Apr 30, 2008

Wheel Carnage

Here's the gory details on my crash this past Sunday... fortunately I look better than my wheel does!

You can see on this picture that the rim itself snapped...
I went to see my buddy Dave at Tolland Bike, and he was quite impressed with my handiwork. Hoping to get a new wheel this week, and if I'm luck I won't need anything else. The new disc brake looked okay, and my fork seemed fine as well, so I'm thinking just the wheel at this point. I asked Dave if they had any titanium ones that I wouldn't be able to break, but he seemed dubious that I wouldn't be able to find a way to break whatever I got!


Apr 29, 2008


The recap will come, things are a bit tight for me today... we won after falling behind 2-1, and took the decisive 5th game in a really fun match!


Apr 28, 2008

Crazy Weekend

Well... it was a good and bad weekend, productive and fun, stimulating and painful. I got a solid workout day in on Saturday, starting by dipping my toes in the lake early in the morning. It was too cold to do more than that, and we decided on a bike ride instead. We got in about 20 miles but with a lot of climbing, including the notorious Plains Rd in Tolland which is just a brutal hill. I didn't have my phone with me... I'd like to take some pictures of it next time to show just how much fun can be had!

After the bike ride, I got home in time to get my kids to track practice and some longer runs with the kids (I'm guessing about 4-5 miles total with them), and ended with some sprints across the football field. I was nicely warmed up, so I let it rip on the sprints and felt good. I was a bit sore, but felt good the rest of the day. I also managed to get some yardwork done, mostly landscaping and getting ready for planting the garden.

Sunday morning was set up for a nice mountain bike ride, we had plenty of time for a nice long ride. However, it got pretty ugly as we headed over the top of Soapstone! My legs were a bit sluggish still, but I made it to the top. Unfortunately, my ride ended soon after on the way done as I crashed hard, whacking my head against a tree, and snapping my front wheen almost entirely in half! It's pretty hard to ride on just a back wheel, so I spent the next half hour walking out to a point where I could get picked up. I'll post a picture when I get a chance, the wheel is bent up nicely!

Volleyball finals tonight...


Apr 25, 2008

Doors and Notes

News and notes...

My new doors came yesterday, so I'll be spending the next few days staining them to get them ready for hanging. It will be nice to have the closet finished so that we can start moving stuff over and I can begin on the bathroom...

Track went well on Wednesday even though the coach wasn't there since he hadn't returned from vacation. The other assistants and I handled it pretty well I thought, making sure the kids had fun and keeping them running. I felt pretty good on all of the runs we did, leading the older kids through their paces and keeping them going. It's tough to get some of the kids to keep moving at times, they want to stop, but with a bit of encouragement and occasional beatings :), I manage to keep them going...

Swim practice starts back up in a week and a half for the month of May, and probably into June. I'm looking forward to getting back in the pool and outside in the lake in the next few weeks...

Bike and run on tap for tomorrow...


Apr 23, 2008

Youth Track

Our local youth recreation track club starts up tonight for a new season. Kids in town from 2nd to 8th grade get together to run and participate in track meets with other towns in the area. I've helped "coach" for the last couple of years and had my two older daughters involved as well and its been very rewarding.

We'll get together to run on Wednesdays and Saturdays with up to 100 kids. It's generally a lot of fun for everyone and it helps me get in my run training as well. We won't do a ton of mileage, but I can count on staying on my feet and moving for an hour at least! I'm going to be getting out my bike early on Saturdays and getting in a pseudo brick when I combine it with track... should be lots of fun! Any parents are also welcome to join, so if my brother or uncle are reading this, they are welcome to come and run with us (9 AM on Saturday mornings, or 5:30 on Wed afternoon)


Apr 22, 2008

Volleyball Semifinals

Our volleyball playoffs started last night and I was very fired up to go. We came is as the heavy favorite being the number one seed and a long distance from the second place team. We would start with the number 4 team, and if we won the best of 5 series we would face either the 2 or 3 seed next week.

I arrived a bit early, and had plenty of time to warm up for the game. We played with 7 people again, one of our players has been hurt and has not come in a month or so, but it works out just fine having one less player to rotate out. We started out pretty tight, I could tell right away that everyone was a bit nervous and feeling the pressure. It was definitely a case of playing tentatively and trying not to lose instead of attacking and playing our game. Midway through the first game we were down by five or so but we had started to relax and play a bit better. I also have to give the other team credit, they came out fired up and ready to go. As we got a bit relaxed and started to play more aggressive we came back, but it wasn't enough as we lost the first game in a tight 25-22 contest. 0-1

We talked a bit going into the second game about staying aggressive and forcing the other team into mistakes instead of being tentative and it seemed to work. We started a bit slowly again, and fell behind early, but we could feel the momentum shifting as we were playing well, but getting a couple bad bounces. We went on a quick run to pull even at 13 but then fell behind again as the other team got some nice serves in. Once again we battled back and started hitting some tough spikes to keep them off balance. I managed to get a couple blocks and was playing pretty well as we pulled ahead for good and took the second game, again by a close score of around 25-22. 1-1

The third game felt very key, we knew if we took it that it would really hurt the other teams confidence and momentum. We could see a bit of frustration on their part and we had gotten quite a bit more comfortable. We simply needed to continue our game plan of staying aggressive. We came out strong, but they battled back and we fell behind again in the mid teens. It seemed like we were behind the whole game, but it never felt too bad because we were playing well. We pulled ahead towards the end and took the third game a little more comfortably. 2-1

We really wanted to end the match now, the final game would only be to 15 points if needed and it would be much more of a crap shoot. Fortunately we had gotten our rhythm and the other team was much more frustrated. Personally I was playing very well, and the rest of the team stayed strong also as we won pretty comfortably to take the match 3-1

I didn't get to watch much of the next match as I ended up playing racquetball with a teammate, but it sounded like it was a good match between my brother and uncle's team and the team with my other cousin on it. It went to the fifth and deciding game before my cousin Jon's team took the match and the right to face us next week in the finals. I'm looking forward to a good match, hopefully we can start off a little better!


Apr 18, 2008

Project 2008 Part 1 - The Closet

Well... in case you're curious, here's what I've been doing on my week off! Building a new closet in the Master Bedroom. We've decided to spend this spring remodeling, we're going to take a home equity loan and do all the projects we've been dreaming of, instead of trying to do them bit by bit. We'll see if it's a good idea, or if I lose my sanity...

Step 1 was adding a new closet extending into my daughter's room. This will enable us to combine the existing closet with our bathroom and actually have room for a tub and larger shower and vanity. My brother came over to help me with the framing and getting started and I've spent the rest of the week taping, sanding, taping, sanding, taping, sanding, and then painting.

Here's the photo documentary:

Wall opened up... need to move the outlet

Hole through to Leah's room

Framing the new wall

New wall, back of the closet mostly framed

Moving the wiring into the new wall

Starting to hand the Sheetrock

More Sheetrock

Kids decorated the wall for posterity

Inside of the closet sheetrocked

Sheetrock done... ready to tape

Corner bead and remodeling strip along the top to avoid taping into the ceiling

Done taping... finally, after 3-4 coats

painting begins

Little help from Rachel

My daughter decided on lime green... color is a bit off in the photo

Inside of closet finished..

Yeah... it's green.

I'm still waiting for the doors to come in... I'll get some finished photos as well!


Apr 17, 2008

Volleyball - final warmup

Last week before playoffs, it went very well as we won all three games. We were missing two players, and so no rotating out which is nice! It took me a bit to work out the rust from missing a week, but overall I played pretty well I think. I had a couple nice spikes and even a really good block or two.

I've been busy at home working on my new closet, it's just about ready to paint... I took a ton of pictures, so I'll write up the progress at some point...


Apr 11, 2008

Actual Tri content...

Spin class this morning was pretty good, it really makes my day much smoother when I start at the gym. I feel better and I tend to eat healthier as a result as well. Not a real tough class, but 45 minutes is much better than nothing... a nice run tomorrow morning, perhaps mountain biking Sunday and consistency is only a few days away. Volleyball has no more than 3 weeks remaining so I won't have the late night to contend with anymore.

In terms of tri content, it looks like I may become a USAT official this year. There aren't a lot of bennies, but you do get a free USAT membership. I will also definitely learn the rules I suppose, and I think it would be kind of fun. I'm trying to find a clinic and races that work for me, hopefully without impacting my family schedule too much.


Apr 10, 2008

No Volleyball?

Sorry for the lack of a volleyball post this week, I did not go because I needed to stay home and watch the kids and also because of injury :) Two "injuries" to be precise, my thumb is STILL not quite recovered from jamming it during the race on Sunday, and I had dental implant surgery on Monday. Neither will have long-term implications I hope, but between the three reasons it didn't work out to go to volleyball on Monday.

We have one more week before the playoffs start, and I'm pretty sure we're guaranteed the top seed at this point. Hopefully next week will be a good tune-up. It should also be a fun week as I'm off work while the kids are on school vacation. I have a lot of project work at the house to do, but I'm hoping to get some long morning bike rides as I start focusing back on triathlons for the summer.

I'll try and post house before and after updates as I go if only to keep myself honest...


Apr 8, 2008

Pics from the Hock

As promised... a couple of pictures from the Hockanum race this weekend. My buddy Satish took the the first couple, which were prior to the race start. This first picture is my brother and I with my uncle attempting to butt in from the back. I would try to make a witty comment, but he and his son did beat us to finish first in our class, a couple of minutes ahead of us. Eric and his friend Greg who you can also see to the left in the green shirt(he was in a kayak by himself this year) have raced the Hock for well over 10 years, and havebeen placing just about every year as well. Matt and I definitely wanted to beat them, but we'll take a third place finish!
This picture is of Jack and I, another co-worker who was attempting to purge a dismal 2004 race result (see Cassada, Jack) from his record! The good news is that he did have a better race... results pending!
The final set of shots is our attempt at navigating the right side of the rapids. It may be a bit faster, but it's also riskier, and we paid the price here as we got a little antsy when pushing off a rock and went over as we were climbing back in the boat. Not a particularly pretty sequence...


Apr 7, 2008

Rocked in Third

Not as good a race as we would have liked, we struggled a bit and took a swim a couple of times but ultimately finished in third for a nice t-shirt!

We took the line to the right through the rapids and made it most of the way before getting hung up. Then after I pushed us off and we tried to jump back in we got unbalanced and went over again. My aunt has the whole sequence in gruesome frame by frame glory on her camera, I will post the pictures when I get them.

I also jammed my thumb back pretty hard at the portage and had trouble gripping the paddle for the second half of the race but we still managed to stay pretty strong, mostly thanks to my brother. Our second mishap occured while we were passing another boat and got jammed against a log while they took the inside route.

In any case, a second and a third in two weeks of racing is nothing to sneeze at I suppose.

EDIT: Pictures from the race photographer starting here... the sequence is about 5-6 pictures long, I've seen my aunt's shots, and they are definitly better.


Apr 4, 2008

Watch the Hock!

The race starts behind CT Golf Land, it's pretty easy to find on RT 30 in Vernon.

View Larger Map

The best viewing is probably going to be at the rapids behind Beacon Light, and you should be able to park in the large parking lot and follow the crowd down the trail to the river. The action will start there within 10 minutes of the race start.

View Larger Map

Race finish is behind the McDonalds in East Hartford...

View Larger Map


Rock the Hock

Sunday starting at 11:30, I hope to be racing the Hockanum river starting in Vernon. High stakes, my uncle and cousin are racing in my division this year since he's finally out of the junior class having turned 16. It's raining today (Good), and it's supposed to be sunny on race day (Also Good). Let's hope for lots of water and a beautiful day!


Apr 3, 2008

Rear brake

My wheel came in, but it's been such a crazy week that I haven't had time to even pick up the other parts that I need in order to start building it.

I'll need to swap over my cassette and then install the brake much like I did the front wheel. Not a lot of work, but I just haven't had time to do much of anything. At least my foot is starting to feel better at this point, the pain has moved up into my ankle a bit. The good news is that it's probably not anything serious from what I can tell.


Apr 2, 2008

Ouch redux

I'm still hurting quite a bit from my Monday night volleyball games. I didn't post the results yet, but they were very good, 3-0 in the games and I played really well.

Unfortunately, the next morning my foot was very sore and I've been having a lot of pain walking ever since. I remember a bit of a twinge during the game, but it didn't hurt badly at all until I woke up the next morning. It's a bit better today, I'm hoping it will continue to improve in the next few days and ultimately go away...


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