Racing in Utah

Utahns running along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

Edit: After a round of feedback on social media, I’ve adjusted the list of races I’ll be running this year to a more reasonable amount and purchased a Runners World marathon training guide.

Last year I discovered that I love to race. Not because I’m competitive, but because I enjoy pushing myself. During the three races I ran last year, I was able to reduce my time fairly well. My average pace in the Freedom Run 10K in July was 9:52 minutes per mile. For the Haunted Half in October, my pace was 9:42. And my Run for Your Turkey in November pace was 9:11 (that’s a <30 min 5K race time!). I had plans to run a lot more, but an injury early in the year hurt my odds (no running for 2 months).

This year, I have a massive list of races I want to run and I’m very excited to get back into training mode tomorrow! I’m working out a training plan to run in each of them, as well as considering hiring a coach to help me get there. This is the first time I’m preparing to run a marathon (and even possibly two ultra marathons) so I’m sure that my plan is flawed, but it’s a rough draft. If you’ve trained for a marathon and notice how this plan might need to be adjusted, I’m absolutely open to suggestions.

The training plan

I plan to run or do some sort of cardio training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with a long run scheduled every Saturday. On Tuesdays & Thursdays I’ll do bodyweight strength training (I really hate the gym) and yoga for flexibility. I’m purposely leaving the weekday trainings vague and unplanned so that I can be flexible to my body’s needs (e.g., I may need to spend a lot more time doing strength or flexibility training, but I won’t know that until I start). Edit: I’ve removed the original plan I made. Since I’m not at liberty to publicly share the training plan I purchased from Runners World, I’ll simply note the races I plan to run this year here:
29 Apr – TULIP HALF MARATHON (13 miles)
10 Jun – UTAH VALLEY MARATHON (26 miles)
12 Aug – MOONLIGHT HALF MARATHON (13 miles)
21 Oct – GOBLIN VALLEY ULTRA (either the 26 or 31 miler, haven’t decided)

The diet plan

I’ve been off and on the ketogenic diet for the last few months. It was rough. Not because I wasn’t used to eating whole foods, but because all of the meat and dairy made me feel gross most of the time. It reduced my chronic inflammation, but that wasn’t worth my chronic nausea. For a year and a half prior to that I had been following a mostly plant-based, anti-angiogenic diet focused on whole foods. I plan to return to that diet. It eliminated my inflammation, reduced the risk of my cancer returning, led to significant long-term weight loss, and gave me loads of energy. Essentially, this means I’ll be going off sugar, red meat, and starchy foods. I’ll get my protein & fat from poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, oils, and vegan protein powder.

Like I mentioned, I’m still fairly new to this. If you’ve done this before and have some advice, I’m absolutely soliciting ;-) Otherwise, wish me luck!

Themes

Goals. Deliverables. Metrics. That’s what I’ve been obsessing over for the last couple of months. Because of that, I’ve been forced to consider 2017 and some goals/milestones for my personal life. Now, there are many goals that I could have set. SO MANY. So I’ve instead opted to identify themes that I would like to characterize 2017 for myself

  1. Read more books & rely more heavily on first-hand sources.
  2. Strengthen my languages (Spanish, Portuguese, and possibly another).
  3. Be a more engaged & service-oriented citizen in my community, state, and country.
  4. Foster my son’s gratitude & appreciation for the life he enjoys.
  5. Keep myself cancer free.
  6. Become a more experienced spiritual leader for my family.
  7. Prepare myself for the future.
  8. Apathy has no place in me.
  9. Live more outside.

What do these themes mean, in practical terms? It means that you’ll likely see me writing about my field more often here. It means I’ll be running half marathons and marathons throughout the year. It means I’ll be more vocal in church and that I will have a place at rallies, city council meetings, and public service organizations. I’ll place an even higher priority on valuable family time than before. And it means that my health will continue to remain a high priority. Some of this is already happening. I’ve registered for the Tulip Festival Half Marathon in Lehi, UT. I’m speaking in church on Sunday for the first time in four years. And I’m even exploring possible dissertation topics for a PhD in the future. Needless to say, I don’t plan to sit the year out. This year will be a year of action.

