Monday, December 29, 2008
... the year comes to a close. I know I said I probably wouldn't blog this week but I changed my mind.
I'll keep it short and sweet.
Our festive celebrations were held at Old Thatch this year with several family members coming over to us for the day. Pictured around the table are Fiona, her brother Christian and his family, her sister Jane and her family and their father (and recent heart attack victim - see previous blog) Maurice. Thirteen of us in total and, once again, Fiona did us proud (as you can see from the empty plates). It was a fantastic day and the six cousins (Erin, Alice, Luke, Joseph, Thomas and Emily) had a terrific time, as did the various aunties and uncles.
I've managed to keep extremely active this holiday, doing something every day and even including a brisk 5k run on Christmas Day itself. Other highlights included a 2km swim session, an 8 mile Boxing Day cross country run with Colin and Alex, a 45 mile solo bike ride and a tough fixed wheel bike session. I come to you today off a 12 mile brisk run at just over 7:30 pace which, for December 29th is - for me at least - a good place to be.
I'm anxious now to begin training for the new season and Sunday will see a session with Team MK specifically aimed at all of us gearing up for Ironman in the summer. Can't wait.
Last week's film quote was spoken by nobody in particular - in fact the guy who is running the whole alien/mother ship landing experiment - in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. My great mate Jonny Kurzman got it but couldn't figure out how to post on the blog... Jonny, get with the programme, mate.
Last one of 2008. Who can place this baby, and the person that said it:
"My idea of Heaven is a solid white nightclub with me as a headliner for all eternity, and they love me."
This has been my second season in triathlon and it's seen a marked improvement in my performance. Thanks are due in no small measure to many people.
First and foremost, of course, to Fiona, Erin and Alice... the lights of my life, who joined me in Austria this year and were bitten by the Ironman and Triathlon bug. I think they understand what it is I'm chasing... at least I hope they do because then they can explain to me exactly what it might be ! But for showing patience, love and understanding... my thanks and love.
Also, in no particular order...
Thanks to my coach, Mark Kleanthous, for never once doubting I could go sub 11 and training me to be at peak fitness for my one and only A race and helping me deliver a 10:42. Thanks also for holding me back when all I want to do is go out and do too much... a voice of calm and reason.
To my training buddies from Team MK, especially Graham Mackie, who made me so welcome in my first season at the club. It's been terrific to be able to surround myself with so many top class athletes and I look forward to another season in the saddle.
To Colin, Alex, Simon and all the local triathletes with whom I train, drink and laugh. Great mates and great fun. Good luck to Colin in his attempt to qualify for the GB age groupers at sprint distance in 2009.
To Tom, Helen, Gabriel and others for sharing everything, supporting from afar and the joint training sessions we've had. I look forward to more in the months ahead and good luck with your challenges this coming year.
To Rob Quantrel... with whom I've never trained but undoubtedly will soon. Thanks Rob, for shadowing me on the marathon of our epic Ironman in Austria. Congratulations on a sensational first Ironman and here's to more success in 2009.
To Cervelo for making bikes of such extraordinary genius that any more words are redundant.
To whoever up there is watching over me for allowing my knee to remain - somehow - still functioning. Just another season, honest (well, maybe a couple more after that...)
And of course, you knew you were going to be in here, didn't you... thanks to you, whoever you are... anonymous or not... for reading and being part of the blog. I hope that the year has been a successful one, that some of your dreams have come true, but enough have remained unfulfilled for you to be hungry for the challenges ahead. For challenges and struggle are an inevitable part of life and the way we deal with them goes a long way to defining how we are perceived by others and how we feel about ourselves.
Anyway... must rush... I have an opportunity now. I need to drink as much ale as possible before I give up for January.
Next week we all get to set our new year's resolutions.
I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.
But remember this.
Anything is possible.