Goal Setting

Goals. They should be challenging, yet attainable and come with a time frame for completion.

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At the start of every month, I set goals. They can be fitness related or otherwise. They’re just things that I feel I would like to consciously work harder on for the next 30 days. At the end of the month, I take some time to look back on them. Did I meet my goals? Did I really try on the ones I failed to meet?

You see, there’s nothing wrong with failing to meet a goal if you really tried. I didn’t come anywhere near reaching my 115 mile goal for June. I finished with 66. And I have accepted my failure. It wasn’t for lack of trying. It was a gross underestimation on my part of exactly how busy I would be with work and school for this month. My goal was high when I set it and I knew that. It also had to do with a change in training.

Halfway through the month, I decided to set my sights in an August triathlon. Between that and other priorities, 115 miles was out of reach. But I tried. To the best of my ability. So it’s on to July. Time for new goals!

Do you set goals each month? How do you decide what to work towards? What are your July goals?

“You better not lose any more weight!”

Towards the end of 2010, I started losing weight. I was going through a hard time and it just started falling off. I couldn’t tell you how heavy I was because I stopped weighing myself after high school. I’m sure I gained 20-40 pounds between 2005-2010. If I had my yearbook here in MO with me, I’d dig out that picture where I was voted most likely to become a bouncer (side note: I’m not one) and put that next to a picture of me in the early fall of 2010.

I divide my weight loss into two phases. The first was up until the end of 2011 before I moved. That’s probably where I lost the bulk of my weight. I developed those eating habits and the desire to exercise every day. It’s also when I made the choice to concentrate in finishing my associates degree so I could transfer to get my bachelors in the health field. Thankfully, I met Boyfriend at the same time I was planning on transferring and moving anyway. So here I am, in Springfield, MO. Studying exercise science and still with the same awesome guy.

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Honestly, it was the best choice I could’ve made. I’m happy, I love my school and I’ve met great people here. It was NOT the best choice for my weight though. At least up until recently. They say love makes you gain weight. FOR. SURE. I gained back 15 pounds over the course of the first year. I knew I wasn’t eating well and that I wasn’t exercising like I should. But it was stressful and I was adjusting. Sue me.

At the start of the year, I found running and running challenges. For three months I ran nearly every day. These last 25 pounds have come off FAST. I’m more toned than I’ve ever been and for the most part, I’ve never felt better about my body. That last bit is for another blog at another time.

To the point…Lately I’ve started hearing from people that I should stop losing weight and that I look great. Couldn’t they just say I look great? What business is it of anyone’s to tell me to stop? Let me be clear. I am NOWHERE near being underweight. I’m on the high end of average. I eat very well on most days. I’m losing weight at an acceptable pace. I’m going to school for this stuff! I know what I’m doing. I help others do this. I don’t sit here and analyze every little thing I eat. Some nights I go eat a greasy burger and fries. And I don’t beat myself up about it.

What I’m trying to say is that if you are ignorant of what someone’s fitness goals are or what their measurements are, you should keep your thoughts to yourself. Weight loss should be happy and exciting! After all, you’re feeling great physically and mentally and you get to buy new clothes (best part, obviously!) Unless someone is looking like they are LEGITIMATELY in need of help and you know them on a level where you can say something, keep your thoughts to yourself.

I have goggles – now I mean business!

Day three of triathlon training!

Last night I put in a good four mile run (hills included!) after work. It’s been getting warmer here in good ole SW Missouri and last night was no exception. I hadn’t run in two days but I crushed it. Slowest mile was 10:01. Pretty impressive for someone who was running 12-13″ miles at the start of the year.

I’ve really come to embrace running in adverse conditions. I WANT to run when it’s hot. I WANT to run hills. Why? I want to be fast. Can I just fast forward to my next half in October? I know I’m going to shatter the pace of my first. And that thrills me to no end.

So. Today. A friend of mine is also training for her first triathlon, so we made a 6:00am swim date.

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While I’m usually a lone wolf when it comes to training, sometimes it’s helpful. She has been watching tons of YouTube videos on technique and that was great. Clearly, we aren’t going to be doing an Ironman any time soon but we are determined not to drown in the pool at least.

I DID get goggles. What a difference. Boyfriend thought I looked like a crazy person when I put them on. I mean…they were a little tight. But they’re supposed to kind of suction themselves on, right? Today I swam for about 30 minutes. It felt a little easier, especially after I figured out how to pull more with my lats.

Things I learned today:
Work on technique. Speed will come . (Duh. I already knew this for running.)
Goggles are amazing.
Relax your hands.

6:00am training is easier when there’s someone else to say “OMG this sucks!”

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So I woke up one day and decided to be a triathlete.

It started with the owner of Sunshine Bike Shop telling me I could have a free entry under their name for the Republic Tiger Tri in August. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a triathlon since I started losing weight in 2010. It just seemed like one of those achievements I needed to have under my belt to prove to myself that I can.

Of course, I mulled it over more and more. Went so far as to plan our California vacation in a way so that I’d be back in time for it. Boyfriend began the Craigslist search for a bike (since I can’t justify a $400+ bike right off the bat) and I played the waiting game. Saturday it happened. We found a 2010 Trek 7.1FX for a great deal. Picked it up and the decision to do Tiger Tri was sealed.

I have to say, the cycling portion of it doesn’t intimidate me. Even if I looked like a five year old trying out my bike for the first time without training wheels. I’m a runner, my endurance is pretty great. I know it will translate just fine after I get a feel for the bike. It’s the swimming portion I’m most concerned with.

I know how to swim. I took swim lessons for years, I can freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, whatever. But that is HARD! There’s a reason swimmers are so ripped. You’re doing resistance cardio. It’s like if I went out and ran with a weighted vest (no thanks). Yesterday I did a 20 minute lap swim session, just to gauge where I’m at.

Where am I?
I need goggles.
I need to keep my face in the water.
I need to learn to breathe.

But I didn’t die. This triathlon is a 300yd swim. I can do that. I just want to do it well.

So here I am. Day two. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my year and a half of studying exercise science here (and from life in general, I suppose) it’s that I need a plan. My plan for today: strength training in the morning and a four mile run this afternoon after work. And depending on the bike situation of Boyfriend, maybe a short ride.

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