I truly hope that each of you has had a wonderful holiday season. Matt and I traveled to see my family for Christmas and I've enjoyed a little bit of time off work this past week. I've been reading and catching up on everyone and while (as usual) I've had quite a few thoughts swirling around in my head, I have not prioritized sitting and putting anything down "on paper". I'm not really a resolutions type of person--instead choosing to make change as I feel ready--but this is one thing I am aiming for in 2012...regular posting. Ideally, at least 3 times a week. I think I'm at a place where I can commit to this and look forward to sharing more in the year to come. I actually have a couple of fun announcements coming up that I look forward to sharing with you :) (And NO, I am not pregnant)
For now, I thought I'd take a month by month journey of 2011. I have the opportunity to share some things that never made the blog and it's fun for me to look back and see how the year has evolved.
We started the year with "Snowmaggedon" (turned into more of an ice storm) that resulted in a day off work and then the next day, Auburn won the BCS National Championship in football!
Later that month, I ran the Village to Village 10K, setting (at the time) a PR in the distance. I got my ass kicked by the beginning of the course, but by about the 5K mark I was already scheming how I was going to attack this race in 2012.
Yes, I am about to be a jerk and pass that chick right before the finish. I had been reeling in the man and woman behind me for a while too, and finally passed them.
Matt and I enjoyed primo seats at the UAB/Memphis basketball game later that night. My first UAB B'ball game actually and it was really fun. We actually have tickets for this year's match up which is later this week.
Unfortunately, the month ended up on more of a somber note, as my uncle who had been battling colon cancer passed away on the 29th. Matt was in Minnesota for work and was unable to attend the funeral with me. It's been a tough year, especially for my aunt and cousin, but we have gotten extremely close over the past year and I am thankful for my relationship with them.
Mercedes Half Marathon time!! I absolutely LOVE my big hometown race and it holds a special place in my heart since it's where I ran my very first half. This year was special too, as I was able to reconnect with my very best friend from grad school, Lee Ann, and we ran every step of the race together---I PRed (still my current official PR) and she crossed the line of her very first half. (On a side note, she has been rocking the running world the past several months and is getting ready for her very first full next weekend at Disney. I am SO PROUD of her!)
Coming up Highland Avenue with her friends Jenny and Greg
Still smiling at mile 10 somewhere in Forest Park
Happy Finishers with our Bling!
The month finished with Matt and I hosting "Couple's Bunco" at our house. So hilarious to watch the guys learn and get super competitive with random dice rolling. Unfortunately I promised I would not post any pictures from this event :)
It was a busy month with family birthdays (my dad and aunt, Matt's grandma...#80) and anniversaries (Matt's parents #35). In between all of the celebrating, my cousin Jimmy (from above) came and spent several days of his spring break hanging out with Matt and I. I also had my first official "race volunteer" experience.
I was a time sentry for the Rumpshaker 5K and had an absolute blast. I was stationed at the 2 mile marker and called out the official time, as well as the placement for the top 5 men and women. The race benefits colon cancer which is obviously dear to my heart but the course is ugly AND difficult, so it was much more fun to be on the "other side" this year.
This was a BUSY month! Matt turned the big 3-0 and we celebrated low-key here in town before he jetted off to Vegas to celebrate with another friend who was also turning 30 just days after him. Upon his return we ran the Diamond Dash again, though this time in hotter than hell temps and we left feeling defeated and deflated.
The next weekend, we traveled to South Carolina to see his grandmother for a belated birthday celebration. My first intro to the full South Carolina clan!
The month ended with the devastating tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. I ended up escaping to Nashville and running the Country Music Half with Lee Ann and her friend Meredyth. L & I were admittedly under-trained and it was HOT day but at least it wasn't a PW for me!
Waving to the camera around the 5K mark (I am in the turquoise, L in green)
Funny thing about this outfit..I had never worn it prior to race day, much less even a running skirt before! But because we were without power for so many days, I did not have an opportunity to do laundry before I left. Luckily, the skirt worked out just fine!
Must have been around mile 4, as Meredyth is fueling. (pink tank to right)
We all separated somewhere after mile 7, but finished within 1 minute of each other.
And met up in the family reunion!
Later that night, L & I went to a "Royal Wedding" party where we were supposed to dress up as if we had attended. We had fun shopping for our hats (and rings!) that afternoon :)
We found replica rings at Wal Mart for less than $10!
