2015 Memphis True Blue 5K Recap

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For the sixth year in a row, I participated in the Memphis True Blue 5K on the campus of the University of Memphis. And this year there was a first for me personally which assisted in keeping the event fresh and rewarding at the same time. It is well documented on this blog that this event was my first ever running event and I do whatever I can to participate in it each year. Therefore, I will spare everyone the usual race breakdown and grading system (except I wish they would return to the shirts from a my first 4 times participating) and I will just briefly discuss my run instead.

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Usually, this race occurs on the first Friday night in November, making it one of the few night races in town and requiring no early alarm clock warnings to wake up for the event. I love that about this race, and honestly, I am certain that it has aided my three PR’s on the course. This year, the event was moved to Sunday afternoon due to homecoming festivities for the University of Memphis and other race obligations by the management company. I was not in favor of the switch, and by the looks of the sparse crowd, I was not the only one longing for the 7PM Friday night time slot. Whereas a smaller than normal race field was a bummer, it did at least benefit me personally. I was able to run at my desired pace from start to finish, and only had myself to contend with along the course, which was a major benefit to my mental game. I was able to push harder than I had in several weeks, and finished the race must stronger than my training would have suggested. While I did not PR again, I did run a strong enough race to finish second in my age group, which was a first for me for this race, and anytime you get a podium call, you have to be happy.

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Podium call for my age group!

I am looking forward to this race again in 2016, and hopefully another PR, and possibly another podium call are in my future!

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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 True Blue 5K Recap

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This is my fifth consecutive year of running in this event. It was my first ever race back in 2010, and now I run in it each year to celebrate where I have come from to be an active runner. I love the course through the University of Memphis, and the weather is usually cool, and with the race being on a Friday night, it opens up the rest of my weekend for other events.

I have written so much about this race before that there is not much more that I can say that avid followers of my blog have not read before.

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Back of the 2014 race shirt. The front had the logo from the bib small and over the heart.

Swag: B: They changed the race shirt this year which is the first change in five years. They stuck with the long sleeved cotton tee, which is very popular, but the overall design is not as good as previous years. But it is different, and a different color than my previous four shirts, so that is good.

Course: A+: I love that it runs around campus, including my old fraternity house.  For alumni returning to campus, it is a nice way to see what has changed since graduation.  It also is not too hilly of a course and is plenty wide to accommodate runners.  Runners finish in a giant inflatable tiger head on the Alumni Mall.

Overall: A+: I will always be partial to this race due to its significance in my weight loss and running.  It is always organized well and provides good value for the runner.  If I ever moved away, it would be a 5K that actually tempted me to visit specifically run.

True Blue 5K Race Logo

True Blue 5K Race Logo

Another note about this race is that in the five times that I have run in the 5K, I have set a PR three times! This year’s race saw me cut :23 off of my 5K PR time, which was very rewarding.

Five For Friday

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It has been a busy week here in Memphis for me.  From work and some improvements on the homestead, I have a few subjects to share with y’all.  And instead of dedicating a post to each, I am just going to encompass them all here.

1. St. Jude sent me a thank you for being a St. Jude Hero.  I am not sure if this was a thank you for the canceled St. Jude Marathon Weekend last December or the upcoming Country Music Half Marathon, but it was a nice surprise.  St. Jude sent out a pair of Yurbuds Signature Series Earphones and a Frogg Togg.  So, thank you St. Jude!

Thank you St. Jude!

Thank you St. Jude!

2. I wanted to share a couple of photos from our newly painted living room.  Here are some before and after pictures of our progress.

Before 1

Before 1

After 1

After 1 (with our model Beau)

Before 2

Before 2

After 2

After 2 (with a Beau photobomb) 

3. And my personal favorite addition to the new living room, my new Nest Thermostat.  It was not exactly needed, but it is really freaking cool.  My thermostat is now actually connected to my WiFi and I can adjust my house temperature from my iPhone here at the office.  The thermostat learns our heating and cooling habits, and adjusts accordingly.  I also get monthly reports on my energy efficiency and how I compare to others in my area with a Nest.

