January is my least favorite month. And now it’s over! Woohoo!
Both nacho cat and I are thrilled about this.
I spent some time thinking about it and while the cold kind of sucks, and it’s depressing that it’s dark all the time AND there’s no Christmas light to brighten it up, the real bummer is the allergies. January is a month where you just have to stay inside a lot and that’s kind of against my nature.
However, there are opportunities that come with the cold and the dark and the inside that I don’t get to capitalize on all year. Let’s call them the silver lining, because they’re still under the rain clouds, but if nothing else, January and February feel unique. And that’s something.
I went a little gung ho with goals last month, even trying to moderate, and I definitely realized the need to back the eff up on some of them. I definitely underestimated how crispy I was from the last two months of remodel and all the other DOING THINGS last year. January was a bit of a forced reset in some aspects, and some nonsense wrapped up and it actually felt pretty good.
These feet are moving faster than they have in quite a while. Thank you speedwork.
I’ve covered this a lot.
I had a very short but fairly successful cycle training for 3M, breaking through some barriers.
Then, I had a really rough day where blisters, nagging injuries, and my digestive system decided to undermine my chance at a PR at 3M.
The next week, I had a pretty solid day at the Indoor Tri.
This weekend I will ride my bike much longer than I am trained for and call it the end of this weird little winter mini-season and start the process towards being a well-built sprint triathlete.
I’ve detailed my frustrations in previous posts, so let me focus on my wins:
- I think I’ve figured out what my left knee/heel/ankle issue is (mildly collapsing arches) and the solution is pretty easy and apparent – my insoles. I’ve worn them to walk around in since I got them and they’ve been comfortable and I’ve felt way better.
- I have found some momentum (not perfection, but getting there) in proper planning and sticking to it. If I make sane, and specific plans, I tend to follow them. I may have to accept that giving myself a bunch of slack right now is asking for me to hang myself (not literally).
- While I haven’t been perfect, I have re-established some good habits with stretching (and shoulder rehab – whatever is crunchy in there is getting better). I think spending the 5-10 minutes doing something good for myself almost every day is worth it.
- I’ve made it to this point, even with some hiccups along the way, extremely excited to start building for 2018 spring and fall seasons!
This month is all about going back to foundations. I have a few goals:
- 3x week heavy strength training for the next 4-6 weeks. This is priority number one. I’m going to pump (clap) ME up.
- 3x week 30-60 mins cardio. While I’m going to play the intensity a little by ear depending on how the lifting is going, I want to continue to keep a little speedwork in my life and not lose the gains I’ve made with remembering how to push myself on the run.
- Continue to stretch and roll and boots and shoulder rehab on the daily. Get used to my insoles on shorter runs.
- Make a structured training plan through the end of September (Cozumel 70.3). Try to narrow down what races I actually want to do (I could race every weekend from now until then if I wanted…) and plan exactly when I’ll take a small break in the middle.
The only possible thing you can eat on a day that your car pees and freezes is pho. Them’s the rules.
It’s been a month of baby steps.
I tracked my food for about 18 days and fell off the wagon near 3M and haven’t yet started again. I can put up some excuses but I just didn’t do it and I’ll own it. Without even finishing tracking this month and without analyzing what I did track, I know I ate probably a little too much for my activity level and also ate stuff that was lower quality than I should. But, the holiday leftover treats are finally making its way out of our fridge and pantry and I’m not replacing them.
I made some steps to track my alcohol intake, but like a dummy, I forgot to get my own bottle of vodka and because I shared it, I have no idea when I ran out of what I intended, but I’m pretty sure I went over. However, the win here is that we’re back to our normal FREQUENCY of enjoying a cocktail (1-2 times a week max) and it’s starting to feel normal again instead of a drag.
February is about quantification. I’m not going to make a bunch of crazy rules that nitpick specific things like I can only have whiskey between 7-9pm on a Wednesday or I can only have a splurge meal on Saturday afternoons or whatever. I know how this works and I know how to succeed, it’s just, like, DOING it, and being consistent.
