Monday, June 27, 2011

Good Weekend

The past few days have been really great, Sunday especially.  As I was lying in bed last night I couldn't help but think about how lucky I am to have the family that I do.  I don't just mean my wife and daughters, I also mean my parents and in-laws.  Let me explain.

This past week my two daughters were at my wife's parents, spending time with their grandparents.  This helps my wife and I an in that we don't have to put the girls in summer camp (lot of $$$) and they get to spend a lot of time with their Nanna and Pop-Pop.  Also, it gives my wife and I a chance to recharge our batteries, get some things done around the house, and for me specifically, focus a bit more on training with out feeling guilty about neglecting my kids.  Yeah, my wife and I miss the girls after a few days and from what I understand, the girls miss us, but all in all they have a great time doing things that they wouldn't normally do if they were home with us (e.g. going to the Liberty Science Center, etc.).

So what did that mean for me?  Well, it started on Friday night when I was home alone (my wife had dinner plans and was then going to go stay at her parents for the night).  I got home and went for a stellar bike ride.  It was a little over an hour and I was able to ride on some roads that I had never been on before.  I just felt so good riding outside not feeling like I had to hurry home to take care of something.  After my ride I decided to head over to the pool and get in a swim workout....I almost bailed on it because of the threat of a thunderstorm.  I felt better swimming than I have in a long time and managed to get in 1,700yds....granted they were slow yards, but I did manage to finish them with out any near-drowning episodes.  I guess I still have a little residual swim fitness remaining from IMAZ.

Saturday I was able to sleep in to the gaudy hour of sad is it that 7:15AM is "sleeping late"?  After putzing around for a hour (fedthe dog, ate Po-Tarts, etc.), I headed out for my scheduled one hour run.  THE RUN SUCKED!!!  I don't know what is up with me, but my running lately is horrible.  I was struggling to stay under a 9:00/mile pace.  I was just wiped out; I don't think my bike/swim workout from 12 hours earlier didn't help much either.  I plugged forward and ended up running around 70 minutes (7.8 miles).  After that I had to do some yard work (cut the lawn, finish mulching,etc.), but not before I went into town to get a "real" breakfast, a pork roll, egg & cheese on a plain bagel....HEAVEN!!!

I spend the rest of the morning waiting from my wife and kids to arrive at home.  It was around Noon that my wife called and told me they hadn't left yet and would be a while.  With that news I went to the pool to chill out and sneak in a few casual laps.  It was the first time in about a year that I have been able to solo go to the pool on sunny afternoon and be able to just relax.  I loved it.  I think I headed for home around 4:00PM in hopes of seeing my family.  Unfortunately my wife and kids didn't get home until around dinner time Saturday night.  At least I got to see them for a little bit before bed time.

Sunday was a great day!  I was up and out of the house for a my bike ride by 6:30AM.  I decided to ride down through New Hope/Lambertville and up in to NJ towards Princeton (I didn't quite make it there though).  I didn't ride spectacularly well, but overall the ride was really enjoyable.  I love getting on my bike and riding, even if I am pounding up steep hills with my quads screaming.  I put in around 44 miles in little over 2.5 hours (yeah, I was slow....but I had to walk my bike over the PA/NJ bridge).  Following the run I wanted to try and play soccer, but my lower back was sore and I didn't think it would be wise to run around in the condition I was in.  Plus, I really wanted to spend the time with my girls.

The majority of the day was spent at the pool.  I primarily followed my my oldest daughter around, doing what she wanted me to do with her.  There was a lot of time on the diving board and trying to be the "cool" Dad (I think I succeeded).  Simply sad, we had a great time!  After the pool we headed home for dinner and then some "outside time".  I played with girls for about and hour or so, just throwing a mini-soccer ball as high as I could and watching them try and catch it.  The three of us were laughing the entire time.  It really was just a perfect way to end the day.

