Tuesday, September 10, 2013

22. Triathlon

Back in July I did a triathlon with Tyler.  My preparation was that I hadn't swam since January and although I ride my bike just about everywhere around town, I never rode over the 12.8 miles that the race covered.  The running I was alright on because I knew I was going to have a half marathon a month later.

I was really excited to do the triathlon.  I remember back when I was little watching the ironman on TV and thinking how cool it was.  Someday I might even want to do an ironman.  There is a lot of ground to cover between now and then though.  A LOT!!!!  I still think it would be cool.

The triathlon I did was the Oswego Triathlon.  The 2 biggest things I liked about it were that: 1) it was local and 2) it had a shorter swim than most (600 yards).

When I got there I got everything set up.

This isn't a huge triathlon.  Here is the mess of all of the bikes and stuff before the race began.

Then I went and looked to see just how far 600 yards looked.

Tyler and I were set up and ready to go with about 40 minutes to go until the start.  We had nothing to do and neither of us were interested in doing any types of warm-up exercises.  So we just spent time going between looking at our bikes and looking at the water.  We also got to see this guy:

We entered from the beach and swam 200 yards to the far pyramid shaped flotation bouy.  We then turned to the right around it and went another 200 yards to another bouy, then we swam back to the beach.  I have to admit it wasn't terrible.  I started in the way back from my group and I finished in a little over 15 minutes.  I was pleased with that time.

My first transition went fine.  I had one mix-up where I put my helmet on and then went to put my shirt on.  That didn't work so I had to take the helmet off and start over.  My transition from being in just a swimsuit to being dressed and ready to bike took me a minute and twenty-five seconds.  Not bad.

For the biking portion (12.8 miles) I was pretty strong.  I passed a few people and got passed by quite a few more.  I am not blaming my biking stamina or skill, I am blaming technology.  My bike is great for everything I need it for, but for sprint speed, it is good, but not great.  My average speed was 17.1 mph.  That's not that bad for doing it consistently for just under 45 minutes straight.

My second transition was 50 seconds.  All I had to do was take my helmet off, put my bike on the rack and swap shoes.

Last came the run.  I was pretty tired, and I hadn't really trained at all with all three sports at all over the summer.  I did the 5K in 29 minutes.  Not a record breaker by any stretch, but it is my new PR.  I guess it is my only time, but I am happy with it. My official time was 1:31:28.

I am excited about the possibility of doing another one next year!  Maybe this one again, or maybe even this one outside of Rockford.  Either way I liked the experience and would like to do it again.  It is a lot more fun than just doing a running race.  Anyone interested in doing a triathlon next year?

Also, I thought I got a picture with Tyler, but the picture taker apparently never actually took the shot that we thought we did. 

56 goals done (or blogged about)!!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

91.Petco Park

Last week Melissa and I had the chance to head out to Southern California to celebrate 10 years of marriage.  We had a great time!  Our second night in town we went to Petco Park.

There really isn't a really pretty entrance to the park. It is in the middle of downtown though which made for a nice atmosphere making our way to the park.

Check out the right field area. 

There is a sandbox for the kids to play in.  Also, those seats have tons of leg room.  The one setback is that you have a horrible view for the game.  Some of those seats don't even have a view of the infield!  Who designed that and thought it was a good idea?

You can get to field level though.  It was a pretty cool view from there.

Here is where our first seats were:

They were nice, but we had people on both sides of us.  So we moved to the outfield below the scoreboard.

Bad team, but a fun night!

Plus, another ball to add to the display!

Monday, August 12, 2013

14. Catch Fireflies

We were finally able to make it out to catch fireflies in the yard.  I don't know what happened last year.  I didn't see any. I'm glad they were out because the kids had a really good time catching them.

We started the night off with some ice cream.

Maddie loved it!  She did awesome.  That girl loves bugs and nature.  It was so fun to see her run around in the yard excitedly tracking them down.

Charlie walked around the yard in this pose for most of the time.  We tried to teach him that you could just let the bugs land on your hand if you moved your hand onto them as they are flying.  If you are watching from afar, he looked pretty silly.

Quick stop for a family shot:

Boy did the grass need mowed!

Releasing our catch:

They definitely had a good time.

55 goals down!

Monday, July 29, 2013

41. Play tennis 10 times

I got to play tennis for the 10th time in the 1001 days last night.

