AM - 7 miles.
PM - Skinned GW laps at Brighton w/ Andrea (and Amiee for a bit). One lap from the bottom and one from Snake Creek [3000']. Crossed the 100K mark for the season.
Jason and Joe inspired me to write up something of a "2015 review". I used to do these kinds of posts (in great detail with plenty of charts) more often and they are nice to look back on... and sort of the whole point of keeping a log such as this in the first place.
I already know my running history in great detail, as does pretty much anyone reading this, so I'll just do a bullet point review of the first four years of the past five years.
2011 through 2014...
That was a lot of miles and competition. While I'm guessing that I will re-emphasize racing and more serious training at some point in the future, I'd also wager that I will never put up those kinds of consistent mileage and race frequency numbers again. I enjoyed it at the time, but I don't have the desire to channel so much of my energy in just one direction again.
The 2015 "breakdown" was already documented. From the day I typed out that post until the end of the year, things turned around and I was happy with how I was able to make a "comeback" of sorts.
Time for charts... here's some mileage graphs since that data is easily accessible...
Monthly mileage (2011-2014 AVG vs 2015)
Clearly I cut back my running volume quite a bit this year, down to a much more reasonable 9.995 miles per day. I needed to run 2 more miles on New Year's Eve to make the average an even 10 (and was aware of that fact but wanted to hit the road for Sun Valley).
First vs Second halves of the year mileage
Same data, grouped differently. The lower mileage during the second half of 2015 was crucial to my recovery and feeling "normal" again. From September to December I got the pop back in my stride, regained athleticism, and my energy levels skyrocketed... to the point where I'm super-annoying (in terms of wanting to be outside doing activities all the time) again!
Quarterly Mileage 2011-2015
Same data again, but I liked how 2013 was so evenly split... and how the 2014 Chicago buildup stands out.
Now that I wear a fitbit I don't track heart rate and sleep like I used to (Fitbit that for me, and tells me that I get a good amount of sleep and have a low resting HR). I've gotten back into a really good (daily) pushup/pullup routine, but I don't really keep track of how much I'm doing... I just look in the mirror and make sure I'm ripped. Since late July of this year I've added quite a bit of upper body strength and muscle (which is good!). I still weigh myself every morning and now have 5+ years of data points from the same (medical clinic quality) scale...
It took some time for my body to adjust to lower mileage in 2015...
Here's the chart going back to Nov 2010, illustrating my two worst illnesses...
Now some thoughts on 2015 and looking forward to 2016...
In terms of running-performance, 2015 was obviously my worst year since I got back into this. I only raced a few times and none of them were great (compared to the past). But in some ways this was my most important year ever. I needed to re-center and the illness/injuries that knocked me down actually helped bring everything back into focus. I love running, but I also love skiing (just as much) and Andrea (even more!). Running fast and chasing PRs is great but it is not (and never will be) the main reason that I get up early to run every morning. I got my perspective back this year. I got my health back during the past four months. Andrea made some tremendous breakthroughs this year and we are now able to do a lot more things together again. My passion for skiing and being in the mountains (instead of the tempo loop or track) was re-invigorated (that's why we moved to Utah in the first place and have stayed here). That being said, I even had a few moments this fall where I ran fast like the "old days"... and I felt good about being able to do that.
I was a
bit lot obsessed with the racing part of running until I fell apart in the spring. I have much better balance now. For me, "balance" is always going to involve some level of obsession(s). I've said this many times: I'm at my best when I follow whatever my heart tells me is important at the time. Right now that means cranking out vertical at Brighton, chasing backcountry powder on the weekends, ski trips to new places, and starting every morning with pushups/pullups + running. I don't really feel the desire to run workouts or long runs over the winter, so I probably won't. When the weather gets warmer and the snow melts, I'll likely channel my energy in that direction again. My twist on periodization.
Ultimately, I want to (continue to) enjoy and be fully engaged in whatever I'm doing. If you can do that, you have a really good life. And you'll probably find success in most of the things you do. I anticipate running fast again (this year, perhaps). I would like to run another marathon, because I believe I still have a PR in me. But my "plan" is to not follow any type of plan at all (besides the vacation plans)... just let whatever happens, happen.
If I had to put down some 2016 "fitness goals", I guess they would be:
-Ski in new places
-Ski uphill more than ever before
-Ski downhill like the 2009-2011 version of myself
-Run new trails, climb new mountains, explore new canyons
-Take full advantage of the local trails and mountains that I love (don't take them for granted)
-Epic wedding/honeymoon (our honeymoon will require superb fitness)
-Don't run 5000+ miles in a year (ever again)
-Jump into some low-key races from time to time during the first half of the year
-Do a real marathon training cycle in the fall
-Run a PR in the marathon
-Be an asset to Saucony's team and good ambassador for the brand