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Measuring My Year In Sweat
I don’t know if you know this, but I think sweating is cool.
While some people measure their years in how much they achieved, or in daylights or sunsets or midnights or cups of coffee (RENT? Anyone? No. OK.), I prefer to look back on my year and assess how much I perspired. After all, sweat adds up to success, right?
Here’s how 2011 looked in terms of physical activity:
- I ran 1,609.5 miles
- My biggest running month was August, when I ran 163.75 miles (July was close behind at 161.75 miles)
- I completed 15 road races, ranging in distance from a 5K to a Marathon
- I PR’d in 7 of those races, though a few were simply because it was the first time I ran that distance (Hey there, Hamptons Marathon)
- I spent a lot of time at the gym: In 2011 I took 37 Chisel classes, 99 Spinning classes and a whopping 16 Yoga classes, plus a handful of random classes, like Cardio Tai Box and that upside-down yoga class
I’m pleased with those numbers.
I never go into a particular year hoping to hit a mileage goal. I care more about each daily run than I do about the annual total. So while I don’t have a running mileage number in mind for 2012, nor do I care how many group fitness classes I attend, I do care that I make each sweat session count.
I documented my New Year’s Resolutions the other day. Remember that? Here’s the post if you’d like to revisit my detailed account of when I got bit on the butt cheek by an angry dog.
At one point, I had a handful of running goals in mind for the upcoming year. I thought it would be fun to PR in the 4-mile distance, the half marathon and the marathon. Then I decided that was perhaps too ambitious, and instead I wanted to focus on one big goal.
That may be setting myself up for failure or disappointment: If I don’t hit the sub-4 hour marathon goal, then what? Will I throw myself a sad pity party, like that time I didn’t PR in Las Vegas? That was wimpy.
I’m not worried about that, though. I’m confident that with solid training and a better Race Day mindset (yes, I always capitalize Race Day, because in my mind each Race Day is a formal holiday worthy of vacation days and glitter), I can conquer a 3:59 (or faster!) marathon.
No, I still haven’t decided if I’m gunning for that goal in the spring or if I’ll wait until the fall. Sorry. I suck at decision making.
I’ve taken a speedwork hiatus since Las Vegas. I’ve been running just to run, and to enjoy the great outdoors. And to get bitten by dogs and test my Rabies resistance. So far, so good, though Brian is on watch to see when/if I start foaming from the mouth.
Yesterday I ran 8 miles. I wasn’t going for speed, I just ran because running is cool. Here is what yesterday’s run looked like:
This morning, I woke up and was like, “Wow, 30 degrees that ‘feels like 10?’ That sounds awesome! Time to run!”
Translation: Alarm goes off. Ali whimpers a little. Ali remembers her million-day vacation is over. Ali spots legwarmers in hamper. Ali perks up a little. Ali refuses to wear pants in the winter.
So out I went on a run around the Central Park Reservoir. Again, I wasn’t going for a particular speed, and I had time for 5 miles, so that’s what I did. See?
Today’s splits are nice, I think. I like them. And for my next trick, I will try to go even faster.
I felt good this morning. The cold air felt shockingly good on my legs, and I felt speedy cruising around the Reservoir, though I didn’t feel uncomfortably fast or like I was working way too hard. I say that’s a good sign.
And that’s how the running is going. Whether or not I decide to run a spring marathon, I do plan to incorporate more hill training and speed training into my weekly workouts very soon.
Now it’s back to work. Here we go, 2012. Let’s do this.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? How do you measure your year? In medals? In miles? In seasons of love?