Friday, July 31, 2009


Thank you fro all the kind posts about my article; I am very appreciative of all the feedback.

That last post was a bit of an experiment for me in regards to social media. Those of you who are familiar with this blog know that despite the fact that I am in PR, I have studiously avoided doing any "marketing" of this site whatsoever. In my mind, the purpose of this blog has nothing to do with "quantity" of readership and everything to do with "quality." That said, if more people come and visit and take something away positive from it, great. But the bottom line is that I have the same 50-60 consistent readers, and that is totally fine by me. I think we have created our own, cool little "community" and that's what keeps me plugging away. That and the fact that I have made cool new friends like Gail and CrazyMama.

Anyway, yesterday I kind of took the lid off of things a bit: I posted a link to the article via Twitter (and sevaral people were kind enough to retweet it; thanks to all of you who did that) and I posted it via Facebook as well. I did this because the article was meaningful to me, but I also confess to being curious as to what it would do vis a vis site traffic.

As I kind of anticipated, traffic soared and marked a one day "best", narrowly edging out traffic for the second annual "Howard Solomon Race for Thyroid Cancer." Today's traffic is higher than usual, though trending back to where it normally resides.

Anyway, that's my confessional. Kind of cool, but I think for the time being I will keep that to a one time occurence.

And again, if it resulted in any new readers who have returned and are reading these words: welcome and thanks for dropping by. I hope you stick around for a while.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Business Lessons Learned in Dealing with Cancer

Following is an article that recently appeared in the 60th anniversary of our company magazine, Move. The feedback has generaly been pretty positive but I'd be interested in yours too. It's a long read and maybe my longest posting ever; hope you are able to make your way through it.

Howard Solomon

When I last appeared on the pages of MOVE magazine back in late 2003, I had written an article titled “Business Lessons Learned From my Experiences as an Endorphin Addict.” The article was exactly as titled; it was an articulation of many of the business lessons that I have learned over the years in my pursuit of athletic endeavors such as triathlons and ultra marathons. In preparation for this article, which I am hoping will serve as a sort of corollary to my 2003 musings, I re-read that article for the first time in many years, and all of my “lessons” still seem to bear relevance today -- at least for me, personally.

And yet when I read that article, it was sadly with a bit of a wizened air. Because in the intervening years I have had a new life “mentor” of sorts (for lack of a better word) emerge not once but twice in my life. This interloper has helped shape my life and worldview and has taught me much greater and deeper life lessons than even endurance sports. And similar to my previous article, many of these lessons can be directly applied to business as well, which is what I will hope to share with you in these pages. But while endurance sports have been uplifting and inspirational, this new intruder has proved to be more of an arch nemesis whom I wish I never knew. Its name is Cancer.

The first time Cancer entered my life was in the fall of 2003, shortly after I wrote the aforementioned article. I was travelling to visit a friend in Baltimore, Maryland, and we had planned out a big training weekend for a 50-mile race that we were running together. Upon landing at the airport, my cell phone lit up immediately; there were three messages from my wife. I knew immediately something was wrong. She told me to sit down and gave me the bad news straightaway; she just learned from her doctor that she had early stage cervical cancer. Once I got over the shock (actually, I still have not gotten over the shock of this news) I told her I was going to the ticket counter to get an immediate return flight home. Her words that day have never left me. She said that there was no way I was to come home; there was nothing that I could do and my immediate return would do nothing but make her feel sick. She concluded by stating as firmly as she’s ever stated anything in her life, “Life goes on.”
I ended up staying in Baltimore that weekend at her insistence. It was a miserable two days but her lesson has stuck with me and embedded within this tale is an important business lesson as well.

Business Lesson One: Life Goes On

Any cancer survivor would probably agree; once you stop feeling sorry for yourself (or your loved one), you have to recognize that life goes on. Establishing a pattern of normalcy, to the extent to which your life is now “normal” and refusing to capitulate is a critical part of one’s battle with cancer. For me, it was beyond critical that I continue to work in an unimpeded manner, even though it was a struggle at times. There was no other way; I was simply not going to let this thing win without a fierce battle.

