Race day!

Today was the East of Maui / Eastport Yacht Club SUP race in Annapolis — which was also the first SUP race I ever entered last year.  I entered that race a month into paddling with no idea what I was getting into just because I really wanted to know what was out there in terms of paddlers, equipment, and camaraderie.  The experience didn’t disappoint, and now I’ve completed four races with another two coming up (much later) this season.

Last year, I slogged my way through the race, battled boat traffic, fell at the end, and was mostly relieved to have finished (and not finished last).  This year, I went in with a goal time of 45 minutes, which I missed by 2 minutes at my race in Kent earlier this season.  It was pretty ambitious considering my time at this race last year was 57 minutes.

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There were 119 racers entered this year, 40 of which were women doing the short course (my course is the short course — I’m not crazy).  I placed 13th overall out of the 40 women and hit my goal time with a finish at 45:31.

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Even before I knew the time, though, I was thrilled with the race I had paddled.  I had my best start of all four of the races, and I had a huge burst of energy at the end that helped me pull past several other races on the home stretch.

I love this course because it’s almost identical to the conditions I normally paddle in — a fairly straight there-and-back course paralleling the shoreline with moderate bay chop and unpredictable boat traffic.

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(G said I look sad there. It’s probably because it was actually raining on us at the start of the race, and I was thinking about how slippery the handle of my paddle was.)  But the rain stopped right as we got underway, and by the time we finished, it was hot and sunny.  IMG_6174 copy 2 (Large)

That’s a big smile after the finish line.  I followed this up with a much-needed drop in the cool water before pulling my board up and, of course, my free post-race beer.  A pretty full morning, and it was only 10am.

G was awesome as he always is, getting up well before dawn, helping me with the board, taking pictures, and cheering loudly whenever I was in range.  He even put together an awesome video of the event, including the start of the race and a stretch on the back half when I was really giving it everything I had to pass folks and finish strong.


Our Easter

Easter weekend is almost over, and we had a really fabulous time full of family.  I’m having trouble coming up with the words to tell you about our weekend, however, because Nell is currently pleading her case to eat more Easter candy, Lucy is barking at Guy to throw her some ham and mac and cheese; and Sofia the First is flying through our living room…or singing very loudly from the television anyway.

So in lieu of a written post, I’ll give you a photo dump of all the fun things we did this weekend…

Like Easter Baskets and a hunt in the guest house courtesy of Aunt Bunny K.

IMG_5945 (Large) IMG_5946 (Large) IMG_5948 (Large) IMG_5949 (Large) IMG_5953 (Large) IMG_5956 (Large)  In case you aren’t looking closely at the next picture, that is a box of marshmallow cereal with no cereal. Because Aunt Bunny can. IMG_5958 (Large) IMG_5964 (Large)

Easter baskets inside were followed by an egg hunt outside on the deck. By this time, Nell was in full competitive spirit (bad egg hunts are all in our past), and Guy knew just what he was doing also.IMG_5969 (Large) IMG_5971 (Large)Just in case that wasn’t enough, we moved back inside for Easter baskets from, yanno, the real bunny, ahem.

IMG_5973 (Large) IMG_5989 (Large) IMG_5978 (Large)And just in case you’re wondering, those tiny hula hoops are not easy.

Trust me.

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Neither are My Little Pony puzzles, but these three rocked it.

20150405_143219After baskets and plastic eggs, Nell dyed her eggs in the only way Nellie knows how: with glitter, glue-on sparkles, and princess stickers.

IMG_6000 (Large) IMG_6005 (Large) IMG_6011 (Large)The seasons really have turned over in southern Maryland. The sun was shining this weekend, and the water in the Bay has finally passed the 30s and moved permanently into the 40s around here.  It is glorious.

Today also marked the very awesome maiden voyage of my new race board, which G bought for Valentine’s Day, and which I have been staring at impatiently for almost two months.

20150405_111836_resizedIt was so nice out for the ride today, in fact, that I think I could have done without the gloves and hat. I was definitely warm by the time I got back in.

