Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 in review: by the numbers

Here we are, at the end of 2007, and already training for the 2008 season. Not much time for a break. Not much time to reflect on what happened in 2007, but let's do it!

Our annual family letter, Le Cupertino, contains a few stories, in addition to the 40 articles I posted since I started my blog back in March. And the stories are not all about running, as our family has many other activities! Moreover it is in French, so many of you won't appreciate the text, but you can still look at the pictures!

In this post, I'm looking back at 2007 through some numbers. Unlike Graham Cooper who shared with me in his interview he was not keeping a log of his cross-training sessions (run, bike, swim), I've maintained a log file very consistently since 1996.
A detailed Excel spreadsheet which makes the training work more tangible to me. 1,620 records/lines for the runs, plus a few records for cross-training (mostly stationary bike when injured), plus charts and dashboards. So, let's look at some numbers and statistics:
  1. Distance: ran 2,277 miles (3,664 km), that is 12% less than the 2,600 miles of last year.
  2. Time running: 340 hours running, or 9:15 hours more than last year.
  3. Number of runs: 164 versus 225 last year. This one surprised me, that means a bit less than one run every other day in average.
  4. Number of races: 18 versus 19 last year.
  5. Number of ultras: 11 versus 5 last year.
  6. Number of injuries: 3 (hypothetical stress fracture at the 2nd metatarsal in January, shin splints in October, calf contracture in November) versus none last year.
  7. Shoes: since I started this log I've used 25 pairs including 15 from Brooks. My top and preferred model is still the Trance (from Brooks), with a pair which I just retired after 1,575 miles. My second preferred model is the Burn (still from Brooks), not for the trails though. I've three pairs of Burn which have logged more than 1,000 miles on road (one up to 1,320). For more on Brooks shoes, you can read a recent article from Scott Jurek on his blog. And, more humbly, my post on the 10,000 miles I've run in Brooks shoes (and that makes 11,600 miles now).
  8. DNF (Did Not Finish): still 0, and not counting...! And it's not that I didn't take some risks like lining up at the Saintélyon in December despite the calf injury. The other race I'm proud of finishing was Miwok, despite the asthma. But how could I have dropped with such a great support and patience from my pacer Rob (Evans)!
  9. DNS (Did Not Start): 2 (San Francisco Half in February, and Run Wild 10K, where Agnès enjoyed my bib)
  10. Entry fees: $1,080. And that's not counting travel, lodging, shoes, accessories and apparel. Hmm, is running really free like many people think? Well, maybe not if you race at least... And despite the increasing support of sponsors. Of course, some of these fees go to charities, which is great. And you also get some t-shirts, shorts, awards, prizes, food and drinks and so much valuable support from non paid volunteers, plus the access to incredible places and parks. Which is why we, runners, have this feeling of receiving much more than what we are giving!
  11. Elevation: I don't log elevation for each run, for the simple reason that the information wasn't much available when I started back in 1996. Now, thanks to the Garmin (Forerunner 201 and 205), I do have more information on this in SportTracks. For instance, during July, my most busy month with a total of 323 miles (520 km), my Garmin logged +48,442/-49,265 feet of elevation, that is +14,765/-15,016 m. Definitely not something I was familiar with when training for (flat) road marathons!
Overall, by the numbers, it hasn't been a pure "Farther Faster" year since I've logged less miles, yet spent more time on roads and trails. However, this year has really been focused on ultra after I had run my first two 50-milers in the Fall of last year. And you cannot expect to go as fast on hilly and tricky trails... Plus, it's hard to relate on the intensity of the runs in a log. But I definitely went farther with my first 100K (Miwok) followed by my first 100-miler (Western States). And I went faster on some courses, improving my 10K PR by 4 seconds (33:57), slashing my times on 50K (Ohlone, Skyline) and 50 miles (Helen Klein). Last but not least, I won my age group in the Pacific Association USA Track & Field ultra Grand Prix. Which gives me the right to play again, hopefully not running too many ultras in one season (in addition to the ones during the Coastal Challenge week).

The picture would then be perfect, but for the injuries. Nothing serious compared to some others, yet making me appreciate how superior some elites are who don't seem to have any limit in the effort they can put in races and hard work in training. There is no limit in ultra, in how much farther and faster you want to go, yet you have to get your body and mind to cooperate... And I do believe everyone has a unique physiology and thus a physical limit to work on. And work with.

With that, good luck to all for a healthy and enjoyable 2008 on the trails!

Farther and faster if you can...

PS: speaking of numbers, see below my Western States bib, 99, a number which I found interesting at the time. Before Sophia Lewis told me it brought her luck, with her 3rd F40-49 place in 2003. 4th M40-49 for me in 2007, close enough!
Photo credit, permission and Copyright: Glenn Tachiyama, a great contributor to our sport through photography. From his Dusty Corner's series, June 2007.


Scott Dunlap said...

What a spectacular year! Congrats, Jean. The PA/USATF championship is well-deserved - you were consistently fast all year!

Looking forward to racing more with you in '08. I've got one more year before I get thrown in your age group. ;-)


Gretchen said...

A very impressive year Jean! Your post really brings home the value of keeping track of all of those stats. It must be a great help in planning for future races and training!
Hope to see you out there.

Andy B. said...

Those are some impressive numbers, and what a great year you had, with the PA/USATF championship! I hope you have an equally successful year in 2008 - minus the injuries, of course. :-)

willgotthardt said...

Awesome as always Jean, hope to see you once again at Ohlone.

Happy New Year!

Will G.

Anonymous said...

...nous nous associons à tes admirateurs!
bonne continuation pour 2008

Anonymous said...

Nous nous associons à tes admirateurs!
Bonne continuation pour 2008
Papa et Maman

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

Wow! What a year!

I have a complete log for 2007, but it's all been written down by hand. I need to transfer it to excel, so that I can play with the number some more...

Michael Kanning said...

What a season! Congratulations on reaching your goals, and look forward to running and racing with you in '08!


Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Such detail and organization. People ask me "so how many miles do you run a week" and I have no idea. Even with a new Garmin 305.

Despite this thorough analysis, I think you are still taggable for a more subjective summary, so I'm tagging you (Paul Charteris' initiative). Even though I haven't answered all the questions yet.