Monday, July 30, 2012

Old Man's Race

The Battle at Buckhorn is in the books for 2012.  This sprint triathlon had a 750 meter swim, a 17 mile bike ride and a 5k run.  It's my only sprint this year, so I wanted to take a hard approach even though it was really just a warm-up race for next weekend.
Getting my TA set up before the race
I had to get up at 5:30 to get there on time.  This "local" race was about an hours drive away and you "had" to be there by 6:45.  I showed up at 7 and still had plenty of time to prep my area.  Chip pickup, body marking, bike is in the rack, and all the gear is laid out.  I did some pushups and yoga for a warmup and I was ready to swim.
Check out that showoff behind me.
Beautiful day to be at the lake! 
Trying to get a shot with my bike and helmet in there.
Kelley had to stay home with the kids, it was way to early to get them up and gone.  So all pictures are shot with the "self portrait" style which is never as good.  There was a much larger crowd out there this year, and apparently it was all old fast people.

Swim 750 meters: Goal 8 minutes, Actual 16:17
So I miscalculated when I stated my goal time on thursday.  I thought for some reason that I was swimming 1 minute hundreds when it was really 2 minute hundreds.  Duh.  I'm not an olympian.  This is still pretty slow compared to the two mile open water swim last weekend.  I finished this one at a 2:03 pace, and last week's pace was 1:47 per hundred meters.  So go figure.  This time had a lot more traffic and I was trying to save my legs a bit for the bike and run.

The start was really crowded.  It was a one loop course, so we had to go out and turn left twice, then come back to the boat ramps.  I took off about in the middle of the pack and it was incredibly crowded from the start.  I was in the first wave to start, all men under 39.  I didn't want to get passed by a green swim cap, and I didn't see any green caps pass me.  I did get bumped a lot before the first turn, and even got a nasty cut on my arm from someone else's fingernails. 

After the first turn it was only a few people running into me.  Surely the crowds would thin out by then?  nope.  Still tons of people hitting me and swimming right next to me.  After the second turn?  more of the same.  No green caps, but still tons of people.  Too many people.

T1: Goal under 90 seconds, Actual 1:22
Ran into TA, slid on socks and bike shoes, strapped on the helmet and got out of there.  My typical T1 times are more like 2 and a half minutes, so this was great.

Bike 17 miles: Goal under 1 hour, Actual 52:06
I really wanted to hit 20 mph from this race, but it was starting to get hot out there.  We had one good hard climb to get up, and 3 or 4 other small hills that took some effort.  Lots of tight turning, lots of traffic.  I averaged 19.6 mph, short of the 20 target and finished about a minute slower than last year.  It was still a bike ride to be proud of.

I'm calling this one the old man's race because of the bike route.  The swim wave that started after mine was the men over 40 wave, so I got passed by two people in my age group (I was keeping count there) and maybe 10 people over 40.  I also passed a bunch of 20-somethings, which turned out great. 

T2: Goal under 90 seconds, actual 39 seconds!
Yea baby.  That was fast.  I got my feet out of the bike shoes as soon as I turned back into the park, so I hit the dismount line running.  Racked the bike, tossed the helmet, threw my running shoes on, grabbed a visor and took off.  Spectacular.

Run: Goal 23 minutes, Actual 23:42
I felt pretty good when I got to the run.  It's a two loop out and back course so it got really crowded quickly, but I felt good seeing the race leaders start running as I was pulling in on the bike.  Of course it turned out he ran a 17 minute 5k so I had no chance to catch him.

I did set my pace and hold it.  I passed my good friend Scottie about half a mile in after he had passed me with a mile left on the bike.  Bragging rights are always nice.  I didn't use the garmin so I had no idea what kind of pace I was keeping, but I held a steady pace over the entire course without feeling like I had pushed the pace really hard or knew what kind of time I was trying to keep.  I just wanted to be steady and not be so worn out that I had to walk.  I took a gel with 2 miles left on the bike so I knew I was fueled up and ready to go and I really didn't want to bonk with it being that hot out there.

It didn't feel as hot as it was. The course wasn't really shady or flat, but it just felt kind of comfortable.  I wasn't trying to push a really fast pace ever, just keeping it comfortable.  And comfortable doesn't win races, but it does make for a happy finisher.  I beat last years time by about 4 minutes, hitting the finish line in 1:34:11.

