It’s time to achieve my fitness training goals once and for all.
I’m not getting younger. None of us are, right? As I turn the curve into what I hope to be a full second half of my life, I frequently ponder my many fitness what-ifs and could-have-beens. What if I’d hiked the Appalachian Trail? What if I’d run that second marathon, the one for me? What if I’d lost the extra 30–40 pounds of body mass I’ve told myself for twenty years I need to lose, knowing those pounds increasingly take a toll on me into my later years. The time is now. I must, once and for all, commit and stick to the lasting change I have too many times started and stopped at making.
Hence this public (sort-of) journal. Sort of because I am a private person, not sharing my identity publicly, but at the same time genuinely wanting — if I’m honest, needing — connection to others outside my small network of friends and colleagues along this journey. Perhaps others who share similar goals or circumstances. Perhaps some accountability partners.
I am relatively fit. I can comfortably mountain bike for a couple hours, can run a couple miles at about a 10–11 minute/mile pace with steady breathing, can downhill ski for the better portion of a day out. I completed my third sprint triathlon this past summer, but did not come close to the time I had considered training for the year before when I completed my second. I ran (and walked) a marathon almost two decades ago, to honor a friend who had passed. But throughout all this, my body feels the impact. My Achilles tendons are perpetually tight and scar-tissued from years of tendonitis. My knees feel the toll of any signficant effort.
So, it’s not like I’m starting from scratch, or a couch-to-5k type thing. (Sincerely, kudos and respect to those who make the couch-to-5k move. I was once there, and then was there again a couple times in my life.) It is simply that I have not in many, many years been where I want to be fitness- and weight-wise, and I am tired of thinking about it, or starting and then stopping a wide variety of efforts to get there. It’s not about aesthetic; it’s about optimal fitness as I age into my later years. It’s about becoming and staying a body in healthy motion, with less joint aches and silly, avoidable injuries. It’s about knowing I want to be 95 years old and still downhill skiing, biking, and knowing that the extra weight I carry will increasingly take a toll on my body and and prevent me from getting there. It is about achieving the level of fitness and quality of life I’ve long known I can achieve, yet have time and again failed to do.
So, here’s to committing to in a new way, with a (sort-of) public journal…
I did a quick search for easy ways to publish things online, wanting to also write freely about my days as a public middle school leader, and Medium popped up. I am finding this to be gratefully true, so here I am. And, hopefully, here we are. For I ask you, dear reader (if anyone is reading this), to share some encouragement and support me in my personal accountability. If you are training to achieve fitness goals of your own, please share. (Perhaps a “Response,” as it’s called here on Medium.) So, accountability for what?
My goals focus mainly on events I aim to complete in the next year, to the best of my ability, and on eating reasoned amounts of food and losing body mass along the way to aid me in doing so with less bodily impact and with improved completion time/ability — gravity is quite a force to work against, so any decrease in that counter force helps.
- Ride as many laps as I can in a 24-Hour Mountain Bike Race, to end up in at least the middle of the pack of other racers.
- Run a marathon in under 4 hours.
- Swim, bike, and run a sprint triathlon in under 1 hour, 20 minutes.
- Lose 30–40 pounds of body mass, dependent on an updated sense of what my potential lean muscle mass might be.
Weekly Training/Wellness Goals
- Regularly eat reasoned portions at meals and healthy snacks. Avoid sugars, binging, and the need to eat whatever is before me.
- Three run workouts/week, specifically, eventually, the FIRST marathon training routine. (Two/week for at least the next month — forcing myself to ease back in).
- Two strength training workouts per week. Specifically, the StrongLifts 5X5 routine, A and B workouts.
- Sleep 7–8 hours of well-transitioned-to (put that phone down early) sleep every night.
- Do at least a Sun Salutation or other yoga flow-type stretching and breathing routine every day for at least ten minutes.
- Journal at least a brief, daily note of my day’s progress, and at least a weekly post here to summarize, reflect, fine-tune, etc.
The mountain biking may likely get a specific goal at some point, but for now, I get one good trail ride in per week, and often another road ride or two along the way.
So, here’s to training, eating and sleeping well, and sticking to it. More to come. I promise this to myself, and to you (is there a you — anyone reading this?)