Monday, January 14, 2013

In which it's new year, new goals

Last year it started with a small word in the back of my head.

I find that many of the best ideas in my life start in the back of my head, marinading for a bit. The thought may pop in and out, wandering around for months until it presents itself and I think, OK, it's time to give this a whirl.

In 2012, my big goal was running a half marathon (and that thought marinated for months in 2011). It was such a rewarding experience, I ended up running two - two more than I ever expected in the first place.

Many people assumed my next move would be a full marathon, but the prospect doesn't intrigue me. At the moment. I may train for and run one someday, but it doesn't interest me now. Thirteen point one miles are plenty for me at the present time. Plus, I really don't have the time to train for a marathon until all three kids are in school full time, and that won't happen until fall 2014.

So while a marathon isn't in the plans, a triathlon is. It's a slightly scary thought and definitely outside my comfort zone, but some of the best things in my life have fallen into that category, such as running and bootcamp.

Last summer I starting thinking about a tri as this year's goal. It would be fun to cross-train, and good for my body to mix up my activity with swimming and cycling. And, of course, I would be able to play with more expensive equipment and gadgets. Because if there's one class of people who love gadgets and gear more than runners, it's triathletes.

I ran the idea by some triathlete friends last year, they thought it was great. But that's playing to the home crowd. Any time I've ever mentioned a running endeavor to running friends, they always respond, "YES! DO IT!" They are relentlessly encouraging and triathletes are the same way. They are not objective in the very best way; they will back you on anything.

So as 2012 turned into 2013, I looked ahead. I definitely wanted to 1to 2 half marathons this year. I already signed up for the Rock n Roll Half in Providence in late Sept. I'll probably do a half sometime in May, too. And in case you're wondering, no I can't believe I typed that sentence with such nonchalance, either.

But the itch to do something new wouldn't go away and when in late December a friend mentioned a local tri series, I took it as a sign it was time to step outside my comfort zone once again.

When registration opened up last Monday, I signed up for a May duathlon (bike-run on Mother's Day, no less) and an early Sept.  tri. They're both sprints, in that they're much shorter than the traditional Ironman-type events. I'm ambitious, not insane.

Over the past 2+ years, one of the greatest gifts I've found is the knowledge that stepping outside that comfort zone is where the real growth lies. As someone who didn't try anything for decades - because if you don't try, you don't fail - this is nothing short of revolutionary. But, if one adjective describes the past 2+ years, it would be just that.

So, once again, away we go. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures.