Monday, July 29, 2013

Camp Recap; Fitness Push; Dopey Training

CAMP.  After a week in the Georgia heat, I was ready to pick up the boy from Camp Twitch & Shout and get back home.  The information I got at drop-off indicated that the Closing Ceremonies started at 9:30 AM on Friday, so I was at camp by 9:10.  But this is what greeted me:


I think they meant to say that they opened the gates at 9:30, because I didn't move an inch from 9:10 until 9:30, at which point everything opened up.


Taking the turn towards camp.

Entering camp!

After signing myself in (and Teddy out), I was directed to grab a seat in the gym.  They played a slideshow as we waited and it started to get emotional.  After 45 minutes of slideshow, the gym was now packed with parents and siblings waiting for their campers.  Finally, campers started arriving (all in new bright yellow camp T-shirts).  If felt like Ted was in the last group to enter.  He looked good, but very tired.  I saw him, but he didn't see me (although he was trying to find me in the crowd.  We next heard from the main councilors and the camp director; kids who had been all 5 years were given a pijn for their lanyard; two councilors were recognized for being uber cool; and each cabin got up and announced their one word that described camp.  At this point, I was a total mess.  It was also at this point, that Teddy finally saw me.  He was beaming!  They sang one more camp song and then camp was over.  Ted and I found one another in the sea of people; grabbed his bag and made our way to the car.  I asked him along the way if he was ever homesick.  He answered: "No!  but I may be camp-sick when we get home."  He loved camp; didn't stop talking about it for the rest of the day (which involved 2 two hour car rides and a three hour flight).  He is already planning on going back next year - it was truly magical.  And for anyone who knows him, this shouldn't be a surprise - every councilor that saw us leaving ran up and asked for "one last hug" and then turned to me and told me how awesome he was.  

Friday was a long (and emotional) day.  But a good day.  Puts everything into perspective.  

Happy Camper

FITNESS PUSH.  While down in Georgia, I was pretty good on the eating side and really good on the exercise - that's what happened when you are alone in a strange place.  For the most part, I did well - very little snacking and only two (maybe three) things I regret.  On the exercise front - I ran 5 miles the first day and quickly realized that it was simply too hot to run.  Instead, I hit the elliptical machine in the fitness room twice a day (usually 45 minutes in the morning and an hour at night).  By the end of the week, my arms and chest were sore and my pants were loose.  I was sure I had lost weight.  But alas, it was not to be.  Turns out I gained about 3 pounds.  Oddly (and maybe I am just fooling myself here) I think I gained some upper body strength (from the elliptical machine) and am in position to have a good week or two of solid weight loss.  I've set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight by September 16th and that goal is almost (ALMOST) in jeopardy.  If I can pull off a few good weeks in a row, I might be able to make it.  Again, may be fooling myself, but I still think I can do it.  

DOPEY TRAINING.  The official training mileage is still on the low side (longest run thus far is 5 miles) so I am continuing with my normal training (3 mid-week runs of 4-5 miles and a 10 mile weekend run) until the official training program hits 11 miles in early September.  Still feeling strong when running.  

GOALS FOR THE WEEK.
3 Mid-week runs
1 Bike ride
10 mile weekend run
Lose 2 pounds.

Let's hit this...


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Camp Twitch and Shout

So the whole point or running the Dopey Challenge is to raise money for the Tourettes Association.  My youngest son, we'll call him "Teddy" (because that's his name), has Tourettes.  After signing up with Team-TSA (the fundraising arm of the Tourettes Association), we started looking at some of the resources they put out.  Teddy was immediately drawn to their kids-produced monthly newsletter, That Darn Tic.  Many of the articles in the newsletter talked about this magical camp in Georgia, Camp Twitch and Shout.

