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2020 Goal: Mid-Point Evaluation

by Charles Krouse

It is half way through 2020 and time to evaluate my progress towards my 2020 goal. The original goal, starting January 1, was to read one book per week and write a reflection for each book. If successful, this would mean reading 52 books and writing 52 essays during 2020. At the time of writing this post, it is the beginning of July, and I have read and written on 34 books. Furthermore, there are 2 books that I have read but not completed my reflections on. I’m comfortably on track to complete the original goal: 36 books completed (or pending), and 16 books to go. Although I’m currently on track to complete the targeted 52 books, I think that the rest of the year will be slower and will require a more concentrated effort. But it is still a goal that I want to complete. Part of the reason that the next few months will be slow is because I signed up to run the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon in December. The other part of the reason is that I’m prioritizing time for building relationships.

Of the remaining 16 books to achieve this year’s goal, here is my list of anticipated-reads. This list is flexible, pending many factors. To maintain my commitments to career, running the marathon, and building relationships, I might need to sacrifice some of the more in-depth and longer books on this list in favor of shorter and simpler works.

  1. “The Meaning of Marriage” ~ Timothy Keller

  2. “Don Quixote: Second Part of the Ingenious Gentleman” ~ Miguel de Cervantes

  3. Deuterocanonical Books (Book of Tobit, Book of Judith, Book of Wisdom, Book of Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Ecclesiasticus, First Book of Maccabees, Second Book of Maccabees)

  4. “The Divine Comedy” ~ Dante Alighieri

  5. “A Tale of Two Cities” ~ Charles Dickens

  6. “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

  7. “Crime and Punishment” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  8. “Pilgrim’s Progress” ~ John Bunyan

  9. “Thinking Fast and Slow” ~ Daniel Kahneman

  10. “Hiding Place” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

  11. “Synchronicity” ~ Carl Jung

  12. “The Way of the Pilgrim” ~ unknown

  13. “The Pilgrim Continues His Way” ~ unknown

  14. “Thinking in Bets” ~ Annie Duke

Since retiring from cycling, I’ve been interested in applying my cardiovascular fitness to running a marathon. I started training for a marathon last year, but got injured, and then gave up. For my current marathon training iteration, I increased the mileage gruelingly slow, which helped avoid injury. Now, I feel like I’ve established a good running base, and I’m confident about being able to avoid serious injury from running too-much too-soon. So it is time to articulate my goal. At first, I wanted to target a sub 3-hour marathon. After a few weeks of seriously entertaining this goal, I realized that running your first marathon in less than 3 hours, with only 6 months of training, and zero previous running experience is unrealistic. Saying it now seems obvious, but initially I honestly thought it was achievable. I think that a more realistic goal for me is sub 3.5 hours. With zero previous running experience, balancing a full-time career, relationships, and other personal goals, I think that sub 3.5 hours is achievable and respectable. To run a marathon in less than 3 hours 30 minutes, I need to average 8:00 minutes/mile. This is in comparison to running a marathon in less than 3 hours, which requires an average pace of 6:50 minutes/mile.


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