Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year to all

Happy new year to all.

Its been a busy Christmas period. Both Gemma and I are starting to get everything back to normal and getting ready for the big year that 2008 is to become (twin births and IM). Gemmas parents flew back to the UK yesterday having spent Christmas with us, and today feels a bit flat.

(To add while helping Gemmas parents pack I accidentally caught my middle left foot toe square against the corner of one of their cases. ... OWWW!!! Eye watering moment... managed not to swear in front of the inlaws, and I now have a broken toe. Not a major break, and I don't feel it while exercising... phew).

In past years Gemma and I have celebrated New Year at 6pm CST at the local Irish bar as that tied up with New Year in the UK, however this year we decided to have a quiet one in at home. Toasting the UK new year with a baileys (Only a very small one for Gemma). In fact we will probably be in bed asleep before CST midnight. Its the holiday periods when we really miss our friends and family.

Both of us wanted everything to get back to normal as quickly as possible to the extent we took down the christmas tree and decorations today. (bah humbug I know!). The apartment is almost back to normal. I have started filling out my training plan for next year, back to the grind of swim, bike, run :-). I'm looking forward to getting back to it. The weight has crept on and I need to get back to training.

We've had more snow here over christmas, in fact as I write this more snow is coming down, another couple of inches is expected. The big child that I am (we never got snow in the UK), had to go out and build a snowman, not the greatest I know!

And finally a shot of the two of us (me sporting my new O's), looking into the Bean in Chicago,(yes it was cold).
Happy New year to all.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas to all

Merry Christmas to all, thank you all for the kind comments on how to train with twins. Given me confidence that I can do it. (As long as I can get by on only a few hours sleep!)

Christmas period has been a period of excess, and I am now ready to get back to training. I have started taking a core class, and have found out what muscle tiredness really feels like. 6 days after a 30 minute class and I still felt like I had gone 10 rounds with Floyd Mayweather. Though it hurts but it feels good to know I have done a good workout. Looking forward to keeping this up through next year.

Santa came with some very nice presents.. Gemma and I agreed we would spoil each other this year, as it would be our last year of being able to really spoil each other. Next year it will be the twins! Also Gemmas parents were here, so we had a big blow out. 3 hours of opening presents, just for 4 adults.

Presents came in stockings, then main presents under the tree (3 hours), then a couple more at lunch (small presents), couple more at dinner, then a couple on boxing day (26th). As you can see it was a procession of presents

So for me the highlights were

A 305, seems like this was the present all tri-athletes and runners got this year! Can't wait to take it out. Gemma is looking forward to seeing where I go when I am out for hours! She thinks she will finally find out where the other woman lives! I have told her I the other woman is my bike!

A new set of Oakley Flak-Jackets, with the hydro-phobic covering. I'm a real sci-tech geek, and they really work. (pink lenses and blue frame).

And a signed copy of Roman's book, thank you for the kind comment.

Merry Christmas to all, and thank you to everyone who has helped me this year, all the people I have met, and to 2008 I look forward to all the friendships I renew and the new people I meet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Training with twins?

So I'm having twins (not me personally but my wife), and at the same time I will be training for IM Florida. Does anyone have any tips? Am I biting off more than I can chew? I know my parents, and my in laws are worried I (we) won't be able to cope, especially as we don't have family here in the US. Has anyone done this before?

Some of my thoughts..
The babies are due in April/May and my serious IM training is not due to kick off until August
I enjoy cycling on my trainer, therefore babies in the cot next to the trainer while cycling seems possible
Same thing with the running machine, swimming may be more difficult!
Will I be too tired to train? Or does this come under, if you want something bad enough you grind through it. I'll be tired from training anyway.

Other people have told me, you do what you can and you go out there and enjoy it.
So any tips how to enable training and look after new borns? Or am I mad?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Babies Update and New Shoes

Babies update..
We have now been given a due date.. 20th June (40 weeks). Gemma is doing well, starting to show and she feels far less sick now. Being twins they are unlikely to go 40 weeks, the obstetrician has said he will be happy if they reach 36 weeks, 32 being the earliest he would like. Its all starting to feel real now :-).

