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?   

 

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?

 

Was it SUPER for you?

SuperBowlXLIXLogo

The Super Bowl is over.  The Patriots won!   Was it the outcome you wanted?  Did your team win?  Mine did, and I’m happy about it.  I’m glad it was a good game, not a blowout like last year or other Super Bowl’s in the past that I’ve seen that were over after the first quarter.  Glad to see that.  Statman was keeping track of all his favorite players, the lone Clemson player (Byron Maxwell), and wishing he could stay up to watch the Seahawks win (much to his dismay at breakfast this morning they did not).  Bookworm was half a sleep most of the game (except for when the food was put in front of him).  Bookworm had a busy weekend of sleepovers and playing Minecraft, which wiped him out.

But the real question is: “Was it super for you?”.   Did you have lots of friends over and have a viewing party?  Did you eat a lot of good food?  Drink a lot?  We kept it quite subdued at our house.  Kelli had a 20 mile run on Sunday (not failing to mention the 10 miler on Saturday), and being a school night, we decided not to have a party (much to our disappointment as we love to host a good party!).  We came up with an appetizer list earlier in the week, and made many of them from the list.  They were GOOD (my wife is such an amazing cook)!!  We started with some filo shells filled with bacon, cream cheese, some seasonings, and some other yummy stuff.  They were baked and were incredible.  Kelli can provide the recipe if you want it.  It was much better than the way I describe it.  We then had Chicken Parmesan meatballs, substituting turkey for the chicken, and no parmesan cheese filled middles.   I got this recipe from A Little of This and That, so thank you.  My wife also made a great buffalo chicken dip, with lots of cheese, some taco flavored grilled chicken, salsa, more salsa, and more cheese.  Add tortilla chips, some celery and carrots with ranch, and that was our buffet.  And boy did we ever eat alot.    Bookwork and StatMan enjoyed it themselves, and ate the filo shells before they even hit the table.

As for the commercials, was not very impressed. Some were funny. My favorite being the Snickers commercial with Marsha Brady, and then the poor polar bear not being drafted.  Other than that, I was disappointed and somewhat appalled by a few of them, as some were just utterly wrong.  I know the theme this year was targeting more family oriented ideas, but some of them went way too far.  I’m sure you could agree with those, so no need to re-hash them here.   If you want, feel free, I’ll comment back.

All in all, it was a good night.  We made up some fun games to pick while the game went on to keep it interesting.  We ate lots of food, drank a few beers     shinerand just enjoyed the company of our family.   The boys went to bed after the halftime show, which I must say is one of the better ones I have seen in the past several years.   Kelli and I watched the rest of the game, ate a few buffalo chicken boneless wings…and then called it a night.

So, for me I would say my super bowl viewing party WAS  super for me, as I was with the ones I want to spend my time with.

How was your night?  Was it SUPER?

Starting Week 4…

Here we are in the 4th week of January. What have you done so far this year?  Are you keeping up with your new year’s resolutions?  Are you keeping with those goals?  I have started this year with minimal workouts.  I did start swimming again, not as often as my wife would like, but it’s more than in the past, so it’s a decent start. I do intend to hit the pool tomorrow, and as well as possibly Friday. Depends on scheduling with my wife’s workouts. She has long runs on weekends, so I believe Friday is her one rest day a week.

I have completed a few runs and a few swims so far this year.   I got 2 swims in of 800m the week before last.  Last Sunday I ran an 8 mile trail run with the local running group we are members of, Wilmington Road Runners Club, in the members only Survival Trail Run. It was supposed to be a 4 or 9ish mile trail run through Carolina Beach State Park.  It was rainy, wet and we all got lost at least once. I at least got 8 miles in, and it wasn’t too terribly wet.

WRRC Group before Survival Run

WRRC Group before Survival Run

Tuesday morning was an 800m swim.   Friday was supposed to be an 800m swim, but I got lazy, wanted an extra 1-1/2 hours of sleep, so didn’t get a workout in.  It rained cats and dogs on Friday night/Saturday morning, so I opted out of a workout again.  It’s easy for me to talk myself out of a workout, and I did it again Saturday.  Sunday my wife had a running race with WRRC, the Beethoven 15k, so I hung out with the boys.  We did a group dinner with runner friends on Saturday night, and had some great pizza.  Kelli, myself and Stat Man (Book Worm, my 12-year-old, was at a sleepover with classmates), went to Mellow Mushroom.  Boy was that pizza good.

Stat Mans' pizza from Mellow Mushroom.

Stat Mans’ pizza from Mellow Mushroom.

