Sunday, December 31, 2017

Running The Numbers - 2017

Twin Caves Racing on August 20
The year 2017 was a very happy running year for me overall. I discovered trails, found peace and happiness with running in general, PR'd in the mile, and had my highest volume ever. The obvious and gigantic negative in 2017 was Wendy's struggle with injury and illness. However, she is on the better side of a grisly surgery that will help her be able to do what she wants with her body again.

As you may remember, I am scrapping time and distance goals in 2018 and have a single goal/aim/mantra: RUN HAPPY . The fine print in that goal includes running when I want, how far I want, and how fast I want. It'll include tons of friends, trails, fun, and listening to my body so I know when it needs a break.

Nonetheless, you know I will still maintain my data, because I loves me some numbers. Here is my numerical analysis of 2017. I especially love my monthly mileage. :-)

Running The 2017 Numbers
Data collection and analysis is a hobby of mine. Therefore, I looooooove the end of the calendar year, because it provides a great opportunity for me to analyze what I've collected.

Cold run with Becky on February 4
Miles Run: 1,582.00 (avg. 30.34 mi. per week)
Increase Over Previous Annual Mileage High: 1,170.00 mi., 35.21% increase
Runs: 225 (60 more than 2016)
Hours Run: 250.62 (10.44 days, or 2.86% of 2017)
Average Run Distance: 7.03 mi.
Average Run Pace: 9:30.30 min/mi.
Average Run Duration: 1:06:49.9 hr.
Average Temperature During Runs: 50.20°F
Temperature Range: 85°F (High 83°F, July 22; low -2°F, January 7)
Track workout with Wendy on April 30
Feet Climbed: 76,928 (14.57 mi.)
Average Feet Climbed Per Mile: 48.63, 0.92% grade
MaeBe's Run Mileage: 55.62
Miles Walked: 58
Walks: 39
Average Walk Distance: 1.49 mi.
Strength Training Sessions at Novus: 50
Cross Training Miles: 0 (oops)
Races Run: 14 (9 AG awards or T10s)
PRs Set: 1, 6:51 in the mile on my 38th birthday, June 1
DNFs: 1, Seymour Half Marathon, May 20
Falls: 2, December 2 and December 29
Trail race in Kentucky on November 19
Injuries: 0
Toenails Lost: 7
Surgeries: 0
Pairs of Shoes Retired: 5
Pairs of Shoes Purchased: 5
States Where I Ran: 2, Indiana and Kentucky
Pictures Drawn: 4: pi on March 14, crosses on April 16, 2017 on May 26, and a tree on December 25
Longest Run: 14.04 mi., September 30
Shortest Run: 1.01 mi., July 10
Week With Most Running: July 23-29, 41.70 mi.
Month With Most Running: August, 156.00 mi.
Month With Least Running: September and November, each 110.00 mi.
Favorite Run: October 28, 12.62 mi. (Tecumseh... friends and beautiful fall scenery.)
Least Favorite Run: September 23, 8.52 mi. (High humidity, improper fueling, picked up on Electric Avenue by Mom)
Percentage of Goals Reached: 100% (7/7, see below)
Weight Range in Pounds: 15.0 (two Crohn's flares)
Total Lifetime Mileage: 7,970.00
Percent of Lifetime Mileage Run in 2017: 19.85%

Mileage By The Month
I did that weird number thing and made sure my monthly mileage totals were all whole numbers. It's very satisfying for me to see all that point-0-0! Also, including December 2016, I have a 13-month streak of 100+ miles per month. That will likely end this year as I intend to remove "mileage pressures."

Cool photo shoot with
In The Dark Photography, June 12
January: 116.00
February: 112.00
March: 132.00
April: 116.00
May: 133.00
June: 146.00
July: 155.00
August: 156.00
September: 110.00
October: 146.00
November: 110.00
December: 150.00

Jo's 2017 Fitness Goals
1. Remain injury-free.
Check. I had some nagging stuff like sore post-tibs, an achy toe joint, and a good bruise from a fall to the knee. However, I took breaks when I needed and avoided the major stuff.
2. Run lots of miles with lots of friends.
Total success here. I ran with more folks than I've ever run, and even made some new friends!
3. Run 1,200 annual miles.
Mitch, Eric, and Ryan on March 25
Nailed it, plus 382. I had an unspoken secondary goal to get 100 or more miles per month, and I did that, too.
4. Run on dates I haven't run at least a mile outdoors (2018 extension allowed).
Did it! Didn't need the 2018 extension!
5. Work on the committee to stage the BMS 5K.
6. Encourage another person or people to become more focused on fitness.
Another success. I helped my friend Mitch and some of his friends, Eric and Ryan, train for their first half marathon which they ran in April. (I had to miss it because I was in the hospital with one of those Crohn's issues.) All three of them have continued running, setting goals, and kicking butt.
7. Build more muscle.
Succeeded. Thanks, Novus!

