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2011 in review and looking forward....

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Sometimes you have to step back and look at what you have really done to really appreciate how far you have come. Life has a way of crowding in where you cant see the forest because there are too many trees in the way. I look back and see how far I have come and I have really done alot.

-Weight loss was pretty much a non-event for me this year. For me, distance training and weight loss do not mix. But I got in the best shape of my life in the mean time.

- I have run my best 5K time ever after almost 2 months of running inactivity.

- I ran more races this year than last year. a 10K, 2 half marathons, 1 full marathon and a 5K.

- Successfully trained for and finished a full marathon in spite of not being on the same work schedule for more than 7 days at a time. My schedule is as follows... 7 night shifts with 2 12 hr shifts 630pm-630 am- 4 days off :), 5 afternoon shifts 3 days off :), 7 days shifts w/ 2 12 hr shifts 630am-630pm 1 day off then back to nights. Challenging but not insurmountable. I deal with a real feeling of isolation on night shift. It feels like 7 days of solitary confinement but I'm working on the coping skills..

- got an indoor cycle trainer to train for my first century (100 mile on the bike) over the winter. Previous distance PR was 61 miles. I didnt train for it, i just did it so I think I got this hands down with a little training.

- Im learning how to swim again. Slowly I am getting better and am learning more endurance related swimming techniques in hopes of being able to do a TRI. I haven't swam since I was probably in 6th grade so this is major progress on my part.

-Balance. I'm learning to balance work, family, and training. The last thing I want is for my new love for endurance sports to cause friction. I have other responsibilities in life and need to make sure I put them in their proper order.

- Writing. I got my first blog published in the Daily Spark a little while ago. That has been a goal of mine for a while. I really enjoy writing and hope to do more in the future. For me, writing is therapy as well as a medium of expression and communication. In a way, it also blazes a trail for someone like me who is just getting started and has a long way to go. I guess people may forget me, forget my name, and forget what I have done personally but they will never forget how I made them feel. If someone can draw strength from something I wrote and that kept them going for just one more day and because they kept going, that was all it took for them to realize a goal, then I would have left the world a richer place.

Looking forward - this Winter and on to 2012

- Facing possible layoff in June for around 5 months maybe. Things are uncertain right now... hard to tell. If it is for 5 months only, I'm not too worried. If it happens, it happens. I will treat it as a gift of time and train like there is no tomorrow. there will never be another golden opportunity like that again. I'll just roll with the punches and make lemonade :)

- Ride my first century in the Spring as soon as it gets decent enough to do such a trip. Maybe in late May. I might take it to Iron distance which is 112 miles.

-Heavy focus on weight loss. I'm suspending all long distance training (anything beyond 13.1) until I get my weight down. I am basically going to maintain a half marathon fitness level but I am not training for another marathon until my weight is where I want it or at least close. I want to lose around 40 lbs before I train for another full marathon.

- looking forward beyond....

It is my hearts desire to be an Ironman Triathlon finisher. To me, that would be the exclamation point to my entire journey. I know there is a Half Ironman (70.3) but i know me... as soon as I do that, I will be pondering the next step. I always do. A Half Ironman is BIG medicine but I know that I will never be happy unless I go for the gold standard. It's just the way I am put together. There aren't too many days that go by that I dont find myself watching an Ironman event and pondering what it takes to train, dreaming about it, wondering what it has go to be like to hear those words " You Are An Ironman"

I know that everything I do will be toward that ultimate end. If I complete a duathlon, it will be to get experience. If I do a Sprint tri, it will be to prep for an Olympic distance. If I do Olympic, it will be in prep for a 70.3 and so on. Take it in stages, slowly but surely, the elephant will be eaten one bite at a time.

I guess the big question is whether I would be able to commit to such a big goal with all of the other things that make my life a challenge and balance it all out. I think such an ambition would not be a surprise to my family, they know how i feel about it, they see what I read, what I watch, they listen to my talk. They know that it is in my heart but still, I need their support and I will only have it if they know they are not going to be put on the back burner while dad chases some crazy dream.

A dream is like a rose, if you force it to bloom, you will make a mess. It must be allowed to unfold naturally.

my long term goal- just let it unfold.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v DRB13_1
    may all your dreams come true!
    I don't swim well enough to do more than the sprint distance tris, but as you continue your training, I foudn the good thing about cross training is that there was more fitness and less injury than doing just running over and over every day. Looking forward to the photos of you with the additional weight loss, but happy also that you mentioned that with the marathon training you did, you were in great fitness shape. Strong is better than thin to me any day of the week, LOL. emoticon
    1682 days ago
  • v LADYGWEN25
    Really enjoyed your blog Robert! It echo's alot of my own thoughts and sentiments... Glad to see you're goaling for a Triatholon.. I knew the bug would bite you soon enough.. and trust me when i say i share all 3 endurance sports with all 3 of my kids.. each one has helped with my training.. So i know yours can too. Keep up the good work my friend.. and you'll definately hear those Ironman dreams come true! :)
    1682 days ago
    Great job on really thinking this through and knowing yourself well enough to plan accordingly. Let it unfold!
    1682 days ago
  • v IMSMILEY88
    Let that dream unfold! It sounds like you are off to a beautiful beginning...with everything you've already accomplished!

