Category Archives: Highlights

2015 Challenges Ready to Go!

Welcome to a new year!! So much happened last year that wasn’t planned or expected that it is hard to imagine what the next year will bring!  But like last year I’ve decided to break down the year into 12 (ok 18) manageable 30 day challenges.

Last year was a successful year and I really liked some of the challenges.  This year I’ve got 18 Monthly Challenges I want to complete and 9 other year long goals.  First the larger goals:
  • Run more than 2014 – So I need to run 341 miles (.9 miles a day)
  • Bike more than 2014 – So I need to bike 1,372 miles (3.8 miles a day)
  • Go on a short backpacking trip – we’ve talked about trying to go as a family, but I definitely want to try and get up to Superior again.
  • Get stronger by going to Solcana regularly and completing other challenges below!
  • Finish 12 Books I’ve already started.  I have a lot of unread books in my Kindle library.
  • Be Tab/Inbox Zero at the end of each quarter.  I’m already starting really far behind!
  • Read the Billy Graham Devotional Plan at
  • Become more flexible by doing mobility daily. From the Ready to Run Book complete at least one mobility exercise.
  • Go on 2 kid-less dates each month!
Some of those will take more work than others to accomplish. But things like running, biking, Solcana, and the Bible plan are already pretty routine for me, so listing them is more of a just needing to express them than something new to change or do!
Now for the exciting part! The Monthly Challenges for 2015!
January – Unfriend, Unfollow, Unsubscribe – After doing this last year I got rid of a lot more than 30 items, friends, or newsletters.  And it gave me the motivation to keep doing it sporadically throughout the year.  Time to do it again!! The less stuff that I have to click archive or scroll past the more free space I’ll have for important things.  And it makes me more careful about what I subscribe to or follow.
I’m also going to do a 5 minute plank challenge.  At the end of the month I should be able to hold a 5 minute plank!
February – Read a Poem a Day – I downloaded a great app last year and I also ended up buying a collection of Maya Angelou book for the Kindle so I’ll have lots to choose from.
Write a couple of poems!
March – Declutter! Time to get rid of some crap! I mean used wonderful stuff! This felt really good last year.  We got rid of a few boxes of stuff! Similar to the online decluttering, it is hard to stop once you start!
I also want to get out on the bike and start riding it!
April – 30 Days of Biking – Need I say more? Get out and ride.  It will be a challenge to ride to work most of those days! But we don’t have any spring break plans yet and since I won’t be traveling internationally for work I won’t have that excuse!
May – Daily Yoga – Already have an app for that! I might be so flexible from doing mobility that I won’t need it, haha! This will be good for me to slow down during a stressful time of year!
I’m also going to try to drink only water for the month. I might need to add some electrolyte’s but we’ll see how straight water goes!
June – TED Talk a Day – I might regret this one in summer, but it will be a good chance to expand my learning and hopefully find some really good ones along the way!
Last year’s push ups every day went really well, so more pushups! . I’ll need to decide on a set number to do or something like the 100 push-up plan. A college buddy just did an insane pushup challenge and he looks pretty cut from it!  He did the total of month x day + 14 so 1/1 was 14 pushups and 12/12 was 158.  He said he did over 42,000 pushups for the year! I’m not that crazy!
July – Take a Photo a Day – July should be a good month to take some nice pictures! I’ll only be limited to where we go!! I want to try to be creative or at least get some nice pictures!
August  – Be Outside Every Day for 15 minutes or more.  As school starts back up it will harder to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous August weather!
September – Read a Proverb a Day – you can’t ever get enough of the Wisdom Book and it is setup perfectly to read a chapter a day!
October – Run or Bike Daily – before the weather turns it will be good to try and force myself to get out every day.  The only challenge might be over fall break if we travel again!
November – NaNoWriMo – I’m writing this with trepidation…  I didn’t finish last year’s write a thank you note a day, so how do I expect to write 1,600 words a day? I don’t know…  Hopefully I’ll come up with some ideas to write about!
I’ll also revist the Plank Challenge for January and see how it goes…
December – Write/Read About Advent – As we ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus I can passively read or I can do some reflection and writing on the topic.
So there we go… I don’t have any races scheduled for the year, but I’m sure we’ll do Powderhorn 24 again.  I’m thinking about signing up for some type of race series so that I’ll have some motivation to get out and run on  a regular basis.  Team World Vision is doing the same half-marathon at the beginning of August so I’ll probably do that.
What are your plans for 2015?

October into November

October seemed to have flown by.  We were fortunate for a little mid-month break.  My in-laws came up for fall break and we were able to get away for a few days to the Florida Keys without any kids! It was marvelous and a much needed break from real life! We stayed at a great hotel, Southernmost Hotel of the USA, and had a great adventure on the water with Fury!  We snorkeled, jet-skiied, para-sailed, and climbed on huge inflatables!


It was a grand time!

