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. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014 UCI Road World Championships: Americans with 4 medals and counting

Today was the 1st day of the 2014 UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain. Four Americans stood on the podium for the Team Time Trial (TTT) and many others were participating. This is a fantastic start to the week of races and I can't wait to see how many medals we end up with by next Sunday.

But of course, you already knew that because American non-cycling media has been providing excellent coverage! If you follow cycling, you are seeing the results on FB, Twitter, and even Universal Sports. If not, you are seeing the news that the US has 3 Gold Medals and 1 Bronze across the bottom of your football game, tennis match, or car race. In fact, non-sports networks are covering the news just like during the Olympics.

What, you aren't seeing this? You didn't know that Carmen Small, Evelyn Stevens, and Alison Tetrick have shiny new hardware thanks to years of hard work and sacrifice. Carmen and Evie have golds along with their teammates on Team Specialized-lululemon, a couple of major US sponsors. Their male counterpart Tejay van Garderen is also in gold along with his US based Team BMC Cycling. Not to mention, a very close 4th place for Team Optum Pro Cycling only 7 seconds from a podium in the women's race. Optum is a US Team and one of the only all-North American professional teams in the world.

Ok, seriously, what a wasted opportunity. Next year, the United States hosts the 2015 World Championships in Richmond, Virginia. If this were the Olympics and the US was host in 4yrs, there would be plenty of coverage in preparation for the upcoming event on American soil. We don't have Universal Sports, but I hope they are giving Richmond plenty of plugs to get Americans excited about this major event. I also hope local networks are discussing the 2014 Worlds across the East Coast and encouraging non-cyclists to get involved, become volunteers, and support cycling!

Our American athletes deserve more than this. I'm not going to get into all the issues the NFL has had lately, but why can't a network or sponsor spare a few minutes of screen time for cycling on such an important Sunday. It is the World Championships! Race winners earn the right to wear the championship jersey in 2015 and wear championship stripes the rest of their career. It's a really big deal!

Not all American non-cycling media is ignoring this great achievement, Bonnie Ford (ESPN & Olympics writer extraordinaire) wrote in-depth articles on these racers in July and has reposted them during the day. I encourage you to take the time (maybe during that next football commercial) to learn about these athletes.
     Small is biking thru challenges
     Evelyn Stevens breaking ground for women

Alison and Tejay have fascinating back-stories as well. Alison is temporarily racing with Astana Be Pink out of Italy, on loan from Team Twenty16. and Tejay has Montana roots, but is now married to a former woman racer and living in Colorado. He finished 5th at the Tour de France and just won the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. We always hear the excuses about not showing women's cycling, but in today's case, not even being a man was enough. In fact, Tejay called today's win "The highlight of his career". Maybe we'll see it on Top 10 or the evening news, but I'm not going to stay home or dvr it.

I'm sure there are a handful of non-cycling American media sources sharing news of the 2014 World Championships, but it isn't what it should be. There is no shortage of photographers and journalists that would be happy to submit work to mainstream networks and media outlets.

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but this is a way I can provide both coverage and my thoughts to this issue. We need to show our pride in American success! We need to ask for coverage of athletes we respect. Those that don't expect the world to cater to them and rules to be broken for them. We need to tell sponsors that we won't put up with "bad" athletes and will buy more of their products if they back "good" athletes that have an international presence, represent American success, and bring home medals.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Park City Mountain Resort is now Epic?!

What a week for Park City! On September 9th, we got word that Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) would still be open for the 2014-2015 season because they had agreed to pay the $17.5M bond. If you aren't aware of the three year litigation battle that has been taking place, here's some history. Skiers, employees, and the community were happy with the news but still cautious about continuing lawsuits and the uncertainty of the 2015-2016 season and beyond. Little did we know, that two days later there would be more news.

