Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mileage: How Much is not Enough?

Holiday miles
I'm always keenly aware when I haven't been getting outside regularly because my body seems to age an extra five years and my energy levels tank. Negative feedback loops take hold. A review of my activity logs only confirms this slide in fitness. When I downloaded my end-of-year mileage last week (while smackin' through a box of Christmas cookies, natch) I wasn't happy with the year I'd rung up. Witness the falloff:

Total Hrs:262hrsTotal Hrs:361hrsTotal Hrs:193hrsTotal Hrs:129hrs

I couldn't even hump it over the 500mi mark at year end due to an ill-timed tweak in my achilles. What have I become? It appears I've become a marshmallow (or maybe a box of cookies), that's what.

The mileage over the last four years tell a story - Years 2010 and '11 were outliers since I was training for and running marathons. The marathon in 2010 was completed much faster than in 2011, for obvious reasons. In 2011 I upgraded my mountain bike to awesome, then bombed through 3000 miles of trails over the next eighteen months. This year's less-than-impressive totals are a reflection of a busy life, the somewhat unhealthy result of months focused on professional exams and the addition of a smiling baby boy around the house, one who prefers to be ridiculously cute all the time then to being buckled into a running stroller.

Digging into the numbers is a disappointing exercise: 500 miles a year (or 481 without the rounding) is not a lot. This is ten miles a week or just two measly runs a week. Hardly even running really, that's glorified jogging. If you can't even find the time to get out and do what you enjoy then you're just too busy - some number of extracurriculars will need to be cut from my current schedule to correct this. The broader metric is even more convincing: 129 hours in one year - which includes ski outings, snowshoeing, swimming, etc. - is less than three hours a week. That is not enough and I know this even without parsing numbers in a log because I just generally feel like a schlub. When the beer doesn't taste as good as it used to, it's because of a drift toward schlub.

Holiday aesthetic
So there's the outline of my new year's goals and resolutions, supported by numbers to better measure my progress. Does your view of the new year include finding time to do more of what you enjoy and less of the path of marshmallow? Hopefully so. And we will raise a cheer to our new found ways as the year fades to winter once again.

Related Posts:
 - New Years in the Sierras: 2012
 - New Years above Taos: 2011
 - Year in Review: 2010


  1. Jeebus, you and me both my friend. Seems I can't get into a rhythm, I'll ride a bunch just to slack off for 2 weeks. Maddening. Almost done w/ home improvements, we're this close ! :-/ m

  2. It would appear we are not alone: M

  3. Consistency is the most difficult component of achieving a goal. And the costs of inconsistency are many when the goal is physical in nature, and often painful. The fella in the bike article you posted goes with the term 'balance'. Same thing I suppose.

    Tough to be balanced and consistent when remodeling a house though. Maybe in the longer hours of the summer, but not in the twilight of winter. Best of luck to us both Michael.



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