Thursday, May 30, 2013

Freaky Friday Part 2

We just had a wonderful visit with Mom & Dad coming up to Raleigh.  Bigun has been fighting this loose tooth for a while, and every day I've been checking trying to get it to pull out.  well finally we got this:

We got us a Leon Spinks impersonator.  Snaggletooth has made an appearance.  One of the big front teeth has gone under the pillow.  Today the other big tooth started getting loose, so we're going to have to start mushing up her food pretty soon.  ha! I actually tried to pull it at night and pulled a bit too hard (ouch!).  Then she went to sleep and the tooth was on the floor the next morning.  I couldn't believe she didn't swallow the thing!

Bigun has been studying bats in school recently, and got incredibly excited when we ordered a bat house kit. The kit came in, and it was just some cut up pieces of wood that barely had some instructions too.  Wednesday night we put it together; I let the kids drive the nails in.  Then thursday we hung it high in a tree in the front yard:

It is really cool.  Don't know if bats will actually like it or not.  But it was a great craft project to build with the kids.  If you're looking for one, try this guy: Amazon Bat House Kit (I bought ours, not a paid endorsement).  Bats like to eat mosquitos, and mosquitos like to congregate around our muscadine vines, so it should be pretty copacetic.

Then we actually got to Freaky Friday.  I knew it was going to be a wild day from the schedule. I've been hanging onto my sanity at work by a thread.  Being a contractor stinks.  No vacation days or holidays at all, and I had finally had enough of it.  So when I found out I would not get converted to a full time employee until next spring, or maybe the spring after that, if ever..... ok you see where this is going.  So Monday I started putting out a couple of feelers and Friday an offer came in.  The terms were agreeable and it's a direct hire, so I accepted!  Changing jobs is kind of scary but this is a really good opportunity for some fun software development.

Friday was also field day at the kids' school!  They had a blast.  Kelley was volunteering out there all day long, so she got to have fun too.  Our friends Joe and Gina were also out with their kids.  Fun times all around.  Tomorrow (friday) is the last day of school for the year.

Thursday night I got a call that my grandmother (dad's dad) had taken a turn for the worse.  Her heart was starting to fail and she was having a series of heart attacks.  Friday she was unconcious most of the day, and the hospice nurses did not expect her to recover.  She was 92, and had a  long and happy life.  She passed on Sunday afternoon around 2 pm.  Friday was so crazy I was just unable to process any emotions around it.  We are all really going to miss her.  It's not a surprise, we knew it was going to happen one day.  She went fast and didn't have to suffer, and was really happy until last week.  we should all be that lucky.

Friday at 4 pm we closed on a refinance of our house.  Doing the Dave Ramsey thing, and this is going to save us a couple hundred bucks a month.  Well worth it.  We did not tell the closing attorney I just accepted a new job earlier that day, but sitting in his waiting room was the first chance I had to tell Kelley about the details.

Then Friday and Saturday night we went camping with the afore mentioned Joe and Gina friends and all 6 kids.  And the field day?  Turns out Kelley kept planning on doing all of the stuff to get ready for camping on Friday.  So when I took off work at 4 pm, Joe took the kids straight from the school to the campground and we went to the closing.  Then had a mad dash to pack everything up after the closing and get to the campground in time to pitch our tent before dinner. 

So lets recap:
Job offer?  Accepted.
House?  Refinanced
Field day? dunking booth achieved.
Grandmother?  Not well.
Tent?  Pitched. 

And it turns out Gina had been smoking meat all day.  So when we sat down outside of their RV at a picnic table and cracked open that first beer over a plate of BBQ, the entire day just melted on me.  The kids exploded on the campground, we forgot half of the stuff we needed including pillows and blankets, but everything else came together.  Before you know it I was sleeping in a tent next to a lake and everything was ok.

There is actually more to this memorial day story to come, believe it or not.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Freaky Friday Part 1

So after posting 3x a week this month, it's been 10 days since my last post.  When I tell you why, you may be left just shaking your head.  When we left off, the Flynn's had just gone to the symphony concert.  I'll try to be brief between then and the Friday When Everything Came Together.

Midweek stuff was fine, I chose to run instead of swim.  Totally uneventful.  Saturday I trained with purpose, trying to get it all done before we popped a surprise on the kids.  The RAM swim practice was great, then I got in a 50 mile long ride.  No time for a nap, it was furious eating and cleaning the kids/house after that.

Totals for the week ended up hitting 111 miles on the bike, 10 miles running, and the single 2 mile swim.  8 hours 20 minutes is a decent week.  The sunday long run that didn't happen would have filled in the rest of the time and milage.  Good week!

