Saturday, December 29, 2007
This year brought the same non stop action, just a different variety. Daily work for Janet and I, then it was run training for me. Janet shopping every chance she could get. At night, relaxing and playing with the babe. Both of us helping mom and dad at the store as much as we could. The year at the store was a good one. Snow is not a good recipe for great sales, but they had a good season non the less.
Christmas Eve was celebrated back at Mary and Bills this year. It was a fantastic relaxing night, with great food, fun conversation and 0f course the presents. Over the past year Bill (artist bill) worked on a drawing of Adam and I as cowboys. It is the most touching, amaizing characture drawing I have ever seen. The flood of emotion was so amaizing I could barely even cry, it is so full of what we were. Thank you uncle Bill for your talents, you nailed it, what an amaizing gift. I can't wait for others to see your amaizing talent.
Christmas Day was a bit busy with the babe. It is our tradition to go to mom and dad's to do our family gifts in the morning. Eat mom's always delicious christmas brunch, then the boys head to the store for a few hours to get ready for the big 50% off sale. I know working on Christmas sounds bad, but it is our tradition, and there is literally no other time to do it. We had lots of extra helpers this year so we got much accomplished. Then back to mom and dad's for the mom's side of the family. My cousin Christopher (navy seal) and his wife Natalie were able to join us this year. It had been a long time. It was great conversation of course, we really enjoyed seeing them again. Food, conversation, christmas carols, and gift exchange. It was a great family christmas!
This year we had "good tiding of great joy" to announce. Our family will grow buy one! come the end of June. Janet is carrying another bundle of joy! It was epically fun to be able to share our news at Christmas with family and friends. We are so excited to be blessed with another little one. I am excited that Bijou's sister or brother will be close in age. So far Janet has been great. May be a little rougher than the first one but I think it helps to have all ready been through it.
My training is winding down. All my big runs are done. I am really getting excited to bring all my training to Phoenix and see how I do. I know my legs are ready for it. I have learned much through this training season. Run training is a much longer process. It really takes a lot of miles to get you legs in shape. I have been following a intermediate training schedule and am excited to see if I can keep a high tempo through the race.
Last Fri the 28, my buddy Sean Pease joined me for the Winter Waddle. It's a small 5k run around lake Calhoun. About 410 people raced this year and it was a blast. It was Sean's first 5k and he finished like a rock star. 37th overall. Finish time of 23:18 race pace of 7:30. I look forward to training and racing with Sean this summer. We have been competitive brothers since high school, and I can't wait to hit the "tri circuit" with him.
I myself had a good race. I was able to put together all the things I have learned over the past year from my TNT coaches and have had extensive training around Calhoun. I had fun and raced the best race I could have that night. I came in 9th overall, 3rd in my age class (30's) a finish time of 19:15, at a 6:12 mile pace. I though I would be a long shot to have a 6:30 pace, but I think everything came together and I was lucky to post a surprising time.
Just two more weeks of training for the big run!
If you wanted to have a big day of gaming, come to our house next weekend for the "Triathlon of Games." I need to raise another $500 to get to my fund raising goal for the marathon. So if you can make it, e-mail me back (firstname.lastname@example.org) or just show up. It starts at noon, Sat the 5th. The entry fee for all day fun is $50. We will have a tournament in ping-pong, fooseball, and darts. To end the day it will be Texas hold-em. Cash prises will be awarded to the top finishers in each sport. The final hold-em pot will be big for 1st - 2nd and 3rd. I will have snacks and food, beer and pop. Bring something if you wish. If you can't make it and want to contribute to cancer research and family support go to
Thank you and God Bless.
Have a safe and happy New Year!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Last week that meant, 5 miles Tues. 7 miles Wed. and 6 miles Thurs. a day off Fri. and a team long run of 13 on Sat. I can honestly say that last week was the hardest training of the year so far. My legs took till Wed to loosen up from the previous Sunday's 20 miler. The temp was cold cold and colder, and one day I had to run in the dark with the snow, ice and traffic. I was determined not to short out the schedule. Marathon training is a long slow road to get your legs into shape. Patience is not something I am used to, but I really appreciate what I am learning. I know if I stick to the schedule, I will have the power I need to run my best race. Besides the fact that I don't want to end up with a pesky injury.
Today I got in my easy 5, because the broom ball season starts tonight. Tues is 7, Wed is 30 minuets of tempo running, and Thurs. is 8, culminating with the last 20 miler on Sat. the 22nd.
I am really glad that I have all this running right now, because I am really enjoying the food that comes around this time of the year.
In the past week my eyes have been opened to the amaizing works of God. This summer I have over focused on training and raising money for TNT. I am proud of my accomplishments and am passionate about why I am doing it. Yet, as life goes sometimes, when you get really focused on one thing, other things get ignored. That one thing in my life is my daily walk with God and the attention I have been giving Him. I have grown in many ways this past year personally, and have learned so many things about myself and been encourage buy countless others. I am thankful for every bit if it, yet when I take stock of it all, I know I have shorted my growth with my God my Saviour. The one that has made all this possible! I have seen Him work in people and situations all throughout the year all around me. It has been amaizing! Yet, I haven't slowed myself to listen to what He has to say to me. That should be a daily occurance for me, at worst, a weekly event called church. I am not for one second going to allow an ounce of disappointment downcast my spirit. Yet, I am going to pay attention, and start to make choices differently. I need to do what I should have been doing all along. I need to be lead and inspired by my creator God. He is the one that has given me the ability to do all these things. And he alone has brought all these people into my life to make it all possible. It is to Him be the glory. I am just a servant. I can do only so much. But with Him, "All things are possible."
TO HIM BE THE GLORY!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Tis the season to take stock of all you hold dear.
I can attest to the realities of life, at times they seem to catch you by surprise. I have counted it as a blessing that our family has been brushed with many of life's uncertain challenges as of late.
