While this might contradict my 2018 resolution to post more interesting stuff, it’s time for a recap and my January plans!

So festive the last day before break.  Can’t believe that was less than a month ago.  So many adventures since then!

December was a welcome break from routine.  The 8th was my last day of work for the year, and the next day, I hopped a plane to Bonaire for a week.  Then, I had five days at home by myself, and since where I was on holiday was two hours ahead, I was naturally up at 7:30-8 most mornings without an alarm (it was nice for the week it lasted).  I spent the days working on my book, getting the house back in order with the kitchen remodel explosion and the vacation luggage explosion, wrapping presents, editing vacation photos, and getting in my first week of actual 3M training.

I did take one day and go on a bike adventure (blog post forthcoming) from 8 am to 6 pm, but for the most part, I was actively productive with projects because I figured the next week wouldn’t lend itself to that sort of focused work (which it didn’t).

The holidays were fantastic – we celebrated with family on the 23rd and had a decadent meal of lasagna, brisket, so many side dishes, and way too many deserts. There were fun presents, card games, and fun times.  Then, we had our Christmas Eve tradition with the neighbors, which involves a double digit run first to mitigate the indulgences of past and future, Din Ho family style food, a trip to the bar next door, and hanging out all evening watching random Christmas movies and having festive cocktails.  With all this going on, we waited until the actual day to open most of our own presents, and holed up on the couch all day.  It was a perfect three days.

The next week felt like errand and kitchen central – we spent a lot of the daytime hours either tracking down tile or running errands or working in the kitchen, though we did make time at night to see the new Star Wars movie (I loved it), and marathon some shows and movies on Netflix and play video games.  Friday, I wrote a choose your own adventure story, and after some MOAR errands, we ended up at a random Indian/BBQ place that took forever and had a weird dance class going on at the same time… but the food was so amazing once we got it, I’ll give it another try once they have some time to settle in (the place is very new).

Zliten was getting a little despondent about his winter break being full of crap to do, so I declared Saturday HIS DAY and let him choose whatever we did (within reason, no hopping planes back to Bonaire and we had to run the next day).  Sadly, the plumbing broke in the kitchen so the first thing on his day was fixing that, but that was done in a jiffy after YET ANOTHER trip for him to Lowes  Then, we went on a bike adventure but it got cold quickly, so it ended up just being a ride to get Jinya ramen the long way.  We holed up the rest of the day and played video games and watched TV and I said I owed him a day of his own when it was nicer.

Bike love while biking with my love!

And, on the last day of December, we put the finishing touches on our kitchen, and I spent spending 90 minutes scraping paint off the floor, and then called it officially done!  I may have been procrastinating a 2 hour run in the feels-like-20s, but I saw enough people on social media doing their own runs in that or colder so I bucked up and went outside and it wasn’t bad at all!  Since 2018 is about HTFU’ing, it was a nice way to ring in the new year.  And so was our 80’s PJ party (which is why I wrote the choose your own adventure – it was our party game!)

Here were my specific December goals:

Build up my run miles and start incorporating a little speed 1-2 times a week.  YEP.  I’m on about 20 miles per week now, with one speedwork session, one easier run with a race pace mile in the middle, and one long run.

Resume strength training NOPE.  I was so sore the first week of running I decided this needed to wait.  I started this week.

Resume tracking negative diet quality – NOPE.  Maybe I paid the price for this because the scale is fairly unkind this week, but I needed to let go a bit.  This month is the time for tracking again.

Write four chapters in my book – MOSTLY YEP.  I got to about 3.25.  I lost steam and then never had a chance to spend focused hours on it while Zliten was home with me.  I’m really happy with the progress I made, though!

Yes, I’ll keep posting this picture forever because OMG my kitchen is done and looks great!!!

Finish the kitchen – YEP! There is one little piece of trim left, but we’ll do that… later.  Someday.  I’m at the point where it’s now my kitchen, and I don’t have to work on it for a month or a year or a lifetime.  Whew!

Write a personal mission statement.  YEP!  New years resolutions are great timing for that one.

