Using Bento for GTD

Using Bento for GTD by terriwilling
Using Bento for GTD, a photo by terriwilling on Flickr.

I made the New Year’s Resolution to implement GTD with Bento using a system I put together based on David Allen’s popular system.

Another New Year’s resolution…actually write up an entry on how this all came about. For now, here’s to sticking to it!

Happy New Year!

01. January 2013 by terri
Categories: uncategorized |

#2012 wasn’t all that bad, I guess…

#2012 wasn't all that bad, I guess...

Some highlights from 2012:

  • Hung out with my co-workers more… I think it’s something I should do more of in 2013.
  • Did the Inaugural Hapalua Half Marathon, and I’m motivated to do it every year for as long as my legs will let me.
  • Did a total of 4 road races this year…always worth the price of admission!
  • Accumulated 400+ miles on my Nike+ account (aspiraling, new since 2012 started)
  • Went to Hilo and experienced going to Mauna Kea for the first time.  It was under sad circumstances, but the experience was amazing and unforgettable.
  • Saw Meiko in a live performance and met her in a meet and greet!  Sweet and talented girl!
  • Went to TWO Death Cab for Cutie concerts…a dream come true!  The venue sucked, and the band was fatigued after touring for a year and a half but they put on two amazing shows!
  • Went to San Jose / Cupertino for a second time and drove on California’s highways for the first time ever (scary!)
  • Got a new iPad, but I’m still trying to figure out what good use I can make of it.
  • Reconnected with old friends, and fun was had doing so!
  • Did stand-up paddling for the first time, and I loved it!  Despite my crappy core muscles, I hope to do more of it!
  • Went back to doing some database and coding work… I might just be able to keep going.
  • Lost about 10 pounds since last December after gaining 20 in 2011.  Still more work to do!
  • Grew out my bangs…first time in YEARS!  I always had bangs because of my bad skin on my forehead, but now that’s no longer a problem.  Thank you, drugs!
  • My tendinitis in my arm miraculously went away!  I can do push ups with ease, and put my left arm behind my back…!
  • I can sit cross legged once again…stretching has worked wonders!
  • Did my first marathon!  Even though I walked most of it, I’m still amazed that I did it!

2012 had its share of struggles as well, but I’m going to focus on the positive…  I’m going to hope for the best for 2013!

31. December 2012 by terri
Categories: instagram |

Meet Benny

Meet Benny by terriwilling
Meet Benny, a photo by terriwilling on Flickr.

This little guy played witness to a very Merry Christmas…

I am so blessed.

26. December 2012 by terri
Categories: uncategorized |

The Honolulu Marathon Post…?

I’ve been working on this entry for over a week now. I feel like I had a lot to say, and then it felt like too much to say. Only one thing to say really…

Holy shit, I did it!!

And now the race report in bullet points.