I have found that dealing with void of Adam's passing has brought both spectrum's of emotion. As with faith, I have experienced amaizing highs and incredible lows. Over all I claim the challenge that I will continue to be better and not bitter. The relationships that I have found and the amaizing trainings and races that I have experienced through "Team in Training" has been at the top of that list. Having the support to do three races in a row, and to have all most reached my goal of $12,000 for cancer research is exciting.
Another contrast to the high and low is that our "honored teammate" Mckenna, whom we were supporting for the Phoenix race, recently passed away at the tender age of 10. If you want to find amaizing perspective that can only be granted from God our Father, check out her site. www.caringbridge.org/mn/mckenna
I have been very touched by her and her parents perspective, and am taking my time to process it all because it so difficult to see such a loss again so soon.
What a blessing life is! Even if is just for a day, a month, a year. We are so blessed to have experienced so much in such little time. Mckenna touched so many in just 10 years. Adam touch so many in just 32 years. What is too little, what is too much? There is no answer. I can honestly deduce that 10 years is certainly not enough in comparison, but seriously, every day is precious, 10 or 32. With all the perspective that I have seen in the past few years of my life, I feel a very serious call to make sure my daughter knows what is important. I remember when I was a young lad, thinking that a pair of jeans or shoes was life's biggest deal. I pray that God gives me the grace to teach heavenly perspective to my family.
Life is about others. Life is about service. Life is about honesty to yourself and others. Life is about serving. Life is about happiness! I want so badly for my family to never be defined by the things we have or want, but by the things we do, and have done. I want to reflect the love, and grace, that has been given to us. There is a lot to give! The grace that God has given and the love and support that our family has received is amaizing, awe inspiring!
Training has become difficult as of late. Winter has it's way of deflating all your energy with its cold and early darkness. I am finding it difficult to get out during the week to get in all the important short training runs. Instead I have just been making my group "long runs" on the weekend mornings. Last Sunday was my first 20 mile run ever and my legs do not like me much right now. I really didn't think I would enjoy it but I really did. The temp was just above zero but I ran with a great running partner Greg (a tnt mentor) who made the miles go by fast. I know that if I am diligent in my short weekly runs my legs will be able to handle the big miles much better. Race day is just four and a half weeks away. I am looking forward to running in Phoenix (jan 13) not here! I want to honor all the support that I have received to run this race, and complete the "triple crown." Most of all I want to run to honor the life of Mckenna and Adam. They are the reason I am running, and they deserve a my strongest efforts.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Looking forward to enjoying the rest of the trip in Vegas.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
It is first come, first serve, in terms of starting place for the race so Eric and I went early at 5am to wait towards the front, to get off with the more seasoned riders. Race start was 7am and the temp was about 40-45 as we shivered in our shorts and jerseys. The temp was supposed to get up to 75 so being Minnesotan we didn't think waiting a couple of hours in 40 degrees was too tough. Bob had suggested that if we started towards the front with the "gold" racers, we might be able to keep up. He said to try to keep up with them for the first 5-10 miles and if we did that, we would "pace line" with them for the next 100 miles.
The sun came up, the U.S. Anthem was sang and the gun went off. The start, I am told, was a fast one. Within the first mile we were around 25-30 mph and in a big group of racers. As each mile went by the pack thinned every so slightly. At mile 9 there is a scheduled "river crossing." It is unique to the Tucson race. They have two places where y0u must get off your bike and carry it across a dried out river bed to the road on the other side. It sounded crazy to me, but it ended up being pretty fun. It was also the only times I stopped during the race. Along the way there are plenty of water and food stops. Most people take advantage of them but I had decided before the race that I wanted to try to do it without any stops. It takes a lot of pre-race prep to make sure you have proper hydration with you and the proper amounts of food to eat for your body to endure the duration of the race. Bob and my room mate Scott helped me to calculate that I would need to consume at around 400 calories an hour to fuel my body through the finish.
At the end of the first river crossing I reached in my "food bag" to grab a gel pack (calories in gel form) and noticed that during my two hour wait for the start, someone stole the two gels I had packed on my bike while we went to wish the rest of the team good luck. So right off the bat I was short 300 calories. But I did have more in the pockets of my jersey and didn't feel it was going to become a negative factor.
From the start I picked out riders around me that I though would push me. I pictured their jerseys in my head and attempted to keep up with them during the race. It was a fun mental game for me to see them come and go over the 109 miles.
After the first river crossing the pack got thinner and more refined. People were still trying to separate themselves from the large pack, so other small packs were forming but staying relatively close to each other. My legs were still feeling a bit heavy. I think the long chilly wait kept me tight for a long time. I was challenged many times to keep up with some of the jerseys I wanted to keep up with between miles 10-40. I had one helper during that stretch, she was a fellow TNT racer from Jersey. Her name was Jen and she really encouraged me to keep up when ever her group would pass me during my sluggish phases.
Then finally some hills came into play. I have a strange love for hills on a bike. I really don't like them all that much, but I really enjoy them for the fact that they pose such a challenge. I have always attempted to"attack" hills, everyone has to get up them you might as well get it over as soon as you can and have some fun along the way. Hills really "wake" my legs up. They did for me in the Disney Tri and here again they did in Tucson. Before I was playing cat and mouse with Jen from Jersey. Now I have hit some hills and my legs finally got loose and I felt power for the first time. I went from struggling to keep up, around the 20-30 mile point, to climbing my way into new groups one at a time. It was very exciting to see jerseys that I wanted to keep up with again.
Then at the second "river crossing" (mile 39) I took time to "empty my tank" by some bushes and refill an empty bottle with water just in case. I also re-applied my shorts with some butt-butter. Butt-butter is a bikers best friend. It keeps the seat area from getting any more sore that it needs to.
