Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kinda Of Busy Sunday

This morning Jen and I were assigned to be on cookie committee for church.  For those who may not be familiar at the UCC they have a fellowship time that follows church every Sunday.  What this means is every weekend 3 couples are assigned to handle it.  That means that you have to make a few dozen treats, get to church early to get it setup and then stay after to clean it all up.  Every other time we've had cookie committee I've managed to find something else to do but this weekend I had no excuse to miss out which meant I had to do it for the first time in 8 years.  In the end it wasn't that bad to do, we had plenty of help and there weren't a whole lot of people in church today so we got done pretty early. 

Just a few minutes after we got home from church mema and papa showed up.  They called Jen the other day to tell her that they were missing the boys and wanted to come over to see them.  It was fine with us because the boys really like seeing them and it gives Jen and I a chance to have a bit of free time on the weekend.  Jen is, of course, using her free time to clean the porch while I'm using my free time to watch the Ryder cup on TV and go for a light swim and run this afternoon.  As an Ironman even in the off season you still have to work out more then the average person but that is because we aren't your average people.  ;)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Family Movie Night

After a long day hiking around Makoqueta Caves we are all cuddled into our favorite spots for a family movie night.  I'm toying with the idea riding my bike for a while yet tonight but the longer I sit in my chair the more likely it is that I'm not going to get up.  I guess we will see how I feel later when the movie is over and I'm rested. 

Bluff Lake Catfish Farm

After we got done at Makoqueta Caves we went to Bluff Lake Catfish Farm restaurant for supper.  I had never heard of the place but Jen assured me that it is the restaurant that everyone goes too on Saturday night.  We got there pretty early at 3:45 and there were already a whole bunch of people waiting to eat.  When we went it we found out that the restuarant didn't open until 4:00 and we were already 20th on the waiting list.  On Saturday night the special is all you eat fish and chips which is apparently quite popular.  After we waited around for half hour or so we got in and found out that the place is quite good.  By the time we got in the wait was around 2 hours so it was good that we got there early.  Jen and I eat had the fish special and were quite impressed with it although I'm not I would wait around for 2 hours to eat the fish.  Once we were all filled up the the all you can eat fish we piled in the car to head home.  As you can see the boys didn't make it very long before they were both conked out. 

More Pictures From the Day

Here are some more pictures that I took from our day hiking around the park.  As you can see the boys had a great time exploring all the caves.  :)

Maquoketa Caves

Today with it being a really nice day out we all headed over to Maquoketa Caves for a picnic and a long hike around the park.  It was an absolutely spectacular day so the park was pretty busy but the park is big enough that it really wasn't that big of deal.  For the past couple years the caves had been closed because of the bats having white nose disease but this year the caves were open again.  All you have to do is take a quick course that  makes you aware of the disease and how to stop it from spreading.  Once we got our course out of the way we were off to explore the caves.  We ended up hiking about 2.5 miles and visiting most of the caves before the kids were tired and ready to go.  Well to be precise the kids were getting tired but didn't really want to leave.  That is the way to do it, leave before the kids get crabby and it isn't any fun any more. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Iowa State University Career Fair

Here I am in Ames for the big Iowa State Career Fair. I wasn't planning on coming down but we have some open jobs that need filled and figured it was best to come down myself to find the right person for the job. I also really enjoy coming down to Ames and seeing everything and also taking the opportunity to visit with my old professors and just walking around the campus some. Career fairs are a ton of work, and especially this one because all the engineering students know Rockwell and they all want an opportunity to work at an in state company. It's worth it though because you have so many students to choose from. Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Magic The Gathering

This afternoon while we were out on our boy trip we made a trip to Battlezone Games so I could get Marshall some Magic The Gathering cards.  He's played the game on the Xbox a lot but never played the game with real cards.  When we went into the store the guy behind the counter asked us if we needed any help and I told him that I wanted to get Marshall his first Magic The Gathering cards.  The guy was really nice and gave Marshall a rule book and a couple packs of cards completely free.  I then bought him a Deck Builder box with 275 more cards so he had some to get going with.  When we got home I dug to the very back of the closet to get my old cards out so Marshall and I could play.  It had been a lot of years since I have played but I remembered most of the rules.  Marshall caught onto the game really fast and in fact beat me in the first game we played.  We played a couple more games and before we knew it, it was time for supper and then bed.  As I was shuffling Marshall off to bed he was telling me about all the decks he wanted to build tomorrow after school.  Seems like I know what Marshall will want to do when I get home from work tomorrow.

