I’m excited for 2024! Particularly because there are a lot of new things I want to try and accomplish. I think I’ve changed a lot in 2023 and so the type of goals I’m looking to achieve in 2024 look a lot different than what my 2023 goals looked like. This is a working doc (not everything will be outlined or flushed out, yet), but I’m primarily going to focus on 5 categories of goals this year: finance, career, health / fitness, relationship, and hobbies.
A bit personal! I’m leaving this off my public website.
Health / Fitness
During my trip to Europe in October 2023, I learned that I can run longer than 2 miles! Prior to that, every time I would reach the 1.5 - 2.5 mile range, I’d have unbearable pain in my shins (anterior tibialis, to be specific) which made it hard to run any further. I’d have this pain sometimes when playing sports like basketball or tennis, but it was much less frequent. In Europe, I was able to run 15 miles, and then 18 miles the following week shin-pain free! I’m not sure what changed, it might be the shoes (I got running shoes) or I got some tips from a friend to decrease my stride length and run slower, but it seemed to have been working. I didn’t have shin pain when running those distances but I did have some pretty bad knee pain the next days after which made it painful to walk.
Prior to my trip to Europe, I went tandem biking with some friends from SF → Sausalito and back. I thought it was a ton of fun. A couple weeks later, some friends and I rented road bikes at Sports Basement and did Mt. Diablo! We were severely under-prepared for this trip but I think that’s part of what made it so fun. A couple weeks after that, some friends and I cycled Mt. Tam. I also did some biking in Europe (a friend and I gravel biked around Interlakken, I biked through Madrid) and Arizona during our annual boys trip (mountain biking in Sedona and road biking in Scottsdale). More recently, I went on a ride along the Calaveras road in Fremont and it was beautiful and more importantly, very car-free. I’ve been pretty hooked to cycling since! I made more cycling friends and have been trying to get my close friends into it as well. I bought a Canyon Endurace CF 7 Disc which I’m very happy with (and many fun bike accessories).
Since then, along with joining Strava and being motivated by some friends, I’ve been excited to take on more running and cycling challenges. I signed up for:
- SF Kaiser Half Marathon (Feb 4th)
- 100 mile Primavera bike ride (April 21st)
- UTMB 15.5 mile trail run (April 26th)
For me, I think the pinnacle of these type of races is an Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run). It feels like the running and cycling are within reach (with sufficient training, of course). The main question is the swim portion. I swam a lot as a kid (not competitively, but 7+ years of lessons), but I was always the slowest one, by a lot. I had asthma as a kid but I think the swimming helped strengthen my lungs to the point where I no longer need an inhaler (thanks mom!). My technique isn’t perfect but I think it’s a good starting point.
I spent some time in the pool to test my swimming ability and was swimming 34s / 25 yards (at top speed) which translates roughly to a 2:30s / 100 yard swim. An Ironman swim is 2.4 miles meaning I’d have to swim at top speed for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The cut off time is 2 hours and 20 minutes so it seems I have a lot of work to do, but it doesn’t feel impossible! I’ve been swimming at least 3x / week since and joined a Masters team in San Ramon. They’re all really nice people and I’m going to miss them when I move to SF / San Mateo early next year. Since joining the Master’s team and swimming more regularly, I’ve dropped my 25 yard time to 29 seconds which is an awesome improvement!
I haven’t yet signed up, but my goal in the health / fitness category for 2024 is to complete an Ironman. I’m aiming for the October 27th Sacramento Ironman. It’ll take various races and open water swims a long the way to be prepared for it, so here is my planned schedule for 2024:
- Feb 4th - SF Kaiser Half
- March 3rd - Stanford Treeathlon
- April 6 - Napa Valley Spring Triathlon (aiming for Long Course, otherwise Olympic distance)
- April 21st - 100 mile Primavera bike ride
- April 26th - UTMB 15.5 mile train run
- October 27th - Ironman Sacramento
I have friends to train with in all of these except the October 27th Ironman. Hopefully I’ll make some friends a long the way 😄. Taking into account these races, here is my fill-in-as-I-go training plan:
I’m roughly following this 8-week half marathon training plan (for race on Feb 4th), and this 0 → 1650 yards (1 swimming mile) plan. After the half-marathon I’ll probably focus on maintaining my running fitness for the long course triathlon and trail run in April. For swimming, I’ll graduate to this swimming plan. I still need to figure out precisely what I’m doing for cycling training. I have a indoor trainer + Zwift subscription starting soon, so maybe that will inspire me 😄
A bit personal! I’m leaving this off my public website.
I’ve always been fascinated by science, particularly as it pertains to humans. A past, much younger me, really wanted to study medicine, but not to eventually be a doctor. I was always fascinated by the human body. I remember in grade school I’d often spend my recesses learning about the human body rather than going outside to play. I think I find computers fascinating for similar reasons that I find the human body fascinating. I’m always curious to dig into software abstractions and understand how things work under the hood. Peeling back the layers has always been the most fun part of being a software engineer and I think it’s why I naturally gravitated towards more systems-y problems. I have a similar curiosity about the human body: how does it all work?! I think the one main difference between the human body and computers is that we fully understand how computers work down to the electricity that powers it. The human body, for the most part, is a black box waiting to be uncovered.
Unfortunately for me, aside from reading ad-hoc books and watching Youtube videos, I don’t have great fundamentals in biology or chemistry. It seemed particularly important when I was trying to learn more about nutrition and struggled to get beyond the basics. My goal this year is to improve my fundamentals in biology and chemistry and participate in some labs research (hopefully leveraging my software skills). I plan on doing this by taking courses, either at community college or UC Extensions, and getting in touch with professors that are doing interesting research in this space. Here are the courses I plan to take:
Human Nutrition at UC Berkeley Extension: https://extension.berkeley.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=15897664
Genetics at UC Berkeley Extension: https://extension.berkeley.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=41578
Biochemistry at UC San Diego Extension: https://extendedstudies.ucsd.edu/courses-and-programs/biochemistry
This year, I want to join a USTA team. It’s been pretty hard to join one in SF since you have to “know a guy” to get on the team. I think I found a friend who knows one of the USTA coaches in SF, so I will try to see if I can get on the team. If I’m not in SF, it should be easier to find a spot on a USTA team.
I really want to do a cycling trip this year! One of my friends reached out about a 10-day biking trip in Taiwan in November 2024. I’ve had a couple other friends that have done it and it looked like a lot of fun.