New shoes..
Succumbed to the band wagon of Newtons, my local running shop (Runners Hi and Tri in Arlington Heights, shameless plug I know, but they have always helped me out) is now the local vendor and had them on offer, I got to try them out, rather than having to order them without trying them. Strange at first but feels comfortable. I am very impressed, taken a few runs to get used to them. But the action of running on my forefoot seems to have made a difference.
Will let you know more over the months. Though I am told it should hopefully reduce the strain on my ankles which is something I have suffered with in the past.

Spotted and Race Schedule 2008

Having spent a fortune at the IM expo (you can never have enough finisher clothing) I try and wear my finisher clothes whenever possible. 6 weeks of wearing the clothing and someone finally noticed and asked me about the IM. I don't wear the clothes to show off, more I wear them out of feeling proud about my achievement. But to have someone stop me in the street (well the cue in Costco) and ask me about my day gave me the biggest smile ever! I realise I love talking about the Ironman.

With snow on the ground, and going outside in anything less than 10 layers seems crazy. Started to think about my race calendar for next year.

I want to try and get in some of local races, with babies on the I way want to keep costs to a minimum. As with last year I want to get a half iron done. I have unfinished business with this distance and feel I am a lot more experienced and could go a lot faster. I only managed one century done last year so have scheduled a few more centuries. May
even try and fit in a few 5k's early in the season.

Run - Shamrock Shuffle 8k

Swim - Lake in the hills 2 mile swim

Swim - Crystal Lake 2 mile swim

Tri - Twin Lakes Sprint Triathlon

Run - Chicago Half Marathon

Tri - Great Illini 1/2 IM

Tri - Lake in the hills Oly Triathlon

Bike - North Shore Century

Bike - LakeShore Century

Bike - Apple Cider Century

Tri - IM Florida

Has anyone done the Great Illini Challenge? Any feedback on the race?

Would be great to meet a few more bloggers, so let me know if you are doing any of the races above.
Of course everything is still dependent on when the twins are born. I have been told that the birth takes priority over events!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First Proper Snowfall of the Season, Baby Pic, and a mention on GYGO podcast

Firstly the snowfall..
As you'll learn throughout the winter I love snow, sit me in front of a window when its snowing and I can be entertained for hours. Hate to see it melt, and get dirty, love the sight of falling flakes. Having come from England, where snow is a very rare sight, I am now inundated with opportunities to snow watch. Its great! Oh and I take a lot of photos of snow. (Only a few posted).

Yesterday evening it started snowing and has continued all night and all this morning. Currently around 5 inches deep. In the UK a dusting of snow causes the whole country to come to a grinding halt, snow ploughs are unheard off, whereas here in Chicago its "mostly" a finely tuned machine of large and small snow ploughs, and everything continues on. Though did the township really need to start snow blowing the sidewalks at 1am this morning! What a welcome wake up call that was, though maybe it was good training for having twins!

Can't wait for the twins to be born and be old enough to take sledding, when we went sledding last year my wife and I were the oldest big kids! Took advice from a 5 year old on how to sled properly.. most embarrasing!

Secondly the Baby Pic
This may not be of interest to everyone, but heres the latest scans of the babies. We have now had our last session with the IVF doctor, and we are now in the hands of our OB/GYN.

Get Your Geek On Mention
Downloaded the latest GYGO and I get a mention!! Yep I need pee on the seat, though Kahuna didn't mention that I didn't really have a choice, it wasn't like I was too lazy to go to the porta potty, just kinda happened. Though did feel guilty about the poor next soul to sit down.

Notice the similarity?? Well bar the time.

And finally (if anyone knows how to add links into a blog could you let me know) Like above I would have liked to have linked to IronWils and Kahunas sites.