Advent has come and gone. The past month has been valuable in the time spent reflecting on the things around me, quality time with G, talking to my family, and mostly working at CRC. But it is in this time that I get to slow things down. Really slow things down. Observe a little closer. A little deeper. It allows me to uncover the true meaning of some things – the true meaning of Christmas time.

Under contract with G since the Ironman finish, I have only been exercising just to keep in shape. No measurements, no heart monitor, no plan. These 7:30am sunrises have made it quite tempting to sleep in, causing a major SAD situation for me, but G and I have shared a few early morning runs around the complex – once under a full moon. I have been testing, preparing, and scheduling workouts that I have set for 2009 and we’ve added a Cyclops Pro300 with the help of Ilan at Bicycle Sports.

The CRC Run Group did very well at the Thunder Road half-marathon and we can’t wait to start the Racefest program in late January. I am proud of them all seeing them cross a finish line. Inspirational. You learn a lot running a race from the middle/back of the pack.

G and I found time a week before Xmas and got a tree (along with 3-4 other errands on a typical Sunday). We decorated it nicely with ornaments from our journeys. The hectic shopping of the holidays was not felt by us. We decided only to get gifts for ourselves (we both did well) and the money we usually spend on cards, gifts, and shipping, we donated to our respective charities/fund raising efforts (including buying a dozen Krispy Kremes for a girl’s softball team). G baked like Mrs. Fields and ensured that I have plenty of items to snack on while at work and when training begins (oh yeah it’s some serious good stuff). She even gave me a gift from a website that allowed me to create my own energy bar! Slammin’! We even donated blood and for me – this was a first in a long time – but I almost couldn’t due to my vitals. They allowed it based on that athlete provision clause. We “chilled” in the lounge chairs late one day after work and yapped it up with the nurses while watching HGTV.

So what now in this renewal of myself from 2008? Ahh, this is best left for private access conversation since it is too deep to reveal in a public journal. The pieces that were shed and discarded were easy to peel away. It was the new layers that have yet to come to fold. Maybe it is to my benefit to still arise in the darkness and return from work in darkness. It is quite easy for me to light my way (4:13) and this time will bode me well for the next 5 weeks. I look forward to this new beginning – again. I highly recommend the songs “Hearts Burst into Fire” by Bullet For My Valentine and “I Don’t Care” by Apocalyptica and finally “Believe” by Staind. Feel the tingle deep.

It was a rewarding year in many aspects of my racing/training that planning a 2009 season will present some new challenges. I will probably do a test half marathon in March, and then race the Southpark Half Marathon with the run group like last year. I will then try to get to the Buffalo Springs 70.3 in Lubbock as our getaway in order to qualify for World Champs in Clearwater. That’s pretty much what we can aim for at this point both financially and schedule wise.      

What’s on tap for New Year’s? Work – but trust G and I are enjoying every minute (and every glass) of this Christmas Day together.

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