Q4 Goal Update and 2017 Review

The fourth quarter has come to a close and it’s time for my quarterly update to my goal to run 1000 miles in 2017.  I’m pretty sure you are all glad this year has ended and you no longer have to hear about this, but you forget about 2018. But more on the 2018 goal on Tuesday. And I’ll go ahead and sum up the whole year while I’m here so you don’t get 3 running posts in a row. I know you’re dying to read more about HR and pancakes so I won’t keep you waiting. While the 4th quarter had the fewest miles run of the 4 quarters, this quarter was one of the most gratifying and it brings an end to one amazing personal accomplishment.

I ran a total of 265 miles in the 4th quarter. This quarter included my lowest mileage month (November), but that month also included a couple of milestones. One, I completed a half marathon after overcoming a pretty nasty stomach bug. I didn’t think I’d be able to even run the race, but I ended up completing one of my most enjoyable races. Two, I surpassed my goal of 1000 miles on November 12th. This was one of the best feelings throughout this process. Goal accomplished with 6 weeks left in the year.

Some people asked if I was going to shut it down since I hit my goal in November. That thought never crossed my mind. The way I have been feeling, mentally and physically, throughout this whole process is something I don’t want to lose. And to prove that, I logged 105 miles in December. I ran right down to the last day of the year and left some in the tank for my New Year’s Day run.

This goal changed a lot of things for me. Because I ran 5 days per week, I had to change my drinking habits. For the most part, I reduced my alcohol consumption to 2 days per week. Sunday and Thursday nights. These were the nights before my rest days. Now, I did say, “for the most part.” There were plenty of exceptions to this rule, but there was no way I would be able to run on Saturdays and Sundays at the pace I had set for myself in 2016.

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My sleep improved drastically. I am getting to bed at a decent hour and the quality is better. Most of that is due to the reduction of alcohol consumption and the rest is due to the fact that my body was a little tired. The sleep helped my recovery and I had more energy throughout the day when I had a good night’s sleep.

I got back to running in the morning. For the first quarter, I was typically getting my weekday runs in during the day, while at work. This worked for some time, but I found that my running would interfere with my work or I would not be able to break away due to a busy schedule. When the weather improved, I started running before work. Routinely waking up at 5:30am feels great and there is no better way to get my day going that with a run. Plus, this is how I come up with my blog posts.

Here are some highlights of my 2017 goal by the numbers:

  • 1150 – total miles
  • 96 – average miles per month
  • 22 – average miles per week
  • 8 – number of states where I logged miles
  • 118 – September miles (highest monthly miles)
  • 79.6 – November miles (lowest monthly miles)
  • 299.3 – Q1 miles
  • 285.3 – Q2 miles
  • 301.7 – Q3 miles
  • 265 – Q4 miles
  • 163 – number of hours spent running in 2017
  • 3 – pairs of Asics running shoes
  • 0 – major injuries

Setting this goal was one of the better things I’ve done in a long time. As I’ve previously mentioned, I have never been a big goals person. But something changed on January 1, 2017 and I decided to try out the whole process. I learned a lot from reading the book Peak Performance, earlier this year, around setting realistic expectations. I already loved running, but I was too erratic. I didn’t follow a weekly routine and I had nothing to hold me accountable. And while I had only run 560 miles in 2016, 1000 miles stretched me just a little outside of my comfort zone to make this realistic and achievable.

I’ll be lifting a glass or two of something, this evening, and thinking of all the good in 2017. Tomorrow, I’ll make some pancakes, put a big pot of chili on the stove, and head out for my first run of the year. While I have a pretty good idea of the goal I’m going to set for 2018, I’ll solidify them while taking in the beauty of my surroundings and setting the stage for a great year. Stay tuned for my 2018 goals post on Tuesday, January 2nd. See you next year!

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