mini goals met

Who says a  week of sloth at the beach isn’t a wonderful thing. Sometime during the week I:

  • destroyed my 2014 reading goal. At 52 as of today with one in the works and other likely to come. And then 7 unfinished. Good run in 2014.
  • Miles: beat my personal and #GoTheDist Q4 goals, My December #GoTheDist goal
  • Steps: On track for 250K and maybe even 275K steps.

Life is Good.

2015 Alphabet Soup Challenge

2015 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
2015 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

43 books read as of December 12, 2014 and with a week’s vacation to come, I’ll do well by my 2014 goal, even if I cheated with fiction.

Liz’s post got me thinking about a 2015 goal and I wasn’t sure where I was going since without the Bosch series, I don’t really have a prayer of repeating 2014’s numbers. Then I came across Sally’s 2015 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge post (with more info and registration here) and I decided that could be a lot of fun. I think it will also help me personally with reading new titles in the year they come out, which I haven’t been good with of late.

Rules:

It’s an alphabet challenge! The challenge is to read one book that has a title starting with every letter of the alphabet.

You can drop the A’s and The’s from the book titles. For those pesky Q, X AND Z titles the word with the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title.

Need some help finding titles to match the alphabet – Jandy’s Reading Room has a wonderful list to get you started.

Books can be read in any order and all formats – print – e-book – audio – are acceptable for this challenge!

Here is my list – many I have planned already from my TBR pile (in italics means I haven’t read them yet) – the rest I will update as I go. Maaaybe I’ll even get back on track with reviews, but in the mean time here’s a link to my books in the challenge on LT. I’ve tried for a good balance between fiction and non and I’ve also included a few that I really want to finish. A few are 2015 new releases and some have been on Mt. TBR way too long

Continue reading 2015 Alphabet Soup Challenge

#GoTheDist 2014: November

Skin of my teeth.

My tiered goals for November were: 250/275/300K steps and 100 miles.

November totals*? 255,599 steps and 105.71 miles.

Never stressed so hard for 250, although July was close. But I did it. Thanks to some temperate weather days.

*Subject to minor additions as I putter around the apartment

Totals for Q4 so far: 556,734 steps // 229.75 miles. Well on track for 750K // 300 miles that was my Q4 goal. To be honest? I don’t know that 250K is going to happen in December due to work, weather and travel, but I’m going to try. My tiered goals are 225/250/275K although I’ll be tickled pink with hitting 250. Keeping mileage at 100 even though I only need 70+. 100 may be iffy but we’ll see.

Now to think about 2015. Steps wise and book wise. I’m at 43/45! 2014 has been good for goals. Well, some. I still haven’t hit Goal.

#GoTheDist: October 2014

sometimes I swear 31-day months are harder to get steps in than 30 day months. I think it definitely has to do with the perceived cushion of the extra day.

Final numbers:

  • 301,135 steps
  • 124.04 miles walked

Whee!
It wasn’t easy. I set a mini goal of not ever falling on the wrong side of 10K steps needed per day, but it happened due to some traveling and two days with fewer than 4K steps. But two walking tours helped me, including 12K steps in a ghost tour on Halloween. I entered the home stretch of this past week needing 11K+ steps/day to get 300K and I finished strong:

  • October 27 – 11,629
  • October 28 – 10,991
  • October 29 – 11,804
  • October 30 – 11,094
  • October 31 – 12,359

I’m fewer than 450K steps and 76/176 miles from my Q4 goals leaving both very doable. I’m going to keep to my optimistic goals (275K steps, 100 miles) for November as I believe they’re attainable and will give me cushion against a December full of work/vacation/holidays. I know I may not see another 300K month until March, but I’m OK with that.

On to November…

Review: The Hotel: A Week in the Life of the Plaza

An at one point travel and tourism blog with a look at a hospitality book. What is this world coming to? In truth, this book is equal parts tourism/hospitality and NYC history. The opening of the Plaza in October 1907 at a cost of $12.5m was AN EVENT with the likes of Mark Twain was a spectator. While the idea of hospitality had changed a lot from the hotel’s opening to the writing of this book, it has, it has changed even moreso in the last 25 years. With it, the Plaza has evolved, but this is an interesting look at the hotel that was in the late 80s.

Continue reading Review: The Hotel: A Week in the Life of the Plaza

#GoTheDist 2014: Q3 down

where on earth has 2014 gone. Seriously.

Q3 goals:

    • 850,000 steps
    • 375 miles walked
    • 35 miles biked

September  totals

  • 316,214 steps
  • 136.02 miles walked
  • 4.4 miles biked

Q3  totals:

  • 887,280 steps
  • 370.75 miles walked
  • 28.96 miles biked

That’s not bad at all. I didn’t realize I was ultimately so close to the mileage, but I’m honestly not sure I could have found another mile a day this last crazy week, so I’ll take it. I rebounded from an expectedly bad July with a strong August and solid September. I’m proud of myself and I’ll take it. Still need to get better about the gym though.

My official Q4 goal is 200 miles. What I need to hit to finish the year (1100 miles) is: 85 miles. Seriously. I’m at 1014 and I set my goal as 1,100. Yeah, blowing that up

So with an eye to Q4 2013 (642,067 // 269.51 // 55.16), I’m setting my Q4 goals as:

  • Steps: 750,000
  • Mileage: 300

Those also align well with my 2014 Q1 numbers when accounting for the lost data and weather hell.

#GoTheDist 3.2

or nearly…

I’ve finally found the sweet spot between my #GoTheDist goal being a challenge, but an attainable one. I knew that July would be bad, and it was. But I set two goals and I made one of two. The goal was 250K steps and I ended up with 260,908. Mileage goal was 117 and I ended up with 107.44. As good as my typical 300/125? No, but I pushed myself and did it.

