Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrating One's Independence

Can it possibly be the Fourth of July already?
Where did June go?

Truthfully, I thought June would be much more laid back and relaxed considering I was (am still) unemployed. It seems, however, that June turned into a summer storm of fun in the sun for me and all of The Boys.

We kicked it into high gear right away with two-a-day swim practices for Colin, the Pre-Senior swimmer, and one-a-day practices for Aidan. Colin is coming quite into his own in the pool and the rest of "them boys at JO's" better just buckle up. It is going to be one hellacious ride before August rolls around. Tuesday evenings hold ATAC Developmental Swim Meets for Aidan, and he has been performing quite well while improving each time he dives off the blocks. Colin's big show of skill and talent fell during the last weekend of June at the annual ATAC Long Course Invitational Swim Meet. He earned three more time qualifications toward competing at the Summer Florida Junior Olympics: 400 meter Freestyle, 800 meter Freestyle, and the 1500 meter (The Metric Mile) Freestyle. He has now qualified for a total of six events that he may compete in at the Junior Olympics in 12 days in Fort Myers.

I have been earning a bit of what I call "Happy Meal" money by doing some summer camp driving for an organization here in town (The Oasis Center for Girls). It is only girls that I get to hang with for a couple of times a day, three times a week. So it is VERY different from being at home with my Boys all the time. In addition to the driving, I have been trying to be very committed to my training schedule (I know, I know it has not been updated here in weeks. I'm sorry. It will be current from now on....). I am running mid-distance two days a week and getting in one long-ish to truly long run on the weekends. I have been pretty good about logging two 20-35 mile rides during the week (off days from running) and getting a 40 miler in on the weekend. It is all good. So far the heel and hamstring and ankles are good and nearly almost always pain free. They twinge occasionally, but I slow down or change stride and that usually manages to solve the problem.

Aidan has been to two Vacation Bible Schools and loved them both. Friends abound where Aidan is concerned. He is the child who has the ability to make friends with the rocks. He can arrive at any location and leave having just met his "new best friend." God Bless Him! Next week he is off to Camp Bark-ly run by the local 4-H, where he is sure to make countless new friends and beg for yet more needy creatures to become members of our family. What was I thinking? Dain Bramaged, I am, I swear it.

But, getting back to celebrating one's independence. This is the third consecutive year that we have begun our Fourth of July celebrations with a healthy dose of triathlon. Yes, I know, some of you may think that is just about the farthest thing from healthy one could get, but we - yes, we - love it. This year I was "The Mom" rather than the athlete. I stood on the beach waiting for Colin; ran him into T1 (transition from swim to the bike); and then cheered madly until he came back through the finish chute after the run leg. This year his goal was to finish in under an hour. Based on previous years (2007 - 1:17:48, 2008 - 1:06:34), and his drastic improvements overall, this was very doable from the start. He was FIRST out of the water for the 1/4 mile swim today and I am pretty sure was in the top 10 returning from the 10 mile bike ride. I don't know exactly where he finished overall (full results to be posted soon), but he hit his goal with a finish time of 59:50 and 2nd in his age group by only 2 (yes TWO) seconds to a boy nearly a year older. I am estimating based on my Seiko watch that his swim time was floating around the 6 minute mark; his bike time was pretty darn quick at 31 or so minutes; giving him roughly a 22 minute 5K run time. The run happens to be his weakest leg, but after his fabulous swim and bike I'll give it to him. Way to go my boy!

Aidan launched his triathlon career today with the kids' version of the Freedom Springs Triathlon. He made friends along the way - how unusual - and finished running strong with a smile on his face and a big brother beaming proudly from behind him as he ran him down hill into the finish chute. Mike was able to go this year and witness all the hype. Many of his friends and/or co-workers and their spouses were competitors. Not-to-mention, I don't think he could have been any prouder of The Boys ever.

We shall see what July has in store: Camp Bark-ly; Summer Junior Olympics; visits with grandparents; visits with friends who have moved away; and more swimming; more swimming; and some job searching.

Stay Cool, it's hot out there!

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Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation

Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation
Love this art work. Click for link to the web site. And follow Team TRI Mac at