Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year in Review!

Another year has passed in what felt like the blink of an eye, and what a year it was! And despite having zipped by so quickly, it was certainly a long road, filled with (the most) incredible ups and frustrating downs.

The year began as it usually does - with a training plan. Only this year, unlike most years, I began the year with an injury - and spent much of the season working around it. When I look back to January, February and March, I can hardly recall more than a haze of early sunsets, indoor interval sessions and rehab appointments. When April rolled around, I began to incorporate more outdoor riding - and some running.

With uncharacteristic spontaneity, I sighed up for the final Ironman St. George - arguably the most difficult of all Ironman races - three days before the event. +Kristine Marigomen+Alexander Curtis and I road-tripped to Utah and I slogged through one of the most challenging events on record. From that point on, the year seemed to speed by in fast-forward.

Before I knew it, it was July. Kristine, +Bo Boghosian+Morten Lundsby Jensen and I were in Zurich, and I was tackling my season target: Ironman Switzerland. A much-needed vacation followed, and then a business trip to Dublin. And when I returned to the states, well, it was wedding season!

As sublime as crossing an Ironman's finish-line might be, it's barely a blip on the radar compared to marrying Kristine before close friends and family in late August!

I thought things would slow down after the wedding, but work picked up significantly through the end of the year. My free time was spent riding for enjoyment's sake alone, or bike-shopping with Bo, who, as you'll remember from my previous post, had signed himself up for an Ironman. I was able to visit Alex and do some riding in Southern California before the three of us (Bo, Alex and I) tackled some of the roads around Lake Tahoe over a relaxing and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Kristine and I wrapped up the year with a much-needed holiday vacation with my awesome family in Ohio, where we spent the days lounging around in pajamas, baking cakes and cookies, and poking fun at one-another. It was as perfect a Christmas as I've ever had. I love my family, and I love my wife!

Next year should be a good one, with new challenges and big things to look forward to. But before we move on to bigger and better, I'm going to enjoy these last few hours before the ball drops. Farewell, 2012. You've been good to me!

Favorites of 2012

  • Album: Blunderbuss by Jack White. Unoriginal. Sadly, I did not really listen to a whole lot of music this year. For the first time in years, I find myself unfamiliar with a lot of the albums on the top of many journalists' top-ten lists. I guess I have some catching up to do! (Honorable mention: the self-titled debut by Django Django.)
  • Song: 
    1. Breaking the Yearlings by Shearwater.
    2. Semi-Charmed Call.
    3. 93 Million Miles by Jason Mraz (for sentimental reasons).
  • Movie: Life of Pi. Such a gorgeous film. (Honorable mention: Cloud Atlas.)
  • TV show: Kristine and I are a bit behind the times. We discovered Homeland this year and were hooked almost immediately. The first season was probably the best single season of any show ever. (Honorable mention: we were only just introduced to Walking Dead a week ago, and it's already become an obsession.)
  • Meal: Ristorante Bottegone in Lugano, Switzerland. (Honorable mention: just about every breakfast or lunch Kristine and I shared on various park benches in Europe.)
  • Moment: Exchanging vows with Kristine at our wedding, and then dancing ("Stayin' Alive!") with her at the reception. (Honorable mention: sunset atop Monte San Salvatore in Lugano.)
  • Ride(s):
    1. Alex, Bo, +Vitaly Gashpar and I ride in Tahoe on Thanksgiving Day.
    2. Vitaly, +Gerardo Ferrando and I pace each other through the Sequoia Century in June.
    3. +Aylwin Villanueva, his headlight and I climb Mt. Tam for sunrise on a Friday morning in November.
    4. +Oleksiy Mishchenko shows me some of the gorgeous Swiss roads around Zurich and Zugg in July.
    5. I get my ass kicked by the NCNCA master's time-trial champion across the flat, 103-mile Livestrong Challenge course. We finished in under 4 hours and 30 minutes.