I did a thing and I’m not going to mention what it was yet ‘cause I bet it’s not going to work out but if it does it’ll be cool so yeah I’ll let you know if it does.
(Run-on sentences make me cool, right?)
I’ve been super vague on this blog regarding this topic ‘cause I didn’t know what the outcome would be and didn’t want to jinx it, but here we go.
Back in June, there was a job posting for an instructor position in the math/stats department here at U of C. I was encouraged to apply for it, which I readily did. Last week I had my interview (it was just myself and some other dude who got to that point).
And today? I got the news that the job is mine!
Starting September 1st, I will be a limited-term instructor with a guaranteed one year contract. That might not sound like much, but that’s a big step in the right direction. I currently am a sessional instructor, which means that I’ve just been hired on a semester-by-semester basis. Zero job security, lots of panic near the ends of semesters, and way too much insecurity for a control freak like myself.
But now? I’m guaranteed work through next August. I have a set amount of classes to teach per semester (three in the fall, three in the winter, one in either the spring or summer). I get a semester off (either spring or summer, whichever one I’m not teaching). I’m getting paid a lot more. I get benefits and a pension.
But most importantly, I am one step closer in making this job a permanent, long term thing. I am one step closer to being able to say that I get to work my dream job for the rest of my working life. And I can finally (at least until next July or so, haha) stop spending so much of my energy on freaking out about job security and re-direct it towards teaching.
Because that’s what I love. That’s what I want.
Sorry, but I want to talk about this some more.
I’m not proud of a lot of things I’ve done in my life. I’ve “accomplished” “things,” but none of them have really meant all that much, either to me or to others or to anyone.
But these 5,000 miles? I’m proud of it.
Listen. I am Captain Mediocrity when it comes to everything other than being 1) a stubborn bastard and 2) punishing my body because it’s a piece of trash. Walking 5,000 miles this year allowed me to combine both of these lovely talents.
While I will probably never see another year that was more ideal for achieving this goal than this one, there still were a lot of obstacles that tried their hardest to prevent said goal from being met. I had to stubbornly ignore or actively fight against these obstacles.
The main one was the weather. It was ridiculously cold at the beginning of this year (mainly in January and February). As in, “it’s dangerous to be outside for more than 10 minutes at a time” type of cold. There were a lot of painfully cold walks, one walk where I was sure I lost my toe inside my shoe due to frostbite, and a good number of days where I had to spend four hours on a treadmill to get my daily miles without dying in the cold.
Then the summer got ridiculously hot. “Ridiculously hot” for Calgary is like in the 80s, but when you’re walking 15 – 30 miles a day, that’s hot. I was getting up at 4:30 in the morning to go walking before the heat of the day set in and the sun hit its peak. 4:30 IN THE MORNING. THAT’S USUALLY WHEN I GO TO BED.
Not to mention the smoke from the wildfires. There were a decent number of days where I probably should not have been out walking for 4+ hours due to the air quality, but I did it anyway. Again: stubborn bastard + body punishment.
Another obstacle was time. A 15-mile walk takes me about 3.25 hours. A 30-mile walk takes me about 6.5 hours. That’s a big time commitment. I was able to do the 30-mile walks in July/early August when I wasn’t working, but the 15-mile walks were done year-round. And that time commitment doesn’t include “prep time” (getting dressed, taming my unruly monster of hair, putting on sunscreen or winter gear).
Seriously. Considering I walked 15 miles a day 6 days a week pretty consistently throughout the year, that’s a huge amount of my time spent on this goal. Even if you like doing something (and I love walking), reserving four hours for it every day is a big deal. It was like having 20-hour days most days in which to squeeze in everything else I had to do. Sleep was the thing that got sacrificed the most, I think.
A third obstacle? Physical limitations, I guess. During the first month of the near-daily 15-mile walks, my body was like OH GOD WHAT THE HELL, but then it got used to the extra work. It was fine for most of the year, too, but I noticed right around the beginning of November that it was really starting to affect me physically. I wasn’t tired per se, but I was getting pretty worn out. By that point, my body was like OKAY I GET IT YOU LIKE TO WALK CAN YOU PLEASE TONE IT DOWN NOW?
