Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blog Slacker

I just realized my last post was February 18th!?!?!?! Slacker on the blog must mean busy doing other (more productive) things and that is definitely true. Super quick catch up...

Ian/Basketball: played tons of games and we are on a huge run (for us) and are 7 and 1 in our last two weeks bringing our season's record to 15-12. The boys are starting to function in their rolls really good and with 3 games left at The Courts and 5 at Rock Solid we could have a nice little closure to a rough start. We got 2nd in a recent tourney in Logan Rogersville a couple weeks ago which got the boys a little *bling*.

Jake: Still trying to get his 'running' legs under him after being off so long and he is struggling with it. He is seriously thinking of skipping track this year as it's never been a favorite of his (necessary evil) and is trying to find a trail marathon in late May or early June to run. He and I have had many heart to heart talks about his track season and it's pretty easy listening to him and his rationalizations as he is a sharp kid with a golden heart; the only thing keeping him in there is him being a captain and he doesn't want to let down any of the under classman and none of it is centered around his wants.
School is going pretty well for him and doesn't seem to be in too big of a hurry to graduate. He and a teammate are heading to DECA state competition next weekend.
DEB: We keep knocking out our foster/adoptive classes and we are really enjoying the information and find it quite interesting. Thursday evenings (6pm to 9pm) are not a drag at all and I actually look forward to it (never thought that would be the case). We are sneaking in some racquetball here and there and Deb is making leaps and bounds with how well she is playing; lots of fun.
Spent last weekend in Branson with our Sunday School group at a marriage retreat and we had a great time. The group's agenda is not an 'intensive' set of instruction, but more a solid topic of sessions with the emphasis on community and having tons of fun (which we always do). This year Deb and I shared in front of the group how attitude impacts our relationship/marriage and we had a fun time doing it (even though Deb was a little nervous prior).
Riding/Training: While I am not getting in monster long rides I am riding consistently and equally spending time on the core and in the gym. Feeling pretty fit, but you never know until you toe a line against others.
Last weekend after the retreat I hooked up with some Branson guys (Dathan, Kendal, Ty, and Chad) and they took me on a freaking roller coaster ride - straight up and straight down! Twice he hit over 55mph (way fun) and by rides end I was short a little bit of 50 miles, but got in over 5k+ of climbing. It was awesome as I felt good strength and was able to sustain good output without putting myself in the 'red' - encouraging to say the least. If these guys ever ask if you want to ride out to the airport just know it's going to hurt! Yesterday I found out a car hit Kendal while he was riding on Monday; bike it trashed, but thankfully Kendal walked away with just being 'roughed up'.
Not sure what my 'season opener' will be just yet, but trying to work out a race in Hot Springs on the 12th of March; a 6hr mtb event. Heaven knows I don't have 6hrs of racing in my legs, but I would like to go cruise a cool trail for as long as I can...
MWI event was cancelled due to lack of interest by other teams; bummer. I was not going to be able to make this event as I screwed up my calendar and forgot that was when we are taking the boys to Dallas for a quick spring break trip (a good buddy hooked us up with Spurs vs Mavs tickets and Ian is on cloud nine).
Looks like I'll hit Tour of Hermann (always like to support Jeff Y and crew) and Joe Martin in Arkansas. Funny I pick these as I am not a climber at all, but yet that is a big focus on each of these, oh well. I also have a handful of mtb events I hope to knock out like the Bone Bender, a race in Dallas (while we are there) and who knows what else.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Jake, Ride, Upcoming Races

Jake got a little press in the local paper today for being selected as the Rotary Student of the Month (February). It is cool to share it with Hanna as they have been really good friends from the moment he moved to Bolivar (and she is an exceptional kid). As I have said many times before Jake has so many God given talents and he continues to use each in various ways as a quality kid. Deb and I are glad he is going to SBU (living on campus) as it's a perfect fit for him and not too far away from us. I am having a hard time already with the thought of not seeing him on a daily basis in 6 months.

Deb and I knocked out another 3hr Foster/Adoption session last night and it really is an interesting course that has enlightened my perception of 'the system'. I actually look forward to my Thursday evenings with this group. With each class we are more and more convinced God is pointing us in the right direction and has a special kid out there for our family.

Too nice out there today not to hop on the road so 2:20hrs later I returned from a solid tempo ride NE to Goodson, down to Van, and then back home. I am loving this weather! BTW - Yokozuna Reaction system is super slick and smooth; highly recommend it (especially for the price).

