Thursday, January 02, 2014

Fitness Goals for 2014

This year I have four goals that I'm certain I want to pursue. First, I want to continue to improve my time at the Peachtree Road Race in July. Maybe I should actually do some real training in June this year for once. This was my first ever fitness goal, actually. In February of 2010, I decided I was too fat and convinced myself that if I registered for Peachtree that I would feel obligated to actually train and get in shape. For once in my life, I actually stuck with something that was hard and completed the 10k race without taking a step walking. My time was over 10 minutes per mile, but that was a huge success then. Because of this, Peachtree is important to me. I will run this race every year until I can't run anymore. One day, I'll have to stop setting goals of dropping my times, but I don't think I'm there yet.

My second certain goal is that I'm going to attack the 6 Gap Century again and this year it will be something I train for. I made the mistake last year of thinking that my early-year successes at much shorter distances in much less mountainous terrains would combine with my extensive running to make finishing possible, but I was wrong. Maybe I didn't take in enough calories. Maybe I just wasn't pushing myself hard enough. Whatever it was, I didn't finish last year and it's my biggest disappointment of the year and I want to correct that.

I want to maintain my exercise regimen through the summer this year. For the past four years, summer has been a rough patch in my training. Even when I have a set training schedule, I often let myself slide, sometimes for days at a time, because of a combination of travel, heat, and a lack of daily routines. Okay, I'll be honest. It's really just the last two. My training usually gets better when I travel because I almost always travel north where the weather is better. It's really difficult to get motivated when I'm sitting at home with nothing I actually have to do all day and it's 98 degrees and soupy humid out. It's easier to get out in the heat when I'm at work because something about having that automatic transition of work and going home makes it easier to make myself put on the shorts and shoes before I leave work and run. I also do pretty well in our long winter, fall, and spring breaks because the weather is nice. It's just that combination of heat and lack of routine that kills me. My job for the next four months is to decide how I'm going to go about doing this. Am I going to just suck it up and run or bike as late as possible when the low angle of the sun makes the heat more bearable, or am I going to get in the habit of getting up and running at 7 in the morning when I don't have to get up at all? I really like having a few hours after the kids go to bed that the summer gives me, but I can't stay up until midnight if I'm getting up at 7 every day. Still, this may be the best option. It'll create a routine based on transitions that may help me stick to the plan.

Finally, I want to get back under 200 again. I was there very briefly in December before Christmas and travelling and tapering on my marathon training did me in. I want to get back under 200 before the end of school and stay there until the end of the year. If I decide to go for the first of my tentative goals, this may be an easy first half of the goal.

Now for my tentative goals.

I'd like to complete a trail ultramarathon. I've really enjoyed the shorter trail races I did this year. The trail duathlon this summer was difficult, but a really refreshing change of pace. I'm not as good on the trails as I am on the pavement, but the trails tend to be a lot more fun. And while I struggle in the last miles of my road marathons, there are actually built in rests in a trail ultra. I'm not going to be running steadily for every step of a trail race. I'm not going to run the steepest hills. I'm not going to run the creek crossings. I'm not going to run really rough terrain. I think I could manage this despite the distance increase. Why is this tentative then? There's something else I'd like to do the same month and I can't do them both. I'm having to decide this week which one I'm doing. I think the timing is good, though. I'm only days off of my marathon training. I'm not injured, and carrying through to this should be easy.

The next tentative goal is to complete a half-Ironman distance triathlon. The race I want to do is in May and if I complete that Ultramarathon, I think this distance will be a breeze for the bike and run. The catch will be the swim. If it's a cool spring like it was in 2013, I may only get a month and a half to get swim conditioned. Sure, the half-Ironman distance of 1.2 miles isn't much farther than the 1.5k swims I've completed fairly easily the last two years at my Olympic distance races, but those have always been well into the summer. I also don't know if I really want to spend the time getting ready for the swim. There was a point last year when I was considering giving up triathlon just because I didn't really like swimming. This one I need to think about.


Julie said...

I've heard from people who run and bike (since clearly I'm not one of them) that indoors on treadmills and bikes and ellipticals just isn't there same but there is AC inside which could help you get thru the heat and humidity of the summer months while still getting to sleep late. Might be worth it. Plus, these days, you can binge watch tv to make it more entertaining. Although I'm mostly doing yoga now with a baby belly, I used to record one of my favorite shows and not allow myself to watch it unless I was on the the elliptical as motivation.

Jacob said...

I do have a trainer I can hook my bike up to for inside days, but a treadmill is even more demotivating to me than the heat for some reason. I actually used the trainer last night to make up for missing my run because of having to fix a burst pipe at my house.

It's a little harder for me to binge watch TV than you, though. We can't use Netflix here. Sure, our satellite internet is actually fast enough that it streams in HD just fine. The problem is that we're usually just barely skirting in under our data cap without watching anything and I'm not going to limit my workouts to between midnight and 5am just to make use of the unlimited data during that time.