Thursday, April 25, 2013

That Just Happened

Our tale begins friday night with packet pickup.  Simple enough, but I apparently have magically transformed into Douglas Flinn that wears a size medium.  I thought it was odd to get a smaller t-shirt than usual but the kids were in the car so I just took it and ran.  We found an incredible new restaurant in the same shopping center that us and the kids absolutely loved.  Nice, cheap(ish), and plenty for the kids on the menu.  We don't find those too often, too bad it's way up in North Raleigh.

Saturday morning came, and since I'm normally swimming at 8 am, having a race that didn't start until 9:30 meant I got to sleep in!  Quite unusual for triathlon race day. They tend to start around 7 am. So getting to sleep in until 7:30 was crazy.  Plenty of time in the  morning to eat, drink coffee, poop, and get all the gear in the car.  Beaver Dam is about a 30 minute drive up to North Raleigh and I got there in plenty of time to get my TA setup.  Time for the Beaverdam Olympic Triathlon! I also decided to grab the wetsuit on the way out of the door.  This is really weird.  I'm usually sliding into TA about 4 minutes before it closes.  It was cold out, but I got bodymarked and got my (or rather, Douglas's) timing chip.  The water temp was 70*, so I decided to wear the wetsuit.  Normally I'll skip it if the water temp is over 65 because it doesn't really help me that much and I don't want the extra T1 time.  But today the air was so cold (in the low 50's) that I didn't want to start the bike all wet and freezing so I wetsuited up.

The air was so cold I wore the wetsuit so I wouldn't be all wet and cold when I started the bike.  prime point there.

We had a moment of silence for Boston before starting the race which I thought was very appropriate.  Got the course instructions and made my way to the water.  I was swimming in the first wave.  It was turning into a beautiful sunny day, and at that moment I couldn't think of a better way to start off my 2013 triathlon season.  I ended up starting in the front row to the right hand side of the pack.  The countdown went down and the race was on!  Welcome to triathlon racing.

Swim 1500 meters: 31:05, 92/271 overall, 13/26 age group
My plan for the swim was to go pretty hard for the first 200 yards or so, then settle into a relaxed pace.  Swimming with the wetsuit on leaves me floating higher in the water than I'm used to.  This also makes it harder for me to get the body rotation I so enjoy.  Starting out strong really turned into wasting a bunch of energy for the first three minutes of the race.  Once I settled down into a steady pace and got my heart rate back under control I could feel the rotation I was looking for.  I made sure not to drag my elbow and make every stroke count.  Feeling good so far.

The course was sort of a point to point rectangle.  We started on one beach, turned left three times, and ended up on a different beach.  Kind of unusual for a lake swim, but it was still great.  When I stood up I could tell I had been horizontal for too long.  Got a bit dizzy and slammed into the next guy, then started running up to the TA.  That run turned out to be insane, it was uphill all the way, really long, and I could barely stand by the time I hit the timing mat outside of TA.

T1: 2:45
Gahhh!  Transition times should be 90 seconds or less.  This is where I lose anything I might have gained by wearing a wetsuit.  Wetsuit off, add socks & bike shoes, grab the helmet and take off.

Bike 25.5 miles: 1:25:40, 121/271 overall, 17/26 age group
This bike course was tough.  Solidly tough.  Once we got out of the park it was a loop that started one way on Highway 50 and ended up coming back into the park from the other direction on hwy 50.  In between was a bunch of right turns.  The course had almost no flat spots at all.  Some hills were rolling, sometimes you'd get to the top of a climb only to discover that up next you had another climb!  Gentle uphill grades were the norm for the first half of the course with some rolling downhill sections thrown in there to keep you from getting too suicidal.  I started out like this:

And after getting through the first half of the course I kind of settled down a bit. So it definitely went uphill to a point, then came back down.  Oh, and remember that I wore the wetsuit to keep from freezing my balls off on the bike?  yea, they were gone.  That wind hit the wet jersey and my arms and torso froze.  I had some arm warmers, but sitting in TA I decided it was too hot to put them on.  FREEZING.  Not fun.

