I know, 20 days into the year and I finally decide to embrace it. Good for me! It's been somewhat of a low-key start to the year, so maybe that explains my reluctance to exuberantly celebrate the start to the new year.
Or the end to 2014, for that matter, which was a memorable year but wasn't exactly a *fantastic* year. I think that I declared around this time last year that it would be a 'bold' year which, ultimately, it wasn't. It's funny, in foresight, I believed that the whole Ironman thing would be an audacious experience, but that wasn't really the case. As a family friend said to me on this topic, there is something militaristic about training for such an event. He didn't say that in a negative way but rather matter-of-factly, and he was quite right. By undertaking IM training, I ended up with a regimented schedule for about 6 months. Not to say that it was easy - it wasn't - or that it wasn't a fantastic experience - it was - and I certainly took risks and grew and learned about myself and about the whole swim/bike/running thing. However, Ironman wasn't THE defining moment of the year, which is okay. Maybe it's hard to find one moment in any given year, or, if you do, are you reducing all of the other moments that are pretty great? I can say that 2014 was a year of growth, which came with good times and also harder ones. Seeing relationships ebb and flow is natural, but it's not always easy, and I experienced some of those growing pains this past year. Also, I know that it sounds silly to non-pet people, but I still miss Milo, our dog, who passed away last February.
I hope that 2015 is also a year of growth (I suspect that it will be!) and of tackling new challenges. Despite some of my moaning, groaning and grumbling about lack of fitness, I have committed to another Ironman experience! My plans in 2015 are Ironman 70.3 St. George and Ironman Boulder! St. George was a tough choice because it's the same weekend as Wildflower, which will always be near and dear to my heart in terms of triathlon, but after last year's swim, I don't know how the conditions will be better this year (with the continued lack of rain), and Michael, Mr. Sherpa, said that he'd prefer to go to St. George anyway. The only issue I'm currently experiencing with St. George - mentally at this point - is that it is a harder course than Wildflower. Gulp. This means that I need to get in gear, especially on the bike! The bonus is that it looks like an amazingly beautiful course, so I can't wait for that.
And Ironman Boulder - it was the only 'obvious' choice for different reasons. Summer plans, for instance, and also for the emotional pull that Boulder has had over the past 9-10 years. It was my first Ironman experience, at Boulder 70.3 a few years ago, so it will be exciting to tackle the full distance this year. Plus, we'll be there in June which will give me the chance to train on the course - what a concept! Even better, I love the idea of seeing friends and family on the day of the event.
My only issue right now, is that... despite working with the same coach as last year (who is awesome) and despite the long off-season that should have reenergized me, I'm feeling... Oh, a bit 'off'. I was so excited to begin to train and to focus on 2015 training, and I still am, but I'm also worried that I bit off more than I can chew this year. Maybe it's just that I'm nervous about the idea of another Ironman and I'm still waiting for things to come into focus. I was so excited in July, still riding on the post-Ironman high, that I couldn't wait to sign up for another race, but now I feel somewhat intimidated about fully committing to the training program again - but here it is!
In the meantime, I recognize that I have much to look forward to in 2015 and exciting changes are afoot. But there are also some scary unknowns (the Rumsfeldian "known unknowns" along with the "unknown unknowns"). I hope that I can embrace all of the experiences, good and difficult, and the changes that come my way in 2015.