Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2015 Year-End Summary & Thoughts

2015 felt transformative in some ways, After spending a long time being around 150 pounds (or more), I dropped back into a "normal" weight range, and below where I was when I graduated college (the weight gain was mostly gradual ever since the end of high school). I feel more like myself. Physically, that weight loss plus strong training (and lots of racing) got a ton of PRs. 

Abe and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and started trying to get pregnant. Plus I turned 30, and I think with all of that I ought to feel like I'm a real adult now... (anyone know when that will actually kick in?).

I've taken more strides than usual to actually follow-through and do the things that I wished I could do; I've gotten involved in organizations rather than merely signing up for things online. I've done some group runs with No Meat Athlete, participated in the Citizens' Climate Lobby, and joined a non-profit board as treasurer. 

See also mid year updates: January - April. May - August. September - December.

Try 12 new vegetarian restaurants.

There were only a few restaurants we tried that I didn't really like, but I think my favorites are Petunia's, La Vida Veggie, and Next Level Burger. La Vida Veggie is the one I've returned to the most (with Abe, my parents, and friends - probably at least a half dozen times since the initial visit?), but in addition to being good food that's mostly because of proximity.

[x] Papa G's - December (for November)
[x] Sweet Hereafter - October
[x] Van Hanh - March
[xThe Sudra - July
[x] The Whole Bowl - August
[x] A.N.D. Cafe - May
[x] Curry Leaf - February
[x] Petunia's January
[x] La Vida Veggie - April
[x] Next Level Burger - June
[x] Paradox Cafe - September
[x] Departure - December

Try 12 new recipes, each from a different currently-owned cookbook.

Looking back at the recipes I made, I think my favorite was the fried tofu sandwich (why haven't I made this again?!), followed closely by the cowboy cookies. Everything else was, at best, meh, but that's in large part because I was trying to stretch my comfort zone, not because there was necessarily anything wrong with the recipes. 

[xThe Vegan Bible - July (for June)
[x] The New Vegan Cookbook - May
[x] Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar - October (for August)
[x] Vegan Pie in the Sky - December
[x] Vegan Bites - August (for July)
[x] Vegan Junk Food - October (for September)
[x] Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats - March
[x] The Garden of Vegan - February
[x] Chloe's Kitchen January
[x] How it All Vegan - April
[x] Vegan Lunch Box Around the World - December (for November)
[x] Vegan Lunch Box - October

Visit/do 12 "Portland bucket list" type things.

The activities we're most likely to repeat are seeing another Original Practice Shakespeare performance, and further exploring Multnomah Falls and the surrounding trails. Everything was great in helping exposure me to different parts of Portland. 

[x] Do the 4T trail loop. - April
[x] Hike Multnomah Falls. - September
[x] Go to Huber's, Portland's oldest restaurant. - March
[x] Attend a Winterhawks game - January
[x] Go to a local distillery. - February
[x] Underground tour. - August
[x] Visit the Portland Art Museum. - July
[x] Visit the World Forestry Center. - December (for October)
[x] Attend some sort of outdoor theater. - August (for June)
[x] Play disc golf at Mt. Hood. - May
[x] Cross the Tilikum Crossing bridge. - December (for November)
[x] See Peacock Lane Christmas lights. - December

Read 2 books each month.

Least favorite books: The Go-Giver (just icky in many ways) and Founding Mothers (a biut dull, hard to keep track of who was who).

Favorite books: Expecting Better, Love in the Time of Algorithms, and Gone Girl. 

January: 2
The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
Gone Girl

February: 1
Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo

March: 1
Oryx and Crake

April: 0

May: 1
The Year of the Flood

June: 0

July: 2
Hansons Marathon Method
The Go-Giver

August: 1
Founding Mothers

September: 2

October: 4
Expecting Better
Born to Run
Love in the Time of Algorithms

November: 0

December: 2
Do Unto Animals
I Am Malala

Total: 16

Lose 22 pounds.

5 years + 45 pounds apart

Now I just have to maintain it! I'm pretty proud of myself for this (though at the same time, have mixed feelings about other people being proud of it - see this post, and I have another post in progress with some more general thoughts about weight loss and body image).

