As we approach December, the days are getting shorter and wetter. This was a particularly short week as I've started taking time off until the end of the year. It's crept up quickly - all the plans of doing travel this year have been quashed by the reality of pricing. So instead I'm trying to write a bit more, make music and go for slightly longer runs. Chasing those endorphins, literally.
When you join a team with (avg.) 7+ years of systems and history, Git Bisect takes on a whole new use in discovering historic design decisions. This week I used it to learn about cache-strategy implementation. Seriously powerful, but I wish there were friendlier ways of using it.
Friday marked Engine Room, the FT's internal conference. Many of the talks were really fantastic and it's probably unfair to call any out because they were all rather good - but particular standouts included guest speakers from Nikkei, Kara playing a modular set and Lee baking the best babka you've had in years.
In the pouring Kensington rain, on Wednesday we went to dinner at Samad Al Iraqi. The portions were huge and the Lamb Quzi was divine, but the real star of the show was the meal we didn't eat: Masgouf. Fresh fish sliced, smoked and cooked over an open fire for two hours. It smelled incredible. The flames were hypnotic. We watched two men order it and slowly drink tea as they waited, only to then have it boxed up as takeaway over an hour later: That's dedication.
The second chapter of ZOE is now over and I've removed the continuous glucose monitor. Going over the structured meals and experiments I've learned lots that challenged my preconceptions about how food works. One of the most interesting is that sequencing food makes carbohydrates more effective as fuel and more efficient as a source of calories, by slowing digestion and flattening the blood sugar response.
Yesterday I finished the Science of Running which includes advice on nutrition, on how and when to train and even on how the most common injuries occur. I'm now focusing on my running gait and considering coaching to improve it, and on ensuring my glycogen stores are properly topped up which has caught me out. It's a great reference and I'll be going back to it for the years to come.
For the past few weeks I've been focussing on sleep: Improving its efficiency & quality, waking earlier and paying back sleep debt. The single most effective yet most difficult change is sleeping at the time when I'm producing the most melatonin, which I've learned for most of us is earlier than we expect. I'm finding that I'm more energetic, consistently alert and need far less caffeine.