Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Ache

Why does life have to be so awesome when I have no time to blog about it? Or is life so awesome because I take no time to blog? Do we listen to pop music because we are miserable or are we miserable because we listen to pop music? (name that movie) is it better to burn out or to fade away? (Jack Black - same movie)

That means I have a lot more to post about that I have time (or maybe you have interest) to be posted. So here goes nothing and everything at the same time.

The Ache

Last saturday 10/10 was the 5 mile Ache Around the Lake race. This is still my favorite race of the year. And my favorite distance. 5 miles (8k) is long enough to keep out the people who are scared of a 5k, but not so long that you have to train specifically for it. Plus the location is one loop around Lake Lanier in Tryon NC, about 30 minutes north of Greenville. Local and beautiful, and slightly mountainous without being really killer hills.

I stunk it up this year, but Kelley did great. Last year she took 3rd place ag with a 57+ min time, and I took last place ag (of 6) with a 47 minute time. I thought this year I could pr the distance, but it was not to be. The hip slowed me down some, and I had a real bad stomach cramp from not having enough liquid. I did not run with the Camelbak, only took in the aide station water and could have used a lot more. I finished in 50:24, and Kelley finished right behind me in 51:48. So she beat last year's time by over 6 minutes, and I was 3 minutes slower. It was still a beautiful course, and the people there were so friendly. Coach Katie is the race director for this one along with my friend Scarlette, and I helped them out with the web site last year.
That's me in the middle, blue shorts gray shirt. Stole this pic from facebook, Scarlette posted it.

One of the coolest things about this years race was that they added the 2 mile Ouch run. The first place overall oucher was a 10 year old girl who ran the 2 miles in 15+ minutes barefoot. Holy cow, a 10 year old clocking 7 minute miles? barefoot? You've got to be kidding me. Her dad ran the 5 mile barefoot and finished near the top too.

Back to Atlanta

Monday I had to make my last trip to atlanta for the old job. Woke up in Greenville, drove 2.5 hours to atlanta. Had the meeting (4 hours), hit the road before 1:30 to head all the way back to raleigh. 7 hours later (over 9 hours total) in the car I arrived at kelley's dad's house (now called home) one tired little coder. Nothing like having to drive 9 hours total for a 4 hour meeting. But it's done and i'm done there. So life is normal again. It rained all day, the whole time, quite heavy at times. So it wasn't exactly the best travelling conditions, but I'm glad it's done.

POM Wonderful

POM sent me some bottles of their magic juice. I've long recommended pommegranate juice to remedy everything from the common cold to just having a case of the monday's. I swear by the stuff. POM in particular has the most agreeable flavor of any other brand I have tried, and holds up well if you want to dilute it some. With all of this swine flu going around, I'm on a steady stream of 8 oz a day hooked in through an IV if I could get it. Seriously, protect yourself from this H1N1 flu and all of the other common colds people are floating around these days. I'll take my POM wonderful over a flu shot every year. In fact, I have for the last several years. Every year if I get the flu shot, I get sick. If I skip the flu shot and hit the pommegranate juice instead I am fine.

And back to Raleigh

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this new job? It totally kicks ass. I'm working with some really smart fantastic other coders. It's really nice being back in an office again and being able to make new friends and socialize with other people. I've been regularly getting to go swimming over lunch when something more awesome than swimming doesn't get in the way. I'm loving the new schedule and all the swimming and the new gym. Heading back to the gym for run/bike workouts after work is really working out well too. I'm getting in some serious miles and having some serious fun. Still, I'm living in the land of @Calyx and @Donna and @Carol now and haven't met up with any of those racing chica's yet. Soon enough though. Even @Ryan comes up to raleigh for his kids to race and only lives a couple of hours towards the coast from here. I'm going to setup some time to head out his way and ride some if he ever chooses to come back from Hawaii.

Soon enough? The Beach 2 Battleship half iron is only 19 days away!!!1! Talk about soon enough. I feel like my training is ready for the race, so I'm not really intimidated by the distance anymore. Still, endurance. You have to have a healthy respect for the endurance. No training runs have yet taken me 7 hours to complete, so you never really know what it's like to race for 7 hours until you do one. and I only have 19 days until I figure that out. So I'm nervous (and a little anxious at this point), but not intimidated.

I've been invited to join two open water swim groups, one at Lake Jordan with @carol and one at a different lake in North Raleigh with a guy from the office (who is a multiple ironman finisher). The people are so much nicer here than in SC! I mean it's really night and day. amazing!

