Sunday, September 28, 2014

Moving Rooms Again


For awhile now the boys and I have been talking about making a "video game" room in there current bedroom.  For this too happen though we are going to need to move their bed room somewhere else.  Since the boys don't spend a whole lot of time in their bedroom we are going to move their bunk bed into what we are calling the "bunk room".  The idea is both their beds and the guest bed will be in the bunk room and there old room with turn into the "video game room".  This weekend I got my desk moved out and Jen got the room cleaned and painted.  Hopefully tomorrow we can get the bunk beds moved over and then start getting the boys rooms cleaned out.  Probably going to have to have a garage sale pretty soon to get ride of all of their old stuff.

Playing Outside


With today being an 80 degree day it seemed like a great day to get outside and have some fun.  Marshall, Clancey and I decided to get the football out and throw it around for a bit.  Turns out that Marshall is really good a throwing the football and by the end they were both catching it pretty good.  It was just nice to get out and enjoy one of the last nice days we are going to have this year.

Back To Working Out



After 3 weeks off from working out post Ironman Wisconsin it was time to start getting back after it.  While I still have 350 days to go and a number of weeks until real Ironman training starts I had to start getting back into the routine to avoid losing too much fitness and gaining weight.  The plan is too continue to try and get 6 hours in a week of medium intensity workouts in until my real training season gets started around Christmas.  It's easy to say now when you are a year out but I would really like to go sub 13:30 next year at Wisconsin.  Going to take a strong focus on the bike and run if I want that to happen next year.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Flag Football


After having last week off from flag football, due to the plague that hit North Cedar last week, we were back at it today.  Clancey played another great game, started as the QB, got a touchdown and even had a flag pull.  While the game tends to be a chaotic mess it is pretty fun to watch.  After we got done with the game we headed over to the bakery to get some donuts and get some stuff to grill for lunch.  Plan is to work on getting the bunk room cleaned out and painted so we can get the boys bed moved over and then get the "game room" started.  Can't wait it will be awesome to have a video game cave for "video game day" this Christmas!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Home From Nashville


I managed to get home from Nashville around 10pm last night, a day early, and it turns out that was a great decision.  The original plan would have gotten me home today at around 10pm but since I got done early I moved my flight up a day and managed to get out.  Today it just so happens that there was a fire at a radar station just outside of Chicago which shut flights into Ohare and Midway for half the day.  Granted I wasn't planning to fly into either of those airports but a back at those places pretty much delays traffic across the whole nation and it was very unlikely I would have made it home until Saturday.  Plus if I wouldn't have made it home today I wouldn't have seen Harley and Jen chilling together in this very comical way tonight!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lunch Downtown Nashville

So far my meetings have been going alright and in face I feel like we have made some good progress which is good.  Today as a kind of a treat to myself I decided to head over to a decent restaurant across the street with outdoor seating and take in the downtown area of Nashville.  So far Nashville is a pretty neat city but one thing that totally sucks is the entirely huge lack of parking.  If you have a car expect to pay $10-20 to park it downtown for the day, if you can find a spot.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Morning Travel Routine


When I'm on travel I have developed a morning routine and then routine involves a Venti Latte from Starbucks.  I don't generally partake in Starbucks that often because it tends to be expensive coffee but when I'm on travel and an expense report I star every morning with one.  Only bad part it after a week of Latte's it's kind of hard to go back to normal coffee out of my own maker in the morning.

Monday, September 22, 2014

In Nashville


I made it too Nashville for my week of meetings and the stars must have been aligned because I had zero flight delays!  The hotel is right in the heart of downtown Nashville and only a few blocks from Music Row so I plan to walk down there this week and check it out after my meetings in the evening.  I ended up getting a pretty nice suite at the hotel that has a big living room area and a balcony that overlooks the pool and the Nashville skyline.  Makes it a whole lot easier to be gone for a week when you have a nice place to stay.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Headed To Nashville

I'm sitting at the Cedar Rapids airport waiting to board my plane to Detroit and then catch a plane to Nashville. Hopefully I can make it though Detroit for the first time in a while without some kind of delay. On the last two trips I've gotten stuck over night somewhere because of some airports delay. At least this time I don't Ironman or anything to make it too so a delay would be an inconvenience rather than an emergency. Kind of sucks to be traveling by myself too so I don't have anyone to chat with while I kill time.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cruising Around In the Camaro



It had been a number of weeks since I had my Camaro out so I figured today was a good day to get it out for a small cruise around the town.  Since Clancey wanted some pizza from the local bar it seemed like a great idea to drive my car up and park it in front of the bar while I waited for my pizza to get done.  Always feels cool to drive my car around and have people breaking their neck trying to get a look at the car :)

Ice Cream


On the way home from Davenport, since it was a warm day, we figured it was a good idea to find some ice cream somewhere.  We stopped in Dewitt and found this little ice cream place to stop for our afternoon treat.  It sure is nice that Clancey is feeling better so that he could enjoy some ice cream too.

