Pool, PR and Inside the Park!

Last Thursday night we had a little league baseball game for Statman.  He plays 9u kid pitch baseball.  He really enjoys it, and is getting better as we practice more and the season continues.  Last season was an epic fail, mainly due to the league, as the talent level was very poor in that league. We decided to switch leagues this year and give it a try, as we heard from numerous sources the talent level was much better.  Well, it is.   A step or two above.  Statman plays on a team with 3 travel ball players, and they are at the top of the league talent.  Statman is average, or above average, but not to their level.  No fault to him, we just don’t practice enough.  We had a game Thursday night.  The team was trailing 10-6 in the bottom of the 5th. Last at bat for the team.  Statman was 3rd to hit this inning.  Batter 1 struck out.  Batter 2 grounded out.  Statman came to the plate, ripped a line shot down the 3rd base line. The ball rolled to the fence, past the leftfielder.  Statman rounded 2nd on his way to third as the left fielder picked up the ball and threw it to towards third.  Statman rounded third (with a HUGE smile on his face) as coach waved him home.  Shortstop took the relay and launched it home, just to the left of homeplate. The catcher reached to make the play, but Statman just touched homeplate before the catcher could make the tag.  Inside the park Home Run!  Statman was hugged by all his teammates.   10-7.  Rally time. Next batter struck out, game over.

homerun-clipart-home_run

Saturday brought a short shakeout run for me prior to my 1/2 marathon on Sunday morning.  Then we headed to the soccer fields as Bookworm had 2 soccer games, about 1 hour apart.  Bookworm played goalie again this game, stopped about 30 of the 35 shots that were fired at him.  Some of the saves could have been put on ESPN Sportscenter Top 10 plays.  Game 1 – Loss 5-0.  Game 2 came about an hour or so later.  Bookworm was put back in goal again.  He asked coach if he could play in the field, but coach said he was doing too well and he needed to stay in goal.  6o minutes and about 45 shots later, the 2nd soccer game ended in a loss, 6-1.  As a comparison, the opponents’ goalies, both games, probably had a combined 10 shots on goal.   Compare that to Bookworms rapid fire assault, with about 40 to 50 shots on him per game.   Can anyone say “Defense”?   One week left of this soccer experience for Bookworm.  We shall reassess his soccer playing days after next week.  He’s done awesome and we’re so very proud of him, just wish it was a different experience.

Sunday morning was my marathon.  I was up at 4:45am to make sure I had my pre-race meal, and get all the jitters out of my stomach before the race.  Good thing I got to the race location with an hour to spare, as the jitters worked them selves out several times.  The race started at 7:30am under sunny skies and cool temperatures.   The course was a double loop course, split in the first 1 to 2 miles of each leg by a 1/3 mile boardwalk through a forest.  Nice and cool.  My goal time was a sub-2 hour 1/2.  I ran this race last year, same route, in 2:05 +/-.  I didn’t train near enough for it last year, as we spent a couple weeks prior to it in Boston and Washington, DC.  I’m not making excuses, I just didn’t run.  Focused on many other things other than running.  I hit the turn-around at about mile 6 feeling really good.  It was still fairly cool out.  I was at about an 8:30 to 8:45 pace.  I didn’t know exactly, as my garmin jumps from 7 minutes to 10:30 in about 10 steps.   I had some times written on my arm to keep pace, and I was ahead of these times.  So I felt pretty good.   I came out of the forest at about mile 7 1/2.  4 miles of asphalt running until the homestretch.  I started to feel my legs getting heavy about mile 10, but knew I was moving pretty good and needed to keep pushing.  I passed one guy running in a kilt (yes, a kilt), at about mile 9, and he said “either I’m slowing down or you’re speeding up”.  My response was a flat “I’m not sure what I’m doing”.   I hit the boardwalk for the last run in the cool and then the long home stretch up the main drive to the finish line.  I came out of the woods and hit a curtain of heat.   I think in that 1/3 mile stretch through the woods the temperature went up 10 degrees.  I came out and it was quite warm.  I wanted to stop running, but knew I couldn’t.  I had a goal, and I had a need to finish this race strong.  I told my coach what I wanted to do, and this was my coach’s first training plan for someone other than herself, so I had to give it my all.   I finished the long stretch to the finish line and was pleased to meet beat my goal time.  Finish time 1:52:26.   I crushed my 1/2 PR by over 12 minutes, on the same course, and even won 1st place in my age group.   I was thrilled.  Thanks to my coach, aka Wife.   There is something to say about small races.

