Friday, May 30, 2008

More Beer Wisdom

"Beer...you my only friend."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Daddy, are you a Prince?

Alexandra is entering that 1,000,000 questions phase of life. It's cute, but yes can get tiresome as well. Yesterday was our 14th wedding anniversary. While we weren't really able to celebrate it, we did dig out the wedding video. I had not seen it in years. Hell, it's on VHS and I wasn't even sure if our old VCR still worked. But it did and we watched it. Alexandra was captivated by it. It was so adorable. I enjoyed it too: seeing how we looked then vs. how we look now, seeing old friends who are still friends, and seeing and remembering all those who have since passed away. Alexandra noted the conspicuous absence of her little brother and all of her cousins with the exception of Jacquet, who was not recognizable to her because he was so young. After the long...long...long ceremony and the marathon of pictures, the video moved onto the reception. Alexandra wanted to know about receptions. And then the first dance. She wanted to know what we were doing. Using an analogy I was pretty sure she'd get, I said "Honey, it's like when Cinderella dances with the Prince."

"Daddy, are you a Prince?"

I think there were tears all around the room.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My three compartments

My life is more or less governed by three main compartments: Family, Training, and Work. I've found that in general I can handle floods in two of the compartments, but when the third floods as well we have problems. From late March until a few weeks ago, I had issues with work (reorganization and new boss) and training (just the general stress associated with the physical load increasing). Then Alexandra got a cold and had her asthma flare up: Three compartments flooding. Not surprisingly I broke down pretty quickly. I got a nice case of shingles. Thankfully no blisters, but the pain along my right side was at times pretty severe, much like a bad sunburn...all the time. I was forced to dial back on the one thing over which I had complete control; my training. That also created some stress, in the form of concern about my fitness going into my two biggest months of the year. Nonetheless my immune system needed to recover so I started taking every other day off.

It is now 3 weeks since the pain started. It is getting a bit better, but is not gone. More important, however, is the fact that I believe I am getting work back under control. That all started with a presentation I did for a vendor sponsored seminar. The feedback I got was that it was one of the better customer presentations they had ever heard. This got me feeling good about myself as a professional again, and thus restored my confidence in my strategies at work. The next key moment came during a training run this last week. I decided to "break training" a little and test the legs by running a strong, but not all out, mile. I looked to run 5:45 to 5:50. When I stopped my watch at the end it said 5:27.89. Oh boy, I still had some speed. And Alexandra was taken back off of her asthma meds, which make her insane at times, and the asthma did not return. That was the best one ever. Well obviously things were on a steady upswing again, and because of that I considered NOT going to my first multisport race of the year; the Coast Guard Duathlon (run/bike/run). I was a little emotionally drained and just wanted to rest. However, I did go. I'm a believer in momentum and I had some positive mo' going right now. The plan was to race hard, but not kill myself. I still had a 4 hour workout planned this weekend, and the race was more of a glorified training session than a race. I'm happy to say I executed the plan well. In fact because I was so relaxed I had some of the best transitions (when you switch from one discipline to the next) that I've ever had: 33 seconds from the run onto the bike, and 29 seconds from the bike back onto the run. My racing was pretty good too. Out of 240 starters (duathon's don't get very big fields) I finished 5th overall (again), 30 seconds out of 2nd place, and won my age group (M40-44) by almost 2 minutes. My time was also more than a minute faster than last year.

So there's a lesson here: you can't fight a war on multiple fronts. I try to, but it just doesn't work. The key is to take a step back, get a couple of things under control, and then ride the wave as things start going well again. It's an important life lesson and one I hope to remember next time BEFORE I get a condition most commonly seen in people over 60.

PS: If you haven't noticed from the previous posts, one other thing I did was to spend more quality time with the kids. They're a lot of work, but they're also skilled at refocusing your priorities.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The 4yr old check-up

The best analogy I can come up with is the 60K service for your car. They don't really tell you what's involved and when you find out you sh-- yourself. 4 shots, poking, prodding and some drawn blood later there almost weren't enough brides to make up for it. Fortunately battery powered James the Engine for her train set got it done.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

We're okay.

I just re-read my last post, and want to reassure friends and family that while it is a rough patch, everyone will be fine in a few days. Alexandra's still a little sick and might have a sinus infection, but the asthma episode has passed and she is sleeping better. Can't wait to get her off the meds again (another day or two) because they make her nuts, but the end is in sight.

Time to go get Dylan up!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A family nearing exhaustion

Up at 1:00, 2:00, 4:00, 5:00. Stayed up at 5:00 to start my workout. I knew I wasn't going to get to sleep. About 1/2 hr into my 3 hr ride (in the basement on the trainer), I hear the all too familiar thumping of feet coming down the stairs from the 2nd to 1st floor. It was the unmistakable plodding of Miss Alexandra. You see she's got another cold and is having an asthma episode. That's why we were all up. We cranked up the inhalers again today, and things seem to be calming down.
Anyway, back to the workout. After the first hour I went outside to continue riding because it was now light. Well about 1/2hr into this one a cold rain began pouring down. I was pretty cold when I turned for home. I finished up a 2nd hour of riding, but was still an hour of biking and 20 minutes of running short of the whole workout that Tim had scheduled. It didn't look like the rest was in the cards today. I sent Leanna up for a nap and at 11:45am Alexandra followed. I had a bit of quality time with the big D. It was pretty cool. Dylan then went down for his usual at 1:20. Due to the unexpected situation where both kids were napping, I finished the workout with another session on the trainer and then the run. I'm beat. I didn't get a nap. Yes I'm just piss'n and moan'n.
When I put Alexandra to bed tonight she said, "Daddy. I had a bad day." "I know sweetie, but I promise tomorrow will be better."

Now off to bed with you, and me.