2012 Goals – October Retrospective

Think, only two more months left in the year, and lets take a look at what I’ve done so far (and maybe think about next years goals..).

#1 Getting in Shape / Prepare for Tough Mudder

I wrote about my Tough Mudder experience, and I’m going back through the Diabetic Athlete’s Handbook to figure out how to best control my blood sugar in the mess that is Tough Mudder.  I’m also stepping up my workout routine to make sure I’m not as much a wuss as last time.  I also started going to a personal trainer since I realized I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be by myself.

#2 Propose PhD Topic

The proposal is done and I’m now doing all the fun stuff that is needed to get the topic proposed (getting a room for it, etc.).  Lots of fun.  Really.

#3 Learn a new Programming Language

I’ve sort of morphed this into a learn a new programming language / learn new system architectures; and to that end, I’ve really begun reading and wrapping my head around the ideas of: CQRS, Event Sourcing, and Version Control with respect to scalability.

A good overview of CQRS can be found here: http://www.udidahan.com/2009/12/09/clarified-cqrs/

#4 Learn Guitar

I feel I’m getting a lot better at the guitar, still not amazing, but songs are actually beginning to sound like songs although I still have a lot to work on.  For instance: chord changes and strumming.  I still don’t quite have the whole rhythm thing down quite yet when having to do things like downstroke on an 8th note then down / up as 16th notes.  I’m sure I’ll get better at it; just need to fire up the metronome and make it happen.

#5 Housework

I finally got the disassembled playscape out of the backyard and removed two decorative columns in my house.  Hopefully I’ll take care of the fence and all the additional rocks sitting in my backyard so I can start planning covering my patio. 🙂

Overall

Lots of random events happening but, I went to ACL on Oct. 13th and saw Punch Brothers, Bassnectar, and Neil Young!

Dexcom G4 Platinum

After writing about my experience with Tough Mudder, I knew it was time to start wearing my CGMS again, so I made a call to my trusty medical supply place and found out that the Dexcom Seven+ had been discontinued and that a new system was coming out: the Dexcom G4 Platinum.  Of course, this means all the sensors I currently have are useless as soon as the new equipment arrives (in late October or early November I’m told) so I’m hoping the batteries haven’t worn out on the Seven+ and I can use it for at least a few weeks.

Tough Mudder Post-Muddem

On Sunday, I ran Tough Mudder, and it was rough (although, technically I did finish, it wasn’t how I wanted).  I wanted to do it because a lot of people kept saying “You’re a Type 1 Diabetic, you can’t do it, it’ll be dangerous” or something along those lines.  I wanted to prove them wrong; just because I’m T1D doesn’t mean I should let it stop me from doing something.  It just makes it harder for me to do it, but not impossible.  Anyway, long story short: Around the half-way point I had a wonderful case of low blood sugar and took a two hour detour to the med tent and then met my team after the last obstacle and ran through the finish with them.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  But now, it’s time to look at it and figure out what went wrong and what went right and what I can do to finish the next one.

What I Got Right

First, to get the obvious one out of the way: I survived.  Now, to look at everything else.

  • I ate a good high-carb, high-protein breakfast and drank a lot of water before and during the event.
  • I wore my trusty Osprey Manta 30 hydration backpack and made sure it was filled with water so I could drink it.
  • I also packed my insulin pump control / blood sugar tester along with a glucagon emergency kit if something really bad happened to me.
  • I was running it with three (and right before the race, added a fourth) great people.

Around the 5th mile when I was asked how I was feeling and I realized I couldn’t answer that question quickly enough, I knew immediately to check my blood sugar and work on correcting the blood sugar reading.  I also knew that I should basically call it quits when my blood sugar didn’t raise up near as nicely as I would have liked.  I felt I was in decent enough shape (not excellent, but it was better than a lot of people out there). And that is what I think I got right.  Now, onto the what I got wrong.

What I Got Wrong

Now, the part where I get to be critical about myself and what I didn’t do

  • I said I was in decent shape, which was true, but after going through it, I wasn’t in great enough shape and probably in the worst shape of anyone on my team.
  • I shouldn’t wear my trusty Osprey Manta 30 Hydration Pack; it just gets in the way on some of the obstacles and becomes more weight to lug around.  Not to mention the spigot thing causes wonderful bruises on your chest… 🙂
  • I need to figure out how to handle the blood sugar lows from the expense of energy in the running and obstacles.  I felt like I could have jogged / walked the course and done none of the obstacles and come out on the other end fine; but that isn’t the point.  It’s to do the obstacles and conquer them.
  • Wearing the right clothing.  Running pants over running shorts and a wicking shirt under another t-shirt doesn’t really cut it; and you get mud everywhere!

What I Need to Do for the Next Tough Mudder

And, now, how do I make this better?  Well, glad you asked, cause I’ve got about six months until the next Tough Mudder in April of 2013 to correct this.

