Thursday, December 31, 2009
I'm not going to call them resolutions, because they're not really changes but continuations. They are not in any real order and really, each of them feeds into the others, so there isn't a prioritization of any meaningful sort, either. These are all realistic goals based on my performance this season and the current progression of my training. If anything, I have erred on the conservative side. I believe in having goals that I can meet and even exceed.
I hereby announce that, barring injury or disaster, my athletic ambitions for this coming year are as follows:
* Lose roughly twenty more pounds without sacrificing muscle. Fifteen would be fine. Twenty-five would be stellar.
* Drop my 5k time to under 24 minutes. Possibly even to under 23, by the end of the season.
* Drop my 10k time to under 50. Possibly to under 48 by the end of the season.
* Run the Tely10 (10 mile race) in around 80-85 minutes. Or faster.
* Run the half marathon under 2h. Further revision of this goal at a later date.
* Run the Cape to Cabot 20k faster than last year, but how fast I'll know more about towards the end of the summer.
* Get a decent road bike and use it consistently and competently.
* Find a beginners' cycling group and ride with them regularly.
* Teach the 5k clinic in Jan-March and have fun.
* Complete 2 or 3 sprint triathlons and not finish last.
* Weight train 2-3x per week until May.
* Run, run, run and run, while still keeping it fun.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So the second part of this process is figuring out where to go next.
Some of my goals are fairly obvious next steps:
- continue running (duh)
- run a sub-25 minute 5k
- bring my 5k time to under 24 mins by the end of next summer
- run a sub-52 minute 10k
- run a sub 2h half marathon
- run the Cape to Cabot Race sub-2h
- run a sub 90 min 10 mile
- complete two or three sprint triathlons next summer
There are other fitness goals that aren't directly running-related that are on my horizon as well. I'd like to:
- take spin classes
- strength train all winter
- gain better muscle definition in my upper body and core (sheer vanity, here)
- become a better swimmer
- lose another 10-20 lbs (this will depend on other factors)
I'm thinking of getting a complete physical fitness assessment done soon, complete with hydrostatic weighing, VO2 max testing and the like. Our local university kinesiology lab offers the services and I've been toying with the idea for some time.
So, next to figure out how to move from where I am now to where I want to be next summer.....
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Well, this has been quite the month. I've just come off my third weekend in a row of racing and am, frankly, beat to a snot. I'm delighted that I managed to peak on target and even more thrilled that I held that peak for three weeks and knocked off three PBs in three races.
Now I'm taking a bit of a break, running for pleasure and easing off on speed and hill work. It's time for recovery and re-evaluation now, as well as a little refocussing of what path I'm on.
My big goals for the summer were:
- start running
- complete a sub-30 min 5k
- complete a 10k
- complete the Cape to Cabot 20k race
- run a 10-mile/16k race in under 100 minutes
- complete a sprint triathlon
- complete a sub-60 min 10k
I achieved every one of those and exceeded my own expectations on most.
- 5k PB 26:06
- 10 PB 54:15
- 20k Cape to Cabot Race 2:08:08
- 10 mile 97:45
My current LSD pace is now what my fast pace was at the beginning of the summer. I am very pleased with my results and have to look now at what races I want to run next year, how much faster I want to be and what I have to do to get there.
First in the plan of how to get ready for next year, though, is rest! I need to give this poor bag of bones a bit of a break and do some recovery running, swimming and just plain relaxing.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
While running last night with the Learn to Run class that I teach at the Running Room, I was asked one of the usual questions.... "So, how often do you run?"
New runners are always fascinated with what their instructor does as they're always trying to figure out what's "normal" or what they eventually can hope to be doing themselves. I usually tell them I run four or five times a week and that all of my runs are different (LSD, hills, etc.) and serve their own purposes. Then I quickly follow it up with the "But I started right where you are now; running three times a week, the same thing each time. I started with running 1 minute and walking 1 minute too."
What gave me pause for thought was looking through my little notebook in which I log my runs. I was looking over the past eight months with a little wonder. You see, in February 2009, I weighed 210lbs. I couldn't walk 100 metres without severe knee pain and could barely hobble enough to get my daughter to and from school.
February 24th, I started tracking my food and walking.
March 29th I ran on the treadmill, running 2min and walking 1min 5 times.
I started running outside on April 10, running 3min and walking 1min five times.
I now weigh 157lbs (only 17 more to go!), can run for 25k, run four to five times a week with a weekly mileage of approximately 45k and can run a 5k in around 25-27 minutes. I've completed a triathlon, two 10k races, a 10-mile race and teach running classes. I strength train three times weekly and am the happiest and healthiest I think I've ever been in my adult life.
What a difference a few months and some dedication can make to a person's life.
Friday, September 18, 2009
For the past few weeks, I've been struggling with the concept of balance. I realise that this is nothing new and that it is, in fact, the very reason that all of us are here in the first place, but this balance is different from any I've had to deal with in recent years.
When first I started this lifestyle change endeavour, it was with a primary aim of losing weight. I was 210lbs, dreadfully tired all the time, unhappy, completely lacking in self-confidence and basically a miserable mess. My plan was to lose weight. I set the completely realistic goal of 165, initially, as that was the lowest I had been in recent memory and I simply could not visualise myself as weighing less. Now I sit at 158 and I know that, technically, even that is too much. My goals have, of course, been revised as I reconciled myself with the new me that I met at each stage of weight loss. I decided that I would change my goal to somewhere around 135-140, that being the upper range of my ideal BMI weight for my height.
Over the past few months, however, my weight has become less of a goal in and of itself and more of a means to an end. Since my running has sped up and my mileage increased, I find that my weight has shifted to being only one small part of the "big picture" that is my health. More important to me than losing 18lbs is finishing the 20k race I have scheduled for October, and getting better times on each of a 5k and 10k. Preparing for next year's races and triathlons and improving my musculature has become far more significant to me than achieving 135lbs.
When logging serious running miles, I find myself needing FOOD. Good food, healthy food, but more of it. The balance has become harder and harder to find. Getting the right amount of protein and carbs at the right time is actually HARDER under these conditions than just losing weight was. If I stopped running, biking, swimming and weight training, I'm certain that those 18lbs would drop off in a month or two. But I don't want to lose them as badly as I want to be an athlete. I also feel like trying to get this balance right is exhausting. I love the training, but I'm fed up with watching the food. To be perfectly truthful, I've not been tracking food at all for two or three weeks now and my weight has stayed the same.
So I feel like I'm standing at a critical crossroads with a map for a foreign country. I know where I want to get athletically and I'm pretty sure I have to get through this country to reach my fitness goals, but exactly *how* has me a little stymied just now.
Maybe I should put losing those last few pounds on hold until after the rest of this season's races. Take some pressure off and give myself a mental break, without allowing myself to backslide.....
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