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.   

 

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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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.