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Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

New Year, New Gear

January 16, 2015 Leave a comment

some_motivation_required

Welcome to 2015, friends.  I’m a bit late to the dance on this one.  I suppose I still need to do my 2014 in review post, goals for 2015, etc.  All in good time folks, all in good time.

I think the most important thing to post about, first and foremost, is the importance to me of posting.  Writing blog posts about triathlon training in the fall and winter is tough: there’s nothing to write about.  The race season is over, the weather is getting colder, and the body needs a break.  But I’ve long ago noticed that blog posting helps keep me motivated (and accountable, really).  I don’t think it’s correlation, I think it’s causation.  When I stop posting, I stop training.  I stop working out.  I turn back into the big old couch potato I fear turning back into.

GetOffTheCouch

But it’s a new year.  That means new plans, and new goals.  I’ve got a training plan.  Check.  I’ve got a group of friends that I’m doing a weight loss challenge with.  Check.  I’m even signed up for a pair of 2015 races already.  Double Check.  Now all I need is the motivation, and posting here is a big part of it.

So here’s the deal, friends: I’m gonna start writing here again.  Regularly.  Because it really helps me keep my head in the game.  And you’re gonna help keep me accountable, okay?  Because… well, for whatever reasons it is you’re reading this post now, I guess.

It’s time to kick this New Year into a New Gear!!! (see what I just did there?)

It’s Friday Folks!  Here’s to a great weekend!  Make sure you get off that couch!

~DO’G

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Enough Now

December 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Anyone else have a wife who’s favorite Christmas movie is Love Actually?  Okay, it really is a pretty good movie… for a sappy Christmas movie…  I think I’ve seen it a dozen times or so.  There’s one quote that always sticks with me (and, conveniently it’s in the YouTube clip above).  Andrew Lincoln’s character is silently obsessed with Keira Knightley’s character throughout the movie.  She’s his vice.  In the clip above, he gets his kiss, and then says “Enough.  Enough now”.

I can hear his voice over and over in my head.  Enough.  Enough now.

No, I’m not secretly courting Keira Knightley (though props to him for his taste).  I’m shaking off my vice.  I’ve had my forbidden kiss, and it was good.  And now it’s time to get on with it.

Enough now.

My vice has been falling off the fitness wagon.  And what a good fall it’s been.  I’ve spent the past few months doing nothing related to training, or fitness, or healthy eating whatsoever.  I’ve tried to get back on the wagon several times.  I went through my 5 stages with grief, and sure enough ended with Acceptance.  I struggled for a while, feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing two-a-days, 5 days a week.  That I was writing training plans with 90 minute bike rides that my body just didn’t want to do.  I kept thinking to myself: I shouldn’t need to recover – it’s not like I worked particularly hard this season…

But compared to what (or whom)?  Compared to a pro, who does this for a living?  Compared to other fitness bloggers?  Or other friends of mine?  I’m surrounded by people who run daily.  Should I compare myself to them?

How about compared to myself?  Last year I did race 2 Olympic races for the first time ever.  I started training in January for a July race.  I pushed hard, did two-a-days several days per week (and beat my self up when I missed some of those workouts, which I often did).  Maybe I needed a break?  I think more than my body, my mind needed a break!

I needed to let myself take a few months off from the training routine.  I needed to take some time from the early morning alarms, the ever constant twitter feeds and media training advice (and yes, the blogs).  I needed to step away from the gym and organized races alike – to exercise when I felt like it, not when the schedule said so.  And I fought that for a while, feeling guilty for rolling over when my morning alarm went off.  It took a while to come to embrace the break – my vice – and stop trying to keep a routine.  I’ve been setting my alarm a bit later, enjoying a bit more pizza and beer, and letting myself relax a bit more.  It’s been really amazing!

Enough.  Enough now.

TTF

Today I signed up for the 2015 Toronto Triathlon Festival.  Entry fee has been paid.  I did the Olympic distance race last year, and really enjoyed it (despite the terrible weather, which they can’t control).  I’m looking forward to tackling the Olympic course again in 2015.

But right now I’m really just excited to have signed up for something.  To have committed to something.  To have a goal to work towards.  And maybe I won’t plan two-a-day sessions or 5 training days per week right out of the gate.  But I’ll accept the break as having been needed and beneficial, and as now being over.  It’s time to get back to work.

Enough now!

Friday… err… Thursday Stray Thoughts

February 13, 2014 Leave a comment

FridayImage by Glenn McCoy

I know… it’s not Friday… but I really wish it was.  And I didn’t feel like writing a full post on anything below on it’s own – I just don’t have the energy for that right now…

– – – – –coke

This feels like deja vu.  Have I written about this before?  Once?  Twice?  More?  Maybe?

