Thursday, September 30, 2010
Today we had somewhat of a family get together in Mason City. My grandmother, Lila Bang, passed away on Monday and the funeral was today. This is the first time this side of the family had gotten together in over 10 years. I hadn't seen most of this family in about that same amount of time. The picture above is me with all my cousins from this side of the family. It was good to see them but this is probably the last time we will all be together for another 10 years.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Over the weekend Jen got all the paint scraped off of the west wall in the kitchen and the holes filled. On Sunday we went into Cedar Rapids to Menards to get the paint and wainscoting she wanted to put up. This week I'm betting she will have all the wainscoting put up along with having it all painted. I can't believe how much progress she is making so fast, makes me tired thinking about it.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The boys and I made it down to the mall in Iowa City to hang out for a bit. When we were in Scheels Marshall told me he didn't like being in there because there was too much Hawkeye stuff. I laughed and told him that most people didn't know any better that unless you went to Iowa State you were by default a Hawkeye fan. What is the joke, what does Iowa State fans and Iowa fans have in common neither went to the University of Iowa. So far the boys are having a good time we've looked at books, toys, and video games all fun boy things. I think we are going to head out soon and get some ice cream and head home.
You will notice in the picture that Clancey kind of looks a bit ackward tilted to one side with his hand behind his back. Well right at the time I took this picture Clancey decided to announce that he had to take a poop.
Its Saturday so take a guess where we are at, Panchero's. The boys were getting a bit stir crazy at home and Jen wanted to work on the kitchen so the boys and I headed to Cedar Rapids. The plan was to get some lunch and then head out for some geocaching but with the rain we may have to change the plans a bit. Thinking we may head to Iowa City to the big mall and then hit up Coldstone for some ice cream. I guess we will see what happens.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Earlier this week Jen found out she is going to be on the holiday home tour again this year so that has renewed Jen's focus on getting the kitchen done. Tonight she is working on getting the walls scraped and cleaned up in preparation for the bead board and paint. I imagine from here on out she is going to be working on it nearly every night until she is done. I will keep you posted of her progress.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Clancey has been getting prepared for Halloween lately by wearing all of Marshall's old costumes around. For the longest time he said he wanted to be a pizza but now he can't decide between the chicken or puppy costume. For the past week he has worn the chicken costume around but now its the puppy so who knows what it will be next week. I'm sure by Halloween we will have to buy a new costume for him.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Today I took the time to head down to Ames to represent Rockwell Collins at the engineering career fair for the day. I'm really busy at work but figured it was important to go find some new engineers plus it gave me a break from the grind at work. My brother ended up coming to the career fair to represent his company so it was good to see him. Only bad part is I won't get home until 10 tonight, oh well.
Monday, September 20, 2010
This weekend was my first weekend post Ironman so I used all my free time to have some fun with the boys. Between the two days we played lego's, tackle daddy, video games and rode bikes. Marshall said a couple times how happy he was that Ironman was over so now I would have time to play with him. I guess this is why I only do it once every two years.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Last week, when I was at the Ironman, the kids started Sunday school again. Actually Marshall started back to Sunday school and Clancey started Sunday school for the first time. Clancey has been so excited to get to go to school and so far he has been doing good. I worry a bit about him since he started a year early and can be pretty naughty at times. I'm sure, since he likes it so much, he will continue to be good and follow the rules.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Today the boys were getting a little stir crazy in the house being total loons so I took them down to Tipton to check out the toys at Walmart. So far Clancey has been really interested in checking out all the cars. We will see if we leave here without buying any new toys.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Today I had a dentist appointment to get my first cavity filled. I was a bit nervous and even more so when I saw the size of the needle he had to stick in my gums. Thank gosh they put some topical pain killer on first or I would have probably screamed like a baby. Turned out to not be that bad. Just a little nerve wracking to here the drill and wonder if he would go to deep and it would hurt. Turns out it never did and the procedure went alright. Just sucks to make it this far in without a cavity and get one now.