Clancey In His Dream Costume


While we were at Target the boys and I happened upon the costume section and as you can see from above Clancey found the costume he had been looking for.  We didn't end up because Jen is going to make him one but I figured I had better get a picture of him in it so Jen had an idea of what she was making.

Trip To Davenport


After Clancey got sick this week, Jen was not able to get to Cedar Rapids on Wednesday like she wanted.  That meant we all needed to head over as a family today.  First stop as always was lunch and we decided that Olive Garden sounded good.  After that we had to head to the Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, and Aldi.  Jen wanted to make a special trip over to Charming Charlie which is best described as a Claire's for middle aged woman.  She and Clancey picked out a necklace for her dress next weekend at Joel and Marisa's wedding while Marshall and I sat outside and waited.  We couldn't find any "Man Seat's" which meant we were sitting on the ground.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Headed To Nashville


Once again I'm hitting the road for a week of meetings, this time Nashville is the destination.  I jump on my plane Sunday around noon time and won't be back until Friday evening so it's going to be nearly a full week away from home.  Recently Jen and I started watching the TV show Nashville on Hulu so I plan to try and find some of the cool places featured in the show and take some pictures.  Who knows maybe I will run into Taylor Swift walking down the road since she has a home in the area!

Clancey and the Case of Food Poisoning


So last night around 1am Clancey, who has a stomach made of steal, started to throw up.  Normally when he does throw up he does it like one time and then he is good to go.  Well last night was a different story for the kid, he started at 1am and kept it up most of the night.  After the first time where he wasn't able to make it to the bathroom, he managed to keep in contained to a bucket.  Jen and I figured it was just some stomach flu going around and didn't really think anymore about it until morning.  Jen called the school to let them know he wasn't going to be in because he was throwing up well turns out that more then 30 kids had already called in with the same symptoms.  It didn't take much to realize that the only way that could happen that quick was for all the kids to have gotten food poisoning.  The school is in the first stages of their investigation and are unwilling to admit it yet but it seems unlikely at this point that it could be anything else.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Promotion

Just this week I found out that as of Saturday September 20th I'm officially being promoted to a Principal Software Engineer and am one step closer to making Engineering Fellow!  This is a promotion that I have been working really hard for over the past 3 years and it feels really good to finally achieve my goal.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Boy Day

After a long summer of running here and there almost every weekend the boys and I decided it was time for a boy day. Plus I needed to run to Best Buy to get a new wireless router since mine isn't working all the great right now. Best Buy is a boy like place so the boys and I decided it would be fun to make it an event. We always like to start these days at Pancheros for lunch and then from here it will be Best Buy and then the pool store to get our chemicals to close the pool down for the year. Should be a fun day.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cyclones Win!

The Cyclones managed to beat the Suckeye's 20-17 for the big win today!  I can't wait to get back to work on Monday and rub it in to all of my Hawkeye friends.  All week I've had to hear it about how they were for sure going to beat us.  They were 2-0 after playing 2 creampuffs and we were 0-2 after playing some pretty tough teams.  Yes, yes, yes!!!

Clancey's Flag Football Game




Today was the official start of Clancey's flag football season and he played an awesome game.  Since he is the most well behaved and kid who pays the most attention he ended up playing quarterback for most of the game.  It was probably the 3rd play of the game and Clancey had a QB keeper which he ran in for his first ever flag football touchdown!  Shortly after that he followed it up with another touchdown on the next possession.  Finally at the end of the game he had his 3rd touchdown of the game with an awesome cut back run.  I couldn't have been prouder of the kid for having such a good game and needless to say Clancey was complete stoked.  We celebrated after his awesome game by getting some donuts from the bakery uptown in Tipton.  Now we are going to get a few things and head home to watch the Cyclones play the Hawks!

Monday, September 08, 2014

7th Ironman Finish!



The day started early around 5:30 when we left the hotel and headed up to the start line.  Since we stay so close we are able to sleep in a bit and not have to get up at the crack of dawn like some of the other events.  Once I got up there I really only needed to check on my bike, drop my phone off and get my wetsuit on for the swim.  I gotten most of that done by about 6:15 so I had about 15 minutes to kill before I headed down the helix.  I used that time to get pumped up, hug and kiss the family and get ready to go.  Right before Jen and the boys went to find a place to watch the swim I saw my friend Aron Gordon, who was doing his third Ironman, so I was able to hangout with him and walk down the helix.

