Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back, looking ahead

Well it's almost the end of 2012, so I thought I'd do a year in review post, and put some words to what I hope to accomplish in 2013. I can't believe it - this year has flown by! I guess that's a sign that I was having fun. Since my sports career took a turn this year, this entry, like the year, will be a little bit different. I thought I'd structure it with a few lists. I hope you enjoy!

Top Three Sports Moments of 2012 - Banzo Edition
1. Winning my first two bike races, both in solo breakaways. There is nothing like winning a race.
2. Joining my awesome new cycling team, Asphalt Green. What a fun, strong group of girls. And some excellent riding, with nice views.

3. Even though I didn't train for tris this year, I would put REV3 Maine in my top three sports moments - in spite of my lack of training, I was able to place third in my age group (second if you remove overall placers), in a pretty non-awful time. If I had actually swum in the six months prior to the race, who knows, I probably could have broken 5 hours!

Top Three Non-Sports Moments of 2012
1. My one year anniversary of moving to New York. I must admit, moving to New York was not my least impulsive decision ever. That could have not ended well. However, when I hit the one year milestone, I gave myself a big pat on the back for doing it. I love it here so much and I'm grateful every day that I get to live here, and have a life here.
2. My little sister Kelsey's wedding. There was family drama involved, but when isn't there?! How cute are they!!!

3. Getting it done in my career. Towards the end of the year I had to make a major job decision and I think I did well.  It's hard to know when you're making a decision based on the right factors. I frankly never do. But in my opinion, the most important thing to do is make the decision, and move forward with purpose.

Top Three Sports Goals - 2013
1. Get my Cat 3 Upgrade. I am so close - I just need one more win or a few decent places. This is so crazy to me. When I did my first bike race in 2011, I thought there was no way I could ever be a Cat 3 cyclist. And look at where I am now! I really can't wait.
2. Participate in a tri or two with actual swimming involved in the preparation to see how I can do. I am so fit on the bike now, and my running injuries from last year seem to be mostly behind me, so I think I could actually do fairly well.
3. This is a big one - but I want to make a strong push to get on the podium at GMSR. Although I couldn't have been happier to go to my sister's wedding, I missed this race in 2012 and I cannot wait to try it next year. It's probably my number one A race right now. The only thing that makes me sad is that I'll probably have to do some crits to get ready. Meh.

Top Three Non-Sports Goals for 2013
1. Be a better person every day. Who doesn't have this goal? I guess people who don't care, I don't know. It should be second nature, but I want to write it down and think about it with purpose every day.
2. Be Type A in the best possible way. As anyone who knows me know, I am a classic Type A Personality. I don't want to just do things - I want to do the BEST things, ALL the time!!! I want to continue to do this the right way, not in a douchey competitive way, but in a positive, affirming way. I want to crush anything I set my mind to in 2013. This picture reminds me of my goals - it's at the base of the big Bear Mountain climb. Whenever I see it, I think about attacking that climb.

3. Continue to work towards having a healthy, mindful relationship with food. I have always struggled with this and I made a conscious decision late in 2012 that it was time to focus on this and put some real energy into addressing it. I think I've made a ton of progress so far and I hope to get to a really good place in 2013. I think I can do it - and I think achieving this goal will help me accomplish the things I want in the sports area too.

Have you thought about your year? What are you proud of? What are you going to achieve in 2013? Something awesome I think. I'm sending positive energy into the universe for me and for all of my friends and family.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I went to Spain, and all you got was this lousy blog post

HAHAHA I suck at bringing back souvenirs. But I know my mom would want me to write a blog post and share some pictures from my trip to Barcelona last weekend, so ask and you shall receive!

Left on Thursday after a nice warm-ish ride for a red-eye. Luckily I had booked my ticket in first with miles. It was the type of seats that lay down completely so I think I slept for five of the seven hours I was on the plane! This is first class smile. The way back there was an 'I am sitting in Economy surrounded by a family with four children after being selected for special security screening and humiliation' grimace. That will not be pictured!!!

One famous thing in Barcelona is a big market called the Boqueria. They have lots of PIG, and chocolate, and produce, and awesomeness. Here is a whole stand devoted to the delightful pig.

I was trying to stay on New York time which meant sleeping until around 11:00 am every day. Luckily the Spanish lifestyle is quite conducive. It was best to start every day with copious amounts of strong, delicious coffee.

Next walking on the beach... there were these guys making elaborate sand castles and other sand art forms. I liked this one the best. I'm not sure if you can tell but it's a drunk passed out on the couch. Very apropos for Barcelona!

Not to give the impression that it was all sitting around on the beach eating pork, we did rent bikes and go up a pretty big hill with three gears. It was fun!

The view was great, the payoff I would say was definitely worth the 20 minutes of leg press, i.e. riding uphill.

The last full day we did a tour of Mont Serrat, which translated means 'serrated mountain'. There is a monastery and a church pretty close to the summit. Apparently a black virgin was found there. You could touch her and wish/pray for a miracle. I wanted to wish that I could come back and ride my bike up the mountain but I promise I tried to find something slightly more meaningful.

After going to the mountain we went to a gorgeous vineyard and did a wine tasting. It was so interesting. They only do organic wine. Organic wine is just as delicious as conventional wine. I love Spanish wine. They don't age their chardonnay in oak barrels so even the chardonnay is good. They also make a sparkling wine called Cava which is delicious. The Spanish like dry wine. I swear I could have been Spanish.

All in all it was a great and relaxing trip (until the worst flight back). I highly recommend Barcelona. I'd like to learn some more Spanish, go back at a warmer time of year (it was a bit brisk especially on the water), and somehow ride a bike there!!

Now believe it or not it is time to get serious about training and not being an off season fatty. Bike racing season starts in March and San Juan will be here before we know it. I will write a goal post (hahaha, PUN INTENDED!!!!) probably this weekend.