Here is what the courts look like at 9:00 at night.  It is usually pretty quiet which is good because that means that there aren't too many onlookers to see the embarrassment of me playing tennis.  I am not terrible, but it would be easy to say that I play more defensively than trying to hit good shots playing offensively.  If I do that, it gets ugly.

I am happy to have friends that like to get out on Sunday evenings to sweat and hang out.  Last night's round of tennis had an added element of difficulty in that we had our guy's night out at Golden Corral.  For most of the night I was good (due to the fact that I didn't try to eat 9 steaks), but there were a few times that I was feeling the weight of having eaten the equivalent of 4 dinners.

I still plan on going out to play tennis on Sunday nights. I have too good of a time to stop doing it.

54 goals down!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

42. Do a camping trip with friends

We went on a camping trip last month.  It was a really good time.  All went well on the trip and it seemed like the other families that came with us are excited about going next time.

Here's the video that Melissa put together of our trip:

I can't wait to go again.  The kids can't either!

53 goals down!

Friday, June 28, 2013

94. Go to an ESPN radio show

I finally made it out to an ESPN radio show.  That is pretty much the only radio station I have listened to for the past 10 years when I am driving by myself.  I have gotten to know the different guys on the radio quite a bit - well, as much as you can by listening to them talk about sports and sometimes about their own daily lives.

Last week I was doing one of my regular checks on espn1000.com to see where they might be broadcasting from on the occasions for when they are outside of their regular studio.  I got really excited.  As I was trying to figure out how to swing it I just decided to make it part of my errands that I ran for today.  I had to so some shopping out near Geneva (where they were broadcasting from) so I just worked it as one of the stops.  As I got closer I saw the van and started to get excited.

Here was the scene when I got in there:

The place was pretty loud.  Between conversations from people at their tables and the large speaker blasting the radio show it was an interesting mix.  I have listened to these guys so many times on the radio and never really had a picture of what they look like.  They are just sitting back and having a conversation as if they were talking to each other on the telephone.  It was pretty neat. 

At the commercial breaks they just sat at the table and let people come up to chat and to sign autographs.  It was super laid back.  Another that thing hit me as I was there was that there is a ton of time for breaks.  It felt like there was 10 minutes for each commercial break.  When you mix in commercials, score updates from all of the different sports and news updates it gets long.  That was nice today as it allowed me to go and chat with both of the guys for a couple of minutes.

Here's a close shot of Waddle talking with a little boy that was in front of me in line:

That's probably not a shot that he would have approved to get posted onto the internet, but it is what I got.  When I was chatting with him I talked about how I used to act like I was him when I was playing football at recess back in 5th and 6th grade.  He was my favorite Bear when I was little so it was pretty cool to chat with him for a bit.  Silvy was really nice too.  Both guys were super inviting and in no way at all did they act like they were celebrities or that they would rather be in the studio with no one bothering them.

Here's a picture that they were handing out that I got both guys to sign for me:

That one is definitely going up on the wall in the garage!

I am very glad that I was able to go and check them out.  If it wasn't on this list I know I wouldn't have gone out to see them.

52 goals down!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

34. Ride 1500 miles on my bike

I finally got there!  When I was writing my goals I thought putting 1,000 miles would be a good goal, but 1,500 would be more of a challenge.  That works out to about a mile and a half per day.  In my quest for 1,500 miles I think my longest ride was no longer than 15 miles.  I biked many times to school and that is 4 miles each way.  I biked last summer to most of my softball games and that was about 5.5 miles each way.  I bike to the grocery store and that is about 1 mile each way.  I biked to Aurora University and that is 3 miles each way.  I biked as often as I could and I really enjoyed it.  I kept watching the odometer to see myself slowly getting closer to the 1,500 mile mark.  It definitely was a motivator to get me on the bike.  1,500 miles is a lot of riding when you are going 4 miles at a time.

As has been the norm, my students have been a big motivator to getting this one done.  I told them at the beginning of the year that I wanted to ride more times than I bike to school and there is a decent chance that will get done. 

Now I just need to set my sights on more miles to get to on the bike. (2,500 by the end of summer?) I know that there will be a lot of bike rides with this kids this summer.  Lucy had her first ride last week and absolutely loved it.

Love that girl!

51 goals down!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

89. One step closer

I finally received my FOID card in the mail. 

