Dear friends and family,
We hope this Christmas season finds you happy and well. Finally, we are in our new home. We love it – the river rippling in the sunlight; the great horned owl hooting in the evening; even the work raking, gardening, and planting.
After the Ironman, Ann decided to go for a real challenge: she returned to Carmel Catholic faculty, teaching five sections of Church History. 140.6 miles seemed easier at times! Ann visited her Mom once a week and loved planning and planting the new house gardens. Ann struggled with training through winter and the May move, but hit the bike/run/swim hard in summer.
In March, Barry took an early retirement from Mondelez (name of split-off international Kraft Foods). He stayed in Florida to host the kids on Spring Break, then joined Ann up north. Barry registered for Ironman Florida, the Steelhead half-Ironman, and Augusta half-IM. In June, an unfortunate bike crash and collarbone fracture derailed his training. First 6 weeks, no training. Next 6 weeks, limited to riding his road bike on a stationary trainer in the basement. He did this with dedication, up to 3 hours at a time. In August he was cleared to run and swim, so back to Florida.
We skipped Steelhead, but went to Augusta. Along the way, we stopped at St. Augustine, St. Simon’s Island, and Savannah. In Savannah, we saw our new grandniece, Charlotte! So sweet.
Barry had a great race, a personal best by 58 minutes; Ann improved her time by 15 minutes. Both enjoyed the push of Savannah River current for fantastic swim times.
Ann returned to Chicago for a week, visiting her mom and Sherpa-ing for Chris’ Chicago Marathon. Despite his rigorous class Georgia Tech classes, Chris managed to train and broke 4 hours in his third marathon. Kayla and Amy drove up, and Barry checked in via Skype for a celebratory family dinner.
November 2, 2013 found Amy, Ann, and Baker Buddies, Lynn and Mike D’Asta cheering Barry’s Ironman start.
The swim was intimidating with agitated, 10-foot breakers. After an outstanding swim (2.4 mi), he hopped on the bike and we retired to Waffle House for some well-deserved sustenance and rest. His bike (112 miles) was long and blessedly uneventful.
No Ironman for either of us in 2014!
Amy completed her first Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons.
Our best wishes, prayers, and hopes for you that this year was one of grace and mercy, and that the next be blessed with faith, love, and laughter. May the peace of Christ bring you joy and encouragement each and every day.