Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Germany here we come

Many of you may have heard by now that the Army has TENTATIVELY scheduled us to move to Germany this winter. As with anything in the Army this is still subject to change, especially since James hasn't actually gotten orders yet. But we are excited about it even if Shantel is still dreaming of those white beaches and balmly 80 degree temperatures in Hawaii. James is looking for triathlons to do as well as thinking about all of those good German beers he can drink and Shantel is listing the places she wants to visit, with Paris and Rome at the top of the list.

There is a ton of stuff to think about since this is our first overseas move together. Things like different electricity standards, international driving rules, no speed limits on the Autobahn, major time zone changes, not to mention what stuff we need to get rid of, what stuff to ship, and what to put into storage.

Just in case you wondering the below map shows where we think we will be. The name of the town is Vilseck and it is not to far from the German Alps and the Czech Republic.

We will be there for a minimum of three years and with the current state of the Army we don't know when we'll be able to get home, so get your passports and plan your trips we'll be glad to show you around Europe.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cameron Crossroads Triathlon

Well if you all have been following my race schedule you will have noticed that this race wasn't listed. Mariah wanted to do this one and I caved at the last minute and decided that if I was going to go watch her race I might as well race as well and get a speed workout in.

This was a very good community sponsored race that is the perfect distance (S:200m B:8mi R:2.1mi) for a beginner or a good speed workout for someone who does longer distances. Here are the pictures:

Waiting in line for my turn to swim. When you do a race in a pool you enter in your best guess at your swim time and then you are seeded according to that time. I was seeded 47th out of 180 some for this race.Look at that form. I swear one of these days the water is just going to give up and offer no resistance if I keep beating it to death. Actually I was a little worried about the swim, it's been a couple of weeks since I've gotten a good swim workout in due to class, lap pool availability, and switching other workouts to the morning when it's cooler. So it was good to get a swim in.Look no hands!!!! Not real sure what was going on here and Shantel just happened to take the picture when I'm not touching the helmet. Cool pic Shantel.Moving out on the run. Remember when I said I started 47th out of 180 some. Just as I went around the corner there was a volunteer who told me I was the 19th runner to go past him. Yippee, I'm making up ground on all those people who swim faster than me.The sprint to the finish. I'm really moving out here trying to keep the girl from the Northwest Missouri track team behind me. Yeah I know she's a DII college athlete and I'm an old fart but I've still got my pride, dang it.

Like I said this was a really well run event. The bike course was deceptively hilly but still pretty fast and the run started out all uphill. I wanted to finish in around 50-55 minutes, work on my transition times and get a good speed work out in and just maybe win my age group. Well I finished in 46:40, tried some new things in transition that let me cut those times down to under a minute and I ended up placing third in my age group (there were a few other athletes out there who seemed to be using this race for the same things I was).

I'm pretty happy with the results other than the fact that my belly seems to be reappearing as Shantel has pointed out. I guess I need to get back on that strict diet I used to be on, dang it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Royals game

We made it to another Royals game last night. They played the Angels. We left at the top of the 7th inning and its a good thing we did because things did not go well from that point on. We went with Carrie, Scott and Kayley. Macen and Kayley got play with each other at the playground there and then shared some M&M's later on. They had a blast!
And we even managed to get a snapshot of us that turned out pretty good. I am never good at those aim and shoot photos of yourself (my arms aren't long enough). But we got one last night so had to share.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Splashin' around at home

Macen is still enjoying the baby pool from last summer. He loves jumping and landing in the water as you can see from the pics above. His favorite though is taking all the water out one cup at a time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pictures From Shawnee Mission Triathlon

Shantel didn't take any pictures from the Shawnee Mission Triathlon, since I didn't actually race. Here are some pictures taken by the SeeKCRun guy. He goes to almost all of the running events in the KC area and takes photos. He then uploads them to where they can be downloaded for free. Sure beats the $20 for a 5x7 some of the professional photographers charge.

The mad dash out of the parking lot in the driving rain.

Hanging out waiting for the delay to be over. Little did we know how hard it was going to rain in about 20 minutes.

Aww!! Aren't we cute!

The cutest one of all. Don't know if you can see it, but he's wearing a triathlete in training shirt that Shantel got him. His shirt with his constant runinng around and fascination with bikes got him lots of comments.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Shawnee Mission Park Triathlon

I was really looking forward to the Shawnee Mission Park Triathlon this weekend. It was the only race that I had actually done before, so I was excited to compare my times from 2000 to now over the same course and distance and not just distance, like I've been doing.

