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A year is a long time in running

Well, well, well… It’s been a looooong year, but here we are, at the very end of it. I thought I would reflect on some of my running goals, the peaks and troughs, and what running resolutions I might set for 2017.

So how did it go? All in all, I don’t think it was a bad year. There wasn’t a lot of progress in pacing, per se, but I was a lot steadier and more consistent in getting out for runs, and I had some really good months (unsurprisingly during the summer).

Volume Highlight Lowlight
January 32.4 km over 4:51 across 6 runs It’s hard to remember this far back… The usual New Year weather blues!
February 94km over 8:31 across 16 runs Picking up training volume again, including a 54:23 10k The number of runs that are just shy of 5k
March 90.4km over 8:13 across 14 runs First 10k+ run (13.7km in 1:13) That my average pace starts a slow decline here
April 94.2km over 9:06 across 15 runs Steady as she goes… Noticeable pace decrease, including two 10ks (57 and 59)
May 131.8km over 12:05 across 13 runs Two half-marathons (first ever at 1:57, second at 1:58) That I was too cheap to pay for the Runner’s World app training…
June 91km over 8:16 across 12 runs I at least managed an 8-miler I couldn’t face a long long-run this month, having done halves in May
July 112.82km over 10:06 across 17 runs A good increase in the number of runs Quantity =/= distance
August 136.4km over 12:25 across 22 runs Still on the up, including some 10-milers and some 8-milers Average pace is down, though…
September 113.1km over 10:47 across 19 runs Holding fairly steady and enjoying the sunshine Only one 8-miler
October 60km over 5:32 across 12 runs Despite travel and moving house, I’m still managing a few runs a week Most runs now pretty short
November 70.75km over 6:29 across 15 runs Got in a 10k and a 5-miler Pace is still trending down
December 76.18km over 7:05 across 14 runs Starting to pull back up again, distance-wise  Still a bit slower

I have found myself slightly frustrated with Strava after discovering that it didn’t have the delightful Excel download feature of RunKeeper, so pulling together my stats was a bit of a hassle. I’m going to have to think about whether I try Nike+ Run Club (which I think lets you download stats), or the paid-for version of Strava.


  • The two half-marathons I did, just by myself.

I’m happy that my first one ever was supposed to be a 10-miler that I just pushed on with, and it came in sub-2:00. But the fact that I only managed two and then my half-marathon-a-month plan fell apart is indicative of a fairly basic fact: I’m not that interested in longer distances.

  • Running is more part of my everyday routine than in 2015.

There was almost no week when I didn’t run at all. I had some niggles, like shoulder cramps (yep, a weird one) or tight ankles, but still trundled on when and how I could.


  • That the half-marathon-a-month plan fell by the wayside so easily.

I’m partly baffled by quite why this happened, and partly glad that it helped clarify quite what I’m running for.

  • That I still haven’t figured out how best to get speed workouts into my routine.

I do these workouts intermittently, when I’m feeling guilty or in a clear rut. If I want to “progress”, which I guess means getting faster,  then I need to take these more seriously, as well as strength training, etc.

  • That my pacing seems to have decreased.

If this is a function of running longer, then it’s disappointing that I haven’t picked up a great deal across the year, which may reinforce the point above about speed workouts.


A week is a long time in running… (18/12/16)

If I thought last week didn’t go to plan, then I just seriously wasn’t paying attention to my schedule when I made this week’s plan. Not only did I include 8 days (?!), I completely forgot a number of doctor/dentist appointments and PhD writing deadlines that were going to get in the way. It was just all wrong.

This is what I managed, anyway

Date Planned Distance Actual Distance Time Pace
12 December (Strength training)
13 December 10.0km  –  –
14 December 4.0km (run to the bakery!)  –  –
15 December 3.2km (hill intervals)  3.2km + long yoga  19:46  6:03/km (5:57/km GAP)
16 December (Long yoga)  8.0km  44:00  5:27/km (5:28/km GAP)
17 December (Strength training)  ✔  –  –
18 December 5.0km (ParkRun?) 5.9km 32:50  5:30/km (5:47/km GAP)
Total 22.2km  17.1km

Based on actually looking at my calendar for next week, this is how I want next week to go:

Date Distance
19 December 4.0km (run to the bakery!)
20 December (Strength training)
21 December 8.0km
22 December (Travelling: try to stretch and not get a DVT!)
23 December 5.0km
24December 5.0km
25 December (Strength training)
Total 22km

A week is a long time in running… (11/12/16)

Sooo… This week did not go entirely to plan.

We did, indeed, run to the bakery, but I forgot that I hated intervals so much that it would prevent me doing the imagined mile-long jog afterwards. And then the rain gods were angered, and the ParkRun was a wash out, as was the morning I’d set aside to do the 10k. We managed to cobble together a nice Sunday run, though, gallivanting up Twin Peaks and over to the Presidio, so it could have been a lot worse. Plus we stocked up on winter running gear for when we’re back home in a few weeks.

