Thursday, March 31, 2016

Quarterly Report

Here we are a fourth of the way into 2016, and I've run 214.25 miles.  That's well under pace for my implicit goal of 1000 miles/year, but we've also made our way through the worst season of the year to run in as well as the most popular time to get get sick.  So, I feel like I'm pretty close to "seasonally adjusted on pace."

I like to have a minimum of four and preferably five miles for every date-of-month over the course of the year.  Yes, I know that's odd, but that's not your problem.  Currently, I've got 21 of 31 "fours," and 14 of 31 "fives."  Again, with warmer weather and longer days inviting longer runs, I feel like I'm on track to cross off this goal fairly early in the year.

More than half of my mileage, predictably enough, has been on the weekend.  Monday (which often gets a holiday bump) is the leader among weekdays, followed by Thursday.  Wednesday, which used to be a big running day when I had a different work pattern, is my weakest day this year.

The Avatar has cut a line across the heart of Missouri.

Looking Ahead: The beginning of April has one of the juiciest clusters of low daily records left on the calendar: 3 miles for April 1, 2.89 for April 3, and 3.35 for April 4.  That should help me stay motivated for the beginning of a month that has historical varied widely.  Last year, a massive late cold limited me to less then 20 miles for April, setting me back so far that I still don't feel like I've ever fully recovered my base level of fitness.  Maybe this April will be when I spring majestically back into fighting trim!  Or maybe I'm just getting old.

March 31: 3.1 miles

This was close to a case of the relentless record-keeping disincentivizing a run, but since there was sunshine and another day off a bit early from work, I finally found a motive: the poor old 31st, of which there are only seven in a year, always lags behind the other days of the month.  Couldn't I try to catch it up a little today?  So, I ran a very slight amendment of my standard graveyard run, My Avatar continued south on US 63 towards Rolla, and I listened to the surprisingly tepid Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.  Voila!

March ended up with 57.44 miles to its credit, hardly impressive but, at 51st out of the 77 months on record, not a disaster either.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March 30: 3.01 miles

3.01 miles around the graveyard on another sunny day, and I made it to my goal of the fourth best March on record, with 54.34 miles.  I've now run 8 times in the last 10 days, all of them short runs but gradually getting me back on track after having been more or less rained out in the early and middle month.

My Avatar continued east and then south on US 63, through the tiny little village of Vichy, Missouri.

Audio: Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 29: 4.72 miles

I got off work a little early today and was able to run in the sunshine.  It was tiring -- I'm clearly not in great running trim -- but nice in general.  I'm scrambling to save March 2016 from total disgrace, and the monthly total is now at 51.33, which at least gets us to 5th place among Marches.  (March 29, oddly, has the 10th greatest total cumulative mileage among days of the year, with 27.94.)

The Avatar continues east on US 63 through rural Missouri.

Audio: The Wine-Red Sea

Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28: 3.94 miles

It's a lovely thing, when you start being able to come home from work, and then run afterwards in the daylight.  That's what I did today, 3.94 miles without running out of steam this time.  I got myself within 4 miles of the 5th best March ever, and within 8 miles of the 4th best March.  That keeps the pressure on to run this week.  It hasn't been a great March.

My Avatar continued running east on US 63.

Audio: The Wine-Dark Sea

Sunday, March 27, 2016

March 27: 3 miles

Back in Portland on a drear afternoon, I run for about 3 miles before running out of gas.  That's not unusual for me after a trip.  I could use the missing half mile, though, as my monthly total is only up to an abysmal 42.67 miles.  Well, I haven't been paying too much attention to running this month, and with only four days left on the clock, there's only so much I can do.  I'd like to finish above 2011's 50.43 and 2012's 54.11, if I can summon up the oomph.  I'm already above 2009's 2, technically.

My yearly total is at 199.48 miles.  That's obviously well under 1/4 of 1000, but I'm not too concerned.  Only in 2014 was I able to break 200 by the end of March.

My Avatar started south from Vienna, Missouri, on US 64, and reached the junction with state 28.

Audio: The Wine-Red Sea, one of the outstanding Aubrey-Maturin books by Patrick O'Brian.

Weight: 213.8

Friday, March 25, 2016

March 25: 3.63 miles

I drove in from a motel out on the interstate to a take-out pizza place, running from there to the campus of Southwestern Baptist U, then up a rail-to-trail path, and back through the downtown before picking up the pizza.  It was a really pleasant run on a spring afternoon.

3.63 miles is easily an ALL TIME RECORD FOR MISSOURI!!!

Avatar: Once again, me and my avatar were running in different parts of Missouri.  While I ran in Bolivar, he reached Vienna, 110 miles east by northeast.

Audio: Cockroaches, by Jo Nesbo.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March 23: 2.62

So here I am in Cape Giraudeau, Missouri, in a bland hotel among the mallish stuff along the interstate.  It didn't seem like great running terrain, especially with the wind whipping like crazy, but I just trudged along a long sting of loading docks and through a car lot and eventually around a big lighting fixtures store, and it was a modest but enjoyable 2.62 miles.

