2018 Mileage Review and 2019 Goals

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One of my goals for this year was to faithfully log my bike and swim mileage (as well as my run mileage) so that I could set 2019 goals. Until this year, I had no idea how far I biked or swam in a year. This year’s bike miles include outdoor miles and Zwift miles, so it’s not an exact science, but it’s data nonetheless.

So how did I do?

Final 2018 Mileage
Swim – 58.1 miles
Bike – 1651 miles
Run – 314 miles

And you know what? I’m pretty proud of those miles. My run mileage is the lowest it’s been in years, but look at all the miles I got in even with an injury and surgery! I set my goal for the year at 500 miles, and considering that I wasn’t able to run until mid-May and then had to build up from zero, hitting 300 miles is awesome.

Of course, since this year was an aberration, I’m still not sure what good mileage goals might be. So I’m just going to take a guess at a good challenge, try to push myself, but most importantly, have fun and stay healthy and uninjured. I apparently logged activities on Strava 230 days this year. I wonder how many active days I will have in a healthy year!

2019 Mileage Goals
Swim – 75 miles (maybe this will inspire me to actually GO to the pool)
Bike – 2000 miles (this one scares me too)
Run – 500 miles

2019 Goals and Word of the Year

One thing I like to do every year is look back and see how I spent my time, what I thought I would get done and didn’t, and what I want to prioritize in the coming year. I also look ahead at what I have on the calendar. I use all of these things to set some goals for the year. Typically, these goals are focused on bettering myself and the world around me.

This year, I’m also setting a word of the year, something I want to use to help focus my year. I have a number of Coeur teammates who do this every year, and I decided this year, I would too.

For 2019, my word is Challenge. I picked this after reading through some quotes and came across this one: “Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.” This definitely resonated with me, especially when it comes to racing. I often set race goals for myself that I fear I can’t meet but then I end up meeting and beating. The majority of the time, I crush my A goals. To me, that says I’m not setting my challenges high enough. This year, I want to push myself, both in triathlon and in life. I want to see what I can accomplish.

I took a look at my goals for last year and used those as a framework for 2019. I think some were too generic and I need to be more specific. I won’t say these are full on SMART goals, but they’re closer.

Goal 1 – Train and Race Smart at IM 70.3 Ohio
As the race draws closer, I will set specific time goals. Ideally, I would like to crush my 70.3 PR, but isn’t that always the race goal? Truly, the goal is to be smart about training. I want to push myself, but not so hard that I burn out or get injured or sick.

Goal 2 – Cook One New Recipe a Month
I have so many amazing cookbooks, and yet I tend to pick one or two recipes from them and just make them over and over again. I want to try at least one new recipe a month.

Goal 3 – Read More Books
This year, I got really into longform journalism, which is awesome, but it meant that I wasn’t reading as many books as I used to. I want to get back to that (which will also mean not reading from a screen before bed, which is a terrible habit) and track in Goodreads. I am going to try to read 50 books this year, which will include audiobooks. Given the hours of training I have ahead of me, that should be doable.

Goal 4 – Get My Budget to YNAB’s Rule 4
I have been using You Need a Budget for money management for probably around 10 years. The application has changed a lot in those years, but the basic concepts of the budgeting method haven’t. Rule 4 is the basic idea that you live on last month’s income. It helps you build a buffer for when unexpected expenses appear, and it makes monthly budgeting a lot easier. Now, I’m certainly not living paycheck to paycheck, but it’s been a while since I’ve been fully at Rule 4 and I’d like to get back there.

Goal 5 – Lift Heavy Things
When I injured my hip, I gave up on a lot of my workouts, and the big thing that hasn’t fully returned is weightlifting. I’m doing bodyweight workouts and some upper body strength work, but I want to get back to doing my regular weightlifting routine. My plan is to start with once a week and then increase that. I have the ChaLEAN Extreme Program that was popular a number of years back and I really enjoy it. It’s slow, controlled movements, and the workouts are under 45 minutes.

I think these are definitely doable goals, but also goals that will challenge me, especially in terms of time management. Life is busy, but it’s important I prioritize myself.

Training Safely with AfterShokz Trekz Air

Of course, I wore them around the house while doing chores too.

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Trekz Air to review (and one to give away) as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

My first experience with AfterShokz bone conduction headphones wasn’t actually wearing them myself, it was hearing all about them from friends and family. While I’ve never had an issue wearing earbuds, plenty of people find that they hurt their ears, and AfterShokz made a great solution to the problem. I was never sold on the idea, but I did like the added safety feature of having your ears completely unblocked, and thus able to hear all the ambient sounds around you.

What sold me on the product, even before trying them, was racing Space Coast with my sister. She wore her AfterShokz headphones during the race, and she was able to hear her music and still have a conversation with me and I couldn’t hear a single thing from her headphones. I honestly didn’t realize she even had the music on until she commented about a song that was playing. They aren’t lying about the lack of sound leakage.

So of course, when I was offered the chance to try them myself, I was absolutely in. The AfterShokz Trekz Air paired easily to my phone and I immediately tried them out, wearing them around the house as I did chores. It took me a bit to figure out how to best position them on my head, but once I did, I was immediately impressed. The sound quality was incredible and I could still hear what was going on around me.

Of course, I had to test if they were working because I was hearing the sound from the speakers or if it was actually bone conduction. So I put in a pair of earplugs. Yep, still clear as a bell. This technology is awesome.

