Friday, March 28, 2008

Canadian Cousins

We had some visitors from the far north this week. Janet's cousin Rose and her daughter Cathrine paid us a visit from Sat to Thurs morning. It was my first time meeting the two of them because they have lived in BC for as long as Janet and I have been together. It was so exciting to have part of her family here. We had fun showing them what we could of Minnesota, bad spring weather and all. Easter dinner with mom and dad. The Mall of America. Mystic Lake. Ikea. Fort Snelling. Dinner at Benihana. Costco. Movie in Maple Grove. Dave and Busters. I know is was very exciting for Janet as for me also.

We are officially two months into training for the Lifetime Fitness tri on July 12. The coaches have had us on a great light schedule to build a base for the coming increase of activity. I myself, along with Erek Swenson and Wes Aldinger (team mates) have been putting a lot of extra time in on the run in preparation for the Maple Grove half marathon on Sat May 17. I have put on 90 miles since Feb and I am starting to work on improving my tempo.

Swimming is coming along slowly. I am very happy with my progress, but I am starting from ground zero in terms of technique and breathing. My test now is keeping my technique while building endurance. Coach Mike and Bob have been so great and patient. Coaching 75+ people per week in a pool, with skill levels all over the board, can't be easy but they are fantastic.

I just got my bike back from coach Bob this week. He has had it since the Nov's century ride in Tucson. He had to alter it quite a bit for it to be "road worthy" for that race since tri bikes were not allowed. I am excited to possibly get out Sunday for the first ride of 08. I am quite behind in bike training, but no worries.

More importantly my spiritual training is back on track. I started meeting with some close guy friends on Sunday nights to study the book of James from the New Testament. I can't tell you what an enormous encouragement it has been to be back in the Word. God has carried me through so much this past year. I have had my life on "cruise" attempting to be more patient, healing from the loss of Adam. I know that process will continue until I join him some day, yet clearly He has called me to a season of growth now. It is so much more satisfying to be training for another race and challenging myself spiritually as well as physically. It is so remarkable to serve a God that is always consistent. I feel much more confident and at peace, and it has only been three weeks.

I look forward to a great season of physical and spiritual challenges. I have been so blessed by so much support once again with this TNT race. This year, with new races and new babies and watching our little Bijou growing up so quickly, I am excited to live each day to the fullest.

Imagine what will happen if each of us decides to reach just a little bit higher, to try just a little bit harder, to care just a little bit more. That's the power of one. – Gil Atkinson

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring into action!

And baby #2 is still three months away! Life is exciting around Dayton the past couple of months. We are doing our best to "adjust" ahead of the curve. Janet is working hard and adjusting at her new job (since last Nov) as an office administrator. Lots of new challenges. Thirty hours a week is more than enough. She went on her first business conference in the beginning of this month. Just Wed. thru Fri. in San Diego. I am very proud of her. It is definitely not skin care and make up. The little boy in her belly is an active lad. He lets her know he's there most all day long. She is amaizing. I was running the other day, thinking about races and training, and I began to marvel about how what she is going though is so much bigger than anything I could ever accomplish. I am so proud of her. She is my #1!

Bijou on mommy's old toy horse.

We celebrated Easter early this year because of vacations and what not. We had a fantastic day. Starting with our first church Sunday service that Janet Bijou and I had attended. We felt at home again with worship and the message was fantastic. It is so good to connect with the church again.
After church we meet up with Erin and Adison and headed down to Mary and Bills for Easter brunch. A relaxing afternoon and fantastic food as always.

Adison and Bijou getting Easter coloring presents.

Bijou is fantastic. Practically running. Picking up words here and there. Nose, eye, mouth, waffle, egg, hi, by, dog, puppy, and a hand full more. It is so incredibly exciting to watch her develop. She tries to sing with us and do actions to songs. I could go on and on. I am so excited to see her with her brother. She is going to be a fantastic big sister.

We purchased our new family vehicle. We happened upon a used Honda Pilot and purchased it. It is perfect for us. I am very excited to do lots of family stuff in our new vehicle. We are so blessed, life is so exciting. So very blessed by so many things.

Training with TNT has been great. Slowly working our way into heavier training. After the Lifetime Tri July 12, I have my first Half Ironman in Wisconsin July 20. My training for that will start in the next couple of weeks. Sean Pease and I ran our first race of the season. We raced in the "100% Irish for a day" race around Lakes Harriet and Calhoun in Minneapolis. Not just a 5k or 10k....A full 10 mile race. It was a great challange. It was much colder than it should have been, but way warmer than it has been. Race results are posted here

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. – Helen Keller