Weekly Update – #18 – PV Half Marathon Approaches & Non-fiction Reading Updates

Hi everyone, I missed a month and a half of updates. I’m back!

Running

I registered for the Palos Verdes half marathon months ago intending to train for it starting months ago. Didn’t happen. The race is this coming Saturday, November 16th.

Two weeks ago the fear started brewing. Immediately after daylight savings kicked in, I kicked it into a higher gear. 6am runs every day while the family is still asleep. Some mornings are cold enough to put on running gloves, and some of them are spooky foggy. I managed to accumulate 31.4 miles in the last 8 days.

View from the hill overlooking Manhattan Beach

I probably won’t set a personal best in the PV Half, but I want to finish the race and still be able to move the next day. Feeling okay about that, not afraid anymore. Wish me luck on Saturday!

Reading

I recently read a few books.

Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. This is not a meditation book. It’s a study of how ancient eastern and western philosophers thought about peace of mind, body, and spirit. It includes tons of stories past and present to show what stillness and lack-of-stillness looks like.

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. This is a business leadership book. It’s about leading in a way that’s highly sustainable, such that the business can run forever, and keep going once you’re gone.

Contrast infinite games with finite games. Chasing your competition seeking to “win” a game that doesn’t really end. Learning and fitness are infinite games. You don’t really “win” at learning or fitness.

I think thinking in infinite time frames is useful. How would you approach relationships differently and if you want the relationship to stay strong forever? You Might make business decisions differently if your goal is to sustain the business for the next 7 generations. Teams that think and act this way are often highly successful.

Getting Things Done by David Allen. This book is a little dated, 90’s. It’s a productivity book and it talks a lot about systems for filing and organizing paper records. It talks a little about email. I think the principles are still relevant.

For example, it talks about getting your to do list out of your head and into a system like email or an app. The idea is your brain better serves as a thinking machine, not an information storage machine. And if you use it’s cycles to try to remember a bunch of little things, you are doing it a disservice. Get all the junk out of your head, into your todo list app and calendar app. This principle is something I’ve been practicing, and it’s effective.


Thanks for reading and see you next time. I’ll let you know how the PV Half goes.

Running to Work in Summer Heat – Update #16

Hi I’m Torrey, this is my blog where I document my experiences as a runner , a reader, a writer and a thinker. It’s been four weeks since my last post, and I owe you guys an update. Sorry!

In this update:

  • Running to Work in California Summer Heat
  • Reading A Guide to the Good Life
  • Writing and Publishing the 22nd edition of Torrey’s Weekly Report
  • Thinking about Reducing Friction for Healthy Habits

Running to work in California Summer Heat

This month, I resumed running to work. I decided to alternate between biking and running. My bike route goes along the beach while my run route goes through LAX. I would much rather run along the beach but it’s 6 miles extra and it takes too long. So, LAX it is!

According to Strava I traveled 11.21 miles on foot. According to Actifit I took 20,148 steps to get there.

Strava stats for Commute Run #10.
Screenshot of Actifit snapped upon arrival. 20,148 steps.

The last time I did this run was March. There is a huge difference between March weather and June weather. June is hot and my island shorter-distance route doesn’t have much of a coastal breeze.


Reading A Guide to the Good Life

Since my last update I’ve been reading a couple books. I’ll share some notes from one of them I’m enjoying.

The book is called A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine. I’m just getting started with this book, but I like the concepts so far. First, Irvine covers a psychology concept called hedonistic adaption. To understand this concept imagine someone craving a fancy, new car. Once the car is brought home, happiness from the new car quickly fades and a new, often more expensive, desire sets in. The mind adapts to material pleasure and then seeks out some new pleasure. Hence, hedonistic adaptation, it makes us all miserable. The same idea applies to personal achievements like running a marathon.

