Friday, January 9, 2015

The Year of the Athlete

New Year, new goals.

You know running has become an important part of your life when an injury makes you commit to running with even more resolve instead of making you back away. When the doctor said I needed to cross-train and that things were probably going to get better as I lost more weight, I started drawing up a strategy for the new year right there and there. Also, when he mentioned cycling as one of the best ways to train without big impact to the knee, I also knew it was time to finally find a way to pull the trigger and get a bike. You guys know I have been moping around and complaining about how expensive they are but I want to do a triathlon and well, they are pretty hard to do without one. So now that you met The Machine on my last post, here are my plans for 2015.

Weight loss moves up the queue

I have made it a point up until now, to not focus on weight loss. Obsessing about the scale has been my downfall in the past. So far it has worked to a certain degree. I have certainly lost weight and it has been slow which is good. I have also slipped a couple of times, especially after the Disney Marathon. All the while, I have just let it happen and in hindsight, it has worked to a point but circumstances have changed. As my running has improved and I get somewhat faster (a relative term if there has ever been one) the stress I put on my knee is greater. If I intend to keep improving without making things worse, I have to move things along a bit quicker. It will make me faster and it will help me run better.

It will also help me look a bit less ridiculous in running/cycling/tri clothing. I mean, why does everything have to be so... tight!

So, one of the goals for 2015 will be to lose 50 pounds. That's roughly one pound a week which is pretty conservative while still moving things along. I can't say I'm not concerned about this one but I have reached that point where giving this more priority will be crucial to move forward.


After running over 700 miles in 2013, I fell way short of my goal of 800 miles for 2014. Yes, I had knee trouble but it still stings to not being able to achieve that one. However, I don't see any problems with upping the stakes this year. Some might remember that I intend to run the Goofy Challenge in 2016 so there are plenty of miles ahead in my future. While it's still not set in stone (there are some family decisions to be made. I'll explain later.) that I will be going, it's only sensible to proceed as if I am for sure. So, I think aiming for 1,000 miles this year is perfectly doable.Consistency will be key to making this one work but it will nice to get some payback on that missed 2014 goal.

And since we are cycling...

I'm new to this so it's hard to put a number here. The distances are greater and they pile on quickly. However, cycling is only part of the equation this year so it's not the only thing I will be doing. I'm thinking 1,500 miles but it's written with a pencil at best. It might need adjusting as I dive deeper in the cycling pool. If I go over this, great but if I fall under, that's OK too. Stay tuned.

Triathlon at last!

Well now that The Machine is here, it's finally time to aim for a tri. I have the training program set up and I'm getting acclimated to the bike. I'm thinking one in the summer would be awesome. I'm scared, but it's a good scared. The road to achieve this one is gonna be plenty fun.

Doing a tri this year has two purposes: The first is simply my goal of doing a tri. It's just something I want to do and the challenge appeals to my brain. It's such a technical thing that requires planning and training and it makes me giddy with excitement. The second is I want to branch out and cross-train. I truly think training for a tri will make me a better runner. Cycling and swimming will allow me to work on my cardio fitness without having to run all the time. Running on consecutive days has always been a trouble spot for me. I try to listen to my body and whenever I string together two or more consecutive runs, it just doesn't "feel" right. By cross-training, I get in more volume without stressing my joints too hard. At least that's the plan. 

Long term, I'm hoping by losing the weight, it will allow me to focus on running more often and therefore letting me achieve a goal I set long term, to run the Goofy Challenge, which means running the Disney Half Marathon and Full Marathon on consecutive days.

Racing, of course...

Notice I didn't mention any specific races. I'm still figuring out where and when to race and as soon as I have the dates I will share as always but I'm crossing my fingers to do at least two Half-Marathons this year. As I've mentioned before, they are a little hard to come by here in Puerto Rico as well as full marathons but hopefully I can do a Half early in the year and then another in the fall/winter as a prelude to the Goofy Challenge.

So in closing, three big goals for 2015: Lose weight, Triathlon and Goofy Challenge training. I think that will keep my plate full most of the year, don't you think?


  1. You can do it Frank!!! Those are some great goals! Proud of you!

    1. Thanks Mindy! And you I will be cheering for you as well during the year.

  2. So exciting that you're doing your first tri! The idea of a triathlon sounds so overwhelming to me. I look forward to hearing about your journey :)

    1. I know what you mean. But there is something about the logistics of it all that attracts me to it. Maybe I'll regret it later but right now, I'm hooked. lol

  3. I can't wait to follow you along as you cycle more. We want to get into cycling a little so it will be nice to watch someone pick up the process. Good luck with all your goals! You are going to have an awesome 2015!

    1. Be sure to contact me! I could sure use some "cycling buddies".

  4. You have a really big year planned Frank. The Goofy Challenge is such a fun race, particularly the marathon at WDW. Running through 4 parks makes the race so special. You will love it. Good luck with the new bike too and a tri! Setting mileage goals for the year is not something I have done. My running is done just 3 times per week and the last two years, I have come it at a very close number, something around 850. This works well for me, with cross training and strength training mixed in. Don't beat yourself up over a number. Focus on the long term goal