Monday, September 13, 2010
After 9 month of training and countless hours swimming, biking and running I became an Ironman for the second time yesterday. Any day that you start and finish an Ironman is a good day but it was a sufferfest. The swim start was just down right brutle yesterday. It was a full mile of fighting people for what little space was available to swim in, I got kicked and hit more times then I can count, I don't remember the swim being so rough the last time I did it. At about 1.5 miles I got a cramp in my calf that I was able to get out but I was worried the whole rest of the swim. The final turn buoy couldn't come soon enough and when it did it felt damn good. When I finally did exit the water I felt like I was drunk because I was so dizzy. Being in the water for two hours really messes up the inner ear and balance so I sure I was quite the show when I got out of the water.
The bike went great for me this time, I cut an hour and a half off my time from last time. On the first loop of the bike there were no issues what so ever, I was able to attack all the hills, had no cramping issues, and I felt good. At about mile 70 I started to fight some cramping issues in my quads but nothing that prevented me from being able to ride the hills. Last time I had to walk most of the hills on the second lap so it felt damn good to be riding them this time. At mile 80 the back of my neck really started to hurt from being In the aerobars all day and it became torture to be on the bike from then on. I tried and tried to find a comfortable position but it just wasn't happening, I guess being on the bike for 7 hours will do that to you. I sure was nice when I got to the top of the helix and I could hand my bike over to the volunteers.
The run, much like the bike, became the story of two laps. Lap one went well, lap two not so much. On the first lap I was right at 10 minute mile pace and felt like I was going to be able to bring it home in around 5 hours but at mile 12 it all changed. At mile 12 my quads started to cramp up and I started to get blisters on the bottom of my feet and heels and lap two became a sufferfest. There were a couple times that's my feet hurt so bad on the run that I wanted to stop fall to the ground and call I quits. I knew I would never forgive myself it I did that. I then thought about all the pain Jen had to go through when she had both the boys, without any epidural's, and I figured I could suffer through 3 hours to make it to the finish. Ironman is a day about focusing on small little goals all day so I set a goal to make it to the next aid station 13 times and I was able to pull through. I wish I had been able to muster a run for the finish chute but I just couldn't. This time I did live it up in the finish chute and took the time to really enjoy it. I'll post the video that one of my friends captured off line and the video that Jen took.
While I'm complaining about how much I suffered, yesterday was a great day. I started and finished an Ironman and I had great support from my friends and family. I proved to myself that I could do it again. The first time it was ignorance and dumb luck that got me across the finish line. Yesterday it was hard work and determination that got me through. I do plan to do the race again but it will be at least two years. Ironman takes a lot of time to train for and I owe my wife and kids a lot family time. I can't thank my wife and kids enough for supporting me through all of my training over the past 9 months.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
This is Jen reporting.....I've taken over the blog for the next 13 hours! Levi is swimming as I type (I ran back to the hotel to drop off his warm clothes and thought I'd type a proper entry.) This morning Levi was nervous....but like the superhero he is, he channeled it into energy....and boy, he was READY. When all the swimmers were treading water the announcer came over the speaker and yelled "Promise yourself RIGHT NOW....YOU. WILL. BE. AN. IRONMAN. TODAY!!!!!". Gave me chills....and I'm sure Levi did too. If you've never witnessed an event this epic, someday you must. 3,000 athletes, in prime physcial condition, all in one place, with the same goal. The air almost vibrates around them.
SO, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the family and friends that HAVE supported Levi with calls, emails, messages, Facebook posts, etc, etc. EVERY SINGLE ONE has touched his heart. His friends are his family. He loves you all....and so do I.
THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for being there for Levi.