Right after the crossing you go strait into the worst hill on the course. I really liked it because it was steep but not that long. Right off the bat my legs are "juiced up" ready to cruise. The field of the pace line that I got into on this side was a bit more serious. I really liked it but I really had to pay attention. They were a bit faster and a lot tighter together, and they really jockied for position. I was not used to that speed (20-27 in flats) and had never trained in a pace line like that. You could say I was "white knuckled" the rest of the race.
Not too much talk from me, I was trying my best to look like I fit in, and doing my best to copy what everyone else was doing. The group I stuck with for most of the rest of the race was about 40 riders strong and was constantly changing shape and position. I did have a stretch of about 2 minuets where I "pulled" the group. "Pulling" is when you are in the front of the pack breaking the wind. Unless you experience the advantages of riding 6 inches off the tire in front of you, you would not believe me how much easier it is to "draft" in a pace line. It was a thrill to pull for that stretch. A cross wind had come up and our speed was dropping. People started to get sloppy, so I bolted ahead. Because no one was letting me back into the line I jumped up front. Basically it was, slow down or go up front. After my stint up front I got some encouragement and praise from other riders and that really boosted my confidence.
During this long stretch I reached back to grab a drink and realized one of my water bottles has jumped out of its cage. I had gotten caught in some rumble strips in the shoulder and couldn't get out right away because of riders on the sides. It must have jumped out then. I really didn't like not having that Gatorade, it was full!
It was smooth sailing coming into mile 90. Some people started to drop and some started to move to the front of the pack, pushing our over all speed higher. Around mile 105 one of the guys that I had tried to stick with from the beginning made a break to catch the group about 150 yards in front of us. I made a poor late attempt to go with him but was not able to get up on his tire to go with. He continued to forge ahead and I basically got stuck in between packs all alone. Not wanting to drop back I struggled mightily to remain positive. I felt the lack of liquid and the loss of those two gel packs now. I was out of gas to make the move I attempted. So close, just under five miles to go. I knew I could gut it out. I found it fitting that I was pushing the finish on my own. Adam's voice was very strong during this stretch. Not the kind fun one. It was the stern brotherly push, "well you got your self into this spot now get out of it" "this isn't hard." The memory of the pain he endured, and the strong amaizing way he "finished" was pushing me to the end. I will likely never experience the pain he went through, because of that I could never stop pushing at a time like this. At one point I was really getting burned out, I put my head down and challenged myself to only think positive thoughts. "You will keep going", "you can catch that group." Just after I put my head down, out from behind me comes some guy that had left the other pack with me. I didn't know it, but there he was. He pulls up beside me and says, "hey, let me pull for a while." What a blessing! I couldn't believe it! He gets in front of my wheel and suddenly i'm working 1/3rd less. I was beginning to recover, but we were not really gaining on the other group. I got up the energy to take one more stab at catching them and I pulled in front to give him a rest. We made up some ground but catching them was not going to happen. We came into the final mile trading places and at the finish line we were about one second apart. He was one of my angel's that day that helped me to a great finish.
I had no expectations coming into the race, but I am very pleased that I was able to finish where I did. I placed 612th out of 5300 because of my team and my coach. Because of my brother that will always bike with me, run with me and swim with me. I am so grateful that God has given me that ability and the opportunity to take part in these races for TNT. I am so grateful for all the people who have inspired me to push with their encouragement and generous donations. My healing is coming in the service of others, and I give thanks to my God for that.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
What a Journey!
Here is a quick bit of info about the race. I'll give more details when I have more time.
The conditions in Tucson were perfect. It was the 25th Tour de Tucson and they set records for most racers ever 5200 in the 109mile race and 9200 racers total. The field of racers broke all the previous records because of the perfect conditions.
I was very well coached as to what I should expect. As the race went on I was able to draw off of everything Bob (coach) told me. I was able to get into a great pace line that carried me to the end.
I finished 612th overall with a time of 5hr 14min. I couldn't be happier with my experience.
More importantly we had 40 chapters from TNT participating with about 580 racers. All together we raised over 1.4 million dollars for cancer research and family support. It is such a privilege to be a part of these groups. I can't thank you all enough for supporting this cause. I wish you could all hear all the wonderful stories I have heard. This is truly life changing, and life saving stuff.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!THANK YOU!!!!!!!THANK YOU!!!!!!!THANK YOU!!!!!!!THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Jayna's team (crown college) took first at nationals for their division. I am so proud of her and her team. I wished I could have been there for that.
I will get a post after the race as soon as I can!
Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience. – Eddie Rickenbacker
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This week was interesting. Dad went into the hospital with chest pains and they kept him over night. He had all the scans, tests, and what not done and they turned up nothing. I think that if they wanted to do and accurate stress test for him they should hook him up at the store and see how things read. I hope dad takes things seriously enough to change the way he sees and dose things from here out. Warning signs are good only if you pay attention to them. I was able to take the rest of the week off with Twin Peaks and work at the store Tues. - Fri. to try to take a little more stress of dad. I was able to accomplish a ton, but of course there is still a ton left to do.
This weekend Jayna flew down to Florida for nationals in her soccer conference. Last year they won it for the first time and this year they came in as the #1 seed. Mom and dad flew down to support Jayna and the team. Jayna has not played for some time because of a knee injury, but she worked hard to get back to play in the final tournament of the year. Fri they won 5-0 and Sat they won to get to the championship game Monday afternoon. I am excited to hear the results.
With all the fun things going on this week and the long hours at the store I did not train all week. It's had to go out to run when you get home from a long day and it's pitch black out. I think it was good to give my legs a rest after last weekends 16 mile run and the final bike training 50 mile ride.
