As I reflected on my year, I was very proud of the amount of workouts I was able to accomplish. In 2014, I continued to swim, bike, and run on a consistent basis so that I would not lose all the foundation I had built up in all three sports during my Ironman training. I took part in running races from 5Ks all the way to half marathons throughout the year. I did feel, however, that I needed something big on my schedule for 2015 to keep me moving forward. That is why I signed up for the Nanny Goat 100-mile running event.
One area of my fitness I know I did not pay enough attention to in 2014 is my strength. I really need to increase my core if I want to continue to run the number of miles I need to train for an ultra marathon. I also need to build up the muscles in my arms--I am noticing that with all three sports if my arms were stronger I would be able to increase my endurance and for swimming I could also increase my speed.
As far as my eating, I have not been secretive about the struggles I have experienced throughout this year. I know that this needs to be a focus as well as my exercise for 2015. I really need to get back on MyFitnessPal and continue to log what I eat, because that accountability really makes me stop and think before I put food in my mouth. I am hoping that once I get back from winter break that my schedule will become more regular and that I can start getting on a consistent healthy eating schedule.
And given all of this, I have started myself off on the right foot for 2014. I had my first run for the year on January 2nd. Despite the crazy snow that covered my area two days before the new year, I got out in the cold, muddy terrain behind my house and got a 4-mile trail run in through snow and thick, thick mud.
I have signed up for official races in each month of the new year leading up to my 100-miler. I will be doing the Carlsbad Half in January, Surf City Half in February, the San Diego Half in March, the Ragnar relay race in April, and then the Nanny Goat at the end of May. In between I will be running a ton of training miles, fitting in some swimming and bike riding, and doing some smaller length races along the way.
I know I have mentioned this before, but I have an amazing chiropractor that pushes me back into place when I break my body down throughout the year. What I haven's mentioned enough is that he also offers a reasonably priced running analysis. He videotapes you from the back and side views and offers suggestions for how to improve your running form so that you can increase your speed, but more importantly, good running form prevents injuries. For the next three months I will be working on three things: 1) Making sure I shorten my gait a bit and watching that my foot is striking more mid-foot; 2) Making sure that my knees are slightly bent when they hit the ground--right now I am locking my knees as they strike; 3) Making sure my arms are driving my movement not my trunk--I am also losing energy by swinging my arms in front of me instead of swinging them by my side. My chiropractor, Dr. Timar, also gave me specific exercise to help me achieve these goals.
Just like I shared in last week's blog, it helps to set specific goals, plan small goals that will help you reach that larger goal, and then research the ways to achieve those goals. I really feel like I am starting 2015 off on the right foot by setting the goal of completing a 100-mile race, planning specific ways to increase my strength to support my running, and then researching ways to keep me motivated and moving forward.
Over the last week I have come across many resources that I would like to share in hopes that they will inspire you as well:
- My friend Leslie shared a great article that is written for runners, but I think some of the ideas can be adapted for other goals as well. My favorite suggestion is to create a goal board. I think we can all benefit from keeping our goals front and center in a place where we can be reminded of where we are going to hold us accountable. 10 Things You Have to Try in 2015
- To help you create an inspiring goal board my friend Kay shared this resource on making a vision board. How to Create an Empowering Vision Board
- This week's People magazine has some inspiring articles about people that have been able to shed large amounts of their excess body weight. I love this issue because they share many tips, recipes, and inspirational stories that will give you ideas and resources if losing weight is your goal for this year. My favorite resources is a list of 10 tips from the Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince (see image attached)
- I am reading a book Kay shared with me that is inspiring me, helping me to be less fearful about my ultra marathon goal, and is giving me ideas for nutrition as I train for this race. Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek.
As you move into the new year, I hope that you too are finding ways to keep yourself motivated to make positive changes in your life. It is important that you start your year off on the right foot so you can make 2015 your most successful year yet!