costume before we headed to the Minnesota Rennaissance Festival. This has become an almost-yearly tradition in our family, and we were happy Katie could join us! She is a master seamstress and this year brought along costumes for Haley and Jake. Just look at them! For the record, she made hers and Rob's as well... Our group won the costume contest thanks to her skills, winning us free admission (except for plain-clothed me, of course). We had such a fun time people-watching, browsing the interesting shops, eating huge turkey legs, and watching others' reactions to Haley's costume. Haley, Katie and Rob even attended the Queen's Tea while Jake and I took off for the afternoon. It was a great time and I'm sure we'll be back next year!
While the kids swam that night, I did my final preparations for something I'd been training for all summer - the Iron Girl Duathlon. For some crazy reason it sounded like a good idea back in May when I signed up. I was so nervous! I'd trained hard, but you always worry that you haven't trained enough. As Rob and I drove the course that night I became even more anxious as I saw that the bike course was hill after hill. I had gone for long rides and worked hard in spinning class, and hoped that would be enough to carry me through...
Rob dropped me off at the start the next morning when it was still dark...there was no turning back now! I and 999 other women racked our bikes, set up our transition area, and headed to the starting line. The first 2-mile run was a nice flat loop, followed by 22 miles on the hilly bike course, and then another 2-mile run. My times were about as I expected them to be; I finished in 2:30:39. By the time I started the final run I was so ready to be done, but then I saw Rob and Katie and the kids on the sidewalk cheering me on. It was just the boost I needed and I'm so glad Haley and Jake got to see their mom accomplishing such a big goal. It will probably be a while before I sign up for another event of that size, but for now I'm just happy to say I'm an Iron Girl!
MALL OF AMERICA
After the duathlon we headed over to the Mall of America for the afternoon. I was pretty beat, so Rob took the kids on ride after ride after ride...they were in heaven. I did a little speed-shopping (couldn't pass up an opportunity to go to Nordstrom!) but was really too tired to last long. Haley astounded us by asking to go on a few of the bigger rides. She was barely tall enough to get on them, but she went on the roller coaster and the log/water ride a few times each. I couldn't believe this was the same little girl who wouldn't ride on the kiddie rides at Lagoon this summer! That night we headed for home - exhausted and happy and ready to embrace autumn in Grand Forks.