In no particular order, here we go:
1. Sunshine: Don't get me wrong, I love a good swim in a nice cloudy rainy day… but nothing gets me outta bed and moving like some blue sky and sunshine
2. My job. While I won't go on and on about how my job is so wonderful & I'm changing lives or living my dream career (cause those just aren't true), I am extremely lucky to have been given this opportunity to work from home with Melisa. It gives me so much flexibility to do all the things that make me happy. I take care of my pups, keep the house from falling apart (aside from maybe peak Ironman time), the fridge is (usually) full, I can almost always fit in all of my training & I get to help my sister out and spend time with mini-me niece. Yes, I'm very thankful for my job.
3. Mexico. Lots and lots of time spent at our house in Mexico this year. Friends and family joined us some of the time, and sometimes it was just Shane, me & the dogs. Something about staring at the ocean just makes me melt. I heart the beach. I heart Mexico.
4. Shane. My best friend, my partner in crime. He gets me (or at least does a good job of pretending to most of the time). We laugh, we have fun, we make fools of our self. We frustrate the hell out of each other, and push each other as well. It's a pretty darn good match.
5. Recovery e21. This product has helped me push when I didn't think I had any left in the tank. Recover faster. Meet a fun and talented group of athletes, and to top it all off… it helps when those Mexico trips got a little too crazy. Thank you e21 for letting me represent such a great product all year long!
6. Pedicures. I love me a good pedicure. I hate my feet, but I freaking love having sparkly red toenails and soft heels. Those little pedicure ladies kept me from losing any toenails with all my running and never once (at least in English) made fun of my ugly, sore calloused feet. Is there anything better than a foot and calf massage after a long ass training week?
7. My dogs. We officially had our first year with LMT (little miss thang) Juliette Thanksgiving weekend. She & Baxter have become BFFs and she's made her way right into our hearts. Baxter will always be my baby, my boy… but this little girl is about as close as one can get to compete! I'm so so thankful for my kids...
8. Facebook. I'm not saying I'm necessarily thankful for it, but boy oh boy has it been part of my year. Probably WAY too much. It's entertaining to say the least, but it can also be fun. Keep up with friends, reconnect and laugh at memories. Yes, Facebook you were definitely part of my 34th year…
9. Friendship. I have always been blessed with meeting and building wonderful connections with people. From new people I've met in the past year or so, to some I've known for 10+ years, to those who I've known since I was just a kid. I'm forever blessed with all these people, and incredibly thankful.
10. My blog. This blog started out in 2007 when I wanted to document my training for Ironman CDA. It turned into much, much more than that. It's always been heavy training and racing based, but it is also a way for me to share my memories. The good, the bad and the ugly. While I haven't been writing as much over the past year, I have definitely looked back at a lot of my posts and loved seeing how I've grown. How my thoughts have changed, how my writing has changed and how I see thing differently. Pretty stinking cool.
11. Peanut Butter. Oh my, yes my love for peanut butter was in full force this past year. When Costco's organic peanut farmers ran out of their harvest and I could no longer get my beloved peanut butter I about died. For reals. Of course I found some substitutes but I was certainly a bit worried for a while. My peanut butter toast gets me outta bed :)
12. Our coach. At the beginning of the year the coach I was working with didn't have time to work with athletes. It was February and I was determined to have a great season so I did a ton of research with coaches and ended up hiring Michelle after an hour conversation with her. I loved what she had to say and we just sorta clicked. She's kicked my ass from one side to the next, but she's helped me start my journey of becoming the athlete I had no idea was inside of me. I can not wait to see what happens this next year. Thanks Michelle.
13. Mumford and Sons. I just can't seem to get enough of their music. It's happy, it's dark, it's just got this beat that I love love love to listen to.
14. Recovery tights, socks, shoes. Can't get enough of them. I never thought I would be one of those nerdy people walking around in this stuff, but I so totally am.
15. ART. My magic man Dr. Sherman might be one of the biggest reasons I'm able to push my body so hard. I'm fairly confident I'm helping build his kid's college fund, but hey… someone has to do it right?
16. Mingus Mtn. In 2010 when I got tricked into doing Answer to the Challenge I was convinced I was going to die. I was completely undertrained. I hurt in so many ways I wasn't sure I would ever sit on my bike again. I cried and threw a 2 year old tantrum halfway into day2 after climbing Mingus Mtn. BUT, this year I was in WAY better shape, knew what I was in for and came back to kick Mingus' ass. I felt amazing at the top and did it in a pretty darn good time. So, so proud of that!
17. Coeur d'Alene. CDA means a lot to me. I grew up just 30 mins outside of it, and spent my summers sitting on the beach and swimming in the lake. When I chose to do my first Ironman, there was NO question in my mind where it would be. I've done the race 3 times now, and while I still haven't had my best race there…. I'll keep coming back!
