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.