2014: Looking back

Much like 2013, life in 2014 too has been great — I still have my dream job and live in a place that I love amidst people with whom caring is more than a 2-way traffic. Thanks in greater part to my friends in and out of this community, and their unexpected and unrewarded acts of kindness, 2014 became my first ever almost full running season. There wouldn’t be an almost in the previous sentence, and the progress towards the end of it would have been much greater had I not procrastinated too much over the first many months (as can be seen from the histogram of monthly mileage).

Doing ten half marathons in the calendar year — primarily to give myself too little time to get too comfortable with the results of the previous event — was by far the best solo athletic-related life decision that I have had the opportunity (and common sense) to make. Virtual races [thanks to US Road Running (USRR), Vacation Races (VR) and Will Run For Bling and Charity (WR4BC)] helped quite a bit in this regard by adding value to training runs and making it difficult to skip them.

The said decision helped me participate in 35 unique events (more when double/triple events are taken into consideration), and made me far more disciplined with regards to eating, sleeping and working out schedules. It also took me to four states outside of Michigan and a plethora of townships and cities of varying sizes, and brought me in touch with fantastic people from those cities, townships and other places, and some once in a life time, hither to un-experienced opportunities (interactive map above, and the boring list below).

The additional decision to give up alcohol anywhere between 10-21 days prior to any event helped me perform fairly satisfactorily in many of them, especially since June — earning five PRs in half marathon category, and at least one PR in every other distance category.

