Life Lessons – Highs and Lows and Setting Priorities

2018 was off to such a great start. My blogging was consistent, as was training for my first 100k. Then, life stepped in with a hold my beer and watch this. Of course, I’ve joked about turning 30, wanting to finally distance myself from those 20-year-olds. And that travel and running take up too much time to have any relationships. And for the past 3 months, I’ve been doing my best to keep it that way.

First Time Home Buyer

For most of the Spring, I was searching, unsuccessfully, for a house within my budget. Rent is high in the Denver area. Probably an understatement. In fact, rent on an apartment can be pretty close to matching a P&I mortgage payment. It only made sense to put some with it each month and be investing in my own equity.

Unfortunately, competition is tough in the Denver housing market. The routine I often found was:

  • Houses are listed on Thursday afternoon
  • Everyone looks at houses on Friday and Saturday (maybe, maybe not)
  • Offers are due Sunday (many with personal letters from buyers)
  • Sellers accept an offer by Monday at noon (if not earlier)

That rapid cycle is one thing, but many offers come with cash. We’re talking $10k to $20k over already high asking prices. Not like I had a ton of spare Franklins lying around.


denver first time home buyerAfter constantly refreshing Zillow and the MLS for months, just as I was about to look for better apartment options, a house came on the market that fit what I needed. It was in a price range that wouldn’t kill me, located on the outskirts of rapidly-growing Denver suburban areas, and had plenty of opportunities for manageable improvements. I placed an offer, fully expecting to be outbid.

Long story short, I placed an offer in early May, worked with my banker to get all my paperwork completed in less than three weeks and closed on my first home on June 1. And that’s just the beginning.

Setting Life Priorities for Time

Of course, buying my first home would coincide with a regular busy season and work and in my training schedule. That’s how life is supposed to work, right? Right in the middle of going through the home-buying process, I am planning several meetings throughout May and June. I was traveling from Pennsylvania to Denver and back – hosting 3 meetings. And had tacked on a few vacation days following a work trip to Hawaii over Memorial Day weekend – the same week as my closing date on the house. Genius!

At the same time, my training schedule called for peak mileage leading up to my first 100k run in July. In fact, I looked at the house I began choosing following a 50k run that morning in May (more on that to come). So in all reality, I chose my house while on a runner’s high. Probably not the smartest plan.

work life balance meeting priorities

And of course, June came with work trips to California, Montana, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. Plus, my final month of training before the big race. I know, not the smartest plan for getting settled into a new home and getting the lights turned on.

All of that culminating at once, I learned a lot of lessons about life and setting priorities on your time. I got some ugly looks from coworkers when I’ve not been arriving at the office until 9 and leaving at 5 (when I am there). I will not apologize for taking back my personal time this summer. There are still more than enough hours on my timesheet and I am still getting my work done.

Training Highs And Lows

Of course, during this entire time frame, I was still running. In my, I racked up 177 miles. Much of that was really good for managing stress and thinking through everything going on. And during the month of May, I raked in three new PRs at three different distances! Things were going pretty good!

The June hit and between work and trying to move into the house, I had to pick my priorities and running wasn’t at the top. I struggled to get 100 miles in for the month. Didn’t fit in my long runs from the training plan. And didn’t get in the elevation training I knew I needed. That was depressing. More on just how depressing in a later post…

beef runner denver trail

TL;DR… Things didn’t go as planned this summer. I found some HIGHS (bought a house, set some personal records at long distances) and some LOWS (training completely fell through when I needed to be at my best, and all my savings disappeared), and learned good lessons about setting priorities in life.

I’ll go into more details on these adventures as I finish up all the blog posts in my drafts folder. It’s been a fun ride and one I expect just to be beginning.

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1 Comment

  1. Congrats on ALL of it Ryan!! It’s good see the highs and lows…You are human and one of the best ones I know!

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