I've decided to approach this year's goals two ways: I have my two BIG goals, which will probably suck up more training time than I realize, but I also plan to focus on monthly goals that can be tailored to suit my current mood or immediate needs. They may not be fitness related either--I'll just have to see where 2012 takes me. And yes, there are definitely some areas of my life I know I should focus on that I'm most likely deliberately ignoring. I'm just being honest here. Maybe I'll have the courage to face those problems head on someday, but today I can't get my mind there.
Enough rambling, let's get to the good stuff.
2012 BIG goals:
- Complete the Heartland 39.3 Half Marathon Series. I'd really like to PR one of these, but I mostly want to finish the series so I can get the extra medal. I'll do whatever it takes to stay injury-free and upright, but if it's possible to PR AND stay injury-free, that would be ideal.
- Run my first full marathon. There. I said it. I want to run a full. I've been tossing it around in my head for a while now, but haven't OWNED it until just now. You know? Part of me felt like I needed to apologize for wanting to do it--as strange as that sounds--as if I had to disclaimer it by saying, "Oh, I probably won't, but I think maybe I might want to." But I want to do it, so I'm going to. I may hate it and I may never do another one again, but I know I have to do one in my lifetime. I know training is going to be hard--not only physically, but from a scheduling standpoint. Blocking out multiple hours a day a few days a week for "short" runs and half a day on weekends for long runs will be beyond difficult, but I'm not the first person/working mother to have to carve out the time so I know it can be done.
- Sugar intake monitoring/reduction: I have a chronic health condition that I can't seem to manage, and I think it's exacerbated by too much sugar in my diet. I don't drink soda or juice, but I know I consume too much sugar in my regular foods (condiments, sauces, yogurts, milk) and I know I eat too many sugary snacks. So, for Weeks 1-2 of January my goal is to simply track my sugar intake by logging the amounts in the everyday foods I eat. Right now, I'm using a regular calorie tracker, but I may switch to old-fashioned paper and pencil if I notice myself going off the deep end and into the crazy-anxious person I tend to become when I track calories.
- During Weeks 2-4, I'll shift my focus to tweaking my diet to reduce sugar intake, if necessary. With the amount of running I plan to do I know I can't really go low-carb/Paleo (nor do I have any interest in either approach), but I'm certain I can make better choices and find some better alternatives for the foods I'm eating now. My hope is that by reducing the amount of added sugar in my diet (by including more whole grains and vegetables) and limiting it to a reasonable amount, my condition will improve and I won't have to make any changes beyond that. The "reasonable amount" mentioned above will be determined by the results of Week 1's tracking attempts. If I stay within the 40ish grams that's recommended and I don't see any improvement in my condition, then I'll have to figure out what my threshold is. I really hope I can find a limit that allows me to eat enough carbs to properly fuel my running efforts without triggering my health condition.
So there you have it. I hope to add more fitness goals as the year progresses and as I find new things that pique my interest. I want 2012 to be the best year yet!