Thursday, January 26, 2012

MMM, Black Bean Brownies, and Ski Trip BOOKED!

I feel a long post!  I have tons of things I have been meaning to write about, not had the time (with my whole trying to be a better mother/housewife thing).  However, I still feel like I am not getting everything done.  We have had some major time consuming things that we have been working on, such as getting our ride/race schedules nailed down, a bit of experiementation in the kitchen, and trying to coordinate a family ski trip.  All of those items (except for the cooking) have made for lots of time on the phone and some on the computer.  The kids hate it when I am on either too much, and become extremely obnoxious, and I tend to be a bad parent and kick them out of the first floor of our house.  Yeah, it just happened a few minutes ago too.   I guess I am feeling a bit worn down with my marathon training ramping up and it being winter.  It has been mild, so that has been good, but honestly, I am struggling with getting everything done AND getting good sleep.  That makes me grouchy, AND hungy....

Enough whining, and onto what everyone wants to know about (or I think people want to know about)

First, I signed up for the Michigan Mountain Mayhem ride in June.  It is burly!  They have several routes, the furthest being a 200K and I am signed up for the 100K.  If you do the full 200, you have 10,000ft of climbing.  It is going to be totally hard.  Why am I doing this?  Well, if everything goes well, it will be my first overnight trip with Ryan WITHOUT THE KIDS!  The weird things I do to get away from my kids, I know.  However, because I am totally nuts and my family knows it, when I say, "hey can you watch the kids so Ryan and I can go ride our bikes together for a change" family actually says, "hmm, I think we can help you."  I am sure it also helps that we are not close anymore so opportunities for sleepovers with the kids are not very often anymore.  The ride should sell out any minute, but if you want some pain, you can sign up here.

Second, I love chocolate.  I am not afraid to experiment with my chocolate.  I do it all the time.  Ryan is quite afraid (like Colleen) when I start baking "healthy brownies".  He has some grounds for this.  I made some really scary flax seed whole wheat brownies that were like chocolate grass.  Not brownies.  They also had way to much fiber to eat before (and I mean like a day before) running.  Blech.  I had intended last year to do a whole post on healthy brownies, and even took lots of photos of brownies last year and their boxes and was going to rank them all, and then I kept finding new recipes to try, and it seemed like I could never finish it because there was always something else to try, and then I got into race recaps.  I did nothing with it, and then stopped doing a lot of baking healthy for the holidays (when I just bake tasty things), and then I wasn't baking at all because we had eaten too much of everything and bought too much candy.  FINALLY, we are at a point where I can bake stuff again.  On Sunday, I baked a pan of really good brownies that were super rich, and then once those were gone, I made brownies with BLACK BEANS!  Ryan was SOOO grossed out by this, and that was fine with me.  MORE FOR ME!  Amy, who is a Kona competitor and nutritionist, sent me this super easy SUPER TASTY recipe: 
1/4 cup water
1 can undrained black beans
1 box Betty Crocker Low Fat Brownie mix
Preheat oven to 325 and grease 9x9 or 8x8in glass pan
Combing water and beans in blender and blend
IN A MIXING BOWL (unless you have a large capacity food processor or huge blender), stir beans into brownie mix.  I tried pouring the box of mix into our stardard Waring Pro blender on top of the beans, thinking I could just make the whole thing in there, and it didn't really fit, so to avoid making a huge mess, I had to use a mixing bowl.  The batter is not nearly as thick as traditional brownies (and especially not most low fat ones that are downright pasty trying to put in a pan), but not quite as thin as a cake mix.  I baked mine for 45 minutes, and the edges were perfect, but the middle a but gooey.  That was fine with me, though.  I should have taken a picture to post, but we ate them all.  Ryan could not believe that there was a whole can of beans in there.  The kids had no clue.  They were awesome, even compared to the others I made earlier in the week.  I want to try this with a couple other brownie mixes, specifically the Bear Creek whole wheat brownie mix and the Ghiradelli triple chocolate.  I'll let you know how those go.  Basically, the beans take the place of the water, egg, and oil. 

