2016 Goals and Expectations

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2016 is going to be all about getting back to basics, and being the best Kyle that I can be. Top of the list will of course be the best father as possible, and every choice in which I make must factor my son and how it will impact him into it. That being said, this list is what I am aiming to do in 2016 to better myself and my community.

It's all about this guy now

It’s all about this guy now

  1. Embrace my spirituality. I have gotten so far away from this over the past few years that I am not sure where to even begin, but I am going to give it my best shot.
  2. Read for a minimum of 1 hour everyday. This does not mean playing on Facebook and Twitter for an hour, but reading actual books, magazine articles, and items of significance to expand my knowledge.
  3.  Be active for at least 30 minutes everyday. To say that I have gotten lazy would be a drastic understatement. Yes, I have had quite a bit going on, but I need to a handle on it. I do not want to return to the 300+ club again.

    I do not want to return to this form again

    I do not want to return to this form again

  4. Eat better. This goes hand and hand with my weight and laziness, but I need to do a better job of saying no to fast food and junk. I should completely abstain from these items, but I am going to allow an occasional (not daily) Chik-Fil-A trip or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup without brandishing too much guilt.
  5. Run locally. I have complained about the lack of races here in Memphis, but in 2016, there appears to be several new options for the 13.1 distance and beyond, so I am going to so my part and participate (I’ve already added the Mainly Marathons and Race 13.1 events in April, and I will be registering for the Great American River Run in May as well).
  6. Run more often. 1,000 miles is the goal for 2016. Getting and staying trained for my race calendar is lumped into this goal as well.

    Log 1,000 miles

    Log 1,000 miles

  7. PR at least 1 race. I do not care the distance, but I want to best my time for at least 1 distance in which I have previously run (no loopholes here) in 2016.
  8. Get more involved in my community. I work for a nonprofit and I do the Heroes thing for St. Jude, but I am currently looking to do more, and one area that I am actively pursuing is joining the board of directors for a nonprofit. I have applied to one board, but since doing so I have discovered more about the organization and decided that it is not an appropriate fit for me.
  9. Go to Opening Day 2016. A tradition I want to do with my son is to attend Opening Day for the Atlanta Braves with him every year. I have already purchased our tickets, and we will be there 3 months today to cheer the Braves on against the Washington Nationals!The Chop

So there you have it, my short, but lofty goal list for 2016 to be a better me. This list is very attainable, and unless some unforeseen circumstances arise, I should be able to check each one of these off by December.

Happy Festivus!

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It only comes once a year, so take your aluminum pole out of the crawl space, stretch for the Feats of Strength, and think about all of the ways people have disappointed you this year for the Airing of Grievances because it is a Festivus for the rest of us once again! And please do not rain down blows upon another patron a the store over a doll for your son.

The Baby’s Gender Is….

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A few weeks ago I shared with all of my wonderful readers the exciting news that Susan and I will be having a baby! Since that time, things have progressed normally and both the baby and mother are doing as expected. Two weeks ago, we finally had the opportunity to discover the gender of our baby at a July 4th/Election themed gender reveal party with our family and friends. And when I say we found out with our family and friends, that is exactly what I mean, Susan and I did not know until everyone else did! It was very exciting, and I am proud to announce that Susan and I will be having a baby boy! Now back to you normally scheduled day of running and battling the heat!

Belated, But Happy Post

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I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago, but as my post frequency reflects, I have gotten a little bit lazy about posting (I will get better, probably) on a regular basis. But, Mother’s Day this year was quite eventful for Susan and I. It was my official graduation (for the second time) from the University of Memphis, and it allowed us to take and share our favorite picture of the year!

Not as elaborate as we had planned, but it seemed like the right way to announce.

Not as elaborate as we had planned, but it seemed like the right way to announce.

This has been a long and trying process (more on this later) that is still far from over, but we are excited to tackle this journey together.