Intelligent Life Toys

After a stop at Best Buy to get a new controller for me, we went to Battle zone games were the guy gave Marshall a whole bunch of free Magic The Gathering cards and now we are at Intelligent Life Toys. This store is Marshall's dream store because they have a great selection of toys he is into. I'm thinking that at Christmas time we are going to have to come here and pick out a whole bunch of stuff for this kid.

Lunch With The Kids

Here I am at Pancheros with the boys for lunch. I figured that it's been a while since the boys and I got out to do some fun stuff together so we headed out. After this I'm not sure what we will do but I'm thinking Best Buy and then Marshall really wanted to go to the Intelligent Life Toy store. I want to get to the driving range to hit a bucket of balls sometime before we head home too.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tired Kids

After a long day out at the park and hiking over 2 miles we had some pretty tired kids.  In fact you can't see under his Joe Cool glasses but Clancey was actually sleeping.  We figured, especially as tired as Jen and I were, that tonight seemed like a good night to eat supper out.  Both the kids were on the edge of grouchiness so the safest bet was DQ which turned out to be a good choice.  Now that we are home it PJ's, blankets and some TV.

Picnic At The Mill

We made it to Wildcat Den State Park for our family picnic. Besides being a bit chilly out today it is a pretty neat place for a picnic. I didn't realize that the old mill was fully restored and working, can't be many fully functional mills around anymore. Once we are done checking out the old mill we are going to head out on a hike around the park.

Exploring The Park

After we got done at the mill we headed out to the hiking trails to check out the scenery. Turns out that this park is amazingly scenic and we want to come back sometime yet this fall for some family pictures. We are about a mile in and poor Clancey is tired as heck, I'm thinking I may be carrying him back. Good thing I'm an Ironman. ;-)

Side Trip

We ended up having a side trip to Miss Effies on the way to Wildcat Den State Park. Jen has decided that she can't get eggs at the store so we have to come out here to get eggs. I try to tell her that eggs from the store are the same but she doesn't believe me. Oh well its not that far out here.

Family Picnic

After the past couple weekends, two weeks ago Ironman and last weekend me laying around recovering from Sweden, we decided we needed to do something fun as a family today.  After thinking about it for a bit and doing a web search we decided to go on a picnic to Wildcat State Park in South-East Iowa.  We've never been there before but it looked like it has a lot of neat things to see and plenty of hiking trails.  Kind of nice to have a few weekends where there is nothing we have to do and we can do whatever sounds fun. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Family Movie Night

After what seemed like a very long week the whole family all cuddled up in the living room for a family movie night.  Jen made some popcorn the old fashioned way, with real popcorn, a pan, and the range, and we popped in a Harry Potter movie.  As you can see Harley was a huge fan of the popcorn and kept trying to sneak in and steal the boy's cups from them. 

IRONMAN Wisconsin Race Day 2012

Just today one of my friends posted a link to the Ironman Wisconsin 2012 Race Day Video.  As an athlete these are always fun to watch because you get to relive your day and pat yourself on the back a little bit.  Well this year for me I'm extra excited because I actually made it into the video as one of the finishers they featured.  For those who don't want to watch the whole 11:40 of the video if you go to 10:57 of the video you will see me finishing this years race.  It is pretty awesome to see myself finishing the race with epic music playing in the background!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Clancey Throwing A Fit

