Looking back at 2015, and looking ahead to 2016

Much like 2014, life in 2015 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 two-way traffic. Thanks in greater part to my friends in and out of this community, and their seemingly never ending unexpected and unrewarded acts of kindness, 2015 became my first ever full running season — learning a lot more than I had imagined in and about the process. Mileage, at least for running, was distributed throughout the year, and that for biking was clustered around the summer and fall months. Skiing and swimming made more than a guest appearance making 2015 my first year of taking a crack at triathloning.

Getting introduced to biking and swimming added a lot of variety to workouts once the snow cleared in Yoop. Believing that I had gained enough discipline, I chose to participate in far fewer virtual races. Compared to 2014, I didn’t feel their need as constant reminders to keep myself from getting lazy between real races.

The said decision helped me participate in 19 races amongst 13 unique events (Run The Keweenaw, Copperman Triathlon and Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival each had three races) and made me even more disciplined with regards to eating, sleeping and working out schedules. Giving up alcohol anywhere between one to four weeks prior to any event wasn’t probably necessary but helped me feel like I was paying the price to perform fairly satisfactorily. These real races took me to four states outside of Michigan and to the nation’s capital, and brought me in contact with more fantastic people and some once in a life time opportunities (interactive map above, and the boring list below).

Summary of races in 2015
## Event details
Location and weather notes
Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR, kCal

2015-02-01 11:03 am
Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon
US » CA » San Francisco County » San Francisco » 94118
52 F, 3 mph NNW, felt like 52 F, 100% humidity; sunny but comfortable and breezy
13.28 mi, 2:01:13, 9:08 min/mile, 6.57 mph, 167 bpm, 1368

2015-03-07 9:20 am
Great Bear Chase 10k Classic XC
US » MI » Houghton County » Calumet » 49913
27 F, 21 mph WNW, felt like 13 F, 86% humidity; cloudy, windy and snow
6.32 mi, 1:22:25, 13:02 min/mile, 4.60 mph, 170 bpm, 993

2015-05-17 9:03 am
Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon
US » WI » Brown County » Green Bay » 54304
66 F, 16 mph SSE, felt like 66 F, 88% humidity; sunny, hot, humid, muggy but comfortable breeze later
13.14 mi, 1:53:17, 8:37 min/mile, 6.96 mph, 140 bpm, 1599

2015-05-30 9:00 am
Stanton 5 Mile Run
US » MI » Houghton County » Stanton Township » 49931
45 F, 14 mph NNE, felt like 38 F, 76% humidity; cloudy, breezy but comfortable
5.01 mi, 0:37:55, 7:34 min/mile, 7.93 mph, 114 bpm, 503

2015-06-13 7:06 am
Baraga County Lake Trout Festival Half Marathon
US » MI » Baraga County » L'Anse » 49946
52 F, 5 mph ENE, felt like 52 F, 87% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
12.95 mi, 1:44:05, 8:02 min/mile, 7.47 mph, 158 bpm, 1405

2015-07-11 9:00 am
Run The Keweenaw: Mt. Baldy Summit Run 6k
US » MI » Keweenaw County » Eagle Harbor » 49950
73 F, 12 mph W, felt like 73 F, 73% humidity; sunny, warm, muggy and beautiful
3.56 mi, 0:36:48, 10:20 min/mile, 5.81 mph, 171 bpm, 485

2015-07-11 4:59 pm
Run The Keweenaw: Copper Harbor Trails Challenge 14k
US » MI » Keweenaw County » Copper Harbor » 49918
82 F, 5 mph NW, felt like 83 F, 48% humidity; sunny, warm, muggy and beautiful
8.48 mi, 1:28:08, 10:24 min/mile, 5.77 mph, 101 bpm, 602

2015-07-12 7:59 am
Run The Keweenaw: Carl Oslon Memorial Adventure Run 25k
US » MI » Keweenaw County » Copper Harbor » 49918
72 F, 0 mph, felt like 72 F, 73% humidity; sunny, warm, muggy and beautiful
14.69 mi, 2:46:48, 11:21 min/mile, 5.29 mph, 129 bpm, 1423

2015-07-18 7:30 am
Hancock Canal Run Half Marathon
US » MI » Houghton County » Calumet » 49913
64 F, 0 mph, felt like 64 F, 88% humidity; mostly cloudy and humid
13.06 mi, 1:48:49, 8:20 min/mile, 7.20 mph, 176 bpm, 1413

2015-08-01 9:00 am
Copperman Triathlon (Swim)
US » MI » Keweenaw County » Copper Harbor » 49950
63 F, 12 mph W, felt like 63 F, 77% humidity
0.65 mi, 0:29:23, 45:12 min/mile, 1.33 mph, 120

2015-08-01 9:33 am
Copperman Triathlon (Bike)
US » MI » Keweenaw County » Copper Harbor » 49950
64 F, 13 mph W, felt like 64 F, 73% humidity; mostly sunny, breeze off the Lake and beautiful
22.26 mi, 1:25:27, 3:50 min/mile, 15.65 mph, 150 bpm, 1390

