Fall and October Goals

Let’s be clear. I don’t function in life without goals. I’m Type A through and through. Since I’m not training for anything big right now, I don’t really have any immediate goals to accomplish. However, with a new job and a new career path on the horizon I definitely have some professional goals I’m currently working on. Normally I set my goals at the beginning of a new year. Here’s a list of my 2013 goals:

1. Become an Ironman! Check!

2. Learn to piss on my bicycle! Fail! Perhaps in 2014…

3. Increase my bike fitness and finally achieve the perfect VI so I can get an A from my coach! I definitely saw a lot of improvement in my VI (aka riding steady), but my power just plain sucked compared to 2012.

4. Focus on doing at least 10-15 minutes a day dedicated to mobility, soft tissue work, and core strength. Uh yea, partial fail. Definitely a focus this Fall.

5. Continue learning and seeking out knowledge and advice from the leading health and fitness professionals so I can continue helping my clients and athletes reach their health and athletic goals. Always on going! 🙂

6. Continue working on achieving a healthy body composition through proper nutrition and training. Always on going too!

Since there is a little over three months left in 2013 I still have time to reach my 2013 goals. Well, maybe not the whole pee on my bike thing since it’s a bit cold for that now…

Here are my Fall Goals:

  • Learn and do well at my new job! I’m excited to begin my new job because it’s a first step in my future career. I am finally leaving the behind the lab rat life and moving into the office world. I’m excited to be able to use my public health education and learn new skills such as project management and grant-writing and management.
  • Get more involved with my local community! I recently joined the Junior League of Portland for multiple reasons with the main one being getting more involved and volunteering in my local community. The Junior League also is great for networking and leadership development skills. Also, a majority of the most powerful women (i.e. political figures, CEOs of companies, etc.) are Junior League members. Just saying… I’m also currently looking for an opportunity in the Greater Portland area to volunteer in the HIV/AIDS and/or access to clean water and sanitation fields since they are my passions in public health.
  • Learn French! I want to work in the global public health field which requires me to be fluent (or close to fluent) in a second language. I took a years worth of Spanish in college so I have some basic understanding of the language. I read it way better than speak it! Languages are not my forte. Probably because I had some speech issues as a child, which is why I was always drawn towards science and math. However, I need to overcome my fears and challenges to become bilingual. Not only is it a necessity in my future career path, but it has become almost necessity in everyday life due to rapid globalization. I chose french because it is spoken in Western Africa and Africa is calling my name. This Fall I’m focusing on learning French through the Instant Immersion program I picked up at the bookstore (similar to Rosetta Stone but at the fraction of the cost) and the website Duolingo (which is totally awesome and free!). In the spring I’m going to take lessons at The Language Exchange in Portland.
  • Run two Half-Marathons! My run season was pretty pathetic this year due to my knee/IT-band/hip issues. I’m slowly beginning to build up my running fitness with a lot of zone 2 runs. I’m sooooo slow it’s not even funny, but I know it will be worth it in the end. I’ve decided to run the All Women & One Lucky Guy Half Marathon on November 3rd and the Jingle Bell Half Marathon on December 14th.

Now, in order to reach my “big” goals of the Fall I’m going to break them into smaller monthly goals. So, here are my October goals:

  • Continue building my running fitness with zone 2 running. About half way through the month I’ll begin adding more speed and Half marathon specific runs to my training plan. The November half is not an “A” race and thus my time goals are not anywhere close to setting a new PR.
  • Work on core strength and improve my overall mobility and stability. I enjoy trying new things so I plan on trying out BarSculpt at Pure Movement, hit up some yoga classes and also some boot camp-like classes at some of my favorite studios.
  • Devote at least 30 minutes each day to work on my french learning skills.
  • Clean up my eating and focus on making a majority of my meals at home. With the new Fall weather I can break out my crock pot and make lots of yummy soups and stews! Yay!
  • Find a place to volunteer at and make contact once I figure out my new work schedule.
  • Write and update my blog on a regular basis! I’ve been slacking lately, but I have some really awesome ideas for posts. They just haven’t happened yet. I wish I come just connect my brain to my computer and write posts as I think about them (which happens a lot during my training sessions).
  • Grow my coaching and personal training business. Hint hint: I’m accepting new athletes and clients!