Last First Day of School

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Last night marks what should be the last first day of school for me. Probably. Provided that I decide that I do not care to have Dr. before my name. But as of right now, this looks like it will be my last semester as a student, and it is bittersweet.

Picture Susan did from my first day of grad school. We are dorks.

Picture Susan did from my first day of grad school. We are dorks.

On one hand, it is great to be finishing up my Master’s degree, and potentially opening up new vocational opportunities for myself, which will lead to new opportunities for Susan and I as we grow our family. But on the other hand, I have always enjoyed school. I am not sure where to the enjoyment originated, but as long as I can remember, I enjoyed going to school. Now snow days and summer break were great, but going to school excited me. I enjoyed buying new school supplies, tackling new subjects, and in the later years, meeting new classmates.

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When I graduated from college in 2006, I thought that my formal education journey had ended. Originally I was geared towards continuing my education in law school, but I decided that I had been in school long enough, and becoming an attorney was not the right career path for myself. I enjoyed earning a steady paycheck and having a career. I enjoyed finally being able to prove to my parents that I was truly an adult, capable of taking care of myself. And then, as the years wore on, I got the itch to further my education.

Maybe it was the feeling of being trapped in my current job. Maybe it was Susan earning her Master’s, but the itch continued to grow until I decided to take the plunge. In fact, this blog started about the time I started the process of re-enrolling in school, and helped knock of some of the rust associated with a seven-year hiatus from school.

After earning my Bachelor’s Degree, I left college with $0 in student loan debt. I cannot say the same about graduate school, yet, I am still optimistic that this new degree will enhance my employment opportunities. My worrisome nature will dwell on this new debt, but gaining the flexibility and knowledge needed to advance my career will continually win this internal conflict.

I am looking forward to what this final semester shall present for me, and how this experience will further shape me as a person. And if I get the itch to come back to school for a third time, I suppose that I can always go to the store and stock up on some new school supplies…

2014 Year in Running Review

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2014 proves to be a very busy year in my running journey. I was able to maintain my minimum of one race per month for the entire year, which pushes my monthly race streak to 26 months and counting, with races scheduled for the first 4 months of 2015 as well. I eclipsed 1,000 miles (actually 1,001.69 miles) for the first time in my life, and racked up quite a bit of race swag. I completed my first ever (maybe last, maybe not) marathon to launch the year, and double the amount of my lifetime half marathon races this year alone. I established and broke a PR in 7 races this year, and managed to finish in the top 3 in my age group at 3 different races. I also completed the Coast to Coast Challenge by Disney and my first Spartan Race.

2014 in race shirts

2014 in race shirts

2014 Stats: 1,001.69 Miles, 1 Marathon, 10 Half Marathons, 1 Nautical 10 Miler, 2 10 Milers, 3 10K’s, 2 5 Milers, 1 6K, 10 5K’s, 1 Spartan Race, 7 PR’s, 3 AG Finishes

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

January: 97.22 Miles – 1 race, 1 PR, the WDW Marathon, which was my first ever marathon, which meant automatic PR!

High fiving Mickey at the finish line - this is such a great feeling

High fiving Mickey at the finish line – this is such a great feeling

February: 59.20 Miles – 1 race, the Special Ops Spartan Sprint in Tampa, FL.

Both of the Spartan Race medals

Both of the Spartan Race medals

March: 69.15 Miles – 3 races, Germantown Half Marathon, Race for Recovery and the Glo Run 5K’s.

Very nice looking medal

Very nice looking medal

April: 76.75 Miles – 3 half marathons, Oak Barrel 13.1, Doc Rock Hal, and Country Music Half Marathon.

My awesome race medal!

My awesome race medal!

This medal is good, can't compete with Germantown or Oak Barrel

This medal is good, can’t compete with Germantown or Oak Barrel

Country Music Half Marathon Finisher's Medal

Country Music Half Marathon Finisher’s Medal

May: 89.52 Miles – 2 races, 1 PR, 1 Age Group Top 3 Finish, Running of the Rams 5K (PR, 3rd in my AG) and the West Tennessee Warrior Half Marathon.

