Sunday, April 13, 2014

30 Days of Biking: Here we go again

Last year, I signed up for 30 Days of Biking thanks to Twitter friend Melissa. During the month of April, I challenged myself physically and mentally to complete all 30 days, most outside. The challenge was fun and provided a good base for a long summer of riding. This year I pledged again along with 6974 others across the globe. The pledges doubled that of last year and resulted in 232 Free Bikes for Kidz (1 for every 30 pledges)!

Motivation comes in many forms. Knowing that I'm accountable to tweet a photo to  #30daysofbking each day is a big one.  The 200+ children that are getting a bike which includes freedom, exercise, and adventure is another. My family and friends that supported me last year and are excited (and hopefully inspired) about 2014 is a huge factor. Finally, this amazing idea was born in Minnesota, where April weather must be more challenging than Park City, so there are no excuses to bundling up and promoting cycling.

This year has been more challenging than last. I don't have great excuses but do have lots going on. Work is extremely time-consuming, we are remodeling the basement, and ski season is still in session. I've missed a day, but plan to make it up with a double.  I also hope to commute to the office a few times in the second half and will have to get creative for a business trip.

Last year, I put guidelines around my daily rides, but not this year.  As long as I pedaled, it counted.

Day 1 - Fresh Snow - Leaving for cycling class & glad to start out the month inside 
Day 2 - More Snow - Took the fat bike out for a neighborhood loop and picked up a newspaper
Day 2 - Also got out of snowblower duty thanks to 30 Days of Biking responsibilities
Day 3 - Cycling Class - Last one of Block 3 and it was painful

Day 4 - At Work from 6am to 9pm - Just couldn't make myself climb on a bike once I got home
Day 5 - Men's BBall & Trainer - Skiing then moved everything out of basement but the essentials
Day 6 - Women's BBall & Trainer - Another long day prepping basement for remodel and snowstorm
Day 7 - Neighborhood MTB - Found a prop for a picture
Day 8 - Women's Final Four & Trainer - Home late, but just in time for tip-off
Day 9 - MTB Adventure - Found a new single track and this treasure
Day 10 - Road Bike  - Beautiful evening & no knee warmers required
Day 11 - Team CB vs Big C MTB in Round Valley (there was an elk herd just behind us)
Day 12 - Girls Day MTB in Round Valley - Lots of laughs, a few tumbles, and no boys allowed
Day 13 - Skied, then snowstorm, then a quick mtb around neighborhood

Sunday, April 6, 2014

March Goal Review

Ride4Equality Update: Thank you all for the support and interest in Ride 4 Equality - please check out the blog page as I add more details.  Also follow on FB, Twitter, and Ride4Equality.com

My personal March Madness is over but just like the Final Four, it has bled over into April. My back continued to heal with no major setbacks and I finally got the courage to do some shoveling this afternoon. I'm still not on top of all my goals for 2014 but did make progress in certain areas. I realize at the end of Q1 that my goals were quite aggressive, but I'm not giving up and will continue to use them to shape my decisions.  
  

March Summary
A1: Finished 2 books. Getting to 4 is going to be tough - need to carve out more time.
- The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo. Harry Hole Detective Series doesn't disappoint. 
- State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. Makes you think - not sure if I would be up for such an adventure.

A2: Wrote 4 blogs. With cycling around the corner and the pro season in full swing, lots on my mind. I've also picked up Mailbox Monday again. Next step toward the coffee table book is interviewing the owners. (Long Term goal)

A3: Only 1 week out of 4 with a trip back to Cincinnati, which wasn't very exciting but always good for people watching.

A4: Have stopped the weekly produce bag and found a local solution for meals! We have been sampling options and will be working on a set menu with the chef. It's a joyous day when I come home with our weekly delivery!  I'm still making staples like quinoa & kale and salads, but not spending the hours on prepping and cooking.

B1: I passed up guinness and live Irish music on St Pat's in order to go to my bodywork appointment and had absolutely no regrets. I usually don't pick the music, but on this occasion had Nelson turn up the Celtic tunes.  My shoulders were holding so much stress it was a good reminder to try and let go of my work emotion and lists. (Long Term goal)
I did not pass up on St Pat's at work

B2: Haven't been back to yoga class yet because of my back, but planning to try again next week. We did take another private yoga session with Tiffany, who Terry has to thank for a happy back! I'm not as diligent as Terry, but have been practicing several times a week

B3:  Most of my spare time was spent on women's cycling, like other months. Best to follow @girojenny for all the race results as the season and my Women's Cycling page for more websites. In addition, I woke up one morning after tossing and turning with my Ride4Equality idea that I'm hoping becomes reality.  The struggle at the moment is coming up with time to organize my thoughts and gain momentum.  The feedback and support I've received in just 2 weeks is awesome!

The Montana Tech Alumni St Pat's parade was a good time as always!  Charlie the Oredigger made an appearance and we had a good showing.  

B4: We celebrated our birthday dinner with wonderful friends, that we haven't spent enough time with over the last month. Family friends from Montana were in SLC and we met up for dinner and Jazz game! Last weekend, we drove to Big Sky for a quick family reunion with Terry's family (6 adults and 2 teenagers). We had a great day of skiing with good conditions and awesome terrain.
Big Sky, Montana

C1-C5: March was so much better than February but still haven't gotten into a good rhythm.  We did a lot of skiing, just not skate skiing. The new yoga moves definitely satisfy C1 for core work. I have been running on the treadmill a couple days a week for C2. I have my 2014 USA Cycling License for C5 and Ride4Equality will be very good practice to get to the Grand Tour long term goal.

D: A slight nibble on the lot, hopefully this means an active market this summer.  We also met with our Tax Accountant and talked about some exemption options, other than having children. We  

E1: We had several purchases in March.  Most were clothing, but I was able to find similar items to put in the donation pile to meet my goal.

January Goal Review
February Goal Review

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ride 4 Equality: It's an Idea

I have an idea. I fell asleep a couple nights thinking about it and rather than pass it off as impossible, I'm writing it down. I don't care if someone takes my idea. In fact, the more the better.

First, let me remind you about a couple impressive cycling trips that provided inspiration. 

The 2012 Reve Tour where 6 amateur women cyclists rode the Tour de France route one day before the pro men. They had fantastic sponsors, wrote passionate stories about the journey, and proved that women can follow their dreams even if race organizations aren't ready.

Clara's Big Ride which started March 14, 2014. Clara Hughes is a 6-time Olympic athlete in speed-skating and cycling, and a national spokesperson for Bell Let's Talk. She is cycling 12,000 kilometers around Canada for 110 days to encourage communities to talk about mental illness and create a stigma-free Canada.

With a recent birthday and other triggers, I've been thinking about my legacy and how I want my obituary to read. The obituary assignment came from a leadership challenge and has really stuck with me, but not in a morbid way.  Along with identifying my Top 5 Core Values, I want to make an impact and there's no time like the present. As a gut-check, I ran this idea past my core values and all 5 were satisfied. Just another reason to put it down on paper and identify actions to make it happen.

Ride 4 Equality
I have time to work on the name, but here's the concept.

There are currently 4 major cycling races in North America.
1. The Amgen Tour of California - May
2. Larry H Miller Tour of Utah - August
3. USA Pro Challenge (Colorado) - August
4. Tour of Alberta - September

These races are outstanding events, well managed thanks to Medalist Sports, heavily sponsored, and bring in the best teams and huge crowds. I've attended and/or volunteered at all but Alberta. I don't want to take anything away or punish these events for their achievements, they just don't include pro women's races and that needs to be addressed. The Tour of California has included a day (or 2) for the pro women, which is a move in the right direction but not the same. 

Maybe the ultimate solution isn't to combine women and men in these events, but to have women's only events. There is evidence of both models in Europe. North America has made a name for itself in the cycling world with these four races.  Now that they are established, it is time to really start thinking about the women.

My Ride 4 Equality starts today by declaring my intention for 2015.
I will ride all 4 tour routes either the day before or the morning of the pro men's race to bring awareness to women's equality in pro cycling. 