If you get the chance here are a couple races of special interest: Frozen Waffle on March 13th in the SGF (sadly the same day and time as Jake's XC Banquet so I won't race) and the MWI Gentleman's non-Race Race on March 19th in the KC area.
Busy weekend for us as Ian plays in SGF tonight, two games in Log-Rog tomorrow, and 1 game in Log-Rog on Sunday. He also is back to 'ball boy'ing' for the SBU men's basketball games (which he loves). Jake has an all-day academic competition (of sorts) at SBU tomorrow with the winner walking away with a full-ride (high stakes). The process includes writing an essay and then an oral board/interview in the afternoon. Other scholarships are given depending on outcomes and for being selected to compete he gets a decent chunk right off the bat (nice for my wallet).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where's the Snow?!?!?!

Crazy how this past weekend it was snow everywhere (deep snow) and by Wednesday you can barely see traces of it... guess that's what temps in the 70's will do.

Tuesday was a great day out so I skipped out of the office a little early and hit the 29'er on the Frisco... not the best choice. With all streets and roads clear and dry I decided to jump on the still snow-packed (over a foot in most places) FT. It was absolutely challenging staying upright as it was pretty slippery goings. After 30 minutes I couldn't take anymore so I moved over to some dirt back roads for light mud conditions (an improvement). 1:40hrs of fun challenging riding in great weather.

The little man had ball practice in the evening and when we got home found out Jake placed 2nd in a DECA Financial Management competition and qualified for State. Proud of 'the boy' and all his abilities; this is his second year in a row! The rest of the evening was pretty kicked back.

Wednesday was beautiful outside, but I knew it was going to be a busy afternoon so I hoped on the rollers for 2hrs in the AM and caught some more 24. Jake turned up sick overnight and stayed the day home while Deb took Ian to see a sports medicine group as a 'preventative' due to his foot structure similar to Jake's (jacked up). Sure enough they are fitting him with an orthopedic insole next week to help relieve some potential knee issues. Specialist was funny after looking at E's feet and said he had never seen such a youngster with such callused feet - "You must be one active kid"... he has no idea!

I spent the evening moving the Blue from 'cross mode to roadie. First time using the Yokozuna Reaction system and I have to say the setup is way easier than the sealed Gore I used last year. Brake cables are a tad stiff if you have to make some tight corners, but it was a non-issue for my setup.
Thursday AM was a big gym session and then at noon I grabbed a couple hours on the Rig putting in a sustained temp for 2hrs on the Frisco. The FT is perfect for days like today with 30mph winds as you are pretty much concealed. The surface was strange today as I expected it pretty mushy with all the snow just melting off of it (two days ago still packed), but to my pleasant surprise it was 90% bone dry (from all the winds). From time to time I hit a 'swamp' and it was tough going, but all in all a great workout; legs and body are feeling fit.

Deb and I knock out another Foster/Adoptive class tonight (only 12 sessions/36hrs more to go).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two Weekend Update

I have slacked on keeping his updated so here is a couple of weekends and last week in a nutshell...

Saturday morning Deb and I were up earlier than wanted dropping Ian off at a math competition at SBU. He is in an accelerated math program and was looking forward to what turns out to be a hugely attended event. Deb took him in to meet up with his school's contacts and when she came out she was laughing pretty hard... apparently when they walked into the main lobby area Ian said (out loud) "Hey, why is everyone Chinese?" Valid question and one our country's education system should address. Deb said over 70% of the competitors were either Asian or Indian.

Deb and I then grabbed our Saturday routine of breakfast at Brenda's before I dropped her back off at the competition and I hit the trainer. The roads were starting to clear up some, but still mostly snow/ice packed in and outside of Bolivar. After 1.5hrs of trainer time I said screw it and hopped on the 29er for a 'core' session outside. I referenced 'core' due to the massive body movements required to stay upright on such slick surfaces. The temps weren't too bad and I decided Sunday was fully dedicated to outside riding.

While I was out riding Deb returned with Ian (he got 5th in concepts and 9th in problem solving) and started working on a snow fort. Turns out Deb did most of the work while Ian (self designated designer) oversaw operations.

Sunday morning started with catching some Euro 'cross before heading to church. After church and a bite to eat I met up with Dale and we knocked out 2:45hrs of mtb'ing on the backroads of Polk County south around Morrisville. The warmth started melting the snowpack which made climbing and descending quite a chore with some funny slip'n'slide moments. Pulled up to the house to find Jake shovel'ed out his truck (monumental task as it was buried) and Deb and Ian were adding more to the snow fort.

After cleaning up my Deb, Ian, and I headed to some friends casa for the Super Bowl. Jake opted to watch with his friends at a different location. Good friends, football game, and most importantly FOOD!

Hit the gym early Monday for a strength workout and followed it up with some basketball at noon.

