Monthly Summary – December 2015

At Team NB practice

2015 is done. I’ll write up my usual annual summary in the coming days, but for now, let’s just focus on December. (above photo: Colin Sapire)

December was a good training month. Back in October, I decided that I was going to try to get to 500,000 meters of swimming and 950 miles of running for the year. Those just sounded like good round numbers that I could achieve, but would have to work to get there. At that point I needed to run about 275 miles and swim about 105,000 meters in November and December. I did my part in November, getting in nearly half of the swimming and about 45% of the running; as of December 1, I had about 52,000 meters of swimming and 146 miles of running to go. Long story short, I hit both goals without too much trouble. I had to work hard, be consistent and get lucky to not have to miss any scheduled training, but I didn’t have to go have an epic day at the end of the month to achieve either goal.

The running was fun – Team NutriBullet weekend practices, running Griffith Park with Chamoun a bunch of times and a few great runs with Assaf at the end of the month. I did one race this month – our Team NutriBullet team 10k at the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run. My official time for the 10k was 41:55, which is fine, but nearly a minute off my PR (which was set at the last 10k I ran, the Christmas Run in 2010) and if I based my time on perceived effort alone, I should have been setting a world record. I felt like I was dying for pretty much the whole race. I had had fun running the 5k and 6 mile Turkey Trot in November, but this race was just plain hard and the miles in the second half of the race seemed to last forever.  But it is always fun with Team Nutribullet group. Post-race fun photo with the team. (pc: Dierdre Hamilton)

Team NB Christmas Run 10k

Swimming has started coming pretty easily to me. One thing that means is that I need to start pushing myself harder. My swims at the end of the month were particularly uninspired. I got in the laps and hit my splits and finished my planned workouts (nearly every time), but I could feel myself getting bored. If not for the life changes to come soon, I would probably finally have to join a master’s team in order to make much more progress and stay interested in the pool. But, beginning at some point in mid/late January, my time will be at a premium and I doubt I’ll be doing much driving to a pool for workouts for at least a little while. And that’s perfectly great with me!

I finally finished my 100 Fewer Things project that I started in January and originally thought I’d have done in February. At least I got it done!

Our due date is now less than 4 weeks away. Holy crap is right. Elizabeth had two fantastic baby showers – one in LA and one in San Diego. We got more stuff for the baby than I expect we’ll ever need. 🙂  Doesn’t she look great? (pc: mom!)

baby shower photo

Here’s my monthly evaluation based on the monthly goals I set earlier in the year. As before, the red is my evaluation of how I feel I did this month.

  1. Eat better. Up and down month for my diet habits. My schedule these days is a bit chaotic – working at home, working at clients’ offices, working at coffee shops or the library. This is making me a bit crazy for a few reasons, but it also wreaks havoc on what I eat during the day. It means that there are days where I substitute snacks for lunch. And invariably, my snacks aren’t as nutritious or filling as my meals. Anyway, some days are better than others. Also, since it’s the holidays and there’s a lot of big meals and far too many sweets around. And when sweets are around, I don’t stop eating them.    
  2. Focus on getting better sleep. I thought Elizabeth was sleeping poorly in November, but that was nothing compared to December. As I result, I’m not sleeping well either. Also, my screwy work schedule lends itself to working early in the morning and working late at night. Both of which contribute to crap sleep.
  3. Continue swimming, yoga and strength training on a regular basis.  Yep, I swam a lot. December was my second biggest month of the year. Which also means my second biggest month ever. No yoga – didn’t even consider it really. Two strength sessions. Oops. I should be doing one of those at least once a week. I do the strength at the park or at home so I don’t have a good excuse. I had good intentions, but running, swimming and just about everything else in my life comes first before I do yoga or a strength workout.  
  4. Run easy. Maybe hit the trails for some easy training. December was another good running month. It was my biggest running month of the year (though still not even close to my big mileage days of prior years). I felt really good running again. Chamoun and I ran in Griffith Park a bunch of times. I had fun coaching Team NutriBullet and at the end of the month, got back to the trails on the West Side for a couple good runs with Assaf. I haven’t run in the Santa Monicas in months. I almost forgot how nice the running out there is and how lucky we are in LA to have those mountains so close. 
  5. Be positive.  Yep! Mostly. 
  6. Read at least one book, hopefully two. I read two books this month, Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson and Saga, Volume 5, by Brian K. Vaughan. Seveneves ended up being a disappointment. It was really long (900 pages) and I went through long stretches of being bored (or at least not excited) by the story. I really liked the idea of the book and enjoyed the first couple hundred pages, but I never really connected with any characters and there was too much detail and science and heavy reading, instead of character-building and fun story-telling. After reading the book I read some reviews on Goodreads and it seems like this is just Stephenson’s style, so maybe it’s my fault for expecting something other than what the book was. I really dig the Saga graphic novel series. The characters are great and the story is a ton of fun. I can’t wait for Volume 6. Connect with me on Goodreads!

Right now, I have no idea what to expect for January or beyond. I absolutely cannot wait for this little guy to be born. I have close to zero expectations about what kind of running or swimming I’ll be able to do once he’s around. I’ll do what I can, when I can. And if I want to and life allows it, I’ll find time to train and/or race. If not, then hopefully that will be because I’m having too much fun being a dad!

Here’s December by the numbers:

Swim: 54,404 meters
Cycling (outdoors): 0 miles
Run: 146.7 miles
Total Run Elevation Gain: 15,934 feet
Strength Training/Yoga: 2 session
Approximate monthly total training and racing time: 42.75 hours
Weight: 160 pounds

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