We got a quick visit from Mom and Dad! Dad makes it to Raleigh at most once a year, this trip was only for one night.  It was a quick up here saturday afternoon, then back home Sunday morning.  Still long enough to have lots of fun with the kids.

They came to celebrate Evil Genius' upcoming birthday!!

with Cake and Presents, of course.  She loved seeing a cake with her name on it.

And a Justin Bieber poster really hit the spot.  I kind of threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Birthday books for the Birthday Girl.
Needless to say the kids were over the moon about getting a visit from their grandparents.  EG's actual birthday hasn't come yet, but we weren't going to be able to get down to Greenville until the week after the actual day, so they beat us to it and came up here.  Fantastic.  After the birthday party, we went to dinner at the Boylan Street Brewpub, which has fantastic beers and one of the best views of the skyline in Raleigh.

They actually had sunglasses for EG to borrow.  Cool restaurant!

Dad really enjoyed it.

Flynns and the Raleigh skyline.  How cool is that!
After dinner we went to a park to play with the kids some, and had a blast.  I still can't believe dad actually got up on that climbing rock!

You know, just hanging out with his granddaughter
That's a fake rock with climbing holds built in, and the soft rubber surface makes it perfect for kids to climb and play on.  But it is still over 7' tall and can be intimidating to get up there.  Spending good quality time with your grandparents is so important, both for the grandparents and the kids.  And I also got to talk to them about a work problem I was having getting converted from a contractor into full time at IBM.  That weighs kind of heavily into the next week, and part 2 of Freaky Friday.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Swallowed whole

Last week was busy.  this week was busy.  huh?

Pretty solid week.  Missed monday night's run and saturday's long bike ride, but almost made that up on sunday.  Family stuff, work stuff, training stuff, and life stuff all came together in a perfect storm last week and this week too, really.  It's been insane.  Insane!

Saturday we all went to see the Raleigh Symphony play.  It was a wonderful performance, they did a Disney thing where they put images from the movies up on a big screen and had a few singers with the orchestra.  The show was amazing, the kids loved it, and I got these pics:

Before the show.  EG is doing a curtsey.

The kids at the show.  Bigun wore the Pocahontas costume, Evil Genius was Cinderella

They enjoyed the artwork at the performing arts center
Like I said, incredible show.  We all had an amazing time, and it was a great thing to do for Mothers Day.  Too bad it was also Kelley's idea and I can't take any credit for it.

Saturday afternoon we also upgraded to smart phones.  Finally.  I was the last person, possibly in 'Merica, to still be using an old school flip phone.  We ended up going with a Windows phone and love it!  There are plenty of apps, having internet access from the phone is neat. But I'm not interested in being one of those guys that always stares at a phone.  those people still bother me.  But it was nice to have a decent camera (photos above) and be able to upload the pics to the pc easily. I'm really still learning how the damn thing works, but I have become addicted to Temple Run.

Only bad thing is that the battery life sucks.  It has to be charged every day.  every. single. night. it dies.

Saturday night while we were getting ready for the show I ran into the footboard of the bed and left one helluva charlie horse on my right leg.  So between the Verizon store and the symphony, saturday only had room for my early morning swim practice (4350 meters).  Sunday I tried to make up for my missed long ride by making it a long brick.  But then I lost a gel somewhere (in the driveway) so I cut the bike ride from 45 miles back to only 32, and started running.  Well, that charlie horse apparently left a deep bruise so my 12 mile run turned into 2 miles.  then I limped out of there.  ouch. had to call monday a rest day as well.

And by Sunday afternoon, we had lost the phones.  The kids have completely taken over their usage, so calling or texting me will now only get them.  RIP smart phones, it was a quick 24 hours but I did enjoy it.

Good luck if you're racing this weekend!  IM Texas is going on, and I'll be tracking Baha.  Let me know if you're getting out there too.  Also today is my dad's 66th birthday - happy birthday Dad! and on saturday my mom is coming up for a short visit.  should be fun fun fun in Raleigh. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I love it when I win

Really, it's better for everyone when I win.  Let's just go ahead and concede that.  The lovely Alisa hosted a giveaway a while back, and I won through sheer talent, speed, hard work, dedication, and leaving enough comments to satisfy a random number generator. 

She told me she'd be sending a swag box of Powerbar goodies.  That was a huge stash that I got in!  Insane.  The kids went nuts over the barbie kleenex as well.  And I'll be sure to rock that Rev3 bottle in an Ironman branded race just to be ironic.  Kind of like this guy:

As much as I love to stay with natural plant based foods, I will do the powerbar thing when I need to fuel up for a hard workout.  This is a great stash for me to keep on hand, thanks Alisa!

