Baby Steps Towards Achieving My Goals

Last week I shared my 2015 resolutions with you guys and truthfully, that in itself was a big deal. Not only do I not typically make annual goals, but if I do, I rarely share the important ones on the blog. Why? I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s a fear of failure? If I publicize the goal and it doesn’t happen, what then?

Regardless, I did share my goals for the new year, and now I’m taking some baby steps to ensure that I actually accomplish them. After all, going from couch to 55k is a bit unreasonable, amiright? But, setting smaller goals along the way makes the grander objective seem much more attainable.


Goal #1: Get My Eating in Order

When my resolution post was shared on my new Facebook page, a reader pointed how vague this goal was. At first, I wanted to be sassy. But then, I realized he was totally right. Dammit.

Of the group, this goal is my least favorite and the most difficult for me. Why? Because I just want to eat all the things! I am not good at food restriction, especially when I’m eliminating foods that I like. Yes, it’s for my body and I realize that breathing is a critical component of a healthy life, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it!

{If you’re not up-to-date on my food issues in regards to asthma, here’s a timeline.}

As a result, I’ve struggled to reign in my eats. I’m not an unhealthy eater by any means, but there is a slew of healthy foods that still irritate my lungs. Greek yogurt. Honey Stingers waffles. Regular milk. Various types of whole-grain crackers. The list goes on for a bit and it’s really just trial-and-error. And annoying. Sure, I felt great when I was doing the Whole 30 and eliminating absolutely anything processed, but I can’t live that way. Baby steps.

So, what are my baby steps and how am I “getting my eating in order?”

  • Realize that my habits won’t be perfect, but try to cut the irritating foods down to one or two per day
  • Save the “cheat” meals for when I eat out with friends or family. {I hate the expression ‘cheat meal’ btw. It makes it sound like I’m doing something inherently wrong.} It’s easy enough to cook non-irritating meals at home, so I save the full blown, throat-closing meals for fun nights out on the town. Go big or go home, right?
  • Honestly reassessing my running fuel. This one is taking a bit of time and I’ve had to eliminate some of my favorites. I’ll chat more about this one in the coming weeks

Goal #2: Move More

Wearing the Garmin vívofit has been interesting! Like I mentioned last week, I exercise plenty but I’m learning that I go for long periods of time without moving around and that can’t be healthy for me. Additionally, I’m realizing how tricky it can be to get 10k steps in during the day if I don’t run or snowshoe. In fact, I actually had a hard time getting my steps in the other day when I went to CrossFit! Sure, I lifted heavy and did enough pull-ups to make my shoulders hurt for three days, but I barely hit 8k steps. What the what?!

20141227UMPYurt30 (1)

Again, baby steps are helping me “move more” in the new year.

  • Anytime the vívofit goes red, notifying me that I’ve been sedentary for too long, I get up and walk around the house. I sometimes pick up things, other times I’ll check the mail. It’s made me think of my body as a car sitting in your garage. If it sits there for too long, the oil and whatnot gets all gooey in the pipes, you know? {Was that a terrible simile?!}
  • Walk Tals more frequently. This one has been a win-win for the two of us! As she gets older, Baby Girl can’t handle the long runs anymore and walks are sometimes better. I try to get her out daily which gets her moving and helps me up my daily footsteps.

Goal #3: Finish the 55k With a Smile

Gah. Y’all heard how I am getting my butt handed to me by my latest attempts at a long run, right? Yesterday’s run was no different as I completely slid out on some mud and fell hard, smacking my knee on a boulder as I went down. Needless to say, I hobbled home and my long run has yet to happen.



More than anything, I feel like baby steps have been key for this goal. Sure, I’m complaining that I have yet to conquer the 17-miler, but that distance seemed completely unattainable 8 weeks ago. Every week has built upon the last and I do think I will be able to finish all 34 miles {relatively} happy. How am I breaking it down in my mind?

  • Run 2-3 times per week with one long run. When you think of it that way, it’s nothing!
  • Foam roll daily. Easy peasy– I do it while watching TV.
  • Continue strength training at CrossFit as often as I can manage. No pressure and I enjoy it!
  • Drink water to avoid my perpetual state of dehydration
  • Set an operational goal for the race. Again, another FB fan gave me this idea and I like it! She did a marathon by running 9 minutes, walking one minute, even at the beginning when it felt easy. Allowing herself to break the hours up into small increments made the whole distance manageable.

Goal #4: 100k in Elevation Gain

Oddly enough, this seems to be the goal that everyone tells me will be difficult but I honestly think it’s the easiest of the bunch! Besides, did y’all see this skier who is closing in on 2 million feet of vert in a year?! If he can do 2 million, I can do 100k!


For me, this comes down to two baby steps:

  • Wear my GPS watch on all excursions so I don’t have to add up the vertical gain later
  • Cover 2,000 feet per week. If I go over, that’s fine, but never drop below 2,000 feet each week. And trust me– Colorado running and hiking makes that an easy weekly goal!

Stay tuned– in the coming weeks, there will be a vívofit and a $100 Whole Foods gift card up for grabs!



  • Reply Kovas - Midwest Multisport Life at

    The food thing for me is the killer, especially combined with alcohol – a glass or two of wine, and suddenly I’m eating half a bag of pistachios or something worse.