I sent it out in January and it came in the mail in the first week of May.

They say that it usually takes 30 days to be notified if you are approved or not, but mine took nearly 90 days.  I read this article that says that they are hitting record numbers in the applications that they are getting.  Apparently with the most recent legislation many are trying to get their hands on guns while they still can rather than wait for them to be banned or much more difficult to get.

Now to find someone to go shoot with...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

54. Learn CPR

I finally got around to finding a class to get certified in the arts of CPR as well as how to use the AED. I have wanted to do this for a long time now because if I was put into a position where these skills may be needed, I want to know how I can help.
For awhile I kept cracking up just thinking about Dwight from The Office when they had their CPR training.  That was inspiring enough for me to want to get the training.

What I learned is that there isn't much to it beyond what you see in the movies.
Step 1: check to see if the person is just asleep then check for a pulse
Step 2: get someone (or do it yourself) to call for emergency help
Step 3: start compressions.  You are supposed to do 30 compressions then 2 breaths and repeat this process over and over.
Step 4: (if possible) get the AED machine and hook it up to the person in need.  It will walk you through what to do after that.
The AED machine basically tells you if you need to do compressions, or if you need to shock the person.  Our nurse told us at the beginning of the year that if it tells you to shock them then there is no heart rate and they are basically dead.  "Dead is dead" was her actual quote.  It can only help at that point as the person's heart isn't doing anything.

I am happy to have this training and certification under my belt.  I pray that it is never needed, but at least now if I am in a situation where this is needed I can help with the knowledge that I am at least doing the right thing.

50 goals done!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

100+ books already done!

I like to read.  That is a sentence that I wouldn't have written 5 years ago.  Fast forward to today and I can say that I have finished 101 books in the last 21 months.  I have been really encouraged by my class or students this year.  They are really good readers!
I currently have 5 books checked out from the library and I plan on returning them by the end of next week.  When I return them I will have 4 books waiting for pickup.
I began 2013 having read 75 books.  In January I finished 10 books and in February I finished 16. I am definitely not going to keep that pace up!  I find myself trying to use all of my extra time to finish another chapter or just to get another page read.  I never used to be able to understand people who were like that.  Now I am one of them?
I usually have 3 books going at a time.  I read one book at school.  This book is typically a book that my students might read.  I read two books at home.  I try to have one novel and one nonfiction book.
The books I am reading right now are: The Graveyard Book (2009 Newberry Winner), 17 Hours to Glory (a book on ironman participants) and The Sun Also Rises (a novel by Hemingway).  This is a typical spread.  I have been reading nonfiction on urban farming type books or on fitness (biking or running).  We will see where my interest go next.
I know that this post is basically bragging about how many books I have read.  That is not my intention.  I wrote it just because I can't believe how far I have come and needed to give it validation and post it here.

As of today, I have 1 year left to finish the remaining 52 goals.  It is going to be a really busy year!  Many of them I think I should be able to finish.  There are a few that might need adjusting, but I will cross that bridge when it comes up.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

66. Watch 10 classic (loosely interpreted) movies

Many people have seen most of these movies, but I had not seen them before.  The way I picked these movies was just based on movies that I had heard people talk about that I hadn't seen.

Here's the list:

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Watching this movie was a waste of time. I have friends that have talked about this movie and it seems as though there is a cult following to this movie. There were a few quotable moments, but overall it is a really stupid movie.

2. Blues Brothers - "We're on a mission from God." I have heard that line and know that it is from this movie, but I never knew the context or really what the movie was all about.  Now I do.

3. Rocky - This is the first Rocky movie I have ever seen.  I knew very little about the movie.  Yes, I knew it was about boxing and that he fights Apollo Creed and that his girlfriend's name is Adrian, but I didn't realize he was so dumb.  I guess that is to be expected when Sylvester Stallone is doing the acting.

4. The Godfather - I listen to the guys on ESPN Radio quote lines from this movie quite often.  It was a pretty good movie.  Now I know those lines in context.

5. Gone with the Wind - Did you know that this movie is 3 hours and 52 minutes?  I didn't until I popped it in then looked up online to see how long it was. It is a fun historical movie to watch.  10 Oscars!  As I said in the past, for a movie to win an Oscar it has to be long. I'm glad I watched it.

