With the New Year comes the tradition of making resolutions.  In the sports world, making resolutions is often referred to as “goal setting.”  As with most forms of human endeavor, it is possible to find people for and against this practice.  Advocates believe that setting goals motivates a person to achieve something greater than he would otherwise have done in a random fashion.  Opponents argue that setting goals turns a fun activity into work, and work is not the sort of word we want to associate with our hobbies.

I see both sides and believe that goals can be used for good or bad purposes, kinda like “The Force” in Star Wars.  I tend to think of goals as a direction I wish to travel.  I also think that although it is helpful to have a plan, one should always be open to opportunities and changes in priorities should they present themselves.  There’s no harm in running a marathon on five days’ notice, for example, and there is no harm in preparing for a challenging brevet for nine months.  There’s a place for both in my cycling life.

So without further ado, here are my 2013 Resolutions:

Get In Shape.  I’ve been cycling quite a bit for the past three years and running a fair amount as well.  What I haven’t been doing is any sort of strength or flexibility training.  I’ve read that this sort of thing can help your performance on the bike.  We’ll see about that.

Go Ridiculously Far (For Me, Anyway).  200 km was a personal best for me last year.  Those crazy folks at DC Randonneurs go much much farther.  I think I might go one rung up the “crazy ladder” and join them for a 300k.

Swim, Cycle, and Run In Succession.  Participating in a triathlon is a clear violation of Rule 42.  Although I am very interested in the rules of cycling purists, I have never included myself amongst their ranks nor felt more than passing embarrassment at my failures to follow their etiquette.  I think a triathlon might be fun to do.  I think a couple of triathlons might be even more fun.

Ride The Vasaloppet Without Getting Lost.  I’ve gotten lost both times I rode the Vasaloppet.  This vexes me greatly and I will make it my business to actually complete the course this year no matter how convoluted the route may be.

A Better Pace In The Crystal Ride.  It’s funny what 0.1 mph can mean.  For me, it means the difference between the 17.9 mph average pace I’ve set the previous two rides and what I hope to do on my third trip.  With less weight, better nutrition/hydration, and a more serious attempt to stay in pacelines, I might be able to pull it off.

Shrink.  I’ve discovered an interesting thing about weight – the less you have of it, the easier it is to ride, climb hills, run without injury, and do just about anything else you might be interested in doing.  Ok, that may not be a revolutionary concept.  Still, I think losing a few more pounds will be very helpful.

Take Some Pictures Without Breaking My Camera. I’ve got a nicer camera which should let me take some pics that were not possible with my simpler versions.  Sadly, cameras and I don’t have a good history.  Here’s hoping the current model withstands the abuse I will try my best to avoid giving to it.

Have Fun.  If it’s not fun, then I doubt I’ll be doing it very much.  So fun is important.

23 thoughts on “Resolutions

  1. Last one is the best and most important! But something’s missing from this list… where’s the Diesel? You gotta have a goal to ride farther and funner with her!

    I, too, am thinking seriously about the strength training being added to my lifestyle

    Swim/Bike/Run??? I’m not there yet.

    1. Diesel falls squarely into the camp of people who do not set goals. She runs to have fun and lets the rest take care of itself. If I were to attempt to rope her into a stated goal, it would actually DECREASE the likelihood of her doing it!

    1. Be wary of Bethesda and the directions which put you back on the bike path. If you’re familiar with the area, you stand a good chance. Otherwise, get ready for an adventure.

    1. I’m glad you mentioned Rule 50, Matt. It has always been an awkward thing and getting it “out in the open” will help us move forward. 🙂

  2. I was all ready to train for the Reston Sprint Tri in June and then I realized it’s the same day as the Tour de Cure. Rats. There have got to be some other spring triathlons in which I can dabble. My husband — who runs races for the t-shirts — wants to do a tri just so he can put a triathlon sticker on his car. 😉

    Hoping to do the Vasa ride this year, too. Buggy directions, eh?

    1. I’ve seen triathlons listed for all over the place, Melanie. Quantico will be hosting their first-ever sprint triathlon in August, which I am tempted to do, along with the Nation’s Triathlon (Olympic distance) in September.

      The problem I have with Vasa is getting back on the trail in Bethesda. It’s a busy urban area and you need to find a trailhead amongst all the clutter, then go the correct way. Others have managed just fine, so I wouldn’t let my mental block discourage you!

  3. Good luck with all that. I reckon losing weight will help with all the others enormously (except the getting lost and it may even help there because your brain will be working better). I may have mentioned before that the sure fire way to lose weight is to eat a little less. It works every time.

    If you manage 300km, I will be so jealous that I might explode.

    1. I seem to recall that eating less tends to help with weight loss. I have a serious eating habit that cycling and running help me support. Perhaps I will actually need to reduce my caloric intake. Lets hope it doesn’t come to that, or any sort of combustion on your part.

  4. Any blog post that starts of with a Calvin & Hobbes panel is a good one.

    Good luck with all the resolutions. I was thinking that there might be triathlons in your future. If you break your camera again you should definitely consider one of types that is waterproof, shockproof, etc.

    With the notable exception of rule #12, the Velomanati and I don’t agree on much. I’m pretty sure that’s upsetting for them.

  5. Great post, fun is the key, as long as you continue to enjoy your exploits, running, swimming, cycling and that proposed strength training, the sky’s the limit. I enjoy all of the aforementioned, but have a great love of food! Consequently, I haven’t dropped (or gained) a pound in years, aand still am a thin man trying to get out of that fat man’s body, I see in the mirror.

    1. I, too, have a serious eating habit which exercise helps me support. Congratulations on your body’s inefficient ability to properly utilize the calories you ingest. Unfortunately, my body is extraordinarily efficient and needs only a fraction of the calories I provide it. In turn, it very efficiently stores the remainder of the calories for some rainy day when it may need them!

  6. Totally agree – if it aint fun why do it! My aims are to visit more places with excellent cycle systems (more of Europe mainly) and ride there. I also really need to get a helmet in my life :/

    1. A piece of gear designed to keep your brains from seeing the light of day is definitely something worth having, in my view. I’ve already cracked one helmet, which presumably means I have one less cracked head.

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