get to Italy for immersion!

My Italian book collection to go with software programs, audio tapes, etc.
Home for a quick lunch and back to the cycling studio for more computrainer testing and setup. Again, Terry helped and we were able to try out a few multi-rider races and wrap things up before dark.

When I'm traveling often and for many days,  I cherish a week at home. Last week, I was able to do all my training plan workouts, knock out a few college alumni tasks including a monthly conference call, study italiano, cook, research holiday travel, and more. Although I'm still working long hours, it was the 1st week in a long time where I felt a bit more in control.

The weekend was packed as usual. Dinner & game night with the crew on Friday, computrainer class on Saturday morning followed by a trip to SLC for Montana Tech basketball, and then bodywork on Sunday. I also had to work, making my weekend work streak something I am not proud of and need to stop.

Nov 14: Cards Against Humanity - this hand had us laughing all night long! 5 solid answers - which would you pick?
Nov 15: 1st Computrainer Multi-Rider Class - only 2 of us, but it was official and successful - plus I made Terry sweat!
Nov 15: Oredigger Basketball - So much fun to experience the game with these two! Go Diggers!
I've been at home again this week and am still looking for that extra hour. If you hadn't heard, there is a movement in Utah to eliminate Daylight Savings Time. I'd vote for it.

Monday is a recovery day for workouts, but I find it hard to sit still. I headed to SLC for another 90min italiano lezione. I'm almost ready to write a blog, but I'll need much more than an hour to jot down a few paragraphs. How about a few words to get you prepared?

Ieri: Terry had a back injection and I was his designated driver and caregiver. Hopefully it will relieve the nerve pain he's been dealing with the past few weeks.
Oggi: I drove Terry back to SLC early for work then work, groceries, workout and finally a blog!
Domani: We are looking forward to a fancy evening at the Huntsman Cancer Institute Gala in SLC

If I've learned anything over the past few weeks, I can't (and don't want to) say "no" to my passions.
 - Friends
 - Italian
 - Sporting Events
 - Cycling
 - College Alumni

Guess I'll have to work on saying "no" to other activities, like cooking and working on the weekends.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

June-Oct Goal Review

Time flies when you are having fun! It also flies when you are working extremely long hours and weekends. I stayed on track with goal reviews the 1st 5 months of the year, but the last 5 months got away from me.  Now that Summer and Fall are over and I gained an hour today with the end of daylight savings, it felt appropriate to check in before time runs out on my 2014 goals.

June-Oct Summary
A1:  I didn't make a book a week, but I've also added almost an hour a day of Italian lessons to my plate. I would recommend any of these 12.
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Stay Close and Six Years by Harlan Coben, Treacherous Paradise by Henning Mankell, Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler, Police and Nemesis by Jo Nesbo, Purgatory Ridge by William Kent Krueger, Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, Step on a Crack by James Patterson

A2: I went on a blog break over the summer, so only 10 in 5 months. I did keep up with Mailbox Monday capturing shots on my long training rides. In September, I got back on track with posts.

A3: It seems that travel has dominated the last 5 months, but 3 trips were cycling related. Unfortunately I only escaped work in Italy, otherwise I was working early/late on "vacation".
- June = Tulsa (9 days), Cincinnati (5 days), Italy (5 days)
- July = Italy (7 days), LA (4 days), San Francisco (4 days)
- Aug = Cedar City (4 days), Toronto (5 days)
- Sept = San Francisco (4 days)
- Oct = LA (2 days), Toronto (5 days)

A4: Due to all the travel and catered food at work, I'm cooking less but I'm still on the hunt for a reliable weekly service.

Long Term: After our return from Italy, I found a local instructor and am taking private Italian lessons. The goal is to be prepared for a move to Italy at retirement, or sooner if the opportunity arises.

B1: Massages with Nelson are as consistent as my time on the bike. I look forward to each torture/healing session and between cycling and work stress, I don't make it easy on him.