The solution is to want what we already have. The way to do this is to remind yourself daily that you can lose everything you have, including your home, your relationships and your life. Visualizing loss of what we hold dear is a forcing function for counteracting hedonistic adaptation. It helps us not take things for granted. Stoic practitioners are known for creating daily (or more frequent), morbid reminders that say something like “you are going to die”. Talk about sense of urgency!

The second interesting concept is internalization of goals as a mechanism for focusing on things inside our Circle of Influence. I’ve talked about the Circle of Influence before in How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. The idea here is about setting goals where you have 100% control of the outcome.

For example, let’s say you are runner entering a 5K race. Your goal could be to earn a top 3 finish. This is an external goal, because you cannot control the outcome. You cannot control the weather, the other runners, and a hundred other variables. If you realize you have fallen far behind the top three, you will get discouraged knowing your goal slips out of reach.

An internalized goal would be to run the race to the best of your ability, to give it your all. You would be un-phased by your competition, and you’ll likely earn a better overall finishing rank because you won’t be discouraged. I call this idea Compete Against Yourself.

There are many chapters left to get through, and you can see I’ve already learned a lot from this great book. Shout to to Derik Sivers and Tim Ferriss who recommended this book during a podcast on the Tim Ferriss Show.


Writing and Publishing the 22nd edition of Torrey’s Weekly Report

This week I published the 22nd edition of Torrey’s Weekly Report, the weekly blog where I share knowledge and exciting news with my peers and colleagues.

I have settled on a sustainable and consistent schedule of publishing bi-weekly (once every two weeks). This schedule is working well (except for the obvious conflict with the blog’s name).

This week I shared a technology update, some SQL knowledge I recently gained, and a book review. I’m excited to publish report #23 in two weeks!


Thinking about Reducing Friction for Healthy Habits

I’ve been thinking about reducing friction for healthy habits, and increasing friction for unhealthy habits.

For example this month I started keeping a gym bag at work at all times. The bag contains a towel, change of clothes, shower shoes, extra shoes, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Having the bag ready each day, even though I may not need it, reduces friction. There’s less planning required to do one of my bike or run commutes. I can decide to do so any day of the week and there’s less reasons to say no. I’ve reduced friction between me and the healthy habit.

Similarly I’ve implemented a practice of having drinking water in front of me at all times, even if I’m not thirsty or I don’t think I need it. Doing this has dramatically increased the amount of water I drink. Because I’ve removed the friction, the healthy habit becomes super easy.

The same thing works in reverse. You can insert friction to curb unhealthy habits. Hiding the TV remote in your closet or trashing the chocolate chip cookies creates friction and makes it harder to maintain those habits. Spending way too much time on social media? Delete the app from your phone every day and reinstall it when you really need it.

What do you think?


Thanks for reading and as always,

Have a great week!

Passion Fruit vine flower in my backyard.

Bike to Work – Lessons Learned

Weekly Update – #16 – June 2nd, 2019

This is a weekly blog where I share updates and document my journey. I focus on four areas: fitness, reading, writing and thinking. In the past, for the fitness category, I have written mostly about running. I am beginning to focus on cycling this week. After a month-and-half of talking about it, I rode my bike to work, finally!

It’s my bike! with a little New Belgium Brewing plaque.

Fitness

This week I had a great conversation with a coworker about preparing for a half marathon. I’m no expert, but I wanted to share some of the ideas with you.

Q: How long did it take you to prepare for the half marathon?

A: It took me 4 months to ramp up to half marathon distance. In training before the race I ran a maximum of 11 miles. This was a mistake, because mile 12 and 13 were the most challenging 2 miles of the whole race. Lesson learned: train the full distance.

Q: Do you have any other advice for someone considering training for a half marathon or a marathon?

A: Talk to your family early. Carving out a few hours per week for training means taking time from somewhere else. You family is your support team and they may need to do extra work to support you. Be up front about the time commitment, and look for ways to get everyone involved. They will meet you at the finish line!

Back on the Bike!