I’m not sure that these would stay on Minnie’s head when running.

The first opportunity I had to wear them outside was on a rainy day, and I was thankful for the water resistant features. (Though one thing I did miss from my earbuds was that they kept cold water from dripping into my ears! Maybe this is the only downside.)

This is probably a dumb feature to some, but I love the fact that when I’m not wearing them on my head, I can just put them around my neck. Yes, I know this is a feature of all headphones. But after years of earbuds, I was so used to having to deal with something in my hands and getting the cord all tangled up that being able to just put these around my neck as I got ready to head out felt miraculous.

I mostly listen to podcasts and audiobooks when I workout, and I wasn’t sure how well the bone conduction would work, and I did find I had to increase the volume slightly, but other than that, I had no issues at all.

I was really impressed by the strength of the connection between the headphones and my phone. I had my phone charging in the kitchen and was walking around the house with a podcast playing and I only once had some audio dropout when I was a floor away and across the house (of course, my house isn’t that big). Conversely, when using my wireless speaker, I need to keep it in relatively close proximity to my phone (such as across the room) to hold the connection. I’m not sure how this is a useful feature, but it’s good to know that even if I have my phone buried under layers, I’ll still have great sound.

And in the spirit of the holiday season, AfterShokz even sent me a pair to share. I’m looking forward to 70.3 training with Liz, and thanks to these headphones, we can run together, listen to music, and still be able to chat!

I made her go swimming with me on a cold day before I gave these to her. I think it was a well-deserved reward.

So in sum, I’m now an AfterShokz convert. I’m excited to have a better way to listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I’m running on the trails in my neighborhood. The single earbud just wasn’t cutting it. Wearing AfterShokz not only gives me better sound quality, but allows me to truly hear what’s going on around me. I look forward to a season of training with them!

Whirlwind

This jerk stole my pizza.

It’s definitely starting to feel like the last half of the year has completely flown by.  I sat down to look at my list of blog posts for the past month and realized just how much this space has been ignored.  I’m going to try to make blogging more of a priority next year because 1) I enjoy it and 2) keeping a record of what I’m doing and how I’m feeling has been amazing for my training.  

In terms of training, following Space Coast, I’m taking a bit of an easy month.  This year has been a lot of rebuilding and it was definitely a push towards certain events – getting back to triathlon, getting back to running double digits, and finally getting back to the half marathon.  So for December, I’m taking it easy, getting in workouts, but also making sure to prioritize rest and recovery.

Of course, rest is easier said than done in December.  I’m sure that rings true for many of us.  For me, December means holiday choir concerts.  This past weekend, I sang three holiday concerts.  It was amazing and insanely exhausting.  I joined this choir in January of 2008, so it’s been a pretty constant presence in my life since I moved to DC.  Over the past couple of years though, I had sort of started to dread rehearsals.  For the most part, I enjoyed participating, and I liked singing, but sometimes, rehearsals felt like a drag.  This could be partly because they go from 7:30-10 on a Monday night, which is past my bedtime.  

This year, we have a new music director (only the third since the choir began in 1941), and he has brought with him a new energy that I didn’t know I needed.  It has made rehearsals a lot more fun, but it’s also an absolutely exhausting way to start the week.  Still, I’m enjoying it much more than I have in years, so I’m glad I didn’t give it up.

I’ve been trying to figure out what my goals for 2019 are going to be.  2018 went off the rails quite quickly, but turned out to be a pretty awesome year just the same.  I’m hoping we can skip the “off the rails” part and just go into the “pretty awesome” part for 2019.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  Set goals for the year?  Got any suggestions for me?

November Mileage Recap

ImageParty / Pixabay

Okay, so I can’t believe November is already ending.  Yes, I have probably said this every month, but seriously, where is the time going?

November was a great month!  I finally, finally got to race a half marathon and it went so well!  I’m still working on my recap, but in sum, it wasn’t my fastest, but it wasn’t my slowest, and it didn’t hurt.  I feel like I’m finally back.

However, in November, I also did my best to avoid going to the pool.  I don’t mind swimming.  It’s a good workout and I always feel great having done it.  But I just don’t like going to the pool.  Swimming is my only AM workout – all the rest happen after work, so I suspect it’s simply that I don’t want to drag myself out of bed and head out into the dark, cold morning.  Summer swimming is nowhere near as bad.

November Totals
Swim: 2.5 miles
Bike: 74 miles
Run: 77 miles

Yes.  I went to the pool twice.  Two times all month (and one time was today).

I’m actually blown away that my run miles topped my bike miles, but this was a very run focused month.  So many long runs.  But they were absolutely worth it.  I even did a 13.1 mile training run, which is the longest training run I’ve done since I was marathon training years ago – usually I top out at 12.  But I trusted my coach on this one and she was right.  I probably didn’t need that extra 1.1 miles (actually the plan only required 13, but I was getting that last .1), but it absolutely gave me the confidence I needed going into my race.  I knew that I could cover the distance without pain and not having that stress on race day was huge.  It also gave me an idea of what my finishing time might be, which removed that stress.  I know I’ve lost speed this year, and while I know it will come back, that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel a twinge of disappointment that I’m not immediately fast again (“fast” being a relative term – I am very much a party in the back kind of racer).

My next race isn’t until April, so I’m looking forward to a few months of rebuilding and getting into shape.  I have big plans for 2019!

2018 Totals
Swim: 54.6 miles
Bike: 1504 miles
Run: 286 miles