This year’s goals at the midpoint

July 1st, 2012  |  Tags:  |  1 Comment

Earlier this year, I posted some of my goals for 2012 in order to be accountable for them. Since we’re about halfway through 2012 now, here’s how I’ve done so far.

Completed goals


Enter and finish an Olympic-distance triathlon.

In fact, I finished an Olympic triathlon yesterday morning. My first triathlon, a sprint event three weeks ago, was a lot of fun, but I don’t yet have the swimming technique or endurance to really enjoy Olympic-distance events. (Even though I probably took longer in the water than anyone else in the entire event, I was absolutely wiped after the swim, which led to totally subpar bike and run efforts). My plan going forward is to focus on becoming more competitive at the sprint distance and continue to improve my swimming.

Lose at least 20 pounds.

I’ve lost over 30 pounds so far this year, although my rate of loss has slowed in the last couple of months. My body fat percentage is down substantially as well. I’m much faster on the bike and on foot, but I’d really like to lose about 20 more pounds and get my body fat under 10% to be more competitive on the bike. (Pro tip: hilly bike rides that are fun but mostly merely bearable at weight x are downright casual at weight x – 40.)


Complete at least two currently in-flight carpentry or woodworking projects.

I made a sort-of-nice wooden top for my chest-freezer kegerator conversion (now I just need to find the time to brew some beer) and these low-profile shelves for Maggie’s room. I now have more projects in flight.


Submit at least one paper to a good conference or journal.

I did submit a tutorial proposal to a good conference (unfortunately, it was not accepted). I am inclined to count that for the purposes of this goal but am keeping my eyes peeled for appropriate venues to publish on research topics related to my work.

In-progress goals


Run at least 500 miles and bicycle at least 2500 miles.

So far this year, I’ve run about 291 miles and biked about 1846 miles (this counts road, cyclocross, commute, and mountain biking, but not necessarily all of my small rides with the kids). I mostly took January and June off from running, so I’m in pretty good shape for these goals.

Finish a half-marathon in under 2:00.

Although I have run 13.1 miles at once in under 1:50 this year, my only half-marathon time so far has not been under 2:00. I am planning on running two more half-marathons this year.

Enter and finish at least two cyclocross races.

I am looking forward to cyclocross season this fall and already have a racing license, which I used to enter a road race and a practice criterium. I would like to do more bike racing next year.


Capture, process, and post to flickr at least one good photograph per week.

I’m averaging over one a week, at least, after a slow February. Some favorites follow; click on the thumbnails for larger images.
Link Bumbling Strawberry WT in the lake IMG_3504 The Princess Peach of moms

Compose, record, and produce at least ten songs in any genre or texture.

This is the goal that I’ve made the least progress on. I have many sketches (as usual) but only one completed song (a short electronic number to score an as-yet-uncut video of WT learning to ride a bike). On the other hand, I’ve actually been doing a fair amount of music — practicing guitar etudes when time permits, playing guitar and uke for the kids at bedtime, and doing a little sound design here and there. I also taught WT how to do some very simple subtractive synthesis in Max, which he thought was pretty cool.

Read seven good books not related to fitness, photography, or computing; at least two must be fiction.

I’ve read a couple of good books so far, with a few more in flight. I should really write reviews of the ones I’ve finished.

Cancelled goals


Finish the Centurion 50 in under 2:15.

Alas, there will be no Centurion in Wisconsin this year. But I do hope that any gran fondo participation I do this year reflects my dramatically improved power-to-weight ratio and climbing skill.