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.

Motivation Monday: Boston Edition

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As almost of you certainly know, today is the Boston Marathon. It is the world’s most famous race, and entry into the event is highly coveted. Qualifying for the event is not an easy endeavor, and earning a finisher’s medal will invoke envy from the masses. With this in mind, I thought it would be appropriate to share some motivation from 2014 Boston Champion Meb Keflezighi and the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series for today’s motivation. Enjoy.

Very true

Very true

Monday Motivation: Jeff Galloway Edition

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Galloway

I am a part of a blogger program through Jeff Galloway in which he provides some tips and insights for sharing with my readers. Today is the first one of those posts. So, without interruption, the following are a few tips on running from Mr. Galloway:

When paced correctly, running delivers the best attitude boost you can get. Sustain this by pacing yourself gently during the first mile or three.

A well-paced run enhances vitality for the rest of the day.  Start each run at least 30 seconds a mile slower than you will run at the end.

If you have a Run Walk Run strategy that is right for you on that day, it’s possible to feel good after every run-even the marathon.

Running is the best stress reliever I’ve found. Research shows that running tends to activate the conscious brain which over-rides the emotional subconscious brain and manages the negative and anxiety hormones during and after the run.

Research shows that as runners get faster, their stride length shortens.  A quicker cadence is the mechanical key to faster running.

The finishing of a run that is longer than you’ve run in the last 3 weeks can bestow a sense of achievement that is unique and empowering-due to positive brain circuits that are turned on.

You can’t run a long run too slowly or take too many walk breaks.  You’ll get the same endurance based upon the distance covered.

Of course Galloway is known for his run, walk, run programs and his association with runDisney. I have never tried his run, walk, run program, but I am considering it for a future event just to see how it goes for me.

MRTC 10 Miler #2 Recap

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Sunday was the second 10 miler in the MRTC Road Race Series an it was not my best running effort. I was going on two hours of sleep due to the Ole Miss and Tennessee game and the nightmare traffic following the game the previous night. It ended up after the race that I spent nearly as much time running as I did sleeping during that twenty-four hour period. I was very proud to finish in the upright position, injury free.

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

This was my second close call at losing Road Warrior status. It would have been so easy to turn off my alarm ans just sleep through the morning. I am happy that I fought that urge and got motivated to make the forty-five minute trek to Shelby Forrest to run the hills.

This is the timing chip for this year's event.

This is the timing chip for this year’s event.

All that stands between me and Road Warrior status are the two half marathons for the series on November 2 and November 16!

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.

Motivation Monday

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Very true

Very true

This was shared from the Route 66 Marathon Facebook page in a group I am a part of over on Facebook. I think it fits nicely with 99% of the runners out there, and certainly the vast majority of the readers of this blog as well as the author of this blog.  So next time someone asks you why you run or why you deserve a medal for finishing a half marathon in two and half hours, think about this. Have a great day!

Jim Valvano’s ESPY Speech Never Gets Old

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Today is a dark day in American sports.  Or maybe boring is a more apt adjective for the day.  You see, today is the only day of the year in which there is no game from any of the four major sports, MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL.  This happens every Wednesday following the MLB All Star Game, and ESPN, with the marketing juggernaut that they are saw an opportunity.  They decided to put their sports awards show, the ESPY’s, on this night to fill a void and grab some viewers.  The ESPY’s are an award show in the vein of the Academy Awards, and started back in 1993.  And in 1993, the ESPY’s produced their best, and probably only great moment when the magnanimous Jim Valvano gave one of the greatest speeches of all time.

Unless you are a huge NC State fan, you have probably only seen two things about Jim Valvano.  One is his NC State Wolfpack beating the top ranked and loaded with NBA talent Houston Cougars, nicknamed Phi Slama, Jama, for the National Championship in 1983.  And two was his diagnosis with metastatic adenocarcinoma leading to his ESPY speech.  I have posted a video of the entire speech, as well as the most famous excerpt from the speech.

To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.

Watching and listening to the entire speech is definitely worth your time, even if you are already familiar with it.

USMC Fitness Boot Camp Enlistment

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I have been talking about my need to do more cross-training and focus on my total fitness for a while now.  And today I finally did something about it.  I have enlisted in the USMC Fitness Boot Camp here in Memphis.  The schedule does not conflict with work or school, it is near my house, and the cost is great enough that my cheap ass will go just so I did not waste the money!  This last reason honestly worked for me when I first started to lose weight and when I started training for my first half marathon.  By paying for a training group, mentally I could force myself to go on the training runs even when I did not want to (which was often).

USMC Fitness Boot CampMy first class will be at 5:30 am tomorrow morning.  There is a class tonight, but I do not think that I will be able to make it there in time.  But maybe.  I really do not want to start making excuses this early into the process! The website said that I need to bring the following items:

  • Exercise mat
  • Water bottle
  • Dumbbells (at least 10 lbs for men)
  • Running shoes
  • “Can do” attitude

I have three of the five items already covered, so that is a start, right?  I probably should have started this during a cooler month, but oh well.  It is too late now! Bring on the sweat and pain!

WWII Veterans Honored at Airport

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I was out-of-town last week at a work conference (more on that in a later post) and on my return trip, I witnessed one of the greatest moments of my life.  I was at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport changing flights when it was announced over the PA system that a group of World War II veterans were landing at gate C7.  I luckily was in the area, so I headed over to the gate.  As it turns out, so did the rest of the passengers in C terminal, and what happened next was truly amazing.  As each vet exited the plane, they were greeted to a standing ovation and a series of thank yous.  One by one these men were warmly greeted by the crowd as they went on to their next stop.  The looks of gratitude on the faces of the vets as well as the crowd was truly inspiring.

Thank You

Thank You

The whole process lasted for about 20 minutes, and hardly anyone left from start to finish.  The best exchange of the entire event happened between a young boy and one of the USO workers.  It went, as follows:

USO Employee: Have you ever met a hero before?

Kid: No.

USO Employee: You have now.

The airport got quite a bit dusty at this point for almost everyone within earshot of that response.

This is a little blurry, but this is one of the vets exiting the plane.

This is a little blurry, but this is one of the vets exiting the plane.

This was one of the few times in my life that I have been able to see a WWII vet in person.  My own grandfather served in the army, but he was not quite old enough to serve in WWII, but he did serve in Korea and Vietnam.  I remember in grade school having some vets come to school to talk about the war, but I do not think that I truly appreciated the gravity of what they did at that time.  Soon, none of us will have the opportunity to see or speak with any of these incredible men.

Gratitude

Gratitude

It was very humbling to shake hands with these men and thank them for what they did.  This chance encounter will stay will me for years to come.