Well another year has passed and yet again, this was another year of big changes. I accomplished a lot of my goals this year as well as really took advantage of everything offered to me. So brace yourself, blogizens, for another ubiquitous year in review.
|Home for about 10 weeks.|
I started the year living in a hotel. Our house was supposed to be finished in December of 2013, but they totally blew the estimates for the delivery date and it wasn't until the end of February that it was ready to be lived in (actually we snuck in about a week early thanks to our kindly builder). To complicate matters, our bank (who will remain nameless) did an absolutely crappy job preparing our loan. It was one blunder after another. I was johnny on the spot when it came to delivering paperwork and information, they, were dipsh*ts. It was also the first time in a VERY long time that I lost my cool and ripped my loan officer a new one. My wife and I have been married for over 17 years and she can only recall me losing it once... in 2014 she saw the second time.
Either way, what should've been a week or two in a hotel turned out to be about 12 weeks -- and it wasn't cheap. At least I had a hot breakfast every morning.
I ran a bunch of races and miles this year. With any luck, I should hit close to 1900 miles. Normally, I have an unwritten goal of 2000 miles for the year. I easily have this made if I include walking miles. I was injured about a month this year (in total) but I am really happy with the amount of miles I've turned in, especially late this year.
I did run a bunch of races this year, including: 5 5Ks, 1 7K, 1 10K, 6 Halfs and 3 Full Marathons. Still a far cry from what I used to do but still not a bad year. I am hoping to do a LOT more in 2015.
I also got slower as the year went on. I started running about 1:50 for the half and ended up in the 1:57 range. I think the long runs have certainly built leg strength and endurance (as well as some mental toughness) but it did take from my speed. It also didn't help that for most of the summer I felt absolutely drained. What was going on -- I am not sure, but I feel oodles better than I did this past summer.
I am trying to get at least one or two speed work sessions a week in to rebuild my speed and get back into race form.
I am also super fortunate to live right near the Jordan River Bike Trail, which has miles and miles of paved bike trail that allow me to train in a safe environment. Add in drinking fountains, bathrooms, and scenery that changes and I am in heaven. The bike trail was one of the primary reasons why I bought my house where I did and it is such a blessing to just throw on a pair of shoes and be with other runners and fitness enthusiasts on the bike trail. And best of all, I don't have to dodge any cars.
Of course, who could forget the Las Vegas Marathon? Arguably, this was one of the races I was most proud of. I didn't set any PRs but it was the way I ran it. I was in control the entire race and only felt like the wheels were coming off in the last half mile. It gave me such a positive experience instead of the usual crawl to the finish. I am definitely looking forward to next year and it was a huge confidence builder to end the year with.
|My friend Dennis and I at the finish line in Vegas|
I also was able to knock Wyoming off my state's list. People had a good chuckle when I said I was running the Casper Wyoming Marathon. Casper isn't exactly a tourist destination but I made a go of it and it is still something I think fondly about. Despite a very crappy motel stay I had a fabulous time all to myself exploring the great west. I am tempted to do it again this year.
|Casper Marathon Finish Photo|
I also had a good time going to Ely, Nevada for their half marathon. It was a tough as nails race, but man, talk about a professional run event in a tiny town. This was another awesome weekend that I constantly think about. This is on my list to do again as well, not only because of the race, but because there was so much I left undone there.
|Ely Half Marathon Finish Photo|
I have penciled in a ton of races for 2015 and if money and my fitness / healthy are good, I am looking for more awesome road adventures.
Other Places I've Visited
I accomplished one of the things on my todo list this year, and that was to visit the Valley of Fire State Park just outside of Las Vegas. I survived "Carmageddon" due to the Bundy cattle rancher incident and got to spend an evening in Mesquite, NV (and explore it on a run).
I also got a quick tour of Overton and Logandale. As a "Nevada-phile", this was cool to take some of the back roads and get off the beaten trail. I also got a chance to see Lake Mead and the Boulder Dam. I've been to Vegas at least 30 times and never made the trip out to see the dam. What an experience!
Also, when I went for the marathon I spent a good deal of time off the strip. In fact, the only "strip" hotel I stepped foot in were the Mirage and the Tropicana (to use the bathroom).
Of course, who could forget having a once in a lifetime experience of getting a cruise in the British Isles. It was a family reunion of sorts and have a chance to visit a long-time friend in Dublin as well as see some historical sites was just incredible. I am glad I took some notes of what I did every day and now I have a journal that should live for eternity and I can go back X years from now and recall exactly what I did each day.
Also, what a surprise hit was Ely, Nevada. I expected to be kind of bored there but there was so much to see and do! In fact, I plan on going back in 2015 just to finish what I missed. Just an absolutely memorable weekend.
Well, it would be an understatement to say that we took advantage of all that Wendover had to offer. I was a regular denizen there. Sadly, the discounted buffets are taking a toll on my waistline, but how can I resist the call of a challenge to eat as much as I want?
While I gambled a bit more this year (and lost a bit more) I still feel like I got my money's worth in terms of entertainment and perks. I was given plenty of free rooms, free food, free play and I took advantage of the running trails outside of town. While, I think gambling, in general, is a pretty "low" form of entertainment, I do try to do other things aside from gaming while there.
Win or lose, each trip is unique and I had a lot of fun each time I went.
In 2014, I didn't do as much as hiking as I would've liked. I think I saw one too many moose this year and it sort of spooked me out. Also, the fact that I was routinely putting in 12 - 20 mile runs on the weekend sort of stole my energy.
I've hiked most of the trails in the Wasatch Mountains and now it is time to find some new ones. Hopefully in 2015, I'll pick up the pace a bit more. There's still some areas that I am itching to go exploring and with my endurance I can certainly cover some distance.
I have big plans for 2015 and I will itemize them in a future post. I am definitely looking forward to the spring running season and looking for more awesome life experiences.
I do wish everyone a Merry Christmas / Happy New Year!