Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mt Vernon Christmas Festival

Tonight after work I met Jen and the boys in Mt Vernon for the towns Christmas event. It was a free family event throughout the whole downtown district with a whole bunch of different things to do. Out of all the things I think the boys were most excited to see the reindeer and possibly decorate the cookies. In addition to those things we got roast marshmallows, ride a trolley and even see a group of dances perform the nutcracker in a store front window. After we did all of those things we stopped by Alger for some pizza. By the time we were done both the kids were tired and ready for bed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Busy Night

Tonight was the first of what is going to be a lot of weeks of busy Tuesdays. Jen picks the boys up from school gets them ready and heads to Tipton for piano lessons. Then I leave work at 4:30 to head to Tipton to pick up Marshall. I get there about 5:15 we run to subway get a quick bite and are on to Lowden for Basketball Practice while Jen finishes piano lessons for Clancey. Finally at 7pm basketball is over and we head home for shows and bed for the kids and then onto my bike for an hour long ride for me. Hopefully I finally hit the bed about 10 after what is a very long day for everyone.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How We Spent Saturday Afternoon

Today we spend our Saturday afternoon each doing what we enjoyed most.  Well I suppose it could be debatable whether Jen and I spent our time doing what we enjoyed most but the boys and Harley sure did.  I'm thinking that if I was to choose my perfect afternoon would include sitting in my chair eating snacks and playing video games.  Jen I'm not sure what it is she would enjoy most but most likely an afternoon laying on the couch and reading a good book drinking tea.  
Jen has a whole bunch of sign work that she needs to get done so she spent her afternoon working on designs.  She has a goal to get everything done by the first week of December and take the rest of the month off.  

The boys decided that they would play video games all afternoon.  They started out playing there DS's linked together but moved onto the Xbox and then finally graduated to playing Kinect games.  Turns out that Clancey is now the king fighter on Kinect Boxing.  In the three matches I watched Clancey beat Marshall very handily in the first round each time.  

After being stuck at the pet resort for the past few days Harley was in need of some good rest.  The poor dog isn't used to being in a cage for that long and certainly not used to having to nap without having access to a comfy chair or bed.  I'm not sure the dog actually got up all afternoon, expect maybe when Jen pick him up to give him some loving.

Finally I spent my afternoon doing my long weekend ride in my pain cave.  With only 41 weeks until Ironman Wisconsin I have to focus seriously on my training.  Ok, ok 41 weeks is a hell of a long time out from Ironman but right now my focus is on building my bike power and endurance for my 20 week Outseason training that starts in a week.  OutSeason is key because it is the time that you focus solely on gaining speed before you move into the Ironman training for 20 weeks that is about training to go far with your new found power and speed.  

Studying For The Explore Test

Coming up at the end of January Marshall is taking the Explore Test as part of his Belin-Blank work. The Explore Test is a test that they normal administer to 8th grade students to see how they are coming along. Well they also administer the test to super smart elementary kids to see just how gifted they are. When Jen registered him for the test they sent us a sample test for Marshall to study from. Well it turns out that the test has a whole bunch of math on it that Marshall just hasn't been exposed to yet which means I'm having to tutor him on the basics of algebra, geometry and statistics so he has some idea how to tackle these problems come test day. So far he is picking it up pretty quickly and I'm trying not to push too hard. If we keep working at it I'm sure he will be ready come January 26th.

Harley Is Home

After spending a couple days at the pet resort Harley is back home. When we took the poor little dog down the the resort on Wednesday he cried and shook because he knew he was in the car and no good happens when he gets in the car. The place we take him is a really nice place and the owners love him but it just isn't home. No couch to rest on, no bed to sleep in at night and no Jen to cuddle him. Ever since he has been home he has been running around like a psycho, I guess home is all new to him again.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lunch In Colo

