2019. Year in review.

2019. Year in review.

I wrote a year in review post for 2017. Apparently I did not write one for 2018.

I didn't write as many blog posts in 2019 as I would have liked and those that I did write weren't exactly exciting. I'd like to remedy that in 2020.

Personal

Started seeing my good friend Oli in a professional capacity for 'life coaching'. He is a great guy, and knows what he is doing. There is a taboo surrounding talking and getting help. You can be the most awesome/successful person on the planet (on the basis of whatever arbitrary system one chooses to use) and still find benefit from talking to someone. Therapists, life coaches, friends, family.. talk to people. It works wonders.

If you want to talk to me.. get in touch.

"Help"

Towards the end of the year I met an amazing girl. We have been on some awesome adventures and will hopefully go on many more.

Alex is awesome

One of the side effects of Alex being a super accomplished chef/baker is that I am also now a:

MASTER BAKER !

I thought my life was on point - I was moving in the right direction and had achieved most of what 18 year old me had dreamt of achieving in the decade that followed. The problem was that I didn't (don't) have enough life experience to appreciate/understand the opportunities/experiences/people/places that the world has to offer. 2019 opened me up more.

In 2019 we lost Quinta. Boo  :(

Quinta

But gained a Jet.

Jet

Running

Running is something I do a lot of. At the start of the year I trained for the London Marathon, and then the Comrades ultramarathon. In the process I ran one other race, the Village Bakery Half.

Comrades 2019

I got a PB in the half and was happy with that. London wasn't a PB but it was an 'I am absolutely stoked with that' performance. Comrades did not go to plan but probably wouldn't have gone to plan even if training and pre race prep had gone perfectly.

What I did gain from the whole series of races was some high quality introspection on my mental approach to running. Comrades ate a part of my soul that I still have not gotten back. I took 3/4 months off from running after Comrades and have only gotten back into it in a 'run for enjoyment regardless of pace' capacity.

I have signed up for a lot of races in 2020 and whilst I have ideas of times I would like to achieve I currently can't really be bothered to train (and I'm totally OK with that) so am not holding myself to any targets. #bekindtoyourself

I joined Chorlton Runners so that I can spend more time doing sociable enjoyable running. They are a friendly bunch. In 2020 I'd like to do more coaching and pacing.

I also ran the Great North Run with George in September. His first ever half marathon. He did great.

So I bought him pizza and got him drunk

Food

I ate lots of food over 2020. Restaurants and cakes. Food is one of my favourite things.

I managed to finally resolve all my issues with my attitude to food. The resolution was quite simple - I just eat what the hell I want, live a generally healthy lifestyle, don't weigh myself, and just generally don't consider food a 'thing'.

Food is nice. Eat it. Don't eat too much.

In 2020 I would like to eat more food.

Bakewell Pudding

Work

My work situation has always been 'different'. In a corporate capacity I have spent more of my time building out projects that mix business and personal interests (like Running.org). The aim being to execute on the 'do what you love' mantra. At this point its not affording me a garage of fancy cars but it is fulfilling as far as personal satisfaction goes.

In February I went to Monaco to meet with a potential investor/business partner. It was great but the opportunity didn't fit in with my approach to work/my requirements for total control/autonomy.

Nice, France

The market for domain names has somewhat dried up and the closing up of the WHOIS database has resulted in a significantly reduced number of enquiries to purchase domain names from my company. We have acquired domains during the year (including Running.org).

Stock Market

In my 2017 post I wrote about how I was going to invest in the stock market. I invested in a diverse range of index tracking funds with a tilt towards emerging markets.

Of course that has not been the optimal asset allocation given the continued explosion of US stock markets over the past 2 years but the intention was to have a well diversified future proof portfolio and I think the portfolio still fulfils its original intention.

If you like numbers over the past year the portfolio has returned 10.23% (12.69% including dividends), and the current allocation is:

VHYL - 36.40%

VEUR - 14.59%

VFEM - 22.77%

VIGBBD - 26.24%

So to answer your question Mum - No, I have not gone broke.

This is not investment advice.

So..

Relative to a number of the years of the past decade 2019 was fairly tame for me. No insane travelling adventures. I did complete some awesome running goals and the year was generally a mega success.

Using a weight loss metaphor. You're fat, you lose weight, then you need to make sure you don't put it back on. I consider 2019 the year I didn't put it all back on. I didn't fuck up everything I had achieved over previous years.

I'm fairly set here in Manchester. I plan on buying a house and continuing my adventures in adulting.

I'd like to go on some holidays this year. 1/2 week breaks rather than month long adventures. I'd like to relive some best bits: Vancouver, New York, Budapest, and Las Vegas have popped into my head.

That's it really. Onwards and upwards to 2020.


Thomas Clowes

Thomas Clowes

I am a 29 year old software engineer from the United Kingdom. During the day I build multi platform applications. In my spare time I eat food and run marathons. Sometimes I write angry tweets.