It’s been over a year since I last sat in the saddle. I talked about biking to work for over a month, and other stuff kept getting in the way. This week I finally hopped on my bike! There were some hiccups (as expected) which turned the 90-minute ride into a learning experiences.

When I ran to work I travelled very light. I was able to do this leaving my laptop and my gym bag under my desk. It just required some extra planning ahead. On a bicycle you have the luxury of storage! So you pack everything up and jump on the bike in the spur of the moment.

Getting Ready

I have 2 Nashbar saddle bags that clip on to the back of my bike. I filled one with clothes, towel, and other essentials. In the other bag I shoved in my whole laptop bag. I did this because I was worried about damaging the laptop, and wanted extra protection. This added a lot of extra weight. I think a better strategy is to wear a backpack or leave the laptop at the office the night before.

The Ride

I rode my usual running route. For the first 5 miles I was fighting traffic lights and rush-hour traffic. I think for next time I will seek out a more bike-friendly road (with a bike lane). Some drivers just get too close for comfort.

The last 12-ish miles were sublime. I was right on the beach from Manhattan Beach to Marina Del Rey. And from the marina to the office it’s along a dedicated bike path.

What Went Wrong and What I Learned

Several learning opportunities arose from this trip. I’ll go into more detail below. First, here’s a short list of what went wrong:

  1. Rush hour traffic and no bike lane
  2. Saddle bag fell off
  3. Unintentional braking
  4. Forgot to turn on fitness tracker
  5. Forgot to pack shower shoes

The first five miles of my route were packed with traffic lights and heavy traffic. I can experiment a bit here to look for an alternative road that has bike lanes. Wide pickup trucks were too close for comfort. Lesson learned: seek dedicated bike lanes.

I packed too heavy. Around mile 13-14, I accidentally kicked my starboard bag and it fell off completely. Luckily this was the bag with clothes. I could experiment with this to find a better way to attach it, or switch to front-wheel bags. Lesson learned: pack light.

Unintentional braking is tricky to explain. I took a break during the ride, and when I parked my bike I inserted a wedge into the front brake handle to freeze the front wheel. Then, I put two earbuds in my ears to make a phone call. I kept the earbuds in when I resumed my ride, listening to a podcast.

About a mile down the road I thought: why am I struggling so much? Then I heard the brake noise. And then the thought: What the heck is wrong with my front brake? … Stupid me had forgotten to remove the wedge I had stuck in the front brake handle. Laughable! Lesson learned: double check your brakes for an enjoyable ride.

After I crested the final hill in front of the office, I coasted in towards the front door. I slowly stepped off my bike and question popped in my head: how far did I go and how long did it take? Only then I realized I had forgotten to enable Strava to track the activity. I also have a bike computer hiding somewhere which could measure speed and distance. Time to dig that out. Lesson learned: double check you started your fitness tracker.

When I went to shower off I found that I had everything I needed, except for shower shoes. Oops! This is not ideal for many reasons which I won’t get into. I have done something similar once where I forgot my towel. I think the no-towel situation is worse, maybe. Lesson learned: double check you packed shower shoes and a towel.

I realized that I really enjoy trying new things, and then looking for ways to make it more fun and convenient, through experimentation and iteration. I’ve had a lot of fun writing about this experience. Lesson learned: try new things and constantly experiment.


Reading

I’ve been enjoying a book I did not expect to get into. It is called Street Smarts by Jim Rogers. The dude has a lot of interesting stories from living in Manhattan, working on Wall Street, and moving his family to Singapore.

I’m also reading a little Mouse Book called The Blue Hotel by Stephen Crane. Crane is a a Civil War era writer who died from tuberculosis at the age of 28. Despite his short life he produced well known literary works including his well-known novel The Red Badge of Courage. He was an innovative writer in his time.


Writing

It’s been a very busy week. I did a little bit of writing. I did not publish anything since last weekend’s Weekly Update #15.