Things didn't start out well though. I went on a long ride Friday and somehow I punctured a tire in the last 20 minutes or so of the ride. I didn't notice though until I went out Saturday night to check the air pressure. I only have two spare inner tubes, one new and one that's been patched before. I put the patched tire on, so I could have a good spare, and promptly discovered that it had another hole near the valve stem. Dang it. I tried to patch the new hole and had no luck. Finally giving up I tried to run to the bike store, thinking it closed at 8pm only to find out that's only Mon-Fri, Saturday they close at 6pm........ahhhh!! I ended up putting my good tube on and planning on doing the race without a spare, crossing my fingers that I'd not get a flat during the race.

Sunday morning started out beautiful and the fact that we only live about 30 minutes from the race site let us sleep in a little bit. We arrived at the site and I started setting up my transition area while Shantel and Mariah watched Macen run around like a maniac pointing out all the letters he could find and staring at all the cool bikes.

About ten minutes before the start of the first swim wave word came that there would be 30 minute delay because of a storm front that was moving in. That turned into an hour delay. The storm finally hit with about 10 minutes left in the hour delay prompting another delay. Macen was through though. With it pouring down, straight line winds approaching 60 mph and lots of thunder and lighting, I got on my bike and heading for the truck. By the time I got back to the park shelter where Shantel, Mariah and Macen were sheltering from the storm, the race officials had called the race and everyone was making a mad dash out of the park.

Overall a disappointment but I guess my inner tube issues were a fore shadowing of what was to come.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pool time

We finally got Macen to the pool this week. He was pretty scared at first but when he realized he could walk around in it, he loved it. And he has been asking to go back every day since.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pictures from the Lake

Happy 4th of July!
Chillin' (actually he was in time out but he looked cute!)

Boat ride

Feeding the fish...and the boys. Ed and Linda had some old popcorn they were using to feed the fish and Macen has recently taken up eating popcorn. So he helped himself to some as well. And then Carson started eating some.

Fishing at the Lake

James and Ken fished all afternoon and they caught some monsters! Linda said they feed the fish. We said they need to rethink the food they are giving them.
The biggest one of the day!

Here are the boys counting the fish.

The boys loved watching the fish.

Finger Painting

Macen and Carson enjoyed a little finger painting.

Fireworks at the Lake

We had snappers for the boys to play with and they loved them! They would either throw them hard or drop them and step on them to make 'em pop.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rocks at the Lake

If Macen spoke clearly, he would tell you this was his most memorable part of being at the lake. He wouldn't get in the water - apparently we failed at preparing him for this trip :) So instead he spent alot of time throwing rocks in the water.
After spending some time in St. Louis, we headed to James' aunt and uncles house at the lake for a nice relaxing weekend. And relaxing it was! We had some amazing food, great wine and a great time spent with family. Macen and Carson had a blast playing all weekend.

St. Louis Zoo

We spent some time at the St Louis Zoo. Macen spent alot of time on the wooden fences looking at the animals. But unfortunately, his favorite may have been the snakes. You have no idea how much it hurts to type that! All thru the building he kept saying "ssssss".

Busch Stadium for a Cardinals Game

We took in a baseball game while in town. Macen was very proud to carry his own ticket.

James was listening to the game by radio and Macen wanted to hear too. He got a kick out of using the earpiece. We once again got complimented on how wellbehaved Macen was at the game. He loves cheering with the fans, the loud music and shouting a disgruntled No when the crowd boo'd.

The Arch and Riverfront

We rode in the pod to the top of the Arch and looked out. And then took some time to walk along the Riverfront.

The Magic House

We spent several days over the 4th of July weekend in St Louis. Believe it or not, I am from MO and have never been to the Arch or done much else in the St Louis area. So it was one of our goals while living here to see some of the sights.
First we took Macen to The Magic House. He loved being able to run around and do a huge variety of things.
This was one of his favorites. Of course it was since it invloved a ball and noise.
Macen has become obsessed with the alphabet in the last few weeks so this was a huge hit.
Sand is always fun especially when mom doesn't let you play with it at home.

He actually screamed when we directed him away from the water station. Safe to say it was a favorite!

They had a bubble room which I probably enjoyed more than Macen.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Oh Say Can You See By The Dawn's Early Light

Happy belated 4th of July to everyone. I hope everyone had a good and safe holiday weekend.
Ruder's wife, Kelly, took this picture last weekend during the national anthem prior to the start of the Hy-Vee Triathlon. Great pic Kelly!!!