Friday, December 31, 2010

You say Goodbye (2010) and I say Hello (2011)

Aww, 2010 is quickly coming to a close. There were many times I thought 2010 pretty much sucked but as I'm reflecting on it now, it was pretty dang good. 2011 is shaping up to be AWESOME!

2010 started out with me running the Houston Half Marathon for the 3rd time. A stress fracture in late 2009 kept me away from running for several long weeks and so my hopes of a PR went out the window (btw, there will be no PR in 2011 either but that's another post). My brother Luke ran the half "with" me for the first time which was so cool. I love racing with a sibling. :)

My sweet little puppy Leia was my Valentine's Day gift from Keith. I was super stressed when I first got her but now that I've had 10 months with her, I can't imagine what I did before she showed up. I love my little puppy and think she could only be more perfect if she would quit crapping in my house.

In April I gave my first Oly a shot but that didn't end so well. The swim was cancelled due to weather so as far as I was concerned, it was no longer a triathlon. After having a decent bike ride, I collapsed on the run course due to poor (basically no) hydration on the bike. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. The lesson was learned and I've had no hydration issues since.

The big news of 2010 of course was signing up for Ironman Texas...everything after that is just a whirlwind! Below you'll find a sort of "Year in Pictures". Enjoy and GOODBYE 2010, HELLO 2011!

Me & Cristian on Easter

Heather's Wedding Day!

Putting out the doormat at my first home :)

Random pictures from Family Reunion, Halloween, HOG Rally, Clear Lake Sprint Tri and December!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Look Who's Gettin' Fancy Now

I mentioned a few weeks ago I was working on pulling together a montage of sorts (or do I just think I mentioned it). I've been scouring the internet high and low for music, pictures and other cool tools to help me in my 2nd most important quest of 2011....the quest to make a video or something documenting my journey to IMTX. This could be a full time job of it's own but I'm cool with gives me something to do in all my spare time. Ha! Seriously though, this has become a fun project for me but has truly hindered what I had hoped to do this year and finish a scrapping booking project I sort of started for/with Keith. I will get to that too....I promise baby!

The music side of this is coming together nicely. There are a few songs I'm really liking but will keep those under wraps for now. Documenting the journey via pictures is going well enough. I've got tons of pictures from races and now want to start getting some training pictures. I'm sure my teammates are going to be uber excited when I start showing up with my camera and tripod on long runs/ride & lake swims. I decided I need a video element of all this too so I bought a Flip Video a few weeks ago and will add that to my arsenal of cool things to help me make this "Ode to Ironman" (yes, feel free to help me with a better name). The available memory on my trusty laptop is quickly disappearing and I find myself getting closer & closer to rationalizing forking out some dough for a Macbook. :) Now I truly digress.

I'm experimenting with the Flip Video now and so am using my blog as the testing ground. Here's a short video of my super cute nephew putting together a puzzle. He's pretty much a genius. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A very good question....WHY?

I've been asked quite a few times since singing up for IMTX "why are you doing this" and always sort of giggle and then respond. I especially enjoy hearing from the folks who I SWORE to in the past I would NEVER EVER EVER sign up for something so stupid. Haha. Never say never.

I thought now would be a good time to share my WHY. I think if you know me well, it makes perfect sense. I love a challenge. I love new things. I love being outside. I love doing something that nobody thinks a human should do. And I really love doing something nobody thinks I can do. Don't get me wrong, nobody has told me flat out I can't do this but I've seen the look on their face and I know they have their doubts. That's ok, there are days I have my doubts too (thankfully not many of them). To me, there's nothing better than proving to myself that I'm a lot tougher than I give myself credit for.

It's been about 6 months since I signed up for IMTX and I have 5 months left to go. It's been a heck of a ride so far. I've had challenges balancing my work life with my workout life. For those of you reading this who work for or who have worked for EY, you understand. This is a demanding place to work which I actually like (Type A personality). In the past, I've never had a problem working ridiculous hours and actually wore it like a badge of honor....someone not in client serving works just as hard as our client serving folks! For the past year though, I've had things I want...I NEED to do. Half ass training may be ok for a sprint or even an Oly but definitely not for a 70.3 or a 140.6. I also don't like half assing anything so it was really tough for me earlier this year to feel like I was letting everyone coach, my teammates, my coworkers. I've worked super hard this summer & fall to find some balance. It's not always easy but I'm doing it. And it's going to get even more difficult in the coming months but I'm up for the challenge!