Anyway, I’m off the Coke band wagon again (for the bazillionth time, it feels like).  I don’t know why I can’t kick this.  I suffer in caffeine and sugar withdrawal for a few days, feel good for a few weeks, and then fall back into my old ways.  I’m doing okay avoiding the irritability this time, by my co-workers say I definitely look tired.  And I sure as hell am dragging ass around the office this week.

I think I’ve covered it in depth here, and here, but we’ll giv’er a go again.  Shit, one of these times, it’s gotta work – right?  I’m a grown-up, right?  I can choose not to drink a soft drink, can’t I?  (can’t I?!?)

*sigh*

Edit: I actually started this blog post yesterday, and wrote the above yesterday.  Today, I had a coke.  Maybe I should try a weening processes rather than a cold turkey process?  Or maybe I’m just enabling myself?  Or maybe I’m just over thinking the whole damn thing…

– – – – –

dodgeball

Did you know this is an actual thing?  That grown-ups do?!?  They play dodgeball, as a rec sport!  It’s pretty amazing!!!  Friends of mine play dodgeball, and their team was short Monday night, so they asked me to sub in.  I said to them: “So, what exactly are the rules to Dodgeball?”, and they said back “Oh, you know, just like you used to play it as a kid”.

Awesome!

So I played dodgeball Monday night.  It was a lot of fun (Note: it’s surprisingly difficult to aim where you throw a basketball sized ball of foam!!)  And I was shocked at how much exercise it was – all that jumping, and running, and dodging, and ducking, and dipping, and diving… and dodging (I had to!).  I was thinking to myself: I already did a lift session in the morning, and a bike session after work.  And now this (Note: this could also be why I’m dragging ass this week).  I hope I don’t hurt myself…

… which of course, I did.  One ill attempt at dodging had me land hard on one foot.  I thought for sure I had hurt my ankle, and was actually pretty frustrated at myself for doing so.  It’s now 48+ hours later.  I can put weight on it and walk without a limp.  But it’s sore – really sore.  And more so half way up my calf/shin than at the ankle itself.  My gut tells me running on it is a bad idea (since walking hurts).  I really don’t want to take any time off from running right now, but I also don’t want to really hurt it and have to take any prolonged time off of running.  What do I do?!?  If only I had a crystal ball…

What is it with me and stupid injuries playing non-competitive rec sports?!?

– – – – –

TPMotivation

I found this great article this morning on TrainingPeaks: What’s Your Motivation?

If you’re like me, and struggling through this long cold winter: Read it!  Then read it again!  Then probably read it a third time for good measure!  I found it really hit the mark for me.  It sums up well why we do this silly training thing in the first place.  Because it’s not silly: it’s a lifestyle!  In particular, for me, the money quote:

When you have a super awesome, really cool goal for the season and you reach it, typically you’ll ask yourself, “Now what?” We see this all the time. As a coach, I constantly remind my athletes that it’s a lot easier to get to the top of the mountain than it is to stay there. Where’s that intrinsic motivation going to come from once you’ve reached the top?

The top of my mountain was the end of 2013 – having finished my first Olympic distance triathlon.  That was my goal – to finish.  And I did it.  I couldn’t believe I did it, but I did.  Goal accomplished.  Now what?  Last year I finished, having done the absolute bare minimum amount of training necessary to run crawl across that finish line.  Is “finishing” still the goal?  Do I not want to do better?  Do I not want to go faster? And should that not be my motivation to push harder – to set a goal, to be faster?

I think it’s about time I set some goals for 2014 – something other than the ambiguous “be faster”.  I need to get on that shortly…

– – – – –

Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!

Blue Monday

January 20, 2014 3 comments

blue

Today is Blue Monday, the pseudo-science crap “scientifically” determined to be the most depressing day of the year!  Seriously – check out the calculation formula on the Wikipedia link above.  C R A P!

That being said – even if completely unscientifically founded – there seems to be something to it.  The days are still short, the weather is still cold, and I sure as shit didn’t want to get out of bed this morning for a training session.  I did… but I didn’t want to!  And it was a slug of a session at that.  My legs were screaming at me.  But I did it.

Apparently, this is the third year in a row I’ve written a post on Blue Monday about it being Blue Monday.  You can see people dragging their heels this time of year.  Very few people have a jump to their step – that’s so sad.  I think it’s sad.

So I’d like to ask you (those of you reading this, at least) to do something fun today.  Do something silly!  Do something energizing!  Do something inspiring!  Do something to break out of your routine!!  Do something to make other people happy!  Do something to prove that Blue Monday isn’t science – it’s crap.  Today is a bright, sunny, (cold) day!  Make it a great day!!  Let’s celebrate Blue Monday!!

bright day

What will you do to celebrate Blue Monday?

Friday Stray Thoughts

January 17, 2014 4 comments

FridayImage by Glenn McCoy

Happy Friday everyone!  For those of you looking for a little light lunchtime internet distraction to tide you over until quitting time, here’s a few Stray Thoughts for your Friday Afternoon

This week, a few quotes I’ve been saving up, that have made me smile recently.  Hope they make you smile too.

