Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Triathlife Year in Review

All the other blogs and online content pushers are doing it so why not us....a year-in-review post from The Triathlife! Although it's a little expected, we really wanted to capture the highlights (the HIGHS and the LOWS) of what has been a big year for us.

And because we are so thankful for our tens of readers who waste their time take the time to care about our little self indulgent blog that could, we would love to hear from you as well. If you feel so inclined, please feel free to share your own highs and lows from 2011 in the comments below.

HIS HIGHS:
  • I have to say my absolute high was being with Jen during her day at IMWI. So many people suffer and scowl their way through the race and Jen was all smiles all day long - she truly embraced the day and it was inspiring to witness.
  • Personally I set swim PRs at each of my races (for that particular distance). I suck in the water but found some confidence along the way this year by getting after the race straight from the gun.
  • The Lakefront Marathon, Milwaukee, Wisconsin - running the first 14-ish miles with my brother Andrew. We had a good time while it lasted. Like being out for a Saturday long run with your bud.
  • I spent the equivalent of two weeks (over 300 hours) swimming, biking or running this year.

HIS LOWS:
  • Nagging injuries. ITBS kept me from running the first two months of the year and hampered my recovery after the Milwaukee Marathon in October. I deal with it before, during and after every long run. I wish I could replace my entire right leg - from the top of my iliac crest all the way to the floor. I am lucky I can run but I just wish I could do it without the extra work and worry. 
  • Sitting in the med tent riding two bags of saline after Door County 70.3. The 96 degree day didn't agree with too many people and this was my first ever trip to see the doc after a race.
  • The Lakefront Marathon, Milwaukee, Wisconsin mile 20 through 26.2. I have a strong start to finish marathon in me somewhere. I just gotta find it. 

HER HIGHS:
Becoming an IRONMAN!!!
  • Setting a more than FIVE minute Olympic triathlon PR (personal record)!  I have been chasing this for the last few years and absolutely CRUSHED it at the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon in June!
  • Becoming a much more confident and independent cyclist.  I used to hate riding by myself and couldn't navigate the western suburbs of Chicago very well by myself.  By August I was doing 6-7 hour rides every Sunday and at least 3 hours of each of these rides was solo!
  • I finally fully committed to training and discovered that consistency is the key to success.  In 2011, I swam nearly 166,000 yards, biked more than 2,500 miles and ran more than 560 miles.  This is compared to 2010 when I swam just over 91,000 yards, biked a mere 1,400 miles and ran 530 miles.  WOW!
  • I also changed roles at work and am now in a position that allows me to live and breathe endurance sports every moment of every day.  This could not be a better fit and I am absolutely thrilled with the opportunity to learn and do something I am incredibly passionate about!

HER LOWS:
  • I continue to struggle with my weight and food.  Instead of losing weight during Ironman training, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted to and instead put weight on.  I've been able to get this fairly under control in the last couple of months, but I'm pretty disappointed that I didn't manage it better throughout the IM journey.  In addition to the extra weight, I also slacked on my gluten free diet (what can I say? I was craving carbs!!) which has left me lethargic and struggling with stomach aches once again.  Blech.
  • Getting really, really sick during our family Disney vacation in February.  Although I was able to enjoy most of the time with my family, it was definitely not optimal as I battled pink eye and then one of the worst viruses I've had in years.
  • This was such a great year that the lows are pretty limited!  I of course will continue to learn and grow from all of the mistakes and things that didn't go perfectly my way.  But all in all 2011 was a pretty great year!

Looking ahead 2012 will be an Ironman year for BOTH of us. This should give us lots of material for an entertaining year of posts on The Triathlife.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, have a healthy and safe New Year's!  Cheers!

- Him and Her

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