January 4, 2012

Year in Review - running, and not much else

Each year as the calendar flips over from December to January, two things happen for most of us. We look back on the past year, and plan on doing better in the new one. For the last few years, this has included totaling up all the exercise miles for me.

All this running and biking started some nine years ago. It began with the enthusiasm of a friend, and as I said then, it has taken me to some great places physically and mentally, and I have met some wonderful people as well. As a side benefit, it has improved my fitness when time is trying to do the opposite.

The past few years I have totaled up the mileage in running, biking and swimming. Swimming was added when I had plans to do a triathlon. I still have plans, but they have been put on the back burner for now. I quit the gym back in May and haven't done any swimming since. And that is fine for now.

This adventure in fitness all started with biking. I have been focusing more running over the past few years, so the time and miles have been moving from one bucket to another. Long runs in preparation for marathons have been taking up my weekends, so there was less time to pedal.

But I am embarrassed to say that in 2011 I rode my bike only once. Once. Sixteen miles. The only real outside time my bicycle had this year was during the photo shoots for the book cover. Ridiculous.

On the positive side of things, my running went pretty well last year. I ended up running 885 miles in 2011. This is about forty-five miles less than the year before, but still a good total for me. I ran in five events, and set five new personal bests. During the year I shaved:

1:20 off my 5k time,
8:49 off my half marathon time, and
5:38 off my marathon time.

I am approaching that point where my times will stop improving, but for now I am still climbing that hill. It helps to have started later in life. I have another marathon in two and a half weeks. I have no idea how it will go. Training has been okay but uninspired.

After the marathon, I am going to start putting the miles and minutes back in the biking bucket. I miss it and I have no excuses not to ride. I want to get back to exercising for enjoyment instead of simply preparing for a race. To get outside and find a little inspiration.

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