Instead of posting on Dec 31 or Jan 1 like I usually do, I had to take some extra time on this. I had this great ordered list written out, but it looked and felt to me like a schedule or an outline, impersonal and to-do-list-y. I wanted to take some time and really reset and explore the thoughts behind each thing, and I really wanted to give myself a roadmap for the year rather than a list of shit I won’t care about in a month.
1. Training, racing, being generally a triathlete.
I have mixed feelings about 2013. I shouldn’t, because I made some pretty good swim and bike progress, and running got happy late in the year and I’m kinda back to where I was 3 years ago (finallllly), but I don’t feel like I really nailed a lot of my races and running was really miserable for so long.
First of all, I’ve found that my focus this year needs to be the run, then the bike, then the swim, at least the first half of the year. I’ve been making amazing run gains simply by running more, and then with my big base, running faster. I want to maintain a good base, and pull some nice big weeks during peak training. I’m finding the run is the first to go and the last to come back, so it needs the most attention. I’m not losing that much on the bike (if anything) just keeping one long trainer ride per week, and I pretty much quit swimming for 3 months and I picked up almost where I left off once I got back in the water (I’m a little slower, but a week or two of multiple swims a week should fix that).
Goal #1: maintain a 20 mile/week run base, pull some 40+ weeks during peak training.
Each workout needs a specific goal. I’m not seeing much improvement with workouts like “run 10 miles” or “bike on the trainer for 2 hours”. I saw some amazing run improvement when I incorporated specific speedwork (aka – 8×400 @ 7:50 pace), and started tempos again (either as part of a longer run or the whole run itself). I’m hoping to transfer that work over to the bike and the swim as I start focusing there.
I want to really focus on nailing training. I missed my goal time for the marathon by 22 minutes. I just was not having a super day, my legs forgot to show up. Rather than it being a disaster, I just thought back on the AMAZING training I had done, and was extremely happy.
Goal #2: have a specific workout planned for each session with pace goals (unless it’s truly a recovery day, then EASY will suffice). Do not neglect speedwork on any of the three disciplines. Show up and conquer each training session.
I’m still planning out my race schedule, but this year, I’m not locked into racing anything because it’s part of a series, and I didn’t jump on any presales. 2014 truly is my oyster at this point. I want to race enough to keep me motivated and interested, but also remember that I LOVED the 2 month training block and not to let my race FOMO get the best of me. Racing during the hot summer doesn’t make me happy, so I’m not going to do it, I’m going to focus around a spring season and fall season taking the summer as a break from serious training.
Specifically, I want to PR my half marathon, do a full century outdoors (either standalone or as a full IM aquabike), and complete a 70.3 where I feel as if I raced it (which should assuredly result in a PR, but a PR in and of itself is not exactly what I’m chasing), but I’m sure other goals will come up as the year progresses.
Goal #3: plan out a reasonable season with adequate training time and enough offseason to keep me from being crispy. Figure out what the A, B, and C races are and set appropriate goals.
2. Eating/the scale/diet quality
2013 was the first year I saw some actual downward progress since 2009, when I finished losing all the weights. I lost 10 lbs in the spring, and I’ve kept it off. I’d like to do the same this year (I’m not picky about which season, I’d be ok if this happened in Jan and Feb ;D). So, a lot of this will be more of the same (as that period of time), which is helpful.
The real key here is accountability and data. I can lose weight when I track both the quantity and the quality of what is going in my mouth, and set appropriate goals by my current training level. I need some flexibility, as I get really crazy if I try to be perfect, but I do best with numerical goals here and sometimes just having to own up to logging the calorie damage and/or negative diet quality points will stop me from making crappy decisions.
Goal #1: track calories and diet quality all year, minus vacations and/or periods where I am on break.
Batch cooking was a major success. Having something that I wanted to eat on hand to throw in the microwave was a huge proponent in me eating good food in proper portions. Let me tell you what I don’t want to do after an early morning run, a full day at work, and then a night session? Cook. However, my laziness usually works to my advantage here, because nuking something that I may not be 100% thrilled with will usually win over going to purchase something else or making something else from scratch.
I have a great repository of batch recipes now, but I’d like to start working on incorporating and trying to like some foods that are super healthy, but I’m not so keen on, or actually like, but rarely eat. I conquered avocados and kale last year, I’d like to see if I can incorporate sweet potatoes and see if I can do anything with eggs that mask their taste and texture to be a meaningful addition to a recipe. In the latter category, I’d like to eat brussel sprouts more – I love them, but I always forget about them.
Goal #2: batch cook the majority of 2014, and make use of my fit/snap kitchen when I’m too busy to do so. Try some new recipes, and try to incorporate foods that I don’t 100% love but want to love, to see if I can make myself love them. Keep variety in my fruits and veggies – man cannot live on spinach, mixed veggies, apples, and berries alone.
