Sunday, September 28, 2008

Change of Seasons

Triathlon season is done so on to Home Improvement season.

We pulled a Japanese Maple from the front of the house. The poor tree was smashed up against the side of the house and its roots were wrapped around a drainage pipe... it was a serious operation to get that thing out. Hopefully it will thrive in it's new home.

And the big bay window went in the next day with the help of my Dad and Brother. I love having such willing and able free labor! It really makes the living room feel bigger. I'll post an update with an interior photo after I trim it out.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Black Diamond Half Ironman Triathlon

Last Saturday (9/13) my cousin Michael and I competed in the longest triathlon of our short tri careers - a half ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). It was the Black Diamond Triathlon in Enumclaw, which was the same place that I was supposed to do the Olympic distance w/ Ben last year. My mom and Loren were there, along with my aunt and uncle.

All summer I had been on a strict training schedule that had me working out 6 days a week, and towards the end, 14 to 15 hours per week. My swimming had greatly improved and my bike time was good, too, so I was feeling great for race day. My main goal was to finish and have fun, but I have to admit that beating my cousin was on my mind, too. He had beat me by 30 seconds at the Seafair tri.

My game plan was to do what I could in the water, figuring he's the swimmer in the family and I wouldn't be able to keep up out there, then I'd ride a conservative pace on the bike and save myself for the run at which point my marathon muscle memory would push me past him as we neared the finish. That was my game plan anyways.

As it turned out, I actually got out of the water a full minute ahead of him, which suprised everyone, especially me. At that point I was 31st out of 166. Then we left the transition area at about the same time and I let him take off ahead, smirking to myself, thinking "poor kid, he's gonna burn his legs out early and will be easy prey..." It was a long ride. 3 hours and 7 minutes out there. I was pretty glad to be done with that leg and onto the run portion. The run course at Black Diamond has lots of out and back sections which was useful for gauging my progress in catching up to Michael, but it can also be confusing... especially when there's nobody in front of me and nobody is telling me where to go. I was at about the 9 mile mark and was really opening it up when I ran right past this dirt road that I was supposed to turn on. The same dirt road that Micheal was hobbling down as he was running out of gas!

After about a mile, I started to think that something seemed wrong. I stopped and consulted the volunteers at a water station who confirmed my suspision. I WAS PISSED. By the time I got back to the dirt road turn off I had started to give up. My legs hurt, I was hot and tired, disappointed and a little broken. I was just going to walk back to the park and call it a day. Then I saw Loren, my mom's husband. He talked me down and convinced me that I had to finish. He was right, you can't go for 5 and a half hours, then just give up. So I sucked it up and ran my ass back to the park, around the lake and completed my roughly 15 mile run.

I still finished in less than 6 hours, which I think is a great accomplishment for your first half iron distance. It's hard to say what was harder, this tri or the marathon. Maybe they were harder in different respects. And I can't stop replaying that wrong turn in my mind and thinking about what a great finish it would have been... After 5.5 hours of racing to be coming down the home stretch... neck and neck w/ my cuz... both in pain and suffering from exhaustion... giving it that last final push... and beating him by 5 seconds right at the end!

Oh well, maybe next year.

Happy Anniversary to Us!

In honor of our 4 year wedding anniversary and partially for my upcoming birthday, we bought ourselves a new camera. Finally - a real camera! It's a Nikon D80 and it is sweet. This camera does everything except cook you breakfast.

When my grandma died, I put together a video slidshow, so everyone sent me photos of her life. After looking at 80+ years of photos, something struck me. I realized that all of the photos were beautiful up until the past 10 years, when everyone switched over to cheap point and shoot digital cameras.

Here's the very first picture taken - shutter actuation number one...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Beer Friday

I am sitting at work right now drinking a cold beer and eating pretzels. This is SO COOL.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Juke Box Hero

Now if he can just learn to play some air guitar...

Little Dude Lip Syncs - Watch more free videos

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sanders 40th BDay

There are beautiful women who know how to dance (I'm married to one) and there are strippers, and then somewhere in between there is BURLESQUE.

Yes, there was a burlesque dancer that gave a suprise performance at SandMan's birthday Sunday night. Big thanks to Andrea for making it happen - everybody loved it! The woman she hired was a very talented dancer/performer, and was totally sexy without being vulgar, so nobody had to feel uncomfortable or embarrased.

We also had a deep-fried turkey, sides, booze and two birthday cakes. Happy Birthday Sanders.

CageSport MMA

"Let's get ready to rrrrrrr-rumble!"

Fil hooked me up with a couple of tickets to this new local mixed martial arts cage fighting event down at the Emerald Queen casino. I was a little sceptical, because it was only their second event and it was at this casino that I had never seen, but heard it was cheesy. So Adam and I went down there anyways, because, well, the tickets were FREE afterall, and we are big martial arts fans... plus we just wanted some brotherly hang time.

So the casino was cheesy as expected, but the fights were great. There were 7 amatuer and 3 professional, 1 of which was women fighters! And the venue was pretty small, so it had a really intimate feel. We were 6 rows from the cage and right on the aisle where the fighters came and left.

It was no UFC but it was pretty cool.