Finished Goal 1:30, actual 1:34:11:
61/215 men overall
13/29 M35-39
Last year there was only 101 men overall, and only 4 people that put up a 5k time under 20 minutes.  This year I got 3 people in my age group that ran sub-20 minute 5k's.  So I really thought that I was in line for an age group award, but you never know who's going to show up or exactly how big the crowd is going to be.  I was pretty shocked when I saw 13th place in my age group, last year there were only 15 people in my age group.  So a much larger and faster crowd turned out this year.  I'm glad to see the race get more competitive, but dissapointed with my results.  Not by much, but I think I could have shaved a minute or two off of each category.
The happy face, changing clothes after finishing!
I ran this one without a shirt or tri top in the new Zoot 6" tri shorts I got for Father's Day this year.  They were amazingly comfortable the whole time.  Love Zoot gear.  Temps got up to about 103* during the day, and after I finished it seemed much hotter than that.  I still wasn't one of those triathlon hard bodies that you girls (and Glaven) like to see out there, but I will admit that I didn't look out of place running topless like that.  I got a lot of people telling me how strong I looked on the run.  So I can be proud of that.

I also have to brag on being a good husband.  Friday Kelley found a deal.  We've been trying to replace her car for a while now.  We just got it last year and I never was very happy with it.  Your depressing thought for the day is that we bought this car for $7900 last spring, and only got $3700 for it on trade this year.  But the car we found made it worth the deal.  We were able to scrape together enough cash plus the trade to get her a 1999 Mercedes station wagon.  It has a really cool third seat that comes up in the back, which was really the selling point for us.  I loved having a van and really hated the station wagon because it would only hold 5 people, 4 comfortably with the kids' car seats.  This puts 2 more adults safely in the trunk.  I'm a good husband, I bought my wife a Mercedes.  That thing floats down the road too.  Big ol' sweet ride.  She loves it.  I like it a lot better than the Subaru she had before.

So that turned out to be a really good weekend!  Hope you guys had some fun too.  We're loving the olympics and Big Brother right now too.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ready to sprint (I guess)

Saturday is the Battle At Buckhorn, a local sprint triathlon in Wilson NC.  I did this race last year and it ended up being one of my local favorites.  Something about the location just turned out really nice, so I have been looking forward to this year's race for a long time.  Of course last year the race was in May, not when it's supposed to be 100* outside in July.  And this year the swim went from 1000 yards down to only 750.  That gives me a disadvantage now that I'm a much faster swimmer.

We all still have goals and dreams.  I should be able to knock out the 750 meter swim in about 8 minutes, the 17 mile bike under an hour, and the 5k run in under 23 minutes.  This will be my first 5k since the Grand Prix series ended and I feel like I'm a lot faster now.  Plus this is a great run course.  Last year I missed one of the turnaround points and turned the 5k run into a 4 miler, and still finished in 28 minutes (a 4 mile pr). 

All of that is contingent on this toe thing holding up.  I haven't run since the open water swim on Saturday.  The toe is still pretty black under the nail.  The rides and swims have been great this week and I'm feeling really strong overall, but the stupid toe thing could be crippling when I start running.  I really hope it can hold out and heal up completely before the Lake Logan oly in 2 weeks.

ya got to love a sprint.  Go out hard, finish strong.  This is my only sprint for the year, so I'm going to tackle it like a defensive end hitting a quarterback.  I know there's lots of other good races going on this weekend, so good luck if you're getting out there!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Deuced the Deuce!

This weekend was pretty incredible.  Not exactly IMLP kind of incredible, but fantastic nonetheless.  Friday Kelley went out to the coast for a girl's weekend with her cousin and a friend, and they had a blast.  I was pretty glad to get some time with the kids, and Kaileigh is still with us to keep them while I raced saturday morning.

The Big Deuce is a two mile open water swim race.  Last year I did this one as a part of Ironman training, and it served that purpose well.  My 1:06:29 time was pretty good, it got me timed out for the IMFL swim and gave me some confidence.  With this not being an Ironman training year I did not see the need to do this one again.  They also run the Little Uno at the same time, a one mile swim race.  So the smart thing to do would be to hit the Little Uno, have some fun, and call it at that.  For some reason, come registration time, I decided to double down again.  I know really I was only trained for a one mile swim, but I figured I would just go out there and see what I could make happen.

