New Year, New Goals

I’m normally not one for New Year’s Resolutions. I usually prefer to set resolutions throughout the year. 2015 was full of resolutions sprinkled throughout the year that were mostly met. Like, losing weight, getting fitter, biking to work, and eating better! Not bad!

But still, there is something about the artificial “reset” of the year that motivates you to set goals. Here are my plans for 2016:

This comic will never not be relevant.

  • Make Better Use of My Time on the Internet: Primarily, spend less time mindlessly scrolling through social media and getting caught up in Internet Outrage. Between Donald Trump, police brutality, and Kim Davis, there was more than enough outrage to go around. Understandably so. But does taking part in any of that outrage really make a difference in the world or contribute anything positive in my own life? Honestly, it looks like outrage is pretty well covered by other people.  So I’m planning on bowing out of that circus and spending more time trying to be actively creative and intentional on the Internet; try to blog more, plan projects, write emails, anything that actually betters my own life, and of those around me in some tangible way.

Ingredients! In a food thing I made! It was tasty!

  • Cook More: I’ve been struggling with this one for some time now. However, I made a lot of progress in 2015.  My wife and I started with meal planning from my coach, Michele Pettinger at P3 Running.  She got us monitoring our meals and used that data to create meal plans for a month.  Those meal plans were delicious and nutritious and we saw ourself losing weight pretty quickly.  We’ve also experimented with Hello Fresh which has gotten me in the habit of cooking more and given me confidence to start putting together my own meals.  The goal for next year is to take the training wheels off and get in the habit to regular meal planning and cooking.

Probably hour 6 or 7 of my nearly 9 hour Cougar Mountain 50K last year.

  • Become a Better Trail Runner: 2015 was a good year for running. I lost weight and got more fit. I ran my second and third 50Ks.  However, those were fairly flat road races. Over the last few years I have been increasing my speed as I’ve been improving my fitness as a road-runner.  However, the majority of ultras are trail races with elevation gain. This requires a different type of training.  So I’ve made the tough decision to sacrifice speed for gains in strength and endurance by training for trails and elevation.  I’ve curtailed my previous goal of running a 50 mile race in 2016.  Instead, I’m going to focus on running trail races up to 50, working building up endurance with increasing elevation.  By year’s end I want to be a solid trail runner.  Then I can aim for a 50 mile race in 2017.

Running with a group of people is fun!

  • Volunteer in the Running Community: Late in 2015, I joined the Board of the Seattle Running Club. This was my first foray into volunteering in the running community.  I started organizing the Sunday Group Runs which have been going really well.  I also intend to volunteer at races more often and give back to the activity that has given me so much.

I fixed the front tube on my bike!  I did that! Me!

  • Learn More About Bike Maintenance: I started bike commuting in 2015 and it took.  Hooray!  One of the reasons I was reluctant to start bike commuting was the prospect of needing to fix a flat or a broken chain.  Up to now, I had simply dragged my bike to bike shops.  When I had a flat last week, however, bike shops were closed for the Holiday. So I went and patched it myself.  Successfully!  This was huge and so empowering.  I want to learn more about how bikes work, and be prepared when they stop working. Planning on taking some classes at Cascade Bicycle Club, reading some books, and watching plenty of YouTube videos.  But, first, I need to get some Lava.

An awesome mailbox rack I spotted on a run in Lincoln City, OR.

  • Do Some Bike Touring: Empowered by the skill mentioned above, I want to start going on multi-day expeditions on my bike. I have a book with some trails that I’m planning.  Look forward to more on that in the coming Spring and Summer.

I’d love to hear your New Year’s Resolutions. If you have any tips on how I can better reach my goals, even better! With luck, I will revisit these in December and see how I did.  Hopefully well!

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

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