Friday, May 29, 2009

Wild times ahead

Last night was a crappy brick. I was in a crappy mood all day long, and it transferred into the workout which is a real bummer. I workout to erase a bad mood, not to extend it. So the hope was to do some kind of 10/10 brick. 10 miles on the bike followed by either a 10 mile run or a 10 k run. I left the resistance turned up on the bike to increase the difficulty, and it was great. I've been missing hill work on the bike lately, which scares me. Then I made it to the run with a strange new pain in my right hip. Not a pain really as much as an irritation. Once I got into a rhythm it kind of eased up a bit but never really went away. So I only went 2 miles on the mill. I was already kind of hungry and in a bad mood anyway, so I went home to eat and catch up on TiVo.

Big Weekend

This weekend is going to be a blast. On sunday, Evil Genius turns 2 years old. We're having a party on saturday because lots of people are coming into town for it. Kelley's mom is already here helping us get ready. Tonight, her sister and our neice are coming in from their charlotte suburb, and I think her dad is coming into town tonight from Raleigh. He might wait until tomorrow morning to leave out, you never know. But 4 people staying overnight with us is going to be challenging and fun.

Plus my cousin Ben and his wife and new baby are coming, I haven't seen the new baby since he left the hospital 12 weeks ago. So that's going to be great. And of course the rest of my in-town family will be here. As a 2 year old, she will barely know what is going on. And I'm sure bigun is going to want to horn in like it's her birthday party too. But EG said she wanted cupcakes (yep, that's my daughter), and we doing some other sandwich things for a lunch party. I don't know what kind of games you can really play with only 3 kids there but I am sure we will all have lots of fun.

So this weekend is the birthday party, and next weekend is the Festival of Flowers oly tri. then the weekend after that is the hillbilly marathon. Boy, it's all coming up so quickly!

My training this weekend has to include a 13 mile run. I also want to get in some time on Jenny riding the hills around my house. It has rained for 9 days straight here, and always in the evening if not all day long. So I'm really missing my Jenny time. And I think it's gotten warm enough now to get in the backyard pool at my parent's house. So I might even get in a swim.

Friday's Leftovers

wherein i tell you about all the other random crap i forgot to mention before

Something funny happened on my 20 mile run last weekend. I was looking around the tv for something interesting to watch, I stumbled across a vh1 countdown of the 100 greated 80's tunes. I hate 80's music but chose to watch it because I knew the damn countdown would be on that treadmill longer than I would. you know, those thing go on for like 5 hours. I saw it from song 100 and counted down to song 32. It was almost like running to music. and i did finish first.

After the 20 mile run I had some Recoverite and a protein bar. Then once I got back home I made a monkey shake with frozen berries, a banana, peanut butter, and some milk. Chris from 1010 Wellness found the blog and sent me some monkey shake! This stuff was awesome. It really got me feeling better fast. You can buy it from his site if you want to give it a try. I'm hooked on this stuff.

Have a great weekend! Good luck if you're racing. I know the San Diego marathon is this weekend, and Alisa is running that one. I'll be sure and post plenty of pics from the birthday party on monday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I got lucky today. I called a hotel that I KNEW was booked up for friday night just to see if they had anything available for saturday night - the weekend of my marathon june 13th. Apparently I called at just the right time, they had a room open for BOTH nights!!!1! Sweet! Looks like we will actually be comfortable both nights around this marathon.

The funniest thing was when I called to cancel the other reservation. I couldn't understand anything the woman said. But I did figure out that every sentence ended with her calling me "honey". I am generally fluent in redneck, but that was something foreign to me. Kentucky flavored toothless redneck is a new one. At first I thought I had called a library in New Jersey by mistake.

One other thing is new. I did something I swore I would never do, and that is join Facebook. You know it's not going to be cool anymore since I signed up. I call that the Glaven effect, where you can instantly lower the standards of something. Friend Request me (John Flynn Greenville, SC) if you haven't already done that.

FB is pretty cool. I didn't want to register b/c I didn't want anyone else to find me. Specifically, people that were real assholes when I last talked with them 5 to 15 years ago. They can use the phone book or google to find me like anyone else can if they want to touch base. I would rather be friends with people face to face than just on FB. But I did find some people that I had lost touch with that were really gone. One girl lives in alaska now, one in knoxville, and I was really close with these folks back in the day. So I'm down with facebook now.

It's a good day. but my week still feels off. It still feels like tuesday, I did yoga this morning and going for speedwork tonight. This is normal tuesday stuff. but it's already wednesday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

After a really horrible saturday night, Sunday afternoon I .....

.... shot myself in the face.


I wanted to shoot myself in the face. ACTUALLY, I ran

20 miles on the treadmill.

it's as good as a shot to the face.

My splits looked pretty good, actually. Plan was to break it down into five mile blocks to reset the counters.

5 miles, 45:13
5 miles, 49:04
5 miles, 55:38
2.5 miles, 29:39
2.5 miles, 34:48
Total 20 miles, 3:34:22 which is not too shabby. I mean, it ain't super speedy, but I am pleased.

The first 10 or 12 miles felt pretty good. I held a steady pace, everything was comfortable. About 16 miles in I knew that last block wasn't going to make it inside of the 60 minute time limit on the treadmill. The right knee was starting to act up some, my feet were killing me, the normal stuff that creeps in after that distance. Still, 20 mile run DONE!

What a monday!

Today (yes, I know it's tuesday) I came back to work with one crappy monday. Slammed out some software to fix a few things before anyone else knew it was broken. Hectic stressful days are no fun.

