2015 Year In Review

I always enjoy looking back at my year of running on the last day of the year and seeing what I accomplished (or didn’t), seeing if I met my goals, and just re-living some of my running memories (highs and lows) as I review my log data.  I’m certainly not obsessed when it comes to tracking my running data. For instance, I don’t feel like I have to end a run on a round number. I don’t obsess over the data while I am running, but I do like to track it all and analyze it at the end of the year.

Unlike most of my posts where I pour over the details, and then wrap up with a summary, this post will be in the opposite order.  Starting with the year end summary, followed by various details that I find interesting.

Summary

2015 was probably my best running year to date in every category.  I loosely (as I have the past few years) gave myself the goal of running the number of miles in the year, so the goal this year would have been 2,015 miles, for no other reason than it just sounds cool.  Unfortunately, due to a calf injury in September (as you’ll see in the data below), I was unable to reach this goal.  No big deal though, there’s always next year, and what’s another mile?

By the numbers, here’s what it looked like:

Total Distance: 1,703.26 miles
Total Elevation: 175,454 feet
Total Calories Burned: 228,807 calories
Hours Spent Running: 337 hours, 58 minutes, 27 seconds

Monthly

Broken down monthly, here’s what my year looked like.  I injured my calf during a race (complete tear of the muscle from the bone) on Sept 12, and that impacted the rest of Sept and all of Oct while I let the muscle heal.  I’m happy to report, the calf is 100% healed and I haven’t noticed any residual effects (other than a dip in fitness and mileage while I healed for 8 weeks).

2015 Monthly Statistics from Garmin Connect

Distance

Even though I didn’t hit my goal of 2,015 miles in 2015, I still managed to run over 1,700 miles with a full time job and a family.  I also traveled 95,000 miles by airplane for work, meaning less time to run!  To put 1,700 miles in to perspective, here are some things that are 1,700 miles apart from each other:

  • Hong Kong and the island nation of Palau (~1,700 miles)
  • Salt Lake City and Whitehorse, Canada (~1,694 miles)
  • New York City and Denver, Colorado (~1,650 miles)
  • Sydney, Australia and Anywhere else (ok just kidding, but Papua New Guinea is 1,699 miles from Sydney)

Elevation

I’m not physically built for climbing, generally tipping the scales close to (and usually more than) 200 pounds, but living in Utah means climbing comes with the territory.  I’ve learned to embrace the climbing as long as there is a payoff of a nice downhill run at the end of the climb.  I managed to climb over 175,000ft (over 53,000 meters for my non-American readers).  For fun and perspective, here are some things that are 175,000ft tall: (stacked on top of each other)

  • 6 Mount Everests
  • 178 Eiffel Towers
  • 64 Burj Khalifas
  • 2,734 Boeing 747-400s
  • 574 Statue of Libertys
  • 5 Marianas Trenches

Types of running

I did set myself an inadvertent goal part way through the year when it dawned on me that I hadn’t stepped on a treadmill all year.  My new goal was to run all my miles in 2015 outside.  If you knew me when I first started running back in 2009 or so, you would know that I was exclusively a treadmill runner, and in fact, one year, I ran the equivalent of 52 marathons (1,362.4 miles) on a treadmill with the exception of a single 6 mile run in National Harbor, MD during a business trip.

Here’s how I fared in 2015:

Trail: 1182.82 miles (69.4% of total miles)
Road: 520.44 miles (30.6% of total miles)
Treadmill: 0 miles (0% of total miles)

I’m very happy that I was able to achieve this goal, and while I have nothing against treadmills and think they have their place in a training regimen, I feel like that mile for mile an outdoor run is always better.  I will carry this goal over to 2016 and try another treadmill-free year!

Races

I’m not much of a medal whore and I don’t like to run a lot of races just to run races.  I tend to pick ones that are challenging or have something unique about them that makes them worth running like the location, the course, the history of the race, etc.  That being said, I did manage to run 6 races this year, far exceeding my normal number of races per year.  Admittedly, 2 of these were substitutes for what would have otherwise been boring training runs by myself, and one was to help pace a friend.  There were 3 races that I had picked at the beginning of the year to run for myself, all ultras, all trail races.  I also ran my first races in Oregon this year, and I have to say, they were spectacular.  It may have been the fact that they were at sea level, or had minimal climbing involved relative to our runs here in Utah, but Oregon has quickly become one of my favorite places to run.

2015 – Vigor Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Marathon – 1:41:00 (Half Marathon PR)
2015 – Ogden Marathon – 4:12:30 (Marathon PR)
2015 – Timp Trail Half Marathon – 3:32:54 (Pacing a friend)
2015 – Squaw Peak 50 (Race Report) – 13:37:12 (50 Mile PR by ~3 hours)
2015 – Mt Hood 50k (Race Report) – 5:34:46 (50k PR)
2015 – McKenzie River Trail Run 50k – 6:37:09 (Tore my calf muscle at mile 18 and still finished the race)

Other Cool Data visualizations

While I was writing this post, I also stumbled across some other cool tools that summarize my year in running.  The first one is a Strava Story created by Strava based on analyzing all the data you’ve synced/entered in to their platform.  You can see my personal movie below or check your inbox for your own personalized link to create your own Strava Story.

 

Another site I used to use more often which does some really cool visualizations, but now costs money, is Veloviewer.  Fortunately, the year end review, which imports data from your Strava account, is free.  Here’s what mine looks like (this includes running and riding which is why the numbers don’t match the numbers above which are just running):

Veloviewer 2015 Infographic

You can head over to Veloviewer and get your own infographic.  It only takes a minute and it’s free!

Another interesting tool is by Strava Labs, called Roster.  Strava Labs is a set of tools that are effectively in beta test (meaning Strava is creating them to test them out, improve them, and then eventually some of them are added in to the main Strava product).  Roster in particular analyzes all of your activities against everyone else, and determines the % of time you exercise alone vs. with other people. Apparently I am a Lone Wolf!

Strava Roster

So are you a lone wolf, or a social butterfly?  Head over to Strava Labs Roster and find out!

Lastly, there’s a company named Sisu that takes all your run and/or ride profiles from Strava or Runkeeper, and puts them on a graphic that you can either see and share online, or order a printed version of.  Here’s mine:

Made With Sisu Run Profiles

Head over to Sisu to get your workouts turned in to art!

I think that wraps up 2015.  I had a great year, and I’m looking forward to 2016.  Let me know how your year went in the comment section below and what your goals are.