Wrapping up the year

Since I’m not going to do a lengthy Christmas letter to friends this year, this post will have to do.

Training & Racing

I had a pretty good early season this year, with equal loads of good, bad and ugly  I had two great oly races (Colonial Beach and Pittsburgh), a good showing at the Long Branch Sprint, and picked up my 1st bit of hardware at the OddMan 1-3-5.  The high point was at Pittsburgh where my friend Joe and his son got to watch me race.  While I wanted to have a really good race at IMWI, my GI tract turned against me and I ended up with a personal worst time, but learned a lot about myself in the process.

The next few years I’ll focus on running.  I’m not going to have the time for full-on IM training, so I’ll use the time to forge a runner out of this old bod.

Work

Another year as CISO at Pharm R&D, and not a lot of real accomplishments to show.  There have been some quick wins here and there, but all told it was a year of daily routine, mixed with a healthy dose of frustration.  Given the state of the company (3% global workforce reduction) and the overall state of the economy, I think that simply surviving the year is a major accomplishment.  On the other side of my job, I was able to onboard a couple of new groups onto the Synchrony platform, and began evangelizing a new platform for fax-to-email conversion.  This new service (Graphnet) looks to be a big winner for a couple of key groups who are still stuck with inbound and outbound faxing for regulatory submissions.

School

After IMWI I had to immediately switch gears and begin to focus on my MBA.  To say that this was a challenge is like stating an Everest summit is a brisk uphill walk.  After a full 8 week semester, I’m still having a lot of problems getting into an mental state where I can focus on my school work.  While my grades have been ok, I don’t think I’m getting everything out of the experience that I could.  I KNOW I’m not putting in all the effort that I could either.  Part of that is simply the lack of mental and emotional energy due to the heavy load at work, but a big part is a constant feeling that the entire exercise isn’t worthwhile.  At 48 years old, I’m having a hard time justifying the time spent on education given my desire to get out of the daily rat-race sooner, rather than later and my lingering desire to qualify for Kona.  I know that I should shelve that goal for the next 3 years, but as my fitness wanes with limited training time, it seems to get harder to push the dream aside.  Thankfully there is a three week break over the holidays so I can recharge my mental and emotional batteries and get back to class in January with a renewed sense of purpose

What’s next?

2010 will bring one big milestone:  Fran and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary!  Ye gads that seems like a long time, but it really has flown by.  We’ve had some rough bits to be sure, but the vast, vast majority of the time we’ve been fabulously happy.  We’re trying to figure out how to celebrate the event.  On the one hand we would like to have a big catered party, but we also want to get away for a long trip together.

Beyond that it looks like another challenging year at work and a full plate of classes through August, when I’ll get a month long break.  As far as racing is concerned I’m looking at the OddMan and a 5k in March, a half-marathon in April.  Beyond that I’ll probably just race and officiate at some local favorite venues, fitting them in around the school schedule.