The same lesson can be applied in business as well. We are living in difficult economic times. People are losing their jobs, their homes, and their life savings. In certain respects, the effect that this can have on one’s life or psyche can be just as impactful as cancer. But you know what? Without trivializing these matters, life goes on and to use a horribly tired cliché, the sun rises tomorrow. I have learned that you should be happy and appreciative to see that sun. The most important thing you can do is put your head down and forge forward with life – while simultaneously keeping open eyes.
I am pleased to say that my wife has recuperated well. While she had to undergo a hysterectomy – which is something no 35 year-old woman should have to experience, she managed to avoid after treatment and she has successfully moved on with her life. I thought I had too, until cancer struck again. This time it struck me.

In a weird way, my love for endurance sports, which continues today, may have saved my life. I moved to San Francisco in late 2005 to help manage Ruder-Finn’s west coast operations. Shortly after relocating, I signed up for an indoor cycling class that would help strengthen me for the upcoming cycling and triathlon season. The class was tremendously difficult and it broke me down and gave me a nasty cold that I couldn’t shake for weeks. I finally gave in and went to see a doctor, something I’m not ordinarily apt to do. The doctor quickly diagnosed me with a case of bronchitis and then suggested that he conduct a physical, as it had been quite some time since my last. He detected a lump on my neck that he found disconcerting and suggested I see an endocrinologist immediately. I will spare you the ensuing saga of test and re-tests and even more tests but little more than a month later I was diagnosed with stage two papillary thyroid cancer. Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is a call I hope one never receives, but in a certain respect, I have never been more grateful for a case of bronchitis. As noted, it very well could have saved my life. There’s another important lesson embedded within this anecdote as well.

Business Lesson Two: Go to The Doctor. Regularly.

I was 39 years old at the time of my diagnosis and at the top of my game fitness wise. As a somewhat accomplished triathlete and runner (albeit middle of the packer) I saw no reason to go to the doctor proactively. It’s not too far off the mark to state that this poor decision making very well could have cost me my life. I think the metaphor holds true in business as well; from time to time, you need to see the doctor. What I mean is that even if your business is prospering, you sometimes need to stop for a check in. Perhaps you need to bring in an outsider (a boss, a consultant, a mentor) or maybe you can achieve this through careful analysis and introspection, but from time to time it’s important to step back, look at what you are doing dispassionately – or better yet, ask someone else to look at it for you -- and ask yourself: is my business truly healthy? If you look at things objectively and ask the right set of questions, you’ll find that there is always room for improvement. You will also find that find that these periodic visits to a “doctor” can often help avoid catastrophe over the long term.

About two weeks after my diagnosis, I had surgery to remove my thyroid gland and eight lymph nodes that also tested positive for cancer. My recovery from surgery was difficult from the standpoint that I was unable to exercise for several weeks and my body had to learn how to adapt to synthroid, a synthetic hormone that I now need to take every day for the rest of my life to compensate for my missing thyroid gland. I also needed to prep for a massive dose of radiation therapy, which was scheduled for two months after my surgery. The objective of the radiation was to ablate any remaining cancer cells. I will spare you the details of my radiation, but suffice to say, it was a pretty miserable six weeks.

This post-surgery, pre-radiation juncture was the only point in time during my entire ordeal that I started to feel bad for myself. More than anything, and perhaps foolishly in the grand scheme of things, I was upset that I had to miss the upcoming triathlon and running season, which I was preparing diligently for.
A few weeks before my diagnosis I had signed up for a very popular half ironman triathlon in Sonoma County. Given that it was scheduled to take place eight weeks after my surgery, I didn’t think there was any chance of participating. I was bummed, to put it mildly; I had planned on this being my big race for the year and up until my diagnosis, my training had been going very well.

