One down, eleven to go

I guess these updates will be a twice-monthly kind of thing if January is any indication. That’s OK, as that’s probably frequent enough to keep myself honest on tracking my goals for 2015. I’m not sure they’re of interest to anyone but me, either. Things kept percolating along for the most part in January, and I’m keeping most of the things I really want to focus on front and centre.

  1. Mornings – I wouldn’t say that I’m sleeping all that well yet, as my internal clock still wants to go to bed late and get up later than I do. Lifelong habits are hard to change and I’m staying patient on this one. More often than not, though, I’m forcing myself up by about 6:15 and Brody is getting a dog trot at least a couple times a week. I am definitely finding, bit by bit, I’m getting tired earlier and getting to bed a little earlier. I’ve also spent the last week or so using a strong dose of Melatonin prior to bed. I’m hopeful that a couple weeks of that, at most, will help me normalize my sleep cycle to roughly 11pm – 6am. I’m reducing my mid-day coffee consumption as well. A middling passing grade.
  2. Run – Earlier in January, I indicated that I had averaged almost 45k running per week for the past month. I’m happy to report that my running mileage for the month of January was 226km and, while this isn’t high for many runners, at somewhere between 50-55k per week, this is more than adequate at the moment. I’ve got the Pacific Road Runners First Half in a little under two weeks and I’m cautiously optimistic for a good race. Of far more importance to me than any mileage number, is how I feel overall and my progress. I’m getting some wheels back and feeling strong. Since I tapered a little yesterday and did only 18k for my Sunday run, I decided to try and get close to planned race pace and was very close, with some far better splits than my lead-legged tempo run two days earlier. Feeling like there was more to give is a positive that I might come close to my goals and springboard into a better season of racing than I’ve had in a long time. A solid passing grade.
  3. Bike – I’ve continued to use TrainerRoad throughout the month and still feel it’s a great deal for $8 a month. I’m a little shy of 70k per week in the saddle for January, which is OK. If you’re winter riding at all in rainy Vancouver, you’ve either got a winter bike you don’t mind mucking up or you’re doing a lot of time in the basement. As I have my winter ride partially complete, while I hunt down a couple more components, I’m keeping the carbon steed on the trainer and working on primarily strength and power. This has the dual purpose of preparing me for a better season of riding and, more importantly, covers the cross-training I need to do for my running. I’ve re-joined my cycling club this season, and I’m hoping that I’ll get out for a couple road rides in February. I’d like to see if the power training gives me a little early season jump and I’d really like to get out on my new Campagnolo Bullet 50 carbon wheels. With any luck, finishing the winter bike and averaging closer to 100k a week, are two monthly goals I can hit for February. A little more bike commuting makes that simple to attain, and doing that is all about point 1, above. Another good passing grade.
  4. Read – I’m on my third book of 2015, Lean UX by Jeff Gothelt. It’s about design thinking and more rapidly iterating solutions, as an antithesis to typical waterfall project and design approaches. It’s something I’ve worked toward and done some of for a long time, but due to many factors well beyond my control, have a hard time getting implemented at work. Really, it’s just been on my bucket list for some time, and I’m alternating between personal interest and professional development in my reading goals, so … Again, happily passing.
  5. Volunteer – I won’t go into much detail on this one, except to say that both the opportunities – running clinic group leading and animal advocacy group – fell through. A problem with the fit in one case, with a lack of clarity with what was wanted in the other means I’m still keeping my eyes open. I probably have to take a slightly different approach to how I’m seeking and evaluating these as well. Obviously, I’m failing here.
  6. Renovations – I wasn’t too specific on this in my mid-month review, but it’s taking longer to get rolling than I would like. We got things started well before Christmas by having a couple general contractors over to estimate doing all work related to giving our ageing bathrooms and kitchen a facelift. Somewhat inexplicably, both bailed on quoting the job with no explanation. Perhaps it was that we were clear we were getting more than one quote? No idea and, frankly, zero fucks given. Now I’m looking at some other options to begin the work and may just bring in various contractors to do specific pieces over the course of the year. Very much a work in progress. However, given we expected to be starting the work by March, I have to give myself a failing grade on this so far, too.