Oshie, Nancy and I hope you all had a wonderful Valentines day spent with the one (or ones) you love. Even if you are single we hope you had a great day!
Being the lover that he is, Oshie got in the spirit of the holiday and mouth delivered his card to mom as soon as she arrived home from work. He worked so hard on the card that he almost didn’t want to part ways with it. Eventually he remembered he is a gentleman and a Retriever and he swapped for Nancy’s lunch bag and carried it in for her. Enjoy the short clip of Oshie delivering his card.
Yesterday Oshie turned 3 years old which, depending on the source, is anywhere from 24-29 in dog years. Despite getting older he still has that happy and rambunctious puppy attitude about him.
As usual he was completely spoiled and received a delicious steak and vegetable dinner (fear not the steak was not seasoned it any way).
And after dinner Oshie received a special cupcake because how can you have a birthday without a cake? Nancy made the cupcakes which had peanut butter and carrots in them along with peanut butter for frosting. I will be sure to post the recipe later.
Oshie absolutely devoured both the steak and the cupcake. See for yourselves in the videos below.
Hopefully he doesn’t think that now he will be eating like this every night.
Oshie is a fast learner. A little repetition with coupled with a reward and he will do almost anything you want him to. Nancy taught him how to play dead in just a few tries a few months ago. He doesn’t get it every time and sometimes he gets so excited that he goes through every trick he knows before actually doing the one you want just so he can get the treat. It can be pretty entertaining to watch.
Here he is playing dead. Not an entirely convincing performance ha-ha.
This is a photo I took during our trip to Asheville a few months back. The ISO was really high for this photo thanks to being indoors and not using flash but I still love the way it came out. Lately I have been looking at this photo and contemplating trying to sell it. I was thinking maybe as greeting or thank you cards, or as small/medium prints due to the noise levels. What do you think? Would folks be interested and what kind of prices would be reasonable? Any advice from my fellow photographers that follow the blog would be much appreciated.
So I have finally decided it is about time to make another post. I have felt rather uninspired lately and haven’t been taking many photos. We have also been very busy. We recently made a 14 hour drive to northern Massachusetts for my oldest brothers wedding. Naturally Oshie came along for the ride. He was not entirely thrilled to be in the car for that long but he did well.
It was amazing to make it up North for Autumn again. I grew up in New Hampshire and have missed the brilliant fall colors and this was the first time I had made it back to see them in many years. It was also amazing to spend almost a full week with my parents and siblings (all except for one who is currently stationed in Japan). We had so much fun trying to kill ourselves on a dirt bike the best man brought. The dirt bike was bought by my brother Ethan (the best man) for the manly bachelor party we had at my brother’s house. This party consisted of almost no alcohol consumption, yard work, garden tilling and dirt bike riding ha-ha. Surprisingly we had a lot of fun. It was nice just to hang with my brothers again. There were a few close calls on the dirt bike for me but in my defense I have never really been on one before.
I took the opportunity to practice action and panning shots. This was my oldest brother, the groom.
Panning shot of my older brother.
The wedding was beautiful and held at the historic Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield Massachusetts. My brothers and I made up the majority of the groomsmen and my wife and two of my younger sisters were bridesmaids along with a few of the brides relatives. I have to admit my wife looked gorgeous.
Unfortunately time went by too quickly, as it always seems to do when you are having fun. The day after the wedding we made the long drive back to North Carolina. Thanks to traffic in New York, DC and Alexandria Virginia and also some pretty serious flooding in North Carolina thanks to Hurricane Matthew, what should have been a 14 hour drive took 20+ hours. we left around 8:30 in the morning and made it back to North Carolina around 5 AM. It was not fun. We spent a few hours trying to navigate flooded roads in the middle of nowhere North Carolina and almost ran out of gas while out there. GPS was of little to no help at that point. Eventually we found gas and a clear path. After 2 hours of sleep we were both up and headed off to work.
Despite all the traveling we had an amazing time that we wish would have lasted just a bit longer. Spending time with family you don’t get to see often enough is always a blessing.
I am posting this a few days late, but this past Saturday I finally ran the half marathon that I had been preparing for since April. The Marine Corps Half Marathon started at 7 am on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville North Carolina. I was excited and a bit nervous and just wanted to post a good time for myself. During training I never exceed a distance of 10 miles in my runs. I figured if I can do 10, the extra 3 would be no problem. Based off my pace on those 10 mile runs I was hoping to finish the half marathon at a time right around 1 hour and 40 minutes.
I made sure I was right at the front of the pack for the race start so I wouldn’t have to dodge around slower folks and could settle right into my pace. This strategy worked well and I had plenty of clear air to work with for the entire race. Initially I pushed my pace a little too hard but a few miles into the race I settled down and stopped worrying about keeping up with folks in front of me. I found my rhythm and picked a pace that was challenging but one that I knew I could maintain for most of the race.
The last 3 miles of the course were a challenge. Cardio wise I was fine and nowhere near winded but my quads were just about done. It didn’t help that over the last 3 or so miles of the course there were long gradual hills. The type of hill that you normally wouldn’t think twice about but 11 miles into a run at a fast pace they were killer. I managed to push through them even though in the back of my head I wanted to stop and walk and I managed to pass a few runners that were ahead of me for most of the race.
Eventually I made it to the final mile and I held my pace so that I could go all out for the last quarter to half a mile. Once the finish line was in site I ran as fast as my legs would let me go. Once again my cardio was great and I crossed the line at 1hr and 47mins (according to the race clock) without even breathing hard. My legs were what held me back from going faster. I wasn’t thrilled with the time but was glad I was under 2 hours which was my ultimate goal.
When the times were posted I went to find my name and did not see myself listed at 1hr 47 so I started looking for my bib number and noticed it had me down for 1hr and 42 mins 17 sec. I was surprised and happy as this was closer to what my phone, which I started as soon as I crossed the start and turned off a minute after I had crossed the finish, had recorded. This put me at 44th overall out of 600 plus runners. I was very happy with that result. Next I began counting the people ahead of me in my age group (25-29). According to the list I was 5th fastest in my age group. Again I was very happy with that result.
For some reason we decided to wait and listen for the age group awards to be announced. When they finally got to my group, they called off 3rd place and it wasn’t me so we assumed there was no chance I won anything and started getting ready to leave. To my surprise they announce second place for the 25-29 group and my name was called. My wife and I were both completely surprised. I still can’t believe it. I have always been a decent runner as far as maintaining a pace over distance but I just was never into running for fun and I still don’t really enjoy it like other runners do.
I took on this Half Marathon to challenge myself and also as something of a tribute or nod to my grandmother. Grammar as we call her, (we couldn’t pronounce grandma right as kids I guess and this just stuck) was a USA certified ski instructor for 30 years and taught me and my siblings how to ski and snowboard. She also ran multiple marathons and races, and has always led a very exciting and active lifestyle. Over the last couple of years she has developed Parkinson’s Disease and it has unfortunately taken a severe toll on her. The grandmother who was always the cool energetic woman now has trouble making it through the day. It is heartbreaking but she is a fighter and I am sure will be with us for a long time to come. So ultimately this one was for her. Love you Gram!
Overall I really enjoyed the experience. I am completely thrilled with my performance and overjoyed that I placed 2nd in my age group. Not bad for person that hates running and had never run a half marathon or even passed 10 miles in a single run. So what next? I plan to keep running and and do some many more races. I am sure I will do a few more half marathons but no plans to do a full marathon any time soon. I can’t imagine going another 13.1 miles.
I think my wife has a few photos of me right after I finished. I will try to get them and add them. I probably look pretty terrible.