Monday, May 28, 2012

Ski to Sea Success.... First Place!!!

WOW!!!  What a day I had yesterday....... my first time ever in the Ski to Sea race in over 20 years!!!  My very first time dong the road bike leg of the race.  My first time racing with a competitive team, who holds very high standards and expectations of all of its members!!!  And, I stepped in as a fill-in racer, to fill the very large and highly impressive cycling shoes of our own expert cyclist, Willy Spaulding.  All of these things must have been enough to give me cause to push myself hard in training and preparing for yesterdays big race, because everything came together, and we had a most awesome day!!!  :-)

Bellingham Firefighters took first place in the corporate division!!!  I did quite well in my leg of the race, and managed to shave off nearly a full 10 minutes from my previous ride down the race course, just a week and half earlier!!!  I couldn't seem to find any groups of cyclists to hook up with, to help share the work with, and to go faster, I ran the majority of the 42 miles as a solo, working as hard as I could to keep myself up around a 21+ mph overall average speed.  It worked, and I came in with a time of 1:54:00, officially, giving me an overall average speed or 21.75mph!!!

I am relieved, quite happy, and feeling very, very, very happy today about my first experience as the road biker for the BFD team.  So glad they trusted me to step up for them, and that they actually believed in me enough to be willing to risk a high level finish if I should not perform well.  I am honored to have been chosen, and feel really good about the end results.  :-)

It was a very long day, and I owe big thanks to my brother, Brad, for getting up early and helping me get up the mountain.  He helped keep me calm, made sure I had everything I needed, got photos and video of the start of my leg, and then had to sit and wait to come off the mountain, thus missing my finish in Everson!  THANK YOU, Brad!!!  I really appreciate what you did for me!!!  :-)

I also want to thank my family, for their love and support, and for spending a long day yesterday, in Fairhaven, as we celebrated the finish line festivities and activities.  I know it was a whole lot more fun and exciting for me than for any of them.....but they came along, and supported me the whole time.....even when I spent an hour in the beer garden with fellow racers and Bellingham Pipes and Drummers!!!  :-)

Today is recovery day!  Plans for today....... grocery shopping, lawn mowing and weed whacking, setting up chairs and tables outside, having a family camp fire this evening....complete with hot dogs and/or brats over the fire!  Relax, rest, enjoy time with the family, give thanks to all of those who have died in service for our great nation!!!  :-)

Tomorrow, back to work..... finish out this month and head right on into June already!!!  How crazy is that?!?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

LBF life in the month of May!!!

My last post was 20 days ago, which doesn't seem all that long ago in real time.....but in blog time, that leaves a whole lot to be remembered and put into order, so that  we can look back on the life and times of Fireguy..... and my family!

Back on May 3rd, Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Larry came to visit for a short week.  It was longer than they usually are able to be here, and we had a great time with them, not being stressed about trying to pack so much into such little time.  We were able to relax, go at an easier pace, and enjoy our time together.  We had the time to play together, relax together, eat together, shop together, and even do some outdoor work together!  It was quite an enjoyable time with them, and we miss them now that they are gone.  Thank you so much Grandma & Grandpa, for taking time out of your lives, to come up here ans spend time with us in ours!!!  :-)

We enjoyed our first time experience at the B'ham Farmer's Market on May 4th, and had a good time looking around, sampling a variety of things, and then eating a very yummy meal across the way, at Boundary Bay Brewery!!!  That place rocks....great food, excellent beers!!!  :-)

Also over that weekend,  I managed to get some bike riding in, and we attended church together on Sunday.  Tracie and I skipped our Financial Peace class that weekend, so we could spend more time with Grandma and Grandpa while they were here with us.  We managed to get lawn mowing and edging done, and some weeding and cleaning of some flower bed areas was taken care of, followed by planting of a mini garden, of sort, in our old half whiskey barrels out front!!!  Great idea, and it will be fun to see how it goes.  :-)

Brad and I both finished out our 24 day Advocare challenge the next week, and altogether I lost a total of 12 pounds, while gaining lean muscle mass..... and ended up with a body fat of 12% overall on May 15th.  Just 2% away from my goal now!!!  :-)

We celebrated Grandma's and Tracie's birthdays on May 8th, and then Mother's Day that following weekend.  Mother's Day was different this year, in that we were at Bender Fields in Lynden all weekend, for Evan's baseball tournament.  It was so much fun.... the weather was awesome, sunny and quite warm!!!  Evan's team ended up winning the tournament, which made for a great Mother's Day gift to Tracie, from Evan!!!  We had a most awesome weekend, and I do believe that Tracie had a wonderful Mother's Day as well.  :-)

Somehow, in the course of two weeks time, I also managed to fit in three 48 hours shifts at work, and then followed that up with a 12 hour, night OT shift on Friday the 11th.  Also on that Friday, I was able to go and celebrate Jim Lane's retirement from the BFD, after 25 years!!!  It was a most fantastic party, and I wish I could have been there all night long...but OT money won out!!!  :-)

Over the past several weeks, we have been juggling around the county, watching both Evan and Sierra play baseball games.....sometimes both of them on the same days, and even at the same times!!!  Yes, life is getting busier and crazier..... we love it!!!