Finally, we are skiers.  Before kids, we would spend a week or so skiing in Utah hitting up Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitute, and maybe Canyons.  It was expensive, but we were DINKs, so it worked.  We also stayed with friends and family to make it work.  We took Keira out to Utah twice and put her in daycare out there even.  When Soren came along, things had changed and flights were not what they used to be.  Baggage fees, expensive flights, 2 kids needing daycare/ski school made the costs outrageous.  The past 3 years we skied in northern Michigan at Crystal Mountain.  We rented a ski in ski out condo on the mountain, and split it 3 ways with my parents and Ryan's parents.  Someone would hang back in the condo with the kids and we would rotate.  We also did most of our cooking and eating in the condo, to further save costs.  Now, being in KY, driving all the way to Crystal Mountain for mediocre skiing was not appealing at all.  We looked at going to a place in WV that was about 6 hours away, so not terribly far.  I talked with my parents and we got dates and I started working on booking it.  It was too far for Ryan's parents, and they already had a trip booked to Utah so they were going to pass this year.  Well, this resort in WV was getting very expensive when I started add everything up.  They didn't have the same packages where skiing was all inclusive as a houseguest like at Crystal, and it was going to cost us over $1000 for 3 days of skiing (including ski school for Keira).  What?????  There is no way I am spending that kind of money to ski anywhere other than Utah.  They guy on the phone even asked me why I was going there instead of Utah.  Um, flights?  That is when I online and checked flights.  I found one for $265/each, if we flew on random days.  Those random days, however, just happened to coincide with days that Ryan's younger brother's family from NYC would be there staying with my sister in law's family.  We also overlapped a couple days with Ryan's parents.  Hmm, this could work.  After a lot of thought and some painfully long time spent trying to actually find flights with seats, we pulled the trigger.  We are going to Utah to ski!  I was so happy I wanted to cry.  Am I worried about getting hurt skiing before Boston?  Not really.  Nor am I worried about taking a week off from running.  I think it will be good for me.  It is a real workout to ski out west, and I will be doing mad cross training.  It will be awesome!  I can't wait!  This will be the no frills ski trip I love.  We won't be living it up at the resort (like at Crystal, which was more about the resort than the skiing) because we will be tearing it up on the slopes.  I am not sure if any of  you saw the article about f/b making people sad because they see happy people.  I must admit, this has been true when I saw people skiing in Utah.  That was one thing I missed so much about my pre parenthood life.  NOT THIS YEAR!  We are making it happen.  Yes, the costs are starting to add up.  The rental car is turning into quite the expense.  We estimated it before we booked, but then when we went to book that, there were a ton of extra fees that weren't shown, plus a coupon code that ended up making it cost more- WTH??  We are still working on that, but with the OT Ryan has been putting in, this is the year to go!  I don't need new tires, I NEED A SKI TRIP!  We don't need new countertops and a faucet, WE NEED A SKI TRIP!  We have family that has not even seen Soren, and since our family from NYC will be there, we can see them too, and meet our newest neice.  I really stoked about this!  Even if we didn't ski, it will still be super fun.  We have not been out to Utah since early 2008.

