Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Garmin 910xt

Today I finally got my Christmas present that Jen got for me this year. Back in November Jen ordered the new Garmin 910xt for me for Christmas, well as it turns out the watch wasn't actually out yet when she ordered it for me. The watch didn't get released until sometime at the end of January so it took over a month before my preorder got filled. Needless to say I was pretty excited to get my new training watch today and couldn't wait to get it out and use it. For those who aren't familiar with what it is, it is a training watch that can be used to record all kinds of data during my training. It has a GPS, heart rate monitor, accelerometer (for recording swim strokes and distance), Ant+ (for speed, cadence and power) and an altimeter. Basically what this does for me is give me real time data so I know if I'm training properly. Given I have at least 9 more Ironman races to complete before I'm eligible for Kona I'm sure it will get plenty of use. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gatorade Bath

Yesterday morning when I was riding my bike and watching movies on my laptop I managed to spill Gatorade all over in the last 15 minutes of my ride. I shut it off immediately and ran a fan on it all night in hopes it would dry and out and be a alright. Well tonight I turned it on and it fired right up so I thought that maybe I had dodged a bullet but when I went to type my password in I found that my keyboard didn't work. That is when I took it upstairs and started to perform some surgery on it. I took it all the way apart wiped up all the remaining Gatorade in the case and tried to see if I could fix the keyboard. Turns out there was just nothing I could do to fix the keyboard on the laptop. Looks like I'm going to have to get online and get a new one sent to me. They coat about $150 but I guess that is way cheaper then buying a new laptop. Next time I will have to be more careful and not spill sticky Gatorade all over my computer.

Sunday At The VanOort House in

Hard to believe that today is already Sunday, the weekends just seem to fly by anymore. This morning we all kind of slept in and barely managed to get up in time foe Sunday school. In fact we got up so late Marshall was in a bit of a funk when we first headed out the door toward the church. Once we got back though he was better and ready to enjoy the day. I had my heart set on watching the Daytona 500 today but when I turned it on it was raining and from the look of the weather forecast it pretty much looked like it wouldn't be raced anytime soon so I decided to do the next best thing, take a nap. I didn't get to nap too long before the boys came in and wanted to do our Sunday trip to the pool. So I got ready and we headed down for some swimming fun.
When we got to the pool Marshall jumped in and next thing I know I see Clancey swimming by under water. All of a sudden I realized that Clancey can't swim and the and the poor kid was under water cause he can't keep his head above water. I grabbed him immediately and got him above water and he coughed out the water he had swallowed. What happened was last time we went to the pool Clancey had a buoyant vest strapped on him and he could float/swim all around the pool. Well this time he didn't and I think he thought he knew how to swim so he just took off from the side of the wall when he got in, good thing I was there to grab him. Once he got the water coughed up and his vest strapped on he had a good time swimming. Marshall has also been getting pretty good in the water too. By the time swim lessons come around he is going to be a little fish.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter Wonderland

With how mild the winter has been we thought for sure we may escape the rest of the winter without another snow, well it turns out we were wrong. Both the boys got the day off from school but Rockwell never cancels so I had to make the treacherous trip into work. The roads were icy but nothing worse then I've seen before boy I was wrong. I ended up getting stuck on the side of the road for almost an hour at one point during my drive. I was headed up a hill and the cars in front of me stopped for someone who was stuck. Well when it was time for me to start going again my tires just spun and I would not move. Finally the cars behind me for impatient and went around me giving me an opportunity to back up and pull over to the side of the road. I sat there on the side of the road swearing and trying to figure out what to do for about 10 minutes. I couldn't go up the hill because I just spun and I couldn't back down because there was too much traffic. Finally a state patrol officer pulled up to guy ahead of me and got him unstuck by pushing him with his patrol vehicle. When he finally got to me he asked if I wanted a push I told him it would probably break my plastic bumper but I could back down if he could clear the traffic. So he backed down and I backed down and finally when I got to the bottom I was able to get a run and get up the hill. Took me 2 hours to get to work but I made it. I was happy when I came home the roads were cleared up and it wasn't too bad. Made for a long morning.

Family Trip To CR

This afternoon, after I got done with my 4 hour workout this morning, we all piled in the car and headed to Cedar Rapids for a family outing. The plan was to go to lunch and then head over to the movie theater to catch a movie. We decided on Applebee's for lunch which shortly in Marshall started to complain of a stomach ache. Instead of a movie we decided to go shop for some shoes and pants instead. I'm not sure Marshall actually had a stomach ache since, as you can see, he seemed quite enthused about getting new shoes. Oh well, the day was about having fun so this was probably a better choice since he seems to be enjoying himself now. Up next is Old Navy and then maybe the bookstore.

