Accomplishments: July 2023

July came roaring in far more quickly than I expected it would. And that was a little overwhelming. June was not as productive as I would have liked, and July was very much on my mind. For July, I had a bunch of things I wanted to tackle, and while I was fortunate to have a few weekends with an overabundance of time to get stuff done without the kids underfoot, I still wasn’t as productive as I would have liked.


Here’s what I had intended for the month:

  • Build out a budget with YNAB.
  • Maybe, finally, get the gravel bike built-up, and rideable. This, of course, depends on the framebuilder, not on me.
  • Wrap up my Azure AZ-104 certification prep coursework and schedule the exam.
  • Get a bunch of things done for Project Insight. This isn’t a measurable goal, just a “gut feel” thing.
  • Get my replacement for the Twitter/Todoist script that I built back in April up and running.
  • Stick with the training plan I established in June.

Budget with YNAB

Spent my 4th of July weekend doing this. It wasn’t easy. But I got it done on July 4th, and Didi and I discussed it more at-length. Like any budgeting tool, there’s a learning curve, which I hacked away at over the course of the month, and I’m sure I’ll be fine-tuning it along the way, which is what you should do with any budget. I’m gonna call this one done on July 4th, and call it a win. Thank you, YNAB, for the awesome tool. Win.

Gravel Bike

By the fourth of July, the builder had it ride ready, and all it needed was the anodizing. I could barely contain myself. By the 23rd, Alex had the frame in my hands. The build went semi-smoothly other than a few parts I overlooked (and I owe a special thanks to Angry Catfish for having ridiculously deep stocks of every possible part), and the end result was gorgeous. On the 27th, I took a “mental health” day and went for a decent ride, just to get a feel for how things were set up. All in all, pretty pleased — just need some minor changes to seat position and height, and probably some different handlebars. I did hold off on cutting down the fork steerer until my final fitting, which is scheduled for next month. Win.

Azure AZ-104

Ugh. As I mentioned, this month was something of a clusterfuck, so I didn’t get as far into the AZ-104 training as I would’ve liked. I should have it wrapped before Friday the 4th of August, though, so all is not lost. Still, though, I have to call this one a fail.

Project Insight

Nope! Without formal goals, this became a clusterfuck of not really accomplishing anything. Go fucking figure. Fail.

Todoist Integration

This was another thing that fell by the wayside in July. Did a bit of work at the beginning of the month and came to the realization that it’d be far more simple to just go ahead and rebuild it from scratch, using Javascript. Fail. (But only partially, maybe?)

Training Plan

I wasn’t super-rigid with the training plan, but I did get almost all the rides in. One weekend, I skipped planned workouts in favor of unstructured rides, both of which were more intense than originally scheduled. (Saturday was a mountain bike ride with a 100 TSS instead of 90, and the Sunday was road ride with a 236 instead of a 70. Oops.) Data at TrainerRoad and Strava. (And the publish date of this post, August 1st, I have a Functional Threshold Power test on the agenda. We’ll see how the start of all this paid off.) Win.

Minor Accomplishments

  • Got started on getting my B.A. finalized — took a Friday to go down to Mankato, to visit my alma mater, and see what it would take to finalize my B.A. I should have more info in August, but in the meantime, I am registered for the one class I’d probably need to complete it, but we’ll see how this all shakes out.
  • Helped Didi get a bunch of planning/prep done for our wedding next year — mostly I helped with design oversight, worked on our website, and got a bunch of the save-the-date cards tackled.


  • Took a day trip to Cayuna with Didi to do some mountain biking, which was fucking fantastic, as always. That place is a gem. I don’t consider this a true “blocker” — it was much needed, and I love riding with her.
  • The training plan intensity might be a bit much — I’m on the bike five days a week and even after my Monday rest days, I’m still exhausted on Tuesday mornings.


I think I bit off more than I can chew for July. I think I should dial it back for August.

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