Given that Thanksgiving is upon us, I thought I'd list some of the things I'm thankful for over the past year related to triathlon and running:
I am thankful that it didn't get any warmer or more humid during January's Miami Marathon. The heat and humidity of those last 3 miles made me ask to my friends on finishing: "Remind me, why do we run these things?"
I am thankful for the great venue that is Miami Marine Stadium, where I did two Olympic distance evens and one sprint. With its protected bay for swimming and shaded run path, there isn't a better venue in South Florida for triathlons.
I am thankful for the company of good friends Wayne Crayton, Bob Bowker, and Jacques & Christine Watters who were part of the Paris Marathon trip in April. That was a wonderful adventure shared with good friends.
I am thankful to Marathon Tours for putting together these international marathon trips. They not only make your foreign marathon trip easy and fun, but they create an environment where you get to know other interesting athletes from around the U.S.
I am thankful that ultrarunner Bill Andrews allowed me to crew for him at the Keys 100 in May. During the course of this event, Bill taught me a lot about both crewing and running an ultra.
I am thankful that buddy Tony Whittaker, out of all my tri buddies, decided to join Salome & me on the Vineman 70.3 trip to Sonoma Valley. Not only could I not have found a more enthusiastic fellow athlete for the event, but he brought along his expertise in wine and fine dining.
I am thankful for TriBike Transport for once again allowing me to travel across the country without the hassle of a giant bike box. While they charge a pretty penny to transport your bike, they do it professionally and with a smile on their faces.
I am thankful for the water stations, well stocked with water and ice, at the Miami 70.3. These well placed stations a quarter mile on both sides of the Port of Miami Bridge made an impossible task of 8 crossings over this beast of a bridge tolerable torture instead of life threatening.
I am thankful for my virtual training buddy and coach, John Clidas, for his keeping me focused on my workouts even though they were mostly separate workouts during his busy work travel year in which he was imitating the George Clooney character from "Up in the Air."
I am thankful for my spin instructor, Dorota Porazinska for getting me to break out of my habit of a steady pace and learn to change it up. It was enormous help help in the hills of Sonoma Valley and all of the turns in Miami.
I am thankful for my trainer, Penn Ivanov for both strengthening my core and upper body, but also for his sound advice in balancing aerobic training with weight training.
I am thankful for all of my training buddies and friends that give me a reason to keep the training social and fun, provide mutual encouragement at events, and give me a reason to follow an event over the internet as they do events at out of the area "away games."
I am thankful for my fellow bloggers who read my entries and write good blogs of their own to keep me both interested and amused. I get more from these blogs than I ever get from magazines devoted to the sport.
I am thankful for any of my Facebook friends that read my blog entries, especial those that leave comments or click the "Like" button. Sometimes its the only way I know anyone reads these posts.
I am thankful for my sons, Alex and John, who keep me feeling younger than my years by making me play like a 10 year old and socialize with a bunch of college aged young adults.
I am thankful to my mother in law, Kiki, for her fabulous cooking, the care and devotion she gives to my son Alex, and constant concern she expresses that my wife & I may be overdoing it with all these athletic events.
I am most thankful for my wife, Salome, who not only understands and puts up with my passions for running and triathlon events, but also participates in them herself. I can't think of a better formula to stay young at heart than to go jaunting around together to various athletic events.