Monday, June 18, 2012

Best Father's Day Ever

Some people may claim they have the best dad ever (and I may be one of them), but today I'm going to rock the world a bit and declare that I have the best kids ever.  The entire day, hell the entire weekend, was absolutely wonderful.  Jam packed with fun activities and not nearly enough sleep, I need a recovery day from father's day.

Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge
Before the start of the race

What better way to kick off father's day than with an open water swim race?  My goal was to break 30 minutes, and I finished in 31:24.  I saw on site that was good enough for 6th place in my age group out of 16 m35-39, and 82 / 148 overall (male and female).  Last year I did this one in over 34 minutes, so making up 3 minutes on a mile swim is a tremendous improvement. 

It was a deep water start, so we had to tread water for over a minute after checkin.  The race started promptly at 7:30 am, and we were off!  Not too crowded at the start, but I still got kicked a few times about the abdomen and chest.  It was a triangle course, and I felt like the first side of the triangle took the longest.  I got into a pretty good rhythm, found my stroke, and just kept at it.

Made the first left turn, then it was the short side of the triangle to get to the next turn buoy.  I think this is the part of the course where my form started to break down a bit.  Made the second turn and started heading back to the start/finish line.  My kick got really inconsistent during this last stretch.  I didn't feel fatigued, but I knew I was really pushing myself.  I gave the effort and left it all out in the lake on that day.

I was still disappointed when I came up and saw 31:24 on the finishers clock.  I was chatting with the race director (who happens to be a friend), and he thought the course was a little long. Most of the other racers were finishing 1-2 minutes slower than they were expecting, including the winners (21:08?  seriously?)

Fun thing about the elites here:  They were all over the place.  The top 7 were an age 19 male (21:08), 30 female (21:47), 40 male (22:07), 43 female (22:12), 33 female (22:18), 40 male 22:21, and 40 male (22:51).  This is proof that there are no restrictions on age or gender in open water swimming.  Fast swimmers are made, not born, and they can be made out of anyone with enough practice.  Open water swimming is a great equalizer, because anyone, any age, any race, either gender can get out there and get fast. 

This was a fantastic race, I enjoyed it just as much as I did last year.  Sure I could have been faster but this is the best I could do on that day and I am satisfied with my effort.
After the race, that's a happy swimmer.
I actually went to the race by myself, nobody else wanted to get up that early in the morning.  Can't say I blame them.  I got home before 9 am, and found the Evil Genius sitting on the toilet.  We were the only people that were awake.  She actually remembered it was Father's Day and wished me happiness.

Pretty soon Kelley and the Bigun got up too, and we ended up going to church.  Actually I really wanted to go to church yesterday, I got to sing in the choir, and we did one of my favorite anthems that we've been practicing for a while.  It was a great service.  Great message about family, and lots of good music.

Lunch with Mickey
Usually we end up going out of town for Father's day, coming to Raleigh before we lived here, or going to the Lake or to Greenville to see the other fathers.  So this year we stayed in town thanks to the race, and took Kelley's dad out to lunch at the Player's Retreat, one of his favorite places in town.  Kaileigh was awake by the time we got home from church, so she joined us as well.  Good times all around.

After lunch, the kids gave me some Father's Day presents that they picked up.  Bigun got me a fishing pole so I could join them fishing at the lake, which really makes me want to go fishing again. Kaileigh got me a pair of NC State flip flops, which always comes in handy.  And Kelley got me a new set of clippers so I could keep shaving my head.  The clippers I've been using I've had since college and were really starting to break down a lot.  The most unusual present of all time had to come from the Evil Genius.  She picked out some underwear for me.

Actually she picked out some no-fly bikini underwear.  I can only imagine that conversation from the store.  Mom: what do you want to get daddy for Father's day?  EG: I know, underwear!  Oh wow.  Then she picked those out?  They look like women's panties.  Then she wanted me to model them for her.  I did actually put on the entire pack of fruit-of-the-looms at once and strut around the house for a bit.  She's going to need a looooooooot of therapy later on.  These are the kind of scars that take years of repression to get past.

