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Goals, Uncategorized

2015 Goals: Final Update

Welcome to my final 2015 goals update! We are already a bit into 2016, so I figured it was time to do a final recap of how I did on the goals I set for myself last year. You can check out update 1update 2 and update 3 to see how I fared throughout the year.

So far, it looks like the only goal I’ll actually achieve is my savings rate. That sounds like a pretty poor year, but I tend to give myself stretch goals anyways (see my previous yearly goal results and you’ll see what I mean – 2012, 2013, 2014). So even though I won’t achieve all of my goals, I’m pretty happy with my progress.

1. Pay off my remaining private student loans

My focus for 2015 was to pay off my two remaining private student loans. I started the year with $21,205 in private student loans (across two loans). I, unfortunately, didn’t achieve my goal and I ended the year with $7,795 in private student loans. Even though I didn’t achieve this goal, I think I did pretty well, considering I paid off $12,653 in principal on my private loans throughout the year! The following is a breakdown of how I did per quarter:

  • Q1: $3,346
  • Q2: $3,722
  • Q3: $2,852
  • Q4 $3,490

This past quarter wasn’t my best, but it was a pretty good end to the year. Now, on to 2016 and getting that pesky private loan paid off within the first few months of the year.

2015 Goals: Private Loan Balance - Final


2. Contribute 25% of my take home pay to savings and extra student loan payments

In an effort to make sure I’m staying on track with my savings goals, I aimed to save 25% of my take home pay this year. This 25% is composed of savings that go towards my emergency fund and my extra student loan payments.

2015 Goals: Savings Rate - Final


I finished the year with a 26% savings rate. I not only achieved my goal, but exceeded it! The last quarter of the year wasn’t all that great when you look at November and December. However, this game wasn’t won in the last two months of the year. My discipline throughout the year is what allowed me to come in over the finish line successfully.

3. Take at least 20 days of PTO

In an effort to improve my work-life fit, I decided to aim for taking 20 days of PTO off this year. I took 16.5 days off in 2015. It’s not 20, but it is over 3 work weeks of vacation.

2015 Goals: PTO - Final


4. Be a backyard tourist in DC at least once a month

I royally failed with this goal. No DC backyard tourism during the last 3 months of the year. I think next time I do a goal like this, I need to identify the activities that I want to do before I actually set the goal. I think that would have helped me be more mindful about achieving it.

2015 Goals: Backyard Tourism - Final


5. Work out 200 times

In an effort to focus on my health and fitness, I decided to add a workout-focused goal. I didn’t articulate this goal until February, so it took some catching up. I ended up working out 156 times in 2015. I didn’t achieve my goal, but 2014 was an abysmal year for working out, so I think I would have ended up being happy with any sort of substantial workout activity. Now to keep the momentum going!

2015 Goals: Workouts Completed - Final

If you’re interested in a breakdown of how I’ve been working out: I’ve bouldered/rock climbed 32 times, ran 90 times, cycled 31 times, and lifted weights twice.

2015 Goals: Workouts Breakdown - Final


2015 Goals: A semi-success!

The only goal that I actually met was my savings rate. I consider the private loan progress, workouts, and days off great efforts and don’t consider them failures in the slightest. Trying to haphazardly do DC tourism was a fail. Now on to 2016!

How did you end up doing on your 2015 goals?

Finish Line Half Marathon Training
Fitness, Life, Uncategorized

Navy Air Force Half Marathon Training Plan

It’s time to do it again – a half marathon! Since I ran in the Tar Heel 10 Miler, I’ve been trying to build up a running base to prep me for a half marathon this fall. Fingers crossed, this will be my fourth half marathon and my eighth race.

Choosing a Half Marathon

I’ve been waffling for a while about where and when I should commit to a race this fall. I knew I wanted to do a half or 10 miler sometime in September, October or November. The complicated thing is that there just isn’t a lot to choose from in the area this fall. This is pretty surprising to me considering the fact that DC is a huge metro area and the weather is really nice in the fall.

The races I ended up considering are:

Since I’m like Goldilocks, it was really hard to pin a race down. I pretty much wanted to do something in September or early October, with the option to do a second race in November. I’m planning a trip out West with two girlfriends over Labor Day, so that made picking a date in September complicated. I also don’t really want to spend much on traveling for my first race in the fall. That pretty much left me deciding to do the Navy Air Force Half Marathon. Although looking at it again, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon would have been a good choice too.

