Crossing the finish line

I recently finished my first triathlon

I recently finished my first triathlon sprint, 1/2 mile swim, 10.8 mile bike,  3.1 mile run.

The executive summary of this post… it was an amazing experience and I look forward to more Sprints, Olympic Triathlons and building up to being called an Ironman. If, in the back of your mind, you have the wacky idea to being called a tri-athlete, go do it! You will feel such a sense of accomplishment! Anything is possible once you reach a previous crazy goal.

triathlon---bike

I did my fair share of research and training before the event and I would like to share with you a few of my take a ways from the event. While there is so much to share and to keep your attention I will touch on a few of the key items I learned in hopes of helping jump start your triathlon goal.

Before I get started…let me tell you a few things about me as this could maybe help and show that anything is possible. One key day sticks in my mind when I lost my breath after climbing “one” flight of stairs. That stays in the back of my mind. I kept telling my doctor that I am working on my weight, but each check up saw the weigh go up and I was squeezing into a 38″ pair of pants. I was a true founding member of the bike group, team fat bastard.

Now onto the fun…go figure I am referring to physical activity as fun. :)

This was going to be my first triathlon and referred to as a sprint with the following ahead of me, 750-meter (0.47-mile) swim, 20-kilometer (12-mile) bike, 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run.

First up…the 750 meter swim

I have been swimming for as long as I could remember and would consider myself a strong swimmer however open water will prove to be a new thing. When I would race a 400 IM in a pool or lake you had to turn around at some point and a continued 1/2 mile swim was new to me. But I got this…ha. I did not get the pre-race nerves that my sister said I would have while standing on the beach. The energy on the beach was contagious, we are all going to do this together. (remember everyone is freaking out just like you on the inside.) The first 2 waves started and it was our time to enter the water and I was relaxed the water was warm compared to the brisk morning air. The bumps and kicks in the water did not bother me, maybe my scuba training was coming up and helping me realize I have been in worse situations in the water.  Yes you get kicked from time to time, but someone was behind me getting what I was receiving up front. I was feeling strong at the first marker but appears my nerves had been making better time than me and found me at the first corner. What am I doing…most of my family and friends are still sleeping. While I was only in the first of three sections in the swim and with a bike and run ahead of me, the race all of a sudden turned to a mental one. I will not go into all of the fun we had in the water but we made it to the beach and wow, I felt great!

t – 1 (Transition one)

Before the race, I connected with a few people who really helped me during the race. One thing that sticks in my mind…the transition is not a place to rest. I will tell you…after the swim all I wanted to do was lay down and take a nap. I was tired, both physically and mentally. I placed all my gear on the ground next nicely in the order for a nice transition. But anyone watching me could tell I was tired when I put on my helmet and could not figure out why my jersey would not fit. :) I am going to start with the bare essentials for the next race, maybe dropping socks and gloves. A tri-suit will help since those items will already be on me. The only possible item to contend with will be a wetsuit down the road.

20-kilometer ride

Another thing that I have been doing for as long as I could remember is riding a bike. The bike leg was fantastic. I spent many hours prior to the event riding in the gym and on the road and this helped pay off for the leg. I found a couple good hills around my house to train and did them several times, always trying to provide a PB. During my research I heard of people giving so much during the bike that they had nothing left for the run and that was a worry since my weakest link was up next. I need to work on the nutrition during the ride and I will push harder in the next bike leg as I felt there was plenty more still left to give when I stopped at t2.

t – 2 (Transition two)

While the time does not show it, this was much smoother as compared to t1. I was more relaxed but still tired. Now I just completed leg 2 and just one more to my goal. :) I will invest in quick elastic laces and this will help with my time in t2. I found myself dropping several nutrition bars on the ground that I had planned to consume during the ride. Again nutrition will be a big part of future training.

Now the dreaded 5-kilometer run. This was, in my mind, the weakest of the 3 legs. I did a lot of training for this portion and I feel it helped. I am not a runner, but over time I trained for this portion. When I had this goal just getting 10 minutes on the treadmill was rough but over time you could find me running for 45 – 60 minutes on the treadmill. Set small, obtainable goals. Wow, what a sense of accomplishment for me and what I was able to do. During the triathlon I maybe stopped to walk once or twice but come on, I ran the majority of the distance. During the run I was feeling good and surprised that the previous fun in the water and on the bike just left my mind and was replaced with a feeling of you are almost done. This is what I heard about…the kick you get, knowing you are almost done. I knew the finish line was not too far away and I could hear the crowd and the announcer. I am not one for crowds or attention and now as I came down the hill with several eyes on me. Could I remember how to run… left…right, left yeah the other left do not trip, do not trip. :) There was a sign the helped bring the joy I felt on the inside to my face. Smile if you peed in the lake. LOL. I could see the time board and the finish line just a few more steps to go.

