Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Post about (Cycling) Motivation........

A while back I wrote a post about motivation, specifically as it relates to my cycling. I talked about the website(s) I use to track my cycling miles, the charts and graphs and calendars and how competitive I am. But only with myself. Because I've given up on EVER catching up to Rozmo's mileage.

Goals are one of my main motivators. Almost every year since I started using an online cycling log, I have set a yearly goal. I haven't made it yet. The closest I ever came was in 2006, when my goal was to ride 2000 miles in that year. On December 31st, I had 1998. I'm not kidding. Of course it was cold, dreary, foggy, rainy, and miserable that day, but I was going to go out and ride my bike the mile up to the middle school and back. Hubby convinced me I was crazy, so I didn't do it. When he mentioned how disappointed he would be if I got hit by a car and killed the day before his birthday, I relented and accepted the failure of not meeting my goal for that year.

Wait.... Shouldn't he have been disappointed on ANY DAY if I got hit by a car and killed?

I think my problem in the past has been that I set a goal for the year, but I never broke it down into manageable parts. Hence situations like last year, when I got really, really serious about meeting my cycling goal only after I bought a new bicycle. In October. And we had the coldest December since the Bubonic Plague. It wasn't even close; I missed it by 181.8 miles.

This year I have approached the goal-setting a little differently. I have a goal of riding 2500 miles this year (since I failed at riding 2010 miles last year, naturally I UPPED the ante), and I have broken the goal down into monthly goals. That's another one of my motivators: I wanted to ride more each month than the same month last year. As you can see from the graph below, I have managed that so far. My goal for March is 150 miles, so I still have a ways to go, but the green bar is already above the one for last year.

My goal for both January and February was 100 miles. I try to be realistic in setting wintertime goals. I rode 116 miles in January and 148 in February (and that was in only 3 rides, strangely enough). 
June and October are going to be pretty hard to beat compared to last year. I have BRAG in June, but I am also doing Paddle Georgia that month, which will take out a whole week of riding. I'm guessing it's hard to paddle a kayak and ride a bike at the same time. It's probably been done before, but I'll not be trying it. 

November may be a challenge too, if I don't do the North Florida tour again. And I won't do the North Florida tour again if temperatures are in the 40's like they were last year. 

I'm perplexed by May and August of last year. Those are prime cycling months, and I did almost no riding. I guess August can be explained because A) it's hot as Hades; and B) school started back. But May? That's right before BRAG, and I should have been training. I guess that was one of those years I decided training was not required. 

As you can tell by looking at the chart, 2009 was an off year for me as far as cycling went. I just wasn't feeling it. I rode ZERO miles in either April, May, or September, and I didn't ride after November. What's up with THAT?

Having these little monthly goals has helped me stay focused. I realize the cycling police will NOT come get me if I don't meet my goal(s), but I also realize that every minute I'm on the bike is contributing to my overall better health. And I'd like to live long enough to enjoy Spring Break, let alone retirement.

I have penciled in my calendar (the paper one, remember?) the potential riding days for this month. March has been a little tougher than usual because for some reason I don't have any organized rides scheduled this month. So I put a notation on each of the days I thought I would have Hubby take me and my bike to school. I almost didn't take the bike today, but then I told myself we are coming to the end of the month, and if I start skipping days, I'll wind up trying to ride 75 miles next Thursday night in the dark. Not really - I only have 42 more to go.

If only I could make myself approach housework so methodically. Hmmmmmm.

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