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Kit is here!

I haven't mentioned it much so far because I've been waiting for more information to come out about the team.  But the info is finally out and the new kit has arrived!!

I am incredibly excited to announce that I have been selected as a part of the AAA Carolinas triathlon team.  It's a regional team, and AAA Carolinas is a primary sponsor of the Setup Events series in North and South Carolina, the NCTS Series and the SCTS Series.  So one of the team requirements is to compete in an NCTS or SCTS event in the team kit.  This beauty came in the other day:

They sent me a kit with a tri top, visor, and some AAA gear like a water bottle and towel too.  Really cool kit.  They also sent a podium jacket that I hope to get some use out of.

See you on top of the podium!

This one I thought was hilarious because the podium jacket is made of extremely technical fleece.  Not that normally technical fleece, but this jacket really has to go to the extreme with just how technical it is.

I still have to add the team logo onto the left sidebar, but I can't tell you how excited I am to be joining this team.  The social connections are going to be a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing the other teammates at the races. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Almost wordless wednesday

The little camera started working again, and the kids took some pictures.  They turned out pretty cute and I wanted to share
Evil Genius attempts to Tebow

caught and filled with rage, apparently

Flex for us!

getting ready to run
Most of those were taken while we were getting stuff together for the yard sale on saturday by Bigun

Monday, May 6, 2013

HUMA - new energy gel product review

I have a new love.  Don't want to oversell it, but these Huma gel's are mindblowingly different from any of the normal Gu, Powerbar, or Hammer gels that I usually get.  The consistency and flavor are easy to take in. And the ingredient list really works for me, you see they are made from chia seeds.  When Ian, the company owner, contacted me about trying some I jumped on it.

I was on a long bike ride when I got to try one. I don't normally go for strawberry flavored stuff, but I tried this one about 30 miles in, and it was fantastic.  The package opened surprisingly easy and I hit that sauce like it was liquid gold.  The consistency was very liquid, nothing thick like the chocolate Gu's.  It went down easy and tasted just like strawberries. 

The next day I got up for a long run, and about halfway through I took the Apples & Cinnamon one.

Delish! Again, it came open easy and went down smooth.  These things are so good it was unreal.  And they are totally vegan, and totally organic. 

The web site has a store locator page so you can find a retailer near you or you can order online if there's not a store nearby.  And it is my direct reccomendation that you should order some right now.  I've never said that on here before, these gels are that good.  It's a cool company and an amazing product.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Very Flynn Weekend

This sunday turned out to be pretty cool.  Heck, just waking up to no alarm clock is pretty cool.  I got up and had a calm breakfast, then got out in the garden for a bit.  It felt so nice to get my hands in the dirt.  I turned in a couple of bags of compost into this last plot of a garden bed and sank some plants that we had waiting in the wings.  Here's the final output:
The veggie bed

Veggies right in front of the muscadines.  The vines are getting really big this year!  Should get some good fruit.

Saturday we went to the State Farmers Market looking for plants.  I ended up getting some jabanero plants (3), and already had a jalepeno ready to go too.  And from lowe's we had a zucchini and squash, and a basil waiting to be planted.  So they all went in the ground.  I am super excited about having that many hot peppers this year.  And really I love gardening and just haven't had the space to do much gardening since we moved up here.  So that made today start off great.

Then I got to go sing at church.  Evil Genius had a tummy ache so Kelley and the girls stayed home.  The service ended up being dedicated to the senior citizens of the church, and I was surprised to see 5 members over 90 years old that were in attendance.  The whole service made me want to call my grandmothers.  It was beautiful.

On the way home from the service I picked up Snoopy's hot dogs for everyone.  The family always likes it when I do that, and it was delish as always.

Then we got to just hang out and play with the kids for a while.  Saturday morning we had a yard sale, and we stumbled across some old 8mm reel movies.  Lots of moster movies, a surfing flick, you name it.  Even some old disney stuff in there.  Kelley was setting up the projector when Bigun asked "is it in 3D?"  .....  um, no.  #fail.  there's not even audio.  They still watched every film they could until the bulb burned out.

I headed to the gym while the movies were on to get my workout done.  15 miles on the stationary bike in 42 minutes, and a 12 mile treadmill run at a steady 8 minute pace.  Nice brick.  I felt pretty good the whole time.  All day sunday it was on the brink of rain, like it was about to pour down at any moment, and it didn't, but the threat was enough to keep me inside.  That's really why I wanted to get the plants in the ground before the rain started.  Now it looks like we're not going to see the sun (or 70+ degrees) until friday???!?!?  That's absurd.  It's May for crying out loud.  Spring should be here by now. 

