Monday, August 7, 2017

July was hot hot hot


It's hot in North Carolina, and I didn't do much training. Had one swim race that was awesome but that was about it.

Swim: 25,150 yards, 1 race
Bike: 0
Run: 0
Strength: 0
Yoga: once!

Just when I thought I couldn't do less than I did in June, July hits and I swim 6000 yards less. A buddy at work just bought his first tri bike, so I'm actually thinking about riding some again. And soon I think another work friend and I will do the 5k ePostal swim and maybe head down to Wilmington for Swim the Loop, a 3.5 mile open water race.

So what else was I doing instead of flexing any kind of athletic muscle? Well from June's recap, the garden was growing, I finished building my first boat, and we cut a massive hole in the wall and installed a door.

So in July the garden mostly died from the heat and we built a massive deck on the other side of that new door!

The deck! with one wall of a screened in porch

Front view (of the back of the house)

far side angle

stairs from level 2 to level 3

Handrail is up! Lots of design work in there

Happy deck builders

face painting 4th of july


already enjoying the new deck!

The deck we built entirely over the 4th of July holiday. I had a couple of days off from work. The entire build is detailed on my woodworking blog so I'll spare you the gory details here. There's three levels, and asymmetrical design, and it came out better than we drew it on paper. We absolutely love it and are enjoying it despite the heat. 

I had a birthday!

42 is cheesecake, right?

Got the rest of the walls up on the porch

Ella's first day of 7th grade
First day of 5th grade!
We love having the kids in a year-round school. They started back after the July 4th week. We would much rather have them in the air-conditioned school while it's too hot to do anything outside than staying in bed all summer. They get the whole month of september out, so we'll go do some summer fun stuff then.

Tiki guy made the deck and got a Sideshow Bob fern haircut

Ella wanted me to try the Toe of Satan. I couldn't keep this hot candy in my mouth, it was too hot. and nothing is too hot for me.

There's a roof going up!

Happy with the framing and handrail in the porch

Interior trim - top

Interior trim - bottom

Evil Genius got me a mug that looks like beer

Finished the screened in porch! It's so much fun

I did eventually attach the door

adding deck furniture

with my love

First time in 7 years I've been able to grill!

We got a fire pit! Making s'mores - the kids love it.

fun times with the kiddos

App State grill cover

We put a sky chair in the porch! If you've never used a hammock chair you don't know what you're missing

I took a sailing class!

I love the Doctor Who Intoxicate Dalek shirt

Laid some brick pavers to extend a theme

then built some stairs
I am actually going to have to rebuild those stairs, they are cut wrong. But they will get us by for now. The sailing class was awesome, I really want to build a sailboat when I'm ready to step up to something larger. The class was a blast, can't wait to get back on the water now!

Overall, this July didn't suck as much as in past years. Maybe August won't be so bad either.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Little Uno Big Results



My mother came to visit for the weekend, and attend a quilting conference in Raleigh. We were thrilled to show off the new deck and be able to spend this much time with her. The date was set by the conference, and it just happened to coincide with this year's Little Uno and Big Deuce swim race. I've done the Deuce several times, but signed up for the 1 miler this year.

Before the race
My RAM team had a tent setup with the banner, so we all kind of gathered around there to hangout before & after the race. Also got to see Kenn & Betty Gardner - Kenn was swimming, and they sing in the church choir with me.


Some of the RAM teammates
The two milers started first, and I have to admit I thought about jumping up to the other distance and I'm glad I didn't. At the May race, there was only 1 other guy in my age group and I wanted an award. This time the tables were turned - about 6 people in my age group in that race that were all way faster than I would have been.

The one milers lined up in the water walking out from a boat ramp. We had to tread water for about a minute. It was all one mass start for us, so it got pretty crowded. I got way more inside than I wanted to be, but I got to the front and tried to find some clear water without too many people behind me. Sure enough, once we started I didn't have to swim over anybody and nobody swam into me.

I started in at my normal lap pace - not sprinting out of the gate like I did in May. Settle in and stretch out my form. Keep my hands wide, high elbows and strong push through after entry, feel the top of my feet hit the top of the water. My sighting was dead on, I was swimming really straight. Now just hold that form for the entire lap.

There was a lot of chop after hitting the first turn. And that's when the human traffic started to get cluttered as well. This race is a triangle course, so after the 2nd turn the people clutter was much worse than the chop. Still after the last sighting buoy I increased the arm turnover, then sprinted into the finish.

