Monday, March 29, 2010

Birthday Boy!

Joshua turned 3 yesterday. Sad to see them grow up so quick. He had a great birthday party with family on Saturday night. The theme of the night was matchbox cars....and his first "big boy" bed...a car bed of course! We had fun yesterday, after church and a nap we went to the car show at Stabler, then off to Red Robin. Top the day off with left over birthday cake and America's Funniest Video's and you've got one happy kiddo!

On Saturday as I finished up one of my longest runs (about three weeks before Boston) I always tell myself that the "hay's in the barn". All of the hard work and training is done, time to sharpen the legs and reduce the volume for the next few weeks. Hard to believe the Boston will be three weeks from today. Thinking back to those dark, cold and snowy early AM's it feels like the build up started so long ago. Spring has teased us with some nice weather, budding trees and blossoming flowers. Patriots day is on it's way.

This Boston will be fun. I skipped last year to focus on Duathlon Nationals. So after five consecutive years and one "bye", I"ll be headed to Hopkinton for my 6th Boston. This year we're leaving the kids at home with the family and Lauren will be running as well. Hard to describe the atmosphere of the town, the expo and the race itself, but if you ever have the opportunity...take it!

Last week we had some incredible weather, I did manage to get out for 90 miles of road riding. Then hopped into the Caesar Rodney Half Marathon in Delaware on Sunday. Adding the riding onto my normal marathon training zapped the legs a little so I started out with a friend of mine and was able to drop the pace after 5 miles or so...resulted in a 1:18 and a big negative split on a hilly course so I was happy with that. Hoping to race a duathlon the week before Boston...but need some bike time first!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring is coming.....

The snow is finally melting, we're seeing some warmer temps and the birds and squirrels are out in full force. This can only mean one thing, SPRING IS COMING! I seem to like winter less and less as the years pass, but that makes me enjoy spring and summer even more.

Autumn's school had a Spring celebration....a family dance social....last week. I don't remember having dance's when I was in Kindergarten? Lauren and I took her and it was fun. All the boys were running around like crazy while the DJ tried to keep the kids entertained with dance songs. Autumn stuck to us like glue, which is funny because we said if it was Joshua three years down the road, he would walk in and we wouldn't see him until it was over! Autumn did have fun, here she's posing with a friend of her's from the bus.

And speaking of warmer weather, I got home on Tuesday and it was BEAUTIFUL outside. Lauren was working late, so I broke out the bike trailer for the first time and Autumn got to ride her bike on the road without training wheels for the first time. We went over a mile down the road and back and she did great. Joshua loved riding in the back, although he did wish he was riding by himself. Can't wait to take them over to the park! I'm thinking the bike and trailer may be my mode of commuting to work this summer on the days Lauren works....take the trailer to Beth's on the way to work and ride to Beth's and pick them up in the trailer to take them home!

Boston training has been going well. Decided to jump into the Quakertown Rotary 10 miler on Saturday. Wasn't expecting much 6 days after the marathon and the day after a good run and ride combo on Friday. Went well, after a 4 mi warm up I ran the first 4 miles with a friend of mine and once we were done with the ridiculous hill climbing I picked up the pace. Didn't match my best time on that course, but managed a 58:35 for 3rd overall which I'm really happy with. Boston is less than 6 weeks away now! Lauren has been getting some good training in as well. I really need to get out on my bike though...hopefully this weather will allow me to get some mileage in. I "keep forgetting" that I'm signed up for the Rev3 Quassy Half Ironman on June 6....which has a 56 mile bike leg (and some swimming too). The Trakkers team is rolling right along. They've got some big announcements coming up and they've started a cool weekly live interview series with some incredible pro triathletes. Check it out one Wednesday PM, they have weekly give-aways and your chance to call in and talk to the professionals. And our bright green Saucony gear should be making its debut soon!

