2016: Solid 43rd Year


End-of-year tabulation of “exertions” seem to be in vogue this week. I’m a lover of seasons, and my whole year was in turmoil due to the lack of winter. A lot of frustration and tears as I watched snowstorms pass to the north or south. I burned my angst on snowless golf courses and open meadows, trying to run a fast indoor mile. A 4:34 indoor mile was the highlight of my winter. Spring arrived…unwelcome as far as I was concerned…and I picked up a stomach bug, then rolled my ankle, and then got busy with work. My intended races were dropping like flies, or I showed up with a backpack full of excuses. Whether or not I was in shape for the US Mountain Running Championships did not matter: my brain betrayed my body, and it was perhaps the best display of “brain gone bad” I’ve turned in since college. After shitting the bed there, I awoke early the next morning and went for one of my most memorable runs of the summer, with three repeats on the famed “Upper Walking Boss” ski slope as the sun came up. This set a better tone for the rest of the year. Had a good climb at the Whiteface Vertical K, and then got into a good rhythm with cycling, running, and strength training. Won a 50K fatbike race, ran just under 58 minutes for a hilly and hot 10-mile running race, got second overall at the Killington Spartan Beast, and three-peated as OCR World Champion in the 40-44 age group. Spent the next two months focusing on US Cross Country Championships and had a great result…23rd overall in the 40+ race, and had some workouts along the way that gave me confidence that I was in 15:40 5K shape…which feels nice at my age. Then Old Man Winter arrived early, and I closed out the year with a nice mix of snowshoe running, long trail runs, riding my fatbike, and even dusted off my ice skates for one perfect morning. Overall, I ran a little more than I wanted to, biked just the right amount, and spent far too little time in the snow. My only injury of any kind was a rolled ankle, which just put me on the bike for a few weeks, and maybe mild hemorrhoids that I won’t speak of.


My numbers:

29 days off. I like days off. Only one was due to injury…the rest were voluntary.

Excluding those days off, I trained an average of 1.9 hrs/day. Strava told me that my preferred exercise time was 9:00 at night…indeed, my wife falls asleep around 8:00, my kids fall asleep by 8:30, and I get my ass in gear soon after that. Most of my long runs/rides came during times when I was traveling for work. Although having ambitious performance goals certainly requires a good deal of training, I think I found a balance that did not make me an absent, deadbeat dad.

Ran 283 times for 2,322 miles (average 8.2 miles per run), 310,620 ft of elevation gain (1,098 ft per run), at an average pace of 9.2 minutes/mile. Slow, hilly runs.

I biked outdoors 72 times for 1,183 miles (16.4 miles per ride), mostly on trails but some dirt roads, and got 149,705 ft of elevation gain (2,079 ft per ride), at an average pace of 7.4 minutes/mile. So, slow grinds on the fatbike!

Mostly thanks to watching all six seasons of Game of Thrones, I biked indoors 56 times for 1,199 miles (22.6 miles per ride), but got no elevation gain for this activity.

I did a little bit of hiking, usually with a weight vest, and did a fair amount of strength training (usually 2 workouts per week). Lost count of pull-ups…but it was a lot.

Overall, 4,777 miles of “stuff” and 475,465 ft of elevation gain. And I swam with manatees.

Skipping indoor track this year. No real plan at the moment…just enjoying the snow.







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