This morning when we got back from Sunday school we heard the boys in the other room having a bit of a scuffle.  Jen and I wonder into the dining room to find Clancey laying on the table while Marshall and him where battling over a DS game.  I guess Marshall wasn't doing much battling as much as he was trying to prevent Clancey from breaking his DS game.  Well we got the DS game handled but at this point Clancey had falling into complete craziness.  From here we ended up going right into a timeout while Clancey calmed down a bit.  To be honest we went through a stretch where he was having these freakout fits quite regularly but this is the first crazy screaming fit that he has had in a long time.  In fact I can't remember the last time he had a time out.  I guess from time to time he has to act like a 4 year old.  ;)

Update 9/21/2012:
At the request of papa I removed the picture of Clancey laying on the table throwing a fit.  Clancey and papa are just too close for papa to look at a picture of Clancey being so upset everytime he fired my blog up.

Lazy Morning

This morning I'm still recovering from my crazy week last week and we all decided to sleep in a bit and just rest.  I ended up falling asleep in my chair last night again right around 9:30 and slept there until about 11:00 before I got up and went up to bed.  As you can see Harley quite enjoys the morning we sleep in so he can stay warm and cuddled under the covers.  As far as today is concerned I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  I thought about getting out for 9 holes of golf and possibly getting a short 4-5 mile run in but as tired as I'm feeling today I'm not sure I'm going to get out of my chair.  I guess we will see if I start to feel a bit less lethargic this afternoon and decide to get out of my chair and do something active.  Technically I"m still recovering from Ironman so I can take at least the next week off without feeling bad about myself but being I have my next Ironman in 357 days I need to take every opportunity I can to start my preparations ;)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back Home

After nearly 17 hours of traveling yesterday I made it home about 4:30 in the afternoon.  While it is fun to travel from time to time it is pretty tiring.  When you are on travel you never really get a lot of time to go visit places or see anything unless you get in a day early or your flight leaves late in the day.  When you go to Linkoping they only have like 2 flights a day out of the airport to Amsterdam and the only one that gets you home in one day is the 6:00am flight out.  So pretty much when you go to Linkoping you have to get in early to see anything which we didn't.  We had a good productive 2 days of meetings so the trip was worth it but it sure didn't help out my Ironman recovery jumping on a plane less then 24 hours after I finished the race.  This weekend is going to be spent relaxing.  I may go play a round of golf and possibly an easy swim or run other then that a whole bunch of laying around and watching football on TV!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Long Day Of Meetings

Yesterday was a long day of customer meetings followed by a couple hours
working in the hotel with folks from the US. Finally about 8pm we broke up
our meetings so we could head up town to have dinner with our Swedish
customer. The dinner was absolutely spectacular I had a sirloin steak with
some kind of sauce on top. We ended up eating dinner and chatting until
after 10pm before we left. On the way back a few of us decided to head over
to Bishops Arms for a night cap. By the time I got to bed it was nearly 1am
which made for a tough morning but it was worth it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ironman Wisconsin 2012 Finish

Here is my Ironman finisher video that a friend captured for me from the live stream the other night.  He wasn't able to capture them annoucing my name but he didn't manage to capture the video evidence of me finishing my fourth Ironman.  Right now I'm just a short 362 days away from my next Ironman ;)

In Linkoping, Sweden

After a long couple of days between Ironman and then traveling all the way from Madison, Wisconsin to Linkoping, Sweden, I'm finally at my hotel.  Besides sitting around the packed KLM lounge at the Schipol Airport in Amsterdam for about 4 hours and getting a small cat nap in a horribly uncomfortable chair for about an hour my last leg was pretty uneventful.  When we landed here in Sweden it was raining but it is over 70 degrees out right now which I wasn't sure ever happened in Sweden.  I'm not sure I've ever left Cedar Rapids and had it be warmer here when I landed, I guess they do have a summer here too.  I"m tired as heck but know that I have to stay up for a couple more hours so I can get adjusted to the new time zone and not be drowsy for the meetings all day tomorrow.  I'm thinking around 6:30 we will head up town for supper and then come back and hit the sack. 

