Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh 2011!

I say this every year and I'll say it again....this year has FLOWN by!  January through March always seem to drag a bit and then the next thing you know, BAM!  It's December.  

I must admit that the last part of the year was pretty rough on me from just about every aspect of my life.  While it has definitely sucked at times, I know things could've been far worse, especially as I think about what others have faced this year.  I'll go ahead and count my blessings instead of count the things that weren't given to me. 

Thankfully, the past few weeks have been uneventful and peaceful.  Ahhh.  Much of that is attributed to the fact that I've had several days off (and I only had to go into work once over the holidays).   

So now I get to focus on 2012 and what a great (even numbered) year is sure to bring!  I've got a new position at work and I couldn't be more excited.  My official title is going to be Quality Implementation Manager.  I'm still transitioning out of my old role...yes, that transition has been going on far longer than I would like.  I'm hopeful that by mid-January, I'll be fully engaged in my new role and really making a difference.  Fingers crossed!

In Spring 2012 I have a fun vacation planned with my sisters, niece & nephew and I can't wait!  Cristian will start kindergarten in the fall and we thought it would be fun to do something special with him so we are!  

Of course, I'm signed up for a handful of races already:  Houston Half Marathon, Hot Chocolate 15k, The Woodlands Half-Marathon and the Hy-Vee 5i50 Championship.  As I've said before, there will be other races on my calendar and I'll be finalizing all of that soon with the help of my wonderful coach, Ana.  

I've got some projects around the house I would love to tackle this year since I will likely not be training for any triathlon longer than an Oly.  :)  Don't worry, I'll talk more about that in my RESOLUTIONS edition which will likely come out on New Years Day.  

I'll go ahead and close this blog up with some pictures.  Enjoy and if I don't talk to you before 2012......HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

I became an Auntie again!  Welcome Avery Elizabeth!

Keith became a Papa to little Addison Irene Buttenob! 

 I started....

 ...and finished my 1st Ironman!

And baby makes 3!

 Post race celebrating with Avery Elizabeth, a future triathlete for sure!

I got to "coach" Emily this year and watch her compete in her first 3 races!  
Watch out Woodlands Marathon!

 My "baby" sisters. Time sure does fly!

Ahh, I finally finished a race in Galveston!
And a PR to boot!  Goodbye, Galveston! 
Hello, Hy-Vee 5i50 Championship!

 Steffie becomes a Mommy in 2011. :)

 Keith & Luke race in their 1st Half-Ironman as part of a relay team!

 First time Aunties, Hannah & Caitlin!

 Future BFF's.  Avery & Addie checking each other out at Papa Chalfant's. 

 Keith's baby, Heather, also became a new Mommy in 2011.  

 Mom,Stef & Avery at Santa's Wonderland. 

 Doug & Mom at Santa's Wonderland. He waited all year to visit!  LOL!

Uncle Kevin doesn't let  us take many pics but here he is with his niece!
 Oh brothers!  Christmas morning is never dull with my family!

 Another great year with my honey.  :)

Cristian has grown so much in 2011!  Future heartbreaker!!

And of course, let's not forget Leia & Sophie.  

Monday, December 19, 2011


As the year comes barreling to a close, I find myself reflecting a lot about 2011. For some reason, I've never been a huge fan of odd numbered years. No real reason for it although I'm sure if I tried, I could make a list of bad things that went down in odd years. I'll spare you that though.

While this year hasn't been all bad race wise (I mean hello, I did finish my first Ironman), I've definitely had my share of less than stellar races. Even though some of the challenges this year have been tough, I really wouldn't trade them for anything b/c that's what makes you stronger. The tough times are the times that define you and show you who you are. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have some not so challenging races but I'm glad I've been able to learn the lessons I have this year.

It seems that this year I've had trouble with my own head. I've found myself doubting my abilities more than I'd care to admit although I've thankfully been able to stifle that noise for my bigger, more important races. My biggest issue this year has been my lack of confidence in my running. This has been a little strange to me as running is what I started with and what I truly loved. What the heck happened? I think we need a timeline........

Jan 2008 - 1st half marathon. My goal was to finish in 2.5hrs and I managed to finish in 2:10.

Feb 2008 - Having loved my first experience so much, I signed up for the Austin half the next month. I was on track for the same time as Houston until my hip went nutty at about mile 8 and I was forced to walk a ton.

Aug 2008 - After spending the rest of the year racing like a crazy woman, I started having leg issues. In August/September I found out I had a stress fracture in one of the smaller bones in my left leg. Bummer. No running for about 6 weeks.

Jan 2009 - Ran the Houston Half again. Finished in the 2:20 range. Disappointed but was coming off stress fracture so.....

