Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 in review

My 2015 Running Year in review:

Not sure how to start this post. Should I go with stats first and then a short write-up or the other way around? Perhaps I should attempt a mixture of the two? I will try the latter.

Total Distance run:         1,343.5mi
(that’s 30,954,240 BigMacs stacked on top of each other, in case you wanted to know)
Production value. I just ate that thing.
 Doesn't look as advertised though...
No stock photo here!
Compared with the last 3 years (’12: 459.6mi /’13: 1,239.5mi/’14: 1,079mi), this was a new personal record. I did think I would’ve cracked the 1,500mi mark by now. However, I tend to only look at this at the beginning of the year and forget about it throughout. Nothing good usually comes from purely pushing for a straight up distance over the course of the year. It wouldn’t help account for injuries and put the focus more on quantity instead of quality.

Total Time run: 215h 59m
(that’s a little longer than watching all episodes of The Office (three times) or watching all of Friends 2.5 times)
Also a new record for the year, although it only surpasses 2014 by a mere 25 hours. Given that the difference is only 104 miles, I hope to soon be able to match this time goal, but by having quite a bit more miles under my belt.

Elevation Gain: 41,663ft
I don’t really have any comparison to previous years for this stat, but it sounds interesting (given that Mt. Everest is a “puny” 29,029ft. If I may bore you for a moment, I would go into the fact that it may sound like an impressive elevation gain, but it is a mere 31ft per mile and the majority of the elevation gain came from a few select runs in some mountainous regions while I was travelling. If I took those out, my average gain would truly reflect where I live and mostly train: pancake flat eastern South Dakota.
The Burj Khalifa is somewhere around ~2700 feet. Mt. Everest is ~11x taller than that. I'm SUCH an awesome person for having climbed that much!!!
Biking: 168.7mi (11h 38m)
I had a couple of really good outings and get more comfortable for longer distances  on my bike, but actually envisioned at the beginning of last year that I may exceed my running distance. This is far
Me riding on the regular
from possible, but may be in my future. Unlikely to happen in 2016, but maybe ‘17/’18 as I get more serious about triathlons.
Swimming 4.92mi (3h 50m) Wow, this was more impressive when I left it at 8,660 yards before translating it into miles. Any swimmer friends of mine will look at this is and give this a slight smile and realize how cute this little distance is. If I am serious about any future triathlons, I will have to step up my game in this regard in 2016. It often came down to time conflicts and I chose running over swimming. There is an interesting long distance swimming event in North Dakota that has intrigued me for a good year and a half now. The length is only about 36 miles. Not 3.6, but 36. Maybe something for the more ‘distant’ future.


Prairie Striders Indoor 5K (9th)
Sandhills Ultra 50K          (5th) -PR
Kalamazoo Marathon (40th)
Dizzy Goat 12 hour (3rd) - PR
Mobridge 4th of July 5K (1st)
Sioux Falls Marathon  (16th) -PR
Jack 15 (10th) -PR
Icebox 480 (5th)  -PR      
Riddlebox 50K (1st) -PR

9 races for the year isn’t bad. Considering a couple of last minute 5Ks, thrown in, I basically raced long distance every couple of months. I bet my wife won’t believe that, as I constantly talk about potential races and she must feel I am racing every 3 weeks.
Important to me was race selection, which was based heavely on timing and how my training was coming along. It’s easy to be tempted to overrace, but I don’t think I can achieve my best times/performances if I simply throw myself into every race possible. A couple of races turned out to be PRs, but were only 1-2 weeks after other races and I am sure I could’ve done even better had I rested more prior.

6 of 9 races resulted in PRs and I got my first win at a 5K and a 50K. That in itself makes me very happy, as I am able to race both, short and long distances semi-competitively. The only sour spot on the year is that I wasn’t able to set a new 5K and 10K PR. Well, I didn’t race a 10K, so I couldn’t score that one, but I tried (-->)twice at the 5K.
The first was without the right training beforehand and was a novelty as it was held on an indoor track and I signed up for the experience and to support my running club. I jumped on the second one only a couple of weeks after my 58.5mile performance at the 12 hour race in Nebraska. I learned about the race in the paper the night before and decided to run it at a pace that wouldn’t threat injury. As it was a small town event, I was able to pull off a victory with a minute or so to spare, so I never truly got into racing mode either. Excellent excuses
J. Hopefully 2016 will bring a 5K and/or 10K somewhere along the line with my training.

I also got to knock off the following places of my 50/50 (states & countries) marathon list:

Hong Kong

I had to quit on a couple of attempts (after 13.5 miles in Arkansas and 14 miles in Illinois) due to weather, but am happy with getting these 7 (especially the countries, as they are likely harder to achieve long term).

I am now at 20/100 total and look forward to knocking off a few more in 2016.
my 2016 plans :)

In review, it was a great running year for me and it mostly came through the help of my buddy/coach Kyle who is helping my preparation by providing my training plans and advice on when to back off and when to push. I can only recommend working with him to anyone looking to improve PRs or conquer new distances (look again, 6 PRs and a couple of wins. I had never won a 5K or 50K before!)

Alright, Get Outside!

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