There was lots to see there as usual. We made several trips around to look at the beautiful flowers and plants and smelling the wonderful baked goods, and sampling from the cheese displays and other yummy food items. Before I knew it we had polished off an Amish cookie, a homemade vanilla filled Bismark as big as my head (I split it with Mike), an apple fritter (also as big as my head and split with Mike), a loaf of warm fresh spicy cheesebread (also split with Mike and bigger than my head!). We bought a bag of fresh squeaky cajun spice cheese curds and a couple of beef sticks to boot. Does your stomach hurt yet? Mine did too, but it was SOOOOO good. Seriously, I way heart the Amish- they bake their asses off!!
After a lot of deliberation, we decided on 3 blackberry starter bushes (to replace the ones I somehow already managed to kill this year), 2 cilantro plants and a habenero plant to add to Mike's Salsa porch garden, and a pair of ginourmous hanging baskets to hang from my arbor so it has some color until the clematis plants get a little larger and fluffier. The girl at the plant stand could not remember what kind of flowers the plants were, nor were they marked. She did know they were edible and told us that repeatedly, several times. I am not sure why I would WANT to eat my hanging basket, but apparently if I wanted to I could....... (WTH- very weird!) Apparently we looked hungry or something, I have not a clue.
Next we were off to the Alliant Center for packet pick-up. There were roughly a bajillion people there. We got a bag. We got a tee. We got a ton of other stuff - flyers, discounts, udder balm, a Badger State Games lapel pin, a water bottle, a pen, and some other stuff. My favorite item of all was a red Madison Marathon/Saturn Cow Bell!!!! Now my kids can use it to cheer us on by ringing it from the sidelines. Plus I feel just like Will Ferrell from Blue Oyster Cult........ I know I am way too excited by this stupid bell, but it was fun.
Also on the Alliant grounds was another something only Wisconsin can do up right - that's right, the World's Largest BRATFEST! Being at Bratfest and not eating a brat is like going to Germany and not drinking the beer, so of course I had one of those greasy lovelies too with horseradish sauce and mustard. It was the best brat I ever ate.
Once we got home, the food fest continued with supper at Applebee's and other miscellaneous crap. We never eat like that, but darn it was good! I think I ate one of everything......
This morning we were up early again and after a quick bus commute, we were back on the Capitol Square for the start. I had to use the porta-jon to take care of some excess pre-race Rock Star, which was a 40 minute wait in line. Needless to say the portas are a far cry from the pristine marble and mahogany bathrooms in the capital building a few measly yards away I had used only the day before (I am feeling a little bit George Costanza, rating bathrooms and all, but hey whatever). The course was nice with a downhill followed by a nice flat run along the Lake path back to the Alliant Center.
The start was very congested and I noticed that I was able to break through the crowd a little more nimbly than Mike was. I felt like I got way ahead of him at the start and then he never passed me, so by the time I got to the finish line, I was really certain that I had beat him to the finish somehow. Hallelujah! I was revelling in it as probably my one and only opportunity to cheer HIM in, so I crossed the finish, stripped my chip and turned around to watch for him. After a few seconds, I felt a tap on my shoulder to find Mike trying to figure out what I was watching. I looked at him dumbfounded and asked "How did you beat me here???." Oh well, burst my bubble......... We got a quick snack and a water and headed back home.
Once we got back, we loaded the bikes on the roof, picked up my bro-in-law Jeff and we all went to lake Leota Park in Evansville to pre-ride the bike course for the Evansville Duathlon. Wholly f-ing crap, Batman - what a course! The first 3/4 of the way was a breeze with very little elevation change, but windy. Apparently karma thought we were a bit too cocky and kicked us in the butt. Up we went up a 25% or so grade, turned a corner leveling off slightly, then up, up, up again. We panted for while at the top and kept going. The next hill was just as steep if not more so. just before it, my chain fell off and got chain grease EVERY WHERE. Got it back on quickly and up we went. A few hundred yards into the climb, Mike's chain dropped off too and he had to stop. No way was I going to be able to stop and restart, so I kept going and planned to wait at the top for him. We waited and waited and waited and finally decided he must have had to walk it and sure enough, he turned the corner not long after. I could see he was ticked and as he got closer we saw the blood running into his shoe from a wound on his ankle and his other knee road rashed up.
By the time we got to Magnolia Bluff park, I was toast. We did the turnaround and headed back. The ride back was better, but there were still a few bigger hills and at the bottom of every downhill there was a 90 degree or worse turn so you could not ever really get flying down.
I am glad we pre-rode the course so I can prepare for next week. My plan will be much different than if I had chosen to sit home today. Plus I burned up a ton of calories today in atonement for my gustatory sins of yesterday.
Final numbers 6K results: Chip time 40:07, Pace 10:25/mile (PR!) 196/315 overall, 7/13 age group, 83/171 females- Yeah me.