My First Blogiversary!

20140801-055214-21134595.jpgTheOatmeal.com
Wow, how did that happen? One year of blogging.

A year ago today I idly started this blog with intention to keep notes on the techniques I was trying and to see if I could get any faster and to ‘unlearn’ all those bad habits I had picked up over the preceding years of unfocused running.

I believe it has been a success on both of those levels, but more than that, it has meant that I have reached across the globe and now regularly communicate with many different runners, cyclists and walkers whom I would not have known otherwise. For me this has been one of he most interesting aspects of the process and an insight into the shared struggles that we normal people (not elite athletes) have to contend with in our lives. It is a support group for me that encourages me to continue to push the limits and hopefully they feel this way too.

It has also opened up more conversations around my office as there are a few people here who now actively talk about running, exercise and techniques while we work away at the daily grind. Others are coming to ask my thoughts on their issues and offering me additional feedback based on the blog.

I like the fact that the blog is a record of some of the places I’ve been running: Ireland, Singapore (x2), Michigan, Texas, and upstate PA, from all the travels I and my family have done this year for work and vacation.

Tracking runs through the heat of summer, the cool and enjoyable autumn, the ridiculous winter in PA, and the even crazier winter in Michigan, the long spring, and now the cool of this unusual summer.

In January I joined up with my wife’s running club and now run track on Wednesdays with FastTracks. They have some interesting characters and a good coach who sets is reasonable challenges each week. It is nice to be social around running which is not my normal M.O.

I have been there for my 3.5 year old daughter to help her on her first races, and to get some of her friends involved. It is fun trying to fire up her enthusiasm for exercise and to let her see that people should be out there being active. 20140801-055503-21303554.jpgGo, Supergirl, go!

From a running point of view, I regularly run over half-marathon distance with no ill effects (gone are the dark days of backache), I ran in my first official half marathon in Boston (Heartbreak Hill Half), and I ran a marathon… Though not quite how I intended to do it, but I ran it; strap on shoes, extra snacks, plan a route via water stops, step out front door, go! Far more my style than a big-assed organized event. 🙂20140801-055753-21473542.jpgJude and I at the Runner’s World Half.

I’ve had some tech issues to deal with when my iPhone GPS went loco on me for a few months until I replaced the unit. I’ve tried a few different types of shoes with differing levels of success and I have swapped out my bulky water belt for a SPIBelt for all but my longest runs.

Nike+ has been a useful tool for tracking shoes and miles when GPS fails. The site is friendly and has interesting stats and tools.

I’ve experimented with cadence variation, breathing patterns, butt clenching, mid-foot strike and several other methods to try and squeeze more speed out of my legs.

My track times have become more consistent as I’ve learned to control the pace for the different distances, plus I’ve learned to like running hills.

This year I have moved my focus from cycling to running and now regularly do a long run on Sundays rather than going out on my bike. I’m currently running around 30 miles a week without injuries and enjoying pretty well every run I do. So far this year I’ve run 654 miles and am ahead of my goal to run 1000 miles in the year by about a month (24 days anyway).

What a lot we’ve done this year!

Maybe it has been a long time now I think about it and I am looking forward to the next year.

20140801-061003-22203895.jpgTheOatmeal.com

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