It’s interesting to see how over the course of a year, you can set goals and then life has other plans. It’s not to say that I didn’t accomplish anything I set out to – just the opposite, I actually made some great strides towards things I wanted to do, but the massive SHIFT in what my little heart desired.
But, let’s wrap up, shall we?
Probably the last time this season I would smile when I was getting ready to run.
My race season got shot to hell when I recovered from burnout just in time to get injured. My goal to run streak January actually went too long, when I pushed through hip issues for a week to race 3M. I raced hard and came ~3 minutes from a PR and then for 6 weeks, I could barely run without limping. I finished The Woodlands Marathon with a significant personal worst (6 hours+) and said FUCK YOU to my season and I don’t think I have ever been so happy to not be in training.
As for food – I did do the snap/my fit foods for a few weeks (while we waited for a dishwasher delivery) but it didn’t do me any good in terms of weight loss.
It may or may not have been because there was a lot of this too…
One fun bright spot was our little Valentine’s Day Staycation, but most everything else… meh. I was actually getting pretty depressed at this point and I’m not sure I was able to accomplish anything. I couldn’t lose weight because I was half assed training for a marathon. I couldn’t train right for a marathon because I was injured. It was not a fun time. Winter sucked, to be honest, more than usual.
Normally people cut their hair short when their life changes. I cut mine a week and a half before. I like to innovate.
This season was my jam and when the year started getting good… and terrible and scary at the same time. Clear as mud? I’ll explain…
Training was just for funsies and very little. 3-5 hours a week, and mostly just being active. I raced twice, Austin 10/20 which was a long slow slog and was more to earn the beer after while listening to the band. I raced Lake Pflugerville and actually earned my second best finish yet on no training. It was exactly what I wanted and needed, an extended break where being a human was priority over being a triathlete.
I don’t always get a new bike, but when I do, I get it a week before I race.
I wanted to lose 25-40 lbs. I lost 15. I actually tried pretty hard but my body did not really cooperate. While I still dream about getting to the 150-160 range, I was actually feeling pretty fit at the 178-182 mark with the muscle I build with weight training. Baby steps.
Work had layoffs. I wasn’t affected personally, but I didn’t agree (to put it in a PC way) with some changes that were made. I felt betrayed and hurt and like everything was crashing down. It made me really question what was next and whether I wanted to stick with my current job. My work resolutions kind of went a different direction – I was much more focused on a contingency plan rather than success where I was currently.
Docking at Roatan, post scuba glow.
Even though it got disrupted with the work stuff – we had a pretty nice vacation otherwise on our annual family cruise, diving in a new place (Roatan) and visited Playa Maya again in Cozumel for some crazy amazing snorkeling.
I did rock at #projectspring though.
#ridingbikes. That is all.
- I bike commuted for the first time and got hooked and finally got my new tri bike.
- We cleaned out my vanity, the guest room closet, and the shed/workshop area.
- We sort of cleaned out the workout room… it’s better but still not a useable training room.
- I revamped the blog! I can’t believe that less than a year ago my blog still looked like poopocaca.
- I started my personal training class.
- I went camping twice and remembered how it disconnected and centered me.
- And most importantly, I got my mojo back. I really and truly needed some time to evolve a little and I got it. I plan on doing a little bit of #projectspring-ing again next year after IM Texas.
A weekend in the forest for Ren Faire cures a lot of mojo ills.
I did flake out on a few things that will go onto next year’s list:
- We got a kitchen estimate and then balked at doing it with the work shake ups. I feel a little more solid about the idea of dropping a few grand on something like that now that things feel more stable, but it’s always scary to hand over a big amount of money that you might need for things like food if things go sideways.
- We didn’t clean out the office or finish the workout room. Soon, my pretties.
- The other stuff, like go do things and do creative things at home were sort of a cry for me to do something with myself besides train and work and TV and facebook. I did some of that but I think I may have a perspective on how to do more next year now.
Finally, some real triathlon-ing up in here.
Training ramped up over the summer. It was awesome to start so fresh, but it was also weird to really race my first tri (not play at it) in August. I kept judging where I was at vs a normal year and feeling super behind until I hit some great training and racing:
- PR at Jack’s Generic and a top 25% finish in my age group (4th on the bike).
- A SOLID run at Kerrville Olympic in tough conditions and a top 1/3 finish in my age group.
- A ton of race pace bricks in the feels like a billion degrees where I didn’t die and stayed strong.
- A ton of bike miles. My longest ride in 2015 was 50 miles. This year I knocked out two rides on the exact race course, one 65, one 75, and several that approached the 40-50 mile mark.
- I completed the Distance Swim Challenge, topping out at 4500m in the lake. Furthest OWS yet!
- I maintained a solid weight training regime and got through the season without any nagging injuries.
- My bike love totally blossomed. I commuted a lot, and we did a bunch of group rides with the BSS crew.
