I'm a stats fan, I'll admit it. I like numbers, especially when it comes to running. I've kept a logbook pretty much since I started running. It give me a measure, some previous form to see where I'm at physically and competitively. Age doesn't seemed to have slowed me yet, although recovery time is way longer than when in my 30's. I feel 'lazy' a lot of time, rather having a beer instead of that second run of the day. But I think thats my own 'central governor' kicking in and protecting my body!
So this year after 7 months the stats are 3180km, which included 66,000m of climbing (I quite like that stat :) ) although it didn't help me at African X, Speedgoat or Buena Vista. 18 races which included 2 DNF's, 2 sub 3 hour marathon, 10k and 21k PB's, 3 overall top three placings and 14 Veteran top three placings. I've run 1238km on trail, 1348km on road, the rest in races. Average weekly mileage is 101km, higher than last year. I'm running hills every day and averaging 250m of elevation on each run. I think that's made the difference to my racing, given me strength and speed, although not enough a lot of the time.
Since I started logging miles in 1996 (soon after I started) my lifetime mileage is 90,086km, 357 races, with 91 marathons. I've run 5066 days out of 5841. My average weekly mileage is 91.5km. My highest week was 216km (134 miles) and highest month 904km (561 miles) both in 2002. That year I ran 361 days out of 365, averaging 171km a week, had no PB's and was injured for 5 months in 2003, no surprise really. I don't regret it. It was an interesting experiment in what my body could cope with, but it achieved little else. The sweet spot for me is 80-90km a week, with cross training.
But when I step out of the door for my next run, very few of these numbers mean anything. You start every run wondering how it will feel, will you struggle or float? The accumulative miles may give you confidence that you won't end up in a heap, but it's no guarantee.
The best days are magical though. A post race feeling that you want to hold onto, not return to the reality of a life that actually matters. Racing does that for me, training is the day in day out mood lifter.
|Runners get to see the sunrise more than most|
And after all those miles and all those races a few home truths that haven't really changed;
Hills still hurt. Always.
I still forget to take water or gels on long runs.
Any race under a marathon feels like 100% effort from the start to finish.
Running at dawn is hard to beat, and worth the early start.
It still blows my mind to run a sub 3 marathon.
Runners should really have regular pedicures.
When you haven't got the legs you haven't got the legs.
This week I'm off to Leadville to try and keep up with Ryan Sandes during the last 14 miles of the Leadville 100 miler, as Ryan attempts to win the race for the second time. Should be fun!