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James Wanless

this is where I write

A long overdue update

At the end of January, I suggested these would be a twice monthly kind of thing in 2015, based on writing two of them by that time. Well, here I am nearly four months later and I still have just those two updates. I thought I’d do a better job of tracking some of the changes I wanted to make and keeping myself honest. Overall, progress has been spotty on some of the things I want to track in 2015. As opposed to saying I’ll stick to some regular check-in schedule on my progress, I’m just going to hope I do a little better than one post in four months.

And now, without further adieu …

  1. Mornings

    My sleep habits were up and down in the first month of the year and, honestly, not much has changed in this regard. At the beginning of the year I wanted to be getting to bed early enough that getting up at 6am became a regular thing. I theorized that I’d be better using my mornings by getting Brody out for more slow runs early and being more productive, particularly with regard to cycle commuting regularly. As we’ve gotten into a routine with our little buddy, it’s become clear he’s not a runner – in truth not even a light jogger. While I still jog him occasionally, it’s mostly walks. As more cycle commuting was my main reason for getting up earlier, and it simply hasn’t happened … A failing grade.

  2. Running

    In December I averaged about 45k per week running and was happy when I was up 50-55k per week for January. In fact, everything was good through the Pacific Road Runners First Half in February and I had a fairly decent race. After that, I got a little sidetracked as we focused on a few other things and my mileage tailed off a bit through March. As I was ramping back into a planned 12-week training cycle for the Scotia Half at the end of June (4 weeks today as of this writing), I managed a nasty calf strain which pretty much completely sidelined my running for a month.

    As that finally disappeared in early May, on the very first point of my very first game of ultimate, my check lodged his shoulder into my rib cage totally by accident. Whether it was a bruise or crack is somewhat immaterial, as quick movements, coughs and deep breathing all caused a great deal of discomfort. That’s now 3.5 weeks ago and the residual tightness is just finally lifting. As such, the training I was re-starting a month ago had to be backed off from, again. I finally added some minimal fast strides and short hill repeats into my runs this past week and will be doing a fairly easy 22k after this post. While I haven’t had the training I wanted, aside from the calf issue, the fact I’ve kept a bit of running through the ribs allows me a middling pass/fail.

  3. Cycling

    I’m still using TrainerRoad for at least one hard power workout per week, and love it. However, you can pretty much apply the obstacles that affected running to my cycling as well, though oddly enough, the ribs didn’t bug me too much on the bike. I kept my positioning less aggressive and kept the rides shorter through May than I normally would have.

    This is, in part, what may have led to a pretty unusual adductor/quad cramp during yesterday’s 80k ride. I’ve had them before but typically in the late stages of much longer rides – for example, last year’s 265k Victoria Granfondo – so appearing as I was nearly home on that short a ride was a good wake up call. While I’ve kept doing some needed core/stability stuff, I’ve been ignoring my adductor strengthening for quite some time due to the lack of groin problems in the past couple years. My hydration and electrolytes were pretty good, so I suspect the lack of long rides (that, sadly being the longest of the year so far) and adductor muscular imbalances are probably to blame. Oh, and with not much long stuff, hammering the first two hours at over 30k/hr probably didn’t help either. Weak adductors + low seasonal mileage + going to hard for current fitness (likely) == gnarly adductor cramp.

    Aside from getting new pads on my winter/commuter bike and getting it re-cabled, I finally also nearly have that done. So, overall, while my mileage is quite low, as I’ve still kept some power workouts all season and kept riding, I’ll allow a moderately passing grade.

  4. Reading

    Four months ago, I was on my third book of 2015, Lean UX by Jeff Gothelt. I finally finished it about a month ago. And, while the section on renovations below, will help explain why my reading came to an abrupt halt, the fact I’ve barely managed any reading since February, is nothing but an abysmally failing grade.

  5. Volunteering

    Again, I’ll blame the issues covered in the next section to a fair degree. However, since I was looking at two opportunities that both fell through early in the year due to a bad fit, and haven’t made any progress on more giving back since, I can’t claim anything but another failing grade.

  6. Renovations

    To recap, 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. Those failed and I thought I might just have to bring in various contractors to do specific pieces over the course of the year. I’m happy to report, though, that we’ve finally made excellent progress on our renovations. After contacting what seems like everyone in the lower mainland (actually probably only five or six, but it felt like dozens or even hundreds), we found Aero Kitchen and Bath. Ronal and Vinesh Sami are the brothers that own Aero and we’ve found them nothing but accommodating, professional and polite.

    I can’t comment on how the renovations will end yet, but we’re very happy with their approach and the results so far. I just wrote the first of a few planned renovation posts last week, as things were about to get going. As of today, most of the initial demo is done and I’d imagine we’ll see a bit more of that and then some minor drywall, electrical and tiling begin some time next week.

    Between a lot of visits, communication and sourcing of some materials, this has really taken away from a lot of other things I expected to give more time to. Not an excuse, mind you, and definitely worthwhile. While I was failing miserably on the renos as of February, I’m pretty happy that this has moved so far in the right direction. A solid passing grade.

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