    Anyway, that’s what my Fall season entails. What are your Fall goals?

    ~ Happy Training!

My 2013 Goals


Yesterday’s post was all about how to set attainable goals. I’ve always been a very goal-oriented person. If I don’t have a goal then I get lazy. Setting goals is really how I got into triathlons. During th summer of 2009 I decided I wanted to be a cyclist on a whim. I would see cyclists ride their bikes by my house all the time and one day I decided that looked fun, plus cyclists seemed to be skinny (an added bonus). So I adventured out to a couple of local bike shops to look at bikes. Holy crap I was sticker shocked! I had no clue how expensive bicycles cost! My first bike was an entry-level road bike costing $900. Now, my tri bike costs more than my car! (Not that my car is worth much, except $1500 to fix it…)

So I started riding my bike, but I had no real goals. Then I heard about the Maine Tri for a Cure. Of course the 2009 race had passed by the time I heard about it so I decided 2010 would be the year I would become a triathlete. And the rest is history…

So here are my goals:

1. Become an Ironman! I don’t think I have to explain this one, but if I have to crawl my way to the finish line then I will!

2. Learn to piss on my bicycle! I just couldn’t get it done last year, but with 112 miles of cycling during Lake Placid then it needs to happen. I know I’m not racing my first Ironman for time or place, but I do have a time goal in mind so bathroom breaks will have to be limited unless necessary. Plus, I know you are all tired about hearing about it!

3. Increase my bike fitness and finally achieve the perfect VI so I can get an A from my coach! This past year I felt like my bike fitness lacked, but I really think I just got a reality check with my powermeter. However, I did learn how to ride my bicycle, aka spinning at a higher cadence in a lower gear and not grinding gears like I used to the previous year. My bike handling skills also need some improvement so I plan to work on those. Ideally, if I have some extra money then I would get a cross of mountain bike, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen any time soon. Also, I want to learn how to clean and tune my own bike (did you hear that Allspeed boys?!)

4. Focus on doing at least 10-15 minutes a day dedicated to mobility, soft tissue work, and core strength. Because I have issues with my hip and feet I need to focus on stretching out my tight calves and increase mobility in my hips and ankle. Foam rolling will also be a key player in keeping my muscles happy.

5. Continue learning and seeking out knowledge and advice from the leading health and fitness professionals so I can continue helping my clients and athletes reach their health and athletic goals. I absolutely love working as a personal trainer and coach. It’s a very rewarding experience.

6. Continue working on achieving a healthy body composition through proper nutrition and training.

So far 2013 has started off on a good foot, minus the fact that my Garmin Edge 800 cycling computer has died and won’t recharge. Hopefully the Garmin Customer Service people will have some good news for me because riding “naked” is no fun. I need my data!

~ Happy Training!

How to Set Attainable Goals

Happy New Years!

Ok, I know I’m a little late, but it’s the thought that counts, right? We’re six days into January and I already can’t wait for the snow to melt and summer to arrive. Time to dig out the cross-country skis though!

January 1st is the time that most people start setting their New Years Resolution. Many of them involve losing weight, getting healthier, and eating better. Statistics show that 64% of people who created Resolutions were still making a valid effort at the end of January, but 6 months later the number drops to only 44% of people.

Personally, I’m not one to make New Years resolutions. I perfer making goals and believe me, I have a lot of them! Goal setting is important in life and also in sports and fitness. Goal setting can be defined as a strategic approach to behavioral change by which progressive standards of success are set in an attempt to increasely approximate a desired standard of achievement. For example, an individual may chose the ultimate goal of successfully completely 10 pull-ups. In order to meet that ultimate standard of achievement, the individual may break the progress into smaller goals, such as completing 10 band-assisted pull-ups, followed by completing 2 strict pull-ups and 8 band-assisted pull-ups.

There are several different types of goals an individual can make.

Process goals are goals that an individual has a high degree of personal control over. For example, the amount of effort one applies during a workout is a type of process goal. Other examples include focusing on and keeping good exercise form and technique and/or positive attitude throughout an exercise routine. Process goals are important for maintenance of exercise behavior and success.

