Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

The youngest brooding teenager ever

Road trip!

Somebody got sick on the ride back home
 We went to visit Kelley's mom & stepdad over the weekend at the lake and had a blast. These car shots were the only pics that I got, however. Solid road trip.

Then for dinner one night earlier this week, we made waffle falafel's! They were actually really good.

It's a falafel waffle

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jumping for Pictures

While we were in Greenville visiting my parents last weekend, someone had told Mom about a place called Sky Zone. It ended up being a real highlight of the weekend for pictures! This place was amazing. It has zones set up for different trampoline fun. The ones they were not interested in included dunking a basketball after jumping or playing dodgeball on a trampoline floor. They did however completely flip out over the foam pit and the trampoline floor!

The floor and walls are all trampolines

the action shot!

Evil Genius getting in on the action too

Daddy get this jump!

This may be my favorite. Running? that hair?  come on.

running to the wall

and running back

sad EG

Bounce and jump into the ball pit!

Ella got pretty good going into the foam pit!

EG got the hang of it too

it was a giant foam pit

We all had a great time in the Sky Zone and the kids have been talking about it all week. Afterwards they were so worn out they were actually well behaved.

The entire weekend was a blast. We had a lot of fun with my parents, I got to visit with my best friend from high school for a bit, and we got to hang with Morgan and Martha saturday night.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The time I took the podium!

We finally found a good weekend to get back down to Greenville and visit my parents and it turned out to be a blast! Once we decided to go, I stumbled across the Dean Batson Legacy 5k going on up in Travelers Rest SC. There was a 10k going on too, but I wanted to try and push the speed a bit. In past years there has been kind of a small field so I figured why not, go for it.

Saturday morning turned out to be pretty brisk, sunny but temps in the low 40's. Perfect day to run hard. 

I was the douche with an Ironman visor at a 5k race. Didn't plan that.

And when I say there was a small field, I mean it was like

The entire field
That's the parking lot and the starting line and most of the field gathered before the race. Lucky for me, none of the fast people showed up to play.

Except this guy
The 10k took off at 9 am from that parking lot.  The few people that stuck around for the 5k milled and talked, and I got to hang out with some really friendly people. Finally we all lined up, and the front row ended up being a bunch of kids.  Good to see the high schoolers out there, apparently there was a bunch of kids from one swim team that signed up.  I kind of got back into the 2nd row of people. 

Of course then we took off and I passed most of the high school kids. 200 yards into the race I could count 7 people in front of me. I brought the Garmin with me, but the battery was dead so it wouldn't turn on. Some young people just took off really quick, and I paced off of this older guy who seemed to be huffing and puffing pretty hard. I didn't expect he would be able to hold up with that breathing pattern, and surely some of the younger folks would falter as well. His garmin buzzed at the 1 mile mark, but the course wasn't marked at all, so I remarked that the mile seemed to go by pretty quickly. That mile was mostly downhill.

Mile 2, however, quickly turned back uphill. There was a few steep climbs to get up, and some nice descents. Even a flat spot right around the 2nd mile marker that let the legs spin out pretty good. The old guy kept his pace going up that hill and I never caught him again.  Sure enough, there were a few of the young people on the side of the road too. Then we turned onto the Swamp Rabbit trail, a mixed use rail-to-trail conversion. So it was nice and flat compared to the rest of the course, and before I was really expecting it, the finish line was in sight.

Oddly, being that close to the front was fairly demotivating. I knew I wasn't going to put up a blazing fast time thanks to the hills out there, and there was nobody close enough in front of me to catch, and nobody that was going to pass me if I didn't put up a strong finishing kick. So I just held my pace and cruised in.  Somebody told somebody else they were close to the front overall, but I had no idea what that meant for me.  I got passed by a girl and a 10k runner in the last quarter mile or so, but I thought with such a small field the best I could hope for was an age group award an neither one of those people would affect that.

