Happy New Year, my friends!
2013 was an interesting year for me, running-wise. I was a busy, busy lady, finishing 6 half marathons in addition to several other smaller races AND figuring out training for my first full (yikes!)… which is why I’ve been behind on posting here. I see 2014 as being just as busy – if not more so because of the full training and traveling the second half of the year to catch up on my 50-states goal. That just means I am going to have to get better about making time to sit down and write all this stuff down as it happens before I forget everything. I am now woefully behind on race reports; I still have to write my report for races I did in April (Martian in MI), in June (the SF Marathon – 2nd half!), in October (in Lil Rhody), and two from November (Savannah and Raleighwood). I enjoyed them, and I now have 13 states crossed off my list: NC, VA, LA, FL, NV, SC, IN, CA, MD, AL, MI, RI and GA, and I have repeated two of them: CA (ironically) and now NC (finally!) for a total of 15 completed half marathons three years after deciding to go after this goal. Not too shabby for a single mom on a shoestring budget. I am, however, going to have to find some travel buddies soon to defer the cost of some of these trips.
In other big news for the year, I broke my half marathon PR significantly this year. The last PR I had was from the 2012 TCS Annapolis Half Marathon, but my Garmin was short .15 mi from that race and it has always bugged me a little (ok, a lot). To me, that race always had a little asterisk beside it because of the shortage. Now, I have an official PR from a race I *know* was not short: Rock and Roll Savannah! Officially, my new PR is 1:49:55 and I was beside myself delighted with that time. I worked very hard to get it, and I would have been happy with under 1:51:00, but this made the race for me. It is also incentive to keep doing what I have started doing since July with the Marathon Training plan; apparently, it is working.
So, let’s get to my favorite part of the year in review: the stats! The most important thing about these stats this year is the additional mileage. I have steadily – but incrementally – increased annual cumulative mileage over the course of the last four years. In spite of the marathon training, though, it was a bit of a slow start to the year, so the miles didn’t jump as significantly overall as I thought it might. I started Marathon training mid-July, so I started racking up miles quickly and more than made up for the slower start. Let’s take a look at the numbers…
- Total Running Mileage: 1,150.2 (2012: 982.9 – increased by 17%) – Since I fell short of my goal of 1,000 miles last year, I set that as a goal this year with the understanding that I was only going to train for half marathons. In April, though, I decided to run the Rock and Roll Raleigh in the inaugural year – partly because it was a bucket list thing, partly because I had friends who agreed to run it with me (thank you guys!), and partly because I was getting faster and I always said that if I could get fast enough in a half marathon to approach a Boston Qualifying time (for me 3:45), I’d try it. All that lined up around April and I took the plunge. I decided to do a marathon training plan well in advance of *needing* to do one so I could get a feel for what was required and see how I handled it so I could temper my expectations if I needed to do so – and I am so glad I did it this way. I started the first marathon training plan in July, and, despite a slower than I wanted start to the year mileage-wise, I realized half way through the first marathon training program that I was going to exceed my goal of 1,000 miles this year. I reset my goal to 1,150, which I thought might be a stretch, but something to try for. At the end of the day on 12/31/2013, however, I realized I was .1 mile short of my goal. I posted that in my Facebook group and everyone (including me) were annoyed by it… so, yes, I fired up the treadmill and ran that extra .1 to make it official. Actually, I ran .25 because I was on a treadmill and I didn’t want any doubt about it in my mind.
- Total Running Duration: 167:28:33 (2012: 147:18:38 – increased by 13%) – in 2012, I averaged just over 12 hours of running a month; in 2013, I added almost 2 hours to that *average*, almost all of that gained after July when I started marathon training. I am not at all surprised about how tired I was around weeks 8 and 9 of marathon training now – I was making a huge jump in my overall time spent running. The pinnacle of my running time was August with 19:42:15 spent that month. My first marathon training plan ended in early November, but I’ve tried to keep the per/activity duration to a 45 minute minimum to help me train through exhaustion.
- Total Average Pace: 08:44 (2012: 08:59 – dropped by 00:15) – I am very proud of this number. I’ve worked hard on speed this year, but with a big increase in the mileage, I didn’t expect this number go down as far as it did. All of my longest runs (16+ miles) were all over 9:00 minute mile averages, my longest (22 miler) was over 9:30 minute mile average. My shorter runs, however, must have been fast (and numerous) enough to bring that average down so much, and the vast majority of the gain in that variance came in the last two months of the year, when all of the sudden I dropped from an average of about 8:45 to about 8:30 almost overnight. Thus, all the training I did up to Savannah was working. I was able to do longer runs (8+ miles) at an overall average of 8:30 for the entire run which I had not been able to do until November. I also hit sub-8:00 minute miles a lot the second half of this year, sometimes even several of them in the course of longer runs and races, and now doing 400 meter intervals at sub-7:30 paces are becoming easier. It helps to run with faster people, but truthfully, I credit this number to just working hard on my own so I can keep up with those faster people because a very large portion of these miles were solo.
- Total Number of Running Activities: 194 (2012: 194) – amazingly, I ran the exact same number of times in 2013 as I did in 2012. It was a little more consistent and even with the number of activities per month this year, though. It averaged to just under 17 per month, or just over 4 a week.
- Average Duration per activity: 0:51:48 (2012: 0:45:34) – no surprise here – I spent more time per run and I had several runs that went over 2 hours each. I also ran 2 more half marathons this year than I have in previous years. Although they were faster, I also spent more time preparing for them and did longer runs in advance of them (14-milers) that went over 2 hours.
- Average Distance per Running Activity: 5.93 (2012: 5.07) – again, no big surprise with this stat since I was specifically working on longer runs and I did several over the half marathon distance this year, including two additional half marathons over the previous year. I also set the goal to run a minimum of 45 minutes per run starting in October which netted over 5 miles per run.
- Races completed: 10 (2012: 9) – Of the completed races this year, there were 6 half marathons (Mercedes Half in Birmingham, AL in Feb; Martian Half in Dearborn, MI in April; San Francisco Marathon 2nd Half in San Francisco, CA in June; Amica/Newport Half Marathon in Newport, RI in October; and Savannah Rock and Roll in Savannah, GA and Skinny Turkey half in Raleigh, NC in November), one 10-miler, one 10k, and two 8k races. The shorter races were tougher for me this year, producing my slowest times ever in a 10k, the 10-miler and in an 8k; however, my overall average for the half marathons dropped. I had my fastest (Savannah) and slowest (Skinny Turkey) half marathons in the same month this year.
On balance, a pretty good running year. I am training for my first full in April and I hope I can keep up this pace, maybe even improve a little, and not have to use my treadmill as much… though, I’m grateful to have it when I need it. I’m working on figuring out my goals for next year, and will post those soon.
Happy New Year, Friends!