Thursday, December 30, 2010

Colorado fun

I made it back home(CO) with no problems, since when I got back, there wasn't any snow on the ground-the next morning at least a foot! Then today even more!!! It made walking to the grocery store pretty interesting, as the snow was really slippery. Today wasn't too bad but I did laugh at Miller as all four paws splayed out like in the cartoons, he is such a goofball...

It is so much snow, the town will just plow the 2 lanes on the road and push the snow to the center, like a center line barrier. Then they will plow it to the end of the roads in huge piles, which makes the stop signs that much more tricky. Once it stops snowing, they will use dump trucks and pile it all up at the end of town, quite impressive. Today was lots of plowing, people shoveling and 4 wheelers plowing driveways. Snow shoveling adds up FAST and you have to stay on top of shoveling or else the snow freezes and melts then it gets hard to break up and even more difficult to shovel. It's like cutting grass in the south, you have to do it all the time or you will be bailing hay:)

I also got to nordic ski another new trail today with one of my friends here in town! 2 hrs and I was done! The drive out and back was pretty interesting, lots of snow and people really nervous because it was so hard to see. We witnessed a car drive right off the side of the road, they weren't driving to fast so they didn't get too stuck but still-that sucks.....

On the way to go skiing, no yellow lines, no white lines...just winging it....
One of the piles at the end of the road....
This is right out the front door, I actually couldn't see the steps and we had to walk through 3ft deep snow to get to the road, it is so much fun here....

Side notes:
  • I added another blog to my blogroll-Johnny Kilster. It's nordic skiing stuff but also just pretty funny reads....
  • Miller got a bone for Christmas
  • After checking my mail, I called mom to confirm that she ROCKS because she sent me a subscription to Everyday FOOD-I love magazines.....
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Christmas fun

Well I'm trying to upload photos but Internet is a bit slow, so for now just words.

Ever since the last post, I've been hanging out with the family, eating LOTS of great home cooking and riding my bike. It was really cold yesterday, as the storm that is pounding the east coast, has brought cold, freezing temps to the south but I shall keep moving! Yesterday was the coldest with the wind chill of 30(it's colder feeling in the south b/c of the humid air) but it still wasn't impossible, you just have to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best and find routes that keep you in the sun, out of the wind or some combo like that.

Yesterday's clothing:
Long sleeve underwear thermal top
Long sleeve, fleece lined jersey
Wind breaker vest
Wind breaker jacket
Warmest gloves I have
2 pair of bib shorts
Knee warmers
Leg warmers on top of knee warmers
Warm but not thick socks
Wind breaker shoe covers
Wind breaker hat
Ear covers
Plus, helmet, shoes, food, phone, spare stuff....and I was fine. The first 10min are always painful just b/c of the cold but once you get going, life is good and you get lots of stares but you know you are doing something productive and good for yourself. I also think that March is right around the corner-I'm ready for a good year this year.....

I have another ride today, longer but it is a touch warmer today so a small change in the clothing from yesterday. Some of the guys said it was too cold, seriously??! Wimps:) Anywho, I fly back to Colorado tomorrow, then hopefully a couple of days of snow skiing then time to head south for some warm weather training.

I wonder if mom would buy Miller a plane ticket next time?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Family recipe

Part of my blogging is 'adventures' and being with family is always an adventure right?! I love my family and I love our was the family recipe of Nutcake...

We made about 40 small nutcakes and by the end we had the process smooth. Lots of laughs, lots of messes and lots of love and we had the house smellin good. Here are some pictures from the day.

I was asked not to name all these lovely ladies but I'm related to em all;)....
As you can see by the cake pans.....we were on a mission...
After doing this for a while, I soon asked for the food processor and then my job became a lot more fun.
Sis-in-law measuring it up...
That mixer was worth every penny today.
The crew and the product.
Tomorrow is riding and helping in the yard...gotta rake some leaves, cut down some bushes, pick up sticks.....

This is strictly a Vicksburg visit, as I'm leaving on Tuesday. I won't get to see many folks at all:(

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

New hobby

Check out my new hobby:)

This is a synthetic ribbon that was a bit harder to work with but turned out pretty cool-just for looks really-not much comfort or warmth...
Most of these are Christmas presents:) The one on the far left was my very first full length scarf, it seemed to take forever! My favorite is the blue scarf, the material feels SO good.....

