January Monthly Reflections

A look back at my January – the month I turned 30.

A new year and a new calendar.

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My teapigs Matcha Challenge kit.

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My home is complete thanks to Ingrid finding the welcome mat I have wanted since I knew I was buying a house.

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Packing with cats was a new experience.(null)

My Kindle Keyboard died right before my holiday.

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Skiing for my 30th birthday in beautiful Italy.

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I now have a new favourite drink – the bombadino!

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I treated the cats to  Cat Hampurr

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I got to go see and meet one of the people I find inspirational – Jillian Michaels

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I bought myself a new Kindle.

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I have enjoyed reading lots of monthly reflection type posts and have decided to start my own!

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Adventures in Books… Triathlon for Every Woman

triathlonforevery woman

“Triathlon for the Every Woman is a hilarious, fun and informative read–full of expert advice, training tips, and stories to turn a tired, busy woman into a tired, busy woman TRIATHLETE–no matter her size, age or place in life.

Meredith Atwood, an overweight and overworked wife, mother and attorney, went from the couch to the finish of a half Ironman triathlon in a little over a year. Her book, full of contributions from expert coaches, nutritionists and athletes, takes the reader through the disciplines of swimming, biking and running. In addition, the book includes comical accounts of battling the scale and the balancing act of training with a spouse, kids and a full-time job. The book will inspire and entertain– and have even the busiest of women taking on the challenge of swimming, biking and running. Even for those lacking in time, motivation or hope, Triathlon for the Every Woman will turn everything around and make any woman a believer.

Meredith Atwood, better known in the blog world as “Swim Bike Mom,” is a writer and attorney. In just over a year, she went from super fat to the finish line of her first half Ironman triathlon. Since that time, she has finished several half marathons, triathlons, including Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2013. Her blog, www.SwimBikeMom.com is a girl’s best friend…and a male triathlete’s guilty pleasure. She lives in the burbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband (The Expert), two Swim Bike Kids, and hundreds of jars of peanut butter.”

I’ve started reading triathlon books. You would of thought I would have done that when I started, but it hasn’t been until I wanted to take on the bigger challenge of a 70.3 triathlon that I wanted to read about people who are like me taking on the same challenge. I’ve been reading the blog Swim Bike Mom for a while and thought her book would be a good place to start. I related totally to the premise ‘for the every woman’. Sometimes it feels like triathlon is a sport only for the super fit, but I think anyone could do it if they wanted to and that is the key.

I found this book informative and funny. It felt like a real person, rather than a over ally formal coaching book or plan. I like her honesty about the pain and the mental struggle as well as the physical side of training. On my Kindle I think this may be the first book I highlight and added notes to!

I felt the challenge she was going through, but I also felt the determination and pride in every milestone. I liked that she got advice from lots of different people. I envy that she has a coach and definitely envy the relationship with that coach. It is something i am going to be looking for in the people I surround myself with going forward.

I would recommend this book to any woman wanted to start triathlon. It has made me feel better and less overwhelmed, but more realistic about my goals and desires when it comes to this sport.

The only question I kept asking whole reading this book was ‘how much sleep do you get?’. There were many 4:30am mornings and I just know I would have to be in bed at 6pm if I started doing that, so defeats the object of having a life at the same time. Maybe that is the problem I have – I want a life outside of triathlon, even when I’m going to be training for the longest one I may ever do!

Catching Up

Where has this month gone? I know was skiing for one week, but the rest of it has disappeared and I feel like I haven’t stopped!

I took the first two weeks off for my birthday (30th did I mention that?) and went skiing. The last two weeks I was back at work and into the full swing of things as soon as I stepped in the door.

I feel I have a new attitude when it comes to work and no longer want to wait for things to come to me just because I’m busy. Rather I want to seek out opportunities to show my ideas and capability.

I feel this way about my life in general really.

I also needed a bit of time to reflect. Someone let me down earlier this month in terms of how I thought they saw me and supported me and it made me very sad. I had to deal with that as it conflicted against everything I wanted my 30th year to be.

So I have reflected and now I realise it does not matter what other people think of me. It’s none of my business. If I don’t agree with the advice someone offers, you know what? I don’t have to take it. If someone doesn’t agree with how I live my life, they can fuck off. (I’m also going to embrace swearing a bit more – I’ve always been a good girl, but I was to rebel).