Around 6:30 we decided we had better start making our way down to the water.  It takes quite a while to get everyone in and if you don't start early you might not be in by the start of the race.  Being pretty experienced at this point I don't really get the nerves like I used too so I can look around and see all the other people who look like they are about ready to freak out.  It was about 8 minutes before the start before Aron and I got into the water.  By the time you get swam the 200 yards out to the start line we only had about 5 minutes before the start.  We found an open spot right behind the boat ramp to start the race and relaxed until the cannon.

Being Wisconsin is mass start it is always a pretty rough swim.  This year it was even worse since I've actually become somewhat of a swimmer I don't fall of the back of the pack but stay right in the middle of it.  I got swam on, kicked and hit for probably a mile and a half before I managed to find a bit of open water to swim in.  At on point I was swimming behind this woman and she kicked my so hard in the face that I thought for sure I would have a fat lip or at least be bleeding.  I'll say after fighting so much in the first part of the race it felt good to finally get the reprieve of some clear water.
It stayed pretty clear until the final quarter mile of the race when it starting to neck down to get into the finish chute.  When I finally reached the finish of the swim I felt pretty confident that I had a good swim but image my surprise when I saw my time of 1:25.  That was over 30 minutes faster then my swim at Wisconsin last year.  Now granted last year it was pretty windy but still it was 20 minutes faster then my fastest "perfect" conditions swim at Wisconsin.  Also, not only did I swim faster but I felt really good coming out of the water.  Instead of being asked by numerous volunteers if I was alright like last year, I managed to have a nice jog up the helix.

Once inside I saw another thing I'm not used too, the transition was absolutely packed.  Normally I get in transition and most everyone else is gone and I get personal service in getting ready for my bike.  This time I found a seat way in the corner and had to pretty much get myself ready.  I was alright not being dizzy or anything I was able to get my stuff on and get ready for a bike ride.  Once I was done I ran out of transition, got some sunscreen on and headed towards the place Jen and the boys said they were going to be at.  Once I found them I told them I felt really good, gave some hugs and was off for my 112 mile journey.

The Wisconsin bike is a very challenging bike course.  I would say it isn't as demoralizing as the Boulder course was but it does offer a ton of hill and opportunities to make mistakes.   I've ridden the course more then a dozen times at this point which gives me a huge advantage on know how to do it correctly.  The first lap was pretty straight forward.  I could tell my legs weren't as fresh as I would like but overall I would say that lap went well.  I didn't manage to see Jen and the boys in Verona when rode through but it wasn't that big of deal.  I have a watch that shows me the text messages people send me so they were able to communicate with me and wish me luck the whole way.

I got to the special needs bags, around 58 miles in, grabbed my food, my note from Jen and put some shammy butter on for the next half of the ride.  I knew that the second half of the ride was going to be tough so I was mentally preparing for a pretty brutal ride.  For the first 20 miles or so it isn't to hilly, kind of boring, but not physically tough so I used the time to relax a bit a prepare for the hills.  The second time up the hill into Mt. Horub I could feel my legs starting to cramp in the quads a bit but it wasn't too bad.  I knew that I would have to ride smart if I was going to have enough for hard three hills towards the end of the second loop.  When I got to those hills my legs weren't doing too bad and I was able to get them done without cramping too bad.  The last hill my right leg grabbed at the top but I was able to keep rolling and not stop.  Finally I got to the end of the loops but I still had 16 miles to ride to get back to transition two.  I was sick of being on the bike but managed to "focus on the end game" and get it ridden in.

Once again when I got to transition it was busy as hell.  It was about 3:30 when a majority of the riders where coming in so I had to pretty much do my own transition again.  I could tell when I was changing that I wasn't feeling very well.  Not that you are supposed to "feel good" when you reach transition but I knew I didn't feel right headed into the run.  I thought about sitting in the transition area for a while to get myself feeling better but I figured that it was better to hit the course so no one could pull me off if I was in really bad shape.  As I left transition I started to run but I was really dizzy, like Colorado, and felt like I was going to pass out.  I saw the family shortly after I left gave some hugs and kisses, told them I felt like total crap and then headed out to tackle my 26 mile ordeal.
After around 5 miles I was finally able to get myself feeling "better" and was able to start mustering a run.  While I knew I felt like crap and was going slow I knew I had plenty of time which meant all I really had to do was stay upright and I would get to the finish.  It's kind of frustrating when you figure out you are going to have a horrible marathon but I had to stay focused on the finish line and my goal.