Crossing the finish line

The next few moments are captured in pictures as I was tired and when I crossed the finish line I saw the smiles on the faces of my mom and dad, it made it all worth it. It was almost like being a kid again and hearing them congratulate me after a race or trying to pick me up after striking out. I am so glad they could make it and see me reach this goal.

I know these times are not going to win any awards, but this is a baseline for the next event.

My times:

  • Swim – 18:59
  • t1 – 2:09
  • Bike – 41:59
  • t2 – 1:38
  • Run – 32:27

So what do I want you to take away from this? First…you can do anything you put your mind too. My goal was to finish and that is done, now I want to improve on those times for the next race. Set a goal to finish a triathlon and I will tell you the feeling of accomplishment is well worth the hours training and pain felt after the race. The pain is only temporary, but the satisfaction will last forever.

A few other possible quotes could help you. The race does not get any easier, just your times better. Never stop moving forward, you do not know who you are motivating.

Make sure to tell me when you set your goal and finish your first triathlon!

Because not everything needs to be done right now

This is one of the many features that I really like about the new inbox. The ability to snooze items. While we have never really wanted to make our inbox a to-do list, this feature makes it manageable.

If you want a inbox invite, let me know.

read more: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/snooze-in-inbox-because-not-everything.html

3 new books on my list

I am starting the year off with 3 new books:

Driven to Distraction at Work Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive

Bestselling author Edward M. Hallowell, MD, the world’s leading expert on ADD and ADHD, has set his sights on a new goal: helping people feel more in control and productive at work.

Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!

A page-turning, warts-and-all narrative about Marissa Mayer’s efforts to remake Yahoo as well as her own rise from Stanford University undergrad to CEO of a $30 billion corporation by the age of 38.

The Internet Is Not the Answer The Internet Is Not the Answer

The Internet, created during the Cold War, has now ushered in one of the greatest shifts in society since the Industrial Revolution.

I ended the year strong with several books completed, and need to update my reading, http://www.frankbrunke.com/blog/reading-list/

 

 

You can see the other books on my to-do list at: http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/7-books-you-should-pre-order-today.html?cid=sf01002

 

 

Prime Photos

Use the technology you promote.

First, well done on the Prime Photo service, but you could have done much, much better. While I am looking at one minor detail of the release, that is the location of the devil in this launch.

Our attention span is dropping when it comes to the web, we know that, squirrel. We need to maximize each micro-second as the user interacts with the web and out applications. One lost second and they could be off onto something else and your efforts are lost to poor planning. With a little more effort and taking a step back, you and others can do a much better job in the marketing of products, services and capitalizing on opportunities.

You have the data, now use it. Many say they know “bigdata” but do they really? It is unfortunate, but they do not and we see the mis-use of highly valuable marketable opportunities lost all the time.

So lets take a look at the homepage of amazon.com.

Prime Photos

You see the option “Not yet a Prime member? – Try Prime free”? I am logged into amazon.com and a current user of prime. Why are you wasting this valuable space on asking me to join a service I am already a member? Look at your data and use this highly valuable space to promote something else about Prime Photos and make it irresistible for me to click and learn more about the service and sign up?

This does not end with Amazon, I ask developers, managers and marketers, take a step back and locate the opportunities you are missing by looking at the data and how you can best present your information to the user.

Is this a rant, maybe, but you can do a much better job!

We can turn around the housing market!

Do we have the ability to turn around the housing market on a local level?

I believe we do, let me explain.

You might know the situation, a few empty properties in the area resulting in the decrease in home values in the area. Acting as a web, this spreads and causes a larger drop based on the large number of empty homes.

The idea / concept is this. Create an association / group (I am not a lawyer to know the correct term.) but a group of motivated people in the area create a partnership to purchase the empty properties.

The group returns the properties into the market as rentals providing revenue opportunities and return to the people in the association.

As this grows communities will build back up and values will slowly increase as the number of empty properties decreases.

Just an idea.

RACES

2014 Simulated Emergency Test (SET)

This weekend I coordinated a SET for Sussex County, New Jersey. We had over a half a dozen volunteer organizations together in this test. RACES is a back up to the current infrastructure we recently helped during Sandy when all formal communications when down and there was no situational awareness regarding the impact of the storm. SKYWARN is another vital part of communications providing the NWS information below the radar. SKYWARN data feeds the NWS and some of the data you see online and TV originates from the SKYWARN program.

