Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Recap


I'm sitting here with two cadbury cream eggs right in front of me.

I want to eat them.

I'm going to eat them.


I had a good weekend of training.  Let's start with Saturday.  After I took a painful online test for my psychology class I went to the ole bike shop.  I had a few things I was thinking about purchasing before going.  1. bike gloves.  2. a bike computer.  3.  a side mirror for the bike.  An extremely helpful, and knowledgeable, employee showed me the ins and outs of the technology they had available.  He gave me the specs of the products I liked and compared them to some higher end models.  After a good ten minutes he made his way to the back of the store to help another associate.  It was at this point that I left the store.  I don't know if I was overwhelmed, indecisive, or cheap, but I didn't purchase a thing.  I think that I just talk myself out of buying anything I would deem "extra".  None of the things I wanted were necessary.  You could even say they were merely conveniences.

After my long and fruitless shopping experience I went out for a run.  It was the first run of the year in shorts and a t-shirt.  Going into the weekend I thought that running in the cold wasn't that bad, and that I could live without it getting too warm.  After running in shorts and a t-shirt I wanted to find the me of a few days ago and punch him in the face.  It was glorious running out there.  It was a tad on the windy side but was beautiful none the less.  I got in a good 5 and a half miles, and during those miles I saw a couple people I know (the next 24 hours after the run a couple people approached me telling me that they saw me running).  It was nice.  The run felt great.  Especially great since I don't have a watch, or any way to measure my speed.  Once I get home I map it out on to get the final miles.  Running without a watch has done wonders for my running.  I'm free to get out of my head and stop looking at my wrist.

The run was solo because my training partner, Bryce, had some knee issues.  I ended my run a couple minutes before he showed up on his bike to do our brick.  After a quick addition of layers we were gliding on the pavement.  We were making good time too.  Close to 20 mph average for the first fourth of the ride.  I don't know if its reading this book Iron War, but I was aggressive on the bike.

Triathlon at it's greatest.  Read Iron War.  On a side note, Aimee asked if this was me and Bryce... Don't patronize me....

We waited at a stop light and when it turned green I pushed it.  A car was looking to turn left in front of us and did.  Not without me yelling "Oh you wanna turn?  Come on!"  The old man saw me making these verbal threats and looked at me puzzled and slightly scared.  I showed him...  Right before the 4 mile mark my calf started spazzing a little bit.  Apparently I need to add stretching into my transition plans.  I kept pushing it till we decided to turn around at 8 miles.  I had to get off the bike and stretch.  A this point it was getting painful.  I fought through it.  The first half of our ride was at around 18 mph (Bryce had a bike computer).  The second half the wind was blowing right against me.  According to Bryce, who was behind me, I was like a big sail (he's a bit thinner than I am).  Couple the wind with my calf muscles and the second half didn't make for a lot of fun.  Ended up making it back with an average of around 17 mph for a 16 mile ride.  I'll take it.

As many of you know, today is Easter.  The wife, kids, and I had a fairly quiet day.  We woke up to the sound of my oldest hacking up a lung.  Apparently she isn't impervious to being sick as we once thought.  She plays with kids a lot and hadn't picked up many bugs this season, until now.  She was doing a lot of coughing so the wife stayed home with the little kiddo.  I tackled the task of taking our little bugga boo to church and also teaching the junior kids church solo.  It really wasn't too bad.  We had less kids this week than last week.  Most of the kids listened and the time seemed to fly by.

After church I had a lunch that consisted of 3 donuts and a medium coffee from dunkin donuts.  It was yummy.  All because someone had a picture of donuts posted on Facebook.  That was reason enough for me.  Following "lunch" I rode the bike trainer for 45 minutes.  Weird thing happened during the ride.  For the first 20 minutes I hated it.  I contemplated throwing in the towel, but after about 25 minutes I found good placement on the seat and was able to finish the remaining 20 minutes comfortably and with a good bit of power.  All of this trainer time is definitely starting to pay off.

Our oldest was feeling better so the four of us went to my momma bear's house.  We had an Easter dinner with all the fixins.  I ate a ton.  Too much actually.  My wife and I have been on for a couple months and have had great results.  I'm down 26 pounds since the beginning of January and she is down 10 since the middle of February.  After this meal our numbers may need to be altered...

Today I signed up for the Cleveland Half Marathon, finally.  I'm excited to run in the city that I love and maybe meet some of the people I've met through the blogosphere.