PBC half finish medal

My finisher medal and 1st place age group trophy!

 

We spent the rest of Sunday afternoon working in the yard, doing some yardwork, including mowing, edging, and stick/pine cone clean up.  We also pulled the covers off the pool, put the vacuum in, scrubbed the walls, and cleaned the deck around it.  Getting it ready for summer.   It warmed up to 73, but not enough for Bookworm to jump in.  He tried, but could only make it in about thigh deep.  It looks awfully enticing to jump into, but still too cold.  I didn’t get in last year unless it was above 80.  We had some trees removed in the backyard in April to add about 3 to 4 more hours of sunlight a day on the pool, with the target to get more sunlight = warmer pool = more use.  Well, let me rephrase, more adult use.  The kids can handle the pool at 75 degrees and above.  Wife and I = 85+.   I’m hoping a long week of sun and 80’s will have this pool nice and warm come the end of the week.  Fingers crossed.

pool open

Monday brought our big fundraising event at Statmans’ elementary school.  More to come on that, but you can read about some of it here on my wife’s page.  And a busy week of kid sports, concession stand work, grandparents’ visit, and Mother’s Day!

What do you have planned for this week?  What did you do over the weekend? Any big accomplishments recently you want to talk about?   

 

Advertisements

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.

wow 1

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.

hammerheads

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?  

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.

beach 1_04-03

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.

bos_1200x630

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?

 

Sports, Reality and Stat Man

back-to-reality-L

Wednesday is here.   The holidays are over.   I went back to work on Monday.  The kids went back to school on Monday.  We all resumed our “normal routines” this week.  I’m sure some of you have made new year’s resolutions.  Some of you have already started exercising like mad men, trying to get ALL the miles in now to prepare for that upcoming race in March, or May, or November.  The gyms are full of people lining up to register and begin their resolutions.   And by May, the gyms will be empty again.

I do miss being home on vacation.  I basically spent 2 full weeks at home on vacation.  I worked a couple days  between Christmas and New Years (since I used all my vacation throughout the year and didn’t save it all for December).  But it was fairly slow, so no real stress.  I did start to get bored.  I wasn’t bored with my family, or bored with being at home.  I just didn’t know what to do.   I should have picked up my book “Unbroken” and read more than the “Introduction”.  I didn’t want to start any home projects as I knew I’d be getting back to work on Monday.  My wife said to just sit and relax.  I didn’t think I had a hard time doing that, but I guess I did.  It was rainy out.  So, I watched football.  I tinkered in the garage, played on the internet…watched more football. I tallied the results of our family football pool. Watched some more football.  Drank a few beers, including my Porter homebrew (ps. It’s really good!).  Jumped on the new trampline with the boys. Watched more football.

My family loves football.  Mostly college, but we get behind the NFL teams when it comes to the playoffs. The Carolina Panthers, our local team (well, North Carolina based and I grew up watching them), played Arizona in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.  My 8 (soon to be 9) year old, now to be known as Stat Man, has been collecting football player cards for the past year or so.  He holds them in a stack, carries them around, flips through them, memorizes them, shows them to everyone, wraps up certain players to give as gifts at Christmas based on where that person is from (he wrapped up two Kansas City Chief’s players for his grandparents, as they went to a KC game this year, and they live in Missouri).   He is immersed in football year round, since August 1 when his season started, helping me with my fantasy football draft, watching the scores for me, telling me ALL the stats, watching SportsCenter every Saturday and Sunday morning.  Stat Man corrects me on statistics, players, where they played in college, numbers, etc.   It’s awesome!   Here is what he prepared for the Panthers game on Saturday afternoon:

Playing Card Matchup

Playing Card Matchup

And as the college football season is winding down (one game left, and not really  much interest), and the pros now in the playoffs with the Super Bowl on February 1, I guess we will turn to baseball.  Stat Man will learn all new stats for this season, and we will have really high hopes for the Red Sox.  Pitchers report on Feb 1.

College basketball season is gearing up.  Clemson doesn’t really have a good team, so nothing to follow there, other than the increasing #’s in the L column.  My other favorite team, Kentucky Wildcats, are very good this year and favorites to be cutting down the nets at the end of the year.  I will watch the conference tournaments and the Big Dance, but nothing really in between.  Stat Man will keep me posted I’m sure.

So what are you doing the beginning of this year?  What do you have planned for 2015?  Races? Vacations?  Sporting Events? Concerts?

