Thursday, January 20, 2011

Who Am I?

I've come to the realization that I need to decide what my goals are, long term. I work with a guy who runs the Wasatch 100 every year. He's the ultimate endurance junkie in our office. He's not ├╝ber fast or anything, but he can go all day, that's for sure. He and I often workout at lunch together. The other day I was doing a weights workout, and he, knowing that I like to run marathons and have been eying some cycling road races and even contemplating long course triathlon, said something that caught me a little by surprise. I don't remember it word for word, but it was something to the effect of "Be careful with all that weight lifting. You don't want to pack on a ton of muscle that you'll have to haul around during a marathon (or an ironman)."
Now the truth of the matter is I already have plenty of extra weight to haul around. I need to lose a good 20 lbs or more to be at a good "racing weight." But I need to think at what my long term end-all be-all goal is. Do I want to be an efficient marathoner and triathlete and cyclist? Is that my ultimate goal, to see how fast I can get, see if I can qualify for Boston or finish an Ironman standing up? Is my goal to become a Cat 3 or maybe even 2 cyclist, and win some races and compete in the Masters division(s)? Or is it something else?

I think I started running mainly to lose weight and get in shape. I was tired of being left behind on group hikes and mountain bike rides. I know I began mountain biking for the sheer fun of it, and its fitness benefits were just gravy. But running, and consequently distance running, and marathoning, and then triathloning and biking all evolved from the desire to not look like I was pregnant. Not too long ago the "When are you due?" jokes began at a family party, and they were directed at one of my wife's cousins. At that point, I realized that it's been a long time since someone's made that joke about me, and that made me happy. I want to look good with my shirt off at the swimming pool. So, do I worry about how packing on extra muscle is going to effect my endurance sport performance?

Like I said, at this point, I've got enough weight to lose that putting on muscle will only help in that effort, so for now, I'll keep exercising and building muscle and hopefully shedding fat. Yeah yeah, I know there's the whole diet/nutrition component. And I'm working on that, slowly. Baby steps.

I think my goals can be summed up, at least in part, by this quote from Teddy Roosevelt:


“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never tasted victory or defeat.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 fitness goals

Okay, after much thought and deliberation, I give you my goals for 2011:

1. Exercise at least 300 hours. This would be 55h 54m 05s more than last year, and 31 h 11 s over my all time high in 2009. How to get there: 6 hours per week average, or 5 hrs / week in Jan - Mar and again Oct - Dec, and 7 hrs / wk in Apr - Sept. Or so. That will fluctuate, of course.

2. Get BMI down below 25. Currently at 27. This one should come easily-ish. How to do it: Eat better. Less snacks. More good stuff. Smoothies instead of shakes. Method: food journal 80% of the time.

2a. Get body fat below 16%. Currently 19%. This and BMI will happen simultaneously, since I'm not getting any shorter.

3a. Run 800 miles in 2011. 2010: 359 miles. 2009: 1000+ miles
3b. Bike 2500 miles. 2010: 2408 miles. 2009: 1000 miles.
3c. Get in the gym 100 times, or 2x / week avg. 2009: 46 times.
3d. Swim. At least some.

4. Do some races and feel good about it, but more on that later.