Monday, December 22, 2014

Training numbers

I first started running "for real" on Apil 1 in 1985.  For that year, I kept track of my running mileage on a calendar, which I still have in a box at home somewhere. The next year, I switched to using paper logbooks to track my training, and I still have a lot of those at home.  Eventually, I switched to using Excel to track my training.

I've got way too many numbers stored on paper and in Excel files.  To the best of my knowledge, I've run 42,206 miles since April 1, 1985.  I spent a few years focusing on triathlons and I then returned to that sport intermittently in the early 2000s.  Somewhere, I have totals for bicycling miles and swimming meters as well.  But mostly, I ran.  I have race results for over 600 races, although it's been quite a while since my last race right now.

I guess it's just how I'm wired.  I have a math degree and was interested in studying areas of mathematics where the only career path is research and teaching this same math to other aspiring mathematicians.

For the past 30 years, if you gave me a date, I could find out what I weighed on that date (within a pound or 2), what training I did that day, what race I was training for, and how I felt about my workout on that day.  I'm sure there are many others who do the same, but people at my CrossFit box make fun of me for being so obsessive.

Earlier this year, I noticed that I was coming up on my 500th lifetime CrossFit work.  I mentioned it to someone at the gym, who mentioned it to the coach, who then announced this before our workout.  I was embarrassed to be exposed as such a geek, and I've gotten a lot of comments about being obsessive since that day.

I've been doing CrossFit for about 4 years now, and after a slow start, I now average just over 150 CF workouts per year.  My typical goal for a year these days, is to get 150-160 CrossFit workouts, 50 days of skiing, another 30 or so summertime days of hiking or running or cycling, and I try to fly fish another 50 days each season, although that is certainly not a workout, at least most of the time.

Last year (2013) was a tough year in some ways.  The second half of the year was particularly tough, as my mom died about the same time that I found out I might have prostate cancer.  That latter concern then turned into a cancer diagnosis, followed by lots and lots of doctor visits to determine how to treat the cancer.  When the year was done, I'd done 154 CrossFit workouts, and 206 total training days.  I think I got about 40 skiing days, rather than 50.  I ran less than normal, hiked less than normal, cycled less than normal, and I got out rock climbing exactly once.  And that day, I didn't even climb; I just belayed.

This year started out pretty slowly.  I had surgery for the cancer in early January.  I missed a month of skiing.  I couldn't do CrossFit at all for a while, and when I did return, I was very limited for a while.  It took about 10-11 weeks after the surgery until I felt fairly normal and I could again push hard in a workout.

A month ago, I was looking to see how this year would compare to last year.  Given how my year started, if I could be even with last year, I think I'd be pretty happy.  I have done some traveling and I've had two head colds late this year, so that cost me some training days.  But, my final numbers are actually starting to look pretty good.  If I can make it to CrossFit Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and next, I'll end up with 155 CrossFit days for the year - one more than last year and my best ever.  If I make those 6 CF workouts and teach skiing next weekend (which I will do),  will end up with 207 total training/skiing days this year - one more than last year.

I'll write an end of year post with some other numbers.  But, despite a rough start to the year, I am pretty pleased with how things have gone.  I can always wish things were a bit different.  I wish I weighed a bit less, I wish I had better mobility/flexibility, I wish I was stronger, I wish I was younger, etc.  But, I think I'm doing reasonably well for a guy who turns 53 in a couple weeks.  I set a number of new PRs in the gym this year, my skiing continues to improve year after year, and I'm having fun with what I do.  It's really hard to complain about a "wish list", when so many other things have gone so well.

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