After about 4 miles I warmed up, dried out, and started feeling better.  So I crushed this one uphill, crested the top of it, and my legs gave me a big 'no way' kind of feeling.  That's when I knew I was fucked.  There was no way the legs were going to let me roll through this one.

After I took the gel at 5 miles (taped to the top bar of the bike) I felt a lot better.  Still didn't get very aggressive on the hills, got passed by a lot of people, and kept watching my average speed crawl around.  My goal was to average 21+ mph over the entire ride, but I ended up at 18.6 mph.  ouch.  For the first half it was closer to 17.8, then sped up more on the second half.  I haven't pulled the data off of the garmin yet, but I'm curious what the elevation gain was and my speeds at different points.

Mile 20 came and I took another gel, and this time it was right where there was a surprise hill.  So nothing like choking down a chocolate Gu - thick, pretty solid - while starting a climb.  Then trying to drink water when I'm out of breath wasn't exactly pleasant either.  But by the end of the ride I felt pretty decent.  Once we got back in the park they grabbed this shot:

and before you know it I was back in TA.  It's nice to get my feet out of my shoes before the dismount line, saves a bit of time in T2.  And my arms and shoulders look huge there.  Yay for swimming! 

I was really glad that bike leg was over.  It felt nice to be riding Roberta outside again for the first time since September, but that course left me drained.

T2: 53 seconds
Rack Roberta, helmet off, running shoes on, grab the race belt and hat, gone.  Sweet easy T2.

Run 10k: 51:46, 134/271 overall, 16/26 age group
The run course was a bit harder than I expected too.  Again, nothing flat in North Raleigh.  This was a 2 loop course that stayed entirely inside the park and ran through a parking lot and 2 roads. It was all hills. 
I only look mildly destroyed there

About half a mile in my legs went dead.  Each loop was an out and back, so every downhill eventually became an uphill.  I was watching my pace closely for the first lap.  Average pace was hovering around 8:06 to 8:14 for the first mile or so, then after turning onto the other road there was a big downhill and it dropped to a 7:56.  I really wanted to finish the run around 45 minutes, or under an 8 minute pace.  But with the dead legs I knew I was already screwed.

At the turnaround point of the first lap I started heading up that big hill that gave me the pace drop before, and by the end of the first lap I was back to an 8:20 average.  Second loop was more of the same
It's a mild death at this point

That pic also gives a good shot of Eddie the Tribal Dragon on my leg.  Me and Eddie spent some good time in the pain cave after that.  Lots of hills, up and down, I never expected a tattoo to be something I would talk to during a race.  oh the mental games we play.

Dead legs: the final frontier
Finally I came around back into the parking lot where the finish line was. I was just happy to be done and pretty dang exhausted.  The finish line clock was the first chance I had to see overall how I was doing. 

Finish: 2:52:12, 104/271 overall, 17/26 M 35-39
Boy that is a competitive age group.  I did this same race 2 years ago in 2:52:23, so I'm glad I beat my 2011 time by 11 seconds.  Of course then I actually had to bike through a hailstorm, so I guess it's not that much of an improvement.  Hail storm, sunny day, whatever.  I'm not exactly pleased with my finish time, but for the difficulty level of the course I think I did the best I could on that day.  Nothing went wrong, the conditions were great, we did have some car traffic on the bike course but nothing awful.  the biggest thing to take away from this one is that I should have re-read the race report from 2011 before I signed up for this race.  oh well, now it's done and we're into the 2013 triathlon season!

This production company FS Series does a series of triathlons, and if you do 5 out of the 12 races you can qualify for series awards.  My entire race year consists of doing 5 of the FS Series triathlons, one SetupEvents race for my team, Ironman 70.3 Raleigh, and Beach 2 Battleship full.  So since this is the first race of the FS series for me, it's kind of important that I get credit for it and I hope they can get this Douglas Flinn thing straightened out.  I'm sure they will, I've gotten to know the owners of the company pretty well over the years, so I'm sure they can fix my mistake.  For now it just feels good to be in the season!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Half Again

Sunday April 14 was the second running of the RunRaleigh Half Marathon.  I finished in 1:49:08, 181 of 1102 overall and 23 of 75 in the M 35-39 age group.  Not too shabby.  This was actually the coolest part:

I got to hang out with the original BadgerGirl!  She came to Raleigh to visit with a friend that lives here now, and we got to meetup before the race and have lunch afterwards with Jess, and Kelley and Bigun got to pizza up as well. It was also the only pic I got from the race.

