I meant to do one of these posts immediately after the Ironman, but it just sounded WAYYY too exhausting and overwhelming to even think about most of this stuff until about two days ago.
At least SOMEONE is using the tri bike!
Now, the haze is clearing and I’m adjusting to the fact that no, I don’t in fact have to train 15 hours a week and yes, that’s actually a good thing. I have some energy back that doesn’t need to be carefully allocated to run/bike/swim/lift/recover/find food/work/minimal adulting. I really enjoyed laying it all out there last year publicly (read: accountability) with #projectspring in 2016, and seeing what I could accomplish. Without further ado, I give you – #projectoffseason (2017).
#1 – #projectraceweight is back.
Plates like this will probably NOT be happening very often for the next few months.
It’s one of my least enjoyable to-dos, but it’s necessary. I was lucky to not gain anything after IM Texas, but I also didn’t LOSE anything during the training cycle (after gaining ~5 lbs over the holidays/mid-season break). So, for the foreseeable future, the goal is to make the number on the scale go down in healthy ways. I will track this weekly, and probably do a whole post on this in more depth at some point, but the main focuses are:
- Find the point of activity where I can eat a sustainable amount of calories without bumping up my appetite to the next tax bracket. This will take some experimentation, but it seems to be around 4-5 hours per week (depending on the intensity) + 10k steps per day.
- Clean up my diet quality. Last time I focused primarily on calories in vs calories out, and I will still do that, but I think I felt better (and kept a lower weight) when I dialed back the refined grains, fried shit, sweets, and (just a little bit) booze that went in my cakehole. I’m not going crazy but I would like to make some strategic reductions on this stuff.
I’m not putting any numbers on anything just yet. I’d just like to be a moderately active individual that eats mostly plants in recognizable form and animals not swimming in fat that sometimes eats fried cheese or too much whiskey or chocolate cake but not that often that weighs less than I do now.
#2 – House Projects
I expect more scenes like this.
With all this time and energy not used on running 20 miles or biking in circles for 6 hours, we can finally make some progress on the projects we keep putting off.
Office Space. This is our big first focus and already in progress.
- Step 1: clear out the junk actually IN the office. That’s mostly complete, we need a few more hours max to fully check this off.
- Step 2: Get the office set up as an office – two computers fully hooked up, get a bookshelf that doesn’t need to be propped up, moving the furniture where it’s supposed to be, proper chairs, move the sewing machine in, etc. This is getting pretty close as well.
- Step 3: clear out the closets and shelves so that we have storage space for things we need in there (and get rid of the rest/put things in the attic).
- Step 4: decorate. It would be awesome to put up a shelf and display game boxes for everything we’ve worked on instead of having them stuck in the closet.
- Step 5 (ongoing): now that this room is fully set up, it can no longer be used as a junk room! We will have to figure out where to put our crap immediately instead of just throwing it on the floor.
Kitchen Remodel. Zliten’s parents have kindly offered to help us redo cabinets and some other stuff at some point. We’re hoping to pick a few weekends in a row over the summer/fall if our schedules align that we can dedicate to this because it would save us a WHOLE lot of money instead of just crying “Ikea do it for meeee!”. I don’t expect to finish all this, but here’s the wishlist:
- Fronts of the cabinets (if not the whole thing) and hardware and fixing the ones that don’t close properly.
- Add storage where there’s this awkward butcher block and cabinet situation.
- Change the color of the countertop (we have a kit we found on the side of the road for free!). Maybe we’ll go marble/granite/whatevs someday but for now I just want it to not be ugly white formica that stains instantly.
- Add a microwave over the oven instead of awkwardly in the corner that opens the wrong way (and that’s not dying).
- Get those nifty rolling drawers for our lower cabinets so things don’t get lost in the back/corners.
- Paint. I like our kitchen wall color (green) but I might consider a lighter color for the cabinets than dark purple-y grey we have now. Maybe light grey, maybe even white, maybe cherry stained wood to match the color of the floor… or maybe we’ll go black on the bottom and white on the top to match the counter. We’ll consider our options.
- To do all this we will have to completely clean out our kitchen drawers and cupboards, and we can work on paring down on what we have so it stores nicely instead of *just barely*.
- Bonus round – build out a bar area by the beer fridge instead of our cheapie wire shelves that barely kind of work.
Shed. We have a rule of no more new bikes until we get a new shed, and we really want mountain bikes so we can go play in the dirt with our team this year. 🙂 Also, getting our camping gear out of the workout room would really be able to make that room more useable. We’re obtaining the pallets for the base soon, then we just have to spend the money and time assembling it (hey, we can save money AND get a good workout). Looking at it, people who know what they’re doing take about 4 hours to assemble, so we’re probably looking at 8-12, heh.
Pain Cave. It’s much better than it was as the junk room last year, but it’s been acting as bike storage with a treadmill that can be used if you shift stuff around and make room vs an actual workout room. Once we get the shed, we can dedicate this room to have usable space to use the trainer, the treadmill, and maybe even an area to stretch/yoga.
Back Patio Remodel. I highly doubt we’ll get this far this year, but next on the list would be looking into making our back patio a place we want to spend time again. Also, once we place some teak memorial benches, we’ve said we’ll consider a hot tub which is some motivation to chew through this list!
#3- Side Hustle Stuff
Just need to remember this one when I’m faced with challenges…
I made some big pushes this year in learning new things and growing as a person, and now it’s time to take it to the next level and look at how I might turn this knowledge into practical things I can do to benefit others and put green pieces of paper in my pocket. In no particular order:
Books. I have at least 3 book ideas knocking around. Since one ended with “Ironman”, I have been kind of putting it off until I crossed the finish line. No more. Time to work on this. I set a very ambitious goal of having at least one self published book out by the end of the year, so here are my focuses:
- Outline the book or books (try to focus on one to completion but I have a feeling I’ll end up at least starting all of them so I can jot down notes as I’m inspired).