I've become a knittin fool! I learned how to knit about 2 months ago and now all my spare time and for most of my Christmas presents, I've been knitting a BUNCH of scarves:) It has been interesting to see the progression in skills and I've been known to knock out a scarf in one sitting. I haven't learned how to pearl or to do turns or anything like that yet, I was waiting till after Christmas to learn something new, so only scarves for now, no hats or gloves but hopefully those will be next:)

By looking at all my colors, I would guess that I'm mostly 'earthly' kind of gal. I'm not big on being too flashy, so my work reflects this I assume. I've knitted alpaca wool, that was pretty cool except it shed worse that Miller! I like nice, soft fabric that feels good when wrapped around your neck but I have tried a more synthetic fabric just for looks. I'm not very partial to it but it is a gift so I don't have to wear it....hope they like it! hahah!

It has saved me a lot of $$$ this Christmas, which is always nice.

Ok, back to work people....time for yoga:)

Friday, December 17, 2010

In other news

My track adventures makes the "big time"....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Check out the FedUp w/ school lunch blog about the PB&J! That was interesting!!! I know Rankin Co(my previous job) always served FOOD, even if it was just a sandwich, it was something that the ladies put together themselves. If our director put this on the menu as a lunch item, I'm pretty sure the parents would riot. Or the ladies would be dissappointed they couldn't show their culinary skills-a lot of those ladies are very proud of the things they can cook and the good ones CAN COOK! Of course they are usually limited by the federal gov't. so most things are by the rules but sometimes, they 'slip' something good on ya and you are in school cafeteria heaven:)!!!

I love those ladies, I miss em and if anyone is reading this blog, I hope they are all having a wonderful holiday season.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For Sale

If anyone is looking for some good deals on some stuff barely used, you are in the right blog:) E-mail me( if you are interested and I will ship em to ya. I also have some other things if anyone is interested(helmets, gloves, sunglasses, more skin suits), just drop me a line on what you need and I'll see what I've got. Merry Christmas!

Pearl Izumi fleece lined arm warmers
Size: Small
Bellweather Vest
Size: Medium

Women's Pearl Izumi vest
Size: Small

Louis Garneau rain jacket
Size: Small

Pearl Izumi wind jacket
Size: Medium

Adidas wind jacket

Long sleeve skin suit from the Hudz-Subaru Cyclocross 2009 Team
Size: Medium
The shorts are shorter than normal but the chamois are comfy.
Short sleeve skin suit from the Hudz-Subaru Cyclocross 2009 Team
Size: Medium

Friday, December 3, 2010

Santa baby

Hurry down the chimney for me, hahaha! For all those out there with your lists and checkin em twice, have fun shopping during the holidays, I'll be riding my bike, hanging with friends/family and relaxing-I don't shop till after Christmas;)

BUT, if you are just dying to know what I would love from santa please let me amuse you with the following list:

Total Pillow

Ok, I'm joking but I really get a kick out of those products for some reason...

Monday, November 29, 2010

A fish outta water

I finally was well enough to head out for my first run on my new ski stuff! I was so excited and it was DUMPING snow, which is always fun:) So off to Telluride we went! The land of money:)

I'm in the process of uploading some videos to my YouTube channel so if you get a moment, go to YouTube and search for laurenhall17 channel and check em out, kind of funny:)

I'm not really any good at all but I'm getting better and it is great cross training for cycling and plus it is at 9,000ft AND it is a great mental break! It was a ball of fun and I hope to get to go again in the next couple of days. For a while there wasn't much snow at all but after the storm that just blew through, things should be well covered and hopefully the trails will be groomed soon. Up next? Back to warm weather some where to get in some long rides or back to the velodrome, we shall see!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nordic skis!

Yahooooo!!! I love the UPS guy:) in a package receiving way that he gives Miller treats....I'm a bit under the weather but hot tea helps a ton! Hoping to give the skis a go this weekend....Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Last days at the track

So I'm back in Colorado now, we drove through a bit of snow in Flagstaff, it was interesting because it was slippery!! We saw one guy almost drive off the road, swing back over, all the way to the right side of the road and save it(glad we weren't closer!)

