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.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Feb 18 & 19 in the running log

On Saturday the 18th, we had lunch visitors which turned into lunch and then a game, which turned into "come back and play some more," and I was happy with myself for not getting too stressed out that interpersonal relationships were interfering with the business of logging running miles.  But then too I was pleased that at 8 p.m. or so I got out there and piled up 5.36 night miles, which was a five-year record and broke a four-day hiatus. I felt like I had exceeded my own expectations a bit.

Today, Sunday, I decided to go big and planned a loop in the nine to ten mile region.  If I'd pulled it off, it would have been my first visit to those distances in over a year, but... I didn't.  I sputtered just past seven miles, caught my breath and managed another half mile, and endured the shameful punishment of the 2 1/2 mile walk home.  I felt like I'd let down the side, despite that 7.57 was two miles more than yesterday's success and a record for the nineteenth.  Once I got into the data-entry arcana, though, I was cheered to see that February 19th now has the most cumulative mileage of any of the 19ths.  That makes it February's only "best date," which really is on the list of running stats I get enthusiastic about.

At around 18.5, it was a respectable week, and the month has passed the 50-mile mark.

Meanwhile, in southwestern Indiana, The Avatar passed through the odd little town of New Harmony, and is now bearing ENE on state roads.  I believe Highways 66, 68, and 69 were involved, but I'd have to look again to see in what order.

Audio: A Brief History of Nearly Everything.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Feb 13: 5.57 miles

I wanted to run today, because it was a single-instance day.  I had a packed running bag, so I pried myself out of bed early, took the bus to work, and was eventually ready to run home.  But, home from work is only four miles, and the all-time record for February 13 was 4.13 miles.  Obviously I wanted .14 more miles, but really I wanted .87 more miles, because all the charts and graphs and what not are based on whole numbers.  But then too, what I really REALLY wanted was 1.11 more miles, because that's what it would take to make February 13th not the worst cumulative 13th!

Reader, I managed it.

In fact, I ran until I noticed I had run exactly one hour, at which point I was basically home anyway.  It got me the all-time record, and also best Monday of the year to date.  Also, I'm up to the FIFTH best February on record, and -- this is pretty good -- I passed 100 miles for the year.

So, that was a pretty good five consecutive days.  I think it might be time for a rest day, though.

The Avatar ran north from Mt. Vernon on Indiana Highway 69.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Weekend: 6.49 + 5.56

I had to more or less drag myself out the door both days this weekend, but dragged I was and, especially on Saturday, I was glad I'd gone.  The Saturday 6.49 was a five-year daily record and the best 11th since 2015; the Saturday 5.56 was an all-time record and the best 12th since 2014.  Together, they capped off the strongest week of the year so far (24.07), and with 33.8 miles on record for the month it's already in 6th place of the 8 recorded Februaries.  And there's a lot more February to go, including the lighter half!

The Avatar crossed the Wabash into Indiana on Saturday; today he reached and explored the town of Mt. Vernon, Indiana.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Feb 9: 5.33 and Feb 10: 4.43

I'm going to work a holiday in a few days, so I took two half-days and got in some weekday runs.  The first one felt pretty good.  The second one was a real trudge until I got a text about a trivial work issue that pissed me off; after that, I was too busy stewing to notice the run until I was almost home.  Stewing is always great for running.

The 5.33 was the best Thursday of the year and tied the best Thursday of 2016; it also broke the all-time record for February 9th and eliminated a shameful sub-10 cumulative mileage day. 

The 4.43 was the best Friday for the year, broke the all-time record for February tenth, and upgraded a humiliating sub-5 cumulative mileage day to a shameful sub-10 cumulative mileage day.  It also knocked out one of my three single-instance February days (not including the 29th); the next one is Monday.

My Avatar continued down Illinois 141, with a brief detour to explore the little village of New Haven.

On the headphones, I finished Life of Pi on Thursday and got rolling on a YA novel called Wonder on Friday.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Feb 5: 2.25 & Feb 6: 2.26

Two instances of my most basic run: up the street to the park and two laps around it, with slight variations in the laps based on ancient custom and usage (I have a "standard" lap, but the penultimate lap is always a little different.  This was true way back in my prehistorical running, when I would run as many as four laps around the park -- something that would be psychologically very difficult to me today -- and it is true today, when I mostly use the park for this easy two.  In 17 years of running in the park, I have never once run around it counterclockwise.  There's a short leg that I run "backwards" on certain routes, but that is a whole nother kettle of fish.  I have no problem with people running the park counterclockwise; indeed, I enjoy meeting them along the way.  But I'm not one of them.).

Yesterday, it was an oddly short weekend route, but then yesterday there was so much cold rain coming out of the sky that people were collecting pairs of animals, just in case.  Today, it was a fairly standard fit of night-running.  Night-running always feels virtuous in and of itself, no matter the distance.

Neither run had any statistical significance at all, even by my standards.  However, put them together and now I've got on more runs in February than in June.  June's a weird month.  All that light, and so little running.

In the headphones, I'm well into Life of PiThe Avatar has turned east again on Illinois State Highway 141, and is heading towards Indiana.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

February 4: 7.5 Miles

Two things I was happy about from today's run: one was that I set out to get five or so, and ramped up (over Tillicum Crossing again) to 7.5, and secondly is that I gave up at about 5 3/4, walked a half block, and then found some extra gumption somewhere and got moving again.

Statistically, well!  It's
  • The all-time record for February 4th!
  • The best 4th of any month since 2014!
  • The best Saturday of the year!
  • And other, more obscure stuff.
The Avatar, meanwhile, jogged through Omaha Illinois, then turned east again on Illinois 141.  He's running down the center stripe, right foot striking in Gallatin County, left foot striking in White County.  Farm Country.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2: Windy

A very strong cold wind has discouraged running this week, and by discouraged I mean Absolutely Ruled Out.  So, the extent of my athletic activity has been to chart out the days in February that seem especially amenable to running, statistically speaking.  I literally charted them out!

Statistically speaking, it's no worry that I missed the first two days of the month, and I have reason to hope that the dread wind will stop in time for me to run tomorrow.  Yellow represents the weekends, which have some nice opportunities on them.  The exclamation marks are places where there's a possibility of making a February date the "best" cumulative day of that date-of-month for the year.

I wonder if anybody else in the world has evolved this system to talk themselves into exercising.