Sunday was fairly uneventful.  I did some tasks around the house. Stat Man played NCAA 12 on the PS3, winning all 3 games.  I picked up Book Worm and dropped him off for his annual christmas present lunch/shopping trip with his aunt and uncle.  I returned home and then we went out doors and started some destruction.   We have quite a large deck in our backyard, and we don’t like it.  The deck is fine, but it’s starting to deteriorate, too many overgrown trees, railings stink, etc.  It has a handrail around 90% of it, which blocks the view of our pool, trampoline, grass, everything.  And we have some seriously overgrown bushes that surround the deck.  One of the projects I have undertaken is to remove the handrail, remove the bushes, and open up the deck for better visibility into the yard.  Man what a difference it made. The kids had fun destroying the deck rails once removed, and I feel better now that the deck looks cleaner.  Can’t wait to get this all finished and be ready to entertain for our annual summer party.

Newly Destructed Deck

Newly Destructed Deck

We finished the weekend off Sunday night by relaxing on the couch and watching Ocean’s 12.  What a great series of movies.  Ocean’s 12 is not our favorite of the three, but it’s still a good one, and Stat Man and Book Work hadn’t seen it.

Tuna

Tuna relaxing

And now we dive into this week, which has lots going on (running, swimming, Wrightsville Beach marathon volunteer meeting, Clemson Club Alumni Group meeting, KRTN, wife’s coaching meeting, more training, long runs for my wife, and finally the Super Bowl on Sunday.  Our EPIC year is just beginning.

What have you done so far this year?  Are you keeping up with your new year’s resolutions?  Are you keeping with those goals? Any big training runs this week? 

 

A Jacket did that?

Have you ever seen your child just blow their top?  I mean, REALLY blow their top?  There are some tantrums, and meltdowns, and my kids have had them on and off, but we haven’t had a big one in awhile.  Well, today we got it.  I mean, it was a dooozy.

I’ll quickly set the scene:  It’s 17 degrees outside in Wilmington, NC, a location not used to really cold weather ever.  My wife (her story on the matter here) and I told our son, who’s 8 years old, to be known in this story as Volcano, came was preparing his stuff and putting his shoes on for school.  Mom tells Volcano to put on a thicker coat, cause the overshirt that he usually wears isn’t warm enough for 18 degrees outside, and we don’t want him to get cold.   You would have thought she told him to go out and plow the 18″ off the driveway and walk up the mountain to school with both legs tied behind his back.  Volcano erupted.  The coat was too big (according to him). There were quite the hilarious phrases he muttered amongst Niagara Falls tears, a backpack tossed on the floor, a toboggan cap thrown across the room.  Here’s a sample:

“My friends will make fun of me because my coat is too big.”

“I’m never wearing this coat again.”

“It’s so big.”

“Why are you making me do this?”

Mom and I glanced at each other and laughed, which made the Volcano even more angry.  He stated the coat was too big, which I replied “I’m wearing a XXL coat, which fits me the exact same as your coat fits you, and I’ve been wearing it for 6 years, and it’s fine.  Your coat is fine”.   Volcano replied “It isn’t big on you”.  That seemed simple enough, but as my wife and I have such great senses of humor, and are quite the smartasses, wife proceeds to say “I think he just called you fat hunny!”.  To which, Volcano erupted a little more.

erupting_volcano_cartoon_0515-1005-1017-5626_SMU

After 10 long minutes of this, several threats, with the last one being “I will throw you in the car and strap you in myself”, Volcano proceeded to get in the car.

Since it was 18 degrees outside, I had decided to drive him to school so he didn’t have to wait in the cold for the bus (actually, it was so mom and I didn’t have to wait in the cold).  The short 10 minute drive was filled with more waterfall tears and muttered sayings from Volcano:

“Why are you putting me through this torture?”

“You’re going to tell me what to do for the rest of my life.”

“I’ll never get to do anything I want to do.”

“I’m so embarrassed.”

“I wish I could have ridden the bus”.

Of course, I couldn’t leave it alone, and I had to reply that even had he ridden the bus, he was still wearing the jacket….and a few more alligator tears rolled down his face.  We finally got to school, pulled up to the curb and stopped the car.  He shuffled across the backseat, opened the door, said something like “I’m so embarrassed in this coat”, rolled out of the car and huffed his way into the school.  I’m sure he ripped that coat off and shoved it in his bag as soon as he walked in the front door to the school, but at least we got him in there wearing that coat.

Mom and Dad 1 – Volcano 0.

For an even more EPIC read on the story, please check out my wife’s blog here.

 

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.