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004 :: February 25, 2020

Zero to Half Marathon


Happy Tuesday —

One of my goals for 2020 is to run a half marathon, and while cycling continues to be my primary love, my aversion-turned-affinity for running has grown. Riding a bike is easy for me, but running has felt hard my whole life, and I never understood why. The Heart of a Swimmer vs. the Heart of a Runner talks about how training in different sports actually changes the shape and operation of the heart. It makes sense, the more you specialize your training, the more your body adapts to that training. Last year I ran my first 10K as well as the Bay to Breakers, and I learned training to run pushes a much higher degree of fitness than I was getting with my bike.

To illustrate, take a look at my fitness based on the Strava data I’ve built up for nearly four years. training data view from Strava

You can see the level of fitness from my first Zero to 50 Mile Gran Fondo in 6 Weeks experiment in 2016 to the 550 mile SF to LA ride and my stint as a triathlete, versus any of the run-focused training. I felt like a beast on the AIDS/Lifecycle ride, climbing 3,000 to 5,000 feet a day for a week on a single-speed bike, but this running thing is a lot of work!

One thing to come out of the survey from my last newsletter is people are interested in following along with experiments and training, as they happen. So, check out this Notion page compiling my “Zero to Half Marathon” training, including what I’m tracking besides just exercise (hint: sleep, meditation, and nutrition are as vital as getting after it).


What I’ve been listening to

The state and intersection of technology, privacy, data ownership, and policy is something I spend a lot of time thinking about. It is easy to think we are just playing out every post-apocalyptic prologue, but if we are going to remain a hopeful dystopia, staying informed and working together is what is going to keep us all going. I have three podcasts for you in this vein, and while they don’t seem connected on first blush, I think they represent roadsigns, pointing the way off the road to the apocalypse.

Adversarial Interoperability (Part 1) (48m), a conversation with Cory Doctorow on the Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons podcast talking about what happens when we aren’t in charge of our technology and how Soros’ speakers require an internet connection to function. This is a big deal, smart speakers and TVs are selling your data to streaming services (Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, et al) and logging into them on your behalf in exchange for cheap hardware and “seamless” operation.

Next up is a very long conversation (136m) between a successful angel investor, Jason Calacanis, and David Heinemeir Hansson, the founder of the collaboration software company, Basecamp on the state of capitalism in America, education & healthcare, the exploitation of Americans by big-tech, and more. I appreciated the discussion on how we make things better between two folks who don’t necessarily agree, and I wish Andrew Yang was a third voice, as someone who has pushed for many of the reforms discussed, including Universal Basic Income.

To wrap up this particular thread, take a listen to Kara Swisher and David Eggers (57m) about what he’s learned from interviewing Trump supporters, and his latest novel, The Captain and the Glory, a satirical novel about the Trump era.

If the above isn’t your bag, check out a heartful and amazing story about how Sarah McLachlan saved Darryl McDaniels (“DMC” of RunDMC) life. A conversation with the one and only Rick Rubin.


What I’m watching

star trek license plate

I’ve been enjoying the new Picard, written and produced by Michael Chabon, who wrote a touching essay about creating the show as his father was dying.

The latest episode of Picard highlights just how different Star Trek is in the 21st century. The Federation utopia is largely gone and what’s left looks more like a hopeful dystopia filled with deeply flawed and incredibly well-written characters.


In case this email feels a little heavy, here are a couple of things to lighten the mood.

This coffee is saving a rainforest, educating girls and empowering a community. Read More.

And lest I take my half-marathon too seriously, You’re Training for a Half-Marathon? Cool, I’m Doing Kegels

That’s it for now! ‘Til Tuesday,

  • Joshua

p.s. If you haven’t filled out my survey, please take a minute as I am learning how to shape what I share with you.