Great long weekend

I did enjoy the time off though. I got to get some stuff taken care of in the garden and the yard, got all of the baby stuff moved into a storage unit for my brother, whenever he needs it. and I didn't work. awesome. dang, the monday work crap has reduced me to incomplete sentences.

Here's this weekend's harvest from the garden: strawberries and peas

Really horrible part of the long weekend

We did have a really scary moment though. Skip the next 2 paragraphs if you don't like knowing scary things. Kelley took Bigun to a birthday party for one of the other kids in her kindergarten class. First of all, who thinks it's a good idea to throw a pool party for a kid where nobody at the party will know how to swim? the party was at a backyard pool, and 4 year olds don't know how to swim. none of them did. So when the party moved away from the pool to open presents, somebody's little brother jumped into the deep end and nobody saw it. maybe 30 adults at the party and nobody saw it. After the first present was opened, somebody finally saw the kid, dove in and got him. Somebody else called 911. Somebody else knew CPR, and got the boy breathing again before the ambulance got there. Kelley wanted to leave, but nobody was on the street to alert the ambulance where to go. So she waved in the ambulance. We got a phone call yesterday to let us know that the boy is fine. He's only two and a half years old, and he remembers jumping in, so he wasn't pushed or fell. He jumped. Both of his parents were there, and they brought all four of their kids to the party. it's haunting.

Now I've long contended that South Carolina is filled with dumbasses. But only ONE out of 30 adults there knew CPR. If you don't know it, take a class. You never know when you might need it. I learned CPR when I was a boy scout. But I was keeping Evil Genius at home while Kelley took Bigun to the party. Kelley never learned it, so we're taking a class next week. And Bigun is going to take swimming lessons this summer. They say age 3 - 5 is the earliest time to start learning, and I taught her some swimming last summer. but thanks to that party, Kelley is now scared for us to go visit my folks (15 minutes away) because they have a backyard pool. Life is fragile and kids are stupid until we teach them otherise. One out of 30 adults knowing CPR is unexpected. It should be more than that. And kids can do things quickly and quietly to put themselves in a lot of danger. So keep your eyes open. And TAKE A CPR CLASS IF YOU DON'T KNOW IT!

End of scary rant. I'm freaked, kelley's a basket case.

So sunday's run ended up being fairly theraputic, and I really enjoyed getting medicated and stuffing my face afterwards. Monday was uneventful.

have a great week! I'm glad there's only 4 days left.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thank GOD for a long weekend

Everything is good or bad today. Certainly hectic. Here goes nothing:
  • Last Night's Brick was supposed to be race distance, but again the clock caught up with me. I made it 24 miles on the bike in 1:15 and change, which is decent but not great. Then moved back to the treadmill for the 6.2 mile run. I hit 4 miles 15 minutes before the gym closed and had to abandon to grab a quick shower and get out of there. I had the energy and hydration to easily make it the final 6.2 miles, everything was going really strong on the run. Usually when these workouts fail, it's either thanks to time or the bowels. this time it was time that got me. Still, a 24/4 brick is still a great workout. So we'll call that one good and bad.

  • Good: Yesterday at work we took several components live that I've been working on for a few months. XML is very cool.

  • Bad: My grandmother (dad's mom) had to be checked into a nursing home yesterday. She may or may not be able to go back to the assisted living facility she enjoyed before. We just had dinner with her earlier in the month, so it's a fairly rapid decline in her health.
  • I was running out of tea in the office, so we went to this israeli restaurant and grocery store last night for dinner. It's my favorite place to get tea, they have the kind of stuff you can't find in grocery stores with no english on the label. My favorite is a chinese Gunpowder tea. Good.
  • I found out the hard way that hummos, pitas, gyro, fallafels, and other israeli food is not good pre-brick fuel. Bad.

  • Last Monday was the Assault on Mount Mitchell. Mount Mitchell is the highest elevation point east of the mississippi, and the assault ride is well known as the most challenging bike ride in these here parts. I don't know how well known the assault is nationally, though. It's a 102 mile ride from downtown spartanburg to the top of the mountain. 80 miles into the ride you start climbing in Marion, NC with a couple of descents and tons of switchbacks. Total climbing is 8100 ft. The last 22 miles are basically straight uphill with a few relief points built in. JD is a local rider and fellow Greenville Spinners member who did the assault monday, and wrote maybe the best report I have ever read about the ride. It takes 8 - 12 hours to complete this ride, and is one of those post-ironman type of goals for me. and since my ironman dreams are far-fetched, this is one of those rides that seems out of reach.

  • Long Holiday: Getting through that work deadline and goLive date has been incredibly stressful. I had to work all of last weekend and plenty of late nights to get through it. So a day off for the holiday is going to be GREAT! I can't wait. My honey-do list is getting long.

  • Saturday is the only 20 mile run on this marathon cycle. I'm going to head out to the lake at Furman if the weather and time cooperates. Bigun has a birthday party for a friend to go to on saturday as well, so I have to be sure that the timing and recovery allows. there's an 80% chance of rain sunday and monday, and maybe 40% chance on saturday. So I really want to get the run in then. Call it good or bad.

  • Sunday is going to be backyard prep day and honey-do list time. Evil Genius will be turning 2 years old may 31st, and we're planning her birthday party for next saturday the 30th. So I've got to get everything prepped for a backyard kids party. Finish planting and mulching the garden, grass cut, everything watered and looking clean.

  • Monday is the glory day of no working. If you add the days I work on the weekends and subtract the weekdays I take off for holidays and vacation I still would end up working less if I worked every single week monday through friday. So I cherish these long weekends or just having a weekday off. I've got several options what to do here. I'm seriously considering repeating last nights failed race distance brick, but doing it outside on the hills around my house. That will be hard core prep for the upcoming tri. There are several spinners rides going on around Greenville, including a 25 mile and metric century ride benefitting the Ronald McDonald House of Greenville that provides free housing near the hospital for family members that don't want to leave their loved ones at the hospital. Still, the main goal for monday will be to get some time riding Jenny outside. weather permitting.

