Sunday, July 27, 2008

Swimming Sermon

On Sundays at the cottage we typically go to an outdoor church service at Camp Henry. Camp Henry is conveniently located on Kimball Lake, a lake that is connected to Pickerel Lake. It is 2 miles by car or 1 mile by boat.

Over the years we've taken many modes of transportation to get to Camp Henry including driving, biking, running (home from church), walking, and canoeing. One year Jason, Evan, and I even slept in canoes overnight in front of Camp Henry.
We've joked in the past that the ultimate feat would be to swim to church. At the time we figured our only chance was to use flippers. This year with our distance training we realized we could do it without we did.
On Sunday morning of 4th of July weekend Jason and I put on our swimming trunks and swam to Church. Carissa and Ben followed with a canoe and carried some dry clothes for us to change into.
We swam to the point, swam to the reeds,

swam to the Pickerel/Kimball tunnel,

and then swam to Camp Henry.

We timed it very well and arrived 5 minutes prior to the start of Church.
Last weekend I completed the full test by swimming there AND back.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Half Ironman

In 8 days I will compete is my longest endurance race ever, the Steelhead Half Ironman.

My goal is:
Swim - 1.2 miles - 40:00
Bike - 56 miles - 3:15:00 - 17.2 mph average
Run - 13.1 miles - 1:59:55 - 9:09 minutes/mile average
Transitions - 5:00
Total time - 5:59:55

I'm quite nervous, and there are a lot of possible outcomes. My biggest wild cards at this point are the temperature, the wind, my bike, and my recent knee/hip pain while running.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend of Mishaps

Sometimes you just have to laugh. Two weekends ago I had a few too many "uh oh" moments.

Jason and I set out to do a 40 mile bike ride to the cottage followed by a 10 mile run as training for our half ironman. The bike ride I mapped out started at Fruit Ridge and I96 and followed a nice route along some back country roads for a quiet ride.
However...Jason got a flat tire right about here:
A mere 15 miles into our ride...and in the middle of nowhere. Ironically, Jason has carried a repair kit virtually every time he's ridden for the last 10 years (since his last flat) but forgot his pump that day. So we were out of luck. We asked several people in a campground nearby for pump with no success. Finally Erin came and picked us up.
Having lost quite a bit of our evening, we decided switch our running route to this:
However...Jason's lack of lunch hit him right about here:
And we had to stop for Wendy's. We made it to the cottage at JUST before dark.
On Saturday Erin and I took Evie for a nice boat ride into Emerald and Silvan. This was our intended route.
However...we ran out of gas right here:
The wind was blowing at 15-20 mph from the west, but the biggest problem was that one of the oars was broke, so I basically couldn't row. With some of Erin's ingenuity, we attempted to make it to the shore of the west side of the cove and walk back to the cottage.
However...after finally hitting the shore, Erin's flip flop broke right about here:
It was a comical weekend. Nothing seriously bad happened, but a lot of random inconveniences did.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

2008 Pickerel Lake Triathlon

2008 was the 4th year of the Pickerel Lake Triathlon. The PLT has become a much anticipated summer event for the Indian Trails Cottages. We had another terrific turnout this year. 2008 was our highest turnout with a total of 18 people that completed the triathlon solo in addition to 5 relay teams.

The weather was perfect yet again and we met at 8:00 am on Saturday morning. The course is a 1/3 mile swim around 2 buoys, a hilly 9.5 mile bike ride around Silvan, Emerald, and Pickerel lakes, and a hilly 5.2 mile run around Pickerel lake.

Last year I surprised a lot of people, including myself, when I won it by about 4 minutes. This year I really wanted to defend my title and I put in a ton of training, especially on the swim. Winning wasn't my only goal, or even my most important. My goals for the 2008 PLT are below, listed in order of importance.
  1. Beat Paul, who had boldly proclaimed to dozens of people that he was going to beat me.
  2. Win
  3. Beat Jason
  4. Finish in sub 1:20:00
  5. Win the swim section
  6. Set the swim course record

I didn't quite reach all of my goals, but I hit my top 3. I know it seems a little weak for a 26-year-old to want to beat a 45-year-old so badly, but all I heard about for the 7 days prior to the PLT was how Paul planned to beat me. Then, when confronted, he totally denied it even though I had more than 5 independent sources.

The overall and results are below.