  • I hardly trained for this thing. Up until two weeks prior, I didn’t think I was even going to do it despite signing up for it in January (for the Kamaaina rate of $26.20.) I had been consistently during endurance cardio runs for a few weeks, but had not been doing any long distance runs. And certainly, I have not done anything longer than a half marathon, where training for a marathon involves doing a run of at least 18 miles. My thinking? I can walk this thing…right?
  • I hardly got any sleep the night before. On Saturday night, I had to work until 7pm and after having carb-filled dinner of pasta, I couldn’t get to sleep until about 11pm. At the last minute, my ride couldn’t take me to the start line, so I had to drive myself and find a place to park my car. I ended up having to leave my house at about 1am so that I could find a parking spot about a mile from the Honolulu Zoo where they were shuttling people to the start line at Ala Moana. I arrived at the start line at around 3am, with 2 hours to kill. I wanted to take a nap, but the energy of 20,000+ people made that near impossible.
  • I almost missed the start time! Despite arriving 2 hours early, I almost missed the 530am start line deadline…all from waiting to use the portapotty at the very last minute.  I made sure to drink a lot of water the night before and right before the race, even though I knew that meant having to use the dreaded portapotty.  I didn’t think I’d have to use them THREE times before the race started.  What was awesome (or not so awesome) was that I did not have the urge to use the bathroom for the entire duration of the race.  If I did, I probably would not have the satisfactory finish time I had.
  • The first 6 miles were amazing! After hitting the starting line mat at 5:25am among the walkers, I went running…  I didn’t know how long I would keep up a running/jogging pace, considering how little I trained for this and how I’ve never even done a marathon before.  The cool early morning air and the exciting atmosphere just propelled me to go without stopping.  The first 6 miles of the course (to Aloha Tower, thru Chinatown and back to Ala Moana and thru Waikiki) was all flat and made for an amazing time (particularly the Kalakaua Avenue part of the race…tourists are fun spectators!)  As the sun came up and I approached the narrow hill on Diamond Head Road, I started to slow down but the excitement was still there going through Kahala up to the half way point on Kalanianiole Highway.
  • The last 10 miles were excruciating! As we got into Hawaii Kai, my feet were starting to feel the pain and the despair of knowing that I still had to 10 more miles to go.  And while the people cheering us on the first 15 miles were fun, I was less receptive to their cheers.  I was propelled to jog by my aching feet that needed some relief from the ground, but then my knees starting to scream at me.  I was alternating between walking and jogging just to make my knees and feet happy, but of course, never at the same time.  There were about two points after turning around in Hawaii Kai that I had to actually stop and give my feet some relief.  I had been tempted to just take my shoes off, but I thought that would signal defeat and so I just kept trudging on.  The one thing that motivated me was knowing that I would be on pace to finish this race in less than 7 hours, which was better than I expected to do for my very first marathon.
  • Technology provided wins and fails… I brought with me my three iPod shuffles (all 4th gen), my iPhone, and my Nike+ GPS Sportwatch.  Knowing that my phone wouldn’t last 8 hours staying on, I decided that my Sportwatch would have to be relied on to log my run, with my shuffles providing the tunes.  My phone was used to take pics along the way, check into Facebook and to put up the occasional status of misery and my phone lasted throughout the race.  I only ended up using one shuffle for my running playlist.  It was my watch that ended up failing me…  I guess I could consider myself fortunate that it lasted up until 3 minutes before I hit the finish line and more importantly, that it saved my run.  I’m still bummed that it died though… if I were a serious runner, it would have lasted the duration of the race…
  • 6 hours, 50 minutes, and 53 seconds… I am pretty amazed by that finish time.  Granted, it’s nowhere near a “running” finish time, but I’m still proud of it considering the shape I was in just a few years prior.  I’m not sure if I want to do this again to try for a faster time…or maybe I do?  In the days that followed the marathon, my legs were hurting bad and I hobbled around like a person who lost all mobility.  I remember telling my friends and family, “I would never do this again.” But…
  • I went ahead and registered for next year… I can always opt out and just be out $26.  I just hope that if I do decide to do it, I’ll be better prepared.

Having completed my first marathon was definitely a great way to finish this year, where my only accomplishment before that point had been just growing out my bangs.  It makes me hopeful for 2013…

21. December 2012 by terri
Categories: marathon |

Stretch, dammit!

Stretch it out!

Posting this somewhat old picture to remind myself that I have to stretch more often. My legs are definitely paying the price for not stretching enough before and after Sunday’s run…

29. May 2012 by terri
Categories: health, run |

Not Quite a Half Marathon, but…

…this morning was definitely a win!

Not long after doing the Hapalua Half Marathon back in March, I took a break from running. I didn’t really mean to take a break, but I just somehow lost all my steam. When May rolled around and I realized that I had paid the entrance fee for the Hibiscus Half Marathon and hadn’t been training, I was in a dilemma about what to do.

One thing I could figure out for sure was that I was in no condition to finish the 13.1 mile course in the allotted 3.5 hour time frame without being all stressed about it. The day before I picked up my packet, I made the decision to switch to the 15K course.

Even with switching to a 15K course, which would allow me to go at a walking pace if needed, I was unsure if I even had the inclination to get up early and trek that far. And then I told myself that this would really be the jump start that I need to start running again. I know I definitely love the feeling that running gives me; it’s getting over that hump of laziness that is the hardest thing to do.

So I woke up at 3:30am this morning to get to the start line at Kapiolani Park. As I was driving over, I noticed that the ground was wet from rain and it continued to drizzle into the morning. And it’s been said before: I hate rain. However, I made the decision to just suck it up and do it…and I’m so glad I did.