6. Dirty Harry - "You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" Decent movie.

7.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Funny at parts, but some pretty corny lines.

8. Chinatown - On an ESPN radio show they said that this movie was probably one of Jack Nicholson's best.  I watched to find out if they were right.  The movie was ok.

9. Escape from Alcatraz - Another classic that I remember Mythbusters doing a show on to see if they could escape the same way that the guys in the movie escaped.  Myth confirmed.

10. Jaws - Good movie.  Boy does Richard Dreyfuss look young in this movie!

49 goals down! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

40. Go without high sugar foods for a month

I just finished one month of eating no candy, no chocolate, no cookies, no ice cream and drinking no pop.  This was no easy challenge.  With an evening ritual that usually includes ice cream and/or another snack and a workplace that is always flowing with available snacks, it was tough making the change.

During this past month it has been difficult passing up on cookies and snacks that are in the teacher's lounge.  It seemed like each day there was something that I would have usually just picked up and eaten. The worst day was when our principal had an ice cream bar set up with oreos, m&ms and chocolate syrup.  Looking back I realize just how many calories each one of those snacks would have added up to.

Melissa had a day a few weeks ago that she made chocolate chip cookies.  When I walked in the door I knew I was in trouble.  The house smelled amazing.  I went as far as picking up one of the cookies just to smell it.  It was pretty pathetic.  Will power won that battle.  It was a tough battle, but it won.

Today was my first day that I have been able to snack with freedom and I honesly have no huge desire to have a chocolate binge or anything like it.  This morning I went for a swim and made it 2 miles.  I challenge anyone to swim that distance in a pool and not go crazy trying to keep track of how many laps you have done.  If you are wondering I did 142 lengths of the pool.  When I was done all I wanted to do is eat.  So my breakfast was a Clif energy bar, some cottage cheese, a bowl of Corn Chex, a glass of Aldi's version of the Green Machine Naked drink (that stuff is amazing!) and two pumpkin muffins.  All good stuff.

Now for the real payoff.  In the past month I did lose 4 pounds.  That is 4 legit pounds.  Normally my weight fluctuates about 2 to 3 pounds each day, but my fluctuations are now at lower weights than before.  Hopfully I will be able to keep it off and continue this trend.  We shall see.

48 goals down!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

63. Watch all 6 Star Wars movies

Over my Christmas break I was finally able to finish up this series.  I started it this summer and had hoped to watch all 6 movies outside on our patio, but that only lasted for the first (fourth) episode.

My brother Matt was nice enough to lend me all the movies as well as to give me the advice to watch the original 3 movies before watching the next 3.  That made a lot more sense to do it that way because the newer movies answer a lot of the questions that come up in the original 3.

I put this goal onto my list because I knew I hadn't seen all of the movies.  After watching them I realized that I had no recolection about anything from any of the movies.  Yes, I did know many of the characters, but that was about it.  I was really glad that I watched the first episode with my friend Jay so he could help explain a few things for me.  That helped out a lot.

Next series...Lord of the Rings (thanks for those Matt!).

47 goals down!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

52. Read 10 of the top 100 novels

I read 10+ books off this list.  I don't know what I was thinking when I initially selected this list, but it had quite a few books that I had never read so I picked it.  I did do a little extra work getting to 10 books as I read 6 other books from the Chronicles of Narnia series to qualify for one book on this list, but it worked out.  I am sure I will read another few off this list before I am done.  Here are the ones I read:

Alice and Wonderland
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Winnie the Pooh
A Christmas Carol
Little Women
The Jungle Book
Oliver Twist
The rest of the Chronicles of Narnia
The Secret Garden

Nothing flashy, but it was fun to read some of the books that I didn't read in any high school or college classes that many other people had read during that time.

46 goals down!

Friday, January 4, 2013

48. Read the Bible

This is my second time making it through the entire Bible.  The last time I did it I read mostly on the computer through Biblegateway.com .  That was a nice way to do it, but this time I was able to use the Youversion app on my Kindle.  Through the plan that I chose I read one portion of both the New Testament and the Old Testament along with a small section of Psalms and Proverbs. 

I began on January 1st of last year and finished up just before the new year.

It sure feels like an accomplishment making it all the way through the Bible from cover to cover. 

There are so many stories within the Bible that didn't make it into Sunday school class.  It is fun to discover the other parts that aren't out there as much

45 goals down!