  • Memorial day weekend is also when most of the outdoor pools open up around here. So maybe I can actually get some swimming done too.

  • Veterans? This weekend is also one of those times when we say "Thank You" to those who have served in the armed forces. I don't have the mental or physical fortitude to survive in the military, so I have a real admiration for those who can and do. I have no problem being one of the people who are too afraid to do what you have done; so thank you for protecting us.

  • Finally, some pics. Some of these are mine, some came from a hilarious blog site Stuff that makes me Chuckle

These are not my kids

That is my kid. Coach Stu in his photographic wisdom really brought out the cool factor in that pic. it's tough to tell at this size, but the strawberry is in focus, and Bigun is out of focus a little bit. The table and background stuff is really out of focus. Having the out of focus stuff in black and white adds a tremendous amount of depth to the shot.

Yes I am that much of a nerd. and I like waffles.

Both girls on Bigun's last day of 3 yr old kindergarten. She's loving her summer break so far. I can't believe she's through her first year of school already.

Bigun on her first day of 3 yr old kindergarten from last september. It's amazing how much she's grown in a year, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Evil Genius playing in the horsetail rush we grow on the front porch. I tell her not to play with it because every time she breaks a couple of them off, but it does make for a cute picture.

These are the strawberries we pulled from the garden last weekend. There are at least that many, maybe more that need to be picked this weekend. And we've got to pick some peas too. Go enjoy some local produce this weekend.
Have a great weekend! good luck if you're racing, I know there are a ton of races going on here this weekend. Get outside, fire up the grill and have some fun! cold beers all around.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Really? May 20?

Is it really May 20th already? Really? Holy crap, May is gone. And guess what happens in the first part of June? June 7 is the Festival of Flowers, my first oly tri. THAT'S ONLY 18 DAYS AWAY!!!1! Then 6 days later is my first marathon? IN 24 DAYS??!?!?! I knew it was less than a month away. The training plan has a 20 mile run this weekend, my only 20 in this cycle. Then it starts the taper.


this kind of idiot that's who. {imagine me pointing 2 thumbs back at myself with a stupid grin on my face}

and it's all coming to a head in less than a month. wow. Looks like a little paranoia is starting to set in. I know my training is going fine (but not fantastic) and I feel good about all of the distances (0.9 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6.2 mile run, 26.2 mile run) but I don't think you are ever really confident about a marathon until you have completed one.

Every week for me is exactly the same. I write the same code on the same projects for the same time periods every day while I watch the same shows on tv. So I tend to measure time by weekends. This weekend is memorial day. Then a free weekend. Then it's the tri, then the marathon. That is almost right now. I mean it's getting close.

I need to get into the pool more, but we've had a recent cold streak. Just last night it got down into the mid 40's here. I looked at the training log and I was surprised how little I have been on the bike this month. So the plan is to hit the hills tonight on the bike, and get my normal thursday night brick in tomorrow. I missed last week's brick thanks to work, so this one is even more important.

Yesterday was an interesting day. it started out innocent enough with some yoga before work. Then I hit the weights over lunch for my normal tri power workout. After getting the kids to bed, I made it to the gym for some speedwork. I ended up doing a warmup on the bike for 5 miles in 13 minutes. I think the resistance was flawed, that's way above my 20 mph target speed and it didn't feel like the resistance was changing even though I had the bike set to "random" and level 10. Then I moved to the treadmill for some speedwork. The training plan called for timed intervals, and it turned out to be awesome. A 10 minute warmup, then 2 minutes fast followed by 2 minutes easy, and repeat that 5 times. So I did the 2 minutes fast at 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, and 7.7 speeds, which is much faster than I normally run for speedwork. But since it was only 2 minutes at a time it ended up being ok. I did the warm up, cool down, and easy 2 minutes at 6.2 or 6.3 speeds. Total run ended up being 4 miles in 34:04. I'm not calling that a brick because 13 minutes on the bike and 34 minutes on the run is not challenging enough. bricks should take more than an hour in my book. It's a warmup.

I have to admit that while I know some people don't like speedwork, I have really come to enjoy it as a part of this FIRST marathon training plan. The tempo runs and long runs are really fun too, but speedwork really has a nice fat burning effect and it makes the other runs more fun. Only running 3 days a week on this plan is great, and (earlier paranoia aside) I feel well trained for the distance. I really want to find some standalone 5k and 10k races here to try out some of my newfound speed. maybe after july.

Happy hump day! long weekend coming. I will leave you today with a few pictures that describe how multicultural Greenville is. I didn't take these, but I like them.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Meme and weekend

Holy cow what a weekend. First, the end of last week was really hectic. Work stuff came to a head and really sucked up a ton of time. I had to skip my normal thursday night brick and ended up coding until about 11 pm instead.

Friday was the same way. I pulled myself away from the laptop at 5:30 knowing that I still had to take a shower, eat dinner, get dressed and get to the church by 6 (it's a 15 minute drive) and help Kelley get the kids ready to go too. Turns out, we were supposed to be there at 6:30, and ended up arriving at almost 7. But Bigun had her "end of the school year" program. Tomorrow is her last day of her first year of kindergarten, and here in the bible belt 3 and 4 year old kindergarten programs are all done at churches. Her class sang several songs in the concert, and we all had ice cream and cookies afterwards. it. was. ador. able.

