Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Almost there

This weekend is my big A race of the season. Which makes me think I should be doing things like checking the weather forecast obsessively, mapping out my trip, or cleaning the last race off my bike. Nah.

In my last race report I said I was, and I quote, "just so freaking chipper" on the run. And that's true. But in case that makes you think I wasn't working hard, here's evidence from the last mile or so that I was:

Apparently this is what passes for "chipper" on a hot day. Follower #9 (not to be confused with Client 9, yikes), this is what I mean about my end-of-race slump. The photo was taken by Ian Matchett, who got lots of great shots of my teammates and me, and shared them with us--thanks, Ian! He got the long sought-after (by me) sidewaysish shot of the cow bike, too, where you can really see its spots nicely:

Last week we visited my in-laws on the Cape. We spent a lot of time at the nearby kettle pond, where Patrick can avoid such truly frightening things as sharks, big waves and seaweed.

Charlotte and I spent one day farther out on the Cape with Nancy and her family. Charlotte and Greta spent hours swimming and floating around Long Pond in Wellfleet while Nancy and I took turns playing with her younger daughter while the other one of us went for a swim. Doing a swim workout wearing a bikini, I discovered, makes it not feel like a workout. It also makes it feel like maybe you're flashing the kids on the raft with an errant boob, but hopefully this was just paranoia on my part. Here are Charlotte and Greta being specks on said raft:

. . . and here they are trying to tame the oddly-named "Whale Shark," which as far as we can tell is neither a whale nor a shark.

It's also very hard to mount.

They ate a nutritious breakfast (Boston creme pie doughnuts--note, of course, Whale Shark in the background)

. . . while Nancy and I went for an awesome ride around Wellfleet. That's the National Seashore in the background.

In the afternoon we rode some of their family's fleet of bikes down to the ocean. Here's Nancy's husband Bill getting everything set up while Greta does something weird with her arm. This is also a nice shot of Bill's rather flashy swim trunks.

Charlotte had never ridden a bike with hand brakes, nor had she ridden much in traffic, so I had a near panic attack watching her and had to leave it to Nancy and Bill to guide her safely to the beach. She was a trooper, but she is not setting any speed records on the bike. Wonder where she gets that from?

The waves were pretty fierce there, but the girls charged right in, assisted by Greta's older cousins.

Then they got tumbled around pretty well and eventually fled back to the beach. I think Bill is helpfully pointing them in the right direction.

He also gave them some pointers on how not to get clobbered, and they eventually went back in the water until they pretty much turned blue with cold. We also played some beach kickball.

OK, now I'm really just gratuitously posting picture of Bill's swim trunks. Nancy and I were sort of horrified to realize how little our kids know about how to play kickball. They were passing other runners on the baseline, trying to call a "force play" at 3rd on a triple, and all manner of other ridiculousness. The good news is that the little boys who joined the game were no better. But we still agreed we need to run some remedial kickball lessons this fall.

Not that fall is happening any time soon. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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