Outcome goals are goals that an individual has little control over. Outcome goals are exemplified by social comparison as in winning or in beating an opponent in a race. Outcome goals are great for individuals who are competitive; however, outcome goals present less probability of success compared to process goals.

Performance goals are more difficult to achieve than process goals and are typically based on a self-referenced personal performance standard for an individual rather than in comparison to another opponent. For example, a person may want to break the 20:00 mark in their next 5k or improve their maximal strength in the squat or bench press exercise.

Goals should be broken down into long-term and short-term goals. Short-term goals provide a strategy to achieve the long-term goal via attainable steps. A long-term goals should be a meaningful pursuit for an individual. The NSCA recommends that short-term goals be made effective yet challenging and has about a 50% chance of success. A short-term goal that is meaningless and/or not difficult enough will allow a person to go through the motions as opposed to investing real effort into attaining the goal.

When setting goals keep in mind the following:



Action Oriented


Time Bound

(also known as SMART)

Let’s look at an example. Jill is a sedentary women who weights 200 lbs. She wants to lose 10% of her bodyweight. Ten percent of her bodyweight is 20lbs. Because Jill is working with a personal trainer, she knows that losing 20lbs in one month is unrealistic and very unhealthy. Working with her personl trainer, she devised an effective goal and training plan. Her goal is to lose 20lbs in 6 months. The goal is realistic in that it is healthy to lose about 0.5-2lbs a week. Jill should lose 20lbs in 20 weeks, but she decided to give herself an extra 4 weeks in case she had a bad week or two. Jill and her trainer also created several process goals, such as replacing her normal Diet Coke with a large glass of water and keeping a positive attitude when working with her trainer.

So as many of you start making your 2013 goals keep in mind the above information. For the past week I have been writing up my 2013 goals in my triathlon, professional, and personal life. Of course, I have some lofty goals that I know I may never reach (i.e. KONA!), but it keeps me motivated to work hard in the mean time. Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having some big dreams.

~ Happy Training!

Running Injuries & November Goals

Yesterday was the first of November. Gasp! Where did the time go?! Before I know it, it will be January 1st and the beginning of Ironman Lake Placid Training! Honestly, I’m glad October is over. I’m going into November being done with my official classes for my MPH (I just have to finish my internship and thesis paper), a new job (actually a third job) that I’m super excited about and will help lead me to where I want to be in life, and without the baggage of jerk. I love a fresh slate!

November Goals:

1. Study and pass a very important test coming up! I’ve been taking a bunch of practice tests so I know my weak areas and now I just need to focus on those topics so I can pass this darn test! Let’s just say that it is related to my new job 🙂

2. Along the same line, FINISH my damn Masters Thesis so I can officially add the MPH behind my name! I’ve been lacking the motivation to work on my thesis and I’m behind. A lot. Opps! :-/ But, now that I’m done my health policy class I can focus on writing and crunching a bunch of epidemiology data so I can be done by the end of December.

3. My nutrition has been really bad lately. Some old issues with food have become a problem lately so I need to focus on that and fix the problem before it becomes an even larger one. I made the decision to work with a nutritionist to ensure that I am eating and fueling properly for my workouts, especially when I resume structured training in January with my coach.

4. I need to work on my time management skills and organization. I’ve always been very good with time management and I’m a fairly organized person. Although, my supervisor at work would disagree because my desk is a mess. It’s an organized mess, I swear! 🙂 I do well with balancing work, school, and training. Last spring I did all three and still retained a 4.0 GPA. However, as I go into January I need to be extremely organized because I know my schedule will be crazy and busy. I need to start preparing meals in advance, make sure I have clean clothes to wear for my various jobs and workouts and make time to get my workouts in! And, also have time for fun things!

5. Expand my network. I’m working on broadening my horizons and meeting new people. I’ve decided to try classes and attend events that I would not have done in the past. Thus far I have been having fun and I think I have met a few good new training partners and also I hope to make connections for when I do eventually launch my future business I can be successful at it.

And now, for something completely different…

For the past couple of Fall seasons I have dealt with Plantar Fasciitis and it sucks. Being injured sucks.

I came across this video on Facebook  the other day and it is by far one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. I hope no one takes offense to it… but so worth the watch. I was in tears by the end.

~ Happy Training!

100th Post!

