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Showing posts from August, 2015

Titanium Goodbyes

We don't have children, we have bikes and skis. Our first titanium road bikes are now teenagers and it's time for them to leave home. It's a little sad, especially as I look back at the adventures we had together. These reliable beauties were very active in their early years, but then we discovered carbon and haven't looked back. 

For the past 8 years, Terry's Litespeed and my Lemond have been lingering in the basement "just in case". I always thought I could use the Lemond frame and make a commuter bike. Terry has always loved the fit of his Litespeed and continued to ride it on the trainer in good health and during injury rehab. We also thought if we were ever traveling extensively for work, we would have the option of a bike at home and on the road. I think we just weren't ready to separate ourselves from the machines that have defined how we live our lives together.

They weren't our first bikes and certainly won't be the last, but there was …

Weekend (Walking) Warrior

Compared to last weekend struggling in pain on the floor, this weekend was a huge improvement. I've still got a long week ahead of me but everyday brings more mobility. I did a couple short walks each day, read a couple more books, and kept entertained with cycling sites. I pushed it Saturday afternoon by joining Terry on an errand in Salt Lake City. Even though I tried to brace myself, the drive was rough. It was a good test (and reminder) that I'm not yet ready to sit for long spells, let alone travel for work. I kept the back brace on for my walks this weekend, but plan to ditch it tomorrow. Obviously, I couldn't meet my August cycling training plan goals and have to skip a September plan. For now, I'll focus my goal setting on walking pace/distance and hope to do a little pedaling after I see the specialist later this week. 

Plouay World Cup Wake-Up

Today was the last Women's World Cup Road Race and it was incredible! It was the most exciting women's race I've watched this year in person or streaming. Not only were there several women in top form aiming for the win, the overall World Cup winner was also at stake. Although none of our American racers were going to win the overall, it was possible they could podium or at least be major animators for their teams. It's no secret I'm super passionate about women's cycling, but a race this important gives me an extra burst of excitement. I want the American riders to feel that they have tons of support in the US, no matter the time zone difference. It's also important to me to watch and interact in real-time during the race. I believe this shows the race organizations, sponsors, and media that women's cycling is important to all of us consumers and we are willing to sacrifice to be involved, so hope they do too. 

The race was scheduled to start at 5:30a w…

Dogs and Cranes

I knocked out two walks today, one solo at lunch and one this evening with Terry. He's been on the road all but three days the last two weeks, so it's good to have him home. Tonight, for the first time ever, I had to have him slow down the pace. Although the time together to talk is nice, we've walked more this year due to back injuries than either of us prefers. We'd rather be ripping down a single track or climbing switchbacks on a Friday night, but such is life. The priority is two healthy backs in time for our cycling vacation and then build a solid foundation for ski season!

Back On My Feet

I've had a couple good days of back healing and tonight ventured out for a walk! It was the first time in a week I'd been out other than doctor appointments and it was lovely. Although it could have been snowing and I'd have been as happy after a week of back quarantine. I've talked to the doctors about the MRI, I had a very healing massage last night, and we have a plan of attack.
The MRI showed that the possible spondylolysis fracture is likely an artifact (good) and I have a protruding L4/L5 disc that's on the nerve (not so good). I will continue my current regimen and then meet with the specialist next Thursday to determine if a steroid injection take me to the next level. Until then, I'm going to walk, get in the pool, take care of myself, and try not to rush anything. I also have a couple massages lined up to keep my mind and body aligned.
So after I finished up my work day, which consists of cycles between the standing desk and the floor with the lap lapto…

Parental Support

Since they are two of my most faithful readers, a blog shout-out to my parents! They've been checking in daily on my back injury and have offered to come help. They came in January to help with Terry's back rehab and although I'm nowhere near surgery, I appreciate their support. 
They would help with anything we needed, but the back injuries hit home. I don't remember my Dad's back not hurting. Not that he couldn't do everything my brother and I wanted to do and often out-lasted us with his energy, but there was always the chance his back pain would surface. Likewise, my Mom could also keep up with all of our adventures and then had to pick up the slack around the house if my Dad had to rest.
I have memories of my Dad on the living room or kitchen floor with his knees on a chair while we would sit around him and play cards or watch TV. I also have memories of him reclined in the passenger seat of the car so he could get some relief after a long trip. Having lived…

Back Quarantine

According to google, the term quarantine comes from the Italian quaranta, meaning forty. This was the number of days ships were required to be isolated before passengers could go ashore during the Black Death epidemic.

Today is the four week mark since my back injury on the mountain bike. I haven't been in quarantine the entire 28 days but in the last 5 days, I've only left the house twice for trips to the hospital. I'm starting to improve thanks to the quarantine and prednisone pack, and today I am feeling a little stir-crazy. I take that as a good sign compared to the horrible pain that kicked in strong a week ago.

Injury Timeline:
7/28: I had a major back spasm during an afterwork mountain bike that led to a quick escape.
7/29-30: Ice, rest, and a couple spins on the road bike to try and heal. 
7/31: Massage
8/1-9: Tour of Utah - The massage had done wonders and being involved with the Tour of Utah took priority. I still had pain, but nothing sharp. I iced as much as possible…

USA Pro Challenge: Women Finish Strong in Golden

Well that's it, the inaugural USA Pro Challenge Women's Stage Race is complete. The last three days of racing, plus the team presentations on Thursday, have been a blast to follow and support. Next year I'll be there in person, but for 2015, I'm thankful for Twitter and Tour Tracker. Today, in addition to the usual social media resources, we were able to watch a couple periscope links from the stage! I don't know how Dave Towle and Brad Sohner keep up the energy (and voices) all week, but they were rocking it, plus the legend Connie Carpenter was on stage to add her insights. It was a nice treat but next year we must have live video coverage in order to give the women the attention they deserve.

