Sunday, February 26, 2012

Birthday X 3

 One of the great things about February is that Lucas and Zach and Preston all have birthdays with in 5 days of each other.  I love the family party in February!  This year we did it at mom and Don's.  We had yummy pizza rolls, veggies and the AWESOMEST star wars cup cakes ever!  Sinda made all of the Darth Vader's and light sabers by hand!  It was a lot of fun and I have to say everyone knew that Lego's would go over well with these 3 boys!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Zion Country Early Spring Century 2012

February 25th 2012 was the Zion Country Early Spring Century put on by Bike 2 Bike. Last year, after the Tierra Bella Century, ULCER century, and Cache Valley Century, the season started wearing down, and in typical Mike style, I started putting on weight again and feeling demotivated. I knew I had to pick a century ride and get rigistered, and this one looked good. It was a bit of a stretch, because of birthdays around the same time in the family, but my loving wife consented and understood my need, and so I signed up. This gave me months to fantasize, map the ride, "fly" it in Google Earth, and read every blog posting anyone out there ever wrote about it, thus surviving the winter as I sometimes commuted in the cold and other times endured basement penance on my rollers (which, btw, is way more fun than a fixed trainer, so long as you don't mind falling over when you get distracted, which happens fairly regularly, and your children can sleep through the sound of the house reverberating as the roller sends vibrations through the floor in your sprint intervals). During this time, one by one, my dad, Brian (my college bud), and my bros Danny and Paul signed up to go too - the more the merrier!

To make a long story short, registration for the ride gave me the motivation I needed to hold back and not stuff myself to the point of stretch marks on Thanksgiving, nor to eat chocolate till it's oozing out through my pores over Christmas, and to keep training through the winter. The net result was that I went into February weighing the same as I did at the beginning of August, and just as fit. Had some great rides too - solo ride from Hurricane to Toquerville, Quail Creek and around Sand Hollow; Antelope Island with bros and dad, North Ogden Pass and Trappers Loop with Brian and Drew - it was GREAT! If you think riding in the cold is no fun, you just haven't dressed right - it doesn't have to be any less comfortable than skiing. LOVED it!-thanks in no small part to Santa and my wife who gave me sweet barrier clothes for Christmas, and then adding later the thermal jersey from my Dad - thanks all of you! I love organized rides, in no small part because, in addition to the party on bikes that is ride day, you get all the anticipation and all the awesome training rides leading up to it.

So ride week approached and I admit, I pretty much tossed dieting to the wind and ate what I wanted for two weeks straight - Cafe Rio Baby! and apple fritters, and chocolate chip cookies - mmmmmm...I called it Extreme Carb Loading. Put that together with a soccer tournament for Tyler in Mesquite the week before the ride, and playing catch-up with woodwork the week of the ride, and I pretty much didn't train for two weeks straight before the ride and put back on two pounds. And unbeknownst to me at the time, I picked up a cold virus which had me in the pre-symptoms weakness stage of the cold on ride day...

I enjoyed the drive down with Paul, the pizza dinner with my parents, Danny, and Melanie, and a good night's rest before the ride. Ride day dawned sunny and brisk- gotta love the desert where it can be 30 degrees in the morning and 70 in the afternoon. Otherwise, we couldn't have asked for better weather for the ride. The hill up out of Hurricane was awesome, and then we cruised up to the park entrance. Pacelines are wonderful things, and we were having a great time. The rest stops were good - plenty of granola bars, candy and nuts and raisins, fig newton bars (the fig bars were my favorite rest stop food on this ride) and sports drinks.
The ride organizers did a fine job painting arrows at turns and having rest stops well-run. My only complaint is that "lunch" was along the ride, at the 2nd rest stop. It was Subway sandwiches, which is great, but I prefer to eat lighter energy foods till the ride is over and have lunch later at the end of the ride but that wasn't an option. Instead, we could pay extra for a post-ride BBQ which was just OK. It seemed like a way of milking a little extra $ from the participants rather than just having one post-ride meal included in the cost of registration like the other rides I've done. I would have preferred to have the option of my subway sandwich at the end of the ride. Like I say, that's my only complaint about the ride. I thought that Bike 2 Bike did a good job, and hope to attend more of their events. If only the Heber Valley Century wasn't so close to my wedding anniversary. I can just hear the conversation now if I ever register for that one: "I promise, I love you more than my bike, but I have to train..." Yeah, probably best I don't register for that one any time soon unless my wife wants to join me on the ride...hmm...I think, what with Tour de Cure and RACER Century coming up together this year, she's spoiling me rotten already! I'm SO excited! She seriously rocks!

