Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Tropical Transition

Which of these things is not like the other?
I have officially completed my slow and gradual migration to colder temperatures.  My tropical transition trip has really been fun.  I started by leaving Kauai (very hard task) to go to Santa Cruz, CA to film a promotion with Specialized Women.  I always ask myself 'why am I leaving paradise?' but filming with my teammate Kate Courtney took my mind off the dilemma.  We had so much fun.  We shot for a day among the big redwoods.  I can't divulge details until the commercial is launched, but it involves Kate having it together and being able to go to the bathroom in the woods really easily.  I don't have as easy of a time and I spent the whole day taking a long time to go to the bathroom and throwing my clothes frantically around the redwoods.  I'm excited to see how the final product turns out.  If having fun determines the quality of the piece, it should win an oscar.

 Kate taking a break during filming

 Can anyone spot me?
 Marin Sunsets

One of the many views from Mt. Tam
After the Friday filming, I went up to Marin with Kate to stay at her parents house and get a good weekend of training in.  I absolutely fell in love with riding around Mt. Tam.  This should be expected since it's the fabled birthplace of mountain biking, and it's absolutely gorgeous scenery of rolling hills and ocean.  We spent Saturday doing hill intervals up Mt. Tam.  Twice in that same day, I had an occurrence that has rarely ever happened.  Kate and I were pulled over switching layers at a look out, and a car stopped and a woman said "Congratulations on your title.  You're Lea, right?"  I was shocked and humbled that someone recognized me.  Then, on the same ride, a car slowly drove past and a guy said my name and said he was a big fan.  It's quite the cycling party on Saturdays on Mt. Tam.  I realized that I train in relatively remote places; literally on an island and on a land island called Vermont.  It was different and fun to be inside the buzzing hive of California cycling.  On Sunday, we went on another epic ride through the mountains and toward the coast.  Kate's mom and super soigneur, Maggie, picked us up at the beach to complete a great point to point ride.  I love point to point rides.  I squeezed in one more ride up Mt. Tam before hopping on a plane Wednesday evening to Salt Lake City, Utah for Outdoor Retailer.

I met the great folks at L.L Bean for the Outdoor Retailer trade show to help them get the word out about their great, new gear.  The first day, I met with the women's product designers and walked through the entire show to observe what all the other companies were up to.  We talked casually about what we liked, what we would like to see added to the L.L Bean line, and what was trending.  It was a really neat experience to go behind the scenes of the first steps behind some of the L.L Bean women's active lines.  These are literally the places where ideas are born and pieces are created.  The next day, L.L Bean held a press lunch event complete with New England charm.  They served Maine Lobster Rolls and invited the press to see some new pieces.  L.L Bean has made a beautiful signature stand up paddle board that I was drooling over, and they really have some new outdoor gear and color combos that I can't wait to get my hands on.  Not to mention, I was completely obsessed with specially designed L.L Bean hats they made for the event.  Fingers crossed that I can get one of those because I will never take it off.   I feel so proud to work with a company that is a really a collection of good people that embody core New England values on all different levels.  In every single way, it was such a great experience.

 Darn Tough Socks was representing VT well at the show by handing out my favorite; maple cremee with bacon topping
 Teva was handing out sandals to personalize so I made my mom a pair of new cheering shoes
 Look!  There was snow at OR.  These ladies are behind the great women's active line at L.L Bean
 This was the fastest form of transportation at OR 
 LL Beanies.  My favorite
 Clif Bar has some amazing product coming out in february.  REAL food.  The Mango Banana and Ginger Beet were my favorite at the show but the pizza could be awesome after I'm three hours into a workout
 Naturally, there was a llama at Outdoor Retailer.  Wait…what?

 L.L Bean's signature SUP.  If there was water, I might have paddled it right out of there

Now, I finally made it home Vermont.  I gradually eased into the colder temperatures.  Even yesterday, it was a nice, sunny thirty degrees.  I have to admit, nothing could really get me prepared for the ten degrees that greeted me today at Sabe's nordic race in Lake Placid, NY.  But, I got out there and reveled in the beautiful contrast that is my life.  I exist in two places that couldn't be more different and both are so special in their own ways.  Whether it be the beach or fresh groomed corduroy, I am so incredibly lucky.

Go get out there and smile.  This is what it's all about.

Thanks for following!


 Hanging with my sister in VT!
This was the best Reuben I've ever had at ADK Cafe in Keene, NY.  Homemade sauerkraut, pickles, bread, and what they call 'soviet sauce'