Up and at it at 6 am, I made it to the race site later than I had hoped but still barely in time. Run to pick up my chip and get bodymarked, ran to the bathroom, dumped the clothes off at the car and made it to the starting beach just in time.

Well, just in time to take that picture.  It was a gloomy day, and those people in the water?  They were waiting and ready for the 2 mile start.  I threw the camera down and got in there with them.

So of course the start was delayed for about 10 minutes.  Just when I thought I was really late, there's a delay.  Then we all had to get out of the water and back in again so we could get checked in with the timing mat.  This was a new timing system for FS Series, and it was pretty slick.  The chips are huge so it felt pretty uncomfortable, but I eventually did get used to it.

Finally we took off, and the first thing I did was a dolphin dive.  When I pushed off for the dive, of course I speared a rock and bloodied my big toe.  Here's a pic that I took later:

So that's a pretty horrible way to start.  Nobody likes to kick off a race with excruciating pain, but apparently it worked for me.  The start was really crowded, and I had to swim around a few people anyway so my kick wasn't as hard as it could have been.  I still tried to find clear water, and pull away from as many people as I could.

After the first turn the crowd thinned out a bit.  The course was a triangle that we had to take two laps on.  So the long stretches went from the first turn buoy to the second, then it was only about 100 yards to the third turn bouy before the long stretch getting back to the first one.  Between 1 and 2, I found my stroke and settled into a nice pace.  I wasn't trying to push it too hard then, and I did end up getting off course a bit.  I realized how my left arm was crossing the middle line when I was turning to breathe, that's what was pulling me to the right.  So after that calmed down it was just a nice relaxing time in the lake.

In the 100 yards between 2 and 3 on the first lap, there was a lot of chop on the water from boats or something.  It got pretty crowded again as well.  The 1 mile race started 10 minutes after the 2 mile race did, so I think that was when the faster 1 milers caught up with me.  Since they were in the home stretch heading back to the first bouy and finish line, I ended up getting passed a lot there.  But eventually I made the turn for lap #2 and got rid of all of that Uno traffic.

I swam straight and strong, and just tried to hold a steady pace and keep my heart rate low. The toe was still killing me, and I was watching my kick form. When I made it around the 3rd turn on lap 2, I really tried to increase the strength of my kick to add a bit of speed in there.  Since I felt undertrained anyway for this distance, my real goal was just to finish and get home.  But I always want to break 30 minutes in the open water mile, so if I could actually break an hour that would be amazing.  I went hard to the finish with minimal hopes.

I ended up crossing the line in 59:04!!!  This is completely unexpected.  I thought for sure I was going to be more like 1:05 again.  But I actually broke an hour.  Totally shocked.  Hanging out on the beach for a while, I snapped a couple of pics:
I love the orange wavy guy in the background

You can see the clock behind me, it reads 1:04
The next coolest part was that I beat all of my friends.  My buddy Brian, a fellow RAM team member and IMFL 2011 finisher came in around 1:05, and Scottie and Jenny came in later too.  They usually make me look slow at the shorter distances, but I schooled them on Saturday. 

I made it up to the after party thing and they actually had results printed.  I still couldn't believe it.  Then I saw on there where I took second place in my age group!  So I had to stick around for the awards then.  Turns out I was right, they announced the awards and I got one!

Of course, there's only one proper use for a pilsner glass you get as an age group award:

You have to fill it with beer.  So I indulged a bit that evening.  Again this was totally unexpected.  I didn't think I was going to break an hour.  I finished 22nd overall and 2nd in the male 35-39 age group.  I was the last person to break an hour.  Usually it's only the fast people who do that in these types of races, they are incredibly competetive.  I'm still not in that class but to turn in a comporable performance is pretty incredible. 

I also have to give a shout-out to Nancy, a local blog reader that recognized me and said hi.  I never get recognized at these things for my silly ramblings on here, so that was really cool.

Friday, July 20, 2012

You can take the boy from Carolina

But you can't take Carolina away from the boy.  I had to spend most of this week in DC on a work trip.  It was a good trip overall.  I got a ton of work done and had a bunch of fun.  I drove up, and it was nice to have some extra freedom.  Sunday night I got into town about 6:30, which was dissapointing since the GPS said I was going to get there at 5 pm.  I lost the extra hour and a half due to traffic between Richmond and DC.  I still got to meet up with my fraternity brother Shawn and his new fiancee:

We had a great dinner and I really enjoyed getting to hang with my  friends.  They are going to have a fun wedding coming up, and I'm sure Shawn's batchelor party is going to be a blast.

