Wednesday, April 30, 2008


So I can't come up with a coherent theme for this here are a few random updates.

I got the test results back from the stuff removed from my arm.... I'm happy to report that I am now free of pre-cancerous nastiness....

Last night's VQ class was definitely an ego-killer. :( Of course the one night that I forget my inhalers is the night that the asthma started acting up. I was trying to do the intervals but every time I bumped up the intensity my HR would spike up like crazy and I wasn't getting oxygen into my body (which makes your legs burn....a lot!) So I scrapped that idea and just rode at an all-day pace and tried to keep the breathing and HR in check. Better than nothing! I'm working out with my trainer at the gym tonight, so he'll make sure I get the resistance training I need!

I'm currently contemplating a short trip to Arizona this weekend. My mom and her fiance are out there and I was invited as well, and my mom offered to rent a bike for me. It's supposed to be 55 and raining here on Saturday, and 85 and sunny in AZ.... Hmm....sounds like an easy decision to me!

Lots of friends are heading out to California today for the Wildflower 70.3 Triathlon! I will be cheering for all of you on Saturday! Go Team!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Putting the F U in fun....

Yep, that right there is the theme of riding in the midwest. We finally got what could have been a decent day of riding here. So the team headed up to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. I was excited because I was told there would be plenty of fun hills! So we get out there with a forecast of partly sunny with a temp near 50. But it turns out we got an added surprise.....winds from 30-40mph! Woo hoo! And I'm not talking about periodic gusts, I'm talking about full on winds strong enough to blow you over. At times I had to seriously lean to the left in order to avoid being knocked over. Fun fun. Before the ride we were given a message to remember during our mission moment:

"You can be miserable or you can be strong, the work is the same"

So I tried to keep that in mind during the ride, but then I reached the point where I was pushing as hard as I could, in an easy gear, on a flat and going 6 mph. At this point I said "screw that, this sucks!" But I finished of course. All in all 55 miles and lots of climbing. (apparently all of the hills were hiding in Wisconsin this whole time!)

The good news is that it only makes me look forward to the next ride in Austin even more! Blanco here I come! :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Trainer time...

So the weather was playing tricks on me tonight! It kept threatening to rain, and then it would sprinkle a bit, but it never really rained. Unfortunately it was enough to scare me into riding indoors. I just got over being sick from riding in the rain, so I wasn't taking any chances! I managed to force myself to stay on the trainer for a whole hour though, accomplishing a pretty decent work-out. I wanted to do a 2x20 workout, but I knew that if I had to watch the clock it would just become more painful. So I rode at a pretty tough pace for 30 minutes and then finished it off with another 30 minutes of normal pace. Hopefully it will be enough to get my legs ready for the Lake Geneva ride this weekend!

Oh yeah and hooray for Grey's Anatomy coming back.....but seriously did they have to have the guys intestines fall out??

This could be a problem....

So the plan for the evening was to go do the interval ride with the boys at the shop. (aka try with all my might to not get dropped) But I just took a look at the weather map, and I have a sneaking suspicion that won't be happening....
Could it be that I actually have to set up my trainer in my living room for some intervals????

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New sunglasses?

So most of you know that I am kind of an Oakley freak when it comes to sunglasses, and I have been wanting a pair of Oakleys with transitions lenses for a while now. (And if you didn't know that, well now you do!) And now that I live in a state with ever changing weather, I'm kind of thinking it's time. The problem however is that Oakley only offers the transitions on a small number of frames. So here is the question: Who thinks I could rock the Minute 2.0 Frame in Pearl??
I have also decided that I really need an Oakley sponsorship because while I was on the website looking for these I found about 6 other pairs that I absolutely must have!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New music! :)

So I got home yesterday to find an envelope at my front door with 4 new CD's that I ordered last week! Yea!!! Of course they were all immediately transferred to my ipod for easy listening. (I mainly listen to the ipod - but I still love having the actual CD!) So far I am very happy with my purchases:

Just Jack - Overtones - London artist - really tough to describe his music or why I like it so much, but I do. Just try listening to "Starz in Their Eyes" or "Glory Days" and not dancing around a little, go ahead, I dare you.

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga - I know I am way behind with this one. I was a big Spoon fan before and have all of their older CD's, but I took a break from them for a while. Now I'm kicking myself for doing that, because I could have been listening to this awesomeness since July of last year. Sad. Oh well, it just means I need to listen to it even more now to make up for lost time. It also inspired me to put the older Spoon stuff into rotation as well. Ahhh good times.

Sondre Lerche - Phantom Punch - This is the guy who did the music for Dan in Real Life. (Or so I've read - I haven't actually seen the movie) But the music is good! Thanks Tom W. for this recommendation. It's just some catchy stuff that's fun to listen to.