– – – – –

Jesse Thomas

A great link to the Best Triathlon Quotes of 2013.  Most of these are very Ironman-winner-specific, but this one really jumped out at me:

“It’s easy to get caught up in our little world (what?!) of triathlon, talking about the relative dorkiness of specific activities and attire choices. But I’ve got news for you guys. According to the 99.9 percent of the population outside of the sport, we’re all big ’ol dorks. The coolest triathlete out there hovers somewhere between captain of the chess club and Steve Urkel on the world scale of coolness. Don’t worry — I don’t think it’s entirely our faults. It’s the nature of our sport, being the outcasts of not one but three more popular and established sports. That’s a lot of nerds jockeying for position.” Jesse Thomas

– – – – –

And this one from BeginnerTriathlete.com:

DFL > DNF > DNS

Dead Last is better than Did Not Finish, is better than Did Not Start

I’m sure you can figure out what the missing F stands for…

– – – – –

And possibly my favorite tweeted quote of 2013:

Some days it feels like that Gorilla has endless stamina… and therefore so must I…

– – – – –

Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!  Hope the sun is shining, the air is warm, and the sidewalks are shoveled where you live!

Friday Stray Thoughts

November 8, 2013 1 comment

Friday

Image by Glenn McCoy

Happy Friday everyone!  For those of you looking for a little light lunchtime internet distraction to tide you over until quitting time, here’s a Few Stray Thoughts for your Friday Afternoon

This morning I woke to snow on the ground.  We’d had sleet and snow in the air already, but this is the first time any of it has stuck to the ground (or that the car has needed to be brushed off).

Nothing says “Skip your workout and stay inside where it’s warm and dry” like the first time you wake up to snow on the ground.

The Off Season is firmly here.  So I thought I’d throw out a few of my favourite off season training quotes to help anyone fighting to get themselves out in the snow this weekend for a run (I sure will be)…

– – – – –

Via one of my fellow triathlete bloggers stevenburkard.com:

Medals are won in the winter, and picked up in the summer.

– – – – –

Courtesy of another blog I follow, Fit for 365:

FitQuote

– – – – –

And finally, from one of my own posts earlier this year, a quote from one of my Tri Heros, Simon Whitfield:

 The fight is won, not under the lights, but in the gym, in the dark, in the rain

– Simon Whitfield

– – – – –

Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!  Stay Warm!

Stop the Couch-fest!!

October 9, 2013 Leave a comment

GetOffTheCouch

It’s been nearly a month now since my race season ended.  It’s been a really sluggish month.  What started out as great R&R time quickly turned into laziness.  Time spent on the couch, watching TV, eating crap.  And I quickly discovered something about myself: I’m not in my 20s anymore.

Seriously – that’s not as dumb a statement as it sounds.  My body can’t take laying on the couch for hours days anymore.  My body can’t eat cafeteria crap and drink beer like it did back in my University days anymore.  My mind still remembers these things as being fun and relaxing, and rewarding.  The mind can stay young, but the body still grows up.  And I have to take care of it differently now than I did a decade ago.

And that’s really why I got into Triathlon in the first place.  Because I sure as shit didn’t get into it to win races!  I got into it as a motivator to get my life in shape – get my body in shape.  To be a healthier me for myself, my wife, and my family and friends.

Last week my wife and I bought gym memberships at the local YMCA.  One of the first things I did on my first trip to the gym was to step on the scale.  I haven’t stepped on a scale in months.  234.5 lbs.  Holy shit.  I haven’t seen a number that low since high school (probably early high school at that)!  It’s easy for me to trumpet about improved running, biking, or swimming times – because I have gotten faster over this past year.  But that’s the number that sticks with me.  That’s the number that I choose to define my race season.  I know weight isn’t the end-all metric of a person’s health, but it’s a metric.  It’s an easy metric.  And it’s improved.

But it won’t continue to improve if I don’t continue to work.  The post race season couch-fest has got to stop.  It’s time to get back to work.  And sometimes it takes a number like this to remind me how far I’ve come, and to keep working.

I’ve added one last race to my 2013 schedule – I’m going to be running the Hamilton Road2Hope 10K with my cousin (and possibly my wife, and a few friends of ours) in a couple of weeks.  On one hand, after the magnitude of some of the races I’ve done this summer, it’s easy to say “oh, it’s just a 10K run”.  On the other hand, it’s so much more to me than that.  It’s symbolic of everything I’ve worked for, and why I do this:

  • It’s the second year we’ve run this race together (that makes it a tradition, doesn’t it?)
  • It’s a run with family and friends, and a chance to share this activity with them
  • It’s a race where cheering each other across the finish line is just as important as the PB time we’re running for

What better reason is there to get off the couch than that!!!

 

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