In Amsterdam

I just landed in Amsterdam and have a 4 hour lay over until I catch my next and final flight to Linkoping, Sweden.  I managed to get a couple hours of sleep on the way over but it wasn't entirely restful sleep.  There's only so comfortable you can get on a plane and there was a lot of turbulence last night that kept waking me up.  I'm not quite an experienced enough traveler to sleep through a good shaking of the plane.  My soreness is starting to subside some from my Ironman just two short days ago and hopefully after a good rest tonight I'll wake up somewhat refreshed tomorrow. 
I did manage to have a small incident with security at the passport check here in Amsterdam.  After I got through my security check I set my bag down and was gathering myself back together.  I decided that would be a good time to take a self portrait, the one pictured above, so I could do a blog entry when I got to the lounge.  Anyways I take the picture and wonder off toward the lounge and all of a sudden I hear someone saying over and over again behind me "Excuse me sir, Excuse me sir".  I figured it wasn't for me and kept walking.  Well it turns that the guy did in fact want to talk to me.  He said I am not allowed to take pictures of a security checkpoint and he needed to see my phone.  I told him that I took a self portrait facing the other way but he wanted to see my pictures anyways.  I said that is fine and got my phone out and showed him that there were in fact no pictures of the security checkpoint and all was good.  He agreed and let me go without any further incident.  Now I know that I need to take all of my pictures of safely away from security to avoid any further confrontations. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

At The Airport

I'm sitting here at the Cedar Rapids airport waiting to board my flight to Minneapolis and then I'm on the way to Amsterdam. I am darn tired and can't wait to get on my international flight so I can get some sleep. While it may not be the best sleep in the world it will be something. The next couple of days are going to be rough as I work to recover from my race while I commute around the world.

Home And Packing For Sweden

24 hours ago I was competing I'm my fifth Ironman and now I'm home packing to head off to Sweden for a week. Hopefully I can get some sleep on the plane tonight because otherwise I'm going to be up until noonish tomorrow central time without any real sleep. No matter what my first real night of restful sleep isn't going to occur until I reach the Scandic hotel in Linkoping tomorrow. Not entirely conducive to Ironman recovery.

Four Time Ironman

Yesterday I finished my fourth Ironman with a new race PR 13:34 and had an absolutely spectacular race.  It all started off with a less then stellar swim 1:47 which is about 2 minutes slower then my swim PR.  The swim like always was pretty brutal and for the first 1000 meters I really was getting the hell kicked out of me.  I always try to start towards the back but it really doesn't help that much because at first pretty much everyone is swimming the same speed.  I didn't get my goggles or anything kicked off but it is a full contact sport for a while until people start to separate and we all finally get some space to swim.  Unlike St. George the water stayed calm the whole swim and I was able to concentrate on swimming as opposed to not drowning.  They switched the swim course up this year so it is a one lap swim instead of a two lap swim.  It made the swim course look a bit longer then is used too but I've done enough of these things at this point that seeing a 2.4 mile swim course isn't daunting like it used to be.  As you can see from my swim result I came out of the water with a pretty big deficit, like always, which meant I would be passing people for the rest of the day.

The bike is traditionally my best event and while I did PR with a 6:46 it was about 15 minutes slower then my goal time of 6:30.  I probably could have made those 15 minutes up had I not stopped so many times.  I guess I can't complain about the bike that much all in all it went pretty good.  Just like always the first lap went really well.  I was able to get into a good rhythm and start ticking off the competitors one by one.  There was a slight wind for the first lap but it wasn't too bad.  The second lap, while I didn't fall apart didn't go as good as I had hoped.  I got to about mile 80 and I started to fit some pretty bad neck pain.  In fact I got off my bike once just to give my neck a chance to rest a bit.  The wind on the second lap had picked up a bit too so it started to become factor as well.  When you have a sore neck it is really hard to stay down in your aerobars but when you ride into the wind you have too or you ride about 2-3 mph slower. 
For the first time ever I was able to ride all the hills without ever getting any cramps in my quads.  In the  past I had gotten to the last 3 big hills and at the top of the first one I felt the distinct feeling in my quads that they are getting ready to cramp.  This time much to my surprise at the top of the first big hill no cramps.  Same thing for the top of the 2nd and 3rd hill as well.  At that point while I was fighting neck pain I started to feel like I could have a good run. 
After mile 80 I was able to suck it up and ride my bike the rest of the way in.  When I got into the windy sections I would tuck up behind somebody and draft, so I could reduce my effort in those sections, and when I had the wind at my back I would try and push a bit harder to make up time.  By the time I saw Monona Terrace I was quite happy to be getting off my bike.