The Monday before the race, I called my coach and asked what he thought about possibly participating. I had resumed easy swimming, biking and running but had done nothing I would consider “training” per se. I was concerned that the distance – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run, might prove too much for someone who was less than 90 days outside of fairly extensive neck surgery. His four word response, much like my wife’s noted earlier, has stayed with me all these years. A man of few words, he simply said “you can do this.” And he was right. I decided then and there it a go, recognizing the worst thing that could happen is that I’d have to drop out if it proved to be too difficult.

Business Lesson Three: You Can Do This – Shoot for the Moon

The plan we formulated focused on nothing more than getting me to the finish line safely and in one piece. Any sense of racing for time was thrown straight out the window. For the first time in my life, I went into a race thinking I could realistically finish last. And the beautiful and liberating thing was that I could not care less. The short story is that I finished the race. I suffered greatly but I enjoyed every single moment. I didn’t finish last, but it was the slowest race I have ever run in my life. And it was also my most memorable. Over the years I have run literally hundreds if not a thousand races, but this is the one that stands out. For the first time, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I felt like an Olympic gold medalist in terms of what I had accomplished under difficult circumstances.

The business lesson here? Dare to dream big. Set forth a goal that scares the living crap out of you and seems unattainable and go for it – but go for it in a methodical, sensible fashion. And if you need someone to coach you through it, like I did for my race, then so be it. If you ultimately achieve that goal it’s something that will stay with you for a long while. And even if you don’t, there’s consolation in knowing you were brave enough to give it a shot.
Business Lesson Four: Seek the Best Possible Counsel and Accept Nothing Less

The good news about thyroid cancer is that it’s generally considered a “good cancer” in that there is a clear cut treatment path and the mortality rate is very low. Unfortunately for me, I had a few curveballs thrown my way that created some complications. And when this becomes the case, no one assumes a more important role in one’s life than your oncologist, or in my case, my endocrinologist.

On a personal level, I liked my doctor very much. He was personable fellow and had an easygoing manner about him. But what I learned about midway through my case was that his specialty area within endocrinology was diabetes; he knew a bit about thyroid cancer, but not enough to be what I would categorize as an expert. I recognized this early in our relationship, but found myself reticent to change to a new doctor for no other reason than the fact that it’s difficult mentally to make a seismic change when you are smack in the middle of a treatment path. Finally, however, circumstances became such that I felt compelled to make a change. This time, I found one of the world’s leading thyroid specialists at University of California San Francisco, one of the nation’s leading healthcare institutions. The bottom line is that with all due respect to my previous doctor, I am incredibly thankful for my new doctor and I kick myself for not making this change earlier.

I learned a good lesson here and I apply it to business nearly ever day. It’s an easy one, on paper at least, and it has become my new mantra: surround yourself only with top talent and learn to trust that talent implicitly. It sounds trite but don’t compromise quality when it’s quality that really counts. Surround yourself only with the best, whether it’s your employees, business partner, clients, vendors, etc. And certainly, when it comes to your health, it’s tantamount to seek the best counsel and caretakers that you can find. And take the time to do as much research as necessary. Whether in business or in life, research forms the basis for making informed, smart decisions. It’s a truism when it comes to healthcare that you must become your own advocate and leave nothing to chance because no one else will be looking out on your behalf.

Lance Armstrong has long been my hero, even well before we shared the cancer bond. And I believe it was Lance, in one of his books, who stated – and I paraphrase here – that even given the trials and tribulations associated with cancer, if he could go back in time and alter his history such that he would never have had cancer, he’s not certain if he would do so as it has taught him so much about life. I’m not certain that everyone with cancer would necessarily agree with this sentiment, but I do.

Without getting too new-agey, I think much like any hardship in life, you can find embedded within certain “gifts” that are capable of transforming your life for the better. Cancer provided me with the gift of perspective. I thought I understood what it was like to have a measure of perspective, but in looking back, I was mistaken.

