Monday, August 31, 2009

And So It Begins....

The school year is upon us. I like the Staples or Office Depot/Max where the dad is dancing through the aisles to the tune of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" as the kids are sulking behind him. It always cracks me up.

So, my summer days of getting up, going to 8am cross country practice and being home before lunch are now over. They're replaced with me leaving by 6:15 (if not swimming--then it's 5:15) and home by 6:15-6:30 after XC practice. Not that I mind--I love what I do and having the ability to teach and to coach. It's just an adjustment phase.

After one week, things are going well. I enjoy my classes and always look forward to getting to know the new students. The XC teams are rolling and we're getting ready for our September Invitationals.

Marathon training's going well. I can't believe I'm 6 weeks into already. I also can't believe it's still however many weeks until mid-November for the marathon. Not that it matters--one week at a time. My training consists of jumping in with the XC boys during the week and getting a long run on the weekend. I do run in to some issues like today where I'm coming off an 18-miler on Sunday (and felt GREAT!) and this afternoon the team was doing 3 miles on the road then 3x1600 on the track (6:00, 5:40, 5:20). I did the first 1600, but feared that my hammy may detach if I tried to run faster than 6:00 pace after running so far yesterday. So, I put on my coaching hat for the other two.
Other notes in the past TWO WEEKS of ignoring this darn blog:

*The Pirates lost a whole bunch in a row, followed by winning 7 of 9, followed now by losing 5 in a row. They need a fresh start in February. Looking forward to the September call-ups--especially Jeff Clement. Beth and I are going on Saturday (thanks Mom B for the gift card!!). I'm sure there will be nachos involved

*Penn State starts this weekend. Beth asked me who they played. I hesitated and then shrugged my shoulders. I need to shift gears and get in to football season. A little Zombie Nation Penn State style on YouTube usually does the trick.

*Roxy has taken to hole-digging under our porch. The problem is that the porch's perimeter is lined with a lattice fence. So, el poocho decides to pull away the lattice fencing from the porch and dig up some mice or moles or something. For now, she's on the proverbial 'short leash' in the backyard. No unsupervised times out in the yard.

*She also has identified a skunk that likes to roam up and down our street at night. On several occasions in the area of 1am-4am, she'll start whimpering and going to the windows and nudging me to let me know it's out there. The first night I had trouble figuring out what it was. But, now I know what it is and tell the dog to go back to sleep and there's nothing we can do about it. Nice little intro preview into when we have a baby in the house I suppose.

*Finally, we had a great trip to Alabama. So many great things there:

-Met more people that I previously just knew names of through Beth like Cathy & Kerry Y, Lindsey J, the Minnesota crew (big Jasmine Oenick fans), Chris W, and got to see others again like Kari M (from the evil empire USC--local Pittsburgh joke), Eric L, and Aimee K.

-The University of Alabama campus was beautiful. All the buildings looked so new and it was such a clean campus. Their sports facilities were top-notch and the baseball and softball fields looked like professional stadiums (although the football stadium was a good 20,000+ less than PSU). The people were great, too. I hope we get a chance to go back there.

-We learned the significance of the Elephant mascot. It goes back to the 1930's when a newspaper writer characterized the 'Bama 2nd and 3rd stringers who were dominating another team as a pack of thundering elephants. I guess it stuck, kind of like the Hokies of Virginia Tech.

-One rough part of the weekend was that there were some big thunderstorms Friday afternoon/evening. In fact, it was so much rain the dams/levees(?) were opened downstream, actually causing the water to flow backwards and cause the poor triathletes to swim against the current for 2/3 of the race. I feel bad for the athletes (Beth's time in this Olympic Distance swim was SLOWER than her half IM from August!!!), however it was nearly comical for us spectators on the shore. See diagram below. The straight yellow arrow depicts the path the swimmers SHOULD go. The white curvy boundaries outline where most of the people went. Beth was better than most, but was still sucked up in the current some.

-Yet again, great travel thanks to Southwest Airlines. How do they charge $50 for Beth's bike case and other airlines charge $150? Heck, our plane tickets don't cost that much on Southwest. Our trip from Birmingham to Baltimore was accompanied by Lindsey making the time fly by. Two more trips this year to go for Beth and I--California in late September and Tampa in November. It's fun to travel (especially when you're not the one racing!!!)

Time for bed and hopefully not another two weeks before the next post (and not another Roxy skunk-spotting episode).


Beth said...

That pooch is so bad!!!! Hole diggin' during the day and skunk siting at night. How is anyone supposed to get any rest around here?? ;)

Surprisingly you didn't mention our trip to the dining halls at 'Bama. I would have thought that would have been tops on your list. :)

brian said...

USC as the "evil empire?" I'm not sure that I buy that, but it's not like I'm biased because I grew up there or anything...

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