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New Year. New Vision.

Last year, I did my very first vision board. It was a fun and enlightening experience and it helped me more than I imagined. Knowing this, it has been on my "to-do" list forever. Don't believe me?
Can you find the ONE AND ONLY thing not crossed off? Not to mention, all of the other tasks are pre-Christmas. This struck me the other day as I went to remove it (the post-it) and I reminded myself of what I still needed to do.

I am not entirely sure why I have been avoiding making my board. I know how it helped last year. So what was I avoiding? I think it was because I didn't believe my vision was clear. But I was wrong.

I started sifting through magazines and cutting any and every thing out that appealed to me. Once I had a plethora of images, sayings, etc. It was really easy to decipher what was important (and not important) to me this year in completing my goals.

First off, I guess I felt I had to remind myself what I was doing.

 To get to IMCDA, I figured out what was going to be important to me in getting there.

In this process, I identified that my goals were different this time for training and racing. Unlike my first Ironman, instead of just completing it, I want to focus on it and train to the best of my ability -- embrace it and love it. Not just get through it.

And, of course, there will be races to get there

The whole right side of the board, I dedicated to the actual race itself. To reminding me of my goals in completing and how I wanted to race it.

So, you put it all together and here is what you get:
 A constant reminder of what I am shooting for, and how I am going to get there.

It's hanging in my home office, where I will see it every day from now till June 24th. I am counting on it to be my affirmation as I move along these next few months and my motivation when times are rough to remind me of what I am working for. It worked last year and I am hoping it will work again!

Why, hello track! It's been awhile...

Or what I should title this post is HAPPY NEW YEAR! (a couple days late)

Yes, I have never been one much for the New Year's holiday. Not entirely sure why. NYE was always very anti-climactic. And, growing up in WI, New Years wasn't really a time to begin fitness goals since much of January and into February you were often advised to "stay inside at all costs" due to windchill. To top it off, I guess I always figured if I needed a holiday to make me set a goal, I probably wasn't going to pull through with the goal.

BUT, this year I already have goals in place and the New Year just seems like the right time to kick them off. My hamstring is getting better and, despite the nagging hammy, I am back to actually ENJOYING and LOVING running!!! (when can I go next?)

So, here I sit, excited for the New Year and what it will bring me.

(a) kids that are super-fun! Yes, I know I have always loved being a parent (at most times), but the kids are at such a fun age currently that I can't get enough of them. We had an 8-hour party on NYE, just the four of us. We watched some movies, we had a dance party, played games and just filled the time until midnight (EST) with our little buddies - and it was the best time. {To be honest, I have never forgone plans to "go out", just to stay home, but it was the best decision we could have made this year!} I am never going to get this time back, so I am looking forward to eeking out every bit of fun that I can with these guys.

Who wouldn't want to spend time with these guys?
And, look! they even cook.
 (b) BOSTON!!!!!!!!! The mother of marathons. I can't even count how many 20+ mile runs I have run over the years in pursuit of being able to run this race.  
(c) an IRONMAN. I am finally feeling like I am embracing it. It is here. It is THIS year... and I am actually loving my training. (Hence, the 5:30 a.m. track this morning. It hurt, but hey! when else do I see shooting stars?)
(d) Time with the fam. Following the Ironman, we have a trip to Wisconsin planned for my sister's wedding reception, we have friends from WI coming out here, some trail running with my hubs in the picture. Just time to kick it and enjoy...
proper family bonding - are you surprised?
(e) The excitement of having (almost) NOTHING athletically planned after Ironman. I do have to admit that I have a tendency to plan ahead, WAY ahead. So sometimes I see beyond what I am actually training for to what I am going to do next. I don't like this. IM makes me embrace what I am training for now and not allow myself to pick my "next goal" as I can honestly say "I don't know what I will feel like after Ironman"... and I don't.

That being said, the two things I AM looking forward to after IM are:

Pacing at Leadville: HOLY MOLY! the mother of ultras and I am excited to see it and be a part of it and, most importantly, run with Jane and support her and Todd to their goals!
Team Jane! (not pictured: other pacers and support crew)
My first Xterra: me, Nina, Ross, Ken, Lori -- anyone else in? Yes, I signed up for Xterra Lory and I have never even ridden a mountain bike. Go me! 

After that... we will see what my life brings me, but for this year, I AM SUPER PUMPED to get it started.
Kicking off the year right with a New Years Run!