Travel lightly.  YEP!  I was able to put all my clothes and scuba gear into one big bag that weighs just slightly less than 50 lbs.  With my normal backpack, and one carry on split with Zliten with our camera equipment, scuba trips will be just fine with one checked bag each.

Take my annual FB/Twitter break.  MOSTLY.  This didn’t stress me out as much as the end of 2016 post election, but I made sure to keep myself logged out on my phone of social networks besides Instagram and that was all I really needed.

Play Games!  YEP!  More than any month so far, and it’s carrying into January nicely.

Catch up on my reading.  YEP!  Done with Carl Sagan (picked up at the end but the middle was a slog), 7 Habits (great read that influenced some of my NY resolutions), Bedtime Stories for Triathletes (motivational but a little disjointed), and Runner’s World – Your Best Stride (which has influenced my training, stretching, and actually made me start regularly doing drills – more next week).

Relax.  I actually think I kind of sucked at this one.  I only had two of my 24 days where I didn’t do anything productive.  I’m happy with what I accomplished, but I feel like I need some downtime after my downtime!  January is for rest and recovery and some days of just doing effing nothing above and beyond the normal.

It’s a new year so lets sparkle like unicorns, bleaches!

So, January.  This is usually the month where I go mega-maniaic on goals and stuff.  The motivation is there, but there’s also the nagging in my brain reminding me that I just finished a kitchen remodel and did A LOT OF SHIT in the last few months.  So, I’m trying to temper my enthusiasm with kindness to myself and a dose of reality.

January Training:

Let me first tell you a story.  Tuesday, I had some quarter mile repeats on the schedule after work.  Outside, it was in the 20s and icy, and I’m not going to risk running on that.  There were so many accidents that literally every road to my gym was at a standstill.  At home, I have a treadmill that tries to buck me off when I go faster than 9 minute miles.  This was a huge test of my resolution as an athlete to HTFU because I had roadblocks on every path.

However, there is HTFU’ing within reason.  Running outside in icy weather when I don’t have the shoes for it is madness.  Waiting in traffic for 1-2 hours to get a mile down the street is sheer lunacy.  I opted to trade Thursday’s slightly easier (4 mile with 1 at race pace) run and brave Danger Treadmill (who only tried to kill me once during the race pace mile).  While it’s not exactly EVERYTHING AS PLANNED WHEN ITS PLANNED, this wasn’t a lack of motivation.  This wasn’t me being lazy.  The universe put up enough road blocks that I had to change my plan.

Since I haven’t talked about it much, the last two weeks have been successful but a little rough getting back into being a runner.  My first speed workout, I was barely able to pull 400s under 9 minute miles.  Last week, I ran my fastest 400m repeat at 7:30 min/mile pace.  I have to remember that it doesn’t take long for my leg turnover to come back, it does take pushing through being uncomfortable for a while to get there though.

Proof I HTFU’d in the below freezing and feels like 20s on NYE for 11 miles.  Add night + icy and I’m out because I don’t want to FOMA (fall on my arse).

Week 1 (Dec 18):

  • 18 miles running – 1 speed (5) , 1 easy w/race pace mile (3), 1 long (10)
  • 56 miles cycling
  • 1 swim (because it was 75 degrees out and I had to)
  • 8 hours total

Week 2 (Dec 25):

  • 19.5 mile running – 1 speed (5.5), 1 easy w/race pace mile (3), 1 long (11)
  • 20.5 miles cycling
  • 5.25 hours total

So, here’s the plan for Week 3 of 3M training (Jan 1):

  • 22 miles running – 1 speed (6), 1 easy w/race pace mile (4), 1 long (12)
  • ~20 miles cycling
  • 2 light weights sessions (Oiselle dozen or similar)

Each run is also prefaced with a dynamic warmup and drills that I will talk about more in another post.

Week 4 will be similar, with a shorter, faster long run (8 with 5 at race effort).  Week 5 will be some short speed workouts, and then I’ll see what I can do at the race.  My plan right now is to line up with the 2:05 pacer and see if I can hang on for a PR.