Last year I did RunRaleigh and pulled a 1:50:26, so this year's goal was just to beat last year's time.  Last year I thought it was an incredibly tough course and there was no way I was going to do it again.  I think Jenny shares those sentiments now.  Even through some route changes it's still a tough one with some huge hills thrown in there.

The 7 am start was pretty nice. It was cool and breezy at the starting line.  I hung back in the pack a bit to be sure I could meetup with Jenny & Jess before the start, so I actually started the race behind the 2 hour pace group.  That meant I had a lot of people to pass at first.  The course started with a huge uphill that is always longer than I expect it to be, and then levels out for a bit.  It's an out-and-back spur that is often used in 5k's that run out of Cameron Village.  Then it went down the huge hill past Pullen Park, where I swim and onto Western Blvd. Running east on western blvd left us staring at the sun for the next half an hour, which was "less than ideal".  At least that stretch of road is consistent.  Not really hilly either way, it just keeps on going.  It's the tour of prisons, you run past a couple of them and straight into the ghetto.  The road name changes to Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, and anytime you wind up on an MLK street in any city (besides Savannah GA) and can't lock your car doors you are usually in trouble.

This time we turned off of MLK and got onto some beautiful greenway.  There was a LOT more greenway on the second half of the course this year.  It was beautiful!  Lots of bridges and tunnels over swampy/woods stuff right next to downtown Raleigh.  I always forget how pretty that greenway is, partially because I usually refer to it as being in "the woods where the rapists live" because women keep getting raped on that greenway.  But with plenty of cops on the course and that many runners everyone was safe for the race. Just, you know, don't try running that one alone.

In mile 4 I had to stop and poop at the bottom of the hill by Pullen Park, and I had to make the same poop stop last year too.  This year it was mile 12 when we got back to that aide station, and since I was carrying a water bottle and had already take all of my gels, I skipped on past it and started walking up the hill that makes you cry.  Seriously, without that hill or the poop stop I would have finished at least 4 minutes faster.  Every time I looked down at the garmin it said I was around 7:15 pace for the first half, and a 7:45 pace for the second half, which was exactly what I wanted.  I walked the really steep uphills, and a few other times when I just totally ran out of gas and needed to lower my heart rate, usually at or near the top of a smaller hill. 

After making it up the hill that makes you cry, it was a brisk jaunt to the finish line.  A guy caught up to me who was in the marines, and said this was his first half marathon.  If he's finishing his first half in the same time as my xx half, he's doing pretty good.  Actually he out-sprinted me at the end after talking for half a mile, so he's doing great!  Have you thanked a marine today?

It was all nice and shady on the greenway, with a slight cool breeze blowing the whole time that you wouldn't call it "hot" outside, just really comfortable for running weather.  Sunny and cool when we came off of the greenway and back onto the roads too.  But after pushing it into the finish line, the sun came out and that cool breeze went away.  It got sunny and hot quick! 

I stuck around long enough to recover, get something to eat, and hit up the beer tent.  They had some good beer from a local brewery, it was 8.5% abv, because "if you're going to be drinking beer at 9 am on sunday morning it should be the good stuff".  I like the way that brewer thinks.  I went out to the finish line to cheer in some of the other runners and have some fun in the sun, but I was already fighting a sunburn from the Masters day and it was only getting worse.  I had to get into the shade.

Afterwards we got to meet up with Jenny and Jess for some pizza at our favorite pizza place, that was very close to Jess' house, and she had never been there before!  It was amazing as always and we had the best time visiting with them.  I think Jess is going to turn out to be a really fun friend to have in Raleigh.  Turns out she also goes to my gym! So lovely.

