Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! Let's Talk Goals

Back in April, I mentioned that I’m in the habit of setting goals at the start of each year. Big goals for the year that may take me the whole year or may hinge on a certain date/event, as well as smaller goals that I can work on achieving throughout the year.  Part way through the year, I also set a few Strava related goals in an effort to add some excitement to my training. So, how did I do? Bit of a mixed result. Some I met. Some I shattered. Some I didn’t achieve. All in all, I’m OK with what I achieved. I’m pretty sure with more discipline, I could have achieved all of them but I’ll just tuck that knowledge into my pocket and bring it forward into 2014 - along with those outstanding goals.

So, the big goals for 2013:
  • Run a 5:30 marathon. This is one of the goals that I shattered. Achieved May 5, 2013. You can read it about it here.
  • Complete a Half Ironman.  Achieved June 2, 2013. I was MIA from the blogosphere at the time so the closest thing I have to a race report is photo album on Facebook. But it was a challenging, amazing experience and I loved it. Time: 7:17.
  • Do the Grouse Grind in Under an Hour.  Shattered June 9, 2013.  There’s a story here. I first did the Grind in 2011 as a Team Building experience at the request of my [much younger] staff. We met after work one day and everyone scattered to complete it at their own pace. Team building! I thought I was going to die on that mountain. It took me 2 hours and 6 minutes. I came home and swore I’d never do it again. My son – 18 at the time – said “what if I want to do it”. After some back and forth where I tried to convince him he wouldn’t like it, and didn’t need my company to do it, we agreed to do it together but I suggested he wait until he was 19 so he could have a beer at the top. I hoped he’d forget. In 2012, as we approached his 19th birthday, he reminded me of our Grind date. Stink! So up we went. He hated it. It took me an hour and 40 minutes and I swore to never do it again. Then when setting my goals for 2013, my beloved annoying as hell personal trainer suggested the Grind under an hour as a goal. I reminded him I was never doing it again, could never get under an hour, and what was the point when there was no medal. He offered to convert one of his national cycling medals if I could do it and voila, goal #3 was born. We went up together the weekend after the Half Ironman. Time? 51 minutes. I went back 6 days later, on my 43rd birthday, and did it by myself in 48 minutes. I’m still waiting for the medal.
  • Six New “Things”.  New foods and experiences, I tracked 8 this year:
    • Smoked tofu - January 12 – heavenly. Try it.
    • Spin class – January 16 – put on by my Tri Club and I loved it from the first class! A challenging sweat-fest that can leave you with that post-exercise endorphin boost that I’ve only ever experienced with running. I’m hooked.
    • Escarole – January 18 – eat your greens people.
    • Mammogram – February 27 – taking care of the girls.
    • Infrared Yoga – March 29 – love it! You can read about my first experience here. At the time, I said I didn’t think I’d make it a part of regular routine but I now hold an unlimited pass and go 1-3 times a week.
    • Acupuncture – July 2013 – recommended by my running coach, I used acupuncture as part of the therapy following my calf tear. I didn’t love the experience, but I do love what it does for me. I’ll make this a part of my regular complement of therapies, at least until my extended health benefits top out!
    • Trail race – September 2013 – Meet Your Maker relay. Loved it and hoping to do it again next year. 
    • Facial – September 14, 2013 – Not what I expected and very relaxing. Would definitely do it again.
  • Green 90% or More. This refers to my eating habits. Green means I ate according to my eating plan and when I set the goal, the issue was that I wasn’t eating enough. I called it eating red if I missed servings. Over-eating was not an issue – not back then – I was extremely disciplined and had been for months. I didn’t achieve this goal. For the first five months, I mixed green days with under-nourished days and over-indulging days. For the second half of the year, I infrequently tracked. This is something that I need to get a handle on going forward. Both to keep my weight in check and to ensure I am adequately fueling for Challenge.

My “smaller” goals were outlined in a blog post earlier this year.

3, 6, and 7 have all been achieved. I don’t think I’ve mentioned #7 anywhere on the blog. This was a stretch goal for me. In June of this year, I ran one of the MEC Series races, competing in the 5K distance. I realized when I got there that they were only recognizing the top 3 finishers by gender, not by age group. I pushed hard anyway and came in 2nd overall female, 5th overall finisher. 26:01 on a slightly long course. Stunned, elated, and so overjoyed.

So as I look ahead to 2014, I’ve got my goals all lined up. Some of these will be no surprise given prior blog entries, but here they are, “officially”:

The big goals:
  1. Complete a marathon for age 43. This is part of my ongoing plan to run a marathon a year following my 40th birthday – at least for as long as my knees will permit. Whidbey Island Marathon in April is my race target. Not looking for a specific time or a PR (necessarily) because it’s a hilly course, and my goal is to stay injury free. Because 2014 is all about goal #2.
  2. Complete an ironman triathlon. Here are the deets on that decision.
  3. Set a new Grouse Grind PR. I think it would be cool to be able to do it in my age. And once I achieve that, I can relax and get slower every year! 
  4. 6 New Things. Because the new experiences enrich your life. New people even more so! When I reflect on the people I’ve met each year in the last 2 years, I get a little excited thinking about what new people I’ll be meeting in the year ahead who are going to have an impact on my life.
  5. Sub 2-hour Half Marathon. I first started blogging about that here. And then here. I’m still chasing Sub-2. My next attempt will be at the First Half Half Marathon this year.
  6. Run 2014 kilometres.
The smaller/ongoing goals:
  1. Swim 2000m in 50 minutes or less. I’m currently swimming 1700-1800 in an hour, including drills, kick sets and RI.
  2. Bodyfat under 20%. I don’t even know what it is right now. Low 20s.
  3. Waist (at the belly button) measure of less than or equal to 31”. It’s the holidays, don’t ask for a “where are you now” status.
  4. Bicep measure of less than or equal to 10”. Gotta get rid of those beefy farm-arms.
  5. A top 3 age-group finish. 
  6. 100 km ride in under 4 hours. Based on my Half Ironman result, I'm sure I can do this but the only century I've ridden took me 4:09.
And of course, I’m aiming to set new PRs through the year as well. Starting tomorrow with the Sole Experience Generation Charity Run. I’m running the 10K distance. It will be the first 10K I’ve run in close to 4 years. I’ve gotten a lot faster and I’m expecting a PR tomorrow, and aiming for under an hour. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year! I would love to encourage you in achieving your 2014 goals! Tell me about them in the comments.

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