Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Goals 2014 - A Work in Progress

The start of a new year is always a good time to try new things. It's not the only time to try new things of course, but when the calendar switches over to a new year and a blank page, the timing just feels right.

On December 31st I entered my last run into my 2013 running log and saw the grand total appear.

Eight hundred and eighty-eight kilometres.

Not the 1000k I had hoped for back in January 2013 but a very fine number nonetheless.

On January 1, 2014, I did not start a new running spreadsheet. Instead, I registered online at a website that allows me to upload my Garmin results and track all of my workouts (bike, run and swim) in one handy location. Doug has been using it for a while now and talked me into it back in November. I, being one who likes things to be neat and tidy, decided to wait until the new year to start. And I did.

On January 1st, I logged my first session on the trainer. On the second I logged my 2000m swim, on the third, I logged another bike workout and, on the fourth, a 10k run.That ended the first week and I was able to see a pretty graph and weekly summary that told me the total time and total distance I worked out as well as the total time and distance for each of the three activities.

It also tells me fun facts like calories burned and, if I decide to upgrade beyond the free version, lets me enter all sorts of other information like meals, training plans, pace goals etc. For anyone interested - the website is trainingpeaks.com

Speaking of goals, I guess it's time to set some 2014 goals down on paper isn't it? Last year, I had a list of them and did a little monthly report on how things were going.

This year, I'll still do that but some of my training goals will have to unfold as they get closer. This year there are a few important family events (a wedding! and some milestone birthdays (hello 40!)) that are making it a little tricky to pick which triathlons we want to do this summer. Wedding dates and birthday celebrations must be booked first of course and then triathlons can be chosen on weekends that don't conflict.

So I have a pretty good idea what I want to do - I just can't officially do anything about it quite yet. In the meantime I'm tossing a few goals out there to get me started and will firm them up as we go. Everyone ok with that?

Running goals

I'd like to run the Chilly half marathon on March 2nd in Burlington. I've never run that race before and I figure it will keep me honest and force motivate me to keep training through the worst of the winter.

I'd also like to run the Niagara Falls Women's half marathon again on June 1st.

A fall half marathon would also be good but I'm not sure if I want to do Niagara Falls again or try a different one. I'll decide as it gets closer.

Finally, I want to race on Boxing Day again. It's such a fun day and a perfect post-Christmas workout. Having so many running friends there makes it even more enjoyable.

Swimming goals

I definitely want to complete a few more open water races this summer. The schedule isn't up yet so I'm not sure the dates or the distances but I'll aim for two and see if I can squeeze any more in.

Realistic goal is to race two 1.9k races. Ambitious one is to try a 3k or a 5k race.

Triathlon goals

I'd love to do four tris this summer. I'd love it even more if two of them could be Olympic distance. There aren't too many of those 5150s around so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the family events don't conflict. I have already compiled a list of all possible triathlons within reasonable driving distance so, once dates are set, it's a matter of deciding what we're doing, signing up and figuring out a training plan.

Other goals that have nothing to do with physical fitness

I want to learn how to make proper Israeli hummus. The kind made with dried chickpeas and drizzled with high quality olive oil that I enjoyed all over Israel last year. I've already bought the dried chickpeas and I have a traditional Israeli recipe (as well as a sister with lots of experience in Isreali cooking). I also want to serve it with properly warmed pita bread.

I want to learn how to braid my hair properly. I taught myself how to French braid but I'm not very good at it yet and the braid slips out because I can't seem to braid it tight enough. There are so many fun hairstyles with braids and my goal is to figure out how to do one of them nicely...before they go out of style again.

I want to continue working hard to pay down my debt. I made a lot of progress last year which I'm proud of. I also renegotiated my loan in December and, by increasing the payments, cut the remainder down from three years to two years. My credit card survived Christmas with a manageable balance that I should be able to pay down within two months and get back to zero again. I want to keep it there. Doug and I have two big trips planned this year and saving has already begun in earnest. Ideally we can save enough to not come back with any extra debt.

I want to improve my golf game this summer. Last year I played with Doug as well as a few girlfriends who were all at my level of skill. Let's see if I can build up my courage to perhaps join a women's league or other regularly scheduled golf game with people I don't know who can push me to get better...and help me get over my nausea of playing in front of strangers.

I want to do more things related to diabetes and advocacy. Last year I did a presentation to a group of local diabetes educators and loved it. I also wrote an article about how to support someone with diabetes and loved writing that too. I'd love to do a few more presentations this year - those really jazz me.

Goals I haven't yet decided if I actually want to do or not

Buy a wetsuit. Jeff, I know what you're going to say about this one but, as the time approaches for me to start seriously thinking about getting one, I'm getting all heebie-jeebies about it again. I feel like a little kid who prefers to run around without a diaper on rather than be constricted in layers of padding and clothes. For the record, I do not swim in a diaper, nor do I swim naked (at the local pool anyway). What I do at the lake at the cottage when no one is looking is my own business. 

Increase my running speed. Of course I want to do that - I always want to run faster than I do. I'd love to run a half marathon in under 2:15. I'd love to knock another minute or two off my Boxing Day run. I just worry that, if I set this as a goal, I will push too hard and get injured...again. For now, I'll focus on running well and running strong.

I'm sure I'll add more as the year unfolds but that's what my goal list looks like at the moment.

Here's to another year of setting goals...and reaching them.


  1. What an excellent set of goals! Don't forget: you can always get one of your 1.2-mile open-water swims in this summer by coming to visit me and doing the Buzzards Bay Swim with me on the 28th of June. (Please don't make me beg!)

  2. I used this for hummus inspiration. So much better with dried chickpeas than making it from canned, and the baking soda seems to make a world of difference. Enjoy!


  3. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I started using TrainingPeaks on the first as well. Great minds...

    Mmm... hummus and baba ganoush.

  4. Having visited your blog in awhile, Celine, but am really enjoying it. What website are you using to track your workouts?

    1. oops, I see I just didn't read far enough. Got it.

  5. Running, swimming, triathlon, golf lessons, and so on – You definitely know how to make your 2014 productive! Setting goals is really the best way to start the year, however, you have to learn to prioritize these goals to make sure that you will have done all of them before the year ends. Just keep practicing and I’m sure you’ll accomplish all of your goals.

    Cindy @ SavannahGolfSchool.com