I’ve been using the Strong app to record workouts. Super nice, super free. This is the time of year when my motivations are beginning to be torn across various interests. There is snow on Mt. Hood, alpine objectives are possible, but I’ve got to close out my running mileage for the year.

I pulled down Training for the New Alpinism from my bookshelf and skimmed through the strength training section. It seems all very basic to me, but the single thing I find I miss most is simply putting on a heavy pack and spending time on some easy alpine terrain. I’ll definitely be doing more of that this winter to prep for Spring climbing.

My winter climbing boots will be here soon. I returned a pair of La Sportiva G2 SM boots b/c of a manufacturing defect – there was a huge glob of dried glue in the left boot that I could feel through the liner. New boots will arrive soon and then I’ll want to break them in on the mountain. Patience, patience, patience.

Upper Body Workout #3
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 13:19

Set 1: 0:08

Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)
Set 1: 10 lb × 8
Set 2: 15 lb × 8
Set 3: 15 lb × 8

Incline Bench (Dumbbell)
Set 1: 35 lb × 12
Set 2: 45 lb × 10
Set 3: 50 lb × 5

Bench Press (Dumbbell)
Set 1: 45 lb × 10
Set 2: 50 lb × 5
Set 3: 50 lb × 5

Cable Crossover
Set 1: 17 lb × 7
Set 2: 23 lb × 5
Set 3: 30 lb × 5

Chest Dip
Set 1: 10 reps
Set 2: 10 reps

Pull Up
Set 1: 10 reps

Push Up
Set 1: 20 reps


Stellar 10 miler today. Not my fastest, but I maintained a steady-state pace with a few random intervals thrown in for the entire run. Consistently around 7:40/mile with a dip into the 8:00 +/mile on the last 2 climbs around miles 8-9. Definitely had more left at the end and felt great. My focus was on form, keeping my hips underneath me and keeping my head slightly forward with my chin low. I also concentrated on pressure breathing – forceful exhales and deliberate inhales.

I ran 3 days during the work week this week, the last on Friday when I tweaked my lower soleus. I was in a flow state working with my desk lowered (not standing) and then quickly changed and took off with a couple of work colleagues. I think the tweak is attributed to just sitting, then quickly running without stretching or warming up. I rested it on Saturday, it felt better on Sunday – then felt much better when I started moving at the start of the 10 miler today. 

This year I’ve been running with my watch flipped around on my wrist quite a bit – recording the run but not paying any attention to pace. Today I kept it up where I could see it and tried to press a little harder if it started to drop below 7:50. 

I’m beginning to realizing I need to be in the gym more to prep for climbing season. As with earlier in 2018, I’ll need to reduce running mileage and throw in more time in the weight room. There is nothing that helps climbing mountains other than climbing mountains and lifting weights.

This was my interval jam today (wait for the drop):

Design Ops

As the product team continues to scale at Cloudability, we’ve begun taking a more deliberate approach to how we work as a design team and how our operation and efficiency scales. Part of that process has been updating our tools. We’re using Abstract for design version control in Sketch and the rapid build-out of our design system.  Abstract allows us to include Shared Libraries when we begin to design a new feature – effectively pulling in the Design System to every project. There are still issues that I see on the horizon including overall governance of the system as the team grows. It feels very much like a situation where we’ll need to move slower in order to maintain long term velocity and avoid accruing design debt.

A couple of resources that I’ve found helpful are the Smashing Magazine published book Design Systems by Alla Kholmatova and the very detailed YouTube walkthrough of building out a design system by Christopher Deane

A specific issue I’m keeping top of mind is balancing vertical rhythm and information density. Our product is data intensive and much of the presentation is either a data visualization or a data table. 

Another tool we’re using is Catalog.style with the long term goal of consolidating React components in the design system to make the communication between front-end engineering and product design simpler.  I’m not yet sure how we’ll represent the design system that we need for day to day design work and the larger Catalog design system. I’m not quite there yet.

We’ve been working rapidly at both component inventory, progressing on the design system in Sketch (very tedious and onerous at times) and standing up Catalog in a github repo and working through the configuration and theming (very basic but sufficient for our needs). 