I’ve taken stock of what I committed to and what my priorities are and have made some decisions. I have cut back my volunteer swim coaching. I am putting boundaries on my future volunteering to make sure I get my swimming in. I am putting work first during the week. I am putting my schedule first and will join in with group activities when it suits me, not when it suits other people. Basically I’m being selfish and loving it.

I’m still going to help people and will be there online and at the end of the phone, but on my terms.

So where is Wandering Angie going this year?

  • The big goal is the 70.3 triathlon
  • Work towards a job in the next level up
  • My other aim is to train for a 5k and 10k swim
  • Become a qualified swim teacher
  • Develop closer to friendships with the right people
  • Put my health first
  • Coffee, Tea, and books of course!

It’s going to be a busy year and I’ve looking forward to it!

2015 Goals

I’ve been thinking about my goals for the year ahead. I don’t make resolutions, but I like to sit down at this time of year (although a little later than normal this year) and think about what I want to do in the year ahead.

For me 2015 and turning 30 makes it already a big year. I have wanted to turn a corner in my life for the last few years and I want 2015 to finalise that for me. Heading into my third decade for me means I want to always be myself. What other people think about me is none of my business. I want people to respect me, rather than aiming for everyone to like me. I want to let go of those last few things that are really my parents in my head and make sure I’m living my life exactly how I want to and to my own values.

For me 2015 is about three things:

– weight
– fitness
– work

These take on different things depending on the person, but I know what I want to achieve with each thing. I am not going to lay it out here as some bits are extremely personal and are not for airing on my blog. However these will also impact on what I post about and my adventures over the next 12 months so I want to share where I am going and what I am thinking about.

I’ve learnt from Project Lifestyle last year and I over complicated things. This year I am keeping it simple and focusing on one thing at a time. Sometimes things will link and work towards two goals at the same time, but otherwise they each have their own focus and importance and priority.

Learning from Project Lifestyle

I spent 2014 trying to manage my life like a project. In some aspects this was successful, and other aspects it was not. It was an interesting experiment. However I know I made it over complicated and therefore was trying to do too much at the same time and not giving anything my full attention.

I wanted to look back at my original aims of the project to see what I achieved.

  • I want to wear a dress to the running club christmas party – I did this, but it was not the dress I intended. However I was impressed that I had the confidence to do this and am happy i achieved this.
    • either fitting into one of my Coast ones or a new one – didn’t do
  • I want to wear a dress to work in summer – didn’t do
  • I want to have completed 4 triathlons – I completed 3, but also became a level 1 qualified coach, so more than happy with this
    • 400m 20km 5km – completed
    • 3 of 750m 20km 5km – 2 completed
  • I want to lose 3 stone (42lbs) using MFP and Exercise with Nike Fuelband and understanding my binge eating – this was the main one that did not go to plan and I don’t think worked being managed as a project. I liked the fuelband for a while, but grew bored. I got fed up with MFP as I don’t like th social media side of it. I worked at unrest anoint my binge eating and this will be something I continue to work at.
  • I want to fit back into several items of clothing which I was in at my lowest weight of 12st 7lbs – not achieved
    • Oasis Coat
    • Next Boyfriend Jeans
    • Coast Purple Flower Dress
    • Purple Suede Jacket
  • I want to beat my club gala times at swimming and do the 800m Free with tumble turns – this was mixed, but my goal also changed to completing all events possible and I did that as well as doing tumble turns so I am happy I achieved this even if my times were about the same for the events I have previously done.
  • I want to take part in more shorter distance club champ runs and beat my times of the ones I did in 2013 (specific goals to follow) – running went out the window in 2014 due to two sprained ankles and a lack of confidence. I want to go back to basics and just enjoy running for ruining, rather than signing up for different events.

Overall Project Lifestyle was interesting, but I set it up in too complicated a way. I worked towards the goals that were important to me, and others fell away for different reasons. I am going to learn from this for 2015 and focus on a few things that are the most important. I found it also did not allow for flexibility, which does not work for me. Later in the year I found I needed to change my goals to reflect my current situation and the project management approach was not constructive. I think I need a plan, but in steps rather than a set project plan. An interesting experiment and one I have learned from and will take away from greatly.

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