2011 Highlights

Well it is the last day of 2011 and I have to say it has been an amazing year! Here are the highlights and 3,000 pictures of myself!

I rang in 2011 in Boston, an incredible city that I CANNOT wait to explore again (cough Kimbereadyforatripthissummer cough).

Wait didn't I JUST use this picture?

I ran my first 5K!

Walked all night at Relay for Life.

Helped send a check to St. Jude for $20,000!

Was reelected to my position on the executive board of my sorority

Had some haunted adventures in Savannah

Ran a marathon

And finished the damn thang!

Welcomed some new babies into my family

Partook in Black Friday deals for the first time ever!

Waiting for the store to open

Sobbed like a fool because my friends are graduating

Spent Christmas with my fam

Finding Their Stride

I was hesitant to pick up this book. It is about a high school cross country team, and because I did not start running until I was in college (and not part of a team) I was not sure of how relateable it would be to me.

I loved it. It was written by the coach of the team, and the way she describes each event is beautiful. You can tell that she loves each of her students, and is very dedicated to her team.

 

Quotes:

“You run with your legs and arms; you run with your heart. But you win with your entire self.”

“Bodies are miraculous. Like bodies of water, they flood, recede, but do not lose their integrity.”

“That tiredness, though, is satisfying: it is the result of desire, of strength. of pushing the body further than it knows it can go, and of saying to pain, churlishly, “I’m watching you.”

“Do we have too many or too few seconds? Have we used our seconds wisely? Will seconds logically lead to firsts? My mind is a chaos of questions, but my stopwatch can’t answer them accurately until the district race is over.”

“Second is not always lesser than first, nor first greater than second. Numbers seldom fall in an orderly pattern.”

“The body, sometimes, makes its own choices, regardless of the dictates of the mind. It’s needs are just as profound as those of the mind, and its poetry is just as stirring.”

“To win, really, is to surpass, not others, but ourselves.”

“The point is to be better than you thought you could be.”

 

IRON HEART

I regret reading this book so shortly after reading The Long Run because the plot lines are very similar and I found myself constantly comparing the two, which is not fair. Each book is great and deserves to stand on it’s own.

Shortly after graduating from high school Brian Boyle is in a car accident with a dump truck. He hovers on the precipice of death for months in a chemically induced coma and undergoes multiple surgeries. Basically every organ in his body suffered some type of damage in the accident.

When Brian wakes up he has to relearn how to do everything, and put all of his goals on hold. Through perseverance and family support he goes on to achieve his dreams of being a collegiate swimmer, and an Ironman triathlete.

What I think makes this book special is that Boyle was still a teenager when he was dealing with these overwhelming obstacles.  The maturity and determination showed by this young man to hang on to his dreams despite a setback is incredible. I would recommend this book to anyone.

The Grace to Race

This is the memoir of Sister Madonna Buder, a Catholic nun, and champion triathlete. She tells the story of how she became both. What I really loved about this book is how she breaks the stereotype of what I think of when I think of a nun. Not only is she involved in these races, she actually competes and has won many age group awards. She is not afraid to get sassy in the heat of competition and I found her feisty attitude  both humorous and personable.

I was surprised that I actually found the beginning of the book, where she talks about making the decision to become a nun more interesting than towards the end where she chronicles her races. Sister Madonna has traveled the world to compete in hundreds of races, and I think that it would have been an easier read if she had not tried to include so many of them.

This is a quick read. I found it very inspiring. If an 80 plus year old can achieve these accomplishments, then there is really no excuse for us young whipper-snappers.

New Years Resolutions

I love New Years. It may be my favorite holiday. The idea of having a fresh start, and the opportunity to make a commitment to improve yourself is so refreshing.

In the past I have always made one resolution. One year it was to go vegetarian and that was a major success. Last year I resolved to run 1,000 miles and that was a big fat fail. Except it wasn’t really a fail, I became a runner. My overall major goal this year is to become a BETTER runner.  I am taking a different approach and making a whole list of goals!

GOALS FOR 2012

  • Run 6 races (that is double the amount that I did last year)
  • Run an entire half marathon without any walk breaks
  • Complete a marathon in 5:22:30 or faster (beat my last time by 1 hour)
  • Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes
  • Run a mile in less than 9 minutes
  • Complete a 25 day running streak
  • Meet my goal weight and stay there
  • Buy a group fitness class pass and use it
  • Try a hot yoga class
  • Try a Pilates class
  • Try a spin class
  • Swim 450 yards in 10 min. (This is the time requirement for NAUI Dive Master certification)
  • Use a system to track my workouts
  • Complete a half marathon with my roommate
  • Donate a medal to Medals for Mettle
  • Add 10 more reviews to my Book Worm section
  • Try out and post 12 new recipes

Oh and two little non-running resolutions

  • GRADUATE
  • Find a grown up job

I definitely have a lot of work to do. I am so excited for a new year!

Chocolate Milk

So all these other bloggers have been going on and on about all of the benefits of chocolate milk as a recovery drink after workouts. I’m not going to write about THAT because they aren’t funding my race fees, but I am going to tell you about this super delicious adult beverage that I discovered!

  • Glass full of ice
  • One part Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka
  • One part Chocolate Milk

Kitten Optional

How is that for a recovery drink?