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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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?

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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?

It’s Here!!!!!!

IT'S HERE

The national championship game ended a few weeks ago.  Pitchers and catchers report to spring training starting February 17.  College baseball games begin February 13.  NASCAR has fired back up and the Twin 120’s will be held February 19th followed by the Daytona 500 February 22.   The Masters will begin tournament play on April 9.  NCAA March Madness will begin in late March/early April.

But none of that matters right now.   The 2015-16 college football schedule has been announced!  We now know what our fall will look like, who we will play, what big games will drive us to adjust our vacations, training runs, work meetings, etc.   I would say I’m not that excited, but honestly, I am.  I know it’s way to early, but this is just one of those things I like to think about.   I love college football, so this makes me happy.

3145006And I will partake in the spectatorship of all the other sports I mentioned, and I’ll enjoy them just as I always do.  But yesterday just brought a little bit more brightness to a cold, dreary winter.

What are you looking forward to?  Are you a football fan?  What events in your schedules dictate vacations?

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? 

 

Sports, Reality and Stat Man

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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!

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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?