As you may or may not know, CLEVELAND ROCKS!
Also, April 13th is the big race.  First tri of the season, and my life.  I'm getting pumped.  Over the next couple of weeks I am going to taper a bit and get some good, confidence boosting, sessions under my belt.  I may not be an Ironman, but I'm on the way.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Runner For Hire

Running and triathlons are sports that are unlike many others.  95% of the time is spent on practicing.  Not to say that the mainstream sports (basketball, football, baseball, etc) do not spend a lot of time training, but the frequency of competition is much higher.  Baseball teams play 5-6 games a week.  Basketball 2-3 games a week.  Football 4 games a month.  Last year I ran in 11 races.  Less than 1 per month.  This year I vowed to spend a little less on my races.  So far there are 2 races I've signed up for and maybe another 2 or 3 that I think I'll be able to sign up for.  I've cut my races in half for the calendar year.  HALF!

Which brings me to my point.  I love races.  The energy.  The anticipation.  The celebratory chocolate milk.  I just love it.  I devised a plan to work overtime to help my racing habits.  Then overtime ended.  Tuesday I go to Malone for a writers event to see if I won a creative writing contest (I submitted my mini autobiography).  The winner gets $150.  Second and third place for each category get $50.  Of course I'd like to win because I thought I did a good job at writing the paper.  The REAL reason I want to win is so I can sign up for some races. [UPDATE: I lost... bummer!]

So what happens if that doesn't work?  How do I feed the beast that is racing?


Yes.  You read that right.  Sponsors.  Now if you've checked out my "races" section of this blog you will see that my times are OK.  Have I won a race?  No.  Top 3 in an age group?  Nope.  Hines Ward has never won an endurance event and Chocolate Milk is sponsoring him.  TYR gave him a $1600 wetsuit.  I'm guessing his Ironman Kona registration magically was taken care of.  I know what you're thinking "He was a very popular NFL player.  Superbowl MVP."  MVP SchmeMVP..

So.  Here are a few reasons why I would be GREAT for sponsors:

1. I don't move so fast that the logo or text will be blurred.

2. Because I am slightly wider than the normal professional runner I have more room for ad space.

3. Companies are always trying to reach a certain demographic.  Why not reach the people in your demographic with someone IN the demographic!  (mid 20 to mid 30, male, modestly attractive, some may call "trim")

4. I have experience working with ads and marketing.

If those don't convince you to sponsor some of my races than I don't know what to tell you.  I'm not even asking to be paid.  I don't want products to review on my blog.  I don't want to have giveaways.  I just want you to pay for my race entries.  

It would probably be best to sponsor me if I'm already using your product frequently (Apple, Specialized, Saucony, Ford.. ahem)

I'll be waiting patiently for your calls and emails.  

Thank you!

Sunday, March 24, 2013



The Two Week Challenge ended Friday.  This year was light years easier than last year.  Last year I complained most of the two weeks and ate coffee beans a couple times (which I'm a little ashamed to admit).  This year my complaining was reserved for just a day or so.  I won't go into it too much since I've already shared my feelings on multiple platforms (read here), but it felt more like fasting than a challenge.  Realizing that God is in control, and not my caffeine addiction.  Through that Active:Water also gets a little financial support.  Win/Win.

Also, my March Madness bracket is shot.

On to some training stuff.

Good week all around.  For the past 3 to 4 weeks I've stayed consistent with 6 workout days a week.  Which is great considering also having to work full time, go to school, be a husband and father, etc etc.  Horn tooting aside, I have felt a noticeable difference.  Thursday I did 1000 meters in the pool.  The speed is nowhere close to where I'd like to be, but the endurance is definitely building.  I don't have aspirations to become a torpedo.  I'm just focused on making any future Ironman/triathlon swim cutoff time.  Every 50 meters I take a five second break before heading back the other way.  Speaking of the pool here's a picture of it!

OoOoOooOoo watery
My the lane I use is all the way to the right, if you cared.  My confidence in the water has been booming.  A few short weeks ago I was nervous to go into the deep end and now I love it.  I even have thoughts running through my head while swimming, and they aren't me hoping I survive.  Another swimming note: I ordered a new pair of goggles.  The ones I have, which my training partner Bryce bought me last year, have done well but get way too foggy.  I'm not necessarily cheap.  I believe that I can overcome insufficient equipment with determination, but I couldn't see to the other side of the pool.  They will still stay with me on training days as a solid backup.  The new goggles were about 30 bucks from TYR.  Plus I could customize their color for free.  Monday my new Active:Water inspired goggles will arrive.  I'm sure pictures will follow.