Up for this weekend, 16 miles!  Whew, these numbers are getting big!  I am going to have to switch a recovery week with a building week for the ski trip, so it is just going to go up from there before I get to take a "ski break".  We are pulling Keira out of school, which is less than desirable, but hey, it is kindergarten.  She has only missed 1 day so far, and between this trip and Boston, she will still be OK in terms of days missed.  I may even be able to get Boston approved if I hurry up and do that before the ski trip.  We used to get winter break in MI off school, and that is how our cousins will be out there for 2 weeks!  They are missing 1 week of school + winter break.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Decision, Stinky Shorts, and Sour Grapes

Well, I opted to sign up for Muncie.  I went to the Louisville Landshark kick off meeting (party) this past Thursday night, and with  more and more friends signing up, I went ahead and took the plung.  I hate being signed up for this many races this far in advance, but went for it anyway.  The consensus is that Muncie run so much better, as well as has a reservoir swim, not an Ohio River Swim.  It also frees me up the weekend of the Cardinal Tri for those friends of mine who said they are done with Muncie, WTC, unavailable, ect.  I plan to either volunteer or just hang out with them.  Really, when an race that big (LONG) is concerned, I think you have to do what is right for you.  Cristina will likely come to Muncie to watch, and may still do the Cardinal Tri. 

Also, I have been having this problem with my laundry!  Ugh!  I feel like I can't get my running shorts as clean as I did before!  I have been thinking of all sorts of contributors.  The first was that maybe they are just about done.  I wear them a lot more often than my running shirts.  Why?  Well, they don't give out shorts at races like they do shirts.  I have many more shirts in my running rotation than I do shorts, partially due to running in race shirts.  Then it occurred to me, maybe I don't want some ads on my rear!!!  Maybe I am not alone in this either.  Freebie running shorts with a big race logo on the back are probably not as cool an idea as I initially thought.  Hmm, back to the drawing board.  I also don't have the "super wash" setting on my current washing machine.  I also used to add vinegar to my top loading washer.  I wasn't sure how to add it to my front loader.  Can I just put it in the prewash place?  I tried that yesterday, in combo with washing everything on warm (we also used to have a "lukewarm" setting, which was still considered "cold" that I washed everything on).  The good news is that I think the combo of the vinegar and the warm water helped, but the bad news is that I have this horrible cold and I can't really tell.  I used to use the Febreeze clean wash with my detergent, and honestly am not sure where to put it either.  Please don't tell me to read the manual!  Anyone have any advice?  Or a good tech wash you can recommend? 

Finally, Cristina is registered as a qualified runner in NYC.  She is all set.  The more I talk to her about it, the more I feel better that I am not going.  I want to race with her, but the cost is INSANE!  She has spent more on entry for this race than I did for Muncie, and that doesn't even include travel costs.  I am really thankful I have Boston this year, and can't wait.  I do know that it is a good idea from a money standpoint that I am not doing both.  It is also a lot of training to do 2 marathons in the same year.  I have never done that before.  Martian and Boston are actually the closest from a time standpoint that I will do.  It is a lot of training.  Will I be sad when NYC rolls around and I am not there, I am sure I will.  Will I be bummed she didn't sign up for Boston too?  Yes, but like I said above, you have to do the races that work for you when they get to be this major.  We should get to race the tree farm relay together this summer, so that will be really fun and not very stressful. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Ack!  That is pretty much all I can say right now.  I just learned via f/b (so I know it is true, right???), that the two races that I was debating on doing on July 7th are ON DIFFERENT DAYS!  Holy cow.  What do I do?  Do I go to Muncie?  Kari has signed up.  My neighbors just posted on f/b that they are signed up.  Cristina wants to go WATCH Kari rock her first official IRONMAN 70.3  Pretty please can I go too?  Oh, but then what do I do the next weekend?  Will I be content to NOT swim in the Ohio River and watch Cristina and Jane race here?  Not sure.  It would be a heck of a lot cheaper to just do the one here, but all the cool kids are going to be AT MUNCIE!  Not sure if I can handle driving up to watch it. 


PS, I have 2 days to sign up for Muncie and save.  double ACK!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Second look back, and more looking ahead

Sorry to be repetitive here, but I wanted to share this video clip of the Team Aquaphor highlights.  I submitted a lot of photos, so I am in here quite a bit.  This isn't the final version of the video, so I may have a few photos cut depending on how many people watch it and realize they are missing.  That is fine with me, though.  Anthony, from my guest post, put this together. 

