A Year of Extremes

Extremes. That’s my theme for 2008.

I bought a card the other day that says:

Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible.
-Cadet Maxim

What I want to do this year is an extension of these ideas. For training, that means pushing everything beyond what makes sense and certainly beyond what’s easy and seeing what happens. From this, I am making a few simple commitments to myself.

My workout schedule will be as follows:

Monday: Swim (am), yoga (pm)
Tuesday: Run (am), Strength (pm)
Wednesday: Swim (am) or Off
Thursday: Run (am), Texas Iron (pm)
Friday: Swim (am), Strength (am)
Saturday: Bike (am)
Sunday: Run (am)

Sometimes Texas Iron calls for a combo workout on weekends or even mid-week, so this plan may be modified slightly, but the general plan is as I’ve described. This base plan provides for 13.5 hours a week, assuming that all the weekday workouts last only an hour (except for yoga, which is 90 minutes) and the weekend workouts last only two. In all likelihood, those are underestimations, which means I’d probably be getting closer to 16 hours of working out per week. This plan covers cardio, strength, and flexibility, which are three of the five components Jake discussed. The key will be sticking to it as closely as possible no matter what’s happening at work, regardless of whether my Ethan is in town for a movie premiere, or whether I’m on the road for whatever reason. I am finally keeping a training log, so I’ll be holding myself to this, and you’re welcome at any point to ask me to see the log. I welcome the accountability.

Nutrition is the fourth component. Jake would like me to be militant about what goes into my body. Since this is my year of extremes, I would like that as well. I’m focusing on whole foods and eliminating processed foods. My meals should focus on beans, nuts, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, yogurt, and little else. No Hot Tamales or other candies at work. No toaster waffles and syrup at home. No chips and salsa in restaurants. To help myself, I’m limiting my eating out to once per week, and I bought myself a slow cooker and some vegetarian slow cooker recipe books. I will figure out how to eat better than I do. I’m also planning to recruit Mom in this effort, as I’m sure she’ll be willing to help me pack meals and snacks that are consistent with what I’ve described. She’s super helpful that way.

The fifth component is professional assistance. I’ve got that down between Texas Iron and Jake. I just need to stick with what they tell me to do. For Texas Iron, that means doing a brick if that’s what the schedule for calls. For Jake, that means using the vitamins and supplements he recommends, no matter how smelly they seem or gross they taste.

The other piece I see is sleep. The older I get, the more of it I need. So this year, it’s early to bed and early to rise for me. The goal is home by 9:30 and in bed with the TV off or book put away by 10:30, no matter what night of the week. That way I can be up at 5:15 each day. (I’ll technically be violating this by being out New Year’s Eve, but this commitment will begin the evening of January 1.)

Some (aka Jenny Cook) would say that this plan will make me rather boring, and to some extent, I would have to agree. Still, though my nights of heavy drinking and partying until 3am are over for the time being, I think it’s safe to say that my social life and habits will not change all that much. I might see less of Hayes Carll this year, and I likely won’t hit the Alamo Drafthouse solo for a 10pm screening mid week, but I’ll still see the people I love, and I’ll get my fill of movies. It’ll be a good year.

If I make workouts my priority, am careful about what I put in my mouth, and give myself plenty of time to recover from the strain I’m putting on my body, I should be able to finish my race, manage my one pull up that I’ve always wanted to do, and perhaps be a tad closer to having abs like Jeanie. Now we’re dreaming!

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