Running has been good too.  I've only run 2 or 3 days a week, but coming off of my speedy St. Patrick's Day 5k finish I've felt unstoppable.  Tuesday I ran with Bryce and did sub 9 minute miles for 4 miles.  Doesn't sound groundbreaking but I was able to talk the entire time and not want to shout obscenities at my training partner.  Till my brick workout Saturday..

On Friday I decided I'd go for a double digit run on Saturday.  I took a mental look back on my years training, and I haven't done more than five miles so I brought the 10 miler to an 8 miler.  I'm running the Cleveland half marathon (which I should probably sign up for sometime soon...) but I don't have a training plan.  All this tri training has brought down my run so I'm not going to stop a good thing.  I asked B-rice to join and he said we should do a brick.  The 8 miler was scaled back to a 13 mile bike into a 5 mile run.  (that's not really scaling back).  Recently I bought a new bike:

pretty, huh?
OK I didn't buy that bike.  Bryce bought that bike.  He's now letting me test out his old Schwinn road bike:

still pretty.. maybe not AS pretty but it catches the eye
After some minor adjustments we were out on the road.  Like I've mentioned before, I have had good steady training over the past few weeks.  6 days a week consistently.  With that being said the first few miles of the ride SUCKED.  I felt that my training had been in vain, when really it was just me getting used to the new kind of bike.  I went from a 21 year old hybrid, comfort, bike to a road bike.  We kept it in the neighborhoods till I said we should take it to the main road.  This is my first real main road ride, so I had to get over the fear of the unknown at some point.  What better time than now?  Once we got on the main road things changed.  Last year when I went on a training ride with my training partner I was pretty far back.  Yesterday I was on his back tire, and took the lead on a few segments.  I still had a lot of energy when we finished the ride.  As we stopped my 73 year old neighbor got out of her car and was talking to the two of us.  The only reason I bring this up is because she called me trim.  Yeah.  Booyah!


Onto the run!  It felt like I was running backwards.  This was one of three total bike/run bricks I've ever done.  The feeling of not feeling is taking some getting used to.  At the mile and a half turn around Bryce asked me how I was doing.  "Toasted".  On our way back Bryce started moving ahead and I started feeling some discomfort in my left quad muscle.  Turns out it was spazzing out.  At around two miles I had to stop and stretch.  When I stretched I couldn't muster a strut so I walked for about a quarter of a mile.  (Note: as soon as we finished our biking we decided to just do a 3 mile run).  After my walk I was able to run again.  I pushed out another half mile and running up the final hill it spazzed again.  I was a little worried.  When I hobbled back Bryce let me know the different muscles I would need to work on now that I have a road bike.  Can you guess one of those muscles?  The quads!  Bingo bango!  The need to walk didn't deter me.  It was still a good brick.  I've got a few weeks to ride this bike and build up those muscles, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will.

Saturday night our youngest coughed most of the night and I had a good three to four hours of sleep.  At church we were on the teaching schedule for the 4 year to Kindergarten class.  It was our second time and this time there were a few boys that hadn't been in the last time.  All I can say is wow.  Girls and boys are very different, in terms of wanting to destroy things, at this age.  Because of the 5 weekend month we're back in there on Easter.  I will definitely be instituting a timeout system.  With that said I did not do my trainer time today.  Of all the nights I don't get good recovery sleep it's the night after I burn 1200+ calories.  It's OK though.  Tomorrow is a new day...

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

St. Patrick's Day 5k


Before I jump into the race I want to warn all three or four of my loyal readers that this is not a picture post, like I previously promised.  Turns out I don't take pictures at races.  That's my wife's category.  I guess you're stuck having to read...

