10 Fun Goals for 2013

Posted: April 1, 2013 in In Transition, Motivation, Training
  • Long Run (click to see stats)
  • 13.21k (1:13:30)
  • Avg. Heart Rate = 155bpm
  • Max. Heart Rate = 169 bpm
  • Avg. Pace = 5:34 min/km
  • Best Pace = 4:10 min/km
  • Calories = 1407
  • Temp =
  • SOFD = ‘Jammin Me’  by Tom Petty

This morning I went out to enjoy a nice, long Easter morning run while the family was off at church.  I’ve never been much of a church goer, preferring instead to indulge in my own unique brand of worship outside on the road amid the passing countryside, my escalating heart beat and the soaring hawks circling on the horizon.  I’ll never understand what people get out of sitting in hard, uncomfortable wooden pews for hours on end being lectured at that they wouldn’t also otherwise get outside in nature.  I mean, why sit inside contemplating the complex riddle that is the human spirit and the creation of the universe when you can actually be outside living it, but I digress; to each their own I suppose.

So this morning I set out on my run simply with the purpose to enjoy myself.  Now, “Enjoy” and “Run” are two words I seldom use in the same sentence – particularly lately – as it’s been set back after set back since September’s Ironman event but I’m beginning to come through the other side and I’m once again able to get out more and run in relative comfort.  Of course, I’m nowhere in the condition I was by this time last year; it just wasn’t meant to be and this has had me distressed, I admit it.  But, regardless, it shouldn’t really be an issue as I don’t have any real competitive ‘goals’ this year beyond my own personal ‘fun’ goal while maintaining my sanity through a rather difficult period in my life.  This isn’t supposed to be another year dedicated to myself, but to others…namely, Kelly and the kid.  But, truth be told, despite this intention to have “fun” and just continue to build on my fitness anticipating another run at the long Iron distances in the coming years, I’ve been finding it very hard to turn off my brain from things like ‘scheduling’, ‘pace’, ‘distance’, etcetera and so forth.  It seems I’ve spent four programming myself to have a specific performance goal in mind each and every time I leave the house and that’s not such an easy thing to switch off.  Who knew?

While out running this morning, I contemplated all ‘goal’ business and even what I initially thought my goals were going to be in 2013 have changed significantly since I first conceived them back in November of 2012.  As such, it’s been a bit difficult to shift this perspective in “training” given that most of my peers – the people I customarily train with – are all currently focused on their own performance goals and are already working hard to achieve them; just as I did last year.  It just happens that I don’t have those same types of goals anymore.  I will again, of course, just not now; all things in good time.  So what is it that I want to achieve performance wise, and how to I condition myself to successfully achieve them without all the stressing?  That’s the all-important question I chewed over this morning for 75 minutes as the kilometers passed beneath my feet.

So, ultimately, here are the ten prime objectives that I have decided to make my focus for the remainder of the year in order to achieve this whole elusive ‘fun’ business, and not feel as if I’m either just making excuses for my performance or letting myself down:

1. Keep it short.  I’m not doing any long distance triathlons this year.  Scratch the ‘Great Lakes 100 Mile Triathlon’ in September, I’m going to postpone this event for another year and just refocus on keeping it short.  So, the longest I can expect to run this year is 10k (off-bike).  Upon researching exactly how long is long, I found that it’s commonly accepted that you keep your long run at least double the distant you expect to cover in your events.  So in preparing for Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, I should only work towards keeping comfortable at the half marathon distance (21.1k). And, really, only the first 10k needs to be at what would be considered as a “race pace”.  I do realize that it is commonly accepted now that the LSD (long slow distance) philosophy of run training is going the way of the dodo, and that high intensity and a well-established pace is now the preferred training methodology instead, but if I’m not “competing”, then what’s the point?  Really, I’m just using my long runs to keep fit, burn calories, lose weight, dig some tunes, and spend some alone time with my thoughts.  I’ll save the intensity for my shorter speed and tempo runs maxing out at 10k; anything beyond that, and I’ll ease off the gas and more focus on simply being outside and enjoying myself.

2.  Speed.  In keeping with this short distance perspective, I’m going to use the results of my recent Lactate Threshold test, to work on conditioning myself to better perform comfortably at these shorter distances – and, hopefully, faster!  I’m going to keep to the recommended heart rate zones that we established through the test data and use them to work on building my overall conditioning leading to strong base come 2014 when I am once again ready to jump back on the Ironman train.