The run turned out to be the best run I've ever had in my life.  I got a new marathon PR with 4:41 which was a 2:20 for the first 13.1 miles and a 2:21 for the second 13.1 miles.  In the past it has always been the story of two laps, my first one doesn't go too bad and then I totally fall apart for the second one and end up walking for of the 13.1 miles.  Yesterday was an entirely different story though, for the first time ever, I ran the entire marathon.  The first 13.1 miles felt really good I settled into a decent pace and just started running.  I would walk some at most of the air stations but never more then a .10 of a mile or so and just kept after it.  At mile 9 I started to feel some blisters forming and started to worry that my second lap was going to be a sufferfest of me trying to slog though 13.1 miles on feet that hurt like hell.  Finally at mile 12 my feet started to really hurt and I did something that I've never done in the past, I took 4 ibuprofen, and what difference it made.  After I picked my special needs bag up at mile 13, drank my Red Bull, I noticed that my feet where hurting as bad any more and the caffeine had given me a nice jolt of energy.  I once again was running at the same pace I ran the first lap and now was really passing a lot of people because most were walking at this point.  For the second lap I was feeling spectacular right up to 8 miles to go when I started to fight cramping in the back of my hamstrings.  The cramping was causing me to walk an extra time per mile but after I was shake the cramps off I was able to get back up to speed and not lose any extra time.  Also right about 8 to go I managed to lose my salt pills which may have helped stop the cramping.  This put me in the position of having to drink chicken broth at every aid station to try and get extra salt in me.  It went like this right up until less then a mile to go when finally my left hamstring had enough and lock up on me, putting me in total peg leg mode.  I ended up walking with a peg leg for about a quarter mile up State Street when it finally released.  Given I was going up hill at this point I wait until I crested it to start running again and to a great finish.  Like always I totally lived it up in the finishers shoot.  I clapped hands and fist pumped and just totally enjoyed the experience of having thousands of people cheering me on.  In the finishers area I was greeted by Rob McKillip an acquaintance from Rockwell who is going to be doing the race for the first time next year and then finally I saw my family who all gave me a big hug.   

All in all yesterday was my best Ironman ever and also my easiest one.  I think my body is finally getting used to ultra-endurance sports and has learned how to handle it better.  There were times I hurt yesterday but I never felt like I was in trouble or feared my ability to finish.  After the swim I was able to pass right around 1000 people, 500 on the bike and 500 on the run.  I remember at one point, as I was climbing the toughest hill on the bike course, the whole course was lined with people.  They were dressed in crazy costumes and just going nuts for us.  I remember thinking to myself that this is why I do this sport.  No other sport can an everyday person participate in a athletic event and have 50,000 people come out to cheer you on.  For one day out of the year you get to feel like a superstar and the feeling it great.  It will never feel again like it did the first time when the distance seemed so daunting and you didn't know if you could do it.  While it may never feel like that again, it still does feel awesome to finish 140.6 miles in a single day and know that you still have it in you!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Ironman Tomorrow

Well here it is bed time and less then 12 hours until the cannon for my fifth Ironman sounds.  On the eve of Ironman my disappointment from Ironman St. George is forefront in my mind.  When I did St. George I had started to treat Ironman a bit more casually then I should have and I paid for that with a big DNF next to my name.  That race also showed me that there is nothing you can do about the weather and you need to be prepared for anything.  Just because the water is swelling to dangerous levels the race will go on and you better be prepared to deal with it.  That day I was prepared to deal with the water but I wasn't prepared for the bike into that wind, I mentally broke and I was disappointed in myself.  Tomorrow no matter how hard it gets I need to keep my mind in the game and focus on what is going right.  I promise myself that I will finish this race tomorrow and I will fully enjoy every minute of race day.  I promise the Ironman gods that I am not taking this race casually and I fully respect the distance!

