Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tales from 2012: The (Sort of) Year Wrap-Up

Now that we are down to the final week of 2012 its easy to look back over the last year and contemplate.  2012 marks a year of big changes in my life outside of training, racing, running, triathlon, etc.  I've moved a couple times, had a relationship end, changed jobs (twice)... I've made the decision to go back to school (though actually going back will not happen until 2013) and gained some clarity about what I might want to do when I grow up. ;)  To sum up 2012 is nearly impossible because there are small details which have had great importance and influence along the way, but have likely been lost, forgotten, or gone unnoticed and wouldn't paint a full picture. 


If I were going recap training, triathlon.... the #1 thing I would say is...


Training consistently and making gains is hard work that takes time and dedication when life is running smoothly.  When life isn't running so smoothly training can sometimes take a backseat to all the other stuff.  Work, play, social life (what's that?), fights, the need to spend the day in bed just because.... they all pull you in a different direction, demanding your time and attention, and I think I've done a great job of managing it all.  I've made some great gains this year even with all the other "stuff" going on.

Melissa over at MelissaRuns.com posted a great "Best of" type blog that I'm going to steal.  It's important to remember the highs which seem to be often overshadowed by the lows.  The highs often are what keep us going.

1. Best Race Experience: Though I don't do a lot of racing, easily my best race experience of ALL TIME was Vineman 70.3.  If you haven't read my recap, I'll spoil the suspense... beyond my 68 minute PR, I learned so much about myself as a racer this year at Vineman 70.3.  I am not content in showing up at the start line and simply "making my way" to the finish line.  I want to RACE.  I want to compete.  It was a great set-up for racing in 2013.

2. Best Training:  I'm changing up the wording because... well... I don't just run.  And it's my blog.  :-p  Both the ride and run that come to mind I had the opportunity to do with other people.  Most of the time I am the "lone wolf" in training and I don't really mind it, but from time to time its nice to mix things up and have some company.  This ride was the finale to my Vineman 70.3 training and in hindsight couldn't have been a more perfect way to set me up for taper on such high spirits.

Great group of ladies to keep me company...
The majority of the traffic we encountered was of the 4-legged type.  COWS!
Ride took us through one of the older oil fields in the Bakersfield.  Bowing oil pumps.

The other that comes to mind was a run with a friend on a recent trip to Oregon.  I have recently fallen in love with Oregon and have SO ENJOYED running there (more to come on this later).  It was a short but got-my-ass-handed-to-me kind of run in which I tried to keep up with my faster guy friend sending me into tachycardia over a few miles of trails that never offered a lick of flat.  It rained, we ran, and then we polished off the better part of a chicken, pineapple, and jalapeno pizza after (as he said to me... don't judge until you've tried it).  :)

A little paved trail to start...

Even the bridges weren't level...

I could run here everyday and not be upset.
3.  Best Piece of New Gear:  This would have to be my new Brooks Pure Cadences.  Simply put... I LOVE THESE SHOES.  I recently picked up a pair of Pure Flows to do my shorter transition runs in, but the Cadences are the bread and butter for my feet.  A new pair of the Pure Cadence2 are in my future.  :)

4.  Best Piece of Training Advice I've Received:  Having a coach has been the best thing I have done for my training (have I said this before?).  Right before Vineman in two separate emails my coach said the following:

The work is done... Bring it on home!

For me its a great reminder that preparing for a race/event/life is not about one single workout (day at work/class/homework assignment/night on the town/etc) but instead it is about doing all the necessary work over time to be ready.  One bad/missed/cut short workout?  Not a problem as long as it doesn't become the norm.

5.  Most Inspiring Athletes:  There is absolutely no way I could pick a single athlete or even a short list of athlete's for this one.  Simply... I love athletes.  I don't care if you are doing 4:00m/m or 14:00m/m, being an athlete and giving it your all and consistently finding new limits for yourself is amazing. *BUT*  if I were going to make a list it would be as follows:
  • Felog Family - If you are reading this and know what it means... yes, I do mean you.  Badass athletes and amazingly supportive (and gangsta Hosscake leader).  I'm thankful to be a part of the group.  I likely wouldn't be registered for IMCdA if it weren't for your inspiration... remember that in a few months when training isn't as "flexible" as it currently is and I'm cursing you.  ;)
  • The HC - Again, if you are reading this and this means something to you... I MEAN EVERY ONE OF YOU.  :)  We all have our struggles, life's ups and downs, going in a million different directions... and you're still kicking ass and doing awesome things.  :)
6. If you could sum up your year in a few words, what would they be?
Consistent.  Overcoming.  Growth.  Change.

2013 has so much promise.  It will be a year of more change, more growth, more tears and uncertainty and likely another move.  There will also be joy and smiles, giggles and laughter, the start line of my first Ironman, and who knows, maybe new love.  IT WILL BE WHATEVER I MAKE OF IT.  Bring it on 2013, I am ready for what you've got. :)

Smile.  Sweat.  Enjoy.


Bari said...

You really kicked ass & took names this year. Managing the chaos along the way just makes the ass kicking you did that much more meaningful. Love you, girl.

Melissa Carlson said...

Thanks for stopping by the blog :)

I love "the work is done" quote. It's so true, and unfortunately SO hard to drill into my brain - especially during taper. "Trust your training" is another great one.

Here's to a great 2013 for you - cheers! :)

Brooke said...

<3 you!! :)

Kirsten said...

The chaos is the bread and butter of life. Embrace it, girl. Love you and hope to see you before too long. :)

Ashley said...

Thank you ladies for your kind words!