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April 2021 Review

I’m writing this from Denver—I’m moving to Atlanta! We’re driving across the country with a car full of stuff. Packing and moving has reminded me just how much stuff I’ve accumulated. Even after a few car loads of donations, we’re still bringing a lot!

Goal Tracking

  • 🟢 Get 1% faster. I ran a 200m time trial early in the month at 22.02. This is a little slower than I’ve run previously, but it was into a nasty headwind. I also managed a PR in the 30m fly at 2.92.
  • 🟢 50% less discretionary spending. My spending in April has trended up, especially in the last couple of weeks, where I’ve been eating out with friends and on the road. That said, my total discretionary spending has still been 62% lower than my 2020 average spend!
  • 🔴One hour of solitary free time a day. I’m not doing well.
  • 🟢 Twice-weekly live conversations with friends. I managed another green month!
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The Buck Stops With You

One important difference between junior and senior engineers is that senior engineers take responsibility for the software the team ships. They understand that they are the only line of defense between the company and catastrophic outages, a slow death through tech debt, and losing product-market fit by building the wrong things. Without responsible engineers, teams will ship slower, buggier, less-aligned products.

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Co-opting addictive media for good

The dangers of social media and addictive technologies are well-documented. Reactions generally fall into two camps—accepting defeat or attempts at teetotalism. Both of these methods are flawed. But there’s a third approach: use the addictiveness for good.

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A Week of Self-coached Sprint Training

I’ve been self-coached for a few years now; a couple spent just weight lifting, and the last two seriously competing in open & masters track meets. I’ve learned a lot, and continue to tweak my program based on how my body feels and my reading. A couple points about my training history and goals before digging in:

  • I’ve been sprinting competitively for over 15 years now, with a couple 1-2 year breaks along the way. There’s a lot of miles on these legs!
  • I have a long history of hamstring issues. The worst of them left me with permanent scar tissue, so I’m always careful to warm up and cool down appropriately. I’ll also shut down workouts early if I’m not feeling right.
  • I primarily compete in the 100m and 200m, though I’ll run 60s indoor and the occasional 400 if somebody dares me.
  • I’m no speed demon: my personal best, set this year, is 10.73. Last time I checked, that might just barely squeak in at the bottom of the top 1000 Americans.

With that, here’s a look at my training log from a recent week:

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Be a Tryhard

Popular culture doesn’t seem to value hard work and grit: what’s glamorized is either effortless excellence (really, just the image of effortless excellence—ask these paragons and you’ll find all of them put in the work) and intentional ineptitude. Favoring effortless excellence isn’t necessarily too bad, though if you ask and get a straight answer out of these paragons, you’ll find that all of them have put in the work.

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