This week was the last week of January. Hello February! This week I’ll give some quick updates around Health & Fitness, Reading, and Writing.
Health & Fitness
I gave the gift of life this week, I donated blood. It’s super convenient because my company partners with Red Cross and every 8 weeks they set up a donation station inside our office. Donating blood is a good way to lower blood pressure. In total, I’ve donated a half gallon!
This week I ran to work (11.5 miles) for the 4th time. I almost skipped the run because I needed to join a conference call at the same time. I decided to do both. My coworkers had a laugh at my outdoor running video feed during the meeting. It’s a good thing I didn’t skip because it’s been raining hard the day before and after. Read about my preparation methods for commute running in How to Ditch the Car and Run to Work.
I need to step up my marathon training. The LA Marathon on March 23rd is looming. Rain, rain go away!
I’m excited about the growth of both of my blogs this week. This blog, Torrey’s Blog, now serves 87 subscribers. My work blog, Torrey’s Weekly Report, now serves 80 subscribers. Awesome! Both have been growing fast in 2019.
Since Weekly Update #4, I didn’t publish any I’ve spent more time reading and interacting with other blogs. I realized there are a lot of bloggers just starting out writing online. And they don’t receive much feedback. Crickets. Having been there, I know what it feels like. So I take the time to read what they write and leave a positive comment to cheer them on.
As they say, whatever you want in life, give it away. And be the change you want to see.
Torrey’s Weekly Report
This week I published the 12th edition of the report. It’s now reaching 80 colleagues who’ve chose to subscribe. Woot! The report typically spreads through word of mouth, but this week I promoted it to a new group of peers. It’s opt-in only, and 10 of them opted-in.
Can’t Hurt Me
While on my long run I listened to a few chapters of ultra-athlete David Goggins’s bookCan’t Hurt Me. One quote jumped out at me because it aligns with my own COMPETE AGAINST YOURSELF philosophy.
Life is one big mind game, and usually you’re playing against yourself. — David Goggins
Measure What Matters
I’m reading another book called Measure What Matters by John Doerr. It’s about defining Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) in organizations. The goals of every member of the team, including executive leaders, are made visible. The net result is better organizational alignment and efficiencies. OKRs are similar to what I call SMART goals, except it’s okay to set semi-unachievable OKRs and only achieve 70% of the goal.
My favorite quote from Measure What Matters is:
In God we trust; all others must bring data. —W. Edwards Deming
It’s the 4th week of 2019, and there’s a lot to talk about.
Running & Health
This week I ran my first half marathon. I finished in 2 hours 22 minutes. Woot!
Last Sunday I finished my first half marathon race, the Pasadena Half Marathon. This is the second race I’ve done this season, and my third, a full marathon, is coming up in March. No time for taking a week off!
The night before the race I could barely sleep. Everything I needed was laid out. We were to head out at 5am to arrive before street closures and get registered.
The weather was perfect, a bit cloudy but not a drop of rain. Los Angeles received a bunch of rain the week before. So the grass was shining and the air was clear for my run.
Going into the race, I set a goal to finish within 2 hours 45 minutes. But, the morning of I decided to push myself harder and go for 2:30. I finished in 2:22. Woot!
There were hundreds of runners on the course and I felt lost in a sea of people running through the streets of downtown Pasadena and around the Rose Bowl’s golf course. I did appreciate the designated pacers (from LA Road Runners club) who held up signs to indicate their target finish time. I found my 2:30 group and stuck with them.
In training the longest distance I ran was 11.5 miles. This was dumb on my part. The last 2 miles of the 13.1 were a struggle. Cramps, blisters, oh my!
What was really cool, and I didn’t realize this before, was the finish line. The race ended inside the Rose Bowl football stadium, home of the UCLA Bruins, on the 50 yard line. After I cooled down a bit, I snapped this awesome picture with Joe and Josie Bruin, the UCLA mascots. Go Bruins!
Such a great experience…I will remember this one for a long time.
Miscellaneous other health stuff
I ran to work for the third time on Friday, following the same route as two weeks ago. I was much slower than usual.
A few weeks ago I made a change to my coffee/caffeine habit. While I’m at the office, I only drink decaf. I’ve noticed on Thursdays and Fridays I feel less burned out. Cutting back caffeine seems to improve sleep quality (go figure!).
There are now 73 awesome people following this blog. About 10 of you found me in the last few weeks and hit the ‘subscribe’ button. I salute you! Get ready to learn and grow with me.
This didn’t just magically happen. I’ve made more effort to engage with other bloggers in the amazing WordPress ecosystem. Slowly bridges are connecting my little island to the rest of the blogosphere. Engagement is so crucial and so fun!
I published two blog posts on Torrey’s blog this week:
Three Truths — a written version of a 10 minute talk I gave in front of ~100 teammates. Bring Joy, Compete Against Yourself, and Help Others.
In my nightly journal entries I’ve started recording something unique the twins did/said that day. It’s so much fun going back through these notes.
I listen to audiobooks and podcasts while I run. I listened to a short, value-packed Audible called Power Moves by Adam Grant, which is about power dynamics in the workplace and government. The book ends with a powerful interview between Adam Grant and Kerry Kennedy (human rights activist and daughter of Robert F. Kennedy).
I’ve just started listening to Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead. This audiobook is read by the author, which is awesome because she excels at speaking. This is my first experience with Brene Brown, and after a few hours of listening I feel like buying a copy of every book she’s published.
I’m experimenting with waking up even earlier (5am) to read. It is challenging to do focused reading when anyone else in the house is awake.
I’ve just finished reading The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene. The last chapter was my favorite and the hardest hitting. It was about 50 cent being shot 9 times (once in the jaw) and facing death. It talked about living life to the fullest, having a sense of urgency and courageously facing death. Carpe diem (sieze the day) and memento mori (remember you will die).