And then, this past weekend, we made a huge leap forward in technology....... we gave up our old cell phones, which weren't even recognized on the Sprint web site anymore!  We have now both moved on to brand new Apple Iphone 4s'!!!!!!!!  :-)  WOW!!!  Awesome!!!  Amazing!!!!  Exciting!!!!  Fun!!!!  Cool!!!!  Neat!!!!!  Big learning curve!!!!!  :-)

And now, here I sit, with just four days left before my first time as part of the BFD Ski to Sea corporate team, racing the road bike course on Sunday, May 27th.  I am excited, and I am nervous, and I do NOT know what to expect!!!  I am hoping and praying that things go very, very , very well for me....... I do NOT want to let this team down, as they have repeatedly done very well in years past.  I hope to give my very best, and pray that God will guide me safely and very quickly through the entire 42 miles!!!  It will be a fun day, especially after I am done, and can shower, relax, and head to the finish line festivities!!!  :-)

Today, I am off to work for one last shift before the big race day event.  I hope to have a really good shift, work hard, workout hard, laugh hard, have fun with  crew, eat well, and hopefully,,,,, get a good night  of rest as well.  :-)

Next blog will more than likely be a few days after the big race, once I am recovered!!!  Until then, thanks for reading along, and being a part of my life!!!  :-)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's May!!!

WOW..... I took a short hiatus it would appear.  Last thing I remember, we were in the middle of April, with baseball season finally getting started.  And now, here we are already three days into May!!!

Baseball season has been a very wet and unpredictable thing this year for us thus far.  The weather has not cooperated most of the time, ad many games have been cancelled already.  Today appears to not be in our favor already, which will cancel two more games.

I just managed to work back to back 48 hour shifts in the past five days....and I am home now, exhausted, and ready to rest and recover!  Four days off from work now, and that will be very nice indeed.  Hopefully the weather will get better over the next few days, so I can get out on the bike and ride again.

Today finds Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Larry coming up to visit with us for a week.  They will arrive late this afternoon sometime.  Again, hopefully the weather will cooperate just a bit, so we can enjoy the time together, and allow them to see a baseball game or two while they are here.

I have been, and am in the middle of, doing a 24 day challenge through Advocare.  This is a 10 day herbal cleanse cycle, followed by 14 days of intense, rigid and structured diet and exercise, designed to optimally kick ones metabolism into high gear, and to maximize energy levels while burning away fat from the body.  So far, awesome results!!!  After the first week, I had lost 8 pounds!!!  Week two I dropped another 5 pounds.  I am in week three right now, and will finish the actual challenge next week, on May 9th.  However, I have decided to go ahead and work at sticking things out as structured as possible, even without the Advocare products, until May this will mark exactly one month since I started the challenge.  May 14th will be my week four, and final weigh-in for the challenge.  I am very hopeful to be able to lose an additional 5 more pounds during that time.  If so, I will finally be below 190 pounds, for the first time since before I was hired on the BFD nearly 21 years ago!!!  :-)

My brother, Brad, is also doing the challenge along with me.  He lost nearly 9 pounds on week one, and another 5 pounds on week two.  He is finally in the 220's, and we are hopeful that he can get down to right at 220 pounds by our final weigh-in..... just 6 more pounds for him to go!!!  :-)

As for me, it is now time for me to kick my cycling into high gear, as I am training to race the road bike leg of the Ski to Sea race, for out competitive BFD team.  This will be my first Ski to Sea race since I was on probation 20+ years ago!!!  I have very big shoes to fill on the road bike leg, and with a 42 mile race pace set before me, I have a lot of work to do between now and then!!!  :-)  So come on May weather..... start acting more like a nice spring!

Well, I am quite tired right now, and not feeling up to doing much of anything.  So, with the weather being what it is outside today (rain!!!), I think I will go veg out in front of the TV for a while, and possibly catch a little nap...... that way I can be ready for the afternoon, and the remainder of my days off.  :-)

I hope that this day finds you, who are reading my blog, to be very well...... happy and healthy, of good mind and body and spirit!!!  Remember to live and laugh and to love... it will do you, and those you are in contact with, a great deal of good!!!  :-)