Yearly Focus

2017 Focus: Quarter Year Update

With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by doing less, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than the sum of the results from split focus. I detailed my 2017 focus here (read that first if you want more context). Here is how I’m progressing. 2017 Theme: Sabbath Year 2017 Challenge: Define & Launch A Sabbath Year The launch of my sabbath year is slowly becoming a real thing. I’ve taken the first steps to put it into action and begun to lay out logistics. After years of keeping the topic limited mostly to family & close friends, I recently gave my work concrete notice. I had roughly suggested the idea previously to my manager and one of the founders, but there was no firm timeline or next steps associated. There are still a lot of details

My Thinking On Various Topics

Reflections On Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today, after reading through “Letter from Birmingham Jail“, I sit reflecting on what it looks like to be an “extremist for love”. Throughout history great people that have fought for some noble good have also had a knack for ending up poor, in prison or meeting an untimely death. Sometimes all three. Am I at risk for any of those? What does that say about my priorities?

Yearly Focus

2017 Focus: Theme, Challenge, Habit & Exemplar

With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by doing less, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than the sum of the results from split focus. I have been fairly effective at it over the past four years and am now confident in my ability to achieve something pretty big if I focus on it for a year. If you would like to know more about the categories and how my yearly focus process has evolved, please see this recent blog post about the categories, or review the results from past years (2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016). 2017 Theme: Sabbath Year In 2012, for a reason unbeknownst to me, I started to feel really called to the idea of a sabbath year. This is a concept that dates back a few thousand years. In Leviticus 25

Yearly Focus

2016 Focus: End Of Year Review

At the beginning of 2016 I wrote about my focus for the year. I’ve posted a few updates throughout the year but want to take some time now to do a final review. 2016 Goal: Write 50 Blog Posts Self Grade: 10/10 I was able to, thanks to a heroic effort in December, meet my goal of writing 50 blog posts. Here is a chart I found interesting. Blog posts per week vs miles run per week. While I got most of my running in during the first half of the year, I did the bulk of my blog posting towards the end. Though I hit the target number, this isn’t an ideal way to do it. Part of my reason for setting goals like this is to set a habit that I view as positive. I believed that if I focused on writing posts for a year, I would get


The Day I Didn’t Run

It was January 1st, 2007. The day before my flight from Prague to London had been canceled due to weather and I was stranded in the Czech Republic. I had finals in Ireland in two days and, needless to say, being present for those, passing my classes and getting school credit was very important to me. — I had been backpacking around Europe for the past two weeks. The way the school year worked out, my Irish University shut down for the holidays and hosted finals in the beginning of the new year. My college in the states, where I would return for the following semester, started a week later. I didn’t think it made much sense to fly all the back to California, only to fly back to Ireland and then to Pennsylvania, so instead I took all the money I had left and went on a two week trip around Europe.

Yearly Focus

Race Report: New York City Marathon 2016

On November 6, 2016 I ran the New York City Marathon. I finished in a time of 3:11:37, about a half hour slower than my best marathon. Here is the race report. I debated writing this – I wasn’t sure it passed my litmus test of being a race – or of deserving a report. In my mind the goal of writing a race report is to document the ins and outs of an all out effort in order to learn from it and also to serve as way to remember a momentous event. I ultimately decided to write this because I think I have something to learn from it, and it was quite memorable. If you’re interested in the training I did leading up to the race, you can read more about it here. Successes What am I proud of from race day? Finished Was leading my heat for the first mile Solid

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Three Day Per Week Marathon Training Plan

After the birth of my third child, I realized my previous six day per week marathon training plan would no longer be possible. We simply had too much going on to spare that kind of time for running. I decided that all hope was not lost though, I would change my plan and see if I could get more efficient and take another shot at running a 2:37 marathon. Below are the changes I made to adjusted my previous plan – if you haven’t read that plan yet – you might want to start there: here is the link. Things That Stayed The Same Season Schedule My season would progress the same way it always had – see the previous plan for details. I want to note however this is one piece I have fully tested since I only implemented this plan for the eight weeks of September and October, between

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Steps I’m Taking To Get Sick Less

In 2016 I set a new record – the worst kind – I got sick more than I ever had before in a year. A total of six instances that averaged about a week each. 40 days in which I was ill enough to skip running, some of which I was bad enough to call in sick to work or at least work a partial day. This was an outlier year – my typical year involves one cold that knocks me out for about a week. Though I usually try to fight off colds without intervention from a doctor, this year I gave in a number of times and got on meds. On the third trip I asked my doctor what was up and he calmly explained that the combination of kids, an open office and public transportation and marathon training were doing me in. So armed with that information, and since

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Today We Worship Our God(s)

On any given day, you will see people worship their god(s) – but none quite so obvious as today – Christmas day. I’ve read that the easiest way to find out what god or idol a person cherishes the most is to look at what, when lost or at risk, causes them to turn to prayer. Is it their own life, like a foxhole Christians, their family, their job, or is it something else? A second, and perhaps more externally obvious method, might be to look at how they spend December 25th. Regardless of which god(s) a person worships – and all people worship some god – today is a day that seems to highlight it. Perhaps it is the freedom that comes with a national holiday. A day in which most people may decide how to spend it. Christians will worship Christ. Those that are familiar, will commune before a familiar

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I have begun looking at life in terms of chapters – each separate from the others, full of its own unique advantages and opportunities. This view is freeing in a number of ways. With positive things, it encourages me to savor the best parts of this chapter. It is not guaranteed that future chapters will be the same. I am so glad I surfed as much as I did when I was young, single and living two blocks from a legendary beach. I took advantage of what was possible then but hasn’t been possible to the same degree since then. With negative things, it assures me that they will not persist forever. I can suffer through many things if I know there is an end and there will ultimately be a benefit for getting through the hardship. When I bike to work in Seattle on days in the 30’s, I remind myself that this