So the last days of the Velodrome felt so good, I would've loved to have stayed but I needed to see my pup too:) Maybe next time he can come along for the ride, the Tanners already gave me permission! Like my dad always said, we will see.

So on the last day, I did a flying 3k and a 500 sprint. I think I put up pretty good times so hopefully I'm headed back sooner than later but that is up to the coaches to decide. Here is a link to two videos, I don't know why it wasn't posted to YouTube but anyway...

The first video is me being me...
The second is the 3k...owie mowie

Cycling track reminds me a lot of running track, go hard, finish, cramp, have fun:) hehehe...

Ok, gotta do the usual 'just got home' errands to run...

Friday, November 19, 2010

What day is it???

Day 5 I think? Anyway, more circles=more comfy on the track...:) So that's what I'm doing and I'm still learning!!! I'm lucky to be surrounded by awesome people, teaching me something every time we do a lap....

I thought today was the last day but I got to swing one more in tomorrow(Saturday) will be the last day-again another opportunity to learn! Roger has really been patient and very clear and concise in what he wants me to do and then he leaves me in the good hands of trained professionals.....

After 2 glasses of wine, some grilled chicken and such...I'm officially pooped.....I have some video I will upload probably when I get back to Colorado(Sunday or Monday) so be on the lookout. My nordic stuff should be in before Thanksgiving as well, so more pictures and adventures(snow pending of course) to be had!

Good evening and good night....

Random pictures of SoCal

The first 2 pictures are of the velodrome, just walking inside and the first impression. Felt bicycles are the neutral bikes available for people like me so they have 2 Felts at the front.

This is the elusive Michael Engleman on a bike!!! He is rarely caught on camera riding his bike these days, so I'm pretty sure he is making a comeback with Alexi Grewal :)This is the bike trail that we ride to and from the different roads.
Jet Tanner, what a great guide!
I wonder where all these people are going???? All times of the day, both ways, it is always busy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2 more days

So another 2 days at the track and another 2 learning sessions. I've also enjoyed going a couple of hours early to watch others and what their training sessions are. Yesterday was a group of kids, YES KIDS!, looking to age from 10-16, going around in circles with no problem at all, it was very impressive. I guess when you are that age you really don't have much to fear and all new things are still fun-hmm, I just described myself:) hehehe

I liked the drills they were doing, the coach was pretty much forcing them to look around and be comfortable with people above and below them....

So my training included:

Day 3-We warmed up with 40 or so laps, then Roger says, "Ok, we are going to do 140 laps...." and then I heard blah, blah, blah...:) I knew I could do it because we did 100 laps the previous session but these laps were going to get progressively faster every 20 laps, so I did my best and hung on as long as I could(seeing I have a really small gear to learn with) which was about 43 laps to go, I was happy with that. And then Dena Eaton and I did 2 sprints, after that, I reallllllyyy needed to change my saddle or something had to give, SERIOUSLY! So I asked Roger if it was ok to change the saddle for next session.

Day 4-Another good warmup-80 laps and this time I wasn't protected by an awesome wheel to follow, so I was actually following a guy that would serge and drop(more room please). After the warmup it was time to work on more sprints, again, getting more comfortable and reliable as well.

I totally understand why the track is so rule oriented. If one person doesn't have a clue what they are doing or what the rules are, it wouldn't take long for something bad to happen. There are so many people and we are going around so fast and there is no way to slow down....

Another day today, one more tomorrow, then we will see what the future holds. In the mean time, I will do easy road spins, rest, eat....oh and take random pictures:) Like the strawberry fields, smog, traffic:)

Hope Miller is ok....I miss my bud

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New fun

So I've made it to beautiful Irvine, CA to visit the Tanner family and give it a go on the track. While I'm doing this whole cycling as a lifestyle bit, I want to try every aspect of cycling.

So this is how my racing career goes:
My first stage race-with Amber Neben and the Nurinberg team
My first cyclocross race-UCI against Katie Compton and the crew..
So my first track experience-LA Velodrome, where the likes of Lance Armstrong, Kristin Armstrong and some of the world's best perfect their skills.

