Sunday, June 29, 2008

Schedual of Events

Since March, I recall looking forward to July, week after week, trying to imagine what it was going to be like having a new baby in our lives. The due date is June 27, the races are July 12 and 20. What was it going to be like? I have dedicated a lot of time over the past four months to being ready mentally, having things ready around the house, and physically for the races. But when the baby comes what would happen? Would birth be smooth? Would we pay for the easy baby that we had with Bijou and get a new one with an attitude? Would I be able to sleep? Keep up with the house projects? Get another swim, bike or run in? I really prepared for it. If that's what you get, then that is the challenge you are blessed with, what ever that is. Well I can now answer that question after a week of experience.

Armand (Arm-nd) Andrew Prest was born last Sunday the 22nd at 10:13am after 11 hours of labor. Mommy was amaizing. She handled things well even when thing didn't go exactly as expected. I am so proud of her for being so brave and confident. Eight pounds, seven ounces, twenty-one inches, all boy. It is different the second time. You know what to expect more so there is a bit more comfort but knowing more made me more emotional. I was so taken by the process of everything this time. So proud of Janet for enduring so much over the past 38 weeks and for finishing so strong. When you hear that first gasp of air and the cry that follows it changes you forever. From that moment to now things are different. We are a "family" now. Not just Janet, Andrew and Bijou. It just feels like so much more to me. I didn't expect it. It just feels great.
Wanting to get home as soon as possible for Bijou, we spent just one night in the hospital. Night one was naturally nervous and not completely smooth. We had to learn what he liked and how he would eat and all that good stuff. Night two was better. Night three through tonight has been better than could ever be expected. He eats two to three times over night, and just gives a half cry-grunt when he is ready to eat. Keep the dipper clean and he is one content baby.
Bijou has been super. We have been letting her take her time warming up to him. She has been very excited to point out "baby" from the start. Every day she helps out more and more. Bringing his blanket or pacifier or helping to "genitally" burp new brother. Occasionally giving a hug or kiss. She has been handling the shift of attention very well thus far.
So all the questions that I had about things around the house and training and such have been great so far. I have no problem dropping any of those things if need be. My joy comes from the blessing that God has given me. The biggest ones in my life are my wife and my children. If I need to give them all my attention then they have it, no question. Being able to get a decent nights rest and having wonderful help from grandma and grandpa and our close friends bringing meals and such, I have been able to get in about seventy percent of my workouts this past week. Much more than I could have expected. I even got to clean the garage for the first time this summer today, with Bijou's help of course. What a helper!
Tonight was Armand's first pontoon ride on the river with the family. What a blessing that everything has been going so well. One day at a time, we do what we can.
What an adventure! How amaizing it is to be on this side of the calender. For the longest time it looked so far away and now we are her. What a blessing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Day

Since the Buffalo Tri it has been fun keeping up on all the "summer" things going on. So far mostly projects. This year we built a new dock for mom and dads place to keep better tabs on the pontoon. Of course it took much longer than I expected. It's in now and the boat and the pontoon got in just in time to enjoy for fathers day.
Bijou continues to make life joyful. She is getting fast and smart. It is amaizing to see her grow. It's hard to see her as a toddler now but she is. Nothing terrible about it yet though. She is challenging us in some ways but she is receptive when we calmly talk to her. What a joy parenting is!
Janet is on the home stretch now with our son. She thinks it is going to be this week sometime. The doctor agrees that it could be any day. Her pregnancy has been great. She is so amaizing, what a joy it is to be by her side through such an amaizing experience. The leading name we have so far is Armand. Armand is Janet's dads middle name given to him from his grandfather who was the first settler into Canada from France. Armand Fendelet We looked it up and it means "war", it is where we get the word Army from. We are not nuts about that part but it is certainly a strong name. I never thought I would have the "creative" kid names but we surly do. Bijou is so fitting for her and Armand sounds pretty good with Bijou. We pray for a smooth experience bringing him into the world but pray for courage to handle what every situation we experience.
Training has been a bit secondary to getting everything else done. I will excuse it as a good for a change of pace and muscle recovery. From here out I am going to do my best not to skip many workouts. Lifetime is just a month away and Racine (half Iron) is just 5 weeks. I am not quite ready for the half Iron but if I get in the majority of my long workouts I will do just fine.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Beautiful Buffalo

There is nothing like a race day. They come in all varieties. This one just happened to be the picture perfect weather day. Buffalo has a great park setting on a hill over looking the lake. It dose not make for an easy race but it is great to hang out in after the race.

It was great to see so many familiar faces from TNT. Both past and current team mates. It is a bond like no other at a race. What a feeling to know that those people are there supporting you and cheering you on. Wes and Erek did fantastic in their first race. Erek cruised through like a seasoned athlete, wondering if he could have pushed harder. Wes found out that nerves play a huge part on race day. He, like me in my first race, hit the water and his heart rate jumped. As the champ he is, he knew he just had to keep moving forward, how ever he could. Of course after he got out of the water he burned up the bike and the run.
I was able to talk the race director into bumping me into the longer Olympic course last second. For some reason the mile swim looked shorter to me than it did at Disney. That is a great place to be in mentally going in. As my group went into the water I got in front and for the first time stayed in front. This was my first race with a wet suit and I felt really comfortable in it. My focus was to stay relaxed and consistent. No push, just relaxed and consistent long strokes. Before I knew it I was on the beach on my way to the bike. Not dizzy like all the other races coming out of the water. It was a proud moment for me to stay in my swim stroke from start to finish. 22 minuets in the water 9 minuets faster than Disney!
The bike was good. I did not feel strong in it, but I was happy with it. The competition was crazy good. This was my best bike ever, averaging 21.5 mph on a hilly course. That was good enough for 109th out of 357 competitors. I was happy but man the field was fast!
The run felt good too. I wanted to push harder because my heart rate was calmer than I usually see in a race but I know I could not push my legs any more than I was. That is a good sign for future training. It was difficult to let people pass but I knew it was wiser to let it go and enjoy my pace in this race. All that said it was my fastest 10k race pace yet. I finished 51st overall in the run with a 6:48 min mile pace.
In total my final finish time of 2:18:18 for the Olympic course was very satisfying. 58th of 357 finishers. I can't thank my coaches, Mike and Bob for the focus and technique that they have given me this year. They sacrifice so much to coach for TNT, we are lucky to be part of their team.
My focus during the race was a mix of specific POSITIVE things. In the water it was great memories of Adam and I. On the bike it was all the people that have supported my races and been so generous. I will always be inspired by all that support. When the bike got tough, I thought about Janet and our coming son. I though of how I want to be a father that my son can look up to even when I'm in my later years. In the run I always think about McKenna who was our honored team mate for the Phoenix marathon for TNT. McKenna lost her fight with cancer before the race and I will always do my best to honor her in my runs. All of those thoughts cross my mind through the entire race but my focus usually is stronger in those areas. When the going gets tough, I focus on the pain that Adam and so many others have to endure with cancer. The pain in these little races is nothing compared to that. I want to honor them and their courageous spirit when I train and when I race.