Sunday, February 23, 2014

Coolest gift ever!

John has always been a pretty good gift giver. IF you overlook the belly shirt that said BEER WENCH on it and the other t-shirt that said Funkin Ronuts, which he thought would be appropriate for me to wear to Crew functions.  If you ignore those two heinous outliers, then he's pretty darn good.  He got me the best present ever TiVo - when they were still new and no one really even knew what they were.  It was the best and the worst gift, because it allowed me to easily record and watch whatever shows I wanted, which in turn caused me to watch WAY more TV than I should. See best and worst.  Before that I use have to make sure I had the VCR's programmed right and the VHS tapes in the right machines, and hope they didn't tape over anything and you couldn't tape when you were watching…blah, blah, blah.  But I digress….  Coolest gift ever… or at least recently…. For our anniversary, he found this thing/company/service called Stridebox.  It's like a gift box of the month for RUNNERS!!!  I got my first one yesterday.  This one had… protein bars, and fuel chews, and lip balm and a water supplement and a really cool blinking light for night running.  It was fun to go through it and see stuff that #1 - I'd never really heard of and #2 - I'd never buy for myself.  What a cool little treat!  Sometimes he just SCORES!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thrilled, terrified, hesitant, happy, honored, worried, excited, did I mention terrified… really just pick any adjective….

I don't think I've made it any secret, how much I love Crew, our team and the sport in general.  I've been going to Winter Conditioning everyday and helping out wherever I can.  Coach Cox has been gracious enough to include me and let me help wherever they need me.  This is the first year we have not been allowed to pay our winter coaches so some of our younger coaches haven't been able to come and help out.  Which has been good for me, because I've gotten to fill in the empty spots and I've learned so much.  I just love being with the kids and helping them.  Thank goodness Zack seems to be okay with the whole thing, plus I try to stay as far away form him as I can, unless he engages first.

I've been imagining in my dream life some way for me to become an official coach, instead of just "Zack's mom, who hangs around all the time!" Something like a land coach, or a conditioning coach anything along those lines. I'm already one of the only people who will run with Mike and the kids or Erg with them.  None of the other coaches do that.  I get so invested with the kids and how they are doing, that I can't imagine not seeing them everyday and watching their progress.  I have even considered going through Personal Fitness Trainer certification to make myself more marketable.

It's been challenging to find coaches for the team this year.  As you can imagine there aren't many people, especially the younger coaches, who have jobs that will allow them to be at practice everyday from 4-6pm.  Which leads me to the thrilling, terrifying, exciting, craaaazzy adventure that is ahead of me.  Last week Coach Cox called me… he and Coach Meehan have asked me to come on and join the coaching staff!!!!  I'm sooo excited, and terrified.  I know, I know… the one small catch… I don't know how to row! :o)  What they need most immediately is another person to drive a safety launch along side them so that in cold weather they can take more boats out.  Each coach is allowed to take out 2 boats, at a certain temp, but if I'm there - they can take out 3.  So, I will drive along, learn and start making the jump to coaching.  They have promised they won't put me in a position that would make me or anyone else uncomfortable.  This year I will be a "coach in training."  I've repeatedly given Mike the opportunity to change his mind, but he doesn't seem to want to do that.  Apparently this is a pretty common practice among teams.  When coaching needs get critical, they find a parent or other person who is willing and able to help out and then train them.  There is even a US Rowing Level 1 Coaching Course for people with little or no rowing experience, like parents, teachers or personal trainers. If they have an actual course for that, then it must happen pretty regularly.  I'm waiting for the schedule to come out, so that I can go to that.  I've also done the Occoquan Coaches Safety meeting, CPR and First aid certification, Boat Safety certification and I still have a couple more boxes to check off.  I also plan to try rowing with the adult program this summer and fall, so that I will at least have some idea of what I'm doing.  Whatever I can do, I will do.  The most important thing I need to do right now is learn how to drive a launch boat.  Fortunately, this will be John's responsibility since he is the Boat Driver Trainer!  If anyone can teach me to drive a launch boat, it's John!  I just need the freaking weather to warm up so the ice melts and we can get the boat out on the water!!
This is something I've very excited about and I want to make sure that I do the best job that I possible can.  I don't want to let anyone down, not Mike and John who are putting their trust in me, not the kids and certainly not the team or the program.