Monday morning I got up and knocked out 4 miles in 29:32 on the hotel treadmill.  I was staying very close to my office in Tyson's Corner, and it's way to traffic'ed to get out and run on the roads. Plus it was about 100* that day too, which is rare for DC.

Monday was filled with meetings as we kicked off some exciting new projects for fun clients.  But the day finished with a crab crackin at the Quarterdeck in Arlington.  All you can eat crabs and pitchers of beer just can't be wrong.  It can be delish, and this certainly was.

aaaaaah, so good.

Needless to say, I didn't work out monday night or tuesday morning.  Originally I was supposed to have a couple of meetings on Tuesday and head back to NC.  Well, plans change and I ended up getting roped into more meetings on Wednesday as well.  So the good news was that I ended up having free social time tuesday night!

And the bad news was that I was completely exhausted by Tuesday night.  I had dinner plans with a cousin and running plans with Katie and other social plans with other friends.  I was originally very excited to have the extra time.  Then I ended up in bed falling asleep by 8 pm.  Something about the heat and the intensity of the work environment up there just put me under.  It was nuts.  I feel horrible about making so many plans and breaking them all but it was a struggle to get dinner from the hotel bar.  insane.

However wednesday morning I got up refreshed and had a good progression run, finishing a 5k including a warm up in about 22 minutes.  I also squeezed in a coffee with my old friend Jen.

I haven't seen her in about 5 years so that was absolutely fantastic grabbing a cup of coffee with her.

I had my wednesday meetings and came on back to Raleigh as a big ball of mush.  Great trip, I had a lot of fun, but it was pretty exhausting and I didn't get to stick to the regular workout schedule.  Should make for an interesting weekend. 

This saturday is the Big Deuce.  I hope I'm ready for a 2 mile open water swim race!  Maybe all of those crabs will give me some extra undwater special superpowers or something.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


It's a very fine line between training for volume and overtraining.  Volume and intensity work together to make us stronger triathletes all the way around.  Since this is a speed year instead of an ironman or endurance year I'm having difficulty balancing the number of workouts with the mileage and instensity needed to get faster with the metrics to be sure I'm getting faster.  First the log to check my volume:

Thursday: yoga, 2500 yd swim
Friday: yoga, rest!  yes please
Saturday: yoga, strength training, 2500 yd swim, 30 mile ride
Sunday: yoga, 4 mile run, 25 mile ride
Monday: yoga, strength training, 30 mile ride
Tuesday: yoga, 6 mile run, 3100 yd swim
Wednesday: yoga, strength training, 15 mile bike
Today: yoga, interval lunch run, RAM swim practice tonight

Really I'm not supposed to do yoga on Saturdays.  And my version of a rest day Friday is only doing yoga and strength training.   I was actually going to make up thursday's missed run on friday and do my strength training then, but work caught up with me and I only got in yoga on the day.  Regular yoga and circuit training is what I was missing last year in Ironman training, and I feel like it's made a huge difference this year.  People are telling me that I look like I have a more muscular upper body than I did last year, and I certainly feel stronger.

On the S/B/R side, short course speed comes from intense volume and repetitive volume, not high volume individual swims, rides, or runs.  On the bike, for instance, I don't need to ride longer than 30 miles at a time.  There's no need for an endurance base that requires regular long rides of 80 to 100 miles.  But putting in 100 to 150 miles per week with some intensity will still bring the short course speed.  I'm really feeling the 100 miles I put in over the last week, but I know that's how you get stronger on the short course.  I don't need the 20 mile long runs as much as I need to keep the 4 mile midweek runs under 30 minutes.

Seriously, I think this is how it's done but I really have no idea if it's a viable schedule or if I'm just overtraining.  It's only 4 more weeks until my A race for the year, the Lake Logan Oly.  I'm going to try and hold this basic pattern for a few more weeks until a valid taper.  I've got a sprint triathlon the weekend before Lake Logan to test the waters and check my new speeds.  What do you think?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wonderful Birthday Weekend

Saturday was my 37th birthday, and it was glorious.  Shout outs also go to Ringo Starr who turned 72, and Ironman By Thirty.  Blog friends with the same birthday is unexpected and quite pleasant.  My entire weekend was filled with family, friends, and love.  It was wonderful, and if that's any indication of what's to come in my 37th year, it's going to be a fun one.

