Thursday, August 9, 2012

But I Would Run 1,000 miles and I Would Run 1,000 More ...

Apologies to The Proclaimers for hijacking their lyrics.

I am a numbers junkie.  I work with metrics all day long at work, attend Business Intelligence conferences, and generally just swim in a pool of statistics all day.  That bleeds over into my non-work life as well, where I love to crunch numbers and maintain spreadsheets and pivot tables for all kinds of things, many of which have no business being in a spreadsheet.  My trusty Garmin has enabled my numbers addiction in many wonderful ways.  At the heart of all that data, however, is the key question of how many miles have I run.

As of yesterday morning’s run I crossed over 1,000 miles run for 2012.  It sounds like a big number, and many days feels like a big number, but taken in isolation it’s not particularly significant.  However, when I look at that number relative to last year, it starts to tell a story.  Part of what drives me with running is trying to get better.  Not trying to win races or any crazy lofty goals, just pushing myself to get better in terms of the quantity and quality of my training, and hopefully my performance when race days come along.

When I finished my run yesterday I was at 1,004.3 miles of running for 2012 spread across 113 runs.  On this same date last year I had run 585.87 miles spread across 116 runs.  Basically the increase is a combination of a more strenuous training plan, but more importantly, I’ve stayed relatively injury-free this year versus last year, where I started the year with no running and lots of quality time with my PT.  Although I’m sure luck plays some part in staying healthy, I’ve worked very hard to try and learn from my injuries and address the root causes.  At the risk of jinxing myself, it seems to be working fairly well this year.  Knock on all things wood.

Looking back at all of 2011, I ended the year with a grand total of 1020 miles run, so I’ve nearly reached my full-year numbers from last year.  Additionally, this time last year I didn’t even own a bike, versus this year where I’ve logged 582 training miles on the bike.  I think that may be a big reason for my relative health this year.  At least I like to think that to justify the investment I made in the bike.  I thought running was expensive until I started buying bike accessories.  Ouch.

I’m really excited to see how my body responds to the next 3 months of training prior to my first try at a 50-miler.  The long runs are getting plentiful and lengthy, and even the shorter runs are lengths that a couple years ago would have seemed crazy to try and get done before heading to work for the day.

Miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, August 3, 2012

July Training Recap - Strong in the Saddle

July was a good training month.

According to my trusty training spreadsheet I ran the most miles I’ve ever run in a month, 192.34 miles, and came through relatively healthy.  I also logged the highest weekly total I’ve ever run, 58.63 miles, and the numbers only get bigger from here per the ultra plan I’m following.  My legs seem to be adjusting fairly well to the increased workload.  Still not getting enough sleep.  Broken record on that one.

The more interesting stat in July is my mileage on the bike.  I’ve generally substituted my Sunday recovery run with a relatively long ride on the bike, and I’m really enjoying the time in the saddle.  I think I like the speed a bit too much.  Hopefully that doesn’t end up getting me hurt in new and even more spectacular ways than running ever offered.  Although I only got in 5 rides in July, I managed 193.06 total miles, with a longest ride of 53.55 miles.  I think the biking is helping the running, and the running is helping the biking.  At the very least it’s giving my feet a break on Sundays and keeping the pounding in check.

Here’s the recap for July:

Running:  18 runs, 192.34 miles
Biking:  5 rides, 193.06 miles
Lifting:  8 trips to the gym

Sadly, zero times in the pool.  I’m planning to get there eventually this summer, but for now the running and biking are working for me, so they’re winning out when I need to decide what to do.

This Saturday I have a 24-mile long run on the plan, which will be the longest training run I’ve ever done.  Planning to try the 25 minutes running / 5 minutes walking approach which I need to adopt as part of my Ultra strategy.  Will also walk any major hills.  Still trying to get over the mental hurdle of feeling like I need to be running all the time.  We’ll see how it goes.