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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

I had a long conversation with my Mom on Tuesday. It’s funny actually, in the past few years, especially since getting married I tend to go to the Husband for almost everything but, there are still times when I need my Mom. She asked exactly what everyone else has been asking. Well, in her therapist like Mom way.

Why are you doing the half-ironman?
For a number of reasons I said, first for fun, second for fitness and third it’s something I’ve always had in the back of my mind to do in my lifetime.

Well, are you having fun?
The answer was no. For a few months now, it’s obviously clear I’ve been struggling. Workouts that should be fun became a chore. Training somehow always became lowest priority. Anxiety and stress was always looming. I found myself so moody and negative when thinking of the months ahead. The whole point was to enjoy the next few months as much as possible before trying to expand our family, and I feel like we’re now in the opposite place. I’m wishing away the time.

Are you getting fit?
Yes, although I’m not losing weight because I’m stress eating. I keep wanting to try to change around my diet but keep fearing of messing with my training. But endurance and strength wise, I’m doing really well. I would regret stopping training in all ways or not doing something with my training.

Is this the only time in your life you think you can do a half-ironman?
No, it’s not. I hope it’s not at least. I have future fitness goals of all sorts.. a half ironman… a marathon…short races post baby like 5ks and 10ks. I want to do it all for the rest of my life.

And so the answer became a bit more clear. I’m not doing the half-ironman this year.

I am signed up and doing a triathlon at the end of June in its place, when my Mom will actually be home from Alaska and plans to come watch. A race that is 4 miles from my in-laws meaning everyone can come watch, and then we can all go to a celebratory breakfast after.

I don’t know if I’ll regret this decision. I just know that right now, I don’t. I feel relief. I feel happiness. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. Something in my gut kept saying now isn’t the time – some fear, not even about physically finishing but more so the risks involved – and it wouldn’t go away. And so now, I feel pretty pumped about competing in a regular triathlon. One that with my recent training, I’m actually excited to crush in comparison to any tri I’ve done before.

The hardest part, or so I thought would be, was telling everyone. Each conversation I felt like a failure when I started to explain that I’ve dropped out this year. Yet each time, friends and family were unbelievably understanding and all reminded me of the same thing – if I’m doing it for fun, and it’s not fun, it’s defeating the purpose. It’s been sort of  a “duh” moment really.

This Saturday I’m going on an early morning ride with two girlfriends. Then this Sunday I have my duathlon. Then a few weeks of training, training that I’m actually really excited to do, and training that won’t be taking over my life, before crushing this June triathlon. In the meantime, I want to just enjoy the next few months. I want to go St. Thomas with all the women in my family in May and lay on the beach, eat, drink, and get a few workouts in – relaxing in the best possible way. I want to eat healthier. I want to spend time with the Husband and friends. I want to make plans at last-minute, I want to sleep in, I want to have a glass of wine or two without feeling guilty. There’s a real possibility we want to start trying to expand our family this summer, and more than ever, I need to be honest with myself about how I want to spend my time.

So here’s to the next few months – enjoying life and being true to myself.

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Sometimes all I need to stay motivated is to see my progress. Not just “feel” it, but see data in some form or another that proves I’m making progress. I know I can see it on the scale, a few pounds lost in the last couple of weeks. I know I can see it among my training plan – longer, harder workouts. But something about seeing the data from Flywheel, to literally see that I have consistently pushed harder each class, makes me so very happy.

Flywheel_Progress
I don’t care as much about MAX TORQ (resistance) in that it really depends on the instructor you get (some prefer hills, some prefer sprints). I also think the average speed is pulled from who knows where because, while it’s one hell of a high intensity class, unless you’re faster than Lance Armstrong, you’re not going an average of 30mph. However to see my total power (an equation of RPM and TORQ) jump higher and higher each week – confirms my feeling that I’m working hard, getting stronger and faster.

