2016 will be more than 2015. In the sense that I will invent even bolder predictions and fail even bigger. That’s the theory.
I didn’t do well on the 2015 bold predictions front, but that can be forgiven because no one is holding me accountable! (Right?)
Yet, I still did a lot. I went to eight different countries, but only one new one. I waded along beaches, rafted along crocodile infested rapids, climbed the head of a lion, those types of things.
I didn’t run all that much, but I hiked a fair bit. I played a lot of sports, from volleyball to softball to soccer to flag football. I watched a lot of sports as well, mostly football (Seahawks and Huskies) and some baseball. I went to a ton of music concerts…and reviewed a few.
What does 2016 have in store?
The theme is ‘More than 2015 or bust‘.
In 2016, I predict I will…
…visit two new baseball stadiums. Only four left!
…read 33 books (one more than last year); watch 101 movies (one more than last year).
…visit two new countries (one more than last year).
…run in at least four races (one more than last year).
…find a reason to do something even crazier than the last time.
…hike over 250 total miles. (Last year I hiked 185)
…take no prisoners and give no shits.
…pick a few musicians and go deep into their music catalog.
…binge watch three new TV shows.
…play with two puppies.
Let’s look at how I fared from my 2015 list:
Success rate: 6/10
…visit three new baseball stadiums. Surprised? Result: Nope, I only went to one this year. St. Louis.
…do something crazy. Climb a mountain crazy. Run a half-marathon crazy. Crazy like that. Result: I went white water rafting down the Zambezi River and waved to the crocodiles! Cray cray.
…read at least 35 books. I haven’t read that much the past few years. Doubling down. Results: Nope. I only got to 32! So close!
…read seven books I own that I haven’t read. I estimate I have over 30 unread books lying around! Results: Well now…no, I only managed to read five.
…run 300 miles. That’s 25 miles per month. That sucks. Results: Hahahaha! Wow, I failed this one miserably! I ran 86 miles. I’ll blame the fact that I didn’t run much the first few months because I had thrown out my back. But to be fair, I knew that fact when I made the prediction.
…get myself to at least one new country. I haven’t been to a new country since 2012. Result: Boom! United Arab Emirates!
…write more. Result: Yes and no. I wrote more for the blog Parklife DC, but wrote somewhat less for this blog. But overall, it was more!
…volunteer to be a commissioner of a sports league. (Hint: I already did this for volleyball…victory! 1-0 already!) Result: Done.
…win a championship with one of the sports teams I play on. Let’s do this! Result: Our sand volleyball team won a championship via forfeit. Lame, but another team I was on should have won it all also, but the league scheduled the final match on a day no one was available to play. I call victory.
Whenever I do a goal that features running, I fail. I’m just not a consistent runner. Or maybe just not highly motivated.
I successfully completed the Army Ten-Miler on October 11 (running 8.5 out of 10 miles). I didn’t really train, so I did better than expected time wise and in the ratio of running to walking.
I’m going to try another race in November. Hopefully a 10K (an 8K would be okay), so I will keep the ‘training’ alive for now.
I also need to do some cleaning and sorting around my apartment. I have tons of old clothes to donate, stacks of papers to deal with, and a general amount of ‘what do I do with this old thing?’ to figure out. Maybe I’ll even entertain once the place is immaculate. (Haha, don’t count on it!)
October/November Goal: Complete enough projects in my apartment and run enough miles so they total 65
My last goal was in December. Let’s peek at how I fared.
Goal for December: Do all 11 items on my freshly minted To Do List.
Total: 9 (out of 11)
December To Do List
Touch snow – I would say go skiing, but my back may not have recovered enough by then. Result: No. I could have driven an hour and stuffed frigid snow down someone’s back. But I didn’t. Instead, upon my return to DC, it snowed.
Attend two Seattle Seahawks games – One in Philadelphia and one in Seattle. Result: Boom, son! Done!
