Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 "Goals"

One of my 2012 goals is to blog a bit more regularly!  I am NOT off to a good start!  January is a tough month for the Ford household.  The girls are on a track system for school which basically means 5 weeks off in the summer and winter and 3 weeks off fall and spring.  The summer 5 weeks off is awesome since there is always something we can find to do and there are camps and and the pool and hiking.  Winter 5 weeks? Oy.  It's a bit tougher!  There is no just a little bit of snow in the mountains so sneaking off for a day of skiing seems like a waste of time.  We've seen a few movies.  We have gone swimming.  So with one week of break left, I don't know what to do with my kiddos!!  I love them to pieces but please go back to school!!!!
Enough of this break girls.  Go back to school!!!
The first couple of weeks in January worked well.  Michael was leaving his current position and his work load diminished so it was all hands on deck managing the house.  Thank goodness because I had a new workout schedule that I was adapting to and some hours that needed to be put in for swimbikerunstrength.    This week Michael has started with his new job and is busy!!  So that leaves me in full-time what do I do with the kids mode.  I'm on a recovery week which helps but there are still workouts to be done, meals to be cooked, emails to answer, schedules to write and two girls I have to sometimes keep from attacking each other (my other hat is of referee).  We are all getting pretty tired of each other:)
I love you so much.  But please, please, please go back to school!
I fear I may turn into the year-round grinch if they don't go back to school soon......

But with busy schedules, that hasn't stopped me from thinking about this year and what I want to get accomplished.  Sure, I have family goals, personal growth goals, financial goals, business goals and, of course, my 2012 season goals.  Goals are great to have but goals don't explain how I am going to get there.  Sure, I want to qualify for Kona again.  Who doesn't??  Stating that goal out loud or on paper doesn't get me one step closer to earning that slot.

So I've been pondering exactly how to describe what I am striving for this year.  After a particularly hard testing session this morning, PIC and I were talking about my "goals" and she came up with a great term to describe what I've been thinking season intentions.  And I believe that my intentions will drive my year in the right direction. What do I want to do?  What do I want to accomplish?  Where do I want to go?  How am I going to get there?

With that, here are my 2012 season intentions:
Stay healthy.  This is my numero uno and what I will strive for all year.  How will I stay healthy?  First and foremost by reducing stress.  Last year I managed to sideline myself with a bad case of shingles in the most important part of the season.  I know how it happened (3 hard races within 5 weeks, another foot injury, rushing recovery along and not being honest with myself, and some personal trauma) and I have learned from it.  If I start getting stressed out, I have a physical reminder.....I get the "shingle tingle" and I can look at my back and see the scar.  Not gonna do that again.

Recovery, recovery, recovery.....  To make sure that I am listening to my body and its signals, I am also going to an outside, unbiased source for a second opinion on my state of recovery. There is a website PIC and I have been looking into and discussing.  It basically promises that by answering a series of questions every morning it will quantify your state of recovery.  I have no idea if it works, but since I am my own training/science experiment, I am signing up with the hope that it will validate what I know about my own body and state of recovery.  And if I don't seem to know it or get it, it should guide me in the right direction.

And my feet.  For the last 1.5 years, I have had foot issues.  As soon as the left foot stopped bothering me, the right foot started a week later.  Part of staying healthy for me is to be pain-free in my feet (as well as my body as a whole).  Seriously, my feet have been on my mind since July 2010.  Every single day I worried about my feet.  Talk about stress!!!  But there are now days that go by without me even thinking about my feet.  For the first time in a year and a half! Oh joy! My foot problems were probably the result of stress and the wrong shoes and over distance running from several years back.  I am fixing the stress part and I think I have found running shoes that work for me (NEWTON).  I will pay attention to all aches and pains and niggles and jiggles and won't push training if my body is saying no.

Enjoy the process.
This has been said time and time again.  To enjoy this sport and to have any sort of longevity (i.e. no burnout) in it, you have to enjoy the process.  Getting up early to swimbikerun.  Jumping into a cold pool/lake.  Riding your bike for hours and hours sometimes in brutally cold headwinds (like yesterday's ride), saddle sores, and strange tan lines.  And running running running.  In the heat, in the cold, around a track, on a treadmill, up a hill, down a hill (you get the idea).  How you do in this sport is defined by the consistency of your program and your motivation to get out there and swimbikerun.  Racing is the icing on the cake, the reward for all the hard work you have put in.  If that passion is not there day to day, then you can't expect it to show up on race day and see results.

There's a reason I took off as much time as I did after Kona.  Well, there are several but one was to definitely make sure my head was in the right place.  And fortunately by early November I knew that I still was in it.  But I continued until the end of December on a non-schedule training schedule to know that the unstructured time away from swimbikerun will only benefit me when it's time to go!  Mid-January is not that time.  I have talked to Coach about it and the name of the game is patience right now (and not over thinking the schedule/heart rates/percentages - can you say Type A Athlete???).
That's the kind of happy I'm talking about!
So those are my main intentions for 2012.  Here's the cool part.  These may not seem like "lofty" intentions but they do lay the foundation of a good season - for me.  If I get to the starting line of every race healthy and happy, then the sky is the limit and that Kona slot may well be within my reach. Of course execution of a race plan is a big part of earning that slot but let me just toe the line healthy and with a huge smile on my face.  That is what I want.  This is what I'm aiming for!

Oh, I also intend to blog again next week:)