Today was a good day.  It started with sleeping in until 730.  That's a good 2-3 hours more than normal.  PLUS, none of the girls woke up in the middle of the night!  Once I got up, I crept around our townhouse.  This was so I would not wake up children and wife.  I left my place, feeling very spy-like, and headed over to Bryce "Hannity" York's place.  While I waited for him to get dressed, his daughter informed me that I smell sweaty.  I hadn't even run yet but I wore it like a badge of honor.  We made our way to the race venue and had a good hour to spare.  Topics of conversation covered everything from Bryce accusing Chrissie Wellington of being a doper to both of our histories running.  As documented before, I often have made excuses in my training.  I reached a certain level of fitness and I was happy with that.  Ignorance is bliss.  I think it's a combination of Bryce's constant prodding and this book I'm reading:

If you're a runner or triathlete (or you can read) you need to read this book!
In "Iron War" the Ironman World Championship races of the 1980 between Dave Scott and Mark Allen.  The recurring theme is these athletes ability to mentally shut down a race.  Endurance racing is a sport of confidence.  So from these external motivators I have decided to find that place, and work on my "mental" conditioning.

I've done this over the last couple weeks in spurts.  Last week I didn't leave the pool when my training partner did.  I had a goal of laps and I was going to reach it.  On Thursday, B-ryce was sick so I made my way to the pool all by my lonesome.  I was able to max my personal best in distance with around 800 meters completed.  Not bad considering where I started 2013 with 0 meters as my best.  Last night I wasn't feeling like doing my trainer workout for the day.  I came home from a half day of work and took a little nap.  When I woke up I was all but certain it wouldn't happen.  That wouldn't last for long.  Once we put the girls in bed I was on the trainer pedaling it out.  Focus.  Focus.  Focus.

Back to today.

I didn't have a crazy time goal for this race, especially with last night's trainer session.  The last few 5ks I've done have all ended with a 9 min mile average.  9 minutes on the dot.  Today I would be under 9 minutes per mile.  The race horn went off and off we all went.  I was feeling good.  I kept reminding myself that I had this in the bag.  Mile one I was at 8 minutes per mile.  Mile two was a little over 8.  I started feeling a bit sluggish at that point.  I started to get into my normal mindset of being defeated but I didn't stop.  I may not be close to winning one of these races (the winner came in before I hit the 2 mile marker) but I'm determined to do my best.  Towards the end I picked it up a little bit.  At the 3 mile marker we made a turn to see the final tenth of a mile.  The timer still was in the 25 minute range.  I booked it.  Ended up with a 26:11.  Take that 9 minutes!  Bryce finished a little bit before me, but I was able to finish before he finished his cool-down.  He also won a random door prize:

Race booty.. Yarrrr

 After the race I headed to my car to get my bottle of tap water.  Two Week Challenge style! 

On a quick side-note: Active:Water asked me to write a blog post about the challenge.  You can check it out here:

On my way back indoors there was a table with race flyers laid across it.  I did my normal perusing and saw all the same Subway Challenge Series races and then something stuck out.  An indoor triathlon at the YMCA.  15 minutes swim, 15 minutes bike, 20 minutes run.  I've been very impatient for my first tri so I'm signing up.  It's only 14 bucks and it'll be a good workout.  Oh, it's a week from today too!  Take THAT impatience!

All in all I give the race a solid B+.  Well organized, good crowd, good course, weather was good too (30s with a light mist).  Only thing stopping it from reaching that A+ was me forgetting my wallet and not being able to purchase a green 26.2 magnet.  Instead of a point there was a shamrock.  I'm a loser...

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's day!  I'm excited.  The misses and I will celebrate our sober st. Patrick's day going up to the Cleve for a hockey game.  First game in almost 10 years.

Thanks for reading!

Run any races this weekend?  How'd you do? 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekend Recap aka Temptations

Hello there.  Welcome back!

I usually try to update regularly on Sunday evenings, but this past weekend was busy.  Deceptively busy.  What does that mean?  I had stuff to do but I didn't think the weekend would be too bad.  It wasn't a bad weekend in terms of quality.  I spent time with the family, went down and spent time with my friend/bro-in-law and his lovely wife and son, and even squeezed in a run.  Being busy just snuck up on me.

Friday started the two week challenge for Active:Water.  This meant my first day without coffee or any non-tap water beverages.  The first thing I did was head to the pool.  My goal was to hit the 600 yard mark.  Hit it.  It was a great, tired, feeling.  Aside from being a little hazy, and tired, it wasn't all that bad.  Towards the end of the work day I developed a little headache, but I set out that day expecting the headaches.  In hindsight, I probably should have scheduled my swim for another day since swim days are usually my "multiple cups of coffee" days.  Whatevsies.  That night the misses and I went to small group, where the theme was breakfast foods.  You know what goes good with breakfast??  COFFEE!!!    Ok.. ok... calm.. calm...  Anyway.  Yes it was breakfast night and Scott made his world famous cinnamon pancakes and they were all that's cracked up to be.  For the first time that night I starting losing consciousness during the discussion portion.  Not for lack of interest in the topic.  You know.  No coffee.. blah blah blah.

