The other triathlete-lady bloggers and I decided to keep going with the prompts, and so naturally after recapping the previous year, we are moving on to talk about what we’d like to do in 2017. We opted against 17 because that’s a lot of things! So instead, you get 7.
(Here are the rest of the ladies taking part: Hailey, Erin, Jen, Laurel, Christine, Liz and Elizabeth. Enjoy! And feel free to take part and do a list of your own. Leave it in the comments below if you do so I can read it!)
I’ve said before that I don’t really do resolutions, and that I tend to be more goal-oriented when it comes to making changes in my life. I’ll set a goal for myself that I’m really invested in achieving, and then the process of working towards that goal actually changes my habits.
Which is why it’s a little weird that I’m writing a post that’s basically like “here are my resolutions!” I guess I’m justifying it to myself by saying that it’s all part of helping me achieve my life’s goals of being the best Caitlin I can possibly be.
OK, let’s begin.
1. I’m finally getting serious about my nutrition.
Over the past several years, I’ve gotten a lot more consistent about eating food that’s nutritious for me. I get a bacon cheeseburger, like, once every month instead of once a week. I stopped eating fast food (except for McDonald’s sausage and egg biscuits, damnit those things are good). I eat a LOT more vegetables now.
I was totally resistant at first – just ask Brian about all the times I was like, “You don’t seriously like eating salad all the time, do you?” – but what I found was that I actually felt better when I ate my fruits and veggies.
Plus, I was also seeing how eating things like huge burritos the night before a race could cause me to do things like throw up a little in my mouth while riding my bike as hard as I can. I may not be the smartest person in the world, but I can put 2 and 2 together and know it equals 4, or in that case, a mouth full of vom.
So that’s how I’ve found myself making a quinoa and kale salad while drinking kombucha. Seriously. I did that yesterday. I had the self-awareness to be a little embarrassed but not so embarrassed that I’m not going to write about it for the whole internet to read.
I made quinoa and kale salad while drinking kombucha and I realized my 2017 resolution must have been to turn myself into a cliche.
— Caitlin Constantine (@caitlinconstan) January 7, 2017
(BTW the salad, which is in Run Fast, Eat Slow, is amazing. Don’t hate! And go get that cookbook if you haven’t already.)
But seriously, I train hard, I race hard, I care a lot about being a strong, fast athlete. If making a few tweaks to my nutrition will help me on that path, then so be it.
Which leads me to…
2. I’m cutting back on how much meat I eat.
I’ve heard all the arguments for and against the health aspects of going veg*n, but I’ll be honest, I’m not really considering it for the health aspects as much as I’m considering it for the “not contributing to the ongoing fucking-up of our one and only planet” aspect of it.
But because I also know myself and know that the likelihood of me giving up things like cheeseburgers forever, I’m aiming for cutting down on how much meat I eat as opposed to giving it up altogether.
Although I’ll be honest with you, if I ever have to watch another Carl’s Jr. commercial featuring a bikini model spraying herself with a hose while basically having oral sex with a cheeseburger – which is what happened while looking for an appropriate gif – I may give them up purely out of spite.
3. I’m cutting back on how much I drink.
This is actually a little embarrassing to admit, but I like to drink. A lot. Like, I am the kind of person who has a beer bottle opener on her keychain. There are many nights I will walk in the door, and before I’ve even taken off my pants and bra, I’ll have poured myself a glass of wine.
I tend to be a little wound-up, and so a glass of wine (or two… or three…) has given me a shortcut to Relaxation Central, pop. me.
Brian and I have talked about this in the past – he is a therapist for people with drug and alcohol issues so this is kind of his thing, oh and by the way, AWKWARD – and I’ve mostly just blown him off. But on some level I knew he was right, that I was drinking a lot, and while it wasn’t what you’d call problem drinking, it’s clearly not the healthiest thing I could be doing for myself.
After I spent New Year’s Day recovering from a particularly wicked hangover, I decided that maybe this would be a good time to see what happens if I limit my drinking only to the weekends.
So now I’ve replaced my nightly glass(es) of wine with mugs of herbal sleepytime tea and a 15-minute session with my Calm app’s guided meditations, and I’ll be damned if it’s not actually working. I’ve been sleeping better, I don’t have a problem getting up at 5 a.m. for master’s swimming and I’ve actually gotten a lot done.
This hasn’t been without its issues, though. Honestly I feel like this is worth a post of its own, so I’ll probably revisit this soon, maybe after my first month is done.
4. I want to try more things aside from swim/bike/run.
Don’t get me wrong, I love doing all of these things, but there’s also so much more you can do! I want to do more stand-up paddleboarding. I live literally ten minutes from an amazing beach and I only went twice last year. There’s a climbing gym by my work. I want to do that too!
And one of these years, I’m going to learn how to surf. I can swim in open water without feeling like I’m going to literally die from fright. Cocoa Beach is right across the state and they have weekend surfing schools. There are big waves in the Atlantic Ocean. There’s literally nothing stopping me, except, well, me.
I mean, seriously, if Dolly the Sheep can surf, so can I.
I’ve already taken some steps. I signed up for one of those new client specials at a local Pure Barre studio and have been getting my ass whooped, fancy lady-style, on the reg, and I’ve signed up for an aerial yoga class with a friend from work.
I’ve got a strong, healthy body that works and can do all sorts of cool, hard, tough things. I want to see what other kinds of adventures we can go on together.
5. I want to keep running faster.
I know, it’s such a no-brainer. A lot of people want to get faster. I’m just really curious to see if I can find my limits. Every time I think I’ve found them, I end up surpassing them, which tells me I haven’t even come close to them yet.
I mean, I’m also pretty realistic about this as well. You don’t see a lot of 6′ women lining up at the front of marathons, but still, I’m curious to see just what I’m capable of, especially since the window of time during which I can reasonably expect to continue to get faster is slowly closing.
Seriously, it’s just out there like a big dead end. (OMG I’m SO kidding. Sort of. OK, I’m kidding but all the freaking gray hairs on my head are not.)
6. I’m really working hard on getting faster on the bike.
I know a guy who Zwifts like, all the time. He LOVES it. He will do century rides on Zwift. He gets some gentle teasing about it, and he’s a good-natured guy so he grins and bears it.
And then this past November, he went up to IM Florida and busted out a 5:15 bike split. That shut a lot of people up.
So I finally took the plunge and set myself up with a Zwift account. I did my first ever FTP workout – and promptly felt like I was going to puke all over the floor when I was done – and I’m now working a training plan that involves hitting specific power numbers.
I’m not going to let myself get too far into it, though. I see those tri dorks on Slowtwitch wanking it endlessly over their power numbers. If that ever happens to me, you have my permission to slap some sense back into me.
7. I’m going to work my way up to a solo marathon swim in 2018.
I have too much stuff on my racing schedule this year already but if I continue to increase my swimming endurance a little bit at a time, I should be set to do one in 2018. There are a few local ones I could do, but then there’s also the Flowers Sea Swim, which has been on my to-do list for a couple years now. Either way it’s something I’d really like to do.
I’m definitely not looking to do a channel swim, though. Those scare the crap out of me. I’m fine with just swimming along a shoreline for a few hours.
Of course I say that now….
OK, your turn – what are you looking to do in 2017?