A couple of highlights:

  • It actually did NOT rain, despite the weather looking a little iffy.
  • We were not staggered by pace, but I made sure to hang out in the back with any other walkers/slow joggers.
  • I managed to jog the first mile, after not doing much jogging for at least 6 weeks. Being able to run on the road as opposed to the sidewalk definitely makes all the difference in the world.
  • This was the first road race I had ever done with my newly acquired Nike+ GPS Sportwatch and Polar Heart Rate Monitor. It was good to get a quick report of how fast I was going, and more importantly, my heart rate. It was a great way of figuring out when to slow down and when to pick up pace.
  • After going up the hill on Diamond Head Road (after Mile 2), I managed to interchange 2 minutes of jogging with about 90 seconds of rest. I’ve done way better than this, but I’m glad that I could even get some kind of jogging in.
  • The 15K course involves turning onto Kahala Ave from Waialae (instead of going eastbound into Kalanianiole Highway). As I turned onto there, I encountered Half Marathon runners who had finished the Kalanianiole Highway portion of the race, where they continued their fast pace. This sucked for me because slow poke me was running alongside these faster people and I felt like I was in their way. To make it worse, the Kahala Ave. portion of the race appeared to be the most narrow part. So, as a result, I had to walk on the grass where it wasn’t too comfortable.
  • That last mile sucked, as it always does.

My finish time for the 15K course was 2h13m17s. My GPS watch indicates that the route was a little over 15K, with my pace calculated at 14’01″, which is better than I would have hoped for given that I wasn’t even sure that I was going to jog any of it. Of course, there’s that tinge of disappointment for not making any kind of improved showing compared to other road races, but I am definitely going to look at the glass half-full.

What was a delightful surprise was that they were giving medals to all the finishers this year, including the 15K finishers. And though it says “Hibsicus Half Marathon Finisher” and I had only done the 15K, I still think I earned it because I had done the course last year and got no medal. It was great to get a medal that said that, even if I had completed the course last year. I’ve done two half marathons, and now I have two medals. I hope I can add a few more in my lifetime…

Hibiscus (Not) Half Marathon (But) 15K (instead)

Let’s see what the rest of 2012 holds…!

27. May 2012 by terri
Categories: health, run, watashi |

The Written Words

Handwritten letter by terriwilling
Handwritten letter, a photo by terriwilling on Flickr.

I spent my day handwriting notes for a funeral I need to attend this weekend in Hilo. It felt nice to actually write these thoughts out on the pretty textured paper and I feel that my emotion can be better conveyed with my writing instead of being typed out. And seeing as I’m not the greatest at articulating my thought into the spoken word, I decided to use the written word…

11. May 2012 by terri
Categories: uncategorized |

I got to meet…


Singer/Songwriter Meiko came to Hawaii for a one night gig at the Turtle Bay Resort on Saturday night. My fiancé and I have been fans of hers for awhile and what was interesting was that we discovered her music separately. We didn’t even know about our mutual interest in her music when one day in 2009 we spotted a poster at the local Zippy’s for her concert…that was happening that night in town. We were bummed to find out that we missed it, but also surprised to find that we were both interested in going to her concert. We then made a pact that we would go and see her if she ever came back to Hawaii….

True to our word, I bought the tickets for the April 21st show as soon as I heard about it happening. I had been looking forward to it ever since.

I’m happy to say that the performance was amazing! It was worth all the waiting…(waiting for the doors to open, waiting for the opening act to start, waiting for the opening act to end after 40 minutes, and waiting another 20 minutes for Meiko to start…) As soon as she got up and played “Piano Song,” I was immediately swept away by her talent and her presence.

She was on for a little over an hour, which just went by way too quickly playing most of the songs from her eponymous debut album and some from her upcoming album. The venue at Surfer, The Bar at the Turtle Bay Resort was a great intimate setting for hearing her voice live and her playing her red guitar.

After the show, she took the time to meet and greet everyone who stood in line to get her autograph. I was floored by how down to earth she was…

Cheers to a great night!

23. April 2012 by terri
Categories: in hawaii, tunes |

Hapalua Half Marathon Recap – 13.1 Miles again?

Yesterday, I had the pleasure (and now pain) of taking part in the Inaugural Hapalua Half Marathon. This event was amazing and I greatly appreciated all the work done by the organizers and volunteers in making this happen.

For my performance, I had very low expectations that morning. When I woke up at 4am that morning, I was just glad to be on my way to do it as the weather had cleared up after a whole week of stormy ugliness and I had only recently recovered from an unexpected medical setback just a week earlier. What really motivated me to get out of bed and do the half marathon was the fact that this was the inaugural year for this event and I didn’t want to miss the chance of doing this route. For me, road races are worth the price of admission because you get to run on the road, and to be able to run through Waikiki and on Ala Moana Blvd, which I had never done before in previous road races, was an ultimate treat.

