2012, here we go

Annabel decorating the Christmas tree
Oh no! Christmas and New Year celebrations are over, we’ve got to go back to work and wait a whole year to do it all again! Time to plan a holiday I think.
So 2011 was a tough year, but a lot happened. Illness and death are as hard as it gets, but from those people and experiences we’ve learnt and grown. I keep adjusting how I think and act, linking back to those we lost. I hope I’m better for it.
Rhi and I handed in the first draft of our textbook in 2011, which is due to go to the typesetters this week. I’m looking forward to seeing what the illustrator makes of our scribbles. Already I’ve been asked to develop another textbook project with the same publishers.
Work has been nuts again (I’ve been saying that since I started in Swansea), and to be honest, by the end of the year I think I was burning out. I hope I find a better pace when I go back. I need to get some support to help me use my skills and abilities effectively and to allow me to crack on with the things that are fun (and that students will love and find helpful if I ever get them finished). We’ve all got to pace ourselves if we’re going to be working until we’re 70-something! If I didn’t have the training and racing I’d go mad (or become ill) for sure.
Racing was pretty good. My fitness and ability improved over the previous year and good results happened as a result, even though my running was crap. I’m not driven entirely by results – going fast in a triathlon for 2 hours is just plain fun for me – but good results really help and push me on. They’re a reward, a sign that all the work I’m putting in is working, that my biology experiment is succeeding. My running is becoming more robust again now after a long period of hard and sustained work so maybe I’ll get some running races in this year and perform a little better. That might be the key to top triathlon placings in 2012.
Christmas this year was my most devious yet. Father Christmas also did a great job and the kids had a great Christmas. Jack has been plugged into his Nintendo 3DS since he opened it and I’m waiting for him to finish Mario 3D so I can get stuck into it! I managed to hunt out, buy, get delivered, build, hide, wrap and pull out a Cannondale mountain bike for Kim without her knowing. I wanted to surprise her with something that I was sure would make her smile and get her excited, and I don’t think she’s had her own bike since she was little. Kim’s had an extremely hard year and Christmas was always going to be a little sad without her mum, so we switched things around a bit, changed the routine, and a new bike (hard tail, aluminium, disk brakes, v nice) made her very happy. The surprise was an important factor, and I was chuffed I pulled it off. She had no clue and that made Christmas Day brighter and exciting. It’s scary being that devious!
Now we’re back into January I’ve got back into racing planning. It I’m avoiding thinking about work. I’m off until Monday when I and the kids go back and we need some more family time. I think I’ve worked out what kit I’ll race in this year, and I need to get my sponsors’ logos from them so I can get them printed on some new kit. I’ve got a list of potential races written up, and my race bike’s frame has gone back to Cannondale to have a crack looked at. It’s time to get some entry forms sent off and some travel plans made.
Have fun in 2012!