Date Planned Distance Actual Distance Time Pace
5 December 3.2km (hill intervals) 2.0km (hill intervals) 11:02 5:25/km (5:01/km GAP)
7 December 4.0km (run to the bakery!) 4.2km (run to the bakery!) 23:53 5:37/km (5:42/km GAP)
9 December 10.0km  5.1km 27:44  5:22/km (5:26/km GAP)
11 December 5.0km (Parkrun)  –  –
12 December  8.3km 48:36  5:51/km (5:52/km GAP)
Total 22.2km 19.6km

I’ve been trying to do some daily yoga, as I started having back trouble again (supporting respiratory muscles go into spasm… it’s a shoulder blade problem). I’ve also had an early Christmas gift of some free weights, so now I can also do some more strength training, too, which is a win!

This is how I want next week to go:

Date Distance
12 December (Strength training)
13 December 10.0km
14 December 4.0km (run to the bakery!)
15 December 3.2km (hill intervals)
16 December  (Long yoga)
17 December (Strength training)
18 December 5.0km (ParkRun?)
19 December (Long yoga)
Total 22.2km

A week is a long time in running… (4/12/16)

This week was all couples’ running, and I should admit up-front that two of the runs were to a bakery. As things have gotten busier with projects I’m working on (such as my now-complete academic/NaNoWriMo project), I didn’t quite have time for the four runs that I’d planned, and we weren’t drawn to the planned ParkRun on Saturday, as I’m doing lots of driving practice ahead of having to sit a test in the US, and Saturday mornings are quite a good time to play about doing manoeuvres, etc., without annoying people who are actually just trying to go along their way!

Still, I’m fairly committed to doing at least 16km a week, so we did manage to get out this morning for a longer run.

This is how the week went:

Date Planned Distance Actual Distance Time Pace
29 November 4.0km  4.2km 24:33 5:46/km (5:57/km GAP)
30 November 4.0km 4.0km  23:45 5:50/km (5:49/km GAP)
1 December 8.0km  –  –
3 December 5.0km  –  –
4 December  8.0km  47:10  5:51/km (5:48/km GAP)
Total 21km 16.2km

This is how I want next week to go:

Date Distance Time Pace
5 December 3.2km (hills intervals)
7 December 4.0km (run to the bakery!)
9 December 10.0km
11 December 5.0km (we are going to try this ParkRun!)
Total 22.2km

A week is a long time in running… (27/11/16)

Thanksgiving Week isn’t a big deal for us as Brits abroad, but it did mean that my husband had the week off, so there was a lot more couples running than I’d initially intended, which means shorter, most of the time. We also went out and around the countryside a fair bit, so I got to do some trail running, but it turns out the Marin Headlands are pretty hilly! We bailed on the Saturday parkrun because of crazy rain, but did a stairs workout instead on Sunday to make up for it.

I’m still having trouble with my ankles and the tops of my feet being stiff and sore, which I’m fairly sure it hills related. It’s very different to problems with my feet that I’ve had before, which was cramping along the bottom caused by too-stiff shoes.

This is how this week went, anyway:

Date Planned Distance Actual Distance Time Pace
22 November 4.0km  2.3km  12:55  5:33/km (5:38/km GAP)
23 November 10.0km  4.5km (trail)  25:44  5:38/km (5:04/km GAP)
25 November 4.0km  6.4km  34:12  5:17/km (5:20/km GAP)
26 November 5.0km 2.0km (stairs intervals)  13:31  6:38/km (6:13/km GAP)
Total 23km  15.2km

And this is how I want next week to go:

Date Distance Time Pace
29 November 4.0km
30 November 4.0km
1 December 8.0km
3 December 5.0km
Total 21km

A week is a long time in running… (20/11/16)

So, this is has been a less half-arsed running week than the last few weeks, which is a bonus!

This is how this week went:

Date Planned Distance Actual Distance Time Pace
15 November 4.0km  4.0km  22:03  5:29/km (5:45/km GAP)
17 November 4.0km  3.8km  21:34  5:33/km (5:18/km GAP)
18 November 10.0km  10.2km  55:19  5:23/km (5:16/km GAP)
20 November 8.0km 5.0km  27:12  5:20/km (5:19/km GAP)
Total 26km  23km

And this is how I want next week to go:

Date Distance Time Pace
21 November 4.0km
23 November 10.0km
24 November 4.0km
26 November 5.0km
Total 23km

A week is a long time in running… (13/11/16)

Half-arsed running weeks continue, it seems. I’ve had a bit of a struggle getting motivated because my morning rhythms have changed now that I’m working at home, and I haven’t quite figured out how I want to structure running in this new schedule. So I’m going back to scheduling aspirational runs!

This is how this week went:

Date Distance Time Pace
9 November 5.1km  27:35 5:21/km (GAP 5:20/km)
11 November 3.7km 19:30 5:16/km (GAP 5:30/km)
13 November 8.3km  47:22 5:41/km (GAP 5:42/km)
Total 17.1km

And this is how I want next week to go:

Date Distance Time Pace
15 November 4.0km
16 November 10.0km
18 November 4.0km
20 November 8.0km
Total 26km