We lived in Park City for 10 years before becoming season pass holders at PCMR. Although the terrain and snow might not be at the levels of Little Cottonwood, we really enjoy the convenience and community feel and are going into our 3rd season as pass holders. We are also huge fans of the trail system that PCMR supports along with Mountain Trails. There are miles and miles of single track that aren't there just to appease the lift-riding downhillers. As PCMR pass holders, we are showing our appreciation for year-round recreation.

The history of PCMR is shown on their website as part of their 50th Anniversary celebration. In 1963, Treasure Mountains Resort opened with help from a $1.2M loan from the Kennedy Administration. The name change came in 1971 and through the years, the resort has brought jobs, athletes, tourists, the Olympics, and so much more to our community.

So on September 9th, all was back in order. PCMR employees were safe for another year and we weren't concerned with losing money on not just season passes but tickets or passes at another resort. Then, on September 11th, we got news that Vail Resorts had purchased PCMR for $182.5M cash. Sure, that was always on the table and in the rumor mill but after the news of the bond, the timing seemed a little odd. Was this the plan all along? I imagine someday there will be a Sundance movie that will uncover all the drama that we haven't been privy to.

Word spread quickly! Work projects were put on hold to check media reports, send texts to those in the know, and check on season pass status. Immediately, we heard that PCMR was now Epic. Wait, we already knew that - ah, you mean part of the Vail Resorts Epic Pass. Great news for some of the locals that ski The Canyons (taken over by Vail Resorts last year) and had purchased Epic Passes. Amazing news for all those that buy the Epic Pass and travel to all the resorts. They can now come to Park City and get a 2-for-1.

But what about the Park City locals that believed in PCMR so much that we bought our 2014-2015 passes early on? We stood by our community, our slopes, our trails. Word is still out. Reports say that we will have the opportunity to upgrade to an Epic Pass, but no confirmation yet on the cost or on honoring pass upgrades at PCMR like parking, night skiing, and fast tracks.  Within an hour of hearing the news, we did receive a letter from PCMR that stated they would provide refunds. Update: PCMR pass holders have several options and can keep their upgrades! We chose to upgrade (additional $25 per pass) to an Epic plus Fast Tracks. We now get all the Epic Pass benefits plus we don't lose our PCMR Fast Tracks.

The good news is that as part of the purchase, Vail Resorts must keep PCMR employees for the 2014-2015 season. This has to be of some relief to our neighbors and friends. I would hope that the benefits are equivalent or better making the transition less stressful. When Vail Resorts took over the Canyons, 42 employees were let go in the first couple months which was a small % but still made an impact on the community.

In the last few days, whether at work, a restaurant, or on the trails; all the discussion is about Vail Resorts and what it means for Park City. Unless it is a realtor, the talk is negative which is normal for any kind of change.  I wish Vail Resorts, like any corporation in this position, would have had a list of FAQs ready and posted on their website. Obviously they are either still figuring things out or waiting until lift ticket prices for the season are announced and will let us all in on how and if things will change at PCMR. Update: There is now a comprehensive list of FAQs on the website!

According to Vail Resorts CEO, Rob Katz, it sounds like most things will stay the same. Also looks like next year there will be a lift between PCMR and The Canyons and the entire 7000 skiable acres will be called PCMR. I imagine this is an easy excuse to jack the ticket prices for both resorts this year, but we'll see. Let's get back to why realtors are happy.

Vail Resorts inherited 600,000 square feet of development approvals. This is one of the biggest concerns for Parkites, including us. We will likely hear construction equipment and have trail detours for the next 10 years. There are plenty of rumors about how Vail Resorts has operated in the past and many have seen it occurring the last year at The Canyons. Granted, a corporation with money can also bring many good things to the community, which we've also seen.

The only thing certain is that over the next year, we will see change. Some will be good, some bad. I am going to stay positive and trust that Vail Resorts will keep the employees and vibe that make PCMR feel like an extension of our community and not a corporation. I also hope they listen to (and become) locals who know that keeping the single track world-class and the development to a minimum is the right thing to do.

Everyone now also knows what we've known for years, which is PCMR is Epic no matter the season!