  • Get into better health.  I’ll use this and this in addition to biking more often (since the weather is finally biking friendly again) to start getting into better shape.
  • I’ll need to start wearing my Dexcom 7+ again to figure out the amount of exertion I can do before my blood sugar begins to plummet and work on a plan to make sure it doesn’t happen.
  • Find the right sort of foods / glucose tablets to help correct my blood sugar quickly when it begins to fall.
  • Dress correctly for the event:
  • Have fun!

Conclusion

It looks like I’m gonna have to keep staying healthy high on my list for the foreseeable future. 🙂

2012 Goals – September Retrospective

Just after finally posting my retrospective of last month, I’ve gone and written the one for last month.  It’s been busy (obviously) and I’m here to talk about it some.

#1 Getting in Shape / Prepare for Tough Mudder

Well, I’ll know how well I’m gonna do this coming Sunday (Oct. 7th).  No matter how I do, this is something that I’m going to have to keep up.  I’ve been working on eating more often at home and bringing my lunch from home as well.  I still haven’t found a good workout routine that has worked with my recently hectic life.  I’m hoping to figure out how to calm it all down soon enough and get into a routine that works.

#2 Propose PhD Topic

It’s still happening, I’m now smoothing out the rough edges on the proposal and getting the presentation in order.

#3 Learn a new programming language

I’m still playing with Clojure but I’m also taking a deeper look at Event Sourcing and Command Query Responsibility Segregation and thinking about making an EventSourcing framework combining the two.  Right now I’m going to write it in Java since I don’t feel my Clojure skills are awesome enough to release something like that to the world.

#4 Learning Guitar

I’m making progress, although I’d love to spend more time practicing, I’m getting about 30 minutes to an hour of practice in every other day.

#5 Housework

It never ends and I’m looking forward to removing old papers and the like from my house.  I’m hoping to just scan anything of quasi importance into my computer so it’ll live on as wasted bytes on a disk in the cloud instead of in my closet.

Overall

Life is busy and hectic but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.  I also just bottled my second beer, the Belgian Banana Beer and in a month I’ll know how it turns out.  It’s also made me start planning my next beer – an interesting take on holiday beers which I’ll talk about later :).

2012 Goals – August Retrospective

Yeah, I’m a little late on getting this thing up, but I’ve been busy and have just now found the time to write this bad boy.

#1 Participate in Tough Mudder / Get in better shape

I feel I’ve been neutral on this, I haven’t improved, but I haven’t fallen backward.  I’m still going to do Tough Mudder and I’m still gonna beat it down, or at least try :).

#2 Propose PhD Topic

On my way to doing this.  I’ve gotten the proposal written and have a few changes left to be approved before all the paperwork fun time begins!  Oh, and I’ve got to write the presentation for the proposal.  Fun times ahead.

#3 Learn a new programming language

I’m diving deeper into Clojure and really loving it.  I’m also looking into Event Sourcing since it is a really neat idea.  Perhaps I’ll write something up about it.

#4 Housework

Removed some columns from inside my house, cleaning, etc.  It’s all going well.

#5 Learning Guitar

I’m taking guitar lessons and having fun.  If only I had a few hours a day to practice :).  I’m also sort of learning the piano as well, so soon I’ll be a multi-instrumentalist.

Overall

Things are going well.  I’m ready to rock and roll and as long as I can get the proposal presentation done and all the professors herded, I’ll be in awesome shape.

2012 Goals – July Retrospective

Well, I know this is a few days late, but it was because there was good news.

#1 Participate in Tough Mudder / Get in better shape

I’ve adjusted my eating habits, cutting out carbohydrates from my diet completely Monday through Friday, then only allowing myself to have them on the weekend (and not too many!).  It’s already made a noticeable change and I’m also doing at least a walk and/or a jog each day.

#2 Propose my PhD Topic

I was given the ok to propose my PhD topic this semester.  I’m putting the finishing touches on the proposal document and the presentation.  My goal is to propose the before October 5th.  I’m sure I’m gonna be pulling some all-nighters pretty soon to make sure it looks awesome.

#3 Learn a new programming language

I’m still messing around with Clojure, although not as much as I’d like (the PhD basically takes over as #1 goal no matter what :).

#4 Housework

The crape myrtle trees I’ve planted are doing well so that is a good thing.  I’ve also cleaned up some vines that were growing on my fence and that is an even better thing since I now have a nice section of my yard back without having to dodge the vines.

Overall

I’ve got a few articles sitting here on my blog that I’m working on finishing up and publishing, it’s just taking some time since other more important things keep coming up (gotta love school).  Once I get past the PhD proposal, I’m sure it’ll feel like a large weight was taken off of my chest.  To be replaced by an even heavier weight that is my goal to graduate. 🙂