Also, I have been working on my "official" plan for 2012.  Um, yeah, it is pretty much not stable whatsoever.  I had this huge email sent off to Cristina with my plans.  Then I started checking facebook.  Kari signed up for Muncie, same weekend (we think) as the Cardinal Tri that is here.  What???  We spoke, and then I realized that she had weighed both races, and that Muncie is better for her and she really wants the Ironman experience.  I don't blame her.  I wanted it too.  The WTC kool aid tastes pretty good!  Swimming in the Ohio River likely doesn't, and I probably ought to get some sort of flu shot or tetanus shot first, right?

So, here is what I am currently thinking:

BOSTON!  Yeah baby!  This is the A race of the year. 

Taylorsville Tri or half marathon Mid May.  I am getting really annoyed.  Headfirst Performance doesn't have its 2012 calendar posted STILL!  It is driving me nuts that I can't really plan any local races right now.  There aren't any half marathons that look good this weekend, so the thought to run a fast half marathon after training for Boston isn't looking too promising.  We want to attend the Kentucky Derby, which takes out 2 big flat halves, Capital City in C'bus and Indy 500 Mini, both on May 5th.  I think I will not be ready for the Derby Mini, but I haven't totally counted it out yet. 

May 25th- Horsey Hundred in Lexington.  I am not sure if I will do the full century ride, but I want to do at least the 50.  Valerie will be doing this with me most likely, so if her husband, Kent, pushes her to train for the century, that will be what I do.

June???? Nothing so far.  Maybe the triceratops tri, but maybe not.  I need to see if there is something local or just take the month off racing and train/taper

July- Cardinal Harbour or Muncie 70.3.  Like I stated above, there is no info on the Cardinal Tri due to HFP not having their site updated.  They are typically both the same day.  Cristina has mentioned doing the Cardinal as practice for IMLOU, and there are a few other Michiganders that may do it.  It is a much cheaper option than Muncie for me and Cristina.   It would be in town.

July 28th- Tree Farm Relay.  This is just too fun to miss.

I will not be doing the USAT Age Group National Championships, even though I did amazingly qualify.  I don't want the expense to get creamed.  It is also after school has started, so that causes more problems with childcare. 

September- Oldham County Mini Tri.  This is where I qualified to the USAT Nationals, so I want to do it again and keep up my qualification.  It was inexpensive, local, well run, and had a great pizza party afterwards with nice raffles and awards. 

October.  This is the kicker.  I wasn't planning on running Detroit again in 2012.  And then, I saw it was only $45 to enter.  That is like FREE almost.  The next thing I know, I signed up.  Total impulse buy.  I did it with 15 minutes to spare before the price jumped up $30 to $75.  I was pleading with Ryan, "but it is ONLY $45!!!!  I have never run a half that cheap before". 
Ryan, "um, you ran 13 this morning for free". 
"But it wasn't a race"
And then I signed up.  I mean, we all know I am going to run a half marathon this fall.  If I waited and ended up wanting to do Detroit, then I would be out an extra $30, plus a tank or so of gas.  If I opted to do another race, I would be out that entry fee, and possibly more gas, if I went to Columbus instead.  I don't get another hotel room for a half marathon, after doing so many this past fall, so it was either do one here (which I might still do), Detroit, or Columbus.  Well, it is officially Detroit now.  I feel good about this.  I think I am going to use the Run Less Run Faster plan for this race.  I thought about it for Boston, but I didn't start in time.  I might use some of the workouts on Tuesdays, but I honestly can say that I was afraid of the FIVE (5) Twenty Milers!!!!  Yes, that scared the crap out of me, especially because I had trouble doing 3 of them last year.  So, there isn't an 18 mile run or a 19 mile run that I am doing, but replacing them with 20 milers is adding another 20 minutes or so to the workouts.  That is time I may or may not have.  Ryan had to work on Saturday, so I got out really late for Saturday's 13 miler as is.  I may try the plan next year, but not this year.  I would need to do my first 20 miler in 2 weeks, and I am just not mentally ready for that.  I know the weekly mileage is about the same, so I should be able to handle it, but it was just building a bit faster than I thought, considering I was jumping in a week late.  I want to have time to read the whole book before starting the plan, and honestly, I am not looking to PR in Boston because I want to have a little bit of fun in the city while we are there.

