Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Discus for the WIN!

Wow -- I knew it had been awhile since I had last posted on this blog, but I didn't know we were approaching 2 years.  Whoops.  Instead of attempting to catch up, I'm going to jump right in and pretend like I've been doing this all along.  We'll see if I remember how!

Caden is having a great time throwing the discus in 8th grade track this year.  He threw the discus for the first time ever last summer, but only got a handful of throws in.  When track rolled around this spring, he decided he'd try it again and I think he made a good decision.  He has really improved and done a great job so far this year - most important to me, he's trying something new.

Going into the season, he set a personal goal to throw 90 feet.  During the very first meet (April 7th), all three of his throws were over 90 feet, he reached a new PR (personal record) of 95 feet 10 inches and took home 5th place.  Time to set a new goal!

Third track meet of the year was last Thursday in Knoxville.  He set a new PR of 101 feet 3 inches, took home 4th place, and had the longest 8th grade throw for Indianola. Time to set a new goal!

Last night was his fourth meet of the season.  Ryan's mom was in town so we had cameras and phones shooting from all angles!  There are several videos, but they are all super short.  Next we need to figure out how to film him throwing AND somehow show where the discus actually lands. Perhaps that can be my MY goal....

His first throw went 98 feet 11 inches...

Throw #2 went 101 feet 8 inches

But his best throw of the night (and season!) was his last - this went 109 feet 4 inches and he won 1st place in the meet.  Super duper proud of this kid for many reasons; his discus throwing is just the newest added to the list!

 Pre-throw advice...of which Ryan and I really have none!

A little multi-tasking to get Bryson ready for his practice/game which was going on at the same time...but luckily right next door. 

Time for Caden to set a new goal...!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ryan Is An IRONMAN!!!!!

He did it.  His lips were purple, but he did it.  12 hours and 13 minutes of exhaustion.  Below is a video my mom got from online when he crossed the finished line.  And I PROMISE I'm going to take a break from blogs and Facebook for awhile.  Thanks for cheering him on from where ever you might have been.


Running Man

Look who I ran into around mile 3?!?!?!?!?

less than an hour on the bike...

No pictures to share this time around because I missed my one chance to see him on the bike route.  But if my calculations are right base on the timing mats/splits, I think he will be done with the 112 mile bike ride in the next 50-60 minutes.  He usually takes 5-10 minutes in T2 to take off bike gear and get on his running gear.  So....if you wanted to try to see him on the live video feed (I've included the link below), I would start watching around 4:20pm (central time) with the hope that you would see him start running within 15-20 minutes of that.  There is a pretty steep climb to end the bike course (that wasn't very nice!), so my guesses might be off.

The rain has stopped, but we're still only at 55 degrees.  I *think* he should be wearing a (new!) red Ironman Canada top, a red hat and probably black arm and leg sleeves since it's still so chilly.  Oh, and check out the red shoes he's wearing!  Is he from Nebraska or what?!?!?!?

rain or shine...

Rain or shine....and right now it's rain.  Lots and lots of rain!  I made it down to the swim start about 6:30am and it had just started to drizzle.  But by the time the cannon went off at 7am, it was a constant rain.  Not a mid-western thunderstorm, but a steady cold rain.  Oh, and did I mention it's cold?  When I got back into the land of WiFi around 9am, it was 48 degrees and felt like 46.  YUCK!

But all the weather complaining aside, Ryan and the other 1800 athletes are fighting through it right now.  Ryan finished the 2.4 miles swim in 1 hours and 14 minutes - right smack in the middle of the range he was shooting for.  I was able to see him come out of the water and then I saw him again (9 minutes later) as he took off on the bike.

For the next 6+ hours I will be glued to my phone/computer, waiting for bike splits.  He just crossed the first timing mat at 21.5 miles (34.7k) and I was able to let out a deep sigh of relief.  The roads are WET and the course is STEEP.  I was quite happy to see that his mph was considerably slower than he was hoping for - I'm going to take that as a sign he's being careful!  Although I just looked at the elevation map and he also hit the highest elevation during this first section... Something tells me his next split might be a bit faster.

Okay, now I'm just nervous rambling.  I need to change into warm/dry clothes, find breakfast #2 and hope to see him on the bike again as he sails through Whistler.

 Ready to go before the swim start!

 Ironman Canada - swimmers waiting to get into the water

 All those bright pink and green dots - yep, those are swim caps waiting for the cannon to go off.

 And the age-groupers are off.

GET OUT OF THE WAY, PEOPLE!  Iron(Ryan)Man is coming through!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

bike is ready...

Thought I was going to talk about Ryan's bike, right?  Nope.  Check out this sweet gem that I have rented for the next 24 hours!  I'm hoping these two little wheels (and especially the rockin' basket) will get me to where I need to be tomorrow to watch Ryan as many times as possible.

We tried to lay low and have a rest day today, but do you know how hard it is to not doing anything and NOT sleep?  Hard.  But in order for Ryan to have any luck falling asleep tonight early, we didn't nap at all today.  Instead he went for a super short run this morning and then we dropped off a few of his bags and his bike.  There are about 2000 athletes, most with EXPENSIVE bikes and accessories and most with extreme Type A personalities.  So getting everybody and his/her stuff where they need to be is quite the task.  But so far, Ironman Canada has run like a well-oiled machine.

Ryan will be catching a shuttle a couple of blocks from our hotel around 4:30am that will take him to the swim start.  I will leave the hotel around 6am (with my handy dandy bike) and ride to the swim start along with all of the other crazed friends and family that want to cheer on the athletes.  The professional men will start swimming at 6:50am, the pro women at 6:55am and ALL of the age-groupers at 7am (or 9am CDT).

