Definately a highlight, and a great way to start the year off was a trip to BC to visit my sister and her family in January. My neice Mya turned 1 on the 7th and Paul and I went out there to attend her ballerina birthday party. What a bundle of cuteness and we had a great time as usual. We were able to take a side trip to Revelstoke Mountain for a day of skiing which just capped off a fantastic trip.
Mya and Cash before the ballerina party
In March I ran the Spring Thaw 5k race and this was a low/highlite mix for me. This would be my third time racing in this event and in fact the 2008 Spring Thaw was my very first 5k race. I was a day of entrant this year because I was going through some fertility treatments at the time and had been advised to lay off the running/training. After another unsuccessful month I entered this race as a bit of a f-you to my uterus (I'm really mature that way). The weather ended up being really nice, they gave us cute white toques instead of the usual useless t-shirt and my friend Sharon came and ran with it with me. My time was 32:02 and I was happy with that.
A definate low point in the year happened March 13th. Our good friend Mike died suddenly of a heart attack in his home. Mike was 41 years old, husband to our good friend Dawn, and dad to three young kids. I will never forget that phone call and the following couple of weeks. Paul had been friends with Mike and Dawn since University and I had become closer with Dawn through triathlon. We had been to Clearwater with them in November 2009 to watch Dawn race in the 70.3 World Championships. We spent this past New Year's Eve with Dawn and toasted Mike. I still can't believe he's gone.
In June I raced in my first triathlon of the season and this proved to be a high/low mix of the day. The Guelph Lake Sprint Distance Triathlon was held on June 19th. Sydney and I drove the 3 hours to Guelph that morning with our friend Cynthia. I felt good for this race and ready to go. Unfortunately I panicked early on in the water and ended up doing the entire swim on my back - so frustrating! The "slightly rolling hills" of the bike course proved to me just how much work I needed to do on the bike and just how flat it is where live and the run was painful. Although it was a fun day spent with Sydney and Cynthia, I was really upset at my performance. That being said it was a really well run event that I would do again - hills and all!
Best race shirt of the year
Another highlight came on July 1st - Canada Day when I rode my first 100k ride! The longest ride I had ever done was 65k and that had been the weekend before. It was a tough day and I got through it simply because I have some awesome friends that I ride with. I hit a wall at 70k and wasn't sure I could get through it but sure enough, three and half hours after setting off I had done it! I ended up doing a couple of 100k rides and one 135k ride this year. This was definately one of my favourites though being the first one!
Our first 100k done!
In August I did the Tecumseh Triathlon. Our local sprint distance triathlon. It was a blistering hot day and I had yet another crappy swim (I'm seriously tired of these crappy swims) - having spent alot of it backstoking again. My Garmin wasn't working on my bike which led me to have no idea what my speed or cadence was. This led me to be ultra conservative because I wanted to make sure I didn't burn my legs out for the run. Unfortunately I obviously have no sense of speed because I ended up have an excrutiatingly slow bike time. The run was hot and I was plagued with a horrible stitch. I don't normally get those and had no idea how to work through it. I ended up second last in my age group (booo) but was really happy to see my parents at the finish line. A highlight of that weekend was the Kids of Steel race that happened the day before. My neice Ally raced for the third year in a row and I was proud Auntie. She was in a new age group where the distances more than doubled from the year before. As her birthday's near the end of the year she was one of the youngest kids out there in her age group and she really struggled. She got through it though and I was SO proud of her!
How do you not love this face?
Two weeks after the Tecumseh triathlon I raced the Bulldog Triathlon. I'm nothing if not persistent despite my crappy performances. This is a sprint distance triathlon held in a Provincial park about an hour away from where I live. It's a small race but anyone's who's raced it raves about how much fun it is. I had a really good day that day. Although my swim wasn't awesome speed wise I managed to do the whole thing without having to backstroke (victory!). This was the first race where I used the aero bars on my bike and felt like it really helped my speed. The run went well and I passed people! I came in third in my age group (first age group finish ever in a tri!) and scored an awesome bronze dog tag as a prize. This was definately a highlight!
September was a good month, filled only with highlights. I got my new bike at the beginning of the month and was able to race on her at the Wasaga Beach triathlon - the last tri of the year. I had my breakthrough swim at this triathlon. The water was freezing but clear as anything and you could see everything around you. I came out of the water and was SHOCKED to see a slew of caps that were the same colour as mine behind me. I got to the transition area and it was filled with bikes - this was also a first. My bike leg rocked and I was passing people all over the place! I had a great run and came withing 6 seconds of have a sub 30 5k which I had, until that point, not ever been able to do. I was 13th in my age group and had knocked a great amount of time of my sprint distance time. What a way to end the triathlon season! A week later Paul and I headed out West for a two week trip. Paul's brother lives in Washington State so we don't get to see him that often. He turned 40 this year so we flew out there to surprise him. He had no idea and was shocked to see us, along with Paul's dad and wife Diane who live in Calgary, on his doorstep at ten o'clock one night. We had a fun week visiting with him and his family and then headed up to Salmon Arm to spend a week with my sister and her family.
October brought the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon (race report here). The weather was awesome, we had so many great friends participating and I ran a great race for me. I had a 2:15 goal and came in at 2:08. We wrapped up the day with friends enjoying chilli and trading stories about the day.
November is always a great month because of our birthday but this year we also had a wonderful trip to Cozumel to make it even better. The Ironman race was inspiring to watch and our friends all performed as well as we knew they would. Of course the sand, sun, and relaxation helped as well!
December was busy with our anniversary, preparing for Christmas, and attending holiday parties. It was a great month and I was so excited to start training December 1st with my new coach. Mary has been awesome with answering alot of newbie questions and giving great feedback. I love getting the email every morning with my daily workout! Having someone to provide information to about the workouts I'm doing has helped to keep me accountable and I've only missed a few. I even did a swim workout on Christmas Eve!
Our New Year's Eve celebration last night was a blend of great friends and fabulous food. A few tears for Mike were shed but we all agreed that together we'd make 2011 awesome! Stay tuned folks, it's going to be a great year!