B2: My work projects are for clients in eastern time zones which has left little time in the morning for yoga/stretching. I'm determined to set aside time the next 2 months to align my muscles and mind.

B3:  No change in my passion for women's cycling. This summer included Tulsa Tough, Half the Road screening, Tour of Utah Women's Races, and my own attempt at the Ultimate Challenge to understand what Ride 4 Equality would actually entail. Tweets @girojenny are best place to see all the good things going on with Women's Cycling.

B4: Major fail on this goal. I haven't seen my nephews in years and with all the travel, Terry and I have spent most weekends catching up with each other. We were fortunate to have a few friends and family visit over the Summer and Fall.

Long Term: I'm actually going backward with my "lists". Each massage session, I'm reminded of my bad habit as Nelson tries to relax my neck and shoulders. I'm making some adjustments at work, so maybe my lists will start improving.

C1-C5: Thanks to Corey and our cycling training program, the last 5 months have been great for physical conditioning! We were in good shape for our Italy trip and then I was able to regroup and survive The Ultimate Challenge.
Finishing The Ultimate Challenge!
1. Core strength is now the focus as we head into ski season. Similar to yoga, I need to make it a priority.
2. I did my 1st trail run last Sunday. It was enjoyable, but nowhere near 13 miles. I plan on doing more winter running/snowshoeing as cross-training.
3. Terry and I did lots of MTBing in September and October. Nothing epic, but fun all the same!
4. It snowed today, so maybe there will be a chance to still skate ski in 2014.
5. I raced in Italy and it was amazing!
Our last ride in the Dolomiti

D1: No updates on the lot. We'll try again in the Spring.

D2: I've been carrying the gift cards in my purse, I wish I could convert them to cash and be done with it. I also wonder if it is acceptable to re-gift gift cards?

E1: There is a large pile ready to take to the donation center before the end of the year. We haven't made any large purchases, but did buy the necessary bike gear throughout the season.

E2: Italy was fantastic! Even though our luggage and bikes didn't arrive for 4 days, we worked through it and had the best time with Amanda and her friends in Treviso and the Dolomites!

E3: We have definitely made progress on the basement remodel in the last 5 months but it isn't complete. It is functional and we are moved in, but believe it or not, I'm still waiting for my hooks!

January Goal Review
February Goal Review
March Goal Review
April Goal Review
May Goal Review

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Playing in the Aspens

I'm on the road for the 2nd straight week. Last week was a short trip to LA, this week a long stay in Toronto. I only had time in California for a couple amazing vegan meals and a hit of perfect weather. In Canada, the weather has been cold and rainy but we've done a lot of walking around the city to some interesting restaurants. At night, I watch (and practice with) the Italian channel and go to the hotel gym.

I'm looking forward to getting home and enjoying a few more mountain bike rides before winter arrives for good.  The last few weeks, we've seen the aspens take center stage! We've started riding our road bikes on the trainers at night, but the weekends are all about MTBing. The following photos pick up where the September Single Track Adventures blog left off.

Wednesday Snow 10/1 - Not a great start to the month!
Friday MTB 10/3 - Snow in the Shade
Armstrong-MidMtn 10/4
Aspen Carpet
Raise your hand if you love Tommy's 2 Step!
Big Intersection - North Face runners everywhere!
Bonanza Sunbeams
Jenni's 10/5
Worth a Detour
Basement Tile Project - Gears and European Coins
After Work Ride on Glenwild Loop 10/9
Happy MTBer 10/11
Loose Moose 10/12

CMG 10/18 - Only a few Aspens still showing off

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Moose Murder

I read murder mysteries for a release from work stress and instead of watching some of the television shows my husband watches for his work release. I stay away from gruesome story-lines and choose authors that can combine a unique plot and leave me guessing until the end. The latest murder in my life isn't in a novel, but in my neighborhood and it is causing stress rather than relieving it.