The sun [will] come up in the morning

In 2004 I was a Freshman at Brigham Young University (BYU) at the time. As a Liberal, I was floating on the surface of a sea of Conservative ideology. Because I knew that I was the minority, I felt a deep responsibility to be able to represent myself. I studied and knew both sides of the issues inside and out and I was willing to discuss with people who thought differently from me to make sure that they had the chance to see how the other side thinks. As you can imagine, I was understandably upset the day after the election because we had just re-elected President George W. Bush and I was sure that we were going to enter into World War 3. The only way I could think to cope with this defeat was to grab my guitar and walk around BYU campus playing/singing AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” as a form of protesting the direction I was sure our country was heading. It certainly didn’t change anyone’s mind or even less changed the results of the election. But it was my right to protest, to get out there and tell the world that I expected better and that I wasn’t going to sit idly by and watch my country be dragged to hell.

Continue reading The sun [will] come up in the morning

Mozilla l10n-driver retreat — Sprint edition

For remote, globally distributed teams like the Mozilla l10n-drivers, time where we can be together in person is precious. For a couple of years, those opportunities have been restricted to the bi-annual Mozilla All Hands, but there was a noticeable gap in our team’s work and unity that meeting twice per year wasn’t filling. Last week marked the first of our revived team retreats (aka work weeks, off-sites, etc.) in Reykjavík, Iceland!

My goals for this retreat were two-fold:

  1. Create an environment of radical participation from each member of the team.
  2. Create an environment that made sharing and collaboration the modus operandi among members of the team.

I wasn’t too concerned about producing something during the work week, mostly because we’ve been highly goal-oriented and decisive since April, 2016. My biggest concern was that this retreat would be the same as past retreats: separated groups working on their own projects, individuals performing their day-to-day tasks, and three individuals attempting to have conversations and make decisions that impact the whole team without their attention. I wanted this practice to remain a relic of the past and to find a format for this retreat that would accomplish my two goals.

Continue reading Mozilla l10n-driver retreat — Sprint edition

Patriarchal blessings of my ancestors

If you’re Mormon, did you know that you can request to receive copies of your ancestors’ patriarchal blessings from lds.org? In January the Church announced that a new online tool for requesting and reading patriarchal blessings was available to all members of the Church. Not only can you now request your own (should you have misplaced it), but you can request the patriarchal blessings of any of your deceased direct relatives.

Continue reading Patriarchal blessings of my ancestors

Who would you most like to have a meal with?

Throughout my life, the message that I needed to have a role model never really sunk in. Mostly, I felt like placing an individual on the role model pedestal (warts and all) was a larger commitment than I was willing to make. This was especially true when I’d never even met the person. My friends would all claim athletes, musicians, etc. as their personal role models. I just didn’t understand it.

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LDS General Conference — Spring 2016

Forgiven

This is one of my absolute favorite pieces of art of Jesus Christ. It is based on Isaiah 1:18, where Isaiah describes the Atonement’s power to cleanse us as turning scarlet sins into pure white snow. I relate so much to this picture, as I often see myself in this woman’s postion: at the feet of the Savior of the world, utterly exposed as the frail and imperfect person I am.

If you have not yet surmised from this post and some of my earlier posts, I’m a practicing Mormon (member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). I even have a mormon.org profile (which I realized is in need of updating)!

Continue reading LDS General Conference — Spring 2016

A (small) bilingual parenting success!

alfajores_argentinos

To say that raising a child to be bilingual in the Mountain West region of the US is hard, is an understatement. The homogeneity of the population and culture doesn’t lend to diverse languages. In our home, you’ll hear English or Spanish almost daily, among others on a less regular basis. We love languages! And we’ve done our best to instill that love in our son (nearly 4 yrs old), el Güerito. Yesterday, we witnessed his biggest bilingual success so far!

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Senator L.M. Olson — Part 2

My great, great-grandpa Laurentius Magnus Olson. Born in Arvika, Sweden. Utah Territory Senator from Carbon County, UT.
My great, great-grandpa Laurentius Magnus Olson. Born in Arvika, Sweden. Utah Territory Senator from Carbon County, UT.

I’ve spent a bit of time this week rummaging through the 182 page PDF of the 30th Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah. It is not an easy task, believe me.

I expected to find more detailed record keeping of the events of that legislative session. You know, the usual stuff like the vote count, arguments in favor or against certain bills, members of the assembly who crafted each bill presented for a vote, etc. Sadly (but also maybe fortunately, considering the size of this thing), I didn’t find those details. Instead, this contains the exact wording for each law that was enacted by that specific assembly. Not what I was hoping for, but quite interesting nonetheless.

Continue reading Senator L.M. Olson — Part 2