Its race day here in Madison and I'm ready to get this show on the road. 250 days ago I started this adventure and in 3 hours it finally gets started. Being this is my second Ironman I think I'm a bit more anxious then I was for my first one. I'm not naive about what I'm going to have to go through today. The bike is the hardest event and it is the one I'm most worried about. The bike here in Madison is hard and by the end you are pretty uncomfortable your back hurts, your neck hurts and your crotch hurts. Once I'm off the bike I will be pretty happy. I am feeling confident for the race. 3 weeks ago I was up here and swam 2.4 miles and rode 86 miles of the bike course so I know I can do it. With today being race day I'm happy and sad all at the same time. I'm happy it will be done at the end of the day but I'm sad too. Ironman is a long journey that is the focus of nearly everyday so when its over you are bit lost as too what to do with yourself. Today I plan to enjoy every minute of it because it will be two years before I'm back. If you see me out of the course remind me to smile because today is the culmination of a long adventure.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
After 36 weeks of training and hundreds of hours training Ironman Wisconsin is tomorrow. Hard to believe it was two years ago that I finished my first Ironman and here I am ready to attack my second race. All week long my nerves were getting at me but now that I am here and the race is tomorrow I am ready to go. To all those people who have sent me email, texts and Facebook messages wishing me luck thanks I really appreciate it. I would like to especially thank those people who make the trek up here to cheer me on in person. I can't begin to tell you how much seeing a friendly face cheering me on helps me get to that finish line especially when you get beyond 8 hours of racing.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Here I am at the Ironman welcome dinner and really enjoying being around all the other athletes. There are multi-race veterans and nervous rookies all gathered together getting ready to race. It is nice to be an experienced racer, gives you some street credit at this thing. 36 hours until the start and I am ready to rock.
I made up to Madison and am officially checked into Ironman Wisconsin. The lines were pretty long today so it took a good 45 minutes to actually get checked in but that gave me time to swap Ironman war stories with the other people in line. I was able to pick up my tracker as well and I will be posting the link shortly. Being at the race site is great with all the other athletes the energy is really high. Tonight is the athlete welcome dinner and followed by the race meeting. The rest of the day is going to be spent relaxing.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
I decided to wait until tomorrow to head up to Madison to get checked into the race that means today is packing day. I have a check list that I work from but I still worry about forgetting something. The one nice thing about Ironman is you drop your stuff off the day before so if you forget anything you have a full day to get it. If I had to I could drive all the way home and get something. I've started to not sleep very well at night now and when I do sleep all I dream about is Ironman and stuff that can go wrong. I can't wait until Sunday so can get going. Only 3 days away now.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Saturday, September 04, 2010
We're back from our family trip and had a good time. We we're thinking on the way back that this was the first successful trip we've had in the Camaro probably ever. No watching the temperature gauge like a hawk and driving with three feet trying to keep from dieing. We stopped at the park and both Marshall and Clancey had a great time. Now I'm off to the pool for an easy swim and then a short bike, only 8 days until Ironman.
This morning we all loaded in the Camaro and headed to Kalona to Stringtown. For those who don't know Stringtown is a Amish store just outside Kalona that sells a bunch of unique things in bulk. The boys seemed to enjoy the trip in the Camaro a bit more today since I drove a bit more sane and we could keep the windows up. After this I think we are going to grab some lunch and left the kids play in a playground somewhere.
Friday, September 03, 2010
I'm finally home after a full day of travel that started this morning at 9 am. It was good to see the family and be able give some kisses and hugs. Travel went pretty good today except that they managed to lose my luggage. They say that if my luggage doesn't show up by tomorrow at one I need to call another number. I'm betting I will be on the phone tomorrow with American airlines trying to track my lost luggage down. Either way I'm happy to be home and get to sleep in my own bed.
Well I'm sitting on the plane after a long week in Huntsville. The trip turned out to be one of the more worthwhile business trips I've been on in a while. Last night after I had dinner at Ruth Chris Steakhouse I went down and saw the US Space and Rocket Center to check it out. It was closed when I got there so I only got to take pictures of the outside but it was still pretty cool. Here is a picture of a rocket that is outside the museum.
I feel like it has been a pretty long week and I'm excited to get home to see the family and start getting prepared for Ironman in 9 days from now.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
This afternoon we all got to head out to Redstone arsenal to check the fit of the new MFD mock up in the actual aircraft. In all the years I've developed software for the Blackhawk I've only ever got to see the actual aircraft one other time. The army contractor who took us out to the hanger told us that we should jump in the cockpit and take some pictures so of course I took the opportunity. Hopefully the boys think the pictures are cool.