That's all I've got.  I want 2012 to be a bit less racing and more quality.  Ryan has a few cycling trips planned.

Oh, and I have one more goal for 2012- to be able to do a press handstand again with out the help of a wall.  Ryan watched it on the yoga video below and was like, look how cool that is.  Um, yeah, I used to be able to do that.  I did 5 today using a wall to help.  I need to just keep trying with the wall and increasing my numbers, and then start trying without the wall.  There was a lot of other cool stuff in the yoga video, but I just want the press handstand part (25 sec to about 40sec).  Not the lotus handstand. I plan to do it with pointed toes, gymnast style. 

The one thing I never could do was press up from a sitting position to a handstand.  Not sure if that will get put on a list or not.  Even at the top of my game, I always got my feet stuck and had to adjust them to get them through.  I could never get this down:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Unfit to Ironman, Guest Post by Anthony, Team Aquaphor

I failed to mention in my previous post recapping 2011 how grateful I was to be a part of Team Aquaphor.  It really is a team of remarkable athletes.  I had applied for this team in 2010, and did not get accepted, so I was really pleased to be a part of the team last year.  There is a huge online community for us, which has been especially great after moving away from MI, where I had several friends who were teammates and in my area, as well as TIA, to KY, where I have one other team member, Andrea, who is too far away for training on a regular basis.  Via Facebook,, monthly newsletters, and blogs, I have been able to get to know more about my teammates.  It was through a monthly newsletter that I first learned of Anthony Ripamonti's amazing transformation that was told as part of the featured athlete section.  I had no idea his background, especially after seeing his posts about top of the line gear, tough workouts, and major upcoming races on facebook and the team message board.  I had no clue how new he was to the sport of triathlon, or to sports in general.  I hope you find this inspiring, I know I did.  Here is his amazing story, in his own words, followed by a video clip he put together leading up to IM AZ:

All my life, I've never considered myself athletically inclined. In gym class at school, I always was the last to get picked for any team sport - and rightly so. I was just uncomfortable with my body and generally unenthusiastic about any kind of exercise whatsoever. By the time I reached my early 30's, my sedentary lifestyle coupled with stress from work and lousy eating habits started to take their toll on my body.
I started to notice that I would feel generally crappy all the time. I would groan every time I got out of a chair and I was only 34 years old!! In the fall of 2009, I went to the doctor for a long overdue physical and got told what I already suspected: I was grossly overweight (225lbs @ 5'9"), my blood pressure was in the early stages of hyper tension and my cholesterol levels were through the roof. I also found out, to my dismay, that I had Hashimoto's disease, a condition where your body's own immune system starts attacking your thyroid gland resulting in lethargy, and weight gain.


I felt so depressed and helpless. I felt like my life was out of control. Mostly, I was angry with my big, fat, lazy, pathetic self. I mentally tuned-out my doctor as she was suggesting a veritable smorgasbord of prescriptions to combat the vast array of symptoms I suffered as a result of my undisciplined life. I started visualizing what life would be like at 40 years old, then 50 and on… What I saw was a miserable man, older than his years - a morbidly obese fellow slouching uncomfortably in a motorized scooter. This man was me! I’ve never been more horrified in my entire life! I felt like a parody of Ebenezer Scrooge being visited by the Ghost of Fitness Future.

