Tuesday, July 31, 2012

And, off to Boston!

Another weekend trip took me to Boston! This was a fun adventure. I took the kids on the ferry with one of their cars and it was their first time one the ferry. They loved it! And, I loved the fact that I had their Itouches and portable movie players because it's a 2 hour trip!

When we got off the boat I drove them to a local playground to get some energy out because we had a 2.5 hour drive ahead of us! It was a nice day so we had a picnic at the park as well.

Off we set for Boston! 

I loved driving in and passing Fenway... seeing the Charles River... and so many other favorite landmarks! We arrived at the hotel, but there was a crazy line to even valet park the car and to check in to the hotel. The kids were squirmy and just wanted to get out of the car... the last 30 minutes had been torture! Then, it took them forever to get the luggage up to the room and all the kids were anxiously awaiting their swimsuits so they could jump in the pool! Well, lucky us... this hotel was renovating their pool that day but allowed us to use another one in a hotel about a ten minute walk away. So, off went... I didn't care how far away the pool was... we were going or else I was going to go nuts!

We had fun at the pool and quickly returned to the hotel to change for dinner. Since I was in charge :) I got to choose where we went for dinner and also had invited my brother, sister in law and niece!

I LOVE the Cheesecake Factory. Funny thing is that I don't really like Cheesecake, but I love all their other menu items. And, their menu is so big and varied that everyone can find something they like.

This was the first time my brother had met the kids. They were pretty well behaved and we had an enjoyable dinner. I ate so much food! The portions there are so big. I picked off the kids plates so much that I ended up taking most of my dinner home! I was glad to combine my two worlds though... that of my work life and my family. I am always talking to Evan and Madison about the kids and I tell the kids all about my brother and his family (especially my niece!) It was also nice to have another adult to talk to at dinner as well :)

We walked back to the hotel. It was only 8 PM, but I was EX-hausted. I plopped the kids in front of the TV and mentally tried not to think anymore. Luckily Beth arrived by 9:30 and I went to bed

In the morning I had some free time so I set off to pick up my triathlon clothes at REI. It was fun to be back on the "T" even though I was riding the dreaded green line. REI happens to be close to Fenway, so when I got off at the T stop I was greeted with this painted on the wall. I felt like the team was welcoming me home!
The rest of Friday was a blur. I had to get my bike for the race... and then hunt and peck my way back through the one way streets of downtown Boston. An exhilarating and scary experience all at once! I even went the wrong way on one-way streets because I could not figure out where I was! I got to spend some time with Evan, Madison and Holland and it was awesome! But, went to bed around 9 PM because Evan and I were getting up for the race at 4 AM!

4 AM came way too quickly! I was so tired and completely questioning my sanity in deciding to do this race. I was so lucky to have Evan with me. It would have been a disaster from the beginning without him. Starting off with... he drove the 1.5 hours to Falmouth while I slept :)

We arrived in the quiet and asleep town as the sun was starting to rise (well, it was a cloudy day, but the light was just starting to come up). He navigated to where we were supposed to park and then literally walked me step by step with what I needed to do. This wasn't just a road race. I know what to do in those races! This one was a bit more complicated! You've got the bike, transitioning, more rules.... etc.

Luckily we got there with plenty of time to spare and he walked me through my set-up of my things. We had some down time before the race started so I took pictures and then we did a little pre-race warmup. My body just wasn't ready to move yet though.
Here's my professional picture of the staging area :)
Pure chaos to someone who has no idea what they're supposed to be doing!
This is where we came out from the swim.
See that red circle thing in the water? There were two of them in the water giving racers a rectangle pattern to run. But, this one actually moved during the first wave of the race and the poor swimmers in the water chased after it. It must have been the longest swim of their life. They stopped the race and repositioned it, but oh man... felt so bad for that first wave of athletes.

Even though it didn't move during my part of this race, I still felt it was like the longest swim of my life! (And, I've swam father distances... in a pool!! Which I much rather do!). The current was so strong that we all started about 20-30 feet to the right of where we should have. The waves were choppy. It was miserable for me. I just kept praying for it to be OVER! I don't feel like I am a terrible swimmer... but this was torture! I swallowed more salt water than I care to think about and don't think I did one proper stoke because I kept getting pounded by a new wave.

On to happier times, I thought this was one of the coolest - if not THE coolest - part of the race. We got painted with our race number on are arms and calf. 246!

I was proud of my number :)

Evan and I before the race.
I would not have been able to do it... or finish... without him!

After the delayed start and the crazy swim, I hopped on my bike. The bike part went much better than I expected as we rode through a nice (not too hilly) part of Falmouth. It was fun to have people on the streets cheering you on (that's not something you get in the swim part of the race!) I hadn't taken a moment to drink water in between the swim and the bike... so I was craving it by the middle of the bike portion. However, I was DETERMINED to not stop on my bike and just keep the momentum going!

When I got back to the transition area from the bike part, I accidentally crossed part of my bike over the finish line (which I guess is illegal but I thought the lady said that's what I was supposed to do! There were too many little rules!) And, I didn't feel like running my bike over to my spot so people we're shouting at me to "move!"... but I was like - "Whatever! Chill, people!" Ha ha... but I moved out of their way. 

I was so frazzled that I then forgot to put my bid on my shirt - which I guess is another disqualification! Ha ha... I didn't care. All I wanted was to know for myself that I finished! 

Well, at the first water station I gulped down water. My legs were still in the biking mode but I "ran" on. It was a coarse right along the water. Within a minute or two I passed Evan who was coming back in to the finish line. He started the whole thing in a wave before me, but he also did the whole thing much faster than I! The run went well, but I didn't feel like I was actually in my running grove until the 2 mile and at that point I only had just over one more to go! But, I did finish strong as running is my best sport out of the 3 of them! 

I finished!!! That's all that matters!

I was so happy to cross the finish line! Evan was there to greet me and lots and lots of water. I was so sticky from the salt water and sweat. My hands, face... everything felt just gross. Luckily they had showers there and a changing room... but before I did... just one last picture to prove I finished!

I did it!! Bike, Run, Swim... the whole thing!
Look how many bikes there are!

Well, even though I felt like I had lived half my day it was only 10 o'clock by the time we got back to the car and headed home. We hit lots of traffic, but got back by 1. I was refreshed by then so I decided to make the most of my bike rental and got back on my bike to bike around Boston! Very fun.... and then dropped it off and walked back to Evan's apartment. I loved going to see some of my favorite spots downtown and Boston is a bike friendly city... for the most part!

I finally showered and felt normal again. I gave Evan and Madison a date night... so I got to go with Holland to the Boston Commons and then over to the Boston Public Garden! It was a beautiful evening and we hung out by the pond. Holland caught the eye of just about everyone who passed by us! She is adorable and so much fun! She's at the stage where she can almost walk - almost! But, she's definitely a girl that likes to be on the move and in to everything!
Look at those adorable eyes!
Such a pretty night by the pond :)
And, I love this picture of Holland. 
Yes, she was a little pants-less... but just look at that face!

Early Sunday I headed back with the family on the ferry... back, back, back to more adventures on the island!

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