Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Off Until January 4th

Just a heads up that I am on vacation for this week and I will not be writing on my blog until probably after January 4th. No time....actually lots of time, just no desire. Peace out!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Fun

Wow, it has been a while since I have put up a resonable post. I hope that I am not too boring recapping the past week and a half. I am going to try and recollect all of the meaningful events that have happened, some of them quite good in my opinion.

First, my running club's winter series kicked off last Sunday which I have been looking forward to. It was a very hilly 5K run in Tyler State Park in Newtown, PA. During my mile warm up, it started to rain pretty steadily, then it started to ice up a bit, then the race director decided to turn the race into an informal run. Basically points would be awarded to everyone who checked in that day. It was kind of a let down, but the conditions on the course were deteriorating pretty rapidly and they didn't want anyone to get hurt slipping on the ice. I ended up running the 3.1 mile course in 23:01 (7:19/mile), a good steady run on a very hilly course.

Immediately following the race I booked down to Lavallette, NJ to my 'rents house to build some shelves for our new TV. It was a good day, I was able to hand with my Dad and do some woodworking with him. We had fun and the shelves came out great.

As for "work" week, it went pretty smoothly. The highlight of the week was when I decided that I was going to get a drum set for my daughters this Christmas. I started looking on Craig's List and found one that looked promising, but the guy selling it was asking for too much. I lent stumbled upon an listing where a guy in West Windsor was just giving one away. I emailed him right away and I am now in possession of a heavily used, but in decent condition 5-piece drum set. It needs all new drum heads and some of the hardware is busted, but considering it is for a 4 1/2 year old and a six year old....and a 38 year old wanna be rocker....it is more than adequate. I don't know if it is a blessing that there is no hi-hat or crash cymbal.

The end of the week was holiday lunches at work which is always a plus because is means getting out of work early, some good food...oh, and the chance to spend some social time with my fellow co-workers.

That brings me to today....and the snow. I awoke this morning to about a foot of snow, and from what I understand, got of pretty light when compared to points just south of us (I know that my 'rents got two feet). I spend an hour shoveling my driveway by myself as my wife and daughters sat inside our warm cozy house, eating a pre-breakfast snack and watching some early morning TV. When I finished up around 9:00AM, I was informed that the girls hadn't eaten yet and that it would be great if I could prepare breakfast....of course.

After breakfast it was time to get dressed for the elements and head out for some sleigh riding at the park down the street from our house. My oldest daugher helped out by pulling the sled while my little one was getting a free ride via me...sitting on my shoulders. We spend about an hour and a half at the park sledding. Actually, the girls did most of the sledding while I was the human chair lift. I would send them down the hill and if they were too tired, I would go down and drag them back up on the sled. I was a bit tired when we got home.

I finished up the night with a nice 3.4 mile run with my out of shape dog.. We had a good time running through the snow and just stretching the legs out a bit. That puts me to where I am now, sitting at my computer pretty tired and hoping I can get to sleep soon.

Here is my past lame week of training (yes, I took a couple days off):

Saturday: 2.74 mile run, 22:57 (8:23/mile) - I ran with my dog, ended up dragging him the last 3/4 mile. Since I had a race coming up the next day I was just looking to stretch a bit.

Sunday: Covered Bridge 5K - 1 mile warm-up, then 5K (actually 3.15 miles), 23:01 (7:19/mile), 174 BPM - I pushed it a bit harder than a normal training run, but not full on race mode. I could have gone faster if I really wanted to but the conditions were a bit slick.

Monday: 4.22 mile run, 32:17 (7:39/mile), 158 BPM - I ran with Bill and Chris. A good day for us all.

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 4.72 mile run, 36:57 (7:49/mile), 154 BPM - I ran with Bill and Chris again, I was really tired. Still managed to do negative splits.

Thursday: Rest, had my groups holiday dinner, no time to train.

Friday: 4.02 mile run, 32:27 (8:04/mile), 160 BPM - I ran at home before going to work. I do not like running in the AM, but it was nice to be done with my run so early in the day.

Saturday: 14.04 mile trainer ride, 45:01 (18.7 MPH), 150 BPM - I opted for the ride on the trainer rather than a snowy run outside. I was glad I did it indoors because they were showing the 2009 Ironman World Championships on NBC. I was psyched!

