An Axe, Soccer and Globie

I’m into week 3 of my shortened 1/2 marathon training.  Last week was tough.  I had Friday off from running, resting up for a cold weekend of running. My wife and I went out for a short 5 mile run.  She is coming off a marathon (last weekend), and I’m gearing up.  She has done my training plan for this half marathon, and we ran together.   We averaged an 8:27 pace for the 5 mile run.  This was fast for me.  This was slower than normal pace for her.    As she said, she pushed my pace, and I kept her from getting crazy.  It was a good run.  I enjoyed it.

Saturday afternoon brought about BookWorm’s rec soccer game.  He is on a 12 yr old rec league team.  They have had a total of 5 practices (one we missed) since the season started February 22.  His team had some trouble in game 2 of the season.  BookWorm played goalie, the entire game.   They lost 6-1.  Shots on Goal: BookWorm’s team: 3 – Opponent: 30+.  And BookWorm being the sensitive one he is, he felt it was his fault they lost.  He is his own toughest critic.  We explained to him that when you are outshot 10-1, the odds are against the goalkeeper, especially when 3 of the goals were 1 on 1 or worse.  The odds are against the goalie.  So, this game BookWorm was hesitant before the game, expecting a bad performance and many goals to be scored.   Well, not so much. He played awesome.  It helped the other team was not as good as the week before’s opponent, and they won 4-0.  He had a great game.  Several stops, good punts.  And after this game, several of his teammates congratulated him on a great game…..when last week he was being crucified and they were lining up to stone him for his effort.  But as my wife says, you’re the hero or the scapegoat….similar to the kicker in football.


We ended Saturday night watching the Elite Eight games and cheering Kentucky on to a very close win.  StatMan wanted it DVR’d so he could watch it on Sunday.  He settled for me writing the score on his chalkboard so he knew the score as soon as he woke up.

Sunday morning brought 29 degree sunny morning, and a 10 mile run was looming.  My wife stayed in and did a hard 90 minute bike ride on the trainer.  I pushed myself out the door for my run.   IT DID NOT FEEL GOOD!  I don’t know what the deal is.  After mile 4 my legs were tired and sore, similar to mile 23 of a marathon.   Maybe it’s to the harder workouts I’ve put them through the rest of the week with speed work, maybe it was the cold, maybe it was the beer and potato chips the night before.   Whatever it was, it did not feel good.  But, I got it finished. 10 miles in 1:38:52.  Just under a 10 minute mile pace.  I’m okay with that.

After we all got cleaned up, we decided to head outside and begin some yardwork.  We have an area in the front yard that has lots of roots and  undergrowth from a pine tree and cedar tree that were previously removed by our neighbors…well, the trees were..they left the roots. And now they are moving, and planted a 2′ bush….and nothing more.  So, we get to clean is all up.  I spent an hour and a half digging up roots and tearing them out with my axe.  I am sore today. Shoulders and triceps.  I haven’t done much strength work, and it shows.


So we got our little flower/planting bed finished, changed clothes and headed out to see the Harlem Globetrotters.   What a good experience that is.  We saw them on tv a few weeks ago, and then happened to hear by chance that they were coming to Wilmington.  We had to see them.  That is some of the best basketball ball handling, shooting and skills I have ever seen.  Those guys are amazing.   And entertaining.  Besides having to wait 30 minutes in line to get into the Coliseum, all went well.  The boys both got Globetrotter basketballs, and have proceeded to try and imitate every trick they saw yesterday.   If you have never seen the Globetrotters, I highly recommend it. I remember when I went to see them when I was growing up, somewhere in the same age range my boys are.

This week will bring some more speedwork, and Spring Break…and April Fools Day.  Boys are home, so we will be planning some good pranks on them for the day.  We also plan to attend a local “Pub Run” Thursday night, sort of a night out/date night for the wife and I.  I look forward to it.   This will be one of a few chances we have in the next several months with sporting events, training and school activities.

What will your week bring?  Have you seen the Globetrotters?  What childhood memories have you experienced that you have passed on to your kids?




Week 6 ….running, aid stations and a tiger

I’m in week 2 of half marathon training for the PBC Half Marathon on May 3. This will be my second time running the fairly flat double loop course. I’ve started training with a plan developed by and amazing coach, my wife. She is newly RRCA certified, adding to her USATF certification. I’m the guinea pig in her new training plan development. I will be moving on to marathon training in the summer after this half is done.

Last week was getting some base miles in, and this week is a little bit more intense with some speed work. I did about 24 miles last week, and I’m on pace for 29 miles this week.  I didn’t do any speed work in my Savannah marathon training last year. So this is new to me, and so far been pretty good, but I’m only into day 2. I did 4×800’s at marathon pace this morning.  They weren’t too bad, but I do feel it as the day passes.  I’m off tomorrow before doing some longer distance this weekend.  I’m feeling good, and hoping it continues this way. I’m sure I’ll be more tired and more sore, as the speed work increases, but I’m trying to improve and do a sub-2:00 half in May.