And it stayed so nice out that we got in a second beach trip this afternoon with the kiddos, who took their new rain boots and raincoats from K straight into the water. For a little boy who wasn’t initially so sure about those boots, he sure overcame any doubts as soon as he realized they were his ticket into the water.

20150405_164532-1 20150405_164605-1 20150405_165016-1 20150405_163640I sure hope the kids are tired because I’m exhausted. It was quite a weekend, and a very happy Easter.

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I entered a paddle board race this weekend in Annapolis, the Chesapeake Stand Up Challenge. The short course was just under 3.5 miles, and all I really wanted was to not come in last and to make it in under an hour.

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The paddle board has been a lot of things since we got it earlier this season: a way for G and me to get some exercise while still spending time with the family, quiet time for each of us, a new way to show Nellie the water, and a small reminder for me of my California roots.

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We have paddled a lot lately, and G has been especially supportive of my efforts, letting me go for longer rides and watching the kids while I am on the water. In even this short period of time since we’ve had the board, I have felt myself getting stronger and getting back to me after having a baby. It is incredibly empowering to paddle across the Bay for miles, and it is something I needed this summer.

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I entered the race, in part, to see what else was out there — to go somewhere (Annapolis) where paddle boarding is more popular and to see the other boards and meet people from our area who share a love of paddle boarding. But mostly I entered because it’s been almost nine months since Guy was born, and I felt like celebrating.  There is so much attention paid to the nine months of pregnancy, but there is an awful lot of hard work required for the nine months AFTER pregnancy.  And I am proud of what I have accomplished in that time.

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And, no I didn’t win, but I did finish in under an hour, and I wasn’t last.

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Babies Who Brunch

Wayne and Michael invited us to brunch in Annapolis this weekend, so on Sunday we loaded up into the truck and headed downtown to spend an exceptionally beautiful day by the water.  Despite a November chill, the sun brought out a crowd of people for the farmers market and other weekend happenings.

Before heading over the drawbridge to the restaurant, we stopped by the water to smile with Guy and Nellie.  Nellie didn’t get the ‘smile’ memo, but I figure she was just ready to get on with some brunching.  Cue family pics.

Nellie in the jump seat of the stroller — I am pretty sure she is saying, “Enough pictures. UNLIMITED SHRIMP, PEOPLE.”

Our brunch spot:

It seems the pictures end there, in part because we were busy eating, but also because eating out with two kids is HARD.  Holy crap.  As it turns out, I need a little more practice before brunching on my own with the two, but I will say, six adults to two kids (plus champagne) seems just about right.

June bug

In California, we have june bugs–metallic green scarab beetles that emerge every summer and feast on fresh fruit.  Blissfully, in Maryland, we have no such thing.  But we do have Nellie–a messy little monkey who goes through just about as much fruit as the beetles.

It’s June, and the sun has responded with a nod to summer this weekend.  The weather on Saturday was perfect for the annual lab rescue dog walk.  Lucy was in her element, and Nellie breathed in the fresh air and the sea air and slept for the entire walk (but thoroughly enjoyed hanging out beforehand, and eating out afterwards).

We arrived early, as we always do, and set up camp under one of the tents that was vendorless at the time.  To our delight, that particular vendor never showed, so we had a private cabana on the park.  It was a lucky thing, too; while G, Nellie, and I were happy to sit in the sunshine and enjoy things like goldfish crackers and fruits, Lucy tugged her leash just long enough to find a spot in the shade.

G and I took the afternoon off and let Nellie dogsit, which was nice.

Lucy, as per usual, liked the pool portion of the walk way better than the walk portion of the walk. You’d expect all the labs would jump into the water, but no–just Lucy.  She claimed the pink pool.  She subsequently claimed the blue pool.

I’m not sure whether it was the walk, the swim, or just being an only dog for the day, but Lucy was one happy pup.

Nellie was…still asleep in her stroller.

We spent some time by the water before finding a spot for lunch (that accommodated babies and dogs–not an easy feat!).

Lucy approved of the day. And then she rode home in the front seat of trucky, ready to brag to the other two.