Sunday: 3.4 mile run (don't have the stats) - I went out with my dog for the sole purpose of just getting a run in and spending some time with Willie. We had fun. I love running outside in the winter, probably when I enjoy running the most.

Oh well, that is it for now. Kind of a short week for me, two days of work and then the rest of the year off, well you know what I mean. I guess I should go upstairs and help my wife wrap Christmas presents now....ahhhhh, NAH!!!

Peace out!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No time

I suck lately at this blogging thing. I haven't posted anything in almost a week. I have been pretty busy building things (shelves for our new TV), picking up things (surprise Christmas present for my girls to be unveiled here soon), and just plain working. I have only run maybe four time since my last post. I haven't gotten on my bike in over a week and the pool has been no existant.

I am pretty much just posting something for the sake of posting. I really need to get some sleep. So hopefully I will recap the past six to seven days here tomorrow. Cheers!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cold & Windy Friday...I love it!!!

It is the end of the week and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home today. I am taking a 10 minute break from building some web pages and writing copy to catch up on my running from the past few days...and consequent lack of biking or swimming.

I must first talk about the change in the weather. The past few days have been crazy. Torrential downpours, snow, freezing temps....all on different days. Today was the first day when the sun is out in full force, but the temps haven't gotten out of the 20s. I am not complaining, I love the cold weather. I feel so much better, so much more comfortable than when it is 90F.

With that said, here is what I have been up to the past few days:

Tuesday: 5.21 mile run, 43:54 (8:25/mile), 152 BPM - This was an easy day...Bill was hurting from a weekend football game. Just as well, I didn't mind going slow, although it felt weird going at such a pace. A good day to talk and laugh with Chris and Bill.

Wednesday: 4.78 mile run, 37:48 (7:54/mile), 156 BPM - The day after the rain and we ran along the creek. It was a roaring rapid, so awesome to look at. The three of us went at a bit better pace today and had a good time.

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: 5.38 mile run, 43:06 (8:01/mile) - I started out strong and feeling good. Then I got to the first hill, then the wind hit me and then I was just struggling to hang on. My time is a bit skewed only because there was a pretty significant hill that encompassed the third mile and I could run no faster than 8:40. Every other mile was under 8:00. I was happy to get home and take a hot shower.

That is it for now....I have to get back to work. I am hoping to get on my bike maybe tonight or tomorrow morning...ah, there she is below, beckoning me to ride her. I still need to find a name for her. All suggestions are being considered.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Wishbone

This post has absolutely nothing to do with triathlon, running, biking, swimming or anything remotely athletic. It has to do with an event that occurred about a week ago at my house that I have to write about.

This year we didn't have Thanksgiving at our house, so in typical Thanksgiving fashion, my wife cooked up a turkey the weekend after the holiday so that we could have turkey sandwiches, basically still have "leftovers". As I was carving up our bird I came across the wishbone, cleaned it off and placed it on the window sill so that it would dry off. I'm not sure how many people do this, but in my house growing up, we always kept the wishbone from the turkey and then once it was dried out enough, my father would have my sister and I each make a wish, a wish that we could tell no one about lest it never come true, then he would have us each grab one end of the wish bone. Finally he would have us pull and break the bone in half (or in some cases it would just shatter if it were too dry). The person with the bigger piece would have their wish granted. After years of doing this I found out that the higher you grab up on your side of the bone, the better chance you would have of winner and thus having your wish come true.

Back to the present....so a few days past and it came time for me to pass this tradition on to my girls. So I explained to my girls how it worked and that no matter what they couldn't tell anyone what there wish was or it wouldn't come true. For about an hour before my wife came home I kept asking them what their wish would be if they won, playing with them in attempt to get them to tell me what their wish was. They were tough to crack and held tight to what their wish was going to be.