Saturday Kelley went up to visit her cousin in NC for the day, and they had a freezer day. If you have never tried this, it is awesome! The two of them were just hanging out with no kids around and cooking all day long. They made meals in disposable containers for the freezer. So she came home with 3 lasagnas, a couple of shepard's pies, several quiches, four soups.... the list goes on. and having those frozen diners handy is awesome. There are always days when the kids just won't leave you alone to cook something and you can just throw one of those frozen treats in the oven, done. Make it all up with a friend and spilt the results, you'll have a fun day and it will save your ass later.

Sunday was my dad's birthday and Michael's first wedding anniversary. We had dinner with the folks, Morgan and my grandmother were also there. it was a blast. Morgan's girlfriend (whom we love) graduated from law school thursday in mississippi, and moved back to Greenville. So that was incredibly hectic for Morgan. He was pretty worn out sunday night.

And I finally got in my long run for the week sunday afternoon. Sort of. I got to the gym with minimal time, and did 9 miles on the treadmill before I had to hit the showers and get everyone ready for the dinner. I was supposed to go for 12, but ran out of time. it's nuts. But the splits were pretty good, I got the first 6 done in 57:21, and the next 3 done in 30 mins even. No knee braces, everything felt great, I kept a nice steady pace the whole time. and with no running since my intervals wednesday night, it felt GREAT just to get back out there.

The lovely and gracious Teacherwoman has tagged me as a masked mommy apparently. But my blog is super! She's fundraising right now for diabetes for her upcoming Tour de Cure ride, please support her if you can. Stacy's a special ed teacher in North Dakota, and really had me worried during the flooding a few months ago. And I truly admire people who have the patience and wisdom to do things that I can't. And that certainly includes working with children with special needs. She's a good egg, cool chick, and great athlete.

The rules are: tape the award on your blog somewhere and pass it along to 5 fellow super bloggers. Then comment on their blog to let them know how lucky they are today! When you present your Super Blogger awards, link back to the Super Blogger who gave it to you :)

I have a tough time picking 5 people to pass the award onto and remembering who hasn't already gotten it. but I shall try.

1. Jess at Run Girl Run. She's recently paid a visit to South Carolina, and actually talked her boyfriend into running a half marathon with her. I love people of influence. She's awesome.

2. Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point. Caitlin has always been a runner with bad knees and a cool food blogger. But now she's stepping it up a notch, having just signed up for a sprint triathlon and a metric century bike ride! It's very ambitious. Also a few months ago, she ran 3 races in one weekend totalling just over 25 miles. very cool!

3. Healthy Ashley. She takes the multisport lifestyle to places other than triathlon. A nutritionist and personal trainer now, she also recently graduated college at age 20. I love smart people. She's into kayaking, river running, trail races, and of course plenty of road running and racing too. Very cool.

4. Amanda on the Funny Farm. A fellow South Carolinian, Amanda runs all over charleston. Her husband Rich runs a lot too. Together they are funny and interesting. She's got her first marathon coming up on her birthday, and I think it's fun to get and provide encouragement from someone like her. love it!

5. Calyx Merideth. She's a North Carolina chick who's doing the B2B with me in November. She's just awesome. plain and simple. Her cool blog has weight loss, triathlon, running, biking, some good racing, and tons of great pics. Chappell Hill is a great part of North Carolina for multisport, and she takes full advantage.

Other random thoughts from the last few days:
  • I closed the back door onto my middle finger of my right hand on saturday. It really hurt, and the end of the finger swelled up with a huge blood blister. I am really paranoid about my hands since my job is to write code. Typing is an important part of that. so boo
  • The girls picked several dozen strawberries from the garden yesterday. And the peas are really setting tons of good full pods too. Sweet!
  • We've got blueberries on the bushes now. It's going to be another month or so before they ripen, but this is looking much better than I expected.
  • Today's may 18th. That means it's less than a month until the marathon, and only a couple of weeks until the oly. Training is coming down to the wire here, and I've got to kick it up a notch for a little while longer.
  • Yesterday at the gym I weighed in at 197. It's the first time since christmas that I've seen it fall below 200. Nice!
  • Thanks for all the smoothie recipes a few posts ago. I'm blaming those for breaking 200 again.

Have a great week! congrats to anyone who raced last weekend.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some Intervals

I made it out for some treadmill intervals last night, and it was meh, ok. First I had to walk about 2 miles up to Morgan's house to pickup my van. We had stolen a truck... actually he had my dad's truck and we needed to borrow it to move some stuff. Then we needed the van back, so I hoofed it uphill and recovered my vehicle. Drove straight to the gym and did 5 x 400 intervals at a 7.5 speed. total run was about 2.5 miles. I stopped it short of what I wanted to do, the shoes I had walked in left a blister or two.

Wasn't that a sexy leg pic I put up yesterday? It does show one thing that upsets me. I can't believe I can get that much muscle definition in my arms and legs, and keep so much body fat on my torso. They say you have to have the right genetics to get real 6 pack abs. I think I've got the genetics for it if I can get that kind of sculpting in my legs. And my arms are just as well defined. I have almost no visible bodyfat on my arms or legs, it just hangs on between my waist and man-boobs. Wait, we call them pecs. Plus my brother Michael keeps a nice little 6 pack handy. For years now I've claimed to have a 6 pack, i'm just keeping it protected, insulated, keeping it cold in the fridge. Then you make the joke "6 pack hell, i've got at least a case in there"!?!

and that's why I shouldn't write blog posts before my second cup of coffee.

But I really do want to ab-up for the summer. hitting the core work pretty hard, you know.