If there is a miracle and there are equivalent women's races next summer, then I'll volunteer at them to show my support and make them successful.  Just like I'll be at Tulsa Tough this summer to show my support for women's cycling equality.

I know I can do this and am excited for the challenge. I need to set aside both vacation and training time, find a support crew, maybe do a pilot on one of the races this summer, decide how to best document the journey, and build some momentum. There are and will be naysayers, and I'll take their feedback into consideration, but it's an idea.  Let me have it, let me try to achieve it, let me inspire others to go after their ideas or even this one, let me make an impact.

*Action Item List*

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Couples Birthday Weekend

After last year's milestone birthday, we had no major plans for our birthday weekend other than to keep work at work and enjoy each other's company for a couple days. I've had a great year with several "best moves" to add to my 40s list, including finding a job in Park City, 30 Days of Biking, and Tulsa Tough. We are looking forward to another year of adventures, good health, and whatever life brings us.

Friday night, we had a wonderful dinner with our favorite couples and shared a couple bottles of wine. Birthday dinner has become a tradition and even though we didn't dress up or wear crazy hats this year, we had plenty to celebrate and be thankful for.

We were super productive on Saturday waking early for Italian cycling before heading to the slopes. We hiked all morning then went home for lunch and a break before our yoga session. This was Terry's 2nd private yoga class to learn how to establish his own practice. I'm proud of how he's accepted a new way of "stretching" his body in order to relieve his back pain. I participate and have learned so much for my practice, but my contribution is to take notes so he can keep it going every morning while I'm still in bed.
Jupiter Peak Laps - well worth the hike!
Jupiter Peak Views

Although we lost an hour of our actual birthday day to Daylight Savings, we made the most of Sunday.  We watched more European cycling, then had a leisurely breakfast out before skiing. After Saturday's off-piste day, we strapped on the carvers and hit the groomers.  After a couple hours of high speed turns, our legs were burning but we were grinning ear-to-ear.  We should have bought race skis years ago.
Terry dropping in and showing the teenagers (and younger) he's still got some moves at 42.

We got back to the truck, stripped down to t-shirts to match the balmy weather and drove to the Deer Valley Grocery to share a cookie on the patio. Refueled, we did our own couples yoga session on the gym pool patio before heading home. We couldn't make a decision on dinner, so grabbed a movie and burrito for a lovely night at home to finish up our birthday weekend.
Couples Yoga - feeling 20 on the slope, but 40 on the mat

Our couples birthday weekend may sound like one of our typical Park City weekends and even past birthdays, but that's fine by us.  I'll take a lifetime of future birthdays spent together in a beautiful place, resetting our minds and taking care of our bodies.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

International Women's Day

Today (March 8th) is International Women's Day. Observed since the early 1900's, it has grown to become an official holiday in almost 30 countries. More importantly, the focus has shifted from negativity to a celebration of positives. If you Twitter, then check out #IWD2014 and #womensday during the day for more inspirational stories.

Women's equality is one of my passions, especially when it comes to women's cycling and other sports. Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is also very important to me. I don't have a lot of extra time so I support my passion for equality via my actions, blogging, and social media. Interestingly, I've been taking a 21 Day Leadership Challenge and identifying my core values. As I worked through the exercises, women's equality ended up in my Top 5.

In the spirit of International Women's Day, I've been thinking about women in my life that are positive influences and deserve celebration. I'm also thinking about those women across the world that need our support as they fight for equality. I often see surges in my blog stats from countries that surprise me, including several still struggling for basic women's rights. I'm choosing to take the positive outlook that these clicks are women reading my stories and gaining strength to dream of a lifestyle where they can write, work, and play.

Women's cycling has a long way to go when it comes to salary, media coverage, and racing opportunities. On the other hand, the pro women are clear winners as they travel internationally and encourage other women (young and old) to fight for equality. It drives me crazy that sponsors can't see this and continue to short change the women cyclists. A great example of women's cycling impact is in Chloe Hosking's blog on her Qatar experience. At the end of her piece, is a link to Arafa Ali's blog, a woman in Qatar looking toward 2016 and being part of the 1st Women's Cycling Team in her country!