Here is a brief recap of the RACES / SKYWARN SET we performed on Saturday.

We had 2 net control stations one on a primary frequency 146.925 (NJ2SX/NC) and a secondary 147.21 (KC2SOU/NC). The purpose of this was to make sure we had good coverage for Sussex, New Jersey.

We conducted a SKYWARN net, obtaining test messages from fixed, deployed and mobile locations. The reports consisted of total snow, drifts, wind gusts and included road closures.

We moved onto the RACES portion of the SET, obtaining reports from our deployed locations at the shelters. This consisted of members at the shelters and also supplies needed.

We moved off of the repeaters and conducted a net on simplex. All stations could be heard from the main NC (NJ2SX) station with some weak signals reported from people in the field. We encouraged stations in the field to keep signal reports from the other simplex stations.

We all learned a lot from this test and it will provide great training material for future meetings.

I feel you should check into the next tests we perform, just because you have a radio and the gear does not mean you will be able to operate effectively for you and your family. Practice, Practice, Practice.

If you are interested in Amateur Radio, let me know.

Android Wear, yeah you want one.

I recently picked up an Android Wear device and while there is no shortage of reviews, I would like to add my feedback to the list of search results.
First, Frank, why would you do such a thing? Well I was part of the google glass explorers group and was given the opportunity to purchase GG. While I looked and looked, I never did pick up a pair of GG.
Now Google i/o is over and everyone has had time to review the devices they obtained from the conference and the reviews have started. One of the reviews stuck in my head and they compared this device to that of the tablet and google glass, with a much lower price point. This is a game changer just like those devices.
So the device comes in the mail and you are all excited, but it will not start…drat, I have to charge it. Now I am forced to look at this device and not use it. While the watch is charging, this gives me some time to look over the device. It is very solid to the feel looks very nice. Yes the screen is big, but appears bigger watch faces are all the rage. If you have a small wrist, you might have an issue. I did have the watch slip off a few times but have moved it up my wrist so it will not get caught on everything.
agenda
Once the device is all charged up, now let me get into the settings and have some fun. Before I do that, you have a little set up on your phone and that is it. You are sitting at your desk and you start to swipe the screens seeing notifications show up and you discard them…that is it? Yeah, sorta.

For me, android wear really shined when I was out of town and going to meet a friend. I sent him a message and shortly I received one back as to his location on my watch. This is cool and with just one swipe and a few verbal words I responded back to him. It was so fast and effortless. I did not have to take my phone from my pocket, unlock the screen, navigate to hangouts and than enter the message. Right from the watch I was able to verbally speak my message into the watch and off it went. I wanted to say it twice in case you missed how quick the process. I was able to go back to what I was doing with very little change to my current activity. That was amazing, I am able to stay connected, while being unconnected. If that makes sense.
evernote
I recently added evernote and “if this than that” onto the watch. Both are very powerful and as a long time user of evernote the application just got a lot stronger for me. I can quickly see a to-do list or recently taken notes. 

The platform is very simple and almost too easy to use, but that is what makes it so nice. The watch is there and provides data when you need it. Almost being google glass for your wrist. It does not stand out and scream hey here I am, but stands by providing you valuable data when you want it.
if-this
Now the phone stays in the pocket, I can quickly see what is going on and than go back to life. Again, you are more connected while being less connected.
weather
I look forward to the new apps to make this platform even stronger.
HTC Incredible

your phone can help with focus

Have you used your phone to help stay focused on a task? Using the timer on your phone can help, let me explain.

First lets look at a task and point out the locations of distractions.

Your task is to research a product.

  • coffee is low…need to make a new cup/pot. coffee supply is low, let me browse the options for my next order.
  • you notice new email, and you browse the inbox.
  • someone stops by your desk to ask about a project.
  • while on the web, you see an advertisement for another product, so you click.

This list could go on, but you get the point. So many things could come up that could distract you from your goal. These distractions will keep you from completing your goal.

This is how a timer on your phone could help. In this example give yourself 15 minutes and set the timer. Out of the gate you might not know the actual time for a given task so you will need to stick with trial / error for a bit. At the end of 15 minutes see how much you have accomplished.

Here are some timers I use:
– 10 minutes for email. (I do not worry about getting to all of them.)
– 20 minutes. Morning news.
– one collection of songs. Writing a blog post. I have a folder on my phone of some fast tempo songs.

While just a brief list, the songs are going fast, you get the point. If you are in the middle of greatness give yourself a break to complete the idea. The goal is to stay focused and not waste time on meaningless tasks or distractions.

There you have it, a simple little way to use your phone and help you focus.

How do you keep focus on a task?