The Audition - Champion - Chicago band that has hit it big - they are currently touring internationally and are heading back to the states soon to join the Vans Warped Tour. Yes they are of the indie pop/rock variety, give me a break, I like it. Not all music needs to be deep and meaningful, so I'm digging this style lately. And I will admit that a lot of it sounds similar, but since I like the sound, I don't mind! :)

So there they are, the newest additions to my ipod playlists. I'm sorry that I can't provide deep, thoughtful insight into the music like Colleen does, I just listen to what I like and often don't know why I like it! :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Battling, Rocking out, and cheering on!

Yes, I'll admit, I've been a bad blog owner. No posts since Thursday? Shame on me. But I have a reason...I've been battling a nasty cold and I doubted anyone wanted to read about how crappy I felt. I'm starting to get better, but I'm not quite there yet. Still a lingering cough, and general tired feeling. I'm hoping to be 100% tomorrow for the VQ bike workout.

I should report that there is now a little less of me. I found out back in August that I had a pre-cancerous lesion on my arm. So I finally got my act together and had the rest of it removed on Thursday. Some cutting of my arm, and 5 stitches later, I am now hopefully lesion free. I will get the results in a week.

Saturday was the night of my benefit concert!! Thanks so much to those who came out. Especially to Maren who flew in from LA so she could attend! I can always count on Maren to be the life of the party and this night was no exception! Maren and I met some interesting boys on the street while walking to get a sandwich and then we ended the night by dancing like no one was watching, although I'm sure everyone was watching! (Maren is that good!) All of the bands were fantastic and it was a great way to raise $1,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I hope there will be another benefit concert sometime in the future!!

And now a shout-out to my friend Carrie! She ran the Boston Marathon this morning in 3:44:37!! That in itself is awesome enough, but to add to it, she will be doing her first half-iron distance triathlon (which i should add will be her 2nd triathlon) on Saturday, May 3, that's right, in less that 2 weeks! Go Carrie Go!!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

ACL, here I come!

I officially purchased my ACL ticket this morning! This means that for my birthday (and the rest of my birthday weekend) I will be hanging out with the cowboy hat and sundress club and rocking out to The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, N.E.R.D., Robert Earl Keen, G. Love and the Special Sauce, Band of Horses, Kevin Fowler, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Five Times August....just to name a few! :) Plus all of the other wonderful acts that I'm sure Colleen will introduce me to. Can't wait! :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Indoor hill repeats....

That's right, last night I found out how you do hill training when you live in Illinois. We basically did a hill repeat workout on the computrainers! We had 7 intervals that included effort at 80% and 120% of our threshold power, and did I mention that we had to do each full interval at a cadence of 60 RPM's?? Yes, it definitely felt like I was climbing very steep hills. But it was good for me as Emerald Bay and Spooner are not that far away!

Today though, the effects of riding in the 35 degree weather with rain and sleet on Saturday are catching up with me. Definitely not feeling 100%. I'm also not enjoying the fact that it's 70 degrees outside (yes I said 70!) and I'm stuck sitting inside here at work. Definitely not fair! But of course since this is Illinois, this weather will not last. As per the usual for the last few weeks, the rain is expected to move in for the weekend. This trend is really starting to get old!

The good news is there are only 4 weeks until my next Austin trip! :) Although if this weather keeps up, 4 weeks could change to 2!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Joining the club....

ACL Fest 2008 Sept. 26-28! Be there!

200 bikes!!!

So this weekend was the Annual Village Cycle Sport Spring Tent Sale! I only worked on Sunday, but it was a long day! I got to the shop at 8am to start getting things organized for the day. I cleaned up the women's area, restocked the helmets (walking around with a stack of 5 helmet boxes without dropping them is quite a feat I think!), and reorganized the shoe area as well. We then opened the doors at 10 and the madness started! Who knew so many people wanted to come buy bikes!! I ran around all day helping people find bikes, fitting them on the bike, watching them test ride, making suggestions, running the bikes back to the mechanics, getting their paper work set-up, etc... And that continued until 6pm. At the end of the day we sold around 200 bikes! That's right, 200 bikes in one day! Unfortunately when we closed to the customers the work wasn't over...we then had to get the store back to normal and get all of the bikes inside from the tent. So we formed an assembly line to get all of the bikes back inside and into the basement and up on hooks. At one point the guys downstairs were falling behind so they asked for someone to come downstairs and help hook the bikes. So I start walking down there, as I'm halfway down the stairs some of the guys start with "hey, we need a hooker!" and that's when I showed up. I literally walked right into that one.... But after all the work was done, we all cracked open some beer and shared crazy customer stories. I think the best story from the day was the person who was out in the tent and apparently wasn't being helped fast enough for their liking, so they grabbed their cell phone and called the shop and told the person who answered at the front, "I'm out in the tent and I need some help, please send someone out here right away." Apparently that person didn't notice that all of us were running around helping the 50 other people that also wanted help! If you expect quick. personal service don't show up on sale day!! And to finish off the day our fantabulous Trek rep, KC, took all of us over to Lou Malnati's for some pizza and beer, on Trek! Didn't get home until 10:30pm, but for free pizza and beer it was definitely worth it! :)

There is also word that the store is going to start carrying Cervelo. Could one of these be in my future???

