Welcome

Welcome to the *NEW* SeanHiatt.ws website. I have changed up the software from Joomla to WordPress, which was brought on by a account type change with my web host, GoDaddy. Nothing was wrong with Joomla, but after I had updated from version 2.5 to 3.4 I just felt like Joomla did not what I was looking for thus I decided to switch to WordPress.  I had recently started to use WordPress for my sports statistics blog and really liked the plugins/widgets that are available, so using the blogging software made sense to me.

I’m going to try to be more active with my site by writing some articles, mainly around my career (Information Technology) and my hobby (web development). Some articles I already have in mind are a review of the WordPress application and a service review with some observations on GoDaddy.

2017 Hot Chocolate Start Line

2017 Hot Chocolate 5k/15k Race Recap

2017 Hot Chocolate Route

2017 Hot Chocolate Route

This is the third time in the last three years I have run the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k. I have finished with the following time the previous two years — 2016

2017 Hot Chocolate Finish Line

2017 Hot Chocolate Finish Line

1:36:34; 2015 1:26:32 — so I didn’t PR the race as I finished with an official time of 1:32:19 chip time. What’s crazy looking back over the times I have run this race is that in 2015 I ran the race with a chest cold and finished with my best time/pace despite having a pretty bad chest cold leading up to the race. I distinctly remember coughing my lungs out when I got done with the race.

With the race route, you go mostly up hill for the first 3.5 miles or so and then from there it’s the occasional rolling hill followed by a gentle decline. You get to run a portion of the Dallas Santa Fe trail which is actually a nice trail but in a not so nice part of town.

I felt pretty good about the first half of the race where I had been running around a 9:40/mile pace and so at mile 7 I kicked up my pace a little to sub 9:30/mile so I could finish the race with a negative split however the gas tank ran dry and I couldn’t maintain my pace. My legs felt for the most fine but I just didn’t have the energy to keep going at my race pace.

2017 Hot Chocolate Finish Line

2017 Hot Chocolate Finish Line

Overall I was very happy with the race and learned something that I need to work on for future races if I’m going to reach my goal of finishing in under two hours for a half marathon.

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New Year's Double Eve Race

2016-2017 News Years Double

New Year's Double Eve Race

Starting Line for the New Year’s Double Eve Race

New Year’s Double Eve Race

Race Course

I had run one of this leg race series (The New Year’s Double) for my first race of 2016 and so I was very familiar with the course and the production company, The Active Joe. What I had never attempted to do before was run two half marathons in back-to-back days. I felt like I had done plenty of training and that I was prepared physically to run the race. Emotionally or psychologically how I was going to fair on this race was anyone’s guess.

What is nice about the course is that it is practically flat except for a portion where the running trail goes under a road below grade.

New Year's Double Race Medals

New Year’s Double Race Medals

The weather was nice (50*) and sunny albeit a little windy yet manageable for Saturday morning. I wore a lightweight long sleeve shirt and a LiveWire sleeveless shirt, and shorts. My goal was to take it easy, something that I tend to struggle with, and walk some portions of the course if I felt like I was feeling a little tired.

It’s been a few weeks since I ran the race so I can’t recall whether I walked any significant portions of the race.

Since much of the trail is on a fairly wide cement sidewalk, safety is not a big concern where you need to be aware of vehicle traffic on roadways. This allows me to go out and try to just enjoy running

After finishing the race, there were bananas, water, and plain bagels to eat. It was very nice to have something to eat since I had just gotten done burning about 1,500 calories in just under 3 hours. I also picked up a race series medal that I have been working on for 2016.

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GoDaddy and the Cloud

Today I created my first web server instance with GoDaddy on their cloud service. Earlier in the year they started to offer several cloud services.

Setup Successful

Setup Successful

I chose the LAMP module, which unfortunately uses the Ubuntu Linux operating system, which I am not familiar with at all. I need to see about making sure all modules (PHP, MySQL, etc) are up to date. Perhaps next time I will just stick with CentOS as that is what I am most familiar with. I still could end up destroying this instance and recreating a new one with CentOS and just installing Apache, PHP, and MySQL on my own.

Set up was simple and took less than five minutes to enter in all the relevant data and have the virtual servers spun up and active. with 10 minutes I had a test sub-domain set up to start accepting http requests. So far I have a very basic PHP set up that has a list of commonly used URLs that I frequently use. Later I will upload all the development files I’m working on to the server and continue developing what I have been coding for my stats site. My goal is to get that done this weekend.