PlaceNameOverallSwimBikeRunBike Pace (mph)Run Pace (min/mi)
1Randy Elenbaas1:22:320:09:410:33:540:38:5716.810:07:29
2Jason Schaaf1:26:370:11:150:33:450:41:3716.890:08:00
3Paul Soper1:30:130:12:250:37:340:40:1415.170:07:44
4Dan/Terry Kett1:30:480:11:110:38:210:41:1614.860:07:56
6Stewart Aspinall1:36:140:16:350:35:320:44:0716.040:08:29
7Darren Schaaf1:36:570:14:510:35:460:46:2015.940:08:55
8Mark VanHarn1:39:520:12:340:42:020:45:1613.560:08:42
9Dan Kuiper1:39:520:14:050:35:340:50:1316.030:09:39
10Steve Elenbaas1:41:190:13:420:40:540:46:4313.940:08:59
11Dave Geschiere1:41:460:15:010:37:310:49:1415.190:09:28
12Derek Elenbaas1:42:100:17:410:39:400:44:4914.370:08:37
13Roger/Claire Steensma1:47:170:18:140:40:360:48:2714.040:09:19
14Andrew Wiersma1:47:170:12:090:40:330:54:3514.060:10:30
15Dan Wiley1:51:480:13:570:39:340:58:1714.410:11:12
16Mike Johnson1:52:150:12:000:45:450:54:3012.460:10:29
17Marv Elenbaas1:52:240:15:590:43:040:53:2113.240:10:16
18Seth Kuiper1:54:390:15:080:41:250:58:0613.760:11:10
19Grace/Haley/Lydia Elizabeth1:56:270:17:540:45:530:52:4012.420:10:08
20Jenny Scott1:56:430:17:230:48:520:50:2811.660:09:42
21Ben Elenbaas2:05:500:15:320:51:200:58:5811.100:11:20
22Sarah Kuiper2:09:320:17:080:51:171:01:0711.110:11:45
PartialLindsay ElenbaasN/A0:15:131:00:26N/A9.43N/A
PartialJim VerhoefN/AN/AN/A0:47:35N/A0:09:09
PartialErik VerhoefN/AN/AN/A0:48:00N/A0:09:14
PartialJay SchaafN/AN/A0:48:27N/A11.76N/A

My greatest improvement was the swim. I set the course record (Dan Kett had a lower swim time in 2005, but we had a different swimming route that year) and had a nice lead going into the bike. I also introduced the triathlon wetsuit to the swim, which proved very helpful and somewhat controversial.
NameSwimSwim Pace (min/mi)
Randy Elenbaas0:09:410:29:03
Dan/Terry Kett0:11:110:33:33
Jason Schaaf0:11:150:33:45
Mike Johnson0:12:000:36:00
Andrew Wiersma0:12:090:36:27
Paul Soper0:12:250:37:15
Mark VanHarn0:12:340:37:42
Steve Elenbaas0:13:420:41:06
Dan Wiley0:13:570:41:51
Dan Kuiper0:14:050:42:15
Darren Schaaf0:14:510:44:33
Dave Geschiere0:15:010:45:03
Seth Kuiper0:15:080:45:24
Lindsay Elenbaas0:15:130:45:39
Ben Elenbaas0:15:320:46:36
Marv Elenbaas0:15:590:47:57
Stewart Aspinall0:16:350:49:45
Sarah Kuiper0:17:080:51:24
Jenny Scott0:17:230:52:09
Derek Elenbaas0:17:410:53:03
Grace/Haley/Lydia Elizabeth0:17:540:53:42
Roger/Claire Steensma0:18:140:54:42

As more evidence how badly Paul wanted to win, look closely at the following pictures.

Everyone nicely lined up before the start.

Paul, lunging forward in full stride ahead of everyone.

Paul (in the center) in an all out dive to get ahead at the beginning of the swim.
The bike was again very eventful, but at least we didn't have any flat tires. Jason and I both crashed at the exact same spot while biking around Emerald. Ben popped a wheelie going over a speed bump and his front tire decided to roll away, leading to a painful crash.
NameBikeBike Pace (mph)
Jason Schaaf0:33:4516.89
Randy Elenbaas0:33:5416.81
Stewart Aspinall0:35:3216.04
Dan Kuiper0:35:3416.03
Darren Schaaf0:35:4615.94
Dave Geschiere0:37:3115.19
Paul Soper0:37:3415.17
Dan/Terry Kett0:38:2114.86
Dan Wiley0:39:3414.41
Derek Elenbaas0:39:4014.37
Andrew Wiersma0:40:3314.06
Roger/Claire Steensma0:40:3614.04
Steve Elenbaas0:40:5413.94
Seth Kuiper0:41:2513.76
Mark VanHarn0:42:0213.56
Marv Elenbaas0:43:0413.24
Mike Johnson0:45:4512.46
Grace/Haley/Lydia Elizabeth0:45:5312.42
Jay Schaaf0:48:2711.76
Jenny Scott0:48:5211.66
Sarah Kuiper0:51:1711.11
Ben Elenbaas0:51:2011.10
Lindsay Elenbaas1:00:269.43

