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Times They Are a Changing

You could also file this under the category “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”  Not much to say right now, but I will tease it with this video clip:

Inbox Zero

A new service started up in the past couple of weeks called Mailbox. Their mission – to help users get to the state of an empty inbox. That’s a worthy cause – I can’t tell you how many people I know with literally thousands of messages in their inbox. I don’t know how they keep track of what they’ve taken care of vs what is still an open thread.

I was curious as to Mailbox’s approach, so I downloaded the app. And found over 500,000 people ahead of me in line to use it. The company seemingly took a smart approach to growth and is gradually increasing the number of people they allow to use it. Over the first 36 hours of my wait, it appears that 80,000 or so were allowed in, and the overall queue length is dropping – there are only 25,000 people behind me.

Still – I’m intrigued to see how their offering works. I’m usually already at a state of zero messages in both my work and personal accounts, so I’m likely to be disappointed! I’ve included a screenshot to show my high level filing system in Gmail.

It’s Beginning To Look Like…

It’s really beginning to look like I’m training for something. A few folks have noticed that there is certainly an underlying mission each week when it comes to my fitness. I’m definitely trying to get back into the top shape I was in a couple of years back, but on top of that it looks like there may be something else.

I honestly don’t know. Maybe there is. We will have to see what tickles my fancy once the engine is back at 100% and body fat is back at 15%. For now, here’s the results of this past week:

Swim:  4000 meters / 2 Days

Bike: 16.3 miles / 1 Day

Run: 22.9 miles / 4 Days

Tennis: 2.5 hours of singles

 

I’m really happy with where my swimming is heading. I matched last week’s distance with one fewer day, thanks in part to having a 2500 meter set on Monday. I also did my first two a day this week, combining a 1500 meter swim with a 3.5 mile run.  My long run crossed 11 miles this week. I could’ve gone farther but ran out of water. The weather stunk pretty much all week, with rain Monday thru Thursday, followed by a dip into the 30′s (it had been in the 70′s for the past week). I did good to get that one cold 16 mile ride in.

Singles and doubles season both started this week. I dropped my first singles match in a fashion I’d rather not discuss here. Needless to say there is a lesson learned here.

Looking ahead, I’ve got 2 doubles matches and 1 singles match scheduled for the coming week. My plan also has increased mileage on the bike and running. I’ll get in the pool at least once this week and work on form and get a good workout in.

Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes…

It’s 2013, and while I am happy with who and where I am, there are things I want to change. That mentality itself is a huge departure for me. Traditionally I have been my own worst critic. This year I have fired that inner critic, and instead decided to focus each day on the habits and attitudes of the person that I want everyone to see from the outside.

Yesterday marked day 8 in a row of returning to my traditional training regimen. This time around, it’s for fitness and fun. I don’t have any huge events on the horizon to pressure me, although I will undoubtedly run the Publix Marathon this March. I have run that marathon every year they have held it and am in their “Streaker” category – I think that is a distinction I want to keep up in my home town race.

I have already been in the pool 4 times this year, and it’s only the 15th day of January! Yesterday I cranked out 2500 meters at the Cumming Aquatic Center. It’s a fantastic facility, and features a long course pool four months each year. I also signed up for Strava, which will serve as the public version of my training log for the foreseeable future. I’m still a fan of Training Peaks, and have paid accounts with both services. But TP is more for my planning and tracking, whereas Strava is for my accountability. You can follow me here -> Mike Schubert’s Strava. There is good and bad to using Strava, but in all I like the concept of competition outlined in the “How Strava is Changing…” article. I will give it a full review later against Training Peaks, Garmin Connect and Daily Mile.

Totals for the week:
Swim: 4000 meters / 3 days
Bike: 16.2 miles / 1 day
Run: 16.5 miles / 3 days

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The Next Adventure

Yes, it’s time to learn to SCUBA! Yes, triathlon training for IMFL continues, as does both singles & doubles tennis. While diving seems like a very active sport, it’s also one that is purportedly very relaxing and takes place in what I consider to be a fascinating environment. Add a lifelong interest in learning, coupled with a potential tropical trip on the horizon, and this seemed to be the right time to take the plunge!

Step 1 in this process is to go through the academic portion of learning. I completed the PADI Open Water Diving manual and the written exercises within for this portion. There is a lot of focus on safety in addition to an overview of the skills and equipment that is necessary to safely dive recreationally. It all still sounds very exciting and I’m looking forward to the next portion of this certification, Confined Water Dives. I will be performing these at The Dive Center on McEver.

In preparation, I’ve purchased the mask, snorkel, fins and booties that best fit me. I already own a wetsuit for triathlon, so if I need one in the pool environment, I will simply use it. You shouldn’t use a triathlon wetsuit when actually diving, because the pressure put on it will wear it out. But for a pool that only goes to 10 or 12 feet, it should be fine if I find myself getting cold late in the day. My guess is that the 89 degrees will feel like bathwater.

My last task before the confined water dives is to take the mask and snorkel to the pool and just get used to a couple of the concepts around mask clearing, and breathing without the mask on. Those seem to be the two portions of the class that cause the most despair among students, so having some extra time on my own seems like it may be beneficial. There are several YouTube videos that demonstrate the clearing task, so that is what I’ll go by.