28 December 2011

2011 In Review

I've got my goals for 2012 mapped out - but you can't go forward without looking back. I realized, when looking back through my blog entries from late last year/early this year, that I never wrote down any goals for 2011. So, a non-goal oriented retrospective on how 2011 went down, both athletic and non-athletic.

- Faster times. In the 1/2 Ironman distance I finally broke through the 5:45 barrier that's eluded me for, oh, FOREVER. I ended the season with a 5:23, which was 23 minutes faster than my previous PR at that distance. I finally said goodbye to the 3:00 mark on the 1/2 Iron bike too, good riddance.

- SUFFER. I started to wrap my mind around what it meant to actually race a race, not just finish one. It's supposed to hurt, but in a good way. I didn't finish too many races with feelings of regret or shoulda, woulda, couldas which always haunted me in past seasons. I didn't fall apart on the run, which I was notorious for in 2010. Don't get me wrong, there is ALOT of room for improvement, but I feel like I'm starting to "get it" - and it's fun, like a game, a whole different side of the sport, a challenge that I never thought of before. I owe all of this to Jen for helping me see the light.

NOT a pretty picture

- Race Day Nutrition. KISS - keep it simple stupid. No more bike buffets, no more liquid-only calories. Every race goes like this: gels, water, saltstick tabs, NUUN. And maybe a powerbar if I need variety. I ate 18 gels - EIGHTEEN GELS during the bike portion alone at Ironman Lake Placid and my gut felt better than it ever has during an Ironman.

- Bucket List Races. I was so lucky to be able to check off a bunch of races from my wish list this year. Wildflower was with my west coast family and I liken it to biking through a Steinbeck novel. Lake Placid was an awesome mini vacation with my family and friends and we lucked out with perfect weather while the rest of the country was under a ridiculous heat wave. Timberman was the first triathlon my brother was able to come watch me race, as well as my best friend Erin and my goddaughter. I also got a hug from Chrissie Wellington. Best Day Ever. I turned 30 racing the Galway 70.3 in Ireland and got a chance to spend time with Angelina and meet Charisa, both awesome people and athletes.

Finishing up the first lap at IMLP 2011

- Miscellany. Did a marathon, went to tri camp, placed in my age group here and there, met lots of new friends through the sport, added to my shelf of marathon/half ironman/ironman medals at work (next year I get to start a new shelf because the first one is full :) ), and didn't get burned out.

Top of Mt Lemmon!

Overall, athletic-wise, 2011 was a much needed year in terms of racing confidence and overall happiness with triathlon. I learned alot in terms of how to race and realized it's not always about time, it's also about placing and it's important to race others, not just yourself. I also learned the importance of confidence in your training and abilities - I always counted myself out before the gun even went off in previous seasons; it was nice to see what happened when I instead decided to count myself in.

And the other accomplishments of 2011:

- Traveled somewhere besides New Jersey for work. Burkina Faso for a two-week, eye-opening work trip.
Kids in one of the villages outside Kaya

- Realized I can have a peaceful co-existence with my dog, made much easier when he stopped chowing down on my wardrobe.

Miles and me

- Made it a point to spend time with family and friends I don't get to see very often.

College Roomies 4 Life - Melis, Erin and I

All grown up in 2011! And responsible for kids!

- Continued to revel in the fact that I finally have a job I truly enjoy.

- Got my bake on. Alot.
Chocolate wasted.

- I've always loved reading, but now that I have a Kindle, it's made getting books into my hot little hands a much quicker affair. I didn't really keep track of everything I read this year, but in the past few months I've read:

- The Year of Fog (thumbs up)
- The Hunger Games (thumbs up)
- Catching Fire (thumbs up)
- Mockingjay (thumbs up)
- Unbroken (HUGE thumbs up)
- The Help (thumbs up)
- Cutting for Stone (HUGE thumbs up)
- A Dog's Purpose (thumbs up)
- Bella Canto (thumbs up)
- Sarah's Key (HUGE thumbs up)
- Pride and Prejudice (thumbs up)
- And I am loathe to admit I read some Nicholas Sparks books too; I am a sucker for easy-to-read chick lit.

- Celebrated 5 years of marriage with my husband!

Craigville Beach, Centreville MA - same beach my parents worked at in college when they started dating.


Katie said...

EIGHTEEN GELS!?? oofda! congrats on a great year!

ADC said...

You had a great 2011. You forgot to mention bagging the Vegas slot at Galway. It was so so much fun hanging out in Tucson AND Galway. Please plan another European race soon. Remember that Mark and you always have a place to stay in the UK.

Caroline said...

Haha, I know, right Katie?? Thank goodness I like the flavor of Hammer gels. Angelina - I am already counting down the days until this year's tri camp - it's going to be so great to see you again! And I definitely want to plan a trip out to the UK!