August was more of the same with time away and travel time, but I thought I could do it and barring an apocalypse tomorrow, I will.

I set goals of 300,000 steps and 125 miles and I’m currently at 298,454 and 122.49. It wasn’t easy, I spent the end of a few vacation days at the gym and had to push myself to get off the couch on other days, but that’s what a goal should be.

Here’s to closing out Q3 in style…. and getting back to losing. And more reading, 28/40.

2014 revisits 2004

while looking for something else on my ancient LiveJournal, I found this “travel itinerary” from August 18, 2004.

Nearly ten years on, time to revisit it.

Walk El Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Still on the list, although I’m not as passionate about doing it as I once was. It’s now more of a curiosity than a priority/bucket list item. Interesting that it was then atop my list.

Visit Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park and Great Barrier Reef.

Done and done. While I didn’t end up working near the Reef, I snorkeled it twice. By far I preferred the snorkeling off Port Douglas to Cairns. The latter was just too crowded and too cloudy. Prior to my move, the Bungle Bungles weren’t even on my radar and they awed me as much/more than Uluru/Kata Tjuta probable because I hadn’t been over exposed to them.

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway … Also really want to do Cape Point and Cape Peninsula National Park.

This didn’t end up happening because I went back to Japan vs. continuing on to Africa. But it’s still atop the bucket list. The cultural history even within my lifetime with the fall of apartheid fascinates me.

Galapagos Islands

Like Santiago de Compostela, this has somewhat wandered off my bucket list. I like the idea of it, but boats and I don’t get along. At this point I’m more fascinated by a friend’s pictures of her trip to Macchu Picchu than I am of Galapagos.

and then I had the less well defined. The more less well defined “dreams”….

Middle East; specifically Jordan, Isreal and Egypt. Also Greece and Rome because the whole idea of visiting areas that have seen so much history amazes me. Regardless of what religion/gods you believe in, these regions have so much living history.

So somehow I managed to think that Greece and Rome were the Middle East. I did Israel for my 30th birthday and we saw Wadi Rum and Petra. Sometimes a place you’ve dreamed about lets you down… that was not the case with Israel and Jordan. I spent our time there in awe. I did Rome in 2007 while in Prague and it was amazing. A perfect example of “if these buildings could talk”. Living history. Greece is still vaguely on the bucket list.

Orient Express; would love to travel SE Asia.

Over two stints in Japan, I never visited any part of SE Asia besides transiting through Singapore. I don’t know why. I think this is now unlikely given travel time, but we’ll see.

St. Petersburg

This almost happened. I wanted to come home from Japan the second time via the Trans Siberian but then life happened. Life is good at that. Russia is still something I really want to see.

Misc Europe: Poland/Krakow (almost made it there when I was in Prague, in the end it fell through), Bosnia/Sarajevo—inner history buff again, Italy

I finally made it to Auschwitz/Birkenau in summer 2007 and it remains one of the most poignant moments. Awe inspiring. Haven’t made it to the former  Yugoslavia (yet) but doing Poland and Germany within a week? Wow.

US: Mt. Rushmore, Drive Route 66, Grand Canyon, Badlands of South Dakota, Painted Desert, Las Vegas
Well I did Vegas. And now I have a giant US Bucket List map and a goal to see all 50 states before I turn 50.

To be revisited in 2024

#GoTheDist Q2 nearly went

because I know if I wait until tomorrow, this won’t happen.

With two days left in Q2, the numbers are great.

June:

  • 328,083 steps
  • 134,89 miles walked
  • 14.24 miles biked

Final June (they got better)

  • 350,613 steps
  • 144.15 miles walked
  • 14.24 miles biked

Q2:

  •  932,746 steps
  • 383.38 miles walked
  • 35.33 miles biked

Q2 Final:

  • 955,276 steps
  • 392.64 mles walked
  • 35.33 miles biked

2014 halfway point:

  • 1,548988 steps
  • 643.57 miles walked
  • 139.14 miles biked

Wow.

June alone has been amazing with two days over 20K steps. Definitely love the immediacy of the Fitbit numbers in that respect. However, I’m preparing for a letdown. Why?

Because July is going to have too many weekends in suburbia where my numbers are going to be way down. And too much travel time to those destinations. .

Official Q3 goal is 350 miles walked.  My 2013 Q3 results were:

    • 758,057 steps
    • 316.3 miles walked
    • 31.66 miles biked

With that, I’m setting my personal goal as:

    • 850,000 steps
    • 375 miles walked
    • 35 miles biked

A modest increase over Q2, but one that I think will be attainable even if July is a loss. I may reevaluate come August 1.

Oh and speaking of goals, 18/40 books on the year without cheating.

#GoTheDist? Pfft Bridge The Dist

after a renewed interest in bridges of late, I have been on a mission. By borough I have crossed as follows:

Bronx to Manhattan:

  • Macombs Dam Bridge  in May 2013

Manhattan to Brooklyn:

  • Brooklyn Bridge: more times then I can count, also via bike
  • Manhattan Bridge: June 2014
  • Williamsburg Bridge: Summer 2013

Manhattan to Bronx:

  • Macombs Dam Bridge

Queens to Manhattan:

  • Queensboro Bridge, June 2014

Other:

  • GW Bridge and back, July 2013
  • Wards Island Pedestrian Bridge, May 2013
  • Triboro (Randalls Island to Manhattan)

That’s all the major bridges with the exception of the Henry Hudson since there’s no pedestrian access on the Verrazano and the High Bridge has not yet re-opened. I really don’t have an interest in walking to the Rockaways so those are out.

What’s my next Great Manhattan Loop related goal? Riverside Drive! I’ve done it up as far as 125th St. but time to do the northern spur that I skipped in favor of a riverside walk two years ago.