Unfortunately, not everyone was as supportive as I had hoped when Mike made the announcement,  but I'm not going to let that get me down or derail me.  The people whose opinions I truly value, Mike and John, my John, the other coaches, close friends all seem very supportive.  The rest I'm going to just try and ignore and prove wrong but doing a great job!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Mover and a Shaker

John has been getting to do some cool things at work lately.  He and the President of his company have been going up to Washington and meeting with Senators and Representatives and other big muckety, mucks.  I don't exactly understand what all they are doing, but it has to do with the future of military medicine, changing language and the defense appropriation bill or some such thing.  Frankly, once he goes on long enough my eyes start to glaze over and I lose concentration.  Isn't that terrible.  I'm the worst wife ever.  I'm happy that he's doing exciting things, but when it comes to politics and law making - I only have enough interest and attention span for the School House Rock "I'm just a Bill" skit.  If it gets much more complicated than that, then I'm gone…:o)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A snow day WITH snow…finally

We're going on our 2nd snow day with actual snow this time.  We've had at least 5 "snow days" this year so far, but they have actually been ice days, rain days, a couple "too cold" days and one day with less than a 1/2 an inch of snow.  But this time… they seem to have gotten in right.  We got about 12-14 inches of snow on Thursday - we were off Thurs and Friday.  Monday is a holiday - so we're enjoying a 5 day weekend.  I've been slowly but surely working my way through my To Do list.  All those things I've been putting off, because I've been so busy with work, crew etc…

We did a little Cul-de-sac shovel party.  That always makes things more fun - if we're all out there together!  We got the whole cul-de-sac and even the road shoveled.  Mike had his tractor out and we all went to town.  He may only get to use that darn tractor once or twice every couple of years, but we sure are thankful for it when he does.

Even the boy got out there and did some work.  He's virtually impossible to get out of his room and off the computer, but once you do, he's a damn hard worker.  I'll give him that.  Wouldn't it be nice though if they'd just jump up and "Oh yes, I want to help.  Shoveling will be a fun family bonding adventure." That's what it would be like in Julie's LaLa Land! If I had my way :o)

The dogs got into it after a bit of hesitation.  Of course they wouldn't go out and go pee, until we all went out to shovel.  I don't understand how they can hold their pee for so long!  They romped around for quite a bit.  Zoey looked like a little cow gazelle.  The snow came up past her belly so she had to leap and bound everywhere. It was pretty humorous.
The snow banks made perfect beer coolers for the guys.  They were silly, like little kids, mainly I think because they felt a little naughty drinking beer at 1030 in the morning!  But they worked hard and they deserved it.  I certainly did not feel guilty eating the chocolate chip muffin I hid in the pantry when I finished!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Getting old is really going to suck….

I think I had my first freaking hot flash!  What the hell… I woke up in the middle of the night, DRENCHED in sweat.  I mean it was rolling down my sides.  I couldn't figure out what was going on.  It was really kinda gross.  I hope that's not my future…any time soon… YUCK!
I already have to put up with my eyes going.  I have a pair of reading glasses in every bag I own, upstairs, downstairs, in the car, at work - pretty much anywhere I might go.  I can't run like I want, I'm sore when I shouldn't be, I look like a 90 year old women when I've been sitting for too long and I try to get up.  And now, I'm getting all sweaty for no reason, except that I'm old.  NOT. FAIR.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Race #2 - Run Your Heart Out

Did another 5K this weekend in my quest to run 12 races in 2014.  I haven't branched out past 5K's yet, but I'm going to.  I have my eye on a 5K trail run, a 4 mile run and my first 10K race in the next couple of months.  Also considering signing up for the Air Force Half Marathon in Sept.  I just found out Ian is going to run it as his 1st Half and Cari is going to run the 5K that goes along with it.  I think it would be awesome to fly out and run it with Ian.  It would surely give me incentive to really do it!  We'll see…

