But first I have to tell you about Annika's first swim meet. It was in Alpharetta at 5:30 last Thursday. Plenty of time if I left my office at 5:15, right?
I changed my clothes in the car, possibly flashing a bunch of drivers on the Old Alabama Connector. I chose to believe that they were not looking. And really, my bra isn't that sexy.
Despite the quick-change and running the half mile from my car to the pool, I missed Annika's first race, the 100 free relay (4 kids, each swimming 25 yards). Oh, the guilt!
Doug said that she did awesome and didn't stop the whole lap! I found her to give her a hug and was worried that she would be stressed because I was late. The guilt was killing me.
Luckily, she didn't care. I was chopped liver. She wanted to play with her buddies.
The second race was 25 free and she did great! She jumped in and swam the whole way without touching the rope. 4th place! Doug let her have a Gu before her third race because my kids love Gu. I figured that it wouldn't hurt because (a) Annika always needs calories, and (b) she was jumping around like a crazy child in the wading pool so she could have been low on fuel. Then, it was on to backstroke. She started out great, but tired fast. She had to rest several times on the rope.
But each time, she set her jaw and resumed her progress. 6th place by many seconds. Ooh was she mad! Apparently she was able to swim the full 25 without stopping at practice, so she was angry with herself about stopping to rest. Pretty tough girl - check out the form!
After that race, we went to Steak-n-Shake for dinner despite the fact that Doug had brought us all sandwiches to eat before and during the meet. Annika and Dagny both had the mini-steakburgers (sliders) and ate them ALL. Apparently, swimming makes you hungry.
In other news, Doug and I rode our first century (100 mile ride) with Natalie yesterday. My mom and Grammy kept the girls while we rode the West Georgia 100 with a bunch of our triathlon buddies (Karen, Neal, Courtney, John, Lou, Justin, Brian, Jessica and Ron). For accuracy's sake, we actually only saw Brian at the beginning and Justin at the start and end, and I never saw Jessica at all. Regardless, it was a great ride. There was cold water and gatorade and an assortment of food, plus sunscreen, portopotties and hand sanitizer at all of the rest stops, except #2 which had run out of water. This would have been fine except we skipped rest stop #1. Oops. Other than that miscue, the race was perfect and the roads were very clearly marked - it was a pleasure.
Doug kept the pace for us and we did great. We averaged right at 16 mph (rolling time only) the whole way, which is awesome for me. I didn't think I could go that fast, but was able to hang on to the back of the faster riders to catch some free mph. In fact, if Doug hadn't been there to hold the pace (and tolerate my valley of darkness in miles 40-60), I wouldn't have gone that fast and probably could have talked myself into quitting at 60 miles because I didn't think I could do it. I have yet to discover if this darkness thing is a fuel issue or if it's just mental. It's weird, though, to be riding along and suddenly and overwhelmingly hate yourself and everyone else. I dropped my chain after water stop #2 and fought to catch back up and got angry. I was saying bad words and shooting birds at Natalie and Doug. It was a bad place.
So the good thing about the ride is that we discovered that I can go farther and faster and power through that stupid valley. And, that there actually is an end to the valley of darkness. I still think the Cheetos helped, though, because of their delicious salty goodness. Because let's be honest, I'm all about the food.
For some reason, I broke out in hives in the last 30 miles of the ride. They didn't itch and weren't spreading so I don't think it was a big deal. Nat had her valley of darkness for the last 20 miles but perked right up after she changed clothes and looked cute again and had a beer.
And Doug? He ran 3 miles. Because he is going to do an Ironman. Holy cow. I have a newfound respect for folks who can ride 112 miles and then run after. My friend Brent, for example, who rode 125 miles yesterday and topped that off with an 8.23 mile run (at 7 minute pace!). He rocks.
So, what ride should we do next . . . hmmm.