Monday, January 6, 2014

So Long, Farewell 2013

Without a doubt 2013 was a pretty epic year for me.  I'd even say my best running year ever or so far in my journey of life.  That may or may not be fair to say since sometimes comparing year to year is like comparing apples to oranges.  There are so many factors to each year.  For my life the biggest factors are my 6 children.  I had several turning points in that area & those changes are one of the many reasons why I had such a great year.

To get to the main reason why this year was so epic it goes beyond any external reason or factor.  On a surface level I'd say that *I* was the reason for this great year.  Yet, let me pause for those who may not really know me & my beliefs to say that at the core of me lives my Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is the only reason I have any good in me at all.  God is my ultimate motivation, the one that moves & inspires me to look deep down at how He created me and my running abilities & to use those gifts & talents to honor Him.  I hope that those that truly know me see this lived in my life and my running every single day.  My personal faith is not the focus on my blog nor do I believe in "forcing" my beliefs on others so I often tend to not talk about it openly or frequently or unless asked.  However I won't ignore or deny my faith either.  It's a fine balance, but everyone once in awhile I put it out there nice & bold to address the topic.

Anyway, going back to all that surface-y stuff, I'm pretty much the one who made 2013 epic.  I've expressed before that in a literal sense I pretty much run solo.  I do have a lot of running friends (both in real life & some virtually), even a running partner.  Their verbal support & encouragement takes me a thousand miles more than I could ever go.  Without actually calculating though I'd say I only run with other people about 10% of the time, if even that.  So I don't consistently meet up with anyone or have someone to push me to go further or faster.  I just have to do it on my own.  I have a 101 excuses as to why I should not have been able to accomplish what I did in 2013.  According to 99% of the people I know, they just scratch their head, look at me in astonishment & say things like "that is crazy.  how is that even possible".

In the big spectrum of other runners out there what I do is not that much.  I'm very aware that there is always someone out there that runs more miles than I do.  Or runs faster (definitely a lot more faster).  Others run in harder conditions that I do.  The list is endless if you want to start the comparison games.  A game that I, yes, am guilty of playing sometimes, even if it only internally or in my head.  But definitely a game that I hate to have forced upon me.  Aside from taking note, I really strive to not play those games.  I focus on me.  Unless someone has lived my exact life then DO NOT compare your running to mine.  I have enough to think, worry, focus on with my own running I don't need to take on anyone else's.

Ok, no clue where that rant came from and I'm rambling before getting to my point of this post, a wrap up of 2013.  So let's just move to the facts of what I accomplished last year.

Miles ran:  2021
I started this year with the goal to RUN THIS YEAR.  Meaning 2013 miles in 2013.  This proved to be a little harder than I imagined.  Not that I thought it was going to be easy, but if you do the math it averages out to approx. 5.5 miles a day.  THAT doesn't sound too hard or very much.  I mean, now days 5 miles is a short run.  After my injury mid year & muddling through that recovery I fell behind quite a bit.  At one point I was going to have to run 10 miles a day just to catch up.  In October I got very serious about this and pushed myself more than ever to not only get out the door, but to keep going.  Yes, it was challenging & I agree, I should have been resting more.  But, with lots of TLC I made it through and a few days before 12-31 I reached my goal & celebrated by running this special route:

I set down to analyze my numbers & after some recalculating I was coming up with some different numbers, depending on which way I was calculating.  Now, let me clarify that I'm not a numbers person at all.  In fact, I rather loath math & numbers, but when it comes to calculating miles I get all excited.  So I took my usual form of entry (writing it on my daily calendar) and dumped it all into a spreadsheet & let the computer do the math for me.  Turns out, at least on this particular run I was a few miles short, but rest assured, I met my Run This Year goal before the end of the year and added a few miles for good keep.

Since I did get all the info into a spreadsheet then I was able to sort & do all sorts of fun things with my numbers.  Here is a break down of my distances* & how many times I ran them:
1 mile - 10
2 miles - 77
3 miles - 27
4 miles - 48
5 miles - 70
6 miles - 41
7 miles - 29
8 miles - 23
9 miles - 8
10 miles - 9
11 miles - 4
13 miles - 2
14 miles - 3
15 miles - 1
18 miles - 1
19 miles - 1
20 miles - 2
26 miles - 1
31 miles - 2
45 miles - 1

*I rounded down for these numbers.  So I may have ran 5.5 miles, but I only counted it as a 5 mile run.  So as you can see, I had more 1 & 2 mile days more than anything else.  Showing that even though it's not easy,  it's very do-able.

Days I ran: 365.
Yes, every single day.  My running streak continues and my overall total is 583 days.  I don't have a date that I plan to stop my streak.  It will more than likely be on a day where it is literally humanly impossible for me to run (or even walk in worse case scenario) for even a mile.  I am beyond blessed that I am not faced with this on a regular basis.

Races Ran:
2 mile - 1
5k - 2
13.1 - 1
26.2 - 1
50k - 2
8 hour - 1

My busy day to day life makes it harder to commit to racing a lot.  I had a lot of races written on the calendar, but only a few actually completed.  My racing was very rewarding as I PR'd at almost every single race.  I ran 5 of the 8 races by April, 4 in April alone.  I was able to handle all the speed & high miles up until that point.  That is when things fell apart, mostly due to my fall, but let's face it I was falling apart anyway.

Overall, I'd sum up 2013 to be a year all about the miles.  While I had some speed in there I was more focused on just getting the miles done.  In the end, regardless of my speed, I came out a much stronger runner than when I started the year.  MUCH.  STRONGER.  Run This Year ended up taking me to new heights & pushed me more than I imagined.

What's on tap for 2014?  You'll just have to wait & see.  I'll give you a big clue, it's not another Run This Year.  As much as I loved it for 2013, I'm not purposely going to do it again in 2014.  My next post will take a look at my 2014 goals, thoughts & ideas.

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing!!!
    Who cares what kinds of running conditions others are dealing with?! (although I saw on FB that you ran in arctic temps!!)
    Who cares if someone else runs faster or further? You had a goal and you accomplished it in style!!!
    Can't wait to hear what you have lined up for 2014!