Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Summer&Schwinn: Finish Off Your Hectic Day With A Family Bike Ride

In the evening, there's no better way to finish off your day than with a family bike ride. In my latest Ride Schwinn Ambassador blog, find out why our family loves it...
Summer&Schwinn: Finish Off Your Hectic Day With A Family Bike Ride
Want a great way to finish off your day? Try ending it with a family bike ride. We try to do this often, and there is no better time for it than in the summer and fall. Maybe it’s because we live in a ski town, but if the weather is nice, we always want to be outside. With that said, if my husband Erik and I are outside and active, then we are teaching our kids to do the same.
After dinner is the PERFECT time for the family to hop on bikes together. I know that I am not the only mom who finds the time between dinner and bedtime challenging. You don’t want to put the kids to bed too early, but you also don’t want them to start something they can’t finish before going to sleep.
You can read the rest on Scwinn's Facebook page, under their Summer&Schwinn tab! Happy Riding.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Summer&Schwinn: Introducing…the Pedi-Cab

My latest Ride Schwinn Ambassador blog is up! Here's a little excerpt...

Introducing...the Pedi-Cab 
Before our last trip to New York City, if you had mentioned a “Pedi-Cab” to my kids, Spider and Skye, they would have had no clue about what you were talking about. In fact, they probably would have looked at you like you had ten heads! However, this most recent trip changed their five and three year-old lives. There was no turning back. 
Now, I think if they had their choice, my kids would trade our car for a Pedi-Cab! In fact, I wouldn’t be super opposed to this, except during the winter in Salt Lake…not sure any mom could handle (or enjoy) the -20 degree weather in a Pedi-Cab. With that said, on the streets of NYC, during the hottest week of the summer, they were perfect! Spider and Skye breezed along the streets in Pedi-Cabs, passing the bright lights and taking in all the action...

You can read the rest on on Scwinn's Facebook page, under the tab: Summer&Schwinn! Happy Riding.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Complete marathon, check

26.2 miles in the books...

I’d been planning for Oct 9th, 2011, for seven months.  The date was written in cement on my calendar.  My girlfriend Jojo and I were in this together, and had shared many a phone conversation and funny story around our running schedule.  Her husband had joked for months that we were going to "run ourselves straight into mono." …I didn't argue.

The training was tough with our everyday life schedules.  Especially since we weren’t together to do it. Jojo was in Colorado with her three beautiful girls, and I had my little-big Skye and Spider with me in Utah. Daily mom duties combined with work and travel made it even tough to stay committed…And even tougher to stay healthy.

But dispute Jo's knee injury (she hadn't run more than 4 miles during the last 4 weeks of training), my nagging hammy, and our little bout with food poisoning the night before the race (don’t get me started on that feeling), we crossed the finish line…And really, that was what it came down to.

You never really know what you are hoping for when you start a race like this, but as I was nearing the giant sign with FINISH written across it, everything became very clear.  This moment was for my kids as much as it was for me. My son had already asked for my medal. They have heard me say, "You can't quit" about a 1,000 times, and I didn’t.  Every step of the way, I was thinking about those two little people in my life that had cheered me on (even if they didn't know it); I was thinking about my husband who would bike along side me just so I wouldn't be bored; I was thinking about my awesome girlfriend who inspired and motivated me to sign up for this insane race and, even though she was hurting, made the trip and kept it positive every step of the way.  At that moment, when my body was in pain and my legs were so heavy, I was overwhelmed with joy knowing how lucky I am.

Tears were flowing as I ran through the finish and stumbled beyond.  I couldn't hold them back, and it was wonderful!  Three hours, 30 minutes and one second. And I’d finished. Then, when I finally found Jojo and learned she had muscled through her injury to finish as well (when we started she wasn’t optimistic), we were emotional freaks together. Life is too short not to build your scrapbooks full of moments like these.

So thank you Joanna for encouraging me to do this and sharing it with me, and to my family for supporting me, and to Chicago for cheering us on and putting on a great race! It’s a moment in my life I’ll never forget.

**If you want to hear more of my thoughts about the race, you can watch my Monday morning post-race Spreecast here

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Game Time: Ready to Race

I recognize this feeling. I was first introduced to it when I was 4 years old standing on the starting blocks for my first swimming race. I describe it as nervous excitement. It is awesome. I love it, in fact, I live for it.

Sitting on the plane bound for Chicago to run my first Chicago Marathon, I feel it. (I have run two other marathons, both NYC…'99 and '02) This is the first big race that I have hopped on a plane that isn't a swimming competition. Maybe that's why these feelings are bringing me back to that very special time in my life.