What could be more awesome than swimming over lunch? One day the company bought lunch for everyone and we got in some team building. Free lunch? I'm there. Then the next day I took off with a new friend from the office, and there's a group that goes mountain biking every tuesday and thursday. So I strapped on the mountain bike and hit the trails. It was my first time mountain biking since college (wow almost 15 years ago) and Kyle and I took on about 13 miles at a reasonable speed. We hit Umstead State Park which is less than 2 miles from the office, and gave us a helluva good ride. We even hit something called "man up" hill, because you have to really nut up to make it to the top. It was around a 14% grade, and by far the steepest climb in the route. My comparrison was Paris Mountain in Greenville that has an 18% grade, and Man Up hill was not nearly as tough. Kyle, however, still made me look slow. But I'm OK with that. I'll get him on the road bike soon enough to see if he can keep up.

Mountain biking is a totally different ride from road biking, and I had forgotten just how different it was. Kyle is going to train for an XTerra triathlon in may of next year, and he's got me thinking about doing that one with him. But the big, fat, soft tires felt really loose compared to the road bike. It also puts you in a more upright position, and your weight/center of gravity shifts much more than on a road bike. I am going to take some time to get used to the feel before trying more technical single track or something besides these wide hard packed trails. There was a few times on man-up hill and some of the other climbs where my back tire would spin in the dirt, or my front tire came up in the air when my weight was shifted wrong. But overall, my 15 year old mountain bike held up great, the gearing was smooth, and the brakes worked (Thank God). I think I need to replace the front brake pads, they squealed some and kind of "felt" slick. Still, I'm going to really enjoy getting to ride out with Kyle and the other guys on mountain bikes. We did have to ride across a creek once, and around some smallish obstacles. It was a blast and I can't wait for more!


Tuesday Kelley and the girls came up here to Raleigh and stayed through the weekend. They are all heading back to Greenville tomorrow so Bigun can hit school on tuesday without missing a beat. It's been wonderful having everyone here.

We have the house listed for sale now! So if anyone wants an incredibly reasonable 4/3 2600 sq ft house in Greenville let me know. It takes a little time for the discovery sites to pick up the listing, but slowly it is starting to show up. Kelley chose to vacate the house for this week so that it would be clean and free for the showing, but the listing didn't come in until friday. So it's not going to show while she's out after all.

I hope it sells fast, because she's found tons of houses she wants to buy here in Raleigh. If you're not from the southeast, Raleigh, NC and Greenville, SC are about 4 hours away, 5 hours if you're driving with kids. So it's not a small move. Bigun is already homesick. She calls Greenville "Taco City", and I don't know why. But today all she's talked about is going back to Taco City to see our house and visit Grandma's house (my folks). I'm sure once we make the move and she gets to see her bed and all of her toys in her new house she will feel more at home here. Still, I know the move is going to be tough on them.

We're trying to show off the new city. So yesterday morning we took them to the same Umstead state park that I was biking at for a little hike. They loved it! They loved it so much they didn't want to turn around and hike back to the car. In fact they couldn't keep walking at all and had to be carried back in. I reckon we hiked a couple of miles out and back, and the kids got lunch and crashed like they hadn't napped in days. it was awesome. Kelley and I escaped for some house hunting and shopping.

I picked up a new pair of Mizzuno's finally. I've been alternating between 2 pairs that I got for Christmas last year. They each had less than 200 miles on them. But when you're running on as much weight as I am, I know I won't get 500 miles before a pair of running shoes just feels "flat" and I pick up a new pain. I'm surprised these made it this long. So the new mizzu's are great.

Kelley and I both were shocked at how many trail runners passed us and the kids on our hike. It was in the low 80's in Greenville when I packed up for this trip, so I didn't pack anything with long sleeves. Of course, it's only been hitting the mid 50's now all week long, so I was looking for a light jacket. Instead, we found these:

Trail running shoes!! I got the La Sportiva Crosslite, a Runner's World magazine best buy winner. It was a serious sale, we hadn't seen trail shoes for under about $130 anywhere we had looked, and these were only $60 each! So we jumped and each got a pair. Kelley's all kinds of excited about trail running anyway. These are cool shoes, with huge knobby cleats for gripping a trail. They look great, and have a shield over the laces to keep debris from rubbing inside the shoe. I haven't figured out what to do if I have to replace the laces, that could become tricky. And I felt like a good ol' girl going out shopping and coming home with 3 pairs of shoes and without the jacket that I was originally shopping for. But I am excited to hit the trails. XTerra next year anyone? Anyone? This could get fun.

The only unfortunate (but not really) thing about having Kelley and the girls up here is that I had to miss the Seizures Head Slog Fest again. I missed it once already this year for some other scheduling conflict, and they had it rescheduled for yesterday. 60 miles, including climbing Ceasar's Head, the tallest mountian in SC. 3300 feet of climbing. It was also in the high 30's and sometimes raining, so I might be better off staying here in Raleigh. I heard it was a great ride though. But with all of the flu, and the way I have to travel anyway, and the b2b in 19 days I don't need to risk riding in the rain.

Did I mention that I'm back in Greenville for the next 2 weekends, then it's off to Wilmington for the Beach2Battleship? Wilmington is only about 2 hours away now, and I've got a bunch of friends there. 3 saturday's from now I'm running a half ironman. Time is almost here.

