Monday, September 24, 2007

Summer's Last Stand

The weather was nice enough for one last weekend of boating. Erin and I mooched off the Westra's awesome boat and went out on the water for one last time.
Brennen (9) was awesome at tubing and tough as nails. At one point I came down on him while trying to jump. His face hit his tube and he was clearly stunned. He checked for blood and his mom pulled him up to the boat to inspect the damage. She took a look at his teeth and saw that one of his braces was knocked off - to which he responded "can I keep tubing mom?"
The Westra children put on an impressive show for a 9 and 7-year-old.
It was a fun and beautiful afternoon but now I've got to focus on other things like marathon training, football, and fall trips.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Little Kids to Grown Ups

In the past week Erin and I felt both like little children and like adults within a very short span of time.
On Wednesday and Thursday we upgraded our upstairs bathroom from carpeting and linoleum to tile. Then on Friday we went to the circus.
Here are some pictures from the house upgrade:
Before - notice the stains.
And After:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Reeds Lake Triathlon

Saturday I competed in my first "official" triathlon; I did the Reeds Lake Triathlon with Rob and Jason. The official race distance was somewhere between a "sprint" and an "Olympic" triathlon. There were over 1,000 participants.The distances were:

Swim: 1/2 mile
Bike: 17.2 miles
Run: 4.9 miles

My goal was to finish in less than 2 hours. I figured I would need a pretty fast run to meet 2 hours since swimming is my weak leg (projected 22 min) and I didn't think I could bike any faster than 17.2 miles per hour.
I happened to feel awesome during the race. I basically pushed myself as hard as possible in all of the legs and never ran out of steam. The swim was crazy because we were sent off in heats, about 200 at a time. I was in the first heat. After about 10 minutes I started catching the slow guys in my heat that didn't train hard enough for swimming at the same time as the fast swimmers from the heat behind started catching me. There was a lot of bumping and pushing. I finished in 19:05, much faster than I had hoped.
The bike portion was my favorite. The course was great, I felt great, and the weather was perfect for a morning ride. I flew at a 19.5 mph average.
The 2 transition zones between the 3 legs were also important. There were over 100 rows of bike racks so you had to find your spot, change shoes and clothes as fast as possible, and then dodge everyone else as you ran out of the zone. Transition zones contributed more than 3 minutes to your overall time.
The run was also terrific. I set a PR for 3+ mile speed. I ran the course in just under 35 minutes for a 7:08 average pace.
My total time was 1:50:49. Jason decided not to train this year and finished in a respectable 1:56. Rob struggled mightily on the swim in his first triathlon ever. He rebounded nicely on the bike and run to finish in 1:56.

Other than the triathlon Erin and I went to celebration on the grand, went biking along the lake shore, and went to a friend's wedding in Lansing.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Closing the Cottage

The 2007 summer is in the books. We closed the cottage down on Monday by taking in the docks and boats and cleaning out the cottage.
Luckily, we were able to enjoy a terrific weekend before packing it all up. On Friday I took a half day off so that I could get my 18 mile training run out of the way in the afternoon. It was the 3rd Labor Day weekend in a row I've done an 18 mile marathon training run, but sadly I was not accompanied by my normal training partner Jason and had to run solo.

The weather was awesome and the weekend was full of boating, supertubing, volleyball, golfing, games, and swimming.

Erin was happiest reading her book in the sunshine...usually with her feet in the water.

One lasting memory from this summer will be my dad's softball accident. He's got a long recovery to go but at least he could enjoy the company of the cottage, including a couple pontoon boat rides and the hot dog roast.

The 4 supertubers were all together for basically the first time all summer. On Sunday we tore it up on the treacherously busy lake. Our big accomplishment for the weekend was the "stacked jumpover." Two tubers stayed in the wake as the 3rd was whipped out. The two in the wake climbed on top of each other so that the whipped tube had to jump a stack of 2 tubes and 2 tubers as he jumped. It was awesome and we captured a few of them on video. There were a few dramatic crashes along the way too.
We had a plethora of food as well. Here are the baked goods on Saturday morning. So good but so bad.
Well, the countdown until Memorial Day weekend begins (I did bring my wetsuit home in case anyone happens to invite me boating before then...).