A Year of Resolve

Posted: December 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

As it gets closer to the new year, I’ve started looking back at 2010, and I’m amazed at the progress I’ve made in my fitness & health. Having gotten lazy last winter when dragonboat season ended, I decided in January 2010, that I would be “healthy” this year & “exercise more”. What began as a vague promise to myself has turned into a healthy/active life change that I plan to stick with.

Soon after I decided I was going to eat “healthy”, I realized that it would be hard to gauge my progress unless I started recording what I was eating. So in late January, I began writing down everything I ate (and have only missed 23 out of the past 300 or so days). Aided by color coding each meal (green= good, yellow= ehhh, red= bad), I was able to quickly begin to see patterns emerging & self correct.

I kicked soda for the most part- every now & then I’ll have a diet coke, switched to fat free products and in general, practiced some self restraint around the goodies! Of course I have “off days” every now and then, but in general I’ve become a lot more conscious about what I put in my body. Recently, I’ve started using Livestrongs “my plate” (http://www.livestrong.com/myplate/) which is making tracking what I eat about 100 times easier than my previous manual entry in excel.

In March, finally fed up with my bum knee (and having the resources to do something about it), I finally had surgery, having a large portion of my torn meniscus removed that has been hindering my ability to run, jump or pivot for several years. I healed pretty quickly, and was ready for dragon boat season when it started up around the same time.

I spent a lot of hours in the boat, and even won some medals with the team, as I patiently waited and did physical therapy, relishing the thought of being able to run or play basketball again. By this time I was also regularly hitting the gym. In July I happened to catch the tail end of the Tour de France for a couple of days & it completely drew me in. On a whim I decided to finally get into road biking & promptly signed up for a 66 mile & 125 mile ride.

Two weeks later I was gutting it out in the August heat on my bike, 30 miles into the Gran Fondo, dealing with leg cramps, probably dehydration and just plain old fatigue, and wishing I had given myself more training time- but I finished. That hilly ride was one of the physically hardest things through that point I had ever done, and it made me realize I needed to train harder to improve my ability to make it on long rides.

I continued to train on my bike & started running again- less than 4 months out from knee surgery & it was amazing to be pain free. Between my changed eating habits, weight training, biking & running, by the end of August I had dropped about 15 lbs from where I started in January.

Around the same time I also started tracking my mileage, and I recently tallied it up. In the last 4.5 months I’ve logged over 600 miles in the saddle (including two 100+mile rides), and over 80 miles running (including an unofficial 1/2 marathon).

As the cycling season began to wind down, and I started increasing my running, I decided I wanted to test my limits again, and set an ambitious goal for 2011: to build my swimming confidence/ability and compete in sprint triathlons. I’m also hoping to run a marathon in 2011 & just entered the 2011 NYC Marathon Lottery for a chance to run, inspired by a great book I just finished reading: A Race Like No Other: 26.2 miles Through the Streets of New York.

It all hasn’t been smooth sailing of course, as I battled with  IT band syndrome, back strain, shin splints, a solo bike crash and general soreness/fatigue, but as I look back over this year, I’m pleased with how far I’ve come & can’t wait to see where I’ll go next year.



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