Sometimes that’s all I need to keep pushing forward. It’s what  just motivated me to sign up for a duathlon in a month. A short course, but one I love, (actually, I first referenced it here), and I would love to have a mini-goal on the way to this bigger 70.3 goal. A good way to ease myself back into the tri scene, get comfortable on my bike, and go into an event with confidence.

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Before I felt better about what was happening at work, I had this thought – what would happen if I got fired?

I realized my world would be rocked, in a very daunting, right down to my core type of way. Not because of the bills that would have to be paid. Not because I would have to find another job. But because it would be my biggest failure. My only failure actually, and one that would strip me of who I thought I was.

And that’s scary.

I hate to admit it, but my career – my job – my experience – this firm – has been the most stable part of who I am. The thing that would appear as number one on the list if someone asked what I was good at. Sure I’m a good wife, puppy mom, friend, sister, athlete – but what I would put at top? I’m a good worker. I’m a hard worker. I’m a smart worker. (Smart in the efficient sense, but I guess I’m not dumb either, ha.) I’ve become a leader in my career, at a prestigious firm, and it feels so good.

And so when I was reading this article the other day, nodding along in agreement, I thought, what are the little things keeping me happy? The things that if god forbid I did lose my job, or when I’m out on maternity leave one day, will save me from feeling like my identity is falling apart. Do I focus on those little things enough, or do they get pushed aside often for the bigger things?

The big things are paying your bills and renting your first apartment. They are working towards that promotion and finding that person to marry. While these should make you happy and productive, they aren’t the things that are important.

The little things are the ones you need to pay attention to. The little things are what’s going to save you when your career ends or your marriage comes crashing down.

The little things are sunrises and sunsets, a great beer and watching a stranger help the homeless.

The little things are the cobblestone streets on your trip to Italy or the fresh fish at the market. It’s the walks through Central Park and the warm croissants at that French bakery you love so much. It’s the warm weather and the fall breezes.

We forget to pay attention to the little things and shift our focus to attaining the big things. We forget to look up at the buildings or at the people we love because we’re too focused on getting to those bigger things we find so important.

…Now is the time to read that article if you haven’t yet…

I do think focusing and accomplishing the big things are important. I guess I’m just agreeing that these little daily things are just as important to finding and keeping happiness along the path to the big things. Focusing on those little things instead of always the end goal, for me, is the key to keeping my happiness steady.

I know a lot of people can’t relate to what I’m saying. Their job and career doesn’t define them. The truth is, I never thought it would for me. But it has and I’m proud of the worker I have become and I’m proud to be part of this firm. So thinking about all that lately has freaked me out a bit.

While I might be good at balancing my career and life – I of course spend time with the husband, family, friends, Bentley, training, etc. – I still find that my career is where I feel most successful.

This past week has made me take a step back. It has made me focus on what little things I find daily happiness in and how I can start savoring them a little more. It’s made me think about where and how else I might feel successful, and what would help balance out my identity aside from my career.

So far, I like what I’m finding.

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I’ve said it before, but I have a tendency to write a lot more when I’m in a negative or confused place. I wanted to be sure to document some things from the past two weeks because really, life has been good!

The Husband and I watched episodes 1-7 of True Detective on Sunday. Yes 7 (1 hour) episodes straight. To say we can’t wait for the finale this weekend is an understatement. That show is strange and so damn addicting. Watch it.

We took Bentley on an hour hike together on Sunday, the Husband’s idea, and it was so nice to spend time just the three of us outside, even though it was cold and icy. Bentley was so well behaved…that is until he ran up and grabbed something off the ground. We went to pull it out of his mouth and out came what looked like a dirty baby wipe. We both said to each other, no that must be mud on that wipe. Mind you, we were hiking in a really nice, wealthy, reservation area. A few hundred yards later we spotted a pair of torn boxers, covered in shit, with a bunch of used baby wipes next to them. We spent the rest of the walk hands out, gagging, just wanting to get home and sanitize ourselves.

