Friday, December 31, 2010

Year in Review - Running Log

My ride, rockin' the new snow
I made it into work on Wednesday by bike.  It was a little cold and a little wet, but I'm tough - and that's what showers and washing machines are for anyhow.  Wednesday's ride was significant because it meant that I had rode into work at least once every week since the beautiful bygone summer days of June.  By my best estimates I figure I logged at least 300 total commuter miles this year and saved about 15-20gal of gas.  I don't reckon I saved any money in this endeavor since I was busy buying up an extra bike lock, an upgraded bike pump (the new ones work really well), a needed tune-up and a new derailleur, new brake-pads and chain, and a high-grade light.  I can say with experience now that it's a lot more fun buying up stuff for your bike(s) then for your truck, and it's a lot more fun arriving at work after a morning ride than being pissed off from traffic and being held up at the short-timed traffic lights. 

Running log (mi) - Peaks for Boston, then kinda falls off a cliff
A lot of the riding and commuting I put in since October was really just a substitute for being off my feet, recuperating from an overuse injury and being really bored.  Up until this point, I had had a great year of running.  My best ever really, although with the lingering caveat that I spent the last three months of the year laid-up due to all the awesomeness.  Looking at my tally, I rang up 1500mi on the trails - or for the 9.5 months I was on my feet - an average of roughly 35-40mi p/wk.  This is almost double my mileage for all of 2009.  And while some of this increase is surely due to bigger goals and a greater depth of experience, a lot of it is due to the gradual but necessary build up of strength and resistance that came from the 20mi weeks the year before.  The results were best times in every race I ran over 5K. A seven minute drop in the marathon. Five minute drops in most races I had run in previous years.  Best times on favorite training runs that I'd run-out dozens of times over the years. I actually won one of the races I ran this year - a very foreign and out-of-body feeling to have.  Damnit, that was really awesome.  For the 5K distance and shorter (track workouts basically), I ran my quickest times since high school days, and noted the obvious, that my speed could use a lot of work in comparison to the strength and endurance I'd built up.  

Biking log (mi) - Lots of unrecorded riding during the summer
The lesson I learned from this year's work isn't that mileage necessarily builds improvement, but rather it is consistency that really adds to increased fitness and performance.  I think mileage is a metric that needs to be looked at as a measure of consistency.  My mileage the last few months is for all purposes zero, which reflects a substantial flaw in my training and long term consistency.  The success during the remainder of the year reflects a lot of work and preparation that was done well, but was fundamentally incomplete.  A regimen of stretching and balance will need to be added to stay on the trails and out of the pool. 
Swim log (hrs) - Also known as the injury log

Happy New Years!  Run well, drink local, enjoy the trails, and don't swim (b/c it is the opposite of fun). 

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