With 2016 more than halfway over, I wanted to check in on the goals I set for myself this year.
1. Run a full marathon.
WHAT I SAID: I’ve mentioned many times that in 2016 I’ll train for and run my first full marathon. While I’ll do a number of activities to meet this goal, this will be my only running goal for the year.
UPDATE: I just started training with a coach, so I’m on track (pun intended!) for this!
2. Achieve balance between running and other important areas of my life.
WHAT I SAID: My husband likes to say that if I’m not running, I’m thinking about running, reading about running, talking about running, blogging about running, or shopping for running clothes. He’s right. While I met all my running goals for 2015, I can see that I did so at the expense of other things. This year, I want to achieve a better balance between running and
- spending time with my husband, family, and friends
- keeping up with the house
In practice, I’ll be planning each month out so that if I have a very high-volume week, I will likely do less cooking, housecleaning, and blogging and spending my little free time with my husband. In weeks I’m running less, I’ll be able to focus more on all those things.
UPDATE: I’ve done great with this goal! After my end-of-March goal half marathon, I devoted three months to making time for all of the above and having fun. It was awesome! When my volume ramps up in the next few weeks, I’ll likely need to scale back on housework, blogging, and cooking, but I’m okay with that because I know it’s coming. Also, I’ve fully prepared my husband for my limited availability to do much besides run and supplemental training in my peak weeks, so he knows it’s coming too. And after my November 6 race I’ll take the rest of the year off. I like this approach of achieving balance around training cycles.
3. Achieve an ideal weight based on the way I feel and the fit of my clothes, not the scale.
WHAT I SAID: This is a big departure from how I’ve always thought of weight management. I achieved my goal weight five years ago this month, and since then the number of my goal weight has always been on my mind. In 2015 I made huge strides in having a confidence with my body that I’d never had before and being happy with the way I look. And yet, all year I was over my goal weight and struggled to lose 3-5 pounds. In my mind, if I wasn’t at the goal weight I set five years ago, then I was a failure. I’m stopping that insanity right now. In talking with my sister, who works for Weight Watchers, she made me realize that it’s okay to change, that the goal weight I set five years ago may not be my ideal weight today, especially because it’s harder to maintain weight loss as I get older. This year I’m seeking a new goal weight, where I feel happy and confident with my body and the way I fit into clothes. Whenever that happens, I’m going to step on the scale, and that’s going to be my new goal weight. I can declare a new goal weight at Weight Watchers (as long as it’s in my healthy weight range for my height), so I should then be easily able to keep my free Lifetime Member status and stop the mentality of always feeling like I need to lose a few pounds.
UPDATE: Success! When I recently posted about the outcome of my Operation Lean & Strong effort, I reported that after losing weight, I stopped caring, started eating Twizzlers on the regular, and felt flabby again. I banned Twizzlers when I started marathon training a few weeks ago and…the flab is gone! I don’t talk much about my plant-based diet here because it’s sort of like talking about breathing air. I do it, it’s a part of my lifestyle, and it’s just not really exciting to me anymore. But because my diet is very high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, it’s fairly easy and natural for me to eat healthy and thus maintain a healthy weight. It’s the sugary candy (Twizzlers and Swedish Fish) and snacks (potato chips, veggie chips, and pretzels) that sabotage my maintenance. As soon as I significantly reduce them, the flab disappears and I’m back at a good weight. I’ve met my two measures of fitting into a pair of Athleta pants that were tight and being comfortable running in shorts. I also recently bought a new bikini (from Athleta’s current semi-annual sale) for a boating/swimming party this weekend and am pretty happy with how I look in it. I’m not skinny, and I have far from a perfect body. But I’m strong, healthy, and my body powers me through intense training, so what’s not to love?
The only part of this equation I haven’t figured out is Weight Watchers. I know leaving the program is the right thing for me because I need to learn to maintain my weight without having to track. But I’ve been with it for so long that it’s hard to let go. So, that piece is still a work in progress.
My main goal for the rest of the year is to simply eat well during training. I know that many people gain weight while marathon training, and maybe I will too if I gain muscle. But I’m determined not to gain weight because I get lazy with my eating and start eating a lot of junk.
What about you–how are you doing with goals this year?