Old stuff. Stuff, nonetheless.

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here.

Seems like every blog I’ve ever read has a post that starts like this. Guess this one is one of mine. I’m sure it won’t be the only one. Or maybe this isn’t even my first??? It’s been so long I can’t remember!

That said, this will be housekeeping… 2015 is over. It was quite the up and down year.

So here’s a recap of the notable events of 2015:

The bad…

  • My fiancée, Stephanie, broke up with me near the end of March, about a week after the Milwaukee Fight For Air climb. We were together two and a half years, and engaged for one. So, yeah, that sucked. She was nice about it, though, and we stayed pleasant as we sorted out all the break-up odds and ends.
  • The company I work for announced they were going to move our office to a new location. So, about a month after Stephanie dumped me, I moved to a town closer to where the new office would be. The final day I was moving my stuff in to my new place, which I had taken off from work to do, someone from work texted me to tell me the company announced it changed its mind and that our office would not be relocating. Which means I essentially increased my commute to work from 7 minutes to 20 minutes for no reason. It also means I now live farther from any decent store or restaurant than I would if I’d stayed in my previous town.
  • In November the transmission in my truck went bad on me, and I needed to dump a bunch of money into having it rebuilt.
  • In August, while visiting my dad at his new digs in North Carolina, I ran in a 5K where I ended up off course at around the 2.5-mile mark or so. It was a goal race I was hoping/aiming to PR at. I’m not sure I would have, but I felt like I was doing pretty well up until that point.
  • I had a terrible Al’s Run 8K in September. I was not adequately prepared for that race. I also executed poorly during it.
  • I ran a terrible Rockford State Street Mile in August. It was hot. It was humid. I got there way too close to the starting gun. I didn’t get a chance to warm up comfortably. And then I went out WAAAY too fast. Going out too fast seems to be a fairly consistent problem I’ve battled, but this may have been the worst case of it. The race had a half mile timing mat for split tracking, which was interesting because, well, just look… total: 5:47.5. First half: 2:26.6. Second half: 3:20.9.

The good…

  • I continued my streak of improvement at Milwaukee’s US Bank Center stair climbs, and finished sub-7 for the first (and second!) time(s) ever (6:55 in March, 6:43 in November)!
  • In November I finally finished the Willis (Sears) Tower stair climb in less than 20 minutes (19:26)! (Previous attempts were 20:01 in 2013 and 20:11 in 2014.)
  • I cracked the top 50 men in the country in the US amateur stair climb rankings, which landed me the semi-prestigious invite to climb in the elite heat of the US Stair Climbing Championship at Las Vegas’ Scale The Strat in February 2016.
  • I climbed in stair races at opposite corners of the country: Fight For Air Miami in June and the inaugural Base 2 Space at Seattle’s Space Needle in October. (I also finished in the top 10 at each of those races: 6th, and 9th, respectively).
  • I PR’d the mile (5:26.6)! By less than a second (previous best: 5:27.3 exactly a year earlier). But still! (Note: I did finish a different mile race in 2015 in 5:20.9, but heard rumors afterward the course was short — like, 0.94 miles or something — and I was unable to confirm. So, as much as I want to claim that as my mile PR, I don’t feel quite right about it.)
  • I ran on a marathon relay team at January’s Icebreaker Indoor Marathon that finished 12th out of 81 teams overall and 2nd out of 33 coed teams. Relay legs were flexible, so our team’s strategy was for each of our four team members to run 2 laps at a time around the event’s 445-ish meter track. We finished in 2:42:50 (6:13/mile pace). Sure, we all felt pretty trashed in the days afterward, with some of us (including myself) sustaining related minor injuries. BUT WE GOT MEDALS! And had a great time! (Note: despite these things, none of us exactly jumped at the chance to run in it again in 2016. Double note: our 2015 time in would’ve placed 18th overall in 2016, and 6th among 2016’s coed teams. Guess we ran during the right year!)
  • I finished 3rd in my age group with a 20:53 finish at the inaugural Milwaukee Running Festival’s 5K in November. It was not a goal race, and it wasn’t my best race. It also wasn’t anywhere near my worst. It was actually about my average 5K time. But I paced myself about as evenly as I ever have in a 5K, and I avoided injury heading into the Sears Tower climb a week later.
  • In June, I ran in my first ever 2-mile race, which was a distance I’d been curious to try. I finished in 12:38, which I wasn’t ecstatic about or anything, but was fairly pleased with. A timing issue of some sort originally had me listed as finishing slower than 13 minutes, which I knew was incorrect. I was glad when the final results showed up corrected. I’d like to run in more 2-mile races. I like that distance, and think I can improve. On a semi-related aside, if there are ever any race events that would offer this distance for adults, I’d really love to try an 800-meter race. I sort of feel like that might be a distance I’d be well-suited for. Not that I’d be the best out there at it or anything, but I feel like my highest personal potential might be at that sort of distance.

So there you have it! Running! Stair climbing! Success! Failure! Excitement! Heartbreak! Frustration! New experiences!

That was my 2015. If I get my act together, maybe I’ll post here again about my 2016 outlook (which, as I type this, has sort of hit a snag…).

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