Sunday, March 17, 2013

The New Normal

The move out of our Massachusetts home is complete. About half the household goods were moved to Vermont along with most of what was in the shed and the garage. The rest was moved to Florida. 3 round trips from Massachusetts to Vermont, 1 round trip from Vermont to Florida and another 1-way trip from Massachusetts to Florida later, I arrived in Florida to begin our new lives.

In the last 3 weeks, I drove a little more than 7,500 miles driving through 14 different states. And that doesn’t count the state of the numb butt! J I got the boat moved down to Florida from Vermont. I got my wife’s car down to Florida from Massachusetts. I’ll never know how my wife managed to get 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag, but the house looks great.

With all the packing, moving, unpacking, packing, moving, unpacking, packing moving and unpacking, most nights I managed only 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Many days, every muscle, bone and fiber in my body hurt. Somehow I managed to keep my riding streak intact, which now stands at 1,169 consecutive days. I can’t say most of my rides over the last 3 or 4 weeks were quality rides, but they were at least 10 miles and 30 minutes. Unfortunately, my core streak ended somewhere around 95 consecutive days. The good news is after 4 days, I was able to restart my core streak, which now stands at 19 consecutive days.

Now the real work begins. I need to update dailymile. And then I will have fully arrived at the new normal.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Each of Us is Ordinary, Yet One of a Kind

I was thinking (again) about how wonderful dailymile is for me. It's a place where I can come to blab on about my workouts, primarily cycling, without driving those near and dear to me crazy with more talk of cycling. As my online victims, you can choose to ignore my posts if you'd like. No harm, no foul.

But more importantly, I was thinking about how much encouragement, motivation and help I get here. Often that comes from comments made to my posts. But many other times, it comes from reading your posts and the amazing things you have achieved, are achieving on a regular basis or are working to achieve.

It's also worth noting that inspiration doesn't only come from the longest workouts or the fastest times. (Although those can be pretty amazing!) Often times I get inspired by someone who managed to get their first 2 mile run done. Or a cyclist who got a new PR with their 20 mile ride. Or the swimmer who managed their first 200 meter swim without stopping.

We are all at different places with our respective physical activities. We all have different goals and expectations from our workouts. We all have different challenges as they relate to our workouts. We all have a different mental make-up. Essentially, we are each one of a kind.

At the same time, we all know what it's like to have road blocks put in front of us. We can all identify with the amazing feeling it is to set a new PR. We all know how difficult it can be to balance life's responsibilities of family, work and personal fulfillment. The differences between us in terms of our chosen sport or activities, ages, gender and abilities is nothing compared to what we share in terms of achieving our goals in these endeavors. Essentially, each of us is pretty ordinary.

Recognizing how much we share with others promotes compassion, humility and respect for one another. Recognizing our uniqueness promotes pride, self-development and achievement. Thanks for being there.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Goal Review and New Goals for 2013

I managed to ride every day in 2012. I have a consecutive days riding streak that is now at 1,096 days. Although I’m very happy with this, I would not necessarily recommend it. But it works for me. I’ll probably write more on that topic later.
I have mixed emotions regarding my 2012 fitness goals. I only completely achieved 2 of them. That’s not good. On the other hand, the 2 that I did complete were the most important to me.  I suppose that just makes sense.
The summary is below.
2012 Fitness Goals
·         Ride 12,000 miles – SUCCESS - I am particularly happy about achieving this goal. When I set it, I felt it was extremely aggressive, but possible. I knew there wasn’t a lot of room for goofing off here. I rode at least once every day and some days I rode twice. My total miles for the year ended at 13,633!

·         Complete 3 century rides – FAIL – I’m not upset about this one at all. I rode a Florida century ride in January and a Vermont century ride in June. The fact that I didn’t ride another one was mostly a scheduling challenge. I’ll spare you the details, but the bottom line is it just didn’t work out and that’s okay.

·         Begin Brevet rides with a 200km and a 300km ride – FAIL – This one bothers me. On one hand, I had the same scheduling challenges here as I did with my century rides. However I could have ridden these on my own anytime. They wouldn’t have been official, but that wasn’t really the goal. A lack of proper planning to make this happen prevented success here. L

·         Daily core workout – FAIL – I knew this would be tough for me. Even though it would seem easier to do this than it would be to ride every day, I just have a really tough time with these. I need them badly but I don’t enjoy them. Weakness, that’s all that prevented me from achieving this goal.

·         Complete 3, 5 minute planks – FAIL – This is really part of the previous goal. (Maybe I should have combined them so it’s only 1 fail instead of 2.) J I did manage to hold a single plank for 5 minutes and 5 seconds, so that’s something.

·         Have fun! – SUCCESS – The more I ride the more I enjoy it! Like with most things, as I get a modestly better and learn a little more about the sport of road cycling, the enjoyment increases. I still have a long way to go on both fronts. So I anticipate even more fun in the future!
2013 Fitness Goals
·         Ride 10,000 miles – This number is significantly lower than what I achieved in 2012. However I would like to add more quality miles to my schedule. I believe this will necessitate more “easy” days which will be at least partially defined by lower miles.
·         Become a Randonneur – In order to achieve this status, I must complete a certified 200km brevet. Although I’m not sure which event I will ride, I have two excellent possibilities.

·         Complete a 300 km brevet – If I’m going to do the randonneuring thing, then I might as well do it!

·         Compete in a 24 hour ride – Inspired by my dailymile friend Richard C., the discipline to compete in, and the satisfaction of completing a 24 hour ride is simply too much to resist.

·         Do a daily core workout – It doesn’t matter what I do as much as it does to do something each day.

·         Complete 100 Push-up program – After 2 false starts in 2012, I feel like this is a hurdle I must cross. I can think of no acceptable reason for not being able to complete this program during 2012. I need to make this happen.

·         Lose 30 pounds – I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions nor am I a fan of having a specific weight loss goal. Normally, I feel that the goal should be restated to “a healthy life style” or some such thing. In order to achieve the long term cycling goals I have, weight loss is important. I feel that losing 30 pounds is quite achievable and leaves plenty of meat on these old bones.

·         Have fun!! – After all, isn’t this what it’s all about?!
Initially, I was a little concerned about having too many goals for 2013. As I review them, I realized that I really only have 3 or 4, okay, maybe 5 goals. The rest are the things I need to do in order to achieve my primary goals. Simply put, I want to become a randonneur and I want to complete a 24 hour ride. I need the other stuff to get me there.

I am very excited about tackling these goals. 2013 is going to be a very fun cycling year!