So ended the weekend.  This morning I am back at work and the girls are at my parents for the week.  I miss them already, but I know that they will be spending a lot of time at the beach (Jersey shore) and doing things that they don't normally do with my wife and I.  I will get in another good week of training with out guilt, get some more things done around the house (painting the bedrooms), and spend time with my wonderful wife. 


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Father's Day Weekend +

It is Wednesday morning and I am still a bit sore, actually my lower back is killing me.  The past few days have left me feeling not so great, but such is life for a nearly 40-year old man who is holding on tightly to his youth.  Sometimes I fail to realize that I am not longer a 20-something guy who can just go and go and go.  My body has taken a beating over the past 40 years, thanks to soccer, lacrosse, running, biking, tennis, golf, etc.  Every morning that I wake up I am paying the price for it, or so it seems.

Enough of the complaining.  I should be happy to be alive and happy to have had a great Father's Day weekend.  Here is what I did:
  • Saturday - I was up and out of the house at 7:00AM for a mountain bike ride with my friend Trevor.  Our daughters were in the same 2nd Grade class and play on the same soccer team.  I hadn't been "mountain biking" in a long time, primarily because my front shocks are shot (not suspension at all).  Regardless, we headed out and did a ride around Doylestown, trying to find any trail we could to ride on.  It was a lot of fun, cruising around and talking.  It was good to be riding with someone rather than solo as I normally do.  We probably put in about an hour and half of riding before we had to call it quits.  After the ride, I ate some breakfast and then it was out to mulch the yard (it was hot and it sucked). 

    Around 11:30AM I got cleaned up and headed out to a semi-annual coaches soccer game, which was a ton of fun; that is if you don't count the potential Grade 1 concussion I received, thanks to a mis-timed and unsuccessful bicycle kick.  I was definitely seeing stars afterward. 

    After soccer it was back to mulching....again, sucked!  I finished up the day by heading to the pool with my family where I pretty much just say in a chair and watched my girls play in the water.  I was wiped out, just so tired.  Plus, my head still wasn't quite right from the soccer game.
  • Sunday (Father's Day) - I was up early again, this time for a 6:00AM ride with another friend of mine (J.P.).  I know him from our pool and some mutual friends.  I headed out for my first group ride (four of us) and we put in 2.5 hours, heading down to the rived and then up Federal Twist and through NJ.  It was a bitch of a ride, but it was great to be out riding with other guys.

    I had to peel off a bit early from the group because I wanted to play soccer at 9:30AM with some fellow Father's.  I was definitely feeling a bit sore from the ride, but I soldiered on and played for about an hour and a half.  Oh, for the first time ever, I had both of my groin muscles cramp up on me after the game.  It was a bitch trying to get my cleats, socks and shin guards off.  So much fun playing though.

    After the game I headed home for a shower and some time with the family.  My girls gave me my presents (two bathing suits, a pair of plaid shorts and a t-shirt....thank you Laura for helping them pick out the presents for me) and then I took a nap on the couch with my oldest lying on top of me.

    Around 2PM we headed to the pool and I had fun with my girls.  My youngest is finally going underwater again (and swimming), and my oldest is kicking butt on the diving board.  It is so great to see them swimming around in the water, like little fishes they are. 

    We finished up the night with a trip to Dilly's for dinner (met my in-laws there), a nice hamburger & french fries, followed by my youngest left over ice cream.  It was a great Father's Day!
  • Monday - I was invited to play golf as part of a work function out in York, PA.  I was really sore from the weekend; so much so that I had to wear an Icy/Hot pad on my lower back for the entire round.  The first two holes were rough, but then I settled in and ended up shooting a 90 (not bad for my first round of the year).  Golf was followed by a great dinner, where I had calamari for the first time ever in my life (I probably won't have it again).
  • Tuesday - Back to work and then to the pool afterwards for a my longest swim workout in six months.  I put in a very respectable 1,400yds.  I wanted to swim for longer but I needed to get home to my wife who was waiting for me.  No worries, I was just happy to feel good swimming again.
So it is Wednesday and I had planned to run this morning but my lower back was just too tight and I couldn't imagine running with it feeling like that.  Instead I opted to head into the office early and get a jump on the day (I was in Philly by 7:15AM).  I am going to probably head out of the office around 3:30PM to get home and get a run or bike in before my evening swim.  It is a good day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Running Faster, but Not Swimming