Normally Jen and I would go shopping today and leave the kids with Mema and Papa for the day.  It turns out that this year ISU had their last home game of the year today which meant Mema and Papa would be in Ames for the game and not available to babysit.  What that meant is this year we would do something a little different for Black Friday.  What we decided to do was sleep in a little bit and then slowly meander our way home.  On the way Jen looked in the Our Iowa Local Eats book for a place to stop and found this neat place call Niland's Cafe in Colo.  Niland's is a resorts old gas station, restuarant, and motel from the early part of the 1900's and was apparently a big attraction on highway 30.  The place had a lot of pictures and history from the last hundred years and also turned out to have some pretty good food.  We were thinking that someday we should drive down to Ames and stay in the motel for the night as a short weekend get away trip.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Afternoon Nap

In honor of another great thanksgiving tradition I grabbed a spot on the couch and nap the afternoon away. It was hard to nap with everyone around me being loud, while they put up the Christmas tree but I managed. When I woke up, I woke up to the boys putting close to a billion decorations on the Christmas tree. It all worked out for me though, they had a great time decorating the tree and I had a great time sleeping.

Great Lunch

Right now I'm relaxing on the couch in a post Thanksgiving dinner bliss. When Jen and I were headed into town I told I was planning on eating 4 plates of food but my eyes were way bigger then my stomach. I did manage to get two plates eaten and a huge piece of pie but those last two plates of food weren't in me today. On a totally different note, it is over 60 degrees out today so the boys, Jen and mema are out on a walk. I can't remember the last time it was 60 on Thanksgiving day, sure makes for great traveling weather.


After a full morning of making the long trek across the state we made it to mema and papa's for our big Thanksgiving Day lunch. The boys were already here so it was just Jen and I that needed to get up and around this morning. The traffic wasn't too bad on the way over, I'm assuming because most people traveled yesterday. Poor Harley is having to spend the day at the pet resort so he won't be with his family for the holiday, I guess he gets to be with a bunch of his friends though so hopefully it won't be too bad for him. It was a little hard on Jen to have all of her babies gone especially yesterday after when no one but her was at home. I'm sure the first thing we will have to do on Saturday is go get here baby.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jen's New Toy

For the past couple months, ever since her brother came to visit with his new Ipad, Jen has been talking about getting one for herself. Finally the other day when her friend had one she made the decision to get one. Well knowing Jen I knew that she would him and haw about it for awhile before she finally decided to actually buy one. Well today I decided to make it easy on her and buy it for her and surprise her with it. I put it on her desk tonight with a note and she found it shortly after I headed off to a council meeting. She was pretty excited and happy to get it, and to honest I was pretty happy to give it to her. :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ice Cream!

This afternoon, after the kids had been playing video games for the better part of the weekend, I figured we needed to get out and do something. Jen is still feeling kind of sick so the boys and I piled in the car and headed to Mt Vernon for some ice cream at the Dairy Queen. Since it was getting kind of late in the day we didn't do anything else but the ice cream was enough to make the kids happy.

Week 2 Off Season Training Complete

I just got done with my 8 mile run today and am officially done with week 2 "off season" training.  It's been somewhat tough getting back into the swing of training after being off for a couple months.  Right now I'm only training around 6-7 hours a week so the load really isn't that much. With it only being one training session a day it is a bit easier to make sure I get my workout in everyday.  If I'm lazy in the morning I can always get it in at lunch or worst case after the kids go to bed at night.  I am starting to feel my power come back on the bike somewhat.  The first couple rides were pretty hard and for that matter the runs were too but they are both feeling better now.  As of today it's 294 days and 42 weeks until my next Ironman race so there is plenty of training to go.

Short Week

I'm sure I've written this in my blog before but Jen and I always laugh as we are leaving the State Fair that Christmas is right around the corner.  Just like every year this Christmas season is not officially upon us.  This week is a short week for me but is probably going to be a somewhat busy week.  Tomorrow Mema and Papa are coming over to stay the night and watch the kids while Jen and I go to parent teacher conferences for the boys.  Given the kids are both smart as heck and very pleasant children I expect the conferences to go very well.  On Tuesday Mema and Papa are taking the kids with them back to Thor for Thanksgiving giving Jen and I a couple days without kids.  Wednesday I haven't decided yet but I may take the day off so we can do a little Christmas shopping.  Normally we would go on Friday but since Iowa State has their last game that day Mema and Papa will be going to that.  Maybe we could take the kids out to experience a bit of the Black Friday Craziness.  Not sure what the plan is but I"m sure we will figure out something, you always have to do something to welcome the official start of the Christmas season.  This year looks to be a great Christmas year for us.  Jen doesn't have any major events that she has to plan for, she put a order deadline for her signs as December 1st and this could be one of the first years in a long time without any drama. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

