And Down the Stretch they Come!

I’m into my final week of 1/2 marathon training. My run is coming up on Sunday, May 3.  I’m not really worried about it, not stressing or anything. I’m just thinking now I wish I had someone to run with, to push me and make sure I make my goal time. I feel like I can do it solo, as I’ve been training at a faster pace than what my plan calls for (+/- 10 to 15 seconds pace per mile faster), so I feel like I can do it. My only small concern now is the mental behind it.  I can easily persuade myself to not do things, cut runs short, etc.  I haven’t done that this training session, nor did I for my marathon. So, I’m pretty sure I won’t have an issue, but with the lonely portions of the course I know are going to be out there, it would be easier running with someone.  Anyways, I’ll let you all know how it goes.

I’ve only got 4 days of running this week, including the 1/2.  I feel like I’m ready, legs strong, I just need to make sure I get a good meal on Saturday night.  Maybe a beer or two.  Worked for me in Savannah.

And then I will take a few days off, recover, and then keep my base miles conditioning going until I start my full marathon training in mid-June.  So, down the stretch I come.  And that is quite fitting considering this weekend, Saturday night actually, is the Kentucky Derby.  Such a great event.

Derby

 

I’ve never been, but I have a childhood friend who goes every year and says it is absolutely an incredible event.  But since I am not there, we will have to simulate it as best possible.  We typically watch the race on tv, make some wagers on which horse is our favorite, and even make a bunch of appetizers sometimes to enjoy while watching, sort of like the Super Bowl, except for the race is only 2 1/2 minutes long.  My wife is a HUGE horse lover, so she enjoys just watching the march out to the track, to see all the pretty horses.  I’ve ridden a horse once, and they all look similar to me, so I bet on odds, not the color and how they look.

 

I’ve also got some yard work to do this weekend, cleaning the pool and getting the cover off and all the filters clean and ready for swimming.  Bookworm has 2 soccer games Saturday, so our day will be spent mainly at the soccer field, but there should be enough daylight to give me a few hours Saturday afternoon to get the pool ready for action.

We spent this past weekend fairly busy.  Friday night was a little league baseball game for Statman, which ended in a 15-4 victory.  He was 1-2 with a single, a strikeout and a walk.  Then Bookwork, Statman and I volunteered through my company for Work on Wilmington.  We assisted spreading gravel on a new fitness trail at Carolina Beach State Park.  This will be a nice path once it is completely finished.

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Bookworm working hard on the new Fitness Trail

 

The rest of the day we spent laying around the house relaxing, as it was overcast and dreary and we were tired from being up early and working hard.  Statman did more running of the trail than working, but he had fun nonetheless.  Saturday night ended with pizza and a movie for the boys before we all went to bed fairly early.  Sunday was work day around the house.  We did some cleaning, picking up, some light laundry, and then went to the Wilmington Hammerheads soccer game later in the afternoon.  It was a good game. The Hammerheads lost, but it was still fun to watch.

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Wilmington Hammerheads vs. Charleston Battery

 

Being that close to semi-professional (USL) soccer was great, and it showed the boys how fast and how good these players really are.  Takes some hard work and lots of practice to get that good.  Wife was in Nashville, TN for the RNR 1/2 marathon and a girls weekend celebrating friends and a future bride’s bachelorette party.  She had a great time, but we are glad she will be home today.  We missed her lots.

What did you do this past weekend?  Any big runs coming up for you?  Did anybody else run in Nashville this past weekend?  

Update from Down South

I’m into my final 2 weeks of training before the 1/2.   Been a good past couple of weeks.   Been tough.  Some very hard speed workouts included in my training plan by my amazing coach Kelli (and she happens to be my wife – she’s amazing at that too).  I have to say, I’m not a fan of 4 x 1 mile repeats at 8 minute mile pace. I hate strongly dislike them. I haven’t really done speedwork before. I usually just start running, and if I pick up the pace to faster than what I start at, I feel satisfied with that.  But, I have a goal for this 1/2, so I’m doing speedwork, as recommended by my coach.   I’m getting it done.  I’ve had some more aches and pains than before, but I’m working through it.  I think I will be well prepared for my run in just under 2 weeks.  I hope it’s a good day.

