For the last day of the year, in a moment of ambition during my easy run, I decided to tackle a hill that has been calling me since the summer. Originally, I set out with no plan other than to run easy for however long I felt like. I estimated 60-80 minutes.
I ran the neighborhood and then strayed south to the Baldwin Hills Overlook Trail - a familiar mile-or-so climb up to a panoramic view of the city.
I ran up and then down and enjoyed each step immensely. It was a great climb. Adjacent to the trail is a steep stretch of asphalt called "Hetzler Road". It is a 0.5-mile climb with some wicked grades and turns. This summer I ran it, but could not manage to climb without walking.
That fact needed revisiting. So I went to conquer it. And I did. Ran without stopping, all the way to the top. And not only that - I felt great! Yes, a bit tired. Yes, I went what I consider "slow" for me ... but damn it I did it. A fulfilling measurement to assess the second half of the year. Finished the run with 8 miles of smiles.
Following the day's workout and shopping, I went to a fun NYE party at the house of one of my co-coaches and my teammate. There was a ton of laughing, some singing, a little dancing, and many wishes of 'world peace' during the night. I could not asked for a better wrap to a pretty good year in my book.
Sleep was scarce, and I headed out on New Years Day to ride with my teammates on the East Side of LA ... aka, Las Vegas. Kidding, it was only 30 miles away.
I'm so happy I did. I got a chance to ride with another co-coach, Dave, the entire 30 miles. He's a really great guy and a triathlon fiend. We traded stories of coaching and bike crashes and day-job challenges. Unless my fellow coaches carve out time in their own busy schedules to teach me, these opportunites to connect one-on-one are rare. Beyond worth the haul out East for this chance.
We finished the morning ride with lunch at Dave and Bobbi's house - she's a cooking pro and I have dreams of her kale salad, and now her soups. Ten of us huddled around the Rose Bowl broadcast and chatted. I realize that, while I draw great energy from our giant team, it's equally as pleasant to get to know my future family in smaller settings.
So there it is - my workout / friends / workout sandwich, with a side of more friends and laughing.
"Time moves in one direction, memory in another." - William Gibson
To a memorable 2013. Cheers.