Thursday, December 21, 2017

November Recap

Just in time for Christmas! Really been slack about blogging lately.

Swim: 6600 yards, 2 swims
Bike: 8.8 miles, 1 ride
Run: 54.8 miles, 9 rides, 1 race
Strength: 2 times
Yoga: once

Wow, I really thought I swam more than that. Work has been crazy planning stuff for 2018 so I haven't been able to make the noon practices, which are my favorite. Actually, I thought I ran and rode more than that too. November saw the start of official marathon training the weekend after my last race of the year (City of Oaks 10k). I missed the 12 mile long run thanks to the Thanksgiving weekend, but the rest of the month was pretty regular. Clearly I need more cross training in December, and the 21st is a difficult time to realize this.

I didn't write up a big Thanksgiving post either, but there is a lot that I'm grateful for. Family, a wonderful job, living in a fun city, you name it. This year has been so much better than 2016 was, while still being pretty terrible by most standards.

Here's some of the fun we got to have in November:

The magical "flying" race photo where both feet are off of the ground!!

Sunny day driving with the top down

Snuggle time with my sweet Ella

Lofting board and new tiny sawhorses! Starting to work on the next boat

Kelley and I had our 19th wedding anniversary

We started a massive kitchen remodel

Ella and I built a guillotine for a school project

The rabbit bit through the power cord of my laptop, I had to crimp it back together! Nerd alert

Thanksgiving was wonderful at home with my big family

Got the Christmas tree up!

And Ella got to put the topper on (she's also well over 5' tall now)

rippin down plaster, Bane style

I did some electrical work on that wall too

Replaced the floor underneath the old refrigerator location

with new flooring that is almost an exact match! freaky cool

And I framed up for some new cabinets at the end of the month
November really was a good month. I was busy, there was always something interesting going on. Between the holiday and this kitchen remodel and the start of marathon training it was kind of a blur. This kitchen remodel is getting huge!

Monday, December 18, 2017

2017 City of Oaks 10k

On 11/5/2017 I made a triumphant return to running races at the City of Oaks. My company sponsors the afterparty so I got a discounted entry fee, and when the emails came in I jumped on it. Ok, so triumphant might be a bit of a stretch. I'm still very overweight, it wasn't going to be fast, and I had no idea what the arthritis would let me get away with. In 2016 I ran the full marathon here, and that has remained my last marathon.

Packet pickup was smooth the day before, I had no problems getting up and getting to the starting line, parking was easy and I made my way to the starting line with a few nerves starting to kick in.

at packet pickup

Big crowd ahead of me

bigger crowd behind me!

Ready to run? it's a little chilly

NC State's bell tower served as the start/finish line area
The course at City of Oaks is beautiful. It winds through downtown, into Cameron Village, then back around to campus. Short, sweet, plenty of steep but short hills, and very scenic. The full marathon course gets lots of time on the greenways as well, but the 10k course didn't come anywhere close to that.

My only real hope (not even calling it a goal) was to break an hour, and sure enough I finished in 57:31, a 9:16/mile pace. Mostly it just felt good to get back out there and be among the crazies again.

Finally at the finish line

at 8:30 am, bud light is actually a breakfast beer
This is still a great race and I'm really glad I got out there for it. My last race of 2017 gives me hope that I can return to marathons again next year.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Hurricane Championship Swim

This might be the first year that I've been able to successfully complete all three of the local races in the Triangle Open Water Swim Series. Last year I did the first two and the 3rd one was cancelled thanks to Hurricane Matthew. This year it was game on. Sunday, 10/15/2017 for 1.2 miles of open water fun at New Hope Overlook boat ramp in Jordan Lake.

Foggy day!

FS Series getting it setup

Can't even see the first buoy

Ready to swim
The FS Series organizers asked at the beginning if anyone could sing the national anthem, I think they were having trouble streaming the copy they usually play. I stepped up to sing with no warning, no warmup, and no practice! At least the second half of the song sounded pretty good. For a singer, performing the national anthem in front of this many veterans, there's no such thing as a good performance. You either do it right or screw it up. I think I did it right, it's an honor when you do it right.

Eventually we did start swimming at 8 am. It was really foggy outside, but the fog burned off pretty quickly after we started swimming. You couldn't see much further than the next buoy, but at least there was some direction in there. And the water was like glass. No kind of current or chop at all.

There was an unexpected sand bar out there, so they positioned the return buoys in a little bit and suggested we keep them on the left. The 2.4 milers had to go back out for a second loop, and when I kept those buoys on my left, once I looked up to see a couple of those 2.4 mile swimmers heading directly at me! Surprise!

I finished in 34:54, good enough to place 52/101 overall, 31/53 men, and 2/6 in the 40-44 age group! I'll take an age group award any way I can get one.