Business Lesson Five Maintain Perspective

I’m a type A personality who probably was dosed early in life with a mild splash of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It’s the only way I can explain why I think running 50 and 100 mile races is actually fun.
But at the same time, when you’re that singularly focused on the task at hand – whether it’s running a long distance event, or bringing in a new client or growing a business – sometimes you lose sight of what’s happening around you and what’s really important in life. I take everything I do in life very seriously – most especially my job – but at the same time, I’m genuinely happy to see the sun rise every morning. Without sounding too maudlin, I have a new appreciation for every day I have on this planet, regardless of any business or personal setback. And there is no getting around the fact that setbacks are bound to happen. It’s what you learn from them that really matters. I’ve also learned that you can control what you control and that to maintain your sanity, especially when the going is tough, you need to maintain some degree of zen about things.

The PR business is particularly difficult given the oftentimes delicate relations with clients, and each day seems to bring forth new challenges. I have learned that maintaining perspective through good times and bad is vitally important to maintaining your mental health. I think it’s an especially noteworthy point, especially in consideration of our bleak financial landscape.
Flash forward to today, early 2009, and I am happy to report that similar to my wife, my health is just fine. I have crossed the chasm from cancer patient, to cancer survivor, and for that, I am enormously thankful.

It’s funny, though, how life is able to throw repeated curveballs. A few years ago I thought I learned all there is to know in business from lessons I had learned from endurance sports.
Little did I know back then, however, that though many of those lessons endure, I would ultimately come to learn far more from a less worthy but far more dangerous adversary. Though I hope to never again see cancer’s ugly face, I’ve taken away from this experience everything positive that I can, and if I have come out of this experience as a better person, parent, husband, and colleague – which I think I have -- then I can say that regardless of how this all might ultimately shake out in the end, it’s a battle I have won.

And that, for me, has been the most important lesson of all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fat Cyclist

If you get a chance today, take a moment and visit this website right here. You will likely find it depressing but at the same time, incredibly uplifting. Lately I am starting to read more and more of these cancer blogs. Call it morbid fascination, perhaps, but more so than that, I am starting to feel a real connection of sorts with these folks. These are my people. And while I hate cancer so much, the attitudes of Elden and Susn (who are in my thoughts), Dan Waeger (may he rest in peace) and so many others, is incredibly uplifting and inspirational to me and many others.

At the risk of sounding trite, all I can really say is this: make the most out of every day that you have,

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Main Man

Pretty good showing by Lance today eh? That might have been one of his best performances ever. I can't express how much I enjoyed today's stage on Mont Ventoux. I was screaming at the TV like the old days. More on the Tour tomorrow.
In the meantime tonight was the coup de grace of my vacation. I saw one of my best high school buddy's - my good friend Geremy, who's apparently a fairly fan of this blog, for the first time in over a decade. The amazing thing about great friends: it doesn't matter wheher it's a day or a decade. When you're togerher it's like no time at all has passed. In certain respects I think that's the definition of friendship. Anyway Geremy, if you are reading this; it was awesome seeing you. And between that Wife of yours and that kid in the back seat (and the one I didn't get a chance to meet) one thing was pretty clear to
me: you did pretty well Amigo.
On top of all this, a great family reunion earlier today. I'll post pictures from that tomorrow.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yankee Stadium

Headed home from my first game ever at Yankee Stadium with the Little Boy. Also joining us was my nephew and my two brothers. The Yankees won and I have to say that it was just about a perfect night and a great cap to my East Coast tour.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Greeting from the middle of Lake George - literally. My first blog from the water. It's 6:30 pm and no one else is out here and it's as peaceful as you can imagine except for the incessant yabbering from daughter. Our other major activity today was rollerskating but alas that is a story for another today. Tomorrow we head to NJ for a few days and then I say goodbye and head to Chicago. Life is good.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lake George

Pretty solid day today after pretty much non-stop rain yesterday. Activities included a family run early in the am (the kids did two miles in preparation for their first 5k). Afterwards we swam, we ate brats, we went out for ice cream and we mini golfed. And in between I did a few conference calls and a million emails. He work stuff aside it was pretty much an ideal vacation day. Tonight I hope to meet up with my boss who's staying one mile from our place.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Greetings from Lovely Lake George