I started off the month attending a "Zumbathon" with my friend Nicole. It was supposed to be 90 minutes, and 2 hours into the event, the house was still rockin'! I had actually signed up to do a 5K the next morning and I was so sore and tired that I couldn't even force myself out of bed. At least the Homewood band got a nice donation for their Macy's trip!
Two weeks later, I did my first trail race...a 5K mud run with the Xterra series. I love trail running and loved the atmosphere of this event. The race was tough though! Trail running/racing is something I would like to do more of in the coming year.
In hot pursuit of the women in front of me. We would leapfrog much of the remainder of the race. One really bit it in the mudpit and I passed her, though I did go back and try to help. I'm not a total beotch!
Double wave for the camera
Enjoying the knee deep muddy water and trying to stay upright! After I finished, I came back and spectated here for the 5K runners behind me and the 10K-ers. It was quite entertaining to see how people would attack this! Many sneakers were sacrificed to the water this morning!
One of Matt's best friends got married in Antigua this month and held a reception at home in Auburn over Memorial Day weekend. We traveled to that and then headed to the beach for our annual vacation with Matt's parents.
This was a much more low key month! I was mostly at home, working and trying to survive the heat--running trails, and taking bootcamp and yoga in Railroad Park.
Matt and I visited the Birmingham Zoo over 4th of July weekend and watched fireworks on the golf course in our neighborhood.
Feeding the Australian Lorikeets
More trail running, lots of after-work walks with the dogs and kicked off official training for marathon #2!
The dog days of summer were kicking in and my schedule, both personally and professionally, started ramping up again. We celebrated Matt's dad's b'day, I attended the MSHA incoming class orientation dinner out "in the sticks", babysat a sweet friend's little girl and helped throw a bachelorette party all in the span of less than a week.
I walked with my company team in the Birmingham Heart Walk and the Argentina trip started to get real...
Matt getting all kinds of shots to prepare for our trip
I was away more than I was home this month, between football season, traveling to Minnesota for work (which included a flight on 9/11)...
Hey, look...I have hair and wear real clothes!
And of course, our beyond fabulous trip to Argentina which also included a fun running tour in Buenos Aires...
Thankfully I had built up a pretty good fitness base before we went on vacation, but I did have a hard time mentally getting back into the peak of training right away. Being tired, catching a cold and...more football trips...contributed to this, but in the end, I just shut up and got it done.
We also took the girls out for a nice walk on Halloween :)
Maybe the theme of 2011 was busy? I started the month with a 10K PR at Vulcan...very happy with the way I ran the race and felt like it was a good tune up for the next weekend...
4 days later I celebrated my 32nd birthday...
Guilt-free cake? Oh well, it was still beyond delicious!
And then the following weekend, Jimmy and I traveled down to Tallahassee for my first trip back to a game in several years.
I love this kid beyond words!
A trip to Atlanta to celebrate Thanksgiving...
And of course, attending the Iron Bowl...
With a random "super fan"
A pregame tradition
December brings with it the official start of the holiday season, and while we were busy, we also found time to ourselves and to relax.
I loved my "Christmas light runs" in my neighborhood after work...
Not my house, but one that was on my route
This guy always made me smile :)
I hosted my Bunco group again...this time, it was the girls only and instead of a gift exchange, we did a treat/recipe exchange.
The girls, minus Emily (who had already left) and Michelle (who was sick)
back (l-r) Kristen, Nicole, Cassie, Jamie, Amanda, Lauren, Kathryn
front (l-r) Meagan, me, Amy and Tess
The following weekend, Tess and I ran in the Meadowbrook Runs 5K where I debuted my tutu (thanks to Linzi)...
I am still chasing an official "sub 30" finish
Matt and I went to the Alabama Theater for a "fancy" showing of Christmas Vacation and I got one more use out of the tutu this season, as Amy and I met up for the Trak Shak's "Tacky Christmas" run on Christmas Eve...
Before Matt and I exchanged gifts...
I got my travel map! (With a personalized inscription on the left)
and loaded up the dogs and headed down to my parents' house for the weekend.
Bali is terrified of the Santa Hat!
My sis modeling her new hat from Argentina
And after a couple of lazy days, we went to Matt's sister's New Years party last night, ringing 2012 with friends old and new!