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.
- 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.