Saturday, December 31, 2022

Year-End Report

In terms of my running routine, this year ends on an unusual note.  I had planned to do my long run today so I could take a break tomorrow, but ended up running it yesterday afternoon.  I rarely run on Fridays.  I can't remember the last time I ran after lunch.  This morning, I proceeded with my usual short run, but as a track workout...without any plan to run on New Year's Day.

If you recall, I completed last year with a personal record in terms of total mileage, so my goal for this year was to work on pace.  I pretty much failed to do this.  This morning's track workout was one of only a few I attempted to do in 2022.  I took a page out of Vic's book and did a mile challenge.  I did it in 7:04... nowhere close to a PR.  In past years, I strived to break the six minute mile barrier...not seven. In some ways, I'm happier I managed a 7:39 during the seventh mile of Friday's eight miler. That said, I'm still considering this a win because very few of my miles this year have been under eight.  

My annual average pace slowed back into the mid-tens (10:29/mile to be specific) after being just under ten in 2021.

About the only goal I successfully hit was running fewer miles...cracking 1,200 with yesterday's run and finishing with just over 1,206.  So what exactly went wrong?

Well, I lost roughly ten weeks of training due to travel, injury, and illness.

I spent much of February traveling in Tanzania and first trip since the pandemic began, first time my wife and I visited Africa, our first genuine safari, a pandemic deferred 25th anniversary celebration combined with my milestone birthday...a bucket list item boldly checked.  There is really no way to run while staying in safari camps, so I didn't even bother to pack running gear (plus bush flights have significant luggage weight limits and much of my allotment was reserved for camera equipment and batteries)...but we did a bit of hiking (which included mountain gorilla and golden monkey trekking).

I am nearly certain I cracked a rib in a freak non-running accident in April.  The injury sidelined me for six weeks. Around the end of May, shortly after I had resumed running, I caught COVID-19.  By the time I finally shook its lingering cough, my pace had significantly slowed and it took awhile to get back on track. I completely lost track of time and didn't realize I hadn't started on a full marathon training schedule until I couldn't possibly complete it within 2022.  And then, just as I was getting comfortable running longer runs, I got sick again...with a fever....just before Thanksgiving.

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