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Fitness Goals for 2010

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEONAG 1/1/2010 5:56PM

    Wow! That was conservative? You are amazing! I haven't made my plan yet. Probably just continue trying to be active. Not running 10K though.

Have fun!

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DACIUS 12/31/2009 11:27AM

    Looks great.

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SUBJUNCTIVE 12/31/2009 10:49AM

    I especially like the last part of the last goal. :) Achieving all of the quantifiable goals you've written above *and* keeping it fun the whole year sounds like a fantastic set of fitness goals. When I write mine out I'll be sure to do the same.

Best of luck to both of us for a continually healthy (and healthier) 2010!

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Reworking my goals, part 2

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.....


Reworking my goals, part 1

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACTIVE_JAE 10/28/2009 11:06AM

    What a great record, Congratulations!!!


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DACIUS 10/27/2009 11:46PM

    You enjoy your rest. Enjoy your off season. That was one heck of an October. Very motivating Vicky!!! I just finished running and after reading everything you have accomplished I want to go run again. Awesome, awesome job!!!

Good times too. We could be running partners from what I am seeing. Although I probably take one step to your three. I really need to push my pace a little faster. I have been slacking on my interval training. But I am 6'4"...I should be faster than what I am doing right now. HAHA!!!

Great job. Can't wait to see how you do next year.

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Paused for reflection

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASANTOSO 10/7/2009 3:45PM

    WOW, all that in just 7 months time!! AMAZING!!

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ACTIVE_JAE 9/25/2009 11:31AM

    Awesome Job! Congratulations!


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EMT6937 9/24/2009 2:22PM

    Thats awesome. I hope to be there some day.

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PRINCESSNURSE 9/24/2009 11:38AM

    How inspirational you are!

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Experiencing goal difficulties

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.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BURNIN-BRIDGES 9/18/2009 8:47AM

    I think you have done an amazing job already! I right now just have a goal to lose weight. I honestly never thought about the possibility of becoming "athletic". But as I sit here meditating on what you said I realize that my goals could change once I start losing weight. Because of the weight loss, things would be open to me that are not open right now. I certainly could not run a 5K right now! I have never thought of running a 5K ever! But, there are times when I am walking and I get this strong urge to run like the wind! And I will start running and go maybe 20 feet and then feel like I am dying, lol! So, if I do lose the weight and one day decide to take a little jog, I might find that I CAN do it without dying and that I like it. Losing weight will definitely open up possibilities to aim for new goals.

I think you should shoot for the goal that means the most to you right now. Don't get stuck on numbers . . . that is all they are. Which goal will make you feel more like a success? The pounds lost or the running in that race? AND, are you willing to do what it takes to reach that goal? One thing I have learned is you must be committed to your goal or you will never get beyond writing it down.

Whatever you do, you are in the right place here! You will have many people to encourage you and support you!

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XFITSTRONG 9/18/2009 8:29AM

    Balance is right. I am starting out at 210 and my first, main goal is to get to 169. Now that I am older (mid 30's) losing weight is not only about looking good. My health issues with being obese are multiplying and losing weight is no longer optional for me. Thanks for your blog... very encouraging.

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