Addison had trouble sleeping so Saturday morning was tempting.  I'm an addict.  I know.  These past few days have brought this realization to me.  I felt these same things last year when we did the challenge.  Perhaps this year I will learn my lesson.  Anywho.  We were up at 6ish and we had a pretty jam packed day.  Aimee had photo appointments, had to make a delivery a couple towns over, and we went out to dinner as a family.  Throughout all of this I went on a run.  I wanted to do a running/bike brick but it wasn't in the cards.  My training plan for my first sprint tri, in April, is very loose.  I feel like I'll be ready for it.  I don't think I'll know till race day. 

Back to the run.  Last year I ran a route and crapped out halfway through.  Since then I avoided the those certain roads.  When driving on them it felt as if they were laughing at me.  I didn't have a set amount of miles to run (see loose training plan).  When I left my house I didn't even have a route in mind.  I made my way towards that dreaded route and decided I'd give it another shot.  Phew.  It was as tough as I remember but this time I was able to accomplish it.  Nice combo of hills and more hills.  It's by no means a marathon or ironman finish, but it made me feel good.  So far this year I've shed 20 lbs by eating right and exercising.  It's definitely paying off.  I can feel the difference

Saturday night we were at a local dining establishment and there was a wait.  After Savannah told us a few dozen times that she doesn't like waiting, we took the first table we could get.  That meant putting our 1 and a half year old in a booster seat for the first time.  To the outsider this may not seem like much of a big deal, but if you know the stability of a one year old you may change your mind.  I was nervous that she would slip out, slam her head on the table, and the entire restaurant would look at us and simultaneously call the police for child neglect.  My arm didn't leave her side.  She did much better than I thought (you can see how high my expectations were).  At one point I took my arm away to cut my dinner and she got curious, looked under the table, and fell sideways onto the booth.  It was funny.   She just laid there for a few seconds taking in all that happened.

Sunday we lost an hour of sleep (just in case you haven't already heard about it a hundred times by now) and went to service.  I appreciated that Pastor Mary Kay spoke about sacrificing your time and planning with a purpose.  How appropriate.  After church I made my way south to help my brother-in-law move.  I planned on not having a workout since moving is a workout in itself.  Well, I made it down there and there wasn't much to move.  Most of the big stuff was already gone.  Don't take that as complaining, by any means.  I got free pizza and was able to spend time with family and friends.  Unfortunately, I still did not workout.  A missed workout won't bring me down though.  This brings us to Sunday night.  Ok, there's nothing to report here.  We watched a couple episodes of Psych and fell asleep.  Oh yeah!

A new week has begun.  I've got a St. Patricks Day 5k on Saturday and my first triathlon is inching closer and closer.

Little pool update: our pool sessions have been in a 25 yard pool. AKA A mind numbing amount of laps to reach goals.  Tomorrow the pool will be set up for 50 meter lanes.  The distance worries me a little bit, but I'm ready to accept the challenge.  No more small breaks every 25 yards.  

I'd like to end things with another comment about the two week challenge.  Over the weekend my wife and I were tempted to end the challenge.  We can just donate money and not sacrifice, right?  It's still the same amount of money, and it's still going to help people who need it.  After a few rough nights of my youngest not sleeping I was ready to pull the trigger.  I'm happy to say we didn't do it.  It's easy to point fingers at other people's addictions, which I have done, but breaking something isn't easy.  I've already quit all fast food this year and it was easy compared to this.  I pray that this small, miniscule, sacrifice can get me closer to those that need help.  A couple quotes are running through my head so I'll share them:

"If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back." - Regina Brett

"Don't let your inability to do everything undermine your determination to do something."- Cory Booker

I'm more than fortunate that I'm able to blog about nonsense, drink all the coffee I want, and eat whenever I want.  Maybe I can't change the world, but I trust in the one who can.  I pray that the Lord can use me in mighty ways with all that I do.  I fall short on more days than I succeed but I'm going to keep moving forward.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Two Week Challenge

Welcome.  You're probably wondering why I've called you here.  I've called you here to CHALLENGE you!