Tired

As for my workouts, I’ve completed 87 miles in April, and 86 miles in March.  I started this training plan March 9th.  I think I’m ready. I’ve already completed a mock race at race pace, and achieved my goal time. So, as long as I can re-simulate that effort, I will be fine. Only difference is I probably will not have anyone to run with, which I believe helped push me to that faster time.  It will be much harder mentally on me, but I’ll give it a go.

Outside of my running, we’ve been spending most of our time with the boys at their respective sporting events.  Statman is playing baseball.  He has 2 games a week, on weeknights, at either 6 or 7:30.  Bookwork is playing soccer, and he has had a game every Saturday, but 2 practices a week, usually on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  And Bookwork has started attending a church youth group on Wednesday nights.  This keeps us quite busy with our weekly schedules.   I didn’t even mention the STRIDE coaching my wife leads at Statman’s elementary school twice a week, and my wife’s IRONMAN training schedule.  Our calendar is a mess with activities, mainly written in pencil so we can move them easier without covering up the calendar in markouts or whiteout.

A busy calendar.

 

The RED SOX are in full swing.  Currently in 1st place in the AL EAST.   It is way too early to be celebrating anything, as they only have 149 more games to play before the playoffs.  But watching them start the season in first place is good to see.  Clemson football concluded spring practice.  Lots of good reports from camp on how the team will be.  Lots of uncertainty in the defense and the O-line.   Hoping for a healthy summer and a great start to fall camp.   We will be there in Clemson in late May as Statman is attending the Clemson University Dabo Swinney football camp.  That will begin our EPIC summer and fall of 2015.  And there will be more to come in our EPIC-est year, so stay tuned.

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My wife and I watched the Boston Marathon yesterday.  I had to stream it online, as nowhere here in Wilmington actually showed live coverage, so I had to connect the laptop to the tv, and the laptop to an exterior speaker, to be able to watch it comfortably.  And with it being Patriot’s Day, and us Red Sox fans, we were planning on having the PIP on the tv set to the Red Sox game on the MLB Network.   However, since we had to rig up the internet streaming thru the tv, I couldn’t use the PIP feature on the tv.  And the MLB Network opted NOT to show the Red Sox game, so I had to keep tabs of it on my CBS Sportsline app.  And we didn’t have any beers watching either, which would have been nice, but we had to coach the STRIDE group later in the afternoon, so it was just watching. It was fun, good to be home and enjoy the marathon viewing with my wife, even with all the failures I experienced trying to watch multiple things.   Oh well.

I’ve never watched a marathon in its entirety on tv, and since we were in Boston for the marathon last year, it hit home a little more.  It hit home closer to my wife than I, but it makes us both want to return to Boston sooner rather than later.  I’m glad it was a good race to watch.  The American’s did well, but this just wasn’t there year.  Maybe 2016.

And as the athletes from the marathon and all other sports move on to their next adventure, so do we.  We have lots planned for 2015, starting to plan 2016, and possibly further, so stay tuned to this blog, as well as to my wife’s, and enjoy the adventure with us.

What are you doing the rest of 2015?  Any EPIC events planned?  Did you watch the Boston Marathon?

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It’s Opening Day!!!

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

Opening Day for the Red Sox in Fenway Park!  What a great day it is.  Wish I was in Boston to be there and experience it.  I’ve been to Boston several times, the last one being almost a year ago today for the Boston Marathon.  We went to a Red Sox – Yankees game while there.  If you ever go to Boston, you must experience a game at Fenway.   Not only Fenway, but all the atmosphere outside Fenway, including The Bleacher Bar and Cask-N-Flagon.  There are so many places to visit, I have to go back to see those again and all the others I missed.