Summary of 2014 races
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Cadence, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, Stride Length, Training Effect
Normalized Gradient Pace, Intensity Factor, E Factor, Grade, RTSS
Weather notes
01 2014-02-02 11:05:00 Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.22 mi, 2:43:43, 12:15 min/mile, 4.90 mph, 170 bpm
158 spm
11:47 min/mile, 0.72, 0.89, -0.20%, 188.5
45 F, 5 mph ESE, 40 F; 87% humidity
02 2014-02-15 09:48:00 Book Across The Bay 10k Classic XC Ski
Garmin 405CX, 6.23 mi, 2:27:03, 24:00 min/mile, 2.50 mph, 159 bpm
NA
24:00 min/mile, 1.07, 0.00, 0.00%, 319.1
15 F, 6 mph, 12 F; 84% humidity; snow and partly cloudy
03 2014-03-08 09:48:00 Great Bear Chase 10k Classic XC Ski
Garmin 405CX, 5.92 mi, 2:13:26, 22:13 min/mile, 2.70 mph, 168 bpm (PR)
NA
22:13 min/mile, 1.11, 0.00, 0.10%, 308.5
15 F, 6 mph NNW, 12 F; 64% humidity; cloudy and cold
04 2014-05-03 11:02:00 Door County Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.10 mi, 2:33:27, 11:46 min/mile, 5.10 mph, 176 bpm (PR)
156 spm
10:22 min/mile, 0.82, 0.97, 0.00%, 196.7
45 F, 7 mph W, 41 F; 93% humidity; cloudy
05 2014-05-18 09:01:00 Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.17 mi, 2:38:02, 12:00 min/mile, 5.00 mph, 177 bpm
150 spm
11:21 min/mile, 0.75, 0.88, 0.00%, 168.9
50 F, 5 mph SSW, 48 F; 66% humidity; drizzle/cloudy
06 2014-05-31 09:01:00 Breakers To Bay
Garmin 405CX, 5.00 mi, 0:54:18, 10:55 min/mile, 5.50 mph, 178 bpm (PR)
150 spm
10:21 min/mile, 0.82, 0.96, 0.00%, 67.9
64 F, 10 mph S, 64 F; 64% humidity; sunny
07 2014-06-07 07:07:00 Baraga County Lake Trout Festival Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.10 mi, 2:22:48, 10:54 min/mile, 5.50 mph, 169 bpm (PR)
156 spm
10:42 min/mile, 0.80, 0.97, -0.40%, 171.2
55 F, 5 mph WNW, 55 F; 82% humidity; cloudy, foggy along lakeshore and then sunny
08 2014-07-12 09:00:00 Run The Keweenaw: Mt. Baldy Summit Run
Garmin 405CX, 3.53 mi, 0:47:36, 13:30 min/mile, 4.44 mph, 170 bpm (PR)
140 spm
10:33 min/mile, 0.81, 0.98, 3.80%, 57.2
66 F, 14 mph WNW, 66 F; 94% humidity; cloudy but then clear
09 2014-07-12 17:00:00 Run The Keweenaw: Copper Harbor Trails Challenge
Garmin 405CX, 8.62 mi, 1:58:48, 13:47 min/mile, 4.35 mph, 162 bpm
144 spm
12:03 min/mile, 0.71, 0.90, 0.00%, 111.7
72 F, 3 mph, 72 F; 69% humidity; shady
10 2014-07-19 07:30:00 Hancock Canal Run Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.10 mi, 2:12:51, 10:08 min/mile, 5.92 mph, 171 bpm (PR)
164 spm
9:40 min/mile, 0.88, 1.06, -0.3%, 194.6
63 F, 7 mph S, 63 F; 83% humidity; cloudy but comfortable
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Cadence, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, Stride Length, Training Effect
Normalized Gradient Pace, Intensity Factor, E Factor, Grade, RTSS
Weather notes
11 2014-08-02 11:03:00 Copper Man Triathlon Run
Garmin 620, 5.02 mi, 0:50:26, 10:03 min/mile, 5.97 mph, 167 bpm, 5.0 (PR)
159 spm, 9.2 cm, 239 ms, 1.01 m
9:51 min/mile, 0.87, 1.07, 0.00%, 69.5
68 F, 5 mph SE, 68 F; 64% humidity; sunny
12 2014-08-03 17:33:00 Top Gun Run Half Marathon (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 13.21 mi, 2:49:06, 12:48 min/mile, 4.69 mph, 146 bpm, 4.80
149 spm, 7.90 cm, 284 ms, 0.85 m
12:41 min/mile, 0.67, 0.95, 0.10%, 144.7
72 F, 7 mph ENE, 72 F; 57% humidity; sunny
13 2014-08-15 19:01:00 Ragnar Relay: Great River #1
Garmin 620, 4.88 mi, 0:49:27, 10:08 min/mile, 5.92 mph, 164 bpm, 4.2
154 spm, 9.7 cm, 276 ms, 1.03 m
9:44 min/mile, 0.88, 1.10, 0.20%, 69.8
84 F, 7 mph SW, 84 F; 40% humidity; sunny
14 2014-08-16 04:59:00 Ragnar Relay: Great River #2
Garmin 620, 4.98 mi, 0:51:41, 10:23 min/mile, 5.78 mph, 161 bpm, 4.3