Before I get to the challenge, a quick story.

I recently completed the last paper of my English Composition class.  The beginning of my last post shared some of my excitement.  I didn't put too much effort into the paper.  It wasn't worth a ton of points, and it was about a book I've already read a couple times.  When I wrote the paper I did it in one sitting.  Knocked out a few pages, saved it, and submitted it.  I did a basic spell check but nothing else.  Didn't read it over.  Didn't make sure my sentences made sense.  I wanted to be done with it.  I turned it in Saturday and this morning I checked my online class site to see my grade.  Before this I decided that I was not going to read the professor's notes because it wasn't going to be pretty.  I checked my grade and he gave me 100%.  This flabbergasted me.  Prof continued to praise my writing and told me how much he enjoyed it.  Which leads me to a few theories:

1.  I am extremely good at
2.  He cared as little about grading everyone's last paper as we all cared about writing our last paper
3.  My paper was actually good

I'm leaning towards theory 2.

So... Ready to be CHALLENGED?

Starting Friday March 8 Active:Water is challenging us to sacrifice the beverages we know and love to better people's lives.  Here are some facts I'd like to share (compliments of Active:Water's research and website):

-884 million people lack access to safe drinking water.  That's approximately 1 out of every 8 persons on earth. 

-Less than 1% of the world's fresh water is readily accessible for human use. 

-Nearly 2/3 of people who lack access to clean water live off of wages of less than $2 a day.

-Poverty and water scarcity force people to rely on unsafe sources of drinking water. It also means they cannot bathe or clean their clothes or homes properly.  

-1.4 million children die each year from diarrhea. That's over 3,800 deaths each day from just one form of water-related sickness. 

-At any given time, close to half of all people living in developing nations are sufferring from a health problem related to water and sanitation deficits.

For two weeks, starting this Friday, I am asking you to join me in giving up everything but tap water.  Make a tally sheet of everything you would have drank if not on the challenge.  At the end of the two weeks donate that amount to Active:Water.

Sounds crazy, huh?  I drink two cups of coffee a day.  I told myself to cut down on my caffeine this week but I have not.  It's going to be tough but worth it in the end.

Do you blog?  You can add the Two Week Challenge badge to your site.  It will link people to the Active:Water site for people to learn more.

Please consider joining me in this fight.  I'll be writing small posts over the two weeks with more facts, how it's going for me, and some inspiration.

Thank you!  We can do this!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Travels with Savy

Well howdy do!

Welcome.  My blog may seem more chipper today since I just completed the last paper I needed to for English Composition.  I also have a week off before my next class starts.


For a few weeks I've been blogging a couple times a week but the last two weeks have been a stressful.  My normal routine of post kids bedtime blogging has been replaced by my wife and me clearing zombies out of a prison.  Phew.  It's rough business.  I started watching The Walking Dead from episode one season one and in the past couple years we got rid of cable.  That meant no more WD.  Then my wonderful wife bought me season two on DVD.  I've been especially vigilant in not having episodes spoiled for me.  It was a taboo topic of conversation at work.  Well recently we found out we could get the entire current season on iTunes!  Shabaam!

Since we do not have cable my wife and I have Netflix.  Our computer was giving us issues with it so we invested in an Apple TV.  On Monday I headed to my local Apple Store to help stimulate the economy.  It was a stressful experience.  I walked in the store and the associate was more than friendly to assist me.  I'm usually put off by excessive willingness to assist when I'm at the mall, mostly from the people at the kiosks selling me cell phones and creams.  I'm a relatively happy person but I kinda put on a mean mug when I'm walking by them.  It's a job.  They are making money, so I feel a little bad to ignore or tell them no thank you.  I usually avoid this issue by not going to the mall period.  Anyway, I'm in the Apple Store and I pick up the Apple TV.  This is when the stress came into play.  I made my way to the back of the store, where I have been trained to find a register and get cashed out.  No registers in the store.  Another helpful associate lets me know that the back of the store is the "Genius Bar" where they assist with Apple product questions.  At this point I think drool is coming out of my mouth (am I watching too much Walking Dead?)  He told me someone would come to assist me.  I stood there looking helpless.  After a minute or so, which felt like ten to twenty in my head, someone came to help me.  The same associate who welcomed me and directed me to my purchase.  Apparently they use a hand held device to cash people out.  The future is now.  This was one of two examples I have of me feeling older this week.  I thought they were going to help me cross the street when I left...