Monday, February 20, 2012

75 Days To Ironman

As of today I'm only 75 days, about 10 weeks, until my next Ironman. My training is really coming together this year and I'm feeling confident in my ability to finish the race in a good time. This is probably the first year that I've really poured the time into the training that is really required to have a good race. I guess to be honest I haven't really spent the time in the pool I need too but the swim isn't all that important to my overall finish time. I swam this weekend for the first time in a long time and my right elbow started to get sore after 35 minutes so I'm probably going to have to minimize my time in the pool this year. I know I can finish the distance especially with a wetsuit on but I do need to swim some just to keep up my swim muscles. I'll probably keep my swimming down to once a week for awhile to see how the elbow does.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Family Day

Once again today we did a family day down at the pool and the boys had a great time. Mema and papa were over so they were able to come over to the pool and see the boys swim. Once we were done at the pool we headed over to Happy Joe's for supper. Can't go wrong with a day of Happy Joe's pizza and and afternoon at the pool.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Clancey And Cy

After a constant lookout for Cy we finally managed to track him down for Clancey and get a picture. He was pretty excited to tell Cy about his pillow pet that he had of him.

At The Game

We finally made it to the game and, after purchasing some foam fingers for the boys, made it too our seats in eager anticipation of the game starting. Only 20 minutes until the game starts and we can start cheering for our Cyclones.

Supper At Hickory Park

Tonight when we got to Ames we headed over to Hickory Park for a great supper. I'm 3 for 3 at having barbeque after my big workouts. I'm thinking I'll have to make this my post Ironman meal this year for both my races.

Killing Some Time

The game doesn't start for a while yet and it was a bit early to eat supper so we headed over to Earl May to check out the fish. Papa plan on replacing his tank of inbred and malformed guppies with some proper tropical fish. The boys are here to help him pick out some appropriate replacements. We can't get them today but next early game papa will come back and buy the the fish they pick out and the guppies will have a new home at the sewer plant. Sorry guppies your being replaced with more beautiful fish.

On The Way To Ames

We are officially on our way to Ames for our big adventure. On the way we decided we had better stop at the DQ to get some lunch. After 4 hours of working out I am freaking starving and figure there is no better thing to do then fill myself up with food that's bad for me ;).

Busy Day

Today is going to be a busy day around the VanOort house. It started for me at 05:30 when I got up to spend 4 hours in the pain cave biking and running. I'm getting surprised by how good these stupid long workouts are going to me lately. I thought for sure the sheer boredom of spending 4 hours on my bike and treadmill in my small and cold workout room would make the workouts unbearable. Working out for 4 hours is tough no matter how you look at it but so far the boredom hasn't really been a factor. I was able to get up, get my workout done and get showered all before 11am, pretty productive morning if I do say so myself.

Jen on the other hand has been spending all morning getting ready for the pizza class she is hosting at 1pm today. It's another fund raiser for the controversial library project and is being taught by her friend Kathy. Sounds like they are going to have a pretty large group of ladies her for the class. What that means for us boys though is we are kicked out of the house. The plan is for the boys, papa and myself to jump in the car and head over to Ames for the woman's basketball game tonight at 7. That means poor papa is pretty much going to spend the whole day driving in the car criss crossing the state of Iowa. We're thinking we will head over right after lunch drive over and get an early supper at Hickory Park before the game. Should be a fun day but I'm going to be beat by the time I get home tonight around midnight.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lunch With The Family

Today both of the boys had the day off from school so Jen decided to drive into Cedar Rapids so we could all go out to lunch as a family.  The one thing about living so far away from work is I never really get the opportunity to sneak out during the day and see the family so it was a nice treat for them to come into to see me.  While we were at lunch Jen told me that she is going to be featured in national magazine in the coming months for her sign painting business.  That is on top of being the featured Hawk-eye in the next issue of "Our Iowa" magazine.  It sure is great to see her sign business taking off.  The way things are going this is quickly turning into a full time job for her.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crazy Council Meeting


Last night turned out to be quite an action packed council meeting. Generally you know its going to be a wild meeting when a ton of people show up, and last night was no exception. Just some background for those who aren't actively involved in the politics of Clarence. For about 9 months there has been a group, the library building committee, which I'm actually part of, I'm the one who has only been to 4 out of the 22 meetings, working to get a new library built in the community to replace our current aging and deteriorating library. One would think that this would be a pretty positive project that would have the support of most of the community, well just like anything in a small community this isn't without it's drama.  The current library board, which consists a group of folks who have been on the board for some twenty years, does not agree with the project.  The problem is that this is the voice of the small minority of the community.  The full library building committee, minus the two library board members supports it, as well as the entire council along with a majority of the citizens of Clarence.  Well this dissension lead to a lot of strife between the library board and the building committee, as well as the library director.  Last night all this strife between everyone finally came to a head, the library board president to read the letter I have posted above and ultimately the entire library board resigning effective immediately.