It was a really great year for my running. Thanks to everyone for the support! On to 2018!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Run Happy ✌

I've often heard that when you're in your twenties, you think you know it all; when you're a thirty-something, you freak out because you realize that you don't know it all; and in your forties, you chill out and accept things as they are. I'm 38, so I think I'm starting to approach that chill acceptance stage. I'd like to share with the Interwebs how that acceptance relates to my running "career." (lol)

BARA Half, 08.26.2017
About a year ago, I decided I was over the constant PR pursuit. I was absolutely killing myself to nail down certain paces to run certain times that certainly didn't matter. I mean, a PR is a nice achievement, but I was chasing times because that's what I thought I should want as a runner. I surmised that if I didn't do my best and run my hardest every time I toed a start line, I wasn't doing it right. However, it turns out that constant speed chasing was causing me to fall out of love with running, not to mention stressing my Crohn's-disease-weakened bones. 

Removing the time goals from my mind allowed me to relax and enjoy running for running's sake. I entered some races and tried some new things—like running a trail race—just to have some fun, with no worries about how long it took me. I paced some friends in their events, which actually fulfilled me more than racing ever did. In some races, if I wanted to run a little faster than usual, I did. Not once did I PR in 2016, and I didn't care. In 2017, I had one PR, and that was in the mile. It was the only time goal I sought in 2017, and I pursued it because I wanted to, not because I thought I had to. 

I'm a lot happier since I removed time pressures from my running.

Twin Caves Racing
This summer, I asked a few friends to join me for one of those fun races I mentioned earlier, a cross country 10K relay. Becky, Larry, and Jocelyn, friends of mine from Mitchell, agreed to "cross the river" and join me for the race in Bedford. They even said they would make me an official Twin Caves Racing member, but I had to join them on some trails first.  

My first run with them at Spring Mill State Park was on June 4. I was hooked on those trails and the stellar company immediately! I spent the summer getting stronger on the trails in the park. When we saw something pretty, we stopped to take a pic.When we were a bit tired, we stopped to rest. When Becky announced that she would be running Tecumseh, a crazy-hilly trail half marathon, I said I'd give it a try, too. I had a blast at that race in October, where I ran the 13 most beautiful miles I've ever experienced. 
Jocelyn, Larry, Jo, and Becky

I've continued running trails with TCR into the autumn. We still run, rest, take pics, and have fun. Sunday, we're going to some trail race in Kentucky. Prospect, or something like that. I don't know where it is exactly. I don't know the course. I have no "race plan." I just can't wait to get into the woods and spend some time with friends.

I'm a lot happier since I found the serenity of trails with friends.

Prior to 2017, the most miles I've ever run in a year has been 1,170. As I type this blog, I'm at 1,364.54 miles for 2017. Yes, I know it to the hundredth of a mile. :-) I've had a LOT of volume this year. It's been great. I've loved every mile... almost. Around September, I really started to feel worn down. The cure was a week off running, but the simple suggestion of time off terrified me. My thought process went something like this: I'm averaging 30 miles a week. I have to keep it at 30 or above. I haven't had a month with less than 100 miles since November 2016. I have to keep it at 100 or above.

First time to kiss the bricks at the Mini
No, you don't. And no, you don't.

I've recently decided to bag the weekly/monthly/annual distance requirements I put on myself. Guess when I'm going to run? When I want to. Guess how far I'm going to run? How far I want to. I may run 10 miles in a week, or I may run 40. I may run 50 miles in a month, or I may run 150. Whatever the volume is, it'll be because that's what I want to do. When I train for a marathon/half-marathon/5K/whatevs, it'll be because I want to.
Zach, Jo, Mitch, and Ryan
I'm a lot happier since I decided I can run when I want, how far I want.

The conclusion is as follows: I am so much happier and healthier when running is my passion and not my requirement.  I run to stay fit, I run to be with friends, I run to enjoy the outdoors, and I run to be happy. I don't run to write a distance and pace in my running log (though you know this data-hound will still keep a spreadsheet, kids). "Liberating" is the only way to describe it.

Every December, I write goals for the upcoming calendar year. I've always included some time goals and at least one distance goal. Last year, I scrapped the time goals. When I write my 2018 goals, I'm scrapping distance goals. In fact, I think I'll be narrowing down my annual goals to one:


PS - Happy Pics...

Fun moment at the Mini

Beautiful sunrise at Patoka Lake

Tecumseh FUN!

Monumental finish

With Wendy and MaeBe on my birthday

With Schanzel and Jill at the Monumental Mile

Twin Caves plunge on a hot day


Spring Mill beauty with Becky and Larry

At Patoka with Larry and Becky

Another Patoka shot