Monday, June 17, 2013

The Tri-Cation

The summer begins with... The Tri-Cation!

It's like a vacation, but with more exercising.  Bike!  Run! Kayak!
The kayaking occurred because it was too cold to swim.  The Lake Michigan water was about 50F. 

Bike on Mackinac Island

Running by the Sault St. Marie Locks

Kayak in Lake Charlevoix

Dan and I left the kids with Grandpa and Grandma to go camping.  They did their own version of the tri-cation which was:

Eat Ice Cream!  Fish!  Glowy Bracelets!
Ok, maybe not.  But they took some cute pictures.

The Meaning of Summer - Ice Cream

Watch Out!

Fishing Alex

What???  I was not expecting that.

Caught the Biggest Fish

Will not get lost in the dark woods

It wasn't all exercise.  We ate a lot of food (most calories consumed were Mackinac Island Fudge) and saw some cool scenery.

Sunset in Petoskey

Mackinaw Bridge

Arch Rock

Yes Michigan!  The Feeling Forever.
Great Lakes - Unsalted and Shark Free!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

End of First Grade

Will has successfully completed the First Grade.  At the end of the year, he needed to compose a short essay about what he liked the most during the school year.  This is what he came up with...

Monday, June 10, 2013

From School to Summer

The school year is over!  Will successfully completed 1st grade and Alex finally finished preschool after about 2 1/2 years in the same class. 

Some hi-lights:

Shuttle Arrival

Alex rejected the plan to take pictures of the shuttle and, instead, took pictures of himself

There it is

Extra Curricular - Queen Mary Ice Sculptures and Skating - December


International (?) Studies Night - January

Alex and the Space Needle

Will as Benjamin Franklin


Will's Lego and Clay Animation Class - Fall and Winter

There is a story in each of these.  It's a little confusing.  Maybe I'll make Will blog about it for... clarity...

Extra Curricular - Tubing and Sledding in the Mountains

Children may have been harmed in the activity of sledding.  They made a full recovery.

Alex is big enough to carry the tube

Will Sits on The Tube

Science Fair

Will and the Potato Clock Presentation

Alex showing Grandma his Pluto Research

Art Gala

Look up!  It's a self portrait.

End of School Awards

Will - Most Creative Problem Solver

Sunday, June 09, 2013


Early this morning, just in time for the 7:35am start time of the purple wave in the Redondo Beach Triathlon, we arrived at the beach to see a bunch of swimmers in the ocean. 

Dan, wearing a purple swim cap, somewhere in the ocean

The boys were oddly not having a problem leaving their Saturday morning cartoons to go watch a race.  They seemed to have accepted this routine.  Or, it might have something to do with the novelty of eating chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies for breakfast.  Because, as Alex likes to say, "They have oyt-meal in them!" So they are clearly made for breakfast.
Staying warm, eating cookies for breakfast
The boys were very good at staying out of the way of the racers.  In the picture above, they are a few feet away from the tracks of wet foot prints where the athletes were transitioning from the half mile ocean swim to the area where their bicycles were.  Here is Dan doing the transition.
Tri-Dan Saying "Hi" as he jogs by
 After the race to bike transition, the boys took to the park, doing their own version of a tri.  This one was climb-balance-spin.  The backyard merry-go-round training really helped them with the spinning part.


Balance - Team Section

'Not Quite Synchronized' Spinning

As I was responsibly supervising my children in the park, I didn't get to see any of the 6 mile biking part of the race.  However, I'm sure I will make up for that next weekend as I supervise Dan's tandem bike ability at Mackinaw Island while I pedal too, of course.

I did catch the transition phase of the race yet again.  This time between biking and running.  There goes Dan, he was a bit fast for me to catch a good shot.  Plus, I was busy eating a cookie and drinking 20oz of coffee.

Transition Dan
Dan finished the race in under an hour!  Here he is at the finish line.

He finished 20th in his age group of 57, pretty cool!  
Will beat Alex in the cookie eating, 5 to 3.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Running Dan

A while back, Dan started swimming again.  He swam back when he was in high school and started enjoying it again at the gym here.  However, as we have two kids, he found it necessary to carve out time that was not already committed.  So he started going to the gym at 6am.

This helped greatly with Dan's back, which he had injured during a home repair project of digging up a leaky water pipe in our yard.  Swimming strengthens muscles and causes weight loss, both which help the back.  And, as the only real cost to swimming is finding a pool to swim in, it was reasonable to join a local gym with a pool.  He also got some goggles and a lap counter.

Then, as with many hobbies, things got more involved. Dan decided to take up biking.  Initially this was OK.  He used the old mountain bike that we already had.  However, soon started the "acquisition-of-gear-phase" of the hobby.  Dan bought bike shorts and a jersey.  Then he bought pedals that let you clip in.  However, everyone he talked to kept saying, "you have to get a road bike!"

So over last Thanksgiving weekend, he got a road bike that is made of carbon fiber.  Which necessitated different pedal clips, I think.  And a bike computer or a cadence monitor and stuff.  And, because he was doing more biking and it was winter, he got lights... and reflectors... and a high visibility jacket.  And some other stuff too.  All of this helps him to bike around 40-60 miles each Saturday morning. 

But it didn't stop with swimming and biking.  It seems that biathlons are not about swimming and biking, they are totally different.  Clearly he had to add another sport so that he could participate in an "-athlon."  So now he also runs. He bought a heart rate monitor and red shin splint leg sleeves which are not leg warmers (allegedly).

Dan completed his first official 5k race in April.  Here he is, somewhere in the middle part of the Hermosa 5K race, wondering why he is being photographed.

Dan in red and gray

Will and Alex enjoyed hanging out and watching the race.  They ran around near the pier shops and counted about 75 dogs that they saw.  Will ran the 7 year old race and learned the lesson that it doesn't matter if you come in last place, it's whether or not you finish.

Will, appropriately attired in the white Village Runner race shirt, sizing up his opponents who will all beat him

And, of course, it is also important to determine if you can hang out and build sandcastles in the sand after the race.

Will, still endorsing the race and Alex, endorsing Pirate Booty (the snack)

Then, for Memorial Day, instead of hanging out and relaxing and preparing for grilling, Dan decided to instead run 5K.  Given that he had already done that once, he made it a little more interesting and joined a race that was on sand in Manhattan Beach.  The kids woke me up early that day, so I dragged them over to the ocean, once again, to watch Dan run on sand.

Second Beach Race, This time, on sand!

Dan, in red compression sleeves

Of course, the downside to running on the beach is... embedded sand in blisters on the bottom of your feet.  Who knew?  Now Dan does.

And tomorrow, after all of the swimming, biking, and running, Dan competes in his first triathlon in the third beach city - Redondo Beach.  It's a half mile ocean swim, 6 mile bike ride, and 2 mile run.