Oct 9, 2015

13.1 Miles of Fun in Key West

Have you ever needed motivation in order to exercise?  Well, a couple of  months back Damon and I were perusing the school calendar and noted a fall break the kids had in October.  We did a quick online search and discovered that their holiday lined up perfectly with the Southernmost Half Marathon, and we still had enough time to train for the race and make a fun family trip out of it.  It seemed like a good idea at the time...

When the big weekend finally came, we packed everyone up, including the grandparents (we try not to leave home without them) and headed for the New Orleans Airport for our nonstop flight to Miami.  We could have flown all the way to Key West, but we thought it would be fun and scenic to drive the Overseas Highway.  Key word: "thought."  What actually happened is that by the time we landed in Miami, collected our luggage, waited for the rental car company to locate our 15 passenger swagger wagon (not a joke...it was the only vehicle large enough to accommodate us), and ate for the first time since breakfast, it was dark and we drove the Overseas Highway in the pitch black night except for one ill-fated stop where Pawpaw decided to leave the van door open and the interior lights blazing for 15 minutes so that the hawk-like Florida mosquitoes could try their best to give Corinne malaria.  If you are wondering why her face is covered in red bumps in these pictures, ask Pawpaw...
She's even cute covered in mosquito bites...
And she was totally unfazed by her bumps...
I would estimate that we arrived at the hotel around midnight, with the race set to start at 6:15 the next morning.  Did I mention there's a time change in which you lose an hour? That was not helpful.  So, Damon and I began the race in the dark on a couple of hours sleep, dehydrated and malnourished, and it was about 80 degrees at the starting line, so we were sweating standing still.   No PR's were set that day, I can assure you.  The nutshell race report is that basically from the starting line Damon was pushing me to run faster.  As Kirk can attest, this is pretty typical race behavior for Damon, so I was not that perturbed at first.  I was already aware of the fact that I would have to rein him in, at least until he started to severely dehydrate.  Our gameplan was to run about a 10 minute mile pace so that we could finish the race and still have plenty of energy to enjoy playing with the kids for the rest of the vacation.  I reminded Damon of this, pleaded with him to zen run, groused at him for bugging me about my speed, and eventually just told him I could not go any faster so he needed to shut up.  In other words, it was super great couple bonding time.  By the time we made it to the finish line, I was the most sweaty I have ever been in my life, and pretty beat.  One look at Damon's eyes told me that he was dehydrated.  Strangely, they were offering vitamin IVs at the finish line for a small fee, so I encouraged Damon to get one.   I thought it would help him bounce back faster and have more energy. I declined getting an IV because I hate IVs.  To me, they are the worst part of child-birth, so that should tell you a little bit about how much I dislike them.  Anyway, while Damon was in the IV travel trailer, I started feeling pretty rough.  I ended up visiting the restroom twice with severe stomach pain in the space of about 15 minutes, and pretty much as soon as Damon came out of the trailer looking bright eyed and bushy trailed, I found myself hunched over a trash can blowing chunks.  It was completely humiliating.  I have literally not puked after a run since a high school track meet in which I long-jumped and then ran two hurdle races, every relay, the half mile, and the mile.  (At that time in the MPSA there was no event limit.  Hard to believe, but true.) After the grandparents and the children rescued us from the finish line, I hit the showers and convalesced on the bed in the hotel room for about an hour.  I took some Advil and finally felt good enough to hit Sloppy Joe's with the kids.  This seems like a lot of set up, (or excuses for a crappy time) but stay tuned because an "aha" moment is coming later in the trip.

Anyway, we had lunch at Sloppy Joe's and visited the Hemingway House to see the cats with extra toes.  The next day, we had lunch at Salute! on the beach and the kids played at a playground nearby...

Did I mention we were hard core potty training on this trip?  That really makes vacation a delight, let me tell you.  Watts is notorious for his hatred of the topless male form, so you might be surprised to see him topless in these photos.  If memory serves me, his toplessness was the result of a potty training calamity...
Gymnast Stella...



The girls are more into group pics than Watts...
More Key West fun to come!

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