Gear In Transition

All of my gear is officially in transition and I'm back at my hotel resting for the big race tomorrow.  Today tension is running high for everyone and I'm seeing a lot of people looking quite nervous.  My nerves are starting to subside now that the race is just about here.  I'm always more nervous about getting to the start line then I am about the race.  I've done the race multiple times and know how to get to the finish line.  Gatorade day is never as restful as I want it to be.  By the time you go up to the race site to get everything done and eat lunch it's mid afternoon before you actually get to put your feet up and rest.  Now for the rest of the day the only responsibility I have is to go eat supper and hydrate.  

Ironman Wisconsin 2013 Officially 365 Days Away

I'm officially registered for Ironman Wisconsin 2013! I've just kind of decided that I will keep my slot in this race from now on since it is the most convenient Ironman for me to do. It is only 2.5 hours away from home, it only requires me to take off two days from work and if people want to come watch its really close. After my race tomorrow I'll take a couple weeks off from working out then I'll slowly get back into non structured workouts and officially start working out in late November early December.

Friday, September 07, 2012

The Passing Of The Retrieval Ticket

It's a little known fact of Ironman racing that your athlete packet has two gear retrieval tickets.  The purpose of these tickets is so somebody other then the athlete themselves can get their gear out of transition if the athlete for some reason can't get there.  Jen doesn't like taking the ticket because pretty much the only reason I wouldn't be able to retrieve my gear out of transition would be because I was in the medical tent or the hospital.  I guess to be honest I don't like the idea of the ticket either but I also don't want my gear to get lost just because I had a medical issue so I make her take it.  Let's just hope that she doesn't have to use the ticket because that means my race went just about as bad as it could go!

Gear Picture

It just isn't an Ironman without me talking a picture of my Ironman gear and posting it to the web.  Anyways my Ironman Eve Eve is just about to come to a close and I'll have just one short day until my race.  After I got checked into the race I headed down the hotel to check in but my hotel room wasn't quite ready yet.  Jen and I decided at that point to head up State St. to find some to eat.  Two years ago we ate at this really good Italian restaurant and thought we would go eat lunch there.  Turns out the place was just as good as we remembered it, both of our meal were spectacular.  Once we were done eating my college friends texted me and we met up to walk back to the hotel together.  Once we got there and checked in we spent most of the afternoon laying around, relaxing and me getting nervous.  Finally about 5:30 we met back up with my friends to go to the bar next store to have some supper, a couple of beer and just hang out for a bit.  We had a great time chatting for about an hours and a half and it was nice to actually do something so I could take my mind of the race for a bit.  Tomorrow I'm going to head up to the race site to sign up for next years race, drop my gear in transition, and possibly take a quick swim.  Then tomorrow afternoon my family will get here to cheer me on for the big race on Sunday.

Funny Clancey Story

Yesterday when I was walking back home from the bus stop with the kids I was asking Clancey what candy he wanted me to bring home from Sweden.  At first he was telling me that he wanted black licorice but then went back on that and wasn't sure what he wanted.  He thought about it for a bit and then finally said "Why don't I just come with you".
I said to Clancey "Well I have to work while I'm in Sweden so I'm not sure what you would do all day while I was working"
He quickly responds "Don't they have a chair for me to sit in"
To that I really didn't now how to respond.  He clearly had it figured out and there really was not reason that he couldn't come.  So I did have to break it to him that they wouldn't let him on in the complex but maybe someday I could take him to Sweden with me.  I better be sure to bring him something extra special. 