- Track all my food starting Feb 5th. Aim for roughly 1600-1800 calories per day (yes even on weekends).
- Analyze diet quality once a week. Keep the average over 20.
This should simultaneously work to control my portions, limit alcohol, sweets, and refined grains, while pushing good quality food.
Life and Stuff:
Random days off because your city is frozen (and has no infrastructure to fix it) make for some awesome relaxing productive happy fun times.
Here’s a funny thing – when you’re not knee deep in a giant project, training is steady but pretty light, and you’re in town the whole month… you can accomplish a lot without feeling overwhelmed! Here are things that I did:
I finished one chapter of my book. Chapter 7, if you will. I’m not 100% happy with it and I know it needs a lot of revision but it was one of the toughest yet to muscle through and I did it and I’ll fix it when I do my second pass.
Christmas stuff is put away. Sadface. At least I have my disco kitchen to make me happy year round.
The garage is half done. It was either spend the time shoving shit in random places so we could get the second car back in or actually take time to organize and clean some things out and do it right the first time. So we’re doing the latter, and we’ll finish the job next weekend.
I think I did a decent job at relaxing this month and spending some actual downtime slacking. It’s much easier when it’s cold outside and/or the air is trying to kill you to not want to adventure and DO ALL THE THINGS. Like I said, this season is a great opportunity to hide inside and not feel bad that I’m missing all the beautiful weather. Feeling a constant itch in my eyes and tension in my sinuses does not nice weather make, no matter if it’s actually in the 60s or 70s outside. 😛
I have really really really gotten into a few games again and it feels nice (and actually quite peaceful) to spend some time actually playing video games. I mean, it is my livelihood… Hopefully my left leg continues on it’s healing path and I can feasibly play some Dance Dance Revolution soon for recreation!
There’s some sort of mental block I’m having with movies. I did two of them and felt ridiculous. I think I may want to do LESS of them, but maybe get myself set up with the webcam in front of my computer and actually plan out what I’m going to say and talk about something useful.
I made a necklace and two pairs of earrings! I had brief thoughts of setting up an Etsy store to sell the earrings (the necklaces are a labor of love and too much work to be cost effective to sell). I still might, because the idea of selling a handful of them and paying for all the money I’ve sank into the hobby for ten years is intriguing, but the last thing I want to do right now is to make something I’m having fun with into an obligation. I think once I teach myself a little more about marketing, it might be a nice, low risk thing to practice selling.
I read Millionaire Fastlane as one of my non-fiction books this month. The guy is a little rough around the edges, but a lot of the things in his book resonated with me. He addressed some things that have felt icky or squishy or weird to me about starting a business and I feel like I have just a little more focus on at least what I need to learn. I definitely have more to say on this later, but I’m really happy I picked this one to read.
I also read a very badly written book geared toward newbie triathlon (badly written both in style/editing and also some of the advice was totally bunk) that I won’t bother mentioning much about. However, it made me realize that really and truly any Joe Schmo can write and publish a book. It IS possible for me. And I guarantee mine will be better (I think it probably is already more coherent already as a first unfinished draft), so it won’t be the absolute worst book in the world!
What’s on tap for February?
- Finish picking up and organizing the garage so it’s back to normal with two cars in it and everything stored away properly.
- Organize the pantry. We didn’t do this over Christmas break like normal and it’s definitely in need of about 1-2 hours of love.
- One more chapter in my book. While this schedule means I won’t have it done by my birthday, I don’t want to force it to the point of burnout to make some arbitrary deadline. If I’m so inspired, I’ll write more. Three more to go!
- Read a business book and read a sporty non-fiction book.
- Make one 3-5 minute one-take live video about… something. Let’s start small here.
- Remember to do fun things that aren’t just dorking on social media like playing games, making jewelry, maybe break the paints out and get some canvases.
- On a day in which the air is not trying to kill me an it’s nice outside, go for a cruiser bike adventure day.
I’m looking forward to February. From this side of it, it looks calm. Peaceful. Like a chance to recharge my batteries and reset to kick ass through the rest of the year. That seems like a breath of fresh air, even if the pollen in said air is trying to kill me…