For the past two days, I've been working late into the night on my Training Goals and Plan for the entire coming year. I figure, once I finish this half marathon, I'll take two weeks of complete rest for recovery. But then, November 1st is a great time to begin serious training and weight loss for the coming race season, which, for me, will begin in March 2013.
I've been following a very detailed process in setting up this training plan and I found it in "The Triathlete's Training Bible". There is SO much that goes into this that I never thought of, you guys! But I love that it walks you step by step through each week of the year and helps you assign total hours to each week for workouts. It practically sets it up so you CAN'T overtrain. I really needed that kind of help and those kind of limits.
The first thing I had to do was decide on my races for next year. Only then could I determine how my training should be focused and should ebb and flow throughout the year. So, I chose 10 races (two 5ks, a 10k, two half marathons, a full marathon, two 1-hour indoor triathlons and one sprint triathlon) - spaced out enough, of course, so I could avoid fatigue. If you really are desperate to know which races, I've posted them on my SparkPage.
It seems insane to plan this far in advance...but, if you think about how you need a certain number of weeks to build strength, endurance and speed before any given race, then recovery time as well and then you think that there are a total of 52 weeks in the year...and I've chosen 10 races that are pretty much packed into a 9-month time frame....you start to understand how short a year actually is!
I figured, while I'm at it (and while some of the races I just did are fresh in my mind), I should probably put together a budget too. If I know how much I need, I can just set aside a large chunk of my tax refund and have it be a race fund. No more scrounging for hotel money at the last second, you know?
I included every expense I could possibly think of in this budget (all race registration fees, any travel costs like gas and hotels, food for away races, extra spending at expos, 3 months of unlimited spinning in the winter Prep and Base Training phases, and a joint supplement that a personal trainer friend of mine has been begging me to try - she swears it will heal my tendinitis). All this...and I need to purchase a proper road bike for my triathlons. I am certain the bike I have now does not correctly fit me. Plus, it's a men's bike. Haha. Obviously, that's a big chunk of my budget (about $1500) and it's just a one time purchase. But...my grand total estimate came out to.....
$5700 - for an entire year of racing and training
This is all individual costs and does not take into account any race coupons, roommates in hotel rooms at away races, etc. Also, I travel for my job twice a year and I rack up some pretty nice air and hotel reward points...so I'm certain that will alleviate some of these costs.
So, leaving out the bike...let's go with an estimate of $4,000. Isn't that an UNGODLY amount for a hobby?
Well...let's change tracks for a second. My good buddy, Michelle, bought me the cutest shirt for my birthday. I tried it on and put on my "skinny" jeans and happened to walk by the mirror this morning. I thought, "Hey, this makes me look nice." But then I did a little search through some old photos and I was literally floored at the difference between then and now.
My running buddy and I have talked about how our bodies are changing and, even if we don't believe it or see it ourselves, they are shrinking. I have had SO many comments lately and do you know what I think to myself while I thank the person who is gushing over my transformation???? "It's just the outfit that is an illusion. I still look the same. This person knows I've been working out so they are just saying that to try to make me feel good. I don't look that different."
And it's not even just with other people. My own mind refuses to move forward and acknowledge my size reality. I still get confused and feel like I need to order a 2XL shirt because the XL won't fit me. I have been wearing XL for quite some time now and have not worn a 2XL in months....but I can't seem to let go of that idea that I'll never lose weight.
But when I saw this photo...finally, guys....finally, I believe that I am changing.
That girl on the left was shrinking from that camera. And look how she was hiding herself under baggy clothes. The one on the right has nowhere to hide the flab. There can't be any trick lighting when the shirt is that tight. And I'll tell you something...my ass looked pretty awesome today too...but I couldn't get a good pic for ya. Sorry. The girl on the right is kinda sassy, isn't she? She is beginning to believe that she *might* be desirable and that people might actually look at her twice, rather than completely ignoring her.
How much is that woman on the right worth in dollars? How much would the woman on the left spend on diabetes or heart disease in a few short years if she didn't shape up and get with the program? How many years of life would she miss and what is the financial value of seeing her grandkids grow up? Can you put a price on her confidence and comfort in her own skin?
Is she worth $4,000/year and a whole hell of a lot of hard physical work in the gym and out on the trails?