And The Goals I Intend To Hit 2017.
2016 was a….year. It was neither bad, nor good for me OCR/health/fitness-wise. It was a learning year. In some ways, I had some really big goals. I had dreams of finally reaching a goal weight, becoming an unrealistically better OCR athlete over night…and why not throw in becoming rich and famous.
For one reason or another, I didn’t hit those goals. Maybe I wasn’t realistic when it came to the amount of time I had to train. Maybe and more likely I didn’t make the right decisions it came to training and what food to put into my mouth. Not to mention a whole lot of other things.
I’m sharing my 2016 recap and my 2017 goals with you so that maybe you and I can learn from my mistakes (and hopefully future successes). I’m hoping not to repeat the failures, so in future blog posts I’ll share what’s working and what’s not. Until then, here’s my take on 2016 and what I’m training for in 2017.
I’m a realist. I know that I probably won’t be an elite athlete, however I was hoping for better results. The only races I’m really proud of are the fundraising mud run and the trail run. In the mud run, I completed more obstacles than the previous year and did it in a quicker time. I also beat my personal record on the trail run.
The half marathon, Spartan and Battle Races showed me that even though I did more training runs than I ever have, I still have a long way to go. I did far more walking in those races than I planned and will need to organize my run training better in 2017. Not sure what that looks like yet, but it’ll probably involve following set training plans as I get closer to the spring race season instead of just going out and running when I had time.
The Spartan and Battle Races also showed that I still have a lot to improve when it comes to my upper body strength. In the Spartan Race, some obstacles seemed easier like the Hercule Hoist and some of the walls, however, there were a lot of obstacles that I came nowhere close to completing because of a lack of upper body strength. I bought a pull-up bar last year and I did use it some, but I should’ve used it more and did more bodyweight exercises in general.
I also worked out just about year round, which was a first. That doesn’t mean that my fitness levels improved year round, but I did learn a lot about myself, my body and my abilities.
I still have a long way to go to reach the levels that I would like.
In 2017, I’m setting similar goals to what I had in 2017, but this year I’m writing those goals down where I can see them and not just having them in my head. I’m also identifying the steps that I need to complete to reach those goals…instead of just making goals.
Goal number one is to reach Spartan Fit Level 1. In Spartan Fit the book, Spartan Founder Joe De Sena outlines level one as being able to do a dead hang from a pull up bar for thirty or more seconds, 40 or burpees in five minutes and run 3.1 miles in thirty minutes. I was able to pass the first two, but I could only do 2.6 miles in thirty minutes last year.
I’m looking forward to the Tough Mudder coming to New Orleans this spring. It’ll be my first Tough Mudder and I’m just looking forward to completing it and learning more about myself.
Battle Races, an independent off-shoot of Spartan based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is coming back with three races this year. They had two last year and they were both challenging…in the good sort of way. This year, I want to complete all three jogging and completing all of the obstacles in them.
There’s also a local fund-raising mud run just across the border in Mississippi called No Turning Back. I look forward to running it again this year and hope to be able to complete all of the obstacles this year. I was able to run it all last year, but I failed two obstacles. I lost my grip on the monkey bars and couldn’t get over the slip wall without help. Part of that was bad technique, but no excuses this year.
No Spartan this year. As of now, the closest race is over five hours away. With a small toddler who has a big nursery school tuition I don’t have the time/money for that right now.
I’m keeping the door open for any OCRs that pop-up within driving range this year.
The why behind all of this is because I want to live a long and healthy life. I want to be a good example of fitness for my toddler, not to mention that I would like to be able to keep up with his high energy levels. I also want to be able to protect my family. These are things that I think about as I’m training and racing.
Right now I’m doing mostly bodyweight workouts on weekday mornings before the toddler wakes up. There in the neighborhood of thirty minutes long and video-based. I’m taking a step back and doing the True Beginner program on Daily Burn (more about that in a future blog post), hoping to get a solid fitness base this year and build up some confidence. It’s nice to be able to crush some of the workouts, instead of just trying to keep up…which is a lot of what I did last year. Last year, I followed a lot of individual bodyweight videos from YouTube, random workouts I found online and Spartan’s free training. It didn’t really gel together to continually improve my fitness levels. I’m hoping I can get a little more flow in this department this year.
After the toddler goes to sleep, I’m doing two challenges. Right now one is a 30-day push-up challenge. The other is a correct pull-up challenge. I could do a decent number of both last year, but this year I’m stepping back and working to do them correctly all of the time. Next challenges will probably be a burpee challenge and a full fledge pull-up challenge.
In addition to those workouts, I use a standing desk at work, take walks during the work day (including parking as far away as I can manage from my office) and bike rides on the weekends.
What’s missing is eating healthy. It’s been a real struggle for me in 2016. In 2015 I lost weight and didn’t have any major health issues. In 2016, I gained back some of that weight, had issues with gout and eczema and my poor eating definitely affecting my athletic performance. I’m still looking for a solution here. I know what I should be eating, but I make a lot of poor decisions (and maybe I don’t know the best ways to make healthy meals and snacks. I have a feeling it’ll be something I’m discussing on the blog in the future.
I’m hoping writing down my goals 2017 will be a step in helping me reach them. I already feel like they’re more clear, which I hope helps me make the right choices to reach them.
What are your goals and what do you do to make sure you hit them?