Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Year in Review Post

Mad Dog is back and hitting the gym big-time.  I ran again today!  More precisely I ran half an hour, slowly, on a treadmill.  I felt great the whole time, though my heart rate again got up higher than I would have liked.  My ankle ached a bit, but it didn't get any worse and I didn't feel like I needed to stop.  Puzzingly, the pain in my ankle has moved to the inside ankle bone, having started out at the front outside edge then moved into the tendon that runs up to the shin.  I'm not sure what's going on, so I will have to continue taking it easy until everything works itself out.  The most positive indication is that I still have a full range of motion.

I followed the run up with Margaret's Balance class.  We did release 37, which is a goodie, but I was all over the place and it was clear I haven't done Balance in a few weeks.  Of course, the 'hitting the gym' bit meant that my legs were a little sore as well!  

If there's one thing that everyone in the blogosphere seems to do, it's the 'summing up my year' post, so I though I should probably chip in.  In short, this year was absolutely amazing.  If this is what it means to get older, then I can't wait for my forties.  Let's get the ovious out of the way first...

Running and all things fitness
Or, the year in which I discovered the Mad Dog.  If last year was the year I discovered running and fitness in general, this was the year I lived it.  This was once again a year of training well then running badly on the day of the event.  It was also another year of injuries.  I started off the year with Round the Bays.  Afterwards I ran two 10km events and two half marathons.  One of each I was happy with.  I had planned to run at least another couple of half marathons and the Rimutaka Incline, but an abductor injury, then an ankle injury, put paid to those.  I did the SPARC duathlon again (last year the Special K), and inspired my mother to take part.  I spent much of summer in a wetsuit in Oriental Bay, then stopped swimming as soon as summer came to an end.  Poor Lola has sat unused in the study (bar one short ride with Nic and Leonie) since the duathlon.  However all year I have faithfully gotten up several mornings a week, skipped out of work at lunchtime, headed off to the gym after work, spent Saturday morning working out.  All year I've maintained a combination of disciplines, from swimming to biking, running, RPM, Balance and weights. There have been times when I've trained for up to 13 hours a week, but ten seems to be reasonably sustainable!  Despite the injuries I know that I've finished the year fitter, and I know I have 
muscle.  I'm a LOT stronger than I was before.  I'm also a little heavier at the moment, but I'm working on getting that off again and I was probably too thin at my lightest anyway.  All of this means more to me than it is possible to eloquently express.  

I hesitate to set goals for this year, because it all depends on whether I can stay injury free.  On 
the list of possible events are the SPARC duathlon again, the Shewoman triathlon, the Grape Ride (a cycling event in Marlborough), and the Harbour Capital half marathon again in June.  I was planning on doing the full marathon, but I think that would be too much to focus on if I want to up my cycling.  It would still be nice to think I could run a full marathon this year, but perhaps in October (perhaps the Auckland).  Other triathlons are a possibility, but it's all about the swim. Obviously I need to sort that out first. 

I started out this year as a business analyst, fairly quickly got bumped up to a senior BA role, and shortly I will be taking over management of a fairly large project in my department.  I agonised about whether to return to my old organisation (I'd been away for two and a half years), but it was obviously the right decision.  I went back knowing where I wanted to go once I got there, and that clear-sightedness obviously worked in my favour.  I got to where I wanted to be much more quickly than I'd anticipated.  

 My writing continued to new levels this year.  The highlight was NaPoWriMo, and I was very nearly successful in posting a poem a day for a whole month.  Looking back some of those poems were actually rather good.  I also started to read a lot more poetry (and books about writing poetry), and I attended poetry readings.  I contributed to several poetry communities.  Unfortunately my writing has tapered off dramatically over the last couple of months as the stresses of a busy life have taken hold.  I'm hoping to address that in the new year, by
timetabling my writing the way I timetable my exercise.  

After monitoring Hihi every weekend last summer I burnt myself out a little and barely went into the Santuary over the winter.  Thankfully they took me back, and although I originally said I'd only go in once a fortnight this season, inevitably I've ended up there every Sunday.  I still love being up there in the trees with my birds, although the inevitable deaths are as difficult as always.  However, just when it seems to be all too hard - an afternoon spent shivering in the 
cold rain, an abandoned nest - a fledgling takes its first leap from the box in front of me, or a male sits a metre from my face chattering, and I realise it's still all worth it.  

Life in general
Last year New Years began shivering on a hill in Golden Bay.  This year I will be in Shed 1 dancing to Fat Freddy's Drop.  Music has continued to play a part in our lives, though not as large as it once did.  Hamish has continued working with Theatre Militia, and there have been the odd few big nights out (notably dancing for six hours in high heeled boots on Sandwiches' concrete floor).  This year we're looking forward to Luminate, a five night festival at Canaan Downs in February.  Hopefully it will be a bit warmer!  

This year everyone went off overseas, and those who were already overseas dropped by for quick visits.  I started thinking about trips to India and making megabucks as a project manager in the UK.  Who would look after the cats though?  We have a great life here, and it seems unlikely we will leave Wellington long-term any time soon.  And yes, I do still love this city.  

Hamish's year has been a bit stressful at times with big changes afoot at his company.  However things seem to be working themselves out there, and the general environment seems to be more positive.  I've spent a fair few weekends zipping up and down to Taranaki to see my parents.  My mother had problems with her diabetes, my father with a slipped disc in his back.  Both seem to be fairly stable right now.  My own health continues to be excellent, with no issues with my Addison's other than a brief, unfortunate bout of campylobacter, which I managed without the need for hospitalisation or injection with Solucortef.  

We still haven't done much around the house.  Unexpected repairs to the roof dominated late in the year.  I contemplated moving to a smaller, new house in Northland, but in the end it just didn't feel right.  I still come home and count my blessings that we bought this house when we did.  

We've enjoyed some great meals.  Maria Pia's stands out.  Flying Burrito Brothers continued to be as consistent as always.  Scopa was good, as was Hope Bros.  Piccolo Pizzeria continued to be a reliable standby.  Ernestos was great for brunch, as was The Matterhorn.  Midnight 
Espresso won out for its cheesecake at 3a.m.  Mavericks did great fish and chips and pizza.  
Chow was still the best place to take Auckland visitors. Tinakori Bistro won for being BYO friendly (essential when your father-in-law owns a vineyard in Central Otago). The Majestic overwhelmed us with its banquet.  The Duxton however was notable for the crushing awfulness of its vegetarian food service at 
the Chapman Tripp awards.

All up it was a good year.  There were definitely more ups than downs.  The goals for 2008 then are really to keep moving in the same direction.  

And that's my year.  It's now just after 9pm on New Year's Eve.  Time to put those boots back on and head off to hear Fat Freddy's.  Love to everyone and have a great night!  


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