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Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 - My Year in Review

So...I have done so many amazing things this year. I've gone through some highs and some lows. I've taken pictures of just about everything, and yet I've blogged about basically nothing. Lame! I'm never going to be able to remember it all, and I wouldn't want to bore you with every little detail. However, as part of my new year's resolutions, I'm resolving to blog more often! And...it starts today. So, this is my review of 2010. (It might be sorta long, so I apologize!)

I should go to bed because school starts again tomorrow, and with it the BUSY-NESS of my life. But, if I don't do this now it may not happen for a long time, and I promised myself it would. 2010 was a year of firsts and a year of change for me. I started the year off right with my very first full marathon in January. I had worked long and hard for that day, and I was extremely proud of myself for finishing! I did want to finish with a better time (I finished in 4:45), but in the last 3 miles I had a low blood sugar, and luckily I ran into 2 other diabetics right then who were willing to share some sugar and some support with me! Jerry Nairn and Brian Foster changed my life forever with that meeting. They introduced me to Peter Nerothin who is in charge of Insulindependence, and I ended up becoming a Triabetes Team Captain for 2010. Crazy, and life changing. I went from never running in 2009, to running a full marathon in 2010, to training for a full Ironman, which I will complete in May of 2011. I've learned A LOT about training with diabetes this year, too. That first marathon I didn't take a BG monitor with me, I didn't have enough sugar, and had no insulin with me either. What a difference a year can make!

In February Troy and I celebrated our 15 year anniversary. That was a HUGE milestone for us! For many years we didn't think we were gonna make it, but we did. Brooklyn was the miracle we needed to get ourselves back on track and happy, and she truly made that happen. We decided to take a trip to Hawaii with my brother, Porter, and his wife Lana, who were celebrating their 10 year anniversary. (We went in June). It was SUCH an amazing trip! We swam in the ocean with giant sea turtles, snorkeled, kayaked, rode bikes, ran, visited Pearl Harbor, shopped at the Swap Meet (which was awesome!), hiked Diamond Head, ate delicious pineapple at the Dole Pineapple Plantation, spent an AMAZING day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, and just absolutely enjoyed every minute of the beautiful Hawaiian island. I would go back in a heart beat...and live there! I loved it!!

Also in February, I participated in my second Ragnar Relay. This one was done with family, and was a blast! Troy's brother Leon put together a team, and our van consisted of Leon and Amy (his wife), Troy's dad, Chester, my sister Dixie, my niece Breckyn, my bro-in-law, Colby, and myself. The year before when I did my first Ragnar (and really had my first experience with running), I had the EASIEST leg of the race. (Which did not in ANY WAY feel easy to me!) This year, I got one of the very hardest legs...and it was nice to know I could do it! Not gonna lie, though, that 3 mile STRAIGHT UP hill sucked! Coming down the other side of it was amazing, though!
 In March our family decided to cash in on Disney's "Give a Day, Get a Day" program, so we volunteered to help set up for a soccer tournament at Dobson High School, and in return we got 4 free tickets to Disneyland! It was so worth it! We didn't even have to help more than 2 or 3 hours before they let us go, and we got tickets for all of us but Brooklyn. We decided to use them for Spring Break, and we had such a fabulous time. It was perfect weather, and a perfect little short family vacation.

In May I competed in the SheROX triathlon in Tempe again. That was the triathlon that started me racing 2 years ago. This year I did MUCH better than last year, but still not as fast as I had hoped to do. I think I took like 13 minutes off my time from the year before, but really it should've been more than that. This time my 3 sisters did it again, as well as my sis-in-law, Lana, and it was so much fun to experience that with them!
 May was a CRAZY month for us because Carter decided to have appendicitis, and he thought it would be extra fun to let that appendix burst! :( This was like 2 weeks before school got out, and Carter had to be in the hospital for about 6 days, then he had to have a picc line inserted so we could continue to administer medicine to him for the next week after he was out of the hospital. Luckily he got to stay with Grandma and Grandpa Shumway during that week, because we were heading to Hawaii for our big vacation! It was pretty scary. They said he had one of the biggest appendices they'd ever seen...and it really did happen fast. But, he's healthy and happy and appendix free now!

Also in May I had the opportunity to travel to St. George where I met the other 8 Triabetes captains, and I began this journey of training for an Ironman and raising $5000 for this amazing organization, Insulindependence. These people have been so inspirational to me, and I have made friends with people from all over the country who are experiencing the same things as me. I feel so lucky! True...I had to get the 'betes to experience all this...but I wouldn't trade it for anything! :)
 The summer is always my favorite time of year. I love swimming. I love swim team. I love GREER with my family! I love having a break and spending time with my kids. I love the 4th of July. Summer is just awesome!! We enjoyed it to the fullest, and were sad when it quickly came to a close.

This school year has been AMAZING so far! I truly have the very best class in the world (seriously...not one single behavior problem. In my 14 years of teaching, this is a first). The kids are just NICE, and hard working, and loving, and they make me happy! In a year where I have ZERO spare time, they have made it easy for me. Getting up at 4 am to train, then working all day, then coming home to family is challenging. Thank goodness they make it bearable!

One of the very best things to happen to me this year is that I finally got an insulin pump! I got the Animas Ping, (which is waterproof), and it has made all the difference in the world! No more roller coasters of high and low blood sugars. It has seriously helped to keep me stable. I still go high and low, but NOTHING like I did before. On top of that I got a DexCom Continuous Glucose Monitor, and it shows me what my blood sugars are constantly and shows me the trends of whether I'm rising or dropping or staying steady. Holy cow...technology is amazing, and it has really helped me manage my diabetes!