The Red Sox opened the first week of play with a 4-2 record, taking both series they played.   The last one being a weekend series in the Bronx to play the hated Spankees.  The Red Sox took the first 2, the first one being a 19 inning thriller on Friday night.  The Spankees got the best of the Sox on Sunday night, but that just gives more fuel for the next series they play.  And today is the long awaited Home Opener for the Red Sox!  The journey for October and another World Series is on.  Go SOX!

Are you EXCITED for Opening Day?  What do you look forward to every year?  Do you have a favorite place to visit?  

 

Halfway to the Plantation

I’m into my 5th week of training, I have just over 3 weeks left until my 1/2 marathon.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks. with last week being spring break for the boys, and the Easter Holiday.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and was able to spend some quality time with family and friends.  I had to work last week for during the boys’ spring break, but I was able to get Friday off for company holiday.  We spent the day at the beach, with the boys and some of their friends.  It was a good time. I haven’t been to the beach in several months, so it was really nice to get back to it.

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Relaxing at the beach during the holiday….wife and pup in the distance.

As for the running, well my wife and I went to a local WRRC Thursday night Pub Run, and rocked out a short 3.8 mile run.  I thought we were cruising along on the run at a good sub-9 pace.  Well, we were, 8:07 average for the 3.8.  Wow!  I wasn’t expecting that.  It did help that there was a group that run 1/2 the run just in front of us, and with the competitive nature my wife and I both have, we opted to make it a goal to pass them and make sure they didn’t pass us back.  They didn’t.  The last mile was the fastest paced mile.  Got my tempo run in!  And thanks for pushing me Kelli.

We spent the rest of the weekend goofing off with the kids, doing games and chores around the house and such.  I had a few runs over the weekend, the last one being a 12 miler set for Sunday morning.  The WRRC Sunday morning group that I normally run with was very limited to people, probably due to the Easter holiday.  Those that did show up usually averaged an 8 minute mile or faster pace.  So, I knew I was in for it.  We did a 3 mile warm up at an 8:30 pace, if that says anything.   And then we headed out for a 10 miler.  My schedule only called for a 12 miler, at a conversation pace.  We were averaging 8:30 for approximately the entire 10 miles. I ran with a multi-Boston marathoner, and he is going back in 2 weeks.  He is aiming at a 3:35:00 marathon time, and this 8:30 pace we were cruising at was a “slow” run for him.  Not for me. Conversation from me was limited.  Him, not so much.  But it was very good, made the miles tick away faster.  I finished my Sunday run at 13.1 miles, at a time of 1:57:20.  Well, let’s hope I can do that at the PBC 1/2 Marathon in a few weeks, and I’ll be very happy.

We turn now into this week’s schedule.  Boys are back in school.  Training is kicking into higher gear for myself and my wife.  And the boys’ sports schedules are really firing up as well.  Baseball games, home run derby’s, soccer games, tournaments, and make-up soccer games have filled just about every night of this week up.  That’s good though, keeps us moving and from getting into any trouble.  StatMan had a baseball scrimmage Tuesday night, and a homerun derby Thursday night.  Then StatMan has opening ceremonies for baseball and an opening weekend tournament on Saturday/Sunday.  Bookworm had soccer practice Tuesday night, soccer practice Thursday night, church youth group Wednesday night, and then soccer games on Friday night and Saturday morning.  Throw in 2 longer runs for me on Saturday and Sunday, and my wife has some running, biking and more running to do, and it’s a full weekend.

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And baseball has moved into the regular season.  My RED SOX opened up the season with a great game against the Phillies on Monday afternoon.  I’m hoping for a strong season, although there is a weakness in the pitching rotation that I think might really hurt the SOX in the long run.  We shall see. Only 160 more games to go until playoffs.  And with baseball season comes an acceptable reason to lay on the couch and rest our weary legs from lots of training and running around with the boys, and watching some games (plus it helps that my wife asked me to “teach” her all about the SOX and baseball and watch more games this year).  BONUS!!

What does your spring bring?   What are your goals?  Any other RED SOX fans out there?