We did some research, and quickly learned that camp is about 20 minutes from UGA, my home from 1996 - 1999.  We talked about it and Teddy was really psyched to go, so we bit the bullet and signed him up.  Camp runs from Sunday afternoon to Friday morning (short week), so I decided to bring work with me and hang out for the week.  What follows is a recap of our camp drop-off adventure (although I am sure I cannot do it justice).

We were flying out of Boston early on Sunday morning, so we left Maine Saturday night and spent the night at a hotel near the airport so we didn't have to get up at 3 in the morning.  Instead, we got the sleep in . . . until 5!  We took the shuttle to the airport and checked our bags.




The flight was smooth (thanks Dr. Connolly!) and I was surprised at how quickly we were able to get our bags and then the rental car.  By 10:30, we were on our way to Athens for a little tour. 


The famous Arch (which Teddy thought was "too small to be a symbol for an entire university")

Sanford Stadium

After a quick stop for swimming goggles and a flashlight, we were on the road to Winder.  Throughout the day, I would ask Ted, "So are you more nervous than excited or more excited than nervous?"  In Boston, he was "100% excited and 0% nervous."  On the ride from Athens to Winder, it had shifted to "80% excited and 20% nervous."  

We started seeing councilors directing us to a parking lot and as soon as we parked, we were me by a Boy Scout who offered to help with our bags.  We made our way down to a huge gym where they were registering everyone.  There were tons of kids there - all in the 8-12 year old range and it was the first time Teddy saw someone else tic.  The councilors were uber excited and friendly.  They were dressed in crazy colorful outfits and were going out of their way to interact with kids.  First stop: ID Card.


Then we had the lice check (nailed it!), met the nurse (she was very sweet); and then had a camp picture taken.  When all that was done, a councilor walked us down to the cabin, where the Boy Scouts had already delivered Ted's bag.  The cabin houses 10 campers and (I think) 5 councilors.  It was very nice and well laid out.  We took a few minutes to unpack and make the bed:

And then he turned to me and said, "Ok, I'll see you later."  And that was it.  There were kids and councilors all around (as well as other parents) but it was clear - he wanted nothing to do with me.  He was listening to a councilor talk about how much swimming they were going to do and talking about archery and the ropes course.  I asked him if he wanted me to stay for a few minutes, but he wanted none of that.  "Just go, dad"  So I left.

All and all the drop off went smoothly.  It was, to be honest, I little emotional.  Not because I was leaving the boy for the week, but because of all of the excitement in the air.  It was so cool to see how pumped the councilors were and it was cool to see other kids Teddy can relate to.  I am sure there will be times this week that he is homesick, but I think he is in his element and I see this as an annual pilgrimage for years to come.





Monday, July 8, 2013

Off the wagon (or on the wagon)

I was never really sure if it was good to be ON the wagon and bad when you fell OFF the wagon or the other way around.  In any case, I didn't really do myself proud over the past week or so.  The week after the Bands on the Run Half Marathon was good running-wise (3 miles on Monday, 4 on Wednesday, 4 on Friday, 7 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday), but not so good on the food-front - too much snacking, a few too many beers.  Then last week was nearly a total loss.  I ran on Monday (4 miles) and Wednesday (4 miles).  That's it.  It was super hot and then we headed for the island Wednesday afternoon, returning on Saturday.  I suppose I could have run on Sunday, but the heat and humidity really took a toll - it was all I could do to clean and get ready for the week - the thought of running was just too much.  Those feelings carried through this morning as I slept in in the comfort of the little AC unit in our bedroom.  Ahhhh.

The Dopey Challenge Training Schedule started last week (of course) but I hope to use this week's training schedule as motivation to suck it up, get out there, and get the miles in.  Plus, I think the heat is supposed to break a little this week.

So . . . once again - this week's goals:

Run three times (3 miles, 4 miles, 5 miles) and a long weekend run.
EAT BETTER
That is all.

J.

Here is a picture of getting out to the island - a place where there is nothing to do but, sleep, eat, drink and swim (and by swim I mean, jump off the dock and float around - nothing aerobic).