Today marks my 100th post! I think I’m suppose to celebrate or do some sort of blog give-away… is that how it works in the blogging world? I really have no clue what is the “cool” thing to do. I just learned what “IMHO” means recently. It means “in my honest opinion” in case you’re wondering! But I guess it is a small milestone in my little world.

I started a blog last fall for several reasons, none of which I never really mentioned before. I enjoy writing. I know I’m not the best writer (although if you look at both my MCAT and GRE scores I’m at the top percentile for my writing abilities… just don’t look at my pitiful verbal scores…). I was a long time reader of several triathlon-focused blogs before I began my own. There were so many times that I read something and thought “OMG, I thought I was the ONLY person who said/thought/did that!” Reading other people’s thoughts helped me realized that as much as non-triathlon people think I’m crazy, I’m really not. Pissing yourself during a race is completely normal…. 

And to be totally cliche, part of the reason I wanted to start a blog was to help and/or inspire other people. Now, I know I’m not an amazing athlete and I certainly haven’t come back from the dead to do something stellar. I’m just an average girl with average intelligence and average athletic abilities who has big dreams. Someday I want to qualify and compete at Kona. I know that dream may never ever happen and I’m completely okay with that. And for someone to claim that I think I’m a stellar athlete is just plain silly. I’ve certainly come along way in my journey so far (with so much more to go), but, I know I will always be average.

Another reason that I started a blog was eventually I want to get into coaching and this is a way to put my name out there. Perhaps no one will ever want to hire me. I’m not an amazing athlete (like a lot of coaches), but the one thing that I can tell people is that I understand physiology and the principles of coaching (or I will once I take the triathlon level I coaching seminar hopefully next year).

I came across this quote from a friend’s Facebook page and it really hit home with me:

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” -Unknown

This year has been a big year for me in terms of athletics, educational/professional, and personal. I hit a rough patch around March when I began questioning a lot of things in my life and what I really wanted to do in life. A lot of it had to do with hitting the big 2-5 and the anniversary of my mother’s death. I also realized that I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life. Since then I have been putting my “ducks in a line” to get where I ultimately want to be. I’m excited about what the future as in store for me in the next couple of years. I will be done officially with my MPH in December (as long as I don’t pull my hair out for taking 7 very demanding credits this semester and working two jobs. HELLO no free time!) and I’m currently applying for another graduate program in the area that I want to work (because obviously one masters degree isn’t enough!). If all goes as planned then I’ll be making some changes… 🙂


~ Happy Training!

Reflections on the 2012 Season and 2013 Goals

Now that my triathlon season is done for 2012 I have been reflecting on my goals that I set back in November 2011 for the 2012 season. This season was truly a breakthrough season for me and I am very proud of my accomplishments. The previous two years were spent learning the sport and having fun. Last year after Pumpkinman I decided that I wanted to become more competitive and thus I needed to crack down and become more serious about training. I won my AG at Pumpkinman, but honestly I don’t consider it to be a true win. There was only myself and two other girls in my AG. We were not a very competitive AG. If you look at the overall female results, I finished in the bottom of the pack. I want to be towards the top. I knew my strengths and I knew my weaknesses. My biggest weakness was running. I hated running and I was slow. I don’t think anyone truly understands how frustrated I was with my lack of running prowess and thus I made it my number one goal to improve on in 2012.

When I began working with Mary, she had me write out five goals for the 2012 season. Here are my goals and my reflections on them.

