Saturday, December 31, 2011

Running recap for 2011

Brian and Greg at Turkey Trot 2011: Just 2½ miles to go!
Boredom alert: This post (like the others?) will be of little interest to anyone but me, but it's a good exercise for me to be accountable to my training.

Madame X and I just returned from brief trip to her folks’ farm in Brown County, Illinois. The weather continued to be unseasonably warm, and, with this morning's temperature a notch above freezing and the sun shining brightly, we enjoyed a peaceful jaunt on the backroads.

Over the 4.8 miles we covered, we encountered no one. Not a driver. No one in his or her yard or driveway. Not even a dog or a deer, for that matter. (We did see cows in their pastures, however.)

That was my final run of 2011. I feel that it was a good year of running for me. But I didn’t realize how well it turned out until I checked my blog post of a year ago today, where I recapped my 2010 running and set goals for 2011.

My mileage for the year – 1,130 – was my highest total in at least five years. (I covered 938 miles in 2010, 640 in 2009, 759 in 2008 and 742 in 2007.) Turns out that also exceed my new year’s resolution goal by 30 miles.

I credit my increased mileage -- 76% more miles than two years ago -- to better conditioning. As noted here a year ago, I started weight training in mid-2010. That has helped me avoid back spasms and trips to the chiropractor (just two visits in 2011), so I can stay on the run. (Thanks again to daughter Kate for recommending the weights!)

I also credit the fact that I'm in a running group. Without knowing that they would be watching for me to drive up to the starting point at 5:24 a.m. weekdays, it would have been very easy to hit the snooze button. Mr. Reliable was Judd Ott, who was out there every weekday.

Here were my 2011 goals, followed by the actual result.
  • Days of running – Goal: 273 (75%). Actual: 255 (69.9%)
  • Miles covered -- Goal: 1,100. Actual: 1,130
  • Weight workouts – Goal: 100. Actual: 107
  • Competition – Goal: Complete the Turkey Trot 7½-miler without the big fade experienced in 2010 (Time: 1:00:35). Actual: Accomplished. Ran 2½ minutes faster (58:01), thanks to my pacer and coach, Greg.
My running log also noted :
  • Longest run -- 7.5 miles. Six times, including the Turkey Trot.
  • Shortest run -- 2 miles. Twice. One was a pre-dawn day in Chicago. The other was the day after the Turkey Trot, when my body told me I needed another day of rest.
  • Coldest weather for a run (not including wind chill) -- Minus-15 on Feb. 10. (Fortunately, there was no wind.)
  • Hottest run -- 80. Three times (June 8, July 18 and, on a morning when the official humidity was 100 percent, July 19.) By the way, those were the temps at 5:25 a.m.
  • Most miles in a week -- 30.5, Nov. 21-27. The week of the Turkey Trot, it included one of my shortest runs (2 miles) and two of my longest (7.5 miles).
  • Fewest miles in a week -- 8, Jan. 31-Feb. 6. It included a couple of missed days due to a blizzard, travel to Des Moines for a convention and general laziness.
  • In late February, we were iced out of running three consecutive mornings.
Aside from the Turkey Trot, I didn’t race particularly well in 2011. I attribute it to advancing years and  few interval workouts on the track due to a persistently sore right hamstring.

Enough about the past. Here are my goals for 2012.
  • Days of running – Goal: 274 (75%). This includes Leap Day. 
  • Miles covered -- Goal: 1,200. 
  • Weight workouts – Goal: 100.  
  • Competition – Goal: 21 minutes for the Labor Day 5k and match 2011's time in the Turkey Trot 7½-miler.
Check back in a year, if you care, to see how 2012 turned out!