This weekend I ran the Run Your Heart Out 5K in Reston.  My goal was to beat my best time, 29:10.  It was a decent course… tons of people, but I like the company that puts on these races.  They always do a really nice job.  Unfortunately I forgot my GPS watch and only had my phone so it was difficult for me to monitor my time.  I felt pretty strong - I was going along great, I hadn't stopped at all and then… there was this freaking HELLACIOUS hill right at the very end.  You had to get up this hill, before you turned into the stadium and finished on the nice flat track! :o(   The hill did me in,  I ran all the way up it - but at the top I had to stop and walk for about 10-20sec.  I was bummed.  Then I turned into the stadium and I did my best to sprint at the very end.  I never use to be able to do that, but recently it seems I've found a little extra right at the end and been able to sprint the last bit.  Anyway, my time when I came in said 29:13!  I was so freaking pissed… 3 secs off my PR!  If I hadn't walked that last little bit, I would have beaten my previous time… :o(
BUT THEN…. I checked my official time today…. 29:08!!!  Hells YES!!  I forgot that the time at the race is the time the gun goes off, not necessarily the time I cross the start and finish!  So, my PR streak is intact.  I think that will be the add on… to my 2014 resolution… 12 races in 12 months and each one try and PR.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Erg Sprints, Erg Sprints more and more Erg Sprints

Last weekend was Mid-Atlantic Ergs and this weekend was Golds Gym Ergs.  These are always fun, because they are a little bit smaller, right in our backyard and against only the Prince William County schools that we actually compete against.  Once again we had a huge turnout and this time we got LOTS of BLING!!  I think in virtually every race we entered we won some kind of medal.
Once again Zack did a 1500m race for his age group and did okay.  He started out way too fast in the beginning and so sort of lost it at the end.  But hopefully he felt pretty good about his performance.  I'm always so proud of him.  I just always imagine how I would react under all that pressure and I'm not sure I'd even be brave enough to enter a competition like that.  He's amazing.
Game Face?

When the competition was over Coach Cox took the team out for pizza.   I took some of the boys and we went and got Gatorade and cookies for dessert.  They all hung out, goofed off and I think throughly enjoyed themselves.

Once again, such a great group of kids and so much fun to be around… I'm always so impressed with their behavior and attitude and how they can be so fierce in the competition and so freaking funny and goofy afterwards.  I'm so glad both Brenna and Zack "chose" this sport!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints

This past weekend the Crew team participated in Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints.  We had a great time and we had a HUGE turnout.  Last year we had 8 kids participate and this year we had 28!!  It's one of the largest Erg events in the country.  It was a lot of fun and we did really well.  Zack did a 1500m race for his age group and then he did a Quad Slide race with his buddies.  During the 1500m piece he did his best split yet, but frankly our kids just can't keep up with some of the big ass kids that were there.  I also think he needs to work on eating more so that he's got enough fuel in his tank.

Coxing one of his friends
The Quad slide he rowed in came in 3rd out of 3, but again in an open weight division where the other boys were beasts.  But more exciting… we had 2 Quads a Junior quad (made up of all varsity juniors) and a Zack's Sophomore quad, when you looked at their meters rowed… the sophomores actually beat the juniors by 4 meters.  That's pretty exciting, to know that they were able to not only keep up with, but actually beat the older guys.

It was a long tiring day, but our kids put out a great effort and a couple of our girls actually medaled!  We have such a great group of kids!  I just love hanging out with them and watching them do well.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

23 Freaking.Years!   Good God, how does that happen?  Sometimes I don't feel like I'm old enough to have done anything for 23 years!  It's been a good 23years.  I think what no one tells you when you get married is that it's also a lot of hard work and if you are lucky the good parts, outweigh the difficult parts and make it easier to get through the hard work.  We're definitely heavy on the good part!!  Much to be thankful for.

It also happened to be Superbowl Sunday… so we celebrated with our cul-de-sac, we ate too much, probably drank a little too much and had a great party.  The game sucked… total blow out for the wrong team… even the commercials sucked, but you can't go wrong with good friends and good food.

Today, we met for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and then went refrigerator shopping.  Which actually turned out really nicely.

Our garage refrigerator's freezer quit working and the house refrigerator's ice maker broke down, so we decided to just suck it up and buy a nice new one.  I know First World Problems. I was very excited, because we picked out a beautiful, humongous french door model… only to discover that the spot we have is too small for it. The people who remodeled this kitchen really ended up making it difficult for us to replace appliances.  It seems we never get more than one or two choices, because they remodeled this kitchen for very specific appliances. :o(  Nevertheless, we found one that would fit and it's very nice.  Anything new is always nice.