So today I did a light 10 mile run with the TNT group from Harriet Island Park in St. Paul. I had a great run with Greg. We held a good pace and shared some good conversation along the way. Good times. With this past week of emotions and not training, I felt like opening it up for the final quarter-mile of the run, so I did. It felt fantastic to burn all the emotion at the end of that run. I ran with purpose. Please continue to pray for Mckenna, our honored teammate. http://www.caringbridge.org/mn/mckenna/ things are to the point where they must solely trust and lean on God to give them peace and hope. I run with purpose, in memory of Adam and many others, and for little Mckenna and her family. May Gods grace be strong in their presence.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I am so thankful for all the added support in my Team in Training races. I would have stopped at one race if not for all the amaizing generosity. Having two more race goals has become such a blessing to me right now. I do not have time to sit and feel down. That is a good thing. A great thing. I continue to make a difference with many of you in the fight against cancer. That makes me feel good.
This morning, after my morning team run, I looked back in my computer tracking log, to see the miles I have put in since all this began. I was pretty surprised! Since I started training at the end of last May I have biked all most 900 miles, and ran all most 100. I began training at about 225 pounds and now sit at a solid 185. I feel that I have more energy than ever. I am definitely healthier than I have ever been. I had to look back because I was starting to wonder if I was getting burned out. I have come this far and I do not want to get burn out. I am getting so close to finishing. I think a lot of it is this month. It is all ready proving to be a hard one. I just don't know what to do about it. I think I know that I can't do anything about it, and maybe that bothers me.
Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all. – Ernest Shackleton
I want so badly to pray with Dan Roelofs but he is gone. I want so badly to go back to Woodland Fellowship and be washed away by the worship and feel the genuine concern of my brothers and sisters, but that is gone. I want so badly to walk over to my brothers garage and hang out with him and the boys, but he is gone and the feeling is not the same. I want so badly for there to be honesty among adults and a desire to seek the truth, to lift one another up and grow as we have been commanded to do. To love one another as we have been loved.
I know my pain is not new, just new to me, and is nothing compared to what so many others have faced. I know that my Father hold my heart and I can feel comfort in my times of hurt. I see so many blessing in my life that He has orchestrated on my behalf, to be able to handle this chapter of my life.
I am blessed, I am able, and I am going to make it through this month.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Outside of the training, I have been busy. I have been getting into Mom and Dad's store to help organize the back room as much as I can. Their christmas merchandise is all shipping in now and there is no place for it to go. I have been seriously tested in my building and organizing skills. I really enjoy helping them as much as I can.
On the home front, we are all doing great. Janet and I are still training for the Vegas half marathon, Dec 2. Janet is doing great getting back into running. Bijou is now fitting all those super cool clothes we have had that were too big for her. I remember not long ago, thinking that it would be so long until she would ever fit into much of it. Well, we're here now. It's just crazy. She is coming up with new noises all the time. It will not be long before she's walking. Two weeks, give or take a few days, is my guess. I am looking forward to a break with all the training so I can have more time to just hang out with her and mommy more. I get some, but not enough.
As things get long going into winter with training, I am reminded, and so very thankful, for all the people that have been so generous in supporting me to do these things. I feel my time with Team in Training is helping me to grow in a difficult time of adjustment. Being a part of two new and different teams now, I am learning many new things. New relationships and new focuses. I am happy that I am being pushed. I am thankful. I am excited that we are making a difference in the fight to find a cure and the encouragement that we give to so many that are dealing with the real life struggles. That was the theme on my mind today. I was on my bike for over six hours today and when things started to get long, I was given much peace by the support that so many of you have given. Today I felt blessed by you.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
No bike training during the week, and last Sat's ride was cut in half due to cold rain. So today, we more than made up for it. The team (five of us today) meet in Afton, MN. We got a late start at at 9am and planned at least a 80 mile ride. Because of the great weather and the exceptional scenery, we decided to stretch it into 90. Because I am choosing to push harder and attempting to race it I raced ahead and tracked back to the group. I did that enough to break the 100mile mark today. It feels great to know that I can do it and even better to have done it on the course we took today.
About a half mile into the ride today we hit our first hill. Not a horrible grade but a good hill non the less. The not so funny part was that it was over a mile and a half to the top. Then down, then up a much steeper one, but not as long. Bob had warned us about the hill, that was nice of him. What he failed to mention was the 10 other major hills, that made the first one look tame, that were on the way out on our ride. And the fun part was that we got to turn around and do them all over again on the way back! Our turn around was in Maiden Rock, WI. along Lake Pepin. It was so worth it. Granted it would have been easier in a car, but it was so worth it. The end of my ride was filled with fun. Two weeks in a row I have gotten a flat front tire. Flats are definitely part of the ride.
Tomorrow I'm supposed to put in 10 miles running, but I have a feeling that I am going to need a day or two to recover. Today's experience with the distance and the hills supported the fact that so much of all of this is 80-90% mental. I had to choose to get to the top of those hills, it was not something that I ever thought I could do but I convinced myself that I could and I convinced myself that I liked it. At the end of the day I did.
What a man accomplishes in a day depends upon the way in which he approaches his tasks. When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our ability and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen. – Arland Gilbert
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I have been adjusting to the new schedule of life in the house here. Monday, I went for a challenging bike with Andy Claflin. Wednesday, I went for my first "run training" with the Phoenix run team. We put in six miles and it felt good. Thursday, was a night with the family at home, and that was great. It had been too long since we just hung out on a week night. Friday some friends came over for a bonfire. That is always a highlight, but Janet and I turned in early.
Saturday morn, I was up and out the door at 7:30am for a morning run. I needed to get in 14 miles, so I did a seven mile loop solo, and at 8:30am Clark, Molly and Janet joined me for the second loop. My body definitely felt the added miles. I have never run fourteen before, but it felt great.
The rest of the afternoon was rather special. Dad and Grandpa Eno (mom's dad) came up and we spent the afternoon putting away the pontoon for the winter season. Doing anything with the boats is rather emotional because they were Adams "babies." That was his thing. It was extra special to spend the day with dad and gramps. The pontoon was originally purchased by grandpa and grandma new, and it was fun to see gramps work so hard on his old boat.
