Sunday, February 2, 2014

January 2014: Mileage

At the end of December, I saw a lot of people on Twitter and Facebook posting their mileage totals for 2013, and it got me to thinking:

  1. Hopefully they thank the person who does their laundry.
  2. I have no idea what my own yearly mileage total is. 

I’ve never really kept track of my miles, other than when I was 22 and training for my first marathon, and even then, it was just for a ~3 month stint rather than the entire year.  These days, I tend to have a vague idea of what my weekly mileage is, but it has never occurred to me to record it on a month by month basis and then total it at the end of the year.

Usually the only time I concern myself with how far I’m running is on the weekends when I do a long run.  I use an app called mapmyrun to track my mileage, basically so I can just run around for as long as it takes to hit whatever target I was aiming for (ex: like that time I ran an accidental marathon with Libby).  But it actually stresses me out to use the mapmyrun app for daily runs, especially in the winter.  I use the app on my phone, which means I have to start it inside (before I put on my gloves) and then put my phone away in my waist pack or armband or whatever.  Then put my gloves on and go out and run.  There are two very long stop lights I have to wait at, for on average about 5 minutes total I would guess, during the first two miles (and then again on the way back).  The only way to stop the clock on the app is to take off my glove, unzip my waist pack, take my phone out of it, press “pause,” and then when I finally get a walk signal, I have to do the whole thing in reverse to start it back up again.  So I usually just keep it going, and what I end up with is Libby telling me that I am running something like 12 minute miles.  And that just makes me feel sad.

Well, for my first run of 2014, I happened to use mapmyrun to log my miles at Chubb Trail (I just wanted to see how far I went), and then during my second run of the year, I used it again because I wanted to see how far one of my typical routes was (I thought it was about 4.5, Libby calculated 4.7).  

I got to thinking, what if I just do this.  What if I just keep track of the miles.  I decided I wouldn’t pay attention to the pace.  Not even look at it.  And if it got to be too stressful to take my phone with me every time and use the app, I could estimate the mileage and log it online later.

The results are in for January:  I ran 152.2 miles.  


Screen Shot 2014 02 01 at 9 23 27 PM


That’s actually not a whole lot (less than 35 miles a week).  But considering that this month we had 2 polar vortexes, my dad’s brain surgery, and my general state of Exhaustion, I’ll take it.

The thing is, I would have assumed I’d have more time to run after quitting my job, but I’ve found I actually have less.  As a functional, working person, I used to get up at 5:45 or 6am, run between 5 and 8 miles, and be home by 7:20.  From approximately October through March, this is in complete darkness, and it kind of drives me batshit crazy.  I just can’t deal with that at the moment, plus The Exhaustion makes it difficult for me to get up before 6am.  So Rob has been running the “first shift" in the mornings.  He doesn’t leave as early as I used to, and he runs farther/gets back later, like around 8am.  I am still stumbling around the house like a zombie at that point and finally make it out the door around 8:15 or 8:20. Then Rob showers and starts working, and Will gets to sit in bed and watch PBS Kids on the iPad while I am running.  This thrills Will to no end, but it is actually a pretty bad pattern to get into.  I end up running shorter than I would like because I want to minimize the iPad time.  Starting out the day with TV tends to send us down a very bad road.  By the time I get home and shower, it is very difficult to pry the iPad from his little hands, and we just end up getting in a screaming match because all he wants to do is sit in his pajamas and watch TV all day.  Then The Exhaustion hits me in the early afternoon, and I pass out wherever I happen to be.  If I am lucky, Will sits next to me and reads books or decorates me with stickers/washable markers; if I am unlucky he does something dangerous (like leaping off pieces of furniture) that I probably don’t know about.

The Exhaustion seems to be making the situation worse, and I know what everyone is thinking: I should just stop running until I lock that down and feel better.


I took off almost a week in late December and several days surrounding my dad’s surgery in January, and it didn’t seem to matter.  In fact, I found I was even more exhausted on days when I did not run.  So, I figured if I’m going to be exhausted anyway, I might as well run.

We’ll see how this goes.  If recording the miles ends up stressing me out too much, I will abandon it.  I think that 150 miles/month is sort of a decent baseline but is something I will probably fall short of in many months (for example: February, which has 3 fewer days and perhaps as much as 15 fewer miles than January).  I will try not to fixate on hitting a certain target and know that it will all even out.  Some high months, some low months, some time off for inevitable injuries and hopefully for a move to Colorado, some more intensive months when I am actually training for something.  

So, there it is.  I don’t really have and end-goal with all of this; just kind of curious to see how far I run in a year.

Thanks for reading.


EA Quinn said...

Have you checked in with a doctor about The Exhaustion? B's had something similar (sleeping 12+ hours a day, no energy) and was finally diagnosed with a GI infection.

Melissa said...

EA, you *know* how I feel about doctors.

Seriously though, hope that B is feeling better soon.