- Actually WRITE – I can crank out blog posts all the time but writing a story is like a scary monster to me right now. Those muscles are a little weak. Time to fix that!
- Look into publishing options so I know what to do when the time comes.
Website. I feel like I did a pretty decent job fixing this one up as a personal site, but I still have some learning to do (or probably to outsource to my more technically minded Zliten so WE have some learning to do).
- My goal with a business website would be to sell something where someone could purchase and pay for something securely without my input.
- I need a way to allow people to subscribe to newsletters and updates and super cool free content and stuff.
- And the biggie – I need to come up with a site plan, build the site, and generate the content. But I know how to do that (it’s just actually doing it).
Business Plan. If I was going to ask people for green paper in exchange for services I can provide, how would I envision scaling it out to make an acceptable wage if it was my only source of income sometime in the future? I don’t know much detail here yet but I know I have a lot to figure out. Basically, what services would I like to offer directly to a finite amount of people at a premium (300$x10), and what can I do once and sell at a lower cost to an infinite amount of people at once (30$x100 or 3$x1000).
Marketing/PR/Social Media. This is the part that scares me the most. I have faith I can figure out everything above this line item. My fear is I will build something I think is amazing and no one will come. I feel like once I get more into this, I’ll have better goals but my initial ones are:
- Step 1: I know people get full degrees in this stuff and I don’t expect to be that awesome immediately, but I feel like some instruction that’s not tacked on as the last chapter of a sporty class might help me feel less clueless.
- Step 2: Figure out what I need to know more about. I’m hoping that once I am a little more informed on marketing as a whole, I can figure out what areas I need to study further. If facebook followers and ads are very important, I want to learn everything I can about that.
- Step 3: Put together a rough draft on what I would do to promote these services if it were time to pull the trigger.
Other related things.
- I think it would be fun to do spin classes someday. I’d like to look into what it takes to get certified to do that.
- I am a wanna-be coach who has never been coached since age 18. I think it’s important that I change that. I want to look into picking up a coach for the next season and/or potentially doing some group workouts with coaches (like through Rogue Running) to experience the other side.
- Continue to learn. Read one non-fiction book per month about nutrition, triathlon, business, or marketing.
Sometimes cat has become more-often-than-not cat which means he needs his balls cut off.
#4 – General Adulting To Do List (or all the things I’ve put off while training for the Ironman). I am actually pretty impressed at all the adulting I’ve already done this year because this list was a lot longer in January.
- Fixing Wookie Cat. Another feral seems to have adopted us. He’s around enough that we can’t just ignore him. It’s time for snip snip snip. Luckily it just costs 20 bucks through the humane society and just takes a little time.
- Wills. At 38, I still think I’m immortal, but it’s a good idea that I plan for the impossibility that I’m not.
- Doctor. My doctor left our insurance plan and I’ve put off getting a new one because I want to find one I la-la-la-love (who understands athletes). I’ve put it off for a year and a half. I need to quit that.
- Financial Planner. I’d like someone to give us some expert advice into: a) where I should invest my money instead of a savings account? b) how I should invest this if I’m thinking of starting a business sometime in the future? c) am I ever going to be able to retire?
Of course #goplayoutside is on this list, for sure!
#4 – Fun/Random Stuff:
I want to train myself to be ambidextrous on the bike. I’ve gotten so used to unclipping and putting my left foot down that I can barely do it on my right even WITHOUT clips now. I’ve gotten much more comfortable with bike handling but this is definitely still my dirty little secret.
iFly. We have passes from the last time we went many years ago we should use up. It was SO FUN we bought discount passes for another two flights each but haven’t been back since.
Comedy tickets. We have a bunch of them that expire at the end of the year. It’s walking distance and they play every night of the week. There’s no excuses here.
#goplayoutside – kayaking, swimming (the kind without a garmin), camping when we can find a little temperate weather, fishing, hiking, and all the other types of outdoor fun. There are some very #austin places I haven’t been and I’ve been here a decade – Hamilton Pool, Enchanted Rock, Mount Bonnell, and Deep Eddy to name a few, and I’m sure I’ve got more to go if I made a proper list.
Domesticity. Let’s not get crazy, but I’ve got a few clothing projects I’d like to do. First, I have a few pairs of pants I’d like to hem/fix. They are perilously close to getting donated instead so if I screw them up, oh well. Second, I have some less-than comfortable boots and shoes and a TON of Hoka spare insoles. I want to make them be friends. I’m aiming low with this one.
Hosting people more often without it being a THING. We used to have friends over all the time but for some reason now it’s become an ordeal and something we do about twice a year. Similar to the crappy dinner party, I want to have a monthly game night potluck. The house will be reasonably clean but not perfect. We’ll make something easy for part of dinner but other people will contribute and there will be no pintrest-worthy spreads like we do for New Years. We’ll sit around and play games and talk and enjoy having friends around and if you miss this month’s, no worries, there will be another.
Vidja games. Now that I’m not so brain dead and have free time, I’d like to play more games instead of zoning out watching Netflix. Having the office set up might help with that, but there’s also all sorts of PS4 adventure games and I bought a DDR pad and have unearthed my PS2 and that means super fun plyometric workouts as well. Games!
I’m fully aware that this is a LOT OF STUFF and I don’t expect to check everything off this list if I want to keep my sanity and my job, but I felt like #projectspring was SO ambitious and I did a vast majority of it, so I figured, let’s do it again! Cheers to aiming high and let’s see what amazing things I can tackle and how my life will change in the next few months as I really settle into being a semi-normal human being.
What’s at the top of YOUR to do list right now?