I have some work to do to where the former thermostat was, but I love my Nest.

I have some work to do to where the former thermostat was, but I love my Nest.

4. This weekend is the Germantown Half Marathon and I cannot wait for Sunday morning to get here.  I am very interested to see how running this event will actually be healthy. Of course, according to the weather report, it looks like it is going to be a wet race.  Current projections so 100% chance of precipitation at the race start time.  If this holds true, this will be the first race above a 5K in which I have encountered rain.  There is a first time for everything I suppose.

5. Thanks to the lackluster effort by the Memphis Tigers last night against UConn in the American Conference Tournament, this entire town is on suicide watch today.  A 72-53 loss on your home court against a team that you already lost tow twice this not easy to swallow, especially when on paper, you are evenly matched with the victorious team.  I think Giffey just hit another wide open three!

Memphis will be seeing this in their nightmares

Memphis will be seeing this in their nightmares

Sports talk this morning in Memphis has not been fun.

 

A Quick Update About School

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School ended last week with an exam, two papers, and a research proposal.  It was a busy week, and the roughly month break that I will have is certainly welcomed.  I only missed one class all semester and that was only after much discussion with Susan about our free beach vacation.  When I was in undergrad, I would have skipped that week, no questions asked.  What a difference seven years make!  Last night I finally got my official grades.  I received two A+’s and an A, which translates into a 4.0!  Obviously, I am happy with these results and hope to replicate them again this spring!  That is all for now, but I will have a post sometime tomorrow about a major goal for 2014.  Have a great evening!

Nothing to complain about here!

Nothing to complain about here!

 

True Blue 5K Recap

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This was the fourth consecutive year that I have run in this event, and this year was just as good as previous years.  The event always takes place on the first Friday in November, and is used as a fundraiser for the Young Alumni Committee of the University of Memphis.  Four years ago, this was my first ever run, and now I try to schedule it every year.  Kind of like an anniversary I suppose.

This year’s event was the first of three consecutive days of races for me, and I had intended on running it at an easy pace.  The problem is that I tend to be terrible at taking it easy during an event.  Throughout the event, I was trying to slow down, but I still ended up running the event in 29:01, which is still one of my faster 5K times to date. But, I do not empty the tank and flat at sprint at any point, so maybe I did not expend too much effort.

This was me run/walking towards my 1st 5K at the True Blue 2010

This was me run/walking towards my 1st 5K at the True Blue 2010

The attendance for the race this year was down considerably from 2012.  It was the home opener for the Grizzles, so maybe that was a reason.  Also, I’m sure having a 7pm start on a Friday night also costs the event a few runners, but I hope they never change that aspect.  There are so few races in that time slot here that it helps this race stand out and in early November, this time slot helps lead to some PR’s.  I have personally PR’d the course twice, and might have again this year if I would have been going 100% for the entire race.  The race has great, long-sleeved shirts, and you see them all over town, a fact that the organizers are very proud of.  However, the shirts do not really change from year to year, so repeat runners have multiples of the same shirt in their closets.  This was combated by changing the race shirt color year to year.  My first year it was blue, second black, and third dark grey.  This year they went back to black, so I have two shirts that are basically the exact same.  I was kind of hoping for a repeat in blue, if they were going to repeat, since it is my most worn out of the three shirts.  Oh well, I wore the new shirt last night.

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True Blue Swag w/ my old shirt thrown in to show the front and back of the shirt.

Swag: A: Great shirt that gets quite a bit of use from this runner, a Nike backpack, several coupons, and a great spread after the race.  These are consistent every year and have spoiled me for other 5K races.

Course: A+: I love that it runs around campus, including my old fraternity house.  For alumni returning to campus, it is a nice way to see what has changed since graduation.  It also is not too hilly of a course and is plenty wide to accommodate runners.  Runners finish in a giant inflatable tiger head on the Alumni Mall.

Overall: A+: I will always be partial to this race due to its significance in my weight loss and running.  It is always organized well and provides good value for the runner.  It I ever moved away, it would be a 5K that actually tempted me to visit specifically for.