The men's race was dominated by BMC Racing beginning with Taylor Phinney's emotional win on Stage 1. Then more emotion when Brent Bookwalter won Stage 2 and stayed in yellow for a couple days before passing it on to teammate Rohan Dennis who won Stage 4, 5 and the ov…

USA Pro Challenge: Women Battle the Wind in Stage 2 Road Race

Today's Stage 2 USA Pro Challenge Women's Race was a challenge. Not just for the racers, but for the virtual fans. Like yesterday, we had Tour Tracker's Clara Beard handling commentary but the majority of the race was in "no cell phone coverage" status. Tour Tracker put in some extras hours and added a women's section in the More Tab, but still no live video coverage. I don't know how the budgets break down, but I'm guessing for the same reason we don't see men's coverage until the final 2 hours, we don't see women's coverage at all. There are reports that the USA Pro Challenge is in financial trouble and tv coverage is listed as a high budget item. Let's hope a title sponsor steps up in 2016 and amends this injustice because the race is attracting the crowds and teams we all want to see.

I'm still down-and-out with the back injury (MRI on Tuesday and back on meds) so was looking forward to the race as the highlight of my day. A…

USA Pro Challenge: Women Put on a Show at Breckenridge Time Trial

The atmosphere and love for women's cycling in Breckenridge today radiated over social media. I wasn't there and we didn't have live video, but according to comments and pictures from Twitter - the inaugural stage was a big hit! I assumed that Tour Tracker was going to show live video of the Women's Time Trial today, but we only had commentary and twitter updates. We almost didn't have that, but at the last minute, Clara Beard with Tour Tracker jumped on stage and kept all us virtual fans updated. On one hand, it's frustrating that the women weren't in the organization's plans for coverage. On the other, I'm grateful for people like Clara stepping up to do whatever it takes. 

From what I can tell, the crowds came out early to cheer on the women and even though the altitude and climb were brutal, they put on one heck of a show. I had two meetings with clients scheduled during the race but both were pushed out (without my asking) just this morning. Tha…

USA Pro Challenge: Time for the Women to Shine

I won't be able to attend the inaugural USA Pro Challenge Women's Stage Race this weekend, but I'll be supporting the women virtually! Tomorrow's Stage 1 is a Time Trial in Breckenridge with the first rider leaving at 10:50am. The women have been making their way to Colorado all week and active on social media, but today they took center stage. The Press Conference was this afternoon and the Team Presentation took place after the Men's Stage 4 Podium.

There was a periscope for the Press Conference so I was able to watch Race Director Sean Petty and some of the top women discuss the stages, Colorado, and women's cycling. The women were very engaging and passionate. I only wish it was broadcast on Tour Tracker prior to the live men's coverage so a larger audience could get to know these awesome athletes. I was hoping Tour Tracker would stay live after the Men's Podium (congrats to BMC on their 3rd win and 4th day in yellow), but I had to rely on social me…

Better Safe than On-Time

I've been dreading today for a week. After last Monday's work trip to Seattle and the resulting back pain, today's trip was the test to see if I could survive a three hour flight. Although I was feeling better over the weekend, the pain increased Monday night into Tuesday. I attempted a bike ride at lunch to see if that would help, but there were no miracles. 

Mid-afternoon, I packed an extra pillow and headed to the airport. Upon arrival, I found Terry and a spot on the floor to lie down. We watched the end of the USA Pro Challenge and were even more emotional than yesterday seeing Brent Bookwalter take the Stage 2 win. The happiness continues for all those involved with the BMC Cycling Team. Terry and I both had flights this afternoon so it was nice to say goodbye at his gate before heading to mine.

We boarded early and I did my best to arrange all the pillows to support my back. The attendant announced our pushback and mentioned we would land early, and then before I coul…

USA Pro Challenge Begins with Emotional Win

Isn't August great? We've barely recovered from Tour of Utah and now the USA Pro Challenge (aka Tour of Colorado) started today in Steamboat Springs. We attended the race in 2011 for Stage 4 & 5 in Steamboat and had a great time. We've wanted to return and this year with a formal women's race the last three stages, it's been on the radar. Although with work travel, weekend plans, and injuries; it doesn't make sense. As it's only Monday and the women race Friday, I won't say it's a definite no but not very likely.

We both worked at home today and followed the race on our own devices. 1. Tour Tracker for live updates and video during the race 2. Twitter #ProChallenge 3. Podcast EndureEnjoy - featuring Dave Towle who I was honored to work with during the Tour of Utah Women's Edition.  4. Website
Once the women start racing on Friday, I'll post additional resources as I find them. For now, I've created a twitter list with riders and teams. The…

Healing Sunday

Today's been all about healing and rounding the corner on my back injury. I set the alarm in order to eat an early breakfast and start the prednisone pack. Saturday was a day without meds, although many were still in my system and I was a little loopy. They wore off early this morning as I woke to increased pain instead of the alarm. I'm not one to jump at meds as the solution, but after the last week I was desperate. 

I caught up on the Ladies Tour of Norway and was thrilled to learn that American Shelley Olds won Stage 2. That put her in 2nd place overall, leaving the top step to American and Stage 1 winner Megan Guarnier. Another American, and Megan's teammate, Evie Stevens won the Mountain Classification. I can't wait for UCI Worlds in Richmond, these ladies are going to put on a show on home soil and we'll be there to witness it!

Now that my heart was happy with all the awesome news from Norway, I attempted to make my mind and body happy with yoga, stretching, i…