Meandering…

The last month has been a blur. As predicted, taking on Stanford’s free Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class (along with 150,000+ others) has soaked up any semblance of free time that I had. Evenings have been spent either hitting the books, or making up for work hours lost during the day while looking after the kids. Exercise has to happen before 7am or it won’t happen at all! Not only has my writing (and therefore reflection) suffered, but I can no longer tread the waters of Tweet River!

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But while it’s been busy, it’s also been satisfying.

AI class is going well. We’re halfway through and I got 96% in the midterm (admittedly it was a very easy exam and based on the tweets I saw, the median was probably close to 90%). More importantly, it has got me learning again. It has got me thinking about AI again. It has got me enjoying AI again. When I was at university 21 years ago (ahem) I had dreams of how I’d do something special in the AI field. This course has rekindled what two decade of jobs, mortgages, kids and responsibilities had extinguished.

Once again, I’m dreaming about my future!

Exercise has been going pretty well too (I’m loathe to say “training” as I’m not actually training for anything!). I’ve regularly been hitting two bike sessions a week with the Surfers Paradise Tri Club. Each of these 2 hour sessions are much harder than I’m used to riding – typically 100-130 TSS. Combined with a semi-regular 2hr mountain bike ride, my cycle CTL is hovering around 40. For perspective, it peaked at 53 for Ironman NZ, so 40 is very strong for me! My son’s Little Nippers (surf-lifesaving for kids) has stymied my Sunday morning group ride, but I’m hoping to start getting out early for a couple of hours solo.

Swimming has been poorer than it should be. I’ve got a 2km swim in January yet I’ve only been going once a week. I should really swim more! (sound like a triathlete?).

Running is frustrating. I’m finally back into it after 10 weeks off injured. It’s two steps forward and one back at the moment. Last week I was celebrating my first 10km run in 3 months. Today I’m nursing a tight/sore calf that’s kept me out of the sneakers for a couple of days. After this latest 10 week layoff, my confidence in my calves is shot. I know that, if I proceed as usual, I’ll get some good run form going and then blow it again. I have unfinished business at 5km, 10km, half and full marathons. I have a mountain race to run. I love running…

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The real reason I’m not fully motivated to train is that I don’t have a race lined up. A race means a training plan. A training plan means daily motivation. Daily motivation means regular swimming and getting down to race weight, through healthy eating and portion control.

Once this AI class is over, I need to get out the calendar and map out some 2012 race plans! In the meantime, I shall meander some more…

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