At the end of the summer I found out that my friend from my running club was able to finally get me a slot in the St. George marathon in October. Ummmm....I had NOT been training all summer for that, so I quickly started to do more running! I did a 20 mile run about 3 weeks before, and felt good...figured I'd be fine. Unfortunately, I was NOT fine. I started the race feeling great! I was trying to stay with the 4:15 pace group, and really was feeling amazing. So much so, that I decided to run faster than them so that I could utilize some of the downhill to make up for the time I was sure I'd lose on the uphill. I felt great for about 7 miles, and then something went terribly wrong. I don't even know how to explain it, or what it was...but I seriously thought I was gonna die. I started getting cramps, but high up in my chest. It hurt to breathe. I had to take off my heart rate monitor because it felt like it was squeezing me. I slowed down. I had to walk. I had to go off the road and squat down and try and catch my breath. I was in SO MUCH PAIN! I've never had this happen before, and didn't even know what was going on. It was making me nauseated and I thought I was gonna puke. I kept going, though. For 9 more miles I walked/stopped/ran/walked again/stopped...until at mile 13.75 I PUKED MY GUTS OUT!!! Literally. It was nasty. But then I felt better so started again. Made it another 2.5 miles before it hit again and I finally just turned in the towel. No way was I going to go through 10 more miles of that crap. It sucked. One of the lowest moments for me. I felt like a loser. I was depressed. I didn't feel worthy to be with the group of friends who were there running with me. I couldn't enjoy the celebration and festivities at the end of the race. AAHAHAHAHAH! It sucked. But...it's over, and I haven't let that stop me from believing that I can still do this, and I will. Know what sucked even worse? As we were about to leave for the 10 hour drive home, Troy called me from the hospital saying he was going in for emergency gall bladder surgery. Awesome! :( 2 emergency surgeries in one year...and I wasn't even there for him! It was a crappy ride home, let me tell ya!
 (This was at the beginning...before I sucked it up!)

A couple weeks later I raced in my first Olympic distance triathlon in Lake Pleasant. Holy cow, it was HARD!! But...I did finish it! The swim was a piece of cake for me (even though the water was so dang choppy and the current kept pushing us off course). I finished with the fastest of swimmers. Swimming has always been easy for me. I fully expect to get out of the water in St. George in an hour and 5 minutes...unfortunately it's the SMALLEST PART OF THE RACE! :( Anyway, the 25 mile bike ride here was brutal! All hills, and very difficult. By the time I got to the run I was dead. 6.2 miles in BLAZING HELL HEAT was tough. It was straight downhill, then you turned around and had to come straight back uphill...brutal. And you had to do that twice. I was one of the last finishers. I don't care! I finished! But man, when they ran out of water, and the water they had before was totally hot...that was not cool.

One of the greatest experiences for me this year was getting to go to iD University in Florida. The first week of November was spent with my fellow Triabetes team captains in Panama City, Florida where we trained together and learned together for 6 days. Not only that, we were able to help our triabuddies prepare for and race in their first triathlon at the end of the week! (My triabuddy, London Lines, was not able to be there). It was SO AMAZING!!!! We ran, we rode our bikes (and I was able to go 56 miles - which was the farthest I've ever ridden before), we swam in the ocean, we had a really cool pool swim, and we learned from expert dieticians, nutritionists, and psychologists, and just spent time talking and getting to know each other better. What a phenomenal group of people I am privileged to be a part of. I will never forget that week.

 On Thanksgiving this year I did another sprint triathlon. I had done this one last year, and it was a blast! It's a really mini one (2 mile run, 12 mile bike, 400 m swim. It's also a backward tri, so you run first and swim last). This year my triabuddy got to do it with me, and this was her first triathlon! I was so proud of her! For me it was an amazing improvement from the year before. I got 6th in my age group with a time of 1:08. I was very pleased with that! I've still gotta work on my bike time...I'm just not the fastest there. Oh well!
 As soon as iD University was over our Ironman training began in earnest. I have been working out 6 days a week (for the most part...I do miss some days here and there), and now we've begun our 2 a days. This is especially hard for me with my busy schedule and lifestyle...but I'm trying my darndest to fit it all in and make it work. I would've never done this without this group of people supporting me and inspiring me. I am so grateful to them! :)

One of the COOLEST things I got to do this year was be in a commercial! That's right! I was in a commercial for scrapbook.com. (That, and I also got to be on a recording of a CD called "The Lamb of God" written by my brother's best friend, Rob Gardner.  It is AMAZING, and you all need to get a copy of it if you haven't already. Go to spiremusic.org to get it!)  You can see my commercial here. It was a BLAST to do, and one of the funnest experiences ever! (I know the coolest people!)
Here is a link to the video for you to check out.  It is worth your time! :)

Click here to see Scrapbook Commercial

There have been so many things I've done with my kids, my family, my friends that I haven't blogged about, and I wish I would've...but the things I've written here have been some of the highlights! 2010 was great...but 2011 is going to be even better! Wanna know why? Because I will be an IRONMAN!!!!!!

5 comments:

Smith Family said...

Once again you AMAZE me! I checked out that commercial and that is so cool that you got to do it! Love you!

LanaBanana said...

Cute blog background. And seriously, you did a lot of freaking stuff this year. Insane. Love the recap and really can't believe that all that happened in one year. whew.

Sarah S. Foote said...

Love it! And you look fabulous by the way. Happy New Year!

Allyson & Jere said...

Yep, you had a pretty darn amazing year for sure! SHEESH!
Great recap.

DianD said...

Can't believe it's taken me clear to the end of the month to read your re-cap of 2010! An amazing year for sure! An amazing daughter, too! So many other things you did, too, that you didn't even mention! Love ya, Jen-Wren!