Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The road ahead

In a few weeks I'll be turning 44, and I just lived through the death of my father. Not surprisingly, I have been thinking a lot about the direction my life is going and whether I'd like to make any changes.  I'm thinking that it's time to at least start exploring the possibilities.

Some things I definitely don't want to change. I'm happy with my marriage and family life (just in case you were wondering, Jesse) and I like where I live.

I know I'm ready to start pushing myself more physically, which is why I put together an aggressive set of goals for next year's triathlon season. I'm going to put some time into building strength this winter, and I also have picked up rowing classes as a new item in the rotation, which works my arms, back, core, and legs.

I also want to take a few more smart risks (no jumping off buildings). Life is too short to postpone going after my dreams. I'm still working on some of the details, but I want to take some steps toward a better, more fulfilling life.  I will keep you all posted.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Training log fail

I just don't do well with logging my training. I managed it for a week.

I went to "catch up" my log using my old Polar F7, and found that the diary erases itself every new calendar week. So that's completely useless. It's worthwhile for seeing the heart rate during the workout, but that's it.

I seem to be failing at every possible method.  Maybe I need something like Garmin Connect that just logs for me as long as I start the thing up? The feature is available on some lower-cost watches, like the Garmin Forerunner 15 Bundle.

Maybe I should just accept that logging isn't for me?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Race plans and free race planning calendar

I have some ambitious race goals for next year.  As I said before, I signed up for a Half Aquabike at Cedar Point's Rev3 Challenge. I am also committing to several other races as warmups, including my third try at an Olympic distance triathlon.

I was looking for a template for a planning calendar like the one above all over the web and couldn't find one.  If you'd like to use it, you can download a blank version of the calendar above as a PDF for printing, or as a Word Document so you can modify as you'd like.

Do you have any big race plans for next year?

Brooke's Skinny Snowman Challenge

I have been in a Weight Watchers slump since mid-September, so I decided to re-energize my healthy habits by joining Brooke's Skinny Snowman Challenge. I have never joined it before, but I think I need it this year. Plus it means I will have support from some of my Fitbloggin' buddies. I think it should be fun.

Brooke is charging $5 to enter the challenge, which includes access to a private Facebook group, the materials to use to participate plus a chance to win prizes. She hadn't charged in past years, but I'd prefer to be part of something where people pay at least a small fee so that there is a smaller, more serious group.

I have already been testing out the challenge chart, which reminds me a lot of Gretchen Rubin's Resolutions Chart, with daily habits that will contribute to weight loss (or maintenance) success:
Some of the challenges you’ll have to complete to get points are drinking water, logging your food, and finding positives in every day. There are also weekly mini challenges to complete for bonus points.
Brooke didn't ask me to promote her challenge but I think it's a great way to stay on track so I wanted to pass the link along to my followers.  Let me know if you decide to participate!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Have you tried Canva?

NaBloPoMo fail: I meant to publish this yesterday, but forgot. I'll catch up by posting a second time later today:

My digital portfolio

If you haven't tried Canva yet, I recommend you try it. I created the header to this blog and the document above using this free, simple tool. It allows anyone to create professional-looking documents, blog headers, and pin-worthy images. 

Canva allows you to upload your own photos and use a lot of free, professional-looking design elements (everything I have used so far was free) and also has premium elements available for only a dollar.  Once you finish your design masterpiece, you can send a link to it, save it as a PDF, or save it as an image file.

The only drawback I have found so far is that clickable links do not seem to work on mobile devices, only desktop/laptop machines. That is a very big drawback if you are (like I was) planning to send your portfolio with links to someone who might open it on a phone or tablet and think it didn't work.  

The authoring tools are also only available for desktop/laptop machines so far, but that is less of a drawback.

Have you tried Canva? What did you use it for?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07