One of the annoying things about choosing a race is that there isn’t any one listing of all races in the area. Or at least one that I know of. And to really get a comprehensive look at what’s going on around here, you need to consult DC, VA and MD lists. I used and to help come up with this list.

I’m not sure when I’ll decide to do the second race, but I have my eye on the Richmond Half Marathon or the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November. Clearly, those will require travel, but I think I would try to use points for my hotel stay to help reduce the cost.

Race Cost Estimates

No post here would be complete without an estimate of what it’s going to cost. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Race Entry – $108 / divided by 2: Race entry for the Navy Half Marathon is currently $100 plus tax. I get a fitness subsidy, so it will be $54 for me when all is said and done.
  • Clothing – $20: I purchased a new pair of running shoes after the Tar Heel 10 Miler and I have a good stock of running clothes for both the summer and the fall. The only thing I can see myself buying is more running socks.
  • Gear – $20: I recently purchased a handheld water bottle for my long-short runs. Basically anything over 4.5miles, but under 8 miles. It’s getting super hot and humid and this is something I need to stay safe out there on the road. I would purchase it regardless, but figured I would include it here. The good thing is that I already have a four water bottle belt for 8+ mile runs, so no need to buy any additional hydration gear!
  • Food – approx. $20 – $30: I don’t usually bring nutrition on a race with me for anything less than 7 or 8 miles. If all goes to plan, I’ll be needing nutrition on about 6 or 7 runs leading up to the race and then again on race day. Generally, I like to use something like CLIF Shot Blocks, GU Chomps or GU Energy Gel, and it will really depend how much I actually end up needing.
  • Travel – $10: Gotta get to race packet pickup and to the race via Metro!
  • Cross Training – $0 additional: I already have a membership to my rock climbing gym, which is my strength cross training method of choice. I also plan to do some cycling as another form of cross training. Now that I have my bike tuned up, I don’t expect any additional costs there.

So, all in, this local race should cost around $124 – $134. I’ve already started training and will be training for the next three months. If you consider the costs on a per month basis and the fact that it’s not just about the race, it’s about training for the race, my costs come out to about $40 per month.

Half Marathon Training Plan

To give you insight into what my next three months will look like, I’ve put together a training plan. Over the course of the next three months, I’ll be running 207.1 miles if all goes as planned. Assuming I average a pace of 11:00 for all runs, that’s around 38 hours of running. Add in 1.5 hours of cross training per week and that’s around 56 hours for training all in.

Considering the amount of time that I’m going to be spending preparing for this race, this is some good bang for my buck. If I train for 56 hours and my total costs are $134, my training will cost be about $2.40 per hour. Think of all the other things that I could be doing that cost more money per unit! Not bad, if you ask me.

Connecting this to my overall costs, I’ll training will cost me about $2.40 per hour. Not bad, if you ask me.

Navy Half Marathon Training Plan
Week Date Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
1 6/29 4mi 0 3mi 0 4mi Long 0 0 11 mi
2 7/6 4mi 0 3mi 0 4mi Long 0 3mi 14 miles
3 7/13 3mi 0 3mi 0 5mi Long 0 3mi 14 miles
4 7/20 3mi 0 4mi 0 6mi Long 0 3mi 16 miles
5 7/27 3mi 0 4mi 0 7mi Long 0 3mi 17 miles
6 8/3 4mi 0 4mi 0 8mi Long 0 3mi 19 miles
7 8/10 5mi 0 4mi 0 9mi Long 0 3mi 21 miles
8 8/17 5mi 0 4mi 0 10mi Long 0 4mi 23 miles
9 8/24 4mi 0 4mi 0 7mi Long 0 3mi 18 miles
10 8/31 0 11mi Long 4mi 0 5mi 0 0 20 miles
11 9/7 0 3 0 0 0 0 9 Long 12 miles
12 9/14 4 0 3 2 0 0 13.1 Half Marathon! 22.1 miles

A couple notes about my schedule. Since it’s so hot during the summer, I plan to do my long runs on weekdays so that I can get it out of the way before it gets too hot and so that I don’t have to get up extremely early on the weekends. I’ve also tried to plan around my Wild West trip at the beginning of September. My plan is to do my longest run before I leave and get in a couple of short runs while I’m on vacay. Then one last long run the week before the race.


So, there you have it! A half marathon is in the works for me in September! I might provide an update about halfway through, depending on what happens, but otherwise, an update will be coming on the flip side.

Do you have any big fitness plans for the fall?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them, I receive a small commission for referring you. As always, all of my opinions are my own!