Monday, June 16, 2014

State Champion

Gavin ran in the USATF Nebraska Association meet this weekend. As many meets as he has won, he has yet to be a USATF state champion. He has done it at AAU - but not USATF. I was sure this would be his weekend - after all he was undefeated on the track coming into this meet.

I wasn't able to see him run Saturday for the 800m as I was in Lincoln with Sam for t-ball and the meet was on the north side of Omaha. I got the text that he came in second and knew immediately who had beat him. There is a kid that runs for Omaha that Gavin has gone up against in regional meets ever since he first started running the 1500. And this kid has beat him every.single.time. Gavin had beat him in preliminary meets this season, but this kid almost always pulls out a PR in the meets that matter.

So come Sunday, Gavin was motivated to win. We hadn't told him that this kid had been beating him since 2012, just that he had a slower PR. Gavin was nervous, but also confident in his abilities in the 1500 - he knows the distance is better suited to him than the 800m. We spent Saturday evening trying to discuss strategies, confusing the poor kid, and in the end just said "you know what you are doing. Run your own race."

Sunday was a beautiful day for running, without the crazy wind we had on Saturday. Gavin warmed up, and then had to rush to check in - they ended up starting the event 12 minutes early! They were running half an hour late the day before. At least he didn't sit around getting cold before his race.

I always stand on the 100m start line and Chad stands at the 1500m start line, halfway around the track from me. The biggest thing we had told him was to not look back - he has improved a lot of things in his running, but this is still a bad habit. I promised him that with the two of us on opposite sides of the track, we would communicate and let him know how close people were to him.

After the race, Gavin shared his strategy - he figured since the kid was a strong 800 runner, that he would go out fast, so Gavin wouldn't push the pace the first lap. When he passed me the first time, 200m into the race, he was right behind this kid, and I shouted at Gavin to just stay on his shoulder and not let him get away. 

About 350m into the race, Gavin must have realized the pace was a little slow, and passed him and started to pull away. He ran a nice steady race, and each time he passed me, I told him to hold his pace and form, that he was putting distance between himself and the kid behind him. When he crossed the line for the final lap, I saw him to pick it up a little more - and was a little worried he was going to burn out. By the time they reached the straightaway on the opposite side of the track, it looked like the kid in second was getting tired - but didn't want to underestimate the power of the final kick - Gavin has a lot of endurance, but less raw speed. I was just hoping he could hold on, and I had no concept of whether or not it was possible for this kid to close the gap if he went into a dead sprint or something. When Gavin passed me a final time, I could see the second place kid was still going to fight for it, so I told him he needed to GO! Just look forward and go. 

He did - running to a first place finish and a time of 5:19.44. In addition to a gold medal, and a spot on the podium, they gave all the first place finishers champion t shirts!

This is the only picture I got at the race. I was close to passing out at the end from all the yelling and not breathing going on for 5 minutes. We celebrated with ice cream on the way home!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

T-Ball time

Two posts in one week? You are welcome. Don't expect any more for two months :)

Today we had to divide and conquer with Chad taking Gavin to Omaha for the USATF state meet, and me taking Sam to his first t-ball game of the season. Y sports is really popular here in Lincoln, unlike in Johnston. The t-ball and soccer fields are awesome! The coach was also really good, this was the same format as i-9 league in Iowa with a half hour practice and a 25 minute game. Practice was very focused and they worked on fielding grounders, catching a ball in front of them, and catching a fly ball, then ran the bases, worked on throwing (with proper technique) and hitting.

After practice they played a quick game and got snacks and drinks. We were hoping to make it work to get to Omaha to see Gav race, but Sam's game ran a little over and Chad told us to stay home. Gavin ended up running 2:38.8 for 2nd place, was only about a second behind first place. He is bummed to not be the state champion, but he runs the 1500m tomorrow.

Here are some great pictures from Sam's game today.

Friday, June 13, 2014

We're Busy!

I keep setting goals to update this blog more frequently and time keeps slipping away from me. 

Spring season kept us busy - both kids played soccer with Capital Soccer Association, an awesome club that I am so happy came up first in google search when we moved to town. The coaches care as much about the kids as we did for the kids we coached in track. They really focus on technical skills and the kids have come a long way. Gavin is getting to an age where the soccer games are so intense - they are really fun to watch! Sam had a one hour a week session where they spend most of the time focusing on drills, and then 15-20 minutes scrimmage time. He has one more year (fall and spring) before he moves to a one practice / one game a week format. 

Gavin had one last tournament during Memorial Day weekend. All he needed to do was get through the weekend uninjured before turning our focus to peaking his training for track nationals at the end of July. In his second to last game, he went down funny on his knee trying to keep a ball in bounds. It instantly swelled up so off we went to the urgent care clinic. Fortunately it was just a sprain and he was only down for a week.


