Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Deep Exhale

I know I said last Monday that track was over, but now track is REALLY over. On Wednesday, we had the boys track banquet and then Thursday and Friday was the Hershey Youth Track Meet that we host. I remember doing that as a youngster. In fact, the one year I even qualified to move on to Somerset in the standing long jump (see, that must be why I'm such a qualified jumping coach).

Big Exhale to now have 3 extra hours each day and my Saturdays back. Ahhhhhhhh...

So what do I do with all of this extra time? First of all, I spent a lot of the week catching up on some of the grading that got pushed aside over the final few weeks of track.

Then, this weekend, I got my first solid weekend of 'triathlon' training with Beth. I'm beat!!!

Here's what we did:

We got up Saturday morning and went to the pool. She had a 100-200-300-400 then with pool buoy 400-300-200-100. Knowing my lack of speed in the pool I decided to do about half of that on the same intervals (50-100-150-250-250-200-100-50). I then did some laps while Beth was doing some other stuff other than her main set.

Next, to the bike. Beth had a 3 hour ride. I've ridden my new bike (see below) a total of three times so far since I got it about a month ago. I hope to ride it a lot more now that track's over and school's just about done. The problem with being new to the bike is that:

1) I am still adjusting to the whole being "clipped in" thing and have taken a few tumbles when I come to stops--fortunately these aren't at high speeds since I'm about to stop. But, the poor bike already has a few scratches on the handlebars and shifter lever.

2) I'm not that fast at biking yet. In the times I've gone so far, I've gotten dropped fairly quickly.

This ride was a little different. Beth was doing 3 hours, so we rode the first hour together and then I went a *shorter* way home to end up around 1:50 while she finished her 3 hour loop. I was able to hang a little closer this time, so I'm making progress. But, perhaps more importantly, I didn't tip over at all this time! This is progress.

Off the bike (when Beth got home) we did a 30 min run.

Sunday we went out to the trail and did a 10 mile run at 7:50 pace today. I think I'm going to be sore tomorrow. But, it's a good sore as I'm finally getting back into training. It's not like I was in *that* bad of shape (ran an 18:08 hilly 5k last weekend), but it felt good to get back to swimming (and no congestion due to using the nose clip) and riding and a good number of hours of training.

As far as the summer, I'll probably do a triathlon, but not sure which one yet. My "A" race is going to be the Philadelphia Marathon in November. So, lots of good time to get in some training between now and then. Coach Beth is going to help me devise a training plan when school is finished.

Other than that, Beth's going to Colorado next weekend for a Mark Allen training camp, so me and Roxy the Dog will be hanging out. I anticipate a trip to an Altoona Curve game (weather permitting) to pass the time next weekend. I'm hoping to catch either Daniel Moskos (#1 pick in 2007) or Brad Lincoln (#1 pick in 2006) if possible. Speaking of draft picks, the baseball draft is a week from Tuesday. I'm confident the new management will make another solid pick this year and get another building block to (slowly) get the Pirates back to respectability.

That's all for now. Have a great week and we'll see if the blogging picks up again now that track's over. I've got a million thoughts about the Pirates' season thus far....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend means a couple of things:

* The end of track season - it's been great, but it's always great to catch your breath for a month or so until starting back up for XC.

* The start of summer - it's BEAUTIFUL outside. I have to remind myself that school's not over yet and I need to finish strong.

* The Kevin Gatons Memorial 5k - A 5k in honor of Beth's former HS coach who passed away while at the state meet in 2006.

The State Meet was great. Ben & I drove up together Friday morning. I snapped a few photos with my phone, so they're not the best, but they capture the day:

A shot of the grandstand. It always seems like we end up with a beautiful day in Shippensburg for the meet.

Natalie Bower from Latrobe in the Mile Prelims. She won the mile on Saturday, her first PIAA Championship after a decorated XC and Track career. Now, she's off to Penn State to run for the Nittany Lions.

Baldwin's TJ Hobart in the Mile Prelims. He medaled at WPIALS in the 4x800, 4x400, 1600, and 800.

Samantha Schwabenbauer of Keystone HS near Clarion. She's the cousin of Kim's husband, Kyle. Samantha was impressive. At states, she competed in the 100, 300H, 200, and Javelin. That's right, javelin. In fact, she medaled in the jav.

Two from Lebo--Evan Schardt in the 400 and Kayleigh Birks in the 200. Also, our 4x100 girls and 4x400 guys were there.

As for my endeavors today at the Gatons 5k, I ended up with the same time as last year--18:08. This surprised me as I didn't think I was in the same shape as last year coming off the ankle issue back in February & March. I'll take it.

Here's how it played out--mile 1 I went out WAAAAAAAAAY to fast--5:23. Oops. And I thought I was just feeling a little fatigue in my legs because I hadn't run much. Mile 2 (with the hill) was 5:58, and mile 3 was 6:07 with the 0.1 in around 40 seconds. But, all in all a fun day and a good way to lead me into my summer training.

