Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thoughts on a New Year

It's  January 1st, 2014. This is significant in that this is the year I turn 60. 60 years old!! Really? That sounds old to me but the good news is I now am racing as a 60 year old. You would think the competition would be thinning out by now but old ladies are all aging up and still eager the win the prize, whatever that may be in the ever aging athletic world. I haven't decided my goal for Ironman Melbourne yet..I haven't been really inspired yet so I am waiting on the goal to blossom inside and let me know why it is I am doing this race and what the end game will be..

H asked me yesterday what my favorite part of 2013 was. See we get to do all this reflection cause it's our Anniversary at midnight every NYE. Often we are reminiscing about the past year; the good parts and bad...I had to think for a moment because the first thing that came to me was the awful bout of pneumonia I had in May. It laid me flat out for a few weeks. I missed 2 months of any type of exercise and basically doing life at all. Anyone who knows me knows that this is not necessarily a good thing. I train for sanity, calmness, goals, health-you name it! As I look back on that couple of months, it all seems a haze now. I know the doctor sufficiently scared me when he used words like you could die from this if you don't take care of yourself. Words like that tend to pierce through any denial that might lead a sick, insane person down the path of...well..getting back to life too soon. I learned that I am vulnerable, life is fragile and I appreciate my health so much more because of those challenges. After I got better and started "running" again, I discovered that using the walk/run method was so much more fun than just running.

So here I am, 7 months later and I am still using the run/walk method to train. Usually it is 3 minutes run, 1 minute walk however this could change if I have any issues like the stomach ishoos I had on my last long run...I actually had to cut the run short because well, my GI tract was having none of that running, walking moving forward on my feet thing...
In general, I LOVE the run/walk way of training the running part. The walk gives my muscles time to rest momentarily, the anticipation of that break refreshing mentally. I am about the same speed either way (slow) so I might as well enjoy myself.

The back thing is still present and now my left knee seems to be angry because it is taking the hit for the back thing...anyways I do not want to be one of those "complaining- about health-all the time-" old ladies, at least not yet. I am choosing to push my body beyond normal 60 year old limits so I have to accept all the ramifications of that. I listen to my body and if it says stop what you are doing-NOW, I listen..I am not use to nagging injuries, if you want to call it that. Mostly my body is dealing with aging issues, like arthritis, wearing out of back parts, etc..nope, not had to deal with that on this level up until now. I am learning about the L Word..

I digress. There were many favorite moments from 2013. Like the time we took our 2 granddaughters to Chama last summer. They are at an awesome age, where they think grandma Debi and Grandpa Hartley still hang the moon! Minus the bungee cord eye accident, which left me with my first ever shiner, the trip was fun. We also got to see "Mumford and Sons" in Taos with 2 of our daughters and one son-in-law in the summer. We got pretty much front row seats on the lawn and damn, M&S gives a great show! We made many trips to see grandkids and kids, Austin and Boulder are like 2nd homes to us practically. We spent a couple of weeks in Chama in the summer living the simple life. I love that place, the older I get. We enjoyed many dinners with the daughters that live here in ABQ and their spouses/kids. It is always fun and great times to catch up. It makes me somewhat nostalgic for the old days when all the girls lived at home. Family dinners could be quite entertaining during those years with 4 pre-teen, hormone filled teenage girls that like to talk. There was never a dull moment in our house back in the day. It wasn't always easy but I do tend to remember the good times more than the challenging ones as time goes on. Reminiscing about those times with the kids now always brings a lot of laughter and fun...

So these are only a couple of year end highlights. There are many more, I am certain. The weekend in Findlay with my daughter Becca, my sister Molly, my niece Kirsten and two of my bestest, oldest friends was a delightful, memorable time. I will never forget it. I got to introduce my kid to my "other world". The one where so many memories lie and a place where I was terminally happy..this world will live on now in another generation, even if it is just a tiny part to pass on.  Findlay, OH is such a special place to be from, to grow up in, to stay connected to. I am so blessed and lucky to have this as part of my legacy.

This is all seeming like random thoughts but this is how my mind is going today. I started to think today about Facebook. How it has connected me to so many people from my past, my present and my future..what an incredible vehicle of communication! I know many think the electronic world is distracting us from actually interacting in person. But how the hell would I interact with my Findlay High School class of '72 friends? How would I personally have conversations with folks halfway around the world that I will hopefully be meeting during future trips? I learn things about even my family almost everyday that 7 years ago, I wouldn't have a clue about.. I get to learn about local friends and their accomplishments in life professionally, personally and athletically. So for me, Facebutt is a great tool to connect-there, I said it. The cynic in me has been won over by electronic
For this, I am grateful on this new day of the New Year and hope to connect much more in many ways in the coming year.

We leave for Melbourne in 21 days..yikes! Although the stress of travel seems to overwhelm me these days, I feel more excited each day to actually be in Australia! I love Melbourne, love Australians and love the ocean. We get to compete again in this magnificent country in a sport I love. What's not to like? We are training like crazy here is Tucson. I think this, coupled with 7 weeks of training in Aussie land will be enough to create a good Ironman experience in March. This past month, December I  did the following training:

Swim: 29,150 yards
Bike: 476 miles
Run: 78 miles
Plus a few weight training session, a few hours of Yoga (not enough that's for sure, given my latest ailments and complaints).

Tucson has been an amazing playground for these aging athletes. More bike lanes than I have ever seen, great weather, an amazing outdoor pool where I learned that yes, I can swim in a heated outdoor pool with the air temperature in the 40's. Thank goodness most of the time the air is much warmer and the hot tub to jump in right after the swim is an added bonus. I think I will miss Tucson! I will be back someday, I am predicting..

The weekend before we leave our daughter is having a ceremony to celebrate her marriage to her husband, the joining of 2 families. Our whole family will be coming in, plus some extended family. It will be a joyful time. We have a great new son-in-law and a new step-grandson. The family is multiplying each year! It's all good..

On to enjoy more sunny Arizona weather..we biked this morning to bring the new year in. Now I  rest..staring out the window of our Condo at the Catalina mountains..what a life!