We arrived in Kansas and parked in the fitness center parking lot. Today there was a sponsor coming to film some footage during the swim. We were a couple of hours late arriving, but we had contacted the ambassador, so there were no issues. Brilliant plan! With the late nights, the kids were sleeping later than usual, and this morning they were all still sleeping upon our arrival. We hit the pool, and James’ shoulder was still killing. Casey hopped in the water to do what he could to help out with a draft. I swam along side of them, and again was feeling grateful to be able to do a little something. We were warned about the grumpy water aerobic ladies in the lane next to us. I swear, water aerobic people are mean no matter where you live. I have had old ladies pick fights with me at the gym, and other places, so I heeded the warning that day. After some time, the kids started coming in, so I jumped out and got showered.
In the parking lot, after the swim, there was a good sized group of fans and people waiting to bike with James. Because James took so long, there was even one guy who had come to bike with James, but shifted his plans when he realized James was late. He swam before we got there, went to work for a couple of hours, and then had someone call when James was ready to bike. This group of people was the first group that actually felt like ‘fans’ and not just people showing up to support us.
Before we started this journey, I told James that he should get drug tested and blood tests along the way. I didn’t care how much it cost, but I felt it was imperative to have this as an insurance policy, knowing that accusations would be made. Our Kansas ambassador assisted us in arranging to be tested that morning. A gentleman there was close friends with the CEO at the hospital just a few blocks up the road. We went over there, having been told that we would be in and out, because it wasn’t an official visit.
Psych! It took forever! We were there for more than 90 minutes. I had spent that 90 minutes trying to joke around with the staff; they didn’t want to be my friend, making the 90 minutes seem even longer. It was almost noon by the time that James actually got on the bike. At least he was able to catch a nice 30 min. nap while laying in the hospital bed. We were now feeling a bit stressed, again, about time. Moving east made it so that we lost time because of the time zones. So not only did the late finishes mess us up, but losing time through time zones created serious time loss. This stressed everyone out, but it definitely stressed me out the most. I was always bothered that we were wasting other peoples’ time. We should be respecting their time, as they are making sacrifices to be there to support us.
He finally got onto the bike, and we went to find the house. The AirBnB was the parents’ home of our ambassador. We had no issue pulling into the driveway with the RV, it was nice and big. In fact, they had their own RV, so this driveway was custom designed for an RV. They even had a plug for us to plug in so that we didn’t need the generator. Who knew that some simple things could be so luxurious!
We went inside and this kind family had set up lunch for us. There were delicious sandwiches, veggies, and treats. I about died, and was so relieved that this was all handled. This was my responsibility to have everyone fed, an showing up and having it done was such a relief! They were so kind and gracious; they gave instructions as to where everyone could sleep. People moved left and right, heading to all of the specified locations to sleep. The report back was that the basement was dark and cold, perfect for a summer day nap. I wondered what it would be like to just go to sleep and wake up refreshed. Instead, I sent the kids out to the playground in the yard and got going on the chores. Laundry was in, and now I was headed outside to get things cleaned up in the RV. I also needed to unload The Little White Mazda and move all the boxes out of it so that we could drive it that day.
The kids were thrilled to go out to the playground on full tummies. I got to work on the RV first, because I would need to move the boxes from The Little White Mazda into the RV. It took me about 2 hours to get it all cleaned up, but it was amazing afterwards, first time it was actually clean since we started. Then I started on the The Little White Mazda. The exterior of The Little White Mazda desperately needed to be washed, even though I knew that it would just get dirty again. I didn’t care, I desperately needed to wash it after noticing it for several days. A car wash would be beneficial and fun for the kids.
It was about time for James to come by the house on his bike loop. The wind was so strong, ask our friend Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. I felt really bad for James, because wind on the bike sucks on any day, especially day 10 of day-to-day iron distance events. He came by, stopped for a bit, and was cold to me. I tried to connect in that few seconds that he was stopped and he totally ignored me, and then snapped at me. I was ready to throttle him! I knew he was grumpy, but he was nice to everyone else, except me. When he left, I was so hurt. Fighting tears, I loaded the kids into The Little White Mazda and got the air conditioning going. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt as I went through it in my mind, but it wasn’t working very well.
We asked our hosts if there was a car wash close, any fun activities in the area, and if there was a dollar store around. We were informed there wasn’t much to do in this area, so I figured the playground was the highlight of the day. We found the car wash with their instructions, and the kids each took their turn cleaning off the black film on of The Little White Mazda. It made me feel kind of sad that it would only be this clean, this one time I drove it, then it would be dirty again. We found a dollar store (of sorts) next and the kids found their treasures. Part of what made these souvenirs great was that it gave them something to play with on the down times. My kids are awesome at using their imaginations, so props like these extended those imaginations even further.
Back at the house we loaded The Little White Mazda back up on the trailer, transferred all of the boxes out of the RV back into the car, and everyone gleefully climbed into the RV. Our next stop was a park for the 5k. The 5k was at a beautiful park, and the evening was beautiful. Someone had brought us a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies to eat. I was so touched that they were thinking of my family, knowing we craved this fresh food. Someone was thinking about the kids and me, and these small acts of kindness meant so much. We all waited patiently for James, while Lucy and Lily started selling shirts. Again, we were starting to see a fan base build. People wanted pictures, and James was even given an American Flag that had been through battle, now displayed in our bedroom. It felt like things might finally be picking up so that we could raise more money.
Because we were so behind this day, we sent everyone off for the 5k, and had to move parks, as this one closed at dusk. We loaded everything up and moved to some baseball diamonds until we figured something else out. We ended up in a chiropractic parking lot, where we would stay for the rest of the night in Kansas.
Casey’s brother Brady happened to be driving through while moving across the country. He stopped and hung out for a bit. This guy was just as crazy as Casey, just not quite as flamboyant. It was fun, and again, a nice break from the stress of the 50/50/50. They headed to pick up dinner for everyone. Aaron and I waited in the parking lot for James to make his run loops, in the pitch black.
It was late, again around midnight. The guys came back with dinner, but had shorted it two meals, so we split things up and made it work. A this point the kids had already fallen asleep. Again, I was very grateful for the fruit brought earlier! I think it was around 1:30 am when we decided the RV needed to head out in order to make it in time. I kissed James, whom I was still pissed at, and sent him back out to do more run laps. He still had around 10 miles left, so brutal! Aaron slept in the car, waiting for James. Casey and I took off and headed to Oklahoma. I decided to sit in the front seat and keep him company. The drive was short, only 2.5 hours, and I knew Casey was exhausted. I hung out with him until 3 am, helping to keep him awake. He then said, “I loaded up on Dr. Pepper, I am feeling good.” I am sure he was lying and was just trying to be nice to me, but I took his word for it, went back and slept for the last bit of the drive.