When I snapped out of it, something had changed in me. A fire had been lit. I turned my anger into focus. I was not going to let this happen! I was going to change my life! I was going to TAKE CONTROL!! Smiling suddenly, I told my doctor that I would skip the prescriptions for now, thank you very much, and try to fix my own problems.

I got home and excitedly laid out a plan for the next 6 months. I would need a goal. I didn’t want to set a weight goal, but more of a fitness goal. Coincidentally, an old friend of mine from college with whom I had recently reconnected on Facebook had just finished a triathlon and posted the details and pictures on his page. I was intrigued! The more I started reading up on triathlons, the more excited I got. The idea of me competing in a multi-sport endurance race was in diametric opposition to everything in my life up to this point. If I could finish one of these, it would be the ultimate triumph over my inner lazy slob! I was giddy as I clicked the “register” button on the race website. In 20 weeks, I was going to be a triathlete, dammit! Now, I just need to learn how to swim and I probably need to get a bike or something...

If my life was a Rocky movie, now would be a good time for one of those cheesy music montages that shows me doing all these grueling workouts in the freezing cold with rain dripping down on my grizzled, determined face (all to the soundtrack of awesome 80's pop). Then, near the end of the montage, with me standing on the roof of the Caesars Palace parking garage, arms out-stretched to the sky (and my physique noticeably more toned than at the beginning of the montage) the music would swell, and in a burst of primal passion, I would yell out something inspiring, yet unintelligible in my best Stallonian accent that would echo across the whole Vegas valley.......

That was November 2009. Fast forward to November 2011

As I glide down the finish chute at Ironman Arizona, the explosion of endorphins in my lean and wiry 145lb body drown out the agony of my screaming leg muscles after eleven hours and thirty two minutes of grueling exercise. I almost can’t believe it’s real. As I hug and kiss my family in the finishers corral I see, sitting off in the distance like the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a shimmering vision of that old fat guy in the motorized scooter. He gives me a big thumbs up.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of being in control of your destiny. I, and nobody else, changed my life. It’s so simple, yet so difficult. People tell me all the time that my transformation is nothing short of amazing and that that they could never do what I have done – it’s impossible. I often respond (borrowing the Ironman ™ motto) “Anything is possible.” It truly is - you just have to want it badly enough.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Year in Review & Looking Ahead

I am sort of late on this, well, it is only the 3rd, so maybe not too late?  I just feel really behind on my tech stuff.  This also includes bill paying, and will resort to some old fashioned checks since our cable co has changed their website AGAIN, and I can't figure out how to log in, and have successfully locked myself out.  I love having a house, but we have more accounts now to keep track of.  I have it mostly under control, but with Christmas spending out of control (everyone's fault this time, not just mine), it is a little trickier. 

Enough of my excuses.  I listened to a great talk at church this past Sunday about time.  Everyone is given the same amount of time, and it is up to them to decide how best to use it wisely.  One of my goals for 2012 is to be more effective in the use of my time, and to do better at keeping the house clean and getting the rest I need.  It is hard because a lot of time we have lots of good choices.  The talk discussed how Satan isn't even trying to get us to make bad choices (as in doing bad deeds), but not choosing the best choices.  Like, it is good to journal personal and family history (blogging), as well as it is good to have a home that is neat and orderly (cleaning the house).  It is also good to make sure I get in my workouts, and best that my family is well taken care of and I spend time with them.  So, it is a balancing act between many good things.  I am hoping to cut down on the time I spend on facebook/internet as my first item for 2012, and work on trying to clean or tidy at least an hour a day.  I haven't really measured how much time I spend cleaning per day, so I actually might be doing this already, so I might need to adjust that.  I am working on laundry as I write, so that counts as my cleaning for today.  I packed up the Christmas decor with Ryan last night.  That took HOURS, and it was quite entertaining watching him try to squish our new more lifelike tree into its box.  I know I am not good at that, so I didn't bother to try, but I did help as needed.  I was surprised how hard it was for him.  It didn't really flatten like our old tree.  He is always the person that can pack up the tent just right, or pack down a sleeping back, thermarest, ect, to get it to go back.  Anyway, now that we have food in the house, decor down, bills paid, and laundry started, I can try to squeeze in a post. 