The ride was beautiful too - sunny, gorgeous, and spectacular scenery as you would expect near Zions. It was just a great ride! By lunch it was warm enough to shed the thermal jersey but I'm not crazy - I kept the leg warmers on. We rode down (haha ok up and down, up and down, and then up and down some more) into St. George. It was fun to be cheered on by Brian's family as we passed his parents' winter home. By this point I was starting to tire (thanks to the cold, I now see), and Danny got way ahead on the ride back up through Washington. Paul rode ahead to catch him and missed a turn. I called Paul's phone and brought him back, but we didn't know which way Danny had gone. After about 10-15 minutes we decided to trek ahead the right way and hope we found him, so we got back on our way. Sure enough, we found him at the next rest stop, feeling his oats about smoking us ;) and giving the ride organizer helpful advice about arrows that are hard to see.

At this point, all that was left was to ride along Sand Hollow and back into Hurricane. Paul and Danny were tired of waiting for my sick butt, and ditched us to stretch their legs out a little. We hit the last cat.5 hill up on the east side of Sand Hollow, at which point Dad said not to worry about leaving him, and then left me too. Thanks again, Brian, for the company. I'm really glad I had you to hang with as I limped along for the last 10 miles or so. I dropped my leg warmers down around my ankles - didn't want to stop, despite the 80's aerobic dancer look - and kept on my way.

I was surprised to get to the end of the ride and see Dad there, but no Danny and Paul - apparently they were directed on a detour by mistake - HA HA HA SERVES YOU RIGHT, SHOWOFFS! You're lucky I had A COLD! This ride was a good one. Much harder than the ULCER - not quite as hard as the Tierra Bella, though the amount of climbing was similar, just spread throughout the ride. It wouldn't have been quite so challenging if not for the cold virus, so I do have a feeling of wanting to do it again this time, but there aren't a lot of century rides in February to choose from, so maybe I actually will.
Paul and I enjoyed a nice ride home, and then all that was left was to milk the post ride euphoria to the max by sharing photos and videos, buying the pictures from Zazoosh, picking out music, and putting together the ride video/slideshow. Thanks again to Danny, Paul, Dad, and Brian for the great ride, to Bike 2 Bike for putting it together, to Hurricane and neighbors for permitting the swarm of bikes, and to Mom, Melanie, Clerie, Erin, and Liz - the wives who so lovingly enabled us to indulge our obsession and ride!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Lucas!

 I can't believe that my little Lucas is 6!!! He is the cutest, sweetest kid!  My delivery with him was so easy that Mike called him our bonus baby....and he's still that easy and fun.  This year for his party we had a Ninjago party.  He wanted a Green Ninja cake and Mike taught all of them Ninja moves and they all took the path of the Ninja!  I love little kids parties...they are so easy!!  Happy Birthday Lucas Joesph Staten!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidents Cup/Ice Breakers Tournaments!

It's Presidents day weekend so that means soccer tourney time!!  This year Ty played in the Presidents Cup with his team and in the Ice Breakers Tournament with the U14 Outlaws.  Presidents cup was in Mesquite and Ice Breakers was in St. George.  So we stayed at Grandma and Grandpa Staten's house again.

 Friday and Saturday Ty played with his team.  They had fun, got killed, and were done on Saturday afternoon!    BUT between games on Friday we took the kids to see Star Wars Episode 1 3D!  So win or lose everyone was happy!

On Saturday afternoon and again on Monday Ty played with the Outlaws.  He had so much fun!  And I had so much fun watching him play with them!  They work so well together as a team and Ty fit right in.....he's hoping to go there come spring:)

We did several bike rides....of course:) We did a little ride with the boys along a paved trail, Mike and I went on a Mtn. Bike ride at the Bear paw poppy trail.  That was AWESOME!  I loved it!!!  Then we rode again with the boys to a park where we did yoga on a balance beam and had fun jumping out of the swings:)  And then on Monday we took the boys and Grandpa and rode the Anasazi Trail.  It was a great ride!  It's funny to see the different riding styles that my kids have.  Isaac will burn up a hill but is VERY cautious going down.  Lucas struggles going up (Ok to his credit everyone else has gears and he doesn't....) but is a speed demon going down!  Love it!

Grandma also had a little birthday party for Lucas:)

It was a great weekend and by the time we were heading home we were all VERY tired!