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Still cold...

So after a week of warm weather, the weather report for Saturday (ride day) called for temps in the 30's, rain and the possibility of some snow. So I woke up reluctantly this morning to call the ride hotline, completely expecting to hear that the ride was canceled and then roll over and go back to sleep. Instead, I heard that the ride was on.... Seriously??? So I reluctantly got out of bed and got my stuff together.

Got out to the ride start, and it was still raining. This wasn't going to be fun. But we all got suited up and rolled out. My feet were soaked within the first 5 minutes! And that was even with shoe covers! Coach Dan recommended that I keep my toes moving, only problem was that every time I moved my toes all I felt was water squishing around. But we rolled on, road spray all over my face and everything. I felt sort of like this.....(drowned rat)
I must say this was the most miserable ride ever. Towards the end, my toes and fingers went numb, and my body temperature definitely dropped as well. At one point during the ride it even started sleeting. I have to say that having little pieces of ice hit you in the face while riding is definitely not fun.

I guess it was supposed to build character and make me stronger, blah blah blah. I'm just glad I know that riding can be fun when the weather is nice. If this was my first season riding I probably would have given up by now. I now look forward to my next ride in Texas even more!

So I'm now sitting here relaxing and watching Center Stage for the hundredth time. Maybe at some point I'll stop being lazy this afternoon....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Insight from a Penguin...

So I stumbled upon John "The Penguin" Bingham's website today. (Also learned that he is a national TNT spokesperson) And found these words of encouragement:

"For better or worse, you are the only you that you will ever get. What you decide to do with you is up to you. Tomorrow you will still be you. The question is whether you will move closer today to who you want to be."

Good for me, or just plain torture???

So, I'm beginning to think that the whole foam roller concept is just some evil joke by a twisted individual. As in, "watch this, I'll get a bunch of people to inflict serious amounts of pain on themselves and they'll think it's good for them!!! Ha ha ha ha"

Yep, that's pretty much my feeling on the foam roller lately. My plan of yoga after running didn't happen last night because I spent too long at the forest preserve. So when I got home, I decided to spend time with the FR instead for my quads and IT Band. It was not pretty. It's a really good thing that I don't have any roommates or shared walls.

Unfortunately, running last night didn't go so well. Lots of pain in my right shin forced me to walk after about a mile. :( I walked for a bit and then tried the running again and the pain came right back. Unfortunately Carrie's advice for this (I consider her the running expert - she accidentally qualified for the Boston Marathon) was to roll it out, (yes that's right, with the evil foam roller) 3 x a week. So it looks like mr. foam roller is going to become my new best friend/worst enemy....

The good news from last night (i.e. the reason i spent too long at the forest preserve) was that the elk were out frolicking (yes, they frolick). It was fun to watch! :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Don't feed the Elk...

So I'm getting ready to leave work and it's sunny and 50 degrees outside! Woah! So I think I'm going to go visit some elk. No, I'm not hopping on a plane and flying to Canada (although that could be fun). Oddly enough, there is a forest preserve here that has a herd of elk living at it. How else do you think the town got the name Elk Grove Village!

So I think Ginger and I are going to go for a run before hitting up yoga tonight. (Sadly, Ginger can only accompany me on the run, her version of the downward dog pose is rolling over for some belly rubs and that doesn't quite fit into the "yoga etiquette" required at my studio...)

ACL Fest mashuup...

So the ACL Fest site released a mash-up this week in order to give people the opportunity to guess some of the acts before the official announcement next week (April 15!). I have to say, the mash-up is some pretty good listening even though I can't really pick out the acts. :) The good news though is that there are some experts out there who are helping me out by posting everything they can pick out on the accompanying message board. Here's what they have come up with so far:

Okkervil River
Man Man
Silversun Pickups
Jamie Lidell
Eli Reed
Neko Case
Kate Nash
Hot Chip
Octopus Project
Del the Funky Homosapien
Heartless Bastards
Robert Earl Keen
Sharon Jones
Black Joe Lewis
Tegan & Sara
Ingrid Michaelson
Car Stereo (Wars)

I hate to admit it, but I have only heard of approximately 35% of those bands! Looks like I will have a lot of music exploring to do before September. Oh and did I mention that ACL Fest is on the weekend of my birthday this year? Hey Austinites - are you planning on going?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Bike Shop madness and priorities....

