Sunday, September 5, 2010

Family Fun! Well, for some of us.

The Whidbey Island tri (1/2 mile swim, 20 mile bike, 3.8 mile run) is a long sprint triathlon (meaning it's shorter than an olympic distance tri, but longer than most sprints)'s also been called a cyclist's tri, b/c for an experienced triathlete, the swim takes less than 15 min., the very hilly bike ride takes over an hour, and the run takes less than 40 minutes. Unfortunately, the cycling is definitely where I need the most work. Despite this, I'm determined to do this tri every summer I can. It's a gorgeous area, a nice clear, clean lake, the volunteers are all very friendly and it's always well organized.

This year, it happened to fall the weekend of our sisters' I mentioned this to everyone and said that I'd really like to participate if it didn't mess up other plans...and everyone else decided they'd like to do the triathlon too! Yippee!!!

I don't think there's anything funnier than watching a bunch of people trying to
wriggle into super tight wetsuits.
Almost time to start!

After the warm-up...mentally prepping for the next few backing out now.
And yes, I know I have huge arms and shoulders.

Here's how the tri played out for me...if you're not interested don't read.
I'd been taking open water swim classes, which helped my swim time, despite the fact that during the start I was kicked in the face by a swimmer I was trying to pass. It wasn't intentional, she just wasn't swimming straight. It knocked my goggles off, gave me a little bruise next to my eye, and shook me up a bit. Once I finally relaxed into my pace and position in the swim I was fine though.
You can see the bruise near the inside of my eye.

Then, near the beginning of the cycling portion my bike chain came off. Grr, this was a little frustrating as I was on a steep incline, and I had a hard time getting clipped in and moving again. I finally walked up someone's driveway w/ my bike and road down it, to get enough momentum to get up the hill.
Everything else went fairly smoothly (very slowly but smoothly) for me. Although I had some bumps along the way, I was happy w/ my time. Considering I just had a baby 9 months ago...and spent a lot of last year unable to exercise I couldn't have expected more.
My mom, Sara and Jen raced as a relay team, and placed 2nd in their category. My mom even beat me in the swim.
Jen looks like she's skipping to the finish line here.

This picture was stolen from my friend Deb's commentary as an observer at triathlons..found here.
And I think Lisa (first time triathlete) was just happy to be done, and will never let us talk her into doing anything ever again. She was a very good sport about it.

Cynthia placed 2nd in her age group.
Here she is w/ Sara, who did an awesome job on the bike ride.

Here we are the day after... none the worse for wear.
Note the glasses strategically covering my bruised eye.
Pretty sexy, huh?
Not too pleased w/ the fact that they write our age on the back of our leg...So
discouraging to watch some 60 yr. old lady fly past you on the run.

Next summer my goal is to do an olympic distance tri. (1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 10K run). Who's with me???! Anyone??!

Summer fun

Whew! July was a nice, relaxing, laid-back beginning to summer, but since the end of July, we have been going nonstop. When I think back on the past month, it conjures up memories of playing, exhaustion and Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem about burning the candle at both ends. But, I am very happy to report we survived all the crazy, busy, fun, busy, craziness of late.

James and of buddies at the reunion.

It all started w/our Swarthout Family Reunion (From my maternal Grandma down). We were small in numbers this year (only about 30, compared to the 100+ that will attend next yr.), which made it very relaxing and low key, except for the fact that I was still dealing w/ CPS junk and Donald was away for training and unable to join us until Sunday. It was nice to have time to visit w/ everyone there, and the kids had a great time w/ their 2nd cousins. Stacy and Jaime took us out on their boat which added to the fun. I attempted to slalom water ski (which I haven't done in 10 yrs.). The experience, like so many others recently, reminded me that though the confidence remains, I am no longer as young and coordinated as I used to be...And left me with a huge bruise on my left leg to continue reminding me. (picture to come...b/c it really was a picture worthy bruise)
Of course there was singing.
Aunt Kathy, Stacy, Grandma and Mom

Here's a cute one of some of the girls...Claire, Jana, Sara and Jillian.

We stayed at Frog Creek Lodge...there were lots of frogs there.
Here's G.G. with Claire, Hannah and some of the frogs.

After the reunion, my mom, Sara, kids and I made our way to Olympic Nat'l Park. We spent the day hiking and enjoying the beauty there, then barely made the last ferry back to our island (literally the last 2 cars on). A few days later everyone (except Wendy) arrived in Seattle for our annual sisters' reunion. We spent a day in Seattle going to Pike's Place and the Pacific Science Center, then spent time on Orcas Island and in beautiful Victoria, B.C.

Cyni-mini pouncing at the PSC.

We also all participated in the Whidbey Island Triathlon, but the tri will get its own post.
Here's one of us eating out. I thought it appropriate since many of our
activities revolved around food.

We had 4 birthdays in August...Donald's, James' Claire's and Hannah's! All this before mid-August!
Since then....Sophia has gotten her cast off, the CPS case has been closed, and I planned and led a 3 day church camp for the 8-11yr. old girls. The camp was a success, despite the rain's best efforts to spoil our plans. The girls were trained in how to be secret service agents. Badges, sunglasses, campfires, canoes and nerf guns were involved, as well as sewing machines, work gloves, window washing supplies and many other things. Hopefully they learned a little bit about how to serve others w/ no thought of reward.
Factor in ballet lessons, violin lessons, back to school shopping, dentist and dr. appts (I'm getting tired just thinking about it), taking care of the garden, house and kids and it was a full month. Even with all the busyness, I still had time to go blackberry picking, play with my kids, read a few good books, plan a last minute RS lesson, and do so many other things. I feel so blessed that my time is overflowing with so many wonderful things right now. If life's gonna be crazy, and hectic I'm glad it's crazy and hectic b/c of so much good stuff going on.

Tuesday is the first day at Coupeville Elementary School for Jillian (3rd) and James (2nd). The twins begin kindergarten there the following week. They are all getting very excited (and a little nervous) about it. Jillian is my little worrier. She seems to be feeling much better since we went and wandered the halls of the school and found her classroom. The kids have O'Rourke-K, Steiner- 2nd, and Gebhard- 3rd. Still don't quite grasp what it will be like to have only one child home for 3 hrs of the day, but it will be realized soon enough. I'm sure I'll miss them, but I'm looking forward to a few hrs of quiet in my day.

And here's a picture of Sophia in the Swiss dirndl that used to be mine when I was a little girl. To give you an idea of how tiny I was...I have pictures of me wearing it when I'm 2 1/2...and Sophia is only 10 months old.