Grace Portland, OR or Vancouver, B.C. with my presence – They both need it! Result: Indeed. I hit up Portland for an evening of…stuff. I believe alcohol and karaoke reared their ugly heads. Don’t quote me.
Watch two Oscar buzz movies in the theater – With extra butter. Result: Yep. Wild and Unbroken.
Take a hike – I need to find out what bears do in the woods. Result: True. I did a quick 8-mile jaunt along the Foothills Trail in Orting.
Eat a Dick’s Drive-In (Seattle) Deluxe burger – Eat it! Result: I ate it.
Try 10 new beers – AKA beers I’ve not had the pleasure or displeasure of drinking before. Result: This I did in abundance. I should get extra credit, because I had about 25 new beers…but who can remember?
Eat at Thai Tom (Seattle) – Or any Thai restaurant on this Seattle Times list. Result: No. I tried, but the line to get in was out the door. So I went to a different Thai restaurant a few blocks away.
Visit Two Beers Brewing Co. (Seattle) – Or any brewery I haven’t yet visited in Seattle. Result: Burp.
Visit one Espresso Vivace coffee shop (Seattle) – Or any coffee shop from this King 5 list around Washington state. Result: Sipped!
Wild Card – Add something awesome when I think of it. Result: I can add anything here, right? Well, I’ll put down the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, because it is crazy excess for coffee lovers.
…do something crazy. Climb a mountain crazy. Run a half-marathon crazy. Crazy like that.
…read at least 35 books. I haven’t read that much the past few years. Doubling down.
…read seven books I own that I haven’t read. I estimate I have over 30 unread books lying around!
…run 300 miles. That’s 25 miles per month. That sucks.
…get myself to at least one new country. I haven’t been to a new country since 2012.
…volunteer to be a commissioner of a sports league. (Hint: I already did this for volleyball…victory! 1-0 already!)
…win a championship with one of the sports teams I play on. Let’s do this!
…play with a puppy.
Let’s look at how I fared from my 2014 list:
Success rate: 7.5/10
…read four ‘classic’ science fiction novels. From this list. Done! See the which ones here.
…participate in three races. Maybe even a sprint triathlon? 1/2 credit for this one. I paid for three races, but was out-of-town for one and hurt my back for another. I did run the Army Ten-Miler however.
…prance about in at least one new country. Maybe Croatia? Nope. I went to Malaysia and Thailand this year, but I’d been to both countries before.
…visit 2-3 new baseball stadiums. Yes! Went to Globe Life Stadium (Texas Rangers) and Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros).
…attend another music festival. Maybe the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware? Oh yeah! I made it to the 3rd annual Firefly Music Festival.
…find a new job. True. I started working on e-learning for WV’s information management system.
…hike more than last year. Benchmark: 17 hikes/177.5 miles. Fail. I did a scant 14 hikes/154.75 miles.
…finish watching the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Top 100 movies and all the Oscar Best Picture winners. Don’t get too excited, I only have 18 movies remaining. Boom! Done!
…cook more. I got a CSA share of veggies and cooked lots of new things. And I slapped together mucho sloppy tacos.
…win. I played on six different sports teams throughout the year (volleyball x 3, soccer, softball and flag football). We won 29 games I played in. Oh yeah. (But not because of me…). Plus the Seattle Seahawks went 3-0 in games I attended.
Over the next couple months, I’ll be attending or watching or playing in a good number of sporting events. To make my monthly goal easier, I’ll just add all those up and call it awesome. Plus I’m still training for the Army 10-miler on October 12th, so I’m sure to run a heaping helping of miles.
September/October Goal: Watch, play in or attend enough sporting events and run enough miles so they total 75
Here are some of the ways I can top-up on sporting events:
Play Fall flag football games
Play Fall volleyball matches
Run the Army 10-miler
Attend University of Washington Football Watch Parties
Attend Seattle Seahawks Watch Parties
Attend two Seattle Mariners road games (in Houston)
Attend one Texas Rangers game (in Arlington)
Attend the October 6th Monday Night Football game: Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Football Club
Here at the Random Journey headquarters in Washington, D.C., we’ve decided to get a lot crazy in July.
