1. My number one race goal this year is to overcome my fear of open water swimming. For those of you who do not suffer from this issue it will be hard to comprehend because this is totally irrational. I’ve done the NYC Triathlon twice now, and the first year I was totally surprised to learn when I jumped in the Hudson that open water makes me freak the hell out. I spent so much time on my back that year that I didn’t even get a Hudson Mustache. (I need to quickly explain that the NYC Tri swim is a straight line with the current, so one can actually turn over and float and still make her way down the course.)
This past year I signed up again for the NYC Triathlon: my only goal to have a better swim. I trained early, moved up to the intermediate swim group, and was regularly swimming a mile at a time in the pool without problem. I tried to get myself out of breath and then prepare mental tricks to calm myself down to use when I jumped into the Hudson. I’d say all this worked a little. I still freaked out when I jumped in the water, but this year I swam the whole thing and finished the swim 6 minutes faster. However, I still had to take breaks to calm myself down, and for some reason when I was insight of the finish ramp, I totally freaked, got super tired, and ended up letting my feet drag into the mysterious nastiness that is the bottom of the Hudson. <<<shudder>>>> No more!!
My resolution is to overcome this terrible open water panic! …or at least learn how to ignore it better.
2. STRENGTH! I have some (relatively) strong legs, and wimpy little spaghetti arms. I started some weight training with my boyfriend a couple months ago, and I am resolving to keep it up all year. I’ve been scared of signing up for an obstacle course race because I am so week that I don’t even think I can get through the burpees you have to do if you can’t do the obstacles. My goal this year, and Katie and Nicole, you can hold me to this, is to do at least one obstacle course race by the end of the year AND to get across the monkey bars.
3. Seek out new races! I get burnt out some seasons, and I seem to be running the same races year after year. There’s no need! We have a bunch of great organizations planning in races in and around NYC now, and I resolve to take better advantage of these races. Please let me know if you know of good lower-profile races, and I’ll try them out and review them here!
1. Take training plans more seriously. There is a reason why you can’t just wake up and run a marathon. Training plans allow for you to get used to a regular running routine, increase speed, and build distance at a progression that minimizes the risk of injury. It is my goal to become more disciplined with running. I signed up to run the Holiday Half Marathon with Katie but because I skipped multiple long runs due to work, holidays and getting a cold right before the race, I opted not to run. I was upset because I failed and had no one to blame but myself. No more. You all can hold me accountable, I will stick to my training plan and run 3-4x a week. I am currently signed up for 2 half marathons and a Spartan race in 2015 and I am resolving to take my training seriously. I use Smart Coach to map out my running schedule. What do you use to create your training plans?
2. Cross-train. This resolution goes along with taking training plans more seriously. Non-running days are labeled “Rest/XT” and in the past, I’ve only done the resting piece.. usually with a glass of wine and my butt on the couch. Cross-training helps prevent injuries and improves endurance. I used to be in much better shape but having a desk job and being inactive has made me look like a dying turtle when I try to do strength training. I want to be able to hold my own body weight up when doing push-ups, planks, and various ab exercises that involve raising my legs. I want to do push-ups off my knees! Recently, I signed up for kickboxing classes as a way to get strength training in. Plus, after a long day at the office, it feels great to punch and kick a bag to relieve stress. How are you working towards achieving your fitness resolutions?
3. Run more OCRs: I love setting goals because I thrive on achievement. So,. for 2015, I am setting the goal of completing a Spartan race in May. I have previously run Warrior Dash and City Challenge (for the love god, will you please stop emailing me?!) and loved climbing and playing in mud like a kid again. Spartan races are much more serious and require a lot of training. I will need to start going to the gym and lifting weights. Hopefully I can run the Spartan with minimum burpees!
2014 was a planned down year for me. I had guaranteed entry into this year’s NYC marathon and I decided to let it lapse to focus on enjoying being engaged and planning my wedding. I turned my focus to half marathons, securing entry into the 2015 NYC Half Marathon and completing two Spartan Sprint races. I also wanted to get stronger and faster. I hit a new half marathon PR in 2012 and have since gotten slower (in all fairness, that was the week before my second marathon so my fitness was at its peak). I have gotten stronger and have noticed my splits getting faster. I even set a new 5K PR this year. Now, to look ahead and make realistic resolutions:
1. Continue to make time for my friends, husband and family while training and working: It’s very easy to become a recluse when you’re focusing on your training and career. When I first trained for the NYC Triathlon in 2013 I followed the training plan pretty religiously. It was something I had never done before, and I wanted to make sure I was prepared as I could be. This meant little to no dinners or drinks with friends, date nights with my (now) husband and hardly any face timing with my family in NC. I was also constantly tired and/or hangry. Since I know what I have ahead of me this year, I can do better at prioritizing my training among my life.
2. Compete in two Olympic Triathlons: I’m already registered for the NYC Triathlon in 2015, but am still hesitant to register for the Challenge Quassy Triathlon because of the hilly course and lake swim.
3. Complete an unassisted pull up: Not only will this be a first for me, it’ll help me build upper body strength for the triathlon and 2015 CitiField Spartan Sprint
4. Continue strength training: As I mentioned, a major focus of 2014 was to remember how to strength train and add it into my half marathon training. Not only has it helped me stay out of physical therapy, but it has made me a more confident athlete. It’s no question, I have to keep it up to stay sane and healthy.
5. Get back into PR worthy shape: This is a part two to resolution number 4. I know a sub-2 hour half marathon is far away from my current athletic state, but I think a 2:05 is very possible in 2015, especially with strength training and cross training included. My PR is 2:04:52 so to hit anywhere between 2:08-2:04 would be heavenly.
6. Blog as much as I can: One of the best parts of this blog is that it’s a way for me to do something for myself and share the greatest parts of my day with all of you.
What are your New Years resolutions? Post them in the comments and we’ll hold each other accountable. Cheers and Happy New Year!!!