2016: the year in running

Overall, I think 2016 was a solid year, running-wise. But it could also be a transitional year. I’ll explain that later.

I reached my goal of 1200 km for the year, or an average of 100 km per month. I finished with 1,262 km (784 mi). I achieved one race PB: a sub-25:00 5k in March, without wearing a watch to check my pacing. I somehow achieved placement in my age group in the Lower Mainland Road Race Series. I ran my first back-to-back races, at the Rock ‘n’ Roll stop in Vancouver. Like I said, solid.

Finish line of Shaughnessy 8k (photo credit: Rick Horne)

Finish line of Shaughnessy 8k (photo credit: Rick Horne)

Finish line of Longest Day 5k (photo credit: Debra Kato)

Finish line of Longest Day 5k (photo credit: Debra Kato)

I’m also arriving at the point where there may not be more gains to be had in terms of PBs. One could say that my running is getting close to a midlife crisis, but I’m not conceding it by any means. Still, the aches on parts of my feet are definitely showing, and not really going away.

All of that doesn’t mean I’m stopping, or slowing down my running. I want to continue my minimum three runs a week. I want to continue to challenge myself on races, and there will be opportunity for that in 2017: Scotiabank Half in June, Eastside 10k in September, and another shot at the New York City Marathon in November. I want to get into trail running (I always say that every year), and even try a beer mile. No stopping in 2017; bring it on!


2013 wrap and running goals for 2014

Oh, 2013. It’s over already? But it was a good year overall: I was employed for almost all of the year, I became an uncle, and I got engaged! Cheryl and I will be married this July.

As for my running in 2013, I made significant breakthroughs. I entered a variety of race distances, including my first 5k, and raced well in all of them. So well in fact that of the six races I entered in 2013, I set or broke a personal best in five of them. (The sixth, the BMO Vancouver Half, was still under 2:00, which was my goal). I had set for myself just to break the PB for the half marathon at the beginning of 2013, but I went ahead and broke PBs in three other race distances.

For 2014, I want to break at least two more PBs. Unusually, I have already set my race calendar, which includes an 8k, a 10k, two half marathons, and concludes with a return to New York in November because of the cancellation of the 2012 NYC Marathon.

I’ve been content to run three times a week, scheduling them in advance. The thing that still eludes me is the cross-training, which I indicated last year. If I can schedule my runs, then I can certainly schedule cross-training at least once a week. I think Friday evenings are a good place to squeeze those in.

As for my running mileage, I finished the year 2013 with 1,505 km (935 mi), which was short of my goal of 1,609 km (1,000 mi). Sometimes life gets in the way, so I wasn’t too fussed; in any case, it should be more about quality over quantity, right? My mileage target for 2014 is set again for 1,000 miles. Training for a marathon in the summer and early fall will definitely get me there.

This is going to be an interesting year: lots of races, with a wedding in the middle of the year. I’m ready!

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!


2012 wrap-up

When I look back at 2012, I feel I’ve moved forward in some respects (running, relationships) but stalled in others (job), and for that I feel that it was a good year overall, despite the specific goals I set for myself.

Going back to this time last year, I put down five goals. Goal #1 about finding a job is incomplete; I am in the middle of a contract, but nothing is guaranteed at the moment. Goal #2 (completing the Vancouver Marathon in 4:20) proved to be slightly optimistic. I applied the lessons for training for that into the NYC Marathon, but that came to naught as well when it was cancelled, However, what I did and witnessed on Staten Island on the day the marathon was supposed to have been held will stay with me for a very long time.

At least all the training I did for two marathons brought my running mileage (goal #3) up this year. I finished with 1,723 km (1,071 mi). As for goal #4, I suppose I did expand my network through social media and through my professional contacts. Opportunities did arise out of them, but nothing concrete.

And goal #5 did yield a result. After a few months of dating, I’m in the middle of a great relationship. I’m happy in that respect, and I’m hoping that other aspects of my life fall in place during 2013.

These are my goals for 2013:

  1. Find a job (third year’s the charm, right?)
  2. Achieve a new personal best in the half marathon (I want to attempt at least two in 2013)
  3. Incorporate more cross-training (schedule in something at least once a week with my other run workouts)
  4. Run at least 1,000 miles (1,609 km) during the year (a tough but doable challenge)

With that, I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013!


Year in review: crunchy numbers

I’ve received by email a couple of year-end reports, which I’ll highlight here. WordPress.com has included a “year in blogging” report. It was an email last year, but this year I’ve been given a page complete with fancy fireworks, and from which I’ve taken the subtitle of my post. My stats are not always worthy of heady analysis, but it’s good to know that older posts are still being shown some love. I also like that I’ve received visitors from six continents!

Meanwhile, Dailymile has sent me a training summary for 2011. It’s slightly different from the spreadsheet log I keep on my computer. For one thing, that log only keeps track of running mileage; Dailymile includes cycling mileage, which bumps me up to the 1,643 km (1,021 mi) that they show. With a possible triathlon in the future, I might have to update my spreadsheet formulas and calculations to account for the fact that 1 km of running does not equal 1 km of cycling or 1 km of swimming. Is there a site that provides those equivalents? And Dailymile should apply that to their mileage totals as well, or at least separate them out, since we already input our mileage by activity anyway.