It has been a good week.  From a training perspective I have been fitting in as much as I can.  From a "life" perspective the kids are done with school and my wife is feeling good.  From a work perspective I am close to writing a few sizable accounts which should mean some cha-ching for me.  So if all of those things are good then as a whole I must be doing well also, right?  Right!

Let me delve briefly into the training aspect of my is a quick recap of the past week or so:
  • Friday - 45 min trainer ride
  • Saturday - One hour run, pretty easy and slow going, but there were some solid hills involved.
  • Sunday - Two hour ride, averaged over 18MPH on a pretty hill route.
  • Monday - REST DAY
  • Tuesday - 4 mile run, 8:04/mile pace.  Finally getting a bit faster, not 7:45/mile fast, but getting there.
  • Wednesday - One hour trainer ride, felt pretty good but really wanted to ride outside 
  • Thursday - 4.2 mile run, 8:06/mile pace, the legs are coming back :)
  • Today - TBD, but probably 45 - 60 minute trainer ride unless I can get outside and ride
You'll notice that there is no mention of SWIMMING in the above bullet points.  Alas, it has been difficult getting to the pool as a result of my job and wanting to spend a little bit of time with my family at night (the pool closes at 7PM).  That will change starting this weekend as I will have a little more free time and then next week the pool is open until 9PM.  My goal is to get in the pool every day over the next two weeks in an attempt to get stroke back and a bit of speed if possible.

Other than the above, things are going pretty well.  I think that I might be able to alright at the NJ State Triathlon that is about five weeks away.  I am not going to be anywhere near placing in my age group, but at least I should end up in the top 20% or least I hope I do.  I haven't signed up for any other races just yet because I am not sure what exactly I want to do.  If I am down at my 'rents in August for my birthday, I will do the Born to Tri in Asbury Park, NJ.  Other than those two races I have my eyes on a few others, but I don't know which ones I feel like doing (Riverstock Triathlon, TriRock Gettysburg, etc.). I am thinking about doing a HIM (Pocono Mountain 70.3 or Hunterdon Half) but I don't know if I want to dedicate the time to the training or put out the cash to do them.  Part of me does want to do another HIM, but I don't want it to be so friggin' hilly.  I would really like to do a nice flat HIM...maybe WTC should see about putting on a Jersey Shore 70.3.  I would be all over that.

Time to get some work done and make some money.  Cheers!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Washington, DC

Quick post time to post too many words.  Training has been great over the past week.  I was in Washington, DC for a conference and I was able to get up every morning and go for a solid runs around the monuments and even over to Arlington.  It was awesome...oh, and really friggin' HOT.  Today I am going to get back in the pool and try to get in a bike ride if possible later tonight on the trainer.  Below are pics from my trip.  Cheers!

 Oh my gosh, it is the Washington Monument!

 Yup, there's the Capital Building

 Not sure about this face, I guess I expected to see Obama.

 The Lincoln Memorial...

 ....and there is President Lincoln himself (behind me I mean).

 I was unaware that they were renovating the Reflecting Pool when I was there.  It was bizarre to see it like that.

 Chinatown on the way to dinner at Tengo's

 And of course, I had to swing by Georgetown Cupcakes to get some treats for my little girls back at home.  They love the show DC Cupcakes and were thrilled to get some for dessert when I arrived back at the homestead.

Here is the outside of the shop....the line was only about two or three people deep.  I was told that on the weekends there can be up to an hour wait.  For cupcakes?  Insane!!!