Hapalua Half Marathon Starting Line

The race started at 6:00am at the Duke Kahanamoku Statue on Kalakaua Avenue. I was lucky to have Hunny drive me to Waikiki so that I didn’t have to stress over parking (though they did offer a shuttle service from Kapiolani Community College about a mile away.) It was exciting to see all of Kalakaua shut down for this event (though I felt bad for the hotel occupants nearby. All this commotion going on and the sun wasn’t even up!) It was also exciting to see the turnout of people as well. You see people who are very seasoned runners, and among them, you also see people who are just there to have fun and participate. It’s a great mix to have at this kind of event.

Hapalua Half Marathon Start Line

After the 12 Elite Women had their 18 minute head start and the 12 Elite Men Runners had their 9 minute head start, the rest of us (including 2 Honolulu Marathon champions from Kenya) set off from the start line. I set the timer on my watch as I crossed the start line and then started my Nike+. A song started to play from my playlist, and while it’s always random, the song turned out to be very befitting. It was “Runnin’ Down a Dream” by Tom Petty, and with the percussion beating through me and the energy around me, I was propelled to go.

“I felt so good, like anything was possible…” as the song goes. I was running with the pack for the first 2 miles or so, definitely tuning my pace to several people at different times in the crowd. With all this energy in me and around me and having gone beyond my low expectations of showing up, I now wanted to go for a PR…

This was my second half marathon; my first was just last May when I completed the Hibiscus Half Marathon in 2 hours 51 minutes. I remember being motivated by the mere idea of just finishing it within the allotted time. Having reached that milestone, I felt that I had to take this opportunity to reach another one.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Right before I hit mile three, my stomach started to hurt. Though I had clearance from my doctor days before, I myself should have known this was going to happen. Now, barely a fourth of the way into the race, I wondered if I could even finish as this sharp pain lingered in my tummy.

Walk it off… Shake it off, I told myself. I took solace in the fact that the pain didn’t have me keeling to my knees and that I could continue to walk, but I was so disappointed to feel my pace slip further and further away. I kept walking and walking and I realized if I have the endurance to walk, I can gather the endurance to jog. An amazing thing happened then; the pain started to go away as I jogged more and more.

Soon enough, the pain in my stomach was completely gone, perhaps suppressed entirely by my will but now no longer an issue as I proceeded through the race. I was able to go through miles 4 and 5 by jogging with the occasional walk to catch my breath. I appreciated the frequency of hydration stations, and was grateful that I didn’t need a bathroom break which didn’t present itself until mile 4 or so.

By mile 7 as we were headed back to Waikiki thru Ala Moana, the initial pack I was in was long gone, and while I can blame part of that on my stomachache that last for a good mile, it came down to downright fatigue; I couldn’t keep up with them and that was expected. However, I was still on pace to reach a PR time even as I kept walking more and more throughout my “run.”

Hapalua Half Marathon, Diamond Head Bound of Kalakaua Avenue

When I approached Kapiolani Park from Waikiki, I saw the finish line and then I looked at Diamond Head that loomed above it. Knowing that I had to go around it with another 4 miles to go, it made the view of the finish line seem like a big tease, but then of course, I am always one to peek in the back of a book, or read the ending to a movie before watching it; visualizing the end should make the journey easier, right?

But then came Monsarrat Ave, something I enjoy jogging on a regular basis. The reason that I enjoy jogging this is because I’m usually going down it and today, I had to climb up it. Driving on Monsarrat toward Kahala doesn’t feel like any kind of climb, but when you’re on foot and going against the wind, it indeed felt like a climb. More and more of my pace was lost, and the finish line felt further away. (I even managed a live update via Twitter with nothing else to do but walk up against the wind.)

Knowing that we were going up Monsarrat, I anticipated going down Diamond Head Road heading back to Kapiolani Park, tailwind and all, but by then, fatigue was REALLY starting to set in. I had fits of jogging, but I couldn’t sustain for long. Fatigue had indeed set in, but looking back, that was far better than the uncertainty that the stomachache had given me.