Lamp Image

Lamp Image

My main reason for doing this is I want move away from paying a one-time fee that spans several years for services I don’t use for all my sites. The hope is that it will actually cost less than what I am paying now plus I’ll have better site performance due to how GoDaddy runs their shared web hosting. I also want to set up my stats site to use HTTPS so that I make sure everything is more secure and improve my SEO results with search engines like Google since they place a higher value on secure sites. I also want to see about setting up a single service to work as a hot back-up for my MySQL Databases since MySQL has the option to perform data replication. The thought it to have all instances back up to another instance that might serve as a so-called hot swap system should an instance run into some sort of trouble.

Login Splash

Login Splash

I’ve got a lot to work on though for this, as I need to learn how to navigate Ubuntu so that I can work around the command line a lot better. I also want to see about developing some pages to view stats like how much I have been charged throughout the billing period. GoDaddy has a bunch of API endpoints they have developed to perform a number of different tasks. I need to see about learning and understanding JSON and AJAX.

Ferguson Twilight Run 5k/10k

It was a breezy, cool evening and I was in St. Louis, MO visiting some friends. It was a great day for a race and I was feeling pretty pumped to go out and run hard.

On my way to the Ferguson Twilight 5k/10k.

A photo posted by Sean Hiatt (@sean.hiatt) on

Ferguson, MO

I must say that Ferguson, MO is not the town the US national media has made it out to be. It does have some nice neighborhoods but one thing is for sure, there are some good people that live in the town. I think the town has received a bad rep for something it’s not — which is a run down, poor suburb of St. Louis. Every town has its problems and each town has to find a way to handle those problems.

The Race

It was 59 degree, with winds of about 10 MPH, and mostly sunny; ideal temperatures for a medium distance race. I felt relatively well rested after spending much of the day touring around St. Louis. I was ready to run the Ferguson Twilight Run 5k/10k!

Ferguson Twilight Run 10k Elevation Chart

Ferguson Twilight Run 10k Elevation Chart

The course was a little hilly but overall not too bad. The first two miles was a steady climb where I tried to maintain a pace to conserve my energy which was between 9:00/mi and 9:15/mi. We weaved through several offshoots in the neighborhood up and down some small hills and then we made a nice descent down towards the main street of Ferguson. It was here that I let gravity help me and kicked up my pace to sub 8:30/mi. The only caveat was there is a small hill right around the 5.50 mile marker that I didn’t plan for. I walked it since there was also a water station but got back to my race pace of about 8:30/mi.

Ferguson Twilight Run 10k Pace

Ferguson Twilight Run 10k Pace

I’m happy to say I finished the race with an average pace of about 8:53/mile and I set a new PR for the 10k distance. Previously it was 58:19 and it is now 55:51, an improvement of about 2 minute and 20 seconds. I finished 67th out of 256 (26.2 percentile); 53rd out of 104 in my gender (51.0 percentile); and 14th out of 30 in my division 30-39 (46.7 percentile). Continue reading

Fairview Half Marathon

The Race

2016 Fairview Half Marathong - Starting Line

2016 Fairview Half Marathong – Starting Line

It was a cool, mostly cloudy morning with a light wind.  Perfect for a run in my eyes for a run, most importantly a race.  This morning I was running the Fairview Half Marathon.

I hadn’t been running much since the year started, so I wasn’t particularly prepared to run a race and give it my physical best.  I did have a goal to finish around 2 hours 30 minutes. More on that later.

I started out with the 2:30 pace group to see how I felt.  It was a pace I felt confident I could keep up with and wanted to finish with.  I ran with a gentleman for a bit and we talked.  He had a goal to finish around the 2:30 mark as well but knew he tended to struggle with the middle part of the race. I told him it is a good idea to try to run, if possible, with a group who runs slightly faster than you do to force you to get faster from time to time. He also had a goal to run a marathon. I told him everyone needs to attempt one to say they’ve done it.

2016 Fairview Half Marathon

2016 Fairview Half Marathon

After the first two or three miles I was feeling pretty good. I attacked a hill pretty aggressively by bounding and after topping out I then worked to catch the 2:25 pace group. I eventually caught them and stayed with them through much of the race. It wasn’t until towards the end of the race that my lack of training and a recent weight gain of about 15 pounds caught up to me and I pretty much hit the wall around the nine or 10 mile mark. I started to do run/walking until I got to the finish.

2016 Fairview Half Marathon

2016 Fairview Half Marathon

I finished the race with a chip time of 2:25:49, which was under the 2 hour 30 minute goal I had set at the beginning of the race.  The gentleman I started the race with caught up with me and said he finished with a personal record, which was pretty cool. As I was walking back to my car I overheard another woman talking about how she had also PR’d. Despite the hilly course it seems people were still able to hit personal bests for the race.

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