The subsequent two weeks are ill-advised, but I’m doing them anyway.  First, I’m going to do the Indoor Tri and see if maybe I can eek out another “podium” (I placed 3rd last year, I’ve won overall once).  Then, I’ll ride bikes as long as I can stand, because the week after, I’m doing a 6 hour bike ride.  My longest ride since Oct 22nd is a little shy of 3 hours on my cruiser bike.  What could go wrong?

But how could I resist another “Official Badass” medal?

After Feb 3rd, I resume reasonable person status and start an intentional training plan that will guide me through a little offseason weight training and then into hopefully crushing the heck out of some spring sprints.

In January, I do a streak.  In 2015 and 16, I did a run streak.  Last year, I did a bike streak.  Neither of those make sense in terms of my body condition and training, and swimming is right out.  So, 2018 is the year of my stretching and rolling streak.  Every day in January I will spend 5-10 minutes working on my flexibility and five days a week (at work), I will work on my foot strengthening exercises (more on those next week).

January Consumption:

I’m facing the fact that I need to track and quantify again.  Not forever, not even for a long time, but after vacation and holidays, my level of what’s acceptable to eat is set at a lower bar than normal.  I need to bring it back up to that diet quality average ~20 level.

To that end, this month, I’m going to track my food and log my diet quality, with the intent of dropping it again soon.  It was a pain, but I think I need to reset my normal back to the healthy normal where cheetos and cake are very occasional sometimes foods.  I’m not even too worried about my calories in vs calories out, but I’m more concerned about what those calories are.

Tuesday, I tracked and ate 1800-ish calories.  I logged a 20 on the diet quality scale.  Yesterday, 1700 and 24.  So far, so good!

Still some of this.  Especially the good stuff.  But less.

As for booze, I’m trying to moderate my moderation.  I’ve tried to do a dry January (made it 11 days before caving and definitely drank LESS but not NONE), I’ve done a reasonable-quantities-of-beer only January (made it but I was definitely over beer by the 31st), and they’ve had their merits, but neither felt like they enriched my life.  The three reasons behind reducing booze consumption are a) the calories in alcohol b) my tolerance is huge and I’d like to scale back to being a cheaper drunk (see above, less calories) and c) it’s the one thing about my lifestyle my doctor complained about and I know having a lot of drinks per week doesn’t help me feel my best or recover quickly from workouts.

But, there’s a place in my life for whiskey.  Even in January.  So, what to do about making my doctor, my liver, and my inner child 21-year old happy?  I’m doing a portion control January.  Basically, I have the alcohol I plan to drink for the month already sitting in my cupboard – a nice bottle of whiskey for sipping, a bottle of vodka for mixing, and two bottles of post-race champagne to split with my husband on Jan 21 and 28.  That’s approximately the maximum recommended amount of booze in a month.  Once those run out… I need to wait for February.  If I end up going out, I will subtract that portion from my home stash but I don’t have a whole lot of plans to do so, which actually works out well for me right now.

January Life:

I’ve had an epic couple of months of doing ALL THE THINGS.  This month is definitely about less.

Resisting the urge for big plans or adventures this month.  I need to do a bunch of this.  Except inside.  Because it’s fugsnickling cold.

  • I want to at least finish the one chapter I started in my book.  If I could do 2 this month, that would put me back on schedule.  My goal is to at least sit in that room and write for a few hours once this month unless the muse strikes me more.
  • Get Christmas stuff put away and get the garage full of tools and kitchen remodel remnants cleared out so we can actually park our cars inside again.
  • I’m doing exactly ZERO other productive adulting things this month.  This even sounds too productive but they both kind of need to be done sooner than later.  Everything else can wait.
  • I want to spend some of my free time playing games.  I’ve started Hearthstone, Grand Turismo 5, I’m working on getting caught up in the games I work on, and if I can find some time where my legs aren’t too sore from training, I’d like to make some progress unlocking things in Dance Dance Revolution since I’ve started over again and crack open Just Dance.
  • I want to post a video 3 times per week, and to make it less stressful, they are ONLY going to Instagram stories this month so they’re totally throwaway.
  • If I get some additional free time where I’m not too dead to the world and don’t feel like gaming, I’d like to drag out my paints and/or beads and do something crafty.

January GO!  What on tap for y’all this month?