Saturday, January 30, 2021

January Running 2021


Year to Date Miles: 141 (as of 1/29/2021)


As usual, January is a pretty lean month as far as races go.  Normally, I do the St George Half Marathon, but it fell victim to Covid-19.  If one is willing to travel, there are races down in Arizona or Las Vegas, but those races have dwindled as well.

So that leaves a big empty Zero in my racing for the month.

However, thanks to I've found a bit of inspiration.

I've been done three virtual races so far this year.  Just a brief of description of them:

Rock 'n' Roll Virtual Race #1  - 5K - 24:50 (1/8/2021)

First race of the year.  My 5K times have been really improving and I was definitely excited to take this race on.  I use the same route for all my 5K time trials and this was my best 5K in a while.  Also, any time I can go under 25 minutes, I am thrilled.  Also of concern is that I am finding my Garmin is measuring long so my time could be even better.

Rock 'n' Roll Virtual Arizona Half Marathon - Half Marathon 1:57:55 (1/16/2021)

This race I started WAY too fast, nailing some 8:30 miles.  I went with the aggressive pace after I couldn't hold back for a few miles.  I wound up paying dearly for it on miles 8 - 13.  

If you look closely at the Garmin route though, you'll notice that the Garmin quit recording at about mile 9.  After the "race" I traced my route on MapMyRun and I wound up running 13.55 miles.  Translated, that means I ran a 1:53-half.  Bam! Definite improvement.

Rock 'n' Roll Virtual Race #3  - 7K - 35:10 (1/23/2021)

I don't think I had ever run a 7K before (at least not a race).  But I knocked this one out.  Truth be told though, I had an awesome tailwind for most of the run.  I definitely wasn't going to take this one on with a 15 - 20 mile headwind.  There was a point in my "running career" where I couldn't done this in under 30 minutes, but I felt pretty good about this run.  I also hit a 24:40 for a 5K...

Training Updates

I have been running about 30 to 40 miles a week.  Sometimes a little more, sometimes less.  My focus has been improving my speed for the upcoming 5K / 10K season.  In addition, I am trying to maintain my endurance so that I can participate in any half marathon that interests me.

That being said, I have gotten the bug to do a marathon again.  However, given that races are iffy at present and race directors come out and say "Hey, our race is happening" and then 2 weeks before the race they announce it gets canceled, I just don't want to put in the training / work and attempt to run a marathon virtually (yuck!).  I can do a run on my own but a full marathon-- no way.

That being said, my training usually involves some sort of time trial or virtual race on the weekend followed by a bit of easy or maintenance running.  Around midweek I do some sort of speed workout.  I have found the workouts on the Rock 'n Roll Virtual running site to be outstanding.  Also, I'll do some hill repeats.


My weight continues to be going down.  I am clocking in regularly at around 172 pounds.  A year ago, I was pushing 190.  Ditching the restaurant food and over-sized portions has helped a lot in me regaining my fitness.

My goal weight is somewhere around 170 - 175 pounds.  These last 5 pounds have been a bit more work to lose but I am pretty happy with where I am at.  

I still snack on some "bad for you" foods but for the most part I try to limit the bad stuff in favor of the good stuff.  I try to load up on vegetables and limit the sugar and chips.

I've also continued to ditch sugary snacks, like candy and cookies.  The discipline is paying off with faster times and comments saying how much better I look.

Upcoming Races

Not much upcoming for races.  The race directors, however, are starting to send out specials.  I'll see how many I decide to take advantage of and what the plan is for 2021.

02/06: 2021 Run SLC Race Series 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
02/13: 2021 South Davis Recreation Center Sweethearts 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/06: 2021 March Madness Half Marathon - Woods Cross, UT (Confirmed)
03/20: 2021 Lucky 13 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
03/27: 2021 Riverton Half Marathon - Riverton, UT (Confirmed)
04/03: 2021 RUN SLC 15K - Salt Lake City, UT (Maybe)
04/10: 2021 Eggs Legs Race 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/XX: 2021 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) - Virtual
04/24: 2021 Recycle Run 5K - Bountiful, UT (Maybe)
05/08: 2021 May the Fourth 10K - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
05/15: 2021 Ogden Half Marathon - Ogden, UT (Confirmed) -- Virtual
12/04: 2021 Laughlin Half Marathon - Laughlin, NV (Confirmed)
02/27: 2022 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas (Confirmed)

Friday, January 1, 2021

2020 Year in Running

2020 Total Mileage: 1801

Year Summary:

All things considered, this wasn't too bad of a year for running.  I actually made some gains this year.  The last few years has seen my times actually go down.  This year, thanks to some focus and a semi-forced diet, I was able to dial in my calories, drop some of my bad habits and train harder.  