To answer the other question from the comments, yes I do shave my legs. I got into bodyshaving a few months ago. But not in the cool "this makes my junk look big like porn star" kind of way. It was more of a "wow, i had no idea my belly was this big until I had to draw a razor across half the circumference like that" depressing kind of way. Actually, it started with just shaving my nipples. Men get nipple chafing from loose shirts while running all the time. So to compensate for that, we cover the nip-nips with small band-aids. Ripping these band-aids off the first time was fairly painful. After that, not so much.

Then when I started swimming and biking more, the chest and legs got cleaned up good. Shaving is a pretty common thing for tri guys. Not having much (if any) body hair reduces drag in the water, air resistance on the bike, and it's just something we do; it makes me feel more connected to the multi-sport lifestyle as they say.

Besides, with legs like mine it would be a crime against humanity to keep them covered in hair! They gotta be silky smooth. Sexy. oh yea. But I still have to do something about the tan lines.

Tonight is the thursday night brick. time for more coffee.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Perfect Day

First, this morning. After the demands in the comments for tan line pics [what kind of sick freaks are you people? i like it.] here's the dreaded right leg. It's still pretty burned, and you can see the huge white back of my knee, and if you look closely you can see the sock tan line at the very bottom.

And of course, when Bigun saw us taking pictures of my leg, she had to get in on the action.

I think yesterday might have been the most perfect day I've had in a very long time. I got an early start to work thanks to someone else that scheduled an 8 am meeting with a client. And they approved this project I've been working on for 2 months! We finally got to take this thing live. Then I got together with the other manager for a product outline and it went way better than I expected. And thanks to the early start, I was able to knock off work about 5 pm, which doesn't usually happen.

Then I got out in the garden with the girls and we got some of the green beans planted. We sunk all of the pole beans that are going to grow up the fence. And we found peas growing nicely, there are hundreds of pods on the pea plants. Some of the plants are about 3' tall now, and some are only a foot. but they are loaded. And if that wasn't enough, we got the first harvest of the season:

The girls were picking and eating big red strawberries that are finally ripe. Last year the squirrels ate most of our strawberries, they seem to be leaving things alone this year which is great!

Morgan came through in a big way last night too. My plan was to hit the gym for some treadmill intervals before dinner. But I blew off the run. Morgan's girlfriend is graduating from law school on thursday, she goes to school somewhere in Mississipi, and is moving back to Greenville on friday. We can't wait to have her back in town. But, she has season tickets to the Greenville Drive, a Red Sox farm team here in our minor league town. Morgan was too tired to use the tickets last night, so he gave us the tickets AND offered to babysit the kids while we went to the game!!! Kelley was incredibly paranoid about Morgan being able to get the kids to bed sucessfully, but it wasn't a problem. We grabbed some quick dinner (Firehouse Subs) and headed downtown for the game. The Drive won 7 - 2, the field is modeled after Fenway Park and one of our players hit a home run over the green monster. It was a really fun game, and the kind of night out that parents of toddlers NEVER get to have. I even had a hot dog and a couple of large beers. ah yea, nothing better than drinking outside on a cool summer night.

*** Biggest Liar spoiler alert ***
After the game we watched the finale of the Biggest Liar. I can't believe Helen won! She looked unhealthy thin, down to 117 lbs. Mike was great, and Ron suprised me too. I don't think he's been 226 lbs since he was about 12 years old. Jerry winning the at home prize was completely unexpected. He really lost the lb's after only a couple of weeks on the ranch. But he's only 2 years older than my dad, and he looks old enough to be my dad'd dad. It's odd. Still, he's gotten healthy and added years to his life, and that's the point. Tara is still my favorite, and she was only 6 lbs short of winning the whole thing. amazing. It was a great season overall.

Blaine and Dane showed off their medals, they did a half marathon, full marathon, and half ironman in 3 straight weeks after leaving the ranch and want to go ironman now? Good luck to them. At least they weren't showing off the medals from the marathon BL lied to us about. sub 4 hours my ass. These guys really seemed to be enjoying the endurance training, so more power to them.

And since a great day has to be followed by a rough day (apparently) Bigun woke us up at 2 am being scared of the dark. And this morning I overslept until about 8:15 so I'm already way behind. And Bigun has her first ever dentist appt this morning, and we can't find a babysitter for Evil Genius. When you let Evil loose in a dentist office, there's no telling what kind of mischief will ensue.

Happy hump day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

18 in the country

We went to visit Kelley's mom on Lake Murray in the middle of nowhere SC for the weekend. We didn't bring the camera, but I wish I had some pics. It ended up being a beautiful weekend to be at the lake. Her sister and our niece also came down, and it's always fun to visit with them too.

I got in an 18 mile run on saturday with some ups and downs. Really, they live in the middle of the country so I was going to go out 3 miles, turn around for a 6 mile lap and do that 3 times. Turns out, it's exactly 3 miles to the stop sign. Yea, they are that far out in the country. Being on a lake, it's all really flat compared to here. But I discovered it was mostly uphill to the stop sign, and mostly downhill coming back to the house.

I forgot to bring the shuffle, so I did it all with no tunes (DOH!!) It was just me and the cows. Literally, on these state maintained public roads I saw 2 deer, about 50 cows, several dozen horses, and only 6 cars. I saw some really cool stuff that I couldn't take pictures of. So it's really your loss. But I was thinking about RBR the whole time. She's always posting pics of cows on her crazy runs. And she ended up with some weird tan lines from her last marathon, more on that later. The numbers from garmin:

lap 1: 6 miles, 1:05:23, 10:54 per mile
lap 2: 6 miles, 1:13:31, 12:14 per mile
lap 3: 6 miles, 1:18:28, 13:0 per mile
Total: 18.0 miles, 3:37:23, 12:04 per mile

So for those of you who put together a 3:48 marathon or faster, I say good job. This long run kicked me all over the place. It's not exactly a negative split. But it was over 90 degrees and very sunny for the whole run. So I really had to manage my hydration. My last 18 mile run was much faster than that. but that's ok. It's done now.