Planning is also going well for our pace groups for the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon. I've got 9 pacers set up to interact with the participants at the expo and pace various goal finish time groups in the race on Sunday. I've also begun to plan a cyclocross race that will be this fall at a local park. We hope to showcase the park, bring some local non profit charities in to vend and make a donation in support of the HCM Foundation.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tampa weekend "getaway"

Last weekend Lauren and I paced the Tampa marathon and half marathon. I paced the full marathon and she paced the half (and the 15k the day before :<)). More on the pacing later....

So we had flights out of Allentown and St Pete/Tampa and it just so happened that another nor'easter decided to hit us at the same time of our departure flight. So we make the decision to DRIVE DOWN! Now, we're blessed beyond words that Carolyn & Mike and my mom were gracious enough to watch the kids and dog for a few days and even more blessed that they were willing to add a day on to that so we could road trip down. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

The snow started a couple hours before we left on Thursday but traveling was smooth sailing (except the darn rental car had no cruise control!). We stayed over in GA about 5 hours from Tampa, so Friday's drive down to the expo wasn't bad. We were hoping to escape to some warm weather, but the lows were in the 30s and highs in the 50's and 60's.

I was really impressed with the expo, and the race was much larger than I thought. A two day event w/ a 5k and 15K on Saturday and half and full marathon on Sunday....totaling about 20,000 entrants! We stayed at the host hotel, a Hyatt down town which was nice, walking distance to everything. Below is a picture of me posing at the expo....

On Friday our pace director asked Lauren to pace the 15K on Saturday, so I got up and race some of the race with her, a little chilly and some rain showers, but after we finished and showered we were greeted with some Florida sunshine! The expo was at a huge convention center down town, when we strolled outside we found the Gasparilla Pirate Ship which was cool...

Sunday's race was EARLY, started at 6am. It was a little chilly but overall supposed to be a beautiful day. Low 40's at the start (and very DARK), but once the sun came up it was great. I had a great group of guys (and a few gals) in my 3:20 group, and probably had 8 or so still by mile 21. The first couple miles were crazy with it being dark and crowded but we ended up carrying an extra 30 seconds or so through mile 21. Most of the talking stopped by mile 22 and the remaining 4 0r 5 guys were looking good. I picked up a few stragglers that just couldn't bear to see that pace sign pass them and wound up finishing by myself because they all picked up the pace for the last 1/4 mile or so. I was greeted by some happy guys with PR and Boston Qualifiers, so it was very well worth it. I felt pretty good the whole time and got a good long training run in for Boston. Ended up finishing in 3:19:47 chip time, 13 seconds off....not too bad!

Lauren was pacing the 1:40 group in the half and we got to run together for the first 7 miles or so which was cool. She had a pretty big group and just nailed it, crossing the line at 1:39:59!!

Sunday afternoon, Laurens dad came up with Jean to meet us. It was a beautiful day so we strolled around and then had some lunch at a great little Irish sports bar and watched the Olympics. I don't know why a meal just tastes so much better after a race like that but it was awesome! It was great to see Dad and Jean as they had been in Florida for over a month already.

We came home on Monday, needless to say there wasn't a dull moment until we finally got onto the plane, but we made it safe and sound and the kids were so excited to see us. It was a fun trip and we got to enjoy some warmer weather (for us anyway, it's the coldest winter on record in Florida)!

I signed up for REV3 Quassy in June, so that has motivated me to get back in the pool. These guys know how to put an event on.....not only do they think about the families and athletes, but they've got a line up of pro's that blows the Ironman events away. I had a great swim on Wednesday, just what my legs needed after the marathon and why my mind needed after 6 months without a swim. Wednesday is also swim lessons for the kids, so I was in the pool twice and got to give the Triswim products that I got a few weeks ago a try. What a difference, the chlorine smell was gone!

Looks like we've got some great weather coming up this weekend. Autumn is excited to go to her cousin Adi's birthday party on Saturday at Boing to do gymnastics. Lauren is excited to get a long run in and I'm hoping to get some riding in!