What makes me happy

18Ks of fun, 3Ks of pain

Yes, as many of you have noticed, I’ve gone metric. When I return to the states, I will no longer quote energy in British Thermal Units. It’s all kilo-joules now. Last weekend I ran the Central Coast half marathon, in a personal record setting time. So far, this is a good trend. At this rate, by the time I am 80 years old, I will be able to travel in time if I keep getting faster.  Despite having been at the peak of my personal fitness a year ago, and slowly watching all that training and shape disappear over the last 12 months in Australia, I managed to push myself for the last six weeks and focus on running enough to put up a decent showing.  For comparison, the first half marathon I ran 5 years ago was 2:07, within a couple of years of my transplant.  Last year I ran two half marathons, both in 1:58 and 1:59, though one was at the end of the Lonestar 70.3 (half Ironman) and the other was at T3 practice after a 40 mile bike ride.  I was terrified that I’d just squeak out a 1:59 prove how I’ve lost everything I worked so hard for.

My plan was to aim for a stretch goal of 1:45, which is not that hard for a serious runner.  I am not a serious runner.  But I set out on a pace to maintain that, aiming for 5 minutes per k (about 8 minute miles), and I held that for 18 ks.  At the 18 k mark, with 3 ks left, and my watch at 1:30, I needed to hold 3 more ks at my pace to hit my stretch goal.  My body announced that this was not going to happen, by cramping up various muscles in my leg on different strides.  I started shoving extra salt, gu, water, anything I could get down my through.  But my pace fell off, and I was now dodging through all the 10K runners


Despite being right in the middle of the pack for my age group, this is definitely what I love to do.

Food price versus food pleasure

After our race, we cleaned up at the beach house, packed the cars, and headed to lunch.  After a long run, I often can’t even keep food in my stomach, much less enjoy a meal.  Essentially what begins is a battle between my need for calories and my digestive system’s desire to reject those calories.  One of our group had picked a “2 chef hat” restaurant (Aussie equivalent of Michelin stars, max of 3) for lunch, so I was equally worried about my ability to handle being at a top restaurant and not even getting to “keep” the meal.  It turned out to be fine.  Over the course of the meal, I got to thinking and realized that my enjoyment of a meal is strongly affected by price. I think this makes me middle class, or possibly even “upper lower class”, and I’m perfectly cool with that.  I’m glad other people enjoy fine food.  It’s simply not even close to worth it for me.

Movember is over

I’ve shaved.  Movember is over.  My fundraising total was simply disappointing (thanks so much to those of you who did contribute – Atlassian raised close to $30,000, which is fantastic).  My only explanation is that my past fundraising events have been a week long tour of Texas on my bike, and a year-long quest to do an Ironman, so maybe growing a moustache seemed petty in return to my normal donors.  I would much rather suffer in the heat and cold on my bike, or wake up every morning at 5 for one year, or spend hours on the physical therapy table gritting my teeth as they torture me, than grow a moustache.  It was definitely the least enjoyable thing I’ve ever done for charity – entirely due to my inability to grow facial hair and Lisa’s open hatred for my mo’.  The camaraderie at work among all of us participating was exceptional, and of course the cause is very close to my heart.

Last person waiting

I think I might be one of the last people I know to see Waiting for Superman.  Despite having waited this long, it’s timing couldn’t be better in helping highlight the need to connect with you passion and find what you love to do.  Geoffrey Canada is such a brilliant example of this – and why education has always been something I care about, despite having barely dabbled in trying to help make things better.   If you haven’t seen the movie (and you live in the U.S. or you care about education) there isn’t anything I’ve seen this good in a long, long, time.   During this week, yet another great Breakthrough Austin video came out.  So proud of the kids and staff at Breakthrough in what they do every day in creating a path to college for kids.

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