Marathon Training: It Begins

This post of the ongoing Goal Journal here on rcThink. Follow along with the progress on big goals I'm tackling right now.Spark Challenge Update - Health MonthSo far I've had 3 challenges and I'm currently in the middle of the 4th. It's been a very interesting experience having a goal a month of something new and it's the reason I've been doing so much of the activities from the challenges. October was writing, November was meditation, December was playing guitar and January is eating very healthy. I haven't set a goal for the end of the month yet because some of things I've been doing don't fit well with having an end goal. Writing was just an hour a day. Meditation was 15 minutes a day. Playing guitar was supposed to be 30 minutes per day until I found out I couldn't work my fingers after playing that long so I scaled it back a bit. January's healthy eating challenge is something that happens all day long.Coming off December's food binge it took a few days of struggle to get control over what I was eating. We still had a lot of treats from Christmas laying around and I failed at stopping myself. A little chocolate here, a couple cookies here. Being off gluten has probably been the hardest part. A lot of food from restaurants or that friends bring has gluten in it. I've had to say no to a lot of things. We have donuts once a week at work and pizza once a month and those were hard to turn down but as soon as I did it once, I found it easier after that. That and the fact that I told people at work what I was doing and they would be watching.The first Saturday after the end of the month is going to be a binge day. I'm going to eat pretty much everything, then I think it will be back to very healthy eating for the rest of February. This will be a challenge I'd like to keep going.PureOutsideBetween Corbett's Million Dollar Blog Project and Tyler's Bootstrapper's Guild, I've had my hands full for the last 2 months keeping up with blog posts and getting the new guide and newsletter sorted out. The first newsletter will be out at the end of January and the first trail guide will be out at the end of February. I'm very excited for both these things will update you more when they come out. A few things have helped get a lot more done in the past 2 months than I think I've ever got done in that time frame.Batch tasks - Instead of writing a blog post once per week on some topic for PureOutside, I've started to group the writing of a few posts together. I'll focus for a week or 2 on writing 6-8 blog posts and scheduling them. I've found this method much easier than switching back and forth from the guide to blog post writing every week. With all the blog posts scheduled for the next 6 weeks I can focus on working on the guide and not switch back and forth.Chunk time - I often get overwhelmed when I'm trying to think about too many things at once. If I can chunk down tasks to 20-30 minutes then it's much easier to handle those. I can see exactly what needs to be done and that's motivation to start it. Hat tip to Tyler (LINK) for that one.Schedule Work Time - Up until recently, I've just tried to work on PureOutside stuff whenever I can. I'll sit down here and there and do a bit of work. The problem has been that I can't get much done because I'm constantly trying to remember what I was working on and by the time I've figured it out, I'm off doing something else. Now, I schedule 1 hour a day every day of the week to sit down and work on PureOutside blog posts, technical issues or social media. This has worked very well because it's not a long period of time. I know I can sit for an hour to work on it so I'm more likely to start. Working on it every day keeps everything fresh in my mind.Monotask - The opposite of multi-tasking. I used to think it was fun and interesting to work on 20 different things in a given week. Now it stresses me out. When I saw how little I was actually getting done on each project I knew something had to change. Anything I start now has to be finished before I start anything else. Batching things like blog posts helps do this. I'll work on only blog posts for 2 weeks and then go back to working on only the blog. I have tons of things I would like to do but I'm trying to push them all into a cleanup project scheduled for later this year.Fitness: Marathon TrainingMy major fitness goal right now is to do well in the Vancouver Marathon on May 6th. I've got 4 months to train for that. It seems like a long time but with 13km runs feeling fairly long right now I've got a long way to go. I'm going to be documenting my fitness work here to give a bit of accountability to myself and to let everyone see what I'm doing.Last Week:Sunday: RestMonday: 5km easy runTuesday 6km speed workoutWednesday: 1 hour of floor hockeyThursday: 6km easy runFriday: Night skiingSaturday: 13km long run WritingIt seems like I'm writing more and more every week. And it feels good. I've never been much of a writer but it's flowing easier now. I used to be held up or not even start because I didn't have an amazing idea or know exactly what to say for my whole article. Now freewriting, an article framework or a intentionally terrible first draft are great ways to get going and it's easier to start. Starting is the tough part.Recent Articles:The Vancouver Christmas Market on Aviawest.com http://www.aviawest.com/blog/2011/12/vancouver-christmas-market.htmlPaddling, Hiking and Climbing Marble Meadows on PureOutside http://pureoutside.com/blog/2011/12/1338/Mount Elma Ski Tour on PureOutside http://pureoutside.com/blog/2012/01/mount-elma-ski-tour/Osprey Talon 33 Backpack Review on PureOutside http://pureoutside.com/blog/2012/01/osprey-talon-33-backpack-review/Good TunesDeadmau5 - 4x4=12I've been rocking out to this the past couple weeks. It's my goto music for working right now. Very few lyrics and wicked bass. Raise Your Weapon and Some Chords are my favorites. Great ReadsI've read a lot lately but some of these will be catch up from the last few months.UncertaintyJonathan Fields latest book is all about being courageous and creative in the face of uncertainty. A fantastic read that I'm about to start again to full get what he has to say about this incredibly deep topic.UnMarketingScott Stratten is the president of UnMarketing and spends way too much time online. Or that's what his website says. His book is about common sense strategies to get marketing online. So many people get all confused and stressed about marketing online and end up screwing it up big time. Scott sets you straight with his no BS approach and hilarious stories.Anything You WantA fun little read from Derek Sivers about how he set up his business and got to where his is now. There are some gems of unconventional business advice in there and is great if you're looking for a quick read about online business.Do the WorkAnother one from the Seth Godin's Domino Project, Do the Work was written by Steven Pressfield and is about the demon's inside us. It's specifically about the Resistance, a hidden force, demon or whatever you want to call it that prevents us from sitting down and doing the work. It's pretty much a manifesto of putting on your hard hat and doing what you need to do . If you're lacking in any sort of motivation I would highly recommend reading this.End MalariaA book of many essays by online influential, End Malaria has a bit to say about everything. If you are online running a business, you'll probably want to read this book. There is something for everyone in it. The best part is that most of the price is donated to help buy mosquito nets to stop the spread of malaria.The FlinchJulien Smith's latest book. He talks about everything you flinch at. Everything in this world that you shy away from because you think it might hurt you. Most of that stuff won't hurt you though so you're just wasting your time and you're life worried about what isn't going to happen. Another good kick in the pants if you want to get some work done.How to Travel Full TimeA great little book from Colin Wright. It's only $.99 and worth every penny. If you ever thought about travelling the world full time or are just curious abut the idea, I highly recommend getting it. If you sign up for Colin's paid Exile's letter you get his books for free.Poke The BoxA great one from Seth Godin about asking questions and doing great work. Along the lines of Do the Work and The Flinch, he asks us to poke the box more to see what happens. Be a rebel, a shit disturber, a nuisance. You might do something incredible.Cool SitesPhilospher's NotesI'm working my way through the first set of 100 Philospher's Notes right now. Brian Johnson has filtered through tons of philosophy books and brings you the main points from the best of them. There are awesome business and life lessons in there. Brian's chill demeanor and the amazingly good info that comes out of all these books gets me so stoked to live after reading or listening to them. You can get them in PDF or mp3 format. I've been listening to all the mp3's as I work out or clean the house. Some of the notes are so good I had to go by the actual books to by more.Hope you guys liked the new updates. I'll be posting about more as they come up as a bit of an accountability journal for myself.