|Turkey Trot 2011|
2011 started off with a forced two month long sabbatical from all exercise. It was a time of contemplation. Folks around me were eagerly planning their race calendars and setting goals. Things were too uncertain for me to jump on board. I would have to be patient. The cold, dark winter fortunately ended. When spring finally rolled along, I ever so cautiously resumed my training. I had to keep a conservative level of activity. Most challenging was graciously saying no thank you to tempting offers to run with others who were in different places speed, distance and difficulty wise than I. Without a doubt, I missed my long, rigorous workouts and the regular surge of endorphins, but more than anything, I missed the fellowship of other runners and my identity as a runner. What kept me going was that I was able to maintain a moderate level of activity in three sports. I was heading in the right direction and would soon be joining my friends and races again.
I reinvented myself as a triathlete during spring, the time of rebirth and new beginnings. I had a ball training for and taking part in the Albany Sprint Triathlon and Heart of the Valley Sprint Triathlon. The later, which I did with fellow tri newbie and dear friend remains a highlight of 2011. While I missed distance running and running my annual marathon, the cross training proved to be better for my body. Cycling was making my legs stronger, swimming was strengthening my upper body and running was an all-around fun, awesome workout.
|Tanya and I at finish line at Heart of the Valley Sprint Triathlon|
|Enjoying a spring break trail run with my honey and trail hound.|
|North Shore Trail with my running momma friends|
|Reflective run at Mt. Pisgah|
Before I knew it, the school year had ended and it was time to leave for my summer on the east coast. I couldn't stray too far from my training though. When my month-long working vacation came to an end, I would have Hood to Coast. Training away from home in the humid, record heat wave east coast proved to be yet another challenge. I slacked. I whined. I made excuses. I watched the empty entries in my training log grow. Nonetheless, I did experience runs in Central Park, NYC, historic Boston and on the beautiful trails of New Haven, CT. When I was really dedicated, I headed to the air conditioned hotel and campus fitness centers to slog away miles on the dreadmill and pump iron.
|I'm in Central (friggin') Park!|
|Hood to Coast|
|Will it be 75 or 100 miles?|
|Celebratory beer and dinner with cycling buddies after the century|
|Tossin' back some brews in our fuzzy horned hats and bad ass socks after Warrior Dash|
|Silver Falls Half Marathon|
|Yee haw! That was FUN!|
Today under the rosy glow of the final sunrise of 2011, I said a prayer of thanks for all that I had experienced this year. Thank you body for healing and for all that you've allowed me to do. Thank you spirit for believing that blue skies will follow the dark clouds. Thank you family and friends for supporting, encouraging and joining me in this journey. Thank you beautiful places to swim, bike, run and be with loved ones. Thank you running partner, running buddies and running peers for the countless lessons, reminders of the limitless possibilities and zest for the sport. Before I knew it, we were coming out from the forest canopy on my last run of 2011. When we emerged, a gorgeous, crystal blue sky awaited us. The sky, like my year in training had come full circle. Thank you universe!