Thursday, July 26, 2012

family vacation

husband returned from deployment.
i worked. i raced.
he raced. he crashed. [someone crashed into him]

Then we flew to Ohio. Our first flight together! Hauling all our "camera equipment" for our documentary of how awesome our life is. Nice try, says the lady at the counter - that'll be $500 unless you want to say it's a bike; then it's only $150. Okay, so we lie and say it's a bike, but really it's a bike. Or rather two bikes. We stopped trying to push our luck. At least our bags flew for free - welcome home sailor!

other sister megan :)
Ohio trip was filled with a lot of food, family, and fun. And too much humidity, heat, and hell. And by hell, I mean an hour long criterium race in the heat and humidity. What [in the hell] were we thinking? [Kyle signed me up while he was on a metal ship, sailing in the hot Persian Gulf, while dreaming of riding his new bike; let's face it, he wasn't thinking and I'm a sucker for punishment.]

swinging sibblings
Before I get to the race, I'd like to thank my mothers-in-law. Yes mothers - they rock. Seriously awesome moms who know how to cook real food and make our bellies happy and our hearts full. Ann [and family in tow] brought us a cooler of food to the airport for our climbing adventures in KY before heading to Ohio. Sandwiches, veggies, breakfast, yogurt, beer, snacks...and her amazing chocolate chip [crack] cookies. Before you know it, you've eaten 5. And are still going back to the bag for more. [Sorry to my mom, they weren't in Tupperware; at least I know what to get you for Christmas]. And to Kris for the amazing breakfasts and our family dinner, where I got to meet the Smith's and experience a midwestern storm that I've actually missed. Thank you moms. I'm lucky enough to have 3. And yes, thanks to the dads; John, especially for the awesome photography of our race, and Bill for the hospitality and laughs.

grill time during the storm
family dinner at the "adults" table - not so sure that's an accurate adjective.

Alright: Hyde Park Blast Criterium. The race sucked. From the gun to the end. Pure sufferfest. The suffering was more than Panama - because in Panama, when I suffered, I got to walk. When I suffered in Ohio, I had to suck wheel even harder. Do. Not. Get. Dropped.

Interesting course in a quaint town, with a diversion that leads you up a narrow residential alley and a I used my big ring for a couple laps, and after my pack got dropped from the break, I began to shift down and spin up the hill as a means of conservation. Power was non existent [thank you chocolate chip cookies + beer] and my only method of preservation was wheel sucking and spinning. Absolutely no endurance on the straights, which BTW were straight INTO THE WIND. Oh, but it wasn't a nice Pacific Ocean cool breeze...this "wind" was straight from the breath of Hades. Hotter than hell wind that is neither refreshing nor beneficial in any way. I have zero memories of this wind from my childhood in MN - probably because I always had my head underwater in the lakes.

suffering. next to a giant. 
I can't even remember how many times I was near cracking off the back of this chase pack. "Hold on. Hold on. The pace will ease up. No it won't. OMG." Somehow I managed to keep making my way up the chase pack to the front while on the hill. Spinning. That never happens in So Cal. I was working harder on the straights, when I was drafting. It was craziness how these ladies were mashing up...I would have blown up. But luckily their cadence was so low that my super easy gearing with relatively high cadence actually enabled me to move up and conserve energy...what little I had. Gatorade was a thick sugar tar and I would've paid a competitor $100 for a chunk of ice in my mouth [and down my bra] during the race.

Last lap. I found myself sitting in the back on the last corner...crap! Where did the time go! Well now I suppose it's time to stand up for this long straightaway. And "sprint" with all my heart, since my legs and lungs weren't paying attention to my crazed mind anymore.

Ended sprinting my way to 2nd in the chase group which was good enough for 10th OA and 1st in the Cat 3 women. I even beat some 1's and 2's that were in my group! What a race. $60 richer... however, like I said, I would've traded in that prize money for ice packs. Oh yeah, and we didn't get lapped...score!

Surprised, but Ohio has a women's scene. It's fast, and the camaraderie is similar to So Cal - cold. Arguments about the results, no podium and no constructive feedback after the race. My beef was that they didn't score it separately.

Husband survived his 30 min race before mine and in typical super sherpa fashion, brought me a beer, when I just needed ice for the heat stroke I was experiencing. After my near internal meltdown, I did enjoy some libations.

Pedicures, pool time and pizza. Miguel's Pizza. Backtrack to day 1-2; we made a trek down to good 'ole Slade, Kentucky; home of the Red River Gorge and some of the nations best sport climbing [and pizza]. Motel'd it since we accidentally left our sleeping bag in the bike box that we passed along to the parents we met at the airport...doh! Climbed all day and earned our pizza. Drove to Cincinnati where we earned a shower.

Ale8 and Miguels - yummy in my tummy
Very excited I made the switch at work to enjoy the time with my husband and his family. Our time in Ohio was quick and we feel as if we didn't get enough time with either family, but are thankful for the vacation.  Once we returned to SD we got a vacation from our vacation. Fun at the fair, a housewarming party in Encinitas, the 4th of July, a ride on our new bikes, and of course, each other.

So happy my husband, my sherpa, my sailor, my best, and forever friend is back from his ocean journeys. Welcome home Kyle.

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