I've been trying to recover a bit over the holiday season. I'm fat like peeg... maybe not that much worse than usual, but holiday fat, and pretty much partied out. A lot of stuff went down in my life, and the lives of some of my friends over the last two months. It's been stressful as heck, especially when you roll in the usual holiday season obligations with family, and a hella painful bit of work I've been involved in, y'know, in the real world.
This last week saw me sleeping about 10 hours a night and taking two hour (or longer) naps during the day. I also managed to fit in about 4-5 workouts per week starting a couple weeks before Christmas. A lot of these were just one hour sessions on the trainer, but I'm coming through the Christmas/New Years season in better shape than I've ever been in at this time of year. Or at least better shape than I've been in at this time since I got married, got a real job and had a kid.
Consequently, I'm feeling better than I've felt in months, more ready to buckle down with training and diet, and more ready to buckle down at work and get a couple damned unpleasant jobs done.
No, this isn't a New Year's resolution. Far from it. Those things don't work out for me. It is a promise to myself to work harder to live up to my ability. Granted, I don't have that much ability, but the bit I have will remain hidden under a layer of adiopose tissue and excuses until I do some serious suffering, on the bike in the cold and walking by the snack machine at work whilst gnawing off my fingernails and sucking down coffee. But there it is. I may fail, but I'm going to try to make the leap. Or given my ability to catch air, the modest hop, into semi-competitiveness, aka mediocrity. Mediocrity ain't a bad goal, considering where I've come from.
It's not a special goal because we've just passed New Year's Day; the only thing that makes me discuss this now rather than two weeks ago is that my training calendar starts to pick up right now. I can see the roadracing and spring MTB season from here. Those races weren't visible from my vantage point amidst the wreckage of 'cross season, and certainly not while I had my head on my pillow over the holidays. The goal is there because now is the time to set goals, when the imminent terror of upcoming races is upon us.
This is all terribly familiar, isn't it? We've just been beaten pretty soundly by the past year. There were some successes, many failures, and in general we've a year's more gray hair and achy joints to go with it, along with a harsher, crueler sense of the effort it will take to reach our goals. The goals we set last year seem innocent; if only we'd known then how hard it would be to reach even the modest ones, and how a titanic effort wasn't enough to come anywhere near our more ambitious ones.
Oh well. It's what we do. We drink a little poison with our mead, and we hope that we're healthier for it. We know we'll still fail at most of what we attempt, yet we try.
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.
My goals are pretty modest. Losing enough weight to be a pack finisher in some Cat IV crits. (I could probably pull that off now but the resulting headache isn't worth it; I need to make life a bit easier on myself before roadracing is attractive). Doing a 12 hour solo MTB race. Averaging mid-pack finishes in Master B 'cross racing. Apply myself more consistently at work, with just as many high points but fewer ebb points where I'm nonproductive. Being a better father and husband.
Those goals are in reverse order of importance.
What are your goals for 2009?