Apr 2009 - Ran Angie's Half Crazy Half Marathon with a fever. Dumb. Finished in 2:20 or 2:30 range.

Aug 2009 - Are you kidding me? Had leg pain again and found out I had a stress fracture in the other small bone in my left leg. Major bummer. Did not start running again until after Thanksgiving.

Jan 2010 - Ran Houston Half again. I believe this was another 2:20 range. Bummed but thankful to finish given how much training was missed.

Jun 2010 - Sign up for IMTX and get focused....well, as focused as my job would let me!

Summer 2010 - Can't remember what exactly but was experiencing some cramping in legs a lot. No stress fracture but something wasn't right.

Sept 2010 - Clear Lake Sprint (C race). Had a very good showing in the swim and on the bike. Bad leg cramping for run. Went from placing 5th to last in the run. I was pretty bummed. This was a turning point for me.

For the purpose of this blog, I will stop there b/c what's happened since has been pretty well journaled on this blog. As I sat here today thinking about that race, I realized that was the point where I started thinking differently about my running. During my post race debrief, I was told that the run was my limiter and ever since then, that's what I've believed. While I don't think the person who told me this meant for it to have the impact it did, it certainly stuck with me.

So limiters are funny things. We all have them. Right? I don't know if this is going to make sense but I think a limiter is only a limiter if we allow it to be. I get it, I'm never going to run a 6 minute mile and so maybe that means I'm never going to win a race but if winning isn't my goal, then why does a slower run = a limiter? Does that make sense? And as I typed this paragraph, it occurred to me that as soon as I tell myself I will never run a 6 minute mile, I am guaranteeing I won't b/c I obviously don't believe in myself. Let's not kid ourselves though, I am no Adrienne Langelier. :) I wasn't gifted with the ability to post those kinds of numbers and that's ok!

As I (we) head into 2012 I think it's important to remember why I (we) race. If we are doing it to learn, grow, improve & have fun, then why must we look at our abilities as limited? The only limiters are the ones we impose on ourselves. I'm challenging myself to keep the negative talk out of my head in 2012 and get back to really enjoying racing and having fun when I'm out there. There will be no talk of limiters when you're around me!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This video better be worth it....

Oh my gosh! Going on day 2 of trying to post this stupid thing!!!!

I had to reduce the quality so that I could post this thing so I will apologize in advance. :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My poor blog....

Since OilMan HIM, I've been a bit of a slacker when it comes to blogging so let me see if I can't correct that problem! I warn you now, I have no pictures to post and have absolutely nothing funny to share! I just feel guilty for not writing. :)

I got sick around Thanksgiving and wasn't able to work out for a week and a few days. Oh my gosh, I was miserable! It's amazing how crappy you can feel after not working out. I know many would be excited by getting to rest vs rush to the gym right after work but that was not how I felt at all. Exercising really makes me happy and improves my mood so when I don't get to do it, I feel it not only physically, but mentally. I know there are more of you out there that feel my pain.

This week I've been able to exercise and while I've been very happy to do so, I can't lie when I tell you it's been tough. Workouts are a little more difficult so I just have to be patient and not overdo anything. And yes, I have been obeying coaches orders to a T. ;)

The end of the year is upon us and I know it's getting close to time to reflect about the past year and started looking towards what 2012 will hold and what I want to achieve. I'm SO excited for 2012!!!!

So now that it's triathlon off-season, how am I occupying my time? Well, I'm glad you asked! I am focusing on my run right now as I absolutely have a goal to PR at the half marathon distance. I don't have any long distance tris planned and know for certain there will be no Ironman for me in 2012. I doubt I'll do a half-Ironman but that's a little up in the air. Once again, I'll be attempting to get in to the NYC Marathon so if I don't, I'm sure I'll be itching for a late season tri but we'll see. Anyway, back to what I'm doing now! I've been taking on some craft projects. I'm working on a couple things that are super hush-hush as they will *hopefully* be gifts for family members. I also am working on re-purposing some household items I haven't been using in hopes of using them elsewhere. For example, I have this really cute wrought iron thing that I had hanging in the bedroom of my old apartment and I hung stuff from it. It's been sitting in my closet since moving and the other day it occurred to me I could use it in my workout room to display my race medals! I ventured over to Home Depot, purchased some silver spray paint and headed home to get started. Well, the spray paint phase is done and I'm super happy with how it turned out. I'll definitely post pictures. I have one more project for my workout room that involves a way to display race bibs. I got the idea from Etsy and am determined to tweak a bit and come up with something that compliments the decor in my workout room. So excited!

I hope you all are doing well and getting ready for Christmas!!!! Tomorrow I'll be heading to the Run Girl 13.1 race to watch Keith's daughter Emily race in her first half-marathon! Super, super excited to see how she does!!!!