My coaches are sadistic and evil. Seriously. What were they thinking? The last two weeks of IM training has included 17 hours this week and 18.5 hours next week. Yep, I’m talking about the weeks of Christmas and New Years! Never mind that people travel. Forget about the fact that people have family and friends. Disregard the whole “holiday” thing. As I’ve said before, Ironman training is a train that will leave your ass behind if you don’t keep up.
That’s why a huge portion of my time in Ohio was spent on my feet, in the pool or on a stationery bike. Gone were the days of leisurely lunches and drinks with friends. We weren’t in town long enough to really do much “hanging out.” Those are some of the sacrifices that go along with this journey. Fortunately, Shawn was with me every step of the way.
Our friend Karl blessed us not only with a great 15 mile run on Sunday, but also two free passes to the brand new state-of-the-art Ohio State University Rec Center. This facility featured multiple pools, weights, hot tubs, cardio equipment and everything else you would ever need for a greatworkout. So, on Christmas Eve, we headed to campus for a 1.25 hour swim workout in one of the 6-pools followed by :45 minutes on a stationery bike. I wanted to ride longer, but we had to get to Christmas Eve mass!
While children all over the city of Columbus were playing “Guitar Hero” on their Wii’s on Christmas morning, Shawn and I headed to our neighborhood park and knocked off 7.5 miles of running at an average pace of about 8:20. Man, it felt good to burn some calories before our annual Sergio Homeade Ravioli and Spaghetti Christmas dinner.
Our visit to Columbus was all too brief, but packed with so many memorable events. In between workouts, I ate more cookies and buckeyes than I care to admit. We visited Shawn’s close to 90-year-old Grandma and her advice to us? “Never Grow Old.” Don’t worry Grandma Hilda. We won’t.
Christmas Eve dinner was spent in the company of over 40 people including my brother’s and their families, aunts, uncles and cousins. I literally felt the warmth of holiday love and tradition as we ate, exchanged gifts for the kids and watched the little ones play Christmas caroles on the piano and trombone (GO Caroline!) as all the adults sang along. Norman Rockwell would have a new painting if he were sitting in that room.
After our run on Christmas morning, we headed over to yet another Aunt’s home and continued our homeade ravioli and spaghetti tradition that was started by Grandma and Grandpa so many years ago. Another packed house of 40-50 Italians gathered and shared stories, kisses, hugs and more food! On Christmas night, we came home and played Dominoes with Shawn, my Mom and my Brother Tommy (who thinks my blog is stupid) followed by the new DVD version of “The Price is Right!”
I wasn’t ready to come home. I could get very used to sleeping in with no alarm clock to force me out of bed. I could get very used to Mommy making my breakfast every day. Alas, we left yesterday, but not before I got a 1 hour ride on my parent’s old school Aerodyne Stationery Bike. It’s not my Guru tri bike, but I worked up a sweat nonetheless. Besides, my heart and legs don’t know the difference between Schwinn and Guru. Sweat is sweat…That’s all I’m sayin’.
Our last meal before boarding the plane? A couple of Sliders at White Castle Hamburgers…a workout in and of itself. I’d like to formally apologize to those who were sitting in rows around us.
I haven’t mentioned my wonderful Christmas gift because it warrants an entry unto itself. Hopefully tomorrow…