When I look back at 2012, I feel I’ve moved forward in some respects (running, relationships) but stalled in others (job), and for that I feel that it was a good year overall, despite the specific goals I set for myself.
Going back to this time last year, I put down five goals. Goal #1 about finding a job is incomplete; I am in the middle of a contract, but nothing is guaranteed at the moment. Goal #2 (completing the Vancouver Marathon in 4:20) proved to be slightly optimistic. I applied the lessons for training for that into the NYC Marathon, but that came to naught as well when it was cancelled, However, what I did and witnessed on Staten Island on the day the marathon was supposed to have been held will stay with me for a very long time.
At least all the training I did for two marathons brought my running mileage (goal #3) up this year. I finished with 1,723 km (1,071 mi). As for goal #4, I suppose I did expand my network through social media and through my professional contacts. Opportunities did arise out of them, but nothing concrete.
And goal #5 did yield a result. After a few months of dating, I’m in the middle of a great relationship. I’m happy in that respect, and I’m hoping that other aspects of my life fall in place during 2013.
These are my goals for 2013:
- Find a job (third year’s the charm, right?)
- Achieve a new personal best in the half marathon (I want to attempt at least two in 2013)
- Incorporate more cross-training (schedule in something at least once a week with my other run workouts)
- Run at least 1,000 miles (1,609 km) during the year (a tough but doable challenge)
With that, I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013!
4 interviews; 3 companies; 2 weeks; 1 offer; zero job. That’s the summary of what’s happened to me in the last couple of weeks, and that is why I’ve been away from the Twitter (and missed one blog post) during that time.
The offer came from company #1, one day after my interview. I was glad to get it, but I felt the other two companies were better for my career path. That is why I still went to the interview with company #2, two days after the interview with company #1. Not wanting to jeopardize the offer, I held out as long as I could, until the agency who sent me to company #1 told me that I had to make my choice. This was last Monday, the day I also had an interview with company #3. I got early feedback that I had a good interview. I had a good chance on companies #2 and #3, so I took a calculated risk and declined the offer made by company #1. Last Wednesday, I got called for a second interview with company #3, but got bad news from company #2.
This meant everything was riding on this second interview, which took place on Thursday. I came in and was relaxed, and despite its short length, felt confident about my chances. I wasn’t sure if a decision would be made on Friday, but none came by the time I had to attend a wedding ceremony in the mid-afternoon. I was going to accept waiting through the long weekend, but my phone buzzed during the ceremony. I checked my voicemail afterward, and it was not good news. Company #3 did like me, but in the end went with someone with more experience.
Did all that sound confusing? Here’s a graphical timeline:
It was obviously not the best news to start a long weekend, or to head into a wedding reception. I didn’t want that to dictate my mood for the weekend, so I cleared it from my mind, and left to worry about it until Tuesday.
It’s Tuesday now, and I’m back where I started two weeks ago. This cannot, must not, bring me down. The multiple interviews have made me more relaxed and confident in my abilities, and I simply need more opportunities, sooner rather than later, in order to score an offer (and keep it).
I took this photo in the middle of my scheduled long run on the west coast of the Big Island. There was a stretch where I was running on sand, and let me tell you that it’s really tough. I did the same thing for a brief stretch on Waikiki Beach earlier in the week.
I was away for a week, and while I did a general wrap on my travel blog, I want to cover the running portion here. My family and I split our time between Oahu and the Big Island. I had two runs on each island. The first one was a circuit around Diamond Head in Honolulu. It was challenging, compounded by a brief shower that added greatly to the humidity. The second one, the next day, was near and on Waikiki Beach. Even though this was also early (both runs started around 7:00am), I was again affected by the humidity.
The runs on the Big Island, on the other hand, were an issue of heat rather than humidity. Add to that the fact my last scheduled long run took place while I was there, and I got a little concerned, not least because I have no idea of where to run. I tried mapping one where I would go on the King’s Trail. But when I set off Saturday morning, I realized the trail is not suitable at all. Forced to improvise on the fly, I just went around the resort area where I was staying, including beaches and another attempt on the King’s Trail. Here’s a picture of what it looks like:
Dehydration and lack of water became an issue while I was on this trail. I returned to the townhouse where we were staying for a refill. I then made a point in the second half of going really slowly and stopping frequently. It was after 9:00am by this time, and the sun was already bearing down. My overall time on my feet was 3:50, about the same time as last week in Vancouver, but I figured that with the conditions I endured, it’s a remarkable achievement.
I’m now entering week 2 of the three-week taper. I’m feeling great, and can’t wait to get to the start line for the Vancouver Marathon.