For up to the minute splits, use the link below and either enter Ryan's name, or his bib number of #409.

There is also a LIVE COVERAGE tab at the top and it appears that there will be live video feeds at the swim out, the start of the run, and the finish line.  I'll do my very best to keep this blog (and FB) up to date with his times, in case you want to try to watch him cross any of these camera shots, but I'm not promising anything.  I have no idea what my wifi coverage will be like and various spots around the course and I'm not sure how "live" the splits or camera shots will be.  But even if you don't see Ryan cross, watching others reach these momentous milestones is still pretty awesome and awe-inspiring.

I'm also feeling a little superstitious and I don't want to post his estimated times because we have no idea what the weather conditions or course is going to be like.  But if you want to *try* to catch him coming out of the water, tune in to the swim out around 10:05am (his fastest IM swim in the past 4 races) and 10:20 (more realistic given past Ironman swim times and the expected choppy cold waters).  Oh, and the times listed above are Central Time.  If you aren't in CDT, you're on your own to figure out when to tune in.

I COMPLETELY believe and know that Ryan will do fantastic, but that doesn't mean that I won't turn into a nervous nelly tomorrow morning.  So if you are apt to pray or send good, positive thoughts - please send them Ryan's way.  A safe and fun experience is all that I'm asking for!!!!

 These were the bags that Ryan organized and then dropped off today.

A very empty (and wet - check out those low clouds that are covering the mountains) T2 area that will be bustling with activity tomorrow afternoon! 

 Athletes and spectators rode a school bus over to the swim area and T1, but the bikes were draped with heavy moving blankets and placed inside moving vans.

The line to get into T1 so the athletes could line up his/her bikes.  Did I mention there were a few Type A personalities in this sport?!?!?!?

Remember the empty T1 picture I shared yesterday (when I think I lost my licenses)?  This is how it looked earlier today when the bikes had begun to be dropped off.  And nope, license still hasn't been found...

Friday, July 24, 2015


I have NO idea what day of the week it is and today I'm having a hard time remembering what month it is.  Today was a chilly one is Whistler!  We woke up this morning to heavy drizzle/light rain and although the rain blew off around noon, the clouds and cold air stuck around.  In fact, it's a good thing we did the mountain/sight-seeing activities yesterday because today the clouds covered up most of the surrounding mountains.

This morning we walked around the Ironman Village and Ryan found a cool Ironman Canada bike jersey that he will wear on Sunday.  He wasn't planning on wearing something new, but the one he brought was sleeveless and this new one has partial sleeves.  Although with the arm warmers he already has, and another long sleeve dri-fit shirt he happened to find in his suitcase, he's feeling better about staying warm on the bike.  He also found a a new pair of shoes that were on massive sale.  Not sure how any of this is going to fit in his maxed-out suitcase, but that is for Tuesday Ryan to worry about!  We also stuck around for the mandatory Athletes Meeting.  Ryan claims he learned nothing new, but this was the first meeting I have ever attended with him and I thought it was pretty cool.  Organization and rules surrounding a sporting event...yes please!

Remember that restaurant we passed by last night because no one was inside?   Well, Boom Burger was full of people when we walked by for lunch so we gave it a try.  And I'm glad we did.  It was one of the best burgers I've ever had.  In fact, it kind of reminded me of a fancy Booches burger from CoMo.  Yep, it was the that good.

With the rain cleared away, we drove ~20 miles north along part of the highway that the bike course will travel on Sunday.  My observations: we're definitely in the mountains and there are definitely some LONG downhill and uphill climbs; the views are spectacular; and this reminded me of reason #1,267 why I will NEVER do anything like this myself.    We had Ryan's bike in our car and he was able to get in a 45 minute bike ride today along part of the relatively "flat" section in the Pemberton Meadow.  He did have a flat tire this afternoon, but our fingers are crossed that this just means he got it out of the way and he'll be good to go on Sunday.  What did I do while Ryan was burning up the road?  I sat on the side of the highway, in our rental car, with the windows rolled down and switched off between reading and "resting my eyes".  There was just enough of a breeze in the meadow that it sounded like a fall day in the Midwest.  It was a pretty neat place to be stuck reading a book!

Ryan also wanted/needed to get in a short run today, so he ran and I walked from our hotel to the swim start.  We had been warned that it was ~1.5 miles away by trail but not all that easy to get to so I used today as a test run to make sure I didn't get lost.  Good news - I didn't get lost and I got in a beautiful 3 mile walk.  Bad news - I think I lost my driver's license around T1 (Transition Area #1 where the athletes switch from swimming to biking gear) when I got my phone out of my pocket to take a picture. But Vacation-Tara is choosing not to worry about it.  My fingers are crossed someone picks it up, turns it into an Ironman staff member and I can pick it up at Lost & Found before we leave on Tuesday.  If not, I still have my passport for ID purposes and I'll get another attempt at a better drivers license picture when I go in to get a new one once we return.

Despite the 50 degree temps (seriously!), we ate dinner outside at a nice Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant.  There was a heat lamp and blankets available and Ryan and I did our fair share of people watching.  So we have another day in the books and we're another day closer to RACE DAY.  Yes, there is a way to track Ryan online and we're pretty sure they will also have a Finish Line camera to watch as people cross.  I'll do my research tomorrow/Saturday and make sure to share all of that information with you then.

My reading nook today!

the site of the missing drivers license (I think) - but I really like the pictures so it was worth it.  I think I'll call this "T1 - Calm Before the Storm"