And this weekend was no exception. My last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, not only in terms of putting on a family Thanksgiving by myself, but also with all the stuff going on with my dad, my own rehab (dr. appts. and trying different workouts), and shopping, etc., but then there is also that thing that seems to get in the way of all other aspects of life: work, the necessary evil.
So I was taken by surprise when I got an e-mail from Shelley that we would talk about some things when she came over this weekend. This weekend? What was going on?? Oh yeah, the Ironman party. I had totally forgotten it was this weekend. I'm glad Libby was on the ball and invited her.
I started thinking of all the things I was supposed to do this weekend and wondered if I would even have time to go to the Ironman party. But, as I said, I always try to find time for my friends, and I was able to change things around enough so I would be around for the Ironman gathering, a yearly get-together of the Iron people here (and wannabes) to watch the showing of the Ironman Hawaii race, watch their IM videos, and generally pig out on all the food everyone brings.
Friday at work had been so crazy, I never made contact with anyone about what time we were getting together or what I needed to bring, or even what time Shelley was planning on coming to town. I had promised my grandsons I would take them Saturday to a Christmas party at my credit union to visit Santa and for other goodies, so I was committed to doing that in the early afternoon. I decided to just blow off work for the day so I would have time to make something to bring to the party and not be too tired to have a good time. Basically, I thought up something to bring as I was going through the grocery store after the Santa party, and had to whip it up while I fed the kids and cleaned up their mess before they had to leave.
I was really glad to see Shelley, and she had just arrived at our friends, Bruce and Nancy's, house just before Don and I showed up. It always seems that whenever we get together a few times each year that we still don't ever get enough time to talk and get caught up! And everyone here is always glad to see her too. And of course, they all have Ironman talk to discuss, so its a fun time for her, too, I'm sure.
One thing we all hate about the Ironman coverage on TV is all the commercials! They'll show 2 or 3 minutes of coverage and then switch to a commercial. We all felt, though, that they seemed to cover a little more of the "regular" people than just the pros. I guess that's how they tempt you to buy the DVD.
After the Hawaii coverage, we watched the IM Florida DVD and then Wisconsin again, once again being reminded what the conditions were for both races, less than ideal. We then watched a homemade DVD Lecia, another friend, put together, recapping the year from the pictures she took at so many of the races we all did, and put it to music that was fantastic! She does such a good job. In her next life, she needs to put together race DVDs, she does such a good job. So that's always a lot of fun too.
The evening wore on, and Don got out his "What it Takes" DVD about the lives of 4 pro triathletes in the year 2005, culminating in the IM Hawaii world championship race. It included Peter Reid, Luke Bell, Heather Fuhr, and Lori Bowden, who as you might remember had a baby last year and did not compete at Hawaii. So it was a late night (9:45!) and some of the people were talking about their running plans for the next day. The plan ended up being meet at 8 at the "park" and run whatever you wanted. I haven't been down there in a while, for obvious reasons, but had already decided I needed to get back to the group sometime, so Sunday seemed a good time.
Shelley and I agreed to go together, since I knew I couldn't keep up with anyone but the walker probably at this point, and she was willing to do whatever I wanted. We spent so much time talking, that even though we covered almost 5 miles (for me, a HUGE milestone), we walked as much as we ran, as we chatted away. So much to talk about! And I saw some old friends who seemed very glad to see me back out there. The weather, too, was much improved over the last few days, with bright sunshine and an almost "balmy" (maybe 40?) temperature.
Then it was on to breakfast before she had to leave. It was a big crowd today, and we were all spread out in the restaurant for a while, but finally were able to get a few tables to sit together. Everyone was discussing their "calendars" for next year, and it seems quite a few are doing the Triple T, so Shelley will have some company there!
I'm always amazed at how much these people do. They have events planned for the whole year. One right after the other. Get done with one, and boom, on to the next. And they always do pretty well, regardless of the weather or whatever, so they are true, hardcore athletes. And making it more interesting? Only a few are under the age of 40! Most of them are over 50 in fact. I couldn't tell you how many marathons, ultras, IMs, or other tris they have done in total, the number is so high. Its like a hobby for them!
All too soon, it was time for Shelley to go. I hope it won't be too long before we meet again. Hopefully, I'll have pictures later.