In running news, both boys participated in the Mayor's run where Gavin ran the mile twice, breaking 6 minutes for the first time in a road mile. Sam did an awesome job running his second mile race of the year in 11:24.

Gavin has been rocking his track meets. The last one he attended in Omaha he was the clear winner in the 800m (2:38.83) and 1500m (5:19.23). No one close to him. He is starting to get quite the fan club, a little girl came up to me after the 800m and said "was that your boy in front? He's really fast!"

He even got some good words from little brother "wow, Gav is pretty much the boss at running!"




Sam and I had a special project one weekend planting a container garden of veggies and herbs on the back deck. He had fun posing for the camera.


And last weekend Chad and Gavin ran a rainy hometown race. Check out Chad's race recap here. 




Next up - Sam starts t-ball this weekend and it's state track meet time!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sellers Boys at the State Farm Run

This morning the boys all ran at the State Farm race here in Lincoln. The little guys ran the mile and Chad ran the 10 mile.

This was Gavin's first race since cross country season; he's been running easy 3-4 times a week but hasn't done any speedwork since indoor training ended. 

Sam ran the 1k at the Iowa Games cross country meet last summer, and trained for this race by running around the block once, a 4 minute treadmill session and a 5 minute treadmill session. 

Despite warming temps this weekend, it was 28 degrees at the start of the race! I was worried about how Sam would hold up running the mile for the first time, and in not so nice conditions. Fortunately we were spared the typical Nebraska wind!

PhotoGetting ready - warm under layers are a must!

I mean - I rarely get a good shot of them together and this is too cute for words - in the van before the race

The race was at the State Farm complex in Lincoln and it was awesome that they opened up the cafeteria and restrooms for people to use and stay warm before the race. Sam and I stayed warm while Gav did a little warm up.

We headed to the starting line about 5 minutes before the start. Sam and I hung out in the middle while Gavin slipped in at the front. Sam complained about cold legs a little while we were waiting, but mostly he was a trooper - a lot better than I expected!

We took off and I stayed behind him. For a while this morning he was saying he didn't even want me to run with him, but Chad thought that was a bad idea. I'm glad I did though, as he kept checking to see where I was. For the most part he was able to jog at an easy pace and not go too fast, before we hit a quarter mile we had to take a little walk break. Shortly after that, we saw the bike coming towards us (the course was an out and back) and I kept my eyes peeled for Gavin. He was in the lead pack with two other boys! We also saw Chad cheering him on, and I was able to get his attention and he cheered for Sam too - that gave him a big boost.

Once we hit the turnaround, I told Sam we were half way done - I was a little worried I would hear "ONLY half way??" but he was in good spirits. We had a decent little uphill that we walked part of, and then to motivate him, I said "Sam, I bet you can pass that little kid ahead of us" - that got him back running again.

Gavin had finished the race - coming in 2nd!! 2nd over all out of 266 runners. Wow.

Thanks to Gav's soccer coach for getting this picture for me!

And then he came back to run Sam in. It was so cute when they saw each other, Sam asked him how he did and told him good job and Gavin was so supportive of Sam. I took off for the finish line to snap some pics.

If you extreme zoom in on this pic, the cheering look on Gavin's face is priceless - proud older brother

And if you zoom in on this one, Sam has a hell of a game face heading towards the finish

Check out that form

Clock time says 11:37, but his official chip time was 11:28
Chad taking off for the 10 mile

Chad wasn't happy with his race, but he came in under an hour for ten miles which sounds insane to me!

From there I ran by Panera to get some food in the boys while Chad ran to the soccer fields. Gavin had a soccer game at 11:30 so we had his gear in the car. He was pretty upset that he had to go to a game, but perked up after getting some real food in him. He ended up playing a great game, scoring a goal for his team! They won against Gretna. 

In short, a great start to the racing and soccer season, let's keep the wind away, but I could take some warmer temps!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's Been a While

You'd think with Chad not working, I'd have more time to write, but to be honest - being chained to a computer all day, the last thing I want to do when I get home is fire up the laptop.

So here is a rundown of the last few months.

Christmas in Des Moines - kids spent a couple days at Grandma Betsy's, then we were in Des Moines for a few days after Christmas. I was able to work out of the Johnston office and it was great to catch up with old friends and the kids friends.

January - Sam turned FIVE!! What? He wasn't already five? He is getting to be quite a handful. Super smart with a a sassy attitude. Most recently has asked if we could pay the school $10 to skip him to 2nd grade (he starts kindergarten this fall), is doing math at a first grade level and is bored at pre-school because they don't learn enough.

February - it was cold. We survived. Gavin played on a rec basketball league and loved it! The team was pretty rough, but by the last games he was making a basket or two each game. Gavin also played in a fun indoor soccer tournament in Gretna Valentine's weekend. 