18. Ebay. I discovered how much fun Ebay can be in the past year, well actually few months. I came back from CDA on a mission to sell a bunch of stuff and buy a new bike. It's fun, it's addicting a little crazy as well.
19. Yoga. I'm not putting THAT word on their cause I'm thankful for it, or it was a big part of my year… but since I finally broke down and actually went to a REAL class (ok actually 2) I thought I should put it down here.
20. Running. This has been my BEST year of running so far. I've reached new goals and pushed myself harder (and differently) than ever and ya know what? It's worked. Found some new running buddies and created some new PRs. Yes, I'm thankful not only for my improvements, and running friends but also thankful once again I'm still ABLE to run!
21. Scrabble. Fun, entertaining and a good time killer. I can't spell for anything, but when you play online… you get a dictionary. Love love love me some scrabble
22. Mexico Sunglasses. I just can't get enough of them. I've got polka dot Ray Bans. Mirrored Ray Bans. A couple aviators (YAY RED). Some sporty ones for beach runs, some funny purple Kanye-West esque ones. Shane has his Turbos and whatever else I grab for the bargain price of $5. I've already got my next purchase figured out, just gotta get back down there and find em :)
23. 9 mile hill. I used to hate it. I used to hate climbing it. I used to be uncomfortable and slow and loathe it. This past year it became my friend. I hit a new PR by climbing it (slight tail wind) in my big chain ring. Can't wait to tackle it this season!
24. Martinis (lemon drop). Yes, I know it is counter-productive of all my training, but they are just so DAMN GOOD. Especially after an ass whooping Wednesday hard run and swim.
25. iPhone. Shane made fun of me for an entire year for my blackberry. But, it worked it was only a year old and who cared. But, he finally took me to Best Buy and said enough and bought me a new iPhone. That's really all I need to say. I heart my iPhone and can't believe I waited so long to get one!
26. Shoes. I heart my shoes. Always have. I suppose in the last couple of years my collection has dwindled, because I spend most of my time in flip flops and workout clothes, but every once in a while a special occasion comes up and I need me some new kicks… These were from this past spring. Oh I can't wait for it to get nice out again so I can wear them. Anyone getting married?
27. Garmin. I spent a lot of time training on my own this past year, but I'm such data nerd that it kept me going. Too slow, speed up. Crap - HR 125… suck it up and pedal faster.
28. Pizza. I know, not the best for me food, but it's my go to meal when I'm either starving, or Shane is out of town. I created a pretty healthy version of it myself that works perfectly when Shane is out of town. The whole wheat flat out bread (only 100cals), trader joes pesto, whatever veggies I have or just mushrooms & sundried tomatoes, a little feta cheese & crushed red pepper. Throw it in the oven at 400degs for 7 minutes and eat with a side of mixed greens and it's the perfect meal.
29. My new bike! While I haven't fallen in love with her yet, how can you not look at her (Margarita) and not just fall in love. I'm so so thankful after a whole lot of drama I got her. Now I just have to find a saddle that doesn't kill me so I can get back out on her!
30. Training peaks. Best training log out there. I tracked my training from 07-10' on a site that lost ALL my data. So happy to now be on TPs where my coach enters the workouts, I give feedback and it all gets meshed together. It allows me to track progress, and totals for this data loving nerd. 2011 totals… ~650hours total; 5,225 bike miles 334,793 swim yards 1110 run miles & ~20hours of strength.
31. Texting. I hate to admit it, but every since my iphone (and a little before) conversion I've become a texting whore. I have NEVER liked talking on the phone, but love love keeping in touch with people. Sending pictures, making training plans, asking questions. It's quick, it's simple and I'm way way way over-using it.
32. Mini me. She's growing up fast, but I still get to spend a lot of time with her, and thankfully… I'm still cool in her eyes. Pretty thankful to my sister for making her :)
33. Arizona. I may bitch and complain about it between June-September, but how can you not be thankful for living somewhere the suns shines 98% of the time and on January 1 you are riding your bike in 78degrees? Swim year round in an outdoor pool, and wear flip flops year round.
34. I've had this word on my mind for a while. It's something that everything I've listed, and so much more has helped build inside of me. It's something I was missing for a long time. It's something that you can't buy, or seek out. This past year I've built more confidence than I actually knew I had in me. I don't know how it finally came out, but it did. It allowed me to put goals out, reach for them and then grab them. To speak my mind (probably too much) instead of just agreeing. To not worry so much about what anyone else thinks about me or what I'm doing. To get in a swimsuit in front of anyone and everyone when it's something I'd never been comfortable doing. At age 34 I feel better, more happy and content then I have in my life. So much so I put on this way too short sparkly mini dress, stark red lipstick and 4.5" red platform pumps and toasted the new year with friends.
"Remember, you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." unknown.
I can't wait to see what this next year brings, but most importantly I'm so ever loving thankful for everyone and each memory that made this past one so incredible.