Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 In Review

Throwing down at Ice Age, beside Max King (Montrail), #2 Ultra Runner or the Year.  Photo by John Zinzow, former IA50 RD
Statistics is something I am drawn to.  For practical purposes it is a quick way to evaluate something.  In grad school I learned that having measurable outcomes is necessary for all programs.  While I butted heads with this idea at first, I understand its importance.  I still think it is important to just "feel" something however, so in many life endeavors, I don't bother with the measurable's but go with "gut" decisions.  In running, I'm trying to adjust to going on feel more so than being so data and stats driven.  Sometimes, the best is not always the most.  More miles doesn't necessarily mean being more fit or a stronger runner.

As 2014 closes out, I sit and evaluate a years worth of miles, races, and training.  I think it is important to spend time reflecting on the past before moving forward with new endeavors.  It is no different with running.  The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the years training in order to adjust and hopefully improve on the upcoming year.  The constant idea that I've been keen to keep in mind as I begin training for a new years worth of races is, "It is not about how many miles, but what kind of miles."  Staying fresh and sharp with lower volume but more quality miles is going to be important for sustained participation in ultras.  
A DNF at Cayuga Trails doesn't take away the experience had.  photo by Ron Heerkens Jr.
For the most part, 2014 was a successful year.  I could consider this my personal most successful year in terms of competing.  After some time off from running in December of 2013, I started training in the new year with one goal in mind:  qualifying for Western States at the Ice Age 50 MUC race and then running Western States 100.  I started off with a nice win at the Terrapin Mountain 50k and then nailed what is probably my best 50 miler at the Ice Age 50.  I PR'd in the 50k by 30 minutes within the 50 miles and became only the 9th person in the 32 year history of the race to break 6 hours.  Even though I had such a great race, I missed that Western States spot by finishing just 92 seconds behind 3rd place.  This threw off my summer plans but it gave me a chance to run the Grindstone 100 in October, my first mountain 100 miler, where I finished 3rd place.  Two weeks later I gutted out a solid marathon time, all things considered, and that capped my year of racing.  I did't race often, but I had fun at all the races, even the DNF at Cayuga Trail 50 a month after Ice Age.    

2014 also brought lots of other great memories away from competing.  In January I founded Southeastern Ohio Trail Runners (SEOTR), which produced an opportunity for a great memory in April when I directed my first race, the Iron Furnace Trail Run.  Race Directing was so much fun and it is going to be something I continue for a long time, with many plans for future races, including the 2nd annual IFTR in April 2015.  In May, I earned a Masters Degree in Outdoor Recreation and Education from Ohio University.  After graduating, Bobbi and I spend over 5 weeks driving and exploring the American West during the summer, which included stops at the Western States 100 and Hardrock 100, giving a surplus of inspiration to run mountain 100 milers.  Later that summer, Bobbi and I found out we were expecting our first child, which has been the greatest blessing of 2014!  And that blessing will flow into 2015 when we welcome our little girl into the world in late April!  
Bobbi finishing the Iron Furnace Trail Run and me welcoming her to the finish as the Race Director!
I wouldn't have had such a satisfying year without all the support from my family and friends, especially my wife Bobbi who has become quite the ultra crewess in the two and a half years we've been married.  It is truly awesome to have the love and support from everyone around me.  And there is constant inspiration as trail running grows in Southeastern Ohio,especially with the emergence and growth of SEOTR and the Iron Furnace Trail Run and more planned trail races.  I've probably shared more trail runs in 2014 with new people than I had in all past years combined.  Good vibes with good people on good trails.


Stats are still something that I enjoy tracking, so here are some numbers to end the 2014 year:

Yearly Mileages (since I started logging everyday Jan. 1, 2007)
  • 2007:  2,334 miles
  • 2008:  2,884 miles
  • 2009:  3,458 miles
  • 2010:  5,157 miles
  • 2011:  4,530 miles
  • 2012:  2,682 miles
  • 2013:  2,898 miles
  • 2014:  3,968 miles
Total in 8 years = 27,912 miles

Racing Numbers
  • 220.5 miles raced in 2014
  • 1 100 miler, 1 50 miler, 1 50k, 1 marathon, 1 5 miler, 3 5k's
  • 1 50 mile DNF
  • Ultra finishes:  1st place, 4th place, 3rd place, DNF

Other Running Numbers from 2014
  • 238, 396 ft. of elevation gain from May (when I got a GPS watch) to end of year.
  • 580hr. 25min. of time running
  • 10.87 miles average per day
  • 1.59 hours of running per day
  • 54 days of 0 miles
  • 12.75 miles per day of running
  • 1.86 hours per day running
  • 16 weeks of 100+ miles

Lifetime Running Numbers (8 years)
  • 27, 912 miles
  • 9.56 miles per day
  • 419 days of 0 miles
  • 11.16 miles per day running
  • 130 races total (800 meters to 100 miles)
  • 42 5k's
  • 29 8k's
  • 12 ultra marathons

My #Strava Story - a cool video stat recap (May to December)

Onward to 2015 - Happy Trails!

Cayuga Trails 50.  photo by Joe Viger

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