This past weekend was the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach marathon and half marathon weekend.  Stat man ran the 1 mile fun run on Saturday night. He finished it in 6:21. He rocked it.

 Stat Man finishing the 1  mile Fun Run strong!!

Stat Man finishing the 1 mile Fun Run strong!!

And yes, that is The Tiger from Clemson University at the finish line. We (the race volunteer coordinator arranged it, I just escorted him around) had him participate at the mile fun run and the 5k on Saturday night, and then he hung out and cheered all the runners on at the aid station I was managing. My local alumni group runs an aid station for this race.  This was my 2nd year doing the station with the boys, and we absolutely love it.  I don’t get to see many of the runners during the first loop of the course, as there are about 3000 runners that pass the aid station at mile 2. And they pass the station ALL AT ONCE. I got to spend more time cheering on runners during loop 2 (only 800 full marathon runners), and even got a chance to cheer on my wife and hand her a goodie bag.  If you’ve never been on this side of a marathon, I recommend it.  It was a great experience.

Cape Fear Clemson Club volunteers at marathon aid station

Cape Fear Clemson Club volunteers at marathon aid station

The Tiger supporting runners

The Tiger supporting runners

And now back into training. More running to come, maybe some pool workouts, and I intend to throw in some weights.  Early morning runs will rule the weekdays, and then who knows what time the runs will happen on the weekends.  My wife is rolling into Full IM training after she completed her marathon this past weekend, and the IM training is much more time consuming with swimming, long bike rides, and even some Bricks.  So we will spend time reviewing the calendar every week to coordinate long runs and training schedules.   And with Stat Man playing baseball and Book Worm playing soccer, the schedule coordination will be extremely difficult.  But it will be worth it!

And as long as I get to see faces like this every morning, I’m good with whatever difficult workouts and schedule conflicts we must work through.

Breakfast Buddies.  Love this guy!!

Breakfast Buddies. Love this guy!!

What will you be doing this spring?  Any big races? What is your training schedule like?


Well that was Short Lived!

This is how I feel like the past 2 months have been..grey and dreary...

This is how I feel like the past 2 months have been..grey and dreary…

I’m not sure what everyone else’s weather this Winter has been like, but here in Wilmington, NC, it has been extra cold, wet, grey, somewhat icy, and downright crappy.  It’s been low temps in the lower 30’s to upper 20’s at nights, and highs in the upper 30’s and lower 40’s much more recently than I can remember NC ever having for extended periods of time.  I know, I know, all you northerners laugh at me and think we are big woosies because of the cooler weather we are complaining about.  I lived in Iowa for 7 years, experiencing blizzards, 5 months of snow covered, less than 20 degree temperatures, and sub -20 temperatures.  So yes, I truly understand what cold is. But having been in NC for the past year and half, and having lived in Texas for 2 years prior to NC, I’ve kind of acclimated to warmer weather.  So I get cold easier.

So what do you do when the temperature hits 70?  You spend as much time outside in the daylight hours as you can, even if it is just for one day.  Yesterday was 70+ degrees, and it was GREAT.  We had the STRIDE program at Stat Man’s elementary school yesterday afternoon.  That was a great 1 1/2 hours of fun running 20 3rd to 5th grade boys around.  Then we headed home and immediately raced outside for playtime.  We shot baskets, threw the football, jumped on the trampoline, walked the dog….whatever we could to stretch one warm day into a week.

And tonight the temperatures plummet from the 70’s to the upper 20’s, with forecasted possible sleet and freezing rain.  Friday’s high: 34.    This weather sucks.  That groundhog is a POS.

So I began thinking of warm weather.  I hate the winter cold.   I like the winter season, mainly for the seasons (Christmas) that comes with it, but do not like the cold.  As I’ve said before, I dislike working out in the cold.  I don’t do well getting out of a warm bed to put on tights, layers, hats and gloves and go running in 30 degree weather.  40 degree weather is still a stretch for me.   So, I’m dreaming of warmer weather, but realizing (thanks to my wife for re-emphasizing it) that I need to get back on the exercise routine.  I was swimming at the pool two to three times a week at the local YWCA, but since the YMCA burned down and is not open for swimming, all the YMCA members now swim at the YWCA, and they all go the same time I used to go.  So my 5:30am swim in my own lane, maybe share a lane with one other person, has gone to standing in line outside the locked door at 5:20 behind 10 other people, and then standing on the deck waiting to get a spot in the lane to swim with 3 other people.   Not fun, so I’ve held off exercising.  And as I said, I have not gone running outside…it’s cold.   But since I know I need to begin working out again, I signed up for a half marathon in 8 weeks.  This will motivate me to get outside and begin working out again.  My wife will be doing my training plan, and then I will roll into my marathon training for the B2B Triathlon we are doing together.  If it takes a race to get me going, so be it.

PBC half medal

What have you been up to?  Grey, cold weather got you down?  What motivates you to get out and exercise when it’s sub-cold temperatures outside?