We're having a nice vacation here in Lake George, inclement weather (and the fact that I had to work about four hours today) aside. Activities have included paddleboarding (everyone is staring at us like we are nuts. We are truly Californians), which we rented for the day, kayaking (which the Girl has taken a keen liking to), running, lake swimming, arcade games downtown and more. All in all, a very nice time. If you ever get a chance to visit the Adirondacks, I suggest you do so. It's a terrific part of the world. It's like the NorCal of the East Coast in certain respects, only with a (much, much) heavier winter.

Anyway, that's all I have the energy for tonight; I'll use Posterous to post some pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Well, he made it. Four weeks later the Little Boy is back home from camp. It was pretty cute; he and his sister ran to one reminiscent of the beach scene of Ten ( anyone remember that movie?). He said he had a great time and though we've only been together for a few short hours, it seems as if he's grown up a bit. I missed him dearly but I am obviously glad that he had a great time. And I am equally glad he's back home. We are now at Lake George for a few days before headed to NJ. I'll send pictures tomorrow from the sailboat and other

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Hampshire

When in Rome do as the Romans. And when in New England in the summer, eat lobster. And clams. And corn. And a baked potato.
I flew across the country today to pick up the Little Boy at camp. He doesn't know I'm coming out to get him so tomorrow should be cool. I'll try to take a video.
After we pick him up we are headed to Lake George for a few days and then New Jersey. I'll be sure to send pictures from the road.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Friday, July 17, 2009

The View from My Deck

Took this picture usig a very cool new iPhone application that enables one to take panoramic pictures. Pretty cool.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Favorite: All-Time Album

Time fro the "favorite" of the week. This week's question: what is your favorite album of all time. for me, it's a tough one, but probably not so tough at the end of the day: I have to go with London Calling by the Clash. It's a seminal punk album that also incorporates shades of reggae, blues and even early rap. It's endured the test of time and sounds as good today as when it debuted in 1980. Nearly 30 years later (wow -- 30 years. That's almost incomprehensible to me) I still listen to it regularly.

So, enough about me -- what about you?

In other news, expect the tour to take off starting on Friday. The Alps next week will be incredible. This week has been pretty uneventful, but look for things to change dramatically any day now. I feel good about Lance. think he has excellent form and is now just starting to round into shape. We will see soon enough.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Definition of Bogus

Would love to write a nice long post but it's 10:00 pm, I'm hungry and I just got home. Work late you ask? Uhh, I wish. I got home tonight and being that I am a bachelor, I decided to go for a bike ride. By the time I got things prepped -- I haven't taken the bike out on the road too much this year -- it was 7:30 pm and I was afraid of running out of daylight.

I was cruising on the back end of Tiburon and was just starting to enjoy the ride when I heard -- whoosh -- the unmistakeable sound of a flat. Lovely. Went to fix it and realized -- my CO2 cartridge was empty. I was starting run out of sunlight and was on the backside of a mountain so had to ride two or three miles until I got cell service; a defcon three scenario if there ever was one. Fortunately, Coach Phil was home and saved my sorry ass. I swear this happens to me once a year.

Anyway, I won't let that happen again. And big props to Coach Phil for a huge save.

Over and out for tonight.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Alcatraz Challenge

So, I will confess that I was a bit nervous for this race. The problem wasn't the water per se; I'm a fairly competent open water swimmer. 

The issues was rather that there was so much to pay attention to in the water; directions are very specific, and they are dependent on the tides. It's a complicated swim, to say the least.

