I've tried to do one of these posts at the end of every year just to see if I've learned anything and to sum up what's happened in the past year. Most folks that remember last years post for 2010, will recall that I had a pretty bang up year in 2010 and I wanted to capitalize on that in 2011.
a few choice snowshoe races in the mix and then I raced as part of a team once more for the uber fun Cast-a-shadow 6 hour snowshoe relay where I was able to pull off the anchor leg in blazing speed and propel us to a 2nd place overall finish (behind the crazy speedsters from Brighton). January capped off with a dip in the pool to test my meddle in the one hour postal and was able to somehow bury myself to get to 4,800 yards!!! (best time yet! and 1:15/100yd SCY if anyone was wondering) I missed my goal of hitting top ten in my age group nationally, but I was pretty close at 15th.
Spring time came and I was hitting the roads and trails once more and running well. First up is the milestone test of the Spring Forward 15k in Mendon. That is the yearly measuring stick of my base fitness and I had a decent race there (nothing too fast, nothing too pedestrian) The real kicker of the running year came in spring though when someone put a bug in my ear and told me I might be able to do pretty well in this years Muddy Sneaker 20k trail race in Rochester. This is a prestigious race in the Rochester Running Community and is so sought after that they hold a lottery every year for the 150 slots to be able to race. Somehow, the stars aligned and I was able to sneak out a win there, I fell short of my goal time of breaking 1:30 there, but was pretty pleased considering the crazy wet conditions. I'm actually humbled to have the title of 2011 Muddy Sneaker Champion and I'm gonna try to go back in 2012 and see what I can do there again.
We put together a rag tag group of fun folks to do the Seneca 7 relay around Seneca Lake, but as we never do anything the "correct" way, decided to do it all via bikes instead of driving from checkpoint to checkpoint, which earned us the distinction of "most eco friendly team" and we actually were in contention for too 3 teams, but had a wrong turn in there as well...no worries, we all had a blast and have plent of stories to tell from that one! The next day I was able to share an experience that I never thought I would get to, I would run a half marathon side-by-side with my sister! Such a great experience and I was elated to share that with her!
June came around and I raced to the podium at the Keuka Lake Triathlon on DEAD legs after a 20+ hour training week for IMLP and also got in some great training up in Placid again while tryign to conquer my fear of the downhill section. I popped one last little 5k prior to my launch in Placid and that was just to test fitness and see where I was. Fun, demanding and exhausting...but I was able to see some college buddies who I rarely run into.
July came and I had all of my eggs into one basket. I was gunning for that great Ironman race that I know I was capable of. I had some serious training under my belt and was ready to rip it. I just needed to keep the rubber side down on the downhill. I had a good race and got REALLY lucky in July. There were tears of joy in the gym and I was literally in shock. Not many people know what it's like to have your wildest dreams come to fruition, but I did. In that moment I saw the piece of paper in the gym, I was floored.
I blogged a lot in the days/weeks/months after that and even put up a race report for IMLP and one for the day after. I tried to capture everything I was feeling, the difficulties of doing two IM's only 12 weeks apart and get everything down on paper so I could look at it for years to come or give someone else a proverbial "leg up" if they were in the same situation as I was. I was getting emails from everyone and words of congrats and support from SO many people it was incredible! My parents even sent an article into the local newspaper on my journey from 2009-2011.
Then came time for the BIG DANCE. I had a LOT of help to get there and I cannot convey how much on paper it meant to me. Everyone that gave me support was in my thoughts and in my heart on the big island and helped to propel me to that most famous finish line. It took me a while to write THIS, but I finally got it down on paper. Kim and I had a BLAST for the remainder of our trip and took a TON of photos. It was an incredible experience and I can't believe I'm now in the same club as these folks!
But after the multisport season came the best thing that happened in 2011. As I've mentioned above, those were all huge things that happened in the year, but none could've trumped what occured in December. I didn't write a "race report" for this big event in my life, because it can't be quantified as such. A race report means it's done and over with, completed, finished and this is just beginning. I asked my best friend and the one that has been behind the scenes and right by my side for the last several years to marry me...(Don't worry, I made her work for it! - sent her on a scavenger hunt all around Rochester :o) hehehe!)....and she said YES!!!!!!!! :o) :o)