The finish line when I was done

the non-selfie version

happy to have that bread

RAM swimmers

With my AG award!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Hello October!

And goodbye. Wow that month really flew by. Why is it that the really hot months seem to last forever, but the comfortable favorites fly by in the blink of an eye? This October was no exception. I was finally able to run again consistently, the kids went back to school, everything really fell in line.

Swim: 26,400y 8 swims 1 race
Bike: 36.9 miles, 3 rides
Run: 49.1 miles, 9 runs
Strength: 5 times
Yoga: 7 times

That's a pretty solid month! It just went by too fast. I mean, my running wasn't fast. Still waiting on the endurance and speed to come back. But I did get out on my favorite running route to the state capital building and back last weekend. The endurance certainly was not there, but it felt so good to suffer again. I also got back into the older routine with my morning workouts. No more joint pain means yoga is back on the mat!

I had one swim race in October that I haven't written about yet. It was awesome and I took 2nd place in my age group. Also coming up this weekend I have a 10k running race, the City of Oaks. Last year I did the full marathon there, and it was my last full marathon but I still don't want to admit that I've gone a whole year without marathoning.

surprised with the new sunglasses

in desperate need of a haircut & beard trim

with my age group award at the swim race

Kelley got a picture printed on wood so it's suitable for outdoor display

Got the fountain setup into permanent placement

Beginnings of a patio

We got grass to grow!

There was a Diwali celebration at work

Got to meet my newest cousin, only 4 weeks old

Family lunch at a cracker barrel

Halloween! The kids did their own costumes this year
See? the month went by so fast I only got 11 pictures. For Halloween, Lena was a zombie Amelia Earhart, and Ella was some video game character I can't pronounce from Undertale.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Up In September

Yay October is my favorite month and it's finally here again!! Hockey is coming back. College Football is in full mid-season form. Even tonight my NC State wolfpack is about to upset Louisville here in Raleigh in one of the best ACC games of the season! September had some really cool shit, here's how it went down.

Swim: 12,300 yards, 4 swims
Bike: 19.9 miles, 2 rides
Run: 14 miles, 4 runs!
Strength: 3 times
Yoga: 2 times

First thing to notice - no 0's! I got something done in all activities last month. Those easy 4 runs give me 47.1 miles of running on the year. I had some long stretches with nothing - 11 days and 6 days based around drugs and vacations. But really now that the arthritis is under control with medication I can begin losing some weight (hard) and getting back to a regular level of activity (easy). I'm going to start off just running twice a week. I did have a 4 miler in there - longest run since early March. The weather started to cool down a bit in September and it felt so good to get back out there again.

We did some other cool stuff in September too:

Finished some skirting and landscaping around the deck

Hardscaping is done. Time to plant some grass

New woodworking store opened in Cary, I picked up a new sander

Ella and I took my first boat out to Lake Raleigh for some fun paddling time

We had a blast

On vacation in Beaufort, NC

They had to fight off the pirate with water cannons

Outside the watercraft center

Some of the planking we did in boatbuilding class

On the pier in Emerald Isle

this is not a strip club. really.

Loading stuff into Neena's warehouse

I'm ready for work

Our new concrete fountain

Yeti for the yard

With my favorite landscaper
Since the kids are out of school for the entire month of September and March, we take our family vacations then. This time since I couldn't schedule a marathon for the vacation, I signed up for a boatbuilding class at one of our state museums! It was amazing. The teacher demonstrated all of the mistakes I made in my first 2 boats and how to avoid them. I learned so much, and still have to write a more complete recap on my woodworking blog. Beaufort NC is a wonderful coastal town, but it is quite expensive there so we didn't stay long. The next weekend we went down to Kelley's mom's lakehouse. She moved to Raleigh a couple of years ago, but still has a full lake house with 6 storage buildings on the property filled with retail store merchandise for a store she recently closed down. We have an auction guy lined up to help us sell off of this stuff, so we took several truckloads from the house to the warehouse for him to sell. It made a nice dent in getting the house cleaned up, but there is still a long way to go there. On the way back, we stopped by Bethune Concrete and picked up a bunch of concrete statues for the yard. We really just stopped for the fountain, and bought 6 other pieces as well.

The boatbuilding class was the same weekend I was supposed to be in Portland, OR for the Boring marathon. I knew the fall schedule was hosed, but it was kind of tough to know I was missing out on a race. Then last weekend was the Yeti 100/50 and I had to skip it. Next up is the Javelina Jundred where I'm going to skip running the 100k there, but my cousin Ryan is still going to run it. I signed up to run the 10k at the hometown City of Oaks marathon. Running the full last year was my last marathon. So this is going to be a bit bittersweet but it will feel good to train with a purpose and get back out there again.