RunRaleigh is getting the weekend bumped for 2014 for a Rock 'n Roll marathon in Raleigh that Kelley and I likely will not do.  This means they got a weekend in the fall, and will actually be holding the race again in 2013. That's pretty unusual.  I think it's a bit too close to B2B for me to do it again, but it really is an incredibly well-organized race that's a lot of fun.  Plus since this was my first race since December it felt amazing just to be out there again! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Return of the Queen

I am so far behind.  This was actually the weekend before the Masters golf tournament.  One day I'll catch up.

This past weekend (4/6) was the Spring Outing with Bigun's Indian Princess tribe for the second year.  Last year's outing was one of the highlights of the year for sure. This year was a bit colder but just as fun.

I always take the Evil Genius out to lunch sometime before we go do these things to try and curb any jealousy issues.  And since work has been begging for overtime I agreed to work half a day Friday, that would come back to bite me.  EG and I got out the door for lunch at 12:30, got back at 1:15, and Luke came to pick us up at 1:30 and we had nothing packed.  Literally, grabbed the suitcase from the closet when we got back from lunch, and had it filled in 15 minutes.  Who knows what I forgot to pack.

oh yea, I guess I would figure that out later.

We had to go to the Neuse Sports Shop to get our cabin assignment and I also picked up sunglasses, batteries, and another headlight.  Actually the headlight is so comfortable I think I'll end up running in it.  We ended up with a great cabin assignment too.  After that we went to a really cool restaurant for dinner.  For only $16 a pair (daddy/daughter) we got all you could eat pizza & drinks, and all you could play putt-putt golf.  After being trapped in the car for 3 hours, the kids went nuts on that one.  We still then drove into camp with plenty of daylight left to find the cabin, unpack the cars, make up the bunk beds, and grab a few pics.
Bigun rode that bike EVERYWHERE!  I had to chase her all weekend.

Notice the giant blue waterslide right behind our cabin.

We were really close to the river

And really close to the zipline/waterslide

Bigun and Ms Baker in the top bunk
For reference, here's Bigun and Ms Baker from last year's camp.  They grow up so fast!
The theme for this years camp was the Olympics, and the activities were all setup for the games.  It was a "complete to achieve" thing rather than pushing competition, but they did have a board at some of the timed events with the best performances for the kids and the dads.  Some of the lines got a bit long, but we still got to do everything we wanted to do.

It started with breakfast, then tennis, archery, and shooting BB guns.  Turns out, Bigun loves playing tennis and is kind of coordinated at it.  She loved the archery too but never came anywhere close to the target, and neither one of us could hit anything with a BB gun.  That was just pitiful.

After lunch, the wind died down so we got into the canoes, and the pentathalon which was really cool.  She had to navigate a rope ladder, grab a medicine ball and run some cones, do some fast toe touches, then run the hurdles to finish the course.  She finished about 10 seconds slower than the kid record and did really well.

Saturday afternoon we also got into the Snakes Alive show!  We arrived at the place and the guy had lost track of time, so we saw the finish of the first show, even though we were waiting for the second show to start.  Bigun really wanted to avoid the entire thing, so she stepped up the bravery factor to go to the show at all.  Then the first snake to come out was a 13' long burmese python weighing over 100 lbs!  It took 8 dads to hold the thing, then the kids could come up behind the dads and hold it, or just come around the front side and pet it.  Bigun got her nerve up and went near the head to pet that giant monster.  Very cool.  Then things settled down and we got to see the second show from the start.  He talked about snakes, lizards, and turtles and showed a bunch of the smaller specimens.  Eventually he let the kids come up and hold the smaller snakes too, and by then her comfort level was pretty good so she got to hold an albino corn snake for a while.  Very cool!

We played around the camp some more before dinner, but after dinner was the normally spectacular campfire and fireworks show.  This year "spectacular" was more like "frozen", as it was 38* with 20mph winds blowing when we got there.  And since it was april and I only had 15 minutes to pack and the forecast said 70* for Raleigh that day, we were a bit unprepared.  I actually used bigun as a blanket, and kept turning to keep the wind on my back.  She kept me warm, I kept her shielded.  The camp leaders told stories and sang songs, somebody told a scary ghost story, and the fireworks kicked off.  The songs were long, the story was boring (but was really scary), and the fireworks took 35 minutes.  after about 20 minutes Bigun was telling me that she was ready for it to be over so they could go back to the cabin.  There was a great sigh of relief when we did make it back.

