Here’s my report card for February.
- Strive to always pay full attention to those I’m around.
This one is still hard to assess objectively. At work, I’ve started leaving my laptop and cell phone at my desk sometimes, to make sure I’m fully engaged in whatever meeting I’m attending. I welcome feedback from my friends and co-workers, but I think I’m still improving albeit with still a long way to go. Overall, let’s say C+.
- Read two books a month (including the free book each month for having a Kindle and Amazon Prime).
My Goodreads activity was a bit light in February — I diverted some reading time into watching Netflix’s “House of Cards” and Julian Fellowes’ “Downton Abbey” instead.
- Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire (second book in The Hunger Games trilogy): Three stars.
- John Scalzi’s The Human Division #4: A Voice in the Wilderness: Four stars.
- John Scalzi’s The Human Division #5: Tales From the Clarke: Three stars.
- John Scalzi’s The Human Division #6: The Back Channel: Four stars.
I made it two-thirds of the way through the last Hunger Games book, but didn’t finish in time for February. (I’m not sure how I should count books that I read part in one month and part in another. Maybe I should have set the goal as a page count instead.)
Altogether, I read just about two books’ worth of pages in February, but a bit shy of goal. Let’s say C+.
- Run three 5k races and one 10k race, spaced throughout the year.
I need to decide on my next race (ideally in April, May or June). I could do the Color Run again in May (in San Jose this time), or there’s The Electric Run in April, or the very similar-seeming Neon Run in June. Both of these are evening runs, and both are held at Candlestick Park, the same location as the SF Color Run. I wouldn’t mind actually racing inside the stadium, and when they demolish it next year, I’ll miss that place.
Overall, while I enjoyed The Color Run, it’s a bit of a strange event, and it was very different from my first 5k, the Santa Run back in December. That race was timed, and seemed to be about racing. These other runs are more like raves or festivals (Burning Man lite) with running as a side note. And they’re not really charitable events. So I’m not quite sure about what precisely the point is — I don’t need motivation to go running, and these races don’t really tax my endurance or allow me to push my pace. (The Color Run was so crowded that running was more weaving than anything.) So maybe my next run should be a bit more “serious” (whatever that means)?
Status: One down, three to go! Incomplete, but on track (assuming I sign up soon for a race for next quarter).
- For the other 8 months, set and accomplish a goal each a month in Runkeeper (total distance, speed, etc.). February goal: Run 30 miles.
While this will be officially “N/A” for March since March is a 5k month, for February I set a goal of 30 miles in total, and I was happy with my 35 miles of Runkeeper activity for February.
(For March, my unofficial Runkeeper goal is to run another 35 miles. I’m on track for running a total of 300 miles in 2013.)
February also helped me get a bit closer to my stretch goal of running 3 miles in 21 minutes by the end of the year — I turned in a 2.2 mile run with an average 7:11 pace on Feb 22, my fastest pace to date.
- Keep up with the Fitbit by walking at least 10k steps a day (about 5 miles) — accomplish this 28 days each month.
In February, Fitbit shows that I walked a total of 390,761 steps (down from 403,821 steps in January, but with 3 fewer days), with an average of 13,956 per day (up from 13,026), a most active day of 20,179, and a least active day of 922. I was sick that day — probably with the Norovirus that’s going around. While I only missed the 10k goal once in February, on that one day, I did not construct my goal properly: I gave myself some wiggle room for other months, but not February. So, FAIL.
- Each month, have at least 9 runs, 9 calisthenics/abs workouts, and 9 weightlifting sessions.
I almost left this too late, but thanks to some hustle at the end of the month, I (barely) made this goal — I actually had 13 runs in February, and 9 workouts each for the other two types (although some of those at the end were a bit shorter sessions than I would like).
- After my dental surgery in December, the surgeon commanded me to floss twice daily. So shall I do.
Because in January I had to use an estimate, for February I started using a spreadsheet to track this — but it was still difficult to remember to track diligently. Not counting the day I was sick (when I didn’t floss at all because I didn’t eat at all), my spreadsheet shows that I did floss on average twice per day.
For March, to remind me to floss and to track it more accurately, I actually acquired an iPhone app: It’s called Flossy, it costs 99 cents, it has a big button for you to hit when you floss, it shows you your flossing history by day, and can remind you once a day to floss. There really is an app for everything. (I’d like it if you could edit your history for previous days — nice to have if you forget to record flossing on one day — and if you could set more than one reminder a day. Sometimes you have to hit the button more than once for it to register. Despite those quibbles, it’s a fine app, and a no-brainer for 99 cents.)
- Drink more water, coffee, and tea; continue with the elimination I started last year of soda/diet soda/juice. (One soda or juice drink a week is acceptable.)
I had three diet sodas in February (worse than January but still on goal), and not much of anything else other than water/coffee/tea (and some wine and sangria with Scott and MC when I was podcasting with them), so this is met.
- By year’s end, eliminate non-dairy sweeteners (both sugar and artificial) from the coffee I drink.
Still working on this one, but I definitely had more unsweetened lattes. The danger is in drinking too many milk calories.
Status: Incomplete, not yet on track
- Start tracking my spending more closely with Mint.
Still on track with this. Still scared at how much I spend.
- Start writing again: Write at least one short story this year, and post to this blog at least once a month.
I won’t count these resolution posts, because they’re too dull. So February fails.
Last August I posted about my weight loss, and mentioned that I had a stretch goal of hitting 150 pounds by October. I didn’t make that — from October of last year through February of this year, I did come close a few times but my weight usually varied between slightly above 150 to a bit 155. Well, in February I fell below 150 after my stomach flu, and was quite active when I was on vacation in Tahoe with the kids the week after. I have managed to mostly stay below 150 since then. My size 32 pants are now a bit loose (even the “skinny” pair), and I bet I could fit into size 31. I wore size 30 as a high school freshman, but have been size 32 or bigger since college, so this is probably the thinnest I’ve been since 1982 or so. In total, I’ve lost 30 pounds in 20 months. My body fat percentage (although not measured that reliably since I don’t consider the Aria readings to be very accurate) has probably fallen from somewhere around 22% to somewhere around 18%. Since these resolutions are mostly about supporting and improving my physical health, it’s great to see some progress on these objective measurements.