I may have warned readers that this was coming, but every year in December I try to write at least one blog post per day. It’s not anything official or endorsed or recognized in any way, but each year I pull thirty topics out of my hind-quarters and splot them onto the virtual pages of this website. On the last day of the month, day thirty-one (in case you were suddenly feeling a math headache coming on because of that last sentence) I post my big annual round up, year in review, New Years List of all my anecdotal thoughts and reflections on the year that was and hopes for the year that will be. For some reason these have been getting increasingly pessimistic. I wonder why. But, I digress… anyhow: December. A blog-a-day. No rules. No topics. No focus. No plan. Just me trying to write something to sum up my thoughts as the year comes in for it’s final approach and landing. Stay tuned.
It occurs to me just now, as December lurks just over the horizon, that usually, generally, traditionally (as much as that’s actually a thing on a 15 year old blog) I make a honest effort in the final month of each year to write at least one blog post every day. That might be a serious, long post about something significant. It might be a photo with some text (because you already knew that if you clicked on the pictures they had a post behind them, right?) or they might just be a quick, little aside-style post such as this one you’re reading now. I’m going to promise big and go for gold. And I guess we’ll see how it all pans out, y’know, between finishing the home renovations, getting back into post-marathon running of some sort, scratching out some violin practice and hopefully squeezing in some holiday cheer. No pressure, right?
Sunlight, fresh snow, and a staged selfie-esque running photo. There were a few good ones, but I like the one backlit by the sun through the snow-covered trees.
Here we go again… December is Blog-Every-Day Month. No guidelines. No rules. No set topic. No nothing no how. Just an article with at least one complete sentence, every day…
December 1… and we start with even more goals?
People who have been reading this blog for any length of time know that I get into my groove about this time each year. I’m a bit of a goal-troll and as the New Year creeps up I tend to set a bunch of new self improvement targets. Some stick. Some don’t. That’s life.
But one thing that I’ve found over the years is that while it’s great to make New Years Resolutions, the ones that work are those that you’ve practiced for a few weeks in advance and can push through the holidays. If your goal can survive the craziness of Christmas, it just might make it into next year. In other words, December 1st is a great day to kick off all sorts of life-altering challenges.
I’ve only got three big things I’m working on for 2016, but they are pretty daunting and ambitious.
First, you may already know about “Ready Writer One” my words-each-day project meant to keep up the momentum I’ve built in November with NaNoWriMo and not only finish that novel but perhaps write a couple more in 2016. I’ll be gearing up in December so that by the time January hits I’m in the groove for my daily word count.
Second, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’ve been contemplating another year of marathon training. Yikes! Along with that effort, however, it will be necessary to rev up a new cross training effort to go along with it. Of course, that means planning and tracking everything, which starts tonight with my first workout in my 2016 series. It’s some basic strength work before I do my run.
Third, and another health goal, I’ll be working towards that marathon goal with another healthy eating plan. I’ve got some rules worked out –basically a repeat of the standard being-more-conscious about things plan– but I’m kicking that off today –again– with healthy meals and a little bit more diligence on the post-Halloween, pre-holiday snacking.
Big things with little daily efforts. They all add up. I’ll prime myself and tune the details leading into the end of the month, and then kick them off in earnest when the New Year hits. So, ready… go.
There were lots to choose from, what with my photo-a-day effort, but I think I like the sledding photo from December 7th the best.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been doing the December blog-every-day thing this December… with bonus photos!
I’ve been a pretty mediocre photographer for the last couple months. So, a couple things happened in a bit of a random sequence and here I sit, thinking I might like to try for one of those ‘photo-a-day’ months.
Well, I finally got the shipment notice on my new camera strap. I funded a kickstarter campaign for the new “Peak Design” Slide and Clutch, and after some production delays (there are always production delays) and being probably, literally, the last person on the mail out list, the notice arrived in my inbox that the parcel was sitting in a Canada Post facility somewhere in Ontario and would be on my doorstep, hopefully, on Friday.
Shorter story: new gear makes me feel giddy about taking photos.
What else happened?
