Sunday, April 27, 2008

A/C, Furnace and Bicycle Racing

This was a busy week. It all started last Sunday when the temps got up into the 80's. I was dreading turning on our air conditioner, but did it anyhow. It was on the blink at the end of the summer last year. It was having trouble starting up then. Well, when I cranked it up, it wouldn't turn on at all. Nothing! Done! It is a 1982 model therefor has served its purpose. Luckily it wasn't too hot the rest of the week, so we were able to leave the windows open at night so Reese and I could be cool. I then started calling heating and cooling companies to get some bids on a new furnace and a/c. I got about 5 bids and finally got a decent one from a guy down near my school. His kids went through Antonia and was a nice guy. It should be in by next Tuesday. Looks like the highs will be in the 70s this week.

I also had my first race of the year this last weekend. I didn't get a good jump on my training for this season as the weather was cold and wet almost all of March. I gained 10lbs over the winter, so the late start in training has put me in worse shape than the start of last season. I have been training a lot the last three weeks. I was on the bike 11 out of the last 16 days trying to get ready for the Tour of St. Louis. I was able to race this past Tuesday Night to gage where I was at. I came in around 15 to 2oth place, so then decided to give things ago for the weekend.
The Carondolet Park race by my house started out slow with everyone getting a feel for things. It soon picked up creating one massive wreck on the downhill turn. I was near the front, so missed out on that one. I heard it and it sounded bad. My team last three guys on that one, sending two of them to the emergency room. One guy broke his handlebars and cracked his helmet in half. He is OK and even raced again the next day. The race went on with most of the guys getting on after the free lap. Then with two laps to go, their was a pile up on the far part of the course. It was to my left, but somehow everyone got pushed over and I got caught up in it. Luckily I was able to only scrape the curb, stay on my bike and catch back up with the peleton. The race then came down to a sprint, where I finished in 11th place. My sprint was interrupted when I got cut off and had to hit my brakes. I still reached 33mph and was able to finish strong. If I had a better place leading up to the sprint, I may have had a chance at a top 5. Average speed was 24.9mph covering 19 miles.

The Sunday race at Forest Park was expected to be a much safer race and was. No wrecks,but the pace was much faster with quite a bit larger field. It again came down to sprint at the end. I was not as close to the front as I would have liked, but not at the back either. I again had really good legs and had a great sprint finishing in 13th place. I started my sprint late, passing tons of guys topping out at 37mph. The average was 25.4mph covering 19.7 miles. My teammate Dan Young had two second places in the crits and a 3rd in the time trial to win the overall.
With my strong finishes and strong sprints, perhaps this summer will be good racing after all. I had my doubts because of the lack of training over the winter, but perhaps the running up and down on the basketball court and the mountain biking kept me in better shape than I thought.


Earth Day at Forest Park

We went to Forest Park last Sunday to celebrate Earth Day. We have been going to the festival at the Muny for 10 years now. It has gotten bigger and bigger each year. It was such a beautiful day that it seemed as if everyone in the city was at the park. We had to park a mile away and walk. That wasn't bad as the weather was in the 70's and the sun was shining. The girls made some crafts and played a few games. We then came home and I grilled up some pork steaks and then we ate out on the back porch. Here are some photos from that day.

Tatum at baseball practice

Tatum started playing organized baseball this year. I signed her up for the coach pitch league down at the Antonia Ballfields. I thought it would be better for her to play with kids in her school district. She has about 6 girls from her class on her team. Surprisingly she does very well. Not to brag, but she is the best hitter, fielder and thrower on the team. The coaches have her batting clean up and call her Pujols! Perhaps all the batting practice and catch we play after school in the back yard is paying off. I am not making her play and practice. She is the one always asking me to play with her. She can't wait for practice every week. I can't believe she has such an interest in sports. It makes me very happy.

Cardinal Game with Grandma Nita

Mom took both girls to the Cardinal games last Saturday afternoon. She is much braver than myself! In anycase, they had a great time and the Cardinals won. This also enabled me to go out for a 50 mile training ride with some BigShark guys to get ready for the Tour of St. Louis. More about the race weekend in the next few posts or so.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Not much shakin!

Really not much has been going on around here. The weather has been miserable so the training has not been happening. I really had planned to ride all last week and this weekend, but it either was raining or I was running kids around to something. I had planned on riding tomorrow, but today I was putting on some used Dura Ace brakes I bought last year and somehow managed to really screw something up. I now have to make a trip over to BigShark after school on Monday instead of riding! Hopefully then can get it fixed right then and there or have it the next day when I have to make a trip over to UCity for Tatum's singing class.

I met Hovis at Johnny's Friday for some wings and then went by O'Malley's for a pint O Guiness. We watched the Cards game and ran into Brian Klaus. Not much else after that.

Kirsten went out with some co-workers to celebrate a birthday which meant I was in charge of the girls from 9am til 2am or so. We didn't do a durn thang. We watched TV, played board games and with some playdough. They were out by 830, so the rest of the night was free to just me. This never happens, so I rented a couple of films. If you get a chance watch The Kite Runner. It was a great film! It has some history and a storyline that really makes you think about how fragile and interesting life is. The other was one I rented for Kirsten on Friday night. It was called Dan In Real Life. It has Steve Carrell and Juliette Binoche in it. It is something that I never would have watched normally, but nothing else was on, so I threw it in. It is really worth the rental.

See you all later.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Running the bases and flying kites!

These are of Tatum running the bases at Busch III and Reese, Kirsten and myself flying her kite over at Carondolet Park.

I was also able to put in 40 miles Sunday morning through south St. Louis and Forest Park. The weather was the best so far this year with the temps reaching into the 70s. I got in 30 miles today after school. Unfortunately they are calling for rain pretty much the rest of the week.

Tatum and Grandma Nita at the Cards Game

Mom took Tatum to the Cards game on Sunday this weekend. After the game was kids run the bases. Tatum has gotten to do something this 35 yr has wanted to do his whole life! They had a great time as well.

Reese and Grandma Nita at Cards Game

Mom took Reese to the Cardinal game this past Saturday for one of the weekend kid's day at the park. They had a great time as you can tell.

Kirsten's Birthday

Colin and I have the same hairline!

She claims to only be 30, but everyone knows that I married an older woman. I will turn 35 in July, so you do the math.

We went to Kries' Steakhouse in Frontenac a couple of Sunday's ago to celebrate my lovely wife's birthday. Kirsten and Mom had the fillet, while Todd and I had the queen cut prime rib which is what they are really know about town for. It was fantastic. Cut like butter and disapeared in minutes. Liz had a hamburger while the girls had toasted ravioli and chicken strips. Thanks Mom.