Starting weight: 146
January 31: 143
February 28: 141
March 31: 140
April 30: 138
May 31: 135
June 30: 133
July 31: 130
August 31: 128
September 30: 124
October 31: 124
November 30: 124
December 31:124

Total: -22 pounds!

Bike 1,500 500 miles.

Out of 69 rides, only 9 were on the road, the rest were indoors on the trainer. After my ego (and knee and elbow - I still have scars) were bruised from a fall in August 2014 (before my first tri), I'm still very hesitant to ride outdoors (though I'm ok in race conditions, on closed or semi-closed roads - traffic wasn't what caused my fall, but it makes me more afraid of falling). Fortunately, I enjoy riding on the trainer (perfect excuse to watch mindless TV!). And based on this year's triathlon, when I merely made sure I got on the road once per week during the training plan, building up strength and endurance indoors is still sufficient to generate improvements in a race. 

January: 35.4 (8/week)
February: 17.55 (4.39/week)
March: 4.1 (1/week)
April: 10.7 (2.50/week)
May: 32.0 (7.23/week)
June: 6.5 (1.52/week)
July: 23.30 (5.26.week)
August: 62.55 (14.12/week)
September: 24.40 (5.69/week)
October: 30.45 (6.87/week)
November: 102.5 (23.9/week)
December: 150.6 (33.8/week)

Total: 500.05

Run 1,000 1,100 miles.

I not only logged my highest mileage ever (631.6 in 2014 and 872.5 in 2013, the years for which I have the full data; earlier years since I started running in 2010 would be, at most, maybe 200 - 400 miles each), but I ran on the most number of days - 255 (200 in 2014 and 209 in 2013), with an average run distance of 4.32. 

I'm proud of my speed (so many PRs, including a lifetime mile best, beating my 8th grade self), as well as my slow running - this aerobic/heartrate training that I've been doing is showing a lot of progress, and I really think it will pan out well when I get back to training for a race.

January: 68.35 (15.4/week)
February: 97.05 (24.26/week)
March: 87.1 (19.7/week)
April: 54.75 (12.78/week)
May: 106.05 (23.95/week)
June: 92.8 (21.65/week)
July: 117.7 (26.58/week)
August: 143.75 (32.46/week)
September: 135.80 (31.68/week)
October: 70.4 (15.89/week)
November: 55.90 (13.04/week)
December: 70.75 (15.9/week)

Total: 1,100.4

Swim 165,000 57,750 yards. 

This beats 2014's yardage (when I re-started swimming as an adult) - although, that year I only started in May and still got to 41,600... 

Of all my activities, swimming is inherently more susceptible to life legitimately getting in the way (there are only certain times when lap swimming is available at the pools (I have a drop-in pass to the parks and rec district, which has 3 or 4 pools near my home or work that I could go to). Some times there really isn't a feasible time to go; sometimes I can use the inconvenience as an excuse to just not make it work. Definitely something to prioritize this year. 

January: 1,200 (271/week) 
February: 2,200 (550/week)
March: 0
April: 5,400 (1,260/week)
May: 4,700 (1,061/week)
June: 0
July: 6,400 (1,445/week)
August: 5,410 (1,222/week)
September: 4,900 (1,143/week)
October: 5,500 (1,242/week)
November: 6,500 (1,517/week)
December: 0

Total: 42,210

Participate in a race each month.

I think the PRs are the result of multiple things. Losing weight definitely helped! I also learned more about pushing myself, of realizing how far I could really push myself pacewise for a given distance and not be totally blowing it before the end. I learned how to be ok with being super uncomfortable. 

January: First Run 5k (PR), 2.62 Micro MarathonFight for Air Stair Climb 80 floors (age group place!)
February: PRC Winter 5k Predict
March: Race for Paws Virtual 10k (unofficial PR), Shamrock Run 5k (PR)
April: Hop Hop half marathon (PR)
May: Bloomsday 12k (PR)
June: Twilight 5k
July: Foot Traffic Flat half marathon (PR)
August: Hood to Coast
September: Best in the West sprint tri (PR), Forest Grove Lions Club Run for Sight 5k (PR), Best Dam Run 10k (PR)
October: Portland Marathon (PR)
November: Tacoma City Turkey Trot
December: Ho Ho 5k

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