Finally, here's an article about my dad and his kidney donation to Bob. Bob and his wife were over at my parents' house today for Memorial Day. Bob's looking stronger every day. Here's the picture from the article.
Happy Memorial Day to all and thank you to all who have served our country.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Columbia Tri Weekend

We're here in Columbia getting ready for Tri #2 of the season for Beth. We're back at the hotel after a morning of small training. We stopped by the expo and I got another pair of $50 'once worn shoes' since both of us had a great experience with buying them last year (among other things). There are some storms rolling in this afternoon, but hopefully they won't be too bad. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, but that's mostly Chad's fault since it rains at every tri he's at (except Oceanside back in April).

My mom & Roxy the dog came, too. They're hanging out up in Frederick with my sister today and they'll drive down (35-40 min) tomorrow morning for the race.

Other than that, the WPIAL Individual Track Finals were Thursday. It was a nice day and only rain for about 30-45 minutes around 4 or 5 o'clock. Other than that, the weather was perfect. My two jumpers who were there had mixed days. The TJ had some awesome jumps but toe-fouled on all three--it was kind of windy and the gusts at her back I think were just moving her forward. We backed her up each time. But, it was a good year, she PR'ed at WPIAL qualifiers and is a senior next year. The LJ PR'ed and missed making the top 9 (for the medal round) by three inches. She's only a sophomore. Outside of jumping the girls 4x100 and boys 4x400 qualified and we had a WPIAL champ in the 200 and runner up in the 400. All in all a good day.

Okay, time to get the bike prepped and checked in, then off to NOODLE'S!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. A few weeks ago, I posted about how my dad rocks when he donated a kidney to a fellow church member (both are doing well). So I thought I should also pass along about how blessed I am with both parents. My mom's one of those super-mom's also.

Here's her resume:

*Started out working at my grandfather's electric motor repair shop out of high school--not in the office, but actually getting her hands dirty and fixing the motors.

*Had me and my younger sis and raised us while still working. Helping me through my many sicknesses and ear issues in elementary school.

*When I was around 5th grade, she decided to go back to school to earn a degree. While being a full time mom she went to Seton Hill College (now university) and earned a degree in math and computer programming with a 4.0. That's right, a 4.0. And, boy was I reminded about it every semester when I fell short of it in college!!!!.......but in a good way :)

*She then started to work in downtown Pittsburgh and got her Masters Degree from Duquesne in the evenings (all while being a mom to a high schooler & middle schooler) and has worked at Mellon since then.

*She's done a bunch for the church, too, serving on boards, being an officer for the Pennsylvania American Baptist Women, traveled to Alaska for the Kodiak mission a couple of times, and many other things.

*Over the past few years, she's even become an avid triathlete supporter, making many of Beth's races (and even the one in Dallas I didn't go to). She made the 3am wake-up call in NYC last summer and trudged the miles around with us. She's traveled down to Columbia the past few years (and will again next weekend).

*During the race, her main job is being a photographer (and she's a pretty good one at spotting Beth). After the race, she becomes the medical personnel, helping Beth out in her recovery. In Portland a few years back she was helping Beth as Beth was throwing up after the race even!!! Only a mom(-in-law) could do that for someone!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I'll leave you all with some of her photography from Beth's races from the past few years:

Beth coming out of the water at Pittsburgh in 2007 (Mom's always able to spot Beth)

Mom's awesome shot of Beth as she's flying around a turn on her bike in Pittsburgh 2007

The sun rising over the hill and the fog on the lake at USAT Nationals in Portland in 2007.

Beth starting the run at the 2007 Columbia Tri (she was the amatuer champ)

This was my picture of mom taking a picture of Beth at Columbia.

Mom even expanded her photography to the pro's, capturing from above this nice shot of the female pro's coming out of the water at the NYC Tri 2008.

Mom always snuck in some shots of non-triathlon pics during the races. She's a big fan of going to botanical gardens and snapping HUNDREDS of photos of various flowers and plants.

Podium shot of Beth at NYC 2008.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Overdue Update

Hi all. Track season happened since the last post.

A couple of more weeks. It's fun, but very time consuming. Two of the jumper girls qualified for WPIAL finals, so that was exciting. We've got a good 20-25 kids total that qualified for WPIAL's this Thursday.

Next weekend we'll be heading down to Columbia, MD for Beth's next triathlon. My mom (and probably Roxy) are making the trip, too. My sister and her husband live down there as well so it should be a neat time.

Last weekend, I was part of a relay for the Pittsburgh Marathon with some people from school. My uncle was running the half and I was the first leg of my relay, so I ended up running with him and helping to pace him to an 8:46 pace half (his first ever half). His daughter (my cousin) did her first ever marathon and rocked it finishing just under 3:30.

Oh yeah, since my last post, the Pirates have won one game. Oops. For me, probably the more depressing thing is that the minor league prospects are almost all having sluggish starts to the years. At least the Pens are still in the playoffs. And, once schools out I'll make a trip or two up to Altoona to check out the AA prospects. And, my dad, sis, and I are planning a trip in July to hit a few minor league ballparks down near where she lives in MD.

Okay, back to doing all the other things that get ignored during track season.