The super nutty, wacky, absurd, foolish, cray cray sort of crazy.
Because I plan on doing projects around my apartment (cleaning, sorting, putting together, drudgery) AND running a butt load of miles.
Now why would I do such a stupid thing as cleaning? Or running, for that matter?
Dare I say, my apartment needs it. And I haven’t been supportive of my apartment’s needs thus far. When the dust bunnies are breeding like regular bunnies, that’s a clue.
Running is a different level of craziness. I signed up to run the Army 10-miler in October. I have about 3-1/2 months to figure out how to either run 10 miles or find a way to cheat during the race. Time will tell which way I go.
July Goal: Complete enough projects in my apartment and run enough miles so they total 35
In July and August both my random goals were about clocking miles and keeping the blood pumping. Since this is an exhaustively fact-based blog, I crunched a bevy of numbers and dug deep for timely, hard-hitting analysis. That is a fact.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and shoot our veins with sweet, sweet PEDs.
August Goal: Run 21 miles AND play 3 tennis matches.
Running = 10.2 miles
Tennis matches = 4
Analysis: I just couldn’t get off my tuckus enough times to run 21 miles (who comes up with these numbers anyway?). I don’t run more then 2-3 miles at a time, so I have to find more times to run. I did find time to play some tennis. I went 1-3 in the four matches, including a tense, down to the wire loss, 7-6 (7-5), 0-6, 6-7 (7-9). No. I. Didn’t.
Max for any category was 43% of total (81.7 miles).
Running = 26.6 miles
Hiking = 81.7 miles (.36 extra)
Biking = 81.7 miles (2.3 extra)
Total: 190 miles (plus 2.66 extra)
Analysis: Boom! I did it. It really sucked! Peace!
Yeah, this was really hard because I traveled to Washington State for the last seven days. I managed to get a good hike in at Mt. St. Helen’s (8 miles) and did some runs the last few days, including a last-minute (like 10pm on July 31st) 2.5 mile run to pull it off. I could have quit or stopped or said fuggedaboutit. Trust me, I really wanted to. I don’t win anything. I don’t make any money on this. But it’s forever immortalized on this insipid blog, so I went the extra mile to get those many miles. Now you know.
‘There’s too many things that I haven’t done yet Too many sunsets I haven’t seen You can’t waste the day wishing it’d slow down You would’ve thought by now I’d have learned something’ – Many the Milesby Sara Bareilles
Since I have a busy month coming up and lack any ability to focus on one thing at a time, my goal for April is in multiples of five.
This month I travel to Southern California for the Coachella Music Festival. I partake in the One Day Hike (50K hike). And spring volleyball and softball both start. Also, Major League Baseball is back. Go M’s! Go Nats!
Goal: Do a bunch of random things in multiples of five.
These are the goals in fives I’ll commit to:
Five hikes of over five miles (I can do it!)
Run five times over 5,555 feet (Oh boy…)
Attend five concert sets of five songs or more (Easy while at Coachella)
Play in five sports games/matches (Softball and volleyball)
Watch five movies (In honor of Roger Ebert)
There could be others…
Results from March
Goal: Run or hike 109 miles in March.
Hike = 101.15
Run = 0
Total = 101.15
I didn’t reach the goal, but I was close.
I successfully hiked a lot. With hikes of 10.5, 12 and 16 miles, I did a good number of long ones. I also did a number of 5 to 7 mile hikes.
I broke in my new hiking boots and figured out what I would wear during the One Day Hike.
I did not run even once. It’s like trying to floss again, it’s easy to skip.
I need to start training for the 50 kilometer One Day Hike (April 27) and the five kilometer Semper Fi race (May 18), so what better incentive then to give myself a goal for March? And make it public, so I can’t ignore it?
March Goal = Run and hike 109 total miles in 31 days.
That works out to about 3.5 miles per day, though I will need to do a range of long hikes to build up to 31.1 miles. I also need to break in my new, lighter hiking boots and cross-trainers.