The evening was perfect too. The weather was perfect and Janet had invited some people over for a fire. It was special to enjoy the fire with some close friends. I have not had many days or nights to sit and enjoy the house or others company. Saturday night, I felt like I finally could, and I did!
Sunday morn was another early rise. Bike training down at Lake Calhoun. I was not going to miss this ride because we rode over to Eliot's house ( the boy we are racing in honor of) to give him his first bike. Eliot turned three this summer, and I had not yet meet him. What a cute little guy! He was shy, but very excited to show everyone how he loved his tents. He is why I am doing this, and it was so fulfilling to see his precious smile and fun spirit. From Eliot's house we were scheduled for a 70 mile ride. We had cold rain and multiple bike issues, so we tapered the day to a 35 mile ride and called it a day. My legs were not disappointed because of Sat's 14 mile run.
The rest of the day was spent with my little baby, Bijou.
Oh, what fun. She is such a jewel. She just popped four more teeth last week, for a total of 12 now. Crazy! She's only 9 months. She just started using a couple of the sign language signs we have been using with her. Milk, and "more," it is so amaizing to see her respond. It is crazy what babies understand. She is also walking along chairs and tables and anything she can balance on. It won't be long before dad is chasing her around the house. CRAZY!
I love Janet's new work schedule. No late nights, no weekends. It is starting to feel like a home around here. I like that. My wife is an amaizing woman and I am very blessed. Bijou is a jewel, so you can imagine how amaizing her mommy is. I feel so blessed.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
I gave myself a week to rest after Disney. Took my time organizing things around the house, and mentally prepared to start training for the Century ride in November and the Marathon in Jan. The Sunday after the race, I got back on the bike with Sean Pease for the first time and we had a nice 15mile ride. Monday I went for a run to keep the legs moving and had a good 7 mile run.
In conversation with Kinghorn and Angel, from the disney tri team, we started to set goals for Tri's next year. We are planning on doing a half Ironman and probably two others. Most are planning on doing the Maui Tri with TNT but I think I'm going to give TNT a one year rest. I will do more races for them, but I think it may be best to take a summer off to focus more on home. I am very excited to attempt a half Iron next year. The following summer we should be able to attempt a full Ironman, I mentally can't even imagine that yet, 2 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. My bike coach did it this year and his experience is very inspiring.
So now the training schedule is much lighter. Two bike's a week and two run's a week. That means I get three days off. That works great with Janet's new job that she just started.
After 6 years at Daytons-Marshall Fields-Macys, she decided to cut back hours and get into office work. She is an office administrator for a small non-profit health club association. She works with health clubs and health care providers managing customers who take advantage of health care providers paying part of the monthly club dues. It is a big bold new world for her and she is very excited and overwhelmed learning lots of new things. Her new schedule is fantastic, and after she gets the hang of things it will be flexible. No more working nights or weekends!
So lots of change around here. We do not fear change.
When I was younger, I thought that the key to success was just hard work. But the real foundation is faith. Faith--the idea that 'I can do it'--is the opposite of fear ('What if I fail?'). And faith creates motivation which in turn leads to commitment, hard work, preparation...and eventually success. – Howard Twilley
I take that statement one step further, with faith. Being a child of God gives me the gift of the Holy Spirit and my faith in that which is bigger than myself, empowers me, to do that much more.
I had some more sobering news yesterday. As many of you know Jayna and I graduated from the same school, Meadow Creek. My gym teacher was Mr. Budish. He also had a son, Nathan, who grew up with Jayna at Meadow Creek. Jayna and Nathan both went on to college at Crown to play soccer. Last night I learned that the phenomia that the doctors thought Mr. Budish had over the past year, was actually lung cancer. He is now in stage four with his cancer, and will start the process of fighting the strangest battle of his life. My heart goes out to him and his family. I pray that they hold hope and peace in the middle of this storm. God is consistent, and will meet them in their time of confusion. I pray for Jayna having to see the face of cancer again so close and so soon. One could never answer the question of why? Choose to be strong, no one has answers, but we have faith that goes beyond our selves. Learn together, grow together.
One more reason to Bike....One more reason to run....Mr. Budish will fight, I will fight with him...
He will be on my mind every time I train, my groups all ready know his name and why I am Biking and running....We can all make a difference....What can you do....What will you do?
It is never too late!
Friday, September 28, 2007
What an experience. I have so many things going through my head I don't know where to start. Immediately my deepest thanks go out to all those who sent me on this journey. Without all the generous support of letters, donations, and help for my fund raisers, and all the help I received to allow me to train for this event, THANK YOU! What a blessing!
I look back to when I first started training for this event and think about the process of healing that I have gone through during this event and I am encouraged about the future. I know that the healing process of losing Adam will likely last my lifetime, yet I feel very secure about it, after going through this race. One of the big reason for that is, because I firmly feel that when you loose yourself, the best way to find your way back is in the service of others. Being able to serve others along with Brad and John made it even more amazing.
I really went through a roller coaster of emotions during training. From excitement, to self doubt, to contentment, to determination. Those are just the one's at the fore-front. Come race day, I chose to focus, I chose to finish strong.
I had hoped for a "rock star" swim but knew that realistically, it would be just ok. I need about another year of training for my swim to be where I want it to be. Sure enough my swim was ok. We were not able to enter the water at all before the race so there is no warming up. The course was a horse shoe. In all of the other "sprint tri's" the swim has been a out and back with a constant string line of buoys. This was more typical for a bigger tri. There were single large inflated buoys spaced out about every 50 yards or so. That meant that if you didn't look up to "sight" often you would get a bit off course. I would say that I swam closer to 1.25miles that day, but I was happy with it. After I made the two left hand turns and was on the long final stretch I wanted to be done, but I was far from it. I just kept telling myself that it was the last time that I "needed" to swim for a while and tried to push myself through it. I want to swim like Brad and that will take a lot of training. He rocks!
After I got out of the water and my head stopped spinning, it was off to the bike. I was happy with the transition and was determined to crank out a solid bike.
