July was probably the most disappointing month I've had doing GHD so far. Nothing really went as planned and I was nowhere near as productive as I wanted to be. Outside of running I didn't make a dent on any of my primary or secondary goals for the year. 2019 is nearly 2/3rds complete and I'm way, way behind where I wanted to be.

July's Primary Goals

1. Run a total of 35 miles

I fell a couple of miles short on this, but I'm still counting it as a success considering I ran more miles in July than any month ever. I also swam and did some light yoga once a week.

Running went ok, but the large increase in miles has left me tired and aching. Recovery has also been a challenge and it takes me nearly an hour to get from "run finished" to showered and ready to carry on with the day.

2. Finish the "Exploring my Emacs packages" series

I wrote three rough drafts but didn't edit or publish them.

3. Finish one other goal on my "Other Goals" list

I didn't release anything.

July's Secondary Goals

1. Read another book

I read "The Motivation Hacker" by Nick Winter.

2. Add a page for tracking my bodyweight workouts

I came up with a couple of designs for the page but didn't actually build it.

Primary Goals for August

1. Keep on running

Miles are going to increase for August as run day gets closer. My average pace is currently too slow for a 2:30 finish, but I'm hoping it will improve as things cool down.

2. Use a schedule every week

I've used weekly schedules before with mixed results. I'd like to see if using one for August improves how much I get done.

3. Complete at least one secondary goal

This didn't work out so well for July, but I need to try again if I want to make any kind of impact on my other goals list.

4. Write a chapter of my book

At this point I'm pretty comfortable with what I should be writing about. I need to actually get it done.

Secondary Goals for August

1. Read another book

I started reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and I'd like to finish it this month.

2. Plan a diet and recovery plan for the half marathon

I'd like to have the following figured out before I run:

  1. What to eat in the days leading up to the event
  2. What to eat pre and post run
  3. What to drink before/during/after

I've tried a couple of sports drinks in the last few weeks, but some of them contain more sugar than a can of soda which seems a bit too much to me. A lot of people have recommended coconut water - I'm not keen on the taste, but I think it could be used as a base instead of water and sugar.

Thoughts on July

Half-marathon training has been challenging. Below is a chart of my miles-per-week for all of 2019.


It's been quite a jump from my regular schedule. I have to keep reminding myself that a year ago I couldn't even run 1/4 of a mile without stopping and now I'm running 4 miles in one go. It's not a huge distance, but it's a start.

Outside of actual running I've been trying to find information on recovery, either via stretches, diet or supplements. It takes time to find decent information, and there are a lot of "is said to improve" articles that don't really help.

One thing that has helped is wearing compression socks post-run (after showering). I bought a pair of 20-30mmHg socks which has reduced post-run aches in my calf muscles. It feels a bit like a gentle massage when walking around.

I read "The Motivation Hacker" which has some interesting techniques for increasing motivation. Some ideas I already know and use, but there were a few new ones. I'd like to read it again and start applying some of the ideas.

My GTD setup has also been on a bit of a wobble the last few weeks. A lot of tasks I've been working on haven't been added to the system and my next actions list has been somewhat ignored.

Even worse, I've gone back to old habits of scribbling urgent and tasks on note cards. I'm hoping that implementing short daily reviews and scheduling tasks will improve this. I might have to set up a Beeminder goal for creating schedules until it's all working.

Because of this I've built up a bit of a backlog. Some of the tasks on my next actions list have been there for over a month. I think part of the problem is that they're too big and should be broken into smaller tasks as part of a project.