Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wisconsin Welcomes You!

Well, what do you know? We're in Wisconsin!

Last night, Nathaniel, my parents, and I went over to a mutual friends house. A very late night turned into a very early morning, and we talked the evening into its wintry slumber. Susannah and Nick are lovely people; brilliant, eccentric, thoughtful, and kind. Nick is a VP for a medical company and Susannah - German by birth - was a member of the German government with ambitions for the Chancellorship, until she met and fell in love with Nick. Their story is a tale of love, romance, of brilliance and devotion. Our conversations are always interesting: they flow like the ebbs and tides of the ocean herself.

After a wonderful dinner of bread with dipping oils, homemade chicken curry with rice, seasoned green beans, and a delicious dessert of cake, cookies, and other candies, we were all stuffed.

But happy.

Nathaniel, Mom, Dad, Nick, and Shannah were especially happy - as they had been downing bottle after bottle (after bottle) of wine and other spirits. I had elected to be the designated driver for the evening; this morning (Thursday) I had a key run workout, and didn't want to start out by feeling sick. (That was for after the run). But I still had a great time - everyone was so lively! When I drink, I tend to fall asleep, so it was a good choice all around.

And who knew that Nathaniel was so fluent in German? Apparently inebriated Nathaniel has quite a tongue for the language. Nick and Susannah were very impressed.

We ended up getting home around 2:30 am - I don't think I've ever been out that late with my parents in tow.

Come to think of it: I don't think I've ever been out that late while watching everyone else around me get shnackered!

But it was a phenomenal evening, and I'll carry fond memories of it for a long time to come. And next time I'm in St. Paul, I'll be sure to party with "the posse".

As for this morning - well - I was the only one who woke up sans hangover. Lucky me! And then I got to do my workout. I was actually really happy; the weather was beautiful, the temperature was a balmy 25 degrees, and the overcast sky further illuminated the thick blanket of snow on the ground.

I ran, lap after lap, around the 1.6 mile path of Como Lake, and was thoroughly entertained by the ice fisherman in the middle. About half way into my run, they caught a VERY big fish, and their "whoops" of joy reverberated from one shore to the other. I was thoroughly entertained and hardly noticed the discomfort of my sustained effort. It was great.

Its runs like that - where the temperature is "just right", where the snow is as bright as your outlook, where your footsteps provide the ultimate companionship - that I miss living in Minnesota. It was beauty personified.

After the run, Nathaniel and I quickly packed up our stuff - bike, trainer, and a bunch of clothes - and set off towards Waukesha, Wisconsin, a quaint city on the outskirts of Milwaukee. We made great time, and entertained ourselves by counting the number of visible Perkins's flags along the way. This game didn't last too long - as we were disheartened that after only an hour we had come across 2 Perkins. So we gave up, channel surfed on the radio, and remembered the "good old time" at UW-Madison (where we met and fell in love).

Before we knew it, we were rolling into Nate's parents house. And not a bit too soon! After a quick hug from Jim and Barb, I sprinted to the bathroom. Apparently me + coffee + lots of water + 5 hour drive = disaster. We stopped once to grab a bit to eat and use the bathroom - but it didn't make that much of a difference. Especially since I drank twice as much as before.

But now we're here, and happy for it.

I love going home, seeing our families, and getting to spend time with everyone.

And now if you excuse me, I need to go do my bike ride. I've done the family thing, spent some great hours with everyone: but my bike is calling. She beckons - and I know that I need to finish this workout, complete my day. If I was still in my off-season, or if today wasn't such a big/important day in the grand scheme of things, it wouldn't make that much of a difference. But it does. And I've set out some preliminary goals, thought about what I want to accomplish next season.

Ironman Arizona calls my name, and I respond.

And besides, I made my choice last night, when I opted for coke instead of wine. So there you have it. I may be in a different state with different family, but I"m still the same.

And now I really must bike!


BreeWee said...

Good for you! Go bike... Have fun with the family and training!

Pedergraham said...

Marit--the Chrislock bread picture on the site looks so so yummy...sorry I am so distracted by that that I can't even comment on your biking! Enjoyed your bit about the run 'round the lake and the whooping ice fishermen!