    • Reply heather at

      This one is true!! Especially if I’m out with friends 😉

  • Reply Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen at

    Goals can be tricky…if they are too broad or you don’t think of how you are going to reach them, it’s hard to actually measure it or know where to start. What you did here is great! I love your elevation gain goal – it’s perfect for you and I’m sure you’ll get that 🙂 If you want to move around more during the day, you can come over and chase two 1 year olds around with me 🙂

    • Reply heather at

      Hahah I can’t even IMAGINE how many steps you take in a day! You should wear a vivofit to see!

  • Reply Angela Leflett at

    Eating is a tricky one for me as well. I start out the week eating very healthy and then the weekend comes and it all goes out the window. It’s such a vicious cycle.

    • Reply heather at

      It’s tough. There are so many foods– good and bad– that inflame my body and it’s just a nuisance!

  • Reply Sara from Sweden at

    I agree with you on the food – it’s so boring to restrict from eating food you really like (even though it’s bad for you for different reasons). It’s much easier to “move more” because at least that is fun!

    I had a fun goal last year which gave me a bit of elevation: I decided to run 100 ski slopes within a period of time. I didn’t really “run” them in the end because I figured out it was tough and if I would run ski slopes I would have to pick kids’ slopes all the time and it wasn’t that much fun but at least I “did” 100 slopes. Having said that, 100 slopes in North America is way harder than 100 slopes in Sweden because yours are far longer…

    • Reply heather at

      That is such a cool goal!! Did you run them both in winter and summer??

  • Reply Laura at

    These are excellent goals!

    I can relate to the diet assessment – I really need to be more honest with myself and eat more nutritious and calorie-dense foods.

    I also recently purchased and have been wearing a Garmin VivoFit – so far it’s told me that my daily life is far more sedentary than I thought (thanks, stressful desk job). It’s quite bad, actually! I am taking more conscious walking breaks and trying to get up and move at least once an hour.

    For your 50k – my sole piece of training advice is for you to get in the time on your feet. This can be part of your running training, or something you do in addition (think of a hilly power hike). Regardless of your pace – you will want to spend 4+ hours on at least 2-3 long training runs, in your trail shoes and if possible, in the outfit you are going to wear on race day. These will be the most crucial part of your training, and your body will remember the discomfort so it will be easier come race day.

    • Reply heather at

      Isn’t it crazy how different your movement is compared to what you THINK it will be? It’s been eye-opening! And thanks for the tips. I spend plenty of 4+ hour days on my feet through hiking and ski touring, but your advice to do it in my trail running shoes is sound. Thanks!

  • Reply Hayley@healthyregardshayley at

    I love all your pictures, so beautiful!

    • Reply heather at

      Thanks Hayley!

  • Reply Beth at

    The vivofit is such an eye opener. I started walking to work (ahem, took the first stop to not being lazy…) when I realized how many days I wasn’t getting over 8K steps… I’ve been walking this week and it’s making a HUGE difference.

    • Reply heather at

      Isn’t it crazy?! Wait til you start lapping your house to hit your goal 🙂

  • Reply Anagha at

    Food! I have the worst time restricting my food – especially chocolate! While its easy enough for me to avoid foods that irritate my skin and lungs at home, it’s more difficult when I’m out. It’s especially hard when I’m with people (usually loving family members) who are convinced that I’m doing everything wrong for my ailment, and suggest I derail everything I’m doing and embark upon a plan suggested by them instead. I’ve found, though, that little white lies can really help. On my first day of work, it was a coworkers birthday – I told everyone I didn’t like cake as a ploy to avoid the sugars and dairy that drive me insane, and now no one offers me cake ever. Dishonest? Sure – but it works. While my extended family is convinced I’m an insanely picky eater, and slightly crazy to boot, I’m rarely offered foods that antagonize my immune system, which makes it all a little easier on me to keep my willpower up 🙂

    • Reply heather at

      If I grab something that I know is going to drive me crazy, Will looks at my with one eyebrow up as if to say, “Are you sure?” He knows not to tell me what to do, but sometimes the reminder helps 🙂

  • Reply Christine @ Love, Life, Surf at

    Cleaning up my eating is definitely the hardest for me too! Same as you, I want to eat all the things and I don’t like restricting myself because that just makes me want to eat it more! I’m trying to focus on how the food makes me feel overall. And the steps during the days that I don’t run? So hard! Especially since I work from home and I don’t get the steps in from commuting to an office. I literally pace my house and my husband thinks I’m nuts 🙂

    • Reply heather at

      Haha I do it too! Even this weekend, I was on a backcountry trip and I found myself looking at my vivofit…. 🙂

  • Reply Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table at

    I love your goals!!! Colorado scenery is so inspiring. Just being there makes me want to run around outside.

    • Reply heather at

      That makes two of us 🙂 Congrats on your marriage!

  • Reply CARLA at

    Im coming to colorado in june.
    Im pretending Im you 🙂

    • Reply heather at

      Aww thanks Carla 🙂 But seriously– are you really coming here in June??????

  • Reply Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb at

    You can do them all, I have no doubt!

    • Reply heather at

      Man, I hope so– good thing I’ll have you alongside me for one of them! 🙂

  • Reply Jessica at

    Thanks for sharing your goals. You are much more active than me on a regular basis but it’s nice to see that even you strive to eat better and move more. I look forward to following your progress. I will secretly be hating you for the running thing though. I used to run (although not every as long as you are shooting for) but can’t anymore due to bad knees and a trick back. I miss it so!

    • Reply heather at

      I could definitely use a little help in the eating department– but I’m working on it!

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