The other part was feeling downright squirrely.
The other part of the team was feeling stumped. If you listen carefully, you'll hear me in the background suggesting, "How about a towel with a plastic bag?" This was my suggestion for how we ought to diaper Theia and Liyah for the night. The person in charge of packing (whistling, looking at the sky) forgot to pack nighttime diapers for Theia and Aliyah. Since neither of them ever wake up dry, this is a real problem. In the end we opted for a much better (maybe?) idea: two of baby Joey's size 2 diaper connected together by the diaper tabs. Not great, but it could have been worse.
The three girls settled into the hootel (that's how Xandra and Theia pronounce it) quite nicely.
Unlike last year we were actually in bed and asleep before midnight.
The night before:
The morning after:
After we, literally, dragged the kids out of bed before the crack of dawn, we grabbed some continental breakfast and headed for the race.
We still weren't early enough this year to make into the coveted parking lot right next to the start/finish line, but we also didn't have any large sized disasters where I ended up running over a mile in flip flops up enormous hills, six months pregnant, to get Joe his contacts in time for the start of the race, either. Joe unloaded his stuff and I unloaded the kids. Then he drove the van to the far away lot and used the ride back on his bicycle as his warm up for the biking segment of the race.
We even had time to snap a few pre-race photos with daddy and several unwilling participants.
They didn't know we were there to cheer daddy on, they just thought we drove five hours so we could play in the sand.
Although he swam terribly crooked and lost a little time in the process, he clocked a slightly faster time last year on the swim portion.
The bike segment, where he has invested much of his training efforts and was hoping to gain the most time on last year's overall time, did not go as planned. Near the end of the bike segment, his toe clip came off and he had to stop for several minutes to take it off the bike so he could pedal properly. It slowed him down several minutes. While he was frustrated in the moment, he breathed a sigh of relief as a few moments later he passed several bikers who were injured and had been involved in a crash. We later learned that the accident had been caused by some deer running onto the course. I'm glad God's protective provision sometimes involves changing our plans.
When we saw Joe come through on the bike portion and switch to the run, I knew he was frustrated as I shouted out his time. I knew there was no way he would beat last year's time.
As we waited for him to round the bend, Aliyah helped me cheer on the other runners.
Joe came barreling around the corner at a sprint far sooner than I had anticipated.
As a result, his finishing time was a mere 1:33:56, beating last year's time of 1:35:42 by almost two minutes! The girls were ecstatic.
Seeing him finish meant they could go back to what they came for: playing in the sand.
While Joe showered, snacked and relaxed, the girls had a fabulous time with their buckets and shovels and the wide open spaces.
Then we put our shoes back on, gathered our things and hopped back in the car to make the long trek home.
Now the clock ticks toward his next race: Assateague Assault Sprint Triathalon on Father's Day. Eighteen days and counting.