2011 was an amazing year.  It followed 2010, which was the start of what I will call my PR streak.  I had this period from the end of 2009 until this past year where EVERY RACE was a PR.  It didn't matter what distance.  I was doing lots of different distances, so I had lots of opportunities to PR.  I didn't do that many new distances either, so I didn't have any "default" PRs.  This year, however, was the end of my PR streak in both triathlon and running.  Not to say that I didn't still have PRs, but every race was no longer one. 

I started off 2011 with my Marathon PR of 3:33:18, which was good enough for a 2nd AG and Boston Qualifier.  Whoo Hoo!  It felt awesome to have my #1 goal of the year acheived 4 months in.  The first goal of 2012 is to have a fun race at Boston.  Marathon and Fun in the same sentence?  We shall see.

My very next race broke my PR streak for running.  It was the Bunny Hop 5K, and we were told that the course was shortened for reasons that may or may not have been true.  I think my time was a PR, but since the distance was short, I couldn't really count it (basically, it would be insanely hard for me to beat it by time alone if I did an actual 5K race, and the pace was NOT faster than my real 5K, though).  I did get my first ever OA win, so that was fabulous.  I ran as fast as I needed to, I guess!

Then, I had the Derby Half, which was a freakishly fast PR in the half marathon of 1:38:39.  I didn't run under my own bib, so there isn't even real record of it.  Sometimes (especially this fall), I felt like it didn't really happen, since the time is associated with my name.  I felt so awesome this whole race, and I just could not get there this fall with my half marathon.  I want to PR in the half marathon this year for REAL.

I had a 10 miler, the Live Like Andi, which was also a PR, mostly because it had been a really long time since I raced the 10 mile distance.  I ran at a slower pace than the Derby, so that was a bit of a bummer, but it was still a good race.  I recall I felt tired.

Next up, I had my first Half Ironman in June for Racing for Recovery.  This was a PR by default, but since I did another one, I have a NEW PR.

I did a sprint tri, the Triceratops, and got to be in the elite start.  That was super fun, and I had a great PR.  My triathlon PR streak was still alive!

Then I did IRONMAN Muncie 70.3, and got a huge PR there in the half iron distance.  It felt great!  PR streak still alive, but I didn't quite break the 6 hour mark that I would like.   6:06:50. I hope to beat that in 2012 too.

Then I had my disastrous race at Island Lake, the Pterodactyl Tri.  The whole tire mess really rattled me, and made my nutrition problems even worse.  I almost had a personal worst, but it was a tough day for a lot of people due to the heat, and I faired rather well in the AG standings (which I thought was a complete mistake, not just the slight mistake they did make, I was 6th not 5th as the records STILL show).  However, I am very happy that I was able to go out there and get it done.  It was not pretty, but it took a lot of determination to do it.  I was almost a "Did Not Start"  Also, I just learned that Tri Juice ranked this race's medals in their top of 2011.  That made me feel a bit better about this race.  That finisher's medal meant a lot about perserverence to me, and now it is even COOLER because it is apparently stylish too!

I finished up that WEEK with a fun mountain bike race.  I didn't PR here either, but considering it was the first time on my mountain bike since LAST YEAR'S mountain bike race in August, I would say I did quite respectable, finishing just behind Cristina on my team, AND since I was the lead leg, I had the crazy start shenanigans of running down the start hill in socks and putting on my shoes before hoping onto my bike.  Yeah for being a triathlete and knowing how to put on bike shoes fast!  My team finished 2nd in the female sport open division.  I hope to do this race again in 2012 and just have another fun day of racing.