Pictures from Saturday:
Before the day's activities - all of those clothes got incredibly dirty

Sweet girl on a cold day

Dressed in the Vests before the awards ceremony

Rainbow Thunder tribe 2012-13 at the spring outing!

Sunday breakfast was continental at first.  They run a 5k race this day at camp, but after saturday night's cold we chose not to run it.  Then it turned out to be really nice and sunny on sunday, so that stunk.  We hit the tennis courts again, and knocked out the last two events, the long jump and the 50 yard dash.  She made the jump around 6 feet, which was pretty good.  I only managed 9 feet something.  Then in the 50 yard dash, she did really well too.  The dad's record was 6.29 seconds, and I hit that sucker in 7.19 seconds.  Almost there.

Sunday brunch was this biscuit and sausage gravy thing that they do every year, and it was pretty good.  After that we packed up all of our stuff and headed for home.  We rode with my buddy Luke and his daughter, so everyone had fun on the way back.  Luke's daughter actually broke her foot saturday night, and nobody knew until she made it to the doctor on monday.  We still carried her around everywhere sunday anyway so she didn't put any weight on that foot.

So this weekend was in the books as a great time at a cold camp.  We had a blast and I absolutely love getting to spend this much quality time with my eldest daughter.  Starting in September, I'm going to get the Evil Genius into  a tribe of her own, so next year I'll get to go to TWO spring outings. Insane.  I may not survive.

Have you ever taken a kid to camp like that?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Master of my domain

Thursday was the first day of the Masters golf tournament, and I got to take my buddy Tom down for the day.  It turned out to be a beautiful time to be in Augusta and we had a blast.  Wednesday night we headed to Greenville, stayed with my parents for the night to pick up the badges and get a closer drive in on Thursday morning. 

Maybe the funniest story of the entire trip happened Wednesday night on the drive down.  We stopped for dinner at a Waffle House, and grabbed an empty booth.  As soon as we sat down and started talking, this creepy guy in the next booth started eavesdropping.  Then after we ate, all three of us decided to hit the bathroom, apparently.  This creepy old guy only had one hand and wouldn't leave us alone!  Then we got back into the car and he wanted Tom to roll down the window, so he cracked it about an inch.  We were in Tom's car, it's as old as mine and barely more comfortable.  But this creepy guy just has to tell us (while he lights up a cig) that we've got "a mighty pretty pontiac", so that happened.  And it became a theme for the road trip.

Mom sent the only pic I got of the day:
Ready to hit the road
Thursday turned out to be a great day to be on the road.  We made it down to Augusta, got parked and got through security.  The first thing we found was the practice green, and Vijay Singh was putting around some.  We saw Jim Nance walking around too, almost literally bumped into him. He snuck past us before we knew who he was, but that voice is very recognizable.

We started out walking the course backwards, but nobody had made it to the 18th hole yet.  So we had a few empty holes before we got to see the players.  i know there's a better joke in there.  We walked around long enough to see the entire course, and got to spot a few players along the way.  We ended up back at the #1 tee just as Rory was starting his tourney.  It was the only time our view got a little blocked. 

After getting to see the entire course we wanted to plant ourselves in the right spots to see the right players come through. So next we hit the #2 green and got to see Phil and Rory play through in consecutive groups.  Rory was in the next to last group, so then we trucked it down to #16 green in time to see Stuart Cink, Bubba Watson, and Tiger Woods play through.  I think the most exciting point was when Tiger reached the green, Lindsay Vonn walked up right behind me.  Our seats on 16 were that good. 

After that we got a few fresh beers and found the grandstands on the #15 green.  We did get to see a bunch of mid-tier players come through and talk to some other really nice people up there.  It was very comfortable, but that's when the sun came out.  I got fried up there.  We went back for another round and ended up in a spot where you could see the #13 green and #14 tee, so coming out of the Amen Corner.  Saw some really cool shots from there.

