The travel to Wisconsin was normal and uneventful. I like uneventful travel because that means nothing "bad" happened. No slide off's, accidents, traffic jams, engine problems, or navigation issues. The roads were clear and dry and, although cloudy, visibility and traffic was good. There was slightly more snow in Wisconsin around the Madison area. But once we got closer to the lake, most of the snow had dwindled to sparse patches. Similar to Iowa.
Packet pickup was early the day of the race. With only 150 people running the first wave, it was a small crowd and easy to find our way around. Most of the "fast people" were in the first heat because of the potential for winning the top three. In other words: if you wanted to "win it" you have to be in that early heat to have a chance.
I sat in the designated viewing area and took pictures of Cheryl as she rounded every lap. I'll spare the blog by NOT posting 48 virtually identical pictures of her as she passed by. You would think with 48 opportunities that I would have a ton of awesome pics to show. But in reality, many of them were blurry, boring, or just repetitious. If I could figure out how to make an animation by splicing them all together, I would do that. Until then....Just know that this was how she looked.
The nice thing about taking 48 pictures of her in the same location was that at least Some of the pictures turned out. Maybe not as clear as I would have liked, but good enough. Nothing is worse that waiting for an hour for Cheryl to finally show up and having some guy step in front of the shot....Or the camera lose focus...or batteries die.....yadda yadda yadda.
As Cheryl crossed the finish line, she managed to hang on to the 45th place for most of the race. This sort of bummed her out that she did not perform as well as she normally does, but she was reminded that the top runners were in that first heat and her placement was actually pretty good.
After the race there were cookies in the shape of running shoes and Americas. They were all home made by one of the volunteers and Cheryl said they were quite good!
With the second heat beginning, we chose to leave and shower up at the hotel room. Cheryl was able to wear her race shirt and really likes it. In all, the race was a success. Perhaps not measured in the normal ways, but rather it was Cheryl's first time running indoors around a track. Her normal strategy for keeping the pace and passing people was thrown out the window as the Elites pass people multiple times. This is rather demoralizing because you think you are falling farther and farther behind, but that is not true. She says that if she had to do it again, she would have a better idea of a strategy.
The trip home as similarly pleasant and boring. Clear roads, light traffic....wonderful! The only thing worth mentioning was the HUGE flock of Bald Eagles just sound of Dubuque. At first I thought they were Turkeys, but the large size was dotted with white heads. There must have ben about 40 of them! Quite the sight to behold.
|One last picture before signing off....|