The Good Times Are Not Over Yet

The coming weeks are full of excitement in the Box house. I work two more shifts, and then I’m off for almost two weeks via trades and vacation. So we’re going to live it up. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Hotter’N Hell 50 – It’s finally here! Jenny and I are heading to Wichita Falls Friday afternoon and having dinner with some of my cousins. Then we’ll get up early Saturday morning with Chuck and Jeff for the Hotter’N Hell race. Our 27-mile Goatneck warm-up race last month went great. Due to various issues, I haven’t been able to do any rides longer than 35 miles, but Jenny has done 40, and I’m confident we can finish the 50-miler on Saturday. We launch at 7:05am and hope to finish by 10:30am, averaging 15-16 mph.
  2. Beach Trip? – This is still in the discussion stage, but we might try an overnight trip to the beach with the boys on Sunday to somewhere on the Texas Gulf Coast, probably Galveston. This trip has two main purposes – 1) a test flight with both the boys in their car seats to prep for Disney World, and 2) to let them experience the ocean for the first time. The flights to Hobby are so open that we could each have our own row, the hotels are cheap, and the beaches shouldn’t be crowded.
  3. Back to School – The boys are off school this week, and they return next Tuesday. Jonathan is getting new teachers, but Brenden will keep the same one he had this summer. I guess technically Brenden will be in pre-K? Jenny starts her final prereq for nursing school on Monday, a microbiology class with lab that she’s really excited about. Like before, she’ll be in class Monday and Wednesday nights. In a related note, both boys will get promoted to new classrooms at church as well. Jonathan moves from the blue hall to the green hall. Brenden moves from the green hall to Zone Jr. Weird!
  4. US Open Trip – My mom, aunt Kathy, and I are flying to New York a week from Thursday for the US Open Tennis Championships. We have tickets for three night sessions and two day sessions, which should consist of second- and third-round action. Mom and I went to the Open in 2006 and had a blast even though the entire second day got rained out. Kathy is a big tennis fan like us, and we are thrilled at the chance to return for this year’s tournament. I hope to catch Clijsters, Sharapova, Djokovic, and Federer, among others. I also hope to sneak in a morning run in Mecca, aka Central Park (we’re staying just to the south), with the countless other runners and cyclists who work out there. Many thanks to my loving and patient wife Jenny for watching the hooligans for the weekend while I go play! (don’t feel too badly for her – I’m making it up to her in November when she goes to Vegas on a girls’ trip)
  5. Refocus on Running – After the bike race, I’ll need to shift my focus back toward running as I prepare for my next footrace, the Whispering Pines 25k trail run at Tyler State Park. It’s been difficult to run much this summer due to the heat, a whiny hip flexor, and most of all my cycling for Hotter’N Hell. But I just did an eight-miler on Friday with no pain anywhere, so I have hope. The temperature is dropping. My hip is growing stronger and tougher. If I can increase my long run by about 1 mile per week between now and October 13, I should be ready to rock.