I did squeeze in one more tri, the Oldham County Mini Tri, which was shorter than the sprints at Island Lake.  I got my first EVER AG win for a tri.  It was also a default PR since it was a new distance.  I would like to come back in 2012 and win the OA for this.  This is a bad goal, as it is not dependent on me, BUT, if I can get a PR, I would be very happy.  I was only a minute or so out of the OA win.

Then, it was running time. I has set a third goal of qualifying to NYC late in the game last year by running a sub 1:37 half marathon.  I made 3 attempts over the course of a month, and was not able to do it.  I had 2 serious attempts, plus a third race where I was already signed up and race "for fun".  I ran in Detroit, Indianapolis, and Louisville, for 3 states too!  I qualified for Half Fanatics, but I did not pay the money to officially become one.  It was the same amount as the entry to my turket trot, and I would rather get to do a race for the money.  I also don't plan on ever doing this again, so joining a club that endorses this sort of activity isn't really my bag.  I was just so exhausted afterwards.  That last half had me really worried about my overall health, as I felt like garbage for a while when running afterwards.  Thankfully, I can say I am over it, and happily training again.  I am glad I gave it my all.  One of my goals for 2012 is to beat the 1:37 time goal.  It won't get me to NYC since they have changed their standard, but I can still work towards that time.

So, were you keeping track?  Did you get all my goals?

1. Have a fun race at Boston.  I am not looking to PR, but it would be nice
2.  Run a fast half marathon, break 1:37
3.  Break Half Ironman PR of 6:06:50.  This might be hard, since the course I am currently looking at may be more difficult than Muncie, it shares some of the Louisville IM course.  The details for this race are not yet available, but I have several ladies from MI who are tentative for doing it.  If they bail, I will just do Muncie and shoot for a PR.  If they come, I will race with them and still try for a PR, but it just might hurt more :)
4. Race on my mountain bike in 2012.  One time.  Please.. Also, ride it more than 1 time like I did in all of 2011.
5.  Improve my swim time.  Basically, I got slower as a whole in 2011 on the swim.  I want to get back to pushing myself in the pool instead of just using swimming as my recovery exercise.  So far so good here, but my races will tell.
6.  Lose the 5-10lbs I gained this Thanksgiving-NYE.  I did this last year (gained weight), and lost the weight, so I know what to do.  Now I just have to do it.  I am hoping to not have to shell out the big bucks and call up Rick Smith Jr from Advocare.  I am going to give it two weeks on my own before I do an extreme diet again.  I also need to wait until my credit card turns over too, ha ha, before I can buy the cleanse products.  It is super hard right now since we still have so much junk in the house.  Ryan asked if I wanted to eat some of this leftover potato casserole from Christmas Eve.  I said "no way", and he thought I was just "afraid" to eat them due to their age (I have a fear of left overs that are more than a couple days old), and I said, "no, I am just not going to eat all the white carbs".  He laughed, and didn't believe that either. 

I really should go and link back to all the fun posts.  Might, if I get time, but in the business of saving time, I am not right now.  I hope you have some great goals.  Let me know what they are.  Also, what is your time limit on leftovers?  Mine is different for take home food vs food we cooked here and didn't eat directly out of.  Ryan will eat some stuff that is pretty old, and I just want to know if I am paranoid or not.  He ate some chocolate mousse LAST NIGHT that was left over from Christmas Eve.  Um, no thank you.  We should have brought it with us out of town.  As much as I dislike throwing away excellent chocolate, I was afraid since that has raw egg in it to start.  He is still alive today, though, and not sick, as far as I could tell :)

Happy 2012

Oh, and I had 100 posts in 2011!  I can't believe I glossed over my 100th post!  With me trying to spend less time on the computer and more time being effective as a homemaker (for those of you that know me well, please don't fall down laughing and hurt yourselves), I don't know if I will try to do 100 this year, but will play it by ear.  We will see.  I am going to go clean the kitchen now, though :)  That is the truth!