I’ve been home sick. Stir crazy doesn’t quite describe it. But I went and picked up Claire almost right after school ended and on the way home she started going on and on about how she was going to write a secret letter to Santa. Now, I’m a bit of a cruel parent and we’ve all but told her flat out that Santa isn’t… well, spoiler alert. You know the rest. But she… she seems to take that as full-on evidence of a vast Santa conspiracy and an even stronger reason for her diligence in contacting him to increase. I told her that if she was going to write a letter, she’d better at least make a rough draft. Her final copy would be neater, I told her, and then neglected to tell her that then I could keep the draft to make sure at least one thing on the list made it under the tree.
So she was writing, and I had pulled out my camera for this epic-cute moment… and, voila…
The first day of December is captured in photo. Now, I’ll just try and keep that up for the next thirty.
Seeing as how I can’t go outside to hang proper holiday lights, what with (a) being sick and (b) it being -40 with the windchill, I figured I’d spring my blog decorations a day early. Normally I resist all things “holiday” until at least December the first, fighting the “christmas creep” as some folks have started calling it. Perhaps it is the fact that I haven’t been drinking coffee for a few weeks now, and I discovered a new minty-awesome tea called “Santa’s Secret” that has been getting me through my days. Or perhaps it is the forty centimeters of snow I shoveled from the driveway on Thursday and Friday. Either way, I’m willing to nudge things a day early. Let the holiday crush begin…
It’s one of those Fridays when (thanks to my compressed work weeks) I’m off. So, I’m blogging. But sometime today — either later this morning or sometime tonight — I’m going to go out for the ninth of my thirty-two daily runs in December (plus January First’s Resolution Run.) And, about half way through that run, summing up all the klicks I’ve run in those nine days, probably not marking the moment with anything more than a cold shrug, I’m going to pass the 42.2 km mark.
That’s a marathon.
But, a couple things.
First, I don’t actually know how much effort it would be to run a real marathon. A lot, I assume. I do however know how much it takes to run a half marathon. I’ve done three of those, but have yet to accomplish the former. And herein blubbering about some vague mathematical accomplishment in my own training I in no way want to diminish by any degree the effort or training of those folks, many of whom I now know and run with, who actually have run that race distance. I don’t. Really. So, yeah…
Second, for those who don’t read this blog as often as is necessary to follow my multi-post and disjointed ramblings, a summary of what it is I am blubber about: in late November I realized (after examining the data from my GPS watch) that I was short of my annual total for klicks for 2011. A much I opted to resolve (or pre-solve as I later discussed) to run every single day in December — even just a few klicks — ideally achieving a total of 150 kilometers total by the end of the month (and thus passing the aforementioned annual goal total.) So far, so good.
Thus, here we are.
Nine days in, and while I could post the details of each and every run I won’t. Lets just say I’ve been keeping (ever so slightly) ahead of my goal distances, mostly by design but often by poor route planning. And, as plotted and planned at the turn of this month, sometime today my cumulative total will cross the marathon distance mark. Sometime today, the total of my December daily runs (admittedly just nine of them) will equate to one marathon run, at least, in distance if not in effort. (Just two more to go!) Some of the runs have been lonely jaunts circling the one-point-one klick loop of the park near our house. A few have been with the folks from my clinic run group, friends of now years, including one dark and icy round of hill-training on the Terwillegar pedestrian bridge hill, me with the only (fully) functioning headlamp and a close huddle of groupies cuddling up the to safety of the spotlight noting the icy patches. One run in the bitter, bitter cold wind of a sudden temperature drop, my teeth finally stopping their shiver-induced chatter as I was coming up the home stretch. And at least one run — possibly all of them — where I questioned the sanity of this whole exercise altogether.
I’m tired, but not yet beat. And at a little more than one quarter complete, my only regrets are facetious.
Every year for a few years I’ve taken on December as the “blog every day for a month month” self-induced challenge leading into my annual New Years List Blog Post. But now, obviously, thanks to an internets-free vacation, I didn’t get a chance to write for the first few days of this December. That’s too bad. I’m sure all my readers are deeply disappointed. (I suppose both of you will need to seek other forms of entertainment for those missing days.) On this past first of December I was wandering the mean streets of a crazy little theme park in California, and I’m sure I was too tired each day to have much to write anyways.
So……… The alternative is going to be an abbreviated version of the challenge, I guess. Starting today: BAM! And we’ll go from there. As always, leading into the big ‘ole thirty-first New Years ass-plosion of bloggy-ness. I’ll try and do some pics, too. Daily? No guarantees, but… yeah.
(Now, was that stream of consciousness or what?)