Finished: 32:44, 44/144 overall, 17/64 men, 1/11 age group
YOU READ THAT RIGHT I WON MY AGE GROUP!!!!! This should not have happened. Last year I swam a 32:53, good enough for 5/8 in my AG. That extra 9 seconds I made up clearly meant that none of the fast guys showed up. Last year's age group awards went at 25:23, 27:48, and 31:35. I thought for sure I would have to break 30 minutes to get an award. And I felt like I swam the mile in under 30 minutes so those assumptions both turned out to be false!

Happy finisher, no results yet

Hanging with the RAM crew

With my age group award, a stemless wine glass!

All four of us won our age groups, so did plenty of other RAM members. L-R Rebecca, KC, Coach Kristen, me
I'll wrap up with a couple of other pictures collected from facebook friends
The best part is hanging out with friends

Billy Su (Last year's AG winner) caught me exiting the boat ramp at the finish
KC got me with Amy Oversmith
I think this is the first time I've won my age group in a race. I've been on winning relay teams, taken 2nd and 3rd place before, and snagged a few 3rd place overall awards in 5k's, but I think this is my first outright AG win. I couldn't be happier with how the day turned out.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

June Recap

this could be really short with lots of pictures:

Swim: 31,428 yards, 10 swims, 1 race
Bike: 0
Run: 0
Yoga: 0
Strength: 1 time lifting

Wow, that's even less than I was expecting. Haven't seen that many 0's show up since I was swimming 50,000 yards and running 100 miles a month. The one swim race was the Chattanooga Swim Fest, and it was amazing. Got back in the pool a few more times after that, including 1 time getting long course meters in (translated that to yards, hence the odd number). But that really was it.

Currently, from the bottom up, I've got a broken left big toe, my constant right foot tendon pain, a bum left hip, lower back pain, middle back soreness, neck pain, and arthritis pain in both hands and elbows. But that's not to indicate that June was bad, just that I'm getting older and can't do what I could do in my 30's. ha!

June also had (in addition to that wonderful road trip to Chatty) a visit with my parents to see the Lion King, Fathers Day, and a major release of our software at work. Plus the garden is kicking. There was a lot that was accomplished, and it was a great month. Breakdown:

Starting to grow!

Cucumbers getting bigger

Tomatoes are starting to take off
One HUGE moment that I'm very proud of is finishing my first wooden boat! I got the boat wrapped up (and started a woodworking/boatbuilding blog about it) and got it in the water for the first time. The name of this boat is "My Busted Foot", because I decided to pick up this new hobby after it was determined that I couldn't run any more. Super proud of the way this turned out!

You have to test these things on dry land first

It floats! Unreal happy about that.

Ella loved paddling around all over the lake

It was a large lake (Lake Johnson here in Raleigh)

Evil Genius did not enjoy it quite as much

It sits pretty clean in the water, looks pretty sharp I think

Kelley went nuts over these ducks
Aunt Martha got in on the action

At the Lion King to my left

And to my right! All the family
We had a great weekend trip down to Greenville. Mom wanted all of her kids and grandkids to gather for a fun show. All 11 of us don't get together very often, so it was really nice to have that much fun.

The biggest project by far wrapped up the month and is bleeding over half of July as well. The problem was that there are some concrete stairs going to the backyard that started crumbling. We have known for a while that they would have to be replaced with something else. Also there is a pergola in the backyard over a stone patio that has become overgrown and unusable. We enjoyed it for the first year or two, but haven't been able to for quite some time. So a few months ago we started talking about building a deck. There will be a more in depth post about it eventually, but in June it started with taking out a window from the dining room and replacing it with a wider french door. It's a door to nowhere, sure, but the best is yet to come.

Dining room, with window and corner cabinets. Already had the doors off of those when I grabbed the first picture.

Bye bye wall

bye bye window, hello framing

Bloody demolition man!

Cut out a big hole in the house!

Widen it to the framing

Slide in the door!

Framed up and ready for drywall


Now with more mud

I already had the shrubs & ivy down from the pergola


Bye bye pergola, hello backyard!

Demolition on concrete stairs is no joke. Now I've got two doors to nowhere!
Finally, the month of June and all of the stuff I should have blogged about in due time wraps up with two fun times. My sweet Ella had another birthday. She keeps getting older and wiser. and taller! Also Evil Genius actually went to a Durham Bulls game with my company. She loved learning about baseball and really enjoyed following all of the action. It's so cool to see her growing into her own person.

Big birthday girl!

already with the sullen hoodie of a teenager

with EG and Kelley at the game

going over the finer points of the shift

She got to run the bases after the game! somewhere in that line of kids
So I hope you had a great month too. June wasn't bad at all, overall. I could have done with less pain and more running, but I accomplished a lot and had a ton of fun.