New Trail Shoes
We had a groupon to Raleigh Running Outfitters that was about to expire, and there was a store on the way to the Tobacco Trail that we were going to anyway.  So we got there right as they were about to close at 4 pm and used the groupon.  With my first trail ultramarathon weighing on the brain already I knew I needed some trail shoes for training and the race since I'm going to be doing lots of training in Umstead.  I ended up getting guidance from the ever-knowledgeable shoe guy and decided on some Asics that are black, green, with a stiff rock plate and very aggressive tread.  I like them a lot and can't wait to put some miles on the trails.  Ultra training here I come!

Riding the American Tobacco Trail
We wanted to wear out the kids so they would sleep good, and they wanted to ride bikes for a bit.  We thought the ATT would be the right place to go.
Ready to ride!
I am so proud of my girls.  We all had such a fun time out on the trail today.  This is the same trail that Kelley and I ran a marathon on back in march, and is the launching point for a lot of my road rides and training runs. The young ones really wanted to ride bikes, we forced Kaileigh to walk with us, and we all ended up having a great time.  Kelley brought her bike too so someone would be able to keep up with Bigun.

I ended up on Kelley's bike for a while just to keep up with both kids.  Bigun turned into a speed demon.  She would fly away from everyone else and I had a tough time keeping up.  Sometimes we'd race to the next gate or something, and it was so fun to see the excitement in her face when she was able to be competitive. We just rode around and talked the whole time, and really had fun just being out in the woods.

They had these gates up at the road crossings, so it made for a nice place to regroup.  EG had a great time pedaling along on her new Barbie Bling It! bike that she got for her birthday.  She was enamored about how much better her bike looked than Bigun's did.  The streamers were more colorful, the paint job was brighter, it had training wheels, she was really enjoying the whole thing.

Bling it Barbie!

Girls on the trail!
Take special note of Kaileigh's different colored socks with sandals.  The shoes rubbed a blister so she switched and put on Kelley's sandals.  We then proceeded to poke fun of her publicly for the rest of the trip. 

Bigun rode ahead of me once then stopped abruptly, and when I caught up with her this was the conversation we had:
CJ: Why did you stop riding?
B: Well, I'm just watching this guy run. (cue thin, youngish, shirtless, hairy-chested guy running 6 minute miles coming towards her)
CJ: He's very attractive, isn't he?
B (now in a trance-like state): Yea, he's really... wow, I can't stop looking at him.

I think my almost-7 year old just discovered why boys are cute while on the trail.  I have to admit, she really knows how to pick them.  I discovered girls at my 7th birthday party, and remember the moment well.  So I knew it was about time.  But to see it happen in front of my eyes was really hilarious.  I mean she just stopped riding in the middle of the trail and stood there captivated.  Hilarious.

At least she still knows how to have fun with daddy.  We were both throwing our feet out in front of the bike at the same time, while I was steering with one hand and taking a picture with the other.  Pretty dangerous, I know.  But it was tons of fun.  We just has such a good time out on the trail.  We ended up riding/hiking 3 miles, which was the longest Kaileigh has walked in a long time.  The kids wanted to keep going, but it was getting into dinner time so we had to take off.

Father's Day Dinner
We all went to the Carolina Ale House in Cary, which is one of mine and Kaileigh's favorite restaurants.  Everyone was well fed.  When we got home I got the girls in the shower and put to bed, then I did some yoga and got to watch the very end of the US Open and the NBA finals game.

This has to be the best Father's day ever in the history of the holiday.  We were going non-stop from 6 am until 11 pm.  Racing, food, family time, trails, swimming, presents, church, you name it.  ah-may-zing.  I am so grateful.


Melissa Baker said...

What an amazing testimony! Your children have a lot to be proud of!

Being Robinson said...

you are a racing machine lately! nicely done. looks like a good fathers day indeed!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

"I got into a pretty good rhythm, found my stroke, and just kept at it."

Swimming is filthy.

RockStarTri said...

I was so expecting a picture of the no fly bikini underwear.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

What a fun Father's Day! I am loving the Barbie bike! I wonder if they make those in my size?

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a fun, busy weekend for you guys. You packed a lot in! I want that Barbie bike, too. ;)

Amber said...

Sounds like a GREAT father's day! Love the biking photos!

Sophie @ threetimesf said...

Haha I'm chuckling away to myself about the underwear!