Monday, July 6, 2015

Gotta love it when things fall into place

"I guess we are going to Kona. Better start planning housing."

That was the text from my wife when I told her I had signed up for Honu. As much as I enjoy details when it comes to training, she is much better at everything related to travel. I am more of a "take it as it comes" traveler, which is not an ideal approach to an away race.

What triggered this flurry of activity was a change on the Ironman web site. Today the info on Honu changed from "Opening soon" to this:

Naturally I jumped right in only to discover that I needed as much information as a FEMA loan application. password. Emergency contact information. USA Triathlon member number. My medications. My cat's name. My wife's cousin's middle name. I took so long the first time that the web site gave up and made me start over. My guess is that the IM folks designed it this way to weed out anyone lacking the patience and perseverance to get through it. Sort of a race qualifier.

A few things to remember:

  • Everyone gets 1:10 to finish the 1.2 mile swim
  • Everyone gets 5:30 to complete the 56 mile bike ride
  • The race ends 8:30 after the last wave of the swim start

Had registration opened a week ago I might not have made it. Awhile back my wife was hit by one of the endless rounds of budget cuts at U.H. and had her hours reduced to half time. Together we make enough to get by, but the cost of doing this triathlon - travel and accommodations - pushed it far into the extravagance zone. Just a few days ago we learned that her department reshuffled their funding and want her back full time. Just in time.

Speaking of earned income, I went to a retirement planning class recently to learn what I needed to do to retire. I figured retirement would give me more time to train, work on my cars, and do the home improvement projects I keep putting off. If I wait much longer I will be too old and feeble to enjoy retirement. Know what I learned? I cannot afford retirement. Oh, I could make a few changes here and there and have enough income to sit on the beach drinking iced tea all day. The problem is, all these things I want to do when I retire cost money. A lot of money. As good as my retirement plan is, it will not support my "elder baby boomer" lifestyle. It is a good thing I love my job, because I will be doing it for the foreseeable future.

I guess it is not too soon to start planning next summer's travel. This year has been strictly stay-cation stuff. Now that we can afford to travel, we should. While we still can. Europe would be nice.

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