Sunday, May 17, 2009

Doug Rocks

And Natalie rocks too!

They ran the Twisted Ankle Marathon in Summerville, Georgia yesterday. For those of you that don't know, Summerville is in the mountains. We got up early and drove to Sloppy Floyd State Park under overcast skies with sprinkles of rain.
The runners started at 9am. Everyone lined up to hear the instructions. This was a very low-key race, so the RD just yelled "go!" and they were off. The girls and I trekked back to the car and got money and the stroller and lined up for the ($5) kids' race. We ran across the playground and jumped a creek. At that point I decided that my run would NOT be on any trails - hefting a double jogger over a creek (even that dinky one) was too much. When Dagny and I caught back up to the group, Annika was crying and talking to a volunteer. She had fallen and twisted her ankle. I babied her a little and then said "let's go". She blubbered that the other kids had left her. I gave her some firm words about how if she kept crying like a baby and walking with me she would never catch them but she could be running and getting closer every second. And then, she took off. I tried to keep up. We eventually caught the end of the group and her new friend Christina. She was thrilled. Didn't care a bit that Christina sprinted at the end and left us in the dust. The RD made special ribbons from the buttons they gave all of the adult racers so Annika was absolutely thrilled to get one. I gave Doug's button to Dagny and all was right with the world.

Annika complained that her legs were tired so I put her in the jogger with Dagny and we started my run. I had planned to go 4 miles so I decided that would take about 45 minutes. We ran around on the roads of the park, which are not flat. At all. We actually ran for about 50 minutes so hopefully I got to 4 miles. Doug had my Garmin so who knows.

Then, it was back to the car to get the lunches, stow the jogger and on to the playground. Muddy. Ick. The girls had a good time on the playground and we noticed some weird bugs hopping all over the ground.
Turns out that they were toads. And when you picked them up, they played dead so it looked like the kids were smushing handfuls of toads, until they put them down and the toads hopped off. That is Dagny's arm for a size comparison. These toads were about as wide as a pencil eraser.

Dagny was even able to pick them up. Here she is showing them to me. Check out her button from the race.

Then, Dagny got hungry so we made our picnic by the finish line and watched the half-marathoners come in. Do you see the bridge across the lake in the photo from the park? That is the route to the finish line! The runners come across the bridge and the announcer reads their number and announces their name and everyone cheers. Awesome!
Annika and I had a little talk about how she kept going in her race even though it was hard. I gave her big praise for keeping going. Then I explained how that was "sucking it up" and we talked about "Suck It Up, Buttercup." It was a good lesson. Doug reinforced later with the "discomfort is temporary, quitting is forever." Annika has the button on her bulletin board so she is very proud of herself for finishing.
Then, more playground and frogs. The boys were throwing rocks at the girls. Then, the boys got on the merry-go-round on their bellies and spun as fast as possible while trailing their hands in the mud puddles. Whew, boy am I glad I only have girls! I packed contingency clothes for everyone but thankfully didn't need them. Some of the kids were running around with no shoes (squishing frogs!), even.
Then Dagny got tired and needed a snack so I was able to convince her to spread out the picnic blanket and read stories. Just in time because it was 4 hours into the race and Doug had predicted a 4:30-5:30 finish. The lady (Desiree) from the Rogue Runners group that I met thought that was optimistic. I was worried. Just as Dagny and I were almost finished reading "It's Not Easy Being a Bunny" (after she had run around like a crazy girl for 45 minutes and made the boys cry while I chatted with Desiree), we saw Doug! He looked great coming across the bridge! No shuffling and he didn't lose body temp. after the race! Yay! As we got him some fluids, Nat came across too. She wasn't shuffling either and really enjoyed a nice Coca Cola at the end. She said it was the shoes that got her to the finish. She couldn't quit and not get to wear the shoes. : ) hee.

And in other news, here is Annika's swim team doing the kickboard. You can't tell here but Annika was first in line with her kickboard. her lane is the middle one with the blonde coach holding the yellow kickboard.

And here, they are kicking while on their backs. Notice how Annika is crashing into the kid behind her.

Instantly after I took this picture, she started to cry because the kickboard slipped away from her. It was downhill from there. Low fuel, cold water, performance anxiety, and nerves all combined to undermine her confidence. She told the coach she couldn't swim so she had to move to the 4-5 year old group on the steps - you can see them in the top photo. Oh, the humilation. We talked all evening about how to get back to the "big kid" group. And now she only swims with the big kids - all of her friends from school.

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