March - it's still cold! Chad ran, and WON!! his first 50k race. The Stampede Run put on by Angry Cow Adventures in Roca, NE. It was 8 degrees out. He is amazing! We took an awesome ski trip to Steamboat Colorado over spring break. Pictures to come (promise). We've been back a week and this weather is seriously getting old. It was super cold for Thanksgiving and it's still super cold almost four months later. My kids are nuts they are so cooped up - it's been a rough weekend behavior wise, despite Chad taking them to the kids museum yesterday and out to lunch. Also in March, Chad helped organize the Leprechaun Chase in Des Moines.

Speaking of kids museum, the Lincoln Children's Museum is awesome. At Gavin's age, he is probably starting to get a little old for it, but I would say for ages 3 - 7, this place is great. There are so many fun, hands on things to do there. 

Here are some pictures from one of my cell phones since I happened to have it plugged in to the computer for another purpose. 

Kids with Grandma Betsy at Christmas
Bridie's cousin Taylor helping Sam with Lego's

Bridie's cousin Heston (Taylor's brother) helping Gav with micro machines

Sam is in that "can't take a normal picture" phase
Sam and my cousins son Hayden, in a chess match over Christmas

My niece, Miss Eisley, showing off her mad ballerina skills

After the state writing test, Gav's school had the parents come and meet the kids for lunch and the kids presented their writing. I loved this note that was on all the lunch tables.

Children's Museum - mug shot

Children's museum - motorcycle

At a church by our house, there is a rock maze. On a rare warmish day Sam and I took a walk through it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Mexico Pics

Soooo....apparently I'm more than a year behind on updates here. 

January in review: after spending almost two weeks in Iowa, it was back into the swing of things. Gavin started basketball through the Y, indoor soccer league, and indoor track at the Devaney center, which is a hydraulic banked indoor track at the University of Nebraska. He's keeping us busy Sunday through Wednesday nights.

Sam took a break from indoor soccer, and we got him signed up for karate. He is going Tues & Thurs nights and is doing SO great! He loves it, and is picking it up so quickly. It's also through the Y (and $18/mo - super cheap for two nights a week!).

Chad went to AZ to the Coldwater Rumble 20 mile trail race and took 4th

And here are some way old pictures from our trip to Albuquerque in December 2012 because I have yet to unpack the camera cord and can't unload all the pics I've taken this year!

The flag for the National Anthem was hung from a hot air balloon - it was so beautiful

Monday, November 18, 2013

Birthdays, Anniversaries and the End of the World

The boys, who usually fight like rabid dogs (no exaggeration there), played very well together last night for about 40 minutes. Gavin wanted to go to bed and we made him stay up later than usual because they were playing so nicely. I mean, they were running through the living room trying to smack each other with balls, but I guess that's what playing looks like when you have boys?

So anyway - boys playing well together means the end of the world must be near. Or hell is freezing over. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Trying to give you all a week in review on the regular since we up and moved. I've not been terribly successful, but I'll keep trying!

This weekend Sam had indoor soccer training and Gav had his state xc meet. Chad has a bum ankle so is taking some time off from running - which meant he got to take Sam to soccer and I went to a Zumba class at the Y. I have not been to Zumba in years and it was so much fun and such a great workout. 

It was beautiful weather here on Saturday and I think the kids spent at least 5 hours outside playing with all the kids in the neighborhood. I say it all the time but it's such a great little community here for the kids. 

Sunday we headed to Omaha for the Nebraska state xc meet, the last big race of Gav's season as we are not making the trip to a national competition this year. It was a little windy and chilly but much better than the nasty weather we had last year in Iowa for the meet. He was hoping for second, but got out a little slow and never could close the gap. He came in third with a time of 12:36 for a 3k. The two boys that beat him are 10 yr olds and they will be moving up an age group next year. Gav is positioned well to be the one to beat next year. 

Gav and I are going to do a turkey trot on Thanksgiving day, a 5k. I'm coming off down time due to a femor stress fracture, so it'll be interesting to see where my fitness is. We have a wager going - if Gav beats me by more than a minute, I owe him $20. The kid is fast, so it may be an easy win for him, but I am hoping all the marathon training that I put in, and the spinning and weight training I have done during this recovery phase have not shot my fitness all the hell. 

Friday we celebrated our 10 year anniversary, which is to say, we told each other "Happy Anniversary" and marveled at "holy crap, we are old". Today is Chad's birthday - but after hearing him analyze the pro's / cons of a Keurig coffee maker while looking at the Sunday ads yesterday, we brought his gifts out a day early. Including - you guessed it - a Keurig. He's turned into quite the coffee drinker these days. We are planning on hitting up a restaurant with the kids tonight for a birthday dinner.

Gavin starts chess club today. In Mexico there was a huge chess board by the pool and now the kids are obsessed with chess. So I bought a cheap $6 set at target and they are always wanting to play with Chad. But sometimes Sam steals the pieces and plays his own game "ultimate chess wrestling". Hysterical. are some really random pictures from earlier in the year that I don't think I have posted. These are all from May 2013.