Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summer Events

I think we just squeezed in a full summer of events into the month of August. What fun, what sheer exhaustion.

The Green Lake tri was on the 9th in Spicer MN. Small town Tri's are my favorite. The towns embrace them. The excitement of many people doing one for the first time, and those that are more seasoned racers are there to have fun and enjoy other peoples company. Erek Swenson and a bunch of his family do this race every year so it was fun to be a part of it with them. Erek, Justin (erek's bro-in-law) and I did the Olympic course (about 75 people) and the other 500 people were doing the sprint course. The swim (.8mi) was a great challenge because it was strait into big waves. That is a tough swim into constant chop. The Bike (24mi) was twice around Green Lake and was a small hill rolling course. The run (10k) was the same rolling hills. I gave it my best and turned out my best bike and run thus far. It was good enough for 5th place overall and third in my age group. The greatest thrill was being honored by the announcer when I received my medal. He noticed that I had my TNT jersey on and thanked me for making a difference by racing and raising vital funds in the fight against cancer. That applause really meant something! That is why I race!
The next week was getting things ready for Janet's sister Jen and her family to come down from Canada for a visit. We have been so excited for them to come but I foolishly decided to race the two weekends before they came. So we did what we could before the next weekend and loaded up for the 4 hour drive to Waupaca WI. for the Waupaca sprint Tri.

Four years ago Waupaca was my first race. My good buddy Clark (who was in Chicago at the time) called me up and talked me into meeting him there to race four years ago on a whim. We have done it together every year since. Every year we have bettered our times. Every year we talk more people into doing it for the first time. This year Sean Pease came out with us for his first tri race ever. John Kinghorn made the trip for the second year in a row too. It was great. We all had great times. We all had personal best times. It was my first short course or "sprint" of the year an so I was curious if I could ramp up my speed for the short course. All of my training this year has been more focused on the half iron course. The weather was perfect for the entire race. I was able to do better then I expected. Looking at my race times from this year I though I could come in about 12th overall. Waupaca raced 575 this year and I was able to come in 9th overall, second in my age group. My swim (.5mi) was good. My bike (20mi) is my weak point, but I did not give up too much time on it. My run (3.1mi) was better than I expected, running under 6:20 min miles. Waupaca is a great race in a great town, on a perfect setting. Right after the race it's pack up and drive home and start to get ready for our Canadian visitors in two days.

Jayson, Jen and their kids Renee and Nolan drove the 16 hour drive down Tues the 19th. They made it as far as Alexandria and their van's transmission decided to give up. So I left home for Alex at 10:30pm to help. Got to Alex at midnight and we decided to pull them home slowly on Hwy 55. Four hours later we arrived home. Our Canadian visitors had arrived. It was so exciting for us to have them down. We had a such a good time, it was a pleasure to spend time with them in and around our home. The van's problems were covered under warranty.
Their first day Wed. we did a noon Twins game then Jay and I golfed 9 holes with John Kinghorn at Daytona.
Thurs morning they went shopping into the afternoon and then Jay and I went golfing again 9 holes at Fox Hallow with the Dayton gang, a group of guys that golf every Thurs. during the season. It was my first time golfing with them this year and it was fun to introduce Jay to everyone.
Fri was more shopping for them at Cabalas and after that we had a fantastic dinner at Buena Siera with my folks and Pa pa Dom. Gret food and great company.
Sat more running around to get ready for a good ole' dayton party at our house that night. Lawn games snacks and refreshments. Great weather and great company.
Sunday a long drive around town and the lakes then a great afternoon at mom and dad's on the river.
Monday was the big State Fair day. They picked this week to come for the fair and we had perfect weather for that.
Tues the girls did their thing and Jay, I and the Swenson brothers golfed 18 at Edinburgh. I left a lot of balls there!
Wed. was the end of a great week with a great dinner at the Swensons. What a wonderful time! What a wonderful week! They were off for home Thurs.

What a great month! Two exciting races with great friends and great weather. Having Jen and her family down for the first time was exciting beyond words. We got to do a lot in that week. Since then I have been mostly grinding through the days. I was getting sick during their stay. The change of sleep, diet and training (none) really hit me. When I stopped after work Thurs my body started to crash and has not yet recovered. Today is Sat and I fought a sinus infection/migraine all day. It was all worth it! I hope tomorrow is my bounce back day. I will try to get out for a run or bike or both tomorrow. I must be realistic about next Sunday and the Square Lake Tri. I wanted that to be my pinnacle race of the year. I'm not sure that I will race now though. I am happy with the races I have had this year and I have not really trained since Waupaca on the 17th. Square Lk is a half Iron and I do not want to risk injury. I know I could do it but I don't trust myself to do it easy. I know I would push and I don't know that my body would handle that well after all this fun and then being sick for the past five days.
I also need to think about Boston next April. I don't want to exhaust my self now and be flat coming into training for that race.
Our family has been so blessed in this busy month. Bijou is getting so big and smart. She was a nut for the rides at the fair and had a blast with her Canadian cousins. Armond is doing great. What a great baby. The smiles melt your heart. He is going to look just like mom. I dare say he has is grandpa Victors smile.
So blessed!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer Break

What a journey since the half-iron race in Racine. The following week I got in a short recovery run and bike in. I have been pretty consistent in Wednesday night swims on the river. Outside of that this Sunday the 3rd was the first real training I have done in two weeks. I know my body probably is better off for it, but I have really missed the routine.

Angel, John Kinghorn and I , did something new on Sat the 26. We swam in the 22nd annual Minnetonka Swim Challenge. It is a 5 mile swim from Excelsior Bay to Wayzata Bay. John did the first 1.7 mile leg. Angel did the second 2.2 mile leg and I repeated the same as Angel. I was very curious as to how I was going to handle a 2 mile swim. I loved it. We all did our best to remain calm, get the most out of each stroke and not think about anything else. It was great. I have put alot of extra effort into the swim this year and I really am beginning to love it.

The other thing that has gotten us to put training on hold is rebuilding mom and dad's deck at their house. Remodel projects always take twice as long as you think they are going to go. This one is just a bit worse than that. I have really enjoyed the work but the project is really getting long. It will be beautiful after it is done.

So all last week was, finish work go strait to the deck. Janet would bring the kids and work till 9pm or so. So today I got up early with Erek Swenson to start training again. 30 mile bike and 4mile run. I loved it. Great to be in the saddle again. But man am I tired now.

Janet I and the kids had some fun with the Swenson's at the local Dayton church fund raiser festival Sat. night and Sunday afternoon. Janet and I finally got to church Sunday morning too. It is her first day back to work Monday :( She has done such a great job with the kids and our exciting schedule. Now we try to balance her 30 hours a week into it.

Next Sat another Tri. Green Lake by Spicer MN. with the Swenson clan. The following weekend Waupaca.
Fun fun fun.