To clear up any misconceptions the letter made multiple references towards an unnamed individual, those references were directed towards me and I'm not afraid that people know it.  To be honest I was the one that pushed for the increased raises 2 out of the last 3 years.  The only reason it wasn't 3 out of the last 3 years was because I was on business travel last year during the budget meeting and wasn't able to push for an increase.  The things our library director accomplished over the course of the past 3 years has far exceeded expectations and where I come from you pay for performance.  If the board was not going to recognize this performance then it was the councils place to recognize the performance. Yes I was also the one that "tried to intimidate them by saying the council would override their board's chosen recommendation".  What I told them wasn't intimidation, it was a statement of fact. As a council member who was part of the building committee I was going to bring forth the recommendations of that committee, if the library board chose to bring forth a recommendation that didn't align it was their prerogative.  Over the course of my time in the community I've had disagreements with a number of folks that at times have gotten quite heated.  What people need to understand about me is I'm opinionated and I'm not afraid to express this opinion, but to be honest as a sitting councilman this is what should be expected of me.  If this opinion challenges the status quo then so be it, I'm not going to take the path of least resistance just because "that is how it has always been" or its the "easy way".  Understand that my challenging of your ideas is not a reflection of how I feel about you or your group it is how I feel about your ideas.  While it is sad that is had to come to a full board resignation if the board was unequipped to handle tough questions about an unpopular opinion then the resignation may have been for the best.

Fancy Dinner

Here we are enjoying our fancy spaghetti dinner that Jen made for us. Now you may be thinking that a spaghetti dinner doesn't sound real fancy but when you have two little boys you can't get to crazy with supper or they won't eat it. For dessert Jen made us a red velvet cake for dessert which, was not only very festive, but quite good too. Once we got done with that the boys opened the Valentine's that mema and papa sent them. It's pretty funny to watch Clancey open Valentine's because he opens them like they are presents and totally destroys the envelope. All in all of was a great little party and we enjoyed hanging out with each other.

Valentine's Day

Today is that wonderful Hallmark holiday of Valentine's Day. In fact I think of the holiday as a opportunity for men to just get in trouble. Well this year Jen threw me a bone and told me exactly what to get her to make her happy. For the boys she recommended I get them hot wheels but I took it one step further and got them both a DS game. To be honest I just didn't want two more hot wheels around the house to step on. Right now Jen is cooking our wonderful Valentine's dinner for the party we are getting ready to have. Should be fun.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dairy Queen

Finally no trip to the pool is complete without a stop at Dairy Queen in the way home. Today it was a bit chilly to enjoy an ice cream treat after a cold trip to the pool. I tried to talk the boys out of it but it was no use, kids and ice cream go together like pop and pizza no matter what the weather. Both the boys were popcicles when they were done with big smiles in their faces. I'm thinking early to bed tonight for everyone because it has been a long day.

Afternoon At The Pool

After we got done at Wildwood the whole family headed to Tipton to go swim for a bit. It had been awhile since we had been to the pool so the boys were a bit timid at first but they got the hang of it quick. The pool was surprisingly busy for a Sunday afternoon but we managed to find a place to swim. We ended up spending an hour and a half swimming before we just got too cold and tired and had to go. Were thinking we may make it more of a regular thing to go to the pool on Sundays so the boys can get more time in the water and it is just plain fun.

Lunch At Wildwood

After working out for 5 hours I was completely starved at 11:30 when I got done and was ready for a huge lunch. What better way to replace the 5000 calories I burned up then to head to Iowa City and eat a big rack of ribs at Wildwood. I had to twist Jen's arm a bit to convince her to go but I managed it after a short debate. To be fair, Wildwood is a proper barbeque place and has nothing but meat on the menu. The only lettuce type thing they have is cole slaw which is pretty tough to make a full meal out of. When we got there I was a little worried that I had made a bad decision because Clancey was being a bear and Marshall was even being a bit whiny. Well they managed to hold it together and get though the meal but not after a couple stern conversations. It was as good as I remember it and I'm glad we went cause I was starved. Probably going to have to go somewhere Jen wants to go next time, hopefully it isn't the exact opposite place, one that only offer lettuce food. ;)