The strangest moment on the course had to be watching Craig Stadler 3 putt and get really pissed off about it.  He looks like a steamed walrus anyway, and he walked outside of the ropes through the spectator area to get to the next tee box and nobody talked to him.  Of course then he crushed his next drive, fueled by anger.  And I thought the entire thing was hilarious.  He was slamming the driver down in frustration while on his way through the crowd.

When it was all said and done, I had 3 beers, 4 pimento cheese sandwiches, 1 ham & cheese on rye, 1 ice cream, and picked up a new hat and blanket from the golf shop.  It was a pretty incredible day.  The weather was perfect.  The course was immaculate.  I mean, you could have thrown a steak on the ground and sat down with a knife and fork without even having to clean the thing off before eating it.

After we got out of Augusta National we drove back to Columbia to give the badges back to my uncle, someone else was going to use them for Friday.  When we got there, Tom got out of the car, said "Uncle Butch thank you so much" and gave him a big hug.  Now, my uncle is a big hunter/fisherman, went to college on a football scholarship, a real "man's man" if you will.  Needless to say he wasn't expecting such a familial greeting from a total stranger.  And I didn't mention that Tom is from Connecticut originally. Hahahahhaha, oh the look on his face really put me on the floor. Too funny!

The best day I ever had at the Masters was when my grandfather took me the year I turned 13, of course.  But this one was right up there in the top 5 for sure. Tom and I really had a ton of fun, the whole trip turned out perfect, and I couldn't have asked for anything better. Well, maybe seeing the players hit a few more birdie putts would have been nice.

The whole tournament turned out to be riveting.  Tiger's penalty from friday? The 14 year old kid? His penalty for slow play?  Then on sunday it comes down to a couple of playoff holes.  Insane.  I'm so happy that Adam Scott got the win, he seems like a real class act.

Did you get to watch the tourney?  Ever been to Augusta? Did you know the 15th hole is a 525 yard par 5 that contains over 1600 azaleas?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Dump

So there I was, singing karaoke in a dive biker bar that was in a bowling alley parking lot.  That happened.  I have been so busy this post will be a dumping point for everything I haven't had the chance to blog about.

March Totals
Swim: 28,400 meters, 10 swims
Bike: 311.75 miles, 16 rides
Run: 80.6 miles, 12 runs
Strength: 6 times
Yoga: 7 times

Who's glad to be back swimming with the RAM team?  This guy.  holy smokes 28k in the pool?  That's unheard of.  Last ironman cycle I usually got around 20k per month in the pool. so I'd call this a roaring start.  311 miles is nice bike month too.  Last time I averaged around 300 miles a month when it got long.  This time it's a starting point, so I like where this is going.  And soon enough I'll be back running over 100 miles a month.

In fact, this week is a bumping point.  The midweek rides go up to 20 miles from 15 and the midweek runs are going from 5 to 6 miles.  Wednesday I did 20 on the bike before work and bumped up the resistance another notch, and after getting the kids down I ran 6 in 46 minutes flat.  Nice long and fast.  Last week was another story.

The week was fine, except for that crushing start to the work week.  Easter weekend was great, we went to SC to enjoy the holiday with my parents. I had a great run saturday morning, 8.5 miles around the neighborhood.  Felt great, very very hilly, and stayed pretty fast.  Totals for the week had 46 bike miles, 16.5 miles running, and 2953 yards in the pool. Total time was 5:33, just a bit lighter than the 10.5 hours last week.

Cast Iron Club: Through 4/3, I'm at 10.93 iron swims, 6.74 iron bikes, and 6.74 iron runs.  This is through only 2 months of base training in the Ironman training plan.  Goal is 30 iron distances.  I'm feeling comfortable in this goal for the year.  Really glad to see the swim number get over 10.

I'm still kind of blown away by discovering that I swam 28,400 meters in March.

The Pics
The long weekend workouts are the important part of an ironman training plan, so I feel guilty about not doing more last weekend.  But the good news is that all of this happened instead:
Evil Genius asleep and about to work herself out of the bottom of her bed

The kids dying easter eggs with Grandma

Ready for some color!