I'm confident 2014 will see a huge swing in women's cycling equality. The momentum from several projects just in the last few months is very encouraging!
 - Women's cycling movie "Half The Road" is winning film awards and selling out
 - Amgen Tour of California has added another women's race this year (May 11-12th)
 - Le Tour de France will include La Course women's race (July 27th)

For those women in my life, thank you for showing your daughters, neighbors, coworkers, and women of all ages what is possible. Through your actions, you are celebrating International Women's Day whether you know it or not. It might not be in our lifetime, but someday this holiday won't be necessary.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Goal Review

Another month has flown by and I made backward progress on several of my goals for 2014.  My business travel was far less in February, but my body didn't cooperate and I was limited by back pain. Just this past week, I've turned the corner and was able to attend cycling class and get back on the slopes. Time reserved for goals was spent on physical therapy, icing, doctor and healing appointments. I'm looking forward to a healthy March and moving forward!
  

February Summary
A1: Finished 2 books.  One for pleasure, one as a work project.
- The Keeper of Lost Causes (Mercy) by Jussi Adler-Olsen. Will be reading all of his novels!  
Tribal Leadership and the 21 Day Leadership Challenge.  I'm only a week in, but so far so good.

A2: Missed a few blogs. Realized it is easier to keep up when I'm traveling and alone in hotel or airport.

A3: Kept it to 1 week out of 4, sort of.  I traveled a 2nd week for cycling and Terry's work, but it was definitely worth it. (February Adventures)

A4: Didn't cook for 50% of month due to travel, but did spend several hours the last 2 weekends using up my last produce bag items.  I also investigated vegan meal delivery via Thrive Foods Direct but they use celery in most of their meals so that's out.  Back to the research. 

B1: I always look forward to my bodywork appointment, but this month I couldn't get back soon enough.  In addition to the body healing, the 90 minutes is also a time where I'm forced to shut out external stimuli and I can focus on aligning my body, mind, and soul.

B2: Stayed away from yoga class due to the back issues, but did plenty of basic yoga moves to strengthen my injured muscles.  Terry and I also took a private yoga class last weekend that was incredible and we've been working on our new moves all week.

B3:  Women's cycling season started February with the Ladies Tour of Qatar which brought internet coverage, blogs, and an uptick in social media. The Amgen Tour of California also announced its women's races. I'm working on plans for this year's Tulsa Tough and am trying to convince Terry to check out Cry Baby Hill. I also had a great conversation with Tina Pic at a Max Testa Training event and am thinking again about trying a few races this spring/summer.  How better to support women's cycling, than to do it?!

I also spent several hours on Montana Tech Alumni volunteer activities in February in preparation for our St Patrick's Parade event and several other initiatives.   

B4: Our friends from Boise, Sharon and Rob, visited over MLK weekend.  We have also spent time with friends from cycling class and have enjoyed getting to know them beyond short conversations between intervals.

C1-C5: It was a tough February, but I've been thru the injury/recovery cycle just a few times and know how to adjust.  I spent plenty of time in RICE, got into the pool to run against the current, stayed off the skis for a few weekends and haven't picked up a shovel since the initial injury.  In addition to cycling and skiing this week, I ran on the treadmill and hopefully I can skate ski before it all melts.  I did start wearing my Fitbit again, which motivates me to stay on the treadmill until the lights flash and my wrist vibrates.  It is also a great tool to track my sleep patterns.

D: No action on the lot, but my financial project for February was organizing our gift cards. We had some that were 8yrs old! I checked all the balances, sorted, and summarized. I knew they were adding up, but was surprised to see the total close to $1500. Now we just need to use them!  

E1: I had huge success in February with my minimalism goals!  We did make a large purchase with the new truck, but the car left so we were even.  Once I had the truck, I was able to fill it full of items for donation to St Lawrence.  I itemized for tax purposes and the 337 items ranged from t-shirts to winter jackets, kitchen items to electronics, and lots of bike and ski gear.  In addition to the truck-load, I had Habitat for Humanity ReStore pick up 5 large pieces of furniture.  It feels wonderful to provide others with items they need and purge them from our lives and remove clutter.
E2: After last year's trip was cancelled due to Terry's back injury, we weren't ready to even discuss it this month while both of us were doing back exercises.