And then, of course, there was the injury. I’m not sure if this was actually caused by all the 30-mile walks in July/August or if it just happened to be one bad misstep that messed something up in there. Hell, I still don’t know exactly what I did to my leg because I hate going to the doctor, but I do know that it still hurts more than I was hoping it would this far out from the actual incident. My guess is that I tore a muscle. I’ve never had any sort of physical injury like this, so I have nothing against which to gauge its severity, but I can’t imagine a strain or a sprain or anything like that hurting as much and as long as this has. I just know it’s not my knee. And I am very grateful that it’s not my knee. But I didn’t let it stop me. I walked through a lot of pain right after I hurt it so that I wouldn’t get behind on my mileage. But I do want it to get better. I hate walking as slowly as I currently am and I really miss running. I suppose I could, you know, do the smart person thing and rest it once this year is over.
Anyway. Sorry. I don’t mean to brag or any of that kind of crap. I’m just glad I was able to make this goal. This goal has been the only thing that’s kept me going at some points in this year.
I did it, yo.
I hit 5,000 miles walked for the year.
I did it.
This goal has been work. This goal has been all-consuming, especially in the second half of the year when I really got serious about it. This goal has been very physically demanding at times. This goal led to an injury that I’m still freaking dealing with even though it happened back in August.
But it’s all been worth it. Because now I can say I’ve accomplished my goal. 5,000 miles in a year. How many people can say they’ve walked 5,000 miles in a year? It took me 356 days to do it…that’s an average of a little over 14 miles a day. Every day. That’s a lot.
Sorry for going on about this so long, but I usually fail at everything I try to do, so accomplishing this one goal, even though it is kinda stupid, means a lot to me.
Let’s see how many more miles I can get by the end of the year.
I HAVE FEWER THAN 50 MILES TO WALK TO REACH MY GOAL OF 5,000 MILES
Nate and I just went on a 10-mile walk in ridiculously cold windy weather. I am very cold.
I have a new walking goal idea for next year.
My original goal was to do the Calgary Marathon (which is more of a running goal than a walking goal, but it’s the SAME TYPE OF THING GIVE ME A BREAK). However, back in June or whenever the hell that was, my left knee started throwing tantrums whenever I ran. Pretty sure I had (have?) runner’s knee. Also, y’know, the leg thing.
So my backup goal was to walk the Sinister Seven (which is more of a “this will probably kill me” goal than a walking goal, but it’s the SAME TYPE OF THING GIVE ME A BREAK). However, now that I’ve got this leg thing, I’ve lost confidence in my ability to walk that far on that rough of terrain without re-injuring the leg.
My NEWEST goal, now, is to walk 100 miles in under 24 hours. This would be done around the city, so there wouldn’t be the rough terrain of the Sinister Seven, and I’m hoping my leg will be back to normal by the time I do this next year so that I won’t even have to worry about re-injury.
I’d say it’s possible; I did 50 miles in 10 hours and 16 minutes, and even with stops to use the bathroom/charge my iPod, my total time was still less than 12 hours. So assuming I can keep up a good pace for that long, I can totally do it.
Try and stop me.
I plan on doing it on the summer solstice so that I’ll have the most daylight possible.
So yeah. Hopefully I won’t have to modify this goal anymore. Though I’d still run the Calgary Marathon if I’m able to by next May.
YO DAWGZ I just hit 4,000 walking miles for the year!
That’s about 300 more than I did last year, but still 1,000 short of my goal.
Can I walk 1,000 miles in a little less than three months? Surely. I’ve been keeping a pace of 400+ miles a month, even with Injury City, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Unless the weather tanks. Which it might.
More specifically, my leg hurts.
But if you think I’m going to let pain get in the way of my walking goal, you don’t know me.