I got to special needs area at mile 13 picked my stuff up and headed over to see Jen and boys.  When I got to them I sat down for around 10 minutes to talk to them a bit and enjoy my beef jerky.  It was nice to be able to sit down for a bit and talk to the family.  To be honest, it was hard to get up and finish the last 13 miles which I knew was going to take around 3 hours to finish.  When I stood up I just about passed out but once again focused on staying upright and got back after it.  Like always my feet really hurt, I was tired, my stomach felt like crap but I knew I was going to finish.  It went on like this for 3 hours like I expected before I reach the finish line for my 7th finish.  I'm happy to be done with the race even more happy to be done for the season and have a couple weeks off before I get back after it.  

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Up and Ready For Ironman


Here it is race morning and I'm getting ready to head up to transition to attempt to finish my 7th Ironman race.  I haven't been as nervous for this race as I have been for my past races.  I think part of it is that I finish Ironman Boulder 5 weeks ago so I've technically stamped my Ironman pass for the year already this year.  At this point this race is "gravy" for me.  The weather for today looks absolutely spectacular which means there are no excuses for a bad time.  I'm not sure where I stand recovery wise since my last event but I'm pretty sure I'm not 100% yet.  It's really too bad because the conditions are perfect for fast times.  With my new ability too swim it's possible that I could get a PR today if I was 100%.  I guess we will see how the day goes.  Either way it will be exciting for the boys to finally see me do an Ironman.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Gear In Transition




Today, being the day before the race, was the day that all the gear had to go into transition.  This time instead of getting up there right at 10am when it opened I decided to wait a bit and put my gear in after lunch. Figured the would be way less busy and give me an opportunity to get my stuff packed.  I ended up laying around for a bit after the Ironkids events and relaxing before I gathered all my gear to head up to transition.  After doing a lot of these events and doing one only a month ago I'm getting better and better at efficiently packing the right gear for the event.

IronKids Finishers


The boys finished the run and both had a great time.  Clancey did manage to run pretty fast the whole time and, in fact, Marshall had a hard time keeping up with him.  They did end up finishing about the same time and they both got some pretty cool metals.  After they got done it was fun to listen to the boys tells stories about the race.  They sounded just like triathlete's after they get done with Ironman.

IronKids



This morning they had an IronKids fun run around the capital square that the boys wanted to do.  Since we didn't preregister we got up around 6am got showered up and headed up to square to get the boys signed up.  They had a local community college, the Edgewood Eagles, volunteer to help run the event, hence the eagle in the picture above.  The boys even got to get body marked just the Ironman Athlete's which they got a kick out of.  It's only 0.7 of a mile around the square so Clancey is convinced he is going to sprint the whole thing.  We will see how it goes.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Exchanging Of the Ticket


Every year when I go to give Jen what I call the "Found On Road Dead Ticket" she gives me the same reaction.  I probably shouldn't call it that because 5 weeks ago at my last race one of the guys I know from work who was doing the race with me had a heart attack at mile 50 on the bike and ended up in the ER for 3 days.  His wife had to use the ticket so I do understand the worry when I hand the ticket over.  At this point I'm going to focus on having a good race and safe race and do everything I can so Jen doesn't have to use the ticket.

Bike Repairs


I've only ridden my bike one time since Ironman Boulder but when I did it was struggling to get into the gear it was supposed to be in.  During Ironman Boulder it also had the same problem so I figured I had better get it fixed before my race Sunday.  Nothing would be worse then having to drop out of a race because of a mechanical issue with your bike.  It should be ready and all set for my race.

Ironman Wisconsin


Here I am once again checking into another Ironman less then 5 weeks from my last one.  I decided to take half a day off from work to drive up here and get checked in a day early so tomorrow when we are coming up as a family I'm not a total crazy bear getting them to hustle along.  Originally the plan was for me to go up tomorrow morning and have Jen and the boys come up Saturday.  Jen was a bit worried about me driving home by myself on Monday after two Ironman races so close together so she wanted to drive up together in one car.  Now the boys can go to school all day, I can go to work for a bit and then we can leave right when the boys get out of school.  In addition to getting checked into Ironman I got signed up for Ironman Wisconsin next year as well.  Every year I get closer and closer to the magical 12 number and Kona!

Monday, September 01, 2014

Weird Dog


As opposed to putting the dog in the kennel for the weekend we asked Mema and Papa if we could bring Harley with.  He was surprisingly good on the trip over and besides acting like a total psycho for the first little bit when we got here he has done pretty good.  Heck Mema and Papa may let us start bringing Harley over more often.