Thursday, March 21, 2013

Improvements (Another Pic Dump)

Thursday, March 21, 2013  at 5:31 PM
Recently, Jenn and I have been taking every spare minute of time we've had to make some home improvements around our place.  We've been "rearranging" all the bushes out front and cutting down the enormous ones that needed to be excavated so normal bushes could replace them.  Here is the before and after...
Obviously, we still need some mulch, but it is such a big change from that massive bush that was in front of my office window.  I can finally see outside!!!  I'm working on getting the yard in shape, but it's going to be rough!  Any pointers?

Another improvement that has been a process for a long time has been the kitchen.  We ripped out the nasty countertops from the previous owners and poured concrete countertops.  With the help of a friend, we set them into place.  Since then, we put up a tile backsplash, and last night, I put on 15 coats of sealer.  Think that will be enough?  I couldn't stop as it just got shinier and deeper.  Here's what they look like.

Then, thanks to this awesome blogger and her husband's generosity in giving us most of the materials, Maglee, our boxer, has a new fence to run around in!  Trevor, Jenn's brother, and Josh Woods helped me so much in actually installing it.  We've been doing our best to still take Maglee on walks!

Early this morning, while being on Daddy Duty, I had enough time to hang our new fixture over our kitchen table.  Out with the brass, please!!!

In addition to all the improvements, we've been having a lot of fun too!  On Saturday, Jenn, Caffrey and I went to Stone Mountain for an afternoon of hiking and fun.  I was a proud papa to be hiking up the mountain with Caff strapped to my chest as I listened to everyone make comments like, "Oh, look at those cute feet sticking out!"  It was so breezy on top that we just snapped a pick and headed down.

Of course, every beautiful day has to have a picnic!
Last week, I was able to squeeze a round of golf in with a fellow pastor as we talked ministry and enjoyed the sun.  He got a really cool shot of me.
Last night, Jenn and I went over to Tom and Colleen Kingery's house for an evening of fun!  We brought a couple of pizzas and simply had a blast.  We can't wait to meet their little girl here in a few weeks.  Caffrey really likes them both, but it was especially fun watching him talk and stare up at Tom. They're gonna be buds for sure!  (He'd better get to know him as he could be his father-in-law one of these days)

And lastly, Caffrey got his 3-month pictures a couple weeks ago.  I chose my favorite to share with you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Reality Check

Monday, March 11, 2013  at 10:16 AM
Sometimes, it's good to have a perception check on how your fitness really is.  Sometimes, a perception check just turns into a reality check as you realize that you've got a long way to go before you can conquer 140.6 miles in a day.  Yesterday was my reality check!  The good thing is that I still have 166 days till go time!

It's really hard to find some decent riding where I live.  The roads are awesome, but the traffic is really tough!  I guess I'm a little scared, but I think that's an ok fear to have.  Usually, I just go out and ride anyway, but for longer rides, I've decided that I'll go ride The Silver Comet trail.

The Silver Comet is a rails-to-trails project that goes from the east side of Atlanta (45 minutes from my house) all the way to Alabama and connects with the Cheif Ladiga trail for an additional 30-some miles.  All in total, it's about 95 miles long!  I plan on riding the entire trail one day, staying the night in Alabama, and then riding back the next day.  That'll be some good training.  Here's a visual of how long the trail is...

I've been pretty faithful about logging some solid trainer rides, but with incredible weather and a free Sunday, I decided to go for a long ride.  After hanging out with Caffrey while Jenn got some extra sleep, I loaded up my bike and headed for the Silver Comet.  I unloaded everything and took off.  Wowee!  I was flying!  I knew that my legs were in for a longer day, so I tried to spin as much as possible.  There were a ton of people on the trail, but it is wide enough that it's no big deal to pass.  Here's what it looks like with one of the many tunnels that you go through.
There were runners, walkers, riders on road bikes, riders on mountain bikes, rollerbladers, and a bunch of triathletes training.  About 10 miles in, a guy on a sweet TT bike caught me, and we started to talk.  He is a multi-Ironman and has done Louisville twice.  We had a blast talking about everything from triathlon to religion, and the miles ticked by.  At 25 miles, I turned around, and I had averaged 18.3mph on the way out.  When I turned around, I realized that it was going to be a long ride home.  Not only were my legs aching, but I realized that there was a definite headwind coming my way.  Now, I HATE it when people blame poor rides on headwinds, SO, I won't.  But, I will say that I didn't plan my nutrition very well, which made the return 25 miles really tough.  Since I've lost about 20 pounds recently, my body doesn't have too much to "eat" off of, and I didn't give it more to eat!  Well, I ate two granola bars when I turned around, but it was a little late in the game to recover.  I really struggled on the way back.  Another triathlete (girl) rode up next to me, and we talked for 10 or so miles.  Finally, I just told her to go on as I struggled to keep going.  I got dropped by a girl!!!

In the end, I rode 50 miles (first of the year) and averaged right at 17mph.  I'll take it as a solid training day, although it was a rude awakening of where I am as far as fitness goes.  My motivation is high, and I'm still excited about training.  August 25 is coming, and I'll be ready!!!

Thanks for reading