This murder occurred on a Friday morning in September. I actually didn't hear about it until last weekend when my friend Tara mentioned it. I immediately jumped online to read the reports and comments from both strangers and neighbors. Take a moment to read about this murder and investigation.

Sept 23rd Report - Moose Shot in Summit Park
Oct 3rd Report - Moose Shooter won't face criminal charges

I've been trying not to be judgmental and hoping that the shooter would help us understand more of his situation. I haven't seen anything in the reports, but even if I did it wouldn't change how upsetting this is. I consider moose like some consider their family pets. I've spent hours admiring these majestic animals from every window in our house. I've been there just hours after a birth, watched a mating ritual, and have seen mama teaching her babies how to do moose things. I have moose pictures throughout my blog posts and so many more special moments that didn't get on camera. I haven't seen this year's mama and calf since the shooting and that definitely worries me.

A tender moment in early September
I'm sad that one of my neighbors feels that a gun is necessary to hike our trails and so many others share his views in the comments. I'm angry that his unleashed dog merits more respect than a moose. I'm frightened for the calf that is now motherless and is experiencing snow and danger all alone. I'm disappointed that our Utah DWR (Division of Wildlife Resources) did not issue any criminal charges and set a precedent for more moose murders. I'm cautious as I ride my mountain bike on the same trails and past the crime scene, keeping an eye out for a hiker with a limping dog that may try to shoot a warning shot my way.

Emotional MTB on Friday evening on neighborhood trails now known for the moose murder
Park Record columnist Amy Roberts put many of my thoughts into words earlier this week. No matter if you agree with us or not, I hope this moose murder doesn't go unnoticed. If you or loved ones carry a weapon, please remind them to be careful and respectful. If you have inside or outside pets, cherish your moments with them. If you recreate in my neighborhood or other areas where murders have occurred, don't let the bad stuff keep you from enjoying your life and the outdoors!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September Single Track Adventures

We are experiencing another wet weekend. I've never lived in a rainy climate and after this summer, not sure if I could. It is difficult to give into the weather dictating activities. I always put off riding the trainer until the last possible moment, but I'm destined for some time in the basement today.

We spent the morning watching the Women's Elite World Championship Road Race on an Italian internet feed. As I mentioned in last week's blog, this is an important week for cycling and today's race was the final outing for the women. The Americans put up a good fight even after losing a couple teammates in a massive crash. They animated the race, with sprinter Shelley Olds grabbing 6th place. USA is still holding at 4 medals, but we have one more chance in tomorrow's men's race. Overall, the Americans are doing a great job in all the events, including local Tanner Putt with 13th in the U23 road race!

With rain last Sunday then a week in San Francisco for work, and knowing that it will be several days before the rain stops and the trails dry out, I'm experiencing mountain bike withdrawals. I took several photos over the last few weeks of our single track adventures, but here are some favorites.

Starting the weekend with pizza for breakfast at Silver Star Cafe
Saturday - Waited for Mid Mtn Marathon to wrap up, then enjoyed the quiet Deer Valley trails
Sunday - Armstrong Leaf Carpet on our way to Pinecone

Sunday - Spiro Switchback
Sunday - Moose Visit
After writing about Park City Mountain Resort's Epic status and new owner Vail Resorts, I decided to visit all three resorts during the week. 
Then followed that with a full sweep when we rode Mid Mountain trail from Deer Valley thru PCMR to The Canyons on Saturday.

Tuesday - Hike at PCMR for Dad's Birthday
Wednesday - Road Ride to Deer Valley
Deer Valley Aspens
Thursday - MTB Rob's to The Canyons
Sun dropping fast at The Canyons
Turn Around
Buck Visit
Saturday - Tandem MTB navigating Mid Mountain at Deer Valley
PCMR from Mid Mountain
Deep Thoughts at The Canyons
It's now been a week since I've been on the mountain bike or actually any bike so no wonder I'm going thru withdrawals. On a positive note, that persistent saddle sore has finally healed. Guess it's time to wrap this up and reacquaint myself with the trainer.