This is day 2 and I've fallen in love....

Day 1: Here is a track bike, here are the different positions on the track, here is how to clip in...go....My thoughts, "I'm nervous" "Look at the banking on this thing!" "This feels weird" "I wanna know how fast I'm going" "I want to go faster" "This is AWESOME!"

Day 2: Learn how to ride in a paceline, then some moto following along with madison practicing(or something like it)....My thougts, "I'm nervous" "Look at all these people" "I love going fast" "This is REALLY fast" "I feel sorry for the guy that I'm 'pushing' cause I think he is doing a lot of work b/c I'm not very comfortable with all this yet" "I think the guy just got a bit more of a push" "This is AWESOME!" "My girl stuff is KILLING ME"

So tomorrow is a day off, we will do an easy 2hr ride, then get back after it on Tuesday-I really look forward to it.

Check some of the pictures of the LA Velodrome....

I'll post after another trip to the track...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cyclocross and Pumpkins

I'm pimping my sweet Kokopelli Bike Shop jersey, which allllmmmooost matches the bike....

As soon as I got home it was time to carve a pumpkin! One of my favorite fall activities:) If I had time I would've loved to have dressed up in something totally scary to scare the crap out of all the kids but I had a cyclocross race in Durango instead...ahh poooo! So I flew home on Thursday, carved pumpkins on Friday, rode my cyclocross bike for the first time all year on Saturday, raced on Sunday and was able to pull off 3rd place...NICE!

Then I had the hack for the rest of the night. For those that don't know...this is when you race your bike so hard, your lungs have this burning sensation, you taste blood in your throat and post race you hack like you've been smoking the last 20 years of your life.....I wonder if it is healthy? Any doctors reading this have any input? Or MENSA folks? You know who you are;)!

This past weekend we had 2 more cross races and again I finished 3rd in both of those.....I'm solidifying my position there....

Saturday's race was here in Dolores and the sweetest girl in the world came to town to race, Teal-Stetson Lee(she races for CalGiant Specialized this year), last year she raced for Fort Lewis College and won Collegiate Cyclocross Nats. And I swear she is the nicest competitor I've ever met! Anywho, she took first and Carmen Small(I'm just gonna start calling her 'train' because she has this HUGE engine that I can't keep up with) took second, me third.

Sunday's race in Cortez had an awesome BMX pump track incorporated into the course, I LOVED that part! But unfortunately I managed to drop my chain while trying to solidify 2nd to the 'train'. As I was putting my chain back on, I fell to 4th-time to go......I caught right back up to 2nd and 3rd, passed 3rd and stayed in that position for a bit, putting pressure on Shannon(top ranked mtn biker, nothing like living near Durango right). I passed her in the sand pit and was going to put more pressure on both of us by going faster and making it hurt, well I ended up sliding out TWICE!!! She passed me and held me off the last 2 laps....but I enjoyed the race, I think I was smiling the entire time.

Anywho, I've been working on my spin this past week, preparing to go to the track. My cadence is usually around 90 but for track I need to have it ramped up to like 110-125 rpms, which is totally opposite of cyclocross-that's more like 80 and grinding...

I don't know the specifics yet, like when I'm leaving, how long, what I'm doing, pretty much anything;) except that this has been my best chance to go so I'm preparing as best I can.

There hasn't been any snow yet here in the four corners but maybe that will all be changing tonight! It has been getting semi cold but no weather to go along with the cold just makes it all boring, I guess it has been a bit of a blessing since I'm having to ride my road bike for training still so ok, it can hold off one more day;)

The finished products! Mine is bottom's a witch
Ken working on his gourd, no pumpkins for him just gourds.....
Laura, always loving on the dogs, sittin on the floor....I miss her already and she hasn't even left yet...
BillieRay and AngieRay, they are awesome!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some randoms

I'm headed back to Colorado tomorrow. It is currently 95, hot and humid here in Vicksburg and I've been told that it was snowing at home....ooohhhh yeahhhhh!! Bring it on! Got my skis ordered and I'm ready. So before I leave, here are some other pics from the visit....enjoy....