Thanks to the heat and unexpected sunshine, I ended up with some very funny tan lines. I wore chopat braces on both knees, and they left a funny white stripe on the back of my legs, while my calfs are quite burned. Of course I had the low socks on, so my feet are pasty white now, and both sets of family's had quite a laugh about it. There again, a nod and a wink to RBR. She recently chaperoned a prom in sandals with the bike sock tan lines.

Yesterday was just a lazy time hanging out at the lakehouse. I wanted to get a swim in Lake Murray, but it just didn't happen. might still be a little cold for that.

We came back to Greenville and had dinner with my folks and Morgan last night. Kelley was craving Mellow Mushroom pizza, so we picked up a couple and headed over. The kids sleep pattern is all screwy thanks to that much travel, but we all had a good time anyway. Mom came through the surgery fine, she has a little splint on her nose that is coming off friday. My grandmother got moved back to her assisted living apartment, and is quite happy to be home again.

So all is well here. Well, except it's monday again. have a great week!

Friday, May 8, 2009

10 miles and 10k?

Well, I missed the bike time trial last night. Working from home I get flexible hours. Yesterday I started early so I could knock off about 4:30 to make it to the bike race on time. But it was one of "those" days where task x had to be finished. I didn't end up finishing until 6:15. Sometimes that's just how it goes in programming, you have to make it work right today or else. The good news it I got it working, and I've been banging my head against this wall for 3 weeks now. Thank you, javascript.

Needless to say, I was pissed at having to miss the race but grateful to still have a job. So after we got the kids to bed I went on to the gym for my normal thursday night brick. But this time I had anger and speed on my side.

And it freaking worked!!!! I still can't believe it. My target for the bike race was 10 miles in under 30 minutes. On the stationary bike at the gym, I did 10 miles in 29:38 FINALLY!!!! I busted through that 20 mph wall I've been fighting at for the last couple of months. HAHA, TAKE THAT SPEED! yea baby, I was pretty thrilled with that.

And since it wouldn't be a bike/run brick without the running, now it was time to head to the treadmill. The training plan called for 6 miles tempo. So I walked for the first minute while I found the Cleveland basketball game on the tv, then turned it up to a 6.3 speed. I was working on finding a mid-foot strike and shorter stride, not easy for someone with my long legs. Now everyone out there everywhere who runs wants to clear a 10k in under an hour. Some people are fast and do this easily, others have to speed up to it. I held the 6.3 speed through 5.5 miles, then this 10k goal crept into the brain. I've never done a 10k race, just 5k's in triathlons and half marathon races. And here was Wes in the brain too, commenting yesterday that I could always push hard for 25 minutes on the bike. So I started inching the speed up, and I ended up at 7.0 for the last couple of minutes. BAM! 10k done, 6.2 miles in 59:22!!!!! A completely unexpected goal was proven and shattered. Nice.

Also today marks one month (June 7th) until my first olympic distance triathlon. That's a 1500m swim, 24 miles on the bike, and a 10k run. I'm working up to a 24/6.2 brick in a couple of weeks, and I don't have any more races until that one. Yesterday I finally got around to making travel plans. Turns out, one of Kelley's cousins (Leigh) lives about 15 minutes from the race site! Who knew? The race is in Greenwood, SC about an hour and a half from where we are. Leigh lives in Saluda, SC with a husband and 3 kids. I knew the towns were kind of close. But she pulls a camper out there all the time. And Leigh is shooting a rodeo (she's a photographer) in GA that weekend so we get to stay in her empty house. And here I was ready for a hotel room.

Then a scant 6 days later I have this little hillbilly marathon coming up. In a small town in Kentucky, there aren't that many hotels. In fact, the entire town was booked up already. Every single room was already taken from every hotel. I finally found a room for about $40 a night in the next town over, about 30 minutes away. That's going to be a comfortable night's sleep before the marathon starts at 7 am. My last hope is a hotel that's still under construction in the same town as the marathon. they put my name on a list, and will be calling everyone on the list once the reservation system comes online june 1st. marathon is june 13th. Cutting it close I know, but that's all there is now. I should not have waited so long.

Today I have to make reservations for the B2B in november. Not waiting again!

Have a great weekend! happy mothers day to all you moms. My mom was in a car accident last friday, and today she's having a little surgery to repair a broken nose from the accident. She's really ok, and will be fine after the surgery. And saturday my grandmother is moving from her physical therapy/nursing home back to the assisted living apartment a month after breaking her hip. So I am incredibly glad that my mom and her mom are getting well again. But it also means they won't be up for a big mother's day lunch or anything. I've got to get in an 18 mile long run on saturday, and we're going for a visit to kelley's mom. Have a great weekend!


the results from the bike race last night is up on the spinner's web site, and there were 11 guys in my age group. My time would have put me ahead of 2 of them. And overall, just head of the guy who finished 69th out of 75 dudes. So I would have actually beaten people if I could have made the race and my goal. dang.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Assessments and Bike Race

I did the Tri Power monthly assessments yesterday. I also got some time on the bike trainer, but that's nothing special. I'm a week late on the assessments, should have been done last wednesday. Here was last month's results:

Pushups (in 60 sec): 15
Wall Sit (sec): 49
Flex Arm Hang: 20
Side Plank: 29
Side Plank Bent Knee: 54
Prone Plank: 35
Extensor Chain: 1:12
Core Strength: 40%

