Monday, January 3, 2011

Purity of Essence: Essence of Purity

Welcome back, teammates. I trust you all had a stellar holiday season and are now anxious for all your favorite bloggers to return from a delightful break. Well, here I am. Let's catch up.

The Year that Was
First of all, 2010 is done gone, and there ain't no more whiskey in this town. Well, not for the next two weeks anyway. The Enthusiast and I have decided to start the year off with one of those "cleanse" things. My only vice will be caffeine and only in the form of coffee or tea. I drank my last beer for two weeks, a healthy Guinness, last night while playing banjo with my fellow old-time jam-mates.

My running year ended with a whimper, finishing off 2010 with 831 miles, an average of just under 16 miles per week, a far cry from the 20 miles I aimed for a year ago. Oh well. As we say in Cleveland, better luck next year. Here is December's statistical rundown:
  • Total Miles: 13 miles (four runs)
  • Highest Weekly: 4 miles
  • Average Weekly: 3.25 miles
  • Average Pace: N/A (no watch used)
  • Longest/Fastest Run: ~3 miles @ ~10:00 pace
  • The Monthly Dif: -20 miles (33 miles in November)
I'm still rocking the watchless runs, and I kept up with my tradition of logging my first run of the year on the first day of the year when the Enthusiast and I ran three miles on New Year's Day. 

New Gear for the New Year
I got all sorts of running gear for Christmas, covering head to toe and something right in between. 

Head lamp: The Enthusiast got me a headlamp from L.L. Bean, an item I've been wanting for some time. Now, I can safely hit the trails in the dark. It has three brightness settings and a flasher function for those mid-run epileptic fits I so enjoy. I used the lamp on my last run of 2010 and found it to be comfortable, easy to use, and bright as hell. 

Vest: Don't you love when you have to replace a clothing item because you need a smaller size? I felt like I was swimming in my old vest, showing that I've slimmed down over the past couple years. I managed to find a C9 from Champion puffer vest on the sale rack at Target after Christmas, picking up a replacement for my Columbia fleece for $13. Score!

ThermaJock: I don't even remember who posted a link about this hilarious item, but the Enthusiast gave me this shorts stocking stuffer. Gentlemen, it works. Ladies, don't judge a package by its apparent size. 

Socks: Sadly, no one else wanted to pay a Brazilian dollars for toe socks either. But I did get a pack of Nike Dri-Fit low-cut socks. I usually just wear no-seam cotton socks, but these are nice and comfy. 

New shoes, actual shoes: Santa brought me a pair of New Balance MT101, the minimal trail shoe that is the grandfather of the company's upcoming Minimus line. The toe box is nice and wide and the heel drop is similar to my Brooks T6 Racers, but the sole material is designed to protect from jagged rocks on the trail. They worked nicely in the snow, and I'm looking forward to getting out on the trails. 

Holy crap, this is turning into a long post.

The Requisite Goal Section
As we enter the new year, we all feel the need to make new goals. In the past, I've made grand and specific goals. This year, my goal is to be a "better" runner and teammate.

Enthusiasm: The Enthusiast is embarking on her first half marathon in May, and my goal is to help her get there. Notice, I didn't say "coach her there." Instead, I plan to be a dedicated training partner and fan. She has been my biggest fan, and now it's my turn. 

Attitude: I've never been one of those annoying happy runners you see, and I likely never will be, but I'd like to be more upbeat about running. While I do obsess a bit about my stats, it really shouldn't be my focus when I'm a solid mid-pack runner. The reason why I run is not to gloat about numbers, but to feel good physically and mentally. It's time to focus on the joy of running. 

Bare essentials: What was I just saying about numbers? Last year, I hit a point where I had nearly logged 10 percent of my total mileage without shoes. This year, I'd like to make that a reality by adding more barefoot runs to me routine. Of course, I'll wait until spring to doff my footwear. 

Marathon: The Akron Marathon falls just two weeks after the Enthusiast and I get married. I probably would have passed on it this year if running it for the fifth consecutive year didn't mean I get VIP "Legacy" status. Last year, I finally broke the four-hour mark. I'll try that again. 

Redux: I didn't even come close to doing it last year, but I'd still like to try to run 20 miles per week for the whole year. I've already failed at this goal once, won't cry about it if I do it again this year. 

Welcome to 2011, "the wedding year." I'm looking forward to a great year of running, boozing, blogging and marrying. Cheers to all of you! 


Anonymous said...

Wow - you got some great loot for Christmas. You must have been less naughty than me!

JojaJogger said...

Excellent Christmas swag. Mucho luck to the Enthusiast in her traing! I watched the movie your title alludes to just the other day. Watch out for flouridated ice cream!

Matthew Bradford said...

The ThermaJock sounds amazing. It would completely depend on the fleece it's made out of, but your review is so inspiring! If only I lived back in the Midwest, instead of balmy Houston, then I could justify purchasing it and pleading with my wife to put it on for me... that's a whole 'nother, weirder story.

Have a great Monday and a happy, happy new year!

misszippy said...

You scored on the Christmas gifts! Now the question is--will two weeks w/o beer make you cranky? And--can you get married and run a marathon within a two-week period? We'll be waiting to see...

Elizathon said...

Nice goals. I also am doing my annual detox and coincidentally my last drink was a Guiness.

Jess said...

"Marrying" sounds plural.

C said...

Wow, that's a lot of Christmas loot. Good luck to the Enthusiast with her training.

Laura said...

What do you get as a legacy VIP at the Akron Marathon? Any chance you get to upgrade from Coors Light to good beer at the finish?

Robin said...

Santa was very good to you this Christmas! As a corny note, I was told about a wedding where the served the guests their own bottled beers - Happily Ever Amber and Till Death Do Us Porter. Thought of you and the Enthusiast!

Ironman By Thirty said...

All you crazy people and your cleanses. At least you got one last Guinness in. That should hold you over for a couple days.

Nice loot! I can't believe you got a ThermaJock. I've laughed at it (only because I know it would be usefl), but don't know if I could ever purchase one.

B.o.B. said...

I love the head lamp. It's dorky as all get out but it really helps you from twisting an ankle. You got good stuff!

Happy New Year.

Junk Miler said...

I'll drink your share.

Good luck surviving the wedding. The marathon too, but mostly the wedding.

the erratic epicurean said...

three cheers for 2011 nuptials!

Jess said...

Great goals for the new there a chance we'll get to see wedding pictures?!