I want to state unequivocally that I fully understand the commitment to training that is necessary to compete in an event like the Ironman.  I fully understand the need to be dedicated and devoted to one’s training program. 

But, and I have a big but here (haha), there are times when life overrides training.  (Seems like there are been lots of these times lately, but it still stands).  Tomorrow morning, before light, we begin a journey to the other side of the planet.  Jesse and I are going to join Sam and Laura in New Zealand for a 4-day backpacking trip to the Milford Trek, billed by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 Hikes in the World.

Sam has arranged for the reservations necessary in the huts along the hike, and we begin hiking on November 12.  We won’t have cell or internet service, so no blog or Facebook posts until we come out at the end.  This is the whole Lord of the Rings area and the views are supposed to be spectacular!  So the training becomes 6-8 hours of daily hiking with a 30# backpack instead of swimmingrunningbicycling.  Just like last week for 6-8 hours of daily biking. 

There is a children’s book called Flat Stanley, where a paper representation of a real Stanley travels about; I have a Flat Family of my own, and am taking along 15 friends who have expressed an interest in traveling along.  There are laminated to withstand the damp weather we are expecting along the trail, and some are highly personalized facsimiles of their actual persons.

these guys are tagged individually on my Facebook page

On a more serious training note, Jesse surprised me today with my birthday/Christmas present – a new racing bike.  First step is to get fitted for it – a Specialized Roubaix that I have nicknamed BaixBaix (pronounced bay-bay).  Should be here when we get back from this trip.

the "fitting" - put a level between your legs like a bike saddle....ahem

And lastly, kudos to my girl Becky for completing her first Half-Marathon – you inspire me sweet girl!!

13.1 Done!

Thanks for reading – check back in a week to catch up!