Two Firsts, a 2nd, and a Big Check!

What a weekend and past few days it has been…

I’ll start with Saturday.  It was the end of the STRIDE season for us.  It ended with the OrthoWilmington 5k for our STRIDE team that I help coach with my wife, Kelli.  10 weeks and 20 practices have gone by since we started this journey with 20 amazing boys in grades 3-5.  Some of them started with little or no running experience at all.  Saturday the majority of them completed their first 5k of their lives, completing a journey that brought joy, tears and lots of sweat.  They did an amazing job completing the race and meeting their goals.  Times didn’t matter this day, it was all about the journey and completing the race.  Statman had never run a race before, other than a 1 miler here and there.  His last 1 mile race was in March, where he pulled out a 6:21.  During the season leading up to this 5k, Statman showed signs of speed and distance, leading us to have no clue what he would do for this race.  We started out at a slow pace, as he was instructed.  During the season, we continuously reminded the kids to “pace themselves”.   Statman did.  Close to a 10 minute pace for mile 1.  He then cranked it up.  We hammered mile 2 and most of mile 3 at about an 8 minute pace.  We hit the final turn to finish the .1, and Statman had nothing left.   27:34 was his time.   What a great run.  He gave it his all and felt very proud of his race.   And he should.  What a great race, and I’m so very proud of him for his effort.  Great work booboo!

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Statman finishing his first 5k (STRIDE boys started 2 minutes later than clock time). What a great first 5k time of 27 + minutes.

Then a few hours later on Saturday afternoon, we had our last soccer game of the season for Bookworm. This was his first year playing soccer.  He was very excited to play when the season started, although he had never played before.  He played in the field for the 1st half of the first game of the season.  He was then placed in goal.   He remained there for the balance of the season.  He had never played soccer before, better yet goalie.  He did an amazing job at goal.  He made some amazing stops.  He had to, his team was outshot about every game 40-5.  He didn’t stop them all, but he did stop a lot of them.  He gave his all to the position and to every game.   Frustrations and tears game, but he overcame and finished strong.   The last game of the season his team won 4-1.  A great performance by him, and they ended on a high note.  He hasn’t decided if he will play soccer again, but I will support whatever he wants to do. He handled the ups and downs with such class and character.   Great job buddy!

Bookworm kicking it out of goal...what a Great Goalie he has been in his first year of soccer.

Bookworm kicking it out of goal…what a Great Goalie he has been in his first year of soccer..

Sunday morning came way to soon (4:00 am alarm clock call), as Kelli and I got her stuff together and headed out to Carolina Beach for her first sprint triathlon.  This was a double sprint, with a swim, run, bike, run and swim again.  She had never done a sprint before, and only 1 other triathlon to date (1/2 Iron distance triathlon), so she was quite nervous.   She had never really swam 2 years ago.  She could enjoy the water, but to define her swimming as with true form, she would argue there was none.   But today, she can swim.  And she can swim well.   She ran into the ocean and completed her first leg of the triathlon with ease.   Well, she made it look easy, whether it actually was or not.  1:27:54 later, she finished her first sprint triathlon.   She finished 1st in her division (Masters Novice Female), and would have placed in other divisions as well.  She overcame some fears and just built confidence in preparation for her EPIC IM in November.  She will rock it just like she has any other challenge that she has taken on.   She is amazing, and I’m so very proud of her for her dedication and work ethic.  Great job babe!!

First on the podium for Masters Novice Female.  Excellent job babe!!

First on the podium for Masters Novice Female. Excellent job babe!!

And today, this morning, at 8:30am, was the topping to the cake.  My wife, the amazing leader and coach there is, presented the coaches of the UNC-Wilmington Track and Field and Cross Country teams, with a check for $7,800, as a donation to help support the UNCW TFCC team and keep them competing.   See, a few months ago, the University decided it was going to cut these programs due to “funding and Title IX” issues.  Not sure what the true motivation was, but this was not acceptable.   A campaign was started by the University team and the public to raise money.  The requirements were set: 1) Raise $250,000 by May 31 to allow the team to compete in 2015-2016; and 2) raise another $800,000 in order to renovate the existing facility and upgrade.   Challenge accepted.   The public went out and began collecting donations and pledges to keep this program from being eliminated.   My wife, being such a lover of running and supporter of everything running, had a  little idea for the Bellamy Elementary Stride boys’ community service project: HELP UNCW SAVE THEIR RUNNING PROGRAMS. With the help of so many people and the support of the school, PTA, teachers, kids, and their parents, this idea grew, and the Bellamy student body were all invited to participate. Two weeks ago at the school, we had a running event to collect donations and pledges. The UNCW coaches and athletes came out to help support the kids, and it was a successful event.  We never knew how much we could raise, and had in our minds maybe $1500-$2000 could be raised.  None of use expected what did happen.  So, this morning, at about 8:40 am, we were able to meet the coaches, and in the presence of the entire Bellamy student body, my wife presented them with a check for $7,800.  Truly amazing!!   She is such a leader, motivator and an all around amazing person.  The University still has a ways to go to meet their immediate goal, and we think they will make it, and today provided that hope that it will and all will be right, at least for now.    

UNCW Coaches with Coach Kelli and myself and their donation check.

UNCW Coaches with Coach Kelli and myself and their donation check.

Members of UNCW Track & Field and Cross Country team, their coach and Kelli and I after the fundraiser run

Members of UNCW Track & Field and Cross Country team, their coach and Kelli and I after the fundraiser run

What did you do this weekend?  What are you planning to do?   If you care to help with this effort, message me for more info.  Lots of big happenings in the next few weeks for us, but for today, we are going to take a rest and enjoy the great day it has been.   

