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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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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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.

Boy Do My Sox Stink!

14-1. 1 run. That’s all the Red Sox could score against the Blue Jays last night. It’s been a tough year to be a Red Sox fan. Last place, 11 games out of first place in the AL East. Not a good place. And being World Series champions last year, makes it a little rougher.  But hey, being a Red Sox fan has it’s ups and downs.  And I would consider myself a die hard Red Sox fan.  I’ve watched the many disappointments over the years (and I won’t list them here as I don’t want to get backlash from Red Sox Nation for rehashing the pain), and I’ve lost many hours of sleep watching Red Sox victories.

I took my family to Boston this past April. Okay, actually my wife was the reason, as she ran in the Boston Marathon.  I drove us, so that means I took my family to Boston.  We did what true Boston fans do….Red Sox – Yankees game at Fenway Park, dog and a beer at Fenway, beers at the Bleacher Bar, beers at Cask ‘n Flagon, beers at McGreevy’s (home of the Dropkick Murphys), blared ‘Tessie’ and ‘Shipping Up to Boston’  songs as loud as possible, bought souvenir baseballs for my boys, bought as many Red Sox hats and shirts and sweatshirts we could find, and just had a great time.  I love Boston, I think it’s a great city.  One of my favorites.

Greatest Stadium on Earth

But I know what it’s like to be a true Red Sox fan, not a bandwagon fan. Not a fan that is only supportive in the winning years. I have spent my time in sorrow watching some of the most painful losses, dumbest trades, epic failures of seasons.  But I keep coming back.   One of my favorite movies is Fever Pitch.  Great movie about Boston and the Red Sox.  They express all the agony Boston fans have been through over the years.  But we keep coming back.  No matter what, we watch and love the Red Sox.  So can be said of me and Clemson sports.  No matter what, I watch, in good and bad.

So, as the summer draws on, and the losses seem to be coming more often than the wins, and I still hope for the Sox to come out with a 20 game win streak and take over 1st place in the AL East, I will continue to watch.   No matter the end result.  I love my Sox.