Apparently the other people in the gym thought that bikini season was almost here.  You could totally tell that there was an abnormal number of skinny college bitches that need to work out twice to take off the winter weight and get ready to show off at the beach.  They were all in there today, crowding out my normally uncrowded cardio deck.  I don't like those people any more than you girls do; I have to work very hard to stay almost thin and "those people" are just annoying.

I mentioned the garage sale saturday morning.  I actually missed most of it to hit the RAM team practice.  We crushed 4200 meters saturday morning, which is a PDR for me.  It was my first time going over 4000, and that's a lot of laps in that pool.  It was an amazing practice, and I came home hungry and in need of coffee.  I did get to hang out some.  The girls had a table setup selling brownies and lemonade, so they were loving that.

Pink lemonade and brownies. 

Bigun even got to hold a fluffy white dog for a while!  She was loving that.

Saturday was also really cold and overcast.  Totally not May weather.  After the yard sale we hit the farmers market, got the pepper plants above and a giant bucket of strawberries, and then Bigun and I went home while Kelley and EG went to the thrift store to drop off the yard sale stuff that didn't sell.  They also shopped for a bit and found this:

a pink kid sized chair.  EG had to have it.  We were trying to get rid of stuff, but she needed this chair for the sole purpose of reading stories to her baby dolls.  This may be the sweetest thing the child has ever done.  and it is a really cute chair.

Once they got back from the thrift store I headed out to the gym and knocked a 60 mile bike ride down.  The legs really fatigued there, it was tough.  But pushing the limits of my muscular endurance now is exactly what I need to be prepared for Ironman Raleigh in just a few more weeks.  And you can only imagine that a 60 mile ride meant I was ready to eat eat eat saturday night.

Back to Sunday, after the great brick workout I was also ready to eat.  Kelley pulled out an old weight watchers recipe for meatball subs.  It was still pretty amazing.  Then I got the kids in the shower and we settled in to watch the 30 by 30 on NC State's 1983 championship team.  Turns out most of the interviews were done at the Player's Retreat, where we had lunch on saturday to celebrate a good yard sale.  And that's how you finish off a pretty incredible weekend.

Actually it was a pretty decent week!  For workouts at least.  Thursday night I missed the swim practice to help setup stuff for the yard sale.  Other than that I was right on plan.  Don't even have the numbers yet.

The cast iron club is moving right along too.  Right now I'm at 18.07 iron swims (yay over halfway there!), 10.91 iron bikes, and 9.65 iron runs.  I'm looking forward to seeing every sport cross the 10 iron mark and get a third of the way there.  The cast iron club goal is 30 iron distances  on the year.

Saturday was Star Wars day, may the fourth be with you.  Sunday was cinco de mayo, and happy birthday to my brother Morgan who turned 33.  But I'm afraid that means that tomorrow will be the Revenge of the Sixth, when the dark side will show up again.  I have enough other posts to write that I'm going to try and post every day this week!  Have a good one.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weeks Behind

What do you mean it's May already?  Wha ha happenened ta April?

Swim: 26,400 m, 9 swims, 1 race
Bike: 322 miles, 15 rides, 1 race
Run: 66.3 miles, 10 rides, 2 races
Strength: once
Yoga: twice

So the run milage was a bit low, I had a half marathon and an oly triathlon and lots of out of town trips.  That meant the weekend long stuff didn't happen for the most part.  26k in the pool is pretty incredible, and 322 bike miles is great.  But I missed a lot of my long rides and long runs.  Here's how.

oy.  that week. The fun thing about that week is that Bigun and I were at the Indian Princess spring outing having a blast at Camp Seafarer.  The weekend before this one was Easter, when we went to SC to visit the folks.  So that tends to throw a monkey wrench in the training plan.  That still only left me with 4:34 in training time over the entire week.  One run and one swim?  No weekend long efforts at all?  That's ironman interruptus.  Also known as the sacrifice you willingly make for your family because that's what is really important.

This was also known as Masters week.  Wednesday night and all day thursday Tom and I were travelling to Augusta.  Then Friday I was exhausted, and it was a rest day anyway.  The one lone long effort was the Half Marathon I ran with Jenny and Jess; I still got to swim on Saturday but passed on the long bike ride to save myself for the race.

So that strange cut up week left me with a total of 5 hours and 42 minutes in the sweat box.  2 runs, 1 swim, 2 bike rides, 1 incredible day at a golf tournament and more sunburn than is really necessary.

