Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 My Year in Review

2011 was a great year for me in many respects. I could make a convincing argument that it was the best year in my life, but a statement that general ignores so many details that I can not admit it was the best year of my life, although, it was a very good one.

Economically this was my best year ever by far. I paid more in taxes this year than I made last year. I made around three times more than I made while being a graduate student in 2009. I wrote down this was the best year professionally for me, but that is not true. Getting a degree, getting a patent, learning about all of those processes are barriers to entry that make them more important in the long run than the first job in the chosen field, in my mind. I worked 1970 billable hours this year. My goal for next year, 2012, is 2100 hours. This is a critical point in my life, the small amount of money that I can save now will go a very long way toward providing me a large amount of money in the future. Since I am not a great saver, compared to my ideals, I will still spend lots of money on food, coffee, running stuff, and other luxuries, the solution is to work a little bit more. I will probably put in the extra hours during the summer when I can run early and work late and still have plenty of sun to shine on me while I run. Plus, I enjoy my job. I have learned so much this year I feel far more valuable now as a structural analyst.

Financially, I did very well. I paid off the first of my 11 loans because it had a high interest rate. the principal was just under 5000 in May when I paid it off. I made the minimum payments on nine of my other loans, and I started paying down the second of my loans and I expect to have it paid off probably in March. I started investing in the stock market. Here is a sample of the investing in oil (USO) that I did this year:

Lot: Acquired 06/29/11         07/19/1132$1,225.25$1,208.35$16.90

Lot: Acquired  08/05/1110/25/1120$717.03$692.55$24.48

Lot: Acquired  09/22/1110/25/1120$717.02$629.15$87.87

In total I sold four stocks this year for an adjusted cost basis of $3626.40 and a short term gain of $305.00. It's not impressive, but 8.4% in short term gains in a year the stock markets are flat is not bad either. Plus, I have to admit in the last 12 months I have learned so much about investing that several of the investment choices I made last year were not good and I won't make the same mistakes again.

My running had an amazing year! There were so many accomplishments that I am not going to go into detail. Here is a list with many of them:

  • Ended a 174 day running streak
  • Debuted a 2:34 marathon on a very windy day and 800ft long course
  • Ran a new highest mileage week of 140 miles
  • Had a legitimate (sub 7 minute pace) 30 mile training run
  • Won a five mile, 5k, team triathlon, and individual duathlon, and was second in a half marathon and a four mile race
  • Completed a special block workout (2x 2mi warmup, 14mi tempo)
  • Managed to throw down 5:20s more than 15 miles into a long run
  • Ran several of my best 20 minute tempos getting my paces down to 5:24ish
  • Ran better than my previous half marathon PR of 1:17:06 at least eight times
  • Ran 4x1600m in my best average (5:08) with a 1:45 400m jog rest
  • Ran approximately 3640 miles for an average daily mileage that rounds to 10miles
  • Acquired a sponsor
  • Acquired a number of positive new friends and acquaintances through my running
Coaching I had a great year. I now get paid to do help younger men and women develop as athletes, students, and people. It is pretty awesome.

Socially, I made the rounds this year. I have quite a few friends now that I am really happy with. I have people to ride bicycles, friends at the pubs, friends to run, friends to help move, friends for summer yard parties, and nice people at work. Also, it was a really good year to visit people so I won't go into details but here is the list:
  • February I visited my best friend from high school in St. Louis
  • July I celebrated a 21st birthday in Kansas City with some high school friends
  • October I went to a good friend's wedding in Omaha
  • November I visited some of my menugas from grad school in Massachusetts
  • December I visited some family friends in Sacramento
  • December I went to Colorado and saw friends from college and summer camp
As far as the dating scene goes... errr... I can't say it has been better in the past, but I just haven't met or spent enough time with a person who is on the same wavelength as I.

As far as climbing and mountaineering it was terrible. I spent one day with a rope outdoors, one day in a gym, but a whole lot of time on a hangboard. It wasn't a total loss, but not much climbing. 

As for other things, I have a really nice carbon fiber bicycle, a nice single speed cyclocross, I gardened and got a little bit of good food and I read a handful of books. It was a good year.

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