337 Donation Items off to a 2nd life
January Goal Review

Monday, February 24, 2014

February Adventures

I'm finally having a quiet Monday night at home with no plans but reading and blogging while Terry works another late night.  In the last 3 weeks, I've fallen behind on my 2014 goals and more importantly, we didn't receive any assistant applications.  Now I've got so much on my mind and several topics to speak on, that I'm stuck and don't know where to begin.  I started this blog as a log of our adventures to keep family and friends updated, so that's the plan.

February kicked off with the Ice Trip!  An ice storm was headed toward Cincinnati and hit Tuesday night making my project workshop very memorable.  In addition, my back hadn't improved much, so I was filling up ziplocs at the ice machine and finding relief whenever I had a chance.  I had a team of 9 flying in from 4 different locations while the midwest and east were getting pummeled by the next round of polar vortex.  We beat the odds and everyone made it in Monday night.  Tuesday's workshop was cut short by a mandate to leave the office and get back to the hotel before the ice hit.  We bundled up and walked thru sno-cone snow to dinner at Taste of Belgium with ice pelting our cheeks.  Wednesday morning we made it back to the office although all the schools were closed.  The bitter cold followed the ice, so Wednesday night was dinner close by and more ice on the back.  Thursday's drive was worse but the workshop went great and the flight home uneventful.
Project Team enjoying Taste of Belgium during the Ice Storm
Downtown Cincinnati - Thursday morning thaw out

After a short night's sleep, I stayed at home Friday morning to pack for the next trip then went to the office to pack since we were moving to our new office over the weekend.  Back to the airport for the 5th time in 6 weeks but this time for fun and with Terry!  We were off for 5 days in Scottsdale for his work and some time in the saddle.
Arizona Bound

The resort was beautiful and we were able to ride for 3 days before the meetings officially started.  I worked in the hotel room and got one more ride in during lunch on Tuesday.  We also spent time in the pools and with all the warmth and activity, my back was starting to improve.  We said goodbye to 70-80F temps and headed back home where a storm had left us a driveway disaster only fit for the new snowblower.
Scottsdale Resort
Fountain Hills Ride 
Mt Lemmon Ride - Tucson Overlook
Mt Lemmon Ride - My Turnaround Point
Don't forget to check out Mailbox Monday for some Arizona creativity that I found at the base of Mt Lemmon.
Carefree Ride - Another "turnaround early and ice back in van until Terry arrives" Ride
Hotel Workspace
5 days of sun are done, time to go back home to snow
From sunny AZ to snowy UT in under 2hrs!

Thursday and Friday were back at work in the new office!  It is a gorgeous space and one of the best locations in Park City.  Friday night, Sharon and Rob drove in and we all went out to dinner to celebrate friendship and Valentine's Day.  Saturday morning, we had to leave our guests behind as we were off to turn in the Audi for the Ram.  Terry had a hard time trading in the red sports car for a big truck, but I'm happy and really enjoying the new ride!
Out with the Audi
So many things going on in this photo - all unintentional - one of my favorite pics
In with the Ram
We had a nice weekend with Sharon and Rob; eating out, catching up, watching Celtic Nights, and enjoying the Olympics and NBA All-Star games.  The weather was weird enough that we rode Saturday afternoon and skied Sunday morning before the lightning and thunder shut down the lifts.  They left Monday, and unlike many Americans, we worked.
Saturday Ride
Sunday Ski
With a full week at home, I was able to get to the gym each day and make a dent on tasks that the ghost assistant has yet to complete.  Terry worked late most nights while I finally made my hair appointment, attended a college alumni board meeting, spent time visiting CB and Corrie, and got my back officially looked at.  It appears that I'm just dealing with muscle and tendon issues and no nerve damage, so that's good news.  We spent the weekend like the week, working and catching up on tasks.  We also got massages and took a private yoga class, which was very peaceful and healing.

So there you have it, three weeks of adventure.  I don't have any travel planned until Mid-March, but the calendar is full of activities and we are looking forward to several upcoming events.  I should even have time to get back on track with blogs and other goals.