Turns out, I finished the race in 23:40, not blazing but not too bad. And that was good enough to get me the 3rd place male award! Yes, that's overall male, not age group. I got beaten by a 13 year old and a 66 year old and that was it.  Well, actually there were also 2 girls that finished ahead of me as well. So 5th overall, 3rd male, and won my age group. Of course the race was so small there were no actual awards. Every finisher got a medal but that was it. 72 total finishers, 28 male finishers, and I will gladly take a podium spot any way I can get it.

The coolest part about this race is that the Dean Batson foundation provides support for individuals fighting cancer, and this time they chose my friend Susan as the recipient of the fundraising behind this race! I didn't know that before getting to the starting line. I do like that the foundation supports individual local people instead of just donating the money to research, that is a neat concept. Susan races on the Rev3 Age Group team and we've done a few races together. I even used some of her pictures in my Lake Logan race report earlier this year. It was great to see the support that this organization was giving my friend.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The New Outdoors

Leave it to Evil Genius. She has actually found a way to redefine "outside". Recently she's been getting more paranoid about spiders and bugs, so we apparently found what she was looking for in a Bass Pro Shop that opened recently in Cary. This place is huge, and as far as giant specialty retail stores go this one is really on top of the game.  They loved all of the food products and toys, but when we made our way to the back of the store they went absolutely nuts.

The aquarium was about 10' tall, plus the waterfall going down into it

Kelley is getting attacked by a stuffed bear!

Ella isn't scared of the bear

that's as close as she would come to the head
some of the fish in that aquarium were huge! It has several striped bass that were over 18" long. So EG's favorite version of the outdoors is actually indoors. There are taxidermied animals throughout the store, and of course all of the hunting and fishing supplies you could hope for. They had a blast, and all we ended up buying was a couple of moon pies.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Winter is Coming

Maybe it's already here! 36* when I got in the car this morning to head to work. One thing is for sure, October is gone.  Let's see what happened!

Swim: 10,150 yards, 4 swims
Bike: All doughnuts - nothing
Run: 81 miles, 10 runs, 1 race
Strength: 7 times
Yoga: 17 times

81 miles of running is not bad at all! Of course 31 of that came in the New River Trail 50k, my only race on the month. Also leaves me at 1027 miles on the year, well on pace to hit the 1200 mile goal. It felt great to cross the 1000 mile threshold.  I've been hitting the yoga mat and strength training regularly as well. It felt great to get back in the pool too. Next week (supposed to be this week but the pool had some staffing issues) I get to hit the RAM practice at noon! Ah noon practices are going to be great. I really hope it sticks so I can swim 5 times a week instead of 4 times a month.  10k in the pool is kind of pitiful, but it is an off month for swimming anyway.

As we come into November, the goals go back to family time, building a swimming endurance base, and getting my 100 mile running months in to wrap things up. And some of this:

Totally not a mass murderer

New glasses came in! Hipster frames, but kind of cool I think.

Probably the last garden selfie of the year. Notice the yellow leaves on the muscadine vines in the back

This weekend got interesting, if slightly torturous. Saturday my plan was to take out the baseboard heaters above the floor in the morning, then spend the rest of the day watching college football. There was snow being dumped on the western part of the state, but I didn't expect that storm to affect us at all. So naturally when I thought I was done with the baseboards (and picked a nice batch of Ghost and Habanero peppers)  the power went out for 4 hours. no football for daddy. We decided to kill the time by going to a shopping center to get some dinner and hit the Bass Pro Shops store that recently opened to search for christmas gifts and show the girls the giant stuff inside. So we find a great sports bar that I've heard has great wings, and they've got the Florida - Georgia game on. Alright, here we go. Wait, why is everyone in here wearing florida shirts? If anything is worse than being a Gators fan, it's being surrounded by Gator fans. Evil Genius thought it was too loud for her to enjoy anyway, so we had to get the hell out of there. Again, no football for daddy. We settled on a pizza place. After we got home about 8:30, I finally got some good college football.