The start was slower than I expected (about 19mph) and I had a difficult time getting any more out of it. Then some little rolling hills came up and I had a challenge about 4 miles in. I was excited to see the hills because I enjoy digging deep to conquer hills. Sure enough after the second little hill my legs woke up, and on the back side of the hill I was at 23-24mph and was able to sustain it for the next 20miles. I loved the bike. I was playing cat and mouse with some great bikers and felt great that I was able to even keep up, let alone pass on occasion. Along the way I made it a point to encourage other Team In Training bikers with a "good work Team in Training, keep it up!" It really kept me going, cheering on other TNT racers.
About mile 25 I learned a lesson. If you want to race at a certain pace (23mph) for a certain mileage (37) be sure you train at least once at that speed without stopping. Around mile 25 my body knew that it had not gone that far, at that consistent pace. My hips started to tell me "no more." Not wanting to slow, or stop, I continued to push as hard as I could, through the ever increasing pain. For the next 8 miles that pain increased until both of my hips felt like I had two hot knives digging deeper and deeper. My speed dropped to 15-18mph as I attempted to get back up to 23mph. I was resigning to the fact that it wasn't going to happen, so I attempted to adjust my positioning to make it less painful, while maintaining as much as I possibly could.
During this time a few people were able to pass me back up, and that was getting old fast. There was one gentleman in particular that I really didn't like being passed by, and so I pushed every time he got by me. He wound up being a nice guy and we gave some small talk as we traded positions. Eventually my hips just numbed a bit and I looked down and got up to 20mph. As I neared the end of the bike, I gave it all I had. As the pain increased, I focused on the red bracelet that I had written on. On it I wrote "BIKE FOR BRENDEN!" My memories of his playful laugh and his non-stop energy helped me to focus on my goal, and eventually tolerate the pain. The last 3 miles I got back to 23mph and finished strong. I was able to carry that into the run.
The run....oh the run! By this time the clouds we no longer around, just sun. Thankfully the run course was 40% shaded by trees. It's the other 60% that was the problem. I was determined to run the 6.2 mile course without walking and to help me to focus I had another bracelet on that I had written "RUN FOR ADAM." After Adam had passed I ran out of the house and I never wanted to stop. Now I could run and I was determined to have a strong run for him. I felt good and kept my legs going. I quickly noticed that about 40% of the racers were walking, and I was determined not to be one of them. I got to the first water station and dumped water on my head without stopping. I was well hydrated, no cramps. One water station at a time just keep pushing. Now the next mile and a half was all sun and it was getting to me. Later, I found out that the heat index was 105 degrees. I started to feel the tingling skelp and knew that my time would be severly longer if I fainted so I told my self to get to the next water station and walk through it and cool off. By this time about 50% of the runners were walking and I was still determined not to walk unless I felt faint. So many times I wanted to walk, and I came close many times. Yet each time I felt tempted I saw in front of me a race jersey with a picture pinned on the back of it. A picture of a father or a mother with their child whom they were running in memory of. They were still running. I had to keep running. I walked the water stations, and dumped water on my head to cool off and made sure I could keep going.
A few times my pace slowed more and more and I mentally wanted to just slow down but I kept reflecting back to a memory that I focused on when I was on the bike. When my hips were "on fire" and I didn't think I could keep my pace up in the bike. I remembered Adam at his celebration party. That day his morphine drip fanny pack came un-hooked and he was not able to wear it that night. So all night long, he did his best to smile, and laugh and give people another great memory of Adam. At one point I asked him how he was doing it, because I knew how much pain he was in, and he replied with a classic Adam smirk, "Smoke and mirrors brother, smoke and mirrors." At the end of the night, many of you may remember, he sent us all off with his patented "Pee-Wee Herman" dance to Tequila. I don't know how he did that, but he did, and he did it for everyone, he did it with a smile on his face. As I felt pain I sang it out loud, over and over, and I imagined Adam on that floor, doing his thing for everyone else. Adam was with me race day, just like every day. And he gave me that memory to get me through, what a brother!
I finished that run strong. I left it all on the course.
Our team finished strong that day. I would venture to say that we had the strongest team there. I know we showed it that day.
I could not be happier with my finish time. 3hr 15min 11sec. Tenth in my age group and about 75th overall out of about 1300 racers. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it my self. So to say the least I am hooked on Tri's. I love everything about it. I highly recommend it to everyone. Yes everyone.
Rewarding, in so many ways. Personally, I lost 40 pounds and am in the best shape of my life, and I was in pretty good shape in high school. Supporting little Brenden's family is worth everything to me and would do it again tomorrow, for sure. Rewarding, from a team aspect. The new friendships I now have in my team mates and the deepened relationships I have with Brad and John are invaluable. Knowing that our team of seven raised close to 30K and all the 301 TNT racers around the country raised over 1.1 million dollars, in this race alone. It goes to cancer research and family support. It is so crazy fantastic I can't put it into words. So I will just say this. Join, do it! Do whatever you can, but do something. Make a difference! Everyone will be better for it!
Make a difference!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I finished 10th in my age group (30-35) at 3hr 15min and 11sec. I was hoping to come in somewhere around three and a half hours, so I am very happy with my finish time. I'm not sure where that is overall. There we're around 1300 finishers. I will tell you that it was hot and muggy. 105 heat index! I will share more when I can.
I cant thank you all enough for getting me there and inspiring me to push higher than I though I could have ever achieved!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Thank you to all who came and enjoyed a perfect day of food fun and fellowship at the first annual cornhole tournament. We had a perfect day of weather and some mighty tough bag tossing teams.
My deepest thanks to all who helped to make this day possible. It took a lot of work to get things ready around the house since I have not been paying much attention to the house or yard because of training for our races.
