My 2017 fitness plan

I’m making bunch of fitness goals for 2017, because that’s what I do.  But my 2017 is about two things: getting stronger and getting faster and, with this in mind, I am structuring my year around 3 goal races:

May 7: Mississauga Half-Marahon, MAYBE Full

The distance depends on how I feel coming out of Dopey. If I commit to the half, I want to run sub 1:45. If I commit to the full, I want to run sub 4:00. I plan to chill after Dopey, then commit to a very tough 12-week training program beginning Feb. 28. I did a 16-week plan for NYC and it felt like too much. I was burned out by the end. So I’m going to cut the length, up the intensity and see how I respond.

July 10: Toronto Triathlon Festival Olympic Distance Tri

I’ve done four sprint tris now and it’s time to upgrade. So let’s double the distance and see how hard it is. I’ll take two weeks off after Mississauga, then put together an 8-week training plan.

October 22: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

This is my A+ goal race. I’m going to run as fast as I fucking can. I have the idea of BQ dancing in the back of my head, but will set a more realistic goal closer to. I’ll take the rest of July off, then, depending on how I respond to Mississauga training, commit to a 16-week or a 12-week plan.

Bring it on, 2017.

I’m in a funk and I can’t get out of it

I’ve been really struggling after New York.

I’ve been stressed, agitated, grumpy. I’ve been eating poorly and drinking too much.

Part of this is the holidays. Part of this is not having a structured fitness plan, even though I’m running *another* marathon in just a few weeks. Part of this is feeling stressed and unmotivated at work.

I know the only thing I can change here is my attitude, but that’s so damn hard.

I just need a break. A chance to relax, rest, restore. Prepare for 2017 and focus on what I want to go after next.

But I am not getting that right now. Right now it’s about powering through, best I can, finding happiness and contentment where I can, and knowing it’ll all be over soon.

I am not putting my best self forward at holiday events, work or at home. And I’m sorry to everyone who is experiencing that.

I’ve learned, in order to feel fresh, motivated and focused, I need the following:

1. To work out regularly and be accountable for it
2. To go to bed early
3. To have a creative outlet
4. To have a significant amount of alone time

I’ve let all these things get away from me since NYC. I need to be able to find these moments during this busy time when I can, where I can, and think about how I can structure these into my life in 2017 in a regular, systematic way.

But for now, I’ll do the best I can.

My 2017 word of the year

I’ve been thinking a lot about my word of the year. 2016’s word was purpose. I wanted everything I did, every decision I made to have a reason behind it.

2017 was going to be about focus. Or work. Or confidence.

But here’s the thing. I am good at working hard. At focusing. At setting goals and going after them.

Do you know what I am bad at?

Being positive.

Being present.

Not complaining.

Not worrying.

Hoping for the best.

Finding joy.

And so, I decided, it makes more sense for my word of the year to be about working on something I am bad at, instead of reinforcing something I am good at.

My word for 2017 is LOVE.

I feel this word embodies everything I need to strive for in my day to day. I’ll complain less if I am filled with love. I’ll be more present if i am filled with love. I’ll be more forgiving if I am filled with love. I’ll find more joy if I am filled with love.

This is going to be so fucking hard. I am pessimistic, plan for the worst, terrified of the future kind of person. And with the world the way it is these days… well, let’s just say that’s not helping.

So, 2017. Let me love you.

And the world.

And myself.

Advent challenge failure

I set a goal of running every day during the holiday season. An advent running challenge, if you will.

I failed by day 6.

I am disappointed in myself. But you learn more in failure than in success.

I learned that my body still isn’t recovered from my last marathon.

I learned that you can’t prioritize your social life, your fitness and your job at the same time.

I learned that forcing fitness into an already busy, stressful season turns exercising into a stress-inducing chore – when it should be the opposite.

I am learning to be less hard on myself.

I am learning to forgive myself.

And I am learning to just embrace the holidays, the food, the events, the togetherness. The cold. The snow. The holidays are not the time to sacrifice family and friends and relationships for an arbitrary fitness goal.

This is what I am telling myself.

I hope by the time the holidays are over, I’ll believe it.