It’s been awhile since I ran, so that will be loads of fun.
I’ve done two monthly goals this year for total miles (March – 170 miles, and July – 230 miles) that combined running, biking and hiking. See below for a recap of July.
Now it’s time to focus on just one activity.
Because I hate running in general, but it does get me in better shape to do other things. Like flag football. Or volleyball. Or hiking. Or biking. Or watching football on the TV with a beer(s) and a heaping pile of nacho(s). Oh wait, I’m already pretty good at that.
a) I like that number. 4 is my favorite number. And two 4’s is better than one.
b) It’s more than I’ve run in any given month thus far. It’s a goal that I have to work for.
I may try running an 8K race sometime this month. Know one in DC?
Success! I completed 230.25 total miles in July. It took a bit of effort and perseverance to reach the goal, as I traveled two weekends where I didn’t do much. I was able to make the final push on the last two days, racking up marathon like numbers (26.50 miles) to eek out a victory.
Biking – 144.90
Hiking – 56.65
Running – 26.7
Totals – 230.25 miles
I would have preferred a ratio more in favor of hiking and running, but these are much more time intensive. Bike riding was an easier way to rack up miles, especially on the last two days.
When it’s hot (and I mean 104 degree hot), running or hiking is a bad idea. Bad. Idea.
My new favorite drink of all time is Starbucks Tazo Shaken Iced Passion Tea (add trademark somewhere in there). It’s a cold life-saving gulp of goodness after hiking and baking 10 miles in the oppressive heat.
You cannot beat running on the National Mall at night in the glow of some of the greatest monuments in the USA.
There are a lot of good places to hike, run and bike in and near DC (said Mall, Alexandria, along the Potomac River, Yards Park, other local parks, Teddy Roosevelt Island, Georgetown and many more).
Tracking miles is an art and a science. I continue to use RunKeeper for most of it. When my phone battery dies, I use the alignment of the stars and the curvature of the Earth.
I listen to a lot of music this way. In July I especially listened to Kasabian, The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, The Black Keys and Walk the Moon.
Since July is looking like a scorcher…it’s a mere 100 degrees as I type this…this is probably a bad idea. I may succumb to heat stroke. Or pull/break something as I push myself ever onwards to the finish line.
…that using the RunKeeper App is a good way to keep track of my activities. With few exceptions the GPS tracking worked well (once it had the gall to imply I was running a four-minute mile – WTF*? You on crack, RK?). Now I can look at all the stats (times, distances and routes) of my hikes, runs and bike rides for as long as I can handle it. Or until I lose my iPhone.
…that my iPhone battery didn’t last long enough to track a 16-mile hike (I probably need to check on a portable battery option).
…that I vastly prefer most things to running. Notable exception: any type of body waxing for purposes of hair removal.
…that over the course of a month, I improved in running times.
…that jogging and hiking are good times to listen to new music.
…that 5.5 miles a day is not as easy as it seems, yet I only had three days where I did zero miles (mostly because I was sick).
Happy Leap Day. I’m starting an ingenious plan to give myself random goals each month for the rest of 2012.
In theory, these goals will ‘make me a better person’. If that is possible. I wager it is not. They will also be hard (insane) enough to provide a challenge or make me want to quit halfway through.
I created a new tab on this blog called ‘Random Goals’ to track progress. Go there now. Or don’t.
The first random goal is to run, bike or hike 170 miles in the month of March. That’s 273.6 K for you un-American types.
That may not seem like a lot if you ride in the Tour de France and whiz up and down 130 miles of mountains one day and do it again the next. Or if you like to run 6.5 Boston marathons in a single month. Or if you like doing 11 15-mile hikes in a row.
That averages out to 5.5 miles per day. If you still find this is too slight of a goal, please join me. Try it yourself. Just do it.
Moral of the story:
March Goal = Run, bike or hike 170 miles in 31 days
Follow progress under ‘Random Goals’ tab.
Stay classy. And give goal ideas for future months…