In total we had fourteen teams competing and the playing field was very tough. It all came down to Team Sells (clark and Tyler), Team Naked (Brad and I), Team Remington (Sean Pease and Wes Aldinger), and Team Ocho Cinco (Mike Terras and Alex ?). Third place was a competition between Ocho Cinco and Team Sells with team Ocho Cinco taking the prize. The final game was between Team Remington and Team Naked. Home field advantage must have come into play because the Dayton boys from Team Naked took first prize. All the games were close and super fun.
All in all we learned a lot for next years tournament, more importantly you helped to bring me closer to my goal for fundraising in my three races. In total I must raise $11,900 for all three races. After yesterday you helped me to get to $9835. Just $2065 left to go! What a blessing! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I know the final $2065 will be a challenge but it is so worth the effort. Knowing that yesterdays fun and all the hard work that went into making it happen, directly benefited cancer research and the families we are sponsoring. What an honor. What a blessing.
One week from today we will be finishing the Disney Tri. We are all excited to compete and culminate all the efforts and emotions that we have invested into this race. Below are pictures of some of my team mates and our coach that came to yesterdays tournament. Thank you for all your support!
If you are interested in helping me with the remaining $2065 feel free to log on to the link below to support the Phoenix Marathon. http://www.active.com/donate/tntmn/andrewrun
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I am so proud of John, and Brad, and Angel, and how they have dominated there strengths and how they have improved their weaknesses to the point that they are no longer weaknesses at all. It gives me much more joy to reflect back and see their accomplishments, both in the races and in training. We are a pretty evenly matched group in the long run, and that has made this group very special. We are just starting to bond as a team. I was a bit nervous about the race approaching so soon. Now I am extremely exited and look forward to building an even closer bond with some pretty amazing people. The race will be the race. It could be perfect, it could be a disaster. Who knows and frankly who cares. I know that my team mates will do whatever it takes to do their best. When that gun goes off, I know that we will finish strong, no matter what the obstacle. This race is not what is important. The people we are racing for, is what is important. People, those kids and their parents, Erin and Adison, my family and all the other families that have lost their sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands. That is why we are racing. Brenden, and his family, and the hope that they have that he will be 100% healthy. That is why we race. I love "Team in Training" because it is not about us.
Right now, I don't care if I finish last, as long as I give it my all and finish strong. Deep down I know I will lay it all on the line that day, and where ever that puts me is great. I thank God for the opportunity to race with this team. I thank God for our coach and all the things she has taught me mentally. Her style is completely opposite of anything I have been used to in the past. I feel privileged to be part of this team. I feel privileged to race for these kids and their families. I feel stronger, after loosing Adam, that I am giving hope to those that have a chance. I'm sure that Adam may be unhappy about the way I am doing some things, but I know he is proud of this. I know he will be pushing me Sep. 23. I miss him so much.
I have been working around the house a lot this past week to get ready for the big "cornhole tournament" and today I realized just how much I miss him. more and more every day. He was always here when I had projects going on. And I was always over there when he has projects going on. I have a lot of projects....I don't have Adam anymore. Not as much gets done when you loose your other half. I just realized that tonight. Typically I could have gotten all this done in time. I'm not so sure about this time, but that's all right. Not everything has to be just the way I want it. In the future I now know to double the time.
It's all good. I have so much to be thankful for, so much support and so much to look forward to. God has great things planned for us and we will do our best to follow that lead.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Monday, after I felt caught up enough around the yard (thanks to grandpa eno, janet) I went off for a run in the peak heat to prepare for the heat of Florida. So my idea was to run at my strongest steady pace for a full six miles. Those six miles are filled with 60% hills and the heat form the pavement got to me at mile four. I broke down and had to walk for 100 yards. I felt a bit faint and had no phone, so I took no chances. After I felt well enough to go I had a fantastic break-through. I found a quick pace for me with a two step breathing pattern that I can hold during my run. I was exhausted and yet I was able to really cook with my new pace and breathing rhythm. I know it sounds goofy, but it was a great moment. I have found similar things with my swim and am really getting excited to put them all together.
Brad and I went out for some hill and speed work tonight on our bikes. We took just a 14 mile loop, but we focused on short, and long bursts of speed. Then combined that with a pretty challenging hill....twice. I was crazy fun to push each other.
This Sat. at 8am we will be doing our final mock tri at lake Nicomas. It is a Olympic tri ( one mile swim/26mi bike/6mi run) Our coach is expecting us to really put things together and lay it down on the course. I really feel like I will do much better this time. Less stress, more sleep, I'm eating better, and I have been able to train this week. The big day is approaching soon and I am really getting excited.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Super busy at work / Longer days.
My three extra jobs that were supposed to be spread out over the summer all happened over the past three weeks.
Baby has had a double ear infection for over a week now.
Two fantasy football drafts.
Trying to put together and organize my fundraising stuff for three races. Thank you notes, new fundraising letters, re-send fundraising letters, create "first annual corn hole tournament."
Making six sets of new corn hole boards.
Race in "mock tri" the same distance as Waupaca race without having training.
So, today I am most thankful for the people in this picture. I'm not sure how I have been carrying this pace for this long now. I know it has a lot to do with all the amazing support I have received from so many people. Epically Janet, Mom and Dad.
Often I ask myself if this is all worth it. And, right now, I really think it is. I know myself, and I have never been very good when I have a lot of free time. Granted, lately it's been ridiculous. Yet more than anything, I know that the reasons that I am doing too much is to help others. I really feel that God has been showing me more about myself lately because I am doing it all to serve others. The big negative to it all is a major lack of time with my own family. But more and more we are doing stuff together to get things done.
