Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Back/Looking Ahead, or What The Heck Happened to 2013?

Well, it's hard to believe how quickly 2013 flew by. I guess it's time for the obligatory "year-in-review" and "what's ahead" post. we go!

First, I'll post last year's numbers. While some fitness-related numbers were satisfactory, my endurance numbers were sad.

  • Running Miles: 400
  • Races: 2 (both 10k's)
  • Walking/Hiking Miles: 255
  • Cycling Miles (outdoors): 268
  • Cycling Miles (trainer): 141
  • Pushups (as part of a Facebook challenge): 20,700 (PR)
  • Bench Press max: 220 lbs (PR)

I track several other exercise numbers, but I won't bore you (or myself) with them.

So, what happened to the "Resurrected Runner" in 2013? He once again fell victim to his fragile body and unwise training. The end of 2012 and start of 2013 looked promising. I was once again putting in 30-mile weeks. I ran within 4 seconds of my 5k PR in December of 2012. Encouraged by that, I made the mistake of hitting the track in February of 2013 for a far more intense speed workout than I had business doing. I managed to strain a hamstring during a couple of all-out 200m repeats. Instead of backing off, I continued to train on it and, in fact, raced a 10k. Shortly after that, the hamstring forced me to shut down all running. I was in the process of selling my house and moving my family across the state, so I suppose the timing was okay (although the timing for getting injured is never truly "okay".)

I ran a few times during the summer, with some hamstring discomfort. I refocused my efforts in September and October, eclipsing 20 miles in 3 straight weeks, but after an ill-advised 8-mile run that had my hamstring in painful, tight spasms, the writing was on the wall.

I switched to cycling in the late summer/early fall, but failed to ride nearly as much as I should have (I hope to join a local cycling club in 2014).

Weight training became my focus a few times, but as always, pushing too hard/too soon led to a few pulls of lower back muscles. Currently, I'm working on a modified weight training program that will hopefully spare my injury-prone body parts. Translation: I'm doing pinky curls.

So, as of today, I'm a good 15-18 lbs. above what I consider my "race weight." I'm not alarmed at this point, since I'm confident that I can shed that within a couple of focused months of training. Assuming I can put together a couple of focused months of training.

What will that training look like in 2014? I'm still not entirely sure.

Here are my goals (which I'm honestly figuring out as I type this):

  • Reach 10,000 career running miles (currently 208 shy)
  • Cycle at least 1,000 miles (outdoors)
  • Complete first "century" bike ride
  • 25,000 pushups (again, a Facebook group challenge)
  • Walk/hike 500 miles (not all at once)
  • Bench Press PR

These are relatively humble goals. I hesitate to get too ambitious at this point. You'll notice I didn't really list a running mileage goal, other than to hit a milestone for lifetime mileage. I'll plan on testing the waters a few times and take what I can get. Although I've considered "retiring" as a runner this year, my wife reminds me that running is in my blood (having run competitively, on and off, since 1979). I'm sure I'll be back. However, as I get closer to age 50, my focus is shifting more toward being consistent and healthy rather than seeing just how much and/or how fast I can run. The starting and stopping of my training has become very frustrating. If I can even become a consistent recreational runner (I won't say the "j" word), I'll take it.

Many of my online running friends have been very successful in their training and racing in 2013, which still inspires me. Keep on keeping on, my friends, and much success to all of you in 2014!