At last my wife arrived home from a tough day of work and it was time to have our contest. So each girl grabbed a side of the wishbone and pulled. The battle didn't last long, in fact it was over in only a second or two. My four-year old came out victorious and my six-year old walked away sad and dejected, sobbing about how her wish wouldn't come true. I asked her what her wish was, since she lost it didn't matter if she told me or not. She said that she wished that she could have one of Santa Claus's flying reindeer's. Wow, thank God she didn't win, that would have been an extremely tough wish to fulfill. There really wasn't anything that I could say or do to make her feel better.

It was then that my youngest daughter began to look sad. I asked her what was wrong and she gave no answer, she just sulked. Then my wife asked the same question, this time my daughter said with very sad and pouty lips, "I want to tell someone my wish, but then it won't come true." My wife and I then explained that it would be OK if she told us her wish, that it still might come true. She then told us her wish, "I wish that [my sister] would not be mean to me." My wife and I were dumbfounded. Here was out little four year old daughter who could have wished for anything...a pet kitten or heck a unicorn ora 4' tall Barbie or a giant bowl of cookie dough ice cream. But no, all she wanted was for her older sister to be nice to her. That of everything in the world, that was the greatest thing she could wish for.

Of course we then tried to tell her that her big sister is a great sister and that she isn't mean to her; she refused to believe us and she was still sad. We talked to our oldest daughter and tried to explain to her how much her little sister looks up to her and wants to emulate everything that she does. It went in one ear and out the other. We did our best to try and explain to them both how great it is to have a sister and how they will be the best of friends as they get older (at least we hope they are), but I don't think it worked.

So ended the night of the wishbone. To this day, two weeks later, they still fight as usual and our little one still pleads for her big sister to be nice to her. I guess we learned a very valuable lesson since the night fateful night. That being if you make a wish on a wishbone, you should never, ever tell anyone what you wished for or it won't come true. Or at least that is how my wife and I are interpreting it. ;)

I'll write more tomorrow....very cold and windy outside...should make for perfect running weather tomorrow....or a good day to put an hour in on the trainer. Adios!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Tree, High School Musical and Snow

I have had quite the busy past few days. They were filled with beautiful views, nature, music and lights. Where to start? Well, I suppose at the beginning is as good a place.

First off, my standard lunch time running group has added a new running partner...oh my gosh....IT'S A GIRL! Yes, we are now coed. It really isn't as exciting as it might sound. She went out with Bill and I on Thursday for our 4.65 mile loop. It was all good, got a female perspective on a male using a poof when in the shower as well as if snot-rockets are an appropriate way to clear ones sinuses while running. We went at an easy pace, will be interesting to see how she does when we run with Chris and the pace quickens.

Saturday morning I decided that I was just going to head out for my run early rather than waiting to figure out what we were going to do as a family. So, I threw on my running gear and headed out of the house by 7:50AM. It was nice and cool out side (~40F) and very little wind. I decided to run my new favorite route and it didn't disappoint. The view of our little valley is awesome, the people I passed along the way were friendly, and my pace was spot on. It was a great way to start the day!

It was after my run that the weekend really began. My beautiful wife decided that Saturday was Christmas tree day, so around 10:30AM it was time to rally the troops and hit the trails to find the perfect tree. It didn't take too long to find one...it might not be the biggest, fattest tree, but it is the perfect tree for us. Once home, I got it into the stand and set it up in the family room. The ladies in the house were so excited and bursting at the seams to start decorating...which would have to wait.

Why? Because my wife and I were surprising our girls with tickets to see High School Musical, the play, at our local high school. So at 2PM it was off to see the show, this despite the protests from my oldest daughter who apparently doesn't like surprises and her demands to know where we were going. She stated that if we didn't tell her where we were going, well, then she wasn't going! After a bit of coaxing, she decided to go and was totally shocked when she saw the posters at the school advertising High School Musical. Needless to say, she was very excited once we were in our seats waiting for the show to start.

I will leave out the details of the show and simply say it was an above average high school production. The dancing was pretty good, the kids could sing pretty well and all in all we really enjoyed it. However, the best part of it for my wife and I was just watching our girls watch the show. They were both so enthralled with everything that was going on. They were just so happy to be there, watching these kids sing and dance to the songs that they both know word for word. One of the best parts was after the show when the cast signs autographs and my six year old was in awe of the performers. She was actually so nervous about getting "Troy's" autograph that she abandoned the task and made her way for the door. All in all it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Upon exiting the high school, we were welcomed with about an inch of new snow on the ground. Yes, snow! it made for a bit of a slippery ride home, but more importantly it made for a beautiful night. It made decorating the Christmas tree that night all the more special.