2015-08-01 10:54 am
Copperman Triathlon (Run)
US » MI » Keweenaw County » Copper Harbor » 49950
68 F, 10 mph W, felt like 68 F, 64% humidity; mostly sunny, warm and beautiful
4.86 mi, 0:42:00, 8:39 min/mile, 6.94 mph, 161 bpm

2015-08-22 8:30 am
Swedetown Trail Run 25k
US » MI » Houghton County » Calumet Township » 49913
66 F, 8 mph SSW, felt like 66 F, 73% humidity; sunny with a gentle breeze and beautiful
15.50 mi, 2:30:12, 9:41 min/mile, 6.20 mph, 169 bpm, 1983

2015-09-05 7:30 am
Marquette Marathon
US » MI » Marquette County » Ishpeming » 49849
64 F, 0 mph, felt like 64 F, 94% humidity; mostly cloudy and foggy, then mostly sunny and warm/hot
26.26 mi, 4:06:21, 9:23 min/mile, 6.39 mph, 158 bpm, 2550

2015-10-03 8:59 am
Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival: 5k
US » MI » Keweenaw County » Lac La Belle » 49950
48 F, 12 mph E, felt like 43 F, 62% humidity; cloudy, windy and chilly but pleasant
3.23 mi, 0:32:19, 10:00 min/mile, 6.00 mph, 159 bpm, 421

2015-10-03 11:00 am
Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival: 10k
US » MI » Keweenaw County » Lac La Belle » 49950
50 F, 13 mph E, felt like 45 F, 62% humidity; cloudy, windy and chilly but pleasant
6.06 mi, 1:00:30, 9:59 min/mile, 6.01 mph, 165 bpm, 798

2015-10-04 8:58 am
Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival: Half Marathon
US » MI » Keweenaw County » Lac La Belle » 49950
41 F, 0 mph, felt like 41 F, 87% humidity; cloudy, a bit chilly but pleasant
12.21 mi, 2:07:29, 10:26 min/mile, 5.75 mph, 157 bpm, 1422

2015-11-08 8:00 am
Madison Marathon
US » WI » Dane County » Madison » 53703
28 F, 0 mph, felt like 28 F, 93% humidity; blue skies, some clouds and pleasant
26.36 mi, 4:22:30, 9:57 min/mile, 6.03 mph, 161 bpm, 2231

2015-11-21 9:01 am
USA Half Marathon Invitational
US » CA » San Diego County » San Diego » 92101
55 F, 0 mph, felt like 55 F, 67% humidity; clear, humid and pleasant
13.14 mi, 1:43:02, 7:50 min/mile, 7.66 mph, 177 bpm, 1387

Status of 2015 goals:
400 hours of total training, run 1000 1100 1250, bike 1000, swim 20 and ski 100 miles, and 40 hours of strength training

2015 also became the first year in which I ran and biked over a thousand miles. At least a thousand of these were in the base/training category, and waiting till the last two days of the year to cross the said mark for training miles was probably a bad idea. For the first full season of running, and first hack at triathloning, I am fairly satisfied with the analysis although I might not have acted as such immediately following any event or a training activity. During the two weeks of recommended time off from all sorts of physical activity after the Turkey Trot (thank you, Michael Young), I wrote some programs: to analyze the data gathered over a period of time, and break up the mileage in different workout categories into (a) different distance ranges, and (b) base/training vs race miles.


Run (bike, swim, ski) and learn!

All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.

— James Grover Thurber

Extending the lesson I was taught over a year ago at a Christmas party to other three endeavors and incorporating newer ones I have been bestowed upon throughout 2015 (the above quote by James Grover Thurber, running the mile I am in, letting things go, not letting the want to achieve something become the very obstacle in achieving it, …), specific goals for 2016 are as follows:

  1. Be more disciplined with regards to the quality and consistency of eating, sleeping and working out habits
  2. Distance
    1. Run 1000 miles with a 5:1 base to race ratio
    2. Bike 1000 miles
    3. Ski 100 km
    4. Swim 50 miles
  3. Time
    1. Keep every road half marathon time under 1:45:00 and every road full marathon under 3:45:00
    2. Improve time for each distance category every race
    3. Improve time at least by 5-10 minutes for repeat events
  4. Maintain good posture throughout each run, especially in the latter portions
  5. Keep the scientific experiment approach
    1. Objective observation: the measurement and data possibly although not necessarily using mathematics as a tool
    2. Evidence and experiment and/or observation as benchmarks for testing hypotheses
    3. Induction: reasoning to establish general rules or conclusions drawn from facts or examples
    4. Mindful repetition
    5. Analysis, verification and testing: critical exposure to scrutiny, peer review and assessment