This heat wave has not broken in the south yet.  Triple digit air temps have led to quadruple digit heat indexes, or at least it felt that way.  That is starting to change, with today's high only getting to 98, and tomorrow only getting up to 85.  It's also supposed to rain for four straight days.   That combination has kept all of my training indoors.

What's better than a nice hard workout on your birthday?  The pool was packed when I got there, so I hopped on a stationary bike for a 30 mile ride saturday.  The cardio deck was also really hot, so I hosed off after the ride and got in the pool.  I had a great swim logging 2500 yards finishing with a nice 700 distance set.  I also got in some strength training and yoga, naturally.

After such a great workout it was time for some celebration.  We met some great friends for dinner at Natty Greene's downtown brewpub, which was hot but is always fantastic.  I *may* have had a few pints of their hand crafted wonderfulness.  But the burger was outstanding.  Then we dropped the kids off at home while Kaileigh was babysitting and headed back to the Flying Saucer where even more great friends met us out there.  We may have consumed more pints of incredible as the saucer has about 100 beers on tap.  So much fun, I got to party below my age limit.

Of course I felt all of 37 on Sunday morning.  ouch.  But after I rehydrated I still felt up for a good workout.  Got a late start, so I made it 25 miles on the stationary bike and ran 4 miles on the treadmill.  I wanted to run 7 miles but the gym was closing and I was hungry.  Made it home in time to stuff myself before today's fruit detox.

Today I'm happy to report that the girls are back in school!  It's a year round school, so Bigun started 2nd grade today and Evil Genius started Kindergarten.  They are both finally going to be in the same school on the same schedule and both occupied for a full school day!  This brings much peace to our house.  and of course I'm proud that my kids are embracing new challenges with this much gusto. 

Cute first day of school outfits

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Holiday Race Report

Do we really have to go back to work today?  It feels particularly difficult to stay awake today after the whirlwind that was our Independance day holiday.  It started early with Aquathon #3, the final race in the series.  I had to miss this one last year so I was a bit unsure of how to handle the swim/run/swim format.
Shearon Harris Lake early in the morning

Steaming nuclear power plant makes a great backdrop

Getting my transition setup
I got up about 6:15 am, which is just a bad idea for a holiday.  Left the house about 6:45 and got to the race site 15 minutes before the check-in closed.  Turns out the production company had no chip timing for this one thanks to an equipment upgrade.  So it really was the Old School aquathon.  Race start was 8 am.

We started waist deep in the water with a 400 yard swim keeping the buoys on our right.  This first swim was really interesting.  I went out with the leaders, found some good feet to draft on, and was actually able to match speed and hold a draft until I passed the guy just before the first turn buoy.   Between the first and second buoys I swam over somebody, and I think it's the first time that's happened in open water.  No telling if he was cutting right or I was cutting left, but he was in my way and needed to get out of my way.  So my left hand came down on the middle of his back, then my right hand ended up on his left hand side and I pulled right over his legs.  Kind of freaked me out at the time, but hey it's a fast race.  get out of my way. 

Coming out of the first swim I felt pretty strong.  Quick transition, just throw the running shoes on, no socks, and get out to the run course.  I absolutely hate running in this state park, and every time I swear I'm going to stop racing out there.  But this time I mean it.  We came out of the grassy TA running through a parking lot, onto a road, then turned onto a trail less than half a mile into the run.  Before hitting the trail I had a huge side stitch really killing my speed and motivation.  This run was a solid 3 miles, not the 2.6 mile course we ran in the first aquathon even though it was on the same trail.

This time we hit that turnaround spot from the first race and just kept right on going.  That's about when the trail got a bit more difficult and a second cramp kicked in, on the left side this time.  It felt like I was running incredibly slow already, and that brought me to an absolute crawl.  I was counting the runners coming back in my direction, and lost count at 25.  I hit the turnaround not soon after that, so I wasn't too far behind that 25th person.  That's not really too bad, I was hoping to finish in the top 20.  Then on the way back a third side stitch kicked in pretty hard. 

It's not that I specifically don't like those trails, well, ok, I don't really like those trails.  But if I'm going to go out and have a bad run one day, chances are that day will occur on those trails at Harris Lake state park.  Maybe I don't like them because I consistently turn in poor performances on those trails.  Whatever it was, I was glad to get back in the water for the second swim.