Everything besides pushups and core strength is measured in seconds. That was on 3/24, and here's the results from yesterday 5/6:

Pushups: 17
Wall Sit: 51
Flex Arm Hang: 27
Side Plank: 36
Side Plank Bent Knee: 1:01
Prone Plank: 40
Extensor Chain: 1:17
Core Strength: 70%

The extensor chain is a measure of lower back strength, and I'm really pleased with that time. It's good to see the improvement in the planks too, that means I'm gaining more stabilizer muscle strength. Pushups and the flex arm hang I thought would be higher, I've been working those a lot more lately. But, I did miss 2 weeks in April thanks to that stupid pollen problem. The core strength at 70% is really cool. I didn't expect to see that at all. Looks like the iron gym and situps are really starting to pay off!

Bike Race

Tonight is the first time trial bike race put on by the Greenville Spinners for this year. They do a series of 4 TT's, once a month. We've had some quite voracious thunderstorms for the last 4 days, even a couple of tornado's touching down. So I have no idea if the race will go off as scheduled tonight. But registration is open from 5 pm to 5:45, and the first rider leaves at 6 pm sharp. One rider leaves every minute after that.

The course is a 10 mile out and back, I think it stays on Perimiter rd which is nice and flat. Perimiter rd is a 7.2 mile loop around an air strip, so I don't know why they didn't just make the race one loop. But it's a time trial, so there is no peleton, no group of racers or a pack to pull away from. Just one guy (or girl) at a time racing against the clock. When everyone is done they compare the times and post the results online. Last year for the first race there was only 2 guys in my 30-39 age group. So I'm hoping for a top 3 finish this time. Seeing as how it's my first bike race ever, I have no idea what to expect or how well I'll do.

My always constant speed goal is 20 mph, so for a 10 mile ride, I'm going to try and beat 30 minutes. It's only 10 miles, so I'm just going to go as hard and fast as I can. No need to save anything for the endurance here, it's straight out muscle pushing. I'll take the little camera and try and get some pics. Last year's winners came in around 20 minutes.

Who the freak holds a race at 6 pm on a thursday? how strange is that? so this whole thing is predicated on being able to knock off from work about 4:30 today to get dressed, loaded up, and on the road. Donaldson center is about 45 minutes from the house, so if I can't leave until 5 I'm not going to make the registration in time. And if the weather doesn't cooporate then it's all moot anyway. I see no need to ride 10 miles in the rain just to get a time in. So we'll see what happens.

Thanks for all the smoothie advice! That's great stuff, I'm going to try as many as I can.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


What do you put in your smoothies? I'm going on a smoothie binge for a while, and I'm already running out of combinations.

The good folks at Oikos sent me some coupons for free greek yogurt. Unfortunately, my local grocer only carries the plain, unflavored kind. This stuff has a great consistency, is loaded with protein, and has got to be one of the best runner's fuel around. But I can't take the flavor of plain yogurt by itself, so I've been adding it into smoothies. Typically, I'll throw in some Oikos (great stuff), ice, a banana, some blueberries, a splash of orange juice, and maybe some peanut butter for consistency and sugar for flavor. You know, so it's not quite so tart. They are coming out good, but I'm ready to try some different stuff in there. Any ideas?

I should also note that my blueberry and raspberry patches in the garden are loaded with fruit. It won't ripen for another month or two, but there will be loads of fruit for smoothies later in the summer. My blackberries are covered with blooms too, and the cherry tree is setting a lot of fruit as well. I planted all of those last year knowing it takes 2 years before they bear fruit. So this is really cool. And this year I put in several other blueberry and boisenberry plants, so next year we should get fruit from those guys.

I made it to the gym last night for some speedwork. Did 3 x 1600 intervals at 6.8, 6.9, and 7.0 speeds. With warm up and cool down, total was 4 miles in 39 minutes.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dirty Race Report

The St Francis Hospital Mud Run was Saturday, and we took off right on time at 3:59 PM. The race was incredibly dirty, there were 34 marine obstacles we had to traverse. The first one was a low crawl under a net through a 2' deep mud pit, about 12' long. So 20 yards from the start you are covered in mud. New friend Jenny ran the race too, and has more details about the obstacles in her race report.

There was a ton of 6' walls to jump over, lots of balance and crawling challenges, even one where you had to crawl on your back over some tree roots. that wasn't exactly comfortable. The toughest I think was the cargo net, a 18' tall rope wall that you had to climb up, go over a beam, then climb back down.

But the fun parts of the race can really be explained in the pictures.

Kelley and I being fierce before the race. We're mentally getting all military. Yea, we're tough.

Michael and I before the race. Tough? more like drunk. I thought we had a before picture of all four of us, but can't find it today. Our friend Deb ran the race with us, and her husband took the pictures where we're all muddy. Deb put on a sheer display of willpower to complete the course. She's the one who talked Kelley into running the marathon, Deb finished Myrtle Beach in 8:09. This was her payback, and we finished as a team in 1:40.

If I never run across (or have to jump over) one of these 6' walls again that's ok. We had to clear the wall, sometimes just by jumping, sometimes by boosting our teamates, sometimes by brute force just throwing people over the wall. There was maybe 5 or 6 of these on the course.

Here's one of the other walls we had to go through, but that's not us in the picture. This wall has a rope and 2x4 footholds. The running parts were all trail running, and you would just go for it until you came across the next obstacle.

Here's the four of us coming into the final couple of obstacles near the finish line.

Here's a 4' deep mud pit, leading to a mud wall we had to get over. After this, we had to get over an 8' wall. Deb didn't make it over the 8' wall, and took a pretty hard fall. I was pretty worried, but she seemed ok.