Riding bikes with these folks was a highlight of the summer.
Other stuff took a back seat as things ramped up in the triathlon department but I didn’t completely go in a training hole:
Climbing a literal mountain on bikes requires a lot of selfies.
- We took a trip to Colorado! Sure, it wasn’t Roatan like we had planned, but we made the conscious choice to go adventure in the altitude instead of underwater. We climbed mountains and learned how to do sweet jumps over rocks on our rented steeds, swam in new lakes, ran in pretty places, and had a damn fine time visiting family and friends.
- I got my Sports Nutrition Specialization.
- We did the normal summer things. Waterpark and lake as much as possible. Gaming with our gaming friends every other week. Hal Sparks at the comedy club. Birthday celebrations with a friend even though it was downtown and we had just crushed a long workout. Newsies at the theatre.
But yeah, training ramping up meant a lot of this type of recovery…
I struggled a little with work, but it became apparent that I wasn’t going to have to make any rash decisions about what I wanted to be when I grow up yet.
Seeing sounds and hearing colors after the race…
I raced Austin 70.3 as my A race for the second half of the year and I’m feeling pretty content with my finish there in the opposite of ideal conditions and the utter lack of a perfect race day. I found ways to rally that I didn’t know I had in me, and I’m excited to stick that all in my pocket to bank on for IM Texas next year.
While I can fret about some minor deficiencies in my training (need to ride TT bike moar, swim speed came together JUST in time because I neglected it, I always want to have more run volume), in the rearview, I think it was a pretty darn great training cycle and lead up. I can only hope my IM cycle goes similarly.
All the rainbows in the world won’t protect against my stomach revolting.
I also raced Turkey Trot and found out what happens when your body just completely and totally revolts on you. I’m looking at that as a positive experience simply because of the amount of rally I was able to harness – in a matter of 15 minutes I went from LITERALLY wanting to die to running at a decent clip. I’ll also put that into my pocket for next April.
Work got crazy and I lost a lot of my give-a-shit to get other things done. I figured I’d take the week after Austin 70.3 and get onto doing all the things like counting calories and tri coach class and being productive, but it just didn’t happen that way. However, I’ve made a huge push at it over break so far and:
All the 25 miles of errands I did one day over break.
- I’ve expanded my comfort zone for commuter riding, clocking almost 25 miles doing errands on my cruiser one day. I haven’t driven a car (ok, we went to the fam’s for Christmas in the car, but Zliten drove) since well before December 7th and have been out doing stuff almost every day.
- Cleaned out my closet and drawers. I have tons of hangers and space now. Time to get new stuff! 🙂
- I’m officially over halfway through my Triathlon Coach Certification.
- I’m totally caught up processing and editing vacation photos.
Can we go back now? I miss it already…
And most importantly, I had the most AMAZING relaxing vacation in Key Largo. 8 days, no plans, 5 books read, all the diving and snorkeling I cared to do (and I cared to do a LOT). It was everything I needed.
I’ve been trying to categorize the last few years in three words. So, here’s 2016 in my most used #hashtags:
The universe whispers, then speaks, then shouts when you need to learn something. This year, it was shouting “YOU ARE STAGNATING” and made it abundantly clear that just doing the “same ol’ same ol'” wasn’t cutting it anymore. Injuries. Work shakeups. Many other things that made it clear that it was time to mother. flippin’. evolve.
I have never really considered myself really outdoorsy. However, this year, I found such peace and freedom and happiness when I would #goplayoutside. Every workday was better when I would commute and when things got rough, I’d take three walks a day. I never felt better than coming home after riding bikes all day or taking a run on a beautiful day or swimming in the lake or camping all weekend or playing in the water for hours. It hurts my soul a lot when I have to spend pretty days (and sometimes even the not-so-pretty days) indoors. As cheesy at it sounds, I feel that call to the… not necessarily WILD, but definitely to go play outside.
At the beginning of the year, I was terrified of riding my bike outside not in a triathlon setting. Even as late as April and May, I still felt like I would never truly enjoy cycling and thought I’d never get to the point where I can use cycling for transportation. Through solving some equipment problems, a little help and prodding from my friends, and just toughing it out sometimes, I’ve grown leaps and bounds as a cyclist and will plot and scheme how I can incorporate my cruiser bike into my daily transport and goings on.
If we branch out to the OVERCOME aspect of this, I’ve had to overcome some obstacles at work to finish out the year successfully, some of them in my own head. I also had to overcome the idea that I was too busy for personal growth with triathlon and work – taking a few hours a week to learn new things and work on personal projects is not a deal breaker (at least some of the year), and I can absolutely work towards future plans as long as I don’t try to do all the things all at once.
And with that… I’ll wish you a very happy New Years Eve, and I’ll be back in early January with my 2017 plotting and scheming.
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