2014 – reflections – a year in review

These ratings are based on personal feelings, achievements and tragedies. These ratings are mine and mine alone; they do not reflect the general state-of-the-world.

Today is the last day of the 2014. It has been quite a year for me. I’ve certainly had my ups and downs:

January: I was still recovering from the Pleurisy attack from a month back but getting into shape fast. I had a horrible race at the PF Chang’s Half Marathon with a less than stellar 1:46 race time. But bad races are part of life in my world.

February: I spent all of February training hard for the Phoenix marathon including 19+ and 21+ mile runs. I only took two rest days in February. It paid off!

March: Easily the best month for me in 2014, I qualified for the Boston Marathon on March 1 and finished my first Ironman on March 30 in Cabo, Mexico. Unfortunately, March was also when I first started experiencing leg pain that led to my medical issues in April and May. In retrospect, I should never have started the Ironman. Live an learn!

April: After taking the first half of April off, I started training for the Hawaii Ironman 70.3 scheduled in the latter part of May. Unfortunately, I could barely run, bike or swim. I biked for 40+ miles probably with clots in my lungs. Yikes!

May: As per the ER doctors, I almost died. They found 6 blood clots including a saddle embolus. I was in the ICU for a day but in good spirits. I had an IVC filter inside me for a bit and was forbidden from flying. Fortunately, I recovered nicely in the following months.

June: Most of June was spent resting. I had to start taking a blood thinner called Xarelto which still prevents me from biking. It’s a small price to pay for such a heavy burden on my lungs. I walked Simi and Missy regularly and spent quiet evenings at home frequently. It was shaping up to be a hot summer.

July: July was quiet too. My heart rate was not quite what it used to be. My endurance was gone. My pace sucked. I started to do easy but sustained regular workouts. There was no biking but I started doing Yoga twice a week. I was looking forward to registering for Boston and wanted to be ready.

August: I took a business trip to NY and ran Central Park. It was a gorgeous summer evening in New York and I thoroughly enjoyed the run. We took a quick vacation to Puerto Vallarta with family (Naman and Amiben included). We also planned a vacation to South Africa next month.

September: I applied and got in to the Boston Marathon 2015. Happy happy! Towards the end of the month, we flew to South Africa and had an absolutely wonderful time. The food, wine, hospitality, wildlife, birds, people, culture, language, conveniences, prices, etc.etc. were all very perfect. Binita and I bonded nicely with me taking interest in food/wine and she taking interest in wildlife. Unfortunately, towards the latter part of the trip (October), we got the worst news ever.

October: We were still in South Africa when Simi got sick. After a blood transfusion, she was fine; hence we didn’t cut short our trip. By the time we returned, she was recovering from a second blood transfusion. October 10 was the worst day of my life. Simi passed away. My heart was (and still is) in a thousand pieces. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of her fondly. I have pictures of her everywhere. She was my love. She is still my love. She will always be my love.

November: In early November, we flew to Nashville for a weekend with Len and Julie. It was cold but fun. In the latter part of November, I did my first race (5k) in months. The 5k confirmed my suspicions. I was slower and my heart-rate was higher. My conditioning was off. I had a long way to go before I could regain the form from earlier in the year. I had work to do.

December: In early December, I visited home (Ahmedabad, India) and had a grand time with family and close friends. I reconnected with old friends from high school and college after a long time. It felt warm and good. Everyone had grown up but still remained the same. I even ran the riverfront a few times and enjoyed the morning sunrise. In spite of the pollution and traffic, I miss the warmth of Ahmedabad. If you are not from there, you will never get it!

So 2015 arrives tomorrow. I will miss Simi some more, but that’s life. Missy and I have become really close. She misses her sister too. She is clingy these days and slowing down just a bit. Her hearing and eyesight are not quite the same, but she still loves to chase the ball. She still has no fear of jumping here and there and we still call her crazygirl.

Adios 2014. It was quite a year!

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