The weekend before this last one, I bought a new car! Well, I traded my 12-year-old Honda in for a 2014 Jeep Patriot lease. I know a lot of people didn’t understand, but it was oddly emotional saying goodbye to that car. It was MY first ever car, and it is tied to so many memories. However, driving around in a nice new car, that I’m not worried will break down or get stuck in a snow bank, is pretty sweet. 🙂

This actual past weekend we had friends from college come out, with their 7 month old baby. I swear I have never seen such a happy, easy-going baby. It definitely didn’t help my baby fever and I actually think it sparked it a bit more in the Husband. We still plan to wait until after my half-ironman (at earliest).

I was so happy to see Bentley’s reaction to having a baby in the house. He was curious, sweet (kept wanting to lick his feet) and oddly calm –at one point I was holding the baby, sitting in the dog bed and Bentley came over, sat down and put his head on my leg. It was one of those moments looking at the baby sitting on my left leg, and the puppy resting on my right leg that I felt, this is pure happiness, and the Husband and I will have this one day. Granted, the baby was in our house for only a few hours, so we still plan to have the behaviorist come and help us prepare him and all that jazz, but I’m still relieved.

Speaking of Bentley, he is back in daycare/going on long walks after being neutered. Life feels far less hectic now that Bentley is more tired, and we actually have more time to have lives.

Our wedding schedule this year keeps getting crazier. We now have the following weddings: July 26th, (August 30th got cancelled (well they decided to make it a family only wedding), yay!), September 20th, October TBD [friends moving home from England having their American reception], November 1st, and December 31st. Plus showers and bachelorettes for all. No more please.

I’m trying really hard to pull myself out of this half-ironman funk. Let’s see if I were to be completely honest… I’m doubting myself. Flat-out doubting myself. So much so that I thought, hmm I could just get pregnant now and not do it. But I don’t want that. I also know, deep down, if I don’t do this now – it will be one of, if not my biggest, regret to date. I think that the best athletes are consistent. For the next few months all I want to do is consistently get these workouts in, no matter the pace. Just get them in. It’s true, I honest to God just want to finish – that’s my only goal!

I went to bed at 9:45pm last night – that’s the earliest in a long time. I was up at 5:40am thinking I was still tired but after my train ride and completing my 45 minute run class – I felt, and still feel, fantastic. The power of sleep…and coffee!

I am so, so, so over the cold weather. I like winter and I love snow, but it’s March. I need sunny mid 50’s now not 20’s with wind chills down to single digits. This weather makes me just want to get home, bundle under covers, lay on the couch, eat hearty meals and watch TV. After doing that since December, it’s time for a change. I never thought weather would affect me this much, but it’s really draining me.

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You know what I say in regards to January ending?

Halle-friggan-lujah!!!!!!

I am actually pretty thankful to put January behind me and start a fresh month with a fresh attitude. While January had some great times, for whatever reason there was a dark energy around me for most of it…

I spent all of January sick. I kid you not, I had a cold that started around Christmas and never went away. This past week I have finally started to sleep through the night without waking up in a coughing fit and having to chug Nyquil. The difference of getting 4 hours of sleep a night to 7 is spectacular.

I spent all of January running from one thing to the next, feeling like I was making everyone around me happy and thankful… but feeling so empty as a result. I just wasn’t taking care of myself. Every weekend was booked to the max, as were many week nights, including my new week night work calls and therefore I wasn’t taking care of myself. (It’s funny I have read something similar on so many other blogs.)

I’d also like to forget the fact that there was a night where a crazy person tried to run the Husband over. Luckily he wasn’t successful but it was way too close to either the Husband getting run over, or the Husband having to shoot someone – neither of which are good outcomes. He tried to hide it from me but I overheard his Chief call to talk about it and thank him for keeping such a calm head and figuring out a way to arrest the guy without an outcome of death on either side. I do pretty well most of the time at ignoring what it really means to be in his line of work but that was a not so fun in-my-face reminder.