The day started early as Dave and I departed my house at 4:50 am, after a sleepless night. We got to the start at around 5:15 and boarded the boat at around 7:30 am. Once the race started there was not time to think. Within minutes we were at the start and we had to jump in without hesitation. I think I was almost too cerebral in terms of my approach, which probably cost me a few minutes in the end. What I learned, however, is that you can't concern yourself too much worrying about your time with a swim like this. I screwed up a few times and had to ask a kayaker if I was on the correct route. I finally finished is around 51 minutes, which was a bit slower than anticipated, though people on the run course were saying it was a slow swim. That said, I was just happy to touch shore. I felt good swimming wise, but that was almost an afterthought. As I said, navigating the course was a far greater challenge.

The 7 mile run went up the Presidio, all the way up an across the Golden Gate bridge and back. It was windy and hilly but I kept a steady but comfortable pace and finished in around 54 minutes or so (including a nature break) which was better than I thought I'd do.

All in all a super fun day for my boy Dave and I and I'll probably do this one again.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Learning to Surf

Download now or watch on posterous
IMG_1247.MOV (1639 KB)

Post Alcatraz (more on that later) we headed to the beach where the Little Girl worked on her surfing skills. Though she was born in Chicago, I think it's fair to say that this kid is a Californian through and through.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rainbow over Marin County

This picture can't do justice to the size of this rainbow.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Congrats Little Girl!

Swim season came to a conclusion today with Championships. I've never seen so many kids in one confined space in my life. The Little Girl had a great day, posting a best time in freestyle and a best time and FIRST place finish in fly. I was pretty astonished by her fly - she took two seconds off her best time. Alas it wasn't her best day on backstroke. She had a great start but had some issues towards the finish. She said something about being worried about banging her head on the wall. Anyway, a great conclusion to a great season. Nice job Little Girl.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kogi's Korean Tacos

I'm in LA today and the Kogi's truck was parked across the street from our office. For those of you unfamiliar with Kogi's, it's all the rage here in Tinseltown. They serve Korean-infused Mexican food that is absolutely out of this world. Because it was my second lunch I only ordered two short rim tacos (with kimchi). The only way to know the location and timing of the truck(s) is to follow them via Twitter. This adds to the mystique, apparently. Regardless, the food is absolutely delicious - and I'm not much of a foodie (though I am very partial to Korean food).

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Must Read New York Times Article for You Runners Out There.

All I can say is WOW. This article is absolutely fascinating. Definitely worth the read. I couldn't imagine being an ultra runner (well actually I could -- because I am!) with severely diminished memory issues. I will say this though: endurance athletes are definitely cut of a different cloth, and they never cease to amaze me. And she is doing Hardrock this weekend to boot; as Payro will confirm that's just about the hardest damn race in the country. That and Leadville.

You go, Diane Van Deren. You just might be my new idol.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Swimming with Sharks

So, I'm swimming my first Alcatraz race this weekend. It's an aquathlon - my first ever race of this sort, too. KInd of like a triathlon, without the bike portion. The race kicks off with 1.5 mile swim in the 57 degree, shark infested waters (hi, mom!) and a 7 mile run through the Presidio. I'll confess to being a tad bit, shall we say "apprehensive" about the swim. I know I'll be stoked when I'm done however; Alcatraz swim has long been on my bucket list. I'm doing this race with my boy Dave who's emerged as a super strong swimmer so I'm hoping I can stay on his toes.
Anyway the swim has necessitated a few purchases including a full suit and a neoprene hoodie, both of which I just got tonight. I figure they will get plenty of good use over the next few years.
Anyway, here's to hoping that the sharks take a pass on the skinny guy. I'm trying out this ensemble (pictures attached for your viewing pleasure) tomorrow night at Aquatic Park in San Francisco as part of a test. Hope it goes well.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dusk in Marin County

Sometimes - but not often- I forget how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful part of the world. These pictures don't do justice to how beautiful the view is at dusk, when the moon comes out in full effect over the Bay. Just incredible and without getting too new-agey it makes one believe in a Higher Power.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Lance Will Be Wearing Yellow Tomorrow

Usually the first week of the Tour is a bit of a snoozer, the first time time trial excluded. The main objective for the GC guys is to essentially to stay out of trouble and let the sprinters do their thing. The action generally doesn't start until the race hits the Pyrenees. Today should have been a "nothing" stage, but mother nature intervened, a certain 37 year old veteran showed that he's smart like a fox and a fairly significant gap was put on the field. And in my opinion -- and most of the biking cognescenti, too -- Lance did nothing to usurp Alberto. He was simply at the right place at the right time, and when it comes to the Tour, luck counts for a lot.