I bit off more than I could chew last year. Guess what a busy triathlete wants to do on precious free time during the season? I can tell you for certain that it’s NOT spend the weekend cleaning shit. This year, I want to renew the theme of trying to do something per month, but scope it to the amount of time I reasonably have to dedicate to it. If that’s reordering a room, great. If it’s just cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen, that’s fine too.
Goal #1: set one goal per month to clean/organize/redo something. It can be as small or large as I choose.
Last year was the money suck of everything breaking (our house, electronics, random things, us…) and I’m not sure how much we’ll have to really spend on a bunch of remodel this year. However, it would be nice to scope out and start planning some of the larger projects we want to do and keep an eye out for deals.
Goal #2: We must fix the shingle in the roof and replace the front door. Scope out redoing the slab on the patio and covering it, repainting/brick work the exterior, kitchen counters and if we want to redo anything else there (gold stars for completing).
4. Social/Social Media Habits
Pic shamelessly stolen from my friend, A. Also, sad that I had to go back to 2012 for a friends picture, I have been really bad about taking group pics this last year.
2013 was the year I figured out responsible drinking, quit smoking, and really found a balance between going into a training hole and being so social I wasn’t rested and wanted everyone to go the fuck away. This is a lot of same-as-it-was with a few additions, mostly on online habits. I don’t have that much in the way of long thoughts here, so I’ll just number these.
Goal #1: continue to host game nights with our Savage Worlds crew. Actually finish my story and GM for the first time with our SW campaign. Do an occasional game night with other board games.
Goal #2: we only had ONE large party at our house this year. That made me sad. This year, I’d like to host at least 3 – one for our birthday (March), one to celebrate the first part of the season being over (July), and NYE (December).
Goal #3: no matter how busy I am, I need to hang out with people who are not my family at least twice a month.
Goal #4: social media blackout days. I waste WAY too much time on twitter and facebook when I have them open all the time. I’m declaring Wednesday and Sunday blackout days. I can open them once in the morning to scan/to make sure I’m not missing messages or somethin’, and then they stay closed all day.
Goal #5: start following more triathlete/runner people and actually interacting with them. Purge my twitter feed of shit I don’t care about. Comment on a larger variety of blogs so maybe more than 2 people might read this stuff.
Goal #6: write shit that’s not just race/training recaps and ordered lists. Yeah, that stuff is important because it helps me analyze data and reflect and grow and maybe share some of my successes and fails with other people, but it gets duuuuuulll. I’d like to err on the side of doing these less often, quarantining them to maybe a once a month data dump, and that frees me up for more posts about the random thing that I was thinking about during my run and delicious recipes and my newfound love for Hokas. I’d like to find my writing voice again, and report-posts take me away from that.
Goal #7 upload the photos I use HERE instead of linking from facebook, because apparently they go away after a while (looking through my archives, anything over 2 years old seems to have no photos, which I assure you – they had).
5. Bric-a-brac/One Liners
Goal #1: Get through my coaching class. Look into both being mentored by other, more experienced coaches, and working with some athletes besides my husband and my friend M. Start at least working through what it might be to make this a business if/when the opportunity presents itself.
Goal #2: Go somewhere epic. Right now, the current thought is Australia for the 70.3 there, but if that doesn’t work out – something similar. Marathon in Europe perhaps?
Goal #3: Make something on the sewing machine that can be worn out of the house, from scratch. Make at least a few new necklaces. Figure out a better way to store my necklaces, or at least organize them in a way which makes sense.
Goal #4: Start an outline and working doc for a personal game project that we came up with last year and got really excited about, but have not committed to paper yet.
Goal #5: Scuba dive at least once over the summer to keep our skills sharp (and of course, on vacation in March and in December). Maybe get nitrox certified so we can dive longer/lower.
Goal #6: Complete the TX Tri Series. Considering I’m only signing up to race 2 of them, that means volunteering for 4 of them. Volunteer as the opportunity presents itself otherwise.
Goal #7: Take care of myself to avoid mental crispiness. One day a month needs to be off. Like, completely. No chores, no shopping, no training, no major cooking, just pure relaxation. Take mental health days as necessary from work, or at least clue my boss and assistant in on days I feel really really mentally thin so they can help me.
Goal #8: Play games, read, go to movies… don’t get stuck in a “watch endless seasons of things” rut. Try to do other stuff too that’s relaxing.
Goal #9: Do something really, super, over the top nice for someone that they don’t expect that doesn’t benefit me at all.
Hopefully, this map gets me to the place where I go, “Damn, I ROCKED 2014!”.
Question: Where does your 2014 roadmap take you?