Thinking

I stopped thinking and started doing. There were plenty of reasons to not take the bike-commute plunge. I had already put it off for a month (I first mentioned the idea in Weekly Update – #13 – April 14th, 2019). I was congested with a head cold all week. The week was unusually over-scheduled. The weather was not great. The bike needed air in its tires and chain maintenance.

BUT, all that aside, it is done! And I want to make it a weekly routine.

What have you been thinking about doing for a while? When are you going to take the leap?


As always, thanks for reading, and

Have a great week!

Weekly Update – #15 – May 26th, 2019

Hi Team,

This is a weekly blog where I share updates and document the journey. I didn’t publish an update last week, so I am covering two weeks here. Usually I focus on three areas: running, reading, and writing. This week I will try adding a new section: “thinking”.

Always-on social media has changed the way most people keep updated on the lives of friends and family. I am an oddball because I abstain from most social media apps most of the time. So, the only way to be updated is to talk to me, or read this blog. My point is, another reason I write this stuff down is to be better at sharing what’s going on.

Running

Still nothing remarkable to report this week. 🙂

Reading

I am going through a phase of reading many different things all at the same time.

I read this awesome little Mouse Book called A Little of Chickamauga by Ambrose Bierce. It an awesome telling of American Civil War stories. Bierce’s writing is superb. He is a writer who inspired American greats like Hemingway and Vonnegut.

Here’s a fun story about Mouse Books (https://mousebookclub.com). It’s a subscription service where you pay a one-time fee of $50 and every three month you receive in the mail three pocket-sized books. One of these little books got me into some trouble. Monday morning I put this Bierce book in my pocket. At lunch time I went to pay for my salad and discovered that the book was in my pocket and my wallet was not. Oops! It all worked out in the end.

I rediscovered a really cool ebook series that’s worth talking about. It’s called The Tao of Seneca: Letters from a Stoic Master. It’s a collection of translated letters written by Seneca, one of the ancient teachers of Stoicism. The ebooks are three volumes and made available complete free of charge by Tim Ferriss. Ferriss has authored several books including The Four Hour Work Week, Tools of Titans, Tribe of Mentors, which I have enjoyed reading and recommend.

I’m also reading a book called JRR Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter. So far Tolkien’s early life is fascinating. He was oddly obsessed with linguistics. For example he would invent words of his own words to add to dead languages. And he invented several languages of his own.

Writing

Writing is a craft I’ve decided to devote hours and hours to. It’s important to think about the question: how can I write better? I would define “good” writing as having these traits:

  • Clear (easily understood, not ambiguous)
  • Succinct (minimal fluff)
  • Interesting (the reader is engaged)
  • Entertaining (the reader enjoys reading)
  • Useful (the reader gets value)

I have room for improvement in all these categories. What I’m working on right now is clarity. Clarity could be improved by using more words to explain a thought. Flow also helps with clarity also, because jumping around too much degrades clarity. As a writer, I tend to do both don’ts: I use too few words and I jump around. A weird thing about using more words is how search engines react. Algorithms tend to favor pages with more text on them (for whatever reason).

A quick note on “how I write”. Right now I am writing on my phone using the WordPress app for iOS. I’m typing on a light-weight USB keyboard. My iPhone is smart enough to hide the on-screen keyboard when a Bluetooth keyboard. So there are two big benefits to working this way. Screen real-estate, which is in short supply on smartphones, effectively doubles. And second, typing on a keyboard is much higher bandwidth compared to thumbs. So, the writing experience is much more stream of consciousness and more enjoyable, too.

The keyboard is great for travel, I’ve had it for years and I’ve never needed to replace the battery. Plus, the number of things you absolutely need a laptop for is shrinking. It’s convenient to leave the laptop at home and still get work done while on the move.


On to updates for my blogs…

I failed to publish a weekly update last weekend. Sorry!

