Monday, March 15, 2010

The Unemployment Chronicles: Week 12

In the world of income searching: I had a big week applying for jobs. I think I applied for 23, about 21 of those in California or Washington. The reason being a recommendation from an engineer in the local aerospace industry to check out farther west. Also because I would like to see my track season out while living at altitude and jobs that I apply for now I probably won't get until May. More jobs are becoming available as the next year graduates so there are more opportunities every week. But who knows where I'll be or what I'll be doing in a month or three months?

I am continually learning about what I want to get out of life and I developed that again this week in relation to having a job. I decided that the main reason I am paranoid about being unemployed is that I have debt. If I was simply broke without debt I would be much less stressed. Along those same lines my running and mountaineering may never pay for themselves on their own. However! as I learned with my coaching perhaps there are other avenues to create income from my adventures. Documentaries about expeditions, books about training or expeditions, lectures about that stuff, coaching, and other ways that I can provide information may prove to create income for me. That is to say I'm not going to put up a new 5.13 free route at 7000 meters on Masherbrum anytime soon and get sponsors, but then again Jon Krakuarer did very well writing a book about jugging up Everest.

In the world of Janzen Gear, contractors have taken their time to actually give me a number. All I want is a number, a price for what it would take for them to produce my ice axe. I was also turned down for one of the business competitions I applied for. I've been rejected in so many ways in the recent past that one more rejections doesn't really bug me. I am sure that the course of my professional life will be very satisfying.

In the world of my documentary I met with an experienced sponsored alpinist friend of mine and he gave me lots of good advice about what to include and how to make it short. I've been reinvigorated to make it profitable. I have cut it down to 100 minutes. The goal is less than 56 minutes, perhaps even less than 30. I know that is short but I want to hold peoples attention. As much as die hard unexperienced people or people who were there would easily watch two hours (my parents watched all eight hours with me!) I think that many people would rather less than an hour.

In the world of coaching, my only athlete was sick with pneumonia the last two weeks in the hospital. Fortunately he is better now, but needless to say I haven't been coaching. I did read a book on coaching by Renato Canova and started the Joe Vigil book. Strangely enough for a long time I have wanted to coach high school runners. Well every once in awhile the last half year or so I've considered making it more of a career. Full time running coaches are actually kind of rare. There are probably only several hundred in the US. Most are at universities coaching a college team. Only a handful make a living coaching professional athletes. I can't even think of ten coaches in the US that coach exclusively professional runners. Anyway I don't see that happening anytime soon with my mediocre personal records but perhaps some day I will have the opportunity to be there face to face with my athletes every day.

I have read about creating multiple streams of income as a way to stabilize my "portfolio" or income and I like the idea. I just have more work to do before I actually have multiple streams of income. For example: sell my documentary, license a patent, coach, and write books (or blog) all at the same time. No one would provide an entire income but together it could be enough. I am trying hard not to limit myself to one particular area of work. I have a broad set of skills from writing to sharpening cross cut saws to finite element heat treating simulations.

In the world of non-income: I ran 102 miles this week. It was perhaps one of the best weeks of running I have ever had. Not super high mileage but solid. I also had a good long run and three workouts. The first two were nothing terribly special but the last workout on Friday was just amazing. I did 20x400 meters at 10k pace and 400 meters recovery. The total of 8k of quality work was 25:16 which is nearly a minute faster than my pr (personal record). It was also done alone on an asphalt track at 5900 feet. I figure with an altitude conversion of 2 seconds per lap that puts me below 31 flat 10k pace, which is the goal. I know there was a lot of rest and some could easily argue that this is really a 5k specific workout and not 10k, but I am happy. I would like to do a few workouts of equal or slightly harder effort in the next few weeks but overall I am pleased that I am on the right track. It looks like I will be racing the 10,000 at the Kansas Relays at KU in Lawrence Kansas April 15th. I am still looking for a second track 10k this season at least nine days before or after the race in Kansas. If anyone knows of anything relatively close to Denver and close to sea level please let me know.

I bought some new clothes including a pair of jeans. After trying on several pairs it seems that I am an even 28x28 person. Unfortunately many companies don't make anything smaller than 30x30. Also, what's up with holes in jeans? I seem to tear enough holes in my pants from riding my bicycle, going over barb wire fences, crawling around on the ground, and using saws. I mean seriously, pants that come with holes in them? If I want people to see my legs I'll wear running shorts.

This is also extremely tentative but I might be able to go to Mt. Everest in 2012 and perhaps Aconcagua in early 2011. There are so many details that I need to figure out before it is confirmed. There is also the approval of a number of other people that I need before I go. I also have to figure out how to fund it all. Fortunately those are all details that I think will work out.

Honestly, I had a good week. Life takes ups and downs and this week I had more ups than downs. I hope that you had a good week as well.

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