Friday, December 10, 2010

This was the year...

On my run this morning, I was thinking back over the last year. We had one main goal for 2010. It was Ironman Canada. We signed up for it in August of 2009. Everything we did in 2010 was to set us up for August 29th. All our plans, all our efforts, were focused around this one thing. It has been a long time since I have put this much of myself into one thing. It was awesome to do it with Trevor. It gave us a common purpose. Our friend Doug was there every step of the way. We were a team.

This has been the year of "come will be FUN". It was the year of "hey, I'm thinking of doing (fill in the blank). Want to do it too?". The answer was always "YES". No matter who asked and no matter what filled in the blank.

I was going over the months in my mind and here is how I remember this year...

January - Trevor and I decided to get our USAT coaches certification. There was a weekend class in Colorado Springs. We asked Doug if he was interested in going and he said "YES". We flew to Denver, drove to Colorado Springs and spent three days learning as much as we could about triathlon and coaching. We got up at 5 am and went for runs in the dark and the cold. It was a BLAST. Trevor and I also got to spend some time in Denver with my family. We met our newest nephew, Landon.
When we got home from this trip, we learned that our dog Wookie had lymphoma. This was sad news. We spent a lot of time loving on him, talking to him, helping him through this disease that took away his strength.

February - Trevor and I organized the Max Muscle Vancouver Half Marathon. We decided to do this in December and really worked hard over a short period of time to pull this thing together. It was a success and we are well into the planning for this year's race.
For Wookie, this month was full of ups and downs. As his disease progressed, we spent many hours petting him and talking to him about what came next, for all of us. These moments with him are among the best of my life. I was so blessed to have the time to spend with him. It was good for both of us.

March - My memory from March is our 21 mile run in downtown, the last long training run for the Whidbey Island Marathon in April. Our friend Trish joined us. It was rainy, like always. We were dressed the same, like always.
Wookie passed away in March. He left us quickly and quietly. We have missed him every second since then and still can't believe he is gone. A week after Wookie left us, we found out that our cat Gus has an inoperable tumor and was given 6-9 months to live.

April - Whidbey Island Marathon - the best and the worst. This was a tough day for all of us. It was kind of the beginning of the training season and really gave us a wake-up call. I remember thinking to myself "how the hell will I run this far after swimming and biking during Ironman".

May - We organized a Parade Run around the Hazel Dell Parade of Bands. This was a 2.5 mile run. It was a beautiful day - sunny and warm. It was just perfect.

That night, we drove to Olympia. The Capital City Marathon was the next day. This was my favorite marathon this year. I really felt like I hit my stride. As I crossed the finish line I high fived Trevor and Doug. Standard for this year - it happened at every event!!
The best thing that happened in May was that Buster came to live with us.

June - This is where things started to get crazy. We did the Newport Marathon at the beginning of the month with all our running friends. It was great to have the whole crew together. I love these people. At the end of June we did the Pac Crest Half Iron distance. We all stayed in the same house in Sunriver and after the event we got to have the BEST dinner at Doug's Aunt and Uncle's house. This was such a great weekend. Tough event for all of us, but still so fun! We stopped to see my friend Diane in Bend. She's my best friend and had just moved away. It was SO good to see her and know she was happy.

July - This month was the highest volume training - lots of LONG rides, lots of LONG runs and lots of LONG swims at the pond. We also started our training group for the triathlon we put on in September. Doug showed up every Saturday morning to help with this. We rode Mt St Helens. Twice. These were 8 hour days on the bike. Our first trip up the mountain was one of the hardest days of my life and one of the most rewarding.

August - This was Ironman month. We had made it through the toughest training. One last ride....that's when I crashed my bike and ended up in the ER. These following three weeks were probably the most difficult time of my life. I hurt so badly. My confidence was shot. I was working SO hard to convince myself it was okay and I really struggled with believing it. I have some good friends who really held me up during this time. Trevor, of course, completely believed that I would get through it. He says he never doubted it, because I am not a quitter. I was really surprised how much other people believed in me. This was perhaps the best lesson I learned this year...I am stronger than I know. Everyone believes it. I should believe it too. The entire trip to Canada was amazing, full of memories. Every moment was a lifetime. I changed during that trip, I became more of myself than I have ever been before. It was humbling. I know I will never forget that trip and I hope I never forget how I felt about myself then.

September - Home. It felt good to be home. We organized a triathlon for two weeks after Ironman. Not very good planning. The event was great, but I was EXHAUSTED. I don't think I have even been so tired in all my life!!! I was ready for a break when this was done. Gus grew more ill as the days passed. He would have good days and bad days and I spent as much time by his side as I could. I knew he didn't have much time left and I wanted to soak up as much of him as I could.

October - Gus died this month. It broke my heart. I miss him terribly and can't stand the idea that I have to live the rest of my life without him. At the end of the month we did the Gorge Marathon and it was a disaster. Certainly not the experience I was hoping for. But we did it and it was fun in its own way. Next year, I'll do it again and the sun better be shining!!!

November - The off season. Trevor switched gears and started to get ready for a Mixed Martial Arts fight in December. We started doing higher intensity workouts. I decided I wanted to run faster, so I worked on that. We did a 10k Turkey Trot on Thankgiving and I ran faster than I can ever remember running. We had a great holiday with the family. We also took a quick trip to Denver for our nephew's first birthday. It was great to be all together again.

December - here we are...the end of another year. Trevor fights again tomorrow night, holiday parties are in full swing. Its time to reflect upon the past year and look ahead to next year. I like this time of year. I like to take stock.

When we signed up for Ironman, we knew Doug. We ran with him on the weekends and had been to a few social events with him. He gave us advice and helped us through our first half Ironman the year before. So, we knew him casually. By the end of 2010, Doug knows us better than just about anyone else. As I was thinking about the year, I realized that Doug was a part of everything we did this year. He was always there with us and really is now a part of our family.

Doug saw us at our best and at our worst this year and he still seems to like us. I am not a person who really lets people in, I usually keep them at arm's length. I don't totally open up to people because I am afraid they won't like what they see. Doug has seen it all and I feel that he likes me more because of it. That is a true friend.

This has been the most rewarding year of my life. I am better today than I was at this time one year ago. I hope to say the same thing next year. And every year after that.

This has been the saddest year of my life. I have cried more this year over loss than any other before. I hate that. I understand that the good comes with the bad, but that doesn't make the bad any less bad. Through it all, Trevor has been at my side. That makes all things more bearable, all things more fun. As Bon Jovi says "Everyone needs just one someone to tell them the truth". I am blessed to have that...and so much more. Thank you 2010. It was a great ride.

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