Ian's b-ball team (the one I coach) started a new 10 game session at a local sports facility (Rock Solid) and they won by 20 some odd points (even after I told them to quite scoring so much). This league is not as competitive as The Courts so we are using it as a 'practice' session.

Monday around midnight I woke up with some type of flu bug and ended up sleeping on the coach as to not expose Deb too much. This morning I still felt like crap, but I decided to come into the office this afternoon and I feel much better. Need to shed anything that might keep me from killing it this weekend in the forecasted 50* temps.

Tuesday I hung out at the house until noon when my stomach started feeling 1/2 way 'normal'. I felt much better as the day went along, so that evening Deb, Ian, and I went to an SBU basketball game wherein E-ball got to be a ball boy; he loved it!

It was lightly snowing when we went into the ball game and snowing a ton when we came out. Here we go again...

Wednesday morning around 4" of snow accumulated on top of the bunch still left from last week's dumping. Along with new snow was a significant plunge in the temps. School was out for the boys so Ian and I hit SBU for 1 1/2hrs of basketball. Later that night I jumped on the trainer and caught the Duke .vs. UNC game with Ian while Deb and Jake worked out at the gym.

Speaking of Jake, answer to many prayers has him back to running (lightly) with no pain in his chest. He says he feels back to normal and is looking to kill it on the track this spring. It is so good to see him healthy

Thursday I spent some time on the rollers at lunch and that evening Deb and I knocked out another 3 hour session of foster/adoption training. Good material made for a quick night.

Friday was an 'off' day and not much happened until 9:30pm when Ian's crew played at The Courts. It was the best our team had played (as a team) and lost to the only undefeated team on a shot with no time left... ARGGGG; second week in a row. So happy with how the boys are playing.

Saturday morning I caught the last of the Super Prestige races then the whole crew got up for breakfast at Benda's. Jake was particularly entertaining explaining his life goal of becoming a space craft captain (not to be confused as he pointed out being a star ship captain - entirely two different things).

Back to the casa and out on the road for a ride in balmy temps (mid-40's). Roads were all pretty clear except for going thru Morrisville (from the south) where the roads were still snow packed. I know you're a small town, but come on M'ville! Ended up with 3:15hrs on some hilly roads. Rolled up to the house to see Deb and Ian trying to salvage what was left of the 'fort' and also working on a new snowman...

Got cleaned up and we were off to an afternoon SBU ball game and watched the Bearcats get beat on. Deb and I got in some racquetball that evening before calling it quits for the day.

Sunday morning was church followed up with lunch at Bolivar's new 'wing' eatery (Mister Wings) then off for another ride. Headed off to Stockton Lake, Bona, Dadeville, Morrisville, over to 'old' Hwy 13, then home. Probably my last ride with 'cross gearing (42 single ring up front) as the climb up Bona and a handful of others were killing me and a lighter gearing was needed so on with the road rings this week. Ended up with 3:20hrs for the day in some mid-50* temps - finally!

***View from top of Bona Hill, which is a 20%+ climb, sample of 'flat roads' in Polk County***

The above picture (doesn't do it justice) is one of the coolest trees and I stop and check it out every time ride by it (between Dadeville and Eudora); about 90% of the base is 'open air'/unsupported above a creek, but it keeps growing.

Practice with Ian's ball team and then back home for a relaxing evening.

Lots of riding planned this week taking advantage of the forecasted temps in the 60*'s!!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sledding on the Big Hill

Ira and I took our boys out to the 'Nut, Rock, and Fruit Farm' hills yesterday for an afternoon of sledding. This area is one of our favs for gravel riding as it's super remote (a 15 minute drive outside of Bolivar) with little to no traffic; one hill is long and steep and you go crazy fast, the second is longer, but not as steep and is fun cruising. The grader came through and packed down the 'runs' and left 'bumpers' on the sides so no one could hit the ditches (perfect). Everyone shoots off and I follow behind in the Durango (at a hugely safe distance), pick everyone up at the bottom, drive 'em to the top, and do it again. Maximized the fun and time. Couldn't talk Jake into coming as he and snow/cold are not good friends.

Played some basketball at noon and then after sledding I jumped on the trainer for an elevated HR 1 hour.

Watched SBU beat on PSU last night and Ian got to play with the 5th grade team at half time against a 6th grade Bolivar team. It is so funny to see him (the smallest by far) guarding and blocking out guys way over a foot taller; the kid doesn't back down and mixes it up like he owns 'the paint'. He felt pretty good playing in front of a crowd.

***E-ball is the small kid playing defense on the top of the screen***

If the temps get above 20* I'll probably head out on the 29'er for a couple hours this afternoon on the backroads, but we'll have to see...