Well, all the stuff that has to be done before Christmas seems to be done, so an hour or so earned to think back over the year and maybe what I've got out of it.
I won't dwell on the individual races, I wrote about each one after the event and the results are over on the right anyway. I was pleased with some and felt I probably could have done better in others but that's par for the course I guess. I wondered at times whether I had signed up for too many but on balance it worked out OK. I won't deliberately target so many for next year but I won't artificially restrict myself either if there are events that look as though they're going to be fun.
What I have done though is to try and analyse one or two statistics, a thing that I'm not usually interested in but I'm glad I did it because I've found the results a bit surprising - chastening, one might say. The basics for the 50 weeks of the year that I've recorded are
Total miles run 2050
- so average miles per week was 41; in reality a bit higher when active, as I've had several weeks off ski-ing, climbing, etc.
Number of runs 181
- so average number of runs per week was 3,6 - a bit more if you allow for the "missed weeks" above, but it's clear that I still take plenty of days off!
- and the average length of run was 11,3 miles. I know this is skewed by the long races but I was still surprised.
As I was surprised by this mean length of run, I broke down the number of outings into bands:-
Length of Run No of Runs
less than 5m 42
5m - 10m 80
10m - 20m 39
20m - 50m 14
more than 50m 6
There is no consistent correlation between the length of the run and the speed, because for example a 10 mile run might be a fast (?!) - paced outing around my local lanes, or a trip up Snowdon. So I looked also at the total miles run at different average paces:-
Pace (mins/mile) Total Distance at this pace (miles)
below 7,30 37 (tempo pace for me)
7,30 - 9,00 626 (comfortable road and easy trail running)
9,00 - 12,00 558 (mixed trail and hill, just about still running)
above 12,00 829 (hills and rough country)
Now even though over 340 miles in the last band came from just 4 events (Heart of Scotland, WHW, Lakeland 100 and UTMB), I think these two tables show that:
(a) I'm a jogger who runs occasionally, rather than a runner!
(b) I like getting out in the hills and enjoying the day out rather than doing specific training
(c) The amount of time I put into higher aerobic stuff is pretty pathetic
(d) I don't get out as often as I should
(e) I'm not going to improve unless I change my training habits.
I need to think about this over a glass or three of red wine during the Christmas holiday - do I want to carry on what I'm doing, and carry on enjoying it as I do now, or should I respond to the "could do better" prompt?
Another takeout from the year in a different area is that after 4 years of running ultras I think I'm now finally convinced that age (not a subject I like to dwell on too long!) is not all that relevant. I used to feel that I had to make the very best of each year because I might not get another chance, but now I'm much more of a mind that if you keep going you can keep going.
Whatever, I've enjoyed every step of the year (well, maybe waiting for the bus in the downpour for the TDS that never started wasn't so great, but you get the picture..) and I'm looking forward to next with some excitement. I'll post my plans next time.
To all readers of my infrequent and sometimes random ramblings, have a great Christmas and New Year. See you at the races!