Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Marathon Training Update #1

Since my new year’s resolution in early January to run a marathon this year, I have steadily ramped up my running training. In general its going very well and overall I have a three step approach to a strong finish after 26.2 miles in October. (1) regularly go to the gym for weight training to improve my overall strength to allow me to stay injury free; (2) train hard for the Indianapolis half marathon which will hopefully yield a good time which I can then use to get a seeded starting position for the marathon and (3) start marathon training in earnest in June and build up slowly to several 15-20 mile training runs (yikes)!

So far it’s going well and I have have registered for Chicago! I have gone to the gym at least one a week since January and really feel that I’m stronger. With only 6 weeks to go before the Indy half marathon I’m in pretty good shape. I have run four long training runs over 10 miles and in March alone I have run over 100 miles, another yikes, and since starting to log all my runs in 2007, I have never before hit that milestone. Generally I do three runs a week, a long run, a tempo run (the pace I wish to run the half marathon at) and interval running to increase speed (several very short runs 0.5-1.0 miles at a much faster pace).

All this training is also good for me (my knees aside). I feel like I have a lot more energy, I tend to eat better, drink less and as a result I have dropped about 15lbs. So, stay tuned, I’ll let you all know how my half marathon goes on 06 May!

I did wish to add a photo here too, however, to save you all from an awful picture of a sweaty me running along in some race (again), I did a quick image search of “running on beer”. Below is a sampling of the result. Now, I ran 6 miles today so I’m off for a beer.

Mum's Arrival

Mum arrived safely Monday night and generally her trip was very uneventful which she appreciated. It was actually made even more comfortable since Randy graciously agreed to collect her from the airport (a huge thanks Randy). I had her scheduled on the airport express bus but given that the Purdue students are in semester right now and not travelling, the bus is running on a significantly reduced schedule. Her wait times were a little excessive so Randy kindly agreed to collect her.

She is virtually over her jet lag already and settled in to enjoying the kids. The weather has been nice this week so she is getting nice long walks in during the day (Daisy likes this). We even set her up with a Facebook account last night. More updates to come later…..

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mum to Visit This Week

We have an exciting week ahead of us here in West Lafayette. My mother will arrive for a month long visit late tomorrow evening. The girls and ourselves are very excited, they have done cards, pictures and letters for her arrival. Then on Thursday, Lynne leaves for a two-week visit to the UK to visit a lab at UMIST. She will be able to take advantage of this trip to stay with her Mum and Dad one weekend and her brother Keith and and wife Sam on the following weekend. So our schedules and routines will be all mixed up for the coming weeks but it will all work out just fine.

We spent most the weekend hanging around the house since it has turned bitterly cold again.  We did dinner with friends, a lot of reading, tea parties, role playing, games, shopping, movies etc etc….Shown below are photos from this past week, Toni and Jack came to visit for a day and the kids took advantage of some nice weather (can you tell Connor likes outside?)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The girls and myself engaged in some 20th Century classic culture this weekend. This week, reading a couple of chapters each night, we read through the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. They were extremely excited to learn that there was a a rather more famous movie version (they have no idea how often this will be a theme in life).  We all sat together with some snacks this afternoon and watched it. I’ll have to admit to being a little excited myself to watch it again with them, can’t remember when I saw that last. Anja enjoyed it but Isabel thought there were parts that were a little scary!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Well Done Ireland

Congratulations to Ireland on the emphatic win over England today, what a game!!

People generally don’t like people who gloat over victories, however, I think this is one occasion when Irish people will be forgiven. In case you didn’t know, Ireland beat England today, sorry Ireland smashed England today, in the last game of the rugby union six nations championship. For those of you who have never heard of this, this is an annual rugby tournament, over a 100 years old, between six nations in Europe, Ireland, England, Wales, France, Scotland and Italy.

In general Ireland winning this annual clash with England would be a momentous occasion, however, it was a little sweeter this year as this win denied England the coveted Grand Slam. England had been unbeaten throughout the tournament and had only Ireland to beat for the championship and the Grand Slam (in the event that a team beats every nation in the tournament).