2012 Goals:

1. Improve on my running – Running has always been my worst nemesis. I hated it. I was slow and I was making some improvements, but not as much as I thought I should be. My father openly joked in front of friends and family that he walked faster than I could run. I knew if I ever wanted to reach my goals and dreams then I needed to make some serious improvements in my running. My coach helped me turn into a runner this year and it is by far my proudest accomplishment this year! I had some pretty frustrating runs earlier in the year. The Cape 10-miler went horribly, mostly because I was running while sick (again). I’d complain and she told me that I WILL find my inner running goddess and I just had to put in the hard work, be patient, and believe in myself. Much of my problem with running was all mental. Running hurt so mentally I would just give up. After taking Mary’s advice I did have that breakthrough run the end of March where I found my inner running goddess and really fell in love with running. Since then I have really enjoyed running. Sure, I still have days when I don’t want to lace up my shoes and get out the door, but after I start I am happy. I’ve learned how to push myself into that uncomfortable pace and stay there. Beach to Beacon was a huge race for me this year. I had never done a 10k before and when Mary gave me my plan for the day I thought she was crazy. I thought for sure I could never hold the pace that she gave me. However, I totally nailed it! There are a lot of motivational sayings going around the Facebook world that state things like “It doesn’t matter how fast you run a mile, but that you still ran that mile” or “You’re lapping everyone that is still on the couch.” I guess I have always been a runner, but I never let myself believe I was until now. I believed that I wasn’t a true runner unless I could run x amount of speed. This year I overcame my own mental hurdles of hating runner to really becoming a runner and it is a huge accomplishment for me.

2. Work on my endurance so I finish every race strong – Going into this season I knew I wanted to do an Ironman in 2013. I knew in order to successfully complete an Ironman in a time that I view respectable for myself I needed to build a really good endurance base. I had big races this past season that I really wanted to perform well in, but I was very much looking forward into 2013. I feel that I do have a very strong base and I will continue to build an even stronger base going into 2013.

3. Finish the bike (56 miles) under 3 hours – I missed this goal by about 2 minutes at Rev3 and I’m definitely disappointed in it. However, I did have a good bike leg. I kept a pretty steady pace and stayed consistently within my HIM power zones so I really can’t complain. My VI wasn’t perfect, but it’s slowly improving. I definitely feel that my bike fitness is lacking. I have always felt that it was my strongest leg, but this year has proved that it is not. However, this year was a big year for me in terms of developing cycling technique. My coach has really taught me how to ride a bike. It sounds kind of funny to say because how hard is it really to ride a bike? You just hop on and pedal! Not true. There is actually a lot of technique and skills required to successfully ride a good bike leg. The best investment I have made (other than hiring a coach) has been my powermeter. Not only does it help me pace myself smartly throughout a race, but also tells my coach how I am riding. She can see my cadence (which has historically been low, but is now improving) and when I push too much power and ultimately “light a match.” Too many lit matches in a long course tri and you’ll be a goner on the run. I definitely have made some huge improvements on the bike, but I have much more hard work to do over the winter months. It’s going to be one long winter on the trainer….

4. Build core strength and flexibility to remain injury free – I spent A LOT of time last fall/winter working with a trainer once a week and attending a boot camp at least once a week. Early spring I did a core class twice a week. I also tried to get to a yoga class at least once a week over the late fall/early winter months. I made HUGE improvments in my body composition and strength in general. I have lost close to 25 pounds and 6% body fat. My range of motion has improved and I really think focusing on strength training helped with fixing the “pause” in my swim stroke and also improved my running biomechanics. I have also been working with a really awesome chiropractor that helps keep my body functioning in top notch condition. I stayed injury free until late July when my right hip locked up. It is still bothering me a bit and now I have a lingering right foot pain. Hopefully, both will be fixed soon!

5. Improve my nutrition – I spent a lot of time reading and researching about nutrition. Last fall I weighed about 145 pounds and at my height of 5’4″ I was borderline overweight even though I was very active. I decided that I needed to make a change. I always thought I ate a pretty healthy diet and I pretty much did. The biggest thing I did in my nutrition was to change the way I think about food. Food was no longer a treat after a workout. Food was fuel for my next workout. I also learned a lot about nutrient timing and what to eat and when. I also made the focus to eat more plant-strong with small quanities of dairy (i.e. Greek yogurt) and meat. As I mentioned above, I lost a lot of weight. I believe much of it was due to my training load, the extra lean body tissue that I had built through strength training, and also diet.

