the personal blog of Greg Bassett, IT Security, Travels & Endurance Sports

Category: life (Page 2 of 2)

Wrapping up the year

Since I’m not going to do a lengthy Christmas letter to friends this year, this post will have to do.

Training & Racing

I had a pretty good early season this year, with equal loads of good, bad and ugly  I had two great oly races (Colonial Beach and Pittsburgh), a good showing at the Long Branch Sprint, and picked up my 1st bit of hardware at the OddMan 1-3-5.  The high point was at Pittsburgh where my friend Joe and his son got to watch me race.  While I wanted to have a really good race at IMWI, my GI tract turned against me and I ended up with a personal worst time, but learned a lot about myself in the process.

The next few years I’ll focus on running.  I’m not going to have the time for full-on IM training, so I’ll use the time to forge a runner out of this old bod.


Another year as CISO at Pharm R&D, and not a lot of real accomplishments to show.  There have been some quick wins here and there, but all told it was a year of daily routine, mixed with a healthy dose of frustration.  Given the state of the company (3% global workforce reduction) and the overall state of the economy, I think that simply surviving the year is a major accomplishment.  On the other side of my job, I was able to onboard a couple of new groups onto the Synchrony platform, and began evangelizing a new platform for fax-to-email conversion.  This new service (Graphnet) looks to be a big winner for a couple of key groups who are still stuck with inbound and outbound faxing for regulatory submissions.


After IMWI I had to immediately switch gears and begin to focus on my MBA.  To say that this was a challenge is like stating an Everest summit is a brisk uphill walk.  After a full 8 week semester

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, I’m still having a lot of problems getting into an mental state where I can focus on my school work.  While my grades have been ok, I don’t think I’m getting everything out of the experience that I could.  I KNOW I’m not putting in all the effort that I could either.  Part of that is simply the lack of mental and emotional energy due to the heavy load at work, but a big part is a constant feeling that the entire exercise isn’t worthwhile.  At 48 years old, I’m having a hard time justifying the time spent on education given my desire to get out of the daily rat-race sooner, rather than later and my lingering desire to qualify for Kona.  I know that I should shelve that goal for the next 3 years, but as my fitness wanes with limited training time, it seems to get harder to push the dream aside.  Thankfully there is a three week break over the holidays so I can recharge my mental and emotional batteries and get back to class in January with a renewed sense of purpose

What’s next?

2010 will bring one big milestone:  Fran and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary!  Ye gads that seems like a long time, but it really has flown by.  We’ve had some rough bits to be sure, but the vast, vast majority of the time we’ve been fabulously happy.  We’re trying to figure out how to celebrate the event.  On the one hand we would like to have a big catered party, but we also want to get away for a long trip together.

Beyond that it looks like another challenging year at work and a full plate of classes through August, when I’ll get a month long break.  As far as racing is concerned I’m looking at the OddMan and a 5k in March, a half-marathon in April.  Beyond that I’ll probably just race and officiate at some local favorite venues, fitting them in around the school schedule.

Out of the blues

I finally came out of my funk today. I’ve been really grumpy, depressed, short-tempered and badly focused for several weeks. Between the post-IM blues, extreme job-stress, and dealing with the added workload of the EMTM program, I was spinning in a maelstrom of distraction. The situation got so bad that I had to bail out of my last race of the year. Toss in a head-cold and I’ve not been in a happy place.

So what finally popped for me?

A little over a week ago I got an e-mail from a former co-worker reminding me that we would hook up for a photography shoot. Tony wanted to fill out his portfolio with some athletic shots, and I said I’d be happy to help, for what ever that was worth!. So we agreed to meet this morning and do the shoot.

The morning was COLD (mid 30’s when I got up) but I got packed up and headed down to Colonial Park. I took my bike and run gear and figured that I’d try to get a short run in after the shoot.

When the sun finally came out, the day was perfect. Bright sun, cool temps and the leaves are just starting to turn. Tony showed up right on time and we quickly set up and started the shoot. We did some running shots, then some biking shots. A lot of the same back-and-forth up and down the running path. It was interesting watching Tony do his thing with the camera, and the previews he showed me looked pretty cool. After the shoot we chatted about sports

, injuries, computers, careers, and some geeky IT security stuff. It was really cool to catch up after several years. I’m really looking forward to seeing the pictures.

After Tony left, I changed back into my running gear and headed out for a short run. I hadn’t run at ALL since IMWI, so I figured I’d just take it easy and go short. I left the HRM strap in the car, and just ran by feel. I came back with a nice easy 3.12 miles for 30 minutes. Nothing earth-shattering there, but the run in the sun and cool fall air was EXACTLY what I needed to drag my soul out of the pit. Between catching up with Tony, doing something new (the photo shoot), breaking a little sweat and breathing some fresh air I felt SO much better.

Nothing else has changed though. Work is still going to be really stressful for the next several weeks; school demands will continue to challenge my time-management skills, and I’ve got several must-do social commitments over the next two weekends that will consume lots of time planning and executing. I’m still not sure how I’ll get any kind of workouts done.

But the world isn’t all darkness and woe any longer. There will be more days like today. I’m certain of it.!o

Improving financial management

Now that Weazer is unemployed, we are forced into a belt-tightening mode. Not that this will be a real hardship for us, but we have both agreed to see how little we can spend. We are making it a challenge of sorts, cutting back on a lot of unnecessary spending.

Some quick hits were the housecleaner, personal training and weekly manicures. Staying away from Gary’s will be a big help too.

We are also looking at switching to Verizon FIOS service to cut back on Cablevision costs. I have to do some apples-to-apples comparison on this.

One thing we DID continue this year was the Scotts Lawn service. The yard was so much healthier this past year. We figured it was a good investment for 2007.

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