    Congrats on all you've accomplished in 2011! You had a great year...especially with your marathon!

    And, I'm impressed how you train around your crazy schedule. It sounds tough! Both on your body & on your mind. And, then, to train & lose weight on top of that....great job!

    2012 is going to be TERRIFIC! Just keep doing what you are doing! And, watch that rose bloom!
    1683 days ago
    As always thank you for making what is in my head clear.
    1689 days ago
    "A dream is like a rose, if you force it to bloom, you will make a mess. It must be allowed to unfold naturally.

    my long term goal- just let it unfold."

    That was beautiful! Keep on going as long as it makes you happy. Maybe you can encourage your family to train alongside you? That way, you are all together as a family, and enjoying your time together as WELL as training.....Keep up the greatness Robert!!

    1690 days ago
    So very proud of you and all that you are...and are becoming.
    1691 days ago
    As always, inspirational! :)
    1691 days ago
  • v AIMLESS07
    My brother in law just did Ironman Cozumel a couple of weeks ago. It's doable b/c people of many different abilities do that race.
    1691 days ago
    Great job, I wish you the best for 2012!
    1692 days ago
  • v LIV2RIDE
    I love taking a look back to see what I actually did accomplish. A lot of times in the moment it doesn't feel like a lot until you sit down and think about it.

    I love your 2012 goals. If you haven't already, you should check out Ben Greenfield Fitness. He has a podcast on iTunes as well as a website. He's not vegan but it doesn't bash it either. He's a triathlete that offers training programs and a lot of useful information. Anyway, I know 2012 will be awesome for you. I'll keep my fingers crossed about the layoff.
    1692 days ago
    Wow, you have it all figured out....good for you!!! I sit down to think of goals of mine,and most of the time I draw a blank. I really need to put thought into it and figure out what I really am REAL goals. Thanks for the reminder!! Best of luck, you will do doubt.
    1692 days ago
  • v BLACKROSE_222
    It's important to look back, so we can see where we are heading. I think you have some amazing goals, and have reached some amazing goals. HUGS
    1692 days ago
  • v BILL60
    Hang tough, my friend.
    1693 days ago
    YES, let it unfold. And you are not chasing some crazy dream, you are being yourself, and your kids will remember that you had the courage to be yourself...and they will be able to do the same when their time comes.
    All these things are very much YOU. YAY FOR YOU! You, being the whole person you are, is the best gift you can give your kids.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1693 days ago
    Good luck next year as you work towards your goals!
    1693 days ago
    Looking forward to hearing what you decide and following you along the way! I'm committed to the full this year, but I've already decided that 2013 will be the year of the Halfs :) I think I might do the Chicago Half Marathon circuit, or try a couple of destination races with the Rock'N'Roll Half circuit.

    Whatever you do - I know 2012 will be a great year for you!
    1693 days ago
  • v FITFOODIE806
    Your writing sure has meant something to me. I can safely assume that it has to many others as well.

    I can also safely assume that you wll hear those magic words in your future. "You are an Ironman." I just started running with two girls that completed their first in August. They said that it's not the event that is tough. It's the training.
    1693 days ago
  • v _JODI404
    Robert, You really have come a LONG way!! What a great year of super accomplishments! emoticon

    I could never manage a work schedule like that. WoW... that is tough!!!!!

    Congratulations on having your blog published in the Daily Spark! I saw it, and was so proud of you, and excited for you! I think you have tremendous writing ability ~~ I always enjoy your blogs immensely. I didn't even know it was a passion for you... I just thought you are VERY good at it!!
    emoticon emoticon

    Robert... you WILL hear those magic words.... YOU are an Ironman!!! you will hit all of those other stepping stones on the way up to it. Let it unfold, and we'll be right here cheering you on, and any support you need as well! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Great reflections and ambitions here!! Here's to a bright and rocking 2012!! emoticon
    1693 days ago
    It is important to take time to reflect on where we've come from before we look ahead to where we want to go. You have come so far, Robert; I have no doubt you will conquer any and every mountain you tackle in the days ahead!
    1693 days ago
  • v CIVIAV
    Oh my how there's always further to go and yet looking at where we so recently were helps us determine where, when and how much futher we will go. How incredible the accomplishments are and yet not even close to who you are now!
    1693 days ago
    Where we come from is sometimes as important as where we're going, like building blocks.
    I don't doubt you can have whatever you desire, it's just a matter of time. Here's to taking the steps to get where you want.
    emoticon emoticon
    1693 days ago
    Great job! Keep it going Robert! YOU CAN DO IT! Hope all things work your way and that you will be able to deal with anything that comes up. Keep your spark alive. Thank you so much for sharing.
    1693 days ago
    Good luck with your goals!!

    Wendy emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1693 days ago
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