2011: the year of dashed expectations

I say “dashed” because the things I wanted to achieve in 2011 from this time last year didn’t really happen. I was technically employed for half the year, but in temporary roles. I didn’t run a marathon this year due to an overtraining injury. As a result, I fell short of matching my running mileage (1,324 km / 823 mi) from 2010. In short, it wasn’t as tough a year that 2010 was, but it wasn’t a smooth ride either.

I don’t want to dwell too much on that, as that’s about to be in the past. I’m hoping 2012 becomes a shake-up year for me personally, just as 2008 was in some ways. To that effect, I came up with four words, each of which starts with the letters of my name:

Elevation
Redemption
Interaction
Connection

I wish to elevate my game if I want to get to my various goals for 2012 (more on them later). This means being more proactive and assertive, among other things.

I want to redeem myself from the injury that prevented me from running a marathon in 2011. Finishing a half in under 2:00 in the fall of 2011 was part of it, but I want to make sure I train properly for the 2012 Vancouver Marathon and get to the start line.

I would like to continue meeting people outside of the social-media realm; I believe making that connection in real life improves the interactions that are made online.

My goals, therefore, are exactly the same as what I put down at the beginning of 2011.

  1. Find a job
  2. Run my next marathon (Vancouver) in 4:20
  3. Run at least the same distance as I ran in 2011
  4. Meet more people

But I’ll add one more, which is related to but distinct from #4:

  1. Start dating again

That’s one that has always been there (in my head), but now it’s public. Certain events in 2011 have just made this concept a little more pressing than before. It’s time to shake the fear and get out there, and that applies to all five!

I wish all of you a happy and terrific 2012!


2010 in review: blog stats edition

[This post was originally sent to me from WP.com as an e-mail, and they happily included a link that would allow me to share some stats. Personally, I’m quite surprised that my race report for the 2010 BMO Vancouver Half was the top-viewed. All the searches for the Austen-related postings have dropped, but the one previewing Doctor Who series 5 still seems to be popular: 5th-most viewed in 2010. It’s also good to know that hits to this blog have been coming from the auto-generated tweets whenever a new post is published, hence the referrals from the Twitter site and Hootsuite. What follows below is the original text provided by WP.com; I’ve only made some changes in formatting and added hyperlinks to the referrals section.]

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2010. That’s about 14 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 43 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 140 posts. There were 26 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 7mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 3rd with 54 views. The most popular post that day was Race report: 2010 BMO Vancouver Half Marathon.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, buzzer.translink.ca, dailymile.com, en.wordpress.com, and hootsuite.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for lost in austen, emma film, doctor who, jemima rooper, and the jane austen book club.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Race report: 2010 BMO Vancouver Half Marathon May 2010
3 comments

2

Price and Prejudice, or Lost in Austen reviewed December 2008

3

Emma’s, like, such a ripoff of Clueless March 2008

4

Jane Austen City Limits bonus #2: Jane Austen Book Club March 2008
2 comments

5

Doctor Who link love: season premiere April 2010


2010: year of runemployment

“Runemployment” is one way to describe the year that has just passed. For almost nine months I have been out of work, the longest such stretch so far since leaving uni. Initially, it was exhilarating, particularly when I already had a week off scheduled in May, which I spent in California and Oregon. However, as summer became fall, and as I finally became a CGA, the looking-for-work situation didn’t get any easier. I’ve been told that most of 2010 has been a difficult job market generally, and for accountants in particular, and that 2011 could be more of the same. Looking at the prospects can be totally discouraging, but I should only worry about the things under my control.

And the new year is when I throw down the gauntlet. It’s similar to what happened at the beginning of 2009, when I was in the same situation, but without employment insurance. I made looking for work a full-time job, and I have to show it some respect. I have to do the same in 2011, and this time I have to focus.

Even before I became unemployed, I decided to focus my running in 2010 to improving my time in the half marathon. Initially, I set a goal time of 2:05. By the end of June, I already made that goal. I thus set a new goal of beating 2:00, and I did that too! All the time off from not working did allow me to put in more focus on my training, which this year also saw some attempts at cross-training, particularly yoga.

As a runner who is also an accountant, I have an extensive spreadsheet that has tracked every one of my runs since mid-2006. The chart above is my month-by-month mileage for the year. 2010 was the first year I’ve started tracking this, and it’s part of the fun of putting all the numbers together; I can only imagine when I get my hands on a watch that can do all that on the fly. My goal for 2011 is, at minimum, to match my 2010 mileage total (1,338 km / 831 mi).

As for racing in 2011, I’m already in the middle of training for the First Half Half Marathon in February and the Vancouver Marathon in May. My goal for the latter is to get close to, if not beat, 4:20. I am weighing my options for a fall race. Victoria and the Okanagan are the usual standbys, but Portland and Chicago are meriting some consideration. And even further ahead, I do want to try a triathlon (sprint, maybe Olympic distance) at some point in 2012.

At the moment, I have four things I want to achieve in 2011, all realistic and doable:

  1. Find a job
  2. Run my next marathon in 4:20
  3. Run at least the same distance as I ran in 2010
  4. Meet more people (from this post)

I sincerely hope you have a happy and prosperous 2011!