Torrey’s Weekly Report (TWR) has grown to 88 subscribers this week. TWR is my weekly work blog which I publish to an audience of my peers. Some of the content is confidential and not appropriate to share outside the company. And some of the content is more philosophical and should be okay to share with the public.

I usually recommend the blog to new hires because it is written in way to make it easy for anyone and everyone to understand. A few of our brilliant summer interns liked and subscribed. Woot!

Thinking

I’ve been thinking about gratitude

I, like many people, take most things for granted. This week, I’ve been thinking about the line between necessity and luxury. If you look back 300 years it’s easier to see where that line lies. Examples:

  • Abundant clean water
  • Hot showers
  • Tasty food
  • Books

Most of the luxuries we’re accustomed to are more than we need. A large fraction of the clean water from the tap goes down the drain, so clearly there is more than needed. The shower doesn’t need to be hot, but it sure is wonderful when it is. Food doesn’t have to taste so good for us to survive on it. You get the point.

In Benjamin Franklin’s America, books were hard to come by. He organized efforts to source books from Europe and later founded the first American libraries. Despite their immense value, public libraries are less and less utilized today.

Write Once, Publish Everywhere

I’ve also been brewing an idea for a new writing/coding project I call “write once publish everywhere.” I like to focus more time on writing and less time on formatting and other bits required for publishing. If you publish on multiple platforms, each one has unique features and it takes a lot of time adjusting for each publication. The idea for “write once publish everywhere” is to reduce some of this pain.

This is a writing project and a coding project. The beginning will be the most painful because the content needs be manually cross-posted on three platforms: Steem, WordPress, and Medium. As the tool develops it will become easier to publish thrice. If there is already a good tool for cross-posting, I haven’t found it.

Share fears to squash them

I’ve been thinking about writing down my fears on a weekly basis. This might help overcome them. And I think sharing the thought process might be valuable for readers. We all have fears and most of us struggle to overcome them.


As always, thanks for reading and

Have a Great Week!

Weekly Update – #14 – May 12th, 2019

It’s been about a month since I last posted an update. One of my readers reached out to ask what’s going on. This is really, really cool, and I appreciate the nudge. One of the main reasons I started sharing updates is to create accountability. Accountability for three habits that are important but often slip: Fitness, Reading, and Writing. So the nudge is really useful. Thanks Antin!

Succulent flower in our backyard.

Running

Nope! Haven’t done any serious running since the LA Marathon (which I finished in around 5 hours 45 minutes). Because, excuses! There has a lot of other stuff going on but that’s not a good excuse. I have learned a lesson many times: being active has a positive impact on everything else. It’s good for the brain. And long solitude runs are great for deep thinking.

At times like this it’s useful to remember your “why”. I want health and wellness to to live a long, robust life, and to have plenty of energy for family and everything else. So, it doesn’t really make sense to slow down and lapse back into old habits. I need to maintain the training habits and set new goals.

I’m really wanting to hop on the bike for some commutes along the beach, like I talked about. Let’s do it!

Reading

I’m slowly making my way through Richard Feynman’s QED: A Strange Theory of Light and Matter. I haven’t been reading much of anything else, forcing myself to get through this set of physics lectures.

I did just buy a book I’m looking forward to reading in the future. It’s a biography of JRR Tolkien by Henry Carpenter. The biographer gained access to all of Tolkien’s notes and interviewed many friends and family. Should be an interesting read!

Writing

I have been putting a lot of energy into Torrey’s Weekly Report, my work blog. It had gone dormant for a while, and we brought it back to life. In the past two weeks we published the 17th and 18th editions.

I’m happy that TWR is back up and running. What helped is shifting the schedule from Monday to Wednesday distribution. Now I don’t have conflicts with weekend activities and I have more time during the week to ready the next edition.

I’m not happy about the lack of public content. For months I wanted to share content from Torrey’s Weekly Report on Medium.com. I need to establish a process for this.


Thanks for reading, and, as always,

Have a great week!

