Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My new impossible goal

After a few very unpleasant mystery injuries at the end of 2007, I decided to take a break from sitting for actuarial exams. They're pretty heinous, and consume your life. And while my life was being consumed by studying for exams, my body has been falling apart.

So this year I resolved to improve my physical life ... to improve my nutrition, and to become "someone who exercises".

But I'm *not* a "resolution" person. Resolutions don't last for me. So if I want to make permanent changes I have to start with long-term temporary changes. And I'm only going to stick with those temporary changes if I'm working toward a specific goal. This is my elaborate method to trick myself into changing my life.

So this year it's the Test of Endurance (TOE), a local 50 mile mountain bike race. There isn't a ton of information online, but one guy's posted his personal data on last year's race. Check out the elevation profile ... 9,800 feet of climbing! Crap! All I want out of this is to be a finisher, but that's a hell of a carrot. Or stick.

And if the TOE's not enough to keep me on task, then nothing is. So --
I've been swimming and lifting a couple of days a week, and riding (of some sort) 4 days a week.
I've made more small tweaks to my diet.
I'm seeing a physical therapist regularly, and I've been following her advice and doing my exercises.

I also did a bunch of testing ... Thyroid is good, Cholesterol is good ... and my only allergies, as it turns out, are to Cane Sugar, and to a lesser degree baker's yeast.

I have more tweaks to make to my nutrition. Lots of tweaks really, but I'm trying to make permanent changes ... so one thing at a time.
I need to stay on track with my training, and probably get some expert advice from a coach or training program some time in the next few weeks.
I've also learned to tape my knee, but I need to get more consistent about doing that before my rides.
I also need to get more consistent about taking Ibuprofen (or some anti-inflammatory) before and after I ride.

The thought of that TOE looming in my future has already inspired me to stick with a few changes this past month, and I'm confident I'll stick with those changes, and make other improvements. I'm loving having a whole new kind of goal. Getting out of my head and into my body.

More later ... all this working out doesn't leave me much time to post, but I'll get around to it. Meantime, check out my exercise blog to see what I've been up to.


MTB Man said...

I've known a couple of actuaries in my life but none that ride 50 miles on a mountain bike! ;-)
Good luck on the "TOE".
Me, I'm riding 50 miles on the road and not a race so not so ambitious but it's a start.

Stephanie said...

Thanks! I still have a bunch of exams to take, but those will have to wait until next year. This year I'm all about the biking.

Good luck with your goals too! 50 miles on the road still takes discipline and determination.