Looking back, I had a tremendous year filled with more joy than I could have imagined. During this past year, I watched my mother-in-law smack stage 4 cancer upside the head, brought Emery into the world, and watched Jackson become a big brother. It really doesn't get any better than that.
In racing news, I got to cheer on runners at the Cleveland Marathon at Mile 10 with my homey, TriEric. We dressed up like Bert and Ernie, danced like fools, and caused lots of shenanigans. It was pretty much awesome. I knew I wasn't ready to race the half, and figured I'd give back to the runners and help make the race memorable. Little did I know I'd laugh so hard my cheeks would hurt by the time I was done! And by cheeks, I mean both sets--front and back. Booty shakin' and fist pumping in an Ernie suit ain't easy, folks.
IMMEDIATELY go to Eric's blog and read his year report--you will find a video of us dancing like fools. When else will you be able to see Bert do the robot and Ernie do a sweet Michael Jackson dance?
I headed out to WIBA with all my teammies and other assorted awesome tri-peeps and rode the hills of Wisconsin yet again. And each time I do, it always leaves me with one thought: how the FREAK SHOW did I ever do this Ironman? And it always serves as another little reminder that our will is much stronger than we think. And so are our bodies.
Which reminds me of quite possibly my proudest accomplishment in my about-to-be-ten year triathlon "career." The day I went ahead and did something even I thought was nuts (and that's saying a lot). Even I thought I was in way over my head (again, considering the source, that's quite impressive). And that was to race a half-ironman distance triathlon 6 months after giving birth to Emery. The craziest thing is that I raced it pretty well. I knocked off 16 minutes from my previous best time and, best of all, got to share it with my team again and my amazingly supportive family.
So, this season is my 10th. And I swore I would not do a half-ironman distance race this year, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that now I kinda wonder what I could do, since I'm about 15 pounds down from Rev3 and feel like 5:44 isn't even close to what I'm truly capable of. Who saw that coming? Show of hands?
But NO. I said NO long course this year, and I am sticking to that. In honor of my 10th season of triathlons, I'm going to go back to my roots. That being the oddest combination ever: marathons and sprints/olympic distance triathlons. I know. Since when is marathon training considered a break in your workout load? But the fact of the matter is that for me, marathon training is definitely harder on your body, but not as many net hours as long course triathlon training.
And that, my friends, is how Ironman warps your mind.
My first triathlon back in '01 was what started everything. I did that sprint, on a borrowed bike and completely clueless, and then immediately signed up for the Cleveland Marathon. (?!) Not because I was a strong runner, but because that's what triathlon does to you. It starts to make you think you can do just about anything.
So this year, here's how it will all play out according to my master plan. I'm aiming high here. VERY high. Go hard or go home is the theme of 2011. It's time to get back to my roots.
St. Malachi 5 Miler: No date yet, but it's mid-March. Goal here is to go hard and hurt at the end. If I finish and almost hurl, it's been a good race.
Spring Classic Half Marathon: No date on this yet, but it'll be mid-April. My goal is to go as close to 1:40 as I can. That will also hurt. Bring it.
Hermes Cleveland Ten Miler: No date on this, but it'll be a week or two after the Spring Classic. This I'll probably use as pacing practice for the marathon.
Cleveland Marathon: May 15, 2011. Boston or Bust. That is a 3:40 for me.
Lifetime Fitness Triathlon: July 9, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Two goals for this one: have a blast with my teammates, and hammer this as hard as I can. I don't believe I've gone under 2:40 for an olympic distance, so definitely under that. My pie-in-the-sky goal is 2:30.
I also earned two FREE races through a great local race company, NCN. One was because I got injured and couldn't race last year, and the other was because I volunteered which earns me a free race entry! So I'll be cashing those in: possibly at the Huntington Sprint triathlon and the Lorain Olympic.
I also plan on working with my EvoKids again this summer and am working on some ways to make my program even better.
Dances With Dirt: September 24, Hell, Michigan. Words cannot express how FREAKING EXCITED I AM to do this race with some super awesome ladies! I am so pumped that a spot on their team opened up and I can join in this crazy fun relay trail race!
(I'm leaving the possibility open for a fall marathon, but I don't want to need it.)
I'm not sure much can top this past year. But I'm going to try. As you can see, I have big, crazy dreams for 2011. Here's to making my 10th year in this sport the best yet.
Happy New Year, everyone!