I didn't really do the last part until the fall.  The summer was absolutely brutal.  Aside from Covid-19, it was just HOT and there was a lot of political / social drama.  I had a hard time getting going and I usually just gutted through a few miles and called it a day.

Once the cooler temperatures arrived, I was able to run longer AND harder.  My times have definitely come down.

In some part, I have to give credit to Rock 'n Roll Virtual Club for giving me some workouts, challenges and virtual events to try my hand at.  Knowing I had a race or a workout that I had committed to, made a huge difference.  It was all free too.

I basically started the year running around 2 hour half marathons and 25:55 for a 5K.  At the end of the year:  1:53:55 for a half (on a flat course) and 24:45 for a 5K.

Racing Summary

Race Distance (Virtual races in parenthesis involving a 100% effort):

5K: 10 (3)
10K: 8 (1)
15K: 1 (0)
13.1 Miles: 3 (2)
26.2: 0

Utah was fairly open as far as racing went.  We had a regular season from the start of the year until mid March.  Then everything was shut down to at least the start of summer.  So I definitely missed out on a lot of races.  

The summer heat also prevented me from training at the half marathon distance so I didn't feel particularly comfortable racing at that distance.

Fortunately, I didn't have many "bad" races this year.  The most memorable 'bad" races are usually the longer ones (i.e. half marathon or marathon level runs).  Being I only had one, and I ran it pretty well, I can't recall too many "gosh I want to quit running" races this year.  

My virtual races were probably my best in terms of performance, which is surprising because I usually need people to work off of.  But the live in-person races I felt the best about were the Trick or Trot 5K and the Legacy Marathon 10K.

So far the race forecast for 2021 -- at least for the spring -- looks fairly bleak.  There are some races but definitely not as many.  And as I sit here in January, I am really wanting a in-person, live race.  It's been since late October since I had one and I'd love to have an honest to goodness course.

Goals for 2021

Right now I am really excited about my potential for 2021.  I am making gains, my weight is back down to a very manageable level and I've been watching training videos on YouTube.

So my goals for 2021 really are fairly simple:

1) Work on my speed.  Let's get my 5K down to something in the 23's.  That will mean continuing to stay lean, getting in a variety of speed workouts and staying injury free.

2)  Evaluate my desire to do a marathon.  After watching the finale of The Marathon Project, I found myself really inspired to try my hand at one again (I've done over 27 of them).  I definitely do NOT want to do a virtual one but a real, boutique-level marathon.  I suspect I am going to have to wait until the fall as I am already race-committed for the spring.  We'll make a judgement call on this sometime in the early summer.

In Conclusion

2020 was NOT a fun year.  There were lots of changes and it all seemed to happen in mid-March.  I went from one way of thinking and I figured 2020 would play out a certain way to completely having the rug pulled out from under me.  

There really weren't any epic destination races, no massive marathons or halves.  I found myself fairly isolated, working from home today and my social interactions reduced to a minimum.

But I made lemonade out of lemons.  

I quit eating junk.  I ran more often.  I picked up a dumbbell.  I started to relearn / listen again to training tips and incorporate them.  

And so I am grateful for the opportunity to improve upon myself.  I just hope I can continue the efforts in 2021.

Upcoming Races

Not much upcoming for races.  The race directors, however, are starting to send out specials.  I'll see how many I decide to take advantage of and what the plan is for 2021.

02/06: 2021 Run SLC Race Series 5K - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed)
02/13: 2021 South Davis Recreation Center Sweethearts 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/06: 2021 March Madness Half Marathon - Woods Cross, UT (Confirmed)
03/20: 2021 Lucky 13 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/03: 2021 Eggs Legs Race 10K - West Jordan, UT (Confirmed)
04/XX: 2021 Salt Lake City Half Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed) - Virtual
05/08: 2021 May the Fourth 10K - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
05/15: 2021 Ogden Half Marathon - Ogden, UT (Confirmed) -- Virtual
11/??: 2021 Las Vegas Half Marathon - Las Vegas (Confirmed)
12/04: 2021 Laughlin Half Marathon - Laughlin, NV (Confirmed)