I’d also like to put behind me the night Bentley and I spent at the ER as a result of him eating my thong. Almost funny now…at the time, not funny! They induced vomiting quickly (luckily I saw him grab it and swallow it) so we were able to get to the ER and they could get it back up before any potential blockage occurred. As a result of their suggestion, I need to look into pet insurance. We’re also working hard on “drop-it” in our obedience class.

Anyway, I’m ready to move forward and not even look back!

First, I do have some fun plans coming up in February:

-A joint birthday workout/massage day with a friend
-A full on date night of dinner and a movie with the Husband
-A 30th birthday party for a friend
-A full sister day of nails, yoga, movies, and shopping (my little sister had her heart broken…a post for another time)
-A baby shower
-A visit from college friends (the best way to end the month, can’t wait!)

A few things I plan to do this month to make it more positive.

I’m adding into my calendar a week night each week, and a few weekend days that I’m blocking off and not making plans. Maybe I’ll end up with last minute plans, but knowing I have some time to recharge makes me feel better.

I’m going to stop procrastinating. I have this bad habit of feeling exhausted by the time I get home that I sit down and watch TV but the entire time I’m stressing about packing my work bag, my workout clothes, the growing piles of laundry, skimming work emails, etc. I would like to take 30 minutes every Sunday night and line up my week of work outfits and workout clothes so that each night it’s as simple as throwing it in my bag.

I’m coming up with a cleaning schedule. Having our house in a constant state of chaos has this seriously stressful effect on me that is always on my mind. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day to keep it somewhat tidy would probably do wonders for my life.

I’m getting myself back to a place where half-ironman training is fun. Becelisa was a great reminder and supporter of this. I’m so stressed about following my plan to a T that it’s not fun, I’m skipping workouts and it’s like this heavy weight on me at all times. Instead, I’m going to focus on getting 5 workouts in a week, targeting the areas I can do my best in (bike and run) rather than 6 days of workouts that feel so stressful I don’t do them at all. I’ll probably have a longer post around this as I work on it.

I’m going to put more effort into my marriage and date nights. Things are good with the Husband but we both have started to want to add more date time in and he actually sent me a great article on the rules of marriage and there a few things in there that we both want to actively start focusing on. Even though he is my top priority, it’s so easy to make him feel last (and vice versa) because it’s easier to partake in other obligations. But in reality when we do that, we fight, we feel crappy, and we miss out. Since our schedules are so opposite and for a while there every time he had time off we were doing things with friends or family which is great, we’ve just really missed out on time for just “us”.

Anyway, it feels like a lot of, “I’m going to” right now. It’s time to get to a place of “I am”.

feb

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Sometimes my expectations are set so high, that it takes away from celebrating when good, or even great things happen. Because deep down, I think…I could have done better.

Today I got my annual review in my “new” role (new department and new role). I went into it a little worried, seeing as I was a superstar in my old role, and consistently exceeded expectations and was benchmarked multiple times into new roles with larger salaries.

Overall it went well. Positive feedback, very fair development areas (apparently I can be more stern with certain people, ha), a base increase of 4.5% and 103% of my bonus potential. With the combo of the two (before taxes of course), I make over 6 figures. I should be thrilled. I mean, I am thrilled. I’m 29 years old, I am happy, if not the happiest I’ve ever been in my career and I have such growth potential –in my current role and the level up – both role and title wise, and financially.

The truth is, I started writing this post feeling a little disappointed.

It’s because my expectations are almost past reasonable. See when I started here, practically every other year I ended up with a $10k increase and a title change. In my 7 years here my salary has more than doubled. I went from specialist to coordinator to senior coordinator to supervisor to manager. I know the culture here, and I know the benchmark of my current role (I could be making over $10k more without a title change) and I know my abilities. I know deep down, I actually could have worked harder this past year.