156 spm, 9.4 cm, 271 ms, 0.99 m
9:40 min/mile, 0.88, 1.13, 0.70%, 73.9
64 F, 0 mph, 64 F; 100% humidity; partly cloudy
15 2014-08-16 13:13:00 Ragnar Relay: Great River #3
Garmin 620, 6.80 mi, 1:17:55, 11:28 min/mile, 5.23 mph, 157 bpm, 4.2
153 spm, 9.0 cm, 254 ms, 0.92 m
10:40 min/mile, 0.80, 1.05, 0.50%, 92.5
77 F, 3 mph, 77 F; 69% humidity; sunny/hot
16 2014-08-25 10:00:00 NPS Birthday Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.27 mi, 1:46:06, 16:55 min/mile, 3.55 mph, 150 bpm, 3.2
136 spm, 8.00 cm, 321 ms, 0.70 m
15:30 min/mile, 0.55, 0.76, -0.20%, 60.1
50 F, 5 mph, 45 F; 90% humidity; cloudy, foggy and rain
17 2014-08-29 19:30:00 Blackrocks 5k
Garmin 620, 3.20 mi, 0:27:38, 8:38 min/mile, 6.95 mph, 162 bpm, 3.8 (PR)
161 spm, 10.1 cm, 250 ms, 1.16 m
8:21 min/mile, 1.02, 1.30, 0.20%, 52.3
66 F, 12 mph S, 66 F; 94% humidity; cloudy but not chilly
18 2014-08-30 09:00:00 Marquette Half Marathon
Garmin 620, 13.15 mi, 2:05:30, 9:33 min/mile, 6.28 mph, 162 bpm, 5.0 (PR)
160 spm, 10.2 cm, 226 ms, 1.05 m
9:36 min/mile, 0.89, 1.14, -0.90%, 186.6
63 F, 3 mph N, 63 F; 100% humidity; rain
18 2014-08-30 09:00:00 Howl at the Moon Half Marathon (USRR)
Garmin 620, 13.15 mi, 2:05:30, 9:33 min/mile, 6.28 mph, 162 bpm, 5.0
160 spm, 10.2 cm, 226 ms, 1.05 m
9:36 min/mile, 0.89, 1.14, -0.90%, 186.6
63 F, 3 mph N, 63 F; 100% humidity; rain
18 2014-08-30 09:00:00 No Work On Labor Day Half Marathon (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 13.15 mi, 2:05:30, 9:33 min/mile, 6.28 mph, 162 bpm, 5.0
160 spm, 10.2 cm, 226 ms, 1.05 m
9:36 min/mile, 0.89, 1.14, -0.90%, 186.6
63 F, 3 mph N, 63 F; 100% humidity; rain
19 2014-09-14 09:55:00 Crazy Monkey Run 5k (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.09 mi, 0:28:31, 9:14 min/mile, 6.50 mph, 165 bpm, 3.6
161 spm, 9.70 cm, 236 ms, 1.08 m
9:06 min/mile 0.94, 1.17, -0.10%, 45.3
46 F, 10 mph S, 42 F; 71% humidity; cloud/drizzling rain
20 2014-09-22 16:53:00 Talk Like A Pirate Day 10k (USRR)
Garmin 620, 8.31 mi, 1:33:23, 11:14 min/mile, 5.34 mph, 160 bpm, 4.7
151 spm, 9.20 cm, 246 ms, 0.95 m
10:42 min/mile, 0.80, 1.03, 0.00%, 110.6
64 F, 17 mph W, 64 F; 56% humidity; sunny
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Cadence, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, Stride Length, Training Effect
Normalized Gradient Pace, Intensity Factor, E Factor, Grade, RTSS
Weather notes
21 2014-09-27 11:34:00 RunningChunk.com 5k
Garmin 620, 3.09 mi, 0:26:41, 8:38 min/mile, 6.95 mph, 147 bpm, 3.4 (PR)
163 spm, 10.2 cm, 222 ms, 1.14 m
8:14 min/mile, 1.04, 1.45, 0.50%, 51.7
61 F, 4 mph S, 61 F; 77% humidity; sunny and breezy
22 2014-10-04 09:01:00 Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival 5k
Garmin 620, 3.25 mi, 0:38:20, 11:48 min/mile, 5.08 mph, 140 bpm, 3.2
157 spm, 9.60 cm, 254 ms, 0.87 m
11:00 min/mile, 0.78, 1.14, 0.10%, 42.1
39 F, 6 mph N, 35 F; 87% humidity; Cloudy and rain
23 2014-10-04 09:59:00 Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival 10k
Garmin 620, 6.20 mi, 1:13:20, 11:49 min/mile, 5.08 mph, 140 bpm, 3.8
154 spm, 9.40 cm, 277 ms, 0.89 m
11:33 min/mile, 0.74, 1.07, -0.20%, 74.2
39 F, 9 mph NNW, 33 F; 87% humidity; Cloudy and rain
24 2014-10-05 09:02:00 Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival Half Marathon
Garmin 620, 12.54 mi, 2:40:42, 12:49 min/mile, 4.68 mph, 73 bpm, 3.1
147 spm, 9.30 cm, 294 ms, 0.86 m
11:42 min/mile, 0.73, 2.06, 161.4
37 F, 9 mph W, 31 F; 87% humidity; Cloudy and rain
24 2014-10-05 09:02:00 Chocolate Run Half Marathon (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 12.54 mi, 2:40:42, 12:49 min/mile, 4.68 mph, 73 bpm, 3.1
147 spm, 9.30 cm, 294 ms, 0.86 m
11:42 min/mile, 0.73, 2.06, 161.4