These were eggs dyed with shaving cream and neon food coloring.  Make your own jokes, but it actually turned out pretty cool.  youtube it if you don't believe me.

all the love
For a while now EG has been saying she wants to let her hair grow as long as Tangled's hair.  She means Rapunzel, but that's cute.  Now it's gotten long enough so she's tired of dealing with the tangles, and wanted to get it cut.  So of course I made an appointment while we were in Greenville to get her hair cut by the same barber who has been cutting my hair since I was 5.  Her mind was sufficiently blown when she made the connection that she is still 5 years old and Kevin has been cutting my hair since I was 5 years old.  Now she wants to go see Kevin every time we go to Greenville.  This could get expensive.
That is some long hair.

and she got a lot cut off!  maybe about 8 inches?

Almost there

All finished up!  so cute!
There's the end of an era in Greenville.  The Clock is a drive in restaurant on Wade Hampton Blvd.  My parents used to go on dates there while they were in college.  It's closing the doors after more than 60 years in business over a real estate problem.  Bob Jones University has been wanting to get the land for years now, and they are finally getting it.  The Clock is a greasy spoon place, my favorite meal there was a double chili cheeseburger with half & half (fries and onion rings).  Kelley and I got to have lunch there saturday, but I did not get the double chili parts.  This Greenville landmark closed down on Sunday, and will be greatly missed.
So long familiar landmark

EG got apples from the Easter Bunny and loved it.  She digs the honeycrisp!

Bigun digs all the Reece's

Showing off my mad yo-yo skillz

Making yeast rolls with Grandma - always one of EG's highlights

Hunting for easter eggs in the garden

Morgan got in on the action too

 That's a fun weekend in SC.  Saturday night Morgan's girlfriend wanted to go sing karaoke, so the 4 of us went out.  This biker bar was near his house, and they knew the dj.  I sang a Black Crowe's song and the Bartender Song from Rehab.  Morg did a few, and Martha sang a bunch but we couldn't get Kelley up there.

Sunday's ride back was pretty tough.  Usually it's about a 4 hour drive, but we had to stop a bunch of times, including picking up our niece.  Kaileigh is always glad to get some time in Raleigh, and we're always glad to have her.  She's on spring break all this week.

April Fool's!
Monday the kids went nuts over April Fool's day.  You can imagine the corny stuff that a 5 and 7 year old can come up with, and they did it all.  Kelley got in the shower to find that all of the soap had been hidden.  Bigun switched the bags of Frosted Flakes and Fruit loops, then asked for the loopies for breakfast and got Frosties instead.  Evil Genius called me at work to tell me that my pants were on fire.  The creativity those two can put out there is pretty impressive.

When we switched back onto daylight savings time I made a joke on facebook about moving to Indiana because most of the state doesn't observe DST.  So for April Fool's I put that same joke out there with a more serious tone.  I don't think anybody believed me.

Not April Fool's!
Monday night I got accepted onto the AAA Carolinas Triathlon Team!  I am incredibly excited about this.  It's a regional team, not national like Rev3 or Wattie Ink.  But they sponsor a the NCTS and SCTS series of Setup Events races.  So I get a racing kit and a few other perks, and have to do a Setup Events race this year which is not a big deal.  I'm very excited and will do another full post about the team once the profiles come up.

Monday morning's naked weight was pretty bad this week.  184.8 lbs and 21.2% body fat.  I should be closer to 175 after 2 months of Ironman training.  You can't out train a bad diet, and with all of this traveling and hectic scheduling and high stress work stuff going on, it's water weight or stress eating?  I can tell I'm making some great strides in strength and conditioning already, and don't need to sabotage that with poor food choices.  I think the quantities have gotten a bit out of hand too. Time to reign it all in!

This week has been much better, and I got on the scale at 180.6 thursday morning.  so that's progress.  I've been working the portion controls this week and the quality pretty hard.  And managing my stress levels better, I think.

Coming up this weekend, Bigun and I are heading back here for more fun in the camp sun.  Let's hope it is sunny and warm this year?  please?

That should have been like 6 blog posts.  That's how busy and stressed I've been lately.  More campy fun pics next week!