October’s Challenge was to do 10 pushups and situps each day. I’m proud to report that this occurred 29/31 times. The two times that I didn’t do it were mostly on accident.  I’d tell myself, I’ll do it after I do this and then forgot.  So not too shabby.  It was hard to want to do it on some days where we had just done some crazy upper body stuff or the one day we did a lot of situps. But it felt good to do them.

I ran a whopping 10.2 miles this month! That is better than September at least!! Ugh. My plan is Crossfit on M,W,F and Bike commute on Tues with a run on Thursday.  I was able to get out for a run on a Saturday morning and for a run in Key West which increased my running total!  Biking to work has been going well.  It still take some time and thought into getting ready and out the door with everything.  I biked for a total of 130 miles for the month.  That was helped by a 25 mile ride I did while pulling the kids on a Saturday.

Crossfit is going well.  I did the first part of the Diane Challenge and did the beginner portion of the  12 week Magnussen Progression maxing out at 245 for the deadlift.  So now I’ll jump into the Intermediate Progression which has been kicking people’s butts.   It will be a good challenge!

My 30 Day Challenge for November is:

Give Thanks – Send in the mail a note of Thanksgiving each day.  A little Cheesy maybe, but we need to spend more time being thankful.

I also decided that I liked doing the pushups, so I’m going to do 10 squats each day.  My thought is to make them slow and rest at the bottom for a second or so.  This will help insure better form.  I’m also going to do some mobility work each day inspired by the book Ready to Run.

How was your October?

30 Days: July into August

I had written this post and then it got lost in the vast world of frustrating space!

July’s challenge was to spend 15 minutes outside each day.  I’m pretty sure that I managed to do that.  There is only one day that I remember thinking back that I wasn’t sure if I did or not.  But I’m pretty sure I made up for it on others days, especially the last 2 which were almost entirely outside! A lot of my outdoor time was work related; recess, bike club, and bus duty. Another significant chunk was working out via bike commuting, running, and biking.  The rest of the time was playing with the kiddos and trying to find some quiet space on the front porch or in the backyard!

Mileage totals aren’t that exciting:

Running – 36.1 miles – some of this is taper, but realistically our schedule makes it hard to run any distance consistently.

Biking – 213.6 miles – a lot bike rides for work.

Crossfit – 12 out of 13 possible workout days based on a 3x’s a week schedule.

I’m not really sure what to do about getting my running mileage up. Obviously, I could cut out Crossfit, but I need the weight training and it is easy to make up at home if I can’t go to the box.  Getting a treadmill is probably the only workable solution but that’s expensive and doesn’t sound like fun at all!  At least it has been consistent throughout the year!

My August challenge is

Take a Picture a Day – I’ve done photo challenges in the past, mostly trying to take a picture a day for a year and while that created some cool pictures, I also got some fairly lame ones.  Do it for a month and be creative.  Avoid the weird 30 day challenges that show up on Facebook!

As you can already note, I’m doing good so far!

I can’t think of any specific additional goals for August.  The school year will be starting up soon so that will be a big transition getting back into the swing of work and the routine for the next 9 months.  I’d like to hit 100 miles again during Powderhorn 24, but I’m not going to put a ton of pressure on myself for that.  By the end of the month I should establish 3-5 goals for my school (work) year.

What are your goals for August?

May into June 2014 30 Days

The month switched over with some thunderstorms!!  May was a busy month as I spent the first few days in Spain, did a 100 mile bike ride, and backpacked on the Superior Hiking Trail.  I also did some work and hung out with my family!!

The May 30 Day Challenge was to read a poem a day. I’m not 100% sure that I actually read one poem a day, but I did read at least 30 poems.  I downloaded the  Poetry app from the Poetry Foundation which “turns your device into a mobile poetry library.”  It has a spinning feature that lets you pick a poem based on a random theme.  I did fairly good reading from it almost daily –  I wish it had a reminder system.  But upon the death of Maya Angelou I decided to purchase a collection of her poems for my Kindle and read 10-15 of them.  This easily put me over 30 for the month.

I didn’t do a really good job of recording all of my mileage and it was a little challenging to always remember which way I did my commute.  But my May stats are:

Running – 20 miles

Biking – 273 miles

Both of these are quite a bit lower than April.   The running one is particularly embarrassing! I want to keep my biking mileage up while also getting into the training plan for my August 2 half marathon.   Training officially started last week, oops!

June’s 30 Day Challenge is to blog every day.  This is going to be  a hard challenge as I’ve struggled to blog once a week!  There are a bunch of blogging prompts out there in the 30 day format, but no one seems perfect for me.  I think I’ll just pull a few from them and maybe I’ll answer a few of the Question of the Day’s that I use for kids at school.

Additionally, I need to buckle down and do some core work.  I noticed it while backpacking.  I really need to hit it or I’m going to get hurt again.  So I’ll blog every day, try core every other day, and start following the training plan!

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