So my race training has been non existent since the Waupaca race. This was very evident at the mock tri that our coach put on two Saturdays ago. I didn't feel good that morning. It was a simple half mile swim. 17 mile bike and three mile run. It was around lake Nicomas so coach told us how many laps to swim around the buoys and how many laps around the lake. Funny part was the five laps around the buoys for the swim ended up being closer to a mile. Now normally that is fine, everyone else has to do it and it's not like I haven't swim a mile before. But coming off the week I had with work and the lack of traing and sleep and just plain old not feeling good, it mattered. A few times during the swim I considered quitting. But before the race started someone very important showed up. Brenden and his mom came to watch the team race. As many of you know Brenden is our honored teammate, he and his family have had a super busy summer and have not had time to show up to team events. My morning started to turn around when they showed up. I really did not want to race that morning, but after I saw them I knew I could. As I struggled to keep going in the swim I knew I could not quit because on that beach was the reason I am doing all this. He had no idea, but that morning he was the only reason I finished that race. Brad lapped me on the swim, John was out of the water over five minutes before me and I never saw them again. My bike was average at best and my run never really had much too it. But I finished for that happy little boy cheering us on. I am racing to cheer him on and that day he showed up to cheer us on. There is no quitting! So many people I talk to say they could never do a tri. The only reason they can't is because they just told themselves they can't.
So Labor day weekend has been a God-send! I have been catching up! All my side jobs are caught up till after the Disney race. The corn hole boards are half done. My fundraising stuff is organized for the first time. I made my goal for the Disney race and can focus on the other two race goals. I started training again. Last Wed. we had a punishing run with speed work, hills, and stairs. Saturday I swam a mile, and it was my best swim yet. Sunday I biked with John 28 miles with speed work and hills and then we swam a half mile, and again, my best swim yet. I really feel my swim coming together. It has needed a lot of work. Everything else will come together now that I am able to train again.
Now we just have to get little Bijou over her ear infection.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I love the Waupaca Tri. It's a small town that doubles it's size for the race. The lake is right in town where you swim. The bike goes around the outside of town in a very rural farm area, and you finish the run in town among beautiful old houses that look like there out of a movie from the turn of the century, finishing in the park.
There were Just under 600 individual racers this year, and the conditions could not have been better. The morning was maybe 50 degrees at 5:30am. It really didn't feel any warmer come race start at 7:00. The Swim felt good this year. It looked much shorter than it did last year due to the amount of training we have been doing this year. It's amazing how mental tri racing is.
The bike was much improved this year. It has become my strong point, much to my surprise. There is always faster and always more efficient. That is one of the great things about tris. I think there were two dozen racers over forty and fifty that finished in front of us.
Here is my new "race" hair cut. If it doesn't look good, it feels great. The run was good but could have been better. I had herd in conversation that you should never take more than one "goo" energy packs during a "sprint" tri because you don't need it, but I thought it would give me a faster run. WRONG! I took a second "goo" at the end of the bike and for the first mile and a half of the three point two mile run I was challenged to keep it from coming back out of my body the way it came in. It is very difficult to maintain pace and your breathing when your body is trying to eject something from it's stomach. I was able to settle it down and just before the second mile I started to get my legs under me and was able to pick up the pace. By mile three I had a great clip going and the last point two I was at a full out run. Very pleased but frustrated from the "goo" blunder. Lessons learned!
I will have more pictures form other cameras later. Here are my comparisons from the 06' race and this years. Training matters!
153rd overall...17:16mn swim...63:23 bike w/18.9mph average...24:47 run w/8:00min mile
Total time of 1:49:37
68th overall.....15:15mn swim...55:15 bike w/21.7mph average...23:19 run w/7:31 min mile
Total time of 1:37:45
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Friday we will leave at noon and head for Waupaca Wisconsin for the annual Tri. It is a "sprint" A half mile swim, 15 mile bike, and a 3.2 mile run. This is where I got the "tri bug" three years ago. Clark's uncle has been doing this for years and I have been inspired by him to do more each year. I am very excited to race this year because it is the first time I have really trained for it. I know the course. I know my abilities, and I am ready to have a great race. Coaches new phrase she left us with is to "leave it all on the course." Don't cross the finish line and feel like you could have pushed harder. Be smart, race to your abilities and push to the finish line. Have nothing left. John, Brad, Clark, Steve and I will finish strong. I am getting so excited. Then we start to really get serious about Disney. It is over double this race and we will really have to stretch ourselves to excel in that race.
I'll post with the race results come Saturday night or Sunday.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
So just a quick post to get up to speed. So much has been happening lately it all most feels a bit uncomfortable. I trust it's just a season and well get through it.
The end of the Canada trip was great. I was able to golf for the first time up there at a beautiful course. The way things are going it will probably be my only outing. Sunday we went to the farm in Haford Sask. where Janet's dad grew up. It is always a blast to visit that side of the family at the farm. It is always a highlight at the farm and this trip was no different. Mom, dad and I packed up Monday morning and meet Victor for breakfast one last time, then hit the road. It is always good to see family. We certainly do not see them enough ( that's a hint for them to come down and visit!)
As you may have guessed I haven't had a spare moment for myself yet. Nor my wife, or Bijou. All the things always seem to happen at once and August must be my month. The positives are work is really busy. That's better then the latter. Team in Training is fantastic. I have received so much encouragement in letters and donations that I have committed to doing another race. I will have much more information about it soon. The race is a century ride on the bike. It is basically one length of the Tour de France, I think 112-116 miles. It is called the Tour de Tuscon. It is November 19, and I am very excited and thankful to all those who have been so generous in your support, that has allowed me to continue. Thank you letters will be coming out soon.
I have "crack pot" dreams of finishing the century bike ride in November and rolling right into training for the Rock in Roll Marathon in Phoenix come January. Let me know what you think. If you haven't received a letter from me yet, leave me your address in the comment box and I will be sure to send you the details in my next letter. It should be going out next week.
Man's rise or fall, success or failure, happiness or unhappiness depends on his attitude...a man's attitude will create the situation he imagines. - James Lane Allen
More pictures on the next post I promise.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Auntie Jennifer with Bijou
Bath time with cousin Nevaeh
Pa Pa Victors backyard is full of fun!
Sun-bathing at Emma Lake beach.
More to come!