With all the anticipation, I couldn't sit down at my departure gate. I just paced, scanning the crowd to see if anyone else looked as excited as me. On the plane I was reading my Runner's World magazine and tearing up at the story on Grete Waitz and her first NYC marathon win in '78. Plain and simple, I am getting psyched up, and I am so grateful to be feeling this way.

I am meeting my girlfriend Joanna in Chicago. And even though she knows she can't finish the race (knee injury), she is going to start with me and then get herself to the finish to cheer me on (hopefully...my hamstring is giving me some problems). What a great friend! There's been so much support...the love has been pouring in from twitter & texts and its amazing…sending me telepathic strength really does make a difference.

I know I won't sleep tonight. I know I will be so excited. I thank you all for listening to my running stories of the past 6 months and for being such great supporters. I am such a lucky girl to have such wonderful friends.

If you want to follow my race, you can do so via the web or your mobile phone. Just visit this website and register to track me. I'll be wearing bib #4053.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wardrobes and the dream of tear-free mornings

Anyone else pulling their hair out getting your child dressed for school…

It happened all last year, so I don't know why I am surprised that it happen again. We even went to great lengths to pick out clothes the night before, and lay them out …I mean, how easy is that?!  But a girl can change her mind, I guess, and my daughter does. We use to go through such drama in our house by 7:30 a.m. that I considered invest ing in a morning wine.  

Playing it cool was the only thing I can do. I once threatened to drop her at school naked, but deep down I knew that could get me arrested, so I caved and we were 30 minutes late for class.  I feel for her, I do. She'd get so worked up about picking out the "perfect" outfit. I try to stay out of it because whatever I choose, she can't stand.  Sometimes I purposefully pick the things I don't want her to wear for that reason. OOps my secret is out. 

This year, I made it my mission to nip this before it started.  Only, I wasn't quite sure how, but I took a shot at it. Here was my Plan A:

Plan A: set out the first 3 days of outfits on Sunday. I'm even decorated some cute hangers that represent the days of the week.  Once the outfit is on the hanger, there is no changing. Clothes that get laid out but not worn are banned from wearing for a week. I feel like she’s just not of sound mind at 7 a.m. to make such a big decision, so doing it at night will really help her (err, ME).

And, if she doesn't wear the outfit she picks out OR causes a fuss, I have no choice but to take the outfit and put it in the No Wearing closet for a week.  Let's hope she doesn't do it too often, her entire wardrobe might be banned, and then she would have to wear her brother's.  Of course, when she gets her clothes on without the drama, I figure out ways to reward her.  Ideas are welcome. 

So far, this mission is working.  In fact, she has done amazing and we have only missed the bus once...and it wasn't because of her...it was her brother wanting different shoes on.So far, goal FOR HAVING happIER mornings with my kids, check! Now if I could just ask them once (alright, twice) to get their shoes on and eat their breakfast. But at least the "getting dressed" part has become almost tear free.  Cheers!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why I love to run…

It is simple…I love to run.  I wasn't born to run, rather I had to grow into it. I first started running after I retired from swimming.  I would head out for one of my favorite runs (still to this day ) down Campus Drive at Stanford University.  I never really kept track of my mileage, and since I have never been a big fan of the "out and back" run, the loop was perfect because it had new scenery the entire way. 

For a while during my post-Olympic phase, I tried my hand at lots of exercises including step aerobics like every other woman in the 90’s. Turning and hopping over the step until I was thoroughly dizzy and confused. Once I got into the groove, the workout was great, but it didn't fit me quite the same as running.  The mindless me time was what I longed for and why I slipped back into my running shoes.

My best friend from college, a former volleyball player, was my running partner in crime. We mostly ran to exercise and chat about life.  Occasionally we would enter fun race to make it interesting. Over the course of our friendship, we have marked some super memorable routes in our running log: the North Shore of Oahu, the Presido in San Fran, the Manhattan Beach strand, and one of my favorites to the Gaudi museum in Barcelona.  

Running has always inspired creative thinking in me, or helped me solve life's little problems. There have been countless times where I have stopped to note my next great idea, or turned my bad mood happy.  Time on the pavement in Central Park was what got me through my rough transition to living in NYC.  Running has been the inspiration for exploration in every city where I’ve traveled.  In 10 years working for the NBA, my shoes saw miles around every arena. (My favorites being Philly and DC.) 

Now, as a mom, running is still a huge part of my life.  I love that my kids know it…they ask me if I am going for a run even before I put on my running clothes.  My daughter wants to run with me.  Yesterday she announced that she wants to run a 20K.  Love it. It’s something I’m sharing with them, but it’s also something for me.

My girlfriend, who also happens to be my marathon training partner, and I had a conversation about what running means to us just the other morning.  It is as simple as this…Running makes us happy.  And we all know the saying…“A happy mom, a happy house.”

Chicago is just days away...