Praise be to the Good Lord and life's blessings, 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, internet, and my good friends -- the Abbotts (Kathy and Mike), the Blakes (Amy and Scott), the Bogans (Ronda and Jim), the Boissevains (Margi and Paul), the Bradfishs (Anna, Eva and Eric), the Brauns (Teri, Louis, Louis, Tom), 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 Donnelys (Darcy and Brian), the Durochers (Bridget and John), the Eles (Sarah and Stephen), the Engstroms (Christine and Jaime), the Ericksons (Maija and Nat), the Farquhars (Cheryl and John), the Fredricksons (Linda and Dave), the Friedrichs (Dr. Mary and Dr. Craig), the Gracis (Kara, Mary, Sam Jr. and Sam), the Grays (Stasi and Richard), the Greens (Kim and Greg), the Handlers (Christine, Rob, Shannon and Stephen), the Janowiaks (Rexx and Maria), the Johnsons (Rich and Erik; Robyn and Adam; Karis and Michael), the Kramers (Mandy and Jim), the Kostinskis (Dr. Lilliana and Dr. Alex), the Lehtos (Tammi and Chris), the MacDonalds (Cynthia and Bruce), the MacInnes' (Elizabeth and Scott), the Makelas (Lynn Czarnecki and Jason), the Manderfields (Leslie and Peter), the Manns (Beverly and Paul), the Meyers (Lisa and Mike), the Meyers' (Jeanne, Ted and John; Julie and Keith), 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 Pandeys (Aparna and Dr. Ravi), the Pergers (Liz and Dr. Warren), the Ransoms (Cindy and Chip), the Rasners (Amanda and Donald), the Resslers (Dee and Tom), the Richards' (Carrie and Dr. Bob), the Rukkilas, the Salos (Chris, Karen, Dan and Don), the Seelys (Nancy and Dr. Bruce), the Smigowskis (Christina and Tim), the Stenvigs (Alexa, Annie, Chelsea, Erik, Helen, John, Nils, Mike, Nancy Verscheure, Tom), the Stickelmyers (Kari and Steve), the Tervos (Chris, Jim and Ryan), the Tomasis (Susan and Mike), 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), the Wilmers' (Kelly and Stephen), the Youngs (Amber, Christine and Michael), the Zerbsts (Kristen and Ron), Adam Griffis, Dr. Alex Mayer, Alice Flanders, Alison Umbarger, Amy Madsen, Angela Luskin, Angela Yu, Anika Kuczynski, Ann Anderton, Ann Hoover, Arni Ronis, Ashley Ames, Ashley Miller, Audrey Manderfield and Kyle Kelley, Aurelia Leigler, Dr. Bryan Suits, Ben Wittbrodt, Carolyn Stevens, Cassandra Wagner, Chelsea Fagan, Chris Swanston, Christopher Buckley, Christopher Schwartz, Cindy Harwood, Crystal Haataja-Holzberger, Dr. Curt Hillegas, Dan Kauppi, Dana Bianco, Dr. Daniel Fuhrmann, Dean Woodbeck, Deedra Irwin, Elizabeth Stempihar, Ellen Manderfield and Ryan Jones, Eric Byykkonen, Erin Kauppila, Greg Reed, Heidi DePuydt, Huanxin-Jessie Zhang, Jamie LaBeske Peryam, Jeff Brookins, Jeffrey Burl, Jeffrey Toorongian, Jenelle Potvin, Dr. Jennifer Slack, Jim and Randy in Cardinal Hotel, Joan Becker, Joe Caron, John Burton, John Vertin, Jonathan Kilpela, Julie Koskinen Ruotsala, Julie Springsteen, Justin TerAvest, Karen Koethe and Adam Manty, Kate Waring, Katie Temple, Kay Tislar, Kelly Wooten, Kelsae Eliszewski, Kenny Gilkerson, 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, Lindsey Goss-Maurisak, Lynn Geisler, Mahesh Shastry, Marc Rea, Mariana Grohowski, Marine Foucher, Mark Schnabel, Marilyn Swift, Mary Webster, Matt Mlinar, Dr. Maximilian Seel, Melissa Elmer and Justin Hoffmeyer, Michael Babcock, Michael Karinen, Michael Sereda, Mike LaMotte, Nathan Erickson, Patrick Rozich, Peter Negro, Polly Bolduc, 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 Ceballos, Sarah Conner, Sarah Menassian, Sarah Stanek, Scott Bolon and Alison Skwarski, Scott Gibbs, Shannon Vairo, Stacy Bussiere, Sue Peterson, Tom Edinborough, Tony Schwenn, Wayne Mills, 5th & Elm Coffee House, AustinFit, Copper Country Track Club, The Fitz, Houghton Pizza Works, Houghton Police Department, Keweenaw Running Group, Kenyans from Madison, WI (Christine and Scot Van Asten, Claire Luby, Gus Lang, Kelly Higgins, Maggie Turnbull, Mark Mehler, Phat Huynh, and Susan Speth), Michigan Tech Athletic Department, Michigan Tech Public Safety, team /var/run (Nancy Banfield, Joshua Myles and Amy Blake), 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 an athlete.

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