ASSERTIVE minus the ASS

Well, 2014 is quickly coming to a close. The Holidays are just about over, and what a week it’s been.  A great Christmas with my wife and boys.  We got a new trampoline for the boys, and they’ve already spent hours upon hours of jumping on it.  We ate lots of good food and watched most of our Christmas movies.  I got some great presents from the boys, those really thoughtful ones that I will remember forever.

typawxmas present for dad

Clemson won their bowl game on Monday, and can you say Woodshed!

B6EXLh1CMAA28qE

 

With this being New Year’s Eve, we look back at what 2014 was.  And what a year it has been.   We completed our first full year here in Wilmington, NC.  The boys are doing well in school and sports.  Kelli completed the Boston Marathon and her first triathlon, a 1/2 iron distance event at the Beach2Battleship Triathlon.  We went to a Red Sox – Yankees game at Fenway Park.  I completed my first marathon, the Savannah Rock-n-Roll Marathon.  We started coaching a running group at the Middle School my 12 year old attends, and I’m implementing a new Watch D.O.G.S. program at the elementary school my 8 year old attends.  We attended a Dave Matthews Band concert.  We have been rather busy with all the training, kids sporting events, volunteering events, and just some small family vacations.

It has been a year of firsts, a year of some failures, and a year of some successes.   I’m sure everyone can relate to this, and you have all probably had your own successes and failures this year.  And with it being New Year’s Eve today, we turn our focus towards 2015.  What will it bring?   Will you make resolutions to work out more, eat less chocolate, drink less beer, be more of a community volunteer?  What will it be?

New Year's Resolutions

I have a thought on resolutions.  I have never really ever kept a resolution that I’ve made. I thought that I would, but come March or April, I usually forget what my resolution even was.   I think this year I will take a different approach, more of a goal setting mindset, or as a friend of mine is using, focusing on a keyword for the year.  There are lots of different things I want to do, but don’t want to write the list as a “resolution”.  Maybe resolutions work for some people, but not for me.  I want to enjoy life a little more, spend more time with family enjoying the things that makes us happy (not that we aren’t already happy as a family, just do more without worrying as much with others’ thoughts).  I want to get out of my comfort zone, reach outside of my “box” persay, and do different things.

I will use 2015 to do more things that I usually procrastinate on.  I plan to run more 1/2 marathons.  I plan to complete more projects around the house.  I will turn 40.  I need to communicate more, speak my mind instead of keeping it inside.  So my word is ASSERTIVE.   I will be more assertive at home, at work, in the community, speaking my mind.  I will not be a jerk about things, I’ll keep others thoughts and feelings in my mind when speaking and acting, but I need to spend this year also finding me, doing more for me and finding myself.

So my word is ASSERTIVE  (minus the “ASS”).

What is your word? What are your goals?  What will be your resolutions?

And…It’s Over!

As quick as it came in (6 months ago), the regular season for baseball is over, and the playoffs have started. My dear RED SOX decided to tank it this year, and call it rebuilding, restructuring, injuries, thinning the old folks out, whatever.  They went from 1st (2013 World Series Champions) to last place this year (As you can see I used World Series Champions, in lieu of World Champions, as the MLB only plays in the USA and Canada.  Yes, they have players from all over the world, but I bet there are some European and Asian teams that could beat many of the USA MLB teams).  The Houston Astros, who have been known to be extremely horrible since about forever, had a record just one victory less than the RED SOX.  That’s a tough season.  I’m okay with it, as the SOX did win the World Series last year, and have won three since 2004.  So, I can handle a bad season here and there.  And as the organization is saying, they are primed for youth in the organization and will have a stronger, and more victorious, team next year.  photo (4)

So, I’m pretty much done watching baseball for this year. I will keep in touch with who’s winning the playoff games, and who will be in the World Series.  I’ll probably watch a little here and there just to be able to keep up with the watercooler conversations at work.  But as for watching every pitch, as I tend to do when my RED SOX are playing, that will not happen.   Too much other stuff going on to do that, unless my RED SOX were playing.

So good luck to those teams that remain, and good luck to the fans who have teams still playing into October.   I wish you well on your late nights yelling at the tv, and all the stress that comes with it.  I will be laying in bed most nights sleeping, thinking of March 2015, when Spring Training begins and I can again begin to hope the RED SOX will win the World Series.

And if I could figure out how to move the kids’ spring break from April to March so I could visit sunny Florida for some opening action.  Any suggestions let me know.