As Saturday was a big day for the ladies of the house, Sunday was going to be my day. First I convinced the family that they should accompany me to the opening of my running clubs Winter Series so that I could pay my annual dues and series fees. It was odd being there and not running....I felt like a misfit. Anyhow, I will definitely be there next Sunday for the opening 5K. From there it was off to Best Buy to purchase our new 46" LCD TV for our family room, with a PlayStation 3. Best Buy was having a deal where if you bought a 46" LCD Sony HDTV and a PS3, they would knock a ton of money off the top, which meant we saved around $800 on the total cost. In essence this would be my wife and my gift(s) to one another this Christmas. Yes, I was extremely excited!!!

After that it was off to the food store with a couple of very unhappy little girls. It was a bit of a struggle to get through the store, there was whining, fighting, hitting, yelling and general displeasure on their part. We managed to get through it and couldn't wait to get home (for multiple reasons). The rest of the day was pretty much spent laying around the house doing nothing. Since I don't have the HDMI cables for the TV yet (yeah, I'm not paying $60 for the cables at Best Buy...try FireFold.com for good, inexpensive cables), I couldn't' hook it up.

The one thing that I did before going to bed was get on the bike trainer and did a 30 minute ride while my wife was on the treadmill. It is so nice to be down there spending that time together. I was definitely happy to have her down there with me will I was pedalling no where. It is nice to be able to look over to my left and she her working her tail off to get in shape and occasionally she her shoot a smile my way.

Past couple workouts:

Thursday: 4.7 mile run, 38:09 (8:07/mile), 151 BPM - Ran with Bill and Maureen, felt like we were going in slow motion, but that was a good thing. I did a nice easy run for a change.
Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 8 mile run, 1:03:43 (7:58/mile), 162 BPM - Ran one of my new favorite routes and just had a good time. Everyone I ran past said good morning and had a smile on their face. I wish every run could be so nice.
Sunday: 8.8 mile ride, 30:00 (17.6 MPH), 125 BPM - Nice easy ride on the trainer in the basement. I got what I was looking for, a nice easy ride, kept the HR down and worked up a sweat.
Today: 4.53 mile run, 35:53 (7:56/mile), 158 BPM - I didn' run too hard, just nice and easy, definitely felt like I could have pushed it a bit.

That is it for now. Getting ready for Sunday's 5K at Tyler State Park and all of the other Winter Series Races.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Everything is Right Again

Today is the first day that I am 100% back to normal. I will spare everyone the details but know that my body is back to working like a well oiled machine. This means that I have gotten back to running again and have had three straight days of solid runs following my five day illness imposed sabatical. I haven't gotten on the bike at all in over a week, but I am hopeful that maybe tonight I can get in a 30 minute spin while I watch either a DVR'd episode of GLEE or Modern Family.

On a totally separate note, I still have yet to join a pool/gym. I had all intentions to sign up on November 1st, but it just didn't happen. Then I was thinking that December 1st would be perfect, setting me up for one year of swim prep leading up to Ironman Arizona. Well, it is December 2nd and I am no where close to joining a pool/gym. With Christmas right around the corner and the cost of membership going to cost me quite a pretty penny, I am not targetting January 1st as the deadline to join one. I have to get in the pool.....that is my weakest point and the spot where I can pick up a decent amount of time in any race that I do.

Tuesday: 4.15 mile run, 32:46 (7:53/mile), 157 BPM - Ran with Bill at lunch and we caught up on Thanksgiving stuff and just ran at a good pace. Started out quick slowed in the middle picked it up a bit at the end.

Today: 4.65 mile run, 36:11 (7:47/mile), 160 BPM - Felt good and the pace would have been faster had I not had a hill for mile 2 (8:23). My legs were a big tight and they are a bit sore right now. I will have to take it easy tomorrow.

That is it for today. I have to get a bunch of work done before heading out. On the way home I have to mail some Christmas presents and then get the girls.