Thursday, January 21, 2016

What A Difference A Year Makes

It's been over a year since I've made a blog post.  I've had the best of intentions and had some great ideas during my hiatus, but never took the time to actually write them out.  However, today was a day that I couldn't let slip by without commemorating.

Today marks one full year of running every day...a streak of 365 days!

2015 Brooksie Way Half Marathon - course PR of 2:26:17

Considering my last (and only) streak consisted of 97 days about 2 years ago, I'm in disbelief that I have lasted a full year on this one.  Honestly, the streak didn't even start intentionally.  I just got on the treadmill January 22, 2015 and then decided to get back on it the next day, and the next, and just kept going.  After about a week, I decided I should try to best my previous streak.  What I found this time around, though, was that as the streak got longer, my pace improved....drastically.  So once I hit 100 straight days of running on May 1, 2015, even though I had achieved my goal of beating my previous streak, I had no intention of stopping because I liked what it was doing to my pace.

When I started the streak, I was burnt out from racing and planned on not doing near as many races in 2015 as I had in the past.  However, as my pace got faster, I found my love for running again, and although I didn't do as many races as I had in past years, I still did a fair number.  I feel like I traded in quantity for quality and the higher quality gave me a new appreciation for the sport.

2015 Detroit Women's Half Marathon-my current PR of 2:18:24
This was a new concept for me because, traditionally, I have been a very bad trainer.  Most of my miles in previous years were race miles and I just relied on muscle memory to get me through.  Even today, I'm still awful at doing long training runs.  However, I have really begun to love my shorter daily runs, especially when I can do them outside.

When I started, what I wasn't expecting was that this streak would lead to my best racing year since beginning to run in 2006.  2015 was, without a doubt, my best race year ever.  Going into 2015, I only had 3 (out of 100) half marathons that were under 3 hours.  I now have 21, and haven't seen a half over 2:44 since May 1.  Prior to 2015, no matter how I tried, I was never able to break that illusive 6 hour mark in the marathon, but now I've done it 5 times, 3 of which were even under 5:30!

I think my performance has begun to plateau and I don't expect the same drastic effects in 2016 as I saw in 2015, but I'm still hoping to see some improvement as the streak continues.  I have some aggressive goals that I hope to attain this year and we'll see if I am able to.

How long will I continue the streak?  I don't know.  I've gotten to a point where I'm afraid to break it now, so barring any injury or illness that renders me unable to, I will continue for the foreseeable future.  As of mid-February last year I decided that I needed to do at least 5k (3.1 miles) everyday.  As of January 1, 2016, I decided that one of my New Year's resolutions would be to up that to 4 miles everyday, and so far, I've held to that.  Only time will tell how long this will last though.

NOTE:  In full disclosure, not every day is an outright "run".  Most days are intervals, lately those have been 60:30 (run:walk) or 45:30.  Some days I just run with no walk breaks (usually 1 day per week) and some days I walk, these are my rest days (usually 1-2 days a week).

2015 Chicago Triathlon Triple Challenge-Super Sprint, International, and Sprint completed in a total of 7:33:00 with both Super Sprint (0:59:47) and International (4:03:47) PRs

By the Numbers...

Anyone that knows me knows that I can't do something like this without crunching the numbers every possible way.

First Day:  January 22, 2015
Days So Far:  365
Miles:  1849.44
Average Miles/Day:  5.07
Minimum:  2.44 (Only 9 days were less than a 5k and the last one was 2/17/2015)
Maximum:  26.2

Training Miles:  1322.14
Racing Miles:  527.30

Treadmill Miles:  678.50
Road Miles:  1140.37
Trail Miles:  30.57

As of....

22-Jan-15 21-Jan-16 Difference
Streak Day # 1 365 364
5k PR 0:37:51 0:30:55 0:06:56
10k PR 1:22:23 1:03:55 0:18:28
10 Mile PR 2:33:37 1:52:56 0:40:41
Half Marathons Completed 100 119 19
Half Marathon PR 2:53:53 2:18:24 0:35:29
# of Sub-3 Half Marathons 3 21 18
Marathons Completed 50 55 5
Marathon PR 6:07:31 5:14:52 0:52:39
# of Sub-6 Marathons 0 5 5


Nancy Shew said...

Fabulous motivational blog, Janice~

Carol said...

Congratulations on such a great year