Some goals for 2013:

  1. Learn to pee on my bike! – This one is mostly for you all because I’m sure you are all tired of hearing me talk about it!
  2. Finish my first Ironman – Obviously, Lake Placid is my “A” race of the season. I kind of have an estimated time that I would like to finish under, but I know that I shouldn’t put very high expectations on myself for such a big race. Anything can happen at an Ironman and the goal is certainly to finish!
  3. Build bike fitness and strength – As I mentioned above I feel that my bike fitness is lacking. Lake Placid is a tough and hilly course so I want to be strong and ready to conquer that course in a decent time. Plus, I still want that sub-3 hour bike split in a HIM!
  4. Improve body composition – I made HUGE improvements in my body this past year and much of the fall will be spend improving my body composition more. I have a goal race weight for Lake Placid. I know I can carry some extra weight over the winter months and I should be able to drop it quite quickly once IM training kicks in, but I really want to focus on losing some body fat and building lean tissue. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to work with a trainer again this fall/winter because it’s just not in my budget, but I’ll work my tushy off again at the gym and take some bootcamp and yoga classes again.
  5. Continue to improve my running – I made enormous gains in my running fitness this past year and I want to continue gaining in 2013 and the future. Much of this fall will be spent running, as long as my right foot stops hurting. I had considered running a fall marathon back in July, but decided against it because I wasn’t sure I could manage the training with working two jobs and my last semester of graduate school. Instead, I’ll run at least one half-marathon this fall and some more in 2013.
  6. Continue to improve on my nutrition – I still have much to learn about nutrition, especially for my upcoming Ironman training and also race day plan. I plan to work with a sports dietitian during the winter month to develop a good nutrition plan for training and racing.

Future/Lifetime Goals:

  1. I would like to qualify and compete at the 70.3 World Championships in the next five years. I definitely have a ton of work to do to qualify, but I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility.
  2. Okay, please don’t laugh at me for this one because this is the first time ever really telling anyone this but… I want to qualify and compete at Kona. I know it is totally a long stretch for me, but I hope to make it happen. But I guess I should probably do my first Ironman first…
  3. Compete at Nationals. I actually qualified last year at Pumpkinman for Nationals, but didn’t race due to the fact it was the weekend before Rev3. Plus, I really don’t think I deserved the qualification and probably would have finished at the bottom of my age group.
  4. Become a triathlon coach. I’m hoping to get my certification next year but it depends on affordibility too since I would have to fly somewhere to get it.

~ Happy Training!


Happy New Year (Only a few days late)!
2011 was a great year and I can’t wait to see what unfolds in 2012!
I’m not one to make resolutions. How many of you made a resolution on New Years only to break in a few days, weeks, or months later? Yup, I’m one of them too. Instead I’m making goals. I’m very driven and ambitious and the type of person who works hard to reach a goal. So, here are my goals for 2012:
1. Nutrition – Nutrition has become an important part of my training and life recently. I’m beginning to look at nutrition as more than “mmm… that tastes good” and more as fueling my body for tough workouts. I’ve discover that I eat healthy, but not at the right times. My focus this year is to figured out what works best for my body and training to reach the optimal body composition and performance. I know this won’t magically happen over night (wouldn’t it be awesome if it did!), but will be a year-long and life-long commitment. Since I have become interested in nutrition, I’ve decided to hopefully make a career in it, but more on that in a future post.
2. Training – Training is a priority for me. I’m working with an amazing group of individuals who will help me attain my goals this year, but the only person who is really going to get me there is myself. I need to believe in my own abilities to get myself through a tough workout and/or race.
3. School – If all goes well I will graduate in December 2012 with a Masters in Public Health. I only have 4 courses left (3 of which I will take this spring and 1 in the summer) and then my internship and capstone project. I have an excellent GPA and I intend on keeping it that way since I plan of continuing in school for my PhD. I also need to study for GREs. Yikes, I’m not a very good standardized test taker, but with some consist studying I should do already.
4. Work – I just got an awesome job opportunity, which I am taking. I will still continue to work my full time job at my biotech company, but plan to work a part time job. I’m not giving out details at this time because things are still being finalized. BUT, I’m super excited because it is an direction in what I hope to do in the future.
5. Time management – I’m usually pretty good at time management and I actually work better under pressure. With my new schedule of work (x2), training, school, and having some sort of social life I need to be on top of my game as far as time scheduling and organizing. And this also means being on top of laundry (no one likes stinky clothes) and meal prepping!
So far 2012 is off to an amazing start. I’m super pumped for what is going to offer. I really look forward to growing in my professional, educational, and athletic careers this year!
Now onto a spin session on my trainer (while watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, at least the trainer is good for watching trashy tv!) 🙂