Any jogging I did do beyond Monsarrat at around mile 9 or 10 was to motivate me to just get to the finish line faster. For most of the race, I had strived to shave more than a few minutes off of my last Half Marathon time, but at this point, I was hoping to at least match it within a few minutes. As I approached mile marker 12, I looked at my watch to find that there was no way I was going to reach a PR time. And though that was disappointing, I delighted in the fact that I was going to reach that finish line and under 3 hours.

That last stretch is always the longest… going from tip of Kapiolani Park to the finish line. I’d experienced it two times before with two other road races I had done, so I expected not to see the finish line right away. It was still frustrating, though. Despite the fatigue I was battling, I pushed my legs to run in that direction, just to catch sight of that finish line.

As with various places throughout the route, there were people on the sidelines cheering us on near the finish line. That’s another thing I love about road races: complete strangers cheering you on with a look of awe for your accomplishment. If someone offers to give a high five, I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame with my own hi-five, sweaty hand and all. Among those cheering us on near the finish line, there was Hunny, with camera in hand and a smile on his face. I was happy to see him!

Off I go!

To the finish!

I stomped my foot onto that finishing mat and was immediately rewarded with a medal. My watch said I finished it in 2h 54m, which was about 3 minutes longer than my Hibiscus Half Marathon finish. A little piece of me was disappointed, sure, but I had to remind myself that this was my SECOND half marathon and that I did it. To be under 3 hours was respectable enough…right?

All this for a medal

Perhaps the most disappointing thing is that “official” finish time was the clock time and not the chip time. So while my watch said I did it in 2h 54m, my finisher time is 2h 55m 41s, meaning the minute+ it took for me to get to the start line was part of that finish time. It’s my hope that they’ll retract that. I take some solace in the fact that I screen shotted the preliminary results…

Finish Time!

Knowing that I could have done better is going to be what fuels me to do this again next year and with better preparation. For as long as my two legs (and other body parts) will let me, I hope to do this every year. This first Hapalua Half Marathon was very well organized with police support, water stations, and the amenities that awaited us at the park (there was shave ice and malasadas in addition to the banana that I partook in.) I have a few criticisms such as not staggering us by pace, not having bathrooms until after 4 miles (which thankfully didn’t impact me), and not listing our chip time instead of gun time. For a first time event, they did a GREAT job. I can definitely see this as the start of a great tradition in Hawaii.

My legs are hurting, but I am loving it. My next race is another half marathon in May… I hope I’ll be ready!

(Update: The finisher’s time was indeed amended to reflect chip time – 2h54m29s. It’s just a little over a minute, but it makes a BIG difference to me! – 03/13/2012)

12. March 2012 by terri
Categories: run |

Managing the To-Dones for 2012

Managing the To-Dones for 2012 by terriwilling
Managing the To-Dones for 2012, a photo by terriwilling on Flickr.

With the latter part of my 2011 being a bust, I am welcoming 2012 with open arms and with the resolve that I’m going to look back on 2012 and say that it was an awesome year.

I first had written a “to do” list: a set of New Year’s resolutions, if you will. Then I realized, this probably won’t get me where I need to be. Though a to do list can be a good productivity tool, especially in the workplace, I find having empty checkboxes to fill doesn’t really motivate me to do the tasks noted next to them. And when I see the empty checkboxes that result from my inability to meet the expectations that I have set, it gives me this sense of failure, and I am further de-motivated.

What does motivate me is seeing in retrospect things that I have done or have observed. It gives me the feeling of “Wow, I can do this…because I had been doing it before.” I have known this for some time as I have been actively tweeting for the sake of keeping an archive of all of it.

So instead of doing this only in tweets (which are open to the whole wide world), I’ve decided to formulate a way to have a way of noting all the things I do, keeping in mind my endearment for writing things out as well as using databases and technology.

In the shot:
-My MacBook Air showing Bento 4
-My 2012 Weekly Moleskine for me to recollect my feelings of the day
-TWO 2012 Daily Moleskine Diaries: one to note mundane details about my day, another for a 365 Gratitude project I’m starting
-My iPhone 4S with various apps, including Bento, My Fitness Pal, and ScatterBrain

As I utilize and tweak my “system” further, I’ll get to the decision on posting more details about how I have everything working together. Doing this visual for now, which was posted at a low resolution (and looks downright awful.)

Oh, and yes, I do keep a “To Do” List: a disposable post-it note in my Moleskine.

02. January 2012 by terri
Categories: bunbougu, digital life, moleskine, watashi |

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