Before joining Woodlands Fit in 2007, I never thought I would run 13.1 miles. Why would I want to anyway? Driving 13 miles can suck on a bad traffic day. I had a lot of personal things going on and was kind of in a downward spiral. When I started really focusing on running, I snapped out of it and was happy & excited to have something to look forward to. As I went through training, I signed up for races and could see improvement. I loved it. Not only did I enjoy the running but I was getting better. I'll never be supa-fast but that's ok! As the 2008 Houston Half approached, I had my doubts but I showed up and ran. I had no goals except to finish. I didn't know what to expect anyway! My training runs were always slow so I figured finishing in 2.5 hrs would be reasonable. When I finished the run and consulted my trusty Garmin, I saw I had finished in 2:10 and change. Even I knew this was good for a first effort. I did it. I ran the whole way save a few water stops at the end and I felt good.

It may seem I'm digressing a bit but trust me, I'm not. That one race helped me learn that you (me, you, anyone) can do whatever you set your mind to. You just have to want it bad enough. As I reflect on races since then, I can tell you the ones where I've had sub-par (IMO)performances are ones I didn't go into with the same excitement and "want" as I did my first half marathon.

Fast forward to WHY IMTX? Well, because I want to. I really, really, REALLY want to. Yes, I want to wake up bright and early on May 21, 2011 and put on my Team sTRIve swimsuit and hop in Lake Woodlands for 2.4 miles of fun with my teammates and a whole lot of people I don't know. I want to get out of the water (with a smile) and run through T1 and head for my bike and then go for a 112 mile ride on roads I will know like the back of my hand because I've trained on them. After spending most of my day on the bike, I want to get in & out of T2 as fast as I can and embark on the last 26.2 miles of my journey. And most of all, I want to cross the finish line with a huge smile because I just accomplished something I never imagined I would do or could do in a million years. I want to see my friends and family at the end and just celebrate what a huge accomplishment so many of us will achieve that day. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about WHY I'm doing this.

So there you have it! For those of you who were curious, now you know why I'm doing something most think is just stupid. For those of you who weren't curious but made it through the end of this post, you're awesome for reading! :) I'm actually including a link to a YouTube video that just makes me cry every time I see it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What's so magical about 22?

I wouldn't say 22 is my favorite number because I've always been more partial to 16. That being said, I have always liked the number 22. I mean hello....Will Clark was #22 back in the day and some of you should know I loved me some Will Clark circa 1989 (he looked best in Giants colors IMO). Anyway, 22 always seemed to have a way of popping up. My brother loves the #22. You can imagine our surprise when we found a baby picture of him wearing that number! Seriously? It was meant to be. There are a lot of other ties to 22, I just don't have time to get into them all. :)

On November 29th, I realized I was no longer on Cloud 9 from my 70.3 race. I woke up that morning and the feeling I had every other morning between November 8th & then was very different. I was happy, don't get me wrong. I just wasn't SILLY happy anymore. When I looked at the calendar, it dawned on me I was 22 days past my race. See?!?! This number keeps popping up in my life!!!

So now, it's time to get back to reality. I'm back into a regular, somewhat normal training schedule. I am about 23 weeks from IMTX which means I'm a mere 17ish weeks from my next 70.3 and only 7 week from the Houston Half Marathon. So much for off season huh?!? I did just find out my regular cheerleader for the Houston Half won't be there. Yep, Keith has to be out of town for work that weekend. Major, major bummer! He hasn't missed many races at all and so it will be very strange to not have him out there. It's not the end of the world...this is my 4th Houston Half. It'll just be lonely when I'm approaching mile 6 and he's not there, smoking while riding his bicycle! LOL.

I had my first group training ride in awhile this past weekend. It was a cold, cold morning but had a good ride. Not fast at all but it wasn't scheduled to be. While I know this HR training is going to pay huge dividends come May, it can be frustrating riding 14 mph so you can keep your HR at it's target. Coach promises I will see a difference and I trust her so stick with it I will!

I think I may have mentioned before I've started working on compiling pictures that I'll put together in a video montage type thing. I want to capture my journey to Ironman in pics and thought this would be a cool way to do it. I've spent free time searching for the perfect song/songs to use and am having a little trouble finding the perfect ones. Top picks right now are from Rascal Flatts, Garth Brooks, The Wall Flowers & Foo Fighters. Random, I know. Here's a fun game....can you guess which song by the artists above are the ones I'm thinking of using? I love games!

With that, I'm off but I'll be back soon!!!