37 F, 9 mph W, 31 F; 87% humidity; Cloudy and rain
25 2014-10-19 10:30:00 Detroit Free Press Half Marathon
Garmin 620, 13.26 mi, 1:59:06, 8:59 min/mile, 6.68 mph, 56 bpm, 5.0 (PR)
163 spm, 9.5 cm, 234 ms, 1.10 m
8:34 min/mile, 1.00, 3.67, 222
45 F, 3 mph, 45 F; 57% humidity; Sunny
25 2014-10-19 10:30:00 Halloween Half Marathon (USRR)
Garmin 620, 13.26 mi, 1:59:06, 8:59 min/mile, 6.68 mph, 56 bpm, 5.0
163 spm, 9.5 cm, 234 ms, 1.10 m
8:34 min/mile, 1.00, 3.67, 222
45 F, 3 mph, 45 F; 57% humidity; Sunny
25 2014-10-19 10:30:00 Pirate Bay Half Marathon (USRR)
Garmin 620, 13.26 mi, 1:59:06, 8:59 min/mile, 6.68 mph, 56 bpm, 5.0
163 spm, 9.5 cm, 234 ms, 1.10 m
8:34 min/mile, 1.00, 3.67, 222
45 F, 3 mph, 45 F; 57% humidity; Sunny
26 2014-10-25 08:18:00 The Running Dead 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 7.07 mi, 1:08:46, 9:44 min/mile, 6.16 mph, 100 bpm, 4.0
163 spm, 9.7 cm, 261 ms, 1.02 m
9:29 min/mile, 0.90, 1.86, -0.20%, 103.2
52 F, 23 mph N, 52 F; 54% humidity; Sunny
27 2014-11-01 10:00:00 Muck Run
Garmin 620, 3.13 mi, 0:45:48, 14:38 min/mile, 4.10 mph, 143 bpm, 2.7
135 spm, 7.1 cm, 334 ms, 0.82 m
14:25 min/mile, 0.59, 0.85, -0.30%, 29.4
19 F, 0 mph, 19 F; 86% humidity; Sunny
28 2014-11-09 08:10:00 Madison Half Marathon
Garmin 620, 13.25 mi, 2:01:26, 9:10 min/mile, 6.55 mph, 174 bpm, 5.0
162 spm, 9.1 cm, 239 ms, 1.08 m
9:00 min/mile, 0.95, 1.12, -0.10%, 204.6
37 F, 10 mph S, 30 F; 70% humidity; Cloudy
28 2014-11-09 08:10:00 Saluting Our Veterans Half Marathon (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 13.25 mi, 2:01:26, 9:10 min/mile, 6.55 mph, 174 bpm, 5.0
162 spm, 9.1 cm, 239 ms, 1.08 m
9:00 min/mile, 0.95, 1.12, -0.10%, 204.6
37 F, 10 mph S, 30 F; 70% humidity; Cloudy
29 2014-11-15 09:31:00 SC14 SCinet 5k
Garmin 620, 2.98 mi, 0:25:15, 8:29 min/mile, 7.07 mph, 172 bpm, 3.9 (PR)
162 spm, 10.4 cm, 242 ms, 1.17 m
8:01 min/mile, 1.06, 1.28, -0.10%, 51.6
43 F, 11 mph ENE, 37 F; 56% humidity; Sunny
30 2014-11-20 08:30:00 SC14 FLOPS Trot 5k
Garmin 620, 3.09 mi, 0:25:35, 8:17 min/mile, 7.24 mph, 169 bpm, 3.8
166 spm, 1.17 m
7:55 min/mile, 1.08, 1.31, 0.40%, 53.6
52 F, 7 mph SSE, 52 F; 76% humidity; Sunny
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Cadence, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, Stride Length, Training Effect
Normalized Gradient Pace, Intensity Factor, E Factor, Grade, RTSS
Weather notes
31 2014-11-22 08:24:00 Thanksgiving 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 6.57 mi, 1:05:21, 9:57 min/mile, 6.03 mph, 157 bpm, 4.4
164 spm, 8.50 cm, 255 ms, 0.98 m
8:16 min/mile, 1.03, 1.36, -0.10%, 128.6
57 F, 11 mph E, 57 F; 82% humidity; Sunny
32 2014-11-27 07:23:00 Turkey Trot #1 (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.36 mi, 1:10:57, 11:09 min/mile, 5.38 mph, 164 bpm, 5.0
153 spm, 8.6 cm, 296 ms, 0.94 m
10:46 min/mile, 0.79, 1.00, 82.5
7 F, 9 mph NNW, -7 F; 66% humidity; Cloudy
33 2014-11-27 09:00:00 UP Health (Portage) Turkey Trot 5k
Garmin 620, 2.53 mi, 0:28:14, 11:08 min/mile, 5.39 mph, 166 bpm, 3.7
155 spm, 8.3 cm, 301 ms, 0.93 m
10:34 min/mile, 0.81, 1.00, 0.60%, 33.3
7 F, 9 mph NNW, -7 F; 66% humidity; Cloudy
34 2014-11-29 17:06:00 Pie Gobbler 5k (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.30 mi, 0:36:13, 10:59 min/mile, 5.46 mph, 159 bpm, 3.7
155 spm, 8.6 cm, 292 ms, 0.94 m
10:47 min/mile, 0.79, 1.03, 41.3
36 F, 9 mph S, 29 F; 75% humidity; Cloudy
35 2014-12-22 17:25:00 Polar Bear Run 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 6.55 mi, 1:09:33, 10:38 min/mile, 5.64 mph, 173 bpm, 5.0
159 spm, 8.50 cm, 285 ms, 0.95 m
10:15 min/mile, 0.83, 0.99, 0.00%, 89.2
36 F, 7 mph ESE, 30 F; 87% humidity; Cloud/Foggy

