1. I think this one really holds over from 2008, but I continued to learn more about myself through this lesson: I cannot run (or swim, bike, or perform any other exercise) so much that I can truly eat anything all the time. I actually gained around 10 pounds in my first year of training and doing running events because I assumed it didn't matter what I ate as long as I ran enough.
2. However, building on #1 is that I can eat enough of the right foods so that I don't have to be hungry--and not put on weight, and I can even get asked by my employees how I can eat so much and lose weight (because they seem to see me eating my healthy snacks frequently).
3. One side benefit of losing weight is that I am getting more miles out of a pair of running shoes, not to mention all that stuff about getting healthier, too. I have to believe that being lighter puts less wear on the shoes.
4. I learned that a good bike really makes a difference. OK, so I really knew this, but it's another thing to realize it for yourself. I easily picked up several mph on average with my new Fuji road bike over my old bike, not to mention that the top speeds hit a higher rate as well. I know I hit at least 35mph in Austin at Longhorn 70.3, and I am pretty sure I got even faster on some downhills when my bike computer was out.
5. I learned that it takes me longer to recover from a Half Ironman than it does to recover from a marathon. I suppose it would be easy to say because I spent about 30% more time completing the HIM than I did the marathon, although I suspect it had more to do with being more completely worn down due to the multiple activities (swimming, biking and running). However, even though it took me longer to fully recover (or at least recover sufficiently enough to race well), I still felt better at the finish line of the Longhorn HIM than I did at the end of the San Antonio Marathon.
6. As much as I enjoy running, I have learned that I also enjoy swimming and biking as much as running. My first year of triathlon training in 2008 ended early due to a rear end auto collision (from which I did recover after several months of rest and physical therapy). Perhaps most unfortunately, my triathlon season ended that year prior to completing my first organized triathlon event. 2009 ended up being the year I completed those triathlons. I am looking forward to next year's runs and triathlons to be even better than this year's.
7. Part of my personal success this year goes to my support system, with my family supporting my time spent in training and travelling to the occasional event. Also, I received lots of help from friends ranging from answering my questions about new subjects and areas to training alongside me on the roads. Until this year, I hadn't quite realized how important a part of my successes my friends and family are.
I'll have to keep some of these in mind as I go into next year as I have plans to advance my training to take me beyond what I have done this year while also keeping that delicate balance with my life and family at home.