 

Take a picture

Your camera will never forget

Are you enjoying the warmer weather, but not the sneezing and sinus congestion? For some of us, we need to take some medication to get  over this hump from cabin fever to 24/7 flip flops.

Here is a little trick to help keep track of your medication.

Take a picture

Take a picture of the medication in front of a clock. This will provide an accurate visual of what you are taking and when you took it.

You can take this several steps forward:
– Do you have a few people taking care of a family member? Set up a secure online network to share these photos.
– This can also work well with kids. Moms and Dads can keep up-to-date on the medication for the kids.

Just a little tip. Do you have a little tip to get the most out of your phone?

I might know your password

I wanted to share a few articles I found on password security.

Dashlane’s Personal Data Security Roundup – UK Edition.

they stated:

  • 66% accept notoriously weak passwords such as “123456” or “password”
  • 66% make no attempt to block entry after 10 incorrect password entries
  • 60% do not provide any advice on how to create a strong password during signup, and only 14% display a password meter
  • 25% send passwords in plain text via email

Gibson Research did a few additional things and created this list and rated the sites, https://www.grc.com/miscfiles/Password_Policies_2014_Raw_Data.png  Scroll all the way to the right and see the sites with the worse ratings. You might not store your cc at these sites, but you still might provide very vital security information used on other sites. (answers to security questions.)

As they noted the article, Apple.com Tops Password Security, Toys R Us, Amazon, Walmart Among the Worst, is amazing. Some of the sites only require “1” items in the password field.

What does this mean?
– pick a strong password even if a simple one will do.
– do not use the same password on multiple sites.
– when asked security questions, lie. But remember your answer.
– never user a word, break up words with number or special characters.

You can make up a pattern for you passwords, but make sure only you know the key.

Scan to save

Executive Summary

Overview

Scan to save delivers a central location to make smarter purchase choices. Scanning a barcode will research a central database for product details and pricing. Online retailers allow you to scan items to their inventory, but that does not provide assistance on items that could be impacted with large shipping costs.

Problem

You want to make the best possible purchase decisions while you are on the road, but you lack the tools to perform accurate research.

Solution

Scan to save provides you the tools needed to make the best possible purchase choices while on the road. When you scan an item, details including pricing information is provided to you, allow you to see if you are obtaining the best price.

Opportunity

Online stores allow the scanning on brick and mortar stores, allow you to buy the item online, but when you are in the store you also needed the valuable tools.

Competitive Advantages

Searching an item in front of you to purchase it online is one thing, but if you want to obtain the item now, the consumer needs to the tools.

Business Model

Scan to save will obtain revenue from the initial app purchase and additional monthly fees. Customers will be given the option to, with a monthly fee, obtain more details on the items they wish to purchase, such as proximity and price change. Will it be best to travel 4 miles up the road to obtain a 50 cent discount? Users can obtain free scans if they obtain approval for their uploaded information.

Team

N/A

Financials

N/A

Funding Required

Scan to save is currently seeking xM for the development of a series of mobile applications and database to deliver, input and store large quantities of data.

 

RUOKAY

Executive Summary

Overview

RUOKAY is an application that will allow you to see the status of your family members during an event. Unlike other application RUOKAY is focused around a single goal and focus, the safety of your loved ones.

Problem

There is a major event and you are having trouble containing family members by phone / sms / etc. Panic phone calls and duplication could be started when people can not be reached and calling around.

Solution

RUOKAY allows family members to check into the service and state their status. Family members can also request that either a family member checks in or broadcasts a request to the entire family. This can allow the family members to state they are okay and there is no need to keep trying to call them. If the user does not have a smartphone, they can call into a toll free number and by using phone prompts can state their status. If a family member does not check in, any of the family members will have access to that members information. Such as last known location and medical information that might be needed to be shared if a search is requested.

Opportunity

With people mobile they could be in any one of many locations in the event that tragedy strikes. RUOKAY allows for contact to be made and gps data to be obtained on loved ones.

Competitive Advantages

RUOKAY is focused around a simple task to make sure your status and those of your family are shared within your family network.

Business Model

RUOKAY will obtain revenue when the users check into the service and also when a RUOKAY request is made from a user in the group. The person who requests the status will be billed a small fee.

Team

N/A

Financials

The application will be a small fee to all mobile users and will have a charge when a RUOKAY request is made. The user making the request will be billed for the feedback. When a user does not have a cell phone, they will be able to obtain automated calls requesting feedback based on an operator assisted call.

Funding Required

RUOKAY will be seeking 15M to fund the development of the mobile applications, phone infrastructure and database structure.

 This is part of my 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days. Read more about this at 31 Executive Summaries in 31 days.