Weekly Update – #13 – April 14th, 2019

Hi, I’m Torrey. Each week I share updates in three areas: running, reading, and writing. This helps create accountability and keep in contact with my team. My team includes family, friends, and you, the reader.

Welcome back! Last week I took a week off from writing while spending time with family. I don’t have a whole lot to report this week, so I’ll talk about what’s coming up in the near future.

Flowers in our backyard.

Running

After the marathon, what’s next? Running the marathon was always more than a checklist item for me. I plan to maintain my running ability and work towards triathlon races. To commit to this I will register for the 2020 Big Sur marathon. And when I’m ready I will register for my first triathlon.

While preparing for the marathon race, I found a really nice commuting route along California coast line. The total distance from home to work is 16 miles. Because of the time commitment, it’s not tenable to run that route often. However, it is a beautiful and reasonable bike ride. So, my plan is start biking to work via this route once per week. I’ll report back on how that goes.

Lastly, it’s almost summer time. So it’s a great time for me to get back in the pool and resume lap swimming to build water endurance.

Swim, Bike, Run!

Reading

This week I’ve continued reading Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry by David Robertson and Bill Breen. It’s a fun read for me, since I grew up as a die-hard LEGO kid.

There are some useful lessons in the book about business. The book talks about the innovation benefits of co-located, small teams. Large projects spanning multiple time zones and hundreds of employees resulted in big losses for LEGO, while tiny teams working underground produced smash hit products.

It also talks about the importance of engaging communities and gathering market feedback. LEGO has used online forums and focus groups to improve products which ultimately boosts profit. Essentially, adult designers creating products targeting 9 year old kids can’t succeed without market testing.

Writing

Last week, I took a week off from writing. I need to put extra energy into my blogs to regain momentum.

However, I have been thinking about this. I want to share my work-in-progress list of ten principles/values I aspire to live by. I often fail at these! Here are the ten:

  • Knowledge has limitless value — be very generous about books and learning.
  • Time is more valuable than money — be very conscious of where your time goes.
  • Have a bias towards action — take action at the first available opportunity, don’t overthink it.
  • Share knowledge freely — learn teach learn. Write down what you learn and share it with others.
  • Kill ’em with positivity — remain positive always and smile!
  • Music, movement and sunshine are essential — go outside, exercise and enjoy some beats. Especially do this when you feel off.
  • You are entitled to nothing — gratitude is a path to happiness.
  • You are the project — get 1% better every day.
  • Take care of the team — the team includes yourself, friends, family, community.
  • Ask more questions, even more stupid ones — don’t be afraid to ask.

What do you think of these? Drop me an email or comment, I’m interested to hear your feedback.


As always, thanks for reading, and

Have a great week!

Crossing The Finish Line – Weekly Update – #12 – March 31, 2019

Hi, I’m Torrey. Each week I share updates in three areas: running, reading, and writing. This helps create accountability and keep in contact with my team. My team includes family, friends, and you, the reader.

This week I’m just gonna talk about running … because that’s what’s up.

Running

Hi Team, We did it! Last Sunday, March 24th, 2019 I crossed the finish line of the 2019 LA Marathon after running for 5 hours and 46 minutes. Mission accomplished: Torrey ran all over LA, from the Santa Monica Classic 10K, to the Pasadena Half Marathon, to the LA Marathon. Thanks for supporting me and joining me on this journey.

Medals from the first season of my running career.

In total, there were 22 donations to the GoFundMe. More than $1200 has been donated to charities: GarageScript, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and LiveStrong. Awesome!

In 2019 alone I’ve racked up 118 miles of training runs and races. All of those runs took me a total of 38 hours and 49 minutes. Insane!

Half asleep, ready to run. Trash bag for warmth.

The morning of the marathon we jumped out of bed at 4:30am, grabbed the gear, and headed to Santa Monica. I jumped on a shuttle around 5am that took me to the starting area at Dodger’s Stadium. The area had a sea of Porto-potties, a stage with live music, and a long line for food. I kept swigging water until about 6:30 when the first runners hit the course. By 7:05 it was my turn to cross the starting line.