Unfortunately, I also had no energy left for the second swim.  Starting out it felt like I was dragging something behind me. Eventually it did pick up, and I came out of the water and past the finish line in 43:36.  That was good enough for 5th place in my age group out of 9 men, and I don't know the overall placement yet.  Without chip timing, the results were tallied by hand and the age group breakdown is all that has currently made it online.

I was hoping the swims would be around 6 minutes each with a 24 minute run.  So something went a lot slower than I was anticipating.  I passed a lot of people on that second swim, so I think the run was closer to 30 minutes.  And for my expectations, 3 miles of running in 30 minutes is pretty bad.
Happy after the race, mostly because I didn't puke and it was finally over.

I stuck around chatting with people and waiting for the awards, and I was able to collect my age group award from the last race.  So that was pretty neat.

I got home just after 10 am, and I knew Kelley was taking the kids to a movie that morning.  I grabbed a shower, something to eat, and another cup of coffee.  Then I went ahead and did my yoga for the day.  Since nobody else was home and I couldn't get Kaileigh out of bed to go for a driving lesson, I decided to go ahead and hit the gym.  I got the strength training done and put 10 miles on the stationary bike.  Pretty decent day for workouts.

I got home about 12:30 and the whole family was there.  Let the good times roll!  Kelley and I actually ended up spending the entire afternoon in the kitchen together making stuff for a fun dinner.  Played with the kids for a bit too.  It was just over 100* outside so we stayed in and just had fun.  I was also constantly stuffing my face.  And drinking lots of beer. 

Later on a couple of friends came by to visit and drink a bit.  A huge thunderstorm came rolling in about 7 pm so we chose not to try and go out to watch any of the fireworks.  We didn't throw the annual July 4th party because the city of Raleigh moved the fireworks display downtown instead of doing it at the fairgrounds like they have for the last 20+ years.  No fireworks for us means no party.  And as it turns out there was a thunderstorm raging at the same time guests should have been showing up and it was too hot to stay outside anyway, so I'd say it all worked out in the end.

You know what else worked out in the end?  The pretzel salad I made as a dessert.  Quite delish.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July is here, bring the heat

and you'll find me hiding in the shaded end of the pool.  Here's what happened in June:

Swim: 21,900 yards, 10 swims, 2 races
Bike: 223 miles, 12 rides
Run: 38.6 miles, 10 runs, 1 race
Strength: 13 workouts
Yoga: 24 workouts

Yes finally!  I got over 20,000 yards in the pool.  That's some pretty serious volume, and volume is the key to fast swims.  Bike and run mileage is pretty low, but I was really trying to push the volume on the swim time, and get the fruit thing working in my favor.  That translated into lower than normal bike milage, even though I really did stay on schedule very well.  A couple of weekends "life" caught up and I didn't get in the normal weekend long bricks, but that's supposed to happen sometimes. 

So through the end of June I'm at 146 times getting on the yoga mat.  That is behind the pace of 150 that I needed to hit to ensure I was on track to get 300 yoga sessions on the year, but the deficit is not so bad that I can't make that up, mathematically speaking.  The goal has not been eliminated yet. The next target is 200 yoga sessions by the end of August (2/3 of the goal by 2/3 of the year gone) even though that would mean 64 sessions in a maximum of 62 days.  I can tell a big difference in my running and cycling speeds thanks to all of the strength and yoga training all this year. 

This past weekend was one of those times where I got to enjoy non-athletic pursuits.  We went back to Greenville to visit my parents for the weekend and had an absolutely fantastic time down there.  Saturday we got in a great swim before lunch, then got to visit with my grandmother after lunch before another afternoon swim and a big birthday party dinner.  It was a ton of fun and we have no pictures.  We even got to see my cousin Ben and meet his new baby boy for the first time, and still got no pictures of the boy.  Unbelievable.  With Bigun's birthday last weekend and my birthday next weekend there was plenty of reason to get down there and celebrate.  And luckily the pool in my parents backyard is mostly shaded.  Once you got out of the water you could feel the 105* air temp down there, but in the shade and in the water it was fantastic.

Driving home Sunday the car said it got up to 110* outside, which is pretty insane.  Raleigh was more hot than Greenville all weekend, so we picked the right path.  We had the insane hot temps, but avoided a lot of the power outages like DC and other parts of the country had.  Could have been much worse.