3rd Place Male 30-34 Medal!

3rd Place Male 30-34 Medal!

West Tennessee Warrior Run Medal

West Tennessee Warrior Run Medal

June: 66.75 Miles – 1 race, 1 PR, the Navy Ten Nautical Miler, which was another PR by virtue of a new distance!

10NMMedal
July: 86.08 Miles – 2 races, both of the MRTC Road Race Series 5K’s, I also joined the USMC Fitness Boot Camp for cross training and fitness purposes.

USMC Fitness Boot Camp
August: 98.71 Miles – 7 races, 1 PR, both 5 Milers in the MRTC RRS (PR set via new distance), Elvis Presley 5K, Breakaway Bardog 5K, Hit and Run 5K, Disneyland 10K, Disneyland Half Marathon, thus completing the Coast to Coast and Dumbo Challenges!

Elvis Presley 5K Finisher's Medal

Elvis Presley 5K Finisher’s Medal

Disneyland 10K Medal

Disneyland 10K Medal

Disneyland Half Marathon Medal

Disneyland Half Marathon Medal

Dumbo Double Dare Medal

Dumbo Double Dare Medal

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

2014 Coast to Coast Medal

September: 54.73 Miles – 2 races, both the 10K’s for the MRTC RRS.
October: 104.44 Miles – 3 races, 1 PR, both the 10 Milers for the MRTC RRS (New distance = new PR), and the Greenline Half Marathon.

Finisher's medal for the 2014 Greenline Half Marathon

Finisher’s medal for the 2014 Greenline Half Marathon

November: 97.03 Miles – 4 races, 2 PR’s, 1 AG Finish, 1 Road Warrior Status, both Half Marathons in the MRTC RRS (thus achieving Road Warrior Status, True Blue 5K (another PR at this course), and Heroes in Recovery 6K (PR and 2nd in my AG).

AG Award and Medal

AG Award and Medal

December: 102.11 Miles – 2 races, 1 AG Finish, St. Jude Half Marathon, Run Run Rudolph 5K (3rd in my AG).

Far and away the best medal that the event has ever offered.

Far and away the best medal that the event has ever offered.

3rd Place AG Award

3rd Place AG Award

It was a very productive, and healthy 2014 for me, and I hope to be able to build upon it in 2015. All race recaps have been linked on my 2014 Page if you want to find out anything further about these events and my experiences.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year’s celebration!

 

Closing in on 1,000 Miles

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One of my goals for 2014 was to reach 1,000 miles running for the year. That would equate to 83.33 miles per month. Through the first nine months of 2014, I only eclipsed that mark four times. Not exactly a strong attempt to making my goal. I have had some issues with the heat, sinus infections, apathy, and foot pain.  But these are just excuses, but it has left me where I am today.

Log 1,000 miles in 2014

Log 1,000 miles in 2014

Through the end of September, I had logged 698.11 miles, which left me 301.89 miles short of my goal.  The remaining miles means that I need to run 100.63 miles per month through the rest of the year to hit 1,000. This is a daunting task, for sure, especially without a full marathon training regiment.  It is, however, not even close to an impossible task.

How-I-Met-Your-Mother-Challenge-Accepted

I feel like I am up for the challenge.  I have four half marathons, two ten-mile races, and two 5K’s to finish the year.  My race schedule for the final three months has a total of 78.6 miles, so deducting this distance from my total needed, and I am looking at a shortage of 223.29 miles.  Spread that throughout the rest of the year, and it seems much more manageable.  Already for October, I am at 49.93 miles with a run pending for this evening. If the weather, and my body cooperate, I have a real shot at meeting and even surpassing this goal.

Health Update

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Last Thursday I completed my physical as mandated by my new health insurance.  This is going to be a yearly occurrence for me going forward, which is not a bad thing.  Back in high school football, physical meant something else, but we will not delve into that on here.  Last May, my employer was having health screenings at the office, so I was able to get accurate counts for the majority of my health statistics.  I will be using those numbers for comparative purposes today.

