My Average Running Speed over Time

This chart shows how I have maintained my speed over time. It is important because it illustrates how hard it is to improve with insufficient training. As the human body ages it is more difficult to make gains in athletic performance.

Online Graphing
graph and charts

My goal for a half marathon is to complete it in 90 minutes or less. That requires an average speed of 14.05km/hour. The closest I came to that was in February when I ran a 5k with an average speed of 13.45 km/hour.

My goal for a 5K is to complete it in 20 minutes or less. That requires an average speed of 15km/hour. The closest I came to that was in February when I ran a 5k with an average speed of 13.45 km/hour.

The likelihood that I'll achieve these goals requires a person to remain highly optimistic, and work harder and especially smarter.


#Inequality #BAD2014 #Blogaction14 #Oct16

Inequality takes many forms. Each day people throughout our community and nation face unequal challenges to access to education, healthcare, housing, fair wages, and healthy foods. These are barriers that have been built and maintained since our nation took its roots on this continent.

I believe that people deserve a fair opportunity to be successful. In my day job I work as a nutritionist for the United States’ premier public health nutrition program, WIC. Each day I see why inequality is an issue. Many of the families I see face many challenges that other people don’t even consider. Challenges like:
  • Getting their pre-schooler into an early head start program
  • Figuring out how to work and nurse an infant
  • Dealing with the stigma of being on a public assistance program
In our country we have this national sense of individualism that labels successful people as “motivated” or “driven” and unsuccessful people as “lazy”. The truth is that the so-called successful people were born into an advantageous position and the unsuccessful people were born into a disadvantaged position. Here are two examples of this:
  • All things being equal, a female is more likely to earn a lower wage than a male (Source: Gender Pay Gaps)
  • A worker that starts their climb up the corporate ladder is likely to be in the same income bracket ten years later (Source: Intragenerational Income Mobility)
Inequality is an issue because as a national community we suffer the consequences of a socioeconomic system that disadvantages much of our population. If we fully supported each and every one of our neighbors then our great nation wouldn't try so desperately to hold onto the world.

There is something you can do right now that can help. Donate to any of the non-profit charities below. Their work is to reduce inequality in their specific field of interest.

Educare Arizona’s mission is to ensure vulnerable young children and their families are successful in school and life by providing quality early childhood learning, family support and health care and by acting as an unequivocal voice for early childhood policy and practice.

Harlem Children’s Zone’s goal is simple—to give our kids the individualized support they need to get to and through college and become productive, self-sustaining adults. Realizing this goal is difficult and complex, particularly since we are working with over 12,000 youth, many of them with tough challenges.

Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence. We believe that respect and value for diversity in all aspects of our organization are essential to our well-being. We believe that reproductive self-determination must be voluntary and preserve the individual's right to privacy. We further believe that such self-determination will contribute to an enhancement of the quality of life and strong family relationships.

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Our mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows.

The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

National Coalition for the Homeless’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected. We envision a world where everyone has a safe, decent, affordable and accessible home.


11 Steps to Organize Your Home

Two months ago I followed through with an important decision in my life and spent the day - and a small fortune - with a personal organizer.

It was the most valuable use of my time and money all year.

I had my reasons for making that decision but the truth is that my obsession with stuff was (and is) unhealthy. I didn't have the courage to face the demons that existed in my stuff alone; I needed a professional.

So I called one up.

If you are the DIY type of person you can probably find plenty of resources to get a handle on personal home organization but here is what I learned:

  • Schedule the time to do it. Schedule 8 hours. Schedule 4 hours. Schedule 30 minutes. Commit to a time and do it. The hardest part is starting.
  • Find and get all of your stuff together. The grouping part of the organizing process is easier if you have everything altogether.
  • Ask yourself tough questions like: What do I use this for? What do I have this for? Asking yourself the tough questions allows you to use your thinking brain to answer those questions rationally and you will be able to decide if you really need 300 pairs of shoes.
  • Group like with like. Books with books. Shoes with shoes. Easy enough. For the less clearly defined groups,
  • Put stuff in little plastic boxes. Clear plastic boxes have two advantages. They are see through so you can see what is in them. They have lids so that when you move it should, hopefully, be easier to pack and unpack because things are already "packed" away. Label them.
  • Optimize. Ask yourself questions about the process you follow any given day. Would it be a good idea to keep your keys near your door? Would it be a good idea to rearrange your furniture so that it promotes inner peace?
  • Minimize. Do you need 3 slotted spoons?
  • Simplify. Can you do with less?
  • Donate. There are so many charities that could use your stuff. I prefer to donate to the Humane Society thrift store but there are plenty of places to choose from. Some places (like a clothing, music, book exchange) will even pay you for your stuff.
  • Recycle. If it has that little triangle recycle symbol you might just be able to recycle it. Check with your city.
  • Trash. Just throw it away. This does have ecological consequences. The stuff we buy has to go somewhere after we are finished with it so think twice before you make that purchase.

In closing here is some motivation for you:

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people. - Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Read the entire transcript of the very famous (and very good) Last Lecture here at the Carnegie Mellon site:
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/Randy/pauschlastlecturetranscript.pdf or watch the video on YouTube http://youtu.be/ji5_MqicxSo

Interested in how to break away from loving stuff to loving life, read this great post at zenhabits.net - Love Life, Not Stuff http://zenhabits.net/love-life-not-stuff/

When to Schedule Your Most Important Work - HBR Blog Network - http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/06/when-to-schedule-your-most-important-work/

6 Powerful Questions to Ask Yourself - INC - http://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/6-powerful-questions-successful-leaders-ask-themselves-daily.html

Organizing Your Home - Martha Stewart - http://www.marthastewart.com/275490/organizing-your-home/@center/277000/homekeeping-solutions

Sterilite 16428012 6-Quart Storage Box, White Lid with See-Through Base, 12-Pack

Some of my favorite charities to donate money to - http://www.rarehero.com/2011/12/end-of-year-giving.html

Can you recycle that? - Earth911 http://www.earth911.com/