So Missouri becomes my 22nd running state, and also the state with the least mileage among states I've run in.  Did you follow that?

My Avatar continued east along Missouri Highway 42.  We were running in the same state!  He was running to the west of me!  Weird.

Audio: Finishing up a Ngaio Marsh mystery.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

March 22: 2.91

For the second time this year, I did a warm night run on a large college campus, which was very nice.  This was the University of Kansas again, with an additional loop thrown in for 2.91 miles total.  That brings my book mileage for Kansas up to 9.07, enough to make it the #4 state (Washington and Colorado are really the only states where I've had multiple opportunities since 2013). 

My Avatar continued east on Missouri 42.

Audio: I listened to music!  Unusual, for me.

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21: 2.09

Weather, anxiety, feeling under the weather, and travel have really crushed my running: last week's 2.3 miles is the kind of number that really takes the wind out of your stats.  Broke a streak of 11 consecutive Saturdays, too.

Today's 2.09 miles -- worst of 2016! -- is nothing to write home about either, but is was on the hilly University of Kansas campus and was a good little workout.  I've got a streak of 5 Mondays going, too, but the record there is nine.

It's the second time in recorded history (ie. since 2013) that I've run in the Sunflower State, and brought its cumulative mileage to 6.16.  That brought it from the #15 state to the #6 state.  (British Columbia, by the way, is the 4th most run-in state.  The whole state-running thing is a bit loosey-goosey.)

My Avatar turned east on Missouri Highway 42 and is heading towards, I believe, the town of Vienna.

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14: 2.3

I caught a few minutes between rains to get myself twice around the park, and My Avatar another two-and-change miles south along Missouri Highway 133.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 12 & 13: 4.28 and 6.12

Good heavens, it's been rainy.  Between that and having a number of projects in the hopper, I'm kind of surprised that I've run at all.  As it was, my week didn't exactly set new standards in distance running, but I did at least get out there, and even managed a daily record for March 13.

With the weather pattern locked in place and projects still in the hopper, I think we'll be looking at a mediocre month.

My Avatar is running south on Missouri Highway 133.

Audio: I finished the Ngaio Marsh on Saturday, and started Paladin of Souls on Sunday.

Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7: 4.5

It was an Avatar-driven day today, as I couldn't resist going the 4.5 miles to land him in tiny Meta, Missouri.  Meta seems like a good place for a virtual runner to rest up.

Audio: I listened to the opening of the Ngaio Marsh book again, while running a slight variation on yesterday's route.  Bit of the old deja vu.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

March 6: 4.33

It was a busy day and a wet day, but I dragged myself into my running gear just in time for the skies to open.  I waited it out before trotting around the neighborhood at twilight.  4.33 miles killed off one of the remaining sub-four daily records, and also one of the sub-five cumulative-milage days.  Hurrah for life's little triumphs.

The week as a whole wasn't anything to write home about.

The Avatar continued south on Highway B through tiny St. Thomas, Missouri.

Audio: I started... something.  One of the Ngaio Marsh detective novels.  I wasn't really paying much attention to it.  That happens sometime.  I might start again from the beginning.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

March 5: 6.89

After taking a rainy stretch of weekdays off, I did a nice Saturday run to Reed and back on 42nd for close to seven miles. It was a late start to March, but it already gives the month a longer longest run than February had. It was pure shorts-and-shirt weather, and I have to wonder how much the reduced weight and greater comfort of light clothing might help when you're trying to go more than three or four miles. After today, I'm already down to just two dates-of-month that I haven't run on yet in 2016, the 15th and the 26th.

My Avatar swung back west to get to Highway B, then headed south and over the Osage River.  Now he'll be heading southeast in the general direction of Rolla.

Audio: I got to the denouement of Emma today. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Feb 29: 2.27

I ran a damp 2.27, which is of course the ALL TIME RECORD FOR FEBRUARY 29th!

Last Monday, I laid out the situation for the rest of February:

Tomorrow is the only chance February has to have a "First-place" date among the months, so it's tempting to grab that, even knowing it wouldn't last.  

I grabbed it!

After that, we've got:
  • 24th: Worst 24th, sub-ten cumulative mileage
I corrected both issues!
  • 25th: Worst 25th, sub-five cumulative mileage, sub-five record.
I corrected the first two issues!
  • 26th: Worst 26th, sub-five cumulative mileage, sub-five record.
I didn't run that day!  I did run on the 27th, but didn't do anything interesting.
  • 28th: Worst 28th, sub-ten cumulative mileage, sub-five record.
I corrected all three issues!
  • 29th: No running history.
I ran!

I don't feel like I've been doing any particularly amazing running, and I certainly haven't been running very far on any given day, but with the best January and the best February both under my belt now, I seem to be off to a really good start.  March is historically a much stronger month, as daylight continues to sneak back into the world.  So far, the weather has been dreadful and I haven't budged.  But that can't last forever, right?