Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A (mostly) non-triathlon wedding trip

This weekend my oldest and I flew to Chicago to attend my nephew's wedding and to take a quick trip north to see my sister-in-law. It's good to take a full sabbatical from the triathlon world once in a while and this was to be mine. A family-focused weekend!

I didn't even plan to workout, but I packed some running clothes JUST in case.

Spencer and I flew out Friday and it was nice he did not need to be packed in a bike box. That made the whole flying experience much simpler and no surcharge for him either!

Friday night was a gathering for the out-of-town guests in honor of the bride and groom.

 Spencer, my dad, and the groom, Evan

The groom, Evan, is a triathlete and an Ironman. He and I did a nice long bike ride together a few years ago and we've run several turkey trots together in PA and OH. For his birthday this year I gave him an entry to this June's Chicago ITU race. Oh...right...I digress...this NOT about triathlon!

In honor of the occasion, I removed all my plastic "jewelry" including the Road ID, beloved plastic flower bead bracelet, and plastic Timex IM watch. If anyone needed lap splits, they'd be out of luck because I had caved to fashion.

This party was a great chance for me to brush up on my social skills outside of triathlon. However, it turns out the two people I spoke to the most were Evan's Uncle Frank (a multi-Ironman) and his Uncle Mike (a runner). We had a LOT to talk about - shoes, power meters, training, race schedules. No idle chit-chat there!

 me and my "little" 13 year old boy who is approaching 6'

 with my sister, mother of the groom!

Predictably, on Saturday morning I was up way before anyone else. So what's a girl to do? My bed-headed self stumbled, un-caffeinated and un-breakfasted, to the hotel gym to put in 6 easy miles on the treadmill. Good thing I had packed for this contingency!


Then it was wedding time!!  My nieces managed to fill the entire morning - hours and hours - with something they call "getting ready." I'm still not sure what that means, or what it entails, but I am pretty sure if they ever do a triathlon, their transition area will contain a hairbrush and mascara (at a minimum).

 I have wonderful, brilliant, creative, beautiful nieces!

They make my Achilles hurt just looking at them, but my niece pulls it off
like the professional that she is!
I'd need crutches to walk in them, and then crutches to recover from walking in them.

Mr. and Mrs. Evan and Kimberley Walter!!! 
Nurse and triathlete -- a perfect marriage!

Sunday morning I met up with tri-friend and fellow blogger Sheila Plemich. She's done every triathlon distance from Ultraman to Ironman to Supersprints and her training, intensity, and focus just blow my mind. She's racing IM Cozumel in three weeks. We met at 6:30 am as the hotel restaurant opened and spent 2+ hours talking triathlon and life and drinking way too much coffee! By the time we finished, the family was finally wandering in to the restaurant so I joined up with them.

 Shelia and I

 Second breakfast!!

On Sunday Spencer and I drove up north to my sister-in-law's to spend time with her. She showed me around her town and pointed out the path that led to the nature preserve where she often walks with her dog Penny. With that, my fate was sealed. On Veteran's Day morning, I hit the trail for an impromptu run at the Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve. It's a flat, wide, packed, cinder path that is a runner's dream! I got about an hour in before the rain and snow moved in.
 Happy Veteran's Day! (yesterday)

After a shower and some re-packing, it was back to the airport. Spencer and I had lunch and observed the various running forms of the airport gate sprinters. Then it was time to return home.

So maybe it was not a TOTAL non-triathlon weekend, but it's hard to take the "triathlon" fully out of the "triathlete".

Congratulations, Evan and Kim!!