Have a great week! I'm catching up on everyone else's progress, believe me. Between hitting the pool like a madman and settling into this new role or lifestyle, everything seems up in the air. Still, life is great here.


Lily on the Road said...

WOW, John, you were reading me as I was reading you...LOL..

You are living the dream man, good for you, you are doing so well, between the new job, transferring your life and training...throw in swimming, and mountain are going to rock the B2B!!!

Michelle said...

Hi John,
Wow you have so much going on I don't blame you for not having time to blog about it!!! Congrats on your 5 miler!! Sounds like a lot of fun. You new job sounds great too!! Getting to swim and mountain bike is awesome!!! Your doing so great!!!

Good luck in 19 days!!!!! ROCK IT!!!!


Jess said...

Can you also line up jobs along with your house in Greenville?

Unknown said...

you've been busy!

about that girl who ran 7min milesbarefoot - WOW.

Good luck at B2B, you seem ready.

and I'm really glad the move is making you so happy. good stuff. :-)

sarah said...

It's great to see you are doing so wonderful!! You seem happy and that is great. Keep up the awesome work and enjoy it!!

Amber said...

Whoo, that half-ironman is going to be here before you know it!

Glad to hear things are falling into place with everything and you're loving life!

Runner Tammy said...

Wow you have been super busy. I hope everything settles down soon:-)

So I recognize the name "Umstead Park" I have spent 30+ consecutive hours tunning in that park every year for the past 3 years. Next year I'll sign you up to pace me a lap, right???;-)

Good luck with your continued training for the B2B half ironman. I will keep my fingers crossed that you have good weather and have a great time.


teacherwoman said...

Holy cow, that was a long post! LOL. You're lucky I love reading them, otherwise I was have said screw it! J/K.

Good luck selling the house!

I am going to pick up more POM tomorrow... got the flu show, but will do whatever I can to avoice H1N1... not getting that shot. So many kids at school are sick, it's so sad.

And, OMG... only 19 days until B2B? less than 3 weeks?! wow.

Georgia Snail said...

Dude! That was a long, fun filled post! Glad to hear you are doing well back in NC, I am sure the girls will get settled soon enough...B2B right around the corner!

Manderz said...

good job on the 5 miler! Sorry that your hip is still bothering you. You really do have a lot going on and I wanted to thank you for your support on my blog.

19 days and counting - cant wait for the recap!

Wes said...

You got a lot going on, but you sound like you are managing it really really well. Good luck with the house! Sending strong vibes your way :-)

joyRuN said...

Dang, you been busy!

So glad you're loving the new job & the transition that comes along with it :)

nwgdc said...

Most importantly, those shoes look cool.
That, and the fact they're pretty minimal means I might have to try them out.
Beware, though...that "trail running" stuff is HIGHLY addicting.

Christine said...

You are so lucky you live in Raleigh. I think Cary is the best place in the world to raise a family.

You won't always have your best runs everyday...or race days for that matter. Just learn from it!

Unknown said...

Whew, busy family, no wonder you don't have much bloggy time! Congrats to you and Kelley on the 8k, I've never done that distance but I think it seems like a perfect distance. 19 days til your half-iron??? Wow!! That's so exciting...definitely on my bucket list. I'm glad you're loving the new job, and good luck selling the house. We're gonna be putting ours on the market soon too and I'm dreading that.

Georgia Snail said...

Holy shit balls dude! You are gonna roll into my blog blazing both guns just because you are mad that your man crush G is on the lamb??? I see that you are throwing down the gauntlet....110 days until we settle this in the streets brother!

Jess said...

Man dude I'm so glad to hear things are going so well for you! Congrats on a great race!

I'm sure Bigun will settle in and end up loving Raleigh! I know moving was hard for me when I was a kid too and I was only moving like 30 minutes away. But I ended up looooving the new place.

Calyx Meredith said...

I'm so glad you're loving your job!! I can't wait to meet you and Kelly and the girls. I have friends in Raleigh (like off of Leesville Rd in Harrington Grove) who just moved from San Francisco and have a first grade daughter so maybe we could introduce her and Bigun sometime? We totally want to get in on some of those open water swims - so let me know if there's room to add to the group.

Alisa said...

Glad you're so happy with the new job and the new city.

B2B is soooooooo close. I seriously cannot wait for your race report.

Enjoy everything, so glad things are going so well for you. (Don't sweat the "ache race" you did great considering your hip issues.)

The Enthusiast said...

Sounds busy but all good stuff :-D

Find me a body of water in Akron/Cleveland that isn't freezing and we'll talk triathlon!

Missy said...

You sound crazy busy with all the changes. Yay for you that you've been able to stay on track. 70.3 will be great for you. I'm sure you'll love it. You CAN string it all together, I have no doubt.

Al's CL Reviews said...

You sound busy but that you are enjoying everything!