The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

  • Total Cholesterol: May 2013 score was 125. September 2014  score is 149. The desirable and lowest listed range is 125-199.  An increase, but not too big of one.
  • HDL Cholesterol: This is the “good” cholesterol and your want a higher number.  May 2013 score: 41, September 2014 score: 57.  This is in the decreased risk factor interval.  This score shows improvement from my last testing, so I have that going for me.
  • Triglycerides: May 2013 score was 100.  September 2014 score was 57. Optimal is anything under 150, so I’m golden, and much improved over last testing.
  • LDL Cholesterol: May 2013 score was 64.  September 2014 score was 81.  Optimal is 55-99, and I am creeping to the top of that, so I will watch it a bit closer.
  • Non-HDL Cholesterol: May 2013 score was 84.  September 2014 score is 149.  Optimal is anything less than 130, so I have some work to do here.  I am still in the safe range, but I want/need to get back to the optimal range.
  • Total Cholesterol to HDL Cholesterol Ratio: May 2013 ratio was 3.1.  September 2014 ratio was 2.6.  Optimal is less than or equal to 3.5.
  • Glucose: May 2013 score was 100.  This is 1 point higher than optimal, but upon reading the literature, the 65-99 scale they used was for fasting glucose (only water for 8 hours prior to screening) and since I had just eaten, my target range was 70-119, which I was comfortably within.  September 2014 score was 86.  I did fast prior to this test, so it looks good to me.
  • Blood Pressure: May 2013 score was 124/84, and September 2014 score was 129/86 which are both just over the targeted levels. The doctor did not seem too alarmed about this yet.
  • BMI:  May 2013 score was 36.  September 2014 score was 35.5.  This places me firmly in the obese range.  I’m working on that.  You can read an alternative take on BMI here.
  • Weight: May 2013 weight was 246.5 pounds.  September 2014 weight was 248 pounds.  I am obese by any metric and hopefully I will get a little more diligent about shedding some pounds.
  • Other Notes: The September physical also produced a few other results that the health screening at work did not. Most of my results were in line with where they should be with one notable exception.  I presented with a Vitamin D deficiency and advised to start taking a supplement.  This was actually a subject at boot camp a few weeks back.  I assumed I was OK in this regard and did not take any action.  I guess I was wrong.

After both screenings I was advised that I need to get more exercise.  I tried to explain about my running schedule and boot camp, but when you are 50+ pounds over your recommended weight, no one listens to you.

Wordless Wednesday: Disneyland Half Weekend Preview

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I leave for Anaheim in 9 days, and at the end of my 3 days there, I expect to experience as much goodness as the area can provide.  All of the following should be in my future:

Double Double goodness

Double Double goodness

High fiving Mickey at the finish line - this is such a great feeling

High fiving Mickey at the finish line – this is such a great feeling

Another stadium marked off my 30 MLB park tour

Another stadium marked off my 30 MLB park tour

2014 Disneyland Half Weekend Medals

2014 Disneyland Half Weekend Medals

One of these is hopefully in my future!

Disney Coast to Coast Medal

Great Race Medals

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It has been awhile since I posted, but I just came across this article about the coolest race medals of the year thus far. I have one of the medals (Disney), and at least four of the others would have been very manageable to obtain from Memphis (and I might try obtaining the Jackson, MS, and Little Rock, AR ones next year).

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

2014 WDW Marathon Medal

I will say that it seems that size matters for these medals, but the one for the ODDyssey Half Marathon is amazing and original.  They have taken the idea of a bottle opener and took it up a notch by making the medal a mountable bottle opener!  Very cool!  I do feel that the Oak Barrel Half can hosed on not being included, but it is still a solid list.

My awesome race medal!

My awesome race medal!

So anyway, you can find the entire list here.

I think that I will do my own top ten list of race medals at some point.  Maybe a top ten of the ones I have earned as well as a top ten of all that I have seen.