Hell, I was peeing blood in July due to how much I was walking. Did that stop me? Hell no.
(Sorry, this injury is my life now.)
I will make my walking goal this year.
Nothing will stop me.
No one will stop me.
Injury? Hah. I will walk through the pain.
Whatever it takes, I’ll do it.
(Sorry, I needed to self-motivate today ‘cause I feel like lazy poops.)
Yo, party poopers!
So since it’s the end of August, I’m declaring “summer” officially over. Back in June I made a list of the crap I wanted to accomplish over the summer, so let’s recap and see just how big of a failure I was:
- “Walk until my toes fall off.” Haha. Ha. Pretty close, let me tell ya…
- “Clean the condo. My responsibilities are the bathroom and kitchen, which get the most visibly gross the fastest.” I actually did this! Maybe once, though. Now that my leg is a wounded animal, I’m afraid to bend it too much. Bending is a pretty big requirement for cleaning the bathroom, ‘cause I get all down and dirty and scrub every inch of the bathtub. I get it filthy with my gross walking feet; it’s only right that I clean it.
- “Consolidate my pasta.” DID IT! Now there’s only like 13 boxes in the cabinet instead of 20+.
- “Clean the little storage room in the back. There’s a lot of boxes back there. And cat litter dust. Time to sweep where no man has swept before!” DONE! LOTS of cat litter dust.
- “Clean my side of the closet. There’s a lot of boxes in there. Mostly shoe boxes full of dead Kinvaras.” DONE! I kept the Kinvaras, though. Stuck ‘em in a giant bag. I’m not a hoarder, no siree.
- “Draw more.” HA.
- “Organize my bookmarks.” DONE!
- “Read this amazing biography of this amazing human being yet again, because it’s getting to be that time of the year.” Didn’t do this one ‘cause Nate was busy reading it.
- “Rewrite my old calculus notes into one giant notebook combining calc I, calc II, and calc III.” Nope.
- “Do my 50-mile walk. It’s time.” DONE! This is the one I’m most proud of.
- “Organize the crap on my computer.” Mostly done, yes.
- “POST THESE BLOGS OMFG” I did the first round! They’re posted through the beginning of July, which is a pretty big deal considering how many that needed posting back in June.
Not too bad!
If I had walked 15 miles a day six days a week (as was my goal at the beginning of the year), my current mileage should be: 2,340
What my current mileage actually is: 2,433.19
Nice? But 90 miles a week won’t get me to 5,000 miles for the year!
To be on pace for the 5,000 miles, my current mileage should be: 2,500 (duh)
So I’m a little behind.
TO BE FAIR, I’ve had to take quite a few days off from walking entirely in order to get all my work done for teaching this semester. And since I don’t have anything else to do in July*, I’m going to try to not only make up the difference in miles but try to get ahead of pace.
So yeah. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it!
*“Get a job, you lazy bum,” you say? Well, I technically got paid for a whole summer’s worth of work teaching during spring. Plus, I’m still holding out and hoping that I’ll get another class to teach in the fall (pleasepleasepleaseplease). PLUS, I’m going to Moscow in August and then on a week-long cruise with Nate, and I don’t know if any job would be willing to give me that much time off right off the bat. So for now, I’m going to take advantage of the awesome opportunity I have to spend a whole month walking to my heart’s content. How many people get to do that?
HOKAY, so I’ve walked a total of 2,199.32 miles this year so far. I want to get to 2,500 by July 1st.
So can I walk 300.68 miles in June?
I should be able to. Heck, given what I’ve walked so far this year, I’m actually averaging 439.864 miles per month, which is way more than I’ve ever done per month in the past.
Also, have some Braves playing terribly.
I want to run the Calgary marathon next year.
I had no idea that there even was a Calgary marathon (though it makes sense that there is, of course; most big cities have one), but when I went walking down by the river this afternoon they had one whole side of Memorial Drive (plus other roads) blocked off for the marathon.
The runners inspired me, so now I want to go for it next year.
