Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Best January Ever"

It was unpleasantly cold, but at least not rainy, and I chuffed 5.19 miles by looping around the Lloyd Center.  That got me to 85.47 miles for the month, the BEST JANUARY OF ALL TIME!!  It's also the 15th best month on record, which is kind of cool, and -- this is nice -- sets me out on pace for a 1000-mile year.  I'd kind of like to have another one of those.

At 20.92 miles, it was a good 20-mile week and the second best of 2016 so far.  We like that too.

The Avatar ran east on US 40.  At the end of the day, he discovered the Katy Trail, a rails-to-trails dealie that apparently goes most of the way across Missouri.  Cool!  He'll run on that for a while.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I had hoped to tack on a few miles last night, but it was too damn rainy and uninviting.  So today, I wanted to get rid of more than half of the twelveish miles on my plate for the weekend.  I did the Reed Loop again, adding a few unnecessary twists and turns to tack on extra distance, and was at 7.07 miles when I arrived home.  Here's the state of play:
  • January 2016 is still the "second-best January" at 80.28 miles; I'll need about five miles tomorrow to make that goal.
  • Overall, today's run took January 2016 from 32nd best month to 22nd.  A few more miles will make it a Top Twenty Month.  We like those.
  • 7.07 is a record for January 30th!
  • It's also the best Saturday for 2016 so far.
The Avatar ran in and around Boonville, Missouri, before crossing north over the Missouri River itself and turning back east on US 40.  He's in Howard County now, the 69th county of his long run.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

"Taking Pressure Off the Weekend"

I went on a night run, partly to take pressure of off the weekend -- the more miles I pack in during the week, the fewer I'm obligated to run on Saturday and Sunday to get to my general goal of 20 miles/week or, this week, to meet my goal of "Best January Ever." There's an even more esoteric reason why I wanted to get some miles in today, on January 28th, but I don't think I'm ready to go into that level of detail yet.

Meanwhile, in Central Missouri, My Avatar heads east by northeast on Santa Fe Road, towards Boonville.

And speaking of Best January Ever, 2016 is now in second place. (It's also the 32nd best month overall, since you ask.)
Jan 2014: 85.1
Jan 2016: 73.21 
11.89 miles to go! I think I might get this one!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Because it's an extraordinary sunny day for January, and the computer system is clunky at work, I take a half day and sneak in 4.4 miles at mid-day.  It's lovely

In Missouri, My Avatar crosses the Lamine River on a frighteningly picturesque old bridge before Route 44 becomes a frontage road for I-70, and ends up at the top of Exit 98.

In the race for the best January ever, 2016 moves into third place.
  • Jan 2014: 85.1
  • Jan 2013: 69.79
  • Jan 2016: 68.95
16.15 miles to go!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Twenty Miles a Week

I like to say that I run 20 miles a week, but it often doesn't happen for several weeks at a time, especially in the winter months.  This week, it happened.

I ran 6.43 miles on the Reed College Loop, which is a standard 6ish mile route where I run to Reed and back.  It was a new record for January 24 (previous 5.07), and capped the best week of 2016 so far, with 22.26 miles.  Having the MLK Holiday certainly helped.

With another full week to go, I've got 64.55 miles in January (already the 44th best month on record, hurrah!).  So, I compare that with other Januarys:
  • Jan 2014: 85.1
  • Jan 2013: 69.79
  • Jan 2011: 64.58
  • Jan 2016: 64.55
  • Jan 2015: 52.05
  • Jan 2012: 46.82
  • Jan 2010: 0 (injured)
So if I can run twenty-one miles this week, not just twenty, I can present myself with the best January ever.  That's a good goal: moderately ambitious, but realistic if I can get in a few after-work runs.

My Avatar continued down Missouri Route 44, through the valley of the Missouri River.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Today was a day of relentless drizzle, which I kind of wasted, in part by putting off my run and putting off my run and putting off my run.  I was rewarded by late afternoon clearing and a hint of sunshine when I finally got out there.  This is what economists term "moral hazard."

I finally got myself out the door by only asking three miles of myself, but then ended up tacking on some extra distance to get to 4.21.  Nothing statistically interesting happened, even by my standards.

Meanwhile, in Missouri:  My Avatar run to and explored Arrow Rock before turning south with Route 41 and crossing over into Cooper County. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Running on a weekday in winter means dealing with darkness and either putting up with or avoiding cold and rain.  That seems to give nightrunning some intangible virtue points.  Intangible virtue points are, however, one of the few things about running that I don't keep track of.  Those, and times.  I don't give a damn about my times.

Tonight I put in 4.29 miles.  My nightrunning route of choice this year is to run through the neighborhoods east of 39th past Marsha and Charlie's, and then down Clinton.  Once I pass directly south of home on Clinton, I can look at my mileage and decide how far west I want to go before cutting back.  Tonight, I wanted to beat 4.15, for two reasons.
Reason #1: My record for January 21 was 3.1 miles. 
When I started tracking daily records, I had a general goal of eventually having a running record for every day of the year.  I currently have records for 362 days, so that's pretty good.  I also had the notion that it would be cool to have a record of at least four miles for every day of the year.  By getting there on January 21, I claimed my 346th four+ mile daily record.  I'm pretty pleased with that, too.

Reason #2: 4.15 was the best Thursday run of 2016.  So, I beat that too.

With almost 54 miles for the month, I've already passed last January's 52.05 miles, so that's good, too.

My Avatar ran 4.15 miles east on Missouri Route 41, east of Marshall.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Today I passed the 5000 mile mark.  That's 5000 miles run since I started keeping track in August 2009, thinking it might motivate me.  That turned out to work beyond my wildest imagination.

Today I ran 7.33 miles.  That's further than I really planned on going.  I asked Mrs.5000 for "a running concept," the kind of demand that usually gets the kind of response it deserves, but she gamely suggested "Triangles" which I thought was very good.  I ran to the graveyard, then to Oregon Park, then past home (which I never do) and on to that park south of Hawthorne, then to the graveyard again, closing the second triangle with the return route home.

Here are some (but by no means all) of the kinds of things I track and think about:
  • 7.33 was a distance record for Jan 18. (The previous record was 6.21)
  • 7.33 was the "best" (ie. longest) Monday of 2016.  (The previous record was 2.62.  A nice thing about January is that the records for the year are so fresh and easily broken!)
  • At 49 miles and change, January 2016 is already the 60th best month "of all time."  Since there are two full weekends left on the clock, that's very promising assuming the rain holds off.
My Avatar ran eastward 7.33 miles from Marshall, Missouri.
I am exactly on pace for a 1000-mile year, but obviously it's a bit early to get excited about that.
LOOKING AHEAD: January 21 has a very weak record and very poor cumulative miles, so I'll have extra incentive to run Thursday.  I mean, aside from enjoying running.