Sunday, April 23, 2017

Weekend Happy Fun Times

There is a lot going on this weekend! It has been really hot here in Raleigh. Like into the 90's hot already, and it is still April. This summer is going to be miserable again if this keeps up. Yesterday I swear it was 91* in the afternoon heat, and today only got up to 53* and felt amazing (but it rained all day). Here's what's going on this weekend:

1. My awesome brother Michael is playing in a HUGE festival in Charleston. The headliners are The Avett Brothers, Jump Little Children, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Dawes. There's about 15 bands, he's playing in his own band (Slow Runner) and on keys for another band.
2. The Swim Around Lido Key is going on just south of Sarasota, Florida. 7 miles in clear gulf waters. KC and some other RAM teammates did this one, it's the US Masters Open Water Championship. Looked like an amazing time.
3. Last year I chose to knock Delaware from the 50 state list by doing the Trap Pond 50k, which happened this morning. My choice for this weekend was to do the race. My last state was Alabama last February, so it's been over a year and I was ready to get back out there.

Of course, my right foot is still busted. Can't run a step. Needless to say that between choosing running of those 3 options, not being able to run, then having that heat kick it I was a bit depressed this weekend. The cooler temps today really helped, and my boat is really coming along nicely.

In fact, all I could do was volunteer this year at the Umstead 100. It's always one of my favorite days of the year and I had several friends lined up for my pacing services. I had to turn them all down at the last minute, but I did get to volunteer at aide station #2.

Umstead was hot and angry that day, like an old man trying to send back soup

Tammy Massie! My ultra bestie

Brian! Cledawg finished in 21 hours
Tammy finished her 10th Umstead 100, getting her 1000 mile buckle. It was an amazing time and I wish more than anything else that I could have been out there running trails with her after dark.

The next weekend, I got to go to The Masters golf tournament again down in Augusta Ga. I took my friend Taylor from church, and we had an incredible time. He had never been to Augusta National before. The weather was cool but I ended up getting sunburned anyway. We were just in Augusta for the day on Friday, and spent a couple of nights at my parents house too. Taylor is a real craft beer aficianado and I'm also quite beer-friendly so we had a blast.

ready for some live golf!

After a hot day watching assholes hit a ball with sticks - I got a new hat
The next weekend was Easter, and we had a major production going at church. Easter music is my favorite, and if Umstead 100 day is one of my favorite days of the year, then Easter is also one of my favorite holidays. [other favorite days are the first day of the college football season, any marathon day, and usually thanksgiving day]

Easter family portrait in front of the flowered cross

The garden! I planted tomatoes and peppers from Mom
I came home from the Masters trip with plenty of tomatoes and bell pepper plants that Mom had started from seed, and had previously prepped the soil in the raised beds for a garden this year. Now is the time to plant, so I got those in the ground after church & brunch stuff. We actually got to give the Masters tickets to Kelley's dad for Thursday of the tournament, then Taylor and I went on Friday. Taylor came back with some plants as well for his garden.

That brings us back to this weekend. Umstead 100, Masters, Easter, Trap Pond 50k, then next weekend we have something special planned to wrap up the month. What was supposed to be 3 full marathons in March and 2 50k's in April has now become just the one half marathon. What's come out of my busted foot has been a lot of fun. Maybe not as much fun as actually being able to run around all of these other activities, but fun nonetheless.

After we got that much of the garden planted, Kelley's mom wanted to put some other plants in to fill out the beds a bit so we went to the farmers market. I got a ghost pepper and a carolina reaper, the ladies all got something else that they wanted (namely cucumbers and okra) and the garden filled up. Also you'll notice the muscadine vines are fully leafed out and looking great this year behind those beds. And since I have been leaving the boat pictures and progress on my other blog, I'll wrap up with finished garden and boat-in-progress pictures.

Just the sides! It looks like a boat now

Plant haul from the farmers market - $19

Got the bottom on the boat

Happy boatbuilders

All the plants are in the ground

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Truth

Well it was a March this year. All month long was a straight walk through time.  Here's how it broke down:

Swim: 14,900 yards, 6 swims
Bike: 11.8 miles, 1 ride
Run: 13.1 miles, 1 run, 1 race
Strength: 5 times
Yoga: nada

The storyline for this month centers around the foot injury. I was in physical therapy at Raleigh Orthopedics for 4 weeks. Funny thing was, I didn't actually see much improvement while in PT. The guy was great! I made him watch me run during the last appointment. He did find a flaw where my right knee is collapsing in, signifying a hip weakness on my right side. When I can actually run again, this will be useful information.

The half marathon at Myrtle Beach is still my only run since January. It was a complete disaster. If I can't do what I want to do the way I want to do it, then it's time to move on. 3 full marathons in march and 2 50k's in April have become the MB half and volunteering at the Umstead 100. So my entire spring plan is scrapped. I still have about 4 more weeks before the fall plan falls behind, but I haven't worked up a training plan yet.

My swim volume is a bit lower than I expected, but I have been getting busy towards the end of the weeks. The real story is the strength training. It's been going really good. Last year I set and failed at a goal to bench press 225 lbs, but I think I'm really close now. Haven't gone for the 1 rep max lately but it's about time to try. Last year when I was trying, I was completely unable to lift as much as I am now. In particular, I tried 185 lbs for 7 sets of 3 reps last year, and bailed after the 2nd set. Last week I finished that lift and added a few extra reps in there for good measure. Weightlifting good.

Yoga still hurts my foot. I haven't even unrolled the mat all month. Now in April, my foot is finally starting to feel some relief, as in it doesn't hurt all the time. Every day, yes, but I'll get an hour here and there where there is no pain. So I know it's just a matter of time. The PT thinks starting yoga now would be a good idea.

If I am done with running, I can still swim. Signed up for the 3 local open water swim races this year already, that's going to be a fun time. Also, I can move on to other hobbies. So next, I'm getting into a more specific facet of woodworking, boatbuilding. I've been making sawdust for about 20 years now, usually furniture of home repairs. But building a boat is a completely different endeavor. Using epoxy and fiberglass tape or cloth, getting straight clean lines and a watertight seal, designing a boat that's light enough to carry yet strong enough to hold people. It's a very daunting challenge that I have been looking forward to for a long time. It's so challenging actually, I started a new blog to document my boatbuilding adventures - Fortunately, I'm just as behind in blogging there as I am over here. ha!

So I'm making the best of this tough situation and doing whatever I can to stay sane. My first boat is coming along nicely, so that's really fun. There was some other fun stuff that happened in March too:

Camilias came into bloom and fell off

They actually make a beer called Stupid Sexy Flanders! The Simpsons for the win!

I drank a beer. Bottle Rev has become one of my favorite spots in Raleigh

We got snow! First snow this year was March 12

This was my company's big March Madness party. yes, I was alone.

Got me on Tybee Island!

This hair is all gray. Getting old sucks!

I went to Bottle Rev again

Snow is gone and the muscadines are starting to leaf out! Spring is here!
 This is post #800 for me on the old smoke trainer blog. When I started this on a whim in 2008 I had no idea I would still be here over 8 years later, documenting my growth, successes, failures, and family time. I've written out what I've learned as an athlete (well, I still have a few more of those posts to write) and learned what I like. And what I like is open water swimming, 4 hour marathons, and trail ultras. Just because I can't do what I want to do right now doesn't mean this is the end of my athletic pursuits. Open water swim season will be here before you know it.