I’d love to hear any insight other designers may have about tools you’ve found successful and more particularly about governance models for design systems. I anticipate when deadlines pick up one of the first things to go out the window will be updating shared styles and symbols in the design system. HMU if any designers want to talk shop. 


Sankalpa (Sanskrit: संकल्प) means an intention formed by the heart and mind — a solemn vow, determination, or will.[1] In practical terms a Sankalpa means a one-pointed resolve to focus both psychologically and philosophically on a specific goal. A sankalpa is a tool meant to harness the will, and to focus and harmonize mind and body.

I’ve been using the Insight Timer app to close out the day and prepare for a good night’s sleep and one of the guided meditations has an instruction that I really, really like:

“Set your sankalpa. Ask yourself,  in your life right now what is your deepest most heartfelt desire. Think of your sankalpa as a little seed you’re planting into your time in the world of sleep. State your sankalpa 3 times aloud, give thanks, and then let it go”.

I also love the concept of “being breathed”, I’ve never considered a distinction between my inhalation and exhalation and “being breathed” by something larger.

It’s Yoga Nindra for Sleep by Jennifer Piercy and it’s great. I tried to listen to it on my run earlier in the week and it didn’t quite work. 

Mr. Consistency

I’ve written before about ‘practicing my running’ and I’ve long subscribed to the idea that increased mileage leads to better efficiency and speed. But after reading Peak, my thinking is changing a bit. The book focuses on ‘deliberate practice’. It’s being more deliberate what you’re trying to learn, improve, train for – not mindlessly doing the same thing over and over.

The book is written by the scientists who did the study that led to Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. This is the original source study though. In that book Gladwell focused on the 10,000 hour rule: meaning that it takes someone about 10k hours to become expert in something (musical instrument, athletics, whatever). It’s really about 7400 hours, but 10 sounds better. 

So back to running. This year I’ll close out just under 1200 miles, with about 150,000 of vertical. The mileage is a little bit less than last year, vertical is about the same. There were only a few week out of 52 that I ran under 20 miles per week, between 20 and 30 was the most common with a few weeks above 30. I don’t think I had any weeks above 40.

I’ve been happy and thinking that 2018 has been all about consistency and balance. I never got sick in 2018 and I never felt like I couldn’t recover from that mileage. I also had a few streaks of lifting over the year. Climbing objectives were chosen wisely. I skied the pow days, got up a couple of volcanoes and climbed Rainier in July in an ‘almost’ single push (we stopped at Camp Muir and ate and napped for a couple of hours).

Always the optimist, I’m looking forward to 2019. As the holiday season arrives I’m starting to think about ** oh I forgot I rode my bike from my house to Mt Hood, climbed (*didn’t summit), then skied out and rode my bike home. The most memorable moment of that trip was passing time at Illumination Rock waiting for the snow to soften so we could ski out with a woman who climbed up to spread her husband’s ashes. She cried. I cried. When you say to someone, “what a beautiful day it is…”, remember that everyone is in a different place, but it doesn’t make the moment any less beautiful.

So yah so I’m starting the goal planning for 2019. My crampons are sharp, ice tools too… Took the year like a bandit. I’m a motherfu**in’ Starboy.


A few articles I’m reading this week.


In the celebrating wins category, a colleague recently paid me a huge compliment. I won’t go into the specifics, but it was something I devoted a lot of time and effort to making sure met with success.

Ideas are cheap, execution is everything. 

Chris Sacca

This was a big system problem with a lot of detail and a lot of things that could have gone sideways. Something that impacted a lot of people. From concept to design to execution to communication, I worried the details.

He said that he felt like he was arriving into a city on a flight and I was the pilot, explaining that the plane was x miles out; relaying the temperature and forecast.  Tray tables up, seat belts fastened, seats upright. Attendants take your seats. Smooth landing. Thanks for flying with Chris Airlines.

Yes! Sometimes things go right.

Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck, some nights I call it a draw. Some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle, some nights I wish they’d just fall off.