For a good time you need a respectable swim and bike, but the run can make or break you. I had a 1:30 lead after the bike and knew that Jason could catch me if he had a great run so I never let up. My dad provided on course updates so I knew whether Jason was gaining or losing ground. Thankfully my legs had enough left in them for a good run and I finished with new overall course record of 1:22:32.
NameRunRun Pace (min/mi)
Randy Elenbaas0:38:570:07:29
Paul Soper0:40:140:07:44
Dan/Terry Kett0:41:160:07:56
Jason Schaaf0:41:370:08:00
Stewart Aspinall0:44:070:08:29
Derek Elenbaas0:44:490:08:37
Mark VanHarn0:45:160:08:42
Darren Schaaf0:46:200:08:55
Steve Elenbaas0:46:430:08:59
Jim Verhoef0:47:350:09:09
Erik Verhoef0:48:000:09:14
Roger/Claire Steensma0:48:270:09:19
Dave Geschiere0:49:140:09:28
Dan Kuiper0:50:130:09:39
Jenny Scott0:50:280:09:42
Grace/Haley/Lydia Elizabeth0:52:400:10:08
Marv Elenbaas0:53:210:10:16
Mike Johnson0:54:300:10:29
Andrew Wiersma0:54:350:10:30
Seth Kuiper0:58:060:11:10
Dan Wiley0:58:170:11:12
Ben Elenbaas0:58:580:11:20
Sarah Kuiper1:01:070:11:45

There are now only 4 participants who have officially finished the PLT each year. Steve and I have both improved each year.
4-Year Solo Finisher 2005 200620072008
Jason Schaaf1:35:591:24:521:27:251:26:37
Randy Elenbaas1:35:311:32:411:23:061:22:32
Paul Soper1:40:411:33:171:37:401:30:13
Steve Elenbaas2:02:411:53:091:43:121:41:19

It seemed like many of the participants improved this year. When I looked at the results, I found that EVERYONE who completed the PLT in both 2007 and 2008 had an improved time this year. A few had remarkably improved times like Derek, Seth, and Dave. But Mike made the biggest improvement by far. Nice work Mike.
Comparison with Last Year20072008Time Diff% Impr
Mike Johnson2:34:191:52:150:42:0437.5%
Derek Elenbaas2:01:481:42:100:19:3819.2%
Seth Kuiper2:10:261:54:390:15:4713.8%
Dave Geschiere1:52:041:41:460:10:1810.1%
Paul Soper1:37:401:30:130:07:278.3%
Grace/Haley/Lydia Elizabeth2:02:561:56:270:06:295.6%
Dan Kuiper1:44:171:39:520:04:254.4%
Sarah Kuiper2:13:012:09:320:03:292.7%
Steve Elenbaas1:43:121:41:190:01:531.9%
Jason Schaaf1:27:251:26:370:00:480.9%
Randy Elenbaas1:23:061:22:320:00:340.7%

All the participants
The Elenbaas participants.
Jenny made Evelyn a great onesie. I know many of the other competitors did not appreciate it, but I couldn't resist dressing her up for the occasion. It says "My daddy can outswim, outbike, and outrun your daddy."

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wyoming Trip - Lasting Memories

The Elenbaas Wyoming trip was a wonderful family vacation. Besides all the sights we saw, here are some great memories from our time out west.

EVIE TIME: It was awesome being able to spend a whole week with baby Evie. Even though I get to see her every day after work, it was much better being able to spend all day with her. She was a great traveller and never held us back. Here are some of my favorite Evie pictures:
Pahaska family reunion lodge. It was really nice that all 24 of us could stay in one building. The lodge had an excellent family area for games and meals and we enjoyed the nearby scenery as well.
The weather. We enjoyed ideal weather every day with highs in the mid 70s and overnight lows in the 40s. We were rarely cold or hot and the sun was out every day.
Water level. Wyoming had abnormally high snow fall levels over the previous winter and a late spring. Both of those contributed to lots of snow still on the ground and very high river levels. The snake river was running at 20,000 CFS (a 10 year high), considerably faster than its normal 6,000 CFS late in the summer.
Scenery. The backdrop of the Tetons made everything look that much more majestic.New States. We made special trips into both Montana and Idaho, just to say we were there.
High Fives. Ben was in middle-school-annoying-jock stage and felt the need to give a high five for every reason imaginable. He often just stuck up his hand while walking by. He was aptly nicknamed "The Todd" for the whole trip. Here The Todd tries to solicit an unwarranted high five from Derek, who obviously isn't interested.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Child of God

On Sunday Evelyn was baptized at our church, Kelloggsville CRC. It was a great day and a lot of fun to experience it with her. Sadly, it will probably be one of the last times we'll attend KCRC since we've moved 25 miles away.
Evie was perfect. The pastor gave a rather lengthy talk on baptism as we stood in front of the church. Evie was attentive and wide-eyed and stared at the pastor the whole time. She even gave a timely yawn at one point.
Afterward we enjoyed some family time and subs for lunch. Nearly all of Evie's aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great grandparents attended. Even a few great aunts and uncles. Now all she needs is a few cousins :)

The Grandparents:

The Great Grandparents:
And the Aunts:
Grandpa Veldhof used his bakery connections to provide a sweet cake that Evie wished she was old enough to eat.