Considering I can only currently run about 10k (6.2 miles) in a stretch, it’s going to take a bit of work to get up to marathon distance (26.219 miles). But considering I run a decent amount and walk as much as I do, I think getting to that point should be possible.
So as you probably all know, I’ve been doing my “walk 15 miles six days a week” thing this year. I’ve been half joking that I’m going to try to get to 5,000 miles by the end of the year.
Then I found this out:
That distance? 4,989 miles.
And now I practically have to make it to 5,000 miles. Walking across the Pacific Ocean? Awesome. Especially since I walked across the Atlantic Ocean last year.
Counting today’s walk, I’m at 1,776.3 miles. That puts me about here:
Long way to go!
What did I do?
I realized that I can get to a total walking mileage of 2,500 for 2015 if I walk 9.8 miles per day for the rest of the year.
That’s not impossible, not at all.
I…I might need to make it happen. But we’ll see.
Alright, I have a new long-term goal.
I am going to try to walk the distance equivalent to the circumference of the earth. I say “long-term” because if I walk 2,000 miles in a year (which I’m going to say is probably my max, given school and related things), it will still take me 12.5 total years to walk the circumference (which is approximately 25,000 miles at the equator).
BUT IT WILL HAPPEN, DAMMIT! I’m starting with this year, meaning I’ll be done sometime in 2027, assuming I’m able to keep my yearly mileage around 2,000.
I still won’t be done blogging by 2027.
OH MY GOD.
Counting today’s mileage, I’ve officially walked 1,000 miles since May 1st. It’s taken me nearly 11 solid days of walking to do it, but there ya go. That means I’ve walked 1,750 miles for the year, which surpasses my goal mileage, 1,500. YAY!
It also means that I’ll have to try for 2,000 miles total by the end of the year.
I’ll do it.
Impending Canadian winter cannot stop me.
I have a good idea for a project! So remember that Project Euler website I mentioned a month (or so) ago? If you don’t, it’s a website that contains several hundred programming problems geared to people using a number of different programming languages, such as C, C++, Python, Mathematica, etc.
I was thinking today that while R is a language used by a small number of members of Project Euler, a lot of the problems seem much more difficult to do in R than in the more “general” programming languages like C++ and Java and the like. Which is fine, of course, if you’re up for a “non-R” type of challenge.
However, I was thinking it would be cool to design a set of problems specifically for R—like present an R user some problem that must be solved with multiple embedded loops…or show them some graph or picture and ask them to duplicate it as best they can…or ask them to write their own code that does the same thing as one of the built-in R functions.
Stuff like that. I’ve seen lots of R books, but none quite with that design.
I know that my office mate has been wanting to learn R but says that he learns a lot better when presented with a general problem—one that might be above his actual level of knowledge with R—and then allowed to just screw around and kind of self-teach as he figures it out.
Miiiiiiiight have to make this my first project of 2015.
Heeeeeeeey, so I don’t know why I waited like a week for this, but what the hell, have some walking statistics for my time in Calgary so far!
Total distance: 680.00 miles [Not sure how I managed to hit that exactly. It wasn’t planned.]
Total number of walks: 93
Average distance per walk: 7.31 miles
Did I meet my average of 50 miles per week? No. I blame finals. But that’s okay, considering that last year it took me eight months to go 1,000 miles and this year it took me only about 3.5 months to walk nearly 700 miles. I bumped up the pace quite a bit, I’d say.
Want some line graphs? You know you do.
October was a good month.
Stay tuned for a later blog post in which I set my yearly mileage goal for 2015!
Let’s put my 10,000 Days goal into some perspective: I am approximately 25.5 years old. Do you know how many days I’ve been alive?
9,340, counting today.
Nine thousand, three hundred and forty days.
So if I had been blogging from the day I was born, I still wouldn’t have reached my goal yet.
That is like eight levels of psycho.
As it stands, I’ve got about 20 years of blogging to go before I hit 10,000 posts. That is a long, long time, my friends. Think it’ll happen? I hope so!
