Doug picked the Atlantic Coast Triathlon for us to do this fall because of its proximity to my Aunt Gena and Uncle Pat in Jacksonville. They volunteered to keep the kids for us, so we loaded up the car and made the trip.
Since I've been recovering from/living with my plantar fasciitis since last fall, my initial hopes for this race were low. I figured I'd try to get as fit as possible on the bike and swim and just hope for good things on the run. And, after some time and perspective on my actual race performance, I think that is exactly what I did.
In my actual race report here, you can read the gory details of my race. Here are the photos. I feel compelled to note that the photos are stretched in width because I'm not quite that big. I'm just saying. . . .
Anyway, the nutshell is that I did pretty well on the swim (despite discomfort with the ocean), hammered the bike and then crashed and burned on the run. Immediately after the race I was very disappointed with my performance on the run, but frankly I just used up too much juice on the bike so I was toasted for the run. Plus, my run volume (8 miles 3x per week) has just not been enough to support a good half marathon. I should have been able to hold 10 minutes per mile if I had appropriately paced the bike.
The real story here is that this was a GREAT RACE! Fernandina Beach is lovely, the weather was beautiful and the race was well-organized. They had 4 hand-ups on the bike and 7 water stops (some you passed more than once, too) on the run. It was great. I had a marvelous time and really enjoyed cheering on the other runners. I got crabby on the bike because of the drafters, but I just need to increase my bike fitness so I can pass these azzholes or suck it up, buttercup.
We had a great time with my aunt and uncle. They pulled out all the stops for our visit and it was great. They went to the zoo with the girls, where they petting stingrays and fed the giraffes. Dagny and Annika had a complete blast. They decorated cupcakes, made popsicle stick scarecrows, made lollipop ghosts and pipe-cleaner/button jewelry. Annika made dip-dye fans and art while Dagny took a nap on Friday, then she fell asleep before dinner on Saturday. While Dagny was asleep, Aunt Gena made the macaroni and cheese that Annika had requested earlier in the day.
Only, it wasn't Kraft or Velveeta.
It was macaroni pie!
In my house, macaroni pie is a lost delicacy. My Mama Maude (Aunt Gena's and my Dad's mom) made us macaroni pie every time we visited. It is almost a macaroni and cheese custard. But we believed the recipe was lost when Mama Maude died in 1986. Dad and Mom had no idea how to make it and Mama Maude was very vague about it when we asked her. And here, Aunt Gena was making it like it was nothing! She's known how to make it all of these years! Maybe she even knows how to make coconut cream pie too!
Elbow macaroni, cooked
Shredded cheddar cheese
Optional - Cayenne Pepper and/or Hot Sauce
Cook macaroni according to package directions to al dente. Put in a corningware dish (Mama Maude used to use a big square dish, about 6 inches tall). In a bowl vigorously mix 3-7 eggs and some milk. Gena says more eggs, Pat says less. Pour the milk/eggs over the macaroni until the macaroni is floating. Yes, floating. Your actual amounts of milk and eggs will vary depending on the amount of noodles and shape of dish. Gena used a flat dish and about 1/3 lb of macaroni with 4 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of milk. Sprinkle the macaroni with the paprika and/or cayenne or hot sauce. Sprinkle the cheese over the macaroni to cover. If you want, mix some cheese into the macaroni first. I say yes. Mama Maude sometimes used Velveeta cheese with her cheddar, but Gena used just cheddar. Cook on 350 degrees until the pie is just getting set but still really jiggly in the middle. Allow to rest on the counter until room temperature. It will continue to cook while resting and firm up a little. Pat's family prefers a loose texture, so they use more milk and cook less. Mama Maude preferred a firmer texture, so she used more eggs and cooked longer.
Oh, and despite my crappy run at the race, I won 4th in my age group! I even got a nice trophy. Here are the 0fficial results. I can't say which of the ladies were the drafters, but Doug heckled one of them on the run. Hee.
In other news, the new Couch to 5K group is off and running. They are running 3 minutes and walking 27 minutes three times this week. Go runners - Happy Running!