Honestly, if I could have just one thing for Christmas it would be that my friend Kay finds out that after all her tests, after her medications, her surgeries, and all her fighting that she is cancer free. That would be the best gift of all. Good health is something I wish for all my friends and family in the coming year. It is one of the main reasons I have committed to writing this weekly blog. It keeps me accountable, but I have also been able to inspire others along the way. Get your yearly screenings, eat healthier foods, and commit to moving more so you too can be gifted with a healthier life.
Along with good health, I also would love to have an injury free Ironman training season. The more miles I put swimming in the water, running on the road, and riding my bike, the more chance there is of me getting injured. In February Karrie, Leslie, and I start our official Ironman training, which entails some pretty intense workout days. I am hoping to avoid any major injuries, because I think that for me the most difficult part of Ironman is going to be mental. I really need every single training day to make me a stronger swimmer, and I would hate to be sidelined and out of the pool for any length of time before the race. In addition, I am also wishing for my friends to stay injury free as well. I will be honest, some of this wish comes from a need to be surrounded by my training buddies, but I do know how it feels to be injured and unable to do what I love. I would not wish this feeling on anyone.
I mentioned that my actual Christmas list has really changed over the last few years. I no longer ask for anything that does not relate to my triathlon training, because it is amazing how many things I have needed to support each leg of the race. For swimming, I already had many of the training aids: paddles, buoy, kick board, and flippers. I did have to purchase a second swimsuit, and though it wasn't a must-have item, I don't know how I would do my long pool miles without my SwiMP3 player I bought myself. For Christmas I am asking for legs that don't sink in the water--this has been my weakness from the beginning, and while I have improved over the last few months, my legs continue to drag when I don't use my buoy to keep me afloat. You would think with the amount of fat I still have left in my thighs that they would easily float, but no such luck. So it is my wish that my persistence with swimming will pay off, and my legs will become an asset instead of a liability for me.
I think that biking has been the most expensive sport for me out of the three. I had to buy everything including a bike, helmet, pedals and shoes, padded bike pants, and biking jerseys. Lately Sean and I have discovered that it can get pretty cold riding bikes in the winter, and we have been caught unprepared for the cold more than once. So my Christmas list did include warmer biking pants so that my legs are not frozen by the end of our rides. I am also hoping for some courage as I ride my bike down steep hills. I have never been one that appreciates heights, and when you add barreling down a hill at incredible speeds into the mix, I get terrified. I am not a skier for just this reason, but I have a feeling I will not be able to avoid hills on my Ironman. For this reason I am hoping that I will be gifted with an appreciation for the feel of the wind blowing in my face as I fly down a hill.
Running was my original sport, so I have acquired many of the necessities over the years. I have summer and winter running gear, I have my running packs to carry my water, nutrition, and music, and I have my support items like knee braces and KT tape to keep my injuries at bay. The only large expense I have is that I need to buy new running shoes about every three months with the amount of miles I put on them. I just bought new shoes, so I am hoping that Santa brings me iTunes cards. It is time for me to create a new playlist for my first full marathon, which I will be running in January. I will need at least five hours of music to keep me occupied as I run through 26.2 miles of the city of Carlsbad. While music is important, my biggest wish is that Christmas will bring me the stamina to survive so many miles pounding the pavement. I actually made it almost 21 miles this weekend, but I must admit that I was pretty exhausted and beat up by the end.
So Santa if you are listening, please bring good health and a year of injury free training for me, my family, and friends. And if it is not too much to ask, please help me to be a more buoyant swimmer, a braver biker, and a stronger runner. Oh, and one more little thing--please allow me to cross the Ironman finish line in under 17 hours, so I can say that not only did all my training pay off, but I can call myself a true Ironwoman.
May this lovely Christmas season bring you delights in all possible forms. May you receive love in abundance and joy that lasts throughout this season. Merry Christmas wishes to you and your loved ones!