More Leaf Raking

Today we spent the afternoon finishing getting the rest of our leaves raked up. It didn't seem like it should take that long but it took us a few hours to get all of those leaf bags filled up. It didn't help that both Jen and I are still feeling kind of sick. Now that we are done with all of that I'm going to head to the pain cave for an hour and a half on my bike.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sick Day

I thought that maybe Jen and I were in the clear and going to avoid this sickness, well today it took us both down. Early last night Jen came down with it and middle of last night I came down with it. Neither of us have been able to eat for the past 24 hours and we spent all day sleeping. I'm hoping this is a 24 hour bug because in have so much work to get done, I'm going to have to work late the rest of the week.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

No Movie Yesterday

Yesterday after we had pizza we had planned on going down to the movie theater in and watching Wreck It Ralph but we weren't too far into eating our pizza when the kids both decided they weren't feeling all that great.  I'm thinking we may have pushed it a little hard considering that both of the kids had the stomach flu just a couple days ago.  We made it home without incident but decided it was probably a good idea to come home because the last thing you need it having a kid throw up in the movie theater and given Marshall's ability to convince himself he is sick sometimes it's pretty likely it may have happened.  It worked out all right because we got home popped a movie on Netflix and then I fell asleep in my chair for an hour or so.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pizza Palace

After my bike ride and got showered the whole family piled in the car and we headed to Mt Vernon for pizza and a movie. The first stop was for pizza at Pizza Palace in downtown. We discovered this place about a year ago and we try to make it here at least a couple times a year. After this we are headed over the movie theater to see Wreck It Ralph.

Great November Day

Hard to believe but today it was nearly 70 degrees out and a good day to get out on my bike for the first time since Ironman. On the way out it felt awesome, I had a 15-20 mph tailwind and I was flying down the road at over 30 mph. Now the way back was a totally different story, that wonderful tail wind became an absolutely brutal headwind and I suffered on the way back barely riding much more the 12 mph on the way in. I guess it's these kind of rides that will prepare me for adverse conditions at Ironman next year. Either way though one can't really complain about a 70 degree day in November. :-)

Sick Kids Feeling Better

It turns out the the flu both of the boys ended up getting was only a 24 hour bug.  Marshall got his Thursday morning and Clancey got his Thursday afternoon right before school let out.  While we kept them home from school yesterday both of the boys were probably in feeling good enough that they could have went.  By this morning you wouldn't even know that they both had a pretty bad stomach bug two days ago.  Now that they are both better we have to decide what we want to do today for something fun to do as a family.  Thinking possibly heading to see Wreck It Ralph and maybe walking around the mall for a bit.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Sick Kid

Today of all days, the day we were planning on going to Hancher to see Shrek, Marshall got sick for the first time this year. The poor kid doesn't just feel crappy he has it coming out of both ends which means there is no way will be able to go. It's a good thing we were keeping it as a surprise to the boys do Marshall doesn't feel bad that he has to miss the show. If nothing else this his first sickness of the year and it came further in the it ever has before.

Sunday, November 04, 2012


Here we are at Target for Clancey to pick out his stuff. For his DS game he picked out Sonic Colors after a little prodding from his brother and since he had a bit of money left on the card he also got some hotwheels to go with them. I have to give hand it to Clancey he wanted to do everything when he was at the store. He took the guy to game, picked it out, and when up to the checkout and paid for it just like a big kid. Now when they get home I probably won't be able to get their noses out of the DS's.

Boy Day

After a hard day working in the lawn yesterday the boys and I headed to CR today on a fun boy day. Clancey had also gotten a gift card for his birthday and he wanted to go pick out a new DS game too. Any good boy trip has to start out with lunch and today we decided to hit up DQ.

