Year In Review

So the book on 2008 is pretty much written and closed. I think it was a pretty successful year, but certainly with some room for improvement, change, and still lots more to learn. I just finished Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Outliers, which analyzes what really makes people successful. One of the key concepts that Gladwell talks about is the 10,000 hour rule. Basically, it takes 10,000 hours to master something, which works out to roughly 10 years. This would be year number six, and three and a half years with Coach Joel where I’ve been training in a way that I think is representative of pursuing excellence. So I’ve still got another four to go, which in my own mind seems about right. Until then (and hopefully beyond), I will stay in the role of kohai, with Joel serving as sempai.

When I started this, I thought I would write something epic and reflective on the year that has passed, but at this point, I’m really just excited for 2009 to arrive. I’m excited to get back into a full and regular routine of training. Before too long, it will be the first race of 2009. And not long after that, I’m sure I’ll be writing something similar about the upcoming year, which will probably fly by just as this year did.

In no particular order, I guess I will do some stream of consciousness on the year that is about to become “last year” and what I will do in what is soon to be “this year.” The most exciting thing to happen in 2008 was definitely getting engaged, and while Jill and I haven’t set a date yet, we’re thinking sometime near the end of 2009, once the season is over. I am reminded that lifting weights is important, and after taking 2008 out of the weightroom, I will be back to weights and stretching, courtesy of a CHEK program designed by Lance Barrett of Corrective Kinetics that Jill gave me for Christmas. XC skiing is a lot of fun, and I will hope to do more of it in 2009. I may even buy a rifle so I can go biathloning with Khai. I’d like to ride my MTB more, something I didn’t get to do too much in ’08. I’d like to be more relaxed on the days that I’m not training, but I also hope to have less of those days spent on airplanes. That is one of my biggest goals – fly less. I have some immediate goals related to times, wattages, and pace, but it’s really striving for consistency of quality that is my biggest goal. In the build up to the second IMAZ, I had the most consistent 11 weeks of training ever. I’d like to repeat that more and more. I will learn to sleep on my back, since it is better for your neck. I will show up the airports earlier, and I will (hopefully) not miss any flights (I think I was at three in ’08). If I get a new car, it will be a Honda Fit Sport in manual. And the first sticker to go on it will be an In-N-Out Burger sticker. But I hope the CRV holds out for another year. I’d like to go to the windtunnel, but one of the other lessons learned, or rather relearned, this year was that comfort is power and power is king. I think will keep growing, and with it my “To Do” list. I will keep my inbox less full. I’ll try to eat even better. I hope I don’t forget the things that I learned in a moment. For the first time ever, running made me happy this year. Two years, swimming made me happy. Before that, biking was the first. I guess being happy doing all three makes me a triathlete, though I’m still a neophyte in my own eyes. I hope the Yankees win another crown.

To all of my supporters, thanks for making the year happen. For everyone that reads this, thanks for caring enough to do so. I’ll see you all in 2009.

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