Break Through Workout

Today my 5 hour workout went awesome. I was up a 5:35, after I slept through my alarm for 5 minutes, and was off to the pain cave for a longest workout of the year. I thought for sure after I couldn't wake up to my alarm meant I was in for a tough workout but it turns out I wasn't. The hardest thing is to get through the first 2 hours, once you get to this point your mind starts to get in ultratraining mode. Surprisingly I got to four hours and still felt pretty good. My legs and crotch were a bit sore but nothing unbeatable and went I got off the bike I was ready to run. To be honest running off the bike actually makes your legs feel better then if you just stop. It helps get the quads stretched back out and loosen your body up in general. Once I got to the last 30 minutes of my run I had a huge smile on my face knowing that I was going to finish my big workout. This workout really gave me the confidence to know my training is coming together for Utah.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Preparations For Five Hours In The Pain Cave

Tomorrow is my first big training day in preparation for Ironman St George so that means I get to spend 5 hours in the pain cave. Tonight I figured it made sense to gather all the stuff I would need for tomorrow so I didn't spend an hour wondering around the house making Gatorade, filling water bottles, tracking down my running shoes, etc. I'm not sure I'm really ready for four hours on my bike but I guess I'll see how it goes. Recently I've found some shows on Netflix that really provide me with the motivation to keep going, shows about special forces. When you watch a bunch if men suffering trying to get into the special forces units it makes you feel like you have someone suffering right along with you and you keep going. Tomorrow the plan is to watch a few episodes of "Making the Cut" and then possibly follow the coverage of Ironman Panama. Hopefully it makes my time a bit more bearable and I can get through all 5 hours. I'll tell you what though, I can't wait until its warm so I can get outside for my rides. After 30 some weeks indoors it is going to be heaven when I can final train outdoors on the weekend for my long rides.

Boy Night

Today after I talked about how we were going to do something fun we ended up just laying around all day watching crappy movies on Netflix. Now don't get me wrong laying around watching crappy movies and sleeping half the day away really makes for a good day. I got plenty of rest for my 6 hour workout tomorrow and the boys were good all day. Tonight Jen got sucked into helping her friend put on a Valentine's day dinner at the cafe so that meant the boys and I were on our own. Well that pretty much always means that we are going to buy our supper. Tonight it was a large Casey's pizza and drinks. Somehow the boys and I managed to eat the whole thing ourselves. In fact I think both of the kids ate as many pieces of pizza as I did. Now its time to throw the kids through the tub and then off to bed. Once there in bed I think I'll lay around some more and watch more crappy Netflix movies, after I get everything ready for my workout tomorrow.

Morning At The VanOort Home

It's Saturday morning at the VanOort and we have kind of just been bumming around. Jen and I slept in until nearly 9 even with the boys up at 6:30 being loud maniacs. During the week we have to drag the boys out of bed at 7am to go to school but it never fails that on weekend the boys are up at the crack of dawn being loud so Jen and I can't get any extra sleep. Oh well I guess that is part if parenthood. Now we are making some breakfast and trying to decide what we want to do today. We thought about going to Des Moines but Jen promised to help her friend at her restaurant today at 4pm so we are going to have to stay local. Maybe we will head to Iowa City and walk around the mall for a bit and get some lunch somewhere. Not sure yet.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lunch With The Wife

Today I took the afternoon off of work so Jen could come to town and we could go to lunch together. One would wonder why I had to take the afternoon off to have lunch with the wife but when you go downtown for lunch it takes a long time. Plus it is nice to not feel rushed when you want to have a nice relaxing lunch with the wife. We went to Zins which is a tapus place. I had been there one other time for a candidate lunch and forgot how good it was. Tapus is more of a girl type food but I do have to say I really enjoyed it. I figured out that I could just order more plates of food to get enough to eat. Jen and I are thinking we are going make going to lunch a weekly thing.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Boys Dancing To Halftime Show

Superbowl Party

Tonight we are having our big superbowl party and as you can see everyone is totally engrossed in the game, as we all stare at our personal screens. To be fair we all look up for the commercials which so far have been the best commercials they have had for years. I should have taken a picture of our food spread. Jen made some taco dip, some smokies and I made a meat and cheese tray. Everyone but me has decided to cheer for the Giants but to be quite honest I really don't care who wins. Two power teams from the Northeast just isn't that exciting for us Midwesterners. If the game gets lame I'll probably head down and ride my bike for awhile.

Weekend Work

Lately it has been crazy busy at work which means working on the weekend. Its been a long time since I've had to work on the weekend but I've got this sneaking suspicion that I'm going to be doing it more in the coming months. There is just so many things to get done and sometimes that just means you have to work during nontraditional hours. I kind of wish that my working on the weekend was being done in a foreign country ;)

Yesterday's Workout

Yesterday morning saw me getting up at 5am so I could get a workout in before I had to head into work. I was supposed to get in a 3 hour ride but having to be at work by 9am I could only get a little over 2 hours in. The ride went better then I thought it would go considering how sore i was when I started. Today I have another 2 hour ride and a short run hopefully it goes well.