I ran behind a hot dog for five miles. I later learned the hot dog’s name is Joe, after he ditched the hot dog suit around mile 5. Joe was one of several pace leaders from the LA Road Runners running club. Their pace group targeted a 5 hour finish.

I ran the first 12 miles at a strong pace, sticking with the pace group that whole time. Around mile 13 the pain started and I fell behind. Despite slowing down, I kept moving until the finish line at mile 26.2. Total time: 5 hours, 46 minutes and 36 seconds.

I was surprised by the generosity of spectators throughout the race. Along the whole route people were giving runners water bottles, orange slices, Gatorade and all kinds of snacks. Us runners were well provisioned.

Still smiling at Mile 25, 14 minutes before the finish.

My marathon race experience was all smiles. Around 5 hours and 15 minutes I answered a call from my wife who asked if I was done yet. Ha ha ha. Thirty minutes later I ran into her a quarter mile from the finish. Just after the finish line I was greeted by a crowd of thousands. I accepted my medals and slowly worked my way towards some friends who came there to meet me. I could barely move, and I earned it.

The next day I was sore and sunburned but still mobile. I’m grateful for the swift recovery. All the training pays off.

As always, thanks for reading, and

Have a great week!

This post is immortalized in the STEEM Blockchain here.

Weekly Update – #11 – March 16th, 2019

Hi, I’m Torrey. Each week I share updates in three areas: running, reading, and writing. This helps create accountability and keep in contact with my team. My team includes family, friends, and you, the reader.

This week was a battle of battles. Both of the twins caught a virus (in series, not parallel). A remarkable number of parts of our house were discovered broken. And a handful of other obstacles popped up.

Running

Despite all the chaos, I managed to run 27.7 miles on Tuesday, with a long break in the middle. This was my last long run before the LA Marathon. Just one more week to go.

Here’s the proof — thanks Strava and Apple!

Going to work…

Coming home..

Apple Health includes all the other walking throughout the day. 53,000 steps , and approximately 6 hours of intense activity. Crazy!

Apple Health provides another data point.

The LA Marathon provides Gatorade Endurance Formula Lemon-Lime throughout the race. I picked up a cask of the powder to get adjusted to it before race day. It’s not soo bad. Iron Man!!

Reading

I’m reading Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry by David Robertson. There’s a great story towards the beginning of this book. Founder Ole Kirk caught his son Godtfred bragging about cutting corners while making a shipment of wooden duck toys. Ole Kirk ordered his son to retrieve the shipment from the train station and immediately fix the ducks. Godtfred stayed awake all night fixing the ducks.

Later, Godtfred took over at the helm of LEGO and turned this lesson into the company’s motto: “Only the best is good enough”. The outcome is remarkable: each one of the billions of LEGO bricks manufactured since 1958 snap together, they are 100% backwards compatible.

I received a handful of new books this week, adding to my growing pile of unread books. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual by Jocko Willink, and a box of Mouse Books (On Service).

Mouse Books is neat. You pay for membership and quarterly you receive 3 little books.

Pictures below.

I read through Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual. It’s a quick read and more of a quick reference for healthy habits. Beneath the layer of super-macho male energy I found some good tips, some of which I’ve talked about before on this blog.

* Wake up early, preferably before dawn – get to work before the rest of the world does

* Compete against yourself – bring out the best in you instead of comparing yourself to someone else

* Work out every day – even if you don’t want to

* Eat clean – junk food is poison

At the end of the book there’s an appendix of tons of weightlifting routines. I’ll experiment with these later.

Writing

A few new people joined the team this week by subscribing to Torrey’s Blog. The group has grown to around 130. Welcome!

One of the new folks, Brandon, shared some valuable feedback over email. Thanks Brandon!

