Evolution of a Man

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Week 5…Done

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it”– Oprah Winfrey

The afternoon run of the 27th of October was my 19th training run, the last run of the fifth week!  (Week 5: Oct. 21th-Oct. 27th)

19 runs in, 5 weeks down, 20 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 5 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 30:01.00 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:18 /mile

Average Distance

  • 3.61 miles

Notable week 5 achievements:

  • This week was run by myself – and two of the runs I took a different route.  Instead of going the hilly route down by Trump National golf course, I instead went out to Algonkian parkway, and just ran to see how far 15 minutes out took me.  Without the hills, my pace was considerably improved (almost breaking below 8min/mile).  As a friend reminded me though, i’m training for the long run, not the short sprint.

Each man’s life represents a road toward himself. – Herman Hesse

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It seems strange to me that at 37 I’m still learning about who I am. Things that I never would have dug up had I not been looking; monumental things.  Things that drive me, things that shape how I behave.

I’m insecure.

I’ve got a deep seated fear of rejection.

I have no problem getting close to somebody, but only so far.

In my life, I have been blessed with not just a woman, not just a wife in name alone, but a partner.  Someone who believes, who has glimpsed the person I can be (who I want to be).  Someone willing and able to ride out the rough with me.  A partner, a friend, a lover.  My wife.

So happy to wake up next to her, a different, deeper man every day.

This little journey of mine, even though it’s not so old, is already unlocking boxes in my mind that have been sealed since they were made.  I’m redoing the foundations of this old house, so that it will last forever.

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Week 4 is DONE!

“If you ever get a second chance in life for something, you’ve got to go all the way.” – Lance Armstrong

The morning of the 20th was my 15th training run, the last run of the fourth week!  (Week 4: Oct. 14th-Oct. 20th)

15 runs in, two weeks down, 21 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 4 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 30:50.20 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:54.78/mile

Average Distance

  • 3.46 miles

Notable week 3 achievements:

  • Insomnia is a bitch.  For some reason, Sunday night at the beginning of the week, I could not turn my brain off.  This is usually associated with too much caffeine, but recent events make that false.  Whatever the case, at 4:45 am I’m still awake and decide there is no way I’m running at 6.  So this week, is one week down a training run.  My first miss.  F!

Sleep comes more easily than it returns.  -Victor Hugo

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Searching for a Publisher

In writing a children’s book, one of my goals in that process is to be published.  I plan on having a physical book available, as well as having e-books, and an Ipad version for sale.  In order to reach this goal, I’ve had to search for a publisher – and see what is out there, and how it works.

I found a self-publisher, who seems very good.  Their name is Trafford Publishing.  They seem pretty great, and here’s some of the highlights of the process, as I know it:

  1. I can come to them at any stage in my process, early on, mid way, book finished, and they have different packages available to suit my needs for where I’m at in the process.  Bonus.
  2. They do marketing for you; on websites where books are sold, physical advertising in bookstores around the country, and can target local markets of your choosing.  All completely customizable.
  3. They can do all formats of books; ebooks, regular books, and Ipad versions.  Just like I was hoping.
  4. I retain 100% of the copy rights, and they help me to copyright my material.  I can walk with my book at any time, and can even bring it to a larger publisher should one have interest.  Complete control.
  5. I get royalties on each sale.  20% on physical copies sold, 50% on e-versions sold under the Trafford label.

All of these are good to know.  Even better to know is the timeline:  If I want my book to be on the shelves for this time next year, they need 3-4 months of front end time before publishing.  That means I need to have it substantially completed by July, 2013.

Let the fun begin.

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Thoughts about direction

One of my life goals is school.

I was always told ‘Greg would do so much better if he just applied himself’, or ‘if Greg just slowed down and took the time on his studies, he’d be an A student’.  I heard that mantra my whole life, and besides knowing it to be true, I allowed it to be my reality – even though the truth of it is, most of my grades hovered just over 50%.  Whatever was the minimum effort needed to still get the diploma was what I put into it.  I was only an A student in potential.

This time around, I want to be an A student in reality.  A grade doesn’t define you, but for me – not having the grade before DID define me.  It shaped my view on life; to get by on as little effort as possible.  Why work hard when you don’t have to?  Why bust your ass on schoolwork, when you could skip it, play games instead, and STILL pass?  I have to admit, before I started university, I never (not once) ever studied for a test.  I didn’t do homework.  I skipped all projects.  I was at the mortal limit of skipping classes (one term, if I missed one more day, I was going to get the boot, straight from the principals mouth).

This time around, I want it to be different.  I am studying hard.  I am putting in the work to master the material (it’s not that hard to master the material; I read the chapter and do the homework – but still, I’m doing what is required).  I am an A student right now, after 2.5 years in, and am proud of my achievement.  Not just because it’s an A, a shiny badge for my transcript, but because of what it represents – the effort.  The dedication.  The fact that I put time INTO them, into my life, instead of life just happening.  I’ve done good work, and I’m happy with the results so far.

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A month of progress!

It’s been a little more than a month since I started this journey.  I haven’t had a cup of coffee since September 9th, haven’t played a game (except for Scrabble with my mom) since the same.   My Xbox 360 is gone, and although I know I’m missing out, I strangely am not missing it.

I’ve spent much of my new time sleeping.  Before, when I would coffee fuel myself I’d stay up after my wife went to sleep and play video games, or do other really nonproductive things.  I’d stay up regularly until 1 am.  Nowadays, my bedtime hovers around 10, and I’m trying to push it a little earlier.  I’d like it to be around 9:30, all things being equal.

This newfound sleep gives me the energy I needed to hit my day properly, particularly with no coffee or caffeine.  I do have a cup of white tea from time to time, but probably in the order of 1 cup every 3 days, not 6 to 8 cups in one day, and white tea has considerably less caffeine than coffee.  I just enjoy a hot drink.

I’ve been less cranky.  I’ve been less of a dick to my kids (not that I was always that way, but I was definitely on edge more).  I notice now, that when I do lose my temper, I find it coincides with going to bed too late (thank you 9pm political debates and exams to study for).

I still am trying to balance classwork, family time, and work on my goals.  I don’t have enough time for all – usually just two at a time.  So far, family life has been suffering.  I need to plan and have more family time, but I have to make progress on my life goals too.

I’ve made little progress on my journey of faith, and moderate progress on my book.  I’ve made some good strides (heh heh) on my marathon progress, and have completed my early goals of giving up caffeine and games, and of creating this blog (now to the task of keeping it up to date and current – an ongoing struggle).

When it is time to die, let us not find out we never lived – Henry David Thoreau.


Third week of training Complete!

“Life is a journey, not a destination”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The 13th was my 12th training run, the last run of the third week!  (Week 3: Oct. 7th-Oct. 13th)

12 runs in, two weeks down, I’m 22 weeks from March 16th, where I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 3 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 30:35 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:39.54/mile

Average Distance

  • 3.52 miles

Notable week 3 achievements:

  • Time expected was ramped up to 30 minutes per run.
  • The hills in this run are a killer.  I’ve been working on my pace, not to go faster, but to find a natural rhythm.  My goal is to breathe only through the nose, inhale and exhale.  Whatever oxygen my body pulls in is the oxygen I’ll be able to use.  The trick is consciously modifying my pace to go slower on hills, to be able to keep with the oxygen intake I’m receiving.  The other trick, is to improve my cardiovascular health, so that each breath is being maximized.
  • This was a solo week.  My training partner was away for the week.

If you have built castles in the air; your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.  -Henry David Thoreau