Look for Astana to put the pedal to the metal in tomorrow's time trial and destroy the field. The only team that could possibly compete is Columbia, who rode in such an intelligent fashion today it is was incredible.

I'd say we are looking at a 70 percent chance that Lance finishes the day in Yellow. And the media will have a complete and utter field day with that. The bigger question is what, if anything, he will do to defend. THAT is where things will get interesting. I'm really curious as to Johan's strategy for the next several days.

Man oh man. I'm a big sports fan as you all know, but there simply ain't nothing like the Tour de France. This is going to be a great month.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Go Julie Go!

Julie Westcott, aka @curesrock was one of my Livestrong teammates at Boston. She and I email (tweet, actually) regularly and I consider her a friend. She is also incredibly inspirational - honestly, one of the most inspirational individuals I have had the pleasure of gettig to know. Shortly after Boston she suffered a bit of a setback, but I know she's going to kick cancer to the curb this time around. Anyway, I was absolutely thrilled to see that Lance dedicated stage two of the Tour to her. He could not have picked a more worthy individual. Please take a moment to watch this video. And go get 'em Julie. Tons of us are pulling for you.

Mount Tam

For the first time, I climbed up and over Mount Tam. The peak was absolutely sensational. You can see tha I was pretty high above the cloud line. Even on an overcast day I was able to see as far as Napa on one side and Mount Diablo on the over. I confess that he "run" up was more like a hike/slog and it just about did me in. My friend Brian and I hen ran all the way down to Stinson Beach where we me our two families for breakfast. A magnificent way to start the day.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sweet Home Chicago

The Wife, Girl and I are back from a fantastic trip to Chicago, our trip to the ER nonwithstanding. We did nothing but han out (and eat) with four sets of amazing friends and I could not imagine a more enjoyeable weekend. Nothing in the world likegood friends. What made the weekend even more spectacular is that not only are the kids all growing up, they get along amazingly well. I must confess that as I sit on the plane typing hear words, for the first time I'm. Bit wistful that I don't live in Chicago. Wait a second; I just mentally recalled how cold it is in February. Ok, I'm over it.

In other news, and in the event you are living under a rock, the tour started today. And y'all know what a Tour fan I a, so be prepared for a slew of posts in the coming weeks. The story of today wasn't Lance but rather his teammate Contador: he had a heck of a race and demonstrated to the big GC guys that he's the man to beat. Next few weeks will be really interesting.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Girl

The Little Girl turns seven today and she does so in the town in which she was born. Yesterday The Wife took her to American Doll Store and she fell in love with the place which is I guess what girls her age do. Interesting to me, though, as she's never been much interested in dolls. Regardless we now have a new member of our family and her name is Olivia. She's named after her (practically) brand new cousin, Olivia who she has yet to meet (but already very much loves).
Anyway happy birthday Little Girl! I hope that you get to celebrate 100 more birthdays.

Posted via email from Howard Solomon

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First Night Back in Chicago

So, last night was our first night back in Chicago as a family (minus the Little Boy) since the day we moved to SF nearly four years ago. How did we celebrate? With a 3 am visit to the emergency room.

The Little Girl had an inner ear issue related to the plane and in all likelihood swimming, which got progressively worse throughout the night. Fortunately, the hotel was relatively near the ER and so the Wife really had no choice but to take her as she was in a ton of pain and the Tylenol was having no effect. The three of us are like zombies and how I'll make it through this workday is yet to be determined. The good news is that she's doing much better this morning.

Nothing like a little travel drama .........