Me and my best dad:) He is such a social butterfly! I have a hard time keepin up with him!! But we had some fun on the visit.....Ok, so when I retire from my pro cycling career and I've made my millions(don't laugh to loud please) maybe I will take up my other profession, I'm a certified chef! That's right......I don't cook like I've been trained but I can whip out some good stuff when pressured;) My brother(Ben) is also a trained chef, he actually uses his degree-so we went to St. Al High School and while he was carving a pumpkin, I did the apple duck/dove and the tomato roses and had a couple of kids give em a go as well....
This is Ben starting on his pumpkin face:) He is such a great artist! Here are two YouTube videos he did with his ice carvings.....
This is the band teacher/junior varsity basketball coach/blues singer-Vickie Baker. She is the best!!! She does tells it like it is.....and I swear she hasn't aged at ALL!!!
And so that wraps up the visit.....sad to leave my friends and family but happy to get back home...

And the crazy part, I didn't even get to see half the folks I wanted to! Dang it! Next time! See y'all at Christmas.....wonder if I need to bring shorts or pants...hmmmmm. Gotta love that Mississippi weather...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On a break or have I????

This is from inside the Vicksburg Military Park.....great riding!!!!!
Another one from in the park
Some beautiful roads on my ride......

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted, I've been on a wee bit of a break...a.k.a. home visiting my parents. And it really hasn't been much sitting around shootin the bull and such, it has been more hanging out with dad(attending events with him), working in the yard, cooking for everyone(which is fun anyway), spending time with my brother and sis-in-law who were in town for the weekend and getting in a couple of workouts. It seems every night I'm pooped!!!! But that is fine with me, life is good.

I've also been working on my school cycling program, I've talked with the local bike shop, and the school district and everyone is in on the idea, now if we can just get a coach or P.E. teacher to have some fun with it as well!!! So the ball has started rolling! Yahoo!!!! And thanks to some friends, I've also gotten some leads on some folks to talk to in North and South Mississippi as well so I'm excited!

I'm headed back to CO on the 28th, then hopefully and FINALLY get on the track!!! Maybe a trip to L.A.....we shall see.....time and money...time and money.....I'm also going to race some cyclocross, just for fun and keep me in some shape....

Headed to see my nephew this weekend.....he will be 4 on Sunday...awwwwwww...

Ok, I'm outta here....what's for dinner?

Friday, October 8, 2010

The latest

This picture is actually from another hike but it was so cool and fun I had to post it....
Coming down this part was a bit scary, I guess since I've never experienced anything like that before....
The trail heading down....
The Aspens are absolutely beautiful...

"It's this way, come on!"...
One of the many beautiful views....

Good morning blogging world!! Life is goooooood.......since the off season has started, I've enjoyed some great hikes, a bit of disc golf, some mountain biking and last but NOT least, I've learned how to knit!! YEP that's right....KNIT!

The pictures are from my hike with Michael. The trail started at 10,200ft and dropped to 9,000ft in an hour walk. We never reached 'the end' but I could tell it was going to be hard as hell to get out, so I made an executive decision to turn around....oh boy, it hurt! But it was absolutely beautiful!

The hike was on a Friday, on Saturday I hit the mountain bike trails just up from the house-Boggy Draw and did a couple of loops-by now my lower back is SO MAD at me, so I called it a day. Plus, something was wrong with my rear shock, so it was time to take the Epic in for a look:( Come to find out the shock is blown-man I didn't know I was so tough;)! hahah!

Sunday was a 'yoga retreat' in the morning, a good 2hr session of zen stuff......then it was time for a round of disc golf. Since it has been 5 years since I've played, the start was REALLY rough but over the next 18 holes, I got my throw down but my putting still needs a lot of work! haha!

I've been hiking more and checking things off my list, like learning a new craft-knitting! Mom and dad called me a hippie but when mom gets her amazing scarf for Christmas she will be loving my new craft;) No pictures yet sorry....

So there you have it.....I will be back on the bike a bit when I go home next week and then time to start thinking about that was fast!

See you guys later! Go outside and play!!!