Thursday, May 17, 2018

Catching Up

There has been a lot going on around the Flynn household since we were in Delaware. I've been totally unmotivated to write about it, but big things are happening!

Yesterday I got accepted into grad school! In August, I'll be starting the MBA program at UNC-Wilmington. It's been 20 years (May 1998) since I was in a college classroom, so this should be interesting. I'm excited about the new challenge. Work is paying for it, in-state tuition is only about $15k, and it should take about 2 years to complete. It's 11 classes taught in 7 week blocks, one class at a time. At my company, now I am part software architect and part manager. I did recently get a promotion, but the title is still short of being either an architect or a manager. There are no architects or managers in the building (700 employees here, 10,000 worldwide) that do not have a masters degree or PhD. Not having a masters degree is not holding me back right now, but I fear it will limit my options going forward if I don't go ahead and take care of it.

Another huge change is that I have dropped the monthly fees for the RAM swim team as of June. I've been on this team since 2011 and absolutely love swimming. But since I got this promotion, I can barely make one swim practice a week. And with the arthritis, that one practice is very painful. Availability, pain, and lack of conditioning. It's a bad combination. I'm really enjoying running right now, so I'm just going to stick with that. But I will really miss my teammates, the workouts, and being competitive in open water races.

Some other cool stuff happened too. I got to work for a day on a Habitat for Humanity construction site with my teams!

Sheeting the exterior walls

Someone gave Tejal a sawsall, terror ensued

Adding a sill cap

I love construction!
Also I've gotten in some good family time lately. Loving on the wife and taking the whole family out for a Durham Bulls game

Love at the front door

At the Bulls game

Full crowd!

The kids loved playing the video games in my office

It's getting warm and things are blooming!

Got a new medal holder. 59 and counting, if you didn't know

Evil Genius got some artwork on display at the mall

Enjoying the fire pit on a cool spring night
We also got to enjoy a day at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. EG is obsessed with the Titanic movie, and they had some costumes on display. With her birthday coming up, we had to get out there and see those or she would never let us hear the end of it.

it big

I love that chandelier

holding hands with Jack

Panorama from the wisteria patio

Wow, that took a few cups of coffee. Welcome to summer! We're in full swing already.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Delaware is Done!

The Trap Pond marathon in Delaware is in the books! Delaware is my 12th state in the quest to run a full marathon in all 50 states, and my 25th marathon overall. It's also my first marathon since October 2016, when I tore up my right foot. I really wasn't sure that I would be able to marathon again, or would have the motivation to marathon again.

Saturday we drove up to Southern Delaware. If I didn't know I was in lower Delaware I would swear it was Eastern NC. We had to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge both ways, and it cost $13 in tolls each time. The bridge is about 8 miles long, but only about 6 miles of that is above the water. The two times that we had to tunnel under the water was really cool - the whole thing is an expensive feat of engineering. Kelley was not a fan. After that we got into Maryland for a bit and then crossed the border to DE.

Packet pickup was at the hotel we were staying at so that was easy. When I travel I like to eat at smaller local restaurants and find local breweries. Funny thing about (what they called) the slower lower - they didn't know they were in Delaware! We ate dinner at a Texas Roadhouse, but I did get a bottle of Dogfishhead 120 minute IPA. A BOTTLE! There are no local restaurants and no local breweries. I'm reserving the right to go back for the Rehoboth Beach marathon just so I can hit the DFH brewerpub for some decent eats and draft local beer.

heading into wal-mart looking for local sweatshirts
Kelley wants me to bring her back a sweatshirt from a college from every state. The University of Delaware Blue Hens should have some pretty cool gear! Nothing. We couldn't find a single thing. There wasn't even a Target unless we went back to Maryland. But it did snow when it was 45* outside, so that's something we'd never seen before!

Marathon morning was uneventful. Got dressed and ate breakfast at the hotel, made it back to the starting line at the Trap Pond State Park on time. Then when we were all at the starting line I noticed the legend himself - Chuck Engle the marathon junkie was running! Which means he's going to win. Sure enough, he only lapped me once and won with a 3:05

Kelley and I before the start
The race was all on the Bob trail around a lake. It started with a 1.75 mile out and back spur, then kept on for 5 loops of the 4.5 mile trail. I carried the phone with me for loop 2

struggling already

Kelley was cold

Got him! There's Chuck passing me

Beautiful day, beautiful lake

This was the trail most of the course. Gravel, wide, flat. Perfect.

There were a couple of cool bridges

and a swamp

This was the only stretch of pavement

Coming in to finish the lap
Each lap took about 50 minutes to complete. After the spur and the first lap, Kelley thought I was almost done - I got a kick out of that. She was really just tired of sitting in the cold waiting on me to finish. 1:23 into a marathon and I'm almost there, yeah.

Everything felt ok until the last lap. That one was mostly walking. And it hurt pretty good. But at the end, I was done.  I had finished my first marathon in a year and a half. Only took 5:01, good enough for 15th place of 25 finishers (small race!) and 5 of 6 men 40-49 and 9 of 15 men overall. It's not the 4 hour marathons I was churning out when I was 40 lbs lighter, but I finished. And that felt great.

Arthritis sucks, my hand swelled up so I had no knuckles left

Got my medal!

Kelley is happy I'm done!
After I finished, I changed clothes in the parking lot and we drove directly the 6 hours back to Raleigh. I still wore the medal the whole time. I am so glad to have Delaware complete, and got to have a fun road trip with my sweetheart.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

March Miles

March has 31 days, I got to workout on 12 of them. What happened?

Swim: 12,750 yards, 5 swims
Bike: 0
Run: 34.1 miles, 7 runs
Strength: 3 times
Yoga: 0

Wow, that's not much. Good thing I'm not in the middle of marathon training or anything. Wait, March has my last two 20 mile runs on the training plan? and I totally blew off both of those? Yeah that sounds right. In my defense, I did get sick for about a week and a half. And the kids were out of school for most of the month. But I still have a marathon in 2 days. Let's go suffer and make the best of it.

So make with the cool pictures!

Whole family ran a 5k! My girls are getting so big

We drove past a wind farm to get out there

Spring comes to the backyard

Kids got funny socks during a visit to Grandma's!

I'm a company man

We hung the swingset between 2 trees

Cleared out this front bed for planting later

St Paddy's day with my sweetheart

Ready to pour a concrete patio

getting some progress there

I went to the doctor, and the flu test was negative

I'm really digging the backyard right now

Springtime in NC

Lena and I doing the derp face in waffle house

We put our initials into the concrete, and hand prints

The finished patio
We made a lot of progress on the house in March, and had a lot of fun both with and without the kids. Work was crazy and stressful, but it's starting to level out. April is pollen season in NC so everything hurts, but it's getting warmer here. Let's have a fun month!