walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Hurray for Small Goals

I am still feeling a little overwhelmed.  I may have mentioned that my therapist observed that I've taken on an awful lot of late, and haven't left myself much room for the activities that I find refreshing.

I've realized that I'm a person who needs open spaces in my life -- probably more than most people.  I enjoy company, but I'm very much an introvert: I recharge by being alone.

It really helps to have unstructured time to ride my bike, take naps, read, sit in the bath for an hour (and read), do housework (I find housework enjoyable, when I'm not trying to cram it in to an already-overfull schedule), play music, or whatever.  Right now, those open spaces are too few and far between: I'm struggling with the same problem I had when I worked for the bank.  I don't see any gaps in my calendar for a long time.  There are people who thrive under those conditions (I respect their endurance; my Mom is one of them, and continues to amaze me) and people who wither.  I'm a witherer :)

So what, you may be asking, does this have to do with goals?

Well, I realized I'm going to have to revise my approach to achieving my 2011 goals if I want to actually do so without imploding by mid-April.

First, I've decided that my weight-loss goal (which isn't in that list) -- while I do intend to pursue it in earnest -- needs to be broken down to a bare minimum.  I mean to whittle off 30 pounds by the start of 'cross season: a goal I could, at this point, achieve even at a rate of just over one pound lost per week, since 'cross season starts in September.  One pound a week seems doable (though somehow I magically gained four pounds last week, meaning my net weight change for February was +1 lb -- oy vey).

I do think I will need to make careful food choices and track calories until I start meeting my riding goals, but that shouldn't be a big problem, since I'm planning to do so anyway.  Instead of 'giving something up' for Lent, I've decided to use this period of reflection and renewal to focus on eating more sustainably (I eat less meat, for example, than a lot of people, but more than I really need) and making better food choices (shouldn't be too hard, as I have been craving leafy things and fruits like mad of late). 

Because of problems with vitamin B12 absorption, I don't think I'm going to try going vegetarian, but I do think I will try eating a mostly-lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet and limiting meat or fish to once or twice a week.  As I step up the mileage later in the spring, I will probably have to revise a bit, but I'm okay with that.  I'm not anti-meat, just anti-mindlessness.

My goals for this particular project are to eat more mindfully, reduce my environmental footprint, eat more locally (we're looking into a CSA share, but we might just do it the lazy way and hit the farmer's market instead), save money (we eat out too much; we could take the money we save and buy more bike stuff help fight hunger here in Kentucky ... okay, and buy more bike stuff ^.^') and improve my own health.  Part of this process, for me, will be keeping track of what I'm eating.

I'm also setting my March distance goal at 300 miles, with long ride goals of no more than 40 miles.  This is lower than my initial goal of 100 miles per week -- I've been discouraged by routinely missing my goals, but didn't want to pare back and admit 'failure.'  Instead of walking around mad at myself for failing to meet my distance goals, I decided to sit down and try to parse out why I'm not meeting them.

Once I got to thinking about it, I realized that I set them without accounting for my schedule and some of the other stuff I'm dealing with at the moment.  Right now, my schedule makes it hard to get to group rides; as for commuting, for a while, I was struggling to sleep at night, and thus not reliably waking up early enough in the morning.  The former I can't do much about 'til the LBC ride schedule picks up a little towards the end of the month, but the latter is a goal I can absolutely meet now that I'm reliably waking up around 6:30 almost every day (I've even been making breakfast!!!).  I have to admit I've been being less than flahute-esque of late: in the morning, it's been easier to crawl into the warmth of DD's truck, since he's going that way anyway, and tote my bike along for afternoon commutes only.  I bet Jens Voigt doesn't fear chilly mornings.  Longer days should also help.

A 300-mile goal should be easy to meet once I get back to commuting both ways by bike most of the time, in addition to riding to my Thursday therapy appointment (which I'm doing anyway), then throw in some extra rides for fun.  Now that Denis has his very own cycling jersey:

From MyLife

...I'm hoping we'll be riding together more.  He's even been (GASP!) looking at road bikes!  (Flat-bar road bikes, granted, but road bikes nonetheless!).  That will be good, too.

So I mean to ride the bike to work tomorrow, then continue with the two-way commute from there (though I'm not going to be too much of a stickler about it; I might take the bus part way or ride with Denis once in a while).

Anyway, now that I've hammered out the kinks in my brain a little, I think I'm going to go ride the bike.  It's a beautiful day, and the laundry will definitely still be here when I get home.

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