Saturday, July 12, 2008

Running milestones ........

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................


Londell said...


Come to Superior... Did you see Larry has it starting at Finland and going to Lutsen... So we 100 milers start at 8 AM Friday... I plan on being at 50 miles around Midnight, 6 hours before you start, but all 6 hours will be night running. I would expect to be near 70 miles when you start and doing no more than a 20 minute mile... But as you will be fresh, you could catch some of 100's and we could make the last 10 miles together... Could be fun and this is a great course and they do the best job. The only question I would have for Larry is the 100 milers have a cut-off of 7 PM at Oberg and in the past the 50 milers had a cut-off of 5 PM?

Anyway, I tell many people my two almost 8 hour aftons were harder than my 12+ hour 50 mile...

SteveQ said...

Unlike Londell, I don't think Superior's the place to start, unless you've seen the course and like it. It's pretty hairy in places.

Actually, Glacial's no picnic, either, now that I think of it.

RunWesty said...

Thanks for the advice,

Londell - I may just go for your plan.

Steve - probably good advice to not start with Superior but I do like challenges.

I may followup with both of you with a few off-line questions if you don't mind.


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