Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Hey, it's May!

I haven't felt the need to write about my running lately, which is cool because you haven't felt the need to read about my running.  But it is handy for me to have this thing here online where I can check on it:

Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27: 4.31 miles

The purpose and frequency of this little running diary continues to evolve, which is just fine since it isn't really much of a reading blog anyway. 

I've continued to pile up miles in a more or less consistent fashion over the course of the month, often in pretty dodgy weather, so that's pretty good.  Sometimes it's felt pretty good.  Other times, like today, it's been drudgery.  The current mission is to try to bag an 80-mile month.  Eighty is what you might call "psychologically important."  It's supposed to be the standard, the sum of four twenty-mile weeks.  But, I haven't hit it since January of last year, although February got me to 79.34. 

Sitting at my desk at work, I was at 66.81 with five weekdays available, and that felt a little daunting.  My four-and-change of drudgery this evening got me to 71.12 with four weekdays available, which somehow seems much more doable! 

75.59 will also get me the third-best March, which is pretty good -- #1 and #2 are up out of reach, in the nineties.  I'm thinking March '13 and March '14 must have been considerably more sunny than March '17, which -- also it has avoided the Biblical excess of February '17 -- is already the fourth rainiest March since the airport started keeping records in 1940.  And like me, it has four weekdays still to go.

So to recap, I need:
  • 4.47 miles for the 3rd best March
  • 8.88 for an eighty-mile month

Interestingly -- to me -- I've signed on for a half-marathon in June.  I'm not sure this is a great idea, but what the heck.

The Avatar is four miles east of Switz City on Indiana Highway 54.

Friday, March 10, 2017

March 10 - 4.55 miles

You'd think that when I finally broke the 10 mile barrier that the first thing I'd want to do is brag about it, but I think I was too fired up to brag.  Not that that makes any sense.  It was last Sunday, 10.64 miles, the best 5th of all time and the furthest I'd run since 2014.

Then, four days of cold rain and better things to do in the evening kept me from any kind of follow-up.  Today I took off work a little early and soaked in some thin sunshine, twice around the graveyard, for a total of 4.55.  No records were set, but exercise was had.

It was a significant day for The Avatar, though, since he crossed a state line.  I mean, it's the third time across the Illinois/Indiana line, but this time it's for good, or at last for good until he gets to Ohio.  He's approaching Vincennes from the southwest.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


As the long cold, wet streak continues, it's easy to not run, and in fact I managed to not-run all week.  The closest thing I did to not-not-running was to block out the various pieces of low-hanging fruit that March offers.

Then, today I finally ran.  It was a day with an especially weak record, and I plotted out a 5 1/2 mile route that slopped over into 7 1/3 mile, which is just fine.  It will still be a pretty weak week, but what the heck.  Tomorrow, and for that matter the week to come, should continue to be pretty lousy for running, but hopefully I will get out there and do some running none the less.

Listening: Rabbit, Run.

Avatar: Started at the Heartland Worship Center of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, and then ran straight north on Illinois Highway 1.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Febuary 25: 9.21

Last night I did three laps around the park for 3.06 miles, motivated by some of the especially esoteric spreadsheet goals.

Today, though -- I set off on a roughly 5 1/2 mile round and expanded it a few times, and by the time I got home I was at 9.21.  That's the first excursion into 9-mile territory since November 2015, and although it was a stretch I'm obviously pleased that I was able to do it.

Here's a bit of the line graph that shows my daily records against time, in month increments.  The thick red line is the total number of days with daily records under four, the thin red line is records in the fours, the yellow line is records in the fives, and so on.  The most obvious feature is the flatlining of the records during the back 2/3 of last year, when no new records were being set.  You can see that things have picked up, especially for the shorter-distance records, in the past few months.  Today, I replaced a record of 3.21 (hence a drop of the thick red line) with a distance in the nines, so there was a twitch in the light blue line for the first time in a long time.

The other interesting thing in this graph, at least by this journal's limited conception of "interesting," is the sudden steep drop of the four-mile records.  It's partly because a lower record is vulnerable, of course, but it's also happening because I am targeting those days.  Tomorrow, for instance, there's a record of 4.6, and that makes me want to run at least five miles.  If I do, my reward will be that the red line will drop some more and the yellow line -- or who knows, maybe even one of the green lines! -- will go up more steeply.

But ya know, it wasn't too long ago that I was wondering if I would ever have records in the "blue" area of the spreadsheets, the nines and tens, ever again.  So, it's nice to be back.

Meanwhile, February 2017 is now the best February of all time!   Although only 31st among all months.  Poor February, it's hard for a short cold month to compete.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

February 23: 4.31

I got off work late tonight, but even so got out and ran for a while, on a twisty course through the neighborhood that I kept deciding to make longer until it was a respectable 4.31 miles.  That brings me up to... lessee... 62.94 for the month, which means February has passed January and is the best month since last April.  And, I've still got five days on the clock!

Tonight's run also made February 23rd the best cumulative mileages of all twelve 23rds.  That made me happy. 

So, how does the weather look for the next few days?  Well, actually it could be worse!  Let's see if I can finish this month strong, before abandoning my loyalty to its progress and glory and start thinking of it as only one of the enemies of March.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Finishing Off February, or vice-versa

So today is the 21st of February, and the problem with February, as every schoolboy knows, is that it's short.  There are only eight days left on the February clock. 

I'm at 52.32 for the month right now, which is already better than the Februaries of '15, '11, '13, and out-of-commission '10.  Here are some landmarks to shoot for, in the monthly-total department.
61.61 -- Best month of 2017, Best month since April 2016
64.44 -- February is 10th in cumulative mileage, passing December
68.3 -- Third Best February Ever
68.57 -- Second Best February Ever
71.34 -- Best February Ever
77.21 -- Best Month since January 2016
Hmm, that seems pretty doable, and almost makes me think I might overlook the grim awfulness of today's (and probably the rest of the month's) weather to go out and conquer.  There are a few remaining long-hanging plums in the month, too, two of 'em this weekend and one of 'em... today.  Another reason to go out and conquer.  Will I do it?  I'll report back later.

For reference:

UPDATE: I ran!  6.31 miles, the Reed College route, bringing me to 58.63 for the month, and making most of those landmarks look pretty reachable given the seven days available.