Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Independence Day Weekend for Clan Kennedy

An enjoyable weekend in the Kennedy household over the long 4th of July weekend, though of course keeping three boys tied up over the summer is always a challenge! We managed a decent of free time for Kirsten (because she sho’ as heck don’t get much during the week), activities with the boys, and lo’ and behold, Kirsten and I even managed an hour-long conversation with only minor interruptions from the same-said boys!

Friday afternoon I managed to peel out of the office around 1400 and head for Elkmont, AL to put in a long run on the Richard Martin Trail, a rails-to-trail conversion and newly-designated National Recreation Trail. I had been meaning to explore it and log some miles, but the loss is mine, for it is a great piece of trail. I got started in mid-afternoon, parking at the railway depot right in Elkmont and using that as my personal aid station. The north section is about 4.6mi one-way, south section about 5.6mi one-way (10.2 mi total), with mileage markers every ½ mile in the path. The surface is fairly smooth crushed gravel the whole way, very run-able as I cranked out 8:30/mile pace most of the training session. Though I started in road shoes (NB904), got a few too many small, sharp stones in my foot, so flipped to a pair of Sportiva Wildcats after 90min and was comfortable rest of the evening. I managed to log about 33 miles, pushing the final few miles in the dark among the fireflies and night sounds.

Alas, I rarely sleep well after such an effort, so suffered a restless ‘night’ of sleep and gave up around 0530 on Saturday morning. So made a light breakfast and some coffee, read the newspaper and caught up on a little email, all before Matthew (my oldest) rose at 0615. After getting him a little breakfast, we drove up to north Huntsville and explored some of the Land Trust’s Wade Mountain Preserve for a few hours. After wearing him down somewhat, treated him to a special breakfast at IHOP back in central Huntsville, watching him scarf pancakes and getting a preview of what my monthly food bill will look like when all three of our boys are teenagers, i.e. probably higher than our mortgage! The kind waitress simply placed a full carafe of coffee on the table to help me out.

Matthew and I got home around 1100, and for a moment it was looking like I might take a little nap before digging into afternoon chores. But then Andy (our middle son) asks, “Daddy, can you take us to the waterslides at Southern Adventures?” So how can Dad possibly say no? So Kirsten and I quickly got all three boys into swim trunks and packed some snacks/towels and headed out. The season passes for this place are worth every dime! Luckily the park has a shady area for parents to sit and keep an eye on their progeny, so I parked there with a big bottle of iced green tea in an uncomfortable chair. And despite said tea, I dozed off after 45min, only to be awakened a few minutes (or was it an hour?) by a dripping child needing to go to the bathroom. So after a few hours there, the boys were sufficiently bored with the slides for one day and we went home. Once there, Kirsten was in her studio working on some new pieces. Matt and I mowed the front lawn and took care of other yard work before finally settling down late afternoon to prepare dinner and sit on my arse for a little bit.

Sunday morning was church time, and I got in a solid 90min tempo run in the early afternoon. Once home, I helped Matthew mow the back yard, then did math workbooks with the boys until dinner. We celebrated the 4th with a bunch of fireworks out in the street once the sun went down, managed to get the boys wound down and into bed around 2300.

Monday was a Federal holiday, so basically an extra Saturday for me! Got the boys up around 0700 and went to breakfast at Bruegger’s followed by our typical exercise routine at the local YMCA, plus a chance to practice headstands. Our you noticing the trend of wearing these boys down?! Did a little grocery shopping to help Kirsten, got Matthew a much needed summer haircut, and home late morning. I changed up a got in my first full class at Crossfit-Huntsville (this place is going to be kicking my tail for many months to come). Got home early afternoon and prepped the evening’s dinner before taking in a much-needed massage with Kim Susor to work on trashed muscles from many miles of running. Cooked dinner for my crew, let the boys watch a movie so Kirsten and I could take (how else do you think we could manage the feat of a 1-hr conversation?) and managed to get the boys to sleep around 2200.

Don’t even ask me what’s going on next weekend, I ain’t got that far yet!