Cast Iron Club updates:
as of sunday 4/14 I'm sitting on 11.88 Iron Swims (up from 10.73 before saturday morning), 7.86 Iron Bikes, and 7.47 Iron Runs on the year. I may have to run a few more miles monday just to let the run pull ahead of the bike distance for a bit.

The highlight of this week has to be the triathlon, because everything else was pretty normal.  3 runs, 3 swims, 4 bike rides, adds up to 9:03 in training time.  Almost back to those 10+ hour weeks.  The odd thing was that on sunday I did nothing, got caught up in family time and slept almost all day.  I ate, then napped, then ate, then napped.  I needed the rest, that was a tough race.

There was a couple of funny things that I left out of the race report. As soon as I stood up at the end of the swim I got very disoriented and stumbled like a drunk monkey into the guy next to me almost knocking us both over.  Then I took off running out of the water and up to the transition area, which was a steeper hill than I expected.  10 feet away from the water as soon as the cheering crowds start closing in on the path we had to run on, I let out a tremendous burp.  It was loud and like 5 seconds long.  Think I took in some water?  ahhahahahah.  oh well.  Kelley had to stay home with the kids so it's not like anyone I knew was in those cheering crowds.  The other thing I left out happened on the bike.  The bike course for the olympic distance was one loop, and the sprint race going on at the same time was a smaller loop with the same first few miles and last few miles.  By the time I was around mile 22 out there, the sprint course joined in but it timed out to be some of the slower bikers from the sprint race.  So good for me, I got to feel like I was flying past people at the end of the bike leg.  There were also cars on that part of the course, and they were pretty respectful of the bikers.  even the slow ones.  So finally there came a point where the car wouldn't pass the biker that I wanted to pass, so I jumped in and passed everybody!  Got to the right of the car, had over a bike length to still get left of the biker, and it was open road after that.  so I passed two cars and one bike in the same move.  And I think that's the first time I passed a car in a race.

This was finally a planned week. there was nothing extraneous about this, no work demanding overtime, no extra family demands or anything extra.  I played the schedule, worked my 40 hours, hit my 5 bike rides, 3 swims, and 3 runs.  I got in the long efforts on the weekend.  totals came to 23 miles of running, 121 miles on the bike, and about 6 miles of swimming totaling 12.5 hours of total training time.  Oh yea baby, that's the good stuff.  that's a solid 12:30.

Saturday's swim was a nuclear meltdown in the pool.  There was a 6 x 200 IM set with extra stuff thrown in there, like the first one was 100 fly, 50 back, 50 breast.  Why cut out the freestyle?  extra torture, that's why.  The saturday RAM team workouts are an hour and a half instead of the 1:15 that we get on the weeknights.  Then Kelley and I took the kids to the Raleighwood theater for lunch and a movie.  This place is a cool concept, it's a movie theater with a restaurant built in.  The movie tickets are cheap, and the food is overpriced, but the waiters will keep bringing you stuff all through the movie.  It was TONS of fun.  We don't go often, but I always enjoy it.

Then after that I got in 55 miles on the bike.  I had some concerns about this ride.  As evidenced by the graphics above, I have missed the long bike ride for the last 5 weeks.  Even the triathlon only had a 25.5 mile ride.  Today is May 1, and on June 2 Ironman Raleigh 70.3 will be here.  So I'm running out of time to get these long rides in.  I really wanted to test muscular endurance this time and see how I felt at the end, testing my nutrition plan as well.  I felt pretty good the whole way through, but I hope I will be feeling better by the time race day gets here.  This is going to be a tough course, and missing 5 straight weeks of long bike rides is not going to help it get any easier.  This 55 mile ride made me very relieved.  I need to get in some 60 milers in once or twice this month as well, but I'm feeling much better today than I was last week.

The long run felt great too.  I ended up on a treadmill next to another guy who also ran 10 miles.  It's very rare that anyone else is dumb enough to go that far on a treadmill, so that was pretty cool.  I felt relaxed the whole time. The only really embarrassing thing for the entire week was before I hit the treadmill. I planned to warm up with a 15 mile ride on the stationary bike. Turns out, I wore some short running shorts, and I didn't realize that until I was on the stationary bike and looked down to see my balls hanging out. The short shorts rode up enough to leave me a bit flashy.  Of course the shorts have the built in underwear in there so I wasn't actually exposed, but it was still enough for me to call the ride done after only 6 miles. That's a warmup after all.

and you won't believe what happens next.  Hint: it's nothing.  I slept off last week.