3.  Swim.  At this point, it is doubtful that the relay lake crossing is ever going to fly and there are no convenient aquatic marathon events locally to join, yet, I want to keep my chops in the pool.  I still swim 2-3 times a week at the YMCA and I have been primarily focused on working on my overall form again.  Besides getting the opportunity to swim with my former coach, I am still kicking up a storm on my own and trying to add some power behind it as well.   Likewise, I’m also now trying to improve on the ‘catch’, ‘hand entry’, and ‘body rotation’ aspects of my stroke to boot.  In essence, I’m trying to put it all together in order to be as effective as possible.  So while I have been maintaining my Iron distances in the water, I am now more successfully focused on my form than I am on my overall speed.  I think with good form, so shall come my speed, which will put me in a great place next year when “proper” training renews.

4.  Lose weight.  Period.  This has been a real challenge over the past two years as I have been fluctuating between my ideal race weight of 180lbs and 220lbs in the off season; depending on where I am in my schedule.  I really want to hone in on what it is to eat healthy to perform well and make that a well-established lifestyle habit.  Given that I also live with an 8-year-old who enjoys her treats and sweats, I have to learn to program myself not to indulge simply because they are available.  Come time to begin my serious training in 2014, I want to already be at an ideal weight to train and perform well.

5.  More core.  Part of this whole re-establishing of a ‘base fitness’ this year, is getting back in touch (literally) with my core conditioning.  Somewhere between my serious endurance days prior to Ironman and the recovery period afterwards, my entire strength training regimen was derailed, albeit temporarily, usually in favor of a second helping of dessert.  But I’ve started anew – specifically with my new 2013 ‘Push-up Challenge’ – of which, I am still working towards diligently (currently a little over 2000 in two months) and I intend to keep working at it throughout this season and into the next.  I’d also like to get reconnected with my yoga practice time willing.

6.  Bike.  Part of the fun I’m anticipating this year is being able to share a 940k bike ride around Lake Ontario with Kelly to help promote the creation of a local ‘Heart Investigation Unit’  at the new local Walker Family Cancer Center.  This is my big “A Event” of the year.  It’s a great cause and a great opportunity to spend a lot of time with Kelly on the bike over the spring and summer months.  I love cycling, and I genuinely have my fingers crossed that she will enjoy it as much as I do and that it will serve as an excellent bonding opportunity for us in the years to come.  It’s not about going fast; it’s about sharing in and completing a challenge together while maintaining a happy, fit lifestyle and, simultaneously, helping to create awareness around a great cause.  Of course, donations towards this cause are always welcome (click HERE to make an online donation with my sincerest gratitude).

7.  Coach.  I have already made myself available to assist a few newcomers to triathlon (and duathlon) and I have been attempting to pass on what I have learned over the past four years of training and participating in this great sport.  Seeing them becoming confident in their own abilities and, ultimately, witness them rocking the shit out their chosen events this summer will provide me with great sense of pride.  I also want to help coach others in my TryForce group and hope to participate more in a coaching capacity during our scheduled group workouts.  My real passion would be to work more with kids and I may have an opportunity to do by working with a local high school in establishing a successful triathlon program (fingers crossed!).  How cool would that be?

8.  Volunteer.  I want to give back a little more this year when I have the chance, so, given how much I enjoy working with kids, I have once again volunteered at the bike mounting line with the SunRype Tri Kids triathlon series at three different events over the summer; one of which the kid will event be participating in herself.  I got an overwhelming sense of motivation and inspiration from that opportunity last year, and I hope regain that same feeling again prior to throwing myself back into the contender’s ring.  I will also inevitably volunteer again as the sweep rider for The Big Move, completing my third consecutive year as the last person across both the starting and finishing line; something I take great pride in.  Hopefully, I may even be able to convince Kelly into doing it with me.

9.  The kid.  I just mentioned that the kid will be participating in her first triathlon this summer.  I’m stoked about that, even if she isn’t yet.  As such, I have been making an effort to run some organized track workouts, swim workouts, and even bike workouts now that the nice weather is almost here again.  The real challenge here is that being only 8-years-old as she has no real concept of “training”, even though that’s what we’re in fact doing.  If it’s not fun, then she doesn’t want to do it.  And who would blame her?  So keeping things fun and interesting for her genuinely lends itself well to my overall plan for 2013.  I have really grown to enjoy these workouts together and I look forward to spending more time with her and seeing her fitness improve, not to mention the opportunity to watch her participate in what I hope will be her own life altering experience in August and earn her first medal.  Stay tuned.

10.  Just relax.  Given that my life has been pretty stressful lately with my family issues as of late, I want to simply learn to relax a bit and not be so obsessed (or disappointed) with training, as I have come to know and expect of it.  Maybe this means less “competing” on my part this year and more spectating, more cheering, or more just enjoying being out and about and living healthy.  I have lots of time before the big stab at Kona, so I may as well try to enjoy some of it before things get hectic again.


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