England of course went on to win the championship overall, on a points basis as no one team won the tournament outright. They are also to be congratulated on that, their win against France a couple of weeks ago was one of the best I have witnessed, however they get to celebrate that victory drinking Guinness in Dublin tonight having been mauled on the park by the lads in green!!

Photo credit (Irish Rugby Website

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pictures from Today

As promised, shown below are a few pictures from today. Can you see any Leprechauns?

The green water in the pictures down below is of the canal that runs through the city center of Indianapolis. This is where I do most of my early morning runs as it’s less than a mile from our fitness center at work. I ran there this morning (a beautiful sunny 50F morning) and knowing that it would be dyed green for the day I took my phone with me!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day

Happy St Patrick’s Day to all out there, for those of you celebrating, please do so in style and for those of you not….why not? Unfortunately tomorrow is a workday so that does take precedent but I’ll certainly have a beer tomorrow evening. It probably won’t be green.

The girls and Connor will be dressing up in all the clothes, hairbands and rosettes that my Mum sent over (Thank you), I’ll post pictures tomorrow. Connors shirt went into immediate circulation when it arrived a few weeks ago so, I already have a photo of him in his gear. 

Also shown below are a few old photos from when Lynne was in the US at Madison, Wisconsin. I actually visited her one time over St Patrick’s Day so we went to Chicago. The picture shows the Chicago River dyed green for the day with the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower  in the background.

Enjoy the Day!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Worm Habitat

Even though it’s still quite chilly, we all managed to get out and about this weekend to soak up some rays. You can tell its time for spring when the girls are pulling on their jackets without prompting and running around the garden chanting “we all have cabin fever”. They built what they described as a “worm habitat”, whatever that is. It’s the little stone formation in the picture below.

Was sad to see Ireland loose to Wales in the rugby yesterday, I was really relishing the idea of a real nail biter in Dublin in two weeks. With the chance of a Triple Crown now gone, all Ireland can hope for is a Grand Slam spoiler. Shouldn’t be too hard to get excited about.

Lynne is off on a short trip to California this week; she’ll leave Monday and be back Wednesday.  Hope you all have a good week!!

Monday, March 07, 2011

13 Year Wedding Anniversary

Today is our wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary Love, I love you as much today as I did back then on that beautiful sunny day in Harare.

On my drive home this evening I was wondering which picture to dig out to represent this but Anja and Isabel clinched the deal when I arrived home. They each had made a beautiful card for us with pictures of us together and cakes for the occasion. They’re really sweet. Something about what your kids make for you that just melts your heart!! Thank you Girls!! Lots has happened in those 13 years, to the extent that our children can now make cards for us – amazing!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

More Illness......

We are still trying to get fully well here in chez Owens-Taylor. Recall that last week Isabel was ill, she is well again but it was Connor’s and my turn this week. It turns out that I also had strep throat, fluid on an ear and swollen lymph nodes and although Connor was sufficiently ill to merit a visit back to the doctor yesterday, he just has a cold. His nose is like a tap and has a pretty nasty cough.  We are ready for spring to come!!

I can hear Connor snoring his little blocked up head off as I sit here and write, as he did this morning. He fell asleep in my arms this morning after I gave him his morning bottle :))

Happy Birthday Alden

Just back from the first spring birthday party of the year, we have many in spring. Alden, Brad and Lisa’s oldest, turned a teenager today. Alden is a great young man, we like him a lot. He is extremely well mannered and polite, very interested in a variety of topics, loves reading, enjoys playing chess when he comes over, an avid soccer player, has been a Taekwondo black belt for quite some time and is a math whizz (he recently was the sole representative of his school on the math team in a regional competition).

Congratulations Alden, enjoy your teenage years!!

Aerial Shot of San Francisco

I started downloading some photos just now and came across the one below of the San Francisco Bay. I took it a few weeks ago as I flew into that airport during my weeklong trip through California. It’s not the best photo but you can see the city center and the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge in the foreground with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. I think the typical low-level cloud formations at the top of the picture are pretty cool as they bump into the Californian shore.