Sunday I had an amazing time on the yoga mat, and EG even got in on some of the action with me. Then I got in a nice speedy 10 mile run. After that the plan was to go under the house and free up all of those copper pipes that were feeding the baseboard heating elements I removed on Saturday. Turns out, that was insanely painful. Our crawl space is only about a foot high in some places, so I quickly found myself in a tight spot. That's the top picture above. I threw on the overalls, safety glasses, and Rev3 dust mask and went under the house. Then after a few hours under there, I came out with some copper and lots of new bruises. seriously, I scraped up body parts I didn't know I had. We're going to sell off all of that metal (and copper brings a premium price) to a local recycling center so it will be worth it in the end. I'm just glad to have 4" of floor space back.  And I've never been more glad to see that cubicle on a Monday morning knowing that copper was gone.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween Special

This year we had an amazing Halloween! My mom made their costumes which came out amazing. The kids wanted to go out as Anna and Elsa from Frozen, which was a pretty common costume this year.  But of course, I'm biased that our kids costumes were the best, and they really collected a ton of candy for it.

I showed up to work like this Friday morning! Got a few laughs.

Kelley getting the kids all primped - out of my league

Elsa's white hair was actually a wig and beard from a Moses costume!

Ella wanted to get a selfie before we started trick or treating

The family portrait - might even make a decent Christmas card!

Ella with her haul - 2 buckets worth!

Loot from both kids - insane!
We ended up meeting up with my buddy Tom and his kid who is in Evil Genius's Indian Princess tribe and walking the neighborhood with them. They live just down the street from Kelley's dad. Overall everyone had a blast and we pulled off another solid holiday! Hope yours was just as much fun.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Funny Friday Ramblings

Pretty much, since Rev3 Cedar Point, I've been all like

seriously. The motivation was kind of there. I was sort of one day looking forward to maybe getting in to a regular workout routine again one day. But it's also important to really enjoy the offseason. If you enjoy the offseason too much, it gets harder to get back to training weight or get an endurance base back.

In the meantime, regular strength training and yoga really help keep the stress level down. I've been running when I can but not focused on 50+ mile weeks anymore. Yoga is everywhere

At EG's fall outing in the middle of the woods. I am a tree among the trees
I even needed a little help getting my forehead to the floor
I swear that's actually a really difficult pose. It looks like my back is a bit too rounded though. Other Evil Genius involved activities included another tribe meeting at Moe's this time, where the kids learned how to roll burrito's!  The kids loved it, and some of them really kept their rolling nice and tight.  Great future for these kids in fast food, and all of the jokes that come with it.

Learning to Roll

love: she only put cheese on her burrito
The beard is back, and my hair is starting to grow out. Every year when this happens I'm amazed at how much gray I have, and how much more has come in since last year. The beard has a ton of gray in it this year too! That's quite a surprise.

I am starting to get back into the swing of things again though. Swimming especially is rocking right now. The city pool that's close to my house has been closed all summer for air conditioning repairs, and it opened back up again this week! woo hoo!! Next week our team is supposed to start offering noon practices as well, and that is going to be freaking amazing. If I can actually swim 5 days a week by going Monday Wednesday and Friday at noon, and Tuesday Thursday at night, that's going to seriously rock.  Of course the way this offseason has been going

This is more like a before and after to the team. Before the Ironman I felt like the guy on the left, now I look more like the guy on the right, all fat and hairy. At least I got to swim twice this week, and that's only the 3rd and 4th times since the Ironman on sept 7. I keep hitting the wall around 2000 yards, but at least last night I was able to complete the entire workout. And I know that swim endurance base is going to come back quickly, my form feels good and the speed is almost there.

The most important part is that I am truly happy in this moment. Kelley and the girls are all really happy, I'm starting to think about some goals for next year, and revisit the ones I set for this year to see what I have left. I love not knowing what's coming next, because I know it's going to be spectacular. Have a great weekend!