Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Chasing my husband

8th May 2006

This past weekend was spent chasing Brian around on his bike:) Saturday was a criterium, which involves 1 hour of racing on a very short course. In this case, it was held in downtown Anniston, on a 4 city block square. This is a pretty big race, drawing good cyclists from all over the country. Brian’s parents went with us, and we had a fun time staking out a good spot to watch the action and enjoying a food festival while Brian got ready. He did really well, placing 14th overall, of about 70 racers, and actually winning a little bit of money. It was an exciting race! The race wasn’t until 6:15pm, so we didn’t get home until almost 10.

Sunday was another cycling race, called the Cheaha Challenge. It’s known as the “toughest ride in the South” because it’s 102 miles up and over – and back – Mount Cheaha, the highest point in Alabama. We had to leave at 5am, in the middle of a huge thunder and lightning storm here in Birmingham. Thirty minutes from the start, as we were going to be arriving just minutes before the scheduled start, Brian realizes that he has no bike shorts:), just a pair of tights he’d brought to layer under his bike shorts due to the cool, rainy weather. Hmm… after 102 miles he was going to be awfully sore without the padding in his bike shorts:( After we dropped him off in the pouring rain (with the start delayed 15 minutes), we were driving out to our first spectating point on the course and realized he’d forgotten his glasses. Ag! We were able to hand them to him, though. The weather cleared up, and it even ended up being a warm, nice day by the time he finished 5hours, 2 minutes later. We saw him at several different points. For more than half the race, he was in the lead pack, but he dropped back some in the 2nd half, and ended up finishing 4th (behind 2 professionals). He was pleased with the race, and I was impressed:) I love watching him race!

Two funny moments of the weekend. First, Saturday evening at the criterium, Brian wanted to stay to watch the professional race, which was right after he finished. Analise and I were pretty tired, so we retreated to the Toone car to watch a DVD. As the race was wrapping up, a truck pulled into the parking lot, with about 6 or 7 men seated in the bed area. At first glance, they were all wearing boldly black and white striped shirts. Hmm, I thought, wonder what kind of group would pick shirts like that, since they looked a lot like something from a jail. They backed in next to us for a moment, and when one of them stood up, I saw that it wasn’t just a shirt, but a whole black and white jumpsuit. Hmm… guess their “group” actually was a jail! I guess they were there to clean up after the festivities.

The other fun moment came as Brian was recapping his race. The last 25 miles were a bit of a mental battle for him, as he was riding alone, and it was gentle rolling hills that seemed very long after all the up and down climbing of the first 3/4 of the race. Anyway, he rode past a little turtle who was just starting across the road. But he couldn’t go too far without feeling like he needed to go back and rescue the turtle, helping him cross the road. My husband is a hero! (He gets this from me… I’ll ALWAYS stop to help turtles across the road.) I’m so proud of him! Note… he’d probably have broken 5 hours if he hadn’t helped the turtle:)

I’m not sure who reads all the way to the end of my blogs, especially the ones without pictures, but I just have to add this. My husband is amazing:) It’s the craziest time of year for him, as he’s helping students nearly around the clock (it’s 10:44 pm, and he’s at school helping them with a project due tomorrow!), getting tests graded, finals written, trying to wrap up the semester. He’s got so much on his plate at work. Here at home, he’s been so much help, trying to take as much of the burden off me as he can. He’s doing so much of the stuff that I would normally do, and I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate it without tearing up. To top it all off, he’s putting up with emotional me, and being strong when I dissolve into tears almost nightly for any number of reasons. I’m sure he’s overwhelmed and stressed – when he has a moment to think about it – but he’s been amazing, and I’m so thankful to have him! I love you, Brian!!

2 Responses to “Chasing my husband”

  1. Corrie Says:

    Wow!! Great job, Brian!!

  2. tb Says:

    that’s sweet. I almost got choked up too and I’m not even the pregnant one 🙂

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