First off, hooray for comments! Thanks Colleen and Sara. You are officially even more awesome now.

Sunday I worked at the bike shop, and it was crazy! It was really the first nice weekend here in the Chicago area, so everyone was either bike shopping or bringing their bike in for service. Which made for a very busy day of work! And I'm sure it felt even crazier for me since it was my 2nd day so I'm still trying to get used to how everything is done. But in the end I sold 3 bikes, and set up 2 more sales. (They both planned on going in today to try one more option before making their decision) So far it's definitely a lot of fun. Next week is going to be loooooong though! It's the Annual Village Cycle Sport spring sale, and I'm on the schedule to work on Sunday from 8am-7pm! Wow!

I also thought I would share this picture. The guys in the shop have it posted as the wallpaper on one of the computers and I actually find it really funny! Probably not the reaction most girls have to it, but whatever...
Looks like I'm staying up to watch the rest of the NCAA hoops final game.... 5:30am spin class tomorrow is going to come way too early!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Austin fun and marriage madness!!

Ok, so Colleen called me out on not posting anything lately. Sorry, I'll get back to it now.

I've been in Austin since Wednesday, and as always, it's been great. Dinner with Colleen on Wednesday was fantastic. Her suggestion of Homeslice for pizza and beer was enough to elicit a fist pump from me while still sitting on the plane. All in all, it was a great evening with some great conversation! For those that don't know, Colleen is a rockstar. Seriously! She's training for an Ironman and she can also rock out on the mic. Sorry I can't go to the show tomorrow Colleen! I really wish I could. :)

Thursday was the 2nd annual Chicks on a Mission Bachelor Auction! I have to give props to Kristi and Carson for doing an amazing job! It was an absolutely huge success, raising over $4,000!! The selection of bachelors was absolutely fantastic. It's a good (bad?) thing I remembered that I'm broke, otherwise I would probably be going on a date with one of Austin's finest tonight.

Last night was also the beginning of marriage madness! Kristi revealed her gorgeous ring and completely shocked me! She and Bruce are going to make it official! Congratulations Kristi!! And then today I got a call from Sara, and she too is now engaged! I'm proud of myself because I called that one about a year ago. :) I'm definitely a member of "Team Bill" and I know they will continue to make each other laugh for many many many years to come. So add that to my mom's wedding this year, and my friend Chrissy being pregnant and it makes for a crazy year so far!!

Who's going to continue to hang out in Single Town with me??

Next on the agenda here in Austin is possibly some Happy Hour goodness this evening, and then a ride with the Team tomorrow morning followed by the necessary beer-ritas at the Benton's. Then sadly I will be flying home. Back to Chicago in time to work at the bike shop on Sunday.

Later kids!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Puzzle Time...

Oh yeah, and for those that are looking for a challenge today, or just want something to keep the boredom away. Check out this puzzle. Now most of you are probably thinking that there is no way an online jigsaw puzzle can be that challenging, but it is, here is a sneak peak at a few of the pieces.

April Fool's Day!

So apparently it's April Fool's Day. Which means, you can't take anything you read seriously. Leave it to Google to post things that first make you say "Really?" and then "oh yeah, it's April Fool's Day!"

I started the morning off with this: Google Custom Time Google is trying to convince us that they have created a way to make it look like you sent your e-mails before you actually did. Now I know all of us have used the delayed send feature with Outlook to make it look like we are working much later than we actually are, but going back in time?? Now that could be helpful. They even have beta user testimonials to "prove it's real", this one has to be my favorite: "I used to be an honest person; but now I don't have to be. It's just so much easier this way. I've gained a lot of productivity by not having to think about doing the 'right' thing." Google even went so far as to determine that each user can only use 10 Custom Time settings because of this equation:

Their findings:

N = Total emails sent
P = Probability that user believes the time stamp
φ = The Golden Ratio
L = Average life expectancy

Seems legit to me...

And then I found this gem on the Blogger site: Google Weblogs or "Gblogs". Now this should make blogging so much more convenient! Some of the highlighted features:
  • Our advanced Google algorithms put your best content at the top of your blog. Even if your later work goes downhill your previous posts will still shine.
  • We’ll automatically extract the most relevant sentence from your post for the index page, along with any necessary ellipsis. We'll also put some words in bold!
  • Unsure of what to post about? Just click “I’m Feeling Lucky” and we’ll “take care” of the rest!
Those are just a few of my favorites...