My internal work blog lost some momentum. I failed to publish this week. There are a few things in the pipeline I need to get done, but I haven’t given them enough attention. Other stuff is eating my head. Post-marathon I want to spend more time and energy on writing.


As always, thanks for reading, and

Have a great week!

Weekly Update – #10 – March 10th, 2019

Hi, I’m Torrey. Each week I share updates in three areas: running, reading, and writing. This helps create accountability and keep in contact with my team. My team includes family, friends, and you, the reader.


Running

I set a new distance record this week. I ran my long commuting route, racking up a total of 17.1 miles over 3 hours and 33 minutes. Next week I will attempt a 26 mile day. There’s only 2 weeks left until the LA Marathon. Last chance training!

I don’t take enough time to reflect on progress I’ve made. Luckily, Strava helps me with this on a monthly basis. I received this summary of February activities in my inbox. 69 miles traveled on foot, 23 miles more than January. Insane! Last September I could barely run 10km.

I decided distance running is 90% mind and 10% body. Training is all about training your mind, must less about training your body. The mind quits first.

In The Dip by Seth Godin there’s this chart showing distribution of runners who quit during marathons, with the X-axis representing the distance reached before quitting. The peak is around mile 18-19. Most runners who quit, quit 7-8 miles before the finish line. Their mind gives up before the finish line is in sight. The mind quits first, so train your mind.


Reading

I’m still reading Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss and Lead Yourself First by Kethledge and Erwin.

In Tribe of Mentors one passage that hit me particularly hard is from Muneeb Ali, a computer science PhD who co-founded a company called Blockstack. I had never heard of Ali until this. When asked what has most improved his life in the last five years, Ali answered:

Asking myself the question, “When I’m old, how much would I be willing to pay to travel back in time and relive the moment that I’m experiencing right now?”

If that moment is something like rocking my six-month-old daughter to sleep while she hugs me, then the answer is anything. I’d literally pay all the money I’d have in the bank at, say, age 70 to get a change to relive that moment. This simple question just puts things in perspective and makes your grateful for the experience you’re having right now versus being lost in thoughts about the past or the future.

Mic drop!

In, Lead Yourself First one concept which struck me is the difference between analytical thinking and intuition. Analysis works well with limited information and fails when there’s too much information. You can get stuck in analysis paralysis where you go through a loop of measure and evaluate over and over. Intuition works well when there’s too much information. With intuition, your gut tells you which way to go and you look for data to prove that assumption wrong.

I think generally reading books builds our muscles of intuition. Most of us do not remember specifics of most of what we read, its too much information. However, we do build intuition which can be called upon in the future to get us unstuck. When facing a challenge, you vaguely recall a similar situation and solutions which worked before. So, stand on the shoulders of giants.


Writing

I have not done a whole lot of writing outside my weekly updates and Torrey’s Weekly Report (TWR). The 16th edition of TWR covered some new technology under development, some market observations, a secure code training announcement, and a few other odds and ends. I’m still working on a Medium post about what I’ve learned from publishing TWR, but I haven’t found time for rewrites this week.


Thanks for reading, and

Have a great week!

Weekly Update – #9 – March 3rd, 2019

Hi Team,

This week I have a very light update on running, reading, and writing.

Running

I ran my beach route to work again this week. The run clocked in at a slower 15.3 miles. I have 3 weeks left to prepare for the LA Marathon. It’s gonna be awesome!

Reading

I’m still reading Tribe of Mentors by Tom Ferriss. And I just started reading Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude by Raymond Kethledge and Michael Erwin. It’s a book all about utilizing solitude to harness intuition and make tough decisions.

Writing

I didn’t do much writing this week. I started writing a summary of what I’ve learned from publishing 15 editions of the internal corporate blog called Torrey’s Weekly Report. I’m planning to publish that post on Medium.com as well. I wasn’t satisfied, and decided to delay publishing and spend more time rewriting it.

Thanks for reading and,

Have a great week!