(Haha, sorry, I don’t have anything exciting to talk about today.)
The academic summer is officially over in an hour! Let’s review the goals I specified in May (or June or whenever):
- Actually study for the GRE/GRE math subject test. FAIL. Loser.
- Rock calculus. DONE!
- Rock summer teaching. DONE!
- Go back up to Vancouver and walk the hell out of that city. FAIL. We were going to go up there, but plans fell through.
- Figure out what’s going down next fall as far as teaching goes. DONE!
- Figure out what’s going down for the rest of my life as far as everything goes. Uh…working on it?
- Hit at least 1000 walking miles. DONE!
- Thoroughly delve into Antognazza’s Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography. DONE! <3
- Reacquaint myself with my old linear algebra notes. I looked over them a few times and decided to take linear algebra again, so DONE sort of?
- Possibly visit Sean? FAIL. Too expensive. I’m sad.
- Spend a weekend doing absolutely nothing but Minecraft/drawing/sitting in my basement away from everyone. I don’t think I actually spent a whole weekend in the house. GOTTA WALK! So…FAIL?
- Research possible graduate schools (AGAIN, UGH). DONE! Canada’s on my radar again.
- A few other things that are private. ALL OF THESE WERE FAIL
Maybe it wasn’t as productive as I thought. But I did get Phase I of a big project done (which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time) and am currently on Phase II, so that’s kind of good.
I hit 1,000 walking miles (1,609.34 km) for the year today.
There are approximately 1,000 miles between Portland, OR and San Diego, CA.
There are approximately 1,609 km between Paris, France and Naples, Italy.
Which is all cool, except all that was done within the city limits of Moscow (except for one walk to Pullman). I have to get to a bigger city, man.
OH YEAH, and this happened yesterday on my mom’s car:
- Actually study for the GRE/GRE math subject test
- Rock calculus
- Rock summer teaching
- Go back up to Vancouver and walk the hell out of that city
- Figure out what’s going down next fall as far as teaching goes
- Figure out what’s going down for the rest of my life as far as everything goes
- Hit at least 1000 walking miles
- Thoroughly delve into Antognazza’s Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography
- Reacquaint myself with my old linear algebra notes
- Possibly visit Sean?
- Spend a weekend doing absolutely nothing but Minecraft/drawing/sitting in my basement away from everyone (though I kind of do that last one on most days anyway)
- Research possible graduate schools (AGAIN, UGH)
- A few other things that are private
500 miles this year!
Graph (might have to click to enlarge):
Note: some of those actually occurred on the same day, so the daily totals are actually usually higher than 9 miles on the weekends.
I know it’s not a LOT of miles, but it’s pretty good considering that I spend about 14 of my waking hours on campus doing schoolwork.
So my realistic goal for the year is a total of 1,500 miles; my (probably) unattainable goal is 2,000.
We’ll see how it goes down this summer.
And I’ve been putting my walking-related posts under the “health” category, but I think I’ll start putting them under “travel.” Because really.
Oh, also: I’m addicted to Minecraft now. Or at least I’m getting there. I’ll have more time to be addicted once the semester’s over (NOTHING COMES BETWEEN ME AND MY SCHOOLWORK, NOTHING!).
So as you may have read, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to revamp my 200 Books list and start over with it, this time writing a review after each book.
So that’s what I did today!
(Side note: the UI Library is kept at a toasty -23 degrees when the students are gone. Holy freaking crap, I had all my winter walking gear on and I was STILL freezing.)
New list is posted in the 200 Books tab. The almighty random number generator told me that the first book I shall be reading is The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. This was on my old list, but it was one that I never got to because it was always checked out from wherever I was trying to get it. But it was miraculously on the shelves this afternoon, so I picked it up.
I can’t guarantee any sort of time frame for when these reviews will be posted, especially since this semester looks like it’ll be crazy busy. But I’ll try to do them at a reasonable pace!