Ironman Check In

I'm officially checked in to Ironman Wisconsin and ready to race. I think this is the latest I've ever checked into an Ironman race. Normally I'm here a day ahead and sit around to two days doing nothing its kind of nice to not be here so early. Check in went pretty smoothly and now that I have my blue bracelet its getting real. Tonight is the athlete meeting and then I'll spend the night relaxing before Ironman eve tomorrow.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Packing For Ironman

After training almost all year and having the disappointment of failing to finish Ironman St. George, Ironman Wisconsin is only 3 short days away.  Today I left work early so I could get home to get everything packed for my weekend in Madison.  These last few days are always the toughest when it comes to preparing for an Ironman.  They consume so much of your life for the last year and you don't want anything to keep you from starting the race.  I've always personally struggled with tension building in my back and shoulders so I walk around for the last few days smelling of mint from the Bengay that is always caked on me 24 hours a day.  Packing my stuff for Ironman is when it gets real and I really start to focus on my race.  I'm fit, now how to ride the bike course and know how to finish Ironman.  Now it is time to focus on execution and making good decisions raceday so I can see that finish line. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Busy Week To Come

Well my busy Ironman weekend is going to be followed up by a very busy travel week.  This morning when I got up I had an email from one of the program managers I work with that said he had made me a hotel reservation at the Scandic Hotel in Linkoping Sweden for next week.  Well it was news to me that I would be going to Sweden so I waited until I got to work to see what the deal was.  Turns out that our customer wanted to have a Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) next Wednesday and Thursday on site in Linkoping Sweden and the program manager really wanted me to be part of these meetings.  After I got to work I realized that yes indeed I needed to go so my admin went ahead and made my travel plans.  That means the day after Ironman I have to travel from Madison to Clarence grab my bags drive to the Cedar Rapids airport to jump in a plane to head overseas for the rest of the week.  Here is what my next week looks like. 

Thursday - Halfday of work and pack my car for Ironman
Friday - Travel to Madison to get checked into Ironman, Check into my hotel and attend the athlete's meeting
Saturday - Sign up for Ironman Wisconsin 2013, Put my bags in transition, rest for Ironman
Sunday - Up at 5:00am to compete in Ironman Wisconsin, hopefully to bed by midnight
Monday - Up early checkout of hotel, travel to Clarence, pack bags, jump on plane to Sweden
Tuesday - Land in Sweden in the afternoon
Wednesday - TIM Day #1
Thursday - TIM Day #2
Friday - Up 5:00am to travel to Clarence,
Saturday - Wake up in own bed!

As you notice tomorrow night is the last night I will sleep in my own bed until next Saturday.  Going to be a busy week for me.  I"m sure glad I'm flying business class so I can get some rest on the flight to Amsterdam on Monday night and rest after my Ironman. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Ironman Wisconsin 2012

I just posted my Ironman Wisconsin 2012 information page on the Levi's Link section of my blog on the right side of the screen.  I'll keep updating this with new information as I get it so keep checking back as the race gets closer.  On race day this will be the best place to get all of the race links you need to track my progress.

Fun Labor Day

On Sunday the boys ended up staying in the their underwear all day and playing video games so we figured on Labor Day we better find something fun to do. We knew we wanted to go to the pool but didn't know for sure what else we wanted to do then Jen had the idea that we should go play some mini golf. That sound like a great idea so I hit up Google in search of a place to mini golf. I ended up finding a place just south of Cedar Rapids near the airport that seemed to be a neat place. The place was nice but it was hotter then Hades. It really wasn't all that hot yesterday morning but without any breeze and in the beating sun we were all dieing. Poor Clancey had sweat dripping down his face by the end. While it was hot we did have fun but maybe next time we will go when it is a little cooler.
Once we got done at the mini golf we went to grab some lunch and then headed over to the pool just south of my building at Rockwell. Being it was the last day the outdoor pool was open it was pretty busy. For some reason which we never figured out Marshall got in a mood and decided he didn't want to be at the pool so he pretty much sat on the side with a frown. Clancey on the other hand was right in the pool having a grand old time. We ended up playing for a couple hours before it started to sprinkle and we decided to leave. Besides Marshall's gloomy mood at the end of the day we ended up having quite a bit of fun. :-)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

One Week To Ironman

Next weekend at this time I plan to be on the Ironman Wisconsin run course taking on my fifth Iron distance race.  Poor Jen has had to listen to me all day talk about where I will be next week at this time.  When we woke up, we slept in, I told her I should be halfway though the swim.  When we got done with breakfast I was telling her I should be at least 1.5 hours into the bike.  When I got home from golfing this afternoon I should have just been getting off the bike to start the run.  At this time I'm hoping to be close to the second lap of the run and only have less then 3 hours left until I finish and getting ready for the real suffering to begin.