Though one of the goals for this year was to run not for bling but purely for overall individual improvement as a runner/athlete, I ended up acquiring far more bling that I ever had before.

Praise be to the Good Lord, and thanks be to

the opportunities, organizers, sponsors, volunteers, law enforcement/border patrol/immigration officials, timing folks, photographers, community members, fellow racers, electronic gadgets, software, the internet, and my good friends — the Abbotts (Kathy and Mike), the Blakes (Amy and Scott), the Boissevains (Margi and Paul), the Brewsters (Katie and Brian), the Bunkers (Kris and Kate), the Carlsons (Abby, Cassondra, Josh, and Justin), the Carmeans (Jess and Tim), the Chards (Amy and David), the Durochers (Bridget and John), the Eles (Sarah and Stephen), the Engstroms (Christine and Jaime), the Fredricksons (Linda and Dave), the Gracis (Kara and Sam), the Handlers (Christine, Rob, Shannon and Stephen), the Kramers (Mandy and Jim), the Lehtos (Tammi and Chris), the MacDonalds (Cynthia and Bruce), the MacInnes’ (Elizabeth and Scott), the Makelas (Lynn Czarnecki and Jason), the Meyers’ (Jeanne, Ted and John), the Milligans (Sheila and Dr. Walter) the Obermanns (Alicia, Catherine, Doug and Tim), the Ontls (Kelly and Todd), the Oppligers (Shawn, Emily, Ruth and Doug), the Pergers (Liz and Dr. Warren), the Rasners (Amanda and Donald), the Resslers (Dee and Tom), the Richards’ (Carrie and Dr. Bob), the Salos (Karen, Dan and Don), the Smigowskis (Christina and Tim), the Stenvigs, the Stickelmyers, the Tervos (Chris, Jim and Ryan), the Vendlinskis (Andi, Jim and Rick), the Vertins (Melissa and Joel), the Vizankos (Kelly and Steve), the Watrous’ (Liisa and Matt), the Weathers’ (Stacy and Bryant), the Wendels (Heather and Caleb Wendel), the Wilmers’ (Kelly and Stephen), the Youngs (Amber, Christine and Michael), the Zerbsts (Kristen and Ron), team /var/run (Nancy Banfield, Josh Myles and Amy Blake), Keweenaw Running Group, Houghton Police Department, Jim in Cardinal Hotel, Adam Griffis, Dr. Alex Mayer, Amanda O’Toole, Amy Madsen, Ann Hoover, Ashley Ames, Ashley Miller, Dr. Bryan Suits, Ben Wittbrodt, Chelsea Fagan, Chris Swanston, Christopher Schwartz, Dana Bianco, Dr. Daniel Fuhrmann, Darcy Donnelly, Deedra Irwin, Elizabeth Stempihar, Erin Kauppila, Greg Reed, Jeff Brookins, Jeffrey Burl, Jeffrey Toorongian, Joan Becker, Joe Caron, John Burton, Jonathan Kilpela, Julie Koskinen Ruotsala, Julie Springsteen, Justin TerAvest, Kate Waring, Katie Temple, Kelly Wooten, Kelsae Eliszewski, Kim Green, Krista Kasuboski, Kristen Schmitt, Kristin Thompson, Laura Mlynski, Lauren Schaefer, Lauri Keteri-Smith, Leah Tollefson, Lianna Miller and Benjamin Ciavola, Lena Widman, Louisa Raisbeck and Jesse Cleaver, Lynette Potvin and Matt Manders, Lynn Geisler, Mahesh Shastry, Marc Rea, Maria Janowiak, Marine Foucher, Mark Mehler, Mary Webster, Matt Mlinar, Michael Babcock, Mike, Mike LaMotte, Shreya Kumar and Randal Harrison, Ray Sharp, Rebecca Anderson, Ryan Towles, Riccardo Tortini, Robert Larson, Dr. Robert Weidman, Sam Roache, Sam Robinson, Sandy Houle, Sarah Bird and William Atkinson, Sarah Conner, Sarah Menassian, Sarah Stanek, Scott Gibbs, Shannon Vairo, Sue Peterson, Tony Schwenn, and more (in and outside of my community) — for the often unexpected, undeserved, unrewarded acts of constant encouragement, and offerings of constructive criticism, tested tips and tricks to improve myself as a runner, and helping make 2014 a very memorable year.

3 Replies to “2014: Looking back”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *