Jul 06

Catching Up

On Saturday, Jennie and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary.  On Friday night, we ordered Jet’s Pizza for dinner.  It has become our annual tradition because for our rehearsal dinner we had Jet’s Pizza and an ice cream sundae bar at a park.

We went out for dinner on Saturday night and then came home and celebrated with a bottle of Black Star Farms Bedazzled.

2011-07-02 20.50.39

We had a super relaxing 4th of July weekend. We toyed around with the idea of going Up North but decided to just hang around.  It was the right choice.  It actually felt like a restful vacation.

I’m a closet bookworm.  Always have been.  Back to the 5th grade when my mom was taking away Stephen King books from me because she didn’t think they were appropriate for a 5th grader (and they probably weren’t – haha).  Any ways, I started reading Room on Friday on the recommendation of The Redhead.  Took 10% (ever since I got a Kindle my book progress has been in % instead of pages) to get hooked but now I’ve only got about 8% left.  Hopefully I’ll knock it out tonight.

2011-07-04 13.53.31

On the 4th, we had a cookout at my Grandpa’s house with my mom, brother and his girlfriend.  It gave Bailey a chance for his first ever experience with swimming.  He absolutely loved it. He needed some encouragement getting in the pool, but once in he didn’t want to get out.  Enjoy.

That night we walked up to the park for the fireworks.  Bailey handled them like a champ! He wasn’t startled by them at all.  We weren’t sure how he would do, so rather than stake out a spot and sit and watch them, we just walked around with him.  He did great with all the noise and crowds.

image image
Bailey has the attention span of MattyO. All he wanted to do was play in the fountain.

I switched up my training a bit and took my off day on Monday instead of Tuesday so that I could enjoy the relaxing weekend even more.


We have been doing yoga like fiends (hence the Yogi picture).  The Funky Buddah yoga studio closed for two weeks for the holiday and to expand their studio. While they are closed they have been doing free outdoor yoga everyday at various parks.  Jennie is guru at finding free (or cheap) yoga sessions around Grand Rapids.  We hit it up on Monday morning and then again on Tuesday and are planning on another session tomorrow afternoon.  Can you say core work?

I’m absolutely loving the Tour de France coverage on Versus.  The commercials are getting a bit ridiculous though (no, I do not want to try RipFire) so I usually pause it for 20 minutes so I can fast forward through commercials. 

I’m rooting for Garmin-Cervelo and loving that they are still in the yellow jersey.  I’d be happy if Andy Schleck gets his win this year though.

Currently toying with the idea of changing hotels for IMWI.  In fact, we are currently double booked.  The options are a regular hotel room less than 1 mile from the race site or a hotel suite (including kitchen & dining area) 6 miles from the race site.  Even though it is further away, it is in the opposite direction of all the race course so it should be easy to navigate to and from the race as the roads should all be open.  We are currently leaning towards the hotel suite simply so we don’t have to eat out for every meal which my body isn’t used to doing.

I had planned on racing a sprint triathlon on the 16th as part of My Team Triumph, a group that provides individuals with disabilities the chance to race a triathlon.  However, my application got lost somewhere and it doesn’t look like they have any more opening this year. 

Instead, I’m thinking of doing the Holland Hundred ride.

Otherwise, training has been going great.  I am completely over my struggles and have been knocking out my workouts without any problems.  I’ve just had a streak of workouts that have been fun to start and felt good the entire time.  I’m hoping this feeling sticks around.

Thanks for reading!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/07/06/catching-up


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  1. Annie

    Sounds like an awesome weekend! I love the video of Bailey. What camera are you using? My only advice on the hotel is for Jennie. As a spectator is was nice to have our hotel close by to go charge phones, go to the bathroom and store signs, chairs ect for the run portion of the race. I guess it depends on what is around the area where she will be. Plus, it will be a shorter walk for you after your race 🙂
    Annie recently posted..Random thoughts early in the morning.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      The camera is a Olympus 790sw which they don’t make anymore (it is about 3 years old). They replaced it with the Olympus Tough line of cameras though – water proof, drop proof, basically indestructible.

      Totally taking Jennie into consideration for the hotel. If the weather is nice, there is a bike path that runs basically from the hotel to race site, so she could potentially get around that way on race day if she is up to it. Also, IMWI is unique (from what I have heard) because the transition area (at Monona Terrace) is completely indoors and has lots of places for spectators to sit and use the restrooms. We have until 2 weeks before race day to make a decision.

  2. Emily

    I have a black lab named Bailey! But she’s a total chicken and refuses to swim. Dumb.

    Currently catching up on TDF stages. I watch them streaming live at work (don’t tell my boss) but then enjoy winding down in the evening when I can actually pay attention. I’m also a huge Garmin-Cervelo fan. I don’t have a GC fave, but I wouldn’t be sad if Andy Schleck pulled it out…
    Emily recently posted..All Rested Up + Another Sandwich

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I work from home so I have the TV next to my computer on my desk 🙂 I won’t tell your boss if you don’t tell mine. The sad thing is that I am rewatching today’s stage now. haha

      A lab that doesn’t swim? I’ve never heard of such a thing!

  3. Heather

    Sounds like a fun weekend! Bailey is a champ! Awesome job on the workouts, you are going to ROCK IMWI!

  4. Matt Oravec

    Dang man, he doesn’t stop swimming does he?

    Frank forgot to use his back legs this year, so when we put him in the lake, his rear legs were sticking out of the water by his head… it was priceless.

    I have learned that sometimes its best to jossle the schedule a bit to accomodate life. That is the only thing that has been keeping me sane lately haha.
    Matt Oravec recently posted..Where you at?

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      No kidding. I’d be sort of worried about getting him in the big lake for fear that he would just take off and end up in Canada. haha

      Love the pics of Frankie with his life jacket!

      How far can you go on your boat? You could do an adventure from Sandusky to Lake Ontario and up to Montreal, all the way to Mont Tremblant next August. That would be epic! haha

  5. Matt Smith

    Bailey is such a cool dog, and what a great swimmer he is! That’s cool that he handled the fireworks well too. Maglee was in my lap when they were being shot off on Monday night. I’m rooting for Andy too!
    Matt Smith recently posted..Steelhead, Come And Get Some!

  6. Lisa

    My dogs are NOT fans of fireworks. You’re lucky that your dog wasn’t bothered.
    Lisa recently posted..Mid-week meanderings

  7. Elizabeth

    Glad you hear you had a restful weekend and what seems to be a great anniversary! Jet’s Pizza – there is nothing better. I am from Chattanooga, TN and someone finally opened a Jet’s here – and know it’s become a one a month habit. We train to eat down here 🙂
    Elizabeth recently posted..The countdown has begun…..

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Thanks! We actually just recently got a Jet’s Pizza close by. The one we used 6 years ago was the first one on the West Side of Michigan (lot’s on the East Side though). We knew that one in our neighborhood would be a huge hit. Now that it is open, I swear it gets more business than all the other places. It is probably a monthly habit here too now 🙂

  8. Jeff Irvin

    Bailey is an awesome dog! Hey go google “Dock Dogs” … they had this setup downtown this weekend and we went and hung out. IT was a lot of fun – we took the pugs too. Bailey would probably love it!

    I use the Kindle app on the ipad and am hooked too. Just blowing through book after book!

    I am a stage behind on the tour, going to jump on the trainer after work and catch up. Seriously feel like I am fast forwarding through the commercials more than actually watching.
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Movies, Books, Interviews, and more …

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Those Dock Dogs are crazy. Bailey’s issue so far is the actual getting in the water. He sort of fell in my accident the first time and was a little skiddish after that. With Bailey’s speed and long legs though, he could be awesome at it.

  9. Jon

    Natural born swimmer! And he won’t be scared of the fireworks because he has the German Shorthair in him. Natural born hunting dog, and not scared of gunshots. Has he ever pointed?

    Not sure who I want to win the Tour. I do want someone on Garmin Cervelo to take the Green Jersey.

    Happy Anniversary to you guys!
    Jon recently posted..19 + 19 + Pigs = ???

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Never thought about the fireworks correlating to gun shots. Makes total sense. As for pointing, not sure how “pointing” is defined but he is super vigilant. He sits at the front door like a statue just keeping an eye on things.

      I think the only “problem” with GC taking the green jersey is that they don’t seem to have a definite rider they are backing at this point. It could go to either Thor or Tyler and they almost need to get behind one of them eventually. As long as Contador doesn’t win, I’ll be happy.

      I totally need to make sure that the trip to Paris I owe Jennie is in July so that I have a chance to catch a stage or two. Every year I watch the race and the scenes of the countryside and it make me want to go there more and more.

  10. Colleen

    Can I just thank you for getting video under water of Bailey swimming. That’s by far my favorite thing about dogs swimming! I think he and Charlie would get along well – she’s got Matt’s attention span and LOVES the water! 🙂

    Congrats on your anniversary again! Too funny that we share it!

    And I love hearing that you are over the wall! Keep plugging away!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      The underwater video turned out much better than I thought it would. Is it sad that we have had an underwater camera all this time and I have never recorded myself for a stroke analysis, but bust it out when the dog is in the water? haha

      I couldn’t think of a better couple to be anniversary buddies with than you and Tom. DC Rainmaker (http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2011/07/today.html) just got married on the 2nd of this year as well. He’s 6 years behind, but still picked a great day!

      Thanks again for all your advice and motivation to get me over the wall. I couldn’t do it without you and the rest of my blog family.

  11. BDD

    Happy Anniversary

    Want a dog more now

    TdF is all I have on now, love it
    BDD recently posted..JCC Independence Triathlon – Aquabike Race Report

  12. Morgan

    Great weekend! I love how schmoopy you two are, I hope Spike and I are like that 6 years later.

    Room def takes a few to get in to because of the way it’s written but once things start to pick up there’s no turning back!

    That street is my favorite in G.R. and I made sure to run up into that balloon/flag thing the last time I ran there.

    Good luck on the hundo ride!
    Morgan recently posted..3 Things Thursday

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I have no doubt you and Spike will be forever Schmoopy. You two were made for each other. 🙂

      I finished up Room. Sort of had the ending figured out, but I still enjoyed it. The way it was written definitely took some getting used to. Reminded me of reading Forrest Gump or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which are both written in more of a spoken word style than written word. Thanks for the recommendation! Now I have to find something else to occupy my time.

      The balloon/flag thing is supposed to be sails on a boat, but no one can actually figure out what they are, so I think the artist failed – haha. I won’t even say what one of my co-workers think they look like – this is a family blog after all.

  13. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    Today was the first day that I struggled mentally with my training. I know I’m not putting in the amount of time as you just yet but today it got to me. The 3400y of swimming should have been nothing but I felt like I was at the pool forever.

    Bailey rocks. That is a good dog for sure. Maybe I should keep watching his video and my swim won’t be so bad.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Strength Training For Endurance Athletes

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Not pulling the same amount of time? I don’t know about that. I see your workouts on Twitter and wonder which Fall IM you are secretly training for! 🙂

      Swimming just is that way sometimes. For me, it is usually that I am thinking about it too much and my stroke goes to hell. I just have to zone out, ignore my times, and do drills. Then I eventually start to focus on slow, smooth strokes (TWSS, I know). And just remember, you just said “3400y should have been nothing”. Do you realize how crazy that must sound to a non-triathlete/swimmer?? You rock!

      1. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

        I wonder which Fall IM coach has me working towards as well. I emailed her that on Monday I would be traveling to an from Houston so I needed that day off. Today was to be an off day and instead I am heading back to the pool for some more swimming. I will say though that I feel rejuvenated this morning from not getting up so early to get my workout in.

        And yes, 3400y sounds absurd doesn’t it? I mean even to me a year ago 3400y might as well have been traverse the United States….HA !
        Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..My Athlete’s Plate

  14. Chris @ Tri4Success

    “didn’t think they were appropriate for a 5th grader” ….. yeah, that probably had something to do with why I read a lot of Stephen King back then.

    Lot of Garmin-Cervelo fans here and I’m one of them. Shame they don’t have a real GC threat. For that, I’m rooting on Cadel Evans. In other words, the TdF has been great for me so far!
    Chris @ Tri4Success recently posted..Past, Present, & Future at the Tech Park

  15. Derek

    Happy Anniversary!

    I need to get a room for IMWI ….might only stay Sat night?
    great work on maintainig the yoga…very impressive!


    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Thanks! Not sure if they are still requiring it, but a lot of the places in downtown Madison had a multi-night stay requirement. They might have dropped it as it gets closer to race date. If you are feeling adventurous (and have the gear), I tent camped last year when I volunteered.

  16. Mandy

    I love that pictures and videos! I am doing the same this weekend in teh river with my dad’s dog Kenny. I was going to post it on my blog too (honest, I am not a copy cat). I have the Olympus Tough, and I need it because I drop things a lot.

    SOOOO what is Bailey doing on July 24th? Think he would do the swim leg for me? 😉

    Sounds like you and Jenny had an awesome anniversary!

    Have fun on the Holland Hundred (yeah, you should do it)!
    Mandy recently posted..Thursday Randomness

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      “I drop things a lot.” As the guy for our company that has to deal with everyone’s broken computers and technology, I just have to hold my head in my hands… haha

      Bailey can’t do the swim leg for you because he can’t see the underwater cable. Although – check your email in a minute for a bonus picture. 🙂

  17. Kristin

    Happy Anniversary! Your dog is the cutest.

    Where is the hotel you’re considering? My only word of caution is that the town is truly electric during the race, and not being in the midst of it may make the experience a little less exciting, but that could also be relaxing depending on what type of race week you prefer. You were there last year so you likely know what I mean.
    Kristin recently posted..Cape Coddin’ It

  18. lindsay

    blairwitch video geeze. cut my vertigo some slack!

    i can only imagine how much this blog will turn into the kevin/jennie junior blog if/when there are mini-people brought into the world…

    glad you guys had a good time celebrating the anniversary!
    lindsay recently posted.."at least you’re trying!"

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