Advent = Review + Renew

The past few weeks I’ve enjoyed being able to “relax” by having no structured training, sleeping in a few times, and being able to spend most of my time at work. Certainly it helps that Gina has the signed contract I gave her regarding my post Ironman activities. But we have been able to train together at EPEC a few times a week and recently went out for a walk/jog routine early in the cold morning around our complex. I’ve enjoyed taking the time to reflect over the season, review my goals for next year, and get things taken care of – (thank IOS for cleaning the old FELT). A week after the Ironman, Scott took me to The Running Event in Dallas which is held each year by the IRRA. This was 2.5 days of seminars, speeches, and an expo of the new products coming out, tips on management/business ideas, and meeting new vendors with store mangers/owners from across the country. Most I knew from our trip to Boston, but it was a wealth of experience in just a short time. Scott and I got to talk and discuss goals for the store in the next year as well. They even held a 5K race for all attendees and I pulled out a 16:50 for 16th place!  We came home with lots of gear and sneakers so if anyone needs a pair of socks, let me know.

We then had to prepare for our annual Turkey Trot. This past week was just nonstop work regarding the event. We had over 5200 runners/walkers and it was a blast. The crew from Monster Drinks came by the store last weekend and I couldn’t have been happier to be able to ask them for 10 cases of product to distribute at the water stop. Gina helped secure the deal and we wanted to make sure our responsibility for race day was top notch. She had everything under control and made sure I got on top of things to make it an efficient water stop. Sure enough we got up at 5:30am on a 30 degree Thanksgiving morning and made our way to the event. We tiered the cups 4 levels high and by 9am we were ready. I had the Monster station setup a few yards ahead. When the mid pack came through it was chaos. Team in Training helped at our station as did Laurie and friends. I handed out 5 cases worth and by the time the whole 3000 pack went by it was time to clean it up. My voice was gone from cheering (especially when someone I knew went by), and we all went from freezing to overdressed as the temps rose to the 60′s. After cleaning everything up we headed to the finish area where we helped clean the garbage, box everything up (came home with almost 100 bananas), and help Scott with whatever else needed to be done. I needed a Monster by then and it was only noon! I drove the CRC truck to the storage unit following Gina and then we headed back to the store to unload the tables and awards. By the time we got back home it was 1pm.

Gina was on all cyclinders (I think she snuck a Monster in somehow) cause she went right to preparing dinner. She cooked an awesome meal as we enetertained Staci, a coworker – for dinner. She played this Celtic Man CD for G and I almost passed out it was relaxing (not like Enya though). By 9pm we were in bed.

I use this time of Advent to Review and Renew. An Ironman (or key season ending race) is my way of shedding the old self and peeling away the new. What I learned, experienced, accomplished, etc on all levels of my self is analyzed. In this time of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I begin to structure my training again and prepare for the new year. I test, practice, and sample different equipment, training protocols, and nutrition to mix things up and get set for 2009. I did indeed have a great year race wise and probably made USAT All American. Certainly I take the time to thank everyone involved – all the companies and people who have had a hand in my results this year. They are listed in the links section. Gina has been the ROCK, and I use this time to reverse roles as much as I can (and when she lets me) but Santa knows what’s on her list too!  

So what’s in store for 2009? From a racing standpoint, I’ll focus more on half marathons and 70.3′s. I almost was able to use my Ironman split to qualify again for Boston, but it wasn’t a certified course. No sweat (and it’ll save $$$$), but key big races will be Myrtle Beach Half Marathon in Feb, Racefest Half in April, and a 70.3 in Lubbock, Tx come June to try and qualify for Clearwater. If all, I still qualified for USA Halfmax Half Ironman Nationals but that’s in Oklahoma City. I’ll race a lot more locally and Gina will try a 5K or maybe Ramblin Rose Triathlon if we can get her in (it closes out fast). Charlotte has plenty of local events to choose from.

As I write this, I am a bit worn down with a headcold from this week’s activities and no real off day. Gina made sure the remedies were put in place since she knows I don’t take anything OTC (that rum laced Apple Cider might be a winner). I look forward now to being out there in the nice chill, strengthening the body to prepare for a new year, and cleansing the spiritual side while giving as much as I can this holiday season.  

Sunday begins Advent and the next 4 weeks will allow me to continue to dig deep and shovel out the remainder of the old self. It’s looking good because the hole wasn’t that deep.    

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