I think I've mentioned this before but this will be the first time anyone from my side of the family has actually come to see me do an Ironman so it is pretty exciting.  Having done Ironman 4 other times I've always been somewhat jealous of the contingent of people all the other athletes have.  Most of the time they all have T-shirts with there athlete's name and number and the families couldn't be prouder of the fact one of their family members is competing in the hardest one day endurance event on the planet.  Well this time for once it's going to be me with the contingent of people cheering me on and supporting me.  Also in addition to the family that is making the trip a couple of my college friends will be doing the race with me so their families will be there cheering me on too.  With all these people coming I kind of feel like there is some added pressure to perform since it will be the first time people actually get to see me do the race.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Last Swim

I headed down to Tipton after the boys and I got back from golfing to do what is likely my last swim before Ironman. I've always been a pretty weak swimmer in comparison to other Ironman athletes and based on today's swim its looking like that hasn't really changed much. I'm probably going to swim right around a 1:45 which will out me about 2500 out 3000 out of the water which is pretty much where I have always swam at Ironman. Tomorrow I'm going to get on my bike trainer for an hour or so Monday will be a 35 minute run and then I'm calling it quits to rest up before my big race next Sunday.

Golfing With The Boys

After the boys and I got done and Best Buy I told them that I wanted to go hit some golf balls.  I was going to originally go to the driving range on highway 13 but decided to stop at Gardner since it was closer.  When I pulled in I noticed there were hardly any cars in the parking lot and I wondered if I would be able to actually get out and play.  When I went inside the club house to ask they told me that there was no one with a scheduled tee time until 3:00pm so I figured why not play a round instead of hitting balls at the range.  The boys like riding around in the cart and golfing far more then watching me hit balls at the range and I like playing real golf rather then hitting balls so it was a win-win.  Besides being a little windy it was a great day for golf.  It was overcast but warm and there was no one on the course behind us pushing us so it couldn't have been any better of a day.  The boys both picked out a pop and we hit the links for 9 holes.  We had a great time together and in fact the boys couldn't decide if getting 2 new DS games or playing golf was better.  :)

Boy Day

The boys and I decided to head over to Cedar Rapids for a boy day. Like every time first thing we did was hit up Panchero's for some lunch, quesidillas and a burrito. Once we were done there we headed over to Best Buy to let the kids check out the video games. I'm feeling like a push over today so if the ask real nice I will probably get them a new game.

Saturday Morning

This morning being I'm in full taper mode I didn't need to get out of bed at the crack of dawn and do a 4-5 hammer fest of the bike.  What that did mean though as I got to be witness to Jen and Harley's morning cuddle session.  To think this dog was hours away from the executioners ax and now he spends his Saturday mornings being cuddled in a warm bed.  Pretty lucky dog if you ask me.

Jen The Roof Inspector

This week after months of waiting, the roofers finally made it too our house to fix our roof.  I think it was last March when the storm came through Clarence and we have been told month after month that they will be coming soon.  In fact two times they gave Jen a date that they were going to show up and then never showed up.  Well Wednesday they showed up bright and early in the morning and started to work.  Roofers are a rough looking bunch of men and I'm sure they lead some hard lives.  In fact just yesterday one of the guys stood outside the kitchen window puked his guts out and then later then day managed to fall off a ladder and break one of the windows.  At one point a couple of them were standing in the yard yelling at each other like they were getting ready to fight.  All that aside they didn't do too bad of work.  There are a few things they need to come back and do but for the most part they did a good job.  It is just nice to have our roof done and not have a huge loan to pay off.