Kelley and Deb coming out of the mud, onto the hump.

After the 8' wall, 2 people had to piggyback carry the other 2 people across the finish line. Here I'm carrying Michael (did I mention he weighs a good 60 lbs less than me?) and we're happy to be finished. It started raining on us with about 30 minutes left in the race. Didn't get a good finish line pic of Kelley and Deb.

Here's the four dirty happy finishers. That's me, Deb, Kelley and Michael. Total race was 4 miles, took us 1:40 to complete the course. The overall winners only took about 35 minutes, the winners in our division needed about 45 minutes. It was a fun race, and a great way to spend a rainy saturday afternoon.

They advised wearing pants, and Kelley and Deb were smart enough to actually do that. It was quite hot out there, and I didn't want the weight of long pants. But my knees took the brunt of the damage, as you can see. Not exactly sexy and silky smooth anymore. All of that crawling through the mud took its toll. My elbows/forearms are scratched up too, but not that bad.

The garden is coming together nicely. All of the tomatoes are planted (16 plants), and I got 2 cucumber and a watermelon planted as well. The space where you can still see dirt is going to have corn and green beans. I'm going to have the pole beans growing up the fence, and bush beans filling in the space in front of the fence. Last year we got an equal crop from both types of growth, and it worked out really well. I still need to add some more ground vines (cantaloupe, pumpkin, etc.) but we're really close to having everything planted. The non-dark-brown stuff is wheat straw we used as mulch.

And in the ornamental beds my roses have started blooming! They are really pretty this year, and just loaded with blooms. I've only got 3 bushes, and they've got 14 buds/blooms working. very cool!

Hope you all had a great weekend. I've got some catching up to do, and I'm still pretty sore from the mud run. It left me hurting in places I didn't expect. All part of the fun, I guess.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Brick - End of April - Race Preview

First the brick. I really wanted to end April with a bang. And it was time for a thursday night brick anyway, so I figured I would make it a long one. You know I always have a goal to keep 20 mph on the bike, weather stationary or road bike. Well last night I came SO CLOSE!!! When that clock rolled to 60 minutes, I was sitting on 19.75 miles, a stupid quarter mile away! Man, that is close. I ended up getting 20 miles in 61 minutes, and my legs felt pretty strong.

Then I refilled the water bottles, and moved back to the treadmill. Now this is what really amazes me. I would love for someone else to try this just to know that it doesn't only happen to me. Typically, when I just walk onto the treadmill I keep the speed around 6.0 - 6.2, and I'll slow down to a walk when I need to which is usually every 2 or 3 miles. I also walk a warm up for a minute or three. But when I'm coming off of a hard bike session like that, the run always seems easier.

Last night I walked for just over a minute, and did the entire first mile at a 6.4 speed, then did 4 more miles at 6.3 with no walking. Total was 5 miles in 48:24, which is considerably longer and faster than the rest of my recent runs. So strange. So somebody else try going hard on the bike for about 20 minutes, then go for a run. Let me know if it feels easier than just starting out for a run cold.

Now a 20/5 bike/run brick is no joke. Think I'm ready for the oly tri (24 mile bike/6.2 mile run) coming up in a month? I think I'm going to be just fine. The bike burned 678 calories, and the run burned 793 calories. That's 1471 total. And to kick off the night, I weighed in and I was down 3 pounds. I've been trying to be more careful about what I ate during the pollen fiasco, and it's really nice to see it pay off. I also did some yoga yesterday morning.

So what does that mean for April?

April Totals

1 race (TOA Triathlon, Pics)
750meters swimming
62.5 miles on the bike
43.9 miles running
5 hours strength training
2.5 hours yoga

Considering I lost a couple of weeks to pollen, I am pretty pleased with the month. I need more swimming, duh. But the bike and run totals are ok. I sure could use more running, marathon is only 6 weeks away. But I can live with those totals. It's time to do the Tri Power assessments again, and I just didn't get around to it on wednesday.

Race Preview

Tomorrow is the Mud Run. This is a 4 mile course with military obstacles. Michael is coming up from Charleston to run it with us, and we recruited our friend Deb to join in too. I don't know what the obstacles are, but I do know there's a 10 ft high wall we have to climb. And I know we're going to get dirty.

Our start time is 3:59 PM? WTF? Who starts a race at 4 pm? They are staggering the starts to let the faster teams through the obstacles first so there will hopefully be less waiting to get through an obstacle. We're in the C group which is supposed to be the fun, slow, fat people. So we should be in good company. If you watch the Biggest Liar, Phil and Amy from last season are running this race too, but I'm sure they will be in an earlier group. And there's a rumor floating around the neighborhood that Tara from this season is in Greenville waiting and working with Phil and Amy for the finale in a couple of weeks. She's been spotted walking around the mall and in a few local gyms according to my neighbors. So I'm hoping she's roped into doing this race tomorrow too.

In other race news, there are only 34 spots left for the Beach 2 Battleship half iron distance race that I'm doing in november. There are already tons of bloggers signed up, but if you're on the fence about a half I would suggest you get in on this one while you still can. Come and hang out with your friends! The full iron distance has a few more open spots, but get in while you can. They are both going to sell out pretty soon.

Have a great weekend! I know the Eugene Marathon is this weekend in Oregon, and Sarah Bowen Shea (a Runner's World writer and blogger) is running it. Good luck SBS! Who else is running this one? joyRuN is gunning a marathon this weekend too. Good luck girl! And Amber is doing her first half marathon on sunday in vancouver. rock it out, Amber. You're going to love it.