I was looking at my spreadsheet where I track my shoes, yearly mileage history, plan my races and training and I noticed a couple of things, the first being the shoes I have worn, the second being some interesting stats. I will post about my love/hate relationship with shoes in a future post. For this post I wanted to acknowledge a few minor milestones, take a look at where I am for the year and speculate where I might be by year end. I know some runners may look at what I consider milestones and will laugh but for me I am happy to take a moment to think through them as I never considered myself a runner and still have issues thinking that I am one so allow me to soak these minor ones in.
My first milestone is the completion of a couple of 50k's, I have gone beyond 26.2 for the first time in my life and have now done it twice. I also love the fact that the local ultra running community is so encouraging. I wouldn't have done Chippewa if not for Wynn Davis giving me the confidence to try by simply answering an email and saying I could do it.
My second and third milestones will both happen over the next 2 to 4 weeks. The second milestone is that I will soon have logged 15,000 miles since I started running. I am currently at 14,944 so probably the week after next I will be there. The third milestone (not really a major milestone but an interesting observation) is that already in 2008, I am approaching my last years mileage total and if I continue the current pace, I will have my second highest mileage year ever and it won't surprise me if I break my previous record high mileage year. Another not yet a milestone but at least a trend in the right direction, my weight is down by 12 pounds from my January starting point, if I continue to train and eat sensibly I will end up at my lowest weight in 5 years, which corresponds to my lowest mileage year and my last knee surgery.
Here are my yearly totals:
For the sake of stats, I am ignoring my first year (1991 - 12 miles) as I only had 3 days of running.
Years Running: 16
Fewest Miles - 2003 - 491
Maximum Miles - 1997 - 1305
A couple of observations in looking at the numbers, I see three downward trends, the first is 1999, it reflects a low point that was the result of dealing with torn cartilage in my left knee. I started having issues in 98 and had the surgery in 99. I rebounded a bit until 2003, second knee surgery (right knee). The last trend was that my yearly mileage was at least 200 - 300 miles/year lower after 2003. I think that reflects things going on in my life and my general lack of a specific running goal. Without goals, I wasn't making running a priority. I did just enough to run a marathon or two each year. That changed last year when I turned 50 and decided to go for 50 states and has been further changed as I now have a little ultra fever. I think these two goals will carry me for many years.
Anther milestone that I expect to make soon will happen in August when I run marathons on back to back weekends. I have never tried this and don't expect to have major issues. The courses are out west and will be challenging (I think) so I am not worried about time, I just want to enjoy them. Another minor milestone will happen after my next marathon, it will mark my 30th marathon completed.
Other milestones that I am contemplating going for this fall include completing marathons or longer in 10 states (I will be at 8 states after August), running a 50 miler (thinking either Superior, Glacier Trail or Heartland - open to input if anyone has done any of these) and if not a 50 miler than I will try to do another 50k or two.
Long term goals that I am thinking of now, a 100 mile event (still seems a bit crazy but not as crazy as I once thought as I am starting to think I can do it) and one other lesser goal, I would like to see my ultra race count move beyond my marathon count.
So all in all when I look back at my year, I am into a decent running pattern with renewed optimism and goals. I look forward to the coming events, those that are already committed and those that I am still thinking about................