Thursday, January 8, 2009

New year, new layout

I'd gotten pretty tired of my old blog layout. For one thing, it kind of rubbed me the wrong way to have dark brown text on light brown background--too hard to read. Black on white is boring, but it's easy to read. If you're reading this via RSS reader, you don't care. The new layout met my requirement for black on white and was not otherwise too annoying. Incidentally, I'm sure there's some way to change the colors and so forth of the layout I had, but it would likely require more effort than clicking a radio button and then clicking save.

Everyone else seems to be listing goals for 2009. While I hate to tell mine to anyone for fear of actually being held accountable, whether I want to admit it or not, I have thought about some things I'd like to do this year.

But here's the caveat: these are not goals in the sense that I am committing to them. They are simply things that I wouldn't mind seeing happen and will likely put forth some effort to accomplish.

Years ago, I ran a marathon with a goal of finishing under four hours. For a guy who meets Elden's definition of a clydesdale (subtract 5 pounds from 200 for every inch you are below 6 feet), I thought this was a good time. I made the halfway split in 1:58 and knew I'd need to dig deep to make it. About mile 20, my quads started cramping. Eventually it got to the point where I could no longer run and had to walk until the cramps went away. I continued alternating, running until the cramps became unbearable and walking until they went away, for the last six miles and finished in 4:12.

I beat myself up about that time for months until finally I realized that it was a respectable time and the physical condition I was in when I got it was an achievement in and of itself. Since then I have hesitated to set hard and fast goals for results, knowing that external factors or just having a bad day can make more of a difference than preparation ever will. Not to mention, I have way more fun when I'm doing something first and foremost just to do it and only secondarily to see how well I do it.

With that in mind, here is a list of things I've thought of that if they happened in 2009, it would not suck:
  1. More ski days than the 2007-8 season. Last year was a personal best for me, with over 30 days on snow. I'd like to ski even more this year. And I'd like a lot of those days to be with my wife and kids.
  2. Finish Lotoja under 10 hours. I was tantalizingly close last time. My goal was 11 hours, and I blew it out of the water. Of course, conditions were good, but this time we could have another Snotoja. Or I could crash. Or my dad could ride it, and I decide to ride with him at his pace, because finishing a double century at 63 years of age kicks way more ass than finishing it under 10 in your 30's.
  3. Ride Leadville. I'll send in the lottery form and hope I make it. I'd like to do it on the single, but we'll see. Have to get in first. Definitely will not do it on the single unless I have a suspension fork--my wrist can't take it.
  4. Focus more on my career. Having spent a much larger chunk of last year than I'd like without work, I'd like not to see that happen again. I realize that downsizings are things that just happen and don't necessarily reflect on performance. But I can't get it out of my head that had I done things differently, I could have avoided that pain.
  5. Explore the Wasatch. Being back near a place I love so much, I am shocked at how little exploration I did before I left. I'd like to do more hiking, particularly with my wife and kids. As much as I love being on the bike or the skis, I love seeing my kids stain their clothes with trail dirt even more.
I realize that items two and three could be in conflict with items one, four, and five, along with various other possible permutations on that theme. But that's the nice thing about making a list of things that if they happened, it wouldn't suck. Because if they don't happen, it probably still won't suck. At least not too bad.