Saturday, September 25, 2010

The year in review

Yes, my year is over. I know December is a ways away, but who said December had to be the end. This year is done. Next year starts in roughly 8 weeks. So let's review.

The plan, as you know by now, was to bridge from 2009 to 2011, which is to say bridge from IMLP 2009 to IMLP 2011. Along the way some deliberations occurred and it was decided to make the target IM CDA 2011 instead of IMLP. Put the change of plan under the category of planning for success. The desired outcome is a trip to Kona which, while feasible at either venue, stands a better chance of being a good experience by virtue of an extra month to recover. *Note* I am not doing CDA because I think it is easier. If anything I think I'm better relative to my peers on harder courses, especially harder run courses. I've done IMLP 4 times and know it takes 4 to 6 weeks until I even feel like I can train at normal paces again. That makes the extra month gold for me in terms of Kona prep. Additionally I am historically much stronger at the end of June than I am in late July. Even as a young'n June good, July not so much. The last few years my late June training numbers, even while overloading, were far and away the best. Sure the cost and logistics are a pain, but it is full throttle in 2011 to cross a big item off "the list," so it was deemed to be worth it.

So how successful was the year? I was good not great all year which was indeed the tag line for this year. Being a good not great athlete allowed me to make progress in other areas of life. Others will have to decide if I was successful. I do know it was priceless to be home every day. The kids have really begun developing at a high rate. I refer to what they're doing as "skills acquisition." From hesitant to jump off the edge of the shallow end while literally wrapped in flotation devices, to diving under water in the ocean wearing nothing but a bathing suit, mask, and a smile!

But the best part of the year was being able to be there for my #1 fan Leanna. I believe things happen for a reason. I narrowly missed out on Kona last year...for a reason. I needed to focus on my family, and on helping my best friend try to return to health in whatever way I could. There would be ample opportunity to return to being self-absorbed. It was difficult and stressful but we kept focused. Endurance training and racing has taught me how to live in the moment, deal with what is and don't waste energy on what you wish would be, and most of all to be patient. Since her surgery in March we've made steady progress towards normalcy. She even attended my last two races, and she's returned to work and the gym. There are no words to describe how I feel. If I had to give up Ironman forever to reach this point, I would. It's this incredible bonus I don't. Hell I feel like I'll be heading to Coeur D'Alene playing with house money. There's still a long road to travel between here and there, for both of us, but we won't be alone. Leanna, I love you.