The past month has been a whirlwind of visiting friends, family and taking time off triathlon! Now, I am in the process of getting back in shape, but I have realized that it seems to be so much more difficult to get back in shape when you are training at altitude!
I started my break in Panama City, Florida, where I watched some friends of mine compete in Ironman Florida. This was the first time I have ever witnessed an Ironman event, and I have to say that I am so impressed with all the grit and determination I witnessed from so many athletes out there on race day. A group of us were cheering right around mile 6, 9,19,22 (the run was a two-loop out and back). We even supplied chocolate to the athletes who wanted it----of course some could not even look at it, but others thought we were gods!!! I figured whatever could help athletes get through the marathon…Dr. Keith, Chance, Kathy, Kevin and all the others I met during the weekend—congrats! One of the most unique experiences was the swim start, with several thousand athletes starting at the same time! It looked as if thousands of dolphins were entering the water (everyone in their wetsuits). Watching was inspirational, but for me I am sticking to short course racing, which is my passion at the moment and maybe one day I will complete an Ironman.
After Florida, I headed to Missouri to visit my family and friends. I spent a couple weeks spending a lot of time with my nieces and going out on adventures to the zoo, magic house, city museum and many more family friendly attractions. We also attended our first Bat Mitzvah (my cousin’s) and played a little family tennis. I have to brag that I beat Nate 5 games to 1!! Nate met me in St. Louis, and brought back our new car….we traded in our truck for a suburban, so it will be much more functional down the road.
Our final stop was up in north country… Minnesota. We spent the Thanksgiving holiday up visiting my in-laws and the weather was not too frigid…yet (I am bracing for Christmas). No snow yet, which made my first few runs back outside enjoyable as I could stay away from the treadmill. We had a great time visiting, eating great food and remembering what we are thankful for---our health, family, friends, and each other! We are also thankful for the opportunity to use the Lifetime Fitness facilities while we are in Minnesota and St. Louis!
We have been back in Colorado for almost a week now and winter has attacked us!! I have been doing almost all my training indoors, but you never know in Colorado, next week it could be 60! This Sunday I am taking a day off training; relaxing, watching movies, catching up on updating my blog…..paying bills…hitting the grocery store…doing some “normal” activities. I have less than two weeks before I leave for Christmas in Minnesota and Missouri. Next week I will be speaking at Fort Carson High School with a swimming and diving team. I am also participating for the second year in a row, “Flight to the North Pole”, sponsored by United Airlines. Several other Olympians and I will meet underprivileged children who will get to have autographs, and take a flight to the “north pole” (another wing of the airport) and meet Santa. All of these children have never flown on an airplane before, so it is very exciting for them.
I am getting back into the training mode and fit for the 2010 season (one last down time for Christmas before “real” training starts in January!) Happy Holidays!!!