Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mike's First Tri

After hearing Hubs talk about wanting to do a triathlon for what seemed like months, we finally found a weekend with a good race option and no plans and I forced encouraged him to sign up.  He followed a pretty action filled training plan with swim, run, bike, and combo workouts. 

The event included a half-ironman distance, olympic distance, and sprint distance.   M was competing in the sprint distance (400 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 3.5 mile run) so his start time wasn't until 11:30 am.  The weather that day was absolutely gorgeous so we arrived a little early to watch some of the other races and get set up.
laying out the gear

marked with race numbers

by the Cumberland river

Swimming was the event he was most worried about.  He'd heard your first open-water swim was an experience in itself as far as not being able to see, being surrounded by flailing arms and legs and attempting to swim in the right direction despite a pretty significant current. 

cute hat ;)

getting ready

his corral was up first

they're off

all the swimmers

made it!
It was impossible to tell who was who in the swim with everyone in their sweet blue hats so I was super excited when he emerged from the water.  He said this was absolutely the hardest part.  The water was cold (for Floridians) and he swallowed his share of it. 

At this point, I sprinted across the grounds to where I'd be able to see him starting the bike course.  He was riding by in no time at all and was surprised to see me already there with the camera. 

the only smile i got on the boy all day!
During the 45 minutes he was off on the bike, I got to see tons of runners and bikers from the other events.  Seeing the half ironman-ers was such a cool experience.  {In case you don't know, half-iron = 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run.}  These people were competing in an event my body could never dream of completing and I loved being able to cheer them on.  I remembered being frustrated in our races when people would only cheer for their own friends and just stare blankly as others went by.  I know how far a simple word of encouragement can push you when you are struggling along. 

almost done
M finished the bike pretty quickly and I knew it was just a few minutes till he would be coming back by on foot. 
he's so speedy
At this point, I headed over to the finish line and a few minutes later, he was done! 

don't worry, not his time ;)

see what I said about the smile?
One of the first things he said (after asking what his time was) was "that was so much fun!" Apparently, he loved every minute of it and can't wait to do more triathlons.  I was so proud of him for meeting his time goal in each event and doing so awesome in his first race. 

The excitement that day was a little infectious so we may both be counting down to the start of tri season next year. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Home for Labor Day

We were fortunate enough to make it to Florida to get to spend the first Gator game in the Swamp.  Last year we failed to make it home for a single game and I refused to let that happen again. 

ellie was SO excited.

with my Mom!

It was great to spend some time with my Mom, get some Gainesville eats, and enjoy the excitement of game day.

we tailgated by lake alice and saw tons of gators!

at the tailgate spot

obligatory self portrait

life size jenga? need this!

gator buggy.  need this too ;)

albert and alberta
here come the gators!

some of the crew


second half

check out the dance moves.
celebrating the win
The original reason for our trip was to attend a pig roast hosted by Mike's bro's family.  We drove (farther) south on Sunday for the event.  It was great to see everyone and, of course, to get our hands on this little guy.  He has changed SO much since last time and keeps getting cuter!  We failed to take too many pictures, mostly because we were busy hogging Ryan snuggles. 
grandmom with Ryan

the pig!  any ideas what M is doing back there?

i think they usually seem happier when playing cornhole

Ryan and his Uncle Mike
Despite the intense amount of driving the weekend held, we had a such a great time and only wish we could have spent more time with everyone!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year

I think the excitement that goes along with the start of football season ranks up there with that of the greatest holiday seasons.  This past week or so I have frequently found myself daydreaming about game days and all that goes along with them. 

Many of my greatest days and favorite memories center around game days in the Swamp.  Not many things can top a full day of orange and blue wearing, bags tossing, hot dog grilling, solo cup drinking tailgating spent with the best of friends. 

I can never forget the Saturday's we've spent screaming until our voices were gone in the student section while attending UF (and a few times since).  I absolutely love the craziness of the fans- refusing to sit for just one down and all breaking out in a simultaneous "GATOR BAIT" after some random guy makes the opening noise. 

I love the deafening noise when the other team has the ball on 4th and 1 and the feeling that your yell makes all the difference. 

we look SO young
I love the "aaahh-ooo" we shout for kickoffs, the many variations of the chomp (baby gator, anyone?), and the battle of orange versus blue.  

I love the singing of "we are the boys" when you wrap your arms around the people next to you regardless of the fact that the 100 degree temperatures and 100% humidity have left you completely soaked and disgusting. 

I love that as everyone funnels out of the stadium after the game, we are all still cheering "It's great... to be... a Florida Gator!"

I love being a Gator.