Every year the
Columbus Oktoberfest is my favorite festival in Columbus. I love celebration of
German heritage, the polka, the beer, the food and all of the other fun sights
and sounds. We have been going for years but things have changed a bit over the
past couple of years.
Two years ago I
posted the following post when leaving Oktoberfest.
Last year I made good on this goal and I ran the Oktoberfest Meiler Vier (which is a 4-miler) and set my very first personal record, or “P.R.” The race wasn’t easy but I did it and it was a meaningful moment for me. I wrote about this in my blog post Week 64: A Proud Moment.
Well it is
Oktoberfest weekend again and I ran in my second Meiler Vier race. Once again
it was a PR for a race over 5k.
I thought it was an
overall personal record but I had a ridiculously fast race on St. Patrick’s Day
that I haven’t been able to replicate since. I don’t know why but I am not able
to get significantly faster and that race was a clear anomaly.
I am seeing progress
with my pace but not as much as I had hoped. It is a little frustrating but I
know I am progressing. So, with 2019 nearing 75% complete, I thought this might
be a good time to reflect on how I am doing with my goals.
So I looked back at my final blog from 2018 to reflect on the goals I shared at that time. Note that I also have others that are more private.
Let’s start with the
elephant in the room and that is my weight. My weight loss was the focus of the
first 18 months of my Operation Melt
fitness journey. But the weight loss switched to maintenance at the start of
2019. My weight goal for 2019 was:
End my weight loss journey and maintain a healthy, comfortable weight between 189 and 199 pounds using the techniques that helped me be successful (tracking, good decisions).
maintenance mode didn’t work for me as well as I had hoped. I learned that I
was underestimating portion sizes and, in maintenance mode, I didn’t have the
cushion that I had in weight loss mode to accommodate. So I saw my weight tick
up a bit in the first half of this year.
Let me pause here
for a reality check about my weight. Let’s start with the “tick up a
bit” comment… we are talking about a total of 7 average monthly pounds
difference between my December/January low point and my July high point of this
year – which was during my vacation.
That is just 3% of my body weight and I have brought it back down to
only being up 4 pounds on average. So these are micro adjustments.
I need to keep these
weight changes in in the broader context. Being up 4 pounds versus my 131
pounds that I decreased still means I lost 127 pounds and maintained that loss.
Also there are some
other facts I have figured out about my weight situation. I have gained a lot
of muscle which is going to cause my weight to go up a bit and I should be
happy about that.
Plus my initial goal
of maintaining at 189-199 pounds may not have been practical and healthy. Given
how much my daily weight fluctuates now and how much there seems to be a floor
on my low weight I am very likely at my lowest healthy weight. My doctor has
even warned that the 189 point may result in muscle loss and that I should
Overall I am
healthy, I am happy and I am able to maintain my weight loss over the long
haul. Do I have to periodically make adjustments to stay where I want to be,
yes! But these adjustments are called life and my weight is just one small
aspect of my fitness and my life. Plus it is lagging measurement that I can’t
control on a daily basis. So I need to focus on the things that I can control.
My second fitness
goal for this year was focused on being a runner.
Continue to improve as a runner by running 2 half marathons (April, October) and average one race per month with continually improving times. Get to a 5k pace consistently under 9 minutes by summer.
This is another goal
where I have had mixed success this year. I have averaged one or more races per
month through this year starting on new years day. I have run 6 5k races, 1
4-miler, 1 10k, 1 half marathon race and 1 solo half marathon. That has been a
lot of running so far this year and that is just the races not the normal runs
through my week.
I have already run
two half marathons (1 formal, 1 informal) and my next race is the Columbus
Marathon half in October. I also am registered for two 5k races in November and
one in December and I still haven’t signed up for anything on Thanksgiving
morning. So I am on track to exceed that goal.
As for my pace I am
not on track to achieve the goal I set forth. Since March my average pace for
my runs hasn’t decreased. When I try to run too fast I end up with pain and a
lengthy recovery from the run which sidelines me for a few days. So I intentionally
throttle myself to a more comfortable pace. Plus I have injured myself a bit
and might have a stress fracture on my toe (but I think it is just a bruise or
sprain) so that means I am slowing myself even more.
One thing I could do
better with my pace goal is to approach it with more structure. So far I have
said that I want to achieve the goal and then I just keep doing the same thing
over and over again just hoping to get faster. I think I need to put a more structured
plan in place to make this happen.
I continue to do
better as a runner (comfort, posture, etc.) and I am doing better on a
race-for-race basis so I am mostly happy with my pace. It isn’t where I wanted
to be but that may not have been a realistic or advisable goal for this year.
Finally I had two
other fitness goals for this year.
Build a more structured workout routine and continue to build and shape my body while setting new personal records.
Try new things including yoga, CrossFit, climbing and other activities.
I have done an ok
job with these goals so far. I have increased my bench press from a starting
point of about 50 pounds total to 135 pounds as my maximum so far. That is
nearing 70% of my body weight which is amazing. My goal was to get to 100
pounds by June and I exceeded that goal and kept going.
Plus I am definitely
seeing progress with building and shaping my body. I have made so much progress
that people say that my current headshot photo doesn’t even look like me today.
Plus there are lots of people who don’t recognize me at all.
The goal of trying
new things has been less successful. I did yoga for a few weeks but then
skipped a couple of weeks due to snow storms causing cancellation. Then I just
didn’t go back and probably need to. I still want to try spinning and CrossFit
but it just hasn’t been a priority for me.
Finally I have made
progress through this year with telling my story and helping others. I have had
a couple of small-scale coaching opportunities to help people achieve their
goals. So that has been positive but my telling of my story has been even better,
This year, really
just a few short months ago, I launched my book. While the sales have been a
little slower that I had hoped it is selling. I just hope my readers are
getting some benefit from the book. And there are still some surprises coming.
On a related topic
my change in my day job has also helped bring my story to life. I am
legitimately using project management to help people live their healthiest
lives every day. So I am working in a position aligned with my calling. How
many people get to say that?!
In summary, with
2019 almost 75% done, I am very happy with my progress versus my fitness goals.
I am also happy with my progress with many of my non-fitness goals. But I still
need to finish strong!
How are you doing
with your goals this year? Are you happy with your progress so far? Let’s keep
focused and end strong so we can work together to build a world where goals
never die of loneliness!