 

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21 to 26.2

We had some fun this past week and weekend.  We, as a family, have been looking for some new things to do at night to keep us busy and not getting bored at home.  We have learned new games (Farkle, Golf), watched movies or new tv shows (Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge), completed puzzles, and have tried to implement a 20-30 minute reading time each night.  But this past week, we taught the kids Blackjack.  We printed out the “rules” to blackjack, broke out the poker chips and started playing.  It was quite fun to see the boys using their minds and following “the rules” of blackjack to win chips. It is educational, as they have to do the math to figure out what they have, and what they need. So we’re teaching them something, right?  I myself did not fair so well, but my youngest, Stat Man, did amazingly well.  He sort of followed the rules of betting, and won lots.  He was cleaning house.  We are debating taking him to Vegas next time we go.  (We did not fair so well at the tables in Vegas).

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As for the rest of the weekend, my wife completed a 19 mile run on Saturday in preparation of her marathon in March.  I did an 8-mile trail run on Sunday morning with the WRRC group, in the rain.  Wasn’t a bad rain, well, not during the run. It was a downpour driving to the state park.  But, we have to get our runs in no matter what.  We watched some football.  What a finish between Seattle and Green Bay.   And way to go Patriots.  Looking forward to seeing the Patriots hoist the trophy again on February 1.

And a question has been proposed to me by my partner in crime (“honey, I have an idea…..”). My wife, RunningBoston&Beyond (Kelli), is registered and training for the 2015 Florida Ironman (after her March Marathon).  As part of her training, it was suggested to her to participate in the Wilmington Beach2Battleship Triathlon, which is an Iron distance triathlon and relay.  She would do the swim and bike portion of the relay for training, and then I would do the marathon portion for the relay.  At first I was hesitant, not sure I wanted to tackle another marathon so soon.  But as of last night, after our conversations of what 2015 will bring, I said what the hell, let’s do it.  We’ll figure out specifics later.

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So, I guess I now have a marathon on my calendar to train for.  What do you do  at night at home to keep things fun around the house and the boredom at bay?  What big activities are you planning for 2015?

Rocked It!!

Just completed my last long run (10+ miles) yesterday for my marathon training. On to full taper with less than 2 weeks from my first full marathon.  Making the final arrangements for the trip to Savannah, GA, as well as planning meals and such for the big event.  I’m actually a little nervous today looking over all the paperwork and thinking about it.  I’ve done two 20 mile runs, but there was no pressure, no race atmosphere, just me and some friends running.   This will be a bigger deal.  But, more to come on that later.

I really want to just give a big shout out and congratulations to my wife, Kelli, who completed an awesome half iron distance triathlon this weekend.  It was her first, but she totally rocked it (and it won’t be her last).  I am so proud of her and what she accomplished, and am anxiously awaiting (no really, anxiously) her next adventure beyond her next marathon.  2015 will probably bring something bigger than what 2014 has brought.

Kelli showing off her well deserved bling.

Kelli showing off her well deserved bling.

So again, congrats to my wife, who rocked it out.   You are awesome.

Marathon Training Update

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Just wanted to drop a quick note letting everyone know of where I’m at in my marathon training (Savannah Rock n Roll), some of my thoughts, my fears and what is yet to come.  I officially started my training on July 6 with a whopping 0 miles.   Then I had a rest day.  What a great start to my training.  But, since then, I’ve been putting down some mileage, keeping to my training.  I haven’t missed a workout, and only adjusted my schedule a little bit to deal with travel and other obligations, including my wife’s workout plan for the B2B Half Ironman Race on October 25, 2014.  Here is a summary of mileage I have run since I started:

July – 90.3 miles

August – 149.1 miles

September – 159.2 miles

And I just finished one of my 2 longest runs, 20 miles, on Sunday.   And the shocking thing about it…it felt good.  I wasn’t really that sore when I finished, and wasn’t that sore when I got up on Monday morning.  Maybe I’m not running fast enough. Maybe I need to push myself harder.  Or maybe I just continue on and enjoy  myself.  I’m sure I’ll be sore when the actual marathon is over.  I will probably get caught up in the atmosphere, the start, the other runners, the adrenaline, and end up going a 9 minute mile pace the first mile.  I sure hope my training will keep me from doing that, as I’ve been training my mind to keep me at my pace, not getting caught up in the runners around me.  It has worked for the most part in all my training runs, as I have done the majority of my long runs (12+ miles) on the weekend, and with a group (Wilmington RoadRunners Club).  This group has runners of every pace…from fast (8 minute/mile +), to my speed (10 to 11 minute/mile pace).  We just do our thing, grouped together accordingly, get lost together, talk, find our way back, and encourage each other.  I never thought I would need running with a group as much as I do now.  I actually enjoy it, and look forward to it on a weekly basis.  I’ve even told my wife, shocking to me better yet her, that I would like to continue my weekend group long runs once my marathon is over.  Crazy, huh?  Especially coming from a guy who still doesn’t really consider himself a “runner”.

So, I am now embarking on my final 5 weeks of training, one last 20 mile long run in a couple of weeks, and then taper.  I look forward to the marathon, and I look forward to it being over so I can get my Sunday morning coffee and newspaper time back, as I’ve missed it so.  And I’ll post again soon what October brings me running.

What have you been training for? What will October bring you?