The second example came inside another mall, I'm noticing a trend...  This time it was Wednesday.  I was in a store purchasing a hat.  A new baseball season means a new hat.  After the sales person sucked me in and persuaded me to buy a second hat, I gave the register worker my info to look up my discount card (I have a discount card to purchase hats... I may have a problem).  Out of the corner of my eye someone approaches, and he is much bigger than me.  "Hey Thomas, how's it going?"  I peak over and say "hey" and look back at the worker.  The thought in my mind is that I am going to get mugged.  Why do I think this?  I don't know.  I watch too much of the news?  He was bigger than me...  Anyway, I make my purchase and i look over for more than a second.  I gave him a "who are you?" look.  He replied to my look with "I'm Todd, your mom used to watch me".  Holy puberty!  The same little kid, who's 8 years younger than me, was now a giant.  He proceeded to tell me that his younger brother, who we also watched, is almost taller than him.  Man.  Time flies.  So not only did I feel older, I felt short.  I'm six feet tall.  That is not a normal feeling for me.

On to Saturday! (aka today)

This morning I took Savannah to a local event called "ArtSplash".  The city of Canton has an arts group that has been helping revitalize this small shadow of the industrial era for years.  Every year they have a free event for little kids to do arts and crafts, and hear music.  This year's theme was superheros.  We walked around and she made some super hero cuffs, a crown, and colored a superman picture.  They also had face painting so the Costello two made it towards the line.  In the line Savannah told me a few times "I don't like waiting" or "I don't want to wait".  Not in a "bratty kid in the store not getting a candy bar" tantrum.  She did it in a "this is honestly the first time I've had to wait in a line" epiphany moment.  Welcome to the world, kid.  We made it to her turn and she wanted a butterfly.  Wanna see it?

Cute kid.
After our ArtSplash fun we made it to our new hang out spot for a cookie and chocolate milk while I eat a sub.  She picked the table and chose the place we sat last week.  I've had a lot of fun with that little girl the last two Saturdays.  I'm going to have to make this a weekly event.


Another full week of training, minus running.  Everyday I've done some sort of working out.  Started Tuesday with a good pool session.  Ended up swimming the farthest I ever have swam.  500 yards.  That's five football fields.  Not bad for not being able to swim a couple months ago.  Weird thing happened after the training though.  I was at home sitting in the living room and my chest starting hurting.  Bad.  My heart started racing and I tensed up.  I did a lot of weight training Friday so I thought it was extreme soreness.  Verdict is still out.

Had a good trainer session Wednesday and Thursday I was back in the pool.  Wanted to take it easy because of the chest pain from Monday, so I did one less lap than before.  I also took a few more breaks.  I had planned on doing less than 400 yards since I now know I can reach the sprint distance, but Bryce made me do it... Training partners are great.  They'll push you.  Even when you don't want it.  I appreciate having a friend in this training more than I can express in words.  No chest pain followed Thursday.  Haven't felt it since.  Woo!

I have missed a couple run sessions this week.  I love running but the excuses monster (I'm tiiiiiiired) has reared it's ugly head.  And zombies.  They've plagued my running schedule.  Get it?  Plague?  hahhahaha



The past couple weeks, when I have run, I have enjoyed it.  I am even improving at it.  Cross training has done wonders for me.

Speaking of running.  I am officially signed up for the Akron Marathon.  Many reasons to be excited: 

1. I've never run the race before
2. It'll be my second full marathon
3. They give Brooks running jackets instead of shirts for all participants!
4. ***MOST IMPORTANTLY*** It's the first Active:Water Canton team event!  We're going to raise some awareness and much needed funding for the global water crisis.  Boom!  

Running still has a special place in my heart.  I think I'm going to reserve the fall for my long run events and spring and summer for triathlon events (until I have a year where I'm doing a full Ironman.  I'm pretty sure that'll be my only big race of the year).

On March 16th I'll be doing a St. Patricks Day 5k.  This holiday holds a special place in my heart, and I don't even drink!  I think I'll do a photo post for the race.  Yeah.  That'll work.

Thanks for reading!

What races have you signed up for this year?  Any new distances or venues you're going to try?