Ironman Training Kicking Off

Hard to believe that with 308 days until Ironman Wisconsin training for the race gets officially kicked off tomorrow.  This year I'm planning to do a full 44 week training plan that is broken down into 4 weeks of "Off Season" work, 20 weeks of "Out Season" work, and 20 weeks of focused Ironman training.  The 4 weeks of off season training I start doing tomorrow is once a day training focused on getting myself back into shape to start the "Off Season" training.  "Off Season" training is focused block on getting faster at biking and running before you start the Ironman training which is focused on going far for the actually race.  While I enjoy my off time it feels nice to be back at official training so I have something scheduled to focus on. 

I've also been told recently that there has been some misunderstanding about how far the Ironman actually is so I thought I would put a quick post up to clarify any confusion.  The Ironman consists of the following distances:
* 2.4 mile Swim : 1:30-1:45 of swimming
* 112 mile Bike : 6:30-7:30 of biking
* 26.2 mile Run (full marathon): 4:30-6:00 of running

For me this year at Ironman Wisconsin I did a 1:45 swim, 10 minute T1, 6:45 bike, 10 minute T2, 4:40 run/marathon.  That put me across the finish line in right around 13 hours and 30 minutes.  Broken down a bit further that is nearly 9 hours of working out prior to starting my marathon which I did in a personal record of 4 hours and 40 minutes. 


This year for the first time ever I'm participating in Movember.  For those of you whole don't know what Movember is basically what you do is grow a mustache for the whole month of November to gain awareness about men's health issue's, in particular prostate cancer.  I've never been much of a facial hair grower so I'm not sure that I will be able to actually grow anything that looks better then a piss poor high school type mustache but I guess we will see what it looks like at the end of the month.  I would post a picture now of the first 4 days of growth but to be honest there is absolutely nothing to see at this point. 

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Relaxing After a Hard Day Of Work

Finally after a hard day working in the yard it was time to come inside, warm up a bit, and relax.  Both the boys had cans of pop that they got while they were out trick or treating on Wednesday so they cracked those open.  As a special treat, for a nice crisp Fall day, Jen is making vegetable soup for supper.  Sure makes for a nice way to warm up after a hard day outside. 

Jen and Her Two Babies

While I was raking up all the leaves with the kids, Jen was spending her time trying to get the shed organized so I could get all of the shingles that were left over from our roofing job earlier this year put in there before the snow flies.  Our shed had gotten completely out of control and was bursting at the seams so it was no easy task.  It's amazing though how much more room you can find when you just organize things and don't just pile things in there, like tends to happen during the busy summer season.  Anyways, once she got done with that she took her opportunity to come play in the leaves also.  Of course Harley, the new baby of the family, immediately jumped in the leaves with her but it wasn't too long before her other baby came out to play too.

Boys Playing in the Leaves

I made sure to take a video of the boys playing in the leaves so mema and papa could see how much fun the boys had.

Raking Leaves

This afternoon we spent some time raking up the ton of leaves we gather in our massive yard.  The boys were all in on helping get the leaves raked up because they had their sights on getting to play in the leaves once we finally had them all raked up.  We probably spent a good hour getting about half of the front yard raked up into, what was probably, the biggest pile of leaves we've ever had.  I have to hand it to the boys because those kids were troopers, they rake the whole time with me to help get the leaf pile build.  Not of course once the pile was build I lost my helpers for some of my other chores but who can blame them.  ;)

Iowa State Track and Field Reunion

Last night was the Iowa State Track and Field Reunion social event in Ames.  For the past couple years I've gotten invited to the event but I've never gone before, mostly because I only ran a season and a half with the track team.  While I have a bunch of good friends on the team and I did officially complete for the team, I always kind of thought it was reserved for more accomplished members of the team.  Well this year my friend Jason Woods convinced me that I should at least go to the social event at Olde Main.  I'm sure glad he did because I had a great time last night catching up with my old team mates.  The picture is me with Randy Thompson, who I haven't seen in years.  Back in the day Randy was a hell of sprinter and recently got inducted in the Iowa High School Athletic Hall of Fame.  In addition to Randy I saw, Shane Leach, who I may have talked into doing an Ironman, Quinn Harris, Josh Hagadorn, Sydney Pounds, Jason Woods and Frank Kwampa.  There is a picture of all of us together that they haven't sent to me yet but when I get I will post it.