The truth is, it’s not all about money. I mean don’t get me wrong, this place now officially has me in golden handcuffs. The earning potential is just far past so many other places – and it allows me to still, for the most part – have a good life outside of work. (If that ever stops, then the money isn’t worth it.) It allows my Husband and I to travel more, spend money on things we want to enjoy and not be beyond stressed at having to spend thousands each year on weddings, the puppy, moving, and other life events. Although, maybe still this year since we weren’t careful with our money and now we want to buy a house.

Anyway. I’m reminding myself that I just started a new role. I am getting great feedback. I have challenging goals I can set – I’m no longer in a role where I’m bored or unhappy or don’t see the value. Instead, I have so much to learn. To formally take my PMP exam, to manage various projects with varying complexity levels and so on. And I LOVE having something to work towards, it pushes me harder.

It feels good to get such positive feedback, not just from my manager, but from various others that I work with. Thinking about it, and writing about it – I feel good. Damn good. Of course I can always do better. There are those unrelenting standards again. So this time, for once, I am making myself celebrate this good news without focusing on what could be done better or my next step. For a few days, I’m celebrating a successful job change, and an accomplished year in my career.

balloons

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Energized

There’s something about having a goal and a new routine that completely energizes me.

Monday was day 1 of my half ironman training. With a 30 minute swim (focused on form and breathing to both sides) and a 60 minute bike (staying between 90-100 RPMs on a “flat road”), I knew I would need to start planning my schedule and prepping meals. I got my workout done first thing in the morning, and by evening time I was going on a short snow hike with the puppy, vacuuming, doing loads of laundry, prepping my lunch for work the next day, and roasting a whole chicken for the husband’s return.

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I ended the night snuggling on the couch with my two boys, a belly full of the most delicious chicken and potato dinner, eating warm out of the oven chocolate chip cookies and watching NCIS. I felt accomplished and content.

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Tuesday was an off day and truthfully I’m so glad I have a plan. I was so energized that part of me wanted to head to the gym and just go as long as hard as I could. Obviously that’s a dumb idea, and having my schedule say it was an off day stopped me from doing so.

Instead I went home, in another snow storm (getting me home much later) and cooked dinner. (I’m on a roll compared to our recent take-out kick that was killing our budget.) I made a quick roasted chicken sausage, spinach and whole wheat pasta dinner. The Husband took the night off – of his normal gym schedule and work – so it was another treat to eat dinner together and hang out. I was still energized after dinner and cleaned all the dishes, got my bag packed, we cleaned off our cars and ran Bentley in the snow, and then had an hour to watch Biggest Loser together.

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Wednesdays morning I was up at 5:46am feeling happier than I have felt in a while. Not to say I wasn’t happy before, but usually when the alarm goes off at 5:46 I think of ways to get back to bed. I was excited to have more training on my schedule. I spent 45 minutes doing strength training and then another 10 minutes stretching my crazy tight hips and it bands. After work I completed a 30 minute, slow and steady run that was on the plan. Wow, I’m out of running shape, that’s all I will say.

I was even excited to cook again. I made pork chops with applesauce, roasted broccoli and garlic quinoa for the husband and myself.

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On Thursday (my WFH) I had another 30 minute run on the schedule. Between fighting a cold, a frigid 2 mile walk in the ice with the puppy, and just feeling sleepy I was not in the mood to run or cook. But I pushed myself and got to the gym, ran my 30 minutes, and came home to eat soup with the husband. I’ll admit it, I felt better after doing it.

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(The duct tape on the door is to cover the bite holes this guy made…)

It’s funny – after weeks of not feeling the gym, not cooking, cleaning only when I got to the anxious state – I finally got to the point where I want to work out. I want to cook dinners. I want to keep the house clean. I want to wake up early and get moving. I want to keep this motivated, energized, content feeling going.

I can’t help but thank my half ironman training plan to getting me back to this place. I love it!

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