Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 Year in Review


Most regular bloggers write a year in review.  For me, it helps me look back at what I did in 2015 and start formulating plans for 2016.  It also engages, you the reader, in seeing some of the cool things that this world has to offer.  

If you are new to the blog, it might give you a jumping off point to see what I did and perhaps find that inspires you.

To say that I was busy in 2015 would be an understatement for sure.  

Looking back at my goals for 2015, I am really impressed with how many of them I did, and how many of them got ditched for something else. There were very few weekends were I felt I wasn't doing something and this year was truly jammed.

So without further ado, here I go.


2015 was definitely about running and was the driving point of most of my trips, plans and goals.  

I'll do a more in depth post on this aspect once the final numbers are in, but as of this writing, I'll surely surpass 2400 miles for the year.  My goal was 2000 miles and my previous bests were around 1850.  That will roughly be 6.5 miles every day for an entire year.  I was called an animal or a nut or cautioned that I'd get hurt but it kept me healthy, sane and allowing me to pretty much eat whatever I wanted.  Sometimes you have to break the rules a bit to grow.

This year, I also ran more races than I ever have.  By my count, I ran 33 races this year; everything from 5Ks to marathons.  My times ranged all over the place, from good to bad, but this was one year where my results didn't decline from the previous year.

Two blogs really inspired me to take my running up a notch.  

I'd encourage you to take a look at Jim's 50 (marathons) After 40 Blog.  He is a guy my age who turns in some fantastic times. Simply put, reading about his journey, I upped my mileage and got semi-serious about my training.  His slogan of "Be Great Today" were words I tried to live by.

Another blog that I get a lot of value out of is Rebecca's 50 Half Marathons in 50 States.  This is someone who clearly races a lot more than me and most importantly enjoys the journey.  Reading about her adventures certainly made me appreciate the fact of toeing the line most weekend.


Wow, I did a lot of travel this year.  There were some towns that I didn't make it to there were a number of places that I managed to explore that if you had asked me at the end of 2014 if I was going to visit, I would've said, "huh?"  Kind of funny.

January:  Phoenix Arizona - visited my brother and ran a marathon.

February: Dabbled in Vegas on the way home from Arizona
April: Hurricane / St George Utah and ran the Sand Hollow Marathon and visited Mesquite Nevada
June: Made it all the way to Helena Montana.  I had never been to Montana before.  Wow!

July: Went to Elko, Nevada and Wells Nevada.  Spent the entire 4th of July weekend there.  I had an absolutely fantastic time.
August: Drove through Nevada until I reached Reno.  Got to visit Carson City, Virginia City and points between.  Most people think I-80 in Nevada is boring.  I was enthralled by it.  Also got to stick my toe in the water (so to speak) in California again.  Visiting Reno was a dream come true for me and seeing the government offices in Nevada was a dream come true (yes I am a Nevada nerd).
September:  Drove to Nebraska for the Monument Marathon. This trip was totally unexpected, unplanned and unforgettable.  I also got to visit Jackson Hole.

October: Made a trip through south eastern Utah, stopped in Towaoc Colorado and visited Mesa Verde National Park. But that was only a stopping point for our ultimate destination: Albuquerque, where I would run another marathon.
November:  I made my annual pilgrimage to Vegas for my 7th running of the Vegas Marathon.
December: Returned to Elko Nevada for their Snowflake Festival.

This also doesn't include all the mini getaways to Wendover, which admittedly I probably went to, too often.  But I did make the most of it by enjoying the food and stepping out into the desert for a morning jaunt.

I ran 8 marathon this year and managed to take out Nebraska, Arizona, Montana and New Mexico off my 50 state's list.  Unfortunately, I am running out of states that I can drive to and the price and time to get to the others is getting more expensive.


If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that I like to go to casinos.  I am not a big gambler my any means and I certainly keep my play at a level I can afford and still have fun.  I try to take advantage of the perks they throw you, namely cheap rooms, tons of good food and entertainment.  

2015 was no exception and I took full advantage of it.  Granted, in the long run I was paying for the experiences but it was fun.

I also won the most money I've ever won in one sitting -- winning over $1000 on a 38 cent bet.

There were also a bunch of trips where I couldn't win crap either.  I choose to forget about those.


I know my employers know about this blog but I can honestly speak that most days I really enjoy going to work.  While no job is perfect, I don't loathe going to work like I have had in the past few gigs.  Keep me busy, show me a bit of respect, praise me when I do well, and encourage me when I fail is all I can ask for (as well as having coworkers that I get along with). 


Well, I took the plunge and signed up for Facebook.  Gah, I said I never would but I did.  I really wanted to interact with businesses and so forth but it is a nice way to keep in touch with people I've met at races and hikes.  Wow... I have lots of people in my friend's list who I didn't know existed a year ago.

One of my goals for 2015 was to make a closer friend (or two) in Utah.  I've somewhat succeeded in this -- I definitely have more friends who live in the Salt Lake area than I had in 2014.

I also made a number of friends by being a regular on the Jordan River Bike Trail.  Sort of funny -- you run every day at roughly the same time and you wind up meeting people walking their dogs, running, or simply going for a walk.  A quick conversation can quickly lead to at least someone to nod a hello to or more.


I did a lot of hiking this year.  Not as much as I did when I moved here, but this year I did a few new trails.  In Utah, especially in the Salt Lake area, there is NO shortage of hikes -- and all within a reasonable drive.

I also rehiked a lot of trails that I've done in the past.  Sort of fun being more acquainted with them and helping tourists / newbies who happen to be on the trail too.

I also did some serious hiking up in Jackson Hole, which has countless trails!

Also, one of my hiking pictures wound up netting me a state-level prize.  The Life Elevated folks who run the state board picked one of the photos I submitted as one of the best and sent me a prize package.  I've won a few things from contests in my life, but this one was one I really got excited about.  I love to share my passion of capturing nature at its best and to be recognized for it was certainly cool.

Pretty sure this was the prize winning photo of Red Pine Lake


To those reading this, I hope you take time to think about what you want to do and then actually do it.  Many of us would love to do something but never take the steps into seeing it to the end.  Or we balk at the work it might require.  Not all plans are feasible (money and time often being one of them) but that doesn't mean you can't do something on your bucket list.  If you don't have a wish list of things you would like to see, experience or do in your life time, make one today.

One my other unspoken goals was to not sit at home. You certainly won't remember all the times you sat on the couch watching reruns of CHiPs as quality time when the year is over. 

Having made conscious decisions as to what you'd like to do and actually implement them made this time of year easier to recall all the cool things I have done.  I have no regrets this year, other than I wish I had done "more", which is sort of funny.  I've had people ask me if I ever like "sit around" and the short answer is not really.  I really absolutely get frustrated doing "nothing".

I hope in 2016 you adopt that attitude -- you'll only get one shot at life -- and there are no do overs.

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