Thursday, December 31, 2020

Year End Stats

Given the unexpected turn of events that affected literally everyone's plans this year, I am really surprised I managed to log more miles in 2020 than in any year other than my peak.  I recorded my longest year in 2012 by running a total of 1400 miles...the year after I set my personal best time in the marathon.  In 2012, I felt nearly invincible.  I ran three races which included my half marathon PR, another full marathon, and a 27 miler for charity only a month later.  

This year I ran just one race...the Los Angeles Marathon.  This was pretty much the last major running event held before we all entered lockdown due to COVID19.  I wasn't even sure it was going to happen because event organizers had just canceled the Tokyo Marathon.  For the remainder of the year I elected to follow a between marathon maintenance schedule, some of which was interrupted due to wildfire induced air quality I was really shocked to see that I still managed to total 1322 miles in 2020.

What may be even more shocking is that in 2018 I recorded the second least number of running miles over a single calendar year (the fewest miles since 2008, the first full year I wore a GPS watch...and the first year I ran a marathon).  When I had my annual physical in early 2018, I recorded my heaviest weight.  That's when I knew I needed to commit to a race...and I signed up for the 2020 LA Marathon on the first day I could do so.

I have my weight under control once again thanks to my running and my running alone...shedding 24 pounds since that physical.  I cannot recall my lowest post-college weight (partly because my physicals often happened after I had gained weight over the holidays), but I am surely near it now.  This comes even though my wife has been cooking and baking like crazy during the pandemic.  I feel like I have been eating better than ever and I certainly have not made any effort to control the quantities I consume, but somehow have found the motivation to keep up my running routine even without any races planned for the foreseeable future.

According to my Strava stats, I achieved this total mileage in 209 runs over 213 hours and 16m minutes...which happens to be 4 fewer runs than my peak year, but an hour and 16 minutes longer.  So I officially spent more time running during 2020 than in any previous year.  I might have expected this in a year where I did not work, but I was one of the fortunate ones who could immediately work from home when "Safer at home" became a thing.  I am still considerably off my peak pace, but I am glad to see that my average is now around 9:43 per mile...I had been averaging considerably slower than 10 minutes per mile over the latter half of the decade.

I gained more feet in elevation in 2020 as well...128,064 vs 126,867 in 2012.  I am guessing this is the result of me limiting my running options to those close to home (one of the *advantages* of living on a hill I suppose).

So my goal for 2021 is to not run more miles, but to work on speed.  It hasn't helped that the local high school's track has been closed for months while the field gets renovated, but there are obviously other ways I can work on speed.  I just have to remember that every time I have focused on speed to watch for warning signs.  Unlike 2019, I managed to survive 2020 without any injuries even though I have upped my mileage and average pace considerably.

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