Now that my latest work contract has wound down, I’m prepping myself to return to the full-time job of finding a full-time job. But it also frees up a bit of time to focus in the last month of training for the Vancouver Marathon. It’s another turn of runemployment, and there’s some optimism on both fronts. My training has gone well, and I’m on track at making the start line for the marathon. The last work contract, while providing some stability and funds, has shown me that I can reach higher for the position that suits me better with my experience.
But first, a brief holiday – I’m heading to Hawaii with the family! Yes, it’s much needed, and I can’t wait to get in several “R”s while I’m there: rest, relaxation, reading, reflection, and running. Depending on the wifi access I get, I might post a photo a two. See you in a week!
I ran over 30 km for the first time since I last completed a marathon in 2009. Nice and easy-paced as it was, it took so long that I finished just after noon. I know this comes with the territory, but I can’t recall my 2009 marathon training stretching my free time as thin as it currently does. Maybe it’s the added volunteer hours that I’m doing on top of my nine-to-five contract work, or maybe it’s my insistence that I fit in at least three runs a week (leaving little time for other cross-training), or a combination, but I really feel time-deprived at the moment.
I know my schedule eases up slightly later in the month, as my contract winds down, then the training cycle concludes with the marathon in early May (eight weeks to go!). But I do want to control this for later in the year, as I continue to find longer-term employment and re-start training for the summer (at the moment, that’s up in the air as I wait to hear if I’m selected to run the NYC Marathon). For now, I just have to stay in control and not let things get out of hand.
Is anyone else in a similar situation, juggling marathon training with everything else in life? How do you manage it?
I say “dashed” because the things I wanted to achieve in 2011 from this time last year didn’t really happen. I was technically employed for half the year, but in temporary roles. I didn’t run a marathon this year due to an overtraining injury. As a result, I fell short of matching my running mileage (1,324 km / 823 mi) from 2010. In short, it wasn’t as tough a year that 2010 was, but it wasn’t a smooth ride either.
I don’t want to dwell too much on that, as that’s about to be in the past. I’m hoping 2012 becomes a shake-up year for me personally, just as 2008 was in some ways. To that effect, I came up with four words, each of which starts with the letters of my name:
I wish to elevate my game if I want to get to my various goals for 2012 (more on them later). This means being more proactive and assertive, among other things.
I want to redeem myself from the injury that prevented me from running a marathon in 2011. Finishing a half in under 2:00 in the fall of 2011 was part of it, but I want to make sure I train properly for the 2012 Vancouver Marathon and get to the start line.
I would like to continue meeting people outside of the social-media realm; I believe making that connection in real life improves the interactions that are made online.
My goals, therefore, are exactly the same as what I put down at the beginning of 2011.
- Find a job
- Run my next marathon (Vancouver) in 4:20
- Run at least the same distance as I ran in 2011
- Meet more people
But I’ll add one more, which is related to but distinct from #4:
- Start dating again
That’s one that has always been there (in my head), but now it’s public. Certain events in 2011 have just made this concept a little more pressing than before. It’s time to shake the fear and get out there, and that applies to all five!
I wish all of you a happy and terrific 2012!
This is a photo of me and my cousin’s newborn son, Jackson. We both share the same birthday, which makes this Christmas extra special.
I think my Movember went well. The main mo did go unchecked for the full month (as it should be). I had the handlebar for the middle part of November, then tried to extend the ‘stache outward, but ran out of time; you can see how it looked on the last day.
The morning of December 1, the razor did its work; the result is the picture below. For the first couple of days I’ve looked at a mirror and actually wondered who was the person with the bare upper lip staring at me. Really, it’s bizarre how a mustache can alter a man’s look.
Thanks to all the kind words about the mo, and more so to those who donated to Movember generally, and through my page in particular. It will be back next year, so be ready!
Link to a flickr set of self-portrait photos from each day of Movember.
Almost halfway through Movember, and the mo is progressing quite well. I took one photo at the start, then one the next day, and soon I figured I should do a photo a month for each day of Movember. It carries on from my successful attempt to take a photo a day last November. The major difference between then and now is that I’m using my iPhone, together with the Instagram app, as opposed to the digital camera I used last year. It’s far easier to take a shot with the phone, put it through Instagram’s filters, and have it cross-post to my Flickr and Twitter. With the digital camera (which is almost five years old), I have to attach the camera to my computer to download the pictures, then upload it to Flickr. Plus, the Movember theme is a